Monday, April 30, 2012

Difficulties of a Writer

This post was spawned by a post over on Rachelle Gardner's blog about the difficulties we face as writers. She asked "What Makes the Writing Life Hard?" and I had an instant answer: Believing in yourself and getting others to believe in you. She talked about it today.

Why is that? My thoughts:

Well, as authors, we all seem to be crammed into a convoluted box that the outside world sees as mystical and scary. They don't know how to step into the box because - let's face it - authors think differently. This goes back to my post from the other day about a true writer being born and not made. We see the World in a different way than other people. They have difficulty identifying with us.

But it can happen!! Don't lose hope!

I believe that if YOU believe in yourself, others will follow in your footsteps. Look at Jim Jones - the guy who got all those people to drink the Kool-Aid laced with cyanide - and you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about. That guy preached with such conviction, people followed him and paid the ultimate price. Now, I'm not suggesting you go get people to believe in your writing so much that they feel compelled to drink poison, but I am trying to get you to see that if YOU are excited about your work and TRULY believe in yourself, others will be too.

What most people fail to realize is, we work for ourselves and write because we have something to say. Period. We aren't unrealistic, we just function on a different plane of imagination. We are different, not crazy. No, we likely won't end up as famous as Suzanne Collins or J.K. Rowling, but we will achieve fame in our own way and in our own hearts.

If you are the spouse or loved one of a writer, please be supportive and PROUD of them. It is quite an accomplishment just to write 100k words; not to mention the edits and re-writes and advertising we all have to do. Most people go their whole lives and never write 100k words. Be proud and tell them you are proud.

I know how it feels to have someone that believes in you. Someone who is behind you, pushing you to do more and be better. He is my driving force and always celebrates my achievements! I would likely never have finished my novel, Yassa, if he wasn't there, encouraging me and telling me how great I am while plying me with an endless supply of coffee!

We all need that special someone who supports us in our endeavors. Link up with fellow authors if you don't have someone else. We should all be there to support and encourage each other!

That's all for today. I am running late!! 9am and time to write!!

Don't forget to follow this blog, follow me on Twitter, or like my Facebook page for your free copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One over on Smashwords. It's available in all formats. Just two days left to get yours!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bringing Truth to Fiction

Something I think every author struggles with is telling the truth in their story. So you write fantasy, you say? Well, there is still a note of truth even in a fantasy novel. Your characters must be true to life or you do your readers a great disservice.

Here's an example:

Carol is a mother of three who just lost her job, her husband, and is angry at the world. Let's give Carol something to complain about other than that. We will pile pain on top of pain and see how she reacts...

Carol was worn out from the day of fighting with Jake and from trolling the city looking for a new job. She changed her clothes, turned off the light, and started for bed. She stubbed her toe, hard, on the corner of the open bathroom door near the switch. "Ouch!" she yelled, grabbing her foot and hopping around before tumbling into bed and crying herself to sleep. How could he do this to her and their kids?

Now, I don't know about you, but if I were going through all that, I'm positive that "Ouch!" would NOT be my reaction. Let's try again, being true to Carol's character...

Carol was exhausted and pissed off after her day of fighting with Jake, her bastard ex, and from trolling the city looking for a new job - what a joke that was in the current market! She changed her clothes, turned off the light, and started for bed. She stubbed her toe, hard, on the corner of the open bathroom door near the switch. "Shiiiiiiiiiit!" she yelled, grabbing her foot and continuing to scream a stream of curse words while hopping on one foot to the bed and crying herself to sleep with thoughts of ripping Jake's head from his slimy ass shoulders. How the hell could he do this to her and her kids?

Now, the Carol in example one is sterile. Most readers would read that and be okay with it. However, Carol in example two is passionate and you can feel how she feels. But there is something else!! Carol in example one seems defeated, worn down and ready to feel sorry for herself. Carol in example two shows grit and a woman who is angry but who is pushed by that anger.

If you continued both stories in your head, the first would likely continue with her waking up and hitting the streets again to find a job. But the second would likely lead you to Carol dreaming up some sort of revenge to exact on dear old Jake. If you write and are true to your character's personality and life struggles, your book will take on a quality all its own.

Not everyone can do that. I always say, writers are born, not made. Anyone can learn to write well, it's the ability to write with passion and drive that separates the two.

That's all for today!! I hope you enjoyed the read.

Remember, there's just three more days before the coupon on The Abigale Chronicles - Book One expires! So, start following today and get your code for your FREE copy of this great first book in the series!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Reviews for Yassa and The Abigale Chronicles - Book One

A couple of readers (one was a beta reader) have taken time out of their busy days to write reviews for a couple of my books.

Yassa -

Watch for it here: to be released in June, 2012!!

"In this riveting portrayal of the emperor of the Mongol Empire Genghis Khan, Yassa depicts the untold story of the undying love between Genghis and his wife Borte. The novel creates speculation that who Genghis Khan had become is a result of the turmoil amongst his wife, family, and brotherhood, and the betrayal of the ones he remained devoted to until the end. The author Jo Michaels demonstrates her curiosity of the history behind Genghis Khan in this brave replica of the leader of the largest contiguous empire in history. You will find yourself laughing, crying, smiling, and sympathizing with the characters throughout the entire book. Yassa is a must read that will keep you wanting more of the bygone times that have never before been depicted like this."
- Katlynn Goggin

Thank you, Ms. Goggin!!

The Abigale Chronicles - Book One -

Get it here:

Don't forget to message me to get a coupon code for your FREE copy before May 2, 2012!!

Review by: Mike G on April 26, 2012 : star star star star star
I have been downloading new books to read to my son each week. He was drawn to the book cover and asked if we could get this one. I was very hesitant as it appeared to be a book geared for a girl. This book turned out to be very easy to read and I was very surprised that I actually enjoyed this book as it reminded me of events in my childhood. I normally do not like fantasy but it helped to keep my interest and my son thought that was cool. It made him use his noggin because he kept asking me if Abigale was in a dream. If you are looking for an interesting book that will make your child have to use their imagination than I recommend you download this book. My son is already bugging me on when I can download book 2.

Can you believe the FIVE stars? I was blown away!! Thank you, Mr. G!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!


Abigale Free for 5 More Days!

You have just five days left to get your free copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One! It's an amazing little book that reads fast. If you have a child in your life that enjoys books, they will love this one. My own daughter, who is six, was left scratching her head and asked me, "Mommy, is it really happening or is she dreaming?" There are subtle clues in the book that will lead you in the right direction but even Abigale doesn't know if her visits to these other places are truly taking place.

Only one way to find out, right?

Get your coupon code for a free copy today one of the following ways: Send me a message either here or on Twitter or click "Like" on my Facebook page it's really as simple as that!

The Abigale Chronicles - Book One is available for purchase on Smashwords for the low price of just $1.99. You may sample 20% of the book before you decide to take the next step.

Remember, just five days left!

Thank you to everyone that took the time to read this story or leave a review on Smashwords.

Also keep your eyes open for Yassa, due out in June!! You can watch my Smashwords page for news on this exciting release!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Player, Yassa, The Abigale Chronicles - In Earnest

With The Abigale Chronicles - Book One published, it's time to continue work on Player. I'm very excited about it because it holds what we all know but are afraid sometimes to write: the truth.

I am following the mantra of Stephen King and writing about what I know. I knew the characters in Yassa almost as well as I know myself. If there are fractions of me here and there in them, then I achieved my goal. I have written my synopsis of Yassa and am presenting it to you now. My cover will be option 3 (the one with the cherry tree on it) and you'll get a good sense of the book by combining the imagery with the synopsis.

Without further ado:


In ancient Mongolia there lived two great and ferocious men who became fast friends at the hands of slavers and pledged to be brothers in life. When one of the men sees the wife of the other and falls madly in love, what ensues is the greatest recorded rivalry of all time. Bound by Yassa law, young Temujin is torn when the time comes to make the ultimate decision: Kill his best friend and brother in life for the dishonor of coveting the precious and beautiful Borte, or break the law Temujin wrote himself and show mercy. But is the beautiful Borte in love with Temujin's best friend, Jamuka, or is she faithful to her husband through all of the obstacles thrown in their way; even his infidelity? When Temujin is named Khan, changes his name to Genghis, and becomes drunk with power, what will happen to the love he has so carefully nurtured for his wife?

Find the answer in the book!! Due out in June!

I hope you are all enjoying this blog and accompanying me on my journey through the wide world of self publishing!

Don't forget to leave a comment here or send me a message via Twitter to get your coupon code for a FREE copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One. Remember, it's a Young Reader's chapter book with a lot of suspense so if you know a child that loves to read, this is the book for them!! This offer is only good until May 2, 2012, so get your copy today!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Smashwords Publish!

After much contemplation, I have decided to publish The Abigale Chronicles - Book One at this week. Yassa is still set to release beginning of June so, if you were looking forward to that one, stay tuned!!

For everyone following or reading my blog, please send me a message if you would like a free copy of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One and I will send you a coupon code (good through May 2, 2012) good at the website.

You can click here to access the book's page directly:

Time to get busy writing more wonderful stories!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yassa Art Part 2

One more...

Option 3

Until next time, WRITE ON!!!


Yassa Cover Art

Came up with two designs. Would love some feedback from all you readers of this blog. Which one?

Option 1

Option 2

I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Bursting at the Seams - Cover Ideas!

Today, I intend to delve very deeply into Player and go ahead and edit the crap out of The Abigale Chronicles - Book One for which I have a sample book cover.

I would love some feedback from any of you following or just reading.


Color version and black and white for NOOK devices.

I am off to write! It is 9am and I am bursting at the seams with words.

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Abigale is Done - New Novel!

The Abigale Chronicles - Book One is complete. A short, 10k word Young Readers book is what I ended up with. I am so proud of myself for getting it done so quickly! I can't wait to share the cover art for Yassa and TAC!! I would love to hear feedback from any reader of this blog so, keep your eyes open and make sure to vote!!

I started a new novel titled Player that is the story of a man looking to change his life. He finds something along the way that he never expected to find but the end has a twist that will leave you reeling. Here is my synopsis:

Richard Meritis has it all figured out. He has enrolled in an MBA program in order to change his life and get out from under his wife of fourteen years, Julia, who cares more about her nails and social life than she does about Richard, and he begins a journey that he has carefully planned every step of over the last year.

Kathy Miller is a young woman struggling to find her purpose in life. With five children and a husband that treats and uses her like property, she feels like there is no way she can change anything and has, instead, found ways to live with her situation. When she discovers a deep, dark secret about her husband, Gordon, and her life begins to unravel, she realizes it’s a sign that it’s time to take a leap of faith.

Richard meets Kathy and both of them find something they never expected. Will Richard’s ultimate plan succeed or will he be derailed by the unexpected newfound companionship? Will Kathy be able to see Richard’s true intentions? What is his game?

Player brings surprises at every turn and you will be left guessing what Richard’s true plan was and if meeting someone like Kathy was really planned from the beginning. You will fall in love with Richard because of his flaws, Kathy because of her temerity, and by the end, you will realize that not everything is what it seems to be.

I hope this piques your interest and I hope you will follow along with Richard and Kathy as they make life-changing decisions.

Remember, keep an eye out for cover art choices coming soon!! I look forward to hearing from you!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Excerpt! Abigale!

Here ya go, an excerpt from Chapter 1!!

            Just about the time she saw the school, the first rock hit her; his aim was getting better and it smacked her right in the back of the leg. She knew the next few would not be aimed quite so low but bit back her panic and kept moving her feet forward at a normal pace. After all, Emmett had never seriously injured her; just gave her small bruises. Because of her earlier resolution not to run, she refused to even acknowledge that the first rock had hurt and bit back her scream and her tears. Her heart pounded in her chest and her palms began to sweat; she braced herself for the second blow.

            Abigale opened her eyes and blinked sleepily. She was disoriented but could hear the voices around her saying things like, “She must have tripped and hit her head.” and, “Look! She’s waking up!” When she tried to sit up, she found she couldn’t because she had been strapped to some sort of board. A man’s face suddenly appeared in her vision and he asked her to please lie still and to try not to move. He explained that she had taken a nasty bump to the head and they needed to make sure she was okay before they released her.
            She croaked out, “Okay. What happened?”

            He smiled at her and said, “We don’t know yet. Can you remember anything?”

            She knitted her eyebrows together, trying to remember how she had ended up unconscious, and said, “No. I just remember walking and being scared because Emmett was throwing rocks at me. But I didn’t run.”

            A look of concern clouded the man’s face and he simply said, “Okay. Just lie still.”

            She licked at her lips and tasted something that was familiar. She tried to place the taste but her brain felt like it was filled with cottonballs and, though she tried as hard as she could to stay awake, she passed out.

            When she woke again, she was in a hospital bed with a bunch of cords and tubes connected to her. After momentary panic, she closed her eyes, counted to ten, and opened them again to take in the whole scene calmly. She had read somewhere that you are supposed to calm yourself that way but it didn’t seem to be working because with every new thing she saw, her urge to scream doubled. There were fresh flowers in a vase with a “Get Well Soon” balloon attached, dying flowers in a vase on the other side of the fresh ones, and an enormous stack of books from her favorite author, Tomas Cleary, on a table that extended over the bed. How long had she been here?

Until next time, WRITE ON!!!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Abigale - An Overview

The Abigale Chronicles - Book One is almost done (just one chapter left). I can't believe I told her story so quickly. I am afraid that when I edit, I will have to find some new/easier words though.

I sent out my queries for Yassa. Today I plan to work on cover art. It is far too cool outside to be writing :)

I may also work on the cover art for The Abigale Chronicles. We shall see.

Time to get busy!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!!!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Abigale On Fire

Work has begun on The Abigale Chronicles - Book 1 and I couldn't be more pleased. I am up to chapter 7 already and cracking it out like my brain and fingers are on fire.

I made some decisions and just began writing. Her story is flowing so well, I'm scaring myself a little. It feels a little like my writing has gone to a whole different level since finishing Yassa and I am very pleased.

For all the authors out there, have you ever had that epiphany where you realize that you can do it? Where all your stars seem to align and you feel like your dreams have finally been recognized by your muse?

I have a deep love of photography, art, and literature. I recognize these things within myself and know that, as long as I embrace them, I will find contentedness within myself.

I have to take a moment here and thank my boyfriend. If any of you have someone in your life like him, you will understand what I am about to say. If you don't, I'm very sorry.

To the Love of My Life:

You encouraged me when I needed it most and refused to let me give up on myself; even when I thought there was no way I could ever finish. Thank you. You were there and drove my passion and gave me a reason to push forward. Thank you. You offered help constantly and pushed me to limits I didn't realize I could breach while providing me comfort and a pair of arms to make me feel secure. Thank you. You provided support, love, and were a constant reminder that I could do it. Thank you. Thank you for being the man you are and for loving me so much. I could never have done it without you. Thank you.

I hope you all keep following this blog for updates on Abigale and her frienemy, Emmett. I know I said I would be linking to the new blog from this one, but I'm not sure I'll be doing a different blog for the new series. We'll see.

Time to go and write!!

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I feel...


Yassa is written and ready to hit the drawer for the next month.

I will be doing the cover art and typesetting myself (thinking maybe my degree will come in handy here) and am looking forward to publishing in June. I would give you all an excerpt, but it would likely give away a number of interesting things that occur in the last 6 chapters.

I am moving on to my next story sometime this week and will post a link to that blog from this one.

I hope you have all enjoyed my journey through history and my ramblings.

Until next time, WRITE ON!!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Almost There!

I have but FOUR chapters left!!

I will then place my manuscript in a drawer for a month and forget I wrote it.

I need to feel like I am coming home to an old friend when I edit but I am still on track for an early June release on NOOK and an early August release on Kindle. I plan to begin the cover art work next month as well. I wish I could snap my fingers and finish it but I know that would be cheating and I NEED to put in the time and effort to reap maximum benefits. After all, how many people in this world have written 400 pages of ANYthing in their lifetime? Not many.

I have consumed books numbering well into the tens of thousands over my lifetime. I am hoping that readers like myself pick up my book and delve between the pages only to get lost and have to scratch their way back out. This story is a mighty adventure.

Back to the keyboard!! Until next time, WRITE ON!!