June 26, 2017

I'm a YouTuber! / Monthly Mishmash

YouTube - I never thought I'd say this but...I'm a YouTuber! 

I even have a YouTube Channel!

I need 100 subscribers to create a custom URL. 

Would you please subscribe?

Right now, I'm sharing videos about marketing.

Thursday I'll be sharing my 3rd video about Amazon.

DEPRESSION - I am happy to report that since April, I feel as though I am back to my old self. I know that depression will always be part of my life and that it can pop up at any moment, but I am strong. Actually, I am stronger. I believe that each time I beat my depression, I get stronger. This last bout lasted 7 months and was the worse case I've ever had, but I learned from that experience and now I have weapons for the future.

WRITING - Yes, but am I writing? That's the big question, isn't it?

And I am! Well, not for what I should be writing...the final book of the Disaster Crimes Series, but I've been revising an old WIP. Half of it needs to be rewritten to reflect the changes I did in the book that comes before it. This is a huge step. I haven't written since November!

READING - I've been reading a lot of books, (this was part of my depression recovery) mainly African American, Wiccan, and feminism literature. I've felt like I've grown as a human being, so I wanted to share my favorite reads so far this year that have 4-5 star reviews from me.

My Favorite Reads (so far) 2017:

- Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life that Matters by Evan Carmichael

- Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery.

- The Goddess is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch by Deborah Blake

- The Color Purple by Alice Walker

- Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

- Moranifesto by Caitlin Maron

- Book of Shadows by Phyllis Curott

- To be a Slave by Julius Lester

- Chapter After Chapter: Discover the Dedication and Focus You Need to Write the Book of Your Dreams by Heather Sellers (and also her book Page After Page)

QUESTIONS: Will you subscribe to my YouTube channel? I'm thinking of doing a giveaway when I reach 100. One random subscriber may get something nice. :)

What good books have you read so far this year?

June 19, 2017

Diverse Characters - K + L + M


There’s been a lot of talk about adding diverse characters to fictional books. Most of the time, this is about including people of color if you’re a Caucasian writer, but all writers can add diverse characters to their books. And why stop at race? In this series, I’m going to list all sorts of diverse characters.

Note: I'm not knowledgeable about all types of people, so I'm skipping my usual tips in favor of letting others share their knowledge. See below 

**I won't be able to list them all, so here's a list of ethnic groups...with a list of even more lists at the bottom of the page. lol

Here are the diverse characters for K:

Kenyans (Individuals from Kenya)



South Koreans

North Koreans

Kurdish Individuals

Kymophobics (people with the fear of waves)

Here are the diverse characters for L:


Laotians (Individuals from Lao)

Lebanese Individuals


Leprechauns (fantasy)


Little People (Individuals with Dwarfism)


Lygophopics (people with the fear of darkness)

Here are the diverse characters for M:






Mexican Americans


Military Members

Middle Easterners (Individuals from the Middle East)



Monacan Indians (Monaco)



Individuals with Multiple Personality Disorder

Mute Individuals 


SHARE: If you can come up with more diverse characters that start with K, L, or M, let me know and I will add them to my list.

QUESTION: Do you have tips or Do's/Dont's for one of the characters I mentioned above? Share your advice for writing about those characters in your comment.

Have you written about a character from my list?

June 12, 2017

Empowering Women - Candis Cayne

Every month I am highlighting an empowering woman. This month it is:

Candis Cayne

I was introduced to Candis Cayne when I watched I Am Cait, and Candis shone as a gorgeous, funny, and wise woman. She is a transgender woman.

“I’m not trying to be a spokeswoman for the transgender community. I just want to be looked at as a living, breathing, happy human being.”

She is a dancer and actress. In 2001, she won the Miss Continental Pageant for Female Impersonators. She was also the first transgender woman to play a recurring trans character on a prime-time TV show (Dirty Sexy Money).

In 2015, she was awarded with the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award for being a vocal activist for the LGBT community and working with GLAAD and HRC. She teamed up with the global LGBT Social Network MOOVZ as their new Global Creative Director.

Last year, she played on the TV show Heartbeat as a transgender woman with breast cancer. It was a moving episode titled “Permanent Glitter.” The doctors “fight to save her life and her identity.” At the end, the hospital staff and guests do a flash mob dance in her honor. While watching it, I got teary eyed.

“…through the character of Ava, we learn that it’s not a breast, or a scar, or our appearance that defines us, but out inner strength and courage.” -NBC

This is the only video I could find of the flash mob dance. The song is “Stand By You” by Rachel Platten.


NOTE: PLEASE refrain from posting negative comments about transgender people. Thank you!


Book Club: The IWSG Book Club will be reading for June/July....

This book will demonstrate characterization, which was voted #1 by our members for what they want to learn how to do better.

- Whether you read a book is up to you. Whether you join the book discussion is up to you. Though we do hope for both. ;) And You can join any book discussion, even if you don’t read the book.

Our book club is not a strict one. 

Join us and participate when you can.

June 07, 2017

Beating Insecurities!

Optional June Question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Yes, I have. SEVERAL times.

Last year, I had said it a lot--when I was getting rejections, when sales weren't happening, reviews weren't coming in, when nothing was working despite my efforts, when my depression reared it's ugly head. I would even go so far as to say to my mom, "Never publish!" 

The very second after I'd yell, "I quit," I'd be back at, trying my hardest. I can't quit writing, because it's my passion. My dream. I may succumb to the pressure and throw a tantrum, but there's not a quitter bone in this body!


Insecurity #1: One of my biggest insecurities is recording videos of myself. I get nervous, even if I'm by myself.

Last month, I decided to squash this insecurity. 

I recorded myself doing a reading of Tsunami Crimes. I did it in one take because I didn't want to have to do it again and again. But when I finished, I was excited! I immediately created a YouTube channel, published the video, and added it to Goodreads and LinkedIn (which I had just joined at the time). 

Now, I plan to do a lot more!

Here's my reading. In the beginning, I make a pretty funny mistake. (I also mess up a few words. Oopsy.)

Side Note: To me, I'm a completely different person in this video. I felt like an actor, which is, I guess, what you have to become, even if you're an author. :P


Insecurity #2: Being Chrys Fey in Public.

On Saturday, I had my first book signing at: Space Coast Book Lovers

I used this event to conquer more insecurities. I did a recorded interview for Hangin with Web Show. I was so nervous in the beginning, but the host was so nice and funny that it was surprisingly easy. I'll share the video when they put it up. :)

I also signed up for an Author Mingle/Panel. I had to talk about my first published book, Hurricane Crimes, and answer questions. My heart would pound just before it was my turn, but when I had to speak, I did good.

I was really proud of myself afterward.

The Signing: 

Me at my table.

On the right is MJ!

All the authors at the SCBL event. I'm in the back right corner.

Personal Assistants.
My mom is behind the lady in red. She's wearing a black shirt.

*Photos by Christopher John

I went to all of the authors' tables, exchanged business cards with them (including IWSG cards) and asked for their autographs.

What Works:
- Newsletter Giveaway with Newsletter Sign-up Sheets.
- Postcards with book blurb and cover art.
- Hand-painted shells...Florida. People loved it.

Plans for Future:
- Banners
- Book Stands

Yvonne Mason

Maggie Adams

*Photos by Christopher John

Blogger Scherry Jenkins asked for a picture!

She posted about the event and our meeting here.

My Mom!!

MJ Fifield!!!!!! 

Optional July 5th Question: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?