2/2020 NOTICE - To fight back against spam comments, I am closing comments to all older posts. Current blog posts will still have comments open. I apologize for this inconvenience.

Monday, November 25

Can a Book Be Successful without Social Media? / Vlog

Thank you for your interest in this vlog post on Write with Fey!

A writer once asked me if a book can be successful without social media. This is my answer.


Can a Book Be Successful Without Social Media?

Length: 7:03

Feel free to comment on my blog and/or on the video on YouTube. To go to the video's YouTube page, click on the title located on the video.

QUESTION: What your your best marketing techniques offline?

Thanks for watching!

Friday, November 22

The Importance of Diversity in Fiction / Guest Post by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Today I am hosting Ronel Janse van Vuuren. She is talking about a very important topic. Welcome, Ronel!


I read a meme a while back that said something in the line of: if you are going to walk in someone else’s shoes, better get far away before they notice the theft.

The conversation about diversity is easy: when someone talks about being marginalised for some reason, you simply switch topics by saying you are feeling uncomfortable. Like avoiding your discomfort is more important than acknowledging someone else’s Truth.

But even if you push past your comfort zone in reality and fiction, do you have true empathy? And what does that mean? Writing about uncomfortable truths? Having a diverse cast of characters in your novel?

And we should never get complacent. Especially in our writing. Or we might end up like Thoreau…

“Nature and human life are as various as our several constitutions. Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”

– Walden, Thoreau

Sounds good, right? Sounds like it will change the world, right? Pft! True empathy doesn’t come from knowing exactly how something feels for someone else: it’s messy, painful, and hard.

“…autobiography is irresistible… Even in actual life egotism is not without its attractions.” 
– The Critic as Artist, Oscar Wilde

Walking in someone else’s shoes will lead to calluses, athlete’s foot, and criminal prosecution. Not to mention a mental breakdown. It’s the fine line between empathy and appropriation.

But stories…! When we read, we can understand in our unique, flawed ways the experience of another person. No two people get the same thing out of a story – everyone gets touched by a different aspect.

And when we write and share our stories, we help others grow. Empathy is messy, painful and hard. It’s uncomfortable. So, too, is sharing our Truth. But that is where the true miracle Thoreau was seeking lies: making the world a better, more empathic place one story at a time.

Writing Magic at Midnight wasn’t easy. Sure, I had loads of fun with most of it. But writing about Amy’s identity… I got pushed past my comfort zone. What do I know about being bisexual? I tried – and thankfully failed – to change the romance elements in the book. To get it right, I read. A lot. And came to understand Amy.
Stories CAN change your worldview.

Stories CAN make the world a better, kinder place for all.




Amy has only known one life. Now she needs to put it all on the line to save what is precious to her. Can this simple farm girl survive court-life? Can she stop a war from burning down her world? And what of the mysterious princess of Hazel Wood and her covert glances…? Not to mention the prince of Acacia Wood who might or might not be involved with the prophecies ruling their kingdoms. With mysteries and secrets threatening the life she longs to return to, can she separate her feelings from the mission?


About the Author:

Award-winning author Ronel Janse van Vuuren mainly writes for teens and tweens, though she is known to write mythology-filled short stories for anthologies aimed at older readers. Her dark fantasy works, usually full of folklore, can be viewed on her website and on Goodreads.

Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.

All of her books are available for purchase from major online retailers.

Sign up to be notified of new releases, giveaways and pre-release specials – plus get a free eBook – when you join Ronel’s newsletter.

Connect with Ronel online

Ronel the Mythmaker, Website of Dark Fantasy Author Ronel Janse van Vuuren: 

Please leave a comment for Ronel!

Monday, November 18

Editing Techniques PowerPoint Presentation / Vlog

Thanks for you interest in my vlog post about editing techniques!

This was a PowerPoint presentation that I did for a local writer's meeting. I decided to share it because writers have to self-edit/revise. It's just part of our jobs as writers. And in this post, I provide techniques to make reading your manuscript over and over again a bit more bearable.

I hope you find the information useful.


Editing Techniques

Length: 10:08

QUESTION: What are your editing techniques?

Friday, November 15

Favorite Holiday Memory Blog Hop / Sleigh Ride by Elaine Kaye

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by for this blog hop to celebrate my mom's newest picture book SLEIGH RIDE!

Blog Hop Question: What is your favorite holiday memory?

(This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.)

MY MEMORY: I was obsessed with The Nutcracker ballet when I was little. Every day for a year I watched an old tape and fantasized I was Clara. I didn’t know how to dance ballet, but that didn’t stop me from showing off my moves…karate moves. I would jab my fists in the air and punch and kick as gracefully as I could.

Jab, jab, twirl.

Jab, jab, leap.

For Christmas Eve that year, my dad gave me the last present. 

I peeled the wrapping paper off slowly, wanting to savor the moment. When the colored paper fell away, I saw a handsome nutcracker nestled in a box. He grinned at me through the plastic cover. His coat, pants, and hat were painted a shiny black. His boots, belt, and trim were gold. Hand-painted red flowers lined the bottom of his coat and sleeves, and a bigger red flower was painted in the middle of his tall hat.

That night and for many nights after that, until the silky hair on the back of his head got matted, I slept with him in my bed.

I secretly thought of my nutcracker as my boyfriend. LOL

And when I played my old tape of The Nutcracker ballet, I finally had my own nutcracker to parade around with. I could lift it toward the ceiling and mimic Clara as she fought to get her beloved toy back from her mean brother. 

Every year after that, my dad gifted me with another nutcracker. Each one was lovely, but they paled in comparison to my first beloved nutcracker.

Although, my nutcracker never became human, he was so full of life for the happiness he brought me. I still have him today. He stands at guard in a corner of my curio cabinet, keeping an eye on all. He’s lost his little block feet, his triangle nose, and his beard that covered his mouth, but to me he is still as handsome as ever. He will always be my Nutcracker Prince, and I will always be Clara.

New Picture Book Release from Elaine Kaye:

BLURB: On Christmas Eve, Gregory and Sammy get a special visitor—Santa Claus! Santa brings them on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure around the world and to the North Pole. Bundle up and come along for the ride!

General Age Range - Kids 4-8 (Story Picture Book)

Book Links:


Get Pea Soup Disaster now!
Kindle / Nook / Kobo

About the Author:  

Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup.

Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools. She currently lives in Florida, but has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.

QUESTION: What is your favorite holiday memory?

Hop around to the other blogs participating:

Wednesday, November 6

Bactine for No-Show Events / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


FROZEN CRIMES: I submitted Frozen Crimes (Disaster Crimes Book 5) to my editor/publisher. Now I just have to wait 90 days or so before I hear back on whether or not they like it.

BAD FAIRY: My mom got a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her debut middle grade book BAD FAIRY!

KEEP WRITING WITH FEY: I signed the contract for the sequel to Write with Fey with Dancing Lemur Press. It's titled Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout. It's MUCH MORE than what you've seen here. And very personal.


A couple of years ago I attempted to do my own book signing at a library, all by myself. It didn’t go so well. I had prepped a speech, had books, set up a table, even decorated the audience’s chairs with leis.

My mom was there.

And M.J. Fifield came. (Yup, mentioning you yet again. LOL)

That’s it.

I had an audience of two...two of my biggest supporters.

They encouraged me to do my speech, which I mostly read from paper. That’s how nervous I was.

The sad thing was, the library didn’t promote my signing. They didn’t post anything on their Facebook page or make an announcement over the intercom. Although they did have a paper announcement taped to the sliding doors and near the check-outs, the big two-sided sign for events taking place at the library didn’t mention my signing, only a computer class.

Unfortunately, we can’t control what the event venue will do for us. Even at a mall event I did with several authors last December, we couldn’t get the mall to do announcements about our author signing.

All you can do is…

1. Make the most of it.

We may have many no-show signings throughout our author careers, but that shouldn’t stop us from ever trying. If we do, we will miss out on those signings that have good or at least decent turn outs. Even if five people attend, those are five people you can turn into readers, five potential sales.

2. Grow

When you go through these difficult situations, they aren’t fun. They will always be disappointing, but you grow with each one. Your skin grows a little bit thicker, so you can handle them better, not be as letdown, and not get depressed over it. No-show signings are a right of passage. You’re not an author until you have one. ;)

3. Try Again

Not at the same place, and not right away, but down the road, when you’re ready.

Do a group event with one or two other local authors, allowing each of you a certain amount of time to introduce yourselves, talk about your book, read an excerpt, and take questions.

Attempt different promos to attract readers/writers to come. Contact your local newspaper, come an hour early and hand out fliers to the people in the venue to let them know about your event, post in groups where you know local writers/readers are, such as on Facebook.

Also, see if you can strong arm a few of your closest friends/family members to come in case no one else does. And if no one else does, you can spend that time having fun with your loved ones. If you brought snacks, enjoy the snacks with them. Throw a little impromptu dance party. (Just be civil and not too loud to get kicked out, especially if you’re at a venue like a library that is quiet.) Have fun, even if only you, your fellow authors doing the signing, and your immediate family/friends attend.

I had never done a signing myself at the time I did this no-show signing. I was a bit naive about it, but now, I know better. That’s what comes with experience. And that is invaluable.

QUESTION: Have you had a no-show event?

Before you go, consider signing up for my mom's holiday blog hop to celebrate the release of her next picture book SLEIGH RIDE.

Blog Hop Day: November 15, 2019

Blog Hop Question for participants to answer in their blog posts: 

What is your favorite holiday memory? (This includes Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yule/Winter Solstice, Christmas, etc.)

All posts will include the cover art, blurb, and buy links for SLEIGH RIDE. As well as her author info.

Sign up here:


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