An interview with Laura Dion-Jones

1 dionjones_RET_smLaura Dion-Jones is a pro-health activist, Corporate Wellness Coach (CCWC), Certified Wellness Coach (CWC), radio show host, and motivational weight loss and lifestyle speaker/writer.

Laura’s weight loss success story speaks for itself. She shed 150 pounds in 2-1/2 years by cutting white starch and sugary carbs from her diet and by making walking her daily cardio of choice. Serious walking! 

Since 1/1/2003, Laura has walked over 35,000 miles. That’s all the way around the earth at the equator. And she’s still walking daily — for the health of it. Today, she’s considered an “Elite Walker” averaging over 50 miles per week. 

Laura brings expertise and vast experience in fitness, fashion, and beauty to her coaching career. Much of her expertise is now found in her new bookCommit 2 Get Fit!

PJ: Hi Laura! How long have you been writing? 

LDJ: For as long as I can remember but never really realized I was a writer until people told me how much they loved my writer’s voice.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer? 

LDJ: Do we ever really feel successful as a writer? The more feedback I get, the more successful I feel. When you have a message that is too important not to be heard, you’ll keep writing to get it out and get noticed. A nice, big, fat book deal will help me feel more successful, that’s for sure!

PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different? 

LDJ: Frankly, I didn’t know what to expect, but, like so many other things in life, it is a solitary life. I love communicating through writing almost more than anything else – except for my TV and radio shows!

PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations? 

LDJ: OMG, no. I’m still working toward that kind of success. I know with the 3 books I have in the hopper, this year will definitely be MY year, however!

PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed? 

LDJ: The focus is the same – more, bigger, better. 

PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?  

LDJ: I self-published because I wanted to get my book out fast and couldn’t wait for the traditional publishing methods – they take WAY too long.

PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again? 

LDJ: Yeah, be born to a richer family! Money is always an object for many of us writers and publishing and PR all cost money. What would I do differently? When I was younger, I wish I knew what I know now, but don’t we all? I’ve wasted SO much time on meaningless stuff – things that at the time seemed mountainous – really weren’t. Instead of worrying about that stuff, I wish I would’ve been writing and promoting. Now I know better.

PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?  

LDJ: Depends what the priorities are for each day – like lawyers, I work on the stuff that is the most pressing so somehow one has to fit it all in . . . sooner or later.

PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?

LDJ: Changing people’s lives for the better. Making a difference in their health and wellness in mind, body and spirit. Having people come up to thank me for my words of motivation, inspiration, encouragement, what have you. Making a difference in other’s lives is what matters to me most!

PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer? 

LDJ: Jealousy of “friends.” We all have a lot of frienemies out there. And rejection. Just cos someone rejects your piece doesn’t mean it’s not good. Take their feedback, fix what needs to be fixed, if anything, and resubmit elsewhere. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and improving your craft as you go. You’ll come out a winner if you do this. We constantly keep learning throughout our lives – if you think you know it all – trust me, you don’t. I constantly am taking classes and reading and learning more about everything I do. You should, too. If you’re not learning, you’re stagnating – and stagnation is the death of a writer. We always have to keep current on all sorts of stuff to be able to write.

PJ: That’s good advice! What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

LDJ: Seeing people’s faces when I give them the courage and hope they need to succeed on their new motivational weight loss, health and wellness plan. I make them believe that if I can do it, they can, too – and then I show them how. The most memorable thing? Selling people on themselves – and seeing it in their eyes when they finally “get it.” 

PJ: With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others? 

LDJ: My passion and message that obesity is TOTALLY preventable – and here’s how to find the secret to your own true and everlasting weight loss . . . 

PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet? 

LDJ: Persistence knows no failure.

PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you? 

LDJ: Cold calling, querying places to speak, getting the word out there.

Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order: 

Commit To Get Fit: Find The Secret To Your Own True And Everlasting Weight Loss. Workbook coming early Summer 2014, and more . . .

Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:

Commit To Get Fit: Find The Secret To Your Own True And Everlasting Weight Loss – a guide to help put an end to our country’s obesity epidemic. What more is there to say? Usually once I say this, everyone wants to know more cos if they don’t need help, someone near and dear to them does.

Where can we buy it? C2GF front cover layout sm11-13-13

Amazon Kindle version

Trade paper

Other ebook versions coming this month!

What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work? 

LDJ: I’m very passionate about this obesity thing – as a formerly chronic obese woman in recovery – it’s much more difficult to stay over weight and unhealthy than it is to just buckle down and get rid of your excess, unwanted weight once and for all. I did and if I can, you can, too.

Thinking Positive Promotes Book Sales by Janet Greger

Dempsey and Mitchell (Reported in Journal of Consumer Research on Dec 4, 2010) found advertising (and I assume its cousin – publicity) sold products not by providing factual information but by surrounding the product with other things shoppers liked, thus creating positive attitudes about the product.

Does that really work for more abstract products than toothpaste and cereal? That got me thinking. Could I sell more of my medical mysteries/ thriller, if I publicized them with something pleasant?

Like vacation spots? In Ignore the Pain, you get a guided tour of attractions in Bolivia (like the Witches’ Market and historic churches in La Paz, the Valley of the Moon, and the Altiplano). Sara Almquist, an epidemiologist on a public health assignment and heroine in my novels, is your guide. Of course, her view of Iglesia de San Francisco might be a little different that that of the average tourist because someone determined to kill her is chasing her across the church’s roof. The description of the roof is realistic – I’ve been there and yes Bolivia is exciting.

Like cuteness? Please insert Bug’s picture. My secret weapon for creating positive attitudes about my novels is Bug&me5Bug, my Japanese Chin. He is the only nonfictional character in all thee of my novels. Just look at him. Who wouldn’t love him? I cast him as Sara’s dog in my stories.

Like popular TV shows? And then I have a serendipitous positive association for my medical thriller Coming Flu. Fans of the TV series Breaking Bad (set in Albuquerque) may find it hard to believe I created my villain before I saw an episode of Breaking Bad. Sara Almquist in Coming Flu unintentionally identifies a drug czar in a quarantined, upper class community near Albuquerque as she studies the spreads of a deadly flu virus.


As you read my novels, you’ll have a chance to travel vicariously to an exotic place, learn some science, reminisce about Breaking Bad, and fall in love with Bug. Hopefully these positive vibes will make you want to read my medical mysteries/thrillers.

According to marketing researchers, it generally takes two or three exposures to ads or publicity before shoppers actually buy a product. So why don’t you check out my website ( or JL Greger’s Bugs blog (, too.

Do you care to comment? Do lighthearted blogs intrigue you to read books?


JL Greger has been a scientist, professor, and university administrator. Now she is a writer of fiction, who inserts glimpses of scientific breakthroughs and gossipy tidbits about universities into her medical mystery/suspense novels.

My novels in Kindle and paperback formats are available on Amazon:CoverIgnorethePain

Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight (

Coming Flu

Ignore the Pain ( ). The Kindle version should be available in January.

10 Ways to Promote Your Ebook by Cheryl Bradshaw


    Cheryl Bradshaw

    Cheryl Bradshaw

There are several things a writer can do prior to their book coming out.  A month or two before the release, I begin putting things in place that will create a steady momentum once the book is out.  One of the first things I do is to create a press release that my publicist can send to potential reviewers, newspaper agencies, press agencies, etc.  I also create some kind of giveaway on my blog to kick things off.  I give away things like Amazon gift cards and other goodies for any reader who purchases the book in the first month.

This is also the perfect time to schedule your promotions on the internet.  New sites go up daily, it seems, but my favorites right now are BookBub, Digital Book Today, and Ereader News Today.  Some sites are more expensive than others, but you should easily earn your money back on the day your book is promoted, not to mention the boost your book will get several days after the promotion.


When I put out a new book, I do a “soft release,” promoting it to my fans and followers at the beginning to get things going.  I’ll send out a newsletter to let them know the new book is out and then run some kind of promotion for anyone who buys it or buys it and leaves a review (NOTE: I never, ever ask my readers to give me a specific kind of review—all I ask for is an honest review).  Many of my fans read the book within the first few days, and if I am lucky, they will like it and leave a review.  This is what I am hoping for—to get some reviews and initial sales before I push for the hard launch.


Writers have strong feelings and opinions about the KDP Select program on Amazon.  For me, personally, it works, and I am a big supporter of Amazon and all they have done for writers today.  I believe the best time to enroll in KDP Select is when your book first comes out.  The more visible a book is, the more it gets noticed in the program, and the more lends you will receive.

I entered the first three books in my Sloane Monroe series one year ago, and I can honestly say, the program has changed my life.  I was doing well prior to enrolling, but the program took my books to the next level.  I highly recommend using the five free days you are offered each time your enroll/renew, and here’s what I suggest doing:

  • When your book is new, enroll in the program.
  • One month after you publish your book, schedule and use your free days.  To be successful on your free run, you MUST prepare beforehand.  You can learn more about this HERE.   The more free books you move during the promotion, the better your ranking will be when your book comes off the free list.  Amazon uses algorithms (which is a topic I’ll save for another day).
  • I keep my book free for two or three days.  As long as it keeps climbing in the free store, I keep it up.  But if it slips past the top twenty, I take it off.  And after a few months, take your book out if you want and then you can sell it everywhere else.  Trust me when I say that it’s a lot harder to enroll your books in the program if you have to go around taking them off all the other sites first.


There seems to be a lot of confusion about blog hops.  I organize two or three a year in my writers group, and I always get emails from new writers complaining about the fact that during the hop, they didn’t see an increase in sales.  Why?  Because blog hops aren’t about sales—they’re about exposure.  They’re about people seeing your name and your books.  Most people need to see a product (and your book is a product) several times before they decide to purchase it.

But now back to blog hops.  If you get the chance to be included on one that’s organized and has quite a few authors participating, do it.  It usually requires very little effort on your part.  The organizer does most of the work for you.  You create a blog post, give away a signed copy of your book, maybe donate to the grand prize, and you’re done.  For my hops, when a reader visits my page, I ask them to either follow me on facebook, twitter, or sign up for my newsletter.  This is free for them, but it benefits me as well.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen authors create Twitter accounts for their novel or their series, and not for themselves.  I always hear a noise in my head—that “X” sound from the game show “Family Feud.”  Why?  Because the author is going about it all wrong.  Your name is your brand.  Let me say it again.  Your NAME is your brand.  Not your series.  Not your book.  Not your character.  YOU.   Get your name out there in every way possible.


There is a right way and a wrong way to tweet.  But first, I want to say this: if you don’t have a twitter account, now is the time to create one.  Right now.  Well, after you finish reading this post, of course.

I avoided twitter for a long time.  I didn’t want a twitter account.  I convinced myself that having an account wouldn’t benefit me.  But then a few of my fans said they were disappointed that I wasn’t on twitter.  See, your fans feel like they connect with you through twitter—like they have some special insight into your life and what you’re doing.  But that doesn’t mean you need to get personal or reveal too much.  I don’t.  I keep it light.  I ask my fans questions.  I interact with them.  And I love it.

In one year, I’ve grown to almost 30,000 followers, and in August of 2012, I was named one of twitter’s seven best authors to follow.  It was such an honor.  And to think, I almost never joined.

Now let’s move on to the wrong way to tweet.  I tweet about my books:

  • When I put a new book out
  • I run a promotion
  • My book is free on KDP Select
  • I offer some kind of giveaway/incentive

This is the ONLY TIME I tweet about my books.  My fans don’t want to get tweets from me all day, every day that shout “buy my book!”  It’s irritating, and it’ rude.  I follow the 90/10 rule.  90% of my tweets are non-book related.  I save the other 10% for my promotions.  Otherwise, you’ll lose followers.  No one will retweet you if you keep saying the same thing all the time.  And during an incentive, you need those retweets.  They sell books, and they spread the word about you and your brand.  Long story short, don’t abuse twitter, and don’t abuse your fans.  Interact with them.  It’s actually a lot of fun.


I created a facebook author page soon after publishing my first novel.  Some of my friends and family liked the page, but in six to nine months, I only had a couple hundred followers.  To me, this was nothing.  I had thousands of friends on my personal page.  So I almost deleted it.  Then I published a boxed set which included the first three mysteries in my Sloane Monroe series.  And it took off.  I started getting up to ten new followers on my author page a day, none of them being friends or family.

You can now promote yourself on Facebook too.  I like their ads because they’re cheap.  If you have less than 1,000 followers, you can run an ad for three days that posts not only to the side of the pages of your fans, but to their followers sidebar as well.  All for around $15.00.


What does having author friends have to do with promotion?  Everything.  When I was writing my first book, I interviewed traditionally published authors on my blog.  I asked them for their advice for new, up-and-coming authors, and many were happy to oblige.  Some of the biggest names in the business offered tips on getting started, and I learned that making author friends was pivotal to success.  It IS who you know.

I created an author group on Facebook in 2010 and have almost 1,600 authors to date.  We share our books, help one another promote, and offer tips and a helping hand to the newbies.  Many of the authors have become life-long friends.  The group also helps me stay in the loop.  Whenever there’s new news in the industry, I’m the first to hear about it.


When you’re first starting out as an author, you might only have a newsletter that consists of friends and family, and that’s okay.  It doesn’t grow to thousands overnight.  It’s more like a slow trickle.  The main thing is to have a way for readers to contact you, and it should be on everything—your blog, website, author product pages, in your books, etc.  Keep it consistent and keep it the same.  When a fan emails you, add them to your newsletter list.  I send out an email quarterly and try to match it up with a book release, especially when it’s in the soft release phase.  Your most devoted fans will buy the book as soon as it’s released, as long as they know about it.


I mess around with my prices several times a year.  I also mess around with different genres.  But let’s start with price.  It’s fun to find a reason to change the price.  One that I use is my birthday.  On my birthday, I lower the prices of most or all of my books, just for the day.  I also run a promotion to go along with it.  Another time I lower the price is after Christmas when all those readers have a brand new kindle in their hot, little hands.  I don’t lower the price for a long time—usually no more than three days.  The benefit of this if you do it right is that you’ll sell more books than you were and your rank will lower.  The lower the rank, the more your book is seen.  The more it’s seen, the more copies you’ll sell.

Now let’s talk about genre.  I don’t move around too much, but there are a lot of different options you can try with your book.  Most of my books are in the mystery/thriller genre.  But, they have just a touch of romance.  While not the main theme, I can still put them in romantic suspense.  I can also put them in action & adventure.  I can also put them in genre fiction.  Sometimes it’s nice to shuffle things around a bit.  After all, lettuce is best when it’s fresh and new.  So, too, are books in categories that attract an entirely new StrangerinTown400x600audience.

Well, there you have it folks – suggestions from someone who’s been there and done that and knows what she’s talking about. If your New Year resolutions include leaping up into the 5 digit range in monthly sales, this is advice that will help you get there. Thank you Cheryl, for sharing with us. I hope lots of new readers head your way as a result! Cheryl’s latest title is STRANGER IN TOWN. Get one!

An interview with Jan Christensen

Jan Christensen is a great writer and friend, one of the first writers I ever really got to know. Her work is exceptional and she’s not nearly as famous (yet) as she should be. I hope you’ll enjoy our chat!

Jan Christensen grew up in New Jersey and now resides in Texas. She’s had two novels and over fifty short stories published in various places over the last dozen years, two of which were nominated for a Derringer Award. Two other stories won a Fire to Fly award and the Mysterical-e 2000 Award for Best Story Previous to 2001. Jan writes a regular column for Mysterical-e about reading.

PJ: Jan, how long have you been writing?

Jan: A long time. A little over twenty years seriously. Before that, I’d write something then not write something for years at a time. Finally got down to it in the early 1990s. I joined a critique group, and that was a big help. More than the critiquing, the idea that I felt I had to have something to submit every two weeks upped my production tremendously. A little-talked-about advantage of critique groups, although some members, maybe even the majority, don’t feel that way. They probably should.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?

Jan: I’m not sure. I think it was probably after I had more than ten or so short stories published. Then having a novel published by a small press in 2004 made me think that other people thought my work was good enough to publish, a validation which helped me feel at least somewhat successful.

PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?

Jan: It’s way different. I expected to get some short stories published. Done. I hoped to get a novel published. Done. I hoped to get another novel published in about a year. Well, I had a contract, but the publisher went out of business, and the novel had been sitting with him for almost a year and a half. This was discouraging, to say the least. It slowed me down. I wrote some more novels, more short stories were published (an average of four a year), but I was spinning my wheels because I couldn’t get an agent. Then along came the Kindle and the acceptance of self-publishing. Now I feel as if I’m back in the game. I AM back in the game. But the rules sure have changed. Now I spend more time figuring out marketing than I do writing. But hope to turn that around in the next month or two.

PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?

Jan: Afraid not. Not at all. But I do have hopes for the future.

PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?

Jan: It hasn’t really. I see the steps more clearly now, though. Write, edit, publish, market. All different, but all extremely necessary to get where I want to go, which is getting a lot of books and stories out there. It means essentially that I need to work on three different projects at the same time. One, current work-in-progress. Two, edit something else. Three, publish (which includes having the third item edited by a professional, a cover made, and formatted, then uploaded). Then market everything like crazy.

PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?

Jan: Once I decided to go for it, only a few months because I saw a contest for short stories in the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I pulled out a short story I’d already written not long before, cut it so it met the 1,000-word limit requirement, and submitted it. And won—not first place, but one of five winners. They’d had over 500 entries. There was that first validation. It was published in the newspaper, and I went looking for a writer’s group. But it took me almost fourteen more years before I got that book contract. I wrote and had published a lot of short stories before writing a second book (first one is hidden away), then a couple more, then submitting.

PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?

Jan: Write more. Submit more. Sometimes I don’t submit anything for weeks on end. Not good. I still have short stories that need to find a home, many of which I wrote years ago. I’d love to have an assistant to do that. Submitting is my least favorite thing in the world to do as far as writing is concerned. It was bad enough when we had to do it via the post office. But with e-subs, the requirements about how to format the sub became more and more convoluted. It could take me an hour just to re-format something to submit to a non-paying market. Now that I rarely submit short stories anymore, I learned from a friend that he never reformatted. He just sent them in, and got them published. I laugh now. Why didn’t I think of that? Now I notice many markets just say, send it in such and such a file (.doc, .rtf, etc.) and are not otherwise particular. Much better, but there are also fewer paying and non-paying markets for short mystery fiction.

PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?

Jan: My ideal day looks like this (but I rarely do it all). Write new material first thing every morning—go until I have 1,000 words down. Edit older material for an hour. Check for important email. Lunch, household and other stuff in the afternoons, and two hours after dinner for what I call “writing chores.” This is everything else to do with the job of being a writer. Submitting, research, blogging (my own and on others and commenting on other blogs), joining conversations on writer’s on-line groups, Facebooking, Tweeting, reviewing other people’s work, formatting, and some other things I can’t think of right now.

PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?

Jan: You’d think it was getting that first short story or novel published, right? I had always hoped for that, even expected it. But I did a book signing at a Dallas library (thank you for setting that one up, P.J.—it turned out great!) soon after “Sara’s Search” came out, and when I walked into the room, people applauded. I was totally gobsmacked. I actually came to an abrupt halt and looked around the room. And told the group no one had ever applauded for me before. They grinned like crazy. We were a happy bunch after that.

PJ: I wish I could’ve seen that! What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer?

Jan: When Quiet Storm, my publisher, went out of business. I knew a lot of the writers he published, too, so it was a huge disappointment for many people I knew. The publisher was such a great person, always trying to come up with things to help us sell our books, doing as much promotion as he could. Cutting edge POD back then. I think he was ahead of his time and probably extended himself and his finances too far and too fast. It was a real shame.

PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

Jan: I already mentioned the applause at the library signing. That was wonderful. The worst was I was taking a large suitcase of books down some stairs and pulled the rotator cuff in my shoulder. It hurt so bad, I couldn’t lift the case. A man helped me by taking it down the stairs the rest of the way. It had wheels, so I was able to get to the signing with it. But that shoulder gave me trouble for a couple of weeks, and after that it was very weak for a couple of years. Who knew writing could be dangerous? <grin> This is a cautionary tale for the other writers reading this.

PJ: With more books being released each  month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?

Jan: Voice. It always comes down to voice, doesn’t it? I can usually see the funny or odd side of things, and it comes out in my writing, often at unexpected times (for both me and the reader). My problem is I seem to have two voices. One is light, sardonic, funny and twisty. The other is somber, dark, edgy. I’m afraid some readers won’t like one or the other, so I’m trying hard to let them know what they’re getting into when they pick up one of my short stories or books. On my website, each one has either a white or a black frame around the cover, plus a black or white fedora on the description page. It’s harder to tell with the individual short stories published by magazines or ezines, but often the reader will know what kind of stories those entities publish, so shouldn’t be a problem. If anyone wants to know for sure before reading anything of mine, he or she can always contact me via email. (Contact info on my site.)

PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?

Jan: Write every day. You can take off one day a week to catch your breath. That’s it. LOL Next, finish everything you begin to write. There’s all kinds of advice out there about writer’s block and how to overcome it. Next, polish it until you’re sick of it. After that, submit it until it’s accepted or you run out of markets or you decide to self-publish it. If you decide to self-publish it, do it! Then market. Read all you can on blogs like this and on good email lists. Murder Must Advertise (MMA) is a good one, and for short mystery stories, the Short Mystery Fiction Society (SMFS) that gives out the Derringer award every year is fantastic. (Plug ahead—I’ve been nominated for two.)

PJ: What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?

Jan: I’m not sure. I think it’s a toss-up between blogging, Facebook and Twitter. I think you need to do all three on a regular basis.

PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?

Jan: All of it. <grin> But live performances are really tough, so I like social networking better.

Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:

Jan: Okay. I’m only going to list my two novels, my short story collection, and four short stories that are stand-alone ebooks from Untreed Reads Publishing. You don’t want a list of my over 50 published short stories, I’m sure. <grin> That list is available on my website, if anyone’s interested.


Sara’s Search (light)

Revelations (dark)

Organized to Death (coming out in a month or two—light)

Short Stories (all light, all with the same cover except for the title)

Artie and the Long-Legged Woman

Artie and the Red-Headed Woman

Artie and the Green-Eyed Woman

Artie and the Brown-Eyed Woman

Short Stories Collection

Warning Signs (three previously published stories, Signs is the first in a series)

Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:

This is for “Revelations”: After a dark secret shakes Kirk Hudson’s faith, he escapes from the religious cult he’s been a member of for over two years. The night he arrives home, his twin brother is brutally murdered. Now Kirk must return to the cult to find out if the secrets harbored there caused his beloved brother’s death.

Where can we buy it?

Amazon, in either ebook or paperback. Search for Revelations and my last name because there are several other books with the same title. Here’s a direct link:

PJ: What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?

Jan: I’ve told several people this, but I think it’s worth repeating. I have faith in my subconscious coming up with some great stuff without my conscious help. So, when I’m in draft mode, I simply let it flow. I take no credit for what that part of my mind is doing. I assume it comes from an accumulation of everything I’ve ever seen, heard, touched, tasted, smelled and learned. We all have a unique life. We all have stories to tell. Once I began to totally trust that the words would flow out of me, I let it happen. The real work comes in cleaning it up a bit. But I really don’t have to spend a lot of time doing that, either, usually (there are always exceptions). When writing your drafts, don’t second-guess yourself.. Let your imagination fly. You’ll be amazed about where it will take you. And your readers will thank you.

Patti, thanks so much for having me on your blog. It’s a great place to be.

Excellent advice, Jan! Thanks so much for sharing with us. Readers, if you haven’t already, this is one writer you’ve got to read. I’d love to hear your comments about Jan’s work!