Tag Archives: writing

Why Do Famous Authors Write?

Why Do Famous Authors Write?

We all know the feelings of envy…envy of those authors who get paid not only to write full-time, but get paid an extremely large salary while doing it.

I’ve often imagined how it would feel to wake up every morning, grab my cup of coffee, sit outside on a large porch of a cabin, the mountains or a peaceful lake as my scenery…sitting down in front of my computer, ready to roll. I’m fairly certain that most famous authors would tell you that this is fairy tale thinking however I’m betting that a majority of writers have had similar thoughts at one time or the other.

So if this is fairy tale thinking, why do famous authors write? What inspires them? Here’s a link that you must click on. You won’t be sorry (just patiently sit through the ad at the beginning. It will be well worth the wait):—and-why-you-should/2013/03/15/8cb5df44-8b61-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_gallery.html#photo=1


Write, write, write! (Evin –


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Dog Eat Dog

For lack of a better term…yesterday I was flamed on a popular social networking site. Suffice it to say, I was flamed for offering advice to an author. I mentioned pricing in the comment and was not aware at that time that mentioning pricing in the group was not allowed. I do not use that as an excuse however because I should have made myself aware of the group rules.

Another group member decided to flame me, letting the group know that due to the low cost I was charging a client, that my editing was horrible and I was only ripping the client off because his/her book would need an additional edit due to the horrible edit I was going to give him/her.

I emailed this individual privately to take it off the board because I ashamedly let myself get into a flaming war in the group, for everyone to read. The response from this person was calling me foul names using language that I won’t even attempt to use here.

I let this get to me because for one, this person knows nothing about the quality of work I do. Secondly, I’m wondering to myself as to how an adult could act this way. At first, I wanted to hang up the towel and leave this business. See, Sapling is a part-time job for me at the moment. Writing, publishing and anything to do with books has always been a passion of mine. I began writing creative stories as early as grade school. I always excelled and received very good grades in my creative writing and English classes.

I’ve always wanted to me a writer, but never took any advanced classes because like many, I grew up hearing, “You’ll starve. Only a very few make any real money in it.” As a result, I set off in a completely different direction and have worked in many different positions. Currently I work full-time as a technical writer, which is now a position I’ve worked in for over 10 years. It’s writing, but maybe not the type that most people think about when they think of a writer. I have a graduate degree in education, primarily adult education. Now at the age of 40, I am working on my first novel and wondering if I should actually take some of those advanced writing courses. I do write and sell articles and have written numerous short stories but have yet to have any of my actual stories published.

I’ve gotten off track here. I wanted to throw in the towel yesterday and leave the world of publishing. Why? Because sometimes it’s dog eat dog. I wondered further last night however as to what would happen if a majority of people in this business decided to throw in the towel, simply because of the derogatory comments of one person (or even more for that matter). Heck, this could be said for anything and anyone’s dream really. Very few come without sweat, blood and tears from time to time. Most people fall flat on their backs before truly succeeding in something. Although not really verified, I’ve always heard how Stephen King has decorated one wall of his office with rejection letters by various publishers. Just imagine if he had let those drive him away from his dream.

So I want to tell all of you…yes, there will be times you will want to give up. There might be flaming and hateful words. There might be someone out there telling you that you are not good enough, or that you need to find a “real job.” Don’t listen. If this is what you want to do, don’t listen because at the end of the day, YOU are the one that has to look at yourself in the mirror and YOU are the one that knows what you dream truly is.

Go forth and conquer, my friends. (Evin –


Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Self-Publishing Exposure

A contest. I love them! This one happens to be with Writer’s Digest. Details are below. I think you should enter. Seriously. Yes, I’m talking to YOU!

Gain Exposure For Your Self-Published Book!

You’ve put countless hours into writing your book and perfecting it for publication. You did your homework, and found the right self-publisher for you. Now, give your book the exposure and accolades it deserves – enter the Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards!

You could win:

  • Up to $3000 in cash
  • National exposure for your work
  • The attention of prospective editors and publishers
  • A paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City!

Early Bird Deadline: April 1, 2013


Enter Now!


Enter your book into one or more of these categories:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
  • Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
  • Children’s/Picture books
  • Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
  • Reference Books (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)
  • Poetry

Read the rules and get the details: Writer’s Digest Self-Published Awards

What are you waiting for??? (Evin Wilkins –


Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


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How to choose YOUR genre

Authors become known for their genres. Don’t believe me? Stephen King. What did you think about when I mentioned that name? Thought so. How do you pick one? What resonates with you? Where does your knowledge lie?


Here’s a fun quiz (created by Taryn – That Girl With The Green Pen) that might help you to choose YOUR genre!

1) You are on a walk by a park where a girls’ soccer game is going on. One teen looks extremely worried. Why?

A. This game determines if an otherwise needy senior will get an athletic scholarship to the college of her dreams
B. Her sister disappeared last night, and the kidnapper was the serial rapist/murderer in the area.
C. Her sister disappeared last night, and the kidnappers were faeries needing a Changeling.
D. She’s never played, let alone heard of, soccer before because she is from a world of wizards and dragons and quests.
E. The government is watching her.

2) Two young women walk by you. One holds an intricate golden ring in her hand, and they both are staring at it with apprehension. Why?

A. They’re trying to decide whether to accept the the first girl’s boyfriend’s proposal. It’s a beautiful, sentimental, valuable ring, but he cheated on her once last year.
B. They’re being blackmailed, and this ring, stolen years ago from a visiting dignitary thus nearly sparking a war, is the source. Is turning themselves in safer?
C. They’ve been told its wearer becomes immortal.
D. It is the One Ring, of course! Instead of Lord of the Rings, it shall be Lady of the Rings . . . 
E. It’s a forbidden relic from a time long past, and they’ll be killed if seen with it. Frankly, you’re surprised they’re still alive since government surveillance is everywhere.

3) It’s 8 PM, and you’re herding your family toward the exit at Disneyland. There’s a teenage girl standing against a wall, obviously near tears. Why?

A. Her family left her.
B. She just escaped from a kidnapper and she’s panicked he’ll find her again.
C. Her vampire/angel/weremickey boyfriend dumped her.
D. Disneyland? I only know Middle-Earth.
E. The government found out she’s been dating an Other and cut off her credits, so she can’t catch a bus home.

4) Your flight home was delayed. Why?

A. An old man had a heart attack and, stand back! You’re the only one who knows CPR!
B. Terrorists!
C. The engines will mysteriously no longer work. Probably a golem in the gears. (*Bonus pts to whoever gets what title/author I just referenced.*)
D. Darn dragon needs to eat again.
E. Someone tried to cross the border. Again. Don’t they know no one has immigrated in a century?

5) You crashed your dad’s car. What’s gonna happen to you?

A. He’ll take away your laptop and your cell phone and make you get a JOB! Then you’ll have to hang out with the cute but weird guy at the theatre. 
B. As soon as he realizes you crashed trying to get away from a couple assassins, he’ll understand!
C. You’ll have your wizard boyfriend whip up another one, and he’ll never find out.
D. If car means horse, you’ll have to capture another one from the wild river horses southwest, probably getting yourself killed in the process.
E. Forget Dad! What about the government? Accidents are an Offense!

6) Your sister broke her ankle in the middle of nowhere. What do you do?

A. Give her a piggyback and start walking. Maybe this will prove you’re more than ordinary.
B. Pull her up a tree to hide from the man following you and hope your best friend will figure out your coded message in time.
C. Darn. You’ll have to unmask your secret telepathic skills to summon EMS. Oh well. She’s worth it.
D. Stick her on the back of the wagon and pull it yourself. Good thing the hours plowing Dad’s field paid off.
E. Activate the emergency signal embedded in your palm at birth.

7) Your enemy gets something you really wanted. What was it and why are you so pissed?

A. A part in the school play. She’ll ruin it! She’ll make the whole show about her!
B. He kidnapped my mother! How can I not be pissed? I HAVE TO GET HER BACK!!!
C. She’s dating the new boy in school, who may or may not be a weremickey, and if she’s with him, I can’t snoop to find out the truth because she’ll think I’m jealous which I totally am not, because that boy gives me the heebiejeebies even though he’s way hot.
D. He has the Ring of Doom! In his hands, we will all perish!
E. She has proof that I’m a Rebel, and if the government finds out, I’ll Disappear!

8) A person of the opposite gender whom you barely know saves your life. What’s going to happen next? 

A. S/he’ll transfer to your school and cause you to rethink everything you’ve ever thought about your clique’s bullying/vanity/inferiority complex.
B. S/he’ll try to murder you b/c you’re getting too close to finding out the illegal truth about his/her past/drug ring/family.
C. You’ll find out s/he’s a vampire/angel/weremickey, and the two of you will fall in love.
D. You’ll embark on an epic quest to defeat the villain, rescue the Very Important Thing, and battle your inner demons.
E. You will realize something about the too-powerful government and decide it must be overthrown.

Mostly A’s: You are a contemporary writer! There’s something to be said for real life and shoes the readers can easily fill.
Mostly B’s: You are a thriller writer! This genre is underrepresented in YA, so good luck filling that void!
Mostly C’s: You are a paranormal romance writer! Some people may say your MS is just another Twilight, but you know better.
Mostly D’s: You are an epic fantasy writer! Your world-building astounds us, and we love getting lost in your magic. 
Mostly E’s: You are a dystopian writer! Ignore the nay-sayers who think there are too many–there’s always room for a great novel that makes us stay up too late wondering will that be our future.


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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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How to REALLY get published

No, I am not talking about a “get rich quick” scheme. No, I am not going to try to sell you an ebook that will ensure that your book will be published tomorrow. I’m going to go along with the New Year’s Resolution theme. We all tend to make them. Right? Do we always stick with them all? Probably not. What if you were to make a resolution that would help you to get published? Not quite ready to be published yet? Well, how about something that would help your writing? The secret is…..

ATTITUDE! Yes, your attitude. I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking to yourselves, “Seriously? Now how often have I heard that one?” See? If you are thinking that, there goes your attitude. If I had a dollar for every author that I have spoken with, who has told me, “I really don’t think this will ever be published because I know it’s not good enough” or something along those lines, I’d be rich. Seriously. Look at this: “Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.” – Frederick Langbridge

Before I go any further, I want to have you do this (if you have a Facebook account). I want you to click here: and go “Like” this page. You will have access to a plethora of quotes to keep your attitude positive.

Our attitude can determine so much in every aspect of our lives, including your writing. If you think you’ll never get published, you won’t. If you think you can’t finish your novel/writing, etc., you won’t. It’s that simple. If Anne Rice or Stephen King felt they’d never get published, do you think they’d be where they are today? No.

It’s not too late to make one final New Year’s Resolution and that, is to resolve to have a positive attitude about writing and publishing in 2013. If you think you can, you can and you will!

Just my .02,

Evin (aka Mr. Guru

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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


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A Training Budget

How often have you overspent on a “deal” that was guaranteed to help increase your income, but left you broke instead? How many times have you lacked the funds necessary to buy that eBook that could teach you ways to improve your marketing strategy? If you’re like most Independent Authors, myself included, the times for either scenario are many. So what can you do to safe-guard against those ups and downs in your finances and take control of your spending? Budget.

If your primary goal is to continue to improve yourself, whether that means your writing or how you market your product, having money allocated specifically to continued education assures you that the money is there when you need it without having to ask the dragon (aka credit cards) to fit the bill. Using a budget for those funds also forces us to think before we buy.

Michael Martine of RemarkaBlogger suggests in his post “The Most Important Question You Need to Stop Asking Yourself“* that you first set training goals, something specific like learning how to take advantage of social media to market your book, and then take a look at how you spent your “training” money in the past year. (If you’ve read The Money Book you’re a step ahead already.)

From there he tells us to set our quarterly budget by taking the amount we’re comfortable with spending over a year and dividing it by four. As Michael says setting a training budget helps us decide between what is a good buy and what would make us “the victim of others for their gain.”

What I really like about this approach is that, while we’re setting a spending limit, it’s based on past experience. As Simple Life in France puts it in “How to budget for inspiration not deprivation” by building a budget at the end of the month, or in this case upon last year’s spending, “your budget is just an honest friend here to tell you the truth about the way you spend your money. You’re making observations, not judgments.” As my mentor, FlyLady Marla Cilley, says, in order to improve ourselves we need to get rid of the “stinkin’ thinkin’.” That means not beating ourselves up each time we overspend, but rather making an effort to do better this month.

If you want to budget for your continued training, basing it upon last year’s spending and reviewing it at the end of each month can be a real stress reliever, especially when you can congratulate yourself for staying within your limits on The Road to Writing.

– Virginia Ripple (

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


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