Saturday, January 14, 2012

Join the Party!

I would like to thank everyone who made the first week of The Writer's Block a success! Please take a moment to review this week's interviews and leave each author a comment. One of the most challenging things that authors have to do is promote their work. While their genres or stories may not be on your radar, their experiences and insights are invaluable. I have learned a lot from them and I am grateful that they allowed me to share those experiences with you. Stay tuned for next week's lineup!

Having said all of that, you, too, can make a valuable contribution to the literary community while gaining some exposure for your body of work. Raychelle Writes is looking for some great authors, illustrators, agents, publishers, bloggers, and editors to share their expertise from a unique perspective. Articles should offer personal experiences and lessons learned. (First person is o.k. I love "teachable" moments.) Keep word counts under 350 and be sure to use a concise "how-to" format. Longer articles will be considered. Please query me first. No re-prints, please.

Some sample topics may include:

1) How to Beat Writer's Block

2) Effective Self-Promotion

3) What to Do When Your Editor Hates Your Re-Write

4) Things to Avoid in the Pitch

5) How to Turn Words into Pictures

Please email all submissions to Include a brief bio, your website, blog link, Twitter handle, and Facebook page link. If approved, I will publish it here and promote the article through my networks. It will be archived indefinitely so that you may use it as part of your platform. Thank you in advance for helping me with the "heavy lifting"!

Keep your pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Gail E. Hedrick

1) Describe your journey as an author/writer.

I wrote poems and greeting cards the whole time I was growing up, but was afraid to dream bigger and think of myself as a writer. After college, marriage and several different types of jobs, I became a mom. I have loved reading my whole life, wanted to share that with our kids, and read to them a lot. I also was feeling a bit restless and thought I’d like to get my master’s degree. The only problem was I couldn’t decide what to major in! It was too expensive a decision to make lightly, but I knew no matter what I studied I would have to know how to write. So, why not combine a love of children’s books and the quest to learn how to write? I enrolled in the Institute of Children’s Literature Basic Writing Course. I guess I did all right as when my instructor suggested I submit my first completed lesson to a magazine, it sold! I have continued taking courses, writing and selling pieces on a very part-time basis, never being able to write full-time. However, about 18 months ago, I was ‘down-sized’ and finally had the time I had been hoping for to write. Things sort of snowballed, and within a few weeks, I had a contract for 4 non-fiction pieces for a wonderful ‘tween magazine for girls, sold a short story, a movement education Halloween verse, and my first book for kids! The exciting thing about the book is that is part of the growing phenomenon of e-books, so who knows where this will lead? I have since returned to work, but now on a part-time basis, so I may write and edit as my main job.

2) Do you specialize in any particular genre(s)?

One of my philosophies is fitness for kids should be fun, and can be incorporated in little bits and pieces if parents encourage it. So, I guess my activity verses would be considered a specialization. Besides that, I enjoy writing different things and have sold non-fiction pieces, fiction, and verse.

3) What was your first published work?

A ‘how-to’ on babysitting tips for middle-grade readers, to Happiness magazine.

4) Tell us about your middle-grade mystery, Danger at Baird's Den. Where can our readers buy it?

I am a former resident of North Carolina and Virginia, and after we moved to Florida, I began reading about an alarming amount of drug trafficking that was occurring across that region. Some of it was happening through areas of the mountains, and since we’d lived in the western mountainous regions of both states, it got my writer’s mind working. What if drug dealers were in the tiny resort town where we lived? We knew some people who were about to buy a bed and breakfast, so what if the main character was a middle-schooler, her family lived in a B&B, and she gets sucked into…. The story took off at this point and became the mystery in the mountains that Danger at Baird’s Den is now.

The 4 and 5-star reviews, both on and the publisher’s website, have been encouraging. The book was recently re-launched with cool new cover art, and is available on, Solstice, and

5) What led to your decision to publish with Solstice Publishing? 

One, they were interested in my book! Two, it was an intriguing opportunity to be a part of a new division of a growing company, and become part of the e-book phenomenon.

6) When and why did you start to do freelance work?

After my first piece sold many years ago, I began to see a possibility for supplemental income from my writing. It was only in the last two years I began to look at other types of income in the writing field, such as editing and reviewing.

7) Tell us about your current projects?

Currently, I am revising a middle-grade book for girls dealing with coming of age issues, and have contracts for two non-fiction pieces for a ‘tween magazine. I also am an editor and reviewer for a mystery shopping company, and a part-time administrative assistant for a Lifelong Learning Academy.

8) How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most successful?

Admittedly, this is an area I am struggling with. It’s hard for me to ‘toot my own horn’, so promoting has been difficult for me. Also, ebook promotion is a brave new world, so I am open to suggesetion. What has worked is having bookmarks with cover art, reviews, and purchase information on them. This way you do something to sign and give away at events like authors’ days at the local library. I have a website, which has been somewhat helpful, but I am considering a blog in order to get people to my site. I probably should be planning some school visits, but I welcome suggestions from any ebook authors on what they do to promote their work.

9) What advice would you give to budding writers?

Find a critique group and listen to constructive criticism. Everyone’s work can be better, so develop a thick skin and welcome the revision process.

10) What is your definition of success as a writer?
Wow, what a great question. I think, for me, it will be having a book in print. Barring that, to know I may have made someone smile, laugh, or get up off the couch and wiggle, because of my words-that is success as a writer.

Author Bio:

Gail Hedrick is a former physical education teacher, YMCA administrator, swim coach, gymnastic coach and judge, and developer of a preschool movement education program. As a mom, Gail read to her two boys every chance she could. This sparked the desire to learn about writing and she enrolled in courses from the Institute for Children’s Literature. She just intended to learn to write, but when the teacher encouraged submitting her first completed lesson to a magazine and it sold, Gail was hooked!

Gail writes about everyday things that kids deal with like setting the table, studying, following directions, facing fears or being a friend. She writes a lot about movement as in not sitting still. Bounce a ball, go for a run, play with a hula hoop or roll in the grass – she’s not too picky, but really believes everyone needs to wiggle around everyday. She also writes for parents on everything from dental health and money-saving ideas for the holidays, to car trips with kids and the hardest thing of all, letting go. 

Gail lives with her husband in Florida. She collects seashells and sometimes a rock from every place they visit. She likes to walk, swim, bicycle, exercise, kayak, and read, of course! 

Books by Gail: Danger at Baird’s Den, Solstice Publishing

Find her at:

Twitter: @gailhedrick

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Adele Crouch

1) Describe your journey as an author/writer.

Hello, my name is Adele Marie Crouch. I am an author and an artist. I'm going to take you on my journey, so fasten your seat belts - you are about to go back in time.

It all began when my eldest daughter, Charlie, bought me a computer for Christmas. This was in 1996 and things weren't anything like they are now, in the computer world. The machine was an MS/DOS 386 with no word program. The only way to connect to the internet was dial-up. Facebook and Kindle didn't exist yet and "search engines" were pretty tricky. A neighbor hooked me up with someone who could get my email set up and activated and the training began. Charlie was in Japan and I was in Arizona. She taught me to use the old relic via email for the sole purpose of writing that book she was so sure I could write. Now, I'm no spring chicken so this wasn't an easy task for either of us. I was determined to make her proud of me though.

It took at least six months, but I learned to enter the proper codes and began to write. My first book was an historic novel. I had Encyclopedia's and reference books all over the floor around my desk as I researched information from the 1800's in Missouri (remember search engines weren't quite as user friendly as they are now). Why did I pick Missouri as the location? I have no idea, it just happened. Why did I use the name of my grandmother and all her siblings as the characters for my book? I needed to bring a family to America from a foreign country. Since my grandmother and her family immigrated to America when she was young, they became my characters.

In the middle of working on the novel, I woke in the middle of the night with "stuff" going through my head. I went to the computer, typed it all in, printed it, and saved it for another day. That was the night I wrote my first children's book, How the Fox Got His Color, in November of 1997. I put it out of my mind and finished the novel, Catherine's Travels ~ Book 1, in December 1997. Then the search for a publisher began. I sent out dozens of query letters to no avail. Finally in 2001 I contacted a self-publishing company, paid a pretty healthy sum and my book was in print in September of that year. As you might expect, I didn't do much in sales. I did manage to break even by doing a lot of book signings and press releases, so I was happy. I had done what Charlie insisted I could do and it felt good.

Somewhere in there another middle of the night experience resulted in an additional children's book, Where Hummingbirds Come From. This one went in the file with the Fox story and they both gathered dust. The company I had chosen for my novel didn't do children's books. Then, in 2009 I was watching a talk show on T.V. and saw an interview with a man who had written Bo, America's Commander in Leash. Computers are much more user friendly by now and I Googled him. I found out he was the owner of a self publishing company that specialized in children's books. I contacted them, sent my two books, paid the fee (again), and my books were in print in 2010. The difference between this company and the one that published my novel: my novel publisher was a print on demand. That means no warehouse full of books to try to sell. When someone ordered, they printed. End of story. The children's book publisher printed 500 copies and then charged a fee to keep them in storage and distribute them to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and various book stores. That was on top of the publishing fees.

Charlie came home from Japan and said I should get the books translated into other languages and publish bilingual books. Well I didn't see that happening anytime soon. I was however, able to publish in Kindle format, at no cost. My books went up on Amazon in as many languages as I was able to find translators. Then Amazon came out with a wonderful addition to their site, CreateSpace. I was able to load books and get them on Amazon, in print, at no charge. While all this was going on, I wrote another book and did the illustrations myself. The Dance of the Caterpillars, a pictorial lesson in prepositions, was a fun book to write and illustrate. I did 8 x 10 acrylic paintings for every page in the book. It took about 2 days to write the book and somewhere between 80 and 100 hours to illustrate. It was the first Creations by Crouch publication, thanks to CreateSpace. More translator's resulted in dozens of versions of my books. This journey was beginning to get exciting.

But wait! I'm an author and an artist, I need a website. Once more Charlie came to my rescue. She worked her little heart out and built me an amazing site that show cased my books, my art and my husband's photography, She didn't stop there. She set up separate facebook pages for every language of every book. While she was trying to complete all this, I wrote another book. A chapter book, The Gnomes of Knot-Hole Manor, using words with silent letters and words that sound alike but are spelled differently. More fun illustrations. This time in colored pencil and not as many.

The next project became a coloring book, Creations by Crouch Color Me, with some of the illustrations from each of the children's books. My husband, Doug, does all the layout and designs of all of my books and book covers. He set up the coloring book, we loaded it into CreateSpace and had copies in hand in less than 2 weeks. Until you have done this, you can't imagine how exciting it is. I would like to point out, if you decide to write a book and you don't have any experience in book cover design, please seek professional assistance. The cover can make or break you. People do judge a book by its cover.

I'm sure you must know by now, the website is a continual work in progress. My books have been translated into 14 languages and all the pages for those languages have not been completed. I found a site for translators,, and added the new languages so fast that Charlie couldn't keep up. In addition to all that, I finished my second novel, Catherine's Travels Book 2 ~ Lawson's Search.

2)  What advice would you give to budding writers?

For all of you budding writers and would be authors, do not give up! Write! Follow your dream, you never know where it may lead. Marketing is the toughest part, but you can do it. A website is crucial, facebook is a great marketing tool (don't forget to put your web address in the information section of your page). Upload your books to Kindle and Nook. Be sure you add links to them from your website. I make my own business cards and tri-fold fliers on Microsoft Publisher. If you feel confident enough, make your own as well. If not, there are a number of places on the internet that will do it for you at reasonable prices. I hand out my card everywhere I go. Leave them with your tip when you go out to eat, give them to friends and neighbors, leave them with the cashier at the grocery store or any other store where you shop. Don't be embarrassed, advertise yourself whenever and wherever you can.

3)  What is your definition of success as a writer?

What is the definition of success as a writer? For me, I am there. My books are in the top 10 on Kindle in the English as a second language category. People are using them to learn English and to learn foreign languages. My grandchildren all have copies and I have fans. I'm not on the New York Times Best Seller List, but then I'm not Stephen King either. I write for fun. I write to be able to give books to my grandchildren. I write so I can use my artistic talent to illustrate my books. As far as what I want to accomplish in 2012, there is another book in the works. 

Author Bio:

Catherine's Travels is an historic novel that takes place in Missouri during the 1800's. Catherine and her family flee war torn Austria seeking a new life in America. Disaster strikes and Catherine finds herself alone in the wilderness.

Catherine's Travels Book 2 ~ Lawson's Search After Lawson's beautiful wife, Catherine, is kidnapped he embarks on a search that will take him across the United States, over the Rocky Mountains and into the land of the Navajo. Catherine will take a terrifying, yet rewarding journey with her husband's starch enemy. Blue Eyes goes on a vision quest that will change his life forever.

How The Fox Got His Color and Where Hummingbirds Come From are picture books for children ages 3 - 6 years of age. The Dance of The Caterpillars, a lesson in prepositions is designed for 2nd grade students. The Gnomes of Knot-Hole Manor is a chapter book targeting 3rd graders. 

Adele is an artist as well as a published author. Her books are available on the internet (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks), through her web site ( ), on Kindle and on Nook.

Adele’s children’s books have become popular for English as a second language students all over the world and are on the top 10 list of ESL study material on Amazon. Her website is filled with study material to help people study foreign languages. It includes - vocabulary lists, MP3 files, and even has a list of the questions you need to know to pass the US citizenship exam. All of this is free to the viewer. See:

If you wish to contact Adele, you can email:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: CP Bialois

1) Mr. Bialois, welcome to The Writer’s Block! Describe your journey as an author/writer.

Thank you Raychelle, I’m happy to be here. I think my journey can best be described as typical. For as long as I can remember I liked to write short stories about anything I came across. Early on I wrote my stories about my favorite toys like Transformers and the Masters of the Universe and later got into online role-playing.

As strange as it may sound, role-playing helped me in ways I never would’ve imagined. I met so many talented writers in the games I had little choice but to push myself to improve. Over time my stories went from two or three pages to ten or more and I decided to try my hand at writing a book. Now that was hard.

An avid reader, I read anything from Stephen King, Sue Grafton, Tom Clancy, and many other classic writers and I couldn’t figure out how to expand my thirty pages into a 400 page book. I said many of the same things those authors did but I did so in a far reduced capacity. Being stubborn is one of my better qualities so I kept trying and one day something snapped inside of me and I couldn’t stop writing. When I was finished I had 225 page manuscript that became Call of Poseidon. Since then I’m amazed at how much easier it’s gotten to take an idea and make it into a book length story. All I needed was to do it once and the confidence of knowing I could has helped me more than I can say.

2) Do you specialize in any particular genre(s)?

Yes and no. While I love horror, science fiction, and fantasy, I tend to jump from one genre to another. Overall, my stories tend to have a suspense/thriller angle to them along with some sort of coming of age arc. I’m all over the map due to my interest in nearly everything in our world from the ancient times and the Wild West to current day and future times. I’m the first to admit I’m not easily pigeon-holed.

3) What was your first published work?

My first published work was Call of Poseidon.

4) Tell us about Call of Poseidon. Where can our readers buy it?

Call of Poseidon is a supernatural “who dun it” involving Greek mythology in modern day New York. The Atlantians were given a magical conch shell by Poseidon as a gift. The Conch allows whoever holds it to summon the power of Poseidon. Following their defeat to the Athenians the Conch is used and Atlantis is destroyed.

The survivors form the Illuminati shortly afterwards and begin to build their fallen empire but strive to remain hidden. When their leader dies he bequeaths the Conch to New York’s Museum of Natural History where it is later stolen by an Illuminati agent. With two guards murdered a cantankerous police detective and rookie FBI agent are teamed together to find the Conch and the perpetrator. Various events and demons from the Detective’s past are brought out for him to confront while struggling with his new partner.

Through it all, an underlying current of a civil war within the Illuminati forces both sides to do things neither of them want to with the power of a God as their reward.

Call of Poseidon is available as both a paperback and ebook through and as an ebook through Smashwords

5) What led to your decision to self-publish?

That’s hard to say, in the end I decided to self publish because of a variety of factors. The first was I didn’t want to be locked into a potential contract for a series of books about one topic or genre due to my roving interests.

Secondly, I have the mentality that if I fail it’s because of me and not someone else. I’m not saying I’d blame anyone else, far from it, but it seemed easier to me to narrow the scope of failure to one person.

6) Would you like to be traditionally published? Why or why not?

I have mixed feelings about being traditionally published. I’m considering it for my next novel and am weighing the pros and cons. In many ways I’d like to go through a publisher as there is a great deal about them I don’t know and I think it’d be a good experience overall.

The reasons I wouldn’t are as I stated before but there are a couple of nagging things here and there. Not a single one of my doubts are really justified, they’re more like random thoughts and feelings I have.

7) Tell us about your current projects and what is next for you.

Current projects… now that’s a loaded question. As of now I have five more works in the process of editing before they’re readied for publishing. A pair of short story books, Duets and Skeleton Keys, a Dungeons and Dragons style fantasy novel, The Sword and the Flame, a Civil War love story called Civil Disagreement, and the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo entitled, The Last World. It’s a sci-fi/end of world type of story. I’m also working on developing a pair of ideas to add to that list.

8) How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most successful?

I do most of my promoting through my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I have a blog but I tend to rewrite the same things on it so I have large gaps in my posting through that outlet. I’ve always thought of myself as a team player and I like to help other writers whether it’s through retweets or other sharing styles. I’m a firm believer in what goes around comes around so by helping the community I feel the community will help me. So far I haven’t had much to complain about.

9) What advice would you give to budding writers?

The best advice I can give is don’t give up. Keep reading the books that interest you and keep your nose to the grindstone. Everything works out in the end sooner or later as long as you stay true to yourself.

10) What is your definition of success as a writer?

While I wouldn’t mind being on the New York Times Bestseller’s List, what makes me feel good is hearing my readers say they enjoyed my work. Few things make me feel better than to get an email or message saying someone enjoyed my story. To me, that is the epitome of success.

Author Bio:

Where do I begin? Well first I guess it's only fair to say that CP Bialois isn't my real name. It's a collaboration I made out of the three greatest pets anyone could ever want. My real name is Ed and I'm just an average person that has found a way to do what he loves.

For as long back as I can remember I loved to pretend. Whether it was with my Transformers, GI Joe, or He-Man toys I loved to create intricate plots and have them fight it out. As a fan of horror, science fiction, action, and comedy I dare say my taste in movies are well rounded. Some of my favorites were Star Wars, Star Trek, martial arts, and anything with Swarzenegger in them.

I'd write my own stories about the characters I saw in the theaters or TV or I'd just daydream about what I'd see myself as the hero of course. You can't have a daydream without beating the bad guys, getting the girl, etc. It's just not right to envision yourself as a flunky or sidekick.

As far as books I loved Sherlock Holmes, Treasure Island, Dracula, and the normal assortment. My early love was the Star Trek novels, I'd read them or the Hardy Boys relentlessly. For a time I could tell you the plot of over a hundred books not to mention comics.

I have to come clean and say that I learned to read because of comic books. I was bored, make that extremely bored when we started to read in school. Reading "the cat fell down" really didn't interest me. My dad, who continues to astound me with his insight to this day, figured comics would work. With that in mind he went to the newstand in town and bought issues of Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Tales From the Crypt, and Spider-man. He patiently read through them with me until I picked it up. Whether it was him or the comics I learned to read in about two weeks and for a while few were as good as I was. For years after that whenever we'd go out he'd always spring for a couple of comic books for me.

While it wasn't exactly the perfect beginning everything I've ever read or have seen has influenced me in some way and now is the time I'd like to share some of the ideas I've had over the years with all of you. I hope you enjoy my stories, they're always fun to write and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. 

Author Links:


Twitter: @cpbialois


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Tamala Callaway

 1) Describe your journey as an author/writer.

The day I began to write was the day my then 15 year old asked my to make up a story about her in a life similar but different than hers. I asked her what she wanted to be. A princess? A surfer? A zookeeper? She answered, "I want to be a vampire... a vampire with 2 brothers and 2 sisters ... and a mom and dad." I told her I didn't know anything about vampires nor did I like them. She said, "Oh, Mom. Everybody knows about vampires and I know you can do it." The story began with the sister of a boy my daughter would soon get to know and fall in love with. I loved love stories, so that's what I created. As I imagined and created a story from my head about Italia, my daughter, I noticed she was staring intently at me as I spoke. Thirty minutes later, I had an audience of several other family members that had quietly joined us. I became thirsty and stopped to get a drink and came back to everyone waiting patiently for the story to continue. Hmm, okay. So I decided to add a twist and find a way to add witches to the story. Not knowing much about them either, I trusted my instincts and let the story flow. Once they became real people with personalities, I was stopped in my tracks by my 15 year old. "Mom, I really think you should write this one down. I can tell its going to be a good one." I replied, "Nah, I don't feel like it." "Please?" she begged. "Please?" my youngest one who was six at the time begged as well. I looked up at the others who were nodding in agreement. Not having a computer, I took a spare spiral notebook from the girls' school supply box and spent the night writing what I had already told them.

The next day, I found myself interested in seeing where the story would go from there and filled the spiral notebook with more of the story. It then contained werewolves as well as a ghost, compliments of my youngest daughter wanting a part in the book as well. When the girls read what I had written so far, they insisted that I keep going. Needless to say, I had 8 spiral notebooks full of a story they refused to let me end. That was it! I had to get with the program and buy a computer, but I couldn't afford one. So I rented a brand new laptop which I now own.

A few weeks later, I came to a point that I felt would be a great ending and stopped there. Not knowing anything about how to set up scenes, word things properly, or catch mistakes, I saved the story to a flash drive and took it to Office Depot. I had them print and spiral bind it for me with a hard back and plastic front cover. I surprised my girls with it one afternoon when they returned from summer camp. My 15 year old, of course, could not wait to share it with her friends when she returned to school in August. In two weeks time, she had let several different friends borrow "her" book and they were excited. One of the main characters was their friend, and the setting was their school in the city where they live.

It was suggested to me that I should publish my book so that other people could read it. I wasn't an author. I didn't know what to do. I gave it some more thought and decided to look up publishing houses on line. Not many were accepting manuscripts from unagented authors. I checked into it and it seemed like such a hassle and a costly one at that. I gave up.

 One day, I happened to run into the assistant principal of a local school at the public library.I decided to ask him questions about publishing. He had self-published his own book. That was what I needed to do to at least get a start. I found Authorhouse online and after speaking with a representative, I decided to go with the least expensive package, but I had to save for it. In the meantime, I began book two. By the time Christmas rolled around, I had written three books to a series that seemed to manifest into what my family now describes as the "crack book" No one could put it down once they got started.

By January, I had saved enough money to finally get book one published and went through the process of scheduling for each phase of publishing. Assigned a team, they were very helpful and suggested the editing package. I couldn't afford to spend another penny on publishing the book, and I was becoming very impatient. February 16, 2010, Super Natural New Beginnings went live. I had the very first copy in my hand and a stack of books ready to do my very first book signing. I invited family, friends, and co-workers to come and they did. People were reading my book and loving it. I did several more signings, including one at the new writers night at Barnes and Noble. By March, I had done four successful book signings and completed the fourth book in the series. My biggest road block was the dreaded question, "Why can't I find your book in the stores?" I had tried but, for now, they are only available online.

 2) Do you specialize in any particular genre(s)?

So far, I have only written one genre, YA Fantasy Fiction. I prefer general fantasy fiction, like teenage coming-of-age stories. I love it when relationships bud, marriages form, and when the romantic undertones pick up the pace a little.

 3) What was your first published work?

Super Natural New Beginnings is the first book I published.

 4) Tell us about your Super Natural book series.

Super Natural begins when a family of vampires traveled to the southern region of the states, to settle in a different location than the norm. Along the way, the youngest member of the family realized that her heart was pulling her toward a human boy. After getting settled in, she began to watch him and eventually interacted with him in his dreams--or so he thought. The dream was so real to him that he shared it with best friend, who found similarities in the description of the girl in the dream, with a girl and her family who had just moved across the street from him. The boys found it strange and wanted to see if it was the same girl. So Jarrett's best friend Brian invited him to come over after school to check it out. Before Jarrett had a chance to go anywhere after getting home from school, his parents notified him that a murder had taken place in his best friend's family. Through everything, Jarrett did finally meet the girl from his dream and felt compelled to be with her.

Accusations were running rampant in the city but with another group of supernatural characters, The Witches. The story continued to unravel bringing about werewolves,and finally, the Ghost. Throughout the story, lessons are learned about friendship, relationships, honor, respect, and acceptance. Judgmental assumptions are quickly thwarted from the first book all the way to the fifth book.

5) Where do you find inspiration for your novels?

I find inspiration in my own experiences with growing pains as a teenager, as well as my daughter's. I also see things that go on throughout the school system among young people dealing with self -awareness, cultural backgrounds, racial backgrounds, personality traits. There is good and bad in every type of being. Judging others based on what you've heard is both ignorant and unjust. Super Natural brings about these issues without parenting the teens. I try to be subtle in the way that lessons are being taught.

 6) When did you publish your first book? Describe that process.

February 16, 2010. After being rejected by four publishers and hitting brick walls with others, it was suggested that I try self-publishing. There, my journey as a published author began.

 7) How do you promote your work? What strategies have been the most successful?

Mostly I promote through social networking, word of mouth, family, and co-workers. I work for the school system and I can promote to the high-school students that way as well. I also have joined a writer's group and a critical writing group to get tips and suggestions on writing and promoting.

 8) What has been your greatest challenge as an author?

The biggest challenge as an author is getting the word out about my series worldwide. Locally, I'm a success. I would love to put my series in everyone's hands to give them an opportunity to see things through a teenager's eyes, REALISTICALLY!

 9) What advice would you give to budding writers?

My advice to a budding writer would be to write from your heart. Trust your instincts and have a couple of people to read behind you as you write. This gives you the opportunity to find out if what you are writing is interesting, too hard to follow, or so great they can't wait to get to your next chapter.

 10) What is your definition of success as a writer?

Success of a writer means finishing what you start and being happy with what you've written. If you're not happy and satisfied, who else will be?

Author Bio:

I have been working for Coweta County School System for almost twelve years as bus driver. I have tried my hand at cosmetology and being a paralegal assistant, but found myself wanting to be at home with my children when they were out of school. So, I decided to drive for the school system. I have two daughters who were the initial reason I began writing the Super Natural novel series. My husband is a police officer and a member of the Army National Guard.

Some of the things I love to do when I'm not working, writing, being a mom, or a wife, are interior designing and sketching floor plans for homes. I cannot say that I have degrees or an impressive educational background, however, I am not the least bit disappointed by that. My life might be completely different if I had pursued those options, but I am honestly happy with where I am now. I want to say to anyone who has a dream, passion, or talent they want the world to know about to go for it. The only person that can stop your pursuit of happiness is YOU!

Connect with Tamala Callaway:
Twitter ~ @BestAuthor_72

Facebook ~

Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome to The Writer's Block!

Welcome to the inaugural week of The Writer's Block! I want to thank each and every one of you for your support and participation in building this community. This week we will be running interviews conducted with authors in a variety of genres. They will share their joys and struggles along the way to becoming published authors.They will also share their favorite strategies in marketing and promotion. If nothing else, I hope that each story awakens in every reader the belief that becoming an author is possible. I want industry movers and shakers to discover and help nurture new talent. I hope that authors and illustrators will be inspired to keep creating in spite of rejection letters and naysayers. Collectively, we can put a book in everyone's hands and ignite a fire for reading.

Here is this week's lineup:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012    
Author Tamala Callaway

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Author C.P. Bialois

Thursday, January 12, 2012    
Author/Illustrator Adele Crouch

Friday, January 13, 2012         
Author Gail E. Hedrick

It's never too late to get interviewed on The Writer's Block! This is your opportunity to promote yourself and network with other authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, and publishers. Follow this link for details:

Keep your pen to the paper! Remember, inspiration is everywhere...