Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Dr. Catrise Austin, author of 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile, Launches her Blog Tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Dr. Catrise Austin owes her A-List career to a love of belly laughs. As a new dentist, Dr. Austin enjoyed many nights at the comedy clubs of New York City where she met up and coming comedians such as Chris Rock, Tracey Morgan, Mike Epps, and Dave Chappelle. Before you could say, "Brush after every meal" Dr. Austin was known as the "Dentist to the stars."

But Dr. Austin, who originally became a dentist because of how she felt as a young girl with a less-than-perfect smile, knew that great smiles weren't just for Hollywood. Many of her patients are not "stars" and it was for these people that she decided to write a book of all the secrets she'd acquired. She wanted the A-List smile to be in everyone's grasp.

Find out more about Dr. Austin by visiting her websites:

5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile
By Dr. Catrise Austin

Imagine having a smile that is red carpet ready like Hollywood's A-List Stars! What if you could learn the secrets to a smile worthy of the red carpet--right in your own living room? What if you could learn what the stars do to get their Hollywood A-List smiles--then scout out ways to get it for a fraction of the price? What if you could gain--or perhaps even regain--the confidence, enthusiasm, and energy of today's hottest celebs simply by getting the smile of your dreams? You can, you know, and 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile shows you how.

Dr. Catrise Austin is known as Manhattan's "celebrity dentist to the stars." Her busy 57th Street Midtown office is home to some of the most cutting-edge, [and] high-tech techniques on the planet, but you don't need to spend tons of money or even a lot of time on your smile if you simply learn the basics taught in 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile.

Paperback: 244 pages
Published by Morgan James Publishing (Oct. 2009)
ISBN: 1600376444

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Dr. Catrise Austin's book, 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Dr. Austin, in New York City you're known as the "Dentist to the Stars" because of your many celebrity clients. I suppose, just like everyone else, celebrities find dentists the same way the rest of us do--word of mouth from their friends and co-workers. Although you had a thriving practice you decided to write 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile. How did that happen?

Dr. Austin: I was inspired to write my book 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile mainly because there is a lack of dental information for consumers and patients to turn to when they have questions and need basic information in layman's terms. In my practice, I constantly get asked the same questions and I began to think there was truly a need for this information to be tangible and put all in one place. When I wrote the book, I wanted it to be for the everyday hard working person who may have thought about improving their smile, but needed to get a little more info to see what their options are, how long it may take, pros and cons of certain procedures, and how much it may cost.

I share a lot of tips and even got some of my celebrity clients and friends to tell their stories of how a new smile helped them. But what I want everybody to know in this book is that Hollywood smiles are not just reserved for rich and famous celebrities! In the book I tell what the stars do to get their Hollywood A-List Smiles--then how to scout out ways to get it for a fraction of the price.

In addition, I wrote 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile because I was inspired to share my personal story about how changing my smile changed my life and actually made me want to become a dentist. I share how at the age of 15, improving my smile helped me gain confidence, improved my self esteem, and gave me the enthusiasm and energy to go on to pursue my dreams. I'm here to tell everyone that their smiles can change their lives too in ways that they never dreamed personally, socially, and help them in their careers.

WOW: Is 5 Steps your first writing project?

Dr. Austin: I've always enjoyed writing in college. I majored in psychology in college which required a lot of research and writing papers. I loved it.

Earlier this year, I started writing for The Examiner. I was the Celebrity Health reporter. That was so cool--to learn and report on health issues that celebrities battle personally or health initiatives that they support. Sometimes we believe that celebs have it made and they don't have real health or dental issues, but they do. I highlight some celebrity dental stories in my book.

I had the idea to write a dental book about 4 years ago, but just wasn't able to buckle down and find the proper time needed to dedicate towards the book. But once I got serious, it took me about a year and a half to put the book together, find a publisher, and get the book in print.

WOW: I've heard that you are quite the guerrilla marketer with your dental practice! You aggressively (and successfully, I might add) marketed your business. Now, most of us don't have dental practices but we have books, writing businesses, and workshops to market. So give us some tips! How did you become a guerrilla marketer?

Dr. Austin: Marketing has been somewhat of a natural talent. I didn't take any classes while in college. It's the fun part of what I do and when it comes to marketing, I'm fearless! I've learned marketing techniques over the years by taking marketing courses, reading marketing and PR books, and I've been inspired by other successful dentists when I attend the annual American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) conference. This is where all of the top cosmetic dentists across the world gather to hone their skills. You're going to laugh at this, but I also get inspired by watching those E! True Hollywood Stories, Inside The Actor's Studios shows, VH1 Behind the Music features, and pretty much any biography show. I always like to hear rags to riches stories of successful people.

Here's my tip: dedicate at least an hour per week learning something new about marketing and PR. It can be attending a Learning Annex seminar if you live in a major city that has them or look for organizations like your local chamber of commerce that frequently have marketing and networking programs. Also consider signing up for webinars or teleseminars, picking up some books on marketing at your local bookstore or library, and subscribing to blogs on marketing. The resources are endless!

WOW: Speaking of resources, Jay Conrad Levinson is known as the "Father of Guerrilla Marketing" and you've been called a guerrilla marketer. Did you happen to read his books?

Dr. Austin: Absolutely! Those "Guerrilla" Marketing and Publicity books are awesome and a must read. I'm so lucky because I live in New York City where Rick Frishman lives. He co-authors with Jay Conrad Levinson and does lots of seminars in New York and across the country on marketing and PR. Rick actually helped me get my book publishing deal with Morgan James Publishing.

WOW: As writers, many of us worry about the cost of marketing. When you were starting your dental practice what size budget did you have for marketing? What was the most valuable FREE thing you did to promote yourself?

Dr. Austin: Budget, what's that?! I'm a social butterfly so the most valuable FREE thing that I've always done and will continue to do is to get out and network! Its fun, you get to meet new people, and it costs little to nothing, except the cost of your business card or promotional item that you're handing out.

WOW: Why didn't you just go the traditional route--take out some ads in the local papers, the yellow pages, maybe a billboard?

Dr. Austin: These methods can get really expensive and you have to do them consistently for them to be effective. I also saw a lot of cheap ads being placed by dentists in the papers and I didn't want to put myself in that category. VIP Smiles is more of a boutique practice for those looking for quality dental care by one of the top dentists in the nation.

WOW: So by not following the traditional (and more expensive) route you set yourself apart from everyone else. Good news for those of us relying on alternative (a.k.a. cheap) methods of publicizing our work! What have you found is the most effective way to get people to remember you?

Dr. Austin: Well, I was very strategic when I chose the name of my dental practice. It's called "VIP Smiles". If you can’t remember my name, you can certainly remember the practice name. I always carry cards and I have a very simple elevator speech prepared for when I meet people to let them know really quickly who I am, what I do, and how my services and now products (my books) can help them.

WOW: I think another example of memorable naming is WOW--who could forget that? Are you adapting any of the tools you used to get publicity for your dental practice to getting publicity for your book?

Dr. Austin: I'm definitely using the same networking techniques to get publicity for my book. But in addition to networking at events, I'm doing a lot of social networking on Facebook and Twitter. You have no idea how many radio interviews and speaking opportunities that I've booked from my network of friends on the Internet! I've also been going to book fairs across the country to network and promote the book. I've spent a lot of money over the years hiring publicity firms. I've made so many media contacts over the years by networking and have learned so many techniques by taking courses and reading that, now, my staff and I do all of our own publicity.

WOW: Writers are basically entrepreneurs. As a successful business owner, who speaks about entrepreneurship in the business community, tell us what is the most important thing a business owner can do to help their business succeed?

Dr. Austin: To be a successful business owner, you have to know how to operate your business from top to bottom. I know how to perform every position that I have. If my receptionist is out sick, I know how to operate my computer program, answer the phone to schedule, and how to collect payment. You have to know how your industry works and what industry standards/trends are. I constantly read dental journals and now, as an author, I subscribe to author and speaker's clubs where I receive info on these industries.

I recommend setting goals with timelines of when you want to achieve these goals. Write them down. If an idea doesn't work, the key is to recognize it quickly, and move on to the next idea or plan. Failures happen along the way, but it's all about how you handle them. Do you sulk in your failure or do you plan for the big comeback?!

Most importantly, hire a team of people who are as smart, or smarter than you. Your team members must embrace your vision and work just as hard at achieving your goals. When I say team, this means your intern, assistant, editor, printing company, business manager, accountant, PR or marketing firm--anybody that you hire. Hold everyone accountable for what they are hired to do. If they are not working effectively, fire them!

Finally, the most important thing a business owner must do is DELIVER! If you meet or exceed your customer's expectations with your quality service or product, you will have a customer for life who will tell their friends, family, and co-workers about you too.

WOW: You've given us a lot to think about concerning building a business and marketing it. We all have to remember that, although we enjoy the "art" side of writing, we can't forget the "business" side of our writing.

Want to join Dr. Catrise Austin on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

December 1, 2009 Tuesday
Dr. Catrise Austin will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Dr. Austin's book!

December 3, 2009 Thursday
Dr. Catrise Austin, New York's "Dentist to the Stars" tells you how to have a Hollywood A-List Smile on your wedding day. So smile!

December 4, 2009 Friday
Need a great smile for all your holiday parties this month? Dr. Catrise Austin, author of 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile gives tips on how to get a great smile using five products you can find in your local grocery store.

December 7, 2009 Monday
Stop by for the Relentless Bride's review of Dr. Catrise Austin's book 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile and a chance to win the book for your favorite bride-to-be!

December 8, 2009 Tuesday
Stop by for some holiday shopping tips from "Dentist to the Stars" Dr. Catrise Austin. Along with a grocery list of products that can give you that A-List smile, Dr. C. gives you a chance to win her book 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile.

December 9, 2009 Wednesday
Get your smile ready for the holidays with Dr. Catrise Austin's quiz: Rate Your Smile: Is Your Smile on the A-List or D-List? And shine up those pearly whites with advice from her book 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile. You can win a copy today!

December 11, 2009 Friday
When taking care of your health don't forget the importance of your dental health. Dr. Austin gives readers five tips to keep their smiles bright, shiny and healthy!

December 14, 2009 Monday
Stop by to learn Five Tips for Great Teeth from Dr. Catrise Austin, New York City's Dentist to the Stars!

We have more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to host one of our touring authors, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Dr. Catrise Austin's book 5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile. And check back in a couple of days in the comments section to see if you won!

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Monday, November 16, 2009


B. Lynn Goodwin, author of Journaling for Caregivers, Launches her Blog Tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

During the six years she spent caring for her mother, B. Lynn Goodwin found comfort in the journaling she did. She eventually began teaching journaling workshops and writing a book to guide other caregivers through journaling.

Lynn is also a teacher, editor, and writer. Her work has been published in Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You're Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career, Caregiving, and Self-Care NCDA Monograph; 24/7--a caregiving anthology; We Care; Families of Loved Ones Magazine (forthcoming); Kaleidoscope (forthcoming), and numerous e-zines and blogs.

Find out more about B. Lynn Goodwin by visiting her websites:
Book Website: https://www.writeradvice.com/ywmtdw.html
Writer Advice: https://www.writeradvice.com/

You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Care Givers

By B. Lynn Goodwin

You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers offers encouragement, instructions, and over 200 sentence prompts to help anyone start putting their thoughts on paper.

It is for current, former, and long distance caregivers. These are the people who take care of spouses, parents, children, special needs children, and themselves. It is also for professional caregivers including nurses, social workers, teachers, and anyone in the helping professions.

Published by Tate Publishing
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN: 1606962973

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Lynn's book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jodi Webb

Your book,
You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers, is a book encouraging caregivers (everyone really) to journal. Can you tell us when you first started journaling?

I have been a sporadic journaler since I got my first five-year diary when I was in third grade. I have a journal from college, but stopped journaling once I began teaching English and directing high school and college theatre. Now, of course, I wish I had recorded what we did and how I felt about it. I slid back into journaling in 1997. I was turning Haven's List into a newsletter that would become Writer Advice, tutoring, teaching A is for Acting, and had begun caregiving. I'm glad I have my journals from that time.

WOW: How did you discover that journaling was helping you when you were caring for your mother? Did it make you a better caregiver?

I loved my mother but sometimes her needs seemed unreasonable. Sometimes I resented her refusal to accept outside help. I had a love/hate relationship with her line, "My Person will take care of that." I was Person and she was Missus. These private nicknames helped us remember that we loved each other, even though we sometimes grated on each other's nerves.

Sometimes it angered me that she preferred Lean Cuisine to my cooking, that she wouldn't let me put away the groceries without wiping off every single package, that she made me sit in her house and watch her struggle because she said, "I have to do some things for myself." Journaling helped me get past my anger and fear that drove it. It helped me analyze, process, explore, evaluate, and strategize. It allowed me to take my stress out on my journal instead of my mother, so absolutely it made me a better caregiver.

WOW: Not all of us are caring for an elderly parent. Can your book help those readers who aren't caregivers? Or are we all caregivers?

Lynn: Let me answer the last question first. All human beings are caregivers for someone. You might care for a spouse, parent, child, special needs child, or yourself--especially in the current economic climate. If you are a nurse, teacher, social worker, EMT, physical therapist, psychologist, or Hospice Volunteer, you are a professional caregiver.

Have you ever blown off steam at someone who did not deserve it? Have you ever wished someone would listen to you without interrupting? Have you ever needed a non-judgmental sympathetic ear? Who hasn't?

I can't promise that you'll never get angry or irrational if you journal. I can promise that you'll have a safe place to look beyond your immediate reactions. Journals are a place to record your history. Whether you make lists, write letters, write poems, blurt, or tell your story in traditional prose, your journal is the perfect vessel to receive your story.

WOW: Journaling (or lack of) is my guilty secret. As a writer, everyone tells me I should have a journal. I've started and abandoned more journals than I can count. So, tell me your secrets. How do you find the time to journal?

Lynn: Julia Cameron (www.theartistsway.com) says that you should start your day with Morning Pages. I say it's always morning somewhere. Write whenever you want. I have been known to journal in my car, in front of the TV, and in the bathroom. I also journal in coffee shops, shopping malls, and occasionally at my father's old desk.

Do it anywhere, anytime. Try to write for 10 minutes if you are starting out. If your journaling runs on endlessly, try setting a timer.

There are no rules unless you make some up. Start over any time, day or night. Your stories are eager to come out, and as you release them you will find a wave of material rushing in to fill the space. Who but you can tell your story?

WOW: Are lives are so full of...well, everything and anything. Why do you make journaling a priority?

Lynn: I always feel better after I journal. I feel cleansed. I feel my creative channels opening up. I usually stop spinning my wheels and start moving forward. Since 1997, I have journaled pretty steadily. It keeps me sane. It opens ideas. Since I know it works and I get immediate satisfaction from doing it, why wouldn't I make it a priority?

WOW: You make a great case for journaling. I may have to pull out one of those half-filled journals of mine! But before I do, what about blogs? Are they this generation's journals?

Lynn: Many blogs are the equivalent of interactive journals. Instead of having my own blog, I've spent the last year responding to other people's blogs. That way, I'm putting my voice out to a wider audience and still identifying myself with my signature line.

When I reread old journals, I get to see how I've grown and how my concerns have changed. I get to see what issues I have let go of and what subjects continue to be obsessions. I wouldn't have that with a blog. I wouldn't have a record. If my journals survive me, if they wind up in a Thrift Station or garage sale or in a great niece's backpack, they could ultimately become one woman's view of life in the decades before and after the turn of the millennium. That's less likely to happen with a blog.

WOW: Tell us about your other writing experiences.

Lynn: I've been the owner of Writer Advice, and its predecessor, Haven's List, since 1997. I've had lots of experience with author interviews, book and website reviews, and other non-fiction found on the site. I've developed Writer Advice's Annual Flash Prose Contest. I've written numerous articles, stories, and personal essays and have been published in magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and blogs. I've also put in some time creating a young adult novel, which is on the back burner at the moment.

WOW: Did journaling help your other writing?

Lynn: Absolutely. My writing has gotten more specific and more sophisticated over the years. As I retell stories or reply facts, I hone in on what I really want to say. Journaling has also helped me clarify what I do and don't want to write about and provided the raw writing out of which many published pieces have grown.

WOW: You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers isn't a traditional book in many senses. First, it isn't a "read these words" book, it's more of a workbook with writing prompts and advice. When did you decide to write this book?

Lynn: About 36 hours after a friend told me she was going to write a book of prompts for writers, I heard a voice, right outside my head, that said, "Journaling for Caregivers." Those three words articulated a cloudy idea that had been swimming in my head for some time. I realized that everybody could benefit from journaling, but most caregivers didn't know they could write. They didn't realize that everyone who writes is a writer. I made it my mission to introduce caregivers to the idea. I knew how to encourage writers and I had been writing sentence starts for my free writing group in Berkeley and before that for my high school students. Once I got this idea, the book started falling into place. Once I began marketing it, I realized that everyone is a caregiver for someone.

WOW: What portion of the book is taken up with writing prompts?

Lynn: Four of the nine chapters are filled with sentence starts. There are over 50 in each chapter. People should have choices. What appeals on one day might not on another. What speaks to one caregiver, parent, teacher, nurse, or professional might not to another. In my workshops I sometimes ask people to pick a sentence start that we all could write from. Giving them that choice empowers them.

WOW: Tell us about your road to publication.

Lynn: I found two agents who were very interested. One had moved from her New York agency to be closer to her ailing mother and was telecommuting. The other had a sister who was caring for aging parents in Florida. They knew what caregivers went through. They recognized this as a niche book that met a need, just as Sharon Bray, the author of When Words Heal: Writing Your Way Through Cancer did when she said, "As someone steeped in the therapeutic value of writing during pain and loss, I think B. Lynn Goodwin's book meets a need that has yet to be addressed."

Both of the agents' bosses said, "We have no way to market to caregivers." The agents validated that I had a book that would meet a need. They also made me realize that I would have to find a less traditional method to get it on the market. I began looking for smaller publishers and found one that believed the book was marketable. The concept came to me in 2006 and the book was published by the end of 2008.

WOW: As we can see from the reactions of those first two publishers, your book is not the traditional type someone walks into a bookstore and picks up on a whim--it's written for a very specific audience with a very specific need. Have you done many traditional bookstore signings and appearances or have you been thinking outside the box?

Lynn: It's safe to say that I think out of the box. Sometimes I'm so far outside the box that I am not sure whether to cal this a book or a service project. It depends, perhaps, on who I am sharing it with. I'm impressed by how much more outreach I have been able to do than I ever imagined. Nurses come up to me at bookstore signings. Even if they don't buy a book, they take a card for the office.

I've shared the book with all kinds of caregivers, volunteers, and organizations. I offer e-mail workshops called Journaling: Gateway to Self Discovery that give people a chance to try the process without leaving home. Day by day, I continue to reach out as many places as I can.

WOW: How about interviews, etc.--any outside the norm of book pages in newspapers, book review sites?

Lynn: I've done lots of interviews for blogs and special interest groups I've found through LinkedIn. One day I found a bill in my mailbox for the head of a Hospice support organization in Southern California. I have an article that will be coming out in their next newsletter. It will go all over the state. I took an ad in a publication that was given out at the AARP Convention in Las Vegas this October.

I've done radio interviews for all kinds of shows. I've made presentations in libraries. I've teamed up with someone helping teens and people marketing to seniors and I've developed an extra niche that I love, working with writers who want to find a way through writer's block and into the uniqueness of their own voice. I am putting together a continuing education class for nurses that will be done through e-mail, and that may lead to CEU classes for social workers and teachers. My existing e-mail workshops make it possible for anyone with a computer to try journaling without ever leaving the house.

WOW: For a book that publishers worried wouldn't be marketable you've found plenty of marketing options! And now the question everyone's dying to know the answer to--what does the "B" stand for?

Lynn: Ahhh--B stands for my first name, which is also my mother's first name. My mother didn't need a caregiver. She was fine to live alone as long as I was there every day to take out her garbage, get her mail, bring her her groceries, transport her... She was protecting her independence, and I wanted to help her do it. You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers is dedicated to my mother, but I do not mention her name. I do that to honor her because she was a private person. Writing as B. Lynn Goodwin is one way I can include her in this project while keeping her identity anonymous.

WOW: She sounds like a very determined woman. Hearing about her reminds me of my grandmother. For many years, she had the same type of independent living arrangement with the help of my mother and aunts. So, in between interviews and workshops for Journaling for Caregivers what are you up to with your writing?

Lynn: I continue to interview authors, write reviews, facilitate the Writer Advice Flash Prose Contest, and run the e-zine, which you can read right now at www.writeradvice.com. In fact, I'm putting out a call for submissions of 50-500 words on the subject of dreams. I'll pick the best pieces and run them in the winter issue. E-mail me at Lgood67334[at]comcast[dot]net if you would like details.

I am also at work on a couple of other projects that are still in the formative stages. I enjoy carving my own path in the writing world.


Want to join Lynn on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

November 16, 2009 Monday
Lynn will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Lynn's book!

November 18, 2009 Wednesday
Lynn Goodwin, author of You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers, stops by Spirituality and Self Help to share how journaling can save your sanity and save your life! Not to miss.

November 19, 2009 Thursday
Don't miss B. Lynn Goodwin's post about how journaling can help you become a better mom and a better you! Don't forget to enter to win her book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers.

November 20, 2009 Friday
B. Lynn Goodwin stops by The Mental Fitness Center to share how journaling helped her as she cared for a family member with Alzheimer's.

November 23, 2009 Monday
Today B. Lynn Goodwin stops by Midlife With a Vengeance to tell us that balancing acts aren't just for the circus! Chime in and tell us how you manage to balance your needs with those of the person you're caring for. You also have a chance to win her book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers.

December 2, 2009 Wednesday
B. Lynn Goodwin stops by Jan Lundy's blog, Awakened Living, to share how she manages to take care of herself while caring for others, and why we all need to take time out for ourselves. Don't forget to enter to win her book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers.

December 7, 2009 Monday
Today, author and journal keeper B. Lynn Goodwin stops by Whole Latte Life to tell us how journaling can help you explore your life's passion--no matter what it may be.

December 11, 2009 Friday
B. Lynn Goodwin stops by The Feisty Side of Fifty to write about being a caregiver for that person we so often overlook--ourselves.

December 15, 2009 Tuesday
Today, Nessa and Lynn chat about why journaling can be so helpful for caregivers at Ramblings of a Texas Housewife.

We have more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to host one of our touring authors, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Lynn's book You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers. And check back in a couple of days in the comments section to see if you won!

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Monday, October 12, 2009


Claudine Wolk, author of It Gets Easier...And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, launches her Blog Tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Claudine is probably a mother just like you. She grew up in the time of Shaun Cassidy, The Incredible Hulk, The Brady Bunch, and The Bionic Woman. She owned Barbies, Loves Baby Soft, and an Air Supply album. Women like you and Claudine probably started a career, got married, and then, the BABY came. Life was never going to be the same. If you were anything like Claudine you had no clue how to start dealing with the staggering responsibility of new motherhood.

When Claudine couldn’t find the answers or insight she needed to help her cope, she decided to write the book she always wanted - A fun, honest, simple, easy-to-read book geared to making a new mom's life a little easier.

Her search for information to make motherhood easier led to the creation of a blog at www.help4newmoms.blogspot.com, a place where she gets to write whatever she wants--things that might help a new mom, make her laugh, or get her up to date on some of the most important issues of our time, as well as American Idol. The blog has lead to invitations to visit and to speak with mom's groups. Now, she's able to share some direction, humor, and ideas with new moms all over the country in workshops and appearances where she lets participants know that they are NOT alone. You are not alone either and it's OK to take a break and laugh now and then.

Claudine Wolk is a CPA and mother of three. She lives in Bucks County, PA with her husband Joe and her children, Joseph, Casey & Ally. She writes columns as well as magazine and newspaper articles on all subjects regarding motherhood in the 21st Century. She also is available for humorous but informative workshops on the subjects of "new motherhood" and "mothers returning to the workforce." You can contact Claudine for a speaking engagement here.

Find out more about Claudine by visiting her website: www.Help4NewMoms.com. And be sure to check out her video clips, including her interview on ABC News!

It Gets Easier! ...And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers
A fun, practical guide to becoming a mom

By Claudine Wolk

After becoming a mother, I was a confused mess. Everything from labor and delivery to taking my baby home was a surprise. I felt like I had landed on another planet without a map.

I learned quickly that this new planet was NOT the vacation spot I thought it would be.

I needed a new map!

Does this sound familiar?

I looked for a book that would answer all my questions and introduce me to the more personal and humorous side of motherhood. I wanted to read the words that had been popping into my head since the moment my baby was born, "Motherhood Is Really, Really Hard!" and "What are some ways I can deal with it?" and "Do They Take Babies Back At The Hospital?"

I couldn't find the book, so I wrote it.

Here are some of the Solutions You will find in It Gets Easier!:

  • The importance of a baby schedule (no matter what anyone else says)
  • "The Talk" you need to have with your husband before you give birth
  • What you really need to know about labor and delivery
  • The Six Baby Commandments that can foster good eating and sleeping habits
  • The Five New Mom Mantras that will help keep you sane
  • Body image after giving birth
  • Breastfeeding Truths and Breastfeeding Myths
  • How to keep housework to a minimum

There is no question that being a mother is challenging, but this fun, frank, and prescriptive guide tries to do the impossible and make new motherhood easier. Featuring interviews with hundreds of moms and candid stories from author Claudine Wolk's own experiences as a mother, It Gets Easier!...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers mixes humor, honesty, and insider strategies that will give new moms a 'leg-up'. This upbeat and entertaining book drives home the point that new moms are not alone and that there are things they can do to make motherhood a little more controllable and lot more enjoyable. Complete with resources for further exploration and a helpful glossary, this funny, irreverent book will help ease every new mother's frustration.

Published by AMACOM (June 2009)
Paperback: 192 pages
ISBN# 0814415024

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Claudine's book, It Gets Easier!, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end.

We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: First, we'd all like to know how It Gets Easier!...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers came into being. You started out gathering information for your own personal use--and with three children you had lots of opportunities for personal use! When did it turn the corner and become research for a book? Why did you decide your book needed to be written?

Claudine: As soon as I found tips from other moms that actually worked and weren't in any other books, I decided that I had to put it all down in a book for the moms who came after me. It was almost a mandate. So, the book really started after the birth of my first son. My other two children were practically guinea pigs used to apply the information I had learned with my first son to make sure the success of the tips was not a fluke, and oh, yeah, we wanted more kids!

WOW: How long did it take you to gather the information and then write your book?

Claudine: I would say 12 years worth of interviewing, researching, practical application and continued research up to the publishing of the book. I know what you're thinking, "That's a long time." But hey, I was having and raising babies and working full-time and part-time during that process. From actual completion of book to production to final book took about a year and a half.

WOW: Can you give us a quick rundown of how your book was published--agent, submissions, publishing house, etc?

Claudine: Sure, the first version of the book was self-published. I created my own publishing company, New Buck Press, hired a terrific book production company, Pneuma Books, and with their help created the layout, cover, and graphics to my specifications resulting in a slick-looking trade book. In the meantime, I hired a book marketer, Sharon Castlen, who hooked me up with a distributor, Mid Point Trade Books, and I was off and running and, thankfully, selling. I worked with Sharon Castlen and learned as much as a could about book marketing and promotion. Several of my marketing attempts succeeded, most notably, Dr. Laura's radio program picked up the book and I sold 600 copies in one day! Thrilling. I kept in touch with Verna Dreisbach that I had hooked up with when trying to find a publisher. I sent her an email every time something great would happen with book. She asked if I wanted representation, and by August of the same year that my book pubbed, I was selling the rights to a major publishing house, AMACOM. AMACOM released an updated and expanded version of the book this August! Nothing to it!

WOW: As writers we hear again and again that non-fiction writers need a "marketing platform" for their book to be considered by publishers. Did you have a marketing platform--a blog, speaking engagements, etc.--before your book was published that you could wave before agents and editors?

Claudine: Great question. I mentioned "the agent I kept in touch with" in your last question. Truth be told, I tried for about a year to publish the book by traditional routes with no luck. Verna was nice enough to talk to me because she loved the book, but was afraid that my dreaded "author platform" was not enough to support book sales. I didn't even know what an author platform was, let alone how to create one. She was nice enough to explain to me the things I would need to be able to sell this book. I remember asking her, "If I do these things will you consider representing me?" She said, "You bet."

My marketing platform started by establishing myself as an expert in the field. Getting published in magazines, speaking to moms groups, blogging, creating a newsletter, and joining the social networks where my target market would be sure to find me were sure-fire ways to get me some exposure. I used the all-powerful Amazon to review books related to moms and created lists, always mentioning my book in the process. I reached out to other authors who had a similar message and commented on their blogs and co-marketed. As well, timing was critical because I started to build my platform and self-publish at the same time. The fact that the book became so successful, ironically added to my platform. At the end of the day, a publisher wants to know that you are able to sell books.

WOW: Now you have a marvelous three-pronged marketing platform: you blog, do speaking engagements, and interviews. Of the three, do you have a favorite?

Claudine: I truthfully enjoy them all, but if I had to pick one, it would be the speaking. I love talking to moms and hopefully offering some help or at least some empathy and a laugh or two. Selfishly, it is by far the most rewarding thing I do. The amazing things I learn from these moms is also a very valuable part of what I am trying to accomplish. I want these moms to get the help they need to make their lives a little easier and to be happier. I know that when a mom is happy the rewards to herself and her family will be immeasurable.

I wouldn't say that I make a lot of sales on the days I speak, but the power of referral is yet to be measured. This book sells by word of mouth, I am convinced of it, and in the comfort of their own home, moms are buying online.

WOW: Recently you were on Good Morning America! Tell us your secret--how did you land such an incredible interview?

Claudine: That interview was tremendously fun. All the thanks goes to my publicist at AMACOM, which is why I wanted to sell the book to a big publisher in the first place. Although as an author you still do a lot of promotion and marketing on your own, it's difficult to have the same reach as traditional publisher. It's not impossible, though. Having a targeted pitch with somewhat of an edge or humor helps tremendously!

WOW: I've seen your "master list"--the list of everyone contacted about your book. It's incredible. How did you generate the list and stay organized enough to contact all these people?

Claudine: The dreaded “media contacts” is a tough list to put together. It does take a lot of time. I used the library and the internet and a lot of phone calls to create a list of websites, radio, TV, Newspaper, and Magazines. When AMACOM came on board I was able to tap into their database as well, and now they do the bulk of the pitching. For those doing this on your own, I suggest using a college student to help put the list together in a Microsoft outlook or excel spreadsheet to keep track of the information. It is very time-consuming but very valuable information to have.

WOW: So what's the biggest lie we tell new mothers?

Claudine: The biggest lie is of course that motherhood gets easier! Things about motherhood may get easier but in the end it's always hard. There are things, though, that a mom can do to make her life a little easier like asking for help when she needs it!

WOW: How about the biggest lie we tell new writers?

Claudine: The biggest lie we tell new writers is that writing the book is the hard part. That’s kind of like telling new moms that labor and delivery is the hardest part of being a mom, right? Once you've birthed your book, the work has just begun. It's fun work, though, especially if your message has meaning and of course it does have meaning or you wouldn't have been able to write it, right? Don't give up and keep plugging. Your message is important and just needs to find its audience.

WOW: Thanks for giving us a peek at your extensive marketing campaign. What's next? Oprah? Or a new book? Or are you going back to your life as a mild-mannered CPA?

Claudine: OHHHH, Oprah, yes, I figure she'll find me sooner or later. A mom who is honest about motherhood and does it with a sense of humor. C'mon! We are made for each other.

Until that happens, though, I'm going to keep doing what I love, talking to as many moms who will have me, writing about mom-issues and sharing "mom helps" along the way. With any luck, It Gets Easier! will allow me to write the next book I have in mind to help Moms get back into the workforce after their children are grown. I'm calling it, Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In. What do you think? It's a winner, right?

WOW: Oh definitely, we all feel that panic when we head back into the "real world" of work and need someone like you to ease us into it with a few laughs.

Want to join Claudine on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

October 12, 2009 Monday
Claudinewill be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win a copy of It Only Gets Easier!

October 14, 2009 Wednesday
Stop by WordHustler's blog today for a fabulous interview with Claudine Wolk.

October 16, 2009 Friday
Don't miss Claudine Wolk's post about twelve years of gathering parenting secrets--and testing them on her guinea pigs...I mean, children.

October 22, 2009 Thursday
Claudine Wolk, author of It Gets Easier...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, interviewed hundreds of moms for her book. Today she shares all with her post, "Tell Me Your Secrets: Interviewing Tips."

October 28, 2009 Wednesday
Claudine is known for being a new-mom expert but today's she's giving us an insider's view of her writing life.

November 2, 2009 Monday
Claudine Wolk shares her tips for public speaking after leading many parenting workshops.

November 3, 2009 Tuesday
Claudine reveals a few of those lies experienced moms tell newbies--and why they do it.

November 4, 2009 Wednesday
Ever wonder about the secrets to selling your book to a publisher? Claudine Wolk appears on Cathy's What Not to Do feature with a few tips.

November 6, 2009 Friday
Claudine Wolk tells us about the funny, frustrating and sometimes crazy journey from stay at home mom (SAHM) to working mom. And don't miss a chance to win a copy of It Gets Easier! and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers.

November 9, 2009 Monday
Kate interviews Claudine Wolk, author of It Gets Easier and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, to learn all her parenting secrets.

We may have many more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in Claudine Wolk's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Claudine's book, It Gets Easier!...and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers.

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Monday, July 13, 2009


Chynna Laird, author of I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD, launches her blog tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Chynna Laird credits her adventures as mom of four children under the age of six as the source for much of her writing. When she's not spending Mom-time reading, playing piano and violin, and crafting with her children, she divides her time between being a student and a writer.

Chynna is busy finishing up her BA in Psychology, specializing in Early Childhood Development as well as continuing her career as a writer through her business Lily Wolf Words. She's written for many magazines: Amaze, Mindful Mama, Parenting Special Needs and Unique. She also has several bigger projects, including a thriller making the rounds. Her memoir, Not Just Spirited: Living With Sensory Processing Disorder, will be released this August.

Find out more about Chynna by visiting her websites:
Lily Wolf Words: https://www.lilywolfwords.ca/
Blog: https://lilywolfwords.blogspot.com/

About her book:

I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD

By Chynna T. Laird

Four year old Alexandra describes, in her own words, how it feels to have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) readers get a peek at how she hears things, smells things, even how things feel on her skin. She tells readers how frustrating it was for her to try to explain to other people she wasn't trying to be difficult or naughty, she was trying to communicate. Alexandra shows us all the things she does to cope in a world she finds so terrifying and how she helps others understand her better.

The book can be used as resource/reference tool for parents of children with SPD; to help children with SPD learn to express how they feel in words; and to educate counselors, teachers, friends and family.

Genre: Children's picture book
Paperback: 24 pages
ISBN: 1432714724
Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are
holding a contest to win a copy of Chynna's book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Chynna's beautiful children (photo right): Xander (two), Jaimie (six), Sophie (ten months), Jordhan (four).

WOW: Welcome to The Muffin, Chynna. We're delighted to launch your blog tour for your book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD. [editor’s note: the original title of the book was I'm Not Weird, I Have SID] You've written a variety of non-fiction articles and essays about Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD for various magazines. What made you decide to also write a children's book about SPD?

Chynna: Initially, I wrote the story just for my daughter Jaimie who lives with SPD--to validate her feelings. When she was about three, she had an unfortunate experience with a small group of children who made fun of her reactions to them and her behaviour. The book was to help her feel better about herself and also help her see that there were other kids in the world who felt things the same way she did.

WOW: Tell us how your book got from idea to publication and how long it took.

Chynna: Jaimie loved being read to so I thought the perfect way to reach her and teach her how to talk about her SPD was to write a children's picture book that she'd love and be proud of. I honestly never had any intention of having the entire world read the children's book.

I researched a few POD places and chose Outskirts. I got lucky with the people I worked with on my project. They were wonderful and so supportive. I was never pressured to spend more money than I had to. Sadly, a lot of first-time and eager writers are "advised" to spend way more than they have to with some places. My project only took a few weeks from submitting my manuscript to approving illustrations, cover and interior setup to production and printing of my book. I cried the first time I read it to Jaimie and she loved it.

WOW: A little birdie told me you're making some changes to your book. What are the changes and why are they being made?

Chynna: Yes, I'm currently in the process of revising the book to reflect important changes that have occurred in the SPD community, mostly having to do with important research.

When Jaimie was diagnosed with SID/SPD about four years ago, it was known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID), Dysfunction of Sensory Integration (DSI) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). All these acronyms refer to the same condition but there was no universal way to refer to it. It was very confusing. Then shortly after my book came out in October 2007, it was finally decided to universally refer to it as Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD.

There were several reasons for this decision. The first, and most important, being that a "dysfunction" can give the impression that something simply isn’t working quite right and a few simple “tweaks” can make things run smoothly again. Believe me, with this line of thought, seeking the right help for a child with this condition can be very difficult.

The other point is that SID, as an acronym, was often confused with the tragic Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

Finally, there’s a phenomenal SPD research team attempting to finally have SPD included in the next revision of the DSM in 2010 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). To put it simply, everyone involved with SPD research, diagnosis and treatment had to agree on what to call this disorder in order for it to be taken seriously in the medical field.

WOW: You're also adding an activity page. Why did you decide to add that?

Chynna: All year long, her classmates knew Jaimie struggled with something because she was often very aloof or avoiding activities requiring closeness, touching or that were too loud/smelly/etc. During the first few months of school, Jaimie had many meltdowns and her classmates were genuinely concerned but didn’t understand what was wrong or how to help Jamie. For example, when upset most children will accept a hug from a friend. But Jaimie yelled, "DON'T TOUCH ME!" or would become even more upset.

It was after I'd taken the book to read at Jaimie's Kindergarten class and given a free copy to each of her classmates that I thought of adding the activity page. Almost all of the parents came up to me the next day--some of them tearing up--to thank us for a book talking about SPD from a child's perspective. You see, there are so many reference books out there written for adults who care for or work with these children. None of them really talk about SPD from the child's eyes…in the child's voice.

Then it dawned on me that it could help children reading the book with adults to have activities that may help to further their understanding. Children are amazing people and are genuinely curious about things, especially when it’s different. Giving them fun ways to explore SPD and how it "feels" to children who have it may help readers understand it better. And that's so important.

Kids like to ask questions and explore…this just helps with that idea. Parents and teachers are always looking for fun ways to explore the subject matter in books they read with children in a deeper way. Activity suggestions already offered in the book helps give the book more "saleability" because the caregiver doesn’t have to either research or come up with ideas on their own. It’s already there!

WOW: What's up next for you?

Chynna: Well, I have a memoir called, Not Just Spirited: Living With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) coming out at the end of August. It's about our journey finding help for Jaimie. It starts with what we went through from when we saw signs that something was wrong (pretty soon after we'd brought her home from the hospital) to begging her pediatrician to listen to us, her diagnosis, therapy, getting into Kindergarten. My story is just to help other parents who have that aching gut feeling that something is wrong never to give up. Knock on those doors until someone listens.

Another exciting thing that's just happened is that I've signed on with Sunrise River Press to write a book tentatively called, The Sensory Diet: Setting A Sensational Child Up For Success. Essentially the book talks about the natural, holistic approaches we can take to treating children with SPD using combinations of occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutrition and exercises specific to the needs of a child. I'll also have a great section on childhood anxiety and how it can help this too. (Children with SPD can often have high anxiety. We've had to help Jaimie with both.)

WOW: Did I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD pave the way for these new projects?

Chynna: It's funny you should ask that. It wasn't my intention but it seemed to have done just that. I honestly never planned for the entire world read the children's book. But one day when Jaimie was in her preschool class, I got to talking with one of the other mothers about Jamie's SPD.

Anyway, the mom actually said, "Wow! My son was just diagnosed with that. We always thought he'd had Autism. Do you have any information on it?" I gave her a few resources, including the book I wrote. She came up to me the next day and said, "We read your book as a family and it actually made my husband cry." She asked to buy four more copies of the book. It sort of went from there. Now it's included in several local libraries, SPD therapy centers, Early Intervention resource centers and other places.

I'd been working on the memoir for quite some time and had several agents/publishers interested in it. But because the subject matter was so specified (or "niched"), it didn't fit into their editorial line-up.

The Sensory Diet project is a compilation of all the research, interviews and stuff I've done over the years in finding what worked best for Jaimie. I thought if I could offer a resource to parents that were in the same position we were in, a book that had all of that information in one place, they wouldn’t have to research as much on their own. This book isn’t going to be a signs/symptoms book but more for parents past the diagnostic stage and into the, "What do we do now? What therapies are there out there?" stage.

I still don’t consider myself an "expert" on the subject of SPD. I'm just one parent with one child who has a form of SPD who’s willing to share our experiences, especially if it helps others. I'm a strong believer that we go through things for a reason. I also believe that reaching out to others can be therapeutic in a way. Most importantly, if telling our story inspires other parents to tell their stories, we won't be islands in the middle of nowhere wondering if others are going through what we are. We'll build bridges among us to share our stories, experiences and knowledge and maybe, one day, this disorder won't seem so foreign.

WOW: Do you have a piece of advice for hopeful children's authors? Something you wish you had known starting out or something you wished you had done differently.

Chynna: The first piece of advice I can give hopeful children's authors is to try your hardest to find an agent or traditional publisher.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing it all on your own or with POD places (as long as you do your research and find the "right" one.) But you are entirely responsible for the marketing part, including finding buyers. It's not a big deal for me now since I'm not going to school full-time any more but it is A LOT of work and takes A LOT of time and effort.

If you don't have that time, hang in there and do it the traditional way. You'll still have to do a lot of your own marketing but it's better to have the additional support and backing. I wished I'd waited for a traditional publishing route but, as I'd said, my initial goal wasn't to SELL my book to the world; it was to help my daughter understand her disorder and to give her the words to make others understand.

The best advice I can think of is to understand your intended audience and stay in that perspective. For example, writing for a 5-year old is much different than writing for, say, a tween or teen. Listen to how they talk, watch their mannerisms, watch how they interact with people. I'm lucky because I'm surrounded by my intended audience and they inspire me every day. Children are amazing little people and I love writing for them. In fact, I've decided to focus most of my fiction writing on the children's and YA audiences. Who knows…maybe you'll see me out on the bookshelves in that area one day.

WOW: Thanks for giving us so much to think about, especially how a writing project that was essentially a gift of love could make its way from a bookshelf in your daughter's bedroom to a bookshelf in your neighborhood bookstore.

Want to join Chynna on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

JULY 13, 2009 Monday
Chynna chats with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. One lucky commenter will win copy of Chynna's book!

JULY 14, 2009 Tuesday
Chynna stops by Joyce Anthony's blog, Books and Authors, for an author interview and book review! Stop by today and learn more about I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD.

JULY 16, 2009 Thursday
Chynna visits Raising Socially Anxious Children to talk about encouraging loving sibling relationships when one child has special needs. There is also a book giveaway comments contest! Stop by for a chance to win a copy of Chynna's book.

JULY 17, 2009 Friday
Chynna visits Cathy C. Hall's blog, Finders and Keepers, to chat about children's book writing. If you haven't visited Cathy's blog, be sure to stop by--it's bound to spark a lively discussion!

JULY 20, 2009 Monday
Chynna visits Shai Coggins' blog for an author interview! Stop by today and learn more about Chynna's thoughts on writing her first picture book.

JULY 24, 2009 Friday
Have questions about writing children's books? Stop by Samantha Clark's blog, Day by Day Writer, to visit with children's book author Chynna Laird.

JULY 27, 2009 Monday
Stop by Margo L. Dill's blog, Read These Books and Use Them, to find out what Margo thinks about Chynna's book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD, as well as some activities adults can use when reading with their child.

AUGUST 11, 2009 Tuesday
Chynna stops by Allyn Evans' blog, Happily Ever After Today, to talk about the challenges of understanding SPD and raising a child with SPD. Not to miss!

We may have more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE to keep up with the latest.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you would like to host one of our authors, or are an author looking to schedule a tour of your own, please email Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a signed copy of Chynna Laird's children's book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD.

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Monday, May 18, 2009


Stephanie Riseley, author of Love From Both Sides, Launches her Blog Tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Stephanie Riseley is a writer, teacher, and hypnotherapist. Her book, Love From Both Sides: A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality, tells the story of her husband dying in her arms and coming back to chat.

Besides being a writer, Stephanie has studied hypnosis since 1971. Over the years, she's helped hundreds of people lose weight, quit smoking, and make empowering lifestyle changes. Because she's also a teacher, she explains how our computer-like brains work and then teaches her clients a skill-set that helps them to re-program their own brains. It's like fixing a glitch in the wiring, or like ridding a computer of a pesky internet virus.

Scientific research proves that once people change their thinking, they actually change the physical structure of their brains. Because of that, they're freed of self-destructive behaviors that ruin lives and steal happiness.

To do this, Stephanie uses hypnosis, along with techniques from Cognitive Behavorial Modification and Guided Interactive Therapy.

Find out more about Stephanie by visiting her website: www.stephanieriseley.com

Love From Both Sides: A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality

By Stephanie Riseley

Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN: 1844091392
Publisher: Findhorn Press

In this memoir, memorial, and celebration, Stephanie Riseley shares the deeply emotional and powerfully physical story of the continued relationship between her and her husband Dan after his sudden death. Exploring the ways in which love and forgiveness can transcend the boundaries of life and death, the book intends to change perceptions of the emotional and spiritual relationships two people can share. Problematic marriages and challenging relationships will take on positive new dimensions.

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Stephanie's book, Love From Both Sides: A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end.

We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by LuAnn Schindler

WOW: Stephanie, congratulations on your book publication. Thank you for launching your blog tour with WOW! Our readers will definitely want to get to know you, so let's get the tour started.

I lost my spouse six years ago, and for close to a year after his death, I heard him speak to me. And then one day, the discussions ended. Do you think that's a common occurrence when a loved one passes or do you believe only certain people have that cosmic connection?

Stephanie: I think everyone's experience with the "In Between" is specific and different, because it's all very complicated. People "hear" from the Other Side when they are able to "listen," i.e., go deep and quiet. For me personally, the pain of losing my husband was so searing, that I barely had access to my own thoughts, let alone the extra energy needed to "hear" from him. It wasn't until my own "circuits" calmed down enough and my own energy shifted away from the "pain/loss" and I actually got more centered, that my dear dead husband was able to break through the heavy energy that is mourning and begin to chat. I've had so many widows share similar experiences so I know I'm not alone. With your own year of husband chatting? That's about the length of time I had, as well. And in my book, that was because my husband's "energy" had healed enough to choose his next life, and so he reincarnated, and moved onto his next life, and next adventure. Maybe that was your husband's situation, as well.

Do only certain people have a cosmic connection? No, we are all wired to "hear." It's just a skill set that either gets developed or doesn't. Like playing a violin--you first need to pick up the violin, then you must practice. And that's all it takes. A desire followed by discipline. But as a species, we are all hard-wired to "hear."

WOW: It's interesting how some people tune in and others never experience 'hearing'. People may be surprised by what they discover.

Growing up, you experienced several serious medical setbacks, and eventually, you were diagnosed with lupus. How did that experience guide your career and writing choices?

Stephanie: The story of my own health "issue" would take another book, but in short? It's been my biggest gift. Yes, at 20 years old, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus--a pretty nasty autoimmune disease, where my body made anti-bodies to itself, that is, attacked all my own connective tissues. At the time, my doctors gave me about five years to live. Even though I could barely walk because of joint pain, couldn't breathe because my lungs were filled with fluid, and my kidneys were shutting down, I refused to believe those doctors, and I found an alternate form of healing. Because of that, today's my 62nd birthday, and I look and feel great! But I take very good care of myself. And that's what I teach my clients--how to take care of their bodies and how to take care of their brains and minds. What you decide to put inside your head is just important (if not more so) as what you put inside your body!

WOW: Deciding what to put inside one's head is a lesson everyone should consider. Healthy choices offer so many possibilities, as you mention. Perhaps you will write a book about your Lupus diagnosis and share your journey to good health.

Let's talk about your publication path. You had experience as a screenwriter, but you discovered getting a script picked up differs from publishing a novel. First, you tried the traditional route. And then, fate intervened. Would you share your story, from when you finished the book through the publication process, and now, marketing your book?

Stephanie: I gave up, literally. "Let go, let God." I'm a screenwriter, so I knew getting a book published would not be easy, but it was much harder than I imagined. I wrote to book agents, sent my book proposal out to publishing houses, I bought Arielle Ford's system, I signed up for some MediaBistro's "book selling" workshops, but nothing seemed to work. If you read my book, you'll see that finishing "Love from Both Sides" took all the energy I had, but I finished it, and thought, “Okay. Now what?” Since, I'm a hypnotherapist, and do Past Life Regressions, I created a website. Someone emailed me and asked me a question about Past Life Regressions, and I answered her. She kept asking more and more questions, until I said, "I wrote a book that will explain all of this. Why don't I send it to you?" And so I did. And she shot back immediately, "This is a fabulous book! Who's publishing it in England?" I said, "No one's publishing it in the U.S., let alone England." And she said, "Well, I forgot to tell you that I'm the book editor at the Birmingham Post, and I think Findhorn Press would love your book!" And with one email, I sent the book off to Findhorn Press, and the publisher, Thierry Bogliolo, said, "Not only do we want to publish it, but we want to fast track it."

If you think writing is hard? Selling impossible? Get ready for marketing. Unbelievably difficult, but doable!! If you keep smiling, yes? Know that it will feel overwhelming and impossible, but that you will do it anyway!

WOW: (Smiles) Isn't it amazing when luck connects you with a person and the end result offers a positive outcome? Your journey to publishing gives hope to those of us who are still searching for a publisher.

A book title is so important. Surveys show people purchase books based on titles and cover art. Love from Both Sides explains the importance of expressing love when you're alive and how love continues after death. Why is love important from both sides of life?

Stephanie: Before Dan, my husband died, I'd planned to write a book called, "The Married Girls Guide to Hot and Sacred Sex," but then he died, and because I needed to figure out a way of making money, I decided to go back and try to write that book. So, I got a group of married friends together to talk about marriage, sex (or the lack of it) and love. I'd been a widow for only four months by then, and I was still in "thick, miserably, mourning hell," but while they all complained about their very much alive husbands, I started to feel sick. Because I was surrounded by moms with kids, I left them to chat about marriage and sex, and I went home. It wasn't until the next morning, when I got up to yet another lonely, horrible Sunday that I got mad at being so miserable. (One of the stages of mourning.) And because of that, my energy shifted out of "mourning hell" (which is hard to break through for spirits) and my husband's energy burst into my body… into my arm, because I channeled him. The communication began with: You are my goddess now and forever. We walked a life together that allowed me to love more profoundly and deeply because of you. You must honor what we had together and forget the rest.

Love from Both Sides simply "presented" itself one day. The subtitle--A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality--I had to come up with for the marketing department. And that wasn't easy!

WOW: I'll be honest, the subtitle caught my attention! Do you write in other genres or do you specialize in spiritual non-fiction?

Stephanie: I'm a screenwriter, and I used to write short stories. I'm still proud of my wonderful, handwritten rejections from Roger Angel at the New Yorker!

WOW: You have a lot of varied writing experiences. Do you think it's important for writers to specialize?

Stephanie: Writers should write. Period. End of story. It's your purpose--it's your gift. Do it now, or you'll get to the Other Side, and there will be hell to pay! Head Spirits will be upset with you… your voice was needed.

WOW: (grins) I write every day so the head spirits should be pleased with me!

Stephanie, are you currently working on any projects you'd like to share with our readers?

Stephanie: Right now, I'm busy with my wonderful clients and the book marketing to do much else. But, just yesterday, one of my clients, a producer at Paramount, who's trying to launch a movie, asked me to read the script and give him notes. I said, "Why me?"

And he said, "I don't know anyone whose intelligence and judgment I’d trust more." Now, because all girls love to flattered, so even though I don't have time to do it, I said, "Yes." He's very crafty, my client, but my feeling is that the Universe works in such weirdo ways, and who knows where the next opportunity will come from. That’s why it's important say "Yes!" to everything. (Unless, of course, it’s dangerous or illegal! ;) )

WOW: Thanks, Stephanie, for giving readers a glimpse inside your book and your writing life. Best of luck on your blog tour.

Stephanie: My pleasure!


Want to join Stephanie on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

MAY 18, 2009 Monday
Stephanie will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Stephanie's book!

MAY 19, 2009 Tuesday
Stephanie will be stopping by Carolyn Howard-Johnson's blog, The New Book Review, to share some wonderful feedback from one of her readers.

MAY 20, 2009 Wednesday
Stephanie will be stopping by Ashley Cooper's blog, Rituals for Healthy Living, to discuss the differences between soul love vs. sexual love in everyday life. This should be an interesting post!

MAY 22, 2009 Friday
Stephanie will be stopping by SuperEnlightenMe, a blog about spirituality and self-help topics, to share her thoughts on spirituality.

MAY 27, 2009 Wednesday
Stephanie will be stopping by Linda Sue Anderson's blog, Holistic Future, to chat about one of the topics in her book--maintaining a relationship with a loved one after death.

JUNE 3, 2009 Wednesday
Stephanie stops by Mary Jo Campbell's blog, Writers Inspired, for an author interview & book giveaway comments contest! Be sure to stop by--Mary Jo's interviews are always a lot of fun!

JUNE 8, 2009 Monday
Stephanie stops by Your Hypnotist Blog to answer questions from the UK blog's readers! If you have a question for Stephanie, check out this post for details on how to send in your question. You can remain anonymous, but be sure you send in your question before Friday, May 22nd, for inclusion in this stop. It'll be interesting to see what questions readers will come up with!

JUNE 9, 2009 Tuesday
Don't miss this stop! Today, Stephanie stops by Hot Flashbacks Cool Insights to share one of the most unique flashes of intuition of all time--how to continue to commune with a loved one after death.

JUNE 12, 2009 Friday
Stephanie stops by Madeline Sharples blog, Choices, to chat about memoir writing--specifically, writing to heal and the road to finding representation and a publisher for your memoirs. This should be an insightful stop for writers!

JUNE 14, 2009 Sunday
Wondering if you've already met your life partner? Stephanie stops by Fiftyish Diva to share her tips on recognizing your soulmate. Not to miss!

JUNE 16, 2009 Tuesday
Stephanie stops by Michele Avanti's blog, Astrology and More, for an author interview! This blog not only answers questions about all things metaphysical, it also shares information about publishing, writing, and creating successful books even for small niche publishers.

We also have several more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in Stephanie Riseley's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Stephanie's book Love From Both Sides: A True Story of Soul Survival and Sacred Sexuality.

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