Monday, December 29, 2014

New Things Happening in Kathryn's Book World

If you haven't had a chance to check out my newly revised book on marketing for 2015, now is the time. I've added some great new links and two new chapters. One on using #hash tags, the other on creating your own book trailers.

Find it here

My LDS middle reader fiction book, A River of Stones, first published in 2002 and garnering a 4 star average, has a new cover!

Find it here

And finally, my nonfiction Christian book, Conquering Your Goliaths: Guidebook has a new cover that now matches the fiction book of the same title, Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones.

Five Star Reviews!
Find it here

Many other new things are planned for 2015. Stay tuned!!

Saturday, December 27, 2014


UPDATE!! When I will be at the party will be different depending on your location! See below for your time!

Come and join me for a Happy New Year book release party. It will be going on ALL day for the release of B. E. McLaughlin's new book, Languish. McLaughlin's book is a mystery thriller.

Find the book here:
When Cressida is kidnapped from her school, her parents go mad with grief and desperation to find their daughter. Luckily—as some believe, for the Clef's—one mother's celebrity status allows her tight-knit connections to the media. But as Chandra tries to fight off her wife's social explosion, her no nonsense attitude quickly turns to rage and fear when she realizes that the kidnapper is closer to her than she first expected. 

Watching as everything starts to unravel before her eyes, Chandra risks the physical, mental, and social standing that she has to find her only daughter, her lifeline to the world. The lengths that one woman goes to protect her daughter test the bounds of a mother’s love and strength of mind.

I will be giving away a paperback copy of Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones AND The Feast: A Parable of the Ring on New Year's Day between 4 and 5 PM EST (2-3 P.M. MST). So please come on over and see what the party has in store for you!

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Little Money Left? Write a Christmas Letter

About now you might be finding your purse strings a little tight. If so, consider giving a thoughtful letter instead of a carefully wrapped gift.

It may mean more to the receiver. And to you.

There is something about receiving a homemade gift (even if it doesn't exactly fit, or fit in with your color scheme),or  receiving a service or a homemade card. Whether the giver has the money to spend or not, there's something truly magical to be said for the gift that comes completely from the heart.

I remember the year one of my daughters made me an ornament for the Christmas tree. She'd spent hours sewing the star together. She had just divorced her husband and had little money to spend. The star goes up every year on our Christmas tree, and I remember (every year) her thoughtful gesture.

Another year I got letters from my parents, plus some of stuff I no longer remember. I have saved the letters and re-read them.

Yet another year, a year when I had little children running around the house, we bought most of our gifts for each other from the thrift store. My favorite? An old doll house which my husband and I fixed up and gave to our children. The cost? Five dollars.

Maybe not having enough money sometimes is a good thing. It causes us to be creative, to think deeper than the bills in our wallet or our plastic credit card.

So if you're finding things a bit tight this year, and even if you're not, write a letter, (at least one) to a special someone in your life.

I'm going to.


Monday, December 22, 2014

The Home Stretch...

Christmas is almost here! Are you ready?

Unbelievably I finished all of the shopping last week. Though I still find myself purchasing small things here and there, I'm done, so to speak.

This week, the last few days before Christmas, is a little like finishing that long winded race; the race that was enjoyable at times, painful at others. When I see Christmas before me like a lit Christmas tree, I am ready to take the winnings in!

And the winnings for me far surpass the Christmas gifts under the tree.

I reflect on the hugs from family and friends. The well wishes for a Merry Christmas. I reflect on neighbors coming to the door with gifts of candy, cookies and more. In a nutshell, these last few days as Christmas approaches I tend to think more on the Savior, more on his love and sacrifice for me a recipient (an ofttimes unworthy recipient) of his gift of sacrifice.

My writing?

I do a little. But most of my time is spent doing other things. I find it more than a little difficult to work on my writing projects. At times I just want to sit and take it all in.

And maybe, just maybe, that's the best thing I can do.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Get the Most Out of Your Writing Time

One of the real struggles of being a writer is finding the time to write, especially if you already have a full-time job away from it.

But the truth is, for every human being on this planet there are opportunities, free time if you will, to do what you are really interested in. And if it's writing, there should be plenty of time to do it.

One of the amazing things I discovered early on when it came to writing was that whenever I replaced television watching for writing, I'd spend far too much time away from what I loved the most. The same was true when I had Words with Friends on my cellphone. There simply wasn't enough time to write.

So I have shut off the tube more and have gotten rid of Words with Friends. I liked both pursuits, but found that much of my writing time was wasted when I substituted something I liked for something I loved.

Another issue with writing time comes in the form of distractions. These distractions (including again the two listed above) are those things that you find yourself doing simply because they occur on a given day.

Your mother calls you and speaks for an hour. Your friend drops by and you both decide to go to lunch. You have a terribly messy house and it needs to get cleaned sometime. Besides, cleaning will give you a chance to think about what your next book's going to be about.


But I have found that if I don't schedule a time for myself, say, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. without distraction, meaning I don't pick up the phone, respond to a text, or even answer the door between those hours. And guess what? I will finally have time to get a little writing done.

I'm not suggesting for a minute that we aren't friendly, that we, as writers, become total hermits. Because, quite frankly, getting out does something wonderful for our souls, and we may just gather in some new elements for our latest book. What I am saying is that we both take our writing seriously enough to make it a priority.

Getting the most out of your writing time means choosing writing over something else that may be equally enjoyable. If you have little time to write as I do, you know that finding the time means taking it seriously enough to schedule it, just like you'd do a dentist appointment or lunch with a


May I make another suggestion? Talk to those close to you in your life and let them know when you'll be away from the phone or door because you're writing. If they are a true friend they will appreciate your honesty and dedication to your craft.

I know I would.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Lt. Com Roy O’Hara from The Warrior's Stone

1      If you don't think interviews with particular characters can get a  little, shall we say, interesting, check this one out:

       Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope  to achieve, etc.

       My name is Lt. Com Roy O'Hara.  Currently I’m stationed aboard the T.S.S. Phoenix, the Command  Ship for the first fleet.  As a squadron leader I’m reasonable for training and leading 18 pilots on  tactical and defensive missions against the enemy.  Most of the men and woman in my command are  about half my age.  I’m 38 now.  I had retired a few years ago, but with the war continuing we need  every able bodied person on the line.

2     What do you like to do in your spare time?
       Spare time?  We kind of don’t get a lot of down time.  Haven’t had shore leave in, I don’t know, two  years now.  Spare time? You see we’re on call 24/7 so most of our time is spent on training, physical  maintenance, analyzing recent engagements and reviewing repairs on our birds.  But there are times  when I don’t have duties that are pressing.  I tend to us that time to eat, read a book, I like  philosophy books and hit the rack for a few hours of shut eye.
       What is your favorite color and why?

       My favorite color?  Anything but black.
       What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

       Hot Dogs, not the cheep ones, the kind you can get at mile high, with everything on them.
       What would you say is your biggest quirk?

        I don’t know.  Never gave it much thought.
       What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?

       The Serkin have no respect for life.  Their goal is to kill or enslave us all.  I would rather die than let 

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them take over the known galaxy.
       What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?
       That isn't something I feel comfortable talking about.
       What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

       Family is very important to me, but the war took that away from me and now all that is left for me is duty.
       If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

       Look, no offence, but after twenty years of fighting and killing, I don’t really believe in a creator any more, at least not one who I would care to know.

Check out the author interview here
and the trailer here

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ready for Christmas?

I am almost there...


What a journey!

How about you?

Getting ready for Christmas is a grand feat, one not to be taken lightly, but as I said in a previous post, one to make some special one-on-one time for.

Imagine a few hours with the Lord without any distraction. Imagine to yourself the journey, the feelings in your heart, the memories.

If you haven't, as yet, sat down with the Lord this year reading his word, listening to his voice, here's one last nudge from me that you do so.

You won't regret it.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 15, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Valerie Storey, author of Overtaken

Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing? 

I’d always loved to read and write as a child, but it wasn't until I was in my twenties, living in London and working for an advertising agency that I decided to really go for it. Prior to moving to the UK I had been living in New Zealand where my parents had emigrated to from Los Angeles during my senior year in high school. One day I was walking down Regent Street and out of the blue I ran into one of my friends from my University of Auckland days. I couldn't believe it—neither could I believe that she had just married the New Zealand sci-fi and fantasy writer, Hugh Cook. We immediately picked up our friendship from where we’d left off, and Hugh, who had also been at the university with us, was very encouraging and helpful about my desire to write professionally. I don’t think I would ever have had the confidence or knowledge to pursue writing if it wasn't for his invaluable advice and interest. Sadly, Hugh passed away several years ago, but I will always remember him with sincere gratitude for his help.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand? 

During the week I mainly write at work—I know that sounds weird, but I have a very flexible schedule and find my office is the perfect location to come in early or stay late to get some writing done. I also write there during lunch and other breaks. On the weekends I love to go to coffee shops or museum cafes to write. I write my first drafts either by hand with a fountain pen, or on my Alphasmart. I always use the Alphasmart for second and subsequent drafts.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing? 

I love discovery drafts. I’m a panster all the way, but once that initial draft is finished I then impose a plot, strengthen my characters’ goals and motivations, and write a serious outline so that I can re-arrange and rewrite everything to follow a coherent storyline. My most disliked part of writing is the whole synopsis-thing in all its 1-page, 2-page, etc. formats.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them? 

I use a lot of visual references from magazines and other sources which I then turn into collages before I write. As I put the pictures together the characters and plots appear like magic—they tell me their stories, and I take dictation. I feel that when I hear them speak I am also meeting them for the first time as a reader, so if I enjoy what my characters have to tell me, someone reading about them might feel the same way too.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing? 

I have a website and a blog, and I’m fairly active on Twitter and Pinterest. My favorite social media site is I meet a lot of imaginative and creative people there who take an interest in my work. I've also found the best marketing is what I can do in person: teach a class or workshop, volunteer at a conference, or sell books at a local book fair.

I agree.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write? 

My schedule can be very erratic, so I've learned to take advantage of whatever free time I can get. It’s one of the reasons I write by hand—it allows me to write absolutely anywhere: the car, waiting rooms, laundromats, hotel lobbies, and restaurants. I do write every day without fail—just not at the same time every day.

Read previous character interview here
Get the book here

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out? 
Starting next year I’ll be submitting my new novel, The Abyssal Plain for publication, as well as a nonfiction manuscript, A Pet Owner’s Book of Days, and a picture book manuscript. At the same time I’ll be working on the second draft of yet another novel.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it. 

I have several unpublished collections of poetry and short stories that I’m always tinkering with. My absolute dream is to illustrate them and publish them as art books.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

First I would say that “talent” is in the eye of the beholder. What does it really mean? I've met hundreds of very talented writers who refuse to commit to the writing process, or finish a manuscript, or submit a manuscript for publication. So what does their “talent” give them except maybe a topic for conversation? The most important thing a writer needs is discipline (to both write and finish what he or she is writing) and perseverance. Keep writing, keep submitting. And read, read, read as widely as possible.

Thank you, Valerie!
Also available by Valerie Storey!
Learn more here

Friday, December 12, 2014

FRIDAY FLICKS: Sunny Side-Up by Yours Truly

Yes, today I'm sharing one of my favorite book trailers; one that most folks also consider their favorite. If you have a book trailer to share, please let me know! I will post it here in one of the next coming Friday's!

Free Exposure!

Get it at Amazon!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thirsty? Keeping Christmas

I don't know about you, but about this time I start feeling a bit thirsty for some well needed Christmas. I'm not talking about more shopping, or decorating, or even caroling, I'm speaking of the stuff that comes when you take a breather and just let the Christmas season sink in.

The true Christmas season.

Spend some time...

Because in-between all of the sparkling lights and new hose for the upcoming Christmas party, there yet remains those moments to savor; those when we are with Christ--alone, for a time, quenching that thirst.

Last night, I finally made the time to drink and I was filled.

And I thought this morning, as I got up to exercise and begin another day; boy, I'm glad I took the time to drink in all of the goodness of the Lord.

I'm never discouraged about that. Never. I never wake up and wish I'd spent the time doing something else like watching a show on television. Never.

I wake up, grateful that I've spent whose time with person whose month this is.

And I wish you the same experience.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Sarah Elliott Bergsen from Overtaken


           Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.). I’m 32 years old, a professional artist living in London, and I’m also a newlywed. I was raised all over the world, thanks to my parents who were sound engineers working for various documentary film makers. Prior to my marriage I rarely paid much attention to my appearance, but since meeting my husband I've taken a new interest in beautiful, dramatic—and expensive—clothing. My dream is to be a highly-regarded portrait painter worthy of the National Portrait Gallery.

2.      What do you like to do in your spare time? I don’t have a lot of spare time. I’m always working, but I do like to try out new mediums and supplies and go on sketching trips whenever I can.

3.      What is your favorite color and why? My favorite color is Payne’s Grey. I love its ability to add depth and shadow to any color it touches. I also love the way it enhances negative space, which in many ways is one of the most important and interesting parts of a painting.

Get Overtaken
What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite? Tapas. Small plates. Cheese, olives, fresh breads. I’m a vegetarian so I love anything salad-y and light.

5.      What would you say is your biggest quirk? I fantasize the worst possible outcome of any situation. I worry. I’m insecure about absolutely everything.

6.      What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? I have several antagonists and the thing that infuriates me about them is their inability to ever tell me the truth.

7.      What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life? My husband means the most to me of anything in my life. I would give up money, fame, reputation, even my ability to paint if it meant not losing him.

8.      What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?  My childhood frightened me. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't identify or describe it.

9.      If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be? I would love to have a child. I want to give someone the childhood I didn't have.

      Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview. They say many books and stories are autobiographical or based in some way on the author’s life, but does it ever work the other way? For instance, how much do we as characters change your life as an author? Do you ever take on any of our characteristics, hopes, and dreams and make them your own, or wish you were more like us? 

I    I love this question. In most of my books there is an inkling (or more) of me and a bit of what I wish I could be. There are times I want more than who I am and I find that through a character I've created I begin to see things a bit differently, and (dare I say it) even more clearly than when I first began the book. I may even decide to take a particular characteristic, hope or dream, on. 

Learn more about Overtaken at:


Monday, December 8, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Matthew O. Duncan, author of The Warrior's Stone

           Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

In high school I fell in love with Theater.  Stepping out onto the stage and delivering a line that made over 200 people all laugh at once was the greatest feeling I had ever known.  An odd path for someone who was normally quiet and shy, but the theater bug had bit and I was hooked.  I chose to go to Northern Arizona University for college as it was far enough from home to be completely independent, but still a state school that wouldn't bankrupt by parent.  

My major was Theater and my goal was to hone my acting craft and take Hollywood by storm.  Then I went to my first college theater audition.  Reality checks can be a cruel friend.  Despite NAU being a small college, the talent amongst the small group of actors was overwhelmingly good.  I never felt so out of my league.  Somehow, I got a small part in that first show, but I could not see myself being successful in the face of such great talent.  And if I couldn't compete on the college level, I would never make it in Hollywood or New York.  Sadly I realized that acting was off the table, but I still loved Theater, so I stuck with it hoping I could find skill as a Director or Tech. 

Back stage during the rehearsals for that show I was in, Bill, a senior, the lead in the show, and the most talented actor I had ever met, asked me where I got the monologue I used in the audition.  I told him I had written it.  “Really?” he said, “it was good.  You should consider making it into a full play.”   

Wow!  This guy who I thought was 100 times more talented than me had just given me an unsolicited complement on something I had created.  I had dabbled in writing before, getting encouragement from family and teachers, but never thought of it as a something I had a gift for.  

The encouragement from the upperclassman who everyone looked up to was enough to keep kick start the project, but it was the words on the page that kept me going.  I fell in love with the creative aspect of the work and had a complete one act play in just a couple of weeks. Now I’m not one of those writers that says, “I write for myself and don’t care if anyone likes it.”  

To me that foolish.  It’s like a poet who only read their work in a closet so no one can hear.  So I needed to find something to do with my play.  Fortunately every year the school held a play-writing contest open to all students.  The interesting thing about it was that it was a blind competition.  A group of professors would evaluate each entry, but would not know the name of the writers, since most would be students from their classes.  My freshman year, going up against lower and upperclassman, I won.  I won a contest that was completely based on my work and was not enhanced or limited on anyone’s opinion of me.  I had found something that I was truly talented at and I loved it.  A few months I received my prize, a black-box production of my play.  To see my work come to life was better than being on stage and getting the laughs and tears myself.  A world that I had created was brought to life before my eyes... 

As time passed I kept writing on the side as a hobby and hoped I would find that inspiration to write a Broadway quality show, but as a career it was a very distant dream.  Then I met this beautiful red head named Carleesa.  

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One of the first things she told me was that she liked  a man who was as comfortable in a kilt as he was in a suit.  She loved art, theater and anything creative.  On our first date I told her my best theater and Disney stories as well as all about my plays.  She hung on every word and I got lost in the joy found in her eyes.  As you may have guessed we fell in love, got married, had two wonderful sons and…, well were still trying to live happily ever after.  Our love for each other is stronger than ever, but life has not been that easy.  
As we settled down I moved up into retail management and eventually became a store manager making a decent living.  She had a career in non-profits as a charity campaign manager.  Yet when the economy took a nose dive I got let go and couldn't find work for nearly a year, and once I did find work it only paid a quarter of what I was making.  My spirits were crushed and I was feeling very lost.  That year, when it was so bad we nearly lost our house; Carleesa never once blamed me or did anything to make me feel like I had failed in any way.  Instead, on my birthday she gave me a copy of The Writers Market.  A book I used to buy myself every year that would list all the publishers, agents and contest where you could submit writing.  She included a message that said, “No matter how bad things get, I never want you to give up on your dreams.”

Carleesa and Matt
I picked back up the pen that day.  There were a couple of ideas for plays I started, but there wasn't enough inspiration to finish them.  Yet there was an idea for a couple of sci-fi characters that I had been thinking about for a very long time, but never had a story for.  A space fighter pilot in the future meeting and falling in love with a beautiful, red headed, medieval woman who could do magic.  Giving it more thought I considered it might make a good movie, but I needed to outline a story first.  So I started writing out a short story, just so I could get it clear in my mind.  Within a week I had over 42 pages and had hardly reached what would have been scene three.  I was writing a novel and I was loving it.  

Every day I couldn't wait to get some free time to write because, like a reader, I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next.  That’s how I write.  With only a vague idea of where the story is going, I let my imagination flow out onto the page and discover it as I write.  Each day my passion for the book grew and after five months of lunch hour and late night scribing I had completed the first draft.  I presented it to my wife for her blessing.  That sounds extreme, but it is because I trust her with not just my love, but with my life.  She would never say an unkind word to me, but she would also never let me do anything that would lead to embarrassment or shame.  So as a critic she is kind, but honest.  When she read the book she told me that she loved the story and then discussed what could make it better.

One of the first lessons I learned was that I had habits of a playwright that I needed to get rid of, such as brief descriptions and relying on dialogue to tell the story.   At that point I became a student of other writers, reading classic as well as contemporary books from the best sellers list.  Studying entire series from a few authors to see how they progressed and listening to audio books to understand the pattern and timing in successful writing; all the while working on rewriting the book based on notes found on practically every page. 

It took me an additional two years and ten drafts to finish the book The Warrior’s Stone.  It is something that I am proud to put my name on and to list my Carleesa as my muse on the inside page. 

 What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I write the way people read.  The idea for a story might be a character or situation, but I never know what’s going to happen until I write it.  So my inspiration is to find out what is going to happen next.  My lease favorite part of writing is going through the work and fixing all the typos and spelling errors that my editor has pointed out.  Even though I have improved a lot, I still make a lot more mistakes than I should.  One thing that I do to catch and fix them before I show the work to anyone is to have the computer read the text.  It’s the difference between knowing what is supposed to be on the page and hearing what is really there that the eye didn't see.

      How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to 
      know them?

It depends on the story.  More often than not the main male character is an idealized version of myself.  Not who I think I am, but who I wish I could be.  The character of Roy, in the Warrior’s Stone, is brave, honest, very analytical, smart, cleaver, but also deals with deep emotional scars that make him cold and distant until he meets a woman who he can’t help but fall in love with.  

My personal narrative has some similarities, but is not nearly as dramatic or interesting as Roy’s story.  The main female character of Katreena beings with my wife, in her kindness, a need to be helpful to others and her ability to make those around her feel loved.  Yet as I develop the story, that characters take on a life of their own.  I don’t know what they are going to say or do until it happens.  As I get to the end of the book, they have evolved into something different than what I started with, so I often have to go back to the beginning and rework parts to keep them true and consistent. 

      What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

As an independent writer I don’t have the backing of a big publishing house, so I’m on my own for everything, from the book covers to the press.  So most of what I do in on the internet; Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Authors web page, participating on book blogs, doing my own blog, and posting on any site that will let me.  I also put together a couple of book trailers on YouTube, paid for some advertising on Google and Facebook (I don’t recommend) and paid for a press release.   Yet in the end the best results have been from people I gave the book to and had them read it.  So far everyone has loved it, recommended it to their friends and written great reviews on web pages like Amazon and Goodreads. 

            What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I’m finishing the rewrites and edits on book two of the New Terra Series, the sequel to the Warrior’s Stone and then will go back to book three.  I actually started both book two and three at the same time and had planned on the other one to be the second book, but about five chapters in I decided the time line worked better to have that book come third. 

Book two in the series should be out early 2015 and the third one out early 2016, so long as I can get all the rewrites and editing done.  It’s hard for me to all a book done.  I always feel like I can do better and put myself through another draft, which then requires proofing, editing and reviewing.  So we will see.

          What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe 
             he/she has enough talent?

Go to the library and check out three best selling writers in the genre that you want to write in.  Here is what you will find.  1.  They don’t use any magic words.  The most popular writers don’t write like Shakespeare.  They use everyday language they you and I do.  2.  Read the work with a critical ear.  Here is what I mean.  As you read, listen to the voice in your head and break down the pattern and sounds as if you were listening to music.  This is where you find the subtleties in successful writing.  You will find that the best writers have learned to not over use words, unless it is in dialogue that fits the character, and they string their words together to keep the reader interested, even when the story drags.  3.  Find someone you trust to read your work and give CONSTRUCTIVE feedback.  This should be someone who loves to read and cares about you enough not to discourage you from writing.  4. Keep writing.  No one ever wins their first race.


Thank you, Matthew!

Learn more about Matthew below: