Wednesday, December 28, 2016


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

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, and have always loved the opportunity to dive into new worlds and discover new ideas. I’ve always wanted to write, but decided I was incapable when I attempted some fanfiction at the age of eleven. It did not go well, and I stopped writing altogether. That finally changed after I had my second baby and realized I needed something else in my life, something that I could be passionate about. I picked up the pen (or the keyboard) and never looked back.

Ultimately, I started writing because I’d achieved my goal of becoming a mother and realized there was more that I wanted. I loved my kids but I felt empty and needed something for me. Writing allows me to explore ideas and concepts that I may not be able to explore otherwise; it allows me to connect and interact with people on a level different than most experience. That’s why I started and why I keep going. 

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

I do not have a set schedule for my writing and I wish I did. I usually write when my older kids are at school or at night after they’re all in bed. My perfect world has me sitting at my computer at 9:00 each morning, writing for a solid three hours. This never happens, and that’s okay. However, I’ve heard some authors say to guard your writing time, and they’re right. I would get a lot more done if I did.

3.     How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I have my computer set up in my bedroom and I write there as often as I can. Sometimes I write on my iPad. I save everything to Google Drive so I can access it from both devices.
     What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is writing! When I sit down to the computer and the words just flow it feels like magic. I love seeing the characters and worlds take shape beneath my fingers. I love visualizing and experiencing the entire thing open up in my mind’s eye before it’s committed to paper. I love to sit back, close my eyes, and put myself in my characters shoes, to feel the world through their emotions and thoughts. It’s incredible.

My least favorite part about writing is editing. I do not like it. I don’t like tearing my books apart. I get stuck when I have to make major changes to novels and usually end up convinced that I can’t write at all. I’ve gotten smart though. I have a small team I work with. We go back and forth on each other’s work and support one another in finding all the holes and filling them in. It’s very helpful. I highly recommend it.

5.     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Where Shadows Dwell was a story that just evolved over the years. It started out one way and became entirely new by the time I completed it. I can’t really say how I came up with that one other than it just came bits and pieces at a time. Ultimately I wrote the book in five months, but then I spent years rewriting it. I probably wrote that one book five to ten times, and it became a new book each time. 

My other books have come differently. I’ve had storylines come in dreams. They show up when I’m showering or driving. I’ve been inspired by work I did in high school, and have created entire worlds out of small stories that went nowhere 15 years ago. Inspiration strikes when it strikes. I always write it down when I get a new idea because I never know if I’ll use it later (and I always want to use it later).

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

The marketing has been an interesting world to dive into. I’ve dabbled in social media, done some blog tours, word of mouth, book blasts, etc. I’m honestly finding the best way of marketing is just truly connecting with people, networking, creating relationships, and genuinely sharing who you are as a person and why you do what you do.

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

I am currently working on the first book in a fantasy trilogy. The book is titled The Dark of Letum, and it dives into the power of the mind, and what you create by the choices you make.

A few years ago I went through severe postpartum depression, and I felt like I couldn’t escape the darkness surrounding me; my world literally felt black.  But I learned and discovered so much inside that darkness. The Dark of Letum was born from those experiences. It’s a story of hope and personal power. It shows that no matter how dark or painful life gets there is always another way, another choice, another option. It explores the themes of dark vs. light, heaven vs. hell, good vs. evil. It was written to parallel a lot of different aspects of this life. Currently it’s in the editing phase, and I hope to see it released next year.

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

I have a couple of projects on the back burner. The first is a sequel of sorts to Where Shadows Dwell. Sequel is the wrong word because it doesn’t involve the same characters, but it is the story of different characters inside the same family.

I also have a romantic drama type story of a girl who can heal the world using her song. But the gift is conditional; every time she uses it to heal, she lets go of part of her own life. Ultimately she knows she will be sacrificing herself for others, and much of the book explores what it looks like to grapple with a choice like that. I already love this story, and it’s only half finished.

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

I would tell them that talent is created. Just like a musician spends hours a day practicing to perfect his craft, so must a writer. Most of us aren’t born with perfect writing skills. We simply have a passion for something that draws us forward and won’t let us quit.

Allow yourself to make mistakes. Mess things up. Write terrible words and let it be okay because eventually magic will follow. I promise you there will be times when you are convinced you’re the worst writer ever and all of your work should be burned, but there will also be times when you look back at your work and you’re amazed at what you wrote, at the words that you immortalized on paper.  Talent is built over time, so just keep writing. Never stop.


     Here’s a question I would like answered: I see many authors that publish six or seven books in a year, and I can’t figure out how they’re doing it. Do they have editors going over every book? Are they writing a book a month and skipping editing? I would love to put out five books a year, and I can’t help wondering if I would be sacrificing quality to make that happen. I would love your input on this one.

I    I went to a writing conference this past summer where an author spoke about doing just that. And then I found out she had no children, wrote shorter than the average book, wrote all day, and had an editor that would jump right in and edit whenever she needed it. She didn't work a day job either. She was able to stay home and write 24/7. So, I think you need to look at the entire picture.
     For me, I have a house to run, grandchildren to tend, a home business to run, and so forth. I put out roughly two books a year, and that works for me. As much as I love to write, I also enjoy doing other things.

     I suppose other folks may just be a bit more organized than I am, need less editing perhaps, or have ideas flowing non-stop inside their brain, but I am more inclined to think that their particular life situation has more to do with what they can put out per year than anything else.


Learn more about Julianne:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Using Gift Cards for the Books You Love!

It's that time again!

You're back home - alone - holding a stack of gifts cards. What, pray, shall you buy?

I don't know about you, but I LOVE getting gift cards!

Use your redemption dollars and redeem them for one or more of my books! 

Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones (The Parables of Virginia Bean Book 1)The Feast: A Parable of the Ring (The Parables of Virginia Bean Book 2)The Gift: A Parable of the Key (The Parables of Virginia Bean Book 3)

Scrambled (A Susan Cramer Mystery Book 1)Sunny Side-Up (A Susan Cramer Mystery Book 2)Hard Boiled (A Susan Cramer Mystery Book 3)

Living in the Light (Heaven 24/7 Book 1)A River of StonesConquering Your Goliaths Guidebook by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones (2012-02-03)

Click here to see all books listed above!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


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

I am a licensed clinical counselor and certified addiction professional in Florida and Ohio. I have more than twenty years of experience counseling in the fields of mental health and substance abuse. I have worked in multiple settings, including home-based crisis stabilization, private and nonprofit organizations, and private practice. I have presented at both local and national conferences addressing mental health and substance abuse, and their impact on communities.

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

I allow the creative process to evolve as it sees fit.   However, I will always take time to transcribe or record my thoughts as they come to the surface.  It is my belief that these sporadic flashes of creative thought will become the anchor to which other ideas will flow.   

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?  

I typically write at home on my laptop.  This allows me to create the environment I need to be the most creative. For me, the creative “juices” begin to flow when I am surrounded by the energy of Christmas- the smell of pine, music of the season etc..

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
For me the favorite part of writing for me is simply, the process – I really can’t speak to the least favorite part of writing. 

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?  

The book idea came to me when I was first working with adolescence and their families when I was an emergency home-based counselor in Toledo, Ohio.  I actually started writing the book when I was about 25 year old.  So, the book in reality, took about 25 plus years as a result of my own Humbug messages.  

Humbug messages are those thoughts that prevent us from fulfilling our dreams.  These messages tell us, I am not smart enough, not pretty enough, not deserving and much, much more.

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

In regards to the types of marketing I have done to promote the book I actively used social media – Facebook, Instagram and twitter.  I have also have participated in a local radio interviews as well as a Blog  interview.

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

Currently I am working on a revised edition of Humbug to Happiness.

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

Ironically, I would tell a beginning writer to read Humbug to Happiness – Breaking the Chains of the Past.  It is my contention that, when we sit any thoughts that prevent us from achieving our goals we are being shackled by Humbug thoughts. 


A Question for Me: 

As a self-published author, platforms for marketing are very limited.  What could you suggest to a new author who has limited time to market their self-published work and is struggling with finding avenues to promote their work?

Great question! An author can't do everything unless they want to hire it out, and so I suggest choosing those things that will bring the greatest success. 

Because many authors don't know what those things are I have also, ironically, created a marketing book of ideas - along with links to places that will help them market their book for free.

My greatest success has come from reviews, blogging. social media and book signings at out-of-the-way places. Yours may be book trailers, author interviews like this one, contests, and book release parties, but you won't know what works and what doesn't for you unless you are willing to try a few things.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Personal Change of a Great Book

It's that time of year again, when a great book, read near a roaring fire, can change your life forever.

I have read many such books through the years.

The list includes:

Aspire by Kevin Ball
The Dream Giver by Wilkinson
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

All of Max Lucado's picture books for children

and more...

The list grows every year. 

What books to remember would you place on your list?

The Parables of Virginia Bean (3 Book Series) by  Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
Get the entire series at
As an author, we'd like to think we are on a list or two somewhere. That's why we write. To bring enjoyment. To change lives.

If we're smart, we'll listen to those who have read our books, especially those readers who tell us that our books have changed them. 

Here are a few remembrances from my Parable series:

"It was really fascinating. I definitely took something away from reading this. This is a book I will keep on my nook for future reference!"  (Conquering Your Goliaths: A Parable of the Five Stones)

"For me, Conquering Your Goliaths was a journey of self discovery. I found myself writing down things she said and pondering what it meant to me. Was I truly listening to God? Was I fully trusting Him? Through the weaving of the story by Jones and the voice of Nancy Peterson, this book came alive! What an amazing book! I can't wait to listen to the rest of the series."

"...lessons to be learned in The Feast, that can and should be shared with friends and family. A gentle read that I enjoyed very much."

"There are different challenges in the main character's way, as if he were testing them to see if they were true believers in him.I was inspired by this book" (The Feast: A Parable of the Ring)

"You’ll be spiritually enlightened!" (The Gift: A Parable of the Key)

"The Gift is a story about a family learning to trust in God and each other."

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year!


Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Getting Close to Christmas!

The excitment of Christmas is growing!

How are you feeling about now?




Making time to write?

I hope so. Writing, for me, is a sort of therapy anyway -- one I especially need during the holidays. I have been working on my first YA mystery novel and am up to page 70 or so.

New projects, especially trying out new genres, is pretty exciting, and I hope to get Tie Died out to my younger readers in the fall of next year.

Merry Christmas and, as always

Happy Writing!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Melissa Wardwell

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

My writing journey started in a local sports bar. I was meeting with a high school friend who had just spent a decade away from Michigan. She has a literary major and is an aspiring author herself. I told her of an idea that kept coming to mind while I drove past a tattered barn twice a week. She was so intrigued that she threatened a breakup in our friendship if I didn’t write it. That was the birth of my first novel “What God Brings Together”.

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

I write whenever I can. I homeschool our three children as well as babysit and care for my grandmother. If I have a day free of all obligations except for my children, I write. Sadly, that doesn’t happen as often as I would like.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?  

If I write at home, it is in a corner in my living room. If I go on location, i.e. a local coffee shop, I take my laptop or my Samsung tablet. I would rather write on location as I have limited distraction from the husband, kids, and dogs.

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

My favorite part of writing is seeing stories that I have had floating around in my head for years come to life. My least is when I have more ideas and have no time to write them. At least now I have a writing journal to keep track of things in.  

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book? 

My first book only took me 3 months to write and publish whereas the other took me 9 months. I liken it to pregnancy and child birth. There are times of joy and times of pain, but in the end, I have a beautiful story that touches reader’s hearts as well as my own.
My ideas are random. There have been a couple of times I have read a book or watched a movie and thought, “I can put my own spin on that.”

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

At first, I “spammed” Facebook reader groups. Now that I have 4 books under my belt, I only advertise on my blog, groups, twitter, and the occasional blog stop. My books are a part of a ministry. If I make money, that is fantastic. If not, I am okay with that. My writing is a labor of love.

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

I am currently working on 2, yes 2, new stories. One I will be publishing on my own. That one is the third book in the Promises from Above series. It is called “I Know the Plans”. I am also working on a novella that will published by CelebrateLit.

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

I have many books on the back burner right now. I have been plotting a series called “War Widows” that tells the story of three generations of women who marry into a cursed family. Due to the importance of the timelines, it has taken time to make sure things are accurate.

On top of this, a new series is beginning to take place in the corners of my mind. The novella I am writing for CelebrateLit has sparked a new novel to be joined with my book “Finding Hope in Savannah” which in turn will make that book part of a series like my readers have wanted.

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

First, just write your story. Picture it in your mind. Faces, places, events. Make notes on what you see. Listen to the ques that happen around you. I like to say, “You know you’re a writer when just a trip to the grocery store can spark an entire novel.”

Second, find a good editor. I make mine work hard. lol. I can tell a story, but my grammar and punctuation is terrible. My first drafts come back to me looking like a Christmas tree. Instead of ornaments, it is full of suggestions, rule reminders, and questions. I love my editor though.

Third, listen to your heart and then stick with it. If any suggestion by beta readers pulls away from that story, ignore it.

A Question for Me:

What is your biggest fear in writing?

Wow. Never been asked this one before; it took some thought just to find an answer. But it came. I think the biggest fear I have in writing is that my books will never be as perfect as I would like them to be. No matter how many re-writes, how many edits, how many beta readers I get, I still manage to put out a less than perfect piece.

Yes, I am a perfectionist. But I am also a realist. 

Nothing is ever - perfect. It may come close, but there is always something you wished had been different; especially if you go back through a book written, say, two years ago. 

I realize that, like most authors, I am continually learning and with that learning comes improvement. I need to put out my best work, whatever that is, and continually strive at improvement. 

That thing called perfection comes in the next life.


Melissa resides in a small mid-Michigan farm community with her husband and three children, all of whom they home school. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, taking photos, and motorcycle rides with her husband.  Her hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life.

Melissa Wardwell

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Scrambled: Soon to be on audio!

Good news!

Scrambled, the first book in the Susan Cramer Mystery series, will be out very soon in audio! Lauren Holladay, my narrator for this book, has been working hard to get it completed before Christmas and we're almost there!

If you haven't begun Scrambled yet because you're not a reader type, or you simply don't have the time to sit and read and would prefer listening in on my mystery series, it's about that time to get the audio of Scrambled.

Soon to be released on

I'll let you know when the audio is released!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

FRIDAY FLICKS: Senior Center Signing! New Book Trailer!

Date: December 9th and 10th

Time: 9-4

Place: Kearns Senior Center
    4851 W. 4715 S.
Kearns, Utah

I will have all of my books there other than my marketing book which has sold out for this year. Plan on an updated Marketing Your Book on a Budget in January of 2017!

The Parables of Virginia Bean (3 Book Series) by  Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Book Signing Tomorrow and Saturday!

For those of you searching for a great book to give this Christmas, you'll want to stop by my table at the Christmas Boutique Friday and Saturday!

Date: December 9th and 10th

Time: 9-4

Place: Kearns Senior Center
           4851 W. 4715 S.
           Kearns, Utah

I will have all of my books there other than my marketing book which has sold out for this year. Plan on an updated Marketing Your Book on a Budget in January of 2017!

A couple of things you'll want to know before you come.

First, the Parable series will be on sale for $25 for the set of three books.

The Parables of Virginia Bean (3 Book Series) by  Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Second, the Susan Cramer Mystery series, currently a set of three, will also be $25.

Scrambled (A Susan Cramer Mystery Book 1)

Sunny Side-Up (A Susan Cramer Mystery Book 2)

Hard Boiled (A Susan Cramer Mystery Book 3)

Buy a single book for only $10!

Come and get an autographed copy and ask me about my new mystery series for teens that will be coming out beginning the fall of 2017.

This is my LAST book signing until the new year, so now is the time to get your signed copy!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Chester Bentley from The Last Treasure of Ancient England

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

I live in Plymouth, in a quiet part of town overlooking the sea and surrounded by greenery, for which I am eternally grateful. I am average build and not butch but have ample strength in my limbs. I’m lucky in that I rarely have to brush my hair, it seems to behave itself all on its own, pulled back as it is. I don’t know what I want to do in the future but I do know I want to use my time in this world wisely and to feel I have been a positive presence for those I have around me. I like to make people smile, but sadly humour is not my calling in life. I am filled with an intense desire to do something with my life, but what that is I have not yet discovered.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Take the dog for a walk in the woods along the stream. Play rugby and watch films with friends. I know I should read more often but as soon as I finish a page my memory goes blank, I think it’s because I am easily distracted and given to daydreaming. One day I’ll get into reading, I know it’s important.

What is your favorite color and why?

Probably green… for cars and the landscape.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Again, no firm favourite. I am discovering that I like all types of food as long as they are prepared with care and attention. But if it were a last meal then it would probably have to be my gran’s roast.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I always find myself having to answer people when they say my name and then add the obvious clarification, “Bentley?” they’ll say, and then follow it with, “As is in the motor cars?” And I can’t help myself, “No,” I’ll quickly reply, “as in the sandwich toasters.”

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?

The simple fact that he wants to cause unprovoked harm, when there no reason to hate the world around him.

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?

Family, obviously, but if it is a ‘something’ then a sense of modest justice in the world. I am calm by nature but I cannot stand by and allow an innocent to go to slaughter, I just can’t. At that moment I stop being my normal self and become irrational and defiant, whatever the personal cost. I know it’s not sensible and don’t know from where this feeling comes but it is irrepressible.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I have a gift for serendipity, it is an odd talent and I try not to let anyone know. My new friends have discovered this about me but strangely none of them have asked me where it comes from. I know how it started and what must be causing it, but I won’t say anything until one of them confronts me about it; I don’t like lying to friends.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

“Steer me away from trouble, I just want to get through the rest of my schooling without upsetting my parents any further.”


Question for Kathryn:

“What sort of adventure would you have me embark on, now that you know my character and abilities?”

Is there a romance in your future? Something about eating dinner with your girl at gran's and having your favorite food - only this is your first date and so you drop a piece of roast on your pants. No one notices, and you struggle with what to do about it. 


Learn more about Chester and his creatiors: