Saturday, September 27, 2014

So You’re Ready to Be Published?

Josephine's Writing Advice
As a writer, I am asked all the time "how can I get my book published?"
Many people, especially on the heels of the 50 Shades book, think it's easy to write a book and get it published - especially if it's romance. Many, including my own distant family members, think I sit at home all day, pigging out on chocolate and writing writing writing. I WISH!!!
Truth is - I work forty hours a week at an accounting firm, and sometimes I work forty plus. I'm also happily married (for 25 years) to the love of my life, and I have two boys who are for the most part grown men. But as those of you with children know, they are our babies for life.  I have to squeeze in time for writing. I do so because I can't NOT write.
So if you want to know the "secret handshake", listen up: THERE ISN'T ONE
Most writers don't ever make it to the status of best seller list. Write because you love it - not as a get rich quick scheme.
Some advice:
Your Manuscript
Before you submit your work, make sure it is the cleanest version as possible! Which means:
1. It’s NOT your first draft
2. Run your program’s:
  - Spell check
  - Grammar check
 3. Have a Checklist
Once I’m done with my first draft, I go through an End of Story checklist of things I know I need to watch for:
     - Check for POV per paragraph
     - Clean up chapter headings and make consistent
     - Frequent words
4. Critique groups - There are many groups out there willing to read your work and help you polish it up.  Make sure the author is willing to read it before you send it to them and also be prepared to return the favor by critiquing their work.
5. If possible, have a Beta reader
According to Wikipedia, a Beta Reader is:
a. A non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption. Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors but can serve in that context.
b. Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterization or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.

Time to Hit the Internet – searching for the perfect publisher
Mine are:
- Crescent Moon Press – (Scorned)
- Whiskey Creek Press – (Convicted of Love & A Pirate’s Kiss)
- Wings ePress (Forever Yours)
Your search for a publisher or agent:
Each have different guidelines. FOLLOW THEM TO THE “T”.
- Genre: from romance to horror
- Word Count
- Format
Preditors and Editors
This is an excellent place to begin your search.
Develop a skin as thick as a dragon’s! 
Remember that while your manuscript is being “judged”, you as a person are not!

My Favorite Books on Writing:
1.      The Successful Novelist by David Morrell
2.      The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
3.      45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
4.      Writers Guide to Character Traits by Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D.
5.      Dialogue by Gloria Kempton
6.      Getting Started as a Freelance Writer by Robert W. Bly
Enjoy the journey!

Friday, June 13, 2014

RT Convention Wrap Up & More

RT Convention in the Big Easy

The Romantic Times was a whirlwind event that was EPIC. I made a lot of new friends, hopefully new fans and brought home tons of swag (aka goodies).

On Wednesday, May 14, we stood in line for the Goody Room and Promo Alley and went to the RT Books Reviewed Welcome Party.  I went to the Rockin Street Teams panel and hope to do a short blog on that soon.

That evening was the event sponsored by authors such as Heather Graham, Eileen Dreyer, Jade Lee, Sabrina Jeffries and more ~ Pirates, Scalawags & More: The Krewe of Notorious Scribes took over the Grand Oaks Mansion at Mardi Gras World. At the Grand Oaks Mansion, we went to each author to get their letter on our “scavenger hunt” cards before taking a tour of Mardi Gras World and then dinner.

We saw Heather along the way ...

On Thursday, May 15, we checked in for the Pub Crawl, hung around Club RT for a bit and then went to Bad Boy Bingo. While neither Meredith nor I bingo’d, the winners received a prize but also had to read “naughty sections” from various sponsoring author’s books. A cover model showed up, and from that point on, the winners elected to have him read those sections.

The other evening events included Kensington’s Karmic Carnival AND the Pub Crawl!

At the first pub, Meredith turned around and demanded that I get my camera ready, and I’m like – why. “Just do it,” she smiled. A few more steps, and wala – Charlaine Harris! At first, Meredith slipped up behind the author of the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series for a classic and hilarious photo bomb.


Then someone graciously offered to take our pictures with her.


Thus said, the evening began in high gear, and we were on a major rush from that point on. We met Christopher Rice ...

Larissa Ione ...

And many more wonderful authors, including our own Rhonda Leah.
After the pub crawl, we partook of desserts and drinks at the Samhain Saints & Sinners Party.

On Friday, May 16, we all attended the panel Some Assembly Required: The Whedonite’s Guide to Characterization (panel) and Avon’s Krewe of Muses, where we obtained books and had them signed by various authors including  Jeaniene Frost,  Kim Harrison and Kerrelyn Sparks.

Kim Harrison signing a book for Meredith ...

Jeaniene Frost signing one for me ...

That evening was Heather Graham’s Mardi Gras Magic & Mayhem, Dinner & Dance Party.  While we dined, Heather put on a dinner show and held a Costume Contest. Since I had dressed in costume, my angel patrol (Meredith and Nancy) encouraged me to enter. I knew I wouldn’t win because there were many stunning costumes, but I had fun just participating. My 15 seconds of fame in the costume contest line can be seen here It's the 3rd video from the top, and I am contestant # 38 and had a blast!

Heather and her fantastic dragon ...

Beth Ciotta ...

 Elle J Rossi standing sassy ...

Alexandra Sokoloff ...

Connie Perry and Alexandra ...

Saturday, May 17 was the Giant Book Fair. I considered my participation as a success. I sold 4 books and passed out a lot of promo items.
After the book fair, we went to a session entitled: Get Your Tiara On. Meredith, Nancy and I enjoyed a bit of down time making tiaras, sipping tea and eating cookies!

One of the last events of the day was the FAN-Tastic Day Party. Ever been to a white sale? Well, this is similar except that everyone attending was happy and polite and not one bit mean or grumpy! Authors passed out the swag (books, bookmarks, mirrors, pens, and more), and one lady from Australia took as much of my stuff as I could give her!

The last even of the RT Convention that we attended was Harlequin’s Dance Party. We didn’t stay long as we were all tired, but the room decorations and sweets were a nice treat.

For insight as to RT’s panels, workshops, etc, visit

Congratulations to the winner of my blog contest.  Cristy Cundiff won The Scorned Necklace. A huge thank you to all who signed up for my “once in a blue moon” blog!

Enjoy the demon wings!

PS - Holy halos, I'm so excited to announce that I will be at the following upcoming events this fall.  Check out their respective websites:

1. Heather Graham's Writers for New Orleans August 29 - 31
2. Anne Rice's UndeadCon Oct 30th - Nov 2nd




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

RT Convention Update

Hello from the Big Easy!

We arrived at Meredith's on Monday and spent the day getting settled in, rearranging vehicles, and catching up.

On Tuesday, I went on Heather Graham's Creepy Tour.  Our mule, Dixie, and her very knowledgeable driver picked us up at The Marriott ...

and brought us to ...

We paid respect to Marie Laveau ...

And many others.

After the cemetery, our tour guide drove us around town to various points of interest ... one being the parking lot that Nancy's car had been in at that time ...

And then after many turns, I recognized the area where Meredith's car sometimes stays.  I found this quite amusing!

Here are some interesting pictures I took along the way:

This is the Backstreet Cultural Museum ... and photobombers (and authors) Beth Ciotta and her sister, Elle J Rossi :

We arrived at The Court of Two Sister's for lunch, which has a special meaning for me as a scene from Convicted of Love takes place there.

Where I proceeded to have Crawfish Eating 101 at my end of the table. My students did very well, and one even dared to try the juices in the crawfish head.

We toured the Williams Residence museum and ended at Pat O'Brien's for a complimentary drink and a visit from a very curious neighbor ...

Thank you, Heather Graham, for a wonderful day!

Well, the hour is late, and I need some sleep.  I will post more later!

Enjoy the demon-wings!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Scorned Necklace Giveaway

Sign up for my blog by May 31st, and enter to win a necklace!


Go to my website at and follow by email.


Enjoy the demon-wings!

Josephine Templeton

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Authors Row at Jones Creek Library

Hello, fellow journey companions!
I hope you get the chance to join me and many other authors this Saturday!


    Veronica Brown, Phil Elwood, Arlene Messa writing as Anne Clayre Mason/A.C.Mason, Michael Verrett, George R. Coates, Thomas Med Hogg, Debbie Knatt Jones writing as Damaris, David Vince, Monique Moliere Piper, Catherine Plantago, David Earle, Marvin Anderson, Josephine Templeton, Adraine Conrad, Sheletta Matthews, Yvette Brunswick, India Quiett, Chrystal Ellis, Desiree Cart Dugas, Jamie Mayes, Christee Atwood, David Atwood, James Landry, Deborah Lynne, Allyn Stotz, Ava Leavell Haymon  Poet Laureate, State of Lousiaiana, Wendy S. Russo, Celeste Goodwin, Michelle Lesley, Margaret Chaney, Michelle Hirstius, Denise Dagash, Shirley McCoy,  Tonia Askins,   Khalif Birden,  Nancy S. Brandt, Steven Brandt, Bonnie Lynne, Caleb Doutrive, Lynn Shurr, Jennifer Carwile, Katie Wainwright, Leo Honeycutt, and L. A. Lewis.                     
See you there!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Cover Contest

I want to take a moment to congratulate the winners and thank everyone for voting for Scorned.  While I didn't win, it was fun to participate.  There were many beautiful covers in the running.  For a look at the winners, please visit

Enjoy the Journey!

Welcome to Josephine's Lair ...

where the Journey is the Reward