Posted in Uncategorized

Fear of Writing: Guest Blogging, Face your Fears

I had the honor of guest blogging today over at Author Christopher Kelly’s blog.  Since he was kind enough to get me access to the reclusive serial killer protagonist of his A Shadow over Vegas story, Malcolm Penn, I figured I should reciprocate.  What better to write about, than Fear.  Fear of Writing.  You can find the blog post, on his Author Meanderings Page.

To meet the reclusive Malcolm Penn, see CH’s page… if you dare.

If you missed Malcolm’s interview, you can find it on my blog at Malcolm’s Interview

In the meantime, here’s the copy of the guest blog piece for your enjoyment.

Fear of Writing

Meraki. (V) Greek.

To do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work.

This is true of many a creative type, but in my opinion, WRITER is another synonym for MERAKI.

A writer puts many hours of themselves into everything they write: blood, sweat, tears, coffee; their hopes, dreams, and fears.

Author Susan Kaye Quinn had these powerful words on the subject

“So much of writing is secretive by nature: an intimate struggle between writer and words; an internal swelling and falling of emotions, both characters alive in our minds and our own turmoil in response.

It’s no wonder that writers hold fast to each other, seeking comrades in arms against which to test our words, and to help gird for the day when those private words become public.

Publishing is an act of courage, and I applaud anyone who does it, no matter the route.”

Fear. Face your fears. Writers face them on a daily basis. Is it good enough? What happens if no one reads it (past your spouse or mom)? Does your fear dissipate if you have the confidence in writing what you wanted?

It doesn’t matter if your genre is romance, children’s or books with a serial killer protagonist (Malcolm Penn, anyone?) What matters is that you write. Every day. Good or bad put words on a page. Napkin. Matchbooks (do they even have those anymore?) Computer screen. Tablet. Laptop. WRITE. What you love. WRITE. Through your fears.

Then… Put it away. For a week. For a month. Let it marinate. Take it out again. Face your fears. Meraki.

Hand it to a neutral third party. All writing needs a second pair of eyes. An editor you trust. What’s that Malcolm? Trust no one?

Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

Until next time,

Dara Rochlin- Book Doctor

Susan Kaye Quinn, speculative fiction author, is the author of the bestselling young adult SF Mindjack Trilogy. The Dharian Affairs trilogy is her excuse to dress up in corsets and fight with swords. She also has a dark-and-gritty SF serial for ages 17+ called The Debt Collector and a middle grade fantasy called Faery Swap. She can be found at: or on Twitter at

Dara Rochlin Book Doctor, {Editor. Proofreader. Wordsmith.} wields her red pen and can be found at, on twitter at @bookdoctordara or via email at . But you knew this already since you are here!

Oh, and while  we are talking about FEAR… be sure to check out the anthology I edited with 22 authors.   SHADES OF FEAR- a charity anthology.  You won’t want to miss their fears. Stories are fears you tell yourself. You never know what might haunt you, or help you.  All proceeds go to benefit pediatric cancer research and patient care.  A worthy cause.  Kindle version out now, paperback out soon!  I promise. Buy the  KINDLE VERSION


Posted in Uncategorized

Guest Blog Post: Susan Kaye Quinn and Indie Author Survival Guide

I’m excited to have this Guest Blog Post today by Susan Kaye Quinn, author of the Indie Author Survival Guide.  Take it away, Susan!

Indie Author Survival Guide

KindleNookKoboGoodreads TBR

This book is for every author who’s thinking about indie publishing, or has already taken the leap, and wonders why no one told them about the sharks, the life-sucking social media quicksand, or the best way to avoid sales-checking, yellow-spotted fever. This is a guide for the heart as much as the head. And because I promised myself that I wouldn’t write a book about how I made a gazillion dollars publishing ebooks, I would write about the fear: owning it, overcoming it, facing it. From a person who didn’t pursue a creative life for a long time, and then discovered creativity can set you free.

Note: gazillion is a technical term, which in this case means something less than a million and more than the average income in my state.

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindajck Trilogy and Debt Collector serial and has been indie publishing since 2011. She’s not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: she’s one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. This book is a compilation of her four years of blogging through changes in the publishing industry—updated, revised, and supplemented to be relevant in 2013. It’s a guide to help her writer-friends take their own leaps into the wild (and wonderful) world of indie publishing… and not only survive, but thrive. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on twitter or check out her blog where she’ll be doing who knows what next.

Grab the Badge for your blog!


FAQ About the Guide

Q: What prompted you to write the Guide?

I resisted a long time in putting this together. I had this silly idea I was a fiction writer (which is also true), in spite of spending the last four years blogging consistently about the industry, and especially the changes wrought by indie publishing. It took the goading of several friends, over a period of time, before I realized that the blog was actually non-fiction writing (I can be excessively slow for Ph.D. engineer sometimes). The trigger for blogging the book – revising and updating old posts as well as organizing the content – was seeing writer friend after writer friend take the leap, often after reading something I had posted. And I realized there wasn’t a book out there that addressed the fears as well as the nuts-and-bolts about going indie. I could have just left the Guide on my rinky-dink blog, but I knew the power of Amazon (and other retailers) to connect people to books, and I figured it would help more people this way.

Q: Why should I read a book about indie publishing by Susan Kaye Quinn? I’m pretty sure she’s not a NY Times Bestseller.

I’m not an indie rockstar. I haven’t made the news as one of those “exceptional” breakout indie authors. I’m a solidly midlist indie author, which means I make a living off my works. I’m one of thousands of invisible indie midlist authors who, I believe, are the core of indie publishing, and why it’s changing the industry. The rockstars of indie publishing can inspire and lead, they can use their leverage to break barriers, but they can’t transform the industry on their own. The true change has to come, as it always has, from the grass-roots. I’m part of that grass-roots movement.

Q: Will this Guide help me get rich quick from ebooks?


Q: Will this Guide help me decide if indie publishing is right for me?


Q: What if I’m afraid?

We’re all afraid. Fear is an integral part of being vulnerable in the world by daring to do brave things. Fear stops many people from becoming the full expression of who they are. I won’t tell you not to be afraid in this book – I’ll help you see the fear for what it is, manage it, and not let it stop you from reaching for the amazing things you have ahead of you.

Q: What if I don’t have the first clue how to start with self-publishing?

The Guide is designed to take a first-time-publishing author from the decision to go indie through to writing that second book (and starting the whole process over again). It’s also designed to help indie authors who have already published, but are struggling: either with keeping perspective for the long-term, trying to scale up their businesses from the first book, or just trying not to drown in social media quicksand. My hope is that all my indie author friends will find something worthwhile in it, or pass it on to someone who will. The culture in indie publishing of sharing information is part of what inspired this book in the first place.

Dara’s PS: I’m listed in the appendix for book editors.  — (shameless plug)

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling young adult SF Mindjack Trilogy. The just-released Debt Collector series is her more grown-up SF, meant for ages 17+.  You can reach her the old-fashioned way: susankayequinn (at) comcast (dot) net.

Thanks Susan for guest blogging for me today!