Category Archives: Writing

My Latest Project – A Writer’s Guide

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My Most Recent Project

A Writer’s Guide – Volume One

Working as an author consultant puts me in the position of helping many writers discover their author brand. It is typically the first exercise we address because knowing your brand enables you to create a comprehensive author platform that will work for you – a good platform will serve as your base where all of your efforts begin. It will successfully promote your talent and product. An author’s platform must be developed first – before the details of the packaging- before the creation of the content – before the writing of the book. An author’s platform is ann essential key to their success.

Defining your brand is the first step for any author or writer.

Setting up your author platform properly is crucial, and understanding your brand helps you do it right.

I follow the same process every time I approach author branding, and it works!

I am creating this guide to make the process of branding easy and fun.The results will be awesome for creating or improving your platform and growing your network.

Completing this workbook will help you to:

  1. Improve your platform or begin creating a brand-new one.
  2. Grow your network.
  3. Create exciting new content.
  4. Effectively market your books.
  5. And … set some new writing goals.

Who Needs This Workbook?

This workbook is for all writers who are ready to start their blog or website and it has tons to offer those who have already established their platforms.

  • The exercises in this writer’s manual are simple to follow. When you’re done with them all, you will have a refined view of your brand and all that it has to offer.
  • When you’re done with them all, you will have a refined view of your brand and all that it has to offer.
  • You will also have crucial information that can help you rapidly grow your network and market your books or products.

I Need Your Help!

  • I am looking for some people to join my launch team. There will be some awesome prizes!
  • I am hoping for some early reviewers that can help me make sure this workbook is perfect!
  • I would like to organize a blog tour. I will be contacting some of you in the near future, or you can contact me if you’re interested in hosting the tour – I’m launching the last week of July! I’m also happy to accept guest posts on my blog if you’re interested.
  • Any input or feedback you have to offer would be much appreciated.

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I am so thankful for anyone who’s willing to participate in whatever way they can. So please, contact me if you’re interested.

If you have any tips or advice for me at all, I’d love to hear that too! 🙂

Thank You!

Cover Reveal

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A Work in Progress:

I’m in the throes of a rewrite of the first draft of my new book. It is just a blast to have the opportunity to get all of the knowledge I’ve amassed under one title. It’s a go-to guide that will help writers represent their work with stunning visual graphics they create themselves.

I am blogging about my process to get some insight from those of you out there on what your main concerns are and to make sure I miss nothing that will aid you in creating all your own graphics just like a professional designer.

Cover Reveal!

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It’s a work in progress and I plan to have it launched by spring at the latest. I’ll be offering it for free at first as a thank you to all of you who give me feedback throughout the writing process.

What’s Inside:

I have crammed everything you need to know to create stunning graphics and award-winning book covers within the pages of this illustrated book. This is a go-to resource for you as an author looking for graphics that not only compliment your brand but sell your brand and your product. There are secrets within these pages that other designers will cringe to know I’m revealing to you. But I think you deserve to know because you can do it yourself, and I want to help you.

Inside you will find helpful links to tons of resources. Not only will it have links to things like where to get the best images for the best price, but links to video tutorials and templates for the graphics you’re looking to create.

I’m excited because this book is a no-nonsense approach to getting you the skills you need as quickly as possible so you can start thinking like a designer. The material covered here will have you designing like a pro as soon as the first day.

What You Can Help Me With:

  • I could use your input on what types of tutorials you’d like to see and what your expectations would be if you sat down to read this book. Any input or feedback you have to offer would be much appreciated.
  • I’m also assembling a launch team and appreciate anyone who’s willing to participate in whatever way they can. Leave a comment if you’re interested.
  • If you have any tips or advice for me at all, I’d love to hear that too!

Fantastic Future Plans:

My future plans have me on the edge of my seat. I’m producing presentations and will be undertaking a tour of speaking engagements across the country after the book launch. I’m actively pursuing sponsorship to fund my adventure. My goal is to help indie authors compete with the big publishers by providing them the skills to create their own winning marketing graphics and brand graphics for their platforms.

  • If there are any public speakers out there reading, I could use some mentoring in this department.
  • Any advice at all would be appreciated

Short Form Tale In Response To: Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

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The neighbor boy called and she left the house in a hurry to ride bikes around the neighborhood. She felt a nagging in the back of her mind the instant she saw his face that this would be the last time she spent time with him. She shook her head when the idea came to her, thinking she was weird. She peddled hard and raced him to the end of the lane and passing an elegant but rundown place that almost looked like a plantation house. She immediately sensed something dark lurking there and turned away. It was all she could seem to conjure in her mind since she saw the hand the night before. This place was taking a toll on her imagination and she hated the creeps it gave her.

She was certain after only a short part of the day had passed that she really didn’t like the boy much. At her age she was equipped enough to know a little about character and make a fairly clear judgement on his. He was demanding and rude, wanting everything his way. Penelope was clever and could turn most of their disagreements in her favor. It made him slightly short-tempered and he would decide he wanted to do something else almost immediately. But she remained friendly toward him despite his behavior because of the dull nagging.

They stopped into his house for lunch made by his mother. It was a nice gesture on her part and Penelope could tell that she spoiled him. They ate in his room where her suspicion of spoiling was confirmed. He must have had all the latest toys, she surmised, as she scanned the room. He even had an old Weeble Wobble, something you punched in the face and it would pop back up from the floor to punch again because of the way it was balanced on a round bottom. He had already gotten upset about something and stomped out of the room before they had finished their lunch. She could hear him complaining to his mother.

Like a child he ran to his mother , she didn’t really even know what had made him upset until she heard his whiny voice complaining about his sandwich. She was about thoroughly disgusted with him at this point. But the nagging was there, reminding her to play nice, like she owed it to him. She was starting to wonder if she was going crazy, the world was just turning upside down with all of the recent events and the ideas that were running through her mind just weren’t normal. She had to actually try to come off as a regular girl, not that it mattered to this spoiled boy she was somehow compelled to be around today.

When he stomped back into the room he was short of breath. It was then that she decided she would just let him win because she strangely believed that today was his last and final day. This made her feel bad for him, whether it was true or not, it had set her mood. She sensed that he somehow saw his coming demise and decided that his attitude stemmed from the knowing, it made it easier for her to put up with him. They played video games for the rest of the afternoon and it surprised her that she had managed to stay around him that long. She noticed his anxiety creeping in toward the end of the day and wondered if he was tuned in to what she was feeling and thinking. Whatever the case she felt it was her responsibility to be with him today, up until he no longer allowed it she had decided.

His name was Adam, and it was bouncing from side to side in her mind now that she thought of it, leaving a trailing echo as it went. She noticed how his mouth twisted a little when he dropped to the beanbag chair and grabbed for his game controller. She wondered what he thought about right now in this moment, if he knew that it was precious time he was wasting. If today truly was to be his last day, what were to be the last of his thoughts. Considering him this way, just as a boy, a regular boy, pulled her into a sad and sympathetic place. She didn’t really know him, know what he liked, what caused him pain, what brought him joy. She felt like a heel for her earlier thoughts and held on to this communion she now found herself in.

She felt so awkward. Why was she here and thinking these things? Why did she have to start getting weird all of a sudden? Why was she seeing ghosts and what was this new-found fascination with death? None of it made any sense to her and none of the experiences she was having were pleasant. She wished hard for these things to go away, but the universe had a gift to give and she doubted she could stop it. It felt mostly bad, except for right now, hanging out with Adam.

Even though he was not someone she could easily get along with, she felt closer to him than any other friend she had ever made, whether she liked him or not. It was because she felt like she had crawled inside him, she was occupying that space and was becoming privy to his thoughts and feelings. She was getting to know him better than she had known anyone before and it was sincerity that she felt for him through this connection, tinged with hope for what he would find after death took hold of him. It was strange to say the least, but that was all just crazy thinking, she surely had to be making it all up. She had spent her day and couldn’t escape the grip of where her thoughts had led her, and were leading her still.

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Published by: M.R. Goodhew

Michelle Rene has been involved in the publishing industry for over twenty years as an author, designer, and illustrator. She is an Indie Author Advocate who volunteers her time to give back to the Indie Author Community by offering her design services four times a year, free of charge.

As an author of nonfiction, Michelle Rene writes books that serve to assist the independent author in developing their platform, discovering their brand, and creating the right look that will draw readers to them. She discusses how to navigate social media and addresses marketing tactics. For the author who sets up their web presence independently and does not wish to hire a designer, her books offer a wealth of start-up information, graphic design templates, and give crucial insight to the designers thought process which assists in the creation and design of the author’s platform.

Michelle Rene also writes fiction which falls under several genres, including: Fantasy, Drama, Young-Adult Fiction, Mystery, and Thriller. She is currently working on a series of novels whose main theme involves the mysteries of death and the afterlife.

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My Short Form Fiction In Response To: Wednesday’s Visual Writing Prompt

The foliage hung there, wet and rancid, rotting the log it clung to. Nothing could outlast the grip of the swamp, it would devour everything it touched sooner or later. Anne Alice admired the darkness that concealed small places and the water that would wet her shoes everywhere she walked about. The swamp smelled of moss and decay that suited her morbid personality. She was a courageous eight year old who was rare to fright. She never mourned for the sun, on summer days it showed itself at the brink of morning and she avoided the added heat it brought at all costs.

The swamp was her dreary playground where she dreamed up monsters and played out stories she’d stolen from her mother’s book shelf. A murderous plot made for a fun afternoon when the snails where the enemy and her bare feet were the victims. She’d often wander out to the bogs or to the shack across the stream to visit with her uncle Greg. He was fond of ghosts and had endless tales to tell her. She fantasized what it would be like to come upon a ghost in the dimly lit swamp. How amazed and curious she would be in the fading light, she thought she would be sure to chase it down and force it to answer a barrage of ridiculous questions.

The property where she lived was deep within the murky swamp. She could imagine ghosts out on the bogs, especially with reports over the years of all the people who’d gone missing. She let her thoughts drift to the stories of the lost and looked about for a place that would easily conceal a dead body, and there were many.

Dinner was not far off and her stomach reminded her with a deep growl. They ate chili with cornbread which wasn’t one of her favorites. The chili was bland and the cornbread was dry, but she devoured it thankfully. Her parents largely ignored her presence and each-others as well. It was a typical evening and she was used to the silence. She did her chores with little enthusiasm but tried to remember that helping others and giving were what her father called “two of the best darn traits a person could practice”.

Nights in the swamp seemed to drag on forever since Anne Alice’s parents had restricted her from video games, something about them rotting her mind. So she made the time pass by sneaking books from her mothers bookshelf. It was exciting because her mother had forbidden her to take books from the top shelf, and it was always the top shelf she chose from. She was reading a book called Frankenstein and couldn’t take her eyes from its pages. She fell asleep with her flashlight still lit and the story still playing out in her mind. The night was eerily quiet and the flashlight shone dimly into the corner of her room, blocked out for just a moment by a darkness that crossed the beam. She slept soundly, unaware of who’d come calling.

The shadow moved in silence, creeping close to where Anne Alice slept. It drifted eerily from side to side creating a chill where it lingered. The ray of the flashlight bobbed steadily up and down to Anne Alice’s breathing, almost touching the patch of darkness that had worked its way to the front of the bed. She wriggled under the blankets, her face scrunched in discomfort, she rolled to her other side. The shadow drew nearer still, bending over her tiny body in a smothering fashion.

There was no telling what it came for or what it had in mind for Anne Alice. The creature clung so close as if to consume her very breath. She shivered slightly against the cold and brought the blankets up close to her face. There was a clicking and turn of the door and the air rushed back out of the room into the hallway. The shadow was sucked toward the door with a force and made quickly for escape. Anne Alice’s mother entered the room and found her breath stole away. The feeling lasted only a moment when a movement from across the room had caught her eye. She shrugged it off to her tired mind playing tricks on her and so the shadow was away without much notice.

Across the swamp toward the not-so-far-off bogs it retreated. The mist didn’t stir in its passing but clung low to the watery ground. The moon shone down lighting up the low-lying fog and gave the swamp an unnerving look of gloom. The shadow soaked in the uncomfortable night and grew even darker. It clung closely to the long overgrown path that led to its dreadful residence within the bogs. The air was thick with melancholy and it slowed its forward momentum to a crawl. Weaving slowly in and out of the trees, making for a blackened stretch peat that smelled strongly of lingering decay. Into its murky depths the shadow stopped to stare. In this lonely isolated patch of the bog, within the darkness of the standing water it lay sheltered by the rotting peat. The shadow gazed upon the tiny mummified face of the little girl it once had been. A deep consuming sorrow enveloped the shadow as it looked upon the small body of her six-year-old self. The body shone, reflecting the glances of the full moon between the layers of the clinging mist. Almost aglow in the depths of the water, she resembled a long forgotten doll. If she had the means to cry, her tears would shed for the tragic truth of her fate and might never stop flowing.

In the purgatory of this place her spirit had wandered for years. The man who had abducted her was long since gone. There would be no reckoning for the evils he’d put upon her. What she longed for most was her family who had once kept her safe and warm. And by the grace of all that was good, she might have finally found someone who would acknowledge her existence and get her back where she belonged. Back in the room she had found the young girl, the sleeping Anne Alice, a girl who might hear her plea and take up the quest to find her remains. It was this curious girl who might finally return her weary spirit home. So now she would haunt her without rest in hopes of her rescue.

Again Anne Alice stirred in her bed, dreaming of a little girl who’d come to play with her in the swamp. She smiled in her sleep, she somehow knew she would not adventure alone in the days to come.


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MichelleRene004Published by: M.R. Goodhew

Michelle Rene has been involved in the publishing industry for over twenty years as an author, designer, and illustrator. She is an Indie Author Advocate who volunteers her time to give back to the Indie Author Community by offering her design services four times a year, free of charge.

As an author of nonfiction, Michelle Rene writes books that serve to assist the independent author in developing their platform, discovering their brand, and creating the right look that will draw readers to them. She discusses how to navigate social media and addresses marketing tactics. For the author who sets up their web presence independently and does not wish to hire a designer, her books offer a wealth of start-up information, graphic design templates, and give crucial insight to the designers thought process which assists in the creation and design of the author’s platform.

Michelle Rene also writes fiction which falls under several genres, including: Fantasy, Drama, Young-Adult Fiction, Mystery, and Thriller. She is currently working on a series of novels whose main theme involves the mysteries of death and the afterlife.


 

My Short Form Fiction In Response To: Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

John sat in his ragged red leather recliner, half leaning on the bulge that was now his stomach. He longed to write. He thought about the prospect day-in and day-out but reluctance kept his pen from the page, a reluctance no person on the earth would ever understand.

His hand rested uncomfortably on the journal at his knee and his fingers shook only slightly, but uncontrollably. He wanted, needed so badly to put these words to paper. Not just any words would do, they had to be perfect. It was a fact he could not escape from, no matter how much writing advice had told him otherwise. “First drafts were always crap!” they had said. But not for John, each letter was a special etching of magic, each word was the incantation of a spell.

He could feel the sweat began to bead on his brow and a wave of that heat rush quickly over him. The pen touched the paper and the black ink rolled barely a millimeter in a zigzag fashion. John’s intake of breath was sharp and the moment seemed to freeze in time. His hand was steady now, his eyes alert, the sweat rolling down his temples slowed only by his graying hair.

It had been years since he wrote last. So many long years now. The worn edges of the journal gently brushed the palm of his left hand. He held the journal open, the stain of the paper calling to him. He could still taste the tang of the warm blood filling his mouth from the last time he had been so inspired. Sometimes he could hear the faint sound of those footsteps just behind him.

Pushing the thought to the back of his mind, he traced the new tale over and over. This time would be different, the best he could manage. This was the big-ticket, a real win for a worn out framer who couldn’t walk walls let alone stand them the way that he used to. Just a stumble over fifty, this was his chance to write his life new, to pull out all the stops, to make things good again. It had to be perfect. The cramp in his right hand reminded him how long he’d been gripping the pen. The dent in his forefinger painful, he spun the thing just enough to change his grip.

Clenching his teeth he let the first line flow like he had memorized. Word for word it spilled out, setting the scene. The old wood floors creaked in response and he rocked his feet to the rhythm. His pace did not slow, the words flowed perfectly as he had planned.

A waft of stale cigarettes reached him and he lifted his head to see the white linen curtains billowing slightly in the breeze from the open window. The salt air was a welcome replacement. The floor rolled beneath him and the walls buckled with a snap. The place was settling into its new layout, cool and open. Through the linen on the back french doors he could make out the rise and fall of the hills of sand that led to the beach. The sound of the crashing waves came to greet him. His old recliner shifted comfortably with the new heartbeat of the house. He lifted the pen only for a moment to take in the scene.

This was it, it was happening, his heart skipped loudly against his chest. He could feel the weight of his aging body and so set back to writing. With each word he wrote away the aches and pains that four decades had wrought upon his body. A softness moved upon his skin and the corners of the paper scraped against his fading callused hands. His lungs drank deep of the fresh wind wafting up from the shore and his heart quickened once again. It was working. Gone were the lines that marked the years about his face and the swell of his stomach he could see decreasing.

It was magic that removed the years that had torn his happiness from him. With a shudder his body settled into its newfound home. The excitement swelled within him and he knew youth again. The pen and paper fell to the floor at his feet. He hadn’t written in new clothes, he’d have to do that later after some careful thought. Writing things real was seductive but dangerous, it must be done perfectly to avoid misunderstandings. The slightest mishap could bring misery and couldn’t be undone. There was no writing away what had been writ, it was permanent.

He stood with such ease he nearly threw himself forward to the floor. His blood pumped strong through his veins. His muscles moved with a precision he hadn’t known in years. The air came swiftly to his lungs and he stretched his arms wide breathing it in. The feeling was nothing less than bliss as he walked toward the double doors, not a creak in his joints. The weight and worry of 30 years lost.

It was heaven, just like he’d planned. He’d penned every word to the letter, forgetting nothing. Gone was the single-wide trailer and mountain of bills, no health insurance and the onset of diabetes. He’d thought of it all and wrote it anew. He was a healthy twenty-three year old man again, but this time with beachfront property and a swollen bank account. He was even more handsome than he had ever been, and well endowed. Nothing was left to chance, and he snickered as he thought of the new corvette awaiting him in the circular driveway. It was a beautiful life, at last.

He almost giggled as he made for the back patio whose night lights had flickered aglow. The night was calling him. He would have a boat on the dock at the marina, it just made sense to have people to care for it when he wasn’t actively enjoying it. His smile was beginning to strain the muscles in his face. The scent of lilies mixed with salt air tempted his thoughts while he listened for endless minutes to the far-off crashing of the waves.

A scraping of cement in the background growing louder. He hardly noticed. It made a steady rhythm with the pounding of the waves. He was lost in the magic of his success. Until the scuffing on the patio forced his attention with a start. He had forgotten something.

The stranger grinned in the shadows, stepping into the light to take his chance. The eight inch hunting knife plunged into Johns side below his ribs with ease. Sinking deep into his young liver.

John sputtered in shock, coughing up a trace of blood and finding it hard to expand his lungs. He had forgotten the stranger, the madman he had written so many years ago.

Shock struck him like a hammer. He could feel the scratch of the blade against his innards as the stranger pulled it from him. The heat of his blood filling the rear of his pants. Down he went, his knees hit hard, popping like fire as they slammed against the concrete of the patio. He blinked hard to capture the fading vision of his dream come to life, but he only caught sight of the figure. An imaginary madman of his own making which had undone him.


Short Form Tale In Response To:

Wednesdays Visual Writing Prompt

Try this fun tool called I Write Like to analyze your writing  🙂 For this piece it says…


MichelleRene004Published by M.R. Goodhew

Michelle Rene has been involved in the publishing industry for over twenty years as an author, copywriter and designer, and is an Indie Author Advocate who volunteers her time to give back to the Indie Author Community.

As an author of non-fiction, Michelle Rene writes books that serve to assist the independent author in developing their platform, discovering their brand, and creating the right look that will draw readers to them. She discusses how to navigate social media and addresses marketing tactics. For the author who sets up their web presence independently and does not wish to hire a designer, her books offer a wealth of start-up information, graphic design templates, and give crucial insight to the designers thought process which assists in the creation and design of the authors platform.

Michelle Rene also writes fiction which falls under several genres, including: Fantasy, Drama, Young-Adult Fiction, Mystery, and Thriller. She is currently working on a series of novels whose main theme involves the mysteries of death and the afterlife.