Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Words to Live By From a YA Author

I've invited a wonderful writer to the Alleyway to share advice on living the writing, publishing, and marketing life. Please give her a warm welcome, and for gosh sake, make sure to enter her giveaway!

Words to Live By From a YA Author
by Deirdra Eden

With technological advances such as computers, spell check, the internet, and digital distribution, writing and publishing is easier now than ever.

Here is some advice I wish someone would have given me 15 years ago, when I first started in the publishing industry.

1. Don't publish the first thing you write.

     Think of your first book as practice or a prototype book. Your writing skills will change and improve as your practice and learn new techniques. Develop your writing; edit and take the time to create something truly professional before you put it out there for the world to see.

2. Learn to be a business minded.

     Whether you go through a publisher or self-publish, learn to be a smart business person. Learn about contracts, learn how and what to invest in, and learn to advertize and market.

3. Join a critique group.

     I can't even tell you how valuable advice is from someone else besides your friends and parents. Not only can they help you hone your skills, but they can offer advice on the literary business.

4. Support other authors.

My book manager, Laura Watkins, said, "Books are a consumable." With this in mind, don't view other authors as competition but a allies. For more on this see her article here:
About the Author: "My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles! Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures."
-Deirdra Eden
Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra's websiteFacebook

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity. Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural. The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea ScrollsThe Traditional ApocryphaThe Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watchers Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.

What piece of her writing-life advice have you experienced personally? 

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 photo Sheri2.png


  1. Great advice! The thing I am working on most right now is being business-minded. I love to write, and I love to make connections through social media. What I'm not great at is figuring out productive ways to spend my time versus wasting my time on activities that I get nothing from. I need to promote myself as a guest speaker -- but it's hard (for me) to ask for money when doing that, and I'm also a big baby about driving on my own outside my comfort zone. I need to get business minded! My time IS worth money, and I'm an adult with a GPS. I ought to be able to drive to the next state without a panic attack!

    1. Your time IS worth money, Dianne, especially with everything you've accomplished. I have a teen/tween writer's club that I work with, hosting workshops, critiques, and simply sharing of my experiences as a writer. I've YET to charge. But for me, that's because I technically don't have a book out yet. Even though I received offers for my YA, I did turn them down signing with my agent instead. There will come a time when I will edit my website 'School Visit' tab to state a cost. And even though I am published through other venues, such as magazines, newspapers, and short stories - and my husband thinks I'm ridiculous for not charging ("It's your time and gas money, you now," he says) - I just don't feel comfortable charging yet.

  2. Excellent advice. I completely concur, and ooh, sparkly...

    Wait, I was typing something, wasn't it?


    1. HAHA! I actually thought that while I was writing up this post.

  3. Sounds advice. Authors aren't our competition at all.

  4. I love supporting other authors. This is a tough business and we need to stick together.

  5. agree with all of these things...the support in this community is amazing. Only fellow authors get how crazy the biz can be sometimes!

  6. I try to follow all of those tips . . . but having a business mind is the hardest for me. I love how she made her cover sparkle!!

  7. That's great advice, Deirdra.


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