Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learning To Be Very Creative.

Here's another amazing author, 
Marlayna Glynn Brown

I am a single parent of four teenagers who are now 19, 18, 16 and 14.  My oldest son is attending college at California State Long Beach but I'm happy to report he still calls home in the middle of the night to hear a loving and accepting voice.  Their father left when they were 5, 4, 3 and 1 so it's long been the five of us with me running the show.  Maintaining a regular job was just not in the cards for me.  Various illnesses, school meetings, doctor's appointments and must-not-miss school performances did not make me the ideal employee.  I've been fired more than anyone I know!  As with most challenges in life, I learned to be very creative with making money while being completely present for the needs of my children.  

God bless the internet!  I started consulting as a marketing agent which meant I could write articles and press releases any time I could create the time to log in.  For creative release, I blogged.  And blogged and blogged.  And these two actions honed my writing talent while drawing out a desire to write about my experiences.  During a lull in the economy, I worked solidly for three weeks and wrote my first book.   

As my children grew so did our expenses, which required me to be more creative in continuing my education and funding four teenagers.  I obtained my Master of Science in Human Services and purchased a Nikon camera as a congratulatory gift for myself.  Instead of entering the counseling field, I started taking photographs and found myself winning contests and making money.  I've since combined my marketing skills with my knowledge of photography and am now representing two very talented photographers at  This career has in turn given me the gift of more time to be able to write so I am once again back to glorious square one.

Overlay has had a very strong start as it's only been on the market for less than a month and available exclusively on Amazon for Kindle.  I am personally promoting my work and am contacting book clubs, book stores and sending press releases.  I've had two book clubs express interest so far.  Overlay has been very well received because it deals with a subject many know but don't like to discuss - the alcoholism of a family member.  I'd like to see the book gain traction in an effort to help anyone dealing with addiction.  


Marlayna Glynn Brown is an Austin, Texas author, screenwriter, actress, producer, poet and photographer. Marlayna was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and bases many of her unusual characters and unexpected story lines on true events.  She wrote, acted in and produced her first short film, People That do Something in 2009. Her first memoir, Overlay, was published on Amazon in 2012.

Marlayna received a BA in literature from California State University, Long Beach, attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California and recently completed her Masters degree in Human Services.

However, she insists most of her real learning has come from her avid love of travel and her four teenaged children.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Summer Vacation

On my summer vacation -

I became fixated with water.

            Strange how fixated I became.

 I found myself drawn to drops -

                                           But also huge lakes.

                                                 Lovely bodies of water.

Can you believe how beautiful this photo is?
And you believe we hiked from that far off end? 

It's part of the Pacific Crest Trail.

My fixation didn't stop with hiking, climbing and photographing about water,

I also read about water.

Sailing to the Far Horizon,
by Pamela Sisman Bitterman

What a great read!

She was one of the amazing authors that
was highlighted in the book, The Write Balance.
and read more from some amazing people!

In Phoenix today, there are clouds - there may be rain - there may be more water.

I'm joining Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for Pink Saturday.

                                                                                               Have a great week!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Everything Does Not Have To Be Perfect.

It's Thursday!

Introducing Mary Firmin

My darling husband, Bill, bought me the publishing package for Deadly Pleasures as a Christmas present in 2010.  He went crazy and ordered all kinds of services, and he loved doing it.  What he, or I, did not know is that he would pass away in his sleep six months later. The editing, choosing a cover, and all the things that go into a new book actually saved me from spiraling down into a deep depression.  I had to keep moving.  I had to do the work whether I felt like it or not. Now, the book is out and doing quite well. I have done TV interviews, radio interviews, newspaper and blog interviews. My only wish is that he could be here to be a part of all this.

     My plan is to write a Trilogy of Deadly books, using some of the same characters.  Right now I am trying very hard to get back to my second book, Deadly Secrets which is about half finished. The synopsis is complete, and I am ready to continue writing, but with all the promotion and interviews on Deadly Pleasures, it is hard to find the time. I have to again revert back to the Harold Robbins theory, which is “Put some Ass Glue on your chair and do not get up until you have written 5-10 pages.”  When I do this, I produce.  

     Early on, in my writing, I had to drag myself away from the computer because I had so much to say. I researched Voodoun Fire, my first writing attempt, to death. I spent every waking hour obsessed with writing. In order to keep my marriage and family intact, I had to come up with a better system.  Since I am a night person, I chose to work at night. I promised myself to get up and go to bed after three hours, and sometimes I did.  Since most of writing is re-writing I am fortunate that I like to re-write. Getting that new idea out onto a blank page is very hard for me, it is like giving birth. It was only when I convinced myself that everything did not have to be perfect the first time I wrote it down that I eased up on myself. I don’t know if I expected Ernest Hemingway to imbue my spirit and guide me down the path of the perfect sentence, but it definitely did not happen.  

     I have consciously chosen to make my writing as invisible as possible so that my readers may glide over the words and see only the picture I am trying to paint, or feel the feeling I am trying to evoke. If I can do that I think I will be a good writer. I love to read the writings of the great Masters but I know I will never be a writer like those people. First of all the cadence and manner of speech was different from the way ours is today. I mean, how well would those guys do on Twitter? I rest my case. 

     I hope I have reassured at least one person out there that you do not have to be perfect in your writing, but you must START. After you have written your words down on paper it will all come together like a giant jigsaw puzzle with words instead of pieces. I wish you all the best of luck with your writing –but above all have fun.  
 Mary Firmin was born in the North of England, emigrated to Canada, then traveled to Florida where she owned and operated an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. She moved on to Santa Monica, California where she worked in Real Estate Sales and eventually became Vice President of a large firm on the West Side. She began her writing career by attending many classes at local colleges, including UCLA, and then moved on to private writer's groups. As active members of a Southern California Yacht Club, Mary and her husband traveled up and down the California Coastline for years, and spent many days on Catalina Island. Upon moving to the Desert, Mary wrote a society column for a Palm Springs newspaper.
 It is from these experiences she forged her characters and the story of Deadly Pleasures. This book is a fun, casual read with a little romance, some deviant sex, and a sick serial killer. It is sure to keep your attention to the very end. Mary's loving husband, Bill, passed away this year. She has three children, one gorgeous grandchild and lives in Rancho Mirage, California. Mary is now working on her second book in this series, Deadly Secrets.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Part of My Nature

I'm loving
I can't seem to get enough.
Introducing Myron Edwards

For me, being creative and balancing my day is part of my nature. In my working life I am a copywriter and marketing man, called The Advertising Man based in Cyprus. The problem is CY doesn't have too much in the way of funds for advertising and what little there is, gets picked off by the bigger boys.
So I also try to balance my working day with freelance articles for magazines. This is also a great way to keep the gray matter flowing and to stimulate ideas. I also try to market wherever possible my book and my dream to get it made into a movie. I bamboozle (great word) as many people as I can and look for angles everywhere to try to get people to invest in the movie.

I have also completed two other books. The longest one I ever wrote was over 600 pages and that was mainly because I was banged up in hospital with a broken hip for six weeks so that gave me the opportunity to work on the book.  

I came into writing by the comedy route and needed to be balanced with day-to-day work as a travel agent. But moderate success gave me the start that I needed and I started freelancing for the BBC in London writing comedy sketches and one liners. It was whilst I was at JWT in the travel department that I took the giant leap and moved to the creative department becoming a copywriter in the 80's.

That was a long time ago now. But I still remember fondly the great characters and gurus of those days who were stars in their own lifetime. I am still in touch with a couple of them.
It’s an interesting premise balancing life as a creative with who you are in your daily life.
For me I am always looking for angles or ideas in all that I do, whether that’s dish washing or cleaning the car. It’s always for me a good way to think and to conjure. 
 Myron Edwards, 55 married with three children, former BBC Comedy script writer with credits such as The Two Ronnies and A Kick up the 80’s, Hudd Lines and Weekending. 

Moved to Cyprus 2004 and now working as Creative Director for a leading Advertising Agency in Limassol.  Enjoys writing, reading, TV and Cinema, sports, mainly football watching and when he can playing!

He lived in Essex and North London during his early career where he worked in a variety of different companies which varied between the travel industry and sales and marketing.

Here he was able to combine his creative talents and writing skills in a variety of different projects and opportunities., before moving out to Cyprus with his family. 
The Mistress of the Rock is his first novel.

FOR 5,000 years she has been hidden from sight.
Generations of people have visited; not knowing of her existence.
The mystery of Aphrodite's Rock is finally revealed in this sensational new novel
"Undoubtedly, the best kept secret since The Da Vinci Code" (Aristotle)
"BRILLIANT I couldn't put it down..". Ann Channing Epoiskopi

As featured on BFBS Radio - CBBc Radio, Cyprus Mail, Paphos Post, Lemesos News, Cyprus Gold

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Strengthened View

I am so fortunate today to have
Marlayna Glynn Brown
as a guest. 

She has just released her latest book, City of Angels.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I've long been an ardent journalist. I made the decision to craft my journals into a book and then found that recording some events I had not shared with others (including my own journals) affected me greatly. The completion of some chapters left me feeling jubilant and free.  Some caused me to lay my head on the keyboard and cry.  Recording these events gifted me with an entirely strengthened view about life that I felt inspired to share with others.  

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

As a memoir, Overlay is unique in that it tells the tale of one girl coming of age in 1970s casino era Las Vegas. In the 1970s Las Vegas attracted a transient motley crew of bizarre characters.  Alcoholism and addiction were rampant, and Nevada boasted one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the 1970s. The overarching message is that one can survive and shine, no matter the circumstances of their birth and childhood.

City of Angeles, the sequel to Overlay, takes the story from the other characters and places it squarely in the lap of the main character.  She moves from helpless victim to strong victor. The message in City of Angeles is that one can and must learn to navigate life in order to succeed and thrive, regardless of the past and its pitfalls.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write according to what works for you.  I sit down and write as the spirit moves me.  I may write 15 hours a day for three weeks and then not at all for a month.  I’ve learned the hard way that I cannot force the muse.  She arrives when she pleases and departs just as easily.  

What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?

I am a prolific writer and marketer so the list of techniques I have utilized is quite long and ranges from tapping my immediate network to reaching out across email, social media, websites, blogs and other sites.  I’ve been very direct in contacting local bookstores, libraries, book clubs and other clubs and have offered to speak.  Most successful at this juncture has been my Kindle Promotions with  There is an entire subculture of ebook-lovers that feed and market to each other.  I've written a short handbook available on Amazon detailing the techniques and sites I have utilized called Promoting, Marketing and Publishing Your Book. 

Why should we buy your books?

My memoirs are true stories of success against all odds.  If I managed to become the first college graduate in my family, remain relatively sane, and raise four fantastic children - then anything is possible. I'd like to share that light with others, and inspire them  to rise above those who have transgressed against them, caused them pain or injured them in some way.  I've reached a point in life where I am truly thankful for all of my experiences, both good and bad, as each has given me an opportunity to grow and thrive in ways I couldn't have imagined. 

I am currently crafting the third and final installment in the trilogy Memoirs of Marlayna Glynn Brown which will be a painstaking biopic on surviving the devastation of divorce while single parenting four beloved children.  Simultaneously, I am also writing a non-fiction account of my solo travels as a responsibly hedonistic single woman in her forties with one goal in mind: to say yes to everything.  I'm currently enjoying the research for my travel book very much.

Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?

Anywhere as long as it is silent.

What is your POWER WORD?  Why this word?

Great question.  My power word is thankfulness.  I am always grateful for the ability to learn, thrive and grow.  Many times throughout the day I say to myself, “Yes.Thankyou.Moreplease.”

Please feel free to add any additional question that a reader might ask you, and answer that question. 

Have you forgiven all of the characters in your memoir?

Not only have I forgiven them, I have felt immense gratitude for their roles in my life.  Coming up against the big dogs early in life taught me how to stand up for myself, fight for what I believe in, set 
boundaries, and most importantly - how to say NO.

Marlayna Glynn Brown Bio
I am a published writer and an award winning photographer.  These are the primary ways I communicate my personal experience to humanity. I am also a screenwriter, actress, producer, poet, yogi and photographer. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and base many of my unusual characters and unexpected story lines on true events.

My first memoir, Overlay - A Tale of One Girl's Life in 1970s Las Vegas, was published in March 2012 and is available in print and Kindle format. I published City of Angeles, the next sequel to Overlay, this past July. My 2009 short film, People That do Something, is based upon a chapter from Overlay and can be viewed at and Youtube. 

My promotional representation company, mgbrepresents, allows me to assist other authors, photographers, artists, musicians and creative spirits in exploring the best ways  to communicate their personal experiences to humanity.  We are each on our own journey and no two journeys are identical.  Doesn't that absolutely fascinate you?  Learn more at

Find her amazing books at
                                      City of Angels

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Easier Said Than Done.

Introducing Ian Miller

I am older, semi-retired, self-employed, so that makes everything so much easier, right? I wish it were. When word gets around that you are semi-retiring, everybody thinks that perforce you will have more time on your hands, and for every spare hour that becomes available, about three hours of obligations come my way. But not to worry; there is still time to write.

The problems started when I finished and self-published. Oops, the hordes did not sweep down and buy. No, one has to do self-promotion, social networking, and, yes, there was this word "semi"; I still have to try to earn some dollars. Something has to give, so up comes the decision: either you want to write or you do not, and if you do, you have to make time for it. If I Iook a bit harder at the problem, the answer is reasonably simple: try not to waste time, and try not to put things off for later. If you have spent time thinking about something then put it aside, that time is wasted because when you come back to it you will redo that time later. So my recipe is, first, try to be more efficient, and if that doesn't work, drop something.

Yes, I know. It is like losing weight – easier said than done, but it can be done.

One trick I find useful is that through the day in moments when I am doing something fairly boring or routine I think about what I want to write. Call it controlled daydreaming. Small fragments of thought through the day mean that when I sit down to write, I have processed in my mind what I intend to write about. This is a lot easier to do if you write about what interests you, but why would you write about something that doesn't?

A common piece of advice is that the writer should listen to people talking, to help with writing conversations, etc. Even better, I sometimes like to look at a scene and ask myself, what would happen if . . .? This helps plot development, and I find that it is surprisingly easier to write quickly if I have a reasonably clear idea of what I want to write about. You might object and say that your books are too different. I don't think so. I write futuristic science in fiction thrillers, which are very different from simple modern life but that doesn't mean I can't get inspiration from my surroundings. Use the surroundings as a frame on which to hang your imaginings.

That makes it easy to keep a work/writing balance, right? Actually, no. Again, easier said than done, but again, it can be done. I have found that getting what I want takes a lot of effort, and a certain amount of putting aside what I don't want that much, but that is hardly a surprise. Is it worth it? Of course it is. I may not be a best seller (Hey, I am more like a worst seller) but at least I enjoy what I am doing, and what more could I want?
I was born on the 7th August, 1942 and studied chemistry at the University of Canterbury (BSc Hons 1, PhD) followed by post-docs at Calgary, Southampton and Armidale before returning to New Zealand carry out research at Chemistry Division, DSIR, on recycling, biofuels and seaweed utilization. In 1986 I set up my own research company to support the private half of a joint venture to make pyromellitates, the basis of high temperature resistant plastics, which, with an associated seaweed processing venture, collapsed during the late 1980s financial crisis. I have written about 100 peer reviewed scientific papers and about 35 other articles and I was on the Editorial Board of Botanica Marina between about 1998-2008. Early in this century I had a provisional agreement with a major publisher to write a book on how to form scientific theories. This took a lot longer than expected and the publisher lost interest, however the first ebook in the series entitled "Elements of Theory" was self-published in 2011. The second, "Planetary formation and Biogenesis" will be submitted to the Amazon KDP program on April 11.
During my first year at University, following an argument with some Arts students, I was challenged to write a fictional book. Following two rejections, I was discouraged (!) but having some television exposure while trying to promote the pyromellitates venture, Gemina was self-published. This was less than successful because as a condition of finance for the laboratory/pyromellitates venture, all publicity for it was forbidden. It was somewhat difficult to sell books without any promotion.
  I have returned to writing fiction, using my scientific and business experience to write "science in fiction" thrillers, a type of "future history". This series starts with Puppeteer, set in the near future when both oil and resources are in short supply, when government debts leads to the inability of governments to govern properly and when corruption is widespread. In Puppeteer, one man threatens to detonate three nuclear bombs to get revenge on corrupt officials who have ruined his life, while two others alone can stop him. Further details can be found at The second book, Troubles, is set 20 years later when the world is emerging from anarchy, the only law is based on user pays, life is cheap and sordid, and there is a general rush from those in any position to do so to acquire power at any cost to others. The story is about a young man and the girl he has a crush on. They take opposite and totally uncompromising positions as the system works over each of them.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

That Forty Thing

 Welcome to Balanced Thursdays!
Today I am honored to have 
Racquel McDonnell stop by.

Hi, my name is Racquel, I'm 43 years old and only decided to start writing when I was 40. At first it was quite easy: a few scribbled notes, writing when the kids had gone to bed, and at work any time I could. Then everything got busy, work, kids wanted to do more out of school activities, breaking and training my horse. Hair pulling out time. 

As the pressure of daily life built up my escape in writing saved me from going round the loop. The frustration of waiting to be published, wondering if it was good enough, would people like it, how to market, getting my profile out there, wondering what where to go next and what would people think?
Then I was sitting quietly. I had left my other life, that of the boring mundane working mum of two, who was nothing like her characters. I wanted so badly to escape into other places. That wasn't going to happen  in a month of Sunday's, so I had to decide what was important, I had to plan and share my quality time. So I limited my writing to days off and late nights, which annoyed my husband as in the middle of the night I'd get ideas and write them down, that strangely enough was better than writing in the day when I had more distraction. Also I encouraged my daughter and son to write stories and then type them up, reading them to each other. I learned to share my passion.
When I was younger I was too embarrassed to let anyone read my stories, my English teacher dismissed them. I was never encouraged to write and shunned away from the lime light but I didn't want to shun this away, I wanted to share and prove that I was good at something. I never wanted to write That Forty Thing, it was an accident. I suppose that everyone meets a mile stone and, reaching 40, I thought I'd done nothing. So with the encouragement of friends and family I wrote That Forty Thing. Before I thought of the plot I wrote screen plays for my own amusement, then my friend Angie read one and said that it should be a book she enjoyed it. Making myself a forty list of all the things I wanted to do, writing was at the top. 
Piggy Pag is my next book out on ebook later this month and I have a kid's book in the pipeline with my daughter being my critic, my husband, he helps more with the kids and the house, who also understands more tech stuff then me and understands that my writing is important. 
When I started I knew nothing! I don't know a lot now but more than when I had started, not just in writing but also in living. I may never be a best seller but I've achieved a childhood dream. So I think it is hard at first but once you know where your going and don't get swept up in false ideals you can be and do what you want. Just don't forget to drop the kids off at school.  


Racquel McDonnell, born 24-12-1968, Lincoln England and placed under the Christmas tree, while the turkey was being prepared. Middle child to Pat, born in Dublin, Eire and Fred, born in Belmullet, Co Mayo Eire. I have two brothers, Fred and Anthony, we lived in a two up, two down terrace house with no bathroom, but we did have an outside toilet, bit chilly in winter. My parent worked hard and bought their own home, where I got my own bedroom and we had two toilets(both inside).

I went to the South Park High School, no we didn't have anyone called Kenny there, left in 1986 to work as a clerical assist on a youth training scheme. Didn't really know what I wanted to do but always had the feeling that should be somewhere else. As my brothers excelled at their chosen careers, I drifted from job to job not really knowing what I wanted to do. Had a lot of fun and made new friends along the way and they are good friends as where still in touch.
Went to Sheffield Hallam University 1991 to 1995, enrolled on a Environmental Engineering course, where I met my husband Andrew, we got married and have two fabulous children Courtney and Anthony, living in Doncaster and I work for an Insurance company.
When I was younger like every young girl I wanted a horse but we could never afford one, so when the chance arose to look after one, they didn't have ask me twice. Now I have one of my own, they say that a horse finds its owner, as in life, God has a plan he's knows what it is but he probably hasn't finished writing it yet, maybe he's editing the next bit.
When I reached 40 I decided with a little encouragement to write, so That Forty Thing was born. A childhood dream realized, forever in print. I have other interests other than romantic fiction, my next book Piggy Pag, was written for my fans, they are few but they deserve it for their support. I have penned in a two murder mysteries, a children's book and a story about terrorist. I do have an over active imagination, always have. Writing is my passion not always understandable at first but I get there in the end. My inspiration can come from anywhere, a comment, a song, anything! I even wrote one about travel insurance. I live the characters in my head and visualize what they look like, makes them real. (I don't mean I live in fantasy land).
My friends would describe me as down to earth, straight talking, generous, the best one is if you don't like me then you don't know me or given me the time of day.