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Monday, July 30, 2007
What made you want to write this book?

The short answer is my agent got a request from the publisher and they asked me to write it.

The long answer is I wrote it because I love meditation. I have been meditating since the 70’s and that practice has changed my life. I love sharing guided meditation with people because they are fun and when I ask people for their experience it is always so different. So writing this book was a labor of love.

What are the most common fears that keep people from finding their purpose?

I think everyone has a different reason for not allowing themselves to be happy. In my work I talk about our filter system – our beliefs, agreements and assumptions about life. Our filter system colors the way we see life and at times stops us from seeing all of life’s possibilities.

Happiness is always just a thought away yet we suffer because our filter system won’t allow us to think that thought. Happiness is always available if we are willing to see life differently.

Living a life that is alignment with our purpose is a gift we can give ourselves and so often we don’t believe we deserve it or can achieve it or even know what it is. All of our answers lie within.

What fear did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?

I received hundreds of rejection letters before I became a published author so I had to overcome my fear of failure, rejection and believing I wasn’t good enough.

What's the one piece of advice you hope readers of your book take away with them?

Life simply is and then we tell ourselves a story. We have a reaction based on our story and not the events in our life.

If we want to be happy tell ourselves a happy story. It really is that simply although letting go of our beliefs so we can tell ourselves a different story often isn’t very easy.

Thanks for having me!!

Susan Gregg


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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 8:17 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
THE GHOST MIRROR by Jamieson Wolf
I wrote my favourite novel when I was unemployed.

I was working for a temp company doing office work and for three horrendous weeks, they had no work for me. I was going crazy, climbing the walls with anxiety. Would I be able to pay my share of the rent? Would they have work for me soon? What is the square root of six hundred and twenty four?

In short, I was going slowly crazy.

Deciding to do something productive with my time, I decided to write. I had been playing with the idea of writing a children’s novel featuring my tortoiseshell calico cat Mave. The trouble was, every time I tried something, it didn’t work for me. I just couldn’t get something that I liked on paper. Most writers will tell you that almost everything they write is crap. I believe this has something to do with what I call the Tragic Artists Clause: Artists are their own worst critics.
So how did I come to write what I think is my favourite novel? Simple, I stopped trying.

That’s not to say I didn’t write. Hell, for the first week, I wrote more than I had in a long time. But the trouble was, I didn’t like anything. So I stopped pushing myself so hard and picked up something I had put away. It was an idea for a very dark children’s story, something along the lines of The Brothers Grimm, but with a darker twist; if such a thing is possible.

I had put the notes and jottings away because I thought it was too dark, too scary. I had written a simple prologue that I thought was the beginning of a short story, but it had other ideas. The prologue featured the horrible Mr. Lavender, a man with pale gray skin who wore a lavender coloured coat. Having no soul of his own, he fed off the souls of children to survive, to live, and took their magic.

Looking back now, I know that I put the notes away because I was afraid. I knew that this story, this novel, would be one of the best things I had written. I also knew that if I started it, I would not be able to stop. I had mentioned this to my step father who surprised me. He gave me the best piece of advice that I had ever heard. It also happened to be the only good piece of advice that he’d ever give me, but that’s beside the point.

“Why are you so afraid?” He asked. “A beginning should be an adventure, not a fear.”
I mumbled that he was probably right and he laughed. “Of course I am. Things happen for a reason. You’re unemployed now because someone wants you to finish your novel. This novel is important. You were meant to write it and now you have the time.” He paused. “Do you have a title for it?”

“The Ghost Mirror.” I whispered.

“Then write it. Just sit down to it and write it. It’s waiting for you to let it out.”
And what do you know? For the first time in his life, my step father was right. When I sat down at my computer later that afternoon, the story came pouring out of me. I had never had this happen for me. Normally writing is like pulling teeth; the story takes forever for me to shape it, to get it the way I want on the page.

With The Ghost Mirror, it was the first time I saw a story clearly from the beginning to the middle through to the end. And that’s not all. I also saw the next two books, The Silver Glass and The Last Witch and prayed that my little heroine, a red haired Witch called Mave Mallory, would be strong enough to survive them.

By the end of the three weeks, I had finished The Ghost Mirror and drawn out the outlines for the next two novels. I read the novel again and again wondering how a story like this could have come out of me. It was as if someone else had written it, as if my words were a gift from someone else.

I am still in awe over The Ghost Mirror. It still gives me chills when I read it, when I look at the cover, when I think of what Mave still has in store for herself. It’s going to be a long road but I’m glad fate stepped in when it did so that I could start her journey with her.

But you’re probably wondering about my getting a job? Did the temp company call me back? You bet’cha. The day after I had finished the last of the outlines for The Silver Glass and The Last Witch, my temp company called.

They had work for me again.

Jamieson Wolf
Author, The Ghost Mirror


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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 3:35 PM   0 comments
Thursday, July 12, 2007
THE WOMEN OF CAMP SOBINGO by Marilyn Celeste Morris
A number of people have asked me what was behind this book – the “real” story. I have no ready answer. I was only an 8-9 year old kid in 1946 in that military compound so far away from the country of my birth. It was while I was writing Once a Brat, about my experiences as an army brat accompanying my army officer father all over the world in the days following the end of WWII, that the image of my mother telling me that one of the women in the compound had died, sprang into my mind. And not only had she died, she chose to end her life there. I often wondered why a woman would destroy herself, what kind of dark forces in her childhood would convince a person that death was the only way out of the terrible pain?

So, being the incurable writer (story-teller) that I am, I made it all up.

The four women in the story are composites of women I have known throughout the years, some stories are true, others appear quite by accident as I sat at my keyboard and allowed the characters free reign to do as they pleased. And often the results were a complete surprise to me. I began wondering why the beautiful Leah Damon would want to kill herself, and imagined a troubled childhood, a feeling of being “different” from the others in school (no doubt a mirror image to my own childhood where I was always the new kid in class, and do girls here wear Peter Pan collars or sweaters?)

My mother is portrayed most nearly true to form. She is the West Texas farm girl who marries a soldier and becomes an army wife, following him to the literal ends of the earth.
Maggie is probably my alter-ego, if I would let it out to play. She is a brassy, bossy, fun-loving woman who takes all the challenges life throws at her and almost literally spits in fortune’s eye.
And Trudy. Ah, yes, Trudy is the shy girl who marries into wealth and power and yet she follows her husband to make a home for themselves in a distant country, where she can be herself instead of one of the Cavanaugh Women of fame and fortune. Years later, she finds her own hidden strength, and a weakness that led her to believe events that were not true.

Perhaps the following will describe more in detail the process I undertook getting this story from my imagination to the publisher’s website.

A Note to the Reader

There really was/is a Camp Sobingo, located outside the capitol city of Seoul, South Korea at the end of WWII. This military compound’s cookie-cutter “quarters” was home to the women and children who joined their Army officer husbands during the US Occupation. The camp had a school, a post exchange, a dispensary, a commissary, and even a movie theatre (think “MASH”). Ever-present, however, was the military presence, both Korean and our own US forces, and the tyranny of the Russians located across the 38th parallel, who merely annoyed the dependents with their random denial of electricity to the American contingent.

Most of the Americans had deployed to other assignments before June 25th, 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea. Those remaining escaped safely, but “The Land of the Morning Calm” would never be the same. In 1954, my father was ordered back to Korea as part of the Military Advisory Group. He took a short drive to what remained of Camp Sobingo, and sent snapshots of our former quarters, (Hq.G-27) which had been pock-marked by aerial strafing, and natives were stripping the floorboards for fuel.

The window, where I had sat and dreamed a 9 year old’s dreams and played with my homemade doll-house populated by models cut from the Sears, Roebuck catalog, was boarded up. More pockmarks surrounded the framework.

An unusual childhood, one might correctly assume, yet I was not alone in this kind of adventure. There are vast numbers of military brats and wives of servicemen who carry the same experiences from different countries. Thanks to the power of the Internet, we are finding each other. Two such sites that assist in this process are:
www.military-brats.com where you may register so that others may find you, and www.Overseas-Brats.com. Another organization of interest is the American Overseas Schools Historical Society, which recently broke ground for a museum to be built in Wichita, Kansas, housing such “sacred artifacts” as my 4th grade report card from Seoul Dependents Elementary School. Many of the schools currently in operation overseas are being closed as our military presence is no longer required.

Researchers and historians will be astounded by such a treasure trove detailing one small but important part of our nation’s history.

Marilyn Celeste Morris
Author of The Women of Camp Sobingo

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 9:40 PM   0 comments
Monday, July 9, 2007
I am a motivational speaker. As I traveled around the USA speaking at Women’s Leadership Conferences, I asked the question, “How many of you feel you were created for something more?” Over 75% of the audience raised their hands every time the question was asked. This led me to ask many more questions.

As a result of this informal survey, I thought perhaps I should write a book about my areas of expertise. .. self esteem, communication, image, dealing with difficult people, being assertive, standing up for one’s rights, setting goals, and becoming successful. Many people will never get the opportunity to hear me speak, so why not get the information that I have to them in another form.

A few weeks later, I saw an ad in our local newspaper that said the Henderson Writers Group was going to be holding a four day conference in Las Vegas where I live. It was really inexpensive and sounded quite interesting. When I had wanted to become a speaker, I attended a speakers’ conference to meet and learn from other speakers, so I decided now that I wanted to write this book, I should go meet and learn from other writers. The conference was quite exciting.

My most exciting discovery was that I already was a writer. I had six books to my credit, plus many articles and columns, but I had never written a query letter. So I attended the workshop on “How to Write A Query Letter that Sells.” I wrote and rewrote my letter and the instructor showed me how to make changes. That evening was a meet the publishers and agents event and I was given the opportunity to meet with three of these people. One of the publishers that was on my list had a personal emergency that day and sent a sales rep from her company in her place. I showed him my idea and he said that he thought his publisher would love my idea. Then he asked if he could take my query letter to show her. At that point, I didn’t even have an outline.

He did take my letter to his publisher and she loved my idea and asked to meet me. I was quite startled when I showed up for the meeting to have her open a file and say, “Here’s what we are going to do for you,” as she went over the contract and showed me the publicity campaign as well. I had been published before and no one had ever offered to assist with the publicity. Thus, “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power” was born and I still didn’t have an outline. This was in March. She asked if I could have it written by September 1st. I said, “Yes, of course.”

I tried to act real casual about the whole contract, but after I left her office and drove a couple of blocks, I pulled over to the side of the road and screamed. Then I called everyone I knew and told them my book was going to be published by Stephens Press. At that point, Stephen’s Press didn’t even publish self-help books.

My publisher, Carolyn Hayes Uber, of Stephens Press, is every writer’s dream. She’s knowledgeable, smart, industry savvy, supportive, and professional . She’s written books herself so she has been on my side of the desk.

I turned in my manuscript one week late and the book was published the following April. It is now the beginning of June and the book has gone into its second printing. In addition, I have just completed the companion Achievement Journal and received the galley for proofing this week.

The audio book is in the final stages of editing.

What do you think? Should I do the outline?

All joking aside, my journey would have been a lot easier if I had completed a detailed outline before I started.

Judi Moreo
Author of You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 11:33 AM   0 comments
Thursday, July 5, 2007
WEEKENDS by Lindy S. Hudis
What can I say? I grew up reading. Books were, and will always be, one of the great loves of my life. As a child, a read Dr. Seuss, then grew up to read Judy Blume. I loved how she would put a story together. Then, as I got older, something amazing happened to me: I discovered Jackie Collins! I think that she was truly an inspiration to me. As I got lost in her characters, and their incredible situations, that is when I knew that I wanted to write fiction. I wanted to do what Jackie did: to take the reader away. I wanted to reader to feel that they are in some kind of exotic place, doing wonderful and crazy things. The only question was: what do I write about?

Back when I was an aspiring actress, I met a man named Joe in Los Angeles. He was an actor, and did commercials and soap opera work. We got to be friends, but I liked him as more than a friend. He just never knew. He had the most gorgeous blue eyes, and delicious blonde hair (he was the typical California pretty boy, but I didn’t care.) I guess I am a sucker for a handsome face. All of my male characters are sexy and beautiful. I do get inspired by men, because I feel that they are fascinating. A writer friend of mine once told me that I “hit the nail on the head” when it comes to writing about male sexuality. That was one of the best compliments that I could ever have! Yes, it is true. I love men. The do inspire me, captivate me, and intrigue me…but I digress!

One day, Joe just disappeared from my life. I guess he went to New York or something. Whatever, I just never saw him again. So, I sat down at my typewriter (I had no computer then.) and began to write about this beautiful man named Joe. I wanted to describe him in a way so that the reader could see what I saw, what I was seeing in my mind’s eye. I threw in a little bit of my personal fantasy, a bit of the California setting, and just let Joe take me where he wanted to go. I just sat and typed out 22 pages, just for therapeutic purposes. Then, I took the pages, stuffed them in a drawer, and forgot all about them. I never thought….

Cut to eight years later. I am married (yes, to a sexy blonde hunk with gorgeous blue eyes) and I am pregnant with our first child. We were “nesting” (the instinct that moms-to-be have when you clean out your home like crazy to get ready for the new arrival). In the process of discarding old junk, I ran across those 22 pages about Joe. My husband asked what it was, and I told him “Oh, just some writing I did a few years ago.” Well, that night, I read over them. Then, I read over them again. Then, I put them in a folder and put them next to the computer (I have a computer this time, lol!). I didn’t look at them again for another six months.

Veronica came into the world on December 9, 2002. My husband went back to work, and I was a home with our new daughter. When she was sleeping, I needed something to do to come back down to Earth, to have some “me” time. So, I ran across those pages, again. I broke them out, and just for the heck of it, decided to type them into the computer. So, I typed, and typed, and typed. “Hello Joe.” It was almost like seeing an old friend. I added characters, and introduced them to my Joe. Then, I let them take me on an unforgettable journey.

One a side note: As I am sure you are all aware of the tragic events that occurred in Santa Monica at the Farmer’s Market on July 16th, 2003. A man lost control of his car and plowed through the Farmer’s Market, killing several people. We were living three blocks away from that accident at the time, and my daughter and I would go to that very place every Wednesday to buy fresh vegetables. That particular day, however, my characters were literally saying to me “No, stay home and write…we are on a roll here!” and I did. I didn’t realize that something terrible had happened until I heard helicopters and received frantic phone calls from friends and family members. It was strange: One of the people killed, sadly, was a four month old baby that was born on Veronica’s due date. I think that my characters saved us that tragic day.

It was on a Friday that, I realized that I had 250 pages. I thought “I have a book here, what the heck” Then, I did the unthinkable : I showed my manuscript to my father-in-law. My father-in-law is Norman Hudis, the television writer of M*A*S* H* and other successful television shows. This is a man who pulls no punches. If you stink, he will tell you so! He makes Simon from American Idol look like Mother Theresa! So, I took a deep breath and showed it to him. He read it. He liked it. He told me I had potential. I almost fainted! He told me, in his sophisticated British accent “Lindy, I feel that you could have success as a commercial writer.” So, I took his advice, and I went for it!

So, after rejection and rejection, I finally got that coveted publishing deal. Now, my work and my Joe are out there for the world to see. I hope that I can entertain my readers. I know that I am not going to win a Pulitzer with my work, and I don’t wish to! I just want to let the reader have some fun! I want to take my readers away to an exotic and relaxing place somewhere. I want the reader to feel the sand, to hear the ocean, and to smell the salt air. I want the reader to use their imagination. I want reading to be fun, like I have always thought that it was.

Lindy S. Hudis
Author of Weekends

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 1:14 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
My books have always reflected the stages of my life. Straight Talking, my first novel, was written when I was a single late-twenty-something, struggling with finding a happy relationship, Babyville catalogued my struggles with new motherhood, and The Other Woman was written about the relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, a relationship I found to be particularly emotive and difficult amongst my friends.

This latest book, Second Chance, started off as a book about grief. On December 26th, 2004, when the Tsunami hit, I, along with the rest of the world, sighed at the tragedy and went on with my life.

Until two days later, when I was sitting at my computer idly reading stories about the Tsunami, and came upon an article entitled 'Brits still missing.' I wonder if I know anyone, I thought, doubting I would.

But I did. It was someone I adored. Someone I had seen a few weeks earlier. Piers was my garden designer - had designed a beautiful English garden in my old house in Connecticut. He would fly over every few weeks, sometimes staying with us, and quickly became a friend. He was handsome, funny, and sweet, and when I first saw his name on the list, I shook my head to try and dislodge the fuzz. It couldn't be true. It couldn't be that Piers Simon.

But it was.

I was blindsided by the grief, a grief I hadn't expected given that he wasn't a husband, a lover, a best friend. A grief I didn't feel entitled to, and I sat down to start writing Second Chance, a book about grief.

But as so often happens during the course of writing, the events of your life overtake, and with them come changes in the book. My marriage started unravelling just as I sat down to write, and I put the book on hold to try and figure out what it meant, what my future might be.

The greatest thing about being a writer is that you are able to process how you feel through the words on the page. Second Chance became, not a book about my marriage, but a book about seizing happiness. It became a book about a group of friends reuniting after one of them - Tom - dies, each of whom is going through their own version of a mid-life crisis, each of whom is looking for an answer.

For Paul, it means a second chance at a family, even though he and his wife are beyond hope. For Saffron, it means a chance to conquer her addictions and really learn how to love. For Olivia, it means a one-night stand with a friend of Tom's that leaves her pregnant—with a big decision to make.

And for Holly it means another chance to escape her unhappy marriage and meet the dashing man who might be the key to changing it.

From midlife crises, adultery, divorce, infertility and pregnancy, Tom binds them all together, encouraging them to make difficult decisions about living their lives every day. The result is a second chance at happiness for all of the characters, if they are brave enough to take the next step.

I found my own answer during the course of the writing. I came to realise just what had been wrong in my life, and was lucky enough to find a different path before it became too late.

Jane Green
Author of Second Chance

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posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 12:00 AM   2 comments
Monday, July 2, 2007
Why I Wrote the Legacy Series by Elena Dorothy Bowman
What prompted me to write The Legacy Series? Years ago my father used to take us kids to Good Harbor in Gloucester, Massachusetts. During the summer months, this was an every other weekend Sunday Special. At the time Good Harbor was not the most famous or sought after beach to go to — Wingaersheek was. Good Harbor didn't have paved roads leading up to it, but rough, unpaved, crunchy, dirt, roads that made an awful sound as rocks, disturbed by the wheels rolling over them, spun up and hit the side of the car when my father slowly drove across it to park. In fact all it had at the time was what one would consider an outhouse, and not a great one at that. Parking was free, and entrance to Good Harbor was come as you please and stay as long as you want. There were no lifeguards or concession stands on the beach. You were on your own. You ate what you brought with you or you went hungry. But, as Mom would have it, our picnic basket was one that was quite unusual. We didn't have sandwiches, hotdogs or hamburgers; Mom made a large pan of macaroni with fried zucchini, hard boiled eggs, mixed in and of course her great meatballs.

As it happens some people did venture onto Good Harbor, and in the course of the day my oldest brother, Bob, who was probably in his late teens at the time, would tell all the young girls he met that he lived in that house sitting on the cliff. When they asked if he would take them through it, he would say his parents were entertaining and wouldn't appreciate his bringing anyone in to visit. And his reason for being on the beach was to get away from his parents' friends. He would tell them, maybe the next time he could take them through the house, but not now. I, of course, was warned by my brother not to say a word. Naturally, he being the oldest, I didn't dare even though I wanted to, even threatened to, but knew better.

But I digress. The reason for the novel was that very house sitting on top of the rocks at Good Harbor overlooking the ocean. The house fascinated me. I can't recall ever seeing anyone in or around it. And it didn’t matter what time of the day or night, yes we stayed long after the sun went down and watched as the glow of the moon shone over the ocean, or what week it was. There were no visible signs of activity whatsoever. I began to fantasize about the house and who may have lived in it, and what mystery the house had hidden behind its walls.

From my vantage point there didn't appear to be any one going up to the house or coming away from it. And on some visits to the beach as I watched the clouds passing over this magnificent home, I began to wonder about it. Questions would form in my mind. Who actually owned the
house?Who were the people who lived, or may have lived there? What did they
do? Did something bad happen there and that's why it looks so lonely? I would make up all sorts of tales. I often wondered if they went away in the wintertime, like some people do, only to return later in the spring. Did anyone really live there now? Or is it an empty scary house and as mysterious inside as it appeared to be on the outside?

Throughout the years I continued to wonder about this magnificent home sitting on top of the rocks. It had been there as long as I could remember, but what about before that time? Why did it seem so majestic?

Were people actually living there now, or is it as empty as it looks? It certainly appeared so. If people are living there, where did they come from, and why is it that no one has seen them?

Well, that was the beginning of the reasons why I wrote this series; and even though the house itself is real, the location has been changed, but most of all my novel, The House On The Bluff, Book One in the Legacy Series, is really a figment of my imagination, which I carried on into
books two and three, The Gatekeeper's Realm and Adam's Point, respectively. I hope you are interested enough to buy the books and enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Thank you.

Elena Dorothy Bowman


posted by Dorothy Thompson @ 11:59 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Dorothy Thompson
About Me: Dorothy Thompson is CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion and social media marketing for authors.  Visit her website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

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