Today’s Writing Tip

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Be familiar with the archetypal “Hero’s Journey”. It resonates with humanity and has been a literary vehicle for millennia. This pattern was identified by Joseph Campbell as a Monomyth in his book, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces.” This was later adapted by Christopher Vogler as the Twelve Stage Hero’s Journey.  The number of stages vary, usually between eight and twelve. Just Google it and you’ll find multiple references, including several different illustrations. As a writer, it’s something with which you should be familiar. Classic examples include “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars.”

Today’s Writing Tip

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Remember your main character needs to have a fatal flaw. It doesn’t have to be evil; it could be something like being too honest or outspoken. No one is perfect and to be convincing, your characters shouldn’t be, either. It’s their weaknesses that make them more endearing and real. They also build suspense, an essential ingredient for any story.

If you’re not sure what a character’s fatal flaw might be, take a close look at his or her strengths. Any trait that can be a strength can also be a weakness, if taken to the extreme. Obsessions, for example, can go either way, to a person’s advantage or detriment, depending on the situation. For example, being determined and not giving up can also result in beating the proverbial dead horse.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Other than a chosen few best-selling authors, the people making the most book-related money are those that offer promotion services, teach classes, or provide other publication help, such as cover design, formatting, and video trailer creation.

Unless you have unlimited resources, choose them wisely to make sure you get your money’s worth and a suitable ROI (return on investment). While any new endeavor requires a certain level of investment, it’s an easy trap to fall into where you’re putting out far more money than you’ll be able to recover for a long time. Making easy money by becoming an author is about as likely as becoming a famous singer or Hollywood star. The odds are not in your favor.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Social media presence is important for readers and fans to connect. However, you need to post engaging content to draw them in as opposed to only promoting your books. This is likely to be viewed as spam and lessen your popularity as opposed to boosting it. Giveaways, interesting blog posts, excerpts, and selling yourself as an interesting person are a few ways to draw them in.

It’s Easier Than You Think to Do Two Things At Once!


If you’re anything like me, there aren’t enough hours in the day. Things either take longer than expected or something pops up and devours the hours. Parallel processing helps somewhat. For example, if my computer is taking forever to download or update, I get up and do something else, rather than sit there and call it unsavory names. I’ve foolishly spent an amazing amount of time waiting for my computer when I could have been doing something else. Like cleaning out the cat’s litter box, for example.

spaghetti-787048_1280The same goes for cooking. It doesn’t take long to figure out you can cut down your preparation time by not doing everything in a serial, one thing at a time, manner. Rather, you brown the meat for spaghetti while you’re waiting for the water to boil, and so forth. It’s not rocket science.

With such busy days, it’s easy to see how learning to parallel process, or better yet, multiplex, is essential, not only to get everything done, but to find time for yourself. It’s pretty pathetic when you have to schedule time for fun or to enjoy something, but that’s often the case. Another way to slip in something you enjoy while doing something you don’t, such as your daily commute amidst the worst drivers on the planet, getting in those steps to keep your FitBit happy, or weeding the garden, is via audio books!  walk-2635038_1280Recordings of motivational talks, college courses, and even novels, have been around for a while. But now they’re as easy to access as your smart phone, which is most likely within reach.

If you love to read, but can’t find the time, this is a great solution. Make those mindless tasks more pleasant by listening to something you enjoy. If you don’t like to read, it’s even better, because someone is reading to you! Just like those tender memories of being read to as a kid!

Such an indulgence used to be expensive in the old days when you had to purchase tapes or CDs. Now you can get a subscription for Audible for just under $15 a month, which includes one book. You can even get a free trial for a month when you sign up! Do it through Amazon and they’ll give you two books free, that you get to keep, even if you decide not to subscribe. Buy the ebook and you get a huge discount on the audio book!TheTerraDebacleAudioRGBflatsmall+ copy

If you like science fiction, may I suggest you check out my story “The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51?” It’s gotten some great reviews and the narration by Hollywood actor, T.W. Ashworth is awesome!

Listen to a sample!

Happy listening!


Today’s Writing Tip

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Some author groups provide a variety of benefits including classes, tweet groups, review opportunities, online writing conferences, blog tours, interviews, and vetted author services providers. Two I can recommend are ASMSG (Author’s Social Media Support Group) and RRBC (Rave Reviews Book Club). Getting into ASMSG is free, but requires a recommendation from an existing member, which helps keep the membership focused on more experienced writers. Anyone can join RRBC by signing up on their website here. They charge a membership fee, but the more involved you get, the more benefits you’ll receive. If you decide to join, be sure to tell them I sent you!

Today’s Writing Tip

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There are numerous author groups which have a variety of excellent benefits. These are where you can find authors with whom you can do a beta swap or provide editorial reviews. There may be one in your local area where you can get together face-to-face with other authors. If not, there are several options online. One place to start is Linked-In, which has several author groups. Facebook has some as well. Make sure that any other groups of which you are a member, even if they don’t relate to writing, know that you are an author.

“What’s Breaking Your Budget” — The Title Says it All!


The title of this book says it all. Who doesn’t have financial challenges these days? If you’re looking for some practical help, you’ll find some here. In fact, an objective third party certainly agrees since “What’s Breaking Your Budget: A Foolproof Household Plan” just won an award. This called for a quick interview with the author, Dawn Greenfield Ireland, to help spread the good news.

MF: Your book, “What’s Breaking Your Budget,” just won a gold medal from The Jenkins Group. That’s a huge testimonial to its quality and content! What inspired you to write it?

DGI: What’s Breaking Your Budget is the son of Mastering Your Money, a tiny book that won the eBook category of the New England Book Competition. I’d like to get MYM in every school across the land because people have no clue how to keep manage their checking accounts.

The Budget book would be excellent for anyone who is starting over after a divorce or any life crisis, people drowning in debt, people who have lost it all, and just because they should learn how to manage their money.litaward

MF: That’s so true. So many are clueless, plus things change, which often calls for re-evaluating your financial resources. You mentioned having an audio course that goes with the book. Will it contain different material than the book or complement it in some way?

DGI: The online course and the paperback will be available Summer of 2018.

The online course may have more in the audio, but typically, I offer it because many people like to listen to books instead of reading. With the online course they will see the graphics in the book and hear me narrate the content.

MF: It sounds like a great thing to listen to, making the advice seem more personal. What better way to use your time driving to or from work than to learn how to use the money you earn more effectively! Why do you think people have so much trouble managing their money? Do they not make enough or is it a discipline problem?

DGI: For the most part, people don’t understand their money patterns. And they suffer from the “gimme gimme I want I want” syndrome. Learning to live within your means is a challenge. This is something that What’s Breaking Your Budget tackles.

MF: So true. There are far too many temptations out there. So many can’t tell the difference between a “want” and a “need.” What are some of the things readers will learn from your book?

DGI: The subtitle of What’s Breaking Your Budget says it all: A Foolproof Household Plan. People will understand their income and their obligations. That may sound simple, but one of the reasons people get into financial trouble is because their minds are too scattered. The book/course includes an assignment – a serious homework assignment for the entire household to undertake.

When I taught the course in Houston, the people who attended were shocked at their discoveries. This tiny book is a powerhouse of insight and information. Owning up to your contribution to your plight may be tough, but I like to say it’s time to pull up your big girl panties / big boy BVDs and tackle the problem once and for all.

MF: Absolutely. People get into their financial trouble in most cases on their own and need to get out on their own. Of course there are exceptions, like unexpected expenses, but in general, we all need to learn how to live within our means. Where is your book available?

DGI: What’s Breaking Your Budget is available on my website, Amazon, iBook Store and Kobo. If you’re on Goodreads, you can find it there as well.

MF: Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will benefit from some sound financial advice.


About the Author

ME - 3-2017Dawn Greenfield Ireland is the author of several award-winning books and screenplays. To date she has written seven novels (three contemporary mystery and four science fiction), three nonfiction books, 15 screenplays (comedies, dramas, one horror, action adventure and science fiction), and three short scripts. Her former day job as an award-winning technical writer (34 years) played a major role in her fiction writing – she is detail-oriented, stays within budget and never misses a deadline. She writes full time in addition to editing books for authors, and coaching people through the writing process.

Connect with Dawn






Today’s Writing Tip

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Networking with other authors is a must, especially with those who write in the same or similar genre. See them as allies, not competition. How many readers stick to books from only one author? However, they do tend toward certain genres. Your fans will appreciate learning about authors who write stories similar to your own.

Beta exchanges, promoting each other on your respective blogs, retweeting, Facebook posts, sharing marketing ideas, etc. are a few ways where you can help each other.

Today’s Writing Tip

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If you’re a new author, don’t expect readers to find your book as soon as it’s released. There are literally millions of books out there and you need to take action if you want anyone to find it. Think of it as being in a huge stadium, such as at the Super Bowl, and trying to get everyone to notice you. Then multiply this by a hundred or more!

This is where networking and book promotion is essential. You can start drawing attention to your work before its release by posting excerpts or updates on your progress to build reader anticipation. Once you have an established fan base it’s a lot easier.