Monday, September 24, 2007

Scott Zema's Blog Tour Stops at Potpourri of Writing

Scott Zema, author of Three Steps to Investment Success, Buying the Right Art, Antiques, and Collectibles, stops at Potpourri of Writing during his September blog tour. He has written a book to help you learn "how to guarantee a profit on your acquisitions."

Scott is an appraiser who can give you tips to investment success. You'll find a synopsis and chapter excerpt of his book, at Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Tours: THREE STEPS TO INVESTMENT SUCCESS.

If you want to learn more about purchasing art, antiques and collectibles that will be a good investment, check out Scott's book.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Today Nikki Leigh visits Potpourri of Writing to discuss her latest book, Lady Lightkeeper. She gives us many ideas on how she gets her ideas and writes her book. I found this almost like a mini workshop.

MEA: One of the questions I'm frequently asked as an author, "Where did you get the idea for your book?" This always interests me, too. So I'll ask you, "How did the idea for Lady Lightkeeper come about?"

NIKKI: Lady Lightkeeper is the second book in the historic Misty Cove Chronicles. It’s the continuation of Lizbeth Sullivan Kinsey’s story. But, each book can be read individually. The first book, Widow’s Walk, started with a story idea I got from a picture that hangs in my living room. That picture gave me the idea of starting the story on the widow’s walk and it gave me a rough idea for a time period. Originally, this was going to be one book, but the story grew and grew as I was brainstorming ideas.

The main brainstorming happened on a trip from Virginia to Florida for my brother’s wedding. We actually were brainstorming so well, that I missed a turn and we went about 40 miles too far before getting back on track. Then two of us brainstormed by the hotel pool one evening. There was just so much more of Lizbeth’s story that I wanted to tell – and it’s not over.

MEA: Some writers plan their books with a rigid outline. Others say the characters sort of take over and "write" the book. Which applies to your writing? Or do you have another style?

NIKKI: I start with an outline – this is especially useful with a series where I want to tie things and people together. This also helps me to plan twists and turns in the story. However, I have no problem letting the characters take over and tell their parts of the story. I feel you can use an outline and still be flexible when new ideas hit.

I wrote the first book without an outline and it took a long time. However, the outlined books were put on paper much quicker and flowed so much better. I also do a lot of character creation to have a clear picture of them, their background and where they came from before I start to write. I really think this gives the characters and the story more dimension.

MEA: Do you have a favorite character? How did he/she evolve?

NIKKI: I really like Lizbeth. She’s been through a lot in these stories and I think her growth as a person, a mother and a wife is shown in the books. She started out as an independent young woman (not the most popular behavior in a fishing village in the 1840’s). But, she grows in a variety of ways through the stories. I throw a lot of problems at her, but she manages to get through everything.

MEA: Did you ever get bogged down with Lady Lightkeeper or your other writing and find it difficult to keep it going? If so, how did you resolve it?

NIKKI: I plan thoroughly enough that this isn’t a common problem. I’ve had to cut some of the things I planned to include when other ideas took their place. Usually, I have far more ideas than I can include, but I’ve learned to par them down to make the ideas useable. I planned to end Lady Lightkeeper at a much different place, but the end I used seems to make sense to me. But, I did include an epilogue to create some additional interest in the next book.

MEA: What would you like readers to take away from Lady Lightkeeper?

NIKKI: I think the resilient power of friendship is an underlying story in Lady Lightkeeper. I would love to have a friend like Sara and I’m not sure Lizbeth would’ve gotten through all the trials without Sara by her side. One reviewer even mentioned that the book is like reading a diary that was written by two women. The other thing I want people to get is the idea of a second chance for love.

MEA: Lady Lightkeeper is part of a series. Did these books start out as a series or simply evolve as you were writing the first book or finished it?

NIKKI: The story started out as one book, but the idea grew and grew and will now be at least 3 books and 1 short story. I’m introducing a couple of interesting new characters in the third book and they may need a book of their own in the future. Although I prefer the story from the beginning to the end, readers can read the books individually. Each book stands on its own.

MEA: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about Lady Lightkeeper or your writing?

NIKKI: Other comments from reviewers that I really like are about the lighthouse and lifesaving details in the books. I hope people will enjoy the story, but they will also learn about the Lighthouse Service and the Lifesaving Service. There is a shipwreck and a rescue in Lady Lightkeeper and the equipment is authentic and the rescue is as I picture it after learning about the situation and the things the characters had available to help the stranded sailors. It took me a while to get this chapter right, but I felt it was important to help people understand what was involved in a rescue in the 1850’s.

A final note, I love to hear from readers. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

Web site:



Other books you'd like to mention:

Books released as Nikki Leigh
Stormy View – limited copies available from me
Widow’s Walk – Misty Cove Chronicles Book One
Lady Lightkeeper – Misty Cove Chronicles Book Two
Lilah and the Locket – Cape Hatteras Series – 1954
Book Promo 101 – Basics of Book Promotion (October 2007)
Journeys of a Lifetime – Readers Station Anthology (October 2007)
Book Promo 101 – Writer’s Resource Ebook (October 2007)
Stormy Shores – Contemporary Misty Cove Novel (November 2007)

Books Released as Shri Henkel365
Foolish Mistakes Smart Managers Make Every Day
ow to
Open a Financially Successful Pizza & Sub Restaurant
Successful Meetings: How to Plan, Prepare and Execute Top-Notch Business Meetings
Non Commercial Food Service Manager’s Handbook

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Welcome to Potpourri of Writing, Dwayne. We're pleased to have you as a guest today as you stop by on your virtual blog tour.

Dwayne Gerald Anderson is a Canadian author. His most recent book, Partially Human, is a young adult science fiction story about a teenager who discovers he's not totally human. This is the third book Dwayne's had published...a great accomplishment for a young man of 24.

Dwayne also was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was 16. However, he's an inspiration for others, like my grandson, who have this condition. From Dwayne they can learn they have the capability for great accomplishments.

To read a synopsis and excerpt from Partially Human, visit Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

MEA: Frequently readers ask me how I get the ideas for my stories. It seems to be a rather universal question. So I'll ask you to tell us how you came up with the idea for Partially Human.

DWAYNE: The book was based on my own personal experiences with being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at age 16. Like me, the protagonist is discriminated against and mocked by many because of his "difference", though he ultimately is able to overcome it, move on with his life, and make an impact on society.

MEA: Often authors say the characters seem to take over and determine the direction of the story. Others keep to a strict outline and don't let the characters vary from that. What happens between you and your characters?

DWAYNE: I would say it's a bit of both. The actions of the characters do move the story along as well as following the outline I've written for the book.

MEA: Do you "get stuck" when writing your books or do you find they flow right along?

DWAYNE: Often, I think hard of ways the characters solve their problems, the dialogue they speak, or what happens in the story.

MEA: Do you put some of your own experiences in your books?

DWAYNE: My experiences with life have been the inspiration for my books. My experience with Asperger Syndrome inspired Partially Human.

MEA: What do you hope your readers learn, or take away with them, when they read Partially Human?

DWAYNE: I hope to teach others that people need to be accepted for who they are and not rejected for being different.

MEA: Do you have anything else you'd like to share with us about you, your life and your writing?

DWAYNE: I have more works planned, such as a sequel to my first two books, a medieval fantasy, two romances, and another general fiction.

Thank you, Dwayne, for visiting Potpourri of Writing today. I hope your tour will be very successful and great fun. You're an amazing young writer we need to keep our eyes on. There is much others can learn from you and your perseverence, as you share through this interview and your books.

To learn more about Dwayne and his writing world, visit his blog and web site.

Dwayne's blog:
Dwayne's web site:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My Virtual Blog Tour Tips Guest Post on Grow Your Writing Business

Yvonne Russell, of Grow Your Writing Business, asked me to write a guest post about virtual blog tour tips for the touring authors. It appears as Virtual Blog Tours - The Latest Innovation for Promoting Your Writing.

Apparently I hit upon some key points for authors and writers to consider when they're touring the blogosphere, for Scot Herrick, of Ten Keyboards, who also writes about virtual blog tours, mentioned my guest post at Great Tips for Virtual Book Tours. He says, "This is a great article [mine at Grow Your Writing Business] for how technology can help a writer market their work."

Next I'll research how authors and others who are making these tours can publicize them. You can do all the touring you want, but if no one knows about it or doesn't visit those blogs where you're interviewed, it doesn't do much good.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Brenda Marks' Online Reception and Drawing

What an intersting twist on the virtual blog tour. Those I've been hosting have been authors who go on month long tours.

However, I came across Brenda Marks' idea for an online reception and drawing to coincide with her show opening. Those who couldn't attend could leave a comment on her blog and have their name tossed into the hat for a drawing for one of her prints.

So, no matter what type of art you're involved in, you can enjoy virtual tours, virtual visits, virtual grand openings. Authors also can use this idea with a drawing for a copy of one of their books.

(Incidentally, I learned about Brenda's online reception and drawing at Alyson Stanfield's Art Biz Blog. )

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Do You Want to Start a Writing Related Business?

Are you thinking of starting a business related to to your writing, but don't know where to begin? Did you start one recently, but find you could use advice?

Perhaps you want to expand your writing into speaking and teaching workshops, either in the writing field or a niche relating to your book topic. For instance, I've written about my mom's journey through Alzheimer's and my caregiving experiences. After When We Become the Parent to Our Parents was published, I began giving talks to caregiver groups, at nursing homes, in libraries, to senior citizen groups. Then I was asked to teach workshops whereby others could write about similar experiences. You can expand into these directions, too.

Perhaps you want to develop a publishing business? Or you want to teach cooking classes to further expand upon your recipe book. There are so many directions you can go with writing as a springboard.

So.....check out the Jump Start Your Business Contest at the b5media Business Channel and Home Biz Notes.

You'll find more details here......