Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).

Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.

Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.

Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.

Her latest book is Scribble & Author.



What’s inside the mind of a picture book author?

My mind is always buzzing with ideas for my stories. A big part of the creating process of my books happens when I’m away from my desk. When I’m walking, cooking or even brushing my teeth, I often think about the story I’m working on, about the character, about the plot. Then I rush to my notebook and write my ideas down so that I won’t forget them.

What is so great about being an author?

Creating is great. As an author-illustrator I get to fully express ideas which are deep inside my head and bring them out to life. Then, other people read the books and they, too, can get inside my head in a way… The greatest moments of being a children’s  author is when I meet enthusiastic readers and I see how my writing has touched them. There’s nothing like it.

When do you hate it?

There are tough moments, for sure. When I struggle with a story or an illustration and I don’t get it right. Or when I feel stuck and have no idea how to continue. Or when I submit a story and get rejected. And rejected again, and again… Yes, sometimes it’s hard, but I never really hate it! I feel so blessed and I’m always thankful for being able to do the thing I love most. Therefore I embrace with love even the hardest parts of this occupation.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

Define “regular”… I don’t really have a regular routine of a writing day. I’m busy doing other things like school visits (around 200 per year) and illustration projects, and I’m also a mom. Writing usually comes in between all other things, and - as I said before - lots of it happens inside my head while I’m doing other things. But sometimes, when I’m not too busy, I can take up more time for writing and then I sit for hours, completely immersed in the story, and I don’t feel the time passing by.

How do you handle negative reviews?

Luckily, I didn’t get many of those so far, but surely it isn’t easy. I feel that, for some reason, it takes many good reviews to make up for one bad review. But it’s OK. People have different opinions and tastes, and I know I could never please everybody. Also, I remember cases of bad reviews (not on my books) which resulted in a big buzz and actually made people go buy that book! So you never know…

How do you handle positive reviews?

I want to hug the reviewer! It makes me very happy when I feel somebody really understood what I was trying to say. I’m moved by people who want to share their excitement about my book. I feel very honored when that happens.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?
I heard so many times people telling me: “I always wanted to write a children’s book.” Or something like that. They think it’s a piece of cake, and if only they had a few minutes to sit and write their fabulous idea, they would have been a best seller by now. But the truth is that writing a good picture book is really hard. It could sometimes take me more than a year to complete the process from idea to a finished picture book manuscript.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

As I said earlier, I do other things as well, other than writing, therefore I usually anticipate the time when I could finally get to write. But one thing that helps me with my motivation is that I’m a part of a writer’s critique group, and therefore I have a deadline when it’s my turn to submit to the group.

Any writing quirks?

Hmm… I never thought of that. I don’t know if that counts for writing quirks, but I do tend to take my notebook everywhere in case an idea suddenly pops up. I guess I could be caught day dreaming once in a while and I observe and pay attention to many little details, which others might not notice. I could get all excited about an ant carrying a very big seed, for example. I guess that all of these things are part of my writing, even though they are all happening while I’m outside of the house.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I’d know for sure they are simply jealous. I know I have the best job in the world!

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes, sure. When I was a child, I used to get mad when my drawings or poems didn’t end up as I wanted. I used to tear up my drawings in anger, or scribble hard all over the poem, as if I was punishing my poor creations for not meeting up with my high expectations. With time, I learned to take it a bit more lightly. But still - Yeah, creating a story could get frustrating sometimes. On the other hand I love those moments when the pieces of the puzzle of my plot start to fit in and fall into place. This could make me walk on clouds for hours.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Not really. I mean, I wouldn’t mind getting loads of money over a best seller. But I often think: What if I become extremely rich, and I wouldn’t have to work another day in my life. What would I do then? The answer is, of course, I’d have more time to create more books! So, you see, I’m hopeless… But let me tell you something I recently heard from a mom who read my new book, Scribble & Author, with her kid. The young boy, not even 3 years old, asked to hear the story over and over again. A few days later, they brought home a new bunk bed. The little guy climbed up on to the top, and said: “Nothing can scare me anymore!”, quoting Scribble after she conquered the mountain in the story. Now that, to me, is success.

What has writing taught you?

Writing taught me courage. Because there are so many things which scare me in the process of writing. I’m scared I wouldn’t find an idea for my next book. Then I’m scared I’d write a boring story. I’m scared of exposing my emotions through my writing. I’m scared I won’t find a good ending. Then I’m scared of getting my story rejected. You get the picture. It’s scary. But being courages means going with the fear and simply doing it, step by step. And then I find out I did it and I stand on the top of the mountain and call “Nothing can scare me anymore!” Until the next day, when it starts all over again…

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

First, I want to thank you for this interview. The questions were very interesting and made me think a lot and even realize a few new things. Reading back all my previous answers in this interview I can sum up and say that writing is hard, takes a lot of time, it is frustrating and scaring, and usually doesn’t give you much money. Writing makes me do weird things and face tons of rejections. And yet I call it “The best job in the world.” Go figure. But it is all true. I wouldn’t choose any other job in the world.



Lisa33 and Me – The Harrowing True Story of a Six-Figure Advance
- by Dan Blum

This is the story of getting my novel published by a major New York publisher. 
It is a story of triumph over adversity.  Followed by defeat at the hands of adversity.   Followed by…let’s just say adversity and I are battling it out in overtime.   
I will skip quickly through the early rejection letters.  Suffice it to say that, in no time at all, I had accumulated a stack that covered the entire spectrum of conceivable reasons for turning down a manuscript – up to and including that my writing was, somehow, “too sophisticated.”
What does one say to that?  “How dare you!  My writing is not even slightly sophisticated!” Interestingly, another agent referred to the very same work as “too slapstick”.  It   would have been interesting to get these agents together for a panel discussion on what was wrong with my manuscript.
For years I worked and reworked a serious novel under the guidance of an agent who expressed an interest in representing it. The novel metamorphosed into a variety of forms: One narrator.  Two narrators.  Six narrators and a chronicler.  Yet with each draft, so my agent told me, there was something undefinable that was not quite right.  Perhaps the issue was not the narration after all.  Perhaps it was the story itself.  Or the protagonist.  Or the font.
I eventually dropped this particular magnum opus and dashed off Lisa33, a little post-modern sex comedy set entirely on the internet.  In a matter of a few months, I had completed it and sent it off.  I soon got a call back from Bill Clegg, who was then already a big name in literary representation. 
Bill was unlike anyone I had dealt with before:  suave, brimming with confidence, assured in his opinions.  When he declared that a book was, “brilliant”, it seemed he was making a statement not just about the work, but about his own expertise, his authority in conferring the label of brilliance.
“I want to represent this,” he told me.  “I will definitely get you a good deal for it.   I’ll call you in a few weeks.”  At first I was unsure whether to really believe him.   Was this just hubris?  A sleazy sales story?   Three weeks later he called again.  “I’m handing your book out today.  I’m telling everyone they have to read it over the weekend.  I’ll be back to you by next Monday to review the offers.”
The anticipation in the following days was almost unbearable.  And the next Monday he called again as promised.   His voice was full of excitement.  What was more incredible was what he had to say, which was something out of dream or a movie:  He’d generated a bidding war for my novel.  In the end, Viking had come up with the best offer, which was in six figures, and easily one of the largest advances paid to an unpublished novelist that year.   I literally jumped for joy. “Get ready for it!” Bill said.  “ You’re going to be famous.”
The next morning I awoke in a sort of euphoric haze.  I made coffee, asked my wife what we should do to celebrate.
“Well,” she said, “the trash definitely needs to get to the dump.”
What the heck?!  Didn’t celebrated writers such as myself have stunt-husbands to do that sort of thing? It would be the first but definitely not the last come-down I would experience in the coming months.
My editor at Viking, Molly Stern, was a hugely enthusiastic advocate for the book, and wanted only a few, small editorial changes.  I remember two in particular.  One was, “Make it even funnier!”  – as though one can just do this.  I stared despairingly at my pages, wondering how I could squeeze one more droplet of humor out of this or that section.   The other comment I remember was a note across some sex scene that read, “Could a toe really be that dexterous?”  This precipitated a painfully awkward conversation where I explained to Molly that I believed that a toe could be that dexterous, and she expressed the view that it could not, and we bravely  discussed angles, positions, physiology.  I remember thinking how I had theoretically reached the pinnacle of the literary world, and this is our erudite discussion!
Alas, it all started to unravel rather quickly.  My book was immediately caught up in politics at Viking.  While Molly loved it, her boss evidently disliked it to an almost equal degree, and wondered why Molly had spent so much to acquire it.  The publication date got pushed out.  The printing, the publicity, weren’t going to be that large after all.
Meanwhile my super-agent, Bill Clegg, gradually grew more and more remote.  Just when he should have been working to promote the book, or shaking things up at Viking, or withdrawing it from the Viking deal altogether and taking it to another publisher, he flat out disappeared.  Nobody seemed to know what had happened to him.   And then Viking pushed the publication date back again.  And then a third time.
The book came out in 2003, almost two years after it was first accepted.  As near as I can tell, it was deep-sixed – dumped onto the market by this most prestigious of publishers, that has a bevy of Nobel laureates among its authors – with zero publicity, zero marketing and zero sales effort.  It was scarcely mentioned to bookstores in Viking’s list of releases.   My publisher might as well have put a gold star on the cover inscribed with the words, “Don’t Buy This Book.”
Why would they do this?  I cannot really be sure.  Perhaps once Molly’s boss had expressed her opposition to the book, she basically wanted it to fail.  Failure validated her opinion. Success would have proven her mistaken.  But who knows?  
In any case, the book quickly vanished into obscurity.  As did I.  The beacon of fame swept right over me, illuminated me for a few delirious seconds, and then moved on – to settle, eventually, on who knows who.  EL James.  Justin Bieber.  Bristol Palin.  Having spent through my advance, I went back into software, making less money than I had before I’d left.  
But my story does end there, nor does my former agent’s.  A couple of years later, I was sharing my tale of woe with yet another agent, Simon.  “I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about the publishing industry,” he told me, “but I think yours is the very worst.”
There was something oddly comforting in hearing this.  At least I was noteworthy in some way.
Then he asked me, “Did you not hear what happened to Bill Clegg?”
“No,” I said.  “What happened?”
“You know he disappeared from the publishing world completely, right?”
“I didn’t know that,” I said.
“Everyone was talking about it.  Nobody knew what had happened to him.  Even if he was still alive.  It turned out, he was off on some huge cocaine bender.”
“That’s horrible!” I said.
“Not as bad as you’d think,” Simon said.  “He just resurfaced.  With a memoir about his experience.  Which he just sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars!”
Sure enough, the New York Times was soon writing front page stories about Bill Clegg and his  memoir!  I did not read Bill’s book, but I was fascinated – if that is the word – to read in the Times that it included passages where he described how he had screwed over his writers, had left them dangling, unrepresented, in limbo.
So this was the exclamation point to my experience.   I was writing software in some anonymous cubicle, while my former agent, who’d once told me I was going to be famous, was on the front page of the New York Times.  And why was he on the front page of The Times?  For screwing over people like me and writing about it!
The theme of Bill’s memoir, so I gathered, was that he’d found redemption.  Oddly, the proof of his redemption was his big advance for his memoir of redemption.
It is an irony that any self-respecting postmodernist has to love.  If he gets a big advance, and lots of media attention, he has returned triumphantly, and there is a story.  If he doesn’t get a big advance, or media coverage, there is no real triumph.  No heartwarming redemption.  The story lies entirely in the fact that the media is covering the story.
For several years after this experience, I ceased writing fiction and even reading it.  I wanted to get as far away from the memory as possible.  Oddly, authoring an unsuccessful novel is possibly worse than never having been published at all.  Nobody cares about why your book failed.  You are an embarrassment to the industry, an awkward reminder, a source of guilt that they would rather not think about. 
And yet here I am, many years later, rewriting the ending to this story. 
One day, without ever consciously intending to begin a new project, I founding myself writing a scene about a group of castaways on a deserted island.  It was narrated by an eighty-five year-old man.  Then.  I wrote a scene of his childhood in Germany in the 1930s.   Before I knew it, I was in too deep, immersed.  There was no way out but forward.  This became my new novel, The Feet Say Run.  
I found a small press for, The Feet Say Run.  Somewhat remarkably, I found myself in Publisher’s Weekly and Psychology Today.  I have someone pitching the film rights. 
Have I “made it”?  I’m not sure what that means anymore.  Or what exactly I’d once expected.  I do know this:  I have a novel out there that I am incredibly proud of.  I have a small, but enthusiastic audience.   I have some reason to be satisfied and hopeful.  I suppose that is making it.

Daniel A. Blum grew up in New York, attended Brandeis University and currently lives outside of Boston with his family. His first novel Lisa33 was published by Viking in 2003. He has been featured in Poets and Writers magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and most recently, interviewed in Psychology Today.

Daniel writes a humor blog, The Rotting Post, that has developed a loyal following.

His latest release is the literary novel, The Feet Say Run.



Andi O'Connor is the award-winning author The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. She’s written multiple books, including the critically acclaimed Silevethiel, which is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy, and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013. Andi's short story collection, Redemption, is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist.

You can frequently find Andi as a ​guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Philcon, Conclave, WizardWorld, and Chessiecon. Andi also writes for Niume where she provides writing tips, advice, and insight on her career as an author. You can connect with Andi on
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, visit Andi’s website.

About the Book:

Author: Andi O’Connor
Publisher: Purple Sun Press
Pages: 258
Genre: Fantasy

Darrak's adventure concludes with this thrilling finale of The Dragonath Chronicles!  

Following the betrayal of two of his trusted companions and a devastating battle in Mystandia, Darrak's talents are desperately needed by the citizens of both Earth and Dragonath. Torn with the decision of where his loyalty should remain, he finally decides to confide in Andillrian. Together, they craft a plan they hope will save Darrak's home planet, but their optimism is short-lived.

The Hellborn's army has begun the march to war.

With less than two weeks of preparation remaining, their weaknesses become unavoidably apparent. Planning for defeat suddenly becomes as important as planning for victory. Darrak's insecurities continue until the moment the first arrows begin to fly. He can only hope that help from a few unlikely sources will be enough.

For if they fail, Dragonath will fall.


What’s inside the mind of a fantasy author?
First of all, I want to thank Nuttin’ But books for having me! Let’s see, what’s inside the mind of a fantasy author? Well, just about anything and everything you could imagine! Seriously! I’m constantly thinking of ways to create new twists on commonly used fantasy elements such as magic systems, dragons, and shapeshifters. I think about staging battles, what attacks I can create within the magic system, and what weapons and battle techniques to incorporate. My mind is swimming with characters – their backgrounds, current situations, and future dreams. I think of ways to build my worlds and how I can make them unique from other fantasy worlds already created.
I always include current topics and issues from our world in my writing, many of them controversial, so I always have news events and stories running through my head. I think about deadlines and how I’m going to write the next scene, chapter, or book. I always have ideas for ways to reach new readers and how I can build the relationship I already have with my existing fans. Lastly, and arguably most importantly, I think about ways to inspire my fans to be comfortable being themselves and embrace their crazy!

What is so great about being an author?
Touching people in ways I never thought possible. It’s truly incredible to me that my books have helped people get through some of the most difficult times in their lives, and it’s the most rewarding feeling imaginable.

I had one reader write to me saying she had cancer. What got her through her chemotherapy sessions was visualizing my elf city of Silverden from Silevethiel. Every time she went in for treatment, she would picture herself in the world I’d created, and it would help to calm her enough so she could forget where she was and why she was there.
Another woman told me that the relationship between Irewen (a human) and Silevethiel (a lion) perfectly captured the love and friendship she had with her cat. Re-reading scenes from Silevethiel helped her recapture the memory of that bond after her pet’s death.
Hearing such personal stories of how my work has affected people and brought hope into their lives makes being an author tremendously worthwhile. They vanquish all of the frustrations that come with the job and are what make being an author amazing. They’re why I’ll continue to write until my last breath.

When do you hate it?
There’s nothing I particularly hate about being an author, though there certainly are extremely frustrating times. I think I’ve sworn the most when dealing with people hired to do the covers and formatting. I went back and forth with the formatter for The Speaker nine times before they got it right. There was an extremely feisty Andi for quite a few weeks!
One of the things I dislike the most is when people don’t take me and my work seriously, either because my books are fantasy or because they’re self-published. My books don’t fit in the stereotypical definitions or views of either category. Read first. Then judge.

What is a regular writing day like for you?
Writing is what I do full time, and I’ll usually start about 7am and go to 5 or 6pm. Many days I’ll work again at night after dinner. On a typical day, I deal with promotional and administrative issues in the morning. This is when I reply to emails, write/schedule blog posts, answer interviews, schedule appearances, organize social media posts to the day, and reply to any online messages. This is also when I’ll take care of any inventory and accounting issues that need attention (usually after a comic con, signing, or event) and prepare for any upcoming events. The afternoon and evening is set aside for writing or editing, depending on what project I’m working on and the stage it’s in.

How do you handle negative reviews?
I’m going to be rather blunt here: There’s nothing to handle.
I don’t mean that I don’t get negative reviews. I mean that it’s not something I see as a major emotional crisis that needs to be handled. All authors get bad reviews. No one is immune. They happen, and honestly, they should happen. Bad reviews bring legitimacy to a book’s quality and speak to the honesty of the rest of the reviews which are glowing.
Everyone is different. No two people are going to like a book for all of the exact same reasons. What someone loves about a book might be the reason someone else hates it. It’s impossible for me, or any author, to appeal to everyone, nor should we try. I expect bad reviews, and I get them. Not many, but I get them. If the day should ever come when I have more negative reviews than positive, then that’ll be a situation that needs to be assessed and handled.

How do you handle positive reviews?
My answer for this is the same as the previous question. I don’t feel as though there’s anything to handle. Good reviews are obviously what every author strives for. We all want people to enjoy our work, and it’s wonderful to hear that someone enjoyed it enough to take the time to leave a review, but again, I don’t really see anything to handle other than being appreciative that my work spoke to someone in a positive way.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?
I get two types of responses. People either think it’s really amazing and want to know everything about it, or they go ‘oh’ and shoot this expression at me like they’re above me because I don’t do anything other than eat chocolates and write silly meaningless stories all day.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?
I try not to force it. On days like this, I’ll work more on the administrative and promotional tasks until my mind clears enough to write. For me, forcing myself to write when it doesn’t come easily only leads to increased frustration and even less productivity.

Any writing quirks?
I don’t know if this is really a quirk, but I always write everything out longhand before I type it up in Scrivener. To quote one of my dear fellow authors, D.L. Young, I’m so analog!
I also must, and I mean must, sharpen my pencils before throwing them away. There are absolutely no exceptions. Don’t judge.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?
This actually has happened to me, particularly from some family and friends. It was insinuated by my father-in-law at one point that I don’t actually work. So, me being a stereotypical fiery Irish woman, I snapped back and told him that I do work. I put in more hours than he does at his 9 to 5, and I get paid to do it. His eyes widened in shock, and he tried to back-pedal and say that he meant it wasn’t really like work because I enjoyed it.
I think the issue is that most people don’t understand how much work is involved in being an author. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like much. I mean, you just write, right? But there’s the 3rd, 5th, 10th, drafts before even sending it to your editor, then multiple drafts once you get their edits back. There’s the formatting, the cover, the printing, the distribution, the marketing, the interviews, the personal appearances.
Most of the time, aside from the FIL incident, as it’s affectionately referred to, I just try to explain when someone doesn’t understand. More often than not, it opens up a really awesome conversation!

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?
Yes. There are days when I want to give up. I look at what I’ve just written and think it’s total drivel that was written by an unimaginative first grader. There’s times when I’ve re-written the same sentence fifteen times, and it still doesn’t sound right. There’s times when I read something from another author and think, ‘That’s what an author is. That’s powerful writing. My works are nowhere near as well-written or thought-provoking. I don’t deserve to be on a shelf with them.’ There have been many times where I wanted to give up and never write another word again. Then, I re-read one of my favorite scenes from one of my books, and I’m blown away by the writing, thinking it’s impossible that I’m the one who wrote it. I think of how many people my writing has spoken to and how many have enjoyed my works, and I keep on trucking.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?
No. I personally feel that if anyone writes with the sole goal of becoming the next J.K. Rowling and making tons and tons (and tons) of money, don’t write. Success as an author is reaching people. It’s touching them, entertaining them, but making them think at the same time. It’s when readers put your book down and days or weeks later find it still refuses to let them go.

What has writing taught you?
I’ve learned so much from writing and pursuing a career as an author. It’s taught me to manage my time better and be more organized in order to set and meet deadlines. I’ve learned to not be afraid to try new things and take risks both in my personal life and in my writing. It’s also taught me to be more outspoken and break free from my shy, introverted self, which is an amazing feeling!

Leave us with some words of wisdom.
Don’t think of another author’s writing tips as a do or die system that everyone needs to follow. Tips are what work for that author. They may not work for you, and that’s fine. Certainly listen and gather ideas until you find what works best for you, but once you discover your system, don’t freak out if it’s completely different from what other authors advised you. . It needs to work for you, not them!

10 Things I Learned About Becoming an Author


10 Things I Learned about Becoming an Author

by Kelley Pryor Amrien & Becki Stevens

It has been a little over a year now that I began my journey to become an author.  I never started out to be an author.  I’ve done a whole lot of things in my 44 years, but being an author wasn’t one of them until recently.  I’ve been a lifeguard, swim coach, vet tech, a teacher, a cake decorator, owned my own businesses as a reiki practitioner and an EFT practitioner.  I’ve learned important, and not so important, lessons at each stage of my life.  Being an author, though, has taught me some really interesting things, especially as an author of a non-fiction, self-help book.  

·         I learned that I have something to share with the world and I look forward to sharing more. I can’t seem to keep all the ideas I have for book subjects a bay now… I’m always thinking of how to incorporate new topics into a book!

·        I had no idea what I was doing when I started and if I didn’t have my wonderful co-author guiding the way, I may not have been able to say I am an author.  Kelley, being an established author already, knew the ins and outs of writing and publishing that I never would have figured out on my own.  

·        I really enjoy writing, which surprised me.  I can’t say that about the marketing and promotional aspect of being an author, though.  I am WAY out of my realm there.  I have all these “amazing” ideas of how to get the word out there, but thankfully, Kelley reins me in and explains the etiquette of reaching out to potential reviewers, readers, etc.  Which leads me to #4.

·        Writing the book was the easy part.  Promotion and marketing is a HUGE task and has a learning curve that I am still trying to conquer.  I think at the beginning of this journey, I just assumed that the book would just sell itself, because it is so needed and so easy to use.  I thought colleges, parents and grandparents would be lined up to buy the book for their college students.  It doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.  Unless YOU get the word out about your book, no one will even know it exists.

·        Self-publishing allows you to get your book out there sooner.  People are amazed when I tell them it took us a little over a year from conception to publication.  Apparently, this is a pretty quick turnaround, although I thought it took a long time.

·        Self-publishing means you have to figure out how to, either do it yourself, or find someone to edit, format, create diagrams, design the cover and so forth.  It isn’t just about writing the book; you need to make it look good too.

·        They say people see you as an expert once they find out you’ve written a book.  I absolutely agree that this will cement your “expertise” with some folks.  Especially with your kids.  It’s pretty much the first thing my daughter says to people now!  Seriously, though, being an author does give you clout.  Since writing our book, we’ve been asked to come on TV and radio shows.  It’s pretty cool, I have to say!

·        You will always find changes to make each time you edit.  It will get to a point where you will have to simply stop, otherwise your book will never get published.  We did 4 edits, I believe, and then still found mistakes when we got our proof copy. Talk about frustrating!

·        It felt like Christmas morning when we received our proof copy in the mail.  Then I spent the next few days carrying it around with me, showing it to anyone who would look at it.  It was like having a new baby, only not as cute.

·        Writing a book gave me a sense of accomplishment that I have never experienced before.  I am so proud of the time, research and effort that we put into our book and will put into our future books. I am proud to say, “I am an author.”

Writing isn’t for everyone, but for some people it is a hidden joy, that until they try writing, they will never know existed within them.  Writing Tapped Out, helped me to tap into that joy of sharing with the world and I can’t wait to do it again.

About the Authors

Kelley Pryor Amrein is a writer and EFT practitioner. Kelley first discovered Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) in 2007. She used EFT personally and with her family before becoming certified as an AAMET Level Two practitioner in 2014. As a coach, Kelley has witnessed the power of EFT to release negative emotions, relieve stress, and lessen physical pain. As the parent of college students, Kelley believes that Tapped Out is a much-needed resource on college campuses, where stress levels are on the rise. The book provides students with a life-long tool, allowing them to easily alleviate stress and enjoy a healthy and successful life.
You can find Kelley on Amazon at and
Becki Stevens is an AAMET certified Advanced EFT Practitioner. For the past two years she has owned a successful EFT practice in southern New Hampshire. She works with people of all ages, including college students, to ease their physical and emotional distress. Becki focuses on how a person’s emotions can sabotage their success. Becki believes that Tapped Out For College Students is an empowering introduction to EFT for college students, giving them a tool they can use throughout their lives to relieve stress and foster healthy relationships, creativity, and overall health.



About the Book:

Author: Kelley Pryor Amrein & Becki Stevens
Publisher: Creative Spirit Books
Pages: 236
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help/Stress-Relief
Book Blurb:

You’re in college and college is stressful. Your stress impacts every facet of life, from classes to grades to work commitments. Even your physical health can be affected. Studies show that college students like you now face more stress than ever, leaving you with less time for relaxation and self-care. When you’re already overburdened, the idea of finding a way to relieve stress sounds like one more way to add extra stress to your life. But, what if you can relieve the stress of college in minutes? What if homework didn’t have to be so hard, and you did have time for school and fun? Tapped Out For College Students: Stress Relief Using EFT, is a guidebook that empowers college students like you, allowing you to reduce your level of stress and opening the door to success in college and in life.

In Tapped Out, college students are introduced to our unique BESD (Because, Emotions, Sensations, and Distress) system, which easily guides them through the tapping process. Once you’ve defined your personal BESD related to a specific issue, you can easily translate this into a tapping session. The book is full of tapping scripts relating to the most common stress-inducing issues you face in college. Students can tap through the scripts as they are written, or they can personalize them, using the responses they develop using the BESD system. 

The Table of Contents is the perfect starting place, allowing students to pinpoint their issue and flip to the appropriate section of the book. Some of the topics covered in the book include time management, homework, exams, relationships, money, health, and preparing for the real world following college.
Students no longer have to be stressed throughout their college career. With Tapped Out as a companion, college students can face the college landscape calmly. This unique book, intended to be used as and when needed, empowers students to control their reactions and respond to each situation successfully. College is stressful. Tapped Out for College Students can help.



** Book Trailer Blast ** Rik's by dhtreichler


About the Book:

Title: RIK’S   
Author: dhtreichler
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 483
Genre: Thriller

“The entire affair began with sheep brains and falafel -- Saddam Hussein's favorite dish.”
It is 1990 and in Baghdad two lovers are separated by the impending First Gulf War. CIA operative Rik Bogart is desperately seeking television correspondent Ingrid Johannson -- but is instead picked up by  Saddam’s Secret Police and thrown into Abu Graib -- the Prison of the Dead. Ten years later, he must make a fateful decision after finally reuniting with her -- one that may keep them apart forever. How far would YOU go for your true love?
This heart-pounding thriller is written by a former international defense contractor who brings incredible realism and arresting insights into the days leading up to Saddam’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait, and provides a chilling account of life inside the infamous Prison of the Dead.
"It's as much a love story as it is a runaway thriller." Midwest Book Review


Book Excerpt:

Despite the blood flowing from my side and my exhausted condition, we wrestled for control of the weapon.

I rolled him over, coming up on top, and pinned him to the ground as we continued to wrestle for control of the Glock. I pushed his arm down to my left, held his arm with my left hand and punched him in the face, which loosened his grip just enough. I gained control of the gun. Now Tariq stared down the barrel of his own weapon with me on top of him.

“So this is the end, my friend?” Tariq asked as he looked beyond the barrel pointed at his head.

“No, Tariq, this is just the beginning. The ring?”

Tariq nodded in understanding and held his hand up for me to remove my Academy class ring, which I did and slipped it into my pocket.

About the Author

As a defense contractor, award-winning screenwriter and novelist, dhtreichler has wandered the world, visiting garden spots and more.  Having lived and worked with our intelligence agents and soldiers, witnessing the conflicts and the turmoil of recent decades, he paints vivid backdrops for his stories. Like him, the men and women he portrays attempt to make sense of our fast-changing world. He has held a lifelong interest in the profound influence of rapidly changing technology on our lives and relationships. Exploring that power (what has changed and what might come) forms an insightful theme of his novels. His stories also reflect the universal desires and fears of real people everywhere.






Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.



About the Book:

Author: Mark Oristano
Publisher: Authority Publishing
Pages: 190
Genre: Nonfiction Medical

What is it like to hold the beating heart of a two-day old child in your hand?  What is it like to counsel distraught parents as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives?

Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author Mark Oristano to create Surgeon’s Story - Inside OR-6 With a top Pediatric Heart Surgeon. 

Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying.  Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.

That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.

As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.

Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.

“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.”
Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.

Watch the Book Trailer at YouTube.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

What’s inside the mind of a medical non-fiction author?

To find an interesting story and tell it truthfully, in a page-turning fashion.

What is so great about being an author?

Well, if you like spending a lot of time by yourself, it’s a great job. The freedom and the artistic quality are my favorite parts.

When do you hate it?

When I have a deadline.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

Up at 9. Newspaper and coffee. Breakfast. NY Times Crossword Puzzle. Email and other chores. Write from noon to four. Then do life stuff.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I ignore them.

How do you handle positive reviews?

I ignore them… Reviews are for something that’s already done and that I can’t change, so I generally don’t pay much attention. This also goes for my work as a stage actor, which I do in addition to writing.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

“Oh, really? Have I read any of your stuff?”

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

Never force it. Nothing good comes from that. Go to a movie. Workout. Anything.

Any writing quirks?

I often listen to piano jazz, Oscar Peterson, etc, while I write.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

Ignore them.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

As somebody once said, “I don’t enjoy writing, I enjoy having written.”

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Only if you’re crass and shallow.

What has writing taught you?

Accuracy. Truth.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Don’t get it right. Get it written.