Guest Post: The Most Influential Women in Van Gogh’s Life

By Giuseppe Cafiero

Though Vincent van Gogh never married, there were a number of women who influenced his life and art.

Perhaps the most important of these was his mistress, prostitute Clasina Maria Hoornik and with whom Vincent lived between 1882 and 1883 in The Hague, Holland. Known as ‘Sien’, she was the subject of a number of portraits by the artist, capturing the hardships of poverty, including one of his most celebrated drawings, Sorrow.

Sien was already the mother of two children and the cohabitation gave Vincent the feeling of a surrogate, but important, paternity. Sadly, the relationship was not approved by his peers or family and at his brother Theo’s urging, Vincent left Sien in 1883 to paint in Drenthe. It marked the end of the only domestic relationship that he would ever know. Sien married in 1901 but committed suicide only three years later, throwing herself into the  Schelde river – something she had foretold to Vincent many years before.

Augustine Roulin was another of the important women in van Gogh’s life. Her husband, a friend of Vincent during his time in Arles, France, has already sat for the artist and he would go on to paint all the Roulin family before his breakdown in 1889. He captured Augustine beautifully in a series of portraits which he entitled ‘La Berceuse’,  meaning “lullaby, or woman who rocks the cradle”.

Also in Arles, Vincent struck up an acquaintance with Madame Ginoux, who with her husband ran the Café de la Gare, where van Gogh lodged from May to September 1888 prior to moving into the Yellow House with Gauguin. Her sitting led to a group of portraits called L’Arlesienne (“the woman from Arles”), which display Vincent’s characteristic bold colours and sharp outlines.

One final woman who deserves mention is Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, the wife of Vincent’s brother, Theo. Van Gogh loved her deeply because she had given him a nephew, another substitute and consolation for not having children of his own. Her greatest contribution, however, came after her brother-in-law’s death in 1890. She played a key role in the growth of Vincent’s reputation through the editing and publishing of his and Theo’s correspondence, and the donations of his works to the first retrospective exhibitions.

Vincent Van Gogh: the Ambiguity of Insanity by Giuseppe Cafiero is out now as an audiobook on Amazon, and iTunes

About the Book

Title: Vincent Van Gogh: The Ambiguity of Insanity

Author: Giuseppe Cafiero

An abrasive itinerary of the presence of women, the landscape and obsession. Such are the internal paradigms that went through the compelling life of the Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.

Not flesh and blood women, but the woman as a guide: Mrs. Jones, the woman as a mother; Kee Vos; Christine Hoornik of Siena; Margot Begemann. The Portrait-women such as Augustine Roulin and Madame Ginoux. And then the backgrounds, endless, unforgettable in this genius’s works: Isleworth, Amsterdam, le Borinage, Arles, St. Remy, Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent his life trying to capture the colors, the atmosphere, the light.

The pain of finitude and his obsession with achieving redemption through art, with intimate and stormy religiosity, with brotherly love, with the French noon sun and, in short, with death. A hard-working and unwavering life where art interacted, in a painful gesture, with the iron will of a hand that never lost its way.

The life of a beloved and devoted man, silenced by the anguish and despair of creation, who could only find peacefulness when he found his own death.

Vincent Van Gogh: the Ambiguity of Insanity is a fictionalized biography and gripping novel of the life of the Nineteenth-Century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The author, Giuseppe Cafiero, draws a psychological portrait of the Post-Impressionist painter through the women that marked his life and the cities in which he lived.

Guest Post Battling in All Her Finery

Guest Post

Now more than ever, the world needs women role models.

As I wrote in the introduction to Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders, when I was growing up in the 80s, there was a dearth of female characters in the popular media that my siblings and I consumed (largely cartoons). If I was lucky, the cartoons we watched had one female character, and she might get an action figure. The “girl” shows (which my brother didn’t want to watch) often had better representation, but they weren’t necessarily the things I wanted to watch.

In recent years, this has changed, with more and more significant female characters in cartoons, TV shows, movies, and written media. It’s much easier for young girls of today, even those who like “boy” things, to find a female role model in the media they consume. But that doesn’t change the fact that more is still needed.

We wanted Battling in All Her Finery to provide stories about women role models in the form of leaders of all kinds. While we have stories about queens, princesses, and generals, we also have stories about CEOs, musicians, and more. And these characters show readers that women rule, literally and figuratively.

If you’re looking for a book in which women rule, and which can provide many female role models for people of all ages and genders, check out Battling in All Her Finery. The stories are appropriate for nearly all readers, and spans fantasy, science fiction, alternate history, and other forms of speculative fiction.

About the Book

Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders

“I am a woman between worlds. Civilian and military. Seamstress and soldier. The Grande Armée I serve stands between tradition and merit. France itself between republic and monarchy. I stand between comfort and a wall of iron. Between progress and the world of dragons. Between grief and freedom.”
–Blake Jessop, “Cuirassiere”

No one understands leadership like those who have led. Mad Scientist Journal has brought together twenty-one tales of otherworldly women leaders. Some are born to power, while others find the spark of power within themselves. Their leadership crosses the boundaries between the military and political world, while also making stops in music, the boardroom, and civil movements.

Included in this collection are stories from Elisa A. Bonnin, L. Chan, Nathan Crowder, Lin Darrow, A. J. Fitzwater, G. Scott Huggins, Patrick Hurley, Blake Jessop, Alisha A. Knaff, Aimee Kuzenski, Christine Lucas, Matt Moran, Mathew Murakami, Jennifer R. Povey, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Frances Sharp, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, Leora Spitzer, Priya Sridhar, Tais Teng, and Shirley Vogel. Includes art by Rhaega Ailani, Errow Collins, A. Jones, Leigh Legler, Justine McGreevy, and Ariel Alian Wilson.


About the Authors

Elisa A. Bonnin

Elisa Bonnin was born in the Philippines, where she lived until the age of sixteen. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fantasy, writing, and going to the beach. Now, Elisa is a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, studying oceanography. She still enjoys reading and writing, and can be found working on pieces of creative fiction from time to time.

L. Chan

L. Chan hails from Singapore, where he alternates being walked by his dog and writing speculative fiction after work. His work has appeared in places like Liminal Stories, Arsenika, Podcastle, and The Dark. He tweets occasionally @lchanwrites.

Nathan Crowder

Classically trained pianist Nathan Crowder wishes he was cool enough to have been in a prog rock band. He has an abiding love for music and desert thunderstorms. Creator and curator of the superhero universe of Cobalt City, he lives in the wilds of North Seattle, surviving on a diet of coffee and irony. His career is managed by his black cat Shiva in exchange for room and kibble.

Lin Darrow

Lin is a professional Victorianist by day and a noir writer by night. She’s written several short works, both prose and comic, for anthologies such as Valor 2, Tabula Idem, Planetside, QueerScifi’s Renewal anthology, Malaise: A Horror Anthology, and others. Her first novel, Pyre at the Eyreholme Trust, is an adventure story that marries magic, noir, casino heists, and queer romance, and was published by Less Than Three Press in July of 2018. She currently writes the Hiveworks webcomic Shaderunners, a queer 1920s adventure/romance comic about bottled colour and bootleggers, at

A. J. Fitzwater

A. J. Fitzwater is a meat-suit wearing dragon living between the cracks of Christchurch, New Zealand. Their work has appeared in venues of repute such as Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer Magazine, Glittership, and many more. They sit on their pointy golden horde of two Sir Julius Vogel Awards. And they emerged triumphant from the trial by word-fire of Clarion 2014.

G. Scott Huggins

G. Scott Huggins grew up in the American Midwest and has lived there all his life, except for interludes in Germany and Russia. He is responsible for securing America’s future by teaching its past to high school students, many of whom learn things before going to college. He loves to read high fantasy, space opera, and parodies of the same. He wants to be a hybrid of G.K. Chesterton and Terry Pratchett when he counteracts the effects of having grown up. You can read his ramblings and rants at The Logoccentric Orbit and you can follow him on Facebook.

Patrick Hurley

Patrick Hurley lives, writes, and edits in Seattle. He’s had fiction published in Galaxy’s Edge, Cosmic Roots & Eldritch Shores, Flame Tree Publishing’s Murder Mayhem anthology, Hy Bender’s forthcoming anthology Ghosts on Drugs, Myriad Paradigm’s Mindy Candy anthology, Abyss & Apex, Penumbra, Big Pulp, and The Drabblecast. In 2017, he attended the Taos Toolbox Writer’s Workshop taught by Nancy Kress and Walter Jon Williams. He is a member of SFWA and Codex.

Blake Jessop

Blake Jessop is a Canadian author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories with a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Adelaide. He was the lead English translator of Colette Debelle’s recently uncovered memoirs. You can read more of his speculative fiction in Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers from World Weaver Press, or follow him on Twitter @everydayjisei.

Alisha A. Knaff

Alisha A. Knaff lives in Seattle with her cats, Hal and Odin. After inventing the time machine, she was president of the Jane Austen Fan Club from 1800-1806, and helped stop the Martian Invasion of 3003. One of her favorite hobbies is feeding pigeons with Nikola Tesla. Her novel, School of Sight, is available with Razorgirl Press, and you can find out more about her and her writing at

Aimee Kuzenski

Aimee Kuzenski is the woman your martial arts teacher warned you about. Her cat was not born hairless; Aimee once shaved her with a single knife stroke and the fur was too scared to grow back. A graduate of the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop, Aimee has also narrated audiobooks for indie authors and for the SFF short fiction podcast PodCastle. Aimee lives in Minnesota with her girlfriend and not enough Filipino weapons. You can find more information about Aimee’s work at her website,

Christine Lucas

Christine Lucas lives in Greece with her husband and a horde of spoiled animals. A retired Air Force officer and mostly self-taught in English, she has had her work appear in several print and online magazines, including Daily Science Fiction, Cast of Wonders, Pseudopod/Artemis Rising 4, and Nature: Futures. She was a finalist for the 2017 WSFA award and is currently working on her first novel. Visit her at:

Matt Moran

Matt Moran doesn’t talk about himself in public that much, but in private he plays guitar, collects and paints models, cooks, and bakes. As a freelancer, he translates French and writes games, articles, and stories in English. Amongst many other things he has survived a hernia, crucifixion, and being thrown head-first from a horse. He likes sitcoms, sci-fi, spies, and fantasy, and is delighted his fiancée loves him nonetheless.

Mathew Murakami

Mathew Murakami is a writer, gamer, and technology consultant living in Washington State. He has worked as a technical writer, editor, car salesperson, caterer, temp bartender, overnight hotel desk person, landscaper, sandwich artist, and fake job maker-upper (but only once). When he is not writing–and sometimes when he is–he enjoys tea and puns.

Jennifer R. Povey

Jennifer R. Povey is in her early forties, and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband. She writes a variety of speculative fiction, whilst following current affairs and occasionally indulging in horse riding and role-playing games. She has sold fiction to a number of markets including Analog, and written RPG supplements for several companies. She is currently working on an urban fantasy series, Lost Guardians.

Jennifer Lee Rossman

Jennifer Lee Rossman is a disabled science fiction geek who knows the right words can do magic. She hopes she used the right words in Anachronism, her debut novella available from Kristell Ink, a imprint of Grimbold Books. She blogs at and tweets @JenLRossman.

Frances Sharp

Frances Sharp is a biracial writer from Houston, Texas, who is extremely proud of her Mexican heritage, diverse upbringing, and the Astros. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and daughters, who she is also very proud of.

D. A. Xiaolin Spires

D.A. Xiaolin Spires counts stars and sand, residing currently in Hawaiʻi. She practices eskrima/arnis/kali (Filipino martial arts)–and, like Carmel, owns a tenegre sword, but (un?)fortunately, her weaponry doesn’t weep. Her writing appears or is forthcoming in publications such as Clarkesworld, Analog, Nature: Futures, Grievous Angel, Fireside, Terraform, Reckoning, Galaxy’s Edge, Issues in Earth Science, LONTAR, Andromeda Spaceways (Year’s Best issue), Mithila Review, Star*line, Liminality, ETTT, Outlook Springs, Polu Texni, and Story Seed Vault; as well as anthologies of the strange and delightful: Sharp & Sugar Tooth, Broad Knowledge, Future Visions, and Ride the Star Wind. Website: Twitter: @spireswriter

Leora Spitzer

Leora Spitzer is a queer Jewish bibliophile living in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Urban Studies and a minor in Drama. Leora likes waterfalls, feminism, stuffed animals, economic justice, and learning about badass historical women.

Priya Sridhar

A 2016 MBA graduate and published author, Priya Sridhar has been writing fantasy and science fiction for fifteen years and counting. One of her stories made the Top Ten Amazon Kindle Download list, and Alban Lake published her works Carousel and Neo-Mecha Mayhem. Priya lives in Miami, Florida, with her family.

Tais Teng

Tais Teng is a Dutch writer, illustrator, and sculptor. In his own language, he has written everything from radio-plays to hefty fantasy trilogies. He just finished his first English science fiction novel Phaedera: Alastor 824, set in the universe of Jack Vance, which will be published by Spatterlight Press. His greatest wish is a Star Wars laser cannon to carve mountains or the lesser Jupiter moons. He owns no cats or even a pet boa constrictor, but has to do with a wife and three kids. For his writing go to, for his art to

Shirley Vogel

Shirley Vogel is a new author from St. Charles, MO. In fact, at 68 years young, this is her first published work–joining several other published writers in her family. She likes reading mysteries, staying active with bicycling and walking, and loves drinking wine.



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Guest Post: Common Mistakes Writers Make that Prevent Readers from Getting to the End

I would like to thank Sophia Anderson for writing the below post for my blog. It’s an interesting, thought-provoking piece, and I highly recommend all authors read it. I’ll leave the floor to Sophia now.

Common Mistakes Writers Make that Prevent Readers from Getting to the End

It’s no doubt that writers are afraid of writing a story that won’t be read by anyone. Have you ever bought a book from a bookshop that you thought it would be interesting to read but you ended up throwing it away? Maybe once, twice or severally; perhaps you were attracted by the headline and you got inspired by the introduction, but while you perused a number of pages, you came to realize the book was not that interesting as you thought.

Now, what could have caused you to drop the book? What mistakes did you come across in the book that made withdraw?

As an author, you need to make readers get interested to read every sentence, topic, chapter and page of your book. There are common reasons that can prevent your readers from getting to the end. Let’s make it clear. Continue reading!

  • Complex or informal language

The language you use when writing a book is of great importance. Neither should it be too easy to appear informal, nor should it be too difficult to the extent of making readers fail to apprehend. You want the reader to understand what the book is all about and so, you need to avoid taking the reader back to the dictionary every now and then to search for a word you used in every sentence. This can sometimes piss off readers. So, understand your readers and tailor your language to them.

  • Poor development

The second reason why readers are not making it to the end is the fact that your plot of a story isn’t dynamic. Do your readers have to peruse twenty pages before they can find the main character of the story? Or do you fancy describing landscapes and scenes specifying every little detail because you think it reproduces the broad picture and thus making your readers go through several pages which could have been much shorter? To avoid this mistake, you need to make what is important known by a reader before they can go too deep into your book and do not go to extremes with what’s not that much essential.

  • Unprofessional editing

Yes! It is true authors are aware that good and professional editing is crucial when it comes to writing a story but do you give this stage the ample time and effort it deserves? Of course, no! In fact, many authors are rushing to have their book printed so that they can get their first loyal readers.

Stanley Spike, the founder, and owner of Best Essays states that “Good and professional editing can get your book more readership, inspire your readers, and make it more easy to understand and interesting to read. Once you are done with writing it, edit it and get a second or a third eye to go through it since they can spot an error you may have skipped during your first reading.”

  • Lazy authoring

You can use clichés, metaphors, and descriptive phrases as much as they add value to your story. All these three make like 30 percent of the whole book. But you must avoid being too lazy in your writing. Note that a well-written story will attract a huge readership, especially when you use clear and easy to understand language. Additionally, readers want to read a story that will stimulate their senses and don’t overload their brain.

  • Shopworn plots

Sometimes as an author, you may use distinct scenes to define moods, characters and if possible, relationships that you already know and which you have picked from other books written by other authors. If the plot of your story has been used repeatedly by other authors, chances are that readers already know what to expect in every chapter of yours. To prevent yourself from doing this, play with your scenes in your mind; keep the readers wanting to know what will follow next.

  • Lengthy paragraphs

A book with lengthy paragraphs can be tiresome to read. Most often authors think that including long description scenes will keep the reader glued to their story, but this is not the case. Your 10-sentence paragraph is the reason why readers get tired when reading your book and click away. Keep off from monotonous sentences. Ensure to use short sentences and short paragraphs for the sake of good comprehension.

  • Dubious structure

A good structure rocks when it comes to writing a story. To make the reader flow along with your story, you need to make all events follow an organized flow. In fact, the best way to achieve this is to make an outline of all the chapters of your story. Avoid going forth and back when mentioning different episodes in order not to puzzle your reader.

  • Unrealistic story

When you put too many exaggerations, unclear ideas, and uncertainties, you kill the reader’s morale in reading your story. No reader would want to read a story that is too unrealistic. A realistic story that suits your plot is more appealing and more interesting to the reader. Ensure your story suits the time and place.

Final thoughts

Every scene in your story should aim at making it flow forward and arouse the reader’s interest. Once you include something that does not suit in your story, the readers will be off-put and will definitely take a chance with another book.

Back to you; what are the reasons that make you close a book and look for a better one? Could you share them right below here?

About the Author

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on learning, writing, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.

Guest Post How To Write A “Magnetic” Book Summary

Guest Post by Brandon Stanley

Your summary should be a much simplified version of the book. Writing a book summary is an excellent way of revising what you understood from reading the book. Surely, as any other type of paper, you need some help getting the hang of writing this one, too. Fortunately, we have here a list of 10 excellent tips that will help you write a brilliant summary for the book you are reading.

Take Notes WHILE Reading

Get in your reading space and take a notebook with you. The space where you read your book should be free of distractions and prepared for you to do some careful reading.

Take notes while reading, not after you are done. This will help you record the things you read without any confusions, and reduce the workload for later.

‘’The summary is explaining how the reader understood the book by using his own choice of words. It is not a piece that requires poetic language or extraordinary skills, but serves to show that the reader read and understood the book.’’ – explains Frank Buffy, content writer at

Get a Specific Notebook for the Characters and Numbers

It is actually best to keep different notebooks or papers for separate things, but the key part is to have writing space specifically for the characters, and another for the details such as numbers. You must record these things correctly, since mistaking a name of a character is one of the worst things you can do in a book summary.

Keep a running list of all characters mentioned in the book, and write down some reminders of their characteristics and actions next to the names. This will help a lot in the writing process.

Use Separate Sections to Break Down the Book

Take the book in front of you and break it into sections. If the deadline is tight, you need no more than three separate sections. This should be very easy, because you have the beginning of the story, its plot, and the ending.

Each of your sections will have a goal and a theme. For example, the beginning section will introduce the characters and establish the story setting. The second section will discuss the plot or problem in the book, and the end should resolve these problems or discuss the key idea.

Identify the Key Idea of the Author

The book has some main idea in it, so it is time to find out which is it and write it in the book summary. What lesson is the book trying to teach you (since this is an academic task, this is surely a book that contains a lesson)?

Is it something related to the main character and his actions? Is it a lesson in the form of examples that prove a certain point?

Find this idea and identify it in writing.

Check the Requirements

You should have a list of requirements for the book summary. Read them several times before you start writing to make sure you don’t make a mistake.

Begin by Discussing the Characters and the Main Idea

It is now time to get serious! Start by introducing and describing the characters (the notes you took will come very handy here). This only takes a couple of sentences, and can be a great introduction.

Once you are done introducing the characters, it is time to mention the main idea.

Finish Off by Restating the Key Idea

You are now done with the introduction and have discussed the plot, so all that is left is the conclusion. In most cases, students struggle with this part the most.

With a book summary, it is very simple. Just finish the summary by stating the lesson of the book, or at least what you believe it is. You already know this part, because you checked it in step 4.

Do not Include Your Personal Opinion

A book summary should be neutral. This is not a judgement or praise of a book, but a summary of its story. Make sure none of your writing speaks of your feelings when you were reading the book, and do not discuss whether you agree with the author or not.

Revise, Proofread and Share Your Work

Revise and proofread to check and fix any mistakes. Make sure everything is spelled and referenced correctly. Sometimes it is helpful to share your work with others, and ask them to read over your work.

Get Help

Asking others to check your writing is help, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help during the writing process, either. Discuss the main idea or characters with others to clear up things. It is not embarrassing to ask for some help!

If you did all these steps, you have a magnetic book summary in your hands. Good luck!

Author Bio

Brandon Stanley is a professional independent journalist. He is interested in writing articles concerning writer’s techniques. Apart from that, Brandon loves traveling and playing the piano.  Follow him on Facebook and Twitter


Blog Tour: The Matter of The Crown

Guest Post: Art Crimes

Crime stories engage the most intelligent readers because they want to know who done it and they want the crime solved, while they devour every morsel of the story.   When a beautiful work of art is at the heart of the story, well then, we all fall in…hook line and sinker.   And usually, thank God, the work of art is not lost.   The protagonist rescues her canvas As a person schooled in the history of art and the law, and one who teaches future lawyers about the overlap, I know too much about art crime.  I love writing about it, however, because I love telling readers about the objects themselves.

Artworks are unique and always valuable in one way or another, so they attract both love and avarice   In the days of conquest by marching armies, from the Romans to Napoleon, there has been booty and loot.   Plenty of that hangs even now in the collections of private art lovers and museums all around the world.  There is another, related topic that is technical art theft.   This takes us, indirectly, to the topic of why people acquire masterpieces in the first place; it’s not always the pure love of fine art.

In my lifetime, the press has fallen in love with the subject of art theft because people love to read about it and it does sell copy.   It’s more than scandal, isn’t it?  There have been famous military moments, rich and famous people, eccentric people, gorgeous unique objects, all of which are the makings of exquisitely tantalizing stories. There is almost always a daredevil in the mix, sometimes a pirate or a jewel thief, to say nothing of an object that cannot do its own speaking.  Then there is the policeman in hot pursuit.

The Mona Lisa was stolen once.    And there are lists of famous and important works of art that have been missing for decades, even centuries.  Objects surface out of nowhere, too, for example the painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that sold very recently for about $450 million.  Edvard Munch’s paintings have been stolen over and over again, and one thief even left a note.  Everybody is aware of the horrible theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  Lots and lots of drama.

One of my favorite films is the more recent version of The Thomas Crown Affair, although there are plenty of good films about art crime.  I encourage my students to watch them all because they are visual, like the objects in question, and because they spotlight the excitement that goes with this type of crime.   They begin with a work of art and the next thing you know, there’s a hot story.   Some people are drawn to write about it and I am one of those.

They amaze me, some of these crimes.  “They” say that a good story has to be credible.  Well, who is to challenge the credibility of a tale about a theft or a forgery of a work of art? As wild as some of these episodes have been, they have happened for ages.

The Matter of the Crown

The Crown of the Andes, one of the world’s most precious and beautiful sacred objects, has been stolen right off the stage at Satterling’s Auction House in New York City. Five pounds of magnificent baroque gold that ransomed the Inca Ruler Atahaulpa, and hundreds of perfect Colombian emeralds, all gone without a trace! Will this legendary treasure be destroyed for its gold and emeralds? One woman is dead and another one in hot pursuit.

Purchase from Amazon UK

About Linda Ferreri​

Linda Ferreri is a well-known art lawyer and author.  Her books include novels about the Crown of the Anes, a novella entitled The King of UNINI, and whimsical hand-illustrated iBooks.  She is known, also, for her drawings.   She divides her time between Italy and the United States, and lectures widely around the world about art and history.  Her next novel is in progress.




Guest Post Ultimate Tips on How to Become a Ghost Writer

Ultimate Tips on How to Become a Ghost Writer

There are people with important stories to tell. Their lives have been more exciting than most of us can imagine. Others haven’t had such adventurous lives, but have great minds full of ideas. The entire world inspires them to tell stories. Sometimes, however, the capacity for telling stories doesn’t correspond with a person’s writing skills. In such case, these people turn to ghostwriters, who can give form to their thoughts and put them in writing.

You would think that the ghostwriter is not that fortunate in this situation, but you’d be wrong. Ghostwriters get to do what they love – they write! This activity enables them to gain experience, write great stories, and earn money without going through all struggles that their own publications would impose.

Are you interested in ghost writing? We have a great guide for you today. Read these tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming a ghost writer.

Reasons to Consider Ghostwriting

  • You Make Good Money

According to the info by the Editorial Freelancer’s Association, ghostwriters earn $50-$60 per hour. That’s more than what fiction writers earn (between $40 and $50 per hour).

  • You Get an Advance Payment

If you decide to publish your own book, you’ll need to be very patient before you get funds from royalties. If this is your first book and the readers don’t know you, it will take some heavy marketing, which requires additional investments. Ghostwriting gets you the money right away.

  • You Won’t Be Emotionally Involved

When you’re writing your own stories, it’s hard to edit the work. That’s not the case with ghostwriting. You’re less emotionally involved with the work. You’re able to be objective and avoid potential flaws.

  • No Need for Marketing

Your name won’t be on the cover. Yes, the editing will need marketing, but you’ll be done with your job by that point.

  • You Get to Practice Your Writing Skills

Ghostwriting puts you outside your comfort zone. Through this experience, you’ll explore different styles and you’ll have to be disciplined with the way you do your work. In a way, ghostwriting makes you a better writer. You’ll be ready to give life to your own stories after a job like this.

  • You Get to Explore Unusual Topics

If your client has a fascinating story to tell, you get to explore topics you wouldn’t usually think of. This can be a really inspiring experience for you.

Things to Consider Before Becoming a Ghostwriter

  • You Need Some Experience in Writing

Ghostwriting is not for beginners. People with amazing stories are looking for great writers for their projects. They will check their portfolios. A ghostwriter has to demonstrate great capacity to write in different styles and voices. You’ll need to have your samples ready.

  • You Need Info on Publishing, Too

The client will probably ask for publishing advice. They see you as part of that industry. You’ll need to provide some guidance to your client regarding the best way to get the book out there.

  • It’s Not about You

It’s about the client. You have to find the voice that would suit their style and story. It’s not about what you like and how you’d tell it. It’s their story; you’re just the medium that tells it.

  • You’ll Be Your Own Manager

As a ghostwriter, you’re the boss of your own business. That’s a good thing, but it also imposes responsibilities. You have to take care of the contract. You’re the one who makes sure you get paid. You’ll be sending invoices. You have to recognize the moment and act when the client starts making inappropriate requirements that are not based on the contract.

  • Time Management Skills Are a Must

The client will expect you to meet deadlines. They won’t accept procrastination. You need advanced organization and time management skills, especially if you’re working on multiple projects at a time.

How to Find Clients for Ghostwriting

  • Get an Agent

Yes; even a ghostwriter might need an agent. If you’re a beginner at this, it will be hard to enter the industry without someone to represent you. You can get in touch with an agent through services like Literary Market Place, Publishers Marketplace, and Association of Authors’ Representatives.

  • Don’t Limit Yourself to Books Only

It’s not easy for beginners to land book ghostwriting deals. It’s better to start small. Autobiographies are not the only thing you can ghostwrite. You can also work on articles, blog posts, or even social media posts. One of the easiest and most productive ways to try ghostwriting is to become part of an academic writing service like EssayOnTime, BestDissertation, or SuperiorPapers.

  • Connect with Clients through Self-Publishing Platforms

Many people are looking for ghostwriters to tell their stories. However, they don’t have a connection with major publishers, so they usually turn to self-publishing. A self-publishing platform can recommend you for such a project.

  • Showcase Your Experience

Before someone hires you for their project, they will want to see proof that you’re up for the challenge. Showcase some of your work (written under your name) on a blog. Get some samples ready for the potential client to check out. Work on additional skills, such as social media marketing, which can be useful for this job.

  • Make Yourself Noticed

A ghostwriter should not be a complete ghost. Of course, they will act like a ghost when working for a client. However, they should still exist in the online world. You need social media presence and a blog, so you can attract people who are looking for ghostwriters. When you connect with a potential client, they will want to check you out. Your online reputation will influence their decision.

Ghostwriting can be a really rewarding profession. It’s not easy to get into that market, but it’s possible if you have what it takes. The above-listed tips will help you start this journey.

           Joan Selby is a content marketer, former teacher and fancy shoelover. A writer by day and reader by night. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Guest Post A Few Minor Adjustments

I’m hosting a guest post today by Cherie Kephart, author of “A Few Minor Adjustments”. Welcome to my blog, and thanks for taking the time to write a guest post for on here.

Healing Through Writing MemoirCherie Kephart

How do you heal through writing memoir? Writing a memoir is a restorative and soulful experience. By crafting a memoir, we learn how our experiences have shaped us, and we make a conscious choice to share this found wisdom with our readers. Memoir writing then becomes a healing experience that is a shared discovery.

Most memoirists, at one time or another, feel frozen, attempting to write about the deepest and most sacred parts of their lives. How do they deal with these foreboding and overwhelming feelings?

There is not one way to write a memoir, or one way to heal. There are multiple paths. Discovering what works best for you is important. In my case, I felt paralyzed while creating the beginning scenes in my memoir that dealt with the two times I almost died. Tears flowed instead of words. It felt too personal, and it was obvious I still had scars from those events. I struggled for months while the blank page haunted me. But I didn’t give up. Instead, I went deep within and asked for answers. One morning while meditating, I had the inspiration to write under a pseudonym: Maya. It was like a new open road I had just discovered. The streams pouring out of me were no longer tears, they were words. I could write about Maya, and it felt safe. I felt lighter, more connected to the story, and proud to help “Maya” with her journey.

But I didn’t keep the name Maya.

I reached a point where I was able to let go of the fear of speaking my truth, and embraced that people would read my story, my mistakes, my pain, and my struggles. It became a defining moment in my writing career, and life. Could I have started writing with my real name? No. I needed Maya to help me graduate to that space of comfort with my story and the gifts I was giving to myself and eventually to the world.

So what’s the bigger picture to writing a memoir? It’s not about names. Each writer has to choose whether a pseudonym is right for her or not. For me, it was a ladder to reach new heights. The essence of the story is what matters. Memoirs are about exposing both the dark and light of our lives, creating a profound conversation connecting our humanity.

We heal when we write memoir by owning our experiences and releasing them, not by being attached to our stories. It’s a sensitive arena, and sometimes difficult to navigate. Fundamentally, it’s about relinquishing the power your story has over you. By learning to let go of the story that is holding you back, you can craft the story you were meant to tell.

Through the craft of writing memoir, we evolve in our journey beyond what existed when we first embarked on this worthy, literary endeavor. I encourage you to enter the unwritten, write from a healing vantage point, healing for you, and for the world. It will be a transformative experience. It has been for me!


Press Release

San Diego Author Cherie Kephart

Empowers Those with Undiagnosed Illness in

Inspirational Memoir, A Few Minor Adjustments

Carlsbad, CA – San Diego author Cherie Kephart announces the release of her inspirational memoir, A Few Minor Adjustments (ISBN 978-1947127-01-2).  A Few Minor Adjustments won the Autobiography: Female Inspirational/Motivational category of the 2017 Bookvana Awards and the Best Unpublished Memoir Award at the 2017 San Diego Book Awards. It was also featured in the 2017 San Diego Annual Memoir Showcase and has been performed onstage at the Horton Grand Theater.

Cherie Kephart, a young woman who longed for adventure, traveled the world from the remote villages of Central Africa to the majestic coastlines of New Zealand until a mysterious illness thrust her to the precipice of death. The persistent health challenges led to years of suffering, during which her symptoms time and again were undiagnosed by well-meaning medical doctors and healers who were sometimes competent, sometimes careless, sometimes absurd, and always baffled. The anguish, the uncertainty, and the relentless pain would have caused many people to simply give up and end their lives—and Kephart came close.

Told with brutal honesty, astonishing wit, and a haunting vulnerability, A Few Minor Adjustments is an unforgettable memoir that will move readers with its fiercely inspirational account of one woman’s incredible journey to find life-saving answers. In the end, she finds much more than a diagnosis.

“I wrote this book to help others who are also on a journey of healing,” said Kephart. “Oftentimes people like me, who have undiagnosed illnesses, go years without help and without hope of ever finding a cure. We feel like outcasts, even within the sick community. I often felt lost, alone, and afraid, never knowing if I would ever find a diagnosis or heal. It’s frightening. I want people to know that if they are open and believe, they can heal in ways they never imagined possible, even without a clear diagnosis.”

A writer, editor, and poet, Cherie Kephart holds an M.A. in Medical and Cultural Anthropology, and has worked for many years as a scientific and technical writer. Her memoir, A Few Minor Adjustments, won the Autobiography: Female Inspirational/Motivational category of the 2017 Bookvana Awards and the Best Unpublished Memoir Award at the 2017 San Diego Book Awards. It was also featured in the 2017 San Diego Annual Memoir Showcase and has been performed onstage at the Horton Grand Theater. Kephart’s essays, stories, and poems have been featured in The San Diego Writers Ink Anthology, The San Diego Poetry Annual, the Oceanside Literary Art Walk, the Wild Lemon Project, and the Magee Park Poets Anthology. Kephart resides in San Diego and has been celebrated for her holistic approach to healing and her willingness to examine her life lessons in her writing.

For more information on the author or A Few Minor Adjustments, please visit

For further information, please contact:

Paula Margulies Communications

8145 Borzoi Way

San Diego, CA 92129


How To Learn To Write Books: 7 Practical Ways

Today I’m hosting a guest post by Chris Richardson, a journalist and blogger who offers practical ways on how to learn to write books. I’ll give the word to Chris Richardson now.

How to Learn to Write Books: 7 Practical Ways

If you thought the hardest part of book writing is getting it published, think again. Modern writers of today struggle with many challenges before this step even comes close, and they will all tell you the same thing – the hardest part of book writing is the actual writing part.

To help you overcome the common barriers of the writing experience, we have made a list of seven valuable tips on how to write a book. Whether you are creating a new literary novel, a screen play or non-fiction book, these are the things you should know:

Take the Time to Prepare

‘I take more time to prepare than what I take to do the actual writing. And it is the right way to go – the more prepared you are about the writing part, the faster and better it will go.’ – says, Peter Smearson, content writer at Essay Geeks.

Starting the process is probably the hardest step of writing a book, or any other type of writing for that matter. Good writing requires research, great topic and title choice, a set schedule and detailed goals. If you want to get this part right and make the actual writing part easier, follow these steps:

Step 1: Decide What Your Book Is About

You cannot write a quality book if you do not know what it is about. Readers always know when a writer lacks a specific idea, or is simply rambling across dozens of pages. Therefore, you should get a clear idea as to what you will be talking about, and create an outline of this idea.

Step 2: Set a Word Count Goal

When you have a good writing regime, it does not matter how busy your life is. Sometimes people with all the time in the world cannot finish a book, while those with hundreds of tasks write a bestseller. There is no limitation when it comes to writing a great book. All you need is a clear daily word count goal and determination.

Step 3: Stick to Your Plan

You now have your daily deadline, so respect it. This does not mean that you are not entitled to a day off, but try not to get yourself off the hook easily. When the time comes for you to write those words, sit down and write them down.

2. Set a Routine

This sounds like the third step of the first tip, but it is actually quite different. A routine requires more than a set word count. In addition to setting your daily goal, you should also pay attention to your environment. Remove all distractions with some of the most popular tools, set the right lighting and even temperature, and write in the same time and place every time. It is only in this way that you can set a real routine.

3. Be Consistent

Do everything you feel you need to do to be consistent in your writing. Keep an inspiration list where you will write down your ideas, keep an organized journal where you will write down facts, sources, and even add illustrations, and keep the things that inspire you close to you. The goal here is to deliver consistently, even if it is not your day.

4. Picture the Readers

Just as public speakers picture the audience in their underwear to get rid of the anxiety and fear, so should writers. Only in this case, you are not looking at an audience, but at an actual reader. Once you do this, you will be able to create something of value to your readers.

5. Take Breaks

Our mind is a tricky thing, and no one can be completely focused on one thing all the time. You should try to stick to the schedule, but it is not illegal to take temporary relief from this task. Award yourself with a treat or a break when you need one, even if it will break your schedule.

6. Be Prepared for the Reactions

Every reader is different. One will see your book as a bestseller, and others will wonder how it got there in the first place. Even if this petrifies you, it is the truth. So, stop fearing that your book will bring bad reactions, because it probably will at some level. The goal is to be open and as great of a writer as you already are. Success will follow.

7. Tell Your Story

No one can tell your story like you can. Even if you tell it to another person, you still have the benefit of ‘owning it’. Use this benefit to show people that you are the best person to tell that exact story, and touch them with the words.

All you have to do when writing a book is dedicate yourself to it. Put your unique style, spin on the writing, and just keep going. Next thing you know – your book is ready for publishing!


Author Bio

Chris Richardson is a journalist, editor, and a blogger. He loves to write, learn new things, and meet new outgoing people. Chris is also fond of traveling, sports, and playing the guitar. Follow him on Facebook and Google+.

Great Tips and Tricks for Every Writer by Jennifer Scott

Great Tips & Tricks for Every Writer to Remember

The art of writing is full of ups and downs. Sometimes you can be in full flow where the words simply roll of the tongue onto the paper, and you feel more inspired than you’ve ever done before. Other times, it’s difficult to even find the simplest ways to start a sentence.

Today, we’ll explore some of the best tips and tricks that cover all aspects of writing, helping you to be the best you can be!

Know Your Reader

Whether you’re writing the next Harry Potter series, a fitness-related recipe book or a blog, it’s important for you to define who your reader is going to be.

As soon as you know who your readers will be, whether it’s teenagers, millennials, over 50’s, backpackers, or whoever, many aspects of writing become easy.

This includes things like style, the language you’re going to use, the format of your writing. With this aspect of writing in your mind, it will be so much easier to direct your writing in the direction you want it to go.

Practice Your Craft

If you were planning on running a marathon, the best way to prepare for it is by exercising and practising the run many times before. The same goes for writing. If you don’t practice writing, your skills won’t improve.

Let’s imagine you’re a columnist in a newspaper that doesn’t mean that you’re restricted to just writing columns. Instead, practice story writing or poetry. You’ll be able to expand your knowledge of writing, and you may even be able to pick up new styles.

Proofreading & Perfecting Your Work

Perfecting your work is such an important part of writing. Even if you have finished your piece, by taking the time to go through your work while paying attention to the details, you’re not just getting your work ready for publishing.

You’ll also be able to pick up on things like grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, all of which will help to improve the readability of your writing. Every writer understands that this is not the easiest or the most enjoyable part of writing. Instead, you can make this process easier by using online tools and resources, such as Best Australian Writers.

Create a Writing Environment

You may try and write in a coffee shop, a café, a restaurant, at home in your kitchen, your bedroom or in your garden. Wherever you plan to write, set up a dedicated space for writing to take place.

This will help you to create a writer’s mindset whenever you enter that zone. Try to make it free from distractions and attention-grabbing devices, such as televisions or large public crowds.

Sally W. Ho, a content manager for Top Canadian Writers, shares her experience;

“Whether you’re sat at a desk or in your comfort zone, having a writing space is the best way to enhance your skills. I, personally, love to sit on my balcony with a cup of tea. This way, my city blurs in background noise which I find ideal for writing.”

Use Academic Writing Services

Despite writing being a very lonesome task most of the time, that doesn’t mean that you’re online. There is a tonne of online writing communities and websites that are there to help you, such as academic writing services.

These websites are perfect for connecting with other like-minded writers as well as giving you the option to use content writing services. For example, if you’re not sure how to write your blurb, upload your book and have it written by a professional writer or your behalf.

Be Free from Judgements

Just because you wanted to churn out your novel in a month, it doesn’t mean that you will. It’s good to have a plan, but this plan needs to flexible. If the next bestseller is in your head and it takes three years to produce, that doesn’t matter, just as long as you’re happy with the final product.

Always remain positive and free from judgements about yourself and your talents. Every writer comes across blocks every now and then. Writing will very quickly become a negative experience if you handle these blocks in the wrong way.

Guest Post and Giveaway The Sanguinarian Id

Guest Post

Creating artwork to go with my novel is a lengthy process, but it’s ultimately rewarding. By doing this, I can immerse my readers in my world to a whole new level, since it all comes out of my head directly to the paper. I’ve studied anatomy and physiology for years, practiced drawing out of medical books, and took classes in figure drawing, so I can make my monsters and characters to how I want. The process starts with the gesture drawing, in order to get the feel and movement of the scene. Since its in print, the majority of images must be in black and white, but I create them in color. After I make them, I convert it to grayscale, but I have a color and black and white version. I use pencil and paper to draw. I go over it in ink, until I get the contrast I want. I upload my work to the computer, and layer my pieces on top each other to create more depth. I calibrate the images in Photoshop to CMYK and the highest dpi at 1200 dpi. I place everything after in InDesign to format it to the demensions my publisher wants. When it’s done, I convert it to PDF format. When I create my images, I research drawings from different eras, manuscripts from different cultures, and other items to see the feel and texture of paper and ink strokes. Overall, the whole process is 30 percent research, 40 percent production, 20 percent do overs, and 10 percent formatting. I don’t settle on a illustration, until I feel its what captures the pinnacle emotion and excitement of the chapter. I love it all.


About the Book

Title: The Sanguinarian Id
Author: L.M. Labat
Artist: L.M. Labat
Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Occult, Gothic Horror
Publisher: Night to Dawn Magazine & Books
She’s been beaten, stabbed, poisoned, and shot, but Hael refuses to die. In her pursuit for vengeance and her origin, the Dhampir Hael hunts down the madman responsible for her fateful transformation. As this half-vampire juggernauts her way through a world at war, Hael battles hordes of Nazi soldiers as she struggles to maintain her sanity. However, while Hael gathers knowledge on how to trap and kill her target, her adversary’s network is expanding at an exponential rate, as his sick obsession with Hael grows deeper. Will she have her revenge? Will she find her origin? Or, will she crumble beneath her own insidious bloodlust?

Author Bio

Born in 1993, L. M. Labat stems from New Orleans, Louisiana. From the struggles of a broken family and surviving life-threatening events, Labat found refuge within the arts while delving into the fields of medicine, psychology, and the occult. While combining illustration and literature, L. M. Labat was able to cope with endless nightmares as well as hone in on artistic techniques. From confronting the past to facing new shadows, this author gladly invites audiences into the horror of The Sanguinarian Id.


The Sanguinarian Id Website
Website Creator: L. M. Labat
Night to Dawn Magazine & Books Website:
Night to Dawn Magazine & Books Webiste
The Sanguinarian Id on Amazon
The Sanguinarian Id on B&N
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