Treating your Writing like a Career

So this last summer I had the amazing opportunity to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America) Annual Conference. And I learned so much, and met a host of other authors who were in the same boat as I was. Trying to make our writing stand out from the pack and make a living with our writing.

One session I attended said the following: ‘If you don’t treat your writing like a serious business, how do you expect anyone else to take is seriously.’

This struck a deep cord within me, and I realized I had been treating my writing like a hobby. Even with 4 books published I still haven’t been treating my writing as the business it should be.

So after I heard that I took a couple of months (I’m not kidding but I wish I were), to understand what that meant to me and my writing. I really believe this means something different to everyone. But for me I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have been treating my writing as a hobby because when I didn’t feel like doing any writing I just wouldn’t. If I felt boxed in with anything that had to do with writing I just walked away. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written anything in over a year….

But now what? Just recognizing that I am treating my writing like a hobby wasn’t enough, I needed to make some important changes in order to move from hobby to living.

CHANGE 1: creating a business mindset. I don’t know about you but when I am writing the last thing on my mind is business.

CHANGE 2: Carve out time during the week to deal with the business of my writing. Marketing, list building, social media, blogging. I have failed mightily in these areas in the last several years.

CHANGE 3: My writing has been mish mash for the last year, and if I want to make it a business I have to write. So I am carving time out of every day to write. Some day’s that means I am only writing for 15 min but at least I am getting words on a page.

CHANGE 4: Setting appropriate goals. ie: when I want my next book finished, how I will grow my email list, building a tribe a like minded writers. I know this one is tough because writing is such a solitary process but having like minded authors and readers will increase my reading base and accountability

CHANGE 5: Taking classes, and learning how to make my writing better. It’s always good to increase your knowledge base.

Wow reading through these kinda makes my head swim, but if I want to make my writing my business I have to treat it like it is.

Hope this helped out, if you are struggling with making your writing a business you are not alone. Let me know in the comments.





ReWind Friday — Shadow Play

Well it’s Re-Wind Friday and since Shadow Play is free for a limited time on Amazon I thought I would give you all a taste of what you can expect if you ran out and got your copy.
Seriously you don’t want to miss this sale. Now I may be bias because I wrote the damn thing… lol but don’t just take by word for it here are some of the reviews:

The characters themselves, in their own rights, were absolutely wonderful as well. Marlee was your typical smart-mouthed, kick-butt, catsuit wearing (you’ll understand the irony of that once you meet her) bombshell, but there is so much more to her than that. Simon’s unbreakable devotion was both adorable and heartbreaking, especially because of the future it held for him.

— Marked by Books

This was a fantastically unique read. The characters were also really well defined and described. Kyra is a female lead to look up to

— Lauren Johnson 

Definitely, found a new favorite author in Christie Palmer and her new book Shadow Play. Absolutely, enjoyed it. For a debut novel it’s very, very good. There better be more Tracker stories coming, whether it be the brothers by themselves or the supporting characters who were all very good too. Loved Marcus, Max, and Marlee. (you know what? They deserve their own stories to, even the Reapers. They were kind of funny sometimes.)A definite must read.


So here is the teaser I promised you enjoy.

“What are you?” the man asked.
“What are you?” Kyra threw back.
“I’m your worst nightmare,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest. Nightmare isn’t the category she would put him in. His voice resonating deep in her chest. The saner side of her brain marked him dangerous as hell, but she wouldn’t classify him in the nightmare category.
Kyra let the corners of her mouth turn up. “Cliché’ much? Besides I’ve been told something similar before but …” She raised a palm to the sky in a shrug. “I just don’t seem to scare easily.”
“I’m really going to enjoy killing you,” the woman snarled.
“I could say the same to you.” Kyra didn’t even turn to look at the woman, keeping all her attention on the large man several feet away.
Kyra hated to disappoint the woman, but she didn’t have any plans on dying today, or any other day. Instead Kyra pulled her gun out from behind her and pointed it at the woman, her eyes steady on the man.
“My silver bullets say otherwise, sweetheart, so back the hell off.”
The Lycan bared her teeth. “I don’t believe you.” She glared at Kyra before exchanging a look with the man they shared a moment of silent conversation before the Lycan stepped back still growling.
Kyra heard the growl and shook her head as she pulled the trigger, planting a bullet into the dirt within an inch of the Lycan’s left hand. The show of dominance died a quick death as the Lycan realized Kyra did, in fact, have silver bullets in her gun. When you dealt with immortals of all kinds on a daily basis, you always came prepared for a fight. Silver could hurt and kill a substantial number of Others. Kyra refused to shoot any other kind of bullet.
“Short leash,” Kyra said, again wanting to keep the Lycan on edge because she didn’t yet understand the man in front of her. She needed to keep the pieces of this puzzle moving, and keeping the Lycan pissed would be a good start. As long as she kept the pieces moving, she had different plans for escape. Once the pieces stopped moving, she hoped to be in an advantageous position.
“Kill her now,” the Lycan snarled between her teeth. Kyra wondered if she would start foaming at the mouth soon if the man didn’t make a move of some kind.
“Are you the one who has been killing the women?” he asked Kyra using a voice which bounced off the inside of Kyra’s skull, making her want to run screaming into the woods. She blinked refocusing on the man in front her. What the hell? She wanted to spill her guts about everything she had seen in her mind’s eye since arriving in the cursed place. Kyra shook her head again and blinked. Clamping her mouth shut around her traitorous tongue, drawing blood in the process.
“What are you?” Kyra asked, her voice sounding weak even to her.

“I’m the one asking the questions. And if you’ll remember, I only ask once. So if you want to answer my questions, now would be a good time.” 

Hoped you enjoyed the teaser! Now run out and buy your copy. Here is the link.  Amazon 

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Where you can find me

Life Lessons, #2 What I’ve Learned from Watching Criminal Minds

What I’ve learned from watching Criminal Minds

And how they’ve made my writing better.

  In case you don’t know Criminal Minds is a television show about a group of FBI agents who profile serial killers. Now that I’ve explained that to you I should also tell you that you should crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under.
  I mean who doesn’t know what Criminal Minds is? I mean it’s on syndication and on like ten different cable/satellite channels any given time any given day of the week. So look it up ladies and gentleman you have no idea what you are missing. And here is why…

    What I’ve learned in the years I have watched Criminal Minds

  1. Things can always be worse.
  2. Always, I mean ALWAYS double check the locks.
  3. It doesn’t always end with a happy ending.
  4. When there’s a twist… The evidence (the smallest pieces) are all there. You have to be able to follow the bread crumbs back.
  5. The bad guys have to have a purpose and a reason.
  6. And last but not least… anyone can be a bad guy so watch the f*&^ out.

  Do you have a favorite show, or do you watch Criminal Minds? And if so has it influenced your writing in anyway? Let me know below. 

  And watch out because like #6 says anyone can be the bad guy… you might just be in one of my novels as the one who did it, in the study with the lead pipe. Please tell me you got that reference…


Where you can find me

My Website
Where Fantasy Meets Reality Blog
Join Christie’s Fan Club
Email me
Youtube Channel

The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act

How to not get lost in the shuffling act.

  You know that shuffling act between being a fulltime wife/mother/day worker (computer programmer/computer analyst/janitor/teacher/graphic designer/engineer/ PR/truck driver) and the part time evening night worker of being an Author/blogger/and Marketer of your work.
  Writing it out is overwhelming enough much less actually living it.
  Life is overwhelming, and often impossible and a shuffling act any elite juggler would envy. So how do you handle the shuffling act between the fulltime act and the part-time passion?
  Now this isn’t some silly blog that is going to tell you to set appropriate goals, and set aside time for yourself and cut yourself slack. No I’m not going to tell you to be realistic about your goals, and the time you have during your day. I’m really going to give it to you straight. So put your big girl panties on and let’s get started.
  You’re about to hear some old things, and some new things. But I certain hope you hear something that you can use.

  1. Set realistic goals. –Sit down today right now and right down what your goals are for the remainder of 2014 do you have Conferences you want to attend in the next 12 months. Books sales increase that are driving you to do what you are doing? Increase in readership? What are your goals for the next 12 months? Right the suckers down.
  2. Do you have a Budget for your writing career? (You better have a budget for your writing career if not now is the time to get one. Set that thing up. Go do it now, I’ll wait….)
  3. Do you have a calendar? Put one together, I have a calendar for my work schedule, personal stuff (family, and my own stuff) blog, and misc., then I have a calendar where I put everything together. Yes that is 4 calendars, but it makes it so I don’t miss anything. It’s called a Balancing Act for a reason… (Again, do you have one? If not go set one up for the next week, I’ll wait…)
  4. Calendaring/Stickers/Loving your calendars (see below)
  5. How many email accounts do you have? (And how often do you go through them?)
  6. Do you To Do? You should To-Do… (Again, I’ll wait.) Are you tired yet? Because if you didn’t have even one of things above and stopped to do them you should be just a little tired. Getting yourself organized is tiring but it’s worth it. In my article Do you To-Do I explain how important it is to have a buy into to your author business.
  7. Now put all this together in a 3 ring binder. And this is the beginnings of your balancing act.
  8. Calendaring – This is one of the most important parts of the balancing


  Why is Calendaring the most important part you may ask? Or is this self-explanatory? Keeping track of all the important moments coming and past.
  So how many calendars do you have?
  How many do you need?
  Let me know? And if you ever see me stop me and check mine out. I have to admit, it’s pretty impressive with stickers and notes. I would honestly be lost without it.


Where you can find me

My Website
Where Fantasy Meets Reality Blog
Email me
Twitter: @christieauthor
Youtube Channel

Join Christie’s Fan Club

Sex Ed and the Modern Day Romance Writer

Sex Ed and the Modern Day Romance Writer

  Knowing the human body before you write about it is paramount. Trust me you need to stay current on your education even when writing love stories.
  It doesn’t matter if you don’t write erotica, or explicit sex scenes understanding the working parts can mean the difference between how a man holds a woman in a loving embrace to a choke hold.
  Even if you write sweet romance understanding the fundamentals of a heated look and how it will make someone feel in a biological way instead of a physical. Making your writing JUMP off the page, make your readers feel it, believe it, fundamentally understand it.
  Confession Time…In a former life I sold adult toys and products. Doing this; I was taught and learned more about the human body and sex then any one person ever needed to know. But in doing so I learned and changed and boosted my sexual writing to a different level.
  My characters, and readers benefited immensely, I don’t write erotica (and not because I can’t haha), because I knew exactly what was going on with everything not only below the waist but above the waist as in the mind as well.
  The human body is an amazing thing ladies and gentleman and staying current and learning something new about the human body every single year will keep your writing fresh and modern plus it will bring your readers coming back for more.

  How do you keep your sex scenes current and fresh? Leave a comment below.

(Christie teaches Sex Ed and the Modern Day Romance Writer at conferences and writers workshops it’s a funny and interactive workshop, if you’re interested please contact her.) 


Where you can find me

My Website
Where Fantasy Meets Reality Blog
Email me
Twitter: @christieauthor
Youtube Channel

Guest post with author Ashley Brown

Special Assignment

by: Niki Becker

Hello there – I’m Niki Becker, AKA Ashley Nemer. While this wasn’t my first work of fiction as Niki this was my favorite. I have never enjoyed writing a story so much as this one. I’m not sure if it was the fact that as ‘Niki’ I’m more free, or if it was simply the subject matter. Niki is a true outlet of freedom for me. She gives me the biggest feeling of satisfaction because I find her ability to fulfill even my own dreams, a reality.
One thing you don’t know about me is that even though I write quite detailed scenes (either graphic in sexual content or graphic in violence) I am really quite shy. I don’t like all of that out in the open and it makes me uncomfortable around large groups of people. Not saying I’m a prude just, considerate. As Niki, that feeling and need goes away and my true inner-self is set free onto the world!
Another thing I think that helps me while writing as Niki is that I always wanted to change my name to that as a child. I was so mad that everyone at school was named Ashley and I had nothing unique about me. So now, I guess I have finally changed my name and helped develop a personality that keeps everything lively and entertaining in my writing.
I hope that you like Special Assignment. Here is a little tid bit of a fun fact you won’t know unless I tell you. The brother Justin – is named after and based loosely on my old friend from High School. He found out that I had one character already in my writing about one of our friends and wanted one about him. So man I gave him a doozy! Another tid bit – the victim in the story (there are two) both come from real people I know. One a best friend/family member and another a girl from high school that I happened to see her name in my Facebook ticker and was like, Ah HA!
Guess that’s a valued lesson to learn – if you are on my friends list and I’m in need of a name – better stop posting or you could end up inside one of my books!
Happy reading and again – I hope you love Special Assignment. And please don’t be shy…shoot me an email and tell me what your thoughts!


  Jake left Justice, Kansas shortly after the wreck. His life had been forever changed and he didn’t know how he could stay in the one place that was a constant reminder of both women. Now on a quest to prove himself he taps into the one thing better left alone.
   Charlie knew that eventually she’d have to run again. Resolution, California wouldn’t be safe forever, someone would learn about her past. She just never imagined it would be the one person she’s spent a decade trying to forget.
   Charlie and her brother Justin have made a new life in their beach side house on the banks of California. Justin stripping and Charlie hooking – neither wanted these jobs but they both paid the bills. Life was calm until trouble happened inside one seemingly friendly hotel.
   Jake and Charlie, face to face with each other and their past.
   Will they both overcome their shadows that haunt each of them?
   Is there ever a way to forgive and forget when death is involved?
   Special Assignment – The only thing special about this assignment are the two people involved.

Available in Print and E-book formats
Ebook ISBN: 9781310863448
Purchase Links:

About Niki

Niki Becker is the pen name for Ashley Nemer.
Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her lifelong best friend Laura gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.
Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life, they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.
Author Website Niki | Ashley |Twitter | Facebook |Blog
“Live, Laugh and Love, like today is your last.”

Prodigal Son by: Debra Mullins

Prodigal Son
Debra Mullins

Bounty hunter Rafe Montana is a Seer, descended from the fabled Atlanteans. He uses his inherited power to “see” criminals across the globe and track them down, and he’s just started on a new case. Danny Cangialosi is accused of disappearing with a stolen car…but for the first time in his life, when Rafe goes looking, he is unable to “see” him. Instead, his search leads him to Danny’s stubborn, meddling, and very

Cara is looking for Danny, too, but not to turn him in. He is her brother, after all, and she’s convinced he has a good heart. If she can just find him before the cops do, she’ll figure out a way to get him out of this. But Cara didn’t count on a scorching-hot bounty hunter getting in her way.

Despite instant chemistry, Rafe and Cara know they’re never going to see eye-to-eye when it comes to Danny. What they don’t know is that Danny didn’t just steal a car—he stole a precious stone, a stone right out of the legends of Atlantis. It holds powers they can only dream of…and its owner wants it back.
cute stepsister, Cara McGaffigan.

About the author….

 Debra Mullins is the author of thirteen historical romances for Avon Books and one paranormal romance for Tor/Forge. Her books have been translated into several languages and nominated for awards from both the magazine RT Book Reviews and Romance Writers of America and its chapters, including the Golden Heart, the RITA, the Holt Medallion (twice), the Book Buyer’s Best Award, and the National Readers Choice Award. She also won the Golden Leaf Award for Best Historical for her book, A NECESSARY BRIDE.
  Debra has spoken at various RWA chapter meetings, as well as the national RWA conference, the Liberty States Fiction Writers conference and the Emerald City Writers’ Conference in Seattle. In August 2009, she gave a full day special event for the Orange County chapter of Romance Writers of America with author Charlotte Carter, where she spoke on the topics of character and conflict.
  Born and raised in the New York/New Jersey area, Debra now lives in Californiaand has been actively writing for over twenty years. A language nerd, she could speak four languages by the time she graduated high school. At age 16, she went to France on a student exchange program for a summer. By the time she came home to the U.S., she was dreaming in French.

  She is currently finishing a paranormal trilogy for Tor/Forge. The first book, PRODIGAL SON, is due out in October 2013. Debra is a member of Novelists Inc., Liberty States Fiction Writers, and several chapters of RWA. You can find her on Twitter using @debramullins and on the web at