Friday, September 20, 2013


Jo Linsdell is a bestselling author and illustrator and internationally recognized marketing expert from Rome, Italy.  She is also the founder and organizer of the annual online event "Promo Day" ( and the Writers and Authors blog (

About two years ago, I joined an online writers group on Facebook called "Where Writers and Authors Meet".  As a newly independent author, I was on a mission to learn tips and trades in the writing and publishing industry.  It was this group that led me to meet Jo Linsdell and other willing-to-share experts, like Virginia Lori Jennings, author of The Alien Mind.  This group is an invaluable resource for those who write, illustrate, or blog.

When I first joined this group I was fairly silent.  In fact, most of my interaction was spent reading and learning from others until one night I thought, "What would happen if I marketed myself and my books like Jo Linsdell"?  You see, I had watched Jo Linsdell interact with many other writers and authors in the group and I began to ask myself what my success might look like if I mirrored her best practices.

It wasn't long before I reached out to Jo because she was a bestselling author and illustrator and it was obvious from her interactions in the group she was very willing to help others.  Jo had written and illustrated two of her own children's books Out and About at the Zoo and Fairy May and I was confident she could help me get one of mine off the ground.

So with this in mind, I sent Jo a message on Facebook to inquire if she would be interested in illustrating a children's book for me.  The rest is history.  Jo and I quickly settled on an agreement and the details for my book, A Birthday Clown for Archer, and she was off and running to illustrate my book.  A Birthday Clown for Archer released May, 2013.

My friendship and partnership with Jo continues to grow.  We communicate across the globe on a near daily basis, and we are both excited to have other joint projects in the pipeline.

I am constantly seeking opportunities to improve my skills; to build my author platform, and to market my products.  Jo has been a great help to me in doing this and she will be a great help to you too, especially with the release of her newest book Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home this month on  Regardless of whether you are a traditional or self-published writer, you will benefit from reading and using the hundreds of tips, resources, and practical experiences that Jo shares in her book.  It is an excellent guide on how to set up and carry out a successful virtual book tour.

In Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home, Jo Linsdell shows an author how to successfully market a book online and how to build an author brand by utilizing virtual book tours.  When asked why virtual book tours are good news for authors, Jo had this to say, "A large percentage of the world's population (currently around 40%) now uses the Internet and with the rapidly increasing use of smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices the number of people on the web will continue to grow.  It's therefore clear that authors need to be marketing online.  Target audiences are online and just a click away.  Through virtual book tours authors can now reach their readers from the comfort of their own home and successfully promote their books to a global audience at little or no cost.  That's big news for authors."

If you aren't convinced by now you should get to know Jo Linsdell, you should read the following questions I put to her in a recent interview.  I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about Jo and her writing endeavors.  To find out more about Jo Linsdell, please visit her website at, and while you are there don't forget to grab a copy of Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home.  You will be glad you did!

Why do authors need your book?
Marketing is part of being a writer.  Regardless of how you're published (traditionally or self-published), you will at some point need to do some marketing.  Virtual book tours are one of the most effective methods of creating a buzz about your book and have numerous benefits.  In this book I cover everything you need to know to organize and carry out a virtual book tour.  Even if you decide not to do a virtual book tour, you'll still find this book useful as it's packed full of marketing ideas and links to resources.

Why did you decide to write a book about virtual book tours?
I've done several successful virtual book tours for my own books and have worked with book tour companies and authors for years hosting them on my sites.  I've gained a lot of experience in doing virtual book tours from both the author and host points of view.  As I often get asked for advice about doing them from other authors I decided to put all the information together and created Virtual Book Tours" Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home.

What is the first thing you recommend authors do when they decide to organize a virtual book tour?
Put together a media kit.  In creating a media kit you have all the information regarding your book, you as an author, and your virtual book tour, all in one place.  This makes it a useful reference tool for you, but also a valuable tool you can use during presentations for your tour.  It should look professional and create a good impression.  A media kit will make life easier for your hosts as they have all the information they might need for your post all in one place.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
With each book I've done I've learned something new.  It's a continuous learning curve that I hope never ends.  I've definitely discovered being organized can make a big difference in creating my books.  Organization makes it easier for me to stay on course and helps keep my focus on my project.

How many books have your written?  Which is your favorite?
I've written lots of books, but I've published only five, so far.  Italian for Tourists, A Guide to Weddings in Italy, Out and About at the Zoo, Fairy May, and my latest Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your own Home.  Picking a favorite is hard as they are all special to me in different ways.

Italian for Tourists was my first and has been a constant seller since its release.  I wrote A Guide to Weddings in Italy after my own wedding here in Italy, so it holds  a special place in my heart.  Out and About at the Zoo was my first children's picture book and my first best seller.  It stayed in the best seller lists for over a year and is the book I've received the most reviews for.  Fairy May was released in February this year and has also become a best seller.  Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home became a best seller on the first day of its official launch and has set a personal best record for me.

When a writer refers to their books as their "babies" it's because they put a bit of themselves into each one.  You can't pick a favorite child and in different ways you love them all.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?  If so, what are they?
Yes, I would say, "Practice, Practice, Practice, and don't be afraid to experiment and read as much as you can!"

What's next?
I am currently working on another children picture storybook, The Bedtime Book, a series of non-fiction books for writers and authors about using social media, and some new collaborations as an illustrator.  I like to keep myself busy!

Anything else that you'd like to add?
Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home is available to buy at the discounted price of $2.99 during September to celebrate its release (normal price $4.99).

That's a wrap!
Now that you know who Jo Linsdell is and you know where to find her, I hope you will take a moment to visit her work on  On Amazon, you will find many FIVE (5) STAR reviews for each of Jo's books.  After your stop on Amazon, then hop on over to her website at where you will find a hosts of other links to her many social platforms.  Jo would be happy to hear from you and she would greatly appreciate you leaving a short review on on behalf books.

To learn more about me and my work, please visit my website at  My books A Birthday Clown for Archer, How to Swap Batches of Cookies and Candy with Others, Plus 115 Great Recipes, and Mrs. Baxter Swarms Mount Vernon High School are all available on, and like Jo, I would also appreciate you leaving a short review on my work.

Happy Writing,


Sunday, May 12, 2013


Archer wants a clown for his birthday, but his Mom says, "NO WAY!"  Because she thinks clowns are scary.  Can Archer convince her that clowns are just ordinary people beneath their rainbow wigs, funny makeup, and baggy clothes.

Many adults and children around the world suffer from Coulrophobia or "Clown-phobia."  Clown-phobia is common and some even consider it to be one of the top common phobias.  An Internet search on the subject will yield countless opinions as to why people may have a fear of clowns including exaggerated features, funny makeup, unusual or loud environments associated with them like a circus or a parade.

Symptoms of Coulrophobia may include a "need-to-run" feeling, shortness of breath, trembling, panic, and anxiety.  Persons who may fear clowns should see proper care.  This book is not meant to be used or considered an authority on any kind of phobia.

The storyline of A Birthday Clown For Archer is simple and easy for children to understand.  It is the author's hope the book will spark conversations among adults and children about the fears and joys surrounding

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Good morning all,

I'm excited this morning to share the release of my newest book Mrs. Baxter Swarms Mount Vernon High School with you. 

Mrs. Baxter is no ordinary grandmother!  In fact, she's down right eccentric!  Martha Baxter does lots of wacky things like carrying an iron skillet with her everywhere and frying up frog legs in the Biology lab at the high school.

The story begins when Mrs. Baxter is summoned to Principal Thompson's office to discuss the pending expulsion of her grandson, Norman, who has gotten himself into a bit of trouble.  After the meeting, Martha does what any loving grandmother would do--she becomes a substitute teacher to keep a closer eye on Norman. 

Go with Granny Baxter on a comical adventure as she sets out to discover what's going on with her trouble causing grandson and his friends at Mount Vernon High School.  With any luck, she will learn the truth behind Norman's drinking, smoking, and swearing troubles.

Available at Amazon at in Paperback - ISBN - 978-1482610994, or Kindle Edition - ASIN: B00BJMGFVQ.

Keep Writing & Reading!



Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Yesterday at precisely 4 o'clock in the morning I woke up with a great storyline bouncing around in my head, so I did what I always do... I grabbed pencil and paper from my nightstand and quickly scribbled down my thoughts before they could fade.  Keeping a pencil and paper by the bedside is a habit I have had for more than thirty years.

Some nights I awake with a complete storyline in mind, while other nights I may have a single sentence or idea come to mind like I did a couple nights ago.  This was my thought: 

Sierra felt his eyes upon her long before she saw him standing in the shadows of trees.  As she watched him move into the moonlight, she was certain he was not from this world.

Who really has these kinds of wacky thoughts or crazy habits, besides me?  If you're a writer or a storyteller, I suspect you may have the same kinds of experiences.  Most likely, you have your own method of jotting down an idea or thought when it strikes.  I find I am most creative when I take the time to capture my thoughts and ideas as soon as they occur even when it is in the wee hours of the morning.

Writing when an idea strikes sometimes causes me to write for several hours before coming up for air.  Usually I can crank out three or four thousand words in a single two hour sitting.  One of my sisters recently said she thought my best ideas strike in the middle of the night because it's the only time a character can get my full attention.  Maybe she is on to something, but for now the mood to write no longer strikes me.  Until next time...

Happy Dreams,