Friday, June 15, 2012

     The other day I was reading through some interesting blogs, and came across a Mr. Bret Carter. He is an established author who has published a number of books. I asked him for some advice about getting published and here is what he said:

Bret Carter
  • Hey Joy,

    Thanks for checking out my blog.
    You asked for advice about trying to get published.
    I’ll give you my two cents.
    I apologize for bringing up stuff you’ve already heard.

    • If possible, write every day whether you feel like it or not. This is the primary way of becoming a better writer. Many people who want to be writers wait until they feel inspired—when it’s the perfect rainy day and they’re sitting in a cafĂ© in Paris. Don’t wait for when you feel like it. Treat it like a job and write all the time.
    • If possible, read every day. This is not so you can try to imitate the styles of others. It’s so your brain can get the feel of pace and dialogue and all the little things that make good writing. Read everything. The variety will influence your writing in surprising ways.
    • As far as getting published, the main advice I have will sound simple: Send stuff in. Don’t wait until it’s perfect, because it never will be. Get a good draft and rework it into something fairly presentable, but send it in!
    • Check out the site Duotrope. Major help forfinding publishers.
    • Learn the boring aspects of the business. It matters if you use the correct format for a submission. You are always in danger of being tossed into the slush pile, so anything you can do to appease the whims of the system, do it.

    I noticed from your site that you write scifi and horror. I submitted something to the Orson Scott Card Bootcamp and got in. I would recommend it. The workshop is worth your time and it gets you connected in some respects to those in the business.

    Submit your novel to the annual novel-writing contest with Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I don’t think there’s a restriction depending on what state you live in. I was just a finalist and I got to meet with publishers and agents.

    Submit something to Writers of the Future. I have a friend who won that contest and there were people coming to him to get more of his stuff.

    There are other bits of advice I have, but I’ll keep this short and simple. I hope this helps. Good luck.

    Bret Carter

    Thank you, Mr. Carter! I will keep these words of wisdom close for my future writing endeavors and good luck to you as well!
    Joy Johnson


Wednesday, June 6, 2012 Posted an interesting snippet from a story that I found would be excellent for children. Have a look and see if you would keep reading the story!
Joy Johnson

Friday, June 1, 2012

"After Life: Love" by: Patrick Lee

This story can be found at:

This is a wonderful story about a young man coming of age. The dialogue is clear. The characters seem well rounded and realistic. I also enjoyed the idea of the main character's realization that life is better lived with someone that you love.

Joy Johnson

"Survive The Dead: Safe Zone" by: George Cook

This story can be found at:

On the positive side: I love the action and suspense of this story. It is believable, which is a warm welcome to my eyes. The story has a good premise and presents great promise for a full length book.
On the negative side: There are words in the story that are repeated nearly back to back. One such example of this is, "Slowly." This can take away from the effect that the author intends for his readers.
Words to the author: You have a great story. Please read it aloud to yourself, edit it just a bit more, and then re-submit it. Other than that, you have a great work of art! Keep up the good work.
Joy Johnson

About Me

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I have traveled all over the United States as both an active duty United States Marine and now as a Veteran. It is my supreme hope that my characters find their way into the world and provide others with the same kind of wonder that they have provided me with these past years. I am currently working on my first novella called, "The Death Dealer Diaries: Ashes To Ashes." It will be available in ebook format in October 2012 on my website: