It All Adds Up

This week, The Wraith and the Wielder hit shelves.

Next week, our first chapbook, The Nine Worlds becomes available as well.

This all leads into a new offer we’ll be making available in our store: add-on items!

Starting on Tuesday, September 19, when you go to an item page to purchase a book, you’ll notice a change in the options alongside that book. We’re no longer offering signed copies (unfortunately, though if we have signed copies of the book in stock, they’ll be at the top of the pile, so if you order soon you’ll get a pre-signed copy at no extra charge), but we are offering add-ons.

Let’s walk you through it.

Say you want to buy a copy of my book, Coetir. You’d go to the page and click the button to buy a copy. Only, on Tuesday, you’ll start seeing options for add-ons—and they’re different, for different books. Some books can be combined with a discounted copy of Mavguard, while others can be combined with a copy of the newly released chapbook, The Nine Worlds.

We’ll be coming out with some new chapbooks in the next couple months, so the add-on items will be changing over time. (and some of those chapbooks will only be available at events or as add-ons)

So, when you go to buy your copy of Coetir, for example, you’ll be asked whether you want to include a copy of Mavguard or a chapbook, for a few extra dollars (but a few dollars less than it would cost to buy the add-on by itself). And, many of those discounts will only be available with specific books (or book combinations, if you happen to catch one of those).

Just one more way RAD works to get more amazing works by talented writers, poets, and artists, into your hands!

Check it out this Tuesday, only at!

Rani Divine
Associate Editor, Etc. 

A Task

The Wraith and the Wielder hits shelves on Tuesday, and we cannot get enough of talking about this book. It really is one of the greatest novels I’ve gotten to read in years, and I’m so excited for you all to have the opportunity to read it!

In case you missed it in our newsletter this week (have you signed up for that yet?), check out this awesome pre-release excerpt from the book!


The Wraith and the Wielder, AC Schafer

           At the end of the street, Merrith turned left down what was little more than a footpath worn through the spruce and mountain-ash. The path led back behind the second row of houses and hostels and ended at a dilapidated structure, too small to truly be a house and not quite bad enough to be a hovel. Merrith tended to think of it as a cottage. It was surrounded by a twisted wooden-slat fence and a yard full of weeds, at which Merrith sent a disgusted look as he trudged through the front gate—the top hinge of which was broken so the whole gate hung uselessly to the side. He reminded himself that he ought to fix it and wondered when he would have the time.

            His heavy boots thumped up the sagging steps and onto the front porch, careful to avoid the gap in the decking, left there by a rotted plank, as he shoved the door open. The door creaked and scraped across the floor.

            Inside the house, curls of pungent, yellow-tinted smoke wrapped around the ceiling rafters like charmed snakes. A man, not much older than Merrith, sat with his boots propped up on the edge of the kitchen table. He held a pipe, the source of the smoke, firmly clamped between his teeth, and wore a long jacket of gray wool with gleaming silver buttons over a suit of expensive black cloth and a shirt the color of dark wine.

            Merrith darted a glance around the room. It was a simple space with nothing worth stealing, neat and clean—he saw to that—but shabby all the same. Nothing seemed out of place, though he hadn’t expected it to be. The man wasn’t there to steal things.

            “What are you doing here?” Merrith fingered the knives in his belt, four of them. The etched steel hilts were warm beneath his fingertips. Each knife was perfectly weighted, their edges razor sharp. But he forced his hand away from them.

            There was nothing strictly in the man’s appearance to set Merrith on edge. The man was, in fact, handsome and well-built, besides being well-dressed. The smile he flashed around the stem of his pipe was charming and friendly, even as a stream of yellow smoke slid past his lips.

            “Well, good evening to you, Master Gyse,” he said in a voice that matched his appearance, even and pleasant with a very slight eastern accent.

            “What do you want?” Merrith asked.

            The man smiled again, but Merrith knew him far too well to see anything beyond teeth in that smile. “You’re still a rather blunt whelp, aren’t you? I was sure your father would have knocked some courtesy into that iron head of yours, but I hear he’s dead now. More’s the shame.” The man took another draw from his pipe and let his feet drop to the floor with a sound thud. “Sit down. We’ve matters to discuss.”

            “Get out of my house,” Merrith said through his teeth, still standing in the doorway as if his feet had become part of the threshold.

            “Is that what you call this place? I was hoping you didn’t actually live here.” The man cast a telling look around the room and a disparaging smile curled his lips. “Having a bit of trouble, are you? You know, you should’ve asked for help.” He paused again. “You didn’t actually think they’d believed you were dead, did you?”

            “Get out,” Merrith said again, louder, while he fought to control his voice.

            “I’ll go when I please. I’ve come a fair long way to talk to you.”

            Merrith felt a shiver run through him. Again his hand went to his knives. Although he knew he would not use them, their presence reassured him.

            The man took his pipe from between his teeth. “He has a task for you.”

            “I won’t have anything to do with you.”

            “Are you sure about that?” The man leaned forward and said with a sigh, “Very well. It’s such a pity though.”

            Merrith stared at him with blue eyes that had turned as hard as river stones.

            “Ah, you’ve guessed it, I see. That saves me the trouble of explaining it to you.”

            “I don’t know what you’re meaning.”

            “How are your brothers, Merrith? Training for the Riders now, I heard.”

            “Leave them alone—” he broke off, realizing his mistake.

            The man smiled, again charming, placating, as if he were being quite generous in allowing Merrith every chance to make things right. “I don’t want anything to do with them, but you know what a disgrace it would be if certain facts about you were to spread. Family matters are so important to a man’s character.” He shook his head, that smile still on his face. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they were expelled from the Riders.”

            “They’ve nothing to do with anything I’ve done,” Merrith snarled, taking a step forward and clenching his heavy fists. “You know that.”

            “And they shall continue to have nothing to do with it, if you aren’t so foolishly stupid as to refuse this trivial request.” He reached into his vest and took out a folded sheet of parchment. “It’s your choice, whelp. You have until the end of the week to comply, or….” He shrugged ominously and knocked his pipe out onto the floor as he leisurely rose from his seat. “Good eventide.”

            Merrith reached past him and snatched the parchment from the table. “What does it say?” he demanded as he shoved it toward the man.

            The man took the parchment, smoothing it seriously with one hand. A plain metal band set with a single black stone showed around his wrist as his cuff pulled back. “The Dyna Hani and her daughter are traveling—I’m sure you’ve heard of their arrival in town. Vrelis is keen to acquire an item that is in the possession of the young Belle Mikteth Hani.” He shook the parchment once and handed it to Merrith. “A key. There’s a picture drawn there, just for you. As I said, I’ll be back at the end of the week. Have it ready, if you please.” Without another word, and giving Merrith no time to say anything, he stepped around the younger man and left the cottage.

            Merrith drew a deep breath, once and then again, and tried to make the taut muscles in his broad shoulders relax. The sound of feet on the stairs made him stiffen again until he recognized to whom they belonged. He tucked the parchment beneath his shirt moments before those steps came through the still open door.

© Copyright AC Schafer, 2017


And don’t forget! If you’re in Gallup, NM and you just can’t wait to get your hands on a copy of this book, it will be available TOMORROW at the ArtsCrawl! Be there or be square! 
(check out our upcoming events page for more information)


Rani Divine
Associate Editor, etc.

The News

Have you guys signed up for our newsletter yet? If you haven’t, you’re seriously missing out.


Here’s just a little bit of what our newsletter has to offer:


  • Information on what we have coming out soon

When we have a new product coming out, you’ll be the first to know about it! It’ll be in our monthly newsletter, and we’ll send out one or two reminders closer to the release date. Sometimes we even have our authors send things out to you, so you can see just how excited we all are for a new book to hit shelves!


  • Exclusive offers on new releases and all the books in the RADstore

We know how it is: everybody likes a good deal. But the only way you’ll get those deals from RAD is if you’re signed up for our newsletter! Sometimes we’re really nice, and even run specials on the newest releases in our store.


  • News about Mavguard Magazine

If you’re signed up for our newsletter, you’ll be the first to know when our submissions window has opened, and find out the release dates for new editions. If we’re running any contests or looking for anything particular to fill our pages, you’ll also be the first to hear about it.


  • More from our authors and editors

Just like the RADblog, our newsletter is a place where our authors and editors get to communicate more with our amazing audience! If you just can’t get enough of Whitney Rines, Ashley Gallegos, TL Boehm, or, you know, me—you need to sign up for this.


  • Monthly words from our senior editor, Kristina

Of course, it just wouldn’t be the RAD newsletter if it wasn’t for the monthly email from the amazing Kristina Haider, our fabulous senior editor. The first Tuesday of every month, she takes over the newsletter to tell you all about what RAD is up to lately and give you a heads up on what we’re expecting in the next few months.


If you haven’t checked it out yet, you definitely should. The RADblog and Newsletter are the two things you need if you want to keep up to date on all things RAD and Mavguard.

Oh, and if you’re worried that you’ll be getting a bunch of spam from us, don’t fret! We only send out emails a few times a month, and we promise to never sell your email or any other information you may give us. We just want you to know what we have going on; we don’t want to fill your inbox with a bunch of stuff you didn’t ask for.


Sign up here!


Rani Divine
Associate Editor, etc.


I’m going to toot my own horn for a bit today. Mostly because if you haven’t read these books by now, you’re seriously missing out.



Beyond the boundary on the edge of town live the druids, the Coetir, a species so deadly that they threatened to destroy our very existence.
We have a law: don't cross the line that keeps humanity separated from the druids, on penalty of death.
I've never been good at following the rules.
My name is Ellya, and I'm the first person to cross the boundary since its creation.
What follows will change more than any of us could've possibly imagined.


RADrating: Yellow (themes of war and thrilling sequences)

Coetir was the first book I wrote in the Druid Novels, and it was written before I knew there was a whole world beyond the book. It’s a story of love and of finding your place in the world, a tale of belonging and of the power of fear, and it’s one that I honestly believe everyone can enjoy.

“Author Rani Divine has created a lush landscape of fascinating fiction in her epic fantasy Coetir. With each turn of the page, you will be transported to a world where the fantastic and the familiar collide, where myth and reality meld, and where one young woman holds the potential to change everything. Follow Ellya as she crosses the threshold and encounters the People of the Woods.” Tammy Boehm, Bethany’s Crossing & The Nine Worlds (2017)



What would you do, if the things that went bump in the night were suddenly as real to you as life itself?
My name is Freia, and I believe in phantoms.
A part of the expedition from the plains, my family and I have come to a land where no human has stepped in over a century.
But we are not alone.
This land is home to the druids, creatures of legend that wiped out all traces of humanity in the deserts, the hills, and even at sea—creatures that should not be real.
I hear their voices, in the night. I feel their eyes, watching me.
We are not alone.


RADrating: Yellow (mild frightening material, thrilling sequences, and themes of hostility)

Cedwig was the second book I wrote in the Druid Novels, and therefore the second to be released to the public. It was also at this time that I realized there was a whole series in this world, and that the series was so spread out that I could release the books in almost any order to achieve the same goal: an amazing united story about a world of lost people, looking to be found.

"Ancient hostility and lurking terror, fierce love and tentative trust.  Cedwig invites readers into the dense jungle of a realm that finds two separate cultures on the sharp edge of a struggle that will expose the root of a centuries-old fear with hope in the new.  But not everyone is so quick to embrace the results.  Divine's novel weds the peril of the unknown with the glory of love, and the story between will determine the fate of not one but two races." M.J. Neal, Dreamer



There is darkness thriving within the waters, fear mingling with the waves—a spirit that will not be easily quelled.
Why would humanity have need to enter the waters?
My people believed themselves released from their duty, the sacred calling of all Dewin, for this very thought.
They were wrong.
A single ship is leaving the shores of the plains, setting out in search of a new home, and now my people must make their choice.
Will we keep ourselves hidden beneath the waves, or is it time that humanity learns of the people in the water?
I am called Arneia, witch of the Dŵr, and my decision has been made.


RADrating: Orange (themes of war and ghosts, thrilling sequences, some mature content discussed)

I wrote Dŵr twice, technically. The first time began before Cedwig, on a completely different world, with completely different characters—and then I realized what was wrong. The Dŵr belonged in the world of druids, and so became the first and only addition to the series which takes place not on land, but at sea. Mermaids, y’all. Mermaids!


“Rani Divine's druid novels will captivate both your heart and mind in a way that you will never see coming. Be prepared to read from start to finish without ever setting the book down as you simply will not be able to. It is a personal favorite as both an avid reader and a fellow author. Bravo!" – Ashley Gallegos, Last Chance Baby


These are the Druid Novels. They’re my babies. I’ve spent years working on them, and I’ve even ensured that the whole series is done being written, so that none of you will have to wait crazy lengths of time before they hit shelves.

They’re fantasy novels, books about people in a world filled with druids, creatures they’ve been taught to fear. It’s time to find out who really belongs here.


The Coetir

The Cedwig

The Dŵr

The Mynidd… Coming in 2018.


Rani Divine
Associate Editor, etc.

Writers On... Publishing

The ladies of RAD are back with the third installment of “Writer’s On…”!

Do you have questions about publishing? Do you find yourself confused as to the many options out there? Well, you’re in for a treat. Our fabulous authors are back, chatting about the publishing world.

Last week, RAD Writing got four authors together on Facebook to have a little chat about publishing, the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing, and why it’s important that you have someone backing you, as a writer.

Read on to find out how novelists are like musicians, why you should always backup your work, and why publishing is important—whether you realize it or not.


Writers On… Publishing


Rani Divine: Just got home! Starting up my laptop... I made it before 4:00, even! Technically.

CD Yensen: Yay!

Tammy Boehm: My clock says 5:58. Neener!

Rani: Boooo I forgot about the other time zone! Whenever you guys are ready, I'm good to go. Still catching my breath though, so take your time.

Tammy: I'm here—I keep typing beer. Lol

Rani: Ha! You're beer? That feels like bad English...

MJ Neal: A Freudian slip-type perhaps? :)

Tammy: Perhaps—or iPhone challenged

Rani: I myself will be having a beer in a couple hours, with a slice of pizza.

MJ: Mmmm... Pizza

CD: Aaww! I can't have both!

Tammy: I must despise you now.—quote from Willow

Rani: Haha!! I have an excuse for pizza and beer, for once. It's Dad's birthday, and it's what he wanted. So, ha!

CD: Yes! Good man. Of course, I don't think you ever really need a reason for pizza and beer.... If you do, then all of Football season, FIFA season....

Rani: It's true. Any excuse can do. Like, hey, it's Thursday!

CD: Exactly! If the day ends in "y", have beer and pizza.

Tammy: Truth!

MJ: You ought to needlepoint that on a pillow, CD. :)

Rani: That would be such a good college pillow

CD: LOL my next project MJ! I am about to go back into college, so....

Rani: Perfect timing!

CD: Indeed!

Rani: Are we all here/ready to start?

CD: I am.

Tammy: Yup.

MJ: Yes.

Rani: Awesome! So, to get the ball rolling! First of all, do you have a novel published, and where/how?

CD: No, not yet :(

Rani: But you will! I'm determined.

CD: Hahaha! Thanks!

Rani: Of course! I love your writing! I have a few books out, personally, one self-published (and about to be pulled from the shelves) and three traditionally published.

Tammy: An oldie through Eloquent in 2008. It was a non-event though.

MJ: Complicated for me. My novel was published, but the company is now dissolved with its CEO in prison for fraud so.... I suppose ipso facto it's become a self-published work. I still have lots of copies I can distribute, but not the means to print more.

Tammy: MJ, my heart goes out to you.

Rani: I know, I still get hot and bothered over all that.

CD: Rani, the book that you are pulling from the shelves, will that be republished and redistributed? MJ, I am sorry!

Rani: Hopefully, yes, but it'll be a while. I'm getting the Druid Novels out first, and then I have a really cool sci-fi series that's already done and ready to go.

CD: Oh wow, okay! Well, I am glad that it is not gone forever!

MJ: Yes I was curious about that as well. Hopefully Telekinetic can re-emerge?

Rani: I'm hoping so! It's a fun story, just needs some help. The second book is a chaotic mess. Haha! MJ, do you have plans for what you're going to do next with Dreamer?

MJ: I'm still riding the fence. I really hate the idea of leaving off without publishing the sequel, but publishing a second book when the first is kind of out of print seems impossible. I could self-publish the sequel, but I don't think I can afford it. Most of my discretionary writing fund went to my last publisher.

CD: Oh that is so bad!

Rani: Yeah, that makes sense. That's similar to what happened initially with Telekinetic, in that I spent all my writing fund on it and then nothing happened. I haven't even really gotten enough sales to warrant the sequel yet.

MJ: It's really frustrating. I have a couple of people waiting for the sequel, but I feel pretty stuck. We're talking a project 10 years in the making. Ugh!

Rani: Ahh! That makes it so much worse, when it's something you've spent that much time on.

MJ: Agreed. It comes back to the personal/business dichotomy of writing.

Rani: Wow it took my brain far longer than it should've to properly read dichotomy. But yeah, you're right. It's hard to make that line between personal and business.

CD: Yes. That is just rough. Do you have any other books in the making, MJ?

MJ: I have two projects that I've made a lot of progress on. One is steampunk and the other is modern day science fiction :)

CD: Nice!

Rani: I really want to read that steampunk one!

MJ: I'll query you with it, Rani ;)

Rani: Yay! I look forward to it!

CD: My reading list seems to never get shorter, only longer...

Rani: Do reading lists ever get any shorter? Haha! What do you guys think of the varying publication methods that are out there these days? (traditional, self, or even vanity)

CD: Can you explain vanity? Obviously, I am new at this.... haha

Rani: Vanity presses are presses where you pay them a bunch of money and they'll publish your book for you. In a nutshell. But it'll look like it's traditionally published, rather than self.

CD: Oh, okay.

Tammy: But you still have to do a lot of legwork.

MJ: I think it's both easier and harder to get published these days. On the one hand anyone who wants to write and has the funds could blog/publish a book (vanity/self-publishing), but all that competition makes for a lot of white noise (often low quality) which makes it so much harder to stand out and become traditionally published. My personal experience with vanity/self-publishing has not been good in any sense, though I have heard of success stories from others

Tammy: True MJ.

CD: Yes, I agree.

Rani: I feel the same. There are a lot of authors out there who self/vanity publish, so it's hard to be seen if you go that route. And I've had zero good experiences with it, but at the same time, I have heard several success stories. CD, as a writer who hasn't been published yet, what are your thoughts on it?

CD: For me, I am very confused by the whole process. It is so overwhelming, then dealing with the publishers is scary in its own right, and trying to even finish a novel and get it to the level that I want it to be, and have the perfect finish, and middle, it is scary. I wonder if that played a part in me taking so long on the story itself. Also, when it’s done, it is done. I will no longer have my fun little world to play in.

Rani: Yeah, I could definitely see that happening. It's insanely confusing these days. I was terrified when I published Telekinetic!

CD: Yes, and that fear of complete rejection!

Rani: And then, for me, to have it released and have people point out errors that I knew were in there but hadn't had time to fix... that was horrible.

MJ: Yes! My publisher did an abhorrent job editing, and now I feel really disappointed by the finished product.

CD: Right. I think that when it is said and done, this will be my last "novel." First, and last.

Rani: I wouldn't blame you in the slightest.

CD: That is horrible, MJ. Not only did they butcher your baby, but they were fake in the end.

MJ: Yep, I'm having a lot of trouble moving on. I feel like I need to "rub some dirt in it" and just accept it as part of learning how to publish, but boy does it sting! Also, fear of rejection is huge! Both from a publisher initially and from potential readers. I wrestle that a lot.

Rani: I seriously sometimes pretend Telekinetic doesn't exist, I've gotten so much negative feedback from it.

CD: It really wasn't a bad story, Rani. I mean, sure it moved super fast, but the story itself was not bad.

Rani: Thanks, CD—I really appreciate it.

Tammy: See, as an editor, when I'm handling someone's work I want the finished thing to be amazing.

Rani: Same here, Tam!

MJ: Agreed!

Rani: When I'm working on someone else's baby, I do everything in my power to make sure it's as close to perfect as possible. Since nothing in this world is perfect (which is hard to deal with on its own, sometimes).

CD: I can see that, Rani and Tammy. I think that you have a tendency to keep the content what the author had in mind.

Rani: Yeah, we definitely do. Basically, when I edit, all I'm doing is polishing what you already have. I'm not modifying, I'm bettering. Cleaning.

CD: Yes.

MJ: Writers need good editors. We ought to be partnering to produce a fantastic story, not competing enemies

CD: I agree.

Rani: Totally agreed!

Tammy: Yes—if there is what I feel a spot where a rewrite needs to happen it goes back to the author for the rewrite.

Rani: Same here. I never rewrite, I send it back to the author and let them know where I think needs fixing. So, do you think it’s important for authors to get published?

Tammy: I believe if we have a story to tell then we should be published or at least we should try.

CD: Yes, it is important. If no one were published, we would not have literature. What would people read?

Rani: That's a really good way of looking at it, CD. I have literally never heard anyone else make that statement.

Tammy: I agree.

CD: Thanks.

MJ: I agree. The medium might be different for everyone. Some blog professionally or podcast or what have you. But as an old fashioned storyteller, it would be hard to impact others with writing unless it were published.

Rani: Really, that's the perfect way to look at it. There needs to be literature out there.

CD: Yes, it is the foundation for literacy. Even fiction stories serve a purpose.

Rani: There's a lot that's only ever said through fiction, it's true.

MJ: Rani, absolutely!

CD: Yes!

Rani: A ton of the commentary that's made on reality can only be made through fiction. Which is one of the reasons why I have so much fun with it, personally.

Tammy: And much of science fiction becomes reality.

MJ: Much like music, fiction expresses that which it doesn't seem like there are no "proper" words for.

Rani: Exactly! That's a great way of putting it. And I love how Star Trek gadgets are becoming reality haha

CD: The alien technology from War of the Worlds....

Rani: I'm waiting for some of the tech from Ender's Game to get here.

CD: haha!

Rani: Why do you guys think so many authors end up defaulting to self-publishing?

CD: Fear of rejection. If you self-publish, you are guaranteed a book, no matter the quality (50 Shades of Grey)

MJ: Either fear of or experience with rejection (lots and lots of "no" letters). But also because some people are unwilling to edit or change their work. I know many self-published authors that were so convinced that they had written gold that they refused to make changes that might have put them in a better light as far as traditional publishers were concerned.

Rani: Fear of rejection and not wanting to hand my book to someone else for editing was definitely a big part of why Telekinetic was self-published. When I was working on that one, I was positive that it was perfect. And then… it wasn’t. At all.

CD: But, your writing has grown a lot since then, too.

Rani: Thanks, CD!!

CD: It was a learning experience.

MJ: Well, we all have moments like that. :) It's hard to find the line between "I'm brilliant!!” and "This is garbage..."

Rani: At midnight everything is amazing. At 10:00 in the morning... not so much.

MJ: A little perspective is healthy, but we only grow when we try, I think.

Tammy: That whole blood on the page thing.

Rani: I agree, and a lot of authors don't want to see that blood on the page, they don't want to hear that their work isn't the best thing since sliced bread.

CD: LOL. True Rani!

Tammy: Even bread benefits from proper packaging.

Rani: Ha! It does. If you put it in a burlap sack, you'd never know it was in there. A recipe for moldy bread, right there.

CD: Yes!

MJ: Great analogy, Tammy!

Rani: So then, do you guys think authors steer clear of traditional publishing primarily because of the fear barrier?

Tammy: Yes, it's a mix of fear and ego.

Rani: Feago! I've made a new word.

MJ: Feago! I love it! I think people also sense that the publishing world is changing. It's not quite so formal as it used to be, and we as millennials love breaking the rules. haha

Rani: Boy don't we!

CD: Feago.... haha

MJ: The issue then becomes how do we adapt without becoming vain and throwing all sense of quality to the wind.

Rani: And a lot of millennials like to not have to pay for things... cue Createspace.

Tammy: I think partnerships help: author editor pairing.

CD: Having an Editor is key

Rani: Definitely agree. What I wouldn't give to have had a proper editor when Telekinetic came out!

Tammy: Me too. I got shafted with Bethany’s Crossing.

MJ: Seriously, though.

CD: I think I need the editor. I am not a "writer."

Rani: But you are a great storyteller, which is a very good start.

CD: I write for fun, so all of the actual rules are lost on me.... I know I make lots of mistakes.

Rani: I've never read anything of yours and not immediately loved the story behind it, CD.

MJ: There are hundreds of books on editing, but there's a tremendous amount of skill we gain by simply reading a ton and writing.

Rani: MJ, you're right, reading and writing and reading and writing and reading and writing are the best way to get better.

Tammy: I see novelists as musicians who record. They need sound engineers

Rani: Ohhh Tam, that's a great analogy!

CD: That is good, Tammy! Obviously, I've never taken a writing class. haha

Tammy: And truly some storytellers are not engineers—they benefit from the synergy of a friendly edit

CD: Yes!

MJ: Tammy, that is a fantastic way of putting it. I gotta write that one down!

Rani: I'd never even heard of writing classes, when I wrote Telekinetic and Telepathic.

CD: Really? I thought you wrote those in College. Or after college?

MJ: I earned a Creative Writing degree in college and really don't feel like it helped me as much as simple reading and writing.

Rani: First year in college, going for a psych degree, yeah. Writing wasn't remotely on my horizon. I did the same as MJ, though. I ended up with a creative writing degree, but I've learned so much more just by reading and continuing to write.

CD: Wow, really? I thought of taking a class, but, maybe I won't.

Rani: Honestly, the first edit on Coetir taught me a ton. Courtesy, Tammy! I do try to teach my authors a little bit about craft, if they need it, while I'm editing. Tam does the same.

MJ: It's not that the classes are unhelpful, but college writing is really catering to modern short stories.

CD: Oh okay. I am considering short stories and novellas later on

Tammy: I love to help writers—I want to be the person I needed when I was struggling with my book baby.

MJ: Tammy, I agree. I always want to be for others what I wish I had

Rani: CD, if you're wanting to focus on short stories, definitely try out a class. They're great for short stories, but it's not really what MJ and I primarily write.

CD: Right, I think I need to finish my book first and see how I feel at the end. Rani, you have been writing since you were like 12... haha

Rani: It really helps to finish it, to figure out where to go from there. I legitimately forgot I used to write, because I lost it all to a hard drive failure.

CD: Really?!

MJ: Ooohh I've been there, Rani. It's a horrid feeling!

CD: I used to read all of the stuff you put online!

Rani: Worst day of my life.

CD: Yes, I would cry if I lost my stuff

Rani: I did. For years. Always back up your work!

CD: Always!

Rani: So, I'm going to have to head out for that pizza and beer, but do you guys have any final thoughts, anything you think authors should be aware of when looking at where to publish?

CD: A publisher and editor should work for you, not against you! Or with you, rather.

MJ: Do your research! So much of what I went through with my publisher could have been avoided if I had taken the time to really look into their company reputation. In other words, don't settle for the first thing that comes your way if it truly won't be in the best interest of you or your book.

Rani: Very good advice, MJ!

CD: I like that. Don't settle.

Rani: I would say that not every book needs traditional publication, either. Some will actually do better with self. But don't push it into the first option that you come by. Go with the one that you think is actually going to be best for your book.

Tammy: And read and write and write and read some more. And be patient with the process.

Rani: Patience. Always. I need more of that. haha

CD: Me. too.

Tammy: That's why I write poetry—instant gratification.

Rani: haha! I short story for that sometimes. Thank you ladies for another great discussion!

Tammy: It was! Thank you!

CD: Always a pleasure! I look forward to these!

Rani: I do too! You guys are a lot of fun to chat with! Have a fabulous evening, all of you!

CD: Yes! Have a great night! Thanks Rani Rain for putting this together... again

Rani: Rani Rain... I foresee a new nickname.

CD: haha! Autocorrect.

Tammy: Peace all!

MJ: Good night all! :)


Special thanks to Rani Divine for moderating this discussion, and Tammy Boehm, MJ Neal, and CD Yensen for participating!

If you enjoyed this discussion, be sure to check out our other “Writers On” posts!