Monday, June 9, 2014

Two Easy Chicks

I have a special guest here today.  If you have never met Carol Kilgore, from Under The Tiki Hut, you are in for a treat. If you have met, you're still in for a treat. Carol graciously agreed to pen something for my All Things Writing feature. Carol is a wonderful writer and all-around fantastic human being. I hope that you enjoy this as much I did. And here she is...

When Robin asked if I’d like to guest on her All Things Writing feature, I jumped at the chance. I asked if she wanted me to write about anything in particular or if there was anything she wanted me to stay away from. I told her I was easy.

She responded that I had a free hand to write what I wished. And that she was easy, too.

So here we are--two easy chicks, who also happen to be writers, having a good time. You were thinking what? Stop that!

Moving along . . . this is All Things Writing.

I don’t usually talk about writing because each of us is unique. I’m a little weird. Things that work for me probably won’t work for you. And vice versa. Basically, if you know the story you want to tell and write it to the best of your ability, you’re off to the best possible start. Then edit, edit, edit so that readers can experience your vision, too.

Doesn’t that sound easy?

So instead of writing about writing, I decided to talk about another part of the writing process--one you’ll deal with at some point unless you’re a selfish, crotchety old troll. But I think Robin’s bouncers toss all of those back under their bridges. The part of the process I’m talking about is giving back to the writing community by paying it forward.

I’m overflowing with gratitude for all the writers who’ve helped me along the way and those who are still helping me. Some held my hand while I cried. Others showed me how not to tell. Some sat by me at the bar while we moaned together about how unfair the publishing industry was (true or not). I’ve also been blessed with a couple of fantastic editors, lots of critique partners, and many blogging friends.  Like Robin.

I love visiting here, and I especially love Here’s to You Thursdays. I may be a die-hard Joan of Arcadia fan. Ahem J

I’m also easily distracted. Can you tell? So . . . getting back on track with paying it forward, now it’s time for me to return the favor.

Writers do this in all kinds of ways. The way I’ve chosen is to provide other up and coming writers, like myself, a new outlet for readers to discover their work by running a monthly contest on my website at and all of you are invited to enter.

Each month, an author will give away a book, an ebook, a gift card, swag—whatever she chooses. To enter, all you need to do is answer a question about a photo prompt. There are no wrong answers. The winner will be chosen at random on the last day of the month.

I’m starting small by giving away the first prize this month—a Kindle copy of my debut novel, In Name Only.

In the meantime, feel free to pass the word about the monthly contest to all your reading friends. If you’re an author and would like to try my contest for spreading the word about your work, please email me at tikihuttime AT gmail DOT com. I’d love to hear from you!

To return to one other thing about writing, there’s this: The more books you publish, the more non-writing work there is to do. Scheduling and time management become top priorities. My advice is to master these skills early on--preferably before you publish. You’ll be glad you did. I wish someone had told me that.

It’s hard work for an easy chick.

Carol, thank you so much for guest posting here and sharing a bit of what you've learned on this writing journey. 

Note to self: schedule your time better now. Your future self will thank you later.

I hope that you will visit Carol's blog, website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon site, or Goodreads site (all listed below). She is EVERYWHERE. And enter that monthly contest!

This is her newest book. ::thunderous applause::

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.

Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notes to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.

She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.

Either/or, please. There are preformatted clickable links or individual links with the full URL included. Your choice – use whichever works for you.
You can connect with Carol and her books here:
You can connect with Carol and her books here:
Under the Tiki Hut blog:
Website with Monthly Contest:



  1. Paying it forward is the best part! Congratulations, Carol.

  2. Carol, I agree with Alex - paying it forward is a good thing. Through your efforts you're not only helping authors, but readers like myself find new authors we might not have known about otherwise.

    Robin, nice to meet you and thanks for hosting Carol.

  3. Hi Robin! Thanks for letting me blog with you today :)

    Alex - I agree.

    Mason - I hope it will prove to be a win/win for everyone.

  4. There are already so many posts and blogs about writing and it is a personal thing. Paying it forward is a much better message.

  5. I'm not a writer, but I am a blogger and I come across writers (like you and Robin) all of the time. I see the way writers (and bloggers for that matter :) ) work together to pay it forward, and it's a really, really great perk of being in the community. I say that whether I'm paying it forward, someone is being kind to me, or I'm seeing others bless others. And also, let me say I'm happy to meet you today! Good luck with your latest book sales!! :)

  6. There's so many generous writers/bloggers out there, and you're one of them! The writing community is overwhelming at times, but I'm glad there's so many people like you paying it forward.

    Congrats on the cover!

  7. Paying it forward rocks. And so do you, Carol. :)

  8. Cheers to paying it forward. We've uh, recently become fans. This is a great contest idea and I'm looking forward to seeing it grow!

  9. Diane - I think so, too. This works for writers and readers.

    mail4rosey - It's great meeting you, too! Thanks for your good wishes. This is a great community.

    Jay - I enjoy giving when I can. I also like winning free books - LOL!

    Linda G - You rock, too, my friend!

    ABFTS - Cool! I love fans :)

  10. Yay for Carol, and Yay for Robin! And I particularly like this advice from Carol: "Scheduling and time management become top priorities. My advice is to master these skills early on--preferably before you publish. You’ll be glad you did. I wish someone had told me that."
    Uh...yeah....I wish I had learned that a LONG time ago, because I still struggle with Time Management! My head is always going in a million different directions. Wishing Carol tons of book sales, and she'll also be highlighted on my blog in the next few days.

  11. Fantastic interview, you two easy chicks, you! Carol, nice to meet you and congrats on the new book! I'll wander over to the Tiki Hut right after this. I could use a pina colada :) Robin, wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing!! I really enjoyed the part about time management. I may or may not know a writer who really needed to read that ...

  12. I help whenever I can--not sure my advice is all that welcome, but I give it a shot when I can! Great article.

  13. Becky - I'm still struggling, but I'm about equal on good and bad days, so I can see improvement.

    Jen - Hope you enjoyed the pina colada!

    Stephanie - Thanks. I try not to give advice unless I'm specifically asked. Unless it's my critique partner :)

  14. Some sat by me at the bar while we moaned together

    That sounds like the makings of a good blues song...

    But what I want to know is, where are all these "easy chicks" when I'm on a barstool?

    Now you know why I'm moaning...


  15. Yay for Carol's latest release! And congrats to paying it forward. Brilliant way to encourage community. :)

  16. Carol is a gem. And, as a confirmed non writing bookaholic, I am so grateful for the writers I have found in the blogosphere. Despite the temptation they put in my weak-willed way.

  17. Glad I took Carol's suggestion and popped over to see what was going on. Always great to read about writing from different writer's perspective. This was great. And I'd love to join you in your contest. Sounds perfect for the summer. I'll shoot you an email, Carol.

  18. Carol is awesome! Time management is always tough - especially for those of us with non-linear brains! :)

  19. DiscConnected - Sat down on the barstool ba dum da dum
    Drink in my hand ba dum da dum
    and so on :)

    L.G. - Thank you! Check's in the mail :)

    EC - Temptresses and seducers ... that's us :)

    Lee - Cool. I'll get to my email in a bit. It's been a crazy day.

    Jemi - I hear you!

    1. Carole-I think we may have a hit on our hands...except don't you know that the first line of the blues always has to be sung twice?


    2. I was probably thinking about a book, talking, eating, drinking, or in the ladies room and missed the first line. For real. I'm no expert, but I've listened to a lot of blues and I never picked up on that. When I turn on Pandora in a little bit, I'll go to BB King and listen. Closely. WARNING: You may see this in a future story :)

    3. Larry, I finally made it to Pandora. Thank you so much for alerting me to this fact that had totally escaped my notice over all these years. I really to appreciate it. I'm getting ready to begin writing a trilogy, and in the second book, there's a songwriter....
      Carol...who is now listening to Besame Mucho

  20. One if the better posts about writing that I've read. Nobody trying to tell me exactly how to write. Ha. Time management - what's that?

  21. Load up, please load up. Finally...oh hello Carol and Robin. I was over there, yes over there as in Carol's blog and I said I would come over here to see what's happening here. So, I'm here.

    I'm sensing a mutual admiration society thing happening, Carol. Your words resonate with gratitude and paying it forward. I like that.

    I'm delighted to see you reveal yourself on this revealing site. Um, I'm delighted to see your cover reveal and your book on here. Exciting times.

    Before I go, I want both of you to know that I'm a starstruck fan of both of you, yes both of you, Carol and Robin!

    I'm going now and congrats to everyone.

    Gary :)

  22. You definitely pay it forward, Carol, and on top of that you write entertaining novels. I'm really looking forward to digging into Secrets of Honor.

    And you're so right about the editing. For me, that's the part that never ends--it's like an obsession.

  23. Thanks, Robin, for giving Carol the spotlight. Carol, it appears you excel at it all - kindheartedness being part of the package. Thanks for the writing contest information. I'm interested in checking it out.

  24. Carol, you are right about Robin. She's one of the most supportive people out there. You too, are one who excels in playing it forward.

  25. Farawayeyes - Each of us writes differently. We all follow the same basic guidelines, but how we reach The End is as unique as our fingerprints.

    Gary - Great that you visited in both places. Thank you! Hugs to Penny :)

    Helena - Having tight editing deadlines is helping me to stay focused. But I continually feel like I'm missing stuff.

    Robyn - I'm gonna show your comment to Husband :) In truth, I excel at nothing. But I keep trying. I'm persistent like that. Hope you'll participate in the contest!

    Liza - I <3 Robin.

    Everyone is so supportive. Thank you!

  26. I love the contest idea, Carol. Good for you.

  27. Awesome idea, Carol! I wish you all the best. :-)

  28. Carol, Thank you so much for responding to all of the wonderful comments here!!! I appreciate all the love you showered on my friends (and me)... I am now blushing a bit.

    Everyone ~ Thank you for stopping by and showing Carol some love. You are all awesome!!!

  29. Melissa and Misha - I hope the contest is a hit. Go sign up :)

    Robin - I'm having a ton of fun here. Thank you for hosting me.

  30. This is a wonderful, giving community. I give and receive all the time. Writers are amazing people. I love the new cover.

  31. Love the idea, Carol. And congrats on the new cover.

  32. Medeia - Thanks. I agree about writers.

    Editors - Cool. And thanks.

  33. Awesome post, Carol! Just crawled out from the rock I've been editing under. Love your pay it forward attitude!!

  34. Thanks, Ava. I wondered where you'd been. Glad you're OK.

  35. Bloggers, in general, and the writing community, in particular, do an awesome job of paying it forward. And you, Robin, and you, Carol, both excel at it.

    Great post, ladies.

  36. Thanks, Susan. Robin is fantastic!

  37. I can't tell you how much I love your cover. The mc just looks like so much fun! Being grateful for what the community gives us and paying it forward is a wonderful message. I LOVE your monthly giveaway idea! :)

  38. I'm still a little in love with the cover myself, Lexa. I'm glad you like the contest.

    Robin, thanks again for letting me blog with you. I'm honored.


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