Me and Chapter Breaks

In my first and second books I wrote in the chapter breaks as I went along giving each chapter a title. In my third book I did not make chapter breaks, so after I wrote it I had to go back in reread it and decide where chapter breaks should go. I also learned that I needed to remove the last few chapters and move them over to book four. I have four books written in the Grey Dawn of Dharaven Series.

I also read about chapter breaks. Here is some of what I learned.

Putting Chapter Breaks into a Book.

Chapter breaks keep your reader interested in reading from one chapter to another. Use a wide variety of chapter breaks to keep your readers guessing. Cliffhangers at the end of chapters can keep readers reading. Chapter breaks set your story’s pacing. They carry the reader along into the next chapter and keep them turning pages. Chapters are good stopping points for your reader. It allows them to take a breath if your book is full of excitement. A lot of writers write their entire piece without chapter breaks, then go back and put the breaks into their piece. Any way that chapter breaks are done they are an important part of the formatting of your book.

A Blast from My Past

This is from a post I did on March 5, 2019. I am doing a review of these priorities. Look for Notes beside each one dated 2021.

2019 Why would I share my priority list as a new writer? I said I would share my journey in this writer’s world and making certain things priorities is important. Some I will do every day and others every other day.

2021 Why update this list? To see my growth as a writer and author, as well as growth as a social media kingdom ruler.

I put it into categories of a writer’s life: learning and studying, writing, reading, and community. This is an ever changing list so it will be updated often.

Learning and Studying

I am learning how to improve my skills as a writer and author. 2021 I doubt this learning will ever stop.

I am also taking online blogging and writing courses.

              Blogging Bootcamp Taken 2019

             Online Genius Academy Taken 2019 Basically an ad for their large course

              Udemy Creative Writing Tips Completed February 2021 Came away with a lot of story ideas

              Udemy Editing Class Completed 20219

2021 Taking an editing your book class online.


Deep Work Read 2019

The Elements of Style and its Workbook 2021 I have them.

Research archaeology. 2021 finding article, videos and memes about archaeology to share.

Read book on a real archaeology expedition. 2021 Douglas Preston’s Book The Monkey’s Head

Read Alfred Hitchcock stories for your story. Read in 2020

Read Like a Writer 2021 Have not read yet.


My two blogs require something to be written on them every day or every other day. 2021 Blogs are written on once a week 52 articles a year. I use PLR on my lifenotonthelist site.

2021 Social media sites 2021 Facebook, twitter and Instagram are written on daily.

I am currently 10,000 words into a novel I am writing. 2021: I have completed novels 1-4, working on novel 5 for Grey of Dharaven series. I have a short story for an anthology written and edited. First novel in series is due out in late summer of 2021. Grey Dawn of Dharaven: Katz Island

Murderous Gloves written in Alfred Hitchcock style. 2021 Not written yet.

I also have two more book ideas sitting waiting for me to get to them. 2021: These two stories still wait for me to work on them.

Poetry typed and rewritten. 2021: Poetry has been typed by a PA. I am working on categories to put them in for a chap book.

Contest entries through Submittable and other places. 2021 I have been rejected 27 times on Submittable. I was accepted twice. One piece is a short, short piece of 42 words. The other published work appeared in Carcosa Magazine February 2021 Issue 1. I keep trying with other pieces. I will find my tribe eventually.


word nerd-2021 not there so much anymore. Went an expensive hub.

 writers helping writers.-2021- I am still on this site.

I am an administrator on a forum and Facebook website. Forum must be checked daily. 2021- Forum and website are doing well.

Emails checked for all 3 sites daily. 2021 Email for my own is checked. Have to remember to check them more often.


I am learning how to improve my skills as a writer and author.

Research archaeology.

Read book on a real archaeology expedition. 2021 Douglas Preston’s Book The Monkey’s Head

Read Like a Writer

Write blog articles once a week.

Facebook, twitter and Instagram are written on daily.

Murderous Gloves written in Alfred Hitchcock style.

These two stories still wait for me to work on them.

Poetry Chapter Book

Contest entries through Submittable and other places. 2 to 27

Continue admin duties of forums and sites.

Check emails on all three sites at least once a week. Personal each day.

Keep talking to other writers on sites.

6 More Interview Questions Asked of Me

What’s your next writing projects?

I am working on collection of short stories about a team of Do Gooders who fight evil in the American southwest. I am also working on getting my poetry together, finding the best ones, and making a chap book, or poetry pamphlet or both.

Name 5 favorite movies.

Independence Day


Terminator 2

Star Wars- all the movies

Star Trek- all the movies and the series. Currently watching Discovery on DVD.

What’s your favorite love story?

Richard and Kahlan in The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind. They fall in love in the first book in spite of going through hell, and stay together through hell and back several times.

Sword of Truth Series

What’s your favorite line from any movie?

“You tell them I’m coming and Hell’s coming with me.” Tombstone

If we Googled your name what would we see? after all the genealogy ads and people search.

You were just given a yacht. What would you name it?

My yacht would be named Who Gives a Rat’s Ass.

The flag would have a skull with a rat on top of it with its tail running through the skull’s eye.

Who Gives a Rat’s Ass

Editing Takes Time

Editing is the hardest part of writing. Writers groan over editing their longer pieces. Just when you think you have found everything wrong in the manuscript, you find the silliest punctuation mistake or the mistake gets published in the book or newsletter. (If you find an error in this article, email me for a prize. First one that finds one gets it.) How do you edit so you get all of the errors out of a piece of writing? Here is what I have learned.

First: Write the entire piece. I fix the spelling and typos as I go along otherwise my pieces would become unreadable. Get those ideas down. Then leave it alone for awhile.

Second: Do a first edit. This is here you look at the content of your piece. Does it have the content you want it to have? Does your plot make sense? Are there any writing holes you need to fix. I found a timeline problem in one of my pieces and had to change the days around for it to make sense.

Third: Edit your Point of View and Characters. Do you have several points of view, or one point of view? Do your points of view agree with one another? Does your POV character carry each scene? Are you characters making sense? I had to rewrite an entire scene due to my POV not being my main character’s.

Fourth: Edit by chapters, then pages, then paragraphs, then lines, then words. Take your piece through an stringent editing process from chapters to words.

Final edit: Use a speech app to read it to you. There is one in Word. Pay attention and you will catch a lot of little line edits that need to be done. Take your time and your piece will be polished and ready for that publisher.

You can also use an aide such a ProWritingaide or Fictionary to help edit your pieces.

When you write take time to go back and edit each piece with the care it deserves.

February 2021 Featured Author- Greg Marchand

Author Inteview

  • What is the first book that made you cry?

I remember Where the Red Fern Grows being pretty sad when I was young.

  • What is your writing Kryptonite?

Simply not having enough free time has to be the biggest hinderance, I think, for any writer who also works full time. It is for me.

  • Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m not “friends” with my publisher’s head (who is also an author) in the traditional sense, but she provides constant, invaluable pro tips on all things writing, and publishing/marketing as well. I’m a better writer because of her, no question.

  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Plot first, use ProWritingAid to stomp out your passive voice, and be proud—you’ll actually be published one day.

  • How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I would say it’s shown me the importance of time management and deadlines, because marketing and promotion are now just as important as the writing itself and require a LOT of time, not just in execution, but learning how to do it.

  • What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

Paying an editor for my first novel. If it’s your first novel, I don’t know how you don’t hire an editor. They provide typo and grammar help, etc., yes, but there are bigger elements to story-telling that an editor will teach you, like character arc and pacing. You’re paying for more than just the correction of your story—you get to learn a hell of a lot.

  • As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I’ll go with a bighorn ram. I do have one tattooed on my chest after all. They’re small, mostly docile, but can hold their own. And for some bizarre reason, they seem to find themselves trying to climb higher and higher, as if bored by the lowlands. Sure, they’ve evolved to climb to avoid predators, but don’t they look like they’re just sort of enjoying themselves up there? That’s me, just trying to avoid disaster in this strange existence, and just trying to get a kick out of it while I’m here.

  • How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

A handful of short, novelette, and novella-sized works await my editing. My third novel is in its very early stages. All of my stories have a strong nature element, usually a creature or two, and supernatural occurrences.

  • Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Jack London’s Call of the Wild. It’s third-person, yet feels like the dog is telling the story. It made me think about the lines we draw between point of view, and appreciate those who can manipulate a story’s narration that way.

  • How do you select the names of your characters?

They are approximately 85% randomly chosen, 15% hidden meaning for myself. I’m not fantastical (is that a word?), so I need ordinary names, but not so ordinary they incite yawning.

  • What is your favorite childhood book?

Where the Redfern Grows. You got me. It’s pretty much the only book I read the first half of my life. I can’t “booknerd-out” with readers and other authors, which is kind of sad. In timed reading sections of elementary school tests, even through high school, I scored really well—on the questions I had time to answer. I was a slow reader, needed to absorb every detail, and I could never finish reading it all in the allotted time. So, at a young age, I assumed I wasn’t a “good reader.” How could I be a good reader if I couldn’t even finish the reading test on time, right? Thus, reading never became a part of my identity. And so, hyperactivity became me, and I went the bicycle, crawdad hunting, football, wrestling, cross-country route.

Author Biography

Greg Marchand

Greg Marchand is a Medical Laboratory Technician, Western Kentucky University Alum, U.S. Army veteran, and former Yellowstone sous chef currently living in the “Crossroads of America” state of Indiana. From writing articles for his high school yearbook, to penning radio scripts on foreign soil for the U.S. military, Greg has always found a passion for writing. The colorful, admirable, and contradictory people he’s met in his lifetime inspire his stories, as do his moments spent among the trees, in the mountains, and under the stars.

When he’s not cursing medical laboratory instruments for a living, Greg is often downstairs hashing out his tilted stories, P90x-ing, and struggling to learn banjo. Occasionally, he emerges from his man cave to cook for his wife and stepson, and to take the dogs down to the river.

Book Blurb


The paths of five strangers cross and their fates intertwine when Yellowstone Lake employee, Kyle Fenn, finds his way into an ancient, sacred cave and gets too close to a buried secret.

Moderators remove an archaeological scholar from a conference stage at Montana State University as he frantically declares that evil always finds a way… After burying her mother, and suffering the apparent loss of her boyfriend, a young Virginian returns to work at Yellowstone, to start again… A Native man leaves his ranch and his father’s crooked patriarchy to work as a Yellowstone ranger where he discovers a darkness now compromises his family’s safety… And, in Gardiner, Montana, outside Yellowstone’s north gate, a hot-headed divorcee gains a special ability after playing pool with a stranger.

Yellowstone Shifters follows Fenn as he finds himself at the epicenter of a paranormal re-awakening, deciphering friend from foe and seeking the origin of this unfathomable evil.

<releases March 2, 2021>


5 Interview Questions and My Answers

I’m starting to practice answers to interview questions as my book publication gets closer (charges at me like a runaway Rhino.) I thought my readers might be interested to see some answers from me.

Question 1- What’s your next project?

Grey Dawn of Dharaven: Katz Island is Book 1 of a proposed series. I have written books two, three and four. At the present time I am writing Book 5 in the series.

I am also working on an anthology short story piece. I have a romance noel idea I have kicked around for years and a horror novel that has been written to page 36. I have over 350 poems written. They have been typed up and will be easier to access to begin the process of rewriting and choosing poems for a chapbook or pamphlet of poetry.

Questions 2: What are the best choices that have made me into the writer I am today?

First off I realized I had no idea how to write a complete book early on when I began to write. I read Pereira’s DIY/MFA book to learn what is included in a good book. I learned about online resources and books to help me in my writing process. To realize I did not know about something I truly wanted to do, then researching and learning about it made me work hard to accomplish becoming an author.

Question 3 What is my favorite love story?

The relationship that develops between Richard and Kahlan, in the Sword of Truth series written by Terry Goodkind, touched me. I love the way they can support one another as they go through hell and highwater to save the kingdom.

Question 4 List five adjectives to describe yourself.

Stubborn, lovable, smart, creative, and hopeful

Question 5 If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?

If you take it one second, one minute, and one increment of time at a time you can get through anything.

This year’s sentence: I wish love, hope, and peace fill your life with joy.

Grandma’s Christmas Decorating

This is a piece I wrote thinking about my decorating and how it would look to my granddaughter.

The Christmas decorations were put up a little at a time if Grandma did not hire help. The Santa collection in its whites, blues and reds twinkled with lites she draped within the collection.  The handful of Santas were scattered throughout the snowmen like she could not make up her mind which to collect. Each is special and has memories of other Christmases wrapped around them.  Her box collection has reindeer, snowmen, and holly painted on the tops and sides. There are four Christmas countdown calendars boxes. Two with drawers and doors go in the box collection on top of the large redwood trunk that sits in the living room next to the case with the snowman collection. A wooden tree that has its own wooden ornaments in its bottom cupboards is placed on the silver cart. The silver is moved to another spot in the living room for the holidays. The front hallway greets guests with a small tree with tiny ornaments on it.  The decorations change as she adds to the small ornament collection. Nascar ornaments too big for the tiny tree take up space underneath, along with non-hanging decorations such as a wooden train.  The big tree stands five feet tall. It is prelit with lights, so there is not an early struggle to put lights on and off it. Grandma’s precious ornaments, each with its memory are on this tree.  The gifts her girls gave her. Things friends made or gave her.  Grandpa’s friend who made ornaments to go in her Christmas cards are placed among the branches. If you ask Grandma for a memory, she can tell you about each ornament. The tree is lit every evening and sometimes it is left lit up for days and nights. The three Christmas trees, the box collection the grandchildren could play with, and the Christmas tree are my memories of a Christmas at Grandma’s.  I can’t forget those presents, either.

2021 Goals

Goals are an important part of the beginning of a new year. Goals give you broad ideas to reach for during the year. They provide guides to where you are going during the year. They often give a jumping off place and a finish line.

My Goals for 2021

Author Goals

Publish Book 1

Market Book 1,

Book 2 into queue

Edit book 2-4

Anthology short story edited and turned in

Continue writing Book 5

Keep Author Platform running smoothly with weekly blog posts and daily media posts.

I want to learn how to write non fiction.

I am also a poet and would like to put my poems together.

I want to enter contests with my poetry.

Personal Goals

Organize my office and house

Stay as heathy as I can this year.

Exercise each day as you can

Go through Clothes Closet

Take already read books to Goodwill

Stay Mentally healthy, avoid depression

Watch anxiety, keep it low

Social Goals are on hold due to Covid 19 pandemic

Stay in contact with family and friends by phone and computer

December 2020- Featured Author of the Month: Krystal Pena

Author Interview

What is the first book that made you cry?

When I was in middle school, my only friend at the time gifted me a copy of Tara Janzen’s The Chalice and the Blade. Aside from it being a cherished book, there were parts of the book that tore at my little heartstrings and made me cry. This is also the book that inspired me to become a writer.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

My writing Kryptonite…hmmm… I think it would be information dumps or achieving deep point of view. I think cinematically, therefore I like to be very detailed with scenery and visual elements of the story. I always have to go back to add in deeper perspective for my characters or to visually depict how they are feeling without needing to state the feeling.

Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

My bookish bestie is New York Times bestseller Margo Bond Collins and she is just the sweetest person you will ever meet. My first short story was published in an anthology she put together, and ever since she has been a great mentor to me. Margo has been really pushing me to publish my work instead of hoarding it to myself, despite my fears of it being ‘not good enough’ for readers. I truly appreciate her taking the time to edit my work and to give me pointers on improvements I can make in my writing. Three are so many ways she has helped me over the past few years, so it is difficult to name just one.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I believe I would tell myself that I am good enough and to get those books finished, to actually publish them. I have spent so much time worrying about the wrong things and the truth is that I didn’t give myself enough credit. I chose not to believe in myself instead of going for it, and sometimes I wish I could get the time back.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

My first book was actually a collection of poetry that didn’t do well. I put it up without knowing most of the things I do now. Seeing how horribly it did made me focus on writing with intention and to learn more about the industry. I now view it as a lesson instead of a mistake.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

There are a few things I am happy to have invested in. I have Vellum for formatting, which helps a ton. I also have PublisherRocket, which is worth more than its weight in gold, it is such an invaluable tool. I also invested in a Mac earlier this year, which has helped me write #allthewords easier. For the first four years of my author career  I used the Google Docs app on my phone to write.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

This is a hard one! I love elves so I imagine I would include an elf in there somewhere. Elves are so magical, mystic and mysterious. They’ve always held a special space in my heart.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Too many! But really I have about five works in progress at the moment with plenty of other ideas written down to explore later.

Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

I have always been a huge fan of epic fantasy – my dad was super into it when I was younger. I like to think that fiction has different levels of complexity, fantasy being one of the most complex. It isn’t simply because of the world building but also the character development. In series like The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien) or The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Stephen R. Donaldson) I really appreciated the character development, especially the development of the more complex characters who had contradictory traits about them. It helped me to realize that there are both good and bad within each of us, and either can be what helps us reach our goals, depending on the situation.

How do you select the names of your characters?

I honestly use a lot of ancient Celtic names in my works. I also use random name generators by character type if  I’m in a true bind. Most times a character’s name doesn’t come to me until after I’ve figured out who/what/how they are in the story.

What is your favorite childhood book?

As a kid I read a TON of books. My favorites or go to rereads were the Amelia Bedelia stories, the Dear America seriesand also Ms. Piggly Wiggly. I was usually at a higher reading level than my grade, so it was often hard to find ‘appropriate’ books for my reading level. I think one of my defining moments as a kid is when I tried to read the Lord of the Rings series in fifth grade and found it too challenging, but upon attempting it again a year later I had little trouble understanding it.

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Krystal Pena resides with her four children near Boston, MA. She writes PNR/UF and fantasy, and enjoys writing stories about strong women who overcome the greatest obstacles to achieve their dreams or goals. 

Aside from writing, Krystal enjoys photography, archery, horseback riding and MMA. She loves history and art, and frequents historical sites and art galleries in her spare time. Above all else, she loves being at home, baking and cooking with her children, visiting her family and reading bedtime stories. She works as a personal assistant to other authors by day and writes late into the night, a strong cup of coffee always within reach. 

Book Blurb: The Cyan Huntress

She will avenge her husband’s death, even if she must kill every knight in Caerleon to learn who betrayed him. Anwyn thought she would finally enjoy comfort and happiness when she married a traveling psychic–that is, until Uthyr Pendragon unleashed a war on all magic-users and had her new husband burned alive. She’s determined to wreak her revenge, until a Druid boy’s prophecy convinces her to put aside her personal vendetta and learn to hunt the ones who want her dead–harder to do when she’s captured and taken to Caerleon to be tried as a sorceress. Now, if she can escape with the help of Caradoc, a man whose secrets rival Anwyn’s, she will have to fulfill her vow of revenge while on the run and attempting to find the one leader who can unite three broken kingdoms under a single banner. Assuming, of course, she can protect herself from burning at the stake, safeguard her heart from the enigmatic Caradoc, and complete her training as the Cyan Huntress. Fans of Jeffe Kennedy, Grace Draven, and Laura Thalassa will love the blend of Arthurian legend and exciting action in this romantic paranormal fantasy adventure!