Wednesday, September 4, 2019

An Interview With Author, Speaker, Misty Phillip

Tim Grahl, founder of once said,
There are so many things that go into a successful launch that you don’t even know about. Sure, you might absorb a few good ideas on Twitter and Facebook, and maybe a blog post or two. But that’s just the tip of a huge iceberg. What you can see is just the beginning.

Are you interested in getting a better idea about what you don’t know about book launches? Join us on Saturday, September 14th at 11 am at Lupe Tortilla to hear author Misty Phillip talk about  “The Keys to a Successful Book Launch.” Recently I sat down with her to find out a bit more about her approach to this subject.

One hurdle that some writers struggle to overcome is their discomfort with self-promotion. How do you deal with that?

I think if we shift our mindset from one of self-promotion to see that our writing is a gift we want to give others. Then we can look at a book launching as a gift we want to share with friends. We never know who may need to hear the words we have written, and if we don't tell them, then how will they ever know?

What can a writer do to prepare for her book launch long before she has even finished her book?
·      Have your own space online apart from social media for them to connect with you on a blog or website.
·      Offer a chapter for free as a download or some other form of lead magnet and begin collecting email addresses. 
·      Have professional photos made to use in a media kit, and for the back of your book. 
·      Begin compiling a list of quotes/material from your book that you want to share on social media. 

What are some common pitfalls to avoid?  
·      Begin with the end in mind.
·      Don’t overextend yourself physically or financially.
·      Know your limits.
·      Make a plan and stick to it.

Finally, I asked Phillip, what she enjoyed most about book launching. She explained that for her the best part is “connecting with authors and readers, and learning new skills.”

Interview By: Anthea Kotlan

Misty is the host of the By His Grace Podcast and author of The Struggle is Real: But So is God Bible Study. She loves encouraging women to seek Jesus, study the Word and grow in grace through the struggles of life.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Cathy Rueter On Connecting With Community

By: Anthea Kotlan

As writers we might envision that our top priority for our creative work is getting words on the page in total isolation, but Cathy Rueter, our speaker for August of 2019, chose a slightly different path. “I’ve become known in my little writing circle as a people connector.”
Cathy goes on to say, “I love being around other people. Especially writers and other Creatives…admittedly, as an Ambivert (a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features) I need some alone time, but I enjoy the energy and creativity I get from being with others”

So how do writers tap into this kind of vibrant community?

1.     Don’t hide behind your computers. Online community is great, but the personal connection is essential and necessary to pouring into our wells of creativity.
2.     Get out! Go for coffee, join groups, cheer on the kids at games, go to school functions. You never know where you’ll connect with someone on a deeper than “hello” level.
3.     Nurture the next layer of community. If we only have one or two people that we rely on—what happens if those people move, have a life changing event that we can’t be part of, or are just in our lives for a season? Go beyond one or two close friends.

Experienced Writers:
1.     Never stop learning, from the newbies coming up in the ranks. Learn from each other. I believe our creativity well is endless. This will help avoid your well running dry.
2.     Pour back into yourselves with friendships, new experiences, doing things you enjoy, going to writer’s groups and conferences, and adding to your banks of knowledge.
3.     Surround yourselves with community.

Finally, what’s one piece of advice you wish someone had told you about community when you were starting out as a writer?
I wish someone had told me not only how to build the connections, but how to keep them, too. Even if keeping them is only through a gossamer thread of reaching out once or twice a year. I’ve lost contact with too many people over the years. Some I’ve reconnected with, but some I have no idea where they are now. A few I’ve lost without letting them know the impact they made on my life.
We all get so busy. Sometimes in that busy-ness we forget that the connections we make with others is the most important part of us being who we are. So yeah, I wish someone had given me the instruction manual on how to keep those friendships near and dear forever. Imagine the web of connections I could make with those now!

Cathy Rueter will be our speaker at our chapter meeting this Saturday, August 10th at 11 am at Lupe Tortilla. She is a former reporter and newsletter editor. She is returning to her passion of freelance writing while pursuing a career as a Christian author and speaker. She is the founder of Fledgling Writers Community, geared toward new writers but welcoming all to the nest. 
Originally from the Greater Grand Rapids, MI area, she now lives within the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex with her husband and two sons.  If she’s not at her desk, you can probably find her with her nose in a book—hanging out in her hammock on the back porch, or in the car traveling to various writer’s groups and conferences.
With a revamped website coming this summer, connect with Cathy at:,, @ClRueter, or join her in the nest at: