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Welcome to another episode of my podcast.

overthinking
Momentmal / Pixabay

OVERTHINKING

Hey, everybody and welcome to another edition of Writer Groupie. Hi, I’m Kim and throughout most of my life thinking random and various thoughts the way I do has helped me to develop as a writer. That “what if” factor that everyone always tells you about. And yes, I just made air quotes around “what if”.

Sorry that I am not doing video so that you can see it. But I digress.

This deep thinking for most or all of us is a part of the human process.  Sometimes that deep thought thing can get us into trouble. We begin to act upon some of them, and that well, that can be a bad thing. But for the most part, we think about random things all the time such as what will I wear, what will I eat, who will I do something with tonight, why did my boss just roll his eyes at me, and so on and on.

When the thinking process becomes troublesome, well, that my dear ones is when thinking becomes OVERTHINKING.

This can also happen to a writer in big and uncomfortable ways.

For instance, if you are a writer, have you ever thought, wow, wonder what my character will do if they must endure this ____ (yes, again with the air quotes) ___and then as you play it out in your mind you get off on a tangent? When I wrote the scene in my first Shannon Wallace mystery about sending her to a funeral, I had to walk all the way through it mentally first. It was hard you see because recently I had been to several funerals and they were painful experiences personally. Before the end of my thoughts about my character I began reliving my own experiences and it was not pleasant. I almost didn’t write that scene. But when I realized that I was overthinking about it, and stepped away from it for a while the writing went a lot better.

So, my word to you is: if writing starts with thinking and thinking leads to re-enacting then it might be better to leave that writing for another day.

Another way we overthink our writing is when we write a scene that is completely filled with exact details or minutiae that is unnecessary. I will give you an example.

IN the scene the character wakes up, gets out of bed, goes to the bathroom, pulls on clothes, go to the kitchen, starts a pot of coffee and sits down to write out a check to the landlord. It might go like this:

She rolled over and stared at her house shoes lying on the floor, it would be a small thing to just slide into them. She slides into them. She stood straight and stretched before walking into the small bathroom just off the bedroom to splash water on her face. Then she strolled into the kitchen to turn on the ancient coffeepot. While it gurgled to life, she sat at her roll-top desk, pulled out a pen and her checkbook and wrote out that delinquent check to old Mr. Tom, the landlord.

Now-there is nothing wrong with that paragraph, technically, well okay maybe some grammar issues as it was not edited, but I mean you could write it that way. I think you could be a whole lot better with it though since I really overthought what my mind was seeing, and just say:

She slid into her house shoes, went into the bathroom, splashed water on her face, started coffee, and wrote out the check to the landlord, Mr. Tom.

And by the way, since we are overthinking this bit, why is he old Mr. Tom? Why did she have to think about sliding into her shoes? Yes, you can totally see what I mean. But that is exactly it. Overthinking. It can be a bad thing. But it can be a good thing. Especially if you are about to be a speaker at a writing event such as what I am doing today. You have to plan out what you will say. You should analyze it for a long time so that you do not totally go up in front of a captive audience and embarrass yourself.

Which is what I am going to do in just a few moments. Thank you for listening to my quickie flyby episode today. I am working on getting this podcast back on its feet soon and we may begin doing google hangouts instead of one on ones. I know that thrills your souls. Hang on groupies, I will be back soon with more good stuff.

 

Books Clubs And Why I Want To Join One

Welcome to another episode of my podcast.

 

Books Clubs And Why I Want To Join One

Yesterday, I sat in on my first gathering of a book club.  It was so much fun, I want to join one. That is a common feeling for a reader, who loves books and just wants to read and talk about what was read. These ladies (and yes, it was all ladies) really liked the book that had been read, and the author was present, so they got a good chance to ask her questions about the book that they wanted answered. The author was delightful and well, you should know, she is a friend of mine, and a fine author. NO wonder they loved her book. I love her books too.

Now for those of you asking, this is what a book club is and what they do:

A book club is a reading group that chooses a book to read once a month and then they get together and discuss it. IF they are lucky, like the case I am telling you about here, they have the author in and get to learn more deeply about the writing of the book, what inspired the author and what she felt when she wrote certain scenes.

I only aspire to this height. I haven’t yet been the subject of a book club gathering, but I hope to one day. I love readers. Heck, I am one! I think that reading groups and book clubs are just the bees knees.

You can find them all on the internet if you are not able to get to a library. I think getting together with a face to face group would be just super fun though. Libraries and community centers usually have something along these lines, so check all the possible places. And like I said, if you cannot find anything local, then look online. There are many online, I know because I just went out and looked into it. I am seriously considering joining one, just because I love to read so much.

Well, maybe that’s a job for another month, though. I just got two of the author’s books at the meeting yesterday, so I am full of new books to read right now. In fact, my to-be-read pile is about to topple over.

One of the final and wonderful things that the moderator said yesterday was for the readers to be sure to go out and rate and review the book for the author. I was so pleased to hear that. Authors need ratings and reviews to keep them on top of their game. I received a bad review one time. It really hurt my feelings, but I have since learned that you won’t always hit the mark with every reader. It’s cool. They don’t mean any harm by telling you that you fell short of the mark. That bad review should make you good and mad, so you go out and do better. I know it affected me that way.

And good reviews? Oh my. Those make an author’s heart sing, and sends us right back into that writing chair to turn out another book. Good reviews are as addicting as a drug that is only taken once and is sought after with a vengeance every day thereafter.

Well, I guess, that’s about all I had to talk about this time.

I am going to be working on my next book soon, and no not through Nano. I don’t guess I will ever do Nano again. Nano is short for Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing Month and it is all in November. I have done it many years, but nah…not this one.  But I still need some encouragement to finish this book I’m writing, so please remember to pat me on the back once in a while. It’s so hard to make myself sit down and write these days. I find avoiding the writing chair a very easy feat and that’s only because basically I am lazy, but also, well, since my hubby died, I just don’t have much inspiration or motivation aside from normal life things. I think I need a book club. It would get my lazy butt moving in the right direction.

What do you think?

May all beings be happy at heart — Buddha

Listen to the podcast here or read the text below.

So here we are you guys, it’s October 2017– they keep promising Fall is on the way, but I dont hardly believe it–it’s still in the mid to upper 80s here and well… you know a little cooler weather would be nice.

Looks like for a while, you guys, I’m going to be doing the podcast solo-because I just don’t know how to go about conducting an interview and make it turn out right — video-wise —and all the things that my husband used to do – it’s kind of a technical malady going on here– so instead I guess I’ll just talk to yall– I’ll just do some podcasting solo —

You’re going to get the benefit of my knowledge and well, an awful lot of what’s inside of my brain. These are going to be a lot more like those fly-by episodes that I did sometimes. But I hope that I can bring something of value to you using the podcast platform.

I know there’s an awful lot of podcasts out there I know your time is valuable and I just want to say thanks for listening to my podcast, to writer groupie dot net podcast.

You know it’s an honor really for you to allow me to take up your time and it’s–you know– it’s kind of an honor for you to get the benefit of listening to my terrible southern drawl. So actually if you think about it, we’re benefiting each other.

You know it’s a shared human experience, podcasting is. The sound of my voice going into your ear-bones. Well, something like that.

And so, lets talk about a few of the things that are going on in the world. You know just yesterday was the Las Vegas Massacre. At least that’s what the news media’s calling it. I kind of agree, it was a massacre. Somebody described  it as shooting fish in a barrel and that I agree with also.

It was totally, utterly, decidedly planned. Now what sort of opinion this man had of population, what this man’s mental status was, the reasons behind the massacre could be just about anything. I don’t think anybody really knows at this point, and you know, he shot himself, so we may never know.

We may never know what made this man go to such extremes to injure, maim, and murder others. So many others they’re calling it the worst massacre in this country.

But I have to say, even in the most horrible circumstances some of the best and the brightest things come to light. Kind of like a beautiful moth appearing under the street lamp because it’s drawn to the light.

Good is drawn to the light. And even though there’s evil in the world, I really truly believe there’s an awful lot of good. And you’re good, and I’m good, and we’re good together. And we can do good for each other. And I think that it’d be really remiss of me if I didn’t say things to you like, spread kindness.

You know, kindness is free.

It doesn’t cost anything and it takes a lot of various forms. You know, a kind touch, a kind word, even just a smile would make somebody’s day.

You know, and you never know the burdens other people are carrying, and your kind touch, your kind word, even your smile can make that sorrowful day that they may be enduring a whole lot brighter.

kindness
Profile / Pixabay

So, please, please, please, try and be kind. Try to have peace in your heart. Try to have love for your fellow man. Because you know, there’s evil in the world. And the only way to overcome evil is with love and with kindness.

You know it’s just … it’s just the way the Good Book says, those kinds of  benefits… those kinds of types of personalities that can exhibit kindness and love even in the worst circumstances…man, that’s the kind of stuff you want to pay attention to and you want to pattern yourself after.

So, if you don’t know anything about how to be kind or how to exhibit love, listen to some of these news stories about the people who took care of those who were injured and dying. I think you might find the cue. I think you might find the key.

Well, that’s about all I can tell you. That’s all I can give you out of the depths of my mind. I’m a little bit soul-sore. And I guess maybe you are too, I think all of our spirits are a little bit dinged right now. Because we’re all sad because this is a terrible tragedy.

Anytime there’s a massive loss of life, I mean, it’s…it’s a tragedy.

But we can overcome. WE can always overcome. Don’t forget what I said about kindness. That’s kind of important. Until next time….signing out.

WGPodcast: Are Websites Necessary

Writer Groupie Podcast brings you discussions, insights, and insider details on planning, producing, promoting, and profiting as a writer.

Welcome to Writer Groupie!

websites

SHOW NOTES:

Good day, Writer Groupies! I am doing a flyby episode today in hopes that I am going to slowly get back to my podcast schedule. I think most of you know that my hubby is my producer and he has been in the hospital and unable to help me out for some time now.

At any rate, he will be able to direct me to do the production work soon, so we can get back to business! If you are a former guest, or one that I have had to cancel, I will be in touch to reschedule soon!

Today, I want to discuss a subject that is subjective, depending on what your preferences are, and I am certainly NOT trying to sway you one way or another. But, it’s about websites for authors and whether we still need them or not, and whether what we put on one is complex or simple.

What got me on the subject today was seeing a nice book cover on Facebook and following the links to see the book on Amazon-you know me, I love good book covers – and if you need one designed will be happy to do that for you- but I digress.

This book, a romance, was ranking on Amazon moderately, and I wanted to know more about the author. I always think about possible podcast guests. So, I tried and tried to find the author’s website. And there is not one. The author is exclusively on Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

This made me sit back on my heels a little.

Are websites now no longer needed for an author?  Do we as consumers no longer desire to see the author’s creds and other items? This author only had the one book so maybe she will get a site up once she gets another one ready to go. I also tried to hunt down her publishing company and found nothing that matched exactly so suspect that she is using her own publishing information as I do with MKS Books. This is a common thing with indies.

But I have heard more than once that you should have a website, even a one page site. It’s just the norm. But I am seeing more and more indies going to a social media experience for their platform. I think in a way, that is an okay thing to do. I mean, where did I find this author? On Facebook!

So, it bears repeating…are websites going by the wayside? I find myself going less and less to sites for my information gathering…even of big companies. Now, yes, we all shop online and those sites are frequented quite heavily. But for an author? Or a book? Is it possible now to do away with a website?

When I visited the sites of two of my favorite authors, I found sites filled with info about their book tours and covers and links to their books (current books being sold—not really backlist) and nothing else. I suspect these NYT bestsellers are far too busy out in the world promoting to be worrying with blogging or any of that and likely have author assistants who do their sites.

But, if you have a site…what is necessary? For a long time, it was simply a placeholder for your image and bio and book covers and links. Then sites went the way of blogs and everyone felt the need to post blog posts daily or so…but I am seeing a whole lot of defunct blogs now because we are all very, very busy people and don’t have time to write out a long tirade. And even less time to read one. So, I think it is safe to say that blogging at least on a website is really sort of a dead thing.

And if the authors that I visited are any indication, sites may be going back to the placeholder days.

Either way, a website is in my opinion, an expense that an author just getting started could do without. I think they may well get more mileage from social media places. Eventually as they publish more and more books they will want a site.

What do you think?

Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear what you think.

Thanks for listening! You can find show notes, contact form, and more at http://www.writergroupie.net

You can find out more about Kim Smith at http://www.kimsmithauthor.net

Happy New Year to WGP fans and followers!

2017

I have had a major setback in my personal life and have taken a small hiatus from the podcast for a while. I cancelled all my scheduled podcasts for the now, and I apologize to all my guests.

If it were not serious, and necessary, I would never do such a thing.

But I will try to do a few flyby episodes here and there until my load lightens. Thanks to everyone who has stayed the course with me through all the tumult.

 

Merry Christmas to all our fans and followers. May your holiday celebration be filled with love and laughter and all things good.

We will be back on December 27 with an interview with the ever-fabulous, Jack Wallen. Feel free to click on his name and check him out NOW.

Until we meet again, Joyeux Noelnoel

Episode 75 – Lori Roberts, author and living historian

roberts
Lori Roberts is an author, educator, historian and presenter for historical events and workshops. Lori has been an educator for more than twenty years, currently teaching United States History at the Middle School level.

Lori as a living historian, often portrays Mrs. Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, wife of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

She has spoken at Civil War events in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia. As a presenter, Lori has given first-person programs to the Southern Indiana Education Center/Living History Fellowship Grant, Journey Through the Hallowed Ground Conference, George Mason University. Lori was a 2011 nominee for the Guilder Lehrman Social Studies Teacher of the Year.

Lori has a passion for history, and bringing history to life for her audience. Bringing characters to life through historical interpretation is one method Lori uses to engage her students in the classroom.

Lori and I chat via audio podcast only for this show and you can see what books she has below.

Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

roberts

roberts

roberts

In this episode with Lori Roberts, we discuss:

SHOW NOTES

  • Her journey as a writer and living historian
  • How she can begin another book even in the midst of the current one
  • What she did about writing during Nanowrimo this year
  • How being a teacher has influenced what she writes and how sometimes hinders her writing
  • Discussion about free-writing and if an author can or should do it
  • Why she chose the Civil War era and if it was related to a familial connection
  • How Gone with the Wind influenced her decision about the era to write in
  • If she might write in another era-say, medival history
  • Insider details about how research has played a part in her writing life
  • Insights on how current opinion has affected writing historical fiction esp. in the CW era
  • AND SO MUCH MORE! INCLUDING HER ADVICE FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS

    PODCAST LINK

    You can find Lori Roberts online at:

    LINKS

    Website : http://www.stonewallswife.com
    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/lori.crecelius.roberts
    Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Lori-Roberts/e/B0089A94EG

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

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    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
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Episode 74 Gerald Hausman, storyteller and author

gerald Gerald Hausman chatted with me about his work and the writing life.

gerald

Gerald Hausman is the author of more than 70 books. His live storytelling has been praised by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, History Channel, and the Bank Street College of Education. He and his wife have received numerous awards in the field of children’s literature.

“As a writer I have often been called a scribe. This is because in the gathering of oral tales, I have always tried to get the story right. To capture the flavor, the region and the moral as the original storyteller gave it to me. The NYT Book Review called my collection of American Indian stories, Tunkashila ‘an eloquent tribute to the first great storytellers of America.'”

In addition to his 22 years of story gathering and telling in New Mexico, Gerald also spent 13 summers on the island of Jamaica where he ran an informal writing school with his wife, Lorry. Together they collected Anansi stories, stories from and about the Kebra Nagast, and traditional West Indian ghost stories.

george-and-gerry-copy

“I remember when History Channel filmed tales from my book “Duppy Talk”. My best friend Roy was not an actor, but because of his handsome face he was cast as the man who was enchanted by a mermaid. When I saw him on film, I asked Roy how he was able to do the underwater scene and keep that look of astonishment when he saw the made-up mermaid smiling on the river bank. He told me, ‘That look on my face comes from the fact I can’t swim. I was very scared.'”

Gerald teaches writing workshops in various parts of the United States and is most recently the author of “The American Storybag” — 40 years of story gathering on and off the road. He lives on a barrier island in Florida.

Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

GUNS

Video Link

In this episode with Gerald Hausman, we discuss:

SHOW NOTES

  • We learn where Gerald started creating his stories and how his mother was instrumental in his idea development for stories
  • Why Gerald writes
  • What Gerald did when he quit writing for two years and how it brought him back to the writing of stories
  • We learn a bit about sun signs and moon signs and what that means for writers and creatives
  • Insider details about the Guns anthology that Gerald edited (mostly collected the stories from the interesting authors) and contributed to, and how some of the most famous characters in classic stories had ancestors and historians contribute to this book
  • Gerald reads to us from GUNS (Billy the Kid)
  • We get a great insider look at guns and how a spiritual life to a gun is a part of this anthology
  • How asking the right questions can get a book created
  • How listening to the answer to the questions can also bring about the story
  • We talk about audiobooks and how it impressed Gerald with its resonance
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!
  • AUDIO ONLY LINK

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Gerald Hausman online at:

    LINKS

    Website : http://www.geraldhausman.com
    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/gahausman
    Publisher : http://www.speakingvolumes.us
    Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gerald-Hausman/e/B000AQ4WEO

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

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    Episode 73 Janie Franz, acquisitions editor

    cropped-cropped-podcast-logo1.jpg
    This week we welcome Janie Franz, the new acquisitions editor for MuseItUp Publishing. Janie is an accomplished author in her own right.

    franz

    JANIE’S BIO
    Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Her work is honed by the frigid winters of the Northern Plains and the high desert and mountains of New Mexico and influenced by her degree in anthropology. She is an author, a professional speaker, and reviewer. Previously, she ran her own online music publication (Refrain Magazine) and was an agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, a radio announcer, and a yoga/relaxation instructor. She is the author of eleven novels (fantasy, thriller, and contemporary), a freelance writing manual, and co-author of two wedding how-to books. “Refrain,” the second book of The Lost Song trilogy, was a Top 10 Finisher, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, 2013 Preditors & Editors Reader Poll.

    Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

    Video Link

    In this episode with Janie Franz, we discuss:

    SHOW NOTES

  • Janie tells us about her new “hat” as an acquisitions editor
  • We learn about what MuseItUp Publishing is looking for and when someone can submit
  • Insider info about the New Adult or NA category
  • Details about what an acquisitions editor does
  • We talk about the Muse It Up Conference and other cons Janie attends and speaks at
  • What the main thrust of MuseItUp Publishing is and what they offer authors
  • Info about cover art and distribution at MIU, including foreign translations
  • Details about author participation in promotions and marketing their work in today’s industry
  • Janie’s thoughts about Imaginarium, the con we both attend in Louisville, KY
  • Discussion about pitch sessions and how they are handled at a con (there are differences!) and why you should develop a good elevator pitch
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!

    AUDIO ONLY LINK

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Janie Franz online at:

    LINKS

    MuseItUp Publishing site : http://www.museituppublishing.com
    Janie’s Website : http://janiefranz.fourfour.com/home
    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Janie-Franz-Author-115142155208007/

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

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    Episode 72 Kathryn Sullivan, YA Sci-fi and Fantasy

    cropped-cropped-podcast-logo1.jpg

    This week, Kathryn comes back on WGP to discuss her experiences as an orphaned author and how it wasn’t necessarily the end of her writing world.

    sullivan

    Kathryn Sullivan was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Berkeley, Illinois, where she started writing her first stories. Kathryn now lives in Winona, MN, where the river bluffs along the Mississippi River double as cliffsides on alien planets or the deep mysterious forests in a magical world.

    Her first published novel was The Crystal Throne, which won the 2002 EPPIE for Best Fantasy, and its sequel, Talking to Trees, was a finalist for a Dream Realm Award for Best Young Adult. Her short story collection, Agents & Adepts, won the 2003 Dream Realm Award for Best Anthology. Her children’s picture book, Michael & the Elf, has been reprinted by Guardian Angel Publishing.

    A Chick who has dug Time Lords for many years, she has an essay, “The Fanzine Factor”, in the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords and a review in Outside In: 160 New Perspectives on 160 Doctor Who stories by 160 writers.

    Her recent works are short stories “Search and Rescue” and “The Oracle of Cilens” (Amazon) as well as “The Taste of Treasure” in Clockwork Spells and Magical Bells, and “The Theft of the Royal Jewels” in the pirate anthology A Tall Ship, A Star and Plunder (Dark Oak Press).

    She also has a review in Outside In Boldly Goes: 117 New Perspectives on 117 Classic Star Trek Stories By 117 Writers. She is a proud member of Broad Universe and EPIC. Any birdlike beings in her books only slightly resemble her cockatoo owner.

    Links to books (click on cover to be magically transported to purchase)

    Video Link

    In this episode with Kathryn Sullivan, we discuss:

    SHOW NOTES

  • The changes that have taken place in Kathy’s writing life since last we met at Imaginarium. Link to previous interview HERE where she was my 40th interview on WGP
  • Her Eppie nomination on Search and Rescue and how she went with self publishing it
  • How many books and stories she had with Amber Quill Press (her former publisher)
  • Insider details about small publishing woes including when they go out of business etc. and Kathy’s advice on what to do
  • How networking with others can be of help to orphaned authors
  • Why spreading your work out among more than one small press is smart
  • Why waiting for a little while after losing one’s publisher before looking for a new one might be a good plan for some
  • How Kathy shopped around for other publishers
  • What to tell your prospective publisher about repub and genre
  • What authors are faced with so far as promo and cover art etc. when losing a publisher
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!

    AUDIO ONLY LINK

    Listen to my writing news info, personal update, and the AUDIO ONLY version of the interview here:

    You can find Kathryn Sullivan online at:

    LINKS

    Facebook: Kathryn Sullivan, author
    Website: Kathryn Sullivan, author website
    Amazon page
    : Kathryn Sullivan, author page at Amazon

    _______________________________________

    Thanks for Listening to WGP (Writer Groupie Podcast)!
    We appreciate your time!

    Did you enjoy this episode?

    If so, please do one (or all) of the following:

    Leave a comment on this page or ask a question if you need us to elaborate on the topic.
    Use the social media buttons to share this episode with your friends, family, and contacts.
    Go over to iTunes or YouTube to leave a rating/review and to subscribe to the podcast.
    We appreciate you taking the time to check out WGP! And we look forward to providing you with more content in the next episode!

    Subscribe to Writer Groupie Podcast on iTunes and YouTube by clicking on the images below:

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