Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interview with Author Olutosin Ogunkolade

I’m of Nigerian parentage and was born in Nigeria, but I reside in London, United Kingdom. I had my education in Lagos, Enugu and Oyo states in Nigeria, Zurich Switzerland and London, UK. And I am still schooling. My life journey began on the 14th of November when I was born into the Ogunkolade household, we are a family of 7, we are 5 children, all boys!

Deirdra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Olutosin: I first knew I wanted to be an author sometime in my teenage years. I have always enjoyed and liked good stories and I remember as a kid I used to look forward to the stories my class teacher at the International Primary School of Zurich would share with the class. He was a story teller by profession, that’s where the influence began but I was a teenager when I realised writing is something I had to do.

Deirdra: What is your writing and educational background?

Olutosin: My journey into the field of writing started from Primary School, I realised I was particularly confident with comprehension and essay writing and I got lots of credit from students and teachers alike for my ability to write even as I proceeded to secondary school and the University.

I am also a calligrapher, teacher and strategist.

Deirdra: What makes you passionate about writing?

Olutosin: I would say the creativity within writing is what makes me passionate. I love creativity, that’s why I am more inclined to fictional stories as a form of writing because through stories you made up (fiction) you can be as creative as you want from the realm of your imagination.

The idea of your thoughts /visualisations becoming a published work and something tangible is exciting to me.

Deirdra: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Olutosin: There was some research that preceded my publishing a book especially regarding the publisher I should use. I finally settled for Author House publishers for several reasons. It’s not been a bad experience so far, I tried to find out what it entails to publish a book before I went ahead to publish.

Deirdra: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Olutosin: Discouragement has a way of showing up whenever a man is on a worthwhile journey, but that’s where I permit discipline to come in. I tried to discipline myself and pursue my goal to the end. I kept the thought of what it will be like holding my work in my hand. It helped.

Deirdra: What is your writing schedule like?

Olutosin: I do a lot of blogging, writing new articles on my blog about various issues from my perspective. It’s a way I keep my mind active. I’m about to start work on a third book, a fictional novel. I perceive it will be captivating.

Deirdra: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
Olutosin: I do not despise myself or my ideas, at times it’s the ideas we despise that have the potential to bring us success. I ‘roll’ with any idea that comes to my mind at that hour. I do not wait for perfection or everyones approval.

Deirdra: What do you hope readers will get from your books?

Olutosin: I’m hoping they will be inspired, entertained and possibly educated to something they didn’t know or think of.

Deirdra: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

Olutosin: I sit down and type or write as the inspiration comes to me at that moment. I develop it as time goes on. I wait to see what happens next.

Deirdra: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Olutosin: When that happens I stop writing, I don’t believe in forcing things, when the situation is resolved and I feel motivated afresh, then I start writing from where I stopped.

Deirdra: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Olutosin: They should first of all make sure there work has a target ‘audience’. There is a lot of competition out there and for their work to make an impact their work must have a niche. Secondly they musn’t give up against all odds

Deirdra: What are you working on now?

Olutosin: I love passing knowledge across to people, helpful knowledge of course. I have finished a compilation titled ‘GREAT WORDS FOR GREAT LIVING’. It’s a book that will be available on Amazon and several online retailers including Waterstones. It’s a wisdom manual of some sort with pictures.

It should be available for purchase in about two to three weeks time.

My books can be purchased through Amazon and my publishers Author House Publishers.

On Amazon:

Through Author House:

Deirdra: Any final words you would like to share?

Olutosin: Never give up on your dreams keep them alive and don’t despise your work. Don’t despise days of little beginnings, everyone has a starting point.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dear Tina, Don't give up!

This post is dedicated to Tina. Don't give up. There are tons of agents and publishers looking for good Christian Romance and Inspirational books.

Here is a list of small to mid-size publishers that accept submissions directly from authors and don’t require an agent.

I haven’t researched them all and would STRONGLY suggest doing so BEFORE you submit to them.

Absey and Co.

Academy Chicago Publishers

Adventure Books of Seattle

Albert Whitman & Co.

Algonquin Books

Alyson Books

Amira Press

Artisan Books

Aunt Lute Press

Avon Books

Baen Books

Barbour Publishing

Barefoot Books

Barron's Educational Series

Beacon Press

Behler Publications

Bella Books


Black Lawrence Press

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bold Strokes Books

Boyds Mills Press

Breakaway Books

Bywater Books

Carina Press

Cerridwen Press

Charlesbridge Publishing

Chronicle Books

City Lights Publishers

Cobblestone Press, LLC

Coffee House Press

Counterpath Press


Diversion Press

Dorchester Publishing

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

Eerdmans Publishing Company

Ellora's Cave Romantica Publishing

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Front Street

Graywolf Press

Greenwood Press

Handprint Books


Harlequin Historical Undone

Holiday House, Inc.

Kensington Publishing

Leapfrog Press

Lee & Low Books

Liquid Silver Books

Llewellyn Worldwide

Lyrical Press

MacAdam/Cage Publishing

Marshall Cavendish Children's Books

Mid-List Press

Milkweed Editions

No Starch Press

Nocturne Bites

Paul Dry Books

Peachtree Publishers

Pelican Publishing Company

Permanent Press

Persea Books

Pleasant Company

Poisoned Pen Press

Potomac Books

Quarry Books

Quirk Books

Ravenous Romance


Running Press Kids

Samhain Publishing

Soho Press


Sterling Publishing

Storey Publishing

Sugar and Spice Press


Triple Crown Publications

Get The Edge.

Twilight Times Books

Unbridled Books

Walker & Company

Wild Child Publishing

Wild Rose Press

Workman Publishing

Here is a list of LDS publishers: there is more than just Covenant, DB and Leatherwood. I would strongly suggest researching them before you submit.

Agreka Books

American Literary Press


Apricot Press

Archive Publishers

Arthur H. Clark Co.

Aspen West Publishing & Distribution

Aztec Press & Distribution, LLC

BYU Studies

Best Books Publishing & Distribution

Bonfire Press

Bonneville Books

Brigham Young University Press

Cedar Fort

Council Press

Covenant Communications

Deseret Book

Digital Legend Press

Eagle Gate Publishers

Eborn Books

Ephraim Publishing House

FCP Publishing

Fales Productions

Genealogical Publishing Company

Gibbs Smith

Granite Publishing & Distribution

Greg Kofford Books

Handcart Books

Hatrack River Publications

Higher Ground Press

Horizon Publishers & Distributors

John Whitmer Books

King Dragon Press

Knitted Hearts Publishing

LDS Books

LeRue Press

Leatherwood Press

Mapletree Publishing Company

Mill Creek Press

Millennial Press and Distribution

Mormon Arts and Letters

Mt. Zion Books


Peregrine Smith Books

Pueblo Lamanita

SJS Publishing

Salt Press

Scripture Mastery Resources

Shadow Mountain

Signature Books

Silverton House Publishing

Sweetwater Books

Trumpet Media

Valor Publishing Group

Walking the Line Publications

Wellspring Publishing

WiDo Publishing

WindRiver Publishing

Windhaven Publishing

Here is a list of LDS literary agents

Northern Lights Literary Services, LLC

The Swetky Agency

Here is a list of literary agents ACTIVELY looking for inspirational, LDS and general Christian books.

Lisa Adams of The Garamond Agency

Giles Anderson of The Anderson Literary Agency, Inc.

Kathleen Anderson of Anderson Literary Management, LLC

Scott Andrew Mendel of Mendel Media Group, LLC

Jason Allen Ashlock of Movable Type Literary Group

Loretta Barrett of Loretta Barrett Books, Inc.

Ethan Bassoff of InkWell Management

Serendipity Literary Agency

Benrey Literary Agency

Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency

Meredith Bernstein of Meredith Bernstein Literary Agency

Brettne Bloom of Kneerim & Williams Literary

Olivia Blumer of The Blumer Literary Agency

William Blumer of The Blumer Literary Agency

Bond Literary Agency

Katherine Boyle of Veritas Literary Agency

Regina Brooks of Serendipity Literary Agency

Tracy Brown of Tracy Brown Literary Agency

Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency

Sheree Bykofsky of Sheree Bykofsky Associates, Inc.

Kimberley Cameron of Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Matthew Carnicelli of Trident Media Group, LLC

Michael Carr of Veritas Literary Agency

Mary Beth Chappell of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth

Linda Chester of Linda Chester Literary Agency

Susan Cohen of Writers House

Marlene Connor of Connor Literary Agency

Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.

Eileen Cope of Trident Media Group, LLC

Claudia Cross of Sterling Lord Literistic

Greg Daniel of Daniel Literary Group

Liza Dawson of Liza Dawson Associates

Jennifer de la Fuente of Fountain Literary

Jacques de Spoelberch of J de S Associates

Joelle Delbourgo of Joelle Delbourgo Associates

Verna Dreisbach of Dreisbach Literary Management

Dick Duane of Pinder Lane & Garon-Brooke Associates, Ltd

Tina Dubois Wexler of International Creative Management

Jennie Dunham of Dunham Literary, Inc.

Jennifer DuVall of Schiavone Literary Agency

Michael Ebeling of Ebeling and Associates

Arielle Eckstut of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency

Anne Edelstein of Anne Edelstein Literary Agency

Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates

Kate Epstein of The Epstein Literary Agency

Elizabeth Evans of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency

FinePrint Literary Management

Paul Fedorko of N.S. Bienstock

Diana Flegal of Hartline Literary Agency

Sam Fleishman of Literary Artists Representatives

Catherine Fowler of Redwood Agency

Diana Fox of Fox Literary

Laurie Fox of Linda Chester Literary Agency

Diane Freed of FinePrint Literary Management

Sarah Jane Freymann of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, Inc.

Jaimee Garbacik of The Literary Group International

Geiger Frances of Goldin Literary Agency

Claire Gerus of Claire Gerus Literary Agency

Ghosh Scovil of Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, Inc.

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

Suzanne Gluck of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Krista Goering of The Krista Goering Literary Agency LLC

Debra Goldstein of DeFiore and Company

Susan Golomb of The Susan Golomb Literary Agency

Scott Gould of RLR Associates, Ltd.

Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary Management

Loren Grossman of Paul S. Levine Literary Agent

Matthew Guma of The Guma Agency

Lisa Hagan of Paraview Literary Agency

Tamela Hancock Murray of Hartline Literary Agency

Joy Harris of The Joy Harris Literary Agency

Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency

Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency, Inc.

Judy Heiblum of Sterling Lord Literistic

Gary Heidt of Signature Literary Agency

Jeff Herman of The Jeff Herman Agency, LLC

Kristina Holmes of Ebeling and Associates

Sabine Hrechdakian of The Susan Golomb Literary Agency

Alexis Hurley of InkWell Management

Nathaniel Jacks of InkWell Management

Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maass Literary Agency

Weronika Janczuk of D4EO Literary Agency

William Jensen of William K Jensen Literary Agency

Chris Kepner of Victoria Sanders & Associates

Natasha Kern of Natasha Kern Literary Agency

Jill Kneerim of Kneerim & Williams Literary

Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency, Inc.

Janet Koboel Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency

Linda Konner of Linda Konner Literary Agency

Keith Korman of Raines & Raines

Andrea Kuhn Boeshaar of Hartline Literary Agency

Michael Larsen of Larsen Pomada Literary Agency

Steve Laube of The Steve Laube Agency (This guy is in AZ)

Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency

The Lazear Agency

Susan Lee Cohen of Riverside Literary Agency

Betsy Lerner of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency

Ellen Levine of Trident Media Group, LLC

James Levine of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency

Wendy Lipkind of Wendy Lipkind Agency

Laurie Liss of Sterling Lord Literistic

Denise Little of Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency

Nancy Love of Nancy Love Literary Agency

Jennifer Lyons of Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC

Alexandra Machinist Linda Chester Literary Agency

William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Kirsten Manges of Kirsten Manges Literary

Jillian Manus of Manus & Associates Literary Agency

Stedman Mays of Scribblers House LLC

McGinniss Associates

Jeffery McGraw of The August Agency

Mark McVeigh of The McVeigh Agency

Ruth Mirsky of Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC

Anne Marie O’Farrell of Denise Marcil Literary Agency

Anna Olswanger of Liza Dawson Associates

Gina Panettieri of Talcott Notch Literary Services

Jessica Papin of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management

Chris Park ofFoundry Literary + Media

Irene Webb of Irene Webb Literary

Frank Weimann of The Literary Group International

Ted Weinstein of Ted Weinstein Literary Management

Etta Wilson of Books & Such Literary Agency

Robert Wilson of Wilson Media

Elizabeth Winick of McIntosh & Otis, Inc.

Kent Wolf of Global Literary Management

Kirsten Wolf of Wolf Literary Services LLC

Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency

Laura Wood of FinePrint Literary Management

Howard Yoon of Ross Yoon Literary Agency

Laura Yorke of Carol Mann Agency

Helen Zimmermann of The Helen Zimmermann Literary Agency

Albert Zuckerman of Writers House

Monday, June 27, 2011

Managing Your Life As A Creative Person: Your Creative Lifecycle.

Have you ever noticed how authors and other creative artists have a hard time keeping a routine schedule for more than a few months or weeks? This is an amazing phenomenon for people who typically are perfectionists and have high expectations for their work and careers.

Authors and other creative people go through creative cycles I call the “Creative Phoenix” because of the periods of death and resurrection.

Creative Birth or Resurrection: (Spring)
Your Creative Phoenix is born either through weeks of preparation or is born instantly when an idea pops into your head or you wake up from an inspiring dream.
This young creative idea is fresh, new and exciting. Even though the creative project is in the fragile beginning stages, you feel a drive to enhance it and help it blossom into a full grown novel, article, illustration, etc.

Creative Youth: (Summer)
Eventually this creative fire reaches a peak of intensity. The creative project will constantly be on your mind. You will think of dialogue in the shower or a new scene will come to you while you’re driving or while at the gym. This is the time to always keep your notebook handy.

During this peak time you can do your best work. You don't feel the panic or doubt of developing a new born idea. You, as the author or artist are absorbed in your work and can experience adrenalin rushes and extra creative energy that will drive you to stay up late, get up early, skip meals, take time off work, etc. to work on the project. Sometimes you will have euphoric thoughts like, “This is going to be the next best seller or agents are going to throw themselves at me to sell this book. I should start querying now.”

Creative Maturity: (Autumn) The mature Creative Phoenix is an idea that has been worked over. Let’s say if you are writing a book, this would be your refining and editing process. You start thinking about your publishing options, you hire an editor or cover designer, you get feedback from beta readers, etc.
This is the best time to edit because you can step back from the work and look at it with a critical eye without interrupting your creative flow.

Creative Natural Death: (Winter)
A natural end to a creative period is normal, yet sometimes authors will feel guilty for not working on a project or they may miss the “rush” of a new project.

This is when your project is concluding, such as writing the last chapter, or your creative rush is over and you need to step away from the project for a while.

For many artists and authors this can be a depressing time. They know they should be working on a project and they want to work, but they don’t have that drive they once had. Some people mistake this period of time as writer’s block, but it's part of the natural cycle of creativity.

During this time you need to focus on “nesting”. Yes, it’s what mothers do before they have a baby. They get everything ready for when the baby comes. For creative people this is the time to prepare for the next project. Personally, the better I prepare, the longer my creative lifecycle will last. This is when you catch up on housework, fix things, set appointments you've been putting off, clean your inbox, stock up on frozen meals, spend time with family, get out and be social, ETC. Get your life ready for when your phoenix is reborn.

Don't be discouraged that you aren’t writing. This is normal. Just think of it as a preparation time.

Creative Murder:
Your creative phoenix can be murdered by inside or outside sources. This is when you are in the beginning or middle stages of a creative project and something happens to kill that creativity.

The murder weapon could be a depressing rejection letter, an unusual amount of stress, illness, worry over finances, self-doubt, etc.

When a creative period is disrupted, the author usually will feel discouragement or depression over loosing the "steam" on their project as well as the added stress and trauma of the event that disrupted their creative period.

Whatever part of the cycle you are in, know that this is a normal process and enjoy it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Free Writer's Workshop:

I wasn't going to post this until tomorrow, but the press release when out today and my inbox is flooding. So here's the info:

Creating an Illustrated Children's Book:

Tuesday June 28th, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM Writers Unite to Fight Cancer will present: Creating an Illustrated Children’s Book, in Gilbert, AZ.
(DON"T WORRY. For all who can't make it I'm going to post my notes and try to upload my slide show presentation. Make sure you follow so you don't miss it.)

This fun informational workshop panel includes:
· Cindy R. Williams author of the double award winning Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today will teach story boarding.
· Patti Hulet 2007 Arizona Teacher of the Year. She is the librarian at the Playa del Rey School in Gilbert and mentors a writing club and will instruct narration.
· Cynthia Roedig wrote, illustrated & produced Ginger Boy and the Silver Lariat. She will give insight on the process from beginning concept through end product.
· Deirdra Eden Coppel, author, illustrator and Enhanced Multi-Media Content (EMC) expert, will teach about choosing and hiring an illustrator, and how EMC content is going to change your career as an author.
· Linda Kush of Emerson Press will bring examples of full color illustrated books from her printing press.
· Cecily Markland author of If I Made a Bug, and president of Inglestone Publishing will discuss publishing opportunities.

One dollar from each Writers Unite to Fight Cancer author’s book sold at this event in will benefit the Adam McCain Medical Expense Fund. Adam is a sweet four-year-old boy with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia from Mesa Arizona.

Writers Unite to Fight Cancer is a philanthropic group of authors who raise money for Cancer Research and other cancer related causes. One in three people will develop Cancer s
ometime during their life. Fifteen hundred people die of cancer every day. Writers Unite to Fight Cancer strive for brighter tomorrows by donating to cancer research today. We welcome all interested writers to join our group.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Okay readers. Its your turn to give authors a piece of your mind

As you can tell this site is geared toward literary professionals and aspiring authors.

I would like to interview a few brave avid readers about what they like to read, why, what things authors do that annoy them, what they want to see from authors in the future, etc.

If you or someone you know is interested in helping authors make better books send me an email at Guidedhope(at)gmail(dot)com and I will send them the interview questions.



I'm also looking to interview published authors (agented, self published, small press, etc. too) to find out what you wrote and what the pathway to publishing was like for you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Critique Groups

Articles on critique groups by these amazing authors:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Cover Designs

I've added a new page to this blog. Check out my book cover designs.


I taught a workshop this weekend in Tuscon, Arizona.

Here is an article about the event.

Next free writing workshop:

Writers Unite to Fight Cancer: Creating an Illustrated Children's Book Workshop
Jun 28, 2011: A+ Book Fairs Warehouse on 45 N. Sunway Dr. in Gilbert AZ 85233. Crossroads are McQueen and Elliot. Tuesday June 28th from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm. Gilbert, AZ
Authors, Illustrators, Teachers and Publishers will present a workshop on creating an Illustrated Children's Books. This fun fundraising event is for writers of all ages who are interested in creating their own illustrated children's book.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How to keep up with flow of ideas, without abandoning current project.

At any given time I have about 32 books running through my head. I have to focus on my current project or I will never get anything done.

The most important thing I do so I don’t loose all the good ideas that come to me while I am working on my current project is to keep note books EVERYWHERE!!!!! I have about seventeen floating around.

I keep them in my purse, car (when I’m not driving), gym bag, diaper bag, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and in random places so I can get to them quick if I get a good idea.

Once a week I gather up the note books and record them as “Splash Pages” or notes in my book files. My computer desktop looks crazy, but it’s organized into folders and documents.

Don't let a good idea go, but remember to stay focused.

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