Welcome Maine Ghost Hunter Beth Oliver

- by Lina Gardiner

Welcome Beth Oliver and thank you for sharing your experiences as a Maine Ghost Hunter Member.

Lina, thank you for asking me to do this interview. I love sharing my experiences with ghost hunting and the paranormal. 

Beth, how did you originally become interested in this field?

I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal. I cut my teeth reading books on ghosts, mythology and legends and my grandmother would often tell us stories of hauntings. She was a very adventurous woman and very open minded. She actually went to a Spiritual camp with her sisters to have a reading in the 1940’s. Anyway, she passed that love of a good story on to me and I parlayed that into being a writer, and eventually as an investigator.

What prompted you to begin investigating?

I have an avid interest in Maine legend and lore. This led me to a chat room discussion on the false information on sites that is posted all over the internet. One of the members in the chat was putting together an investigative team and asked me along on an outing. It just seemed like a perfect fit. They asked me to join the team and the rest just sort of fell into place.

Read more…

Novelists, Inc. Blog Welcomes Joyce Lamb of Joyce Lamb Editing

- by Lina Gardiner

Welcome Joyce, thank you for being our guest this month.

What kind of business were you in for twenty-five years before going out on your own?

Thanks for talking with me, Lina!

I’ve been a copy editor for 25 years, the past 15 at USA Today in the Money section. My entire working life since graduating from college has been with one media company (Gannett, parent of USA Today). I was lucky enough to get a job at my hometown newspaper while still in college and moved around a couple of times within Gannett before landing at USA Today. I’m still a contractor for USA Today, as curator of the Happy Ever After blog devoted to romance novels. So I haven’t completely broken my ties, which is a good thing, because I’ve loved working for them.

What was it like to start your own business?

Scary as all hell! But once I decided freelance copy editing was what I wanted to do and I started doing it, it got a lot less scary fast. I knew I’d have to work even harder, but I love fiction, and there’s nothing more fun (for me) than copy editing a really great book. Yes, I’m a nerd through and through. Plus, with self-publishing being so hot, authors are in need of good copy editors, so I figured I’d have to try pretty hard to fail at freelance copy editing. : )    

Read more…

Chasing The Beatles

- by Karen Tintori

Are you as boggled as I am that 50 years have passed since a record 70 million of us sat around our black and white television sets to watch “The” Ed Sullivan Show?  I watched that night with a mix of exhilaration and worry. I was already a Beatles fan, and this was my first chance to see them perform, but I was seriously worried that I’d never get to see them perform live here in Detroit. On the advent of The Beatles’ arrival in the US, one of the fraternities at the University of Detroit had adopted brush haircuts and begun a “Stamp Out The Beatles Campaign.”

Not 15 minutes after their plane touched down at Kennedy Airport on February 7, 1964, The Beatles faced the media at a press conference in the PanAm terminal. Three questions in, my heart nearly stopped.

“In Detroit there’s people handing out car stickers saying, ‘Stamp Out The Beatles.’”

Paul: “Yeah well… first of all, we’re bringing out a Stamp Out Detroit campaign.”   His retort brought laughter.

“What about the Stamp Out The Beatles campaign?” the reporter pressed.

Read more…

Jenel Looney on being a Writer’s Assistant

- by Lina Gardiner

WELCOME JENEL!  Thank you for joining us and popping in throughout the day to answer questions.

How did you become a virtual assistant? (What interested you in this job, etc.) It’d also be interesting to hear about your Masters in Writing.

I had a lot of weird and seemingly unrelated skills I’d picked up over the years in various jobs and schools. I had a Bachelor’s in Spanish, a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction, a paralegal certificate, a real estate degree. I knew a little graphic design and basic HTML from my time as a curriculum assistant in Saudi Arabia, working on the school system’s internal website, but I didn’t know enough to be a graphic designer or a website designer.

When I first started as a VA in 2008, I marketed myself to small businesses. But then Susan Mallery, a classmate and friend from Seton Hill University, hired me for a small project, and then for another, and soon, she committed to me as her assistant and recommended me to two of her friends, Kate Carlisle and Maureen Child. I am thrilled to specialize in author assistance. I couldn’t be happier.

Can you give us an overview of what virtual assistants do for their clients?

Every VA has different skills and expertise, so it will vary greatly. A good VA will help with all of those time-consuming extras that keep you from writing. Here are a few of the things I do for my clients:

Read more…