Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Stop in for a fresh point of view

cj Sez: Lyrical Pens is excited to present a guest post today.

  Welcome, welcome to Lyrical Pens, Darlene. I think your unique comparisons and descriptions of your journey to publication will help everyone visualize the struggles of an aspiring writer. Carry on . . .

“  People say, “What I know about, fill in the blank, wouldn’t fill a thimble.” Five years ago, when this crazy thought of “I should write a book” popped into my head, I could probably fill a thimble with my knowledge of writing a book. I had written long papers in Graduate School, so I understood how to outline and general rules of grammar. I had read thousands of mystery books and knew a story needed a protagonist, a villain, a plot, and some red herrings.
  I sat down and began my outline. I am a plotter. Hats off to the pantsers out there. I need a plot. Then I started writing. I wrote and wrote and wrote some more. I had what published authors would call a very long synopsis. There were more pages than a synopsis, but I was nowhere near book-length. I signed up for a Writers Workshop to get feedback on my progress. Ten talented writers, one a published author provided me with volumes of feedback. My knowledge level overflowed the thimble and topped off a shot glass. 

  Shots can be fun, but more education was in order. I turned to Sisters in Crime. I took online classes, zoomed into webinars, and lurked across multiple list servs. I revised and rewrote, and wrote some more. My knowledge level expanded, and I could easily fill a six-ounce glass.
  I got to around forty thousand words and patted myself on the back. I was doing a great job. However, I wasn’t sure what to do next. I was not ready to start submitting this work to agents. At least I knew that much. So I went to someone whose knowledge could fill a ten-gallon punch bowl, a librarian with a published author in the family. He introduced me to a host of people who were happy to read my WIP and give me more feedback. 
  Armed with a ten-ounce wine glass of knowledge and my 74,000-word manuscript, I started submitting to agents. Then I emptied glass after glass of wine as I listed between listening to crickets and receiving rejection emails.

  I had outgrown my glassware, and it was time to pivot. Through all the learning and networking, I met many self-published authors. I researched platforms.
I established a business to collect royalties and pay for writing expenses. (A person can dream that the royalties will one day cover the expenses.) I grabbed one of the empty pinot grigio bottles and filled it with my knowledge. I had a book, and I knew how to self-publish it. Clues From The Canines was released.

  I didn’t want to stop learning at 750ml. If the royalties are going to pay the expenditures, one needs to know far more about Marketing and Publicity than I did. My fellow writers at the Guppies and SinC Grand Canyon Writers were there to help. 

  With enough knowledge to fill a three-liter wine box, Up Close and Pawsonal, the second book in the Lily Dreyfus series, will release on March 4. 2023. In this book, Lily Dreyfus will enjoy an outdoor concert until shots are fired from a passing SUV, critically injuring two bandmates. She is drawn into investigating the crime to help cope with PTSD and to avenge the death of the band member who was her coworkers’ nephew. 

  There is still more to learn about the craft, and I will continue to gain knowledge as the Lily Dreyfus series expands. In August, I will attend Killer Nashville. By the end of the conference, I’ll have enough knowledge to fill a small barrel of bourbon.”

/ / / / 

  Darlene is a member of Sisters in Crime National and several regional SinC groups. She combined her passion for the written word and animals into the Lily Dreyfus series. Darlene volunteers at the Animal Welfare Association, a New Jersey animal shelter, where she chats with the dogs while completing her assignments. She has a 30-year career in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and is an avid reader, gardener, and traveler.  Darlene lives in New Jersey with her four-legged best friend, Billie.

Find and follow Darlene on these sites:


Up Close And Pawsonal 

Buy Up Close Now
  A casual evening of listening to music by a local cover band turns into a murder investigation when a drive-by shooting destroys the tranquility of the night and critically injures two of the band members. 

  Lily Dreyfus, stressed and unsettled from having been at the concert, is informed that one of the dead band members is the nephew of her coworker at the Forever Friends Animal Shelter. Lily will leash together a set of seemingly unrelated events to seek the perpetrator and make them heel.


cj Sez:   Darlene, your journey to get Up Close and Pawsonal ready to launch is a super example of dogged determination, discipline and attention to detail for all aspiring writers and perhaps a learning moment for readers. Thank you for sharing on Lyrical Pens, and we wish you best-selling author sales and rave reviews for Up Close and Pawsonal.

 That’s it for today’s post, folks. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for your health and safety.


No inflation here: THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA, my fast-paced, exciting suspense/thriller ebooks, are low-, low-priced at $2.99.

P.S.  The print copies are out of stock . . . EXCEPT AT The Haunted Book Shop. This indie bookstore has signed copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: 

Follow me on . . .  
Amazon:    Amazon Central Author Page


1 comment:

  1. I love your writing analogy! And Billie is so cute!


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