Day 13: 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Christina Katz

by @thewritermama on May 13, 2012 · 26 comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

I am happy to give away one copy of Writer Mama for every ten moms who comment. You may only comment one time.

So 10 comments = 1 book winner. 20 comments = 2 book winners. Etc.

It’s kind of hard to introduce myself. So I think I will just thank folks. 🙂

Thank you to all of you who have supported Writer Mama and Author Mama. I have appreciated every single kind remark, book review, and referral.

Also thanks to everyone who has taken the two classes that were inspired by Writer Mama, Writing & Publishing The Short Stuff and Pitching Practice.

Writer Mama has really been a powerful seed in my writing career. It has lead to so many opportunities and opened the doors to meeting thousands of people over the years.

I continue to be grateful to the people who were instrumental in the production of Writer Mama: Jane Friedman, Michelle Erhardt, and Claudean Wheeler.

Writer Mama lead naturally to the topic of platform development, which brought Get Known Before the Book Deal. It also lead naturally to the topic of how to navigate these complicated times in publishing, which brought The Writer’s Workout.

I’m really proud of all of my writing (except that one embarrassing piece that was published in grad school). But Writer Mama will probably always hold a special place in my heart, as will writer mamas everywhere, whether new moms or moms of tweens (like me now), teens, and grown-up kids.

So without further ado…I get to play too.

About Christina Katz

Christina Katz, The Writer Mama, is the author of three books from Writer’s Digest: The Writer’s Workout, Get Known Before the Book Deal, and Writer Mama. Her writing career tips and parenting advice appear regularly in national, regional, and online publications. A “gentle taskmaster” over the past decade to hundreds of writers, Christina’s students go from unpublished to published, build professional writing career skills, and increase their creative confidence over time. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in English from Dartmouth College. A popular speaker on creative career growth, Christina presents for writing conferences, literary events, MFA writing programs, and libraries. She is the creator and host of the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, her daughter, and far too many pets. Learn more at

About Writer Mama, How To Raise A Writing Career Alongside Your Kids

Children change your life, but they don’t necessarily have to end your career!

As a mom, you want to spend as much time with your children as possible. But you’d also like to make some money doing something you enjoy. How do you get the best of both worlds? Writer Mama by experienced freelancer Christina Katz tells you how. You can start a stay-at-home freelance writing career tailored to fit your family and lifestyle.

Writer Mama will answer all your questions about how to get started, in realistic, easy-to-follow steps. While conversational and easy-to-read, this book also does a lot of hard work for you. It gives you practical advice and exercises that help you get started in a matter of weeks. You’ll get tips on how to:

  • begin with the easiest routes to publication for moms
  • network with other writer mamas, editors, and agents
  • write cover letters and queries
  • choose your own writing specialty
  • create a web presence
  • set up a home office
  • make time for yourself, your kids, and your writing

You’ll love the short chapters, sidebars, and exercises that let you get the information you need in small doses that fit into your busy schedule. Plus this book was written to grow with you. Once you master the skills of being an article writer, it teaches you how to pitch a nonfiction book idea and explore other areas of writing.

So if you want to get started writing for publication, let writer mama Christina Katz help. If she and countless other moms can do it, so can you!

About Author Mama

Have you ever considered writing a nonfiction book?

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to become a published author?

What would the process be like?

What are the steps?

What do publishers do for authors?

How long would it take from start to finish?

Can you make any decent money?

Should you self-publish or traditionally publish?

Now you can find out the answers to these questions and more when you order a copy of my new e-book, Author Mama, right here.

In Author Mama, I share my personal experience walking through the traditional book-deal process and book-writing experience and offer tips along the way, addressing common myths and challenging writers to get ready for the marathon that is writing a book.

The Very Short Interview

When did you know for sure that you were a writer and that writing would be a major energy focus in your life?

Starting around age ten, I was a poetry writer, a letter writer, and a journaler. I still have my very first poem, “The Girl With A Curl.” Please note the excellent use of rhyme. My mother was my first audience. She cracked up upon reading my poem and she was not prone to just bursting into delighted laughter like that, so it made a big impression. Needless to say, I was hooked. And I still am. It doesn’t really matter what I’m writing. I love to write anything.

Who has always been behind your writing career and who helped pull you up the ladder of success?

The support of my husband, Jason, has been instrumental to my writing career. Prior to meeting and marrying him (we got engaged after six weeks and married six months later), I had done a lot of foundational work. I’d been an English major and gone to graduate school in writing. But it wasn’t really until I had that person behind me saying, “just go ahead and write,” that my writing took on the kind of momentum it takes to build a career. I will always be eternally grateful to him and to my daughter, Samantha. After she was born, I definitely got the internal “this is it” message. If I wasn’t taking my writing seriously up until then, I sure as heck was afterwards.

What is the most frequent comment you hear about your book (or books) from readers? Tell us a little story about the response to your work.

I was a little bit surprised at conferences I attended recently at the depth of appreciation that exists for Writer Mama. I’ve written three books now and you tend to want to focus on your latest, but the response that folks have to Writer Mama tends to be very passionate. Don’t get me wrong, Get Known is popular and appreciated too, but in a completely different way. And, naturally, I hope that The Writer’s Workout will stand the test of time in the same way my first two books did. But it is very affirming to know that Writer Mama is just as powerful and pertinent to a new mom today as it was in 2007. Very cool indeed.

And Now, Your Turn

Now it’s your turn. You remember how this works right?

I ask you a question. You answer in the comments for your chance to win a book each day.

Please just respond once, even if you make a typo. ;)

Answer in the comments in 50-200 words (no less and no more to qualify to win one of today’s books). Please read the complete rules at least once!

Thanks for participating in the Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway! I hope to see you here every day this month. Bring your friends!

It’s Mother’s Day, so tell us a story about your mom. Connect it to your writing, if there is a connection. Otherwise, you can tell us the qualities you appreciated about your mom.

Ready, set, comment!

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  • Angie Albright

    My mom has always encouraged me in my writing and has always assumed I could make a career of it. She is an avid reader and our best conversations are about books we are reading. I grew up with hundreds of books around me so writing seems like a natural fit for me.

  • Paula Freitas

    I dream about being a writer since young age. Impressive how growing up live hide our dreams in folding clothes, house chores and commuting to work. 
    I remember my mum encouraging me to read and write as much as I could. She said that curiosity and creativity were clear signs of intelligence and the best way to let it flourish was practicing, reading and writing, putting ideas onto the paper.  
    Thanks mum for inspiring me since I remember myself. Thank you Christina, for helping me to find my dream again, and organizing myself to make it happen.  

  • Christina, I hope you have a wonderful day on Mother’s Day. And thank you for taking the time to write about Jason and Samantha, Writer Mama, Get Known Before the Book Deal, and The Writer’s Workout. 

    My mother died when she was 67 in 1985, two months, two weeks and two days after her ovarian cancer was found during surgery for what we thought was diverticulitis. Our daughters were in first grade and preschool. 

    I am going to turn your question around an write about a mother-daughter moment from a mother’s point of view.

    In 1988 I took two personal leave days (which I only rarely did) as a kindergarten teacher and after the girls were at school began typing my manuscript, Of Daughters and Doves, for a Guideposts magazine annual competition to attend a writers’ workshop in New York. I was positive I would be one of the ten winners.

    That summer a manuscript sized envelope arrived in our mail. I was almost crying after reading that, “…due to the large number of entries we received…” I would not be going to New York. At that moment our youngest daughter came running across our front yard. She shouted as she came to where I was by the kitchen sink – “Mom! I won first prize in the library story book parade!” Then she asked, “Mom, are you okay?”

    Right then I knew I was very much okay. I didn’t need to go to the writers’ workshop in New York. I needed to be a mom for our two daughters. 


  • I was surprised, when towards the
    end of her life, Mom told me she also had writing aspirations at my age.
    Mom a writer? And then I began to think. About the bedtime stories she wove for
    me, how she helped me with my high school essays by suggesting just the right
    turn of phrase, how she could always mesmerize whoever she happened to be
    talking to with her stories of everyday events, the job she took after she retired
    as a teacher, doing editing and freelance writing of math books, the two math
    books we co-authored together, the little books she wrote for my children when
    they were young, the stories she wove for them… Mom a writer? Of course!

  • Jodiebeth Jackson

    My mother passed a few years back but she lives on inside everyone who knew her.  My earliest memories are of snuggling beside her as she read book after
    book, chapter, after chapter, developing a life-long love affair with
    stories in me.  Later, she would read to herself page after page, paper
    after paper, story after story of my work, gently correcting, guiding,
    teaching me how to develop my own writing.  After she was gone, when I
    went through her things, it was my turn to read paper after paper, note
    after note, the wisdom of her life scribbled on scraps, napkins, church
    bulletin margins.    She was such a quiet, strong presence, yet, larger than life, because she knew how to love.  She poured out her existence for love and service of others.  She was cheerleader, tutor, servant, comforter, adviser, counselor, Proverbs 31.  She was better at keeping her tongue than anyone I have ever met.  Most certainly better at it than me!  But I keep trying.  I strive every day to live up to the legacy of her life.  I am becoming, every day, my best person, because of her gifts to me.  I may not be able to touch her face again, hug her body, but she is still alive, vibrant, giving–in me, through me, for me. 

  • Edith

    Mom was always my biggest fan for as far back as I can
    remember. Like the title of my own children’s favourite picture story book, she
    believed that I could be anything that I wanted to be. If I told her one day
    that I was going to be a teacher when I grew up, she would smile and say “Of
    course you are pet.” And if I changed my mind the next day and told her that I
    was going to be an actress, she would smile the same smile and tell me that if
    that was what I wanted to be, then an actress was what I would be. After a
    while I began to try out increasingly improbable career suggestions, like
    doctor (I hate blood), business entrepreneur (I’m useless with money), pilot (I
    hate heights), and even truck driver (I was an early feminist!). Eventually I
    stopped trusting in her belief in me. I suspected that she wasn’t really
    hearing what I was saying. Or maybe she was just an eternal optimist. Whatever.
    Recently I told her I wanted to be a writer. She smiled and said “Of course
    pet.” It’s a test. I hope she’s right!

  • Sandi Haustein

    My parents are both retired French professors, and my mom also taught English literature.  So between reading and writing and grading and learning, my mom has always been involved in my “word life.”  She has been my cheerleader since I began writing more seriously, and I believe my writing has encouraged her to pick up her pen again.  One of my favorite pieces of her writing was her description of my life in Togo after she came for a two-week visit, and just this week, my heart was thrilled to hear that she is writing about her early married life in France.  I know that we will always be connected by our love for reading and writing.

  • Dee

    My earliest memories of my mom have been seeing her read.  Well, read and watch Star Trek (I was born in the late 60s).  I think I decided I wanted to be a writer because it was OBVIOUS that writing was very very important if it commanded so much of my mom’s time.  She even read while we ate dinner! I should say that I was offended, but … it just seemed normal in our house. 

  • Thank you for sharing more information about your writing journey. 

    When I was in
    third grade, my teacher introduced me to Laura Ingalls Wilder and my life
    forever changed. That year for my birthday, I requested the entire Little House
    series. Although my mom doesn’t share the same love as I for books and reading,
    she gave me the Little House set for my gift that year.  Those books sit in a special place on my

  • Mar Junge

    I was 12 years old when I told my mom I wanted to be a writer. She asked if I planned on having children. I said yes. She said, “Then you better do something where you can make enough money to feed your babies if something happens to your husband. Can you do that as a writer?” I had no idea. So I made an appointment with the school guidance counselor and asked him what kind of writer makes money. He said with fiction writers and novelists it’s hit or miss. Same thing with ad copywriters – some make it. Some don’t. But in the field of public relations, there is a lot of opportunity for hard-working writers to have a profitable career. He was right. There is. And I do. Plus I’m proud to be a professional writer who gets paid to write everyday. Thanks, Mom for the good advice.

  • Tia Bach

    This is such an easy one for me, since I co-authored my first novel with my mother. We wrote a coming of age story together where my mother writes the mother’s part and I write the teenage daughter’s. It was so rewarding. I am a writer because of her, and I hope my children will love reading and writing as much as we both do.

    Loving your May series of giveaways. Thank you for doing it, and Happy Mother’s Day.

  • Pmacott

    My mom passed away at the end of December last year, after a short, intense battle with brain cancer.  What I remember about her as I sit down to my own writing is that she considered going to college and majoring in journalism (she didn’t); how her one request of me was, if for some reason I died before her she wanted to be able to have everything I’d written; how she took a story I wrote as a young girl to one of my teachers (without my knowing) to see if I had “talent” as a writer (the teacher said  I clearly had read a lot of Nancy Drew, but that I indeed had skill and talent of my own); and who was willing to read any and everything I was writing as I seriously pursued it as an adult.  She was always one of my biggest supporters. Always proud of me, even though she liked some of my work more than others. I miss her, and am sorry I won’t get to share my future writing with her.

  • Sara

    Perhaps what my mom did
    that most affected my writing is nurture my love of reading. She read to me
    long, long after I was reading on my own. I remember leaning against her on our
    couch or lying in the sand on the beach after lunch (for the half hour while we
    couldn’t go in the water) while she read a chapter or two. I loved to read and
    always had a stack going, but I loved having her read to me too. 

  • Kiakiali

    Happy Mother’s Day to a great mother who helps other mothers not lose their creative side or flow! Keep up the awesome work!

  • Deb

    This isn’t a loving Mother’s Day story, but it is what first
    came to mind when reading today’s question.

    Mom never understood my desire to write, so I didn’t discuss
    it with her. After my first article was published I decided to show it to her,
    as some cousins had seen it, and I thought she’d be mad if she heard about it
    from them and not me.

    The article was pretty short but it took her a very long
    time to read it. I sat in the chair next to her imagining what she might say. I
    expected a “not bad” or “don’t quit your day job,” but was completely
    unprepared for what she did say.

    The magazine had added nice photos that fit my story, and one
    of them showed a dark skinned man standing by a realty sign. Mom finally looked
    up and said “Who’s the guy?” I think she was so distraught imagining my
    relationship with the model that she didn’t even read my article.

  • Rhondaraebaker

    I would love to win a copy of this…write on!

  • My mom is my biggest cheerleader. She has encouraged everything I’ve done, big or small. I know when I write my first book, she will be the best publicist I could ask for because she brags endlessly! It helps that she was literally a cheerleader in high school. Rah, rah!

  • Jodiebeth Jackson

    I am meditating on getting one of your books, Christina.  I have been disabled for several years and have gone back to writing, but being a single mom raising two teen daughters alone does not leave much money for books or classes.  I am really looking forward to your giveaways.  Thanks for always looking out for us writer Mamas!

  • ML Gomes

    My mother is a part of me and what I am write every day. If her life had been different I might never have felt driven to write. Mom’s disappointment in her marriage to my father became my mine as I grew up. Disappointment because I didn’t know who my father was. Disappointment because no one would talk about him, he was forbidden fruit. This continued for decades, finally coming to a head when several of his children began searching for each other. My mother was a wonderful woman and mom except in this small corner of her life; she simply could not bring herself to share the things I wanted to know. Without my mother there would be no secrets to hide, no silence to keep, no pain to work through, no story to write.

  • Leigh D. Muller

     I hope you write that story because I really want to read it. You’ve got a gift.

  • christinakatz

     Cara, you win again! Way to be consistent. Congrats!

  • christinakatz

     Congrats, Dee. You’ve won a copy of Writer Mama!

  • christinakatz

    If you did not win this one, come back on the 31st. I’ll be giving away all three of my books with Author Mama! 🙂

  • Dee

     Woo hoo!  Okay, now what do I do?

  • Dee

     Never mind.  I just figure d it out!

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