Day 2: 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway: Kelly James Enger

by @thewritermama on May 2, 2012 · 60 comments

[Participants, please note: Please comment on the book giveaway post that matches the day. This is day 2 = May 2nd. Day 1 ended at midnight May 1 PT. However you can always comment late just to answer the questions, if you like.]

Why say wonderful things about Kelly James-Enger when I can just copy and paste my blurb from her latest book?

The words “total professional” seem to have been invented to describe Kelly James-Enger. I have been a long-time fan of her previous writing books and I will also highly recommend Writer For Hire. This may be the champion of all the writing books James-Enger has written because it contains her best advice compressed into short chapters that make for speedy reads. If you are a service writer looking for the secrets to success, they are all in here! It’s taken James-Enger fifteen years of hard-wrought effort to learn them, and now they can be yours. Read closely. Bring a highlighter. Apply what you learn. You’ll be so glad you did.  ~ Christina Katz, author of The Writer’s Workout, Get Known Before the Book Deal and Writer Mama

And how perfect that my copy arrived via Fed Ex today. Hooray!

But it’s mine. You can’t have it. You are going to have either win it or order your own.

And I hope you will. Kelly’s advice has been instrumental to my career. Please help me welcome her!

About Kelly James-Enger

Kelly James-Enger has been a fulltime freelancer, ghostwriter, and author for 15+years. Her books include the just-released Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success (Writer’s Digest, 2012) and Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: The Writer’s Guide to Making Money Ghostwriting and Coauthoring Books (CreateSpace, 2010). She blogs about making more money in less time as a freelancer at, and lives outside Chicago with her husband, son, daughter, and golden retriever. Visit for more information about her.

About Writer for Hire

There’s no shortage of books on crafting book proposals, writing novels, overcoming writer’s block, and getting in touch with one’s muse. But what about a book for writers who simply want to earn a regular paycheck? Writer for Hire is just the wisdom full- and part-time freelancers need. Author Kelly James-Enger details:

  • 101 secrets to success, organized into five overarching strategies. You’ll be able to implement what you learn immediately.
  • Invaluable advice on managing deadlines, querying effectively, working with clients, handling taxes, invoices, and more.
  • Strategies for getting more writing gigs, including networking (in-person and online), establishing yourself as an expert, working more efficiently under tight deadlines, and handling rejection with confidence

James-Enger looks at the “whole freelancer,” addressing both the craft and business of freelancing.

The Very Short Interview

This year’s author interview theme? The story of Kelly’s writing career in miniature! Here’s what I asked Kelly:

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

While I wrote as a child, I’d say it was in college (I majored in rhetoric) and afterwards. I pretty much quit writing during law school and the first year of practice, but then started writing (bad) short fiction again. Then when I realized I had a much bigger chance of getting published with nonfiction, I started writing nonfiction articles and selling them. Eventually I started writing (and selling) novels, too.

Who has always been behind your writing career and who helped pull you up the ladder of success?
My then-boyfriend/now husband was supportive from day one, even when it meant leaving behind a successful career as an attorney. My mom was also supportive. But I would say no one helped pull me up the ladder of success—I did that pretty much all on my own. It’s one of the reasons I started writing about writing, trying to provide the tools and support I wished I would have had as a new writer.

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.

It depends on the book! For my nonfiction books on successful freelancing, the most frequent comment is that my book helped him or her launch and/or sustain a freelance career. With my fiction, it’s that my books are so relatable and funny. I just had a reader contact me out of the blue, reminding me that he had loved my first two novels. I told him I had a new one out and not only did he buy it—he published a glowing review on Amazon and Smashwords, which really made my day. 🙂

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!

Q: List all of the times you have totally surrendered yourself to the creative process and what that experience was like.

Don’t feel limited to writing, any creative experience works, (however, please keep it rated PG).

Ready, set, comment!

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  • Mary Drew

    There are so many times I have thrown myself in: often while teaching. Once our school was having a book celebration and people were dressing like our favorite book characters.  I read Wizard of Oz to my class, and we decided to ALL dress like Wizard of Oz characters. I scavenged costumes from friends and relatives, and it turned out great!  I was the yellow brick road. I sewed an all yellow hooded costume kind of like a ghost costume with my face showing, and drew bricks all over it. We had several Dorothys, several  scarescrows, etc. Everybody was who they wanted to be.  Great fun.  Then we wrote a class poem together about the Wizard of Oz, and won the schoolwide poetry contest.

  • Barbara McDowell Whitt

    I feel as if the times I have submitted myself to the creative process have happened on a daily and nightly basis for as long as I can remember. I think creatively, dream creatively and pray creatively. These experiences have guided my life, and at the age of 69 I feel more grounded than ever.

  • Stephanie Craig

    I can totally submit myself to the writing process if I wake up before the boys do.  I can usually reach beyond my goal and outline for the next day.  However, they have a keen sense of when I’m awake. No matter how early I get up they usually wake up too.  The same project that would have taken me an hour if I don’t have the boys will take me about three hours total throughout the day when they are awake.  But at least I’m still writing and getting it done. 

  • Heather L. Lee

    My analytical side certainly fights to take over the majority of the time, but this is the first moment of surrendering to the creative spirit that comes to mind. I choreographed a moden dance piece for a class in college and set it to a dramatic Kate Bush song. I spent hours in my tiny living room, ignoring my roommate and friends that drifted in, working on the steps, movements, how they came together with the mood of the music as well as with the drama of the lyrics.  The moment of beauty came when I got into the studio and was able to rehearse and then perform for my class with expansive movements that filled that significantly larger space.

  • Anytime I sit down at the keyboard to write, or put
    my pen to a blank page, I go for the total immersion effect. It’s just the same
    when I read a book. For a short time, I allow myself to get drawn into the
    words, and enter another world. That’s always been the magic of the written
    word for me.

  • Ljohnsontravels12

    The times I have totally surrendered to the creative process is during the early edges of daylight on numerous beaches. I watch the Weather Channel at night to find out what time the sun will rise and I get up an hour or two ahead of time. Sitting on the beach during the waking hours of life around me sends the most incredible sensations through me. The sound of the ocean stirring in the background seems to soothe me like a whisper. With pen and paper in hand, the words seem to pour out like water in a glass pitcher until I’m spent.
    Only one time did the pain of love ripped away in an unfair act, bring on a different kind of writing. At that time, the words were crippled, twisted and broken as I felt inside. It seemed as though I could not write fast enough as the words fell just as my tears raced down my face. By the time 15 pages were written, I was exhausted, and beaten down. Afterward I slept for hours. That was writing as therapy.

  • Mar Junge

    Every time I write all night, I totally surrender myself to the creative process. It’s something I’ve done often over the last three decades. I begin writing after midnight and the next thing I know, the sky has changed from black to indigo, a glimmer of peacock blue in the east. Leaves that were indistinguishable in the night take shape in shades of ash, soon to be green. As the sun rises, it surprises me that I’m me again. For six hours I was so completely absorbed in my story, so blissfully unaware of any distractions, that it’s difficult to believe my characters are not real and all my scenes exist nowhere but in my manuscript.
    I recently read a quote by a writer who says it is most productive to write at night because everyone’s asleep and the ideas are yours for the taking. I agree. There’s magic in the night.

  • christinakatz

     You are the winner, L’Tanya!

  • Pingback: Day 2, 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway Winner!()

  • Mar Junge

    L Johnson surrenders to the creative process in the early morning, and I do the same in the dark of night. We both got rather creative in our entries. What a coincidence that my entry follows hers, and was the last of the day. How cool is that!

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