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Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Starting Over~Fingers on the Keyboard


There are many times I feel like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Remember how he checked his pocket watch over and over again and sang, “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date…No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late…”   (Man, I pulled that out of my old memory cells).

I often feel the same way White Rabbit did. In the world of indie publishing, literally every single minute of every single day can be taken up by work. Not just the writing, but the marketing and sales effort that needs to be addressed. The noise on the Internet is overwhelming and can drown out the most brilliant of new books if your voice can’t be heard. We want to give our readers the best reads and the best prices we can. And that takes a lot of figuring out.

I have referred from time to time to a very special group of authors, very special to me, that is–called On Fire Fiction.  I am one of twelve writers in this Lifeboat.  I’m using a capital L on purpose because this group is of MAJOR importance in my life and in the life of the other authors.


You’ve heard from me before about this group. So now, I’m happy to introduce you to multi-published, award winning author, Karen Sandler, one of my buddies in the Lifeboat. I’ve known Karen for a long time, but we’ve been together for only about six months as official Lifeboat members.  I asked her how or if On Fire Fiction has benefited her. This is what she said–In her own words:

“I’ve known for a long time that having a support group, even of one, is a great benefit for an author. After all, our profession is a solitary one. So it’s wonderful to have as a sounding board someone who thoroughly understands what  writer faces each day.

“If you multiply that sounding board by eleven authors, you have an unstoppable powerhouse. Within this one group, I have a huge store of knowledge I can tap, not only about the writing profession but about life experience.  Every one of the women involved will hold my hand (virtually) when I’m feeling down, will support my promotional endeavors, will join with me in mutually beneficial projects, and will often put a smile on my face. They’ve all been around the block, know the writing business inside and out, and aren’t shy about cheering every success.

“It’s astounding what we’ve accomplished since January: two box sets of books published, a Facebook page up and running, a holiday anthology (CELEBRATE!) scheduled for October 1st and a third boxed set of books planned. We’ve educated ourselves about effective promotion and the ins and outs of social media. Along the way, we’ve also had a lot of fun. I’m lucky, indeed, to be part of On Fire Fiction.”

Linda again – Our group is not the only lifeboat out there. Industry changes and the growth of independent publishing brought about a collective idea, almost like author cooperatives to  help each other get noticed by readers. Our buyers.  Although On Fire Fiction doesn’t have a group blog, we do have a Facebook page. Please check in with us to see what twelve multi-published, award winning authors are up to.

Here’s the latest from Karen Sandler who writes in several genres:


Till The Stars Fade is a futuristic romance set in 2123 when humanity has pushed beyond earth into the solar system and unlocked the secrets of life with genetic engineering. Some consider this an abomination. Others laud the progress in lifesaving medical cures. Krys and Ian are on opposite sides, until she discovers the truth about ian. And nothing will ever be the same for either of them again.

Question for my readers:  Have you noted the existence of writers groups? Lifeboats? Have you bought boxed sets of books from these groups?

MAKE A COMMENT and you might win two books and a $25 gift certificate to the etailer of your choice. See below for the book choices.  I’m including this one by Karen as well.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you for the next edition of Starting Over.








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14 thoughts on “Starting Over~Fingers on the Keyboard

  1. I have noticed alot of writers who kind of team up with groups and then send newsletters about what they are all doing. I myself, have not a boxed set of books for myself although for my granddaughter she wanted the boxed set of Harry Potter for Christmas 2 years ago so we got it for her. She also is now reading Diary of a Whimpy Kid and she lost bk1 as she is shuffled from 1 house to the other etc., so I notice her at 11 collecting books like I did at her age. I like to read consecutive books from an author so if I like to read an author I will read all the books she puts out in order and if I find her in the middle of some whatever book I buy I start from there with 1 exception that was Susan Mallerys Fools Gold Series I started reading at book 4 and then had to go backwards and am still reading up to the one she put out today Two of a Kind. So glad that you are back writing and sure hope you feel alot better.

    • Hi Peggy – so glad you commented about groups and books. I understand your granddaughter’s desire for all the books in a set. I used to collect Nancy Drew books myself as a kid. It’s great that she loves to read and has you for a grandma! I love Susan Mallery’s books too. I remember one where I laughed out loud at the heroine and her awful voice, trying to herd cattle. Thanks for your good wishes. I’m feeling fine and am happy to be back at work.

  2. Ahhhh, Linda. I have read about several writers’ groups, and I must say that I totally believe in their strength.
    I have been truly blessed with reconnecting with two girlfriends from my high-school days. I was good friends with one girl, even though I was a couple of years ahead of her in school; and the other friend was her best bud through high school, being the same age. We sent Christmas cards for a few years, and when our children were small and we now worked from home, we started visiting one another. Eight years ago, we all three came together at the mutual friend’s 45th birthday party, and from then on, the three of us became the best of buds together.
    We get together at each of our homes every year; there is a 2.5 hour distance between the two furthest homes. We email each other (reply all) almost daily. We phone each other when we know that someone needs it. We phone when we know the other is available, just because. We share our stories of finding deals online and in stores and perhaps phoning companies for discounts on services. Each story prods the others to do better too.
    Just last week, I phoned my telephone company to say that my rates had gone up $5/month and I wanted to know if there were any deals out there that would be better suited to my needs. After going through three different service reps, I finally got someone in the “loyalty department”, who not only offered a cheaper long-distance package, but also dropped $10/month because of being a customer for over 30 years. It added up to over $250 in savings for the next 12 months, and I would never have made that call if my girlfriends hadn’t shared THEIR stories with me earlier.
    Bottom line? I can totally understand and appreciate the power of “Lifeboats”. I congratulate you on yours; you are very lucky to be a member of that group.
    And no, I have not bought boxed sets of books from these groups; however, I HAVE had authors “turn me on to” NEW authors, and I have bought those new books too. I think a reader can tell if a fellow author is just pushing their friends’ books or really does enjoy reading those friends’ books; if an author likes those books, I will be more inclined to buy them too (although I still have my “go to” authors to read first!).

    • Hi Laney – I hear you on your “go to” authors. I think we all have our faves. As a writer, I do need the support of my group to be able to attend to all things necessary including the time for writing! With all the marketing involved these days, writing new work could get lost. Therefore, I’m careful about my time. Or at least, I try to be. Writing a new book soon requires revisions and editing, too, and that all takes time.

      I also hear you about lifeboats being friendships. Life is sweeter for our friends and I’m grateful for mine.
      Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again.

  3. Writers groups sound great. I haven’t bought any books from these groups.
    Till The Stars Fade sounds like a good book.

    • Hi Rita – Thanks for stopping by. I hope you try some of the authors in On Fire Fiction – which I call my lifeboat. From Sweet romance to steamy hot, with twelve authors, you can find your comfort zone. You’ll also be assured of an HEA, which means, Happily Ever After. Something we all yearn for. Again, nice to see you here.

  4. I have noticed on some sites that Writers Groups are mentioned but since I’m not a writer I didn’t pay much attention to them. Everyone needs a form of lifeboats every now and then. So glad writers can look to others for support.I’ve bought a few box sets of books in the past

    • Hi Jackie,
      I think you’ll notice more often as time goes by that writers have joined each other for the marketing support of their books. It would really be almost impossible to do it all alone what with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. You’d never have time to write!! Some readers love to read a group of books with a theme, such as cowboys, so these boxed sets are handy-dandy. Especially when the price is right, too. Lots of reader love to collect a series by the same author. The important thing is to keep on reading and enjoying stories.
      Take care,

  5. I have not yet bought a boxed set. But, I’ve always found anthologies have a bonus effect. A great way to find new authors, when I’ve picked it up for my favorite author’s latest story. Likewise I think authors’ groups have the same power to draw a pool of fans to a common place and introduce them to authors they might not have found otherwise.

    • Hi Sue – I like anthologies, too. Just like you say, it’s a great way to find new authors knowing you’ve got a guaranty of a story from an author you already love. Hope you give CELEBRATE! a look-see when it’s released in October. Also hope you have lots of “lifeboats” in your own life. Thanks for stopping by.


    • Hi Joye – I’m glad they exist, too. It really helps a writer to have others she can count on. It’s very “alone” work. Thanks for dropping by.


  6. Lifeboats are our salvation and important. Thanks for this excellent message. It works for everyone who needs support and someone to lean on. How fortunate that you have found yours. Best wishes and much happiness and success.

    • Thanks for you well wishes. According to a lot of readers, everyone needs a lifeboat, not only writers. So, you’re onto something. Glad you stopped by.


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