Genre Chat: Self Publishing, Mystery Location Novels with Molly Jo Realy #Writing

hey welcome to genre chat podcast for serious writer comm I'm Caleb Alton and tonight our guest is Molly Joe really how are you doing Molly I'm good john-boy how are you a little bit of backstory Molly and I have been friends for about two or three years now and that is her designated nickname for me right her last name Walton indeed it was yeah well Molly tell us a little bit about yourself the different things you're involved in and about your upcoming release I know you've got a book coming out in the next week or so I do so yeah my name is Molly Jo really so you think your john-boy I am oh really in my life I just felt with one else oh you know it's just Molly Jo really I am a writer author coach editor media consultant and marketing guru I also run social media for several other authors and that is kind of what I do I currently am in the process of launching my first novel I've been working on it for seven years and don't let that scare you because people say I can't wait seven years to get published I took a lot of time off in between that to raise my daughter see her graduate high school get married move away and then I myself moved cross-country so I would say ultimately it really only took me legitimately maybe two and a half to three years of constant effort to finish my book and it seems to be released hopefully by the end of June so this is your baby this is my baby and yeah and I will also tell all aspiring writers out there that it is very true when they say you cannot edit your own stuff pay to have it professionally edited by somebody else you will thank your futures felt pretty real and editing and you've got someone else to professionally edit it for you that it that is correct I I have done professional freelance editing for five years and I have a stable of clients that are my go-to favorites as well as new projects but I knew enough to know that I was too close to this project and I'm very grateful that I heard a wonderful editor Yolanda Smith who you and I both know through the Blue Ridge conferences and she found no I'm not errors or necessarily typos although there were some of those but just great story and character references like I don't think this character would say or do that or could you have them do it this way if you presented the character story a then this was a partner story line B so she really helped me find those little things I was too busy telling the story just to get it out there and they helped me move it together she calls herself the book Midwife which is exactly what it is she says the author's do all the work she just helps us give birth to it so and honestly that's for anyone in our minds we already know everything so we're not looking for as a reader coming from it fresh what is your first impression of this person what did you know how does this flow because we already know everything already there's no surprises for us so we don't know there everything's come off right and that was part of the problem I was having in the end because I had read and reread and written my story but I also have this or that scene and then shifted them so it got to the point where in my mind I knew everything even stuff that was no longer in the book and she came along and said like in chapter 5 this doesn't make sense not it makes sense in chapter 18 but not in chapter 5 so well then don't then find a way to hint at it but not put it in chapter 5 or whatnot so editors are very good at helping you streamline the story that you need to tell exactly exactly what is NOLA tell us a little bit about it what genre nation it's a romantic mystery location novel it is it is so the black back blurb is this so this is New Orleans the past never stays buried after an abusive relationship in the death of her beloved uncle penny finds herself in New Orleans embroiled in a murderous love story in search of something she can't identify she discovers things aren't always as they seem somewhere between the French Quarter and the bayous she finds the answers she's looking for and some she's not and now she must uncover the truth between the lies so no such a rich setting for especially a murder mystery and a romance there's so much that that almost backstreet the lead in the beignets and already much it was really interesting first of all NOLA started as an idea where I thought it would be a neat name for a character who came out of New Orleans or live that kind of gypsy bohemian lifestyle so that's the autograph autobiographical part I'm a bit known to be a bit bohemian in my life your characters middle name is Joe also isn't it and honestly some of my friends call me penny because I have a real fascination with finding pennies on the path when when I'm out and about I have a little booklet on on Amazon called the penny parable it just talks about you know just finding the little treasures in everyday life so so um yeah that part's autobiographical so how I came about it originally started as a murder mystery I didn't know what I was writing I was just writing and then I went to a writers group in California and these two amazing speakers were there that I became friends with one of them but listen to them speak I realized I'm writing a mystery or I worked at it and worked at it I realized I kind of created location mystery now get to that in a minute but then after I turned it over to my editor she came to me if just a few months gonna remember I said you know I've been working on this for seven years this isn't a mystery location or a location mystery this is my baby and she said yeah it's a romance and I felt like I just been shredded because I'm writing this great suspense you know the suspense is there and I'm writing these amazing characters and these red herrings and you don't know what's going on she goes no it has all the mystery elements but fundamentally it's a romance and it took me about 12 hours seriously to process for seven years it's been a mystery so now it's like learnin good guys like finding out you're adopted at age explain this to the characters and so the next day that's about twelve hours later I thought about it and I thought okay I'll take a look at it just me two more days before I could open up the manuscript again and look at it through her eyes with her notes and as soon as I did it was like this light bulb came on it was like the meeting I told you about where I first in California where I first realized I'm the mystery writer California writers Club which was a group that I belong to and the speakers that day were in Perry in Victoria Zach Hine and they talked about how they both write mysteries and the differences in the writing styles and whatnot and I that's when it clicked I'm a writer and I remember thinking that day it was like you've been waiting and writing this it's been like being in a waiting room of a doctor's office for so long and finally he comes to you and he examines you and he says you've got this and at that moment I was diagnosed as being a mystery writer mm-hmm and it's not a disease that you have to be afraid of it's a diagnosis that now I have this information I know what to do and how to proceed I'm not science fiction I'm not fantasy I'm a mystery writer well I am but I'm also very romantic about it and I can see that now like even reading the manuscript back I can see that so I know this started out with a character name and then I decided it was going to be a short story and the more I got into it were like just a day and a half I thought there is no way this can be just a short story that seven years ago I was writing short stories a lot mm-hmm and I thought now I've always I've always known I was gonna finally write something so like a big novel so this is my debut novel and it is you know lasat in new orleans it's the first in a series right it is going to be the first in a series it is what I call the city theories and the reason I call it that is because the setting itself is so integral these stories cannot be told anywhere else if you were to take the storyline and the characters in the plot out of New Orleans and put them say in Los Angeles Las Vegas Detroit Michigan different story it would just be a story and I would have to remove some of the elements because they don't make sense I have woven as you said that began the little bit of Voodoo ensue it's not a dark dark story it's not horrible I I don't think so but little bit of dark mystery supernatural element is part of what New Orleans is part of the setting it's it's being it's showing having integrity with the setting right and New Orleans you know it's a mythical creature called the rougarou which is basically their version of a werewolf so that figures prominently into the story so you have and it's not a vampire werewolf a story it's just how the people's belief in it it is a murder mystery there is a debt that has to be solved and there are people that may or may not fall in love along the way but a real romance isn't just boy meets girl boy gets girl boy ends up with girl mm-hmm it's this is what I call romance in real life I mean there are some very flawed characters here there's very bad behavior from good people and good behavior from some bad people and then there's the rougarou and you have to do and it's New Orleans I am NOT gonna lie there is some heavy drinking going on in this book I'm just saying my girl she likes her hurricane hey she's on vacation in New Orleans we can't fault her for that right exactly and you would ask me previously how did I come about this with the research or because it is a location mystery how did I come out with the research I have never been to New Orleans I have I have never been there I've wanted to go especially since writing the book I intentionally stayed away from people went in the beginning and even through up until about a year ago would post on my timeline on Facebook or in my social media or send me email links to stories that they found hmm I did not want to be influenced in any manner whatsoever other than I needed the book to go so I found the New Orleans Tourism Bureau which is visit New Orleans online and they are on Twitter and they have a website and I reached out to them on the very first day and said I'm writing I still have the tweet I took a photo the the tweet I said hey I am uh I'm writing a short story set in New Orleans and they said very cool let us know if you need any advice and from that moment on to this day seven years later I can post a tweet to them and say I need to know this place or what kind of place or what is this or where with my character for that and they have been very helpful in giving me links to information that's really awesome that's like an invaluable asset when you're trying where especially when setting is so prominent and honestly in any type of book maybe not as intense densely woven in with a story as it is with NOLA but with any type of book the settings should be a character in the novel I mean it should be something that you ain't you can't do without in the story right there's all kinds a location story and if it's not then you're lacking and your story is not gonna hold because even if it's a fictional world or hometown USA well what makes it hometown there you know like that if you say hometown somebody's going to think Americana Flags ice cream in the 4th of July snowball fights in the winter those are elements that you can find anywhere but what your characters do with those elements and how they do them and that's what's gonna make it into that setting and also it's very specific are you talking about hometown USA in California in the Midwest in the South in new in New England each of those would be very very different from each other right there's there's the natural environment there's the climate the atmospheres ugly New Orleans people that's something that I'm sure played very heavily into NOLA I mean a mystery and our romance I've heard Aaron say this a lot in the South is not the same as one in Los Angeles and it's not the same as one in New York people have different mindset the whole psychology of the culture is different exactly exactly in New Orleans and even out here in this in the south now that I'm in South Carolina and I'm realizing I've got bullfrogs out my balcony that I can hear every night cicadas and I can watch lightning bugs and fireflies same thing especially they're talking about a different setting don't realize that those differences are there I've lived in South Carolina on my whole life I don't even most of the time realize that those things are there just because they've always been here where that's California I would probably be a you know try to figure out the right word not alarm but you know surprised at a lot of the differences in the environment there you felt about having scorpions in your backyard and living on the desert scorpions and black widow spiders exactly and and out there it's a dry heat but last three years we were seeing summers where it got it to him I lived in the desert of course that was 115 118 degrees mm-hmm so in New Orleans 18 degrees in California is not the same as 118 California there's almost no humidity mm-hmm and I say almost but thunderstorms where I live were off in the distance we can see them but they hardly ever actually fell on my yard my family my mother lived exactly one mile away I would get rain and she wouldn't or she would get wind and I wouldn't I mean there's that dynamic there so even in that learning that the characters in in any culture you have a language difference you have a food preference what are the cultural in New Orleans and you said it beignets but you know what they also drink chicory they drink chicory with their coffee it's sugar is sugar is a plant that they grind up and they mix in with their coffee grounds and so it makes it really strong it's got an earthy taste to it it I love it I absolutely love it so there's there's chicory the in fact Cafe Du Monde the original Cafe Du Monde in particular on Decatur Street they are open 24 hours a day and they are known for their beignets and chicory I love them so much I ordered me a cup from them I will tell you I don't know how how similar to the actual coffee that served there there little k-cup pods my boss will buy those because he loves them and when I first started working he took out the boxes did you buy coffee right because he's heard me say I drink coffee black and he's like delicious strong and they even have different words for their food like in in California we would just you know call it sauce or something well they they actually take their leftovers and sauce they call it debris so if you're frying up like out like a like any kind of meat dish and it's got that little bit of runoff not frying it's not like bacon frames but a little fat a little gravy with it they serve that as it's debris they serve it as a topping they've got the red beans and rice they got the muffaletta which is an Italian sandwich spread on a great Italian loaf there are so many different food items that also went into writing because one of my characters owns a restaurant and so and I of course you know I love food I love cooking for so many people I've got my cookbook out and so to be able to take my personal passion for food and turn give that to one of my characters that he in turn has a passion for food and feeding people and having a community table that was a way that I could put a little bit of me into a male character in a setting that I'd never been in but it works exactly exactly and now that you're in the South food of course is king of course it is everywhere with a couple of people and being from California I do miss there are very few authentic Mexican restaurants out in South Carolina mm-hmm but you guys got chicken on every single corner and sometimes three sure I really thought that was like oh that's a stereotype that's one of those things people say but I cannot get away from Bojangles and chick-fil-a and Zac speeds they are everywhere see I didn't realize that was just a southern thing that I mean of course you got Fried Chicken KFC stuff like that I guess is iconic to the south but I didn't think just chicken restaurants in general we're not we're good we're not this company yeah well I can't see is out in California but not the other three not chick-fil-a I think there's one chick-fil-a where I used to live but it was like 30 40 miles away and you aren't gonna go there on the weekday and they're closed on Sundays you don't go after church so I never had chick-fil-a except here in South Carolina I know I have a little side story about um KFC so I am ancient time much older than I look and when I was very young living in Minnesota my dad had a friend who was older and he looked like Colonel Sanders and that was when it was not KFC but it wasn't rebated it was Kentucky Fried yeah and one day my dad says um so-and-so is coming over for dinner tonight and I could not I can't remember the guys name it was Earl or John or something like that but it was really it was it was a simple name to remember it was one syllable I think but my dad was adamant that we do not call him Colonel Sanders he is not Colonel Sanders do not call him that over over and over just all day long do not call nasai him and this poor man who looked like Colonel Sanders decided to show up wearing a white coat and I don't think he even understood I I don't know Larry's purpose your wit but I do remember now this is I was very very I they must have been only four years old cuz I don't remember it very clearly but I do remember him walking in the door and I looked up at him and I remember turning to my dad and said you lied he is Colonel Sanders somewhere somehow a short story a book so lot of good stories of my dad like that so now you're an organic writer right yes yes how did that affect how you wrote NOLA cuz I know there's a lot of different styles to that some people are hard outliners some people are all the way like to the Steven James into the spectrum where it's completely seat-of-the-pants writing and then go kind of in the middle which which one are you so honestly when I'm writing I either know what's gonna happen or I don't but I never outline with the exception of if I am at work or if I'm away from my writing desk if I'm away if I'm in the kitchen or if I'm at the store if I'm outside and I can't write I'll make notes in a notebook or on a post-it note or something and I'll keep track of something I want to happen or that I I know is gonna happen but I very rarely will outline something and then try to figure out what happens next it just comes to me as I'm writing and in much the same way I have a hard time going into something not knowing the ending just because my brain were not whatever I'm story writing mode it's constantly constantly turning around ideas and so I'm basically end up accidentally plotting out if not all of the story most of the story without even really putting effort and I mean of course there's every irony on all the details but most of like the ideas in this flow that usually what I end up doing is just type of a stream of conscious that's just like not no bullet points no just putting everything that's in my head out on paper just so it doesn't get lost I'll get little snippets of a scene or a dialogue in conversation oh that's good I'm gonna write that and I'm going to use it or just a one-line there there were there were times where one of my very very good friends out in California her name is Mary Ruth Hughes and she was part of the California Writers Club I adore her to pieces and I miss her greatly and she wrote the Tishomingo series and she felt published it so she was a big helped me know what she did was she wrote about the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma at the turn of the 1900s okay and her characters were so realistic and because that's who she is she took a fall from that from that era that country and so she basically took stories of her ancestors and worked it into us into a novel and she would three parts series that's really good it is so authentic that the Smithsonian gave her an endorsement and so trusting her organic because she would be organic and I would we would get together once every week or every two weeks and we'd have dinner and we would just talk it out and say I mean it'd be like if you were here I'd say okay Caleb I have this theme and I know I want to get from here to there but I don't know how to fill it and we just talk and hash it out and that's reading the story breakthroughs can come through is when you're not trying to force your brain when you're just letting it flow yeah and it and I think that to have a small committed amount of people that are on your team that you can ask for feedback in brainstorm with it could be one person it could be you know flying people I would recommend no more than 8 to 10 people in your very intimate writing circle you don't even have to meet all at once like I say okay Caleb you come to dinner and we're gonna hash out your book and then I'll call Mary Ruth or message her and say remember that scene you read a few years ago and she helped me even after my movie and I've been able to say hey I you know I can't grasp this I want to finish it and I know what the ending is but I don't know how to write it in my head at the beginning of the story I know it was a murder mystery so I knew who died and I knew who I wanted my readers to bake did it and I knew who did do it but I didn't know how to tell that story never ever do I write the end of the story before I'm very linear in writing yeah I've done the same I mean I may know what happens but I feel almost like I'm betraying the characters by writing at first like I need to go through you know in real time in order to know who they are at the end or really because this I mean really there's no way to know exactly how I cared there's going to react to a situation at the end of the book if you haven't been with them step by step all through the book you may know like over all the changes that they're going to have but unless they almost almost like an experience like you are I wouldn't necessarily react to the same situation today the same way we would have two or three years ago because you change and you evolve as a person in your brain your decisions what drives you and the same things true with your characters and there's no way to really be authentic for that and to unless you let them return out with you I mean I guess that's just how I feel about and some people do it different I've seen some people who write in Reverse I can't imagine doing that that would drive me crazy but you you know whatever gets your juices flowing whatever actually works for your story yeah and I and I got to the point where I'm also very compulsive about my writing where because I'm so linear until chapter 1 is done I won't move on to chapter 2 I'm the same way and then I get through chapter 5 and realized now I need to go back and fix chapter 2 because there was something and my mentor of course you know is Aaron ganske and he and I have known each other for many many years and he mentored me at the start of really working to NOLA until it got to the point where I all I was doing was sending him materials that I had rewritten oh I read where chapters 1 through 5 mm-hmm and I think I honestly rewrote chapter 1 8 different ways it was the final count before he and my critique group said stop we're done we want to know what happens after this we don't care that there was a typo or that you changed this sentence with that sentence we're reading the same thing over and over and now we're dead to it you know you can only read the same story so many times within a short amount of amount of time and it's like listening to the same song over and over again you just lose his meaning it yeah you find yourself singing along and you don't even know you're doing it so and you don't want with a story with the zine you're not experiencing it even as the writer anymore exactly so it was really hard but after I moved here I did it I didn't look back i sat down and I wrote it out and it killed me I mean it was torturous for me because yes I'm organic but I'm also linear and I'm also a perfectionist and as soon as that first time that I finally got there and I wrote at the end I was like I I had to call everybody in the world and be like look what I just did fighting and as somebody I know this is your first novel I'm in the middle of my first novel so I hadn't reached that Vee end triumphant point yet but from that end of the journey does the real work start at the end of the first draft like everyone says you know I I honestly knowing myself I I think I put off writing the end like literally towards the end I put off finishing the book I had 2/3 of it 3/4 of it done and then I kept going back and making changes and I think part of that was because I've lived with these characters for so long and and when you're when you're a deep writer when you're an organic writer you feel it you live it you're not just putting words on paper this is your soul you are giving birth to these babies and if I write yet if I finish it they're come on they're leaving home so I'm living alone again and I've had these people in my head in my heart in my home seven years and they become part of you I mean yeah I mean in writing the book we talk about the location influence theme what I was writing but being a writer influenced my music that I listen to the movies that I've watched the food that I've eaten it has influenced how I decorate my home I'm very New Orleans Mardi Gras bohemian I am very much there even though I've never been in New Orleans and so to write the end and give up my characters was I thought would be terrible but as soon as I did it I realized it was this joy because now they come alive now comes the fun part of seeing did I grow them up well and it's it it is not the real work as you asked it is a different work and it's so fun it's absolutely fun and of course you know that I love marketing and advertising just as much as writing which for writers most of them prefer to just be the writers I love the outreach the networking the marketing and so I decide anyway yeah publicist for several different authors I believe so I mean that's that free roam I guess it's a kid I mean of course I'm not a parent yet that I guess it's akin to raising your children pouring your heart and soul into them and then continuing a relationship with them after they're adults yeah yeah with them as they're adults and that sort of transition it's not so much here comes the real job it's more of a transition in what your relationship with those characters and that story is that is a great way to put it it is a transition it's a different relationship but it's a wonderful relationship after I wrote it then I turned it over to the editor and I promised I would not read it until she came back to me with notes and she'd and we went round I think we went through three or four rounds because in the again the first one she came back she had some great edits the second one she came back and she said look she she had to take me out to lunch and sit me down talk to me face to face I I don't want to scare you but you're a romance writer and sit down image of a murder she wrote tight romance writer sitting at an old clacking typewriter at a Victorian death pink lace curtains everywhere and that is not me I am streamlined I am quick I am bohemian I'm a hurricane I'm all of that but I am NOT this cute soft lacy really little puffy put me in roses everywhere a kind of romance writer mm-hmm but that's her own sub-genre you can be an edgy so you can start edgy romance that can be different category and we don't know but that's I said but that's what makes my character is real and authentic they're not lazy they're not trillions and pretty roses all the time they are really authentic characters who happen to decide if it's worth falling in love or not and and past loves affect their current relationships so do they want to continue because remember penny came out of an uncle dying on her and an abusive relationship and now these people that she's friends with somebody's dead so why do you want to open up your heart to anything like that so the story of NOLA as I'm writing this solving a murder mystery actually that's secondary the story is does Josie and those around her because they've been hurt too so you know does she does she trust people again does she not does she decide that she good enough on her own you know at what point do you need people do people need you and at what point do you say I'm okay the way it is exactly and and at some point I feel like it's it's a journey of self-discovery just because at the same time if she's dealing with all these scars she's meeting all these people you've got that almost honeymoon stage adrenaline rush of new city people fresh start in life and I'm guessing she's having to ask herself is this chapter two or is this just a reprieve and all of this gonna fall away I mean as soon as a that uncertainty in there where she's rediscovering who she is as a person with no real attachments she said the best way she just got out of the relationship it's sort of the new phase in her life and she's sort of discovering who she is and that's a New Orleans is a wonderful atmosphere for that mystery all that well one of one of my favorite quotes that I wrote for the character now her name is penny Jo but people call her Josie but um one of my favorite quotes that I had from her from the beginning is when she sees a Firefly and she's so enamored by it she says I want to be a Firefly to bring so much light into the world if for no other reason then it's what I was born to do they know no other way to exist than to just be themselves and I find that a little sad because at what point does a person wish to be a firefly in order to make place better you know but that's what she's going through this she would rather be an insect a bug a a creature that has a lifespan of months as opposed to years but she can also see the goodness in in in that short duration of a life because of what it is and what they do you know it's a lot of depth to the character in the Caribbean and I know you said you are self-publishing what what did you discover about self-publishing that maybe surprised you and why did you choose to go down that route as opposed to a traditional publisher I in California I started new Inklings press when I created the unemployment cookbook years down that was long before I started NOLA and it basically I started a publishing company for several reasons and the first was that I started the brand because you cannot get on a brick-and-mortar bookshelf without an imprint so I even though I self-published and it's self-published if I just went in and said by Molly Jo really bookstores cannot take it they have to have a company that they can come back at so they come back to kneeling cleans presses the publisher if I say Molly Jo really is the publisher one oh she's not she's the writer okay didn't realize so that's an actual rule of the trade like they're not an something without some sort of an imprint correct correct because they need to have a if you've spending the money because anything you do like that you have that business licenses and sales and use tax and all that so they know you're invested into being serious about it but they also need to have a place that an entity that they can ship returns to if they need to return the book let's say they'd Barnes and Nobles locally back in Victorville California would buy 20 copies to put on their shelves they don't sell them they want to give him back to me well they can contact Molly Joe really but as the author I'm not buying back my books now they can be obligated to buy back your books but it's just the way for them to return them or whatnot so and it also gives you a mark of professionalism yes as a Celt because I mean self-publishing is something that can be done very very well and you can be very successful at and become very well known for or it can be something that amateurs do just because they want to get get something out there so that also needs a little bit tilts it a little bit more so that they see that you are one of the professional self-published writers yeah yes and I chose the name New England's press and press of course because of publication the Inklings was the writers group that CS Lewis and junior Rho can belong to when they wrote Narnia and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and what was it just a group or was it an actual like it was a writers club that they they formed or helped form we were part of their way that's it sort of like a fatigued current like word weavers or it was it was a private critique group where they supported and encouraged each other and I love the idea that so much and of course the Narnia stories have influenced me greatly I mean it's just a great both of them The Hobbit stories and and the Narnia stories are great retelling of the gospel in a way that you don't even know you're hearing the gospel and I think every good writing has some sort of storyline that lifts you up word lifts you toward greatness and I just really liked the idea of that so I formed the new Inklings writers group critique Club out there and had some some people joined Becky Lindsay one of our favorite authors for yaa she was when my founding members very very happy to have edited her first book for her and isn't her third book in this series coming out soon her third book comes out just about the same time that no it comes out so we are cheering for you at their aims I'm sir and I remember at Blue Ridge about I think it was my first year back in 2017 I remember sitting in the audience wards night when she got her first award I think she got a say 'la a warder I forgot which one it was but her book that ended up and I think I don't even know if it had actually come out yet it may have come and it was it was four it was a I believe they call them the founders awards for unpublished often publish it was the unpublished author and she got first place for debut novel yeah and I remember both of you just cheering for one of the caesarian and to see both of you now you about death yours about to release she's on her third book in her trilogy from that that first book that won that award it's just it's amazing to see the journey that you guys have both taken together over that time especially her friends from the very beginning when you first started you know personally we we we met because a friend a mutual friend of ours asked me to speak at a ministry dinner my penny parable and my cookbook which I use this in ministry and Becky was there and I had met her and so few months later she messaged me on Facebook and said hey do you remember me I'd like to pick your brain on writing I'll buy you Starbucks I messaged her back and I said honey if you buy me Starbucks we'll be friends for life so here's this women and Becky is the way to Molly's heart by the way Starbucks Aleut Lee so we met at a Starbucks and she brought me a coffee and I said we sat down and we were talking and 15 minutes into it and she's just talking and and I interrupted her it mid-sentence she didn't know what she doesn't know me she didn't know my personality or anything it's very reserved and introverted and I just blew her away and I said I'm not interrupt you she's like what what did I do what's wrong you know kind of a thing like I said no you're fine I said but I have learned that when God tells me to tell somebody something else just do it so I'm sorry I interrupted but here's the thing um you are gonna be a great writer and she's like oh and I said no no I'm killing it and I can't remember what else there was to that but I also look at her and I said have you heard of the Blue Ridge Writers Conference and she goes no and I said okay this was in February the conference's in May and I this was in 2014 I knew I wasn't going in 2014 but I was already planning to go in 2015 mm-hmm so I look at her and I saw her and I said it's 15 months away and I said you're going with me and oh by the way you and I are gonna be best friends and she goes I have to talk to my husband rich together best friend and she has been an amazing sounding board for me I'm so thrilled I I do admit she knows a little bit of jealousy she was published before me worked it I mean she worked night and day to write to get but she took the courses she's taking courses and now she's editor of the SoCal Christian voice online magazine so she living the dream she's really pushing it and she's an amazing amazing person it's just a joy to talk with you can tell the passion that she has for it it's not yeah it's more than a hobby it's more than a job it's it's her passion really it's her dream so it's all that in the results that she gets and how successful her books of her yeah and I'm just and I'm so proud of her she's really done it and worked for it and I I just I can't begin to explain how great it was to see over the course of just a few years go from this person who wanted to pick my brain to exceeding me to excelling and getting published and her Bible study they self-published her and petty shell and two others and in all of this stuff I'm just so very pleased and proud of her and now both of our books are coming out at about the same time that's super exciting working people go to find more about NOLA and you and I you've got a blog you've got a couple of different things going on there yeah so I have several websites and honestly right now they're all kind being revamped because of launching the book but the best way to find me in any of my links is on facebook i'm just google my name Molly Joe really with Whannell I am all over social media I'm on Facebook as Molly Joe really author etc I'm on my blog is frankly my dear mojo calm I do have a website Molly Joe really calm this little I'm gonna change that and pretty soon my other website is new Inklings press calm which was kind of a vanity website for the cookbook and just to keep the company going but now that it's it's licensed here in South Carolina and the books coming out I'm gonna be revamping that over the next week so any of those any of those places I'm an Instagram I'm on Twitter I'm on Pinterest so find me so well thank you so much for being on the show I love talking to you as always it's always fun and I cannot wait to read NOLA when it comes out thank you I appreciate it then I really loved having you I haven't been here well thank you guys for watching shanwa chat and we will see you next time

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