Interview with Lillie Leonardi, Author of The White Light of Grace

Interview with Lillie Leonardi, Author of The White Light of Grace

Author Lillie Leonardi has been writing since she was 16, but rather than a piece she intended for publication, a journal she began as part of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) eventually became her first published book.

At the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America, Lillie was a responder for the FBI, Pittsburgh Division, and she was among the first to reach the scene of the Flight 93 plane crash in Shanksville, Pa. When she arrived, she witnessed a legion of angels encircling the site. “You would think seeing that would alleviate the stress from the event,” she said, “but it actually made it worse.” She and many of the other responders became afflicted with PTSD. Continue reading

Interview with Jess Branas, Author of Zero to Ninety

Interview with Jess Branas, Author of Zero to Ninety

My friend Jess Branas is a dating coach who recently released her second book, Zero to Ninety, which focuses on the first ninety days of a dating relationship. Jess’s book outlines ways to stay authentic when embarking on a new relationship, something that I’m sure many of us didn’t think about when we were dating. She examines dating from a psychological perspective. If teenagers can do it, then does it really need to be thoroughly studied? Do we need books about this? Absolutely! I dated for 15 years (minus the years I was married the first time), and I’m certain that I wasn’t focusing on myself and what’s best for me the whole way through. Books like this help people cut through the trial and error by listening to an experienced dater share her secrets. Continue reading

Interview with Kristie Knights, Author of Unsung Heroes: Deconstructing Suicide through Stories of Triumph


Interview with Kristie Knights

As a member of the Global Sisterhood, I have been privileged this year to meet so many inspiring women who are changing the world for the better. One of these women is Kristie Knights, the vice president of the Sisterhood, who is a psychotherapist in the Pittsburgh area, as well as a new author with her first book to be released on December 14.

Her writing journey is based on her passion, so I wanted to share it with you, especially the coaches, experts, and those with inspiring stories who want to write a book. The impetus for her book—and the resulting non-profit—was unusual. It began with a Facebook post. Continue reading

Sweeten the Experience: Develop a Richer Connection with Readers of Inspiring Non-fiction

Sweeten the Experience: Connecting with Readers of Inspiring Non-Fiction
When I sat down to write this post, I started thinking about my experience editing non-fiction. It’s actually how I got started in my business, and I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done so far this year: I’ve already edited four non-fiction works that became best-sellers for two different authors. Wow! (I’m even surprising myself.)

In less than seven months, I’ve had the pleasure of editing four non-fiction best-sellers from these authors, and it’s been an amazing experience for me. Not only was I able to shape the construction and lovingly encourage the verbiage as it developed, but I also gained insight and inspiration from the books. If you’re curious about them, please refer to my portfolio page, which links to places to purchase the books.

When you’re writing inspiring non-fiction, it can be easy to fall into a didactic tone where you are instructing your reader to follow steps to achieve or a story-telling pattern where you tell the reader what happened for the bulk of the book. Let’s take a step back from that, though. Do you think that your reader will truly feel engaged if you are talking at them like that? What sort of experience do you want your readers to take away from the book? Can you inspire them while making them feel like they personally know you, like they were there for the event, or like they have a connection with your story? Continue reading

The Secret Scoop on Effective Interviewing

The Secret Scoop on Effective Interviewing
Many writers will need to interview someone someday, either for an article, blog, or book. The trick is knowing how to get the information you seek without wasting your time or the expert’s.

Interviewing someone isn’t that different from doing research to gather information. When I’m planning for an interview, I always consider the word count I’m shooting for and what point I want to make with the article. Then, I do a little background research on the topic so I know what to ask about.

Once you know the length and the direction you will take, start writing your questions, and don’t be stingy. Write a lot! Do questions that will get long answers, no just “yes” or “no.” Write some questions that can build on each other. Lead the interviewer in the direction you want to go with the chat. Continue reading