guest blogger

The Book Lady, aka Caryn Caldwell, is one of the best reasons I know to live in modern times. She’s one of the friends I’ve met here in the blogosphere. Yes, we now hang out.

I have no idea what she looks like, but I know her humor, her sensitivity, and the fact that she has the funniest cats in the world. Also I know that she’s working on a Young Adult paranormal novel, and also that she’s hilarious and brilliant. I’ve been meaning for some time to link to this fabulous post she wrote about what to do when you have writer’s block. She actually came up with 41 things that can help you get beyond the panic, and find your way back to your book. So many of them are delicious and wise, and if you are writing something (or worse yet, NOT writing something) you should go immediately to her post and read them all…but here are two of them that I thought were particularly wonderful:

  • Skip ahead to what you do know and write that. Sometimes you’ll find that the scene you agonized over really doesn’t need to be there, or in the meantime you – or your subconscious – could think of a good way to fix it.


  • Think of ways to make your characters’ lives worse, then implement them. It’s hard to have a book if you don’t have conflict.


And so, the other day she asked me if I would like to do a guest post on her blog–her newly renovated, fresh, clean blog–and I said yes, and to make a long story short, I got to hang out over at her place and talk about my characters, Jamie and Nate, in a post called, “Where Do These People Come From?”  So if you’re ambling around on the Internets, stop on by. I’m vowing to answer all comments!  

I am pleased to tell you that I have yet another person willing to come on my blog and entertain you. I am always seeking fresh voices to amuse you.

She is Eileen Cook, who clearly knows how to use a vintage typewriter to great effect. She has written Unpredictable, which has been called “laugh out loud funny” by Romantic Times. And she also writes a blog, called Just My Type, which has led to me not getting work done on many mornings. I have also spit tea all over my keyboard quite a few times, just because I don’t have the sense to read her blog before I take a big gulp of tea.

She is hilarious and so much fun, and I have ordered her book and cannot wait to read it. In the meantime, here is the great cover, and the picture of Eileen herself, and if you can’t see either of these because of my lack of skills at moving things around on the internet, (they’re showing up here NOW, but by tomorrow, the internet, in its wisdom, may snatch them away from here)…well, if they’re not here, just do yourself a favor and go to her blog. And now, scroll down to the bottom, beneath these pictures, and read Eileen’s guest post. Enjoy!

And now here is Eileen:

There is debate on some writer discussion loops as to when you can call yourself a writer. Some believe anyone who has the dedication to write, to focus on their craft, should be able to refer to themselves as writers. Others believe that the term writer should be saved for those that have reached publication.

Here’s my theory, you can call yourself anything you like. Heck, you can call yourself Wonder Woman and run around in your red white and blue bathing suit with go-go boots if you like, but it doesn’t mean other people are going to go along with your idea.

Transcript of an actual conversation.

Other Person (OP): What do you do?

Me: I’m a writer.

OP: Really? What have you written?

Me: It’s a romantic comedy called Unpredictable.

OP (looking distrustful): I never heard of it.

Me: It just came out.

OP: Is it going to be on Oprah?

Me: Um, well she hasn’t called yet.

OP: What about on the Regis and Kelly show?

Me: No plans for that either.

OP: You couldn’t even get on with Kelly Ripa? (should be said with a slight sneer that is insulting to both Ms. Ripa and myself.)

Me: I’m really more of an Ellen fan when you get right down to it, but before you ask she hasn’t called yet either.

OP: (looking around the room for more interesting people) Well good luck with your little project.

Some people are going to say you can’t be a writer unless you publish, or only if you publish with a major house. Someone else is going to weigh in and say it depends on your print run or if you hit any of the major lists. Others are waiting to see if you show up on Oprah (or Ellen or Live with Regis and Kelly) before deciding if your accomplishment should count.

Defining yourself isn’t limited just to writers, I hear the debate about who should get to call themselves a good mom, about who owns the right to say they’re an artist (versus a mere crafter), who is an athlete, who is a success. What would happen if we didn’t wait for others to approve our definition and we decided for ourselves? What if we decided what we wanted to be and pursued it with our whole hearts without waiting for someone to say it was okay?

If you feel like a superhero, then I say throw on the cape and get going. The world could use more saving and you look fabulous in Spandex.

  • News

    The first review for Unpredictable appeared in Romantic Times.

    “Cook’s debut novel seems destined to climb to the top of the bestseller lists. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and readers will immediately fall in love with her style. This book reaches a new level of comedy with its hilarious heroine, exhilarating plot and fresh new approach to this well-loved genre.”