This past year I’ve been writing with a co-author on an inspirational series. The project happened so fast, it’s hard to believe we actually wrote and published a 3-book series in about eighteen months time. Over the next few blogs I will be dissecting our process for you; what worked, what didn’t, what obstacles we faced.
My motto is, within reason, say YES to everything that comes along. I’m not getting any younger! Life happens, people and opportunities cross your path, and so many times things do not work out. But sometimes all the pieces fall into place and there you are—in the right place at the right time.
Long story short, my co-author Denise and I actually pitched the idea at a writers conference to an editor while waiting in line to board a bus. We all met later in an empty dining area at the hotel to talk more in-depth, and then went home and got busy. I’m not gonna lie; it took FOREVER to write book one because writing fiction with another creative brain is not for the faint of heart.
We wrote and passed the chapters back and forth. I started writing in Scrivener, but as a professional editor Denise liked track changes in Word better. That first book went through way too many revisions, but it had to be solid and stellar. The whole project weighed on the premise and the writing in that first book. I worried that it might read like two people wrote it, but our Beta readers assured us they couldn’t tell who wrote what. Finally we hit a rhythm and finished book one. The editor who never lost patience on us loved it, and we had a deal for a three-book series.
For books 2 and 3 we changed up the process again. I took the lead on book 2 and worked on a first draft. Denise took the lead on book 3 and wrote that first draft. We came together to work on edits, passing one chapter at a time back and forth using DropBox in between numerous texts, emails and phone calls.
Maybe it was how everything slowed down from the virus in 2020, maybe it was me spending less time on social media because of the election posts I didn’t want to see, but irregardless done and done! We actually wrote three books. The publisher uses a rapid release method and we were added to the publishing roster in the first available slots for January, February, and March pub dates. Our books are out there. At this point we are waiting and watching to see what readers think.
PROMO: Tell Them!
Our publisher handles the ads and the lion’s share of promotion. So what can we do? There’s plenty more. Now is the time to tell everyone about our books. We posted Amazon links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. We offered personalized print books to our friends through an email campaign. I signed and mailed a lot of books, and the goal here is to build a fan base. My favorite, the new Pinterest boards under the series name and each book title. I’m thinking a postcard mailer at some point?
We are currently working on a short story written in the POV of a secondary character who becomes a main character in book two. Remember when Stephanie Myer rewrote her bestselling Twilight series from Edward’s POV? (Midnight Sun) I thought that was brilliant idea.
This short piece will be offered free as a promotional tool. We have changed our process again, with a more rapid turn around time in mind. We are going to pass it back and forth with each revision. As soon as I had the rough draft done, I posted it to DropBox. Denise edited and sent it back. I’m going back through now adding more emotion, deeper dive into internal dialog and more imagery. I’ll send it back to Denise and she’ll do the same. I think the key is more. It can always be better. There is always a better word, a better structure for the sentence, a better hook. It’s an unending process and at some point, you both have to be happy with the outcome. Better is good.
The best thing about having a co-author is the ability to bounce ideas off of someone who knows the characters as well as I do. It’s been a great experience and I encourage you to work with someone if you ever have the chance.

Thanks for following Wordsmith Six. Check back every Monday where I’ll be blogging more about my new series, the Wild Cow Ranch published by Wolfpack Publishing under the imprint CKN Christian Publishing. Here’s a more in-depth interview with Denise and I about our process and more about the series:“Get the Know The Wild Cow Ranch Co-Authors”
What are you working on in 2021? Keep writing the stories of your heart! Never give up.



Natalie Bright


As you start a new year of writing, consider what you want to accomplish. Make your goals achievable.


In 2019, I changed my approach to goals for the year. I decided to hyper-focus on a few projects and get them finished. My brain is constantly bugging me with new ideas, and the problem is I listen. During the past year, I met about one-third of what I had hoped to achieve, but I can mark off a few projects as completed, which feels very good. In looking over the dry eraser board, here are the results.

  1. Rescue Animal Activity Book for ages 8-10. Artwork, layout, and published. I hired out coloring pages and formatting and had help with the layout. Got a bump in sales from an Amazon Ad.
  2. Nonfiction book deadline met. KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN’ for TwoDot Books. Publication date of Fall 2020.
  3. Women’s fiction, western for the Christian market: Done. Writing with a co-author was a challenge, but I am so happy with this story and the characters. Maybe it’s the start of a new series? We’ll be shopping it around to find the best possible option for getting this book into the hands of readers.
  4. Goal: 6 newsletters. Actual: 4
  5. Goal: 52 NEW Prairie Purview blogs. Actual: 20. Priority for 2020 is to generate new material every Friday.
  6. Goal: 52 WordsmithSix Blogs. Actual: 45. I missed a few weeks.
  7. Goal: 2 short stories for Route 66 Anthologies. Actual: 1 story complete.


Put it on the wall where you must look at it. What are you working on now? What is waiting on you to finish? What new ideas have you added to the Board? I use a dry eraser board, color-coded between genres or series. I don’t erase anything, but I add to during the year and check off projects that are done.

Whether Indi or Traditionally published, to be a writer means to be a self-motivator.  When it comes down to it, this business is all about STORY. Writing the best story that you possibly can. Butt in chair and words on the page.  The next phase involves finding readers. Selling your book relies on the reader-author relationship.


The big picture: 1. A good story. 2. Readers who can easily buy your work.


Achieving the end results is why we set goals. To break down the overall vision into something workable. To channel our focus. Seems crazy when we consider the big picture: “I’m going to write a 100,000 word novel that’s going to have awesome characters and I’ll create a world where they’ll do great things and have a great adventure, and then I’m going to sell my book all over the world.” Yeah, right.

But when we break it down into achievable pieces, the overwhelming can suddenly become doable. For example:

  1. Write one blog every Friday.
  2. Write and polish one chapter of the WIP every week. (A 2,000-word chapter every week for a year equals 104,000 new words. That’s almost 2 books, and you now have a series!)
  3. Read one chapter to critique the group every other week. (26 chapters with a new set of eyes, and polished by years end.)
  4. Read one how-to-write book on craft or marketing every month.
  5. Build my email list by promoting my newsletter on social media once a week.
  6. Send a newsletter promoting my work 3 times a year.
  7. Post on Instagram 1 time per day. (If you hate Instagram, send Tweets)
  8. Post on Facebook Author Page 1 time per day.
  9. Learn about Facebook ads. Promote 1 title. Start small and assess the numbers. How can I improve?
  10. Moms, this one’s for you: Find a place, set up my workspace and shut the door for a few minutes every day.

Do one thing every day over the next year, that’s 365 things you WILL do related to your writing, your dreams, your goals.  It’s all good. It feeds your soul and that is why we keep going.


Still confused as to the difference between Indie Author and Traditional Publishing? You’re not alone. Many are. One of the best summaries I’ve found is in the book WRITE IT FORWARD by Bob Mayer. We were fortunate to hear him speak in Amarillo several years back and talk about a producer of words. His talk was very motivating. At the back of this book is an Appendix, “Getting Your Novel Published Traditionally”, which explains the process and even gives you definitions of the various people who are involved. This book is all about motivating yourself to write.

All the best in the NEW YEAR. May you be a producer of words and achiever of your vision. Thanks for following Wordsmith Six.