Category: News

Post Office Tips for Writers

Writers spend a lot of time at the post office. At least I do as a newly minted author. I send print copies of my book out to reviewers, to contest winners, journalists, libraries and persons of interest. Of interest to me, that is.

At my local post office, waiting in line is a little like playing Russian roulette. I’ll either be assisted by:

– one of two kindly, sympathetic, and highly efficient workers behind the counter; or

– the cantankerous manifestation of a female who appears to have lost both her sanity and smile eons ago;

The window belonging to the latter is littered with large Post-its detailing warnings: “No mailing letters or envelopes containing weapons.” “Baton Rouge is not in France.” “Have proper change ready.” On this last one, I’m afraid I once approached her with one dollar when my stamps cost ninety-two cents. I did not receive my change.

Authors sending out books know that even with media mail, it’s not cheap. When I asked the customer assistance challenged worker which envelope would be best for sending a book, she grabbed one off a shelf and pressed it against my chest. And I was told that should I dare include a letter or anything resembling a letter requiring its own separate envelope, I would be charged more. I paid nearly two dollars per envelope and used them for my next few mailings, paying north of ten dollars each for packets to the east coast.

On my next trip, I stood in prayer in the long line, hoping for assistance from one of the two kindly workers. My prayer was not only granted, but several large FREE, padded envelopes with flat rates were gently handed to me. Henceforth, my mail-outs never cost over $6.10.

What is the moral to this tale? Hold out for the right type of help and do your own research first. It doesn’t always pay to rely on experts.

The Two Minute Interview: Author Sandra Dailey

I’m very pleased to welcome Sandra Dailey to tell us about her latest novel, CLOSE ENEMY.

I really like your title, Sandra. What’s your book about?

Sandra: It’s a romantic/suspense about stalking, kidnapping, murder, past tragedies and a baby.

That’s heavy stuff! I’m a big fan of romantic suspense. When is the moment that matters most/turning point in your book?

Sandra: When the villain realizes he also has a stalker intent on destroying him.

Interesting – a villain with a stalker. Where is the setting?

Sandra: Up town Tampa and down town Ybor City, Florida.

Florida sounds like the perfect place for villains, heroes, heroines and romance. How did you come to write this book?

Sandra: My hero was a secondary character in Common Enemy. At one point he had to give an alibi. That’s where my heroine was born.

It’s fun finding the opportunity to flesh out secondary characters. Which character is your fave?

Sandra: I most love creating my villains. Weird, I know.

I agree! Villains are fascinating to create. Why should I (or any reader) read your lovely creation?

Sandra: It’s exciting and sinister with heartbreak, romance and a little humor mixed in.

I love books with a little humor mixed in. Sounds like an exciting read! Thanks so much for joining me today, Sandra!

Bio: Sandra Dailey lives with her husband and mother in a small town in North Florida, far from the maddening crowds. Her children and grandchildren all live close and keep her ridiculously busy and active. Her passions are reading, writing, and crafts. Her addictions are coffee, chocolate, and football. Her aversions are cooking, housework and negative people. She loves to hear from fellow readers and writers, so get in touch.

Buy links:

The Wild Rose Press


Barnes & Noble


To contact Sandra:

Contact her online:
Or send an email to:

Writing Chapter One: The Hardest Part

Now that I’m writing my second book, a continuation of the the first, I’m realizing I have stadium-size writing hurdles to leap over. The biggest challenge? The first chapter.

In Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters, my initial stab at Chapter One was autobiographical. I was presented with a speeding ticket on the 405 freeway in Huntington Beach, California on the way to my first day of work at the only movie studio located in Orange County.

“BMWs should only be driven in the fast lane, but that’s not what I told the nice officer,” was the opening line of the original Chapter One. The rest of the chapter involved heroine Corrie trying to weasel her way out of the ticket (which was not exactly what happened to me, but the nice officer did lower my projected speed). I couldn’t get that chapter going anywhere but in the round file. It was rubbish.

Attempt two involved a prologue. As any semi-seasoned writer knows, prologues are a no-no when crafted by a wannabe author. I loved my prologue like I love my pie crust when it turns out perfectly formed and flaky and light and not too sweet and without any aftertaste. But no amount of my prologue love made it work in that spot. So I moved it to the final third of my story.

My next rendering involved a flashback of Corrie with her dad. It was her first swimming lesson and established their strained relationship. Her parents were newly divorced and Corrie was not exactly adept in her swimming skills. As she says, “I have the swimming skills of a snail.” That chapter was out of line with the tone of my book, so it had to go.

Finally, my last attempt put her where she is today. Near home, late one Sunday, jogging on the wood chip trail in Hermosa Beach, on her way to buy a snack from a convenience store. She was trying to settle her nerves on the night before she was to start her new job at the movie studio. This chapter set the stage for the fact that Corrie has a tendency to walk, run, or jog into precarious and sometimes dangerous situations. Her reactions and interactions revealed her strengths and weaknesses. And I finally had a chapter that worked.