Tag Archives: independent author

How Meditation Affected my Writing  | Guest Post


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Here we have Audrey Snyder, an indie who’s from my home state’s backyard, Pittsburgh.We are celebrating the release of her memoir, Worth the Climb. Today she tells us how meditating helps her writing and then she gives you an opportunity to win her book.Let’s get started.


For forty years I was a technical writer.  It took me ten years to complete my first non-fiction book, a memoir.  But when I decided to write my second book as fiction and in less time, I was unable to even begin writing.  Desperate to find some way that would help me write again, I frantically researched.  It was there that I discovered the Mindful Writers Group.  I did not know what to expect from the group but had a strong inclination that if I joined, I would overcome my writing block.

For me, reading is a great stimulant for ideas.  I read voraciously to decide on a subject to write about.  Once I decided on the topic, I read as many books that were similar to my topic as I could.

Equipped with a topic, I went to my first meeting of the Mindful Writers Group.  Today, as I reflect on my first session of following the Writing Meditation Method, I wish I had learned it sooner.  That first morning as I meditated and wrote in my journal, I examined my thoughts and feelings.  This was followed by several hours of writing my first draft.

Each week at our meetings, I wrote with such passion that I didn’t even know I had.  The Meditation Method allowed me to clear away any negative energy that had a deeper effect on me than I had realized.  Fifteen minutes of Mindful Meditation and journaling helped me to reflect and write freely.  The practices seemed to give me permission to honestly write what was on my heart and mind.   It unlocked a door of pent up feelings of joy, sorrow, happiness, fear, doubt and guilt.

At one of the sessions, during the fifteen minutes of journaling , I was able to put my feelings in a letter to a friend who had been estranged from me for years.  Here is an excerpt:

“When I awake from my dreams I almost feel guilty that I am so happy.

I wonder why I deserve this happiness.  What did I do to deserve it?

We travelled the same path, the two of us.  How could our lives be so

far apart now?  What or who decided which path we should choose?

Why do you blame me for my happiness?  Why the anger?  Why the

Jealously?  I want you to be as happy as I am.  You deserve to know you

have made a difference in my life.  You are part of the reason I choose

the path I did.  Now  you have chosen to run away from here, from this

city, from this path.  Will it be any better for you elsewhere?   I hope so,

but I have my reservations.  I have learned that the change

you seek has to come from within you.  All this stuff you hold onto only

holds you back and blocks you.”

I was amazed at the sincerity of my emotions and the depth of my writing.  I wondered how much of myself should I reveal?  Should I hold back some for later?  But, I kept writing until the bell sounded for us to stop.  I had written with such intensity that my fingers felt cramped.  I was so elated to complete the letter that I wanted to frame in and hang it in my office.

The practice of Writing Meditation Method has given me freedom to explore my innermost feelings and thoughts.  Such feelings are authentic which makes them original.  This method is a writer’s tool that is helping me understand myself.  It teaches discipline to set short-term goals with realistic expectations.

I know my current writing is the result of the beginning of knowing myself.   It is awareness about who I am.  This awareness is leading me closer to my real self.  It is the result of examining my thoughts and feelings that the Mindful Writers Group practices.  The Method has shown me that there is a relationship between writing and meditation.  It has shown me how I can fearlessly express my passion.   It has shown me how to experience who I truly am.  And most importantly, it has empowered me so that I can overcome obstacles placed ion my writing path.

About her memoir:

Raised by a grandmother who believed the only available professional jobs for a Black American women in the 1960’s were nursing and teaching.  Audrey Snyder grew up feeling restricted in her own home.  Audrey, however, had inherited the grit and determination of her great Cherokee grandmother, who had accomplished the impossible by traveling, unescorted over 1300 miles in a covered wagon filled with orphaned Cherokee children.

Worth the Climb tells Audrey’s remarkable story of struggle and success in corporate America.  Leaving home at a young age, Audrey moved from secretary to prominent business success in the face of racism and discrimination.  Throughout her 40- year struggle, Audrey pushed away anger, bitterness, and despair, clinging instead to excellence, perseverance, and the need to open doors for Black Americans who would follow.

Worth the Climb is a must read for anyone looking to move forward in spite of pitfalls and disappointments.




Enter below for your chance to win a copy of Worth the Climb!
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Audrey Bio Pic 2

Audrey Jane Snyder is retired after working in the corporate environment for 40+ years in the fields of human resource management and customer service.  She has also been an independent consultant specializing in on-line web based training of interpersonal skills for first line managers.  Audrey holds a BA in Business Communications and a Masters in Training and Development.  Audrey is a member of Western Pennsylvania Initiative, Greater Pittsburgh Area Communications and National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. and PennWriters Inc., The Pittsburgh East Writer’s Group.   Audrey has also served on the board of Family Resources, Inc.  Audrey has spoken as an expert at Budget Financial Seminars and recently was Keynote Speaker on Courageous Leadership- Owning your Own Success at the National Black MBA Gala.   Audrey is currently an Adjunct Professor at DeVry University.

Audrey was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, PA area lives with her husband of 44 years.  She has two adult children and two grandchildren.    This is her first book which one finalist position at the Pittsburgh Author Zone Awards.




If you would be interested in joining Audrey’s tour, click here and learn more. Support Indie Authors!

Indie Author Spotlight 2


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Q&A with Ella Col | Indie Author Spotlight

Indie Author Spotlight 2
Today, we’re shining the Indie Spotlight on contemporary adult author Ella Col. Stay tuned until the end for an exciting giveaway!

Ella Col is an indie author who is known for her premiere novel, SAVE. Ella’s other projects include Broken, and SAVE ME (all a part of the SAVE ME series). Locked and Reckless are a part of the Reckless series. Ella recently released her first Adult Contemporary novel, Escape on March 2, 2015.

Ella is a writer, tattooed mom with a passion for reading. She loves red wine and a cheesy romance story.

She currently lives in the Pineland area of New Jersey.  She has two boys, a husband, and a bear/pig dog named Nugget.

Author Ella Col a romance and contemporary adult indie author

Tell us your origin story—how did you come to be an Indie Author?

At night, to calm my mind, I write stories. Some people watch television, I like to write. My first novel, Save, is a novel I had been working on here and there. When I decided to upload it to Amazon, I didn’t have any expectations. I just thought…hey…I’d like to share this story. If one person reads it…it’s a win. Something beautiful happened. Within 24 hours, I had a full inbox of emails.  Readers began to review it. Then, my world as an Indie Author opened up. So, I attended a few signings. I have been writing ever since.

Why do you write romance? What about romance appeals to you so much?

Truth be told, I am a romantic at heart. I love the complications of relationships. I think all women have a need to be desired, protected, and loved. In romance novels, even though the hero is usually strong, I think there are feminine characteristics that women miss in their every day relationship. Romance is an escape from real, working relationships. I call it the “Prince Charming” complex. For me, writing about romance gives me an escape from dirty laundry, kids between us in bed, wondering what to cook for dinner, bills, and every day life. I certainly don’t expect my husband to be exactly like the men in my books…so for me…it is a healthy way to dream…I suppose.

I read on your blog that you prefer poor guys with chains to rich guys in suits-do your male leads reflect that?

Mostly. I wouldn’t say that my male protagonists are poor. I would say most make money in unconventional ways. For example, Josh and Eric are band promoters. Caydon is a tattoo artist. Nash is a boxer. Ty is a small town sheriff. White-collar guys just don’t do it for me. I see the lure of a billionaire in a suit and tie. However, a man in a suit and tie just doesn’t do it for me.

What is a piece of advice you would give to people, who are just starting their writing journey?

Just write. Write for yourself. Not every book you put out will be a best seller. Don’t try to keep up with everyone in this industry. You’ll exhaust yourself. There are days when you will feel like giving up. Don’t. If you write because you love it…then you can’t fail.

What is one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you?

Hmm…that’s a tough one. I have a creepy doll collection. I can’t stop collecting them….

Where do you find your inspiration for your books/stories?

Some of my stories are based on life experiences.  Other stories are just daydreams that I have.  My future release, Piney, is about the area where I live.

Sometimes writers have a hard time accepting the label of “writer.” Did you struggle with that?

I don’t. The reason I don’t struggle with labels is because the only person I have to answer to…is myself. I made that decision a long time ago. I write for a creative release. I enjoy it. No one can take that from me.

How do you stay motivated on your writing journey?

Thankfully, I love to write so motivation is not a problem. However, there are times when I need a break. After a release, I usually take about a week off to gather my thoughts and do other activities that I enjoy before I go back to the writing cave.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your Indie Author path?

I think I’m still learning. The worst part, I think, is taking criticism. I know that I respect negative reviews because it makes me a better writer. However, it’s hard to swallow sometimes.

Where can my readers find you on these interwebs?

Click here:

Amazon Author Page

Now let’s learn about her latest release!
Escape Cover-Ella



A promise is a promise. Deathbed promises are just as binding as regular promises, I suppose. This nagging little thought haunts me as I prepare to marry Phinn. That’s when I decide to run.

I run as far away as the road takes me. Unbeknownst to me, I am about to run into my destiny.


From the moment I see Gabby Roman, I know that we are destined to be together. Something inside of me tells me that she is about to turn my world upside down and inside out. All of the sudden, everything I thought I wanted is irrelevant, including becoming sheriff.

Gabby is the talk of the town. My town has a ‘No outsiders allowed’ mentality. They don’t want anyone trying to rock the boat and change up the control they have in this town. They run the show.

I’m an insider by default. They will always accept me. However, they will not accept Gabby. Do I give up my life, livelihood, and family for the girl of my dreams?


I’m living a nightmare. I’ve come to the unfortunate realization that if you weren’t born and raised here you will never fit in. Trust me, I’ve tried. You are prejudged, even though you’ve never been given the time of day.

I’m struggling to find where I fit in. The only thing that does seem to fit is Ty. If only I were strong enough to take it. If only he could see that this town is ripping me and ‘us’ apart.

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The giveaway! Three lucky winners will receive a free copy of Ella’s exciting new release “Escape!”  Share this with your friends and support indie authors!

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Aloha y’all!


Filed under Indie Author Spotlight