Author Archive for John Rakestraw

A Champagne Business Plan on a Beer Wallet by guest Joe Giacalone

The Fantastic business plan that Joseph Giacalone has developed and lives by… has five distinct parts. He uses an acronym (cops love them) to keep himself focused… Competition MGMT.

Competition

*M*ission Statement
*G*oals
*M*arketing
*T*arget Audience

Read Joe’s post on Rachel Thompson blog. We succeed when we truly write down our plans, that wonderful, simple act cements it into our psyche.
http://badredheadmedia.com/2013/07/18/a-champagne-business-plan-on-a-beer-wallet-by-guest-joegiacalone/

Explore more ===>

Watch a great video of Joe talking about writers and his business plan:
Joe Giacalone Discovered That There Was a Whole Other Market for his Book… Writers!


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

Writing Historical Novels with author Suzanne Adair

I had a fantastic conversation about the craft of writing and building your characters in a historical context with Suzanne.

Award-winning novelist, Suzanne Adair – is a Florida native who lives in a two hundred-year-old city at the edge of the North Carolina Piedmont, named for an English explorer who was beheaded. Her suspense and thrillers transport readers to the Southern theater of the Revolutionary War, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and spending time with her family.

Where to find Suzanne on the web:

Her blog: http://suzanneadair.typepad.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suzanne.Adair.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Suzanne_Adair
Suzanne’s Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Adair/e/B003WH8Q36/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1188958.Suzanne_Adair

Explore more ===>

Two great podcast shows I did with Suzanne before:

7/16/2011 Interview with writer Suzanne Adair
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/johnrakestraw/2011/07/16/interview-with-writer-suzanne-adair

10/22/2011 My Second Interview with writer Suzanne Adair
http://unbridlededitor.com/platform/audio_blog/suzanne_adair_tbp.mp3

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John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

What was the moment(s) before we meet them?

As you set out to develop a character within a your story, there are a 1001 things you must do to give life to this new being. I feel one of the greatest discoveries is the “moment before”… this is one of the most important questions you can ask of your characters, and it helps to set the emotional tone for your character at the moment just before they walk into our lives.

What was going on just before we met them?

Well, the “moment before” is exactly what it sounds like… it’s what your character was doing or thinking immediately before they enter the that moment and become apart of the story. This questions does not only answer what your character was doing physically, but also how it will be reacting and carrying himself emotionally.

How to Discover

Uncovering the “moment before” can be accomplished through several means. The first, is to rely on the story’s plot and thought of action to help give you guidelines for what your characters was doing, thinking and caring about.

If the our story doesn’t indicate what your characters were physically doing before that moment scene, than they have no life to spring from. Think about the 1001 possibilities that your character would and could have been living. Answering these questions will help you cultivate the “moment before.”


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

What are we fighting for, what’s the conflict

John Rakestraw, The Story Spinner.

For the characters in our writing… they must rise to the challenge to reach the end (the grand goal). For our readership, it’s living each emotion, running right along with the characters, facing their fears and rejoicing with them all the way to the story’s end.

In this wonderful world there are those who can make you think, those that make you wonder and those that take you beyond their imagination into yours…


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

Outlining your book… It could make all the difference!

+Patti Larsen has a way of making you feel at home when she talks. Join me and my merry band of wonderful minds as we tackling the craft of writing a book. it can feel like an overwhelming prospect, where do we even start?

First… you want to know what you’re writing about.
Second… you do this best by generating an outline of your book.

Some of us writers… hate outlines (I was once in your camp.) Other writers live by them. I hope that we can help you discover where this process just might make your writing easier and faster.

If you were like me and approach book writing from a completely disorganized and impractical state of mind… Well, outlining could promote a logical approach and it leaves plenty of room for creativity.

Where to find Patti on the web:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorpattilarsen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PattiLarsen
Blog: http://www.pattilarsen.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Patti-Larsen/e/B005H8I3KO


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

How I Build A Story… with John Rakestraw

I put myself in the hot seat and talk with my merry band of wonderful minds about how I build a story.

I did live theatre years ago…

I was a stage actor in the Seattle area during the 1980’s… I loved it! I did comedies, drama and musicals. I acted in over 100+ shows!

I study every book I could find on the subject of acting. All those books are really a great way to learn how to write a good story. Acting books are a great lesson in creativity. You have to understand your part, the character that you are playing, how they fit into the whole story (play) plot. Learning how to build a character, that a playwright made for you, was a great lesson for what has become my greatest starring role… as a published writer, a writing life coach and an internet talk show host, who talks to people about finding that magic we call… the craft of writing!

There is a huge amount of things that an actor needs to learn to truly be good at their craft and learning your line is the least of it, trust me!

Learning to write is the craft… bring it all to life is the magic!

To really be good at acting or writing… you have to make that role, that character, come to life. It has to have a whole life story before you can give it life in front of an audience. This is also true for writers. The audience is their readership. There is a process to creating this magic.

I will walk you through my 8 fundamentals on building a story.

First Element – Relationships and the magic if.
Second Element – What are they fighting for? What is the conflict?
Third Element – What was the moment(s) before we meet them?
Fourth Element – Humor, life is full of funny moments.
Fifth Element – The discoveries… when the characters and the story have a life of their own.
Sixth Element – Keeping Your Subtext in Context.
Seventh Element – Find the story’s events, the through lines and the arcs.
Eigthth Element – The mystery, the magic and the concentration devices that keep us involved.


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

Learn the Art and Science of Audio Books with Author Nathan Lowell

There was a lot of info put on the the table during this conversation about Audio Books. Nathan Lowell walked us through how he produces his audio files and even his marketing ideas.

Where you can find Nathan on the web…

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nathan.o.lowell?fref=ts
Podiobooks: http://podiobooks.com/contributor/nathan-lowell/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nlowell
Blog: http://nathanlowell.com/

I ask this talented and brilliant person to give us a list of the equipment and software that he uses, which by the way… made it possible for him to have over 5 million downloads of his audio books.
(We make no guarantees that your results will be the same.) B-])

Nathan writes…

Highly recommended: A digital recorder.. the Zoom H1 at $99 is an excellent value. It comes with very nice mics. Its limitation are on inputs. (I don’t know what they are.) More info http://goo.gl/uNqiUx

The next step up would be Zoom H2 at about $150. It will take a mini plug microphone but the built ins are also excellent.
More info http://goo.gl/nEbeu3

Top shelf is the Zoom H4N at about $275. I can’t recommend this highly enough. It’s a great “starter” and it has inputs for both mini plug and “pro grade” XLR. It also has all the power hookups you need to use some of the high end mics with it if you get to that point.
More info http://goo.gl/7lQtD1

Mics are optional if you get one of these Zooms. For reading books, unless you’re trying to set up a studio and you’re sure you want to do this, the H1 is my recommendation.

Right now I use
- Zoom H4
- Rode NT1-A shock mounted on a boom.
More info http://goo.gl/Hwm3ox

Software I use
- Audacity for editing and rendering.
More info http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

- Kid3 (a linux tool) for adding the ID3 tags, altho the iTunes application does an excellent job of it.
More info http://kid3.sourceforge.net/

Many great thanks to Nathan Lowell for his help and great conversation.


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

Branding & Social Media Networking in this New Era of Multi-Screens


I had a great Hangout On Air with Rachel Thompson and we talked…

Branding & Social Media Networking

Watch the Bad Redhead herself Rachel Thompson, published author and social media consultant talks the business and craft of using social marketing.

BadRedHead Media! http://badredheadmedia.com/
Indie Book Promo http://indiebookpromo.com/
Rachel’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Thompson/e/B004KTY7Q0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1371181110&sr=1-1

Site: http://RachelintheOC.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelintheOC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelThompsonauthor
Email: Email Rachel

My merry band of minds brought a lot to the table today… R. Harlan Smith asked about blogs and their use. Joseph Giacalone talk business plans. Jim Ault, Susanne Ramharter and Sergey Andrianov brought their wonderful thoughts about these beasties (social media) to the group.

Finding your voice and bring it forward is the challenge.

Making Social Media Work Best For You…

We need to center ourselves on the idea of solving people’s problems , worries and fears in a way that makes you that source they look for and can’t live without. We must be the cure for their pains and have that remedy that moves them towards a call to action. When we listen to our readership, followers and circles… we truly need to hear their concerns and build our social design around the core social media channels that they flow with.


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.

Rachel Thompson on Blogs and Social Media

Rachel talked with R. Harlan Smith about putting together a blog and the ups and downs of doing so. Harlan asked some great questions and Rachel answered them with her brilliant style and fantastic flair, as always. This a 20 minute short take from the 1 hour and 13 minute show we did.

You can watch the whole video of this Hangout On Air by clicking below:

Branding and Social Media Networking in this New Era of Multi-Screens
http://youtu.be/mYovkWn8Qh4

Watch the Bad Redhead herself, Rachel Thompson, published author and social media consultant, as she talks the business and craft of using social marketing.

BadRedHead Media! http://badredheadmedia.com/
Indie Book Promo http://indiebookpromo.com/
Rachel’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Thompson…

Site: http://RachelintheOC.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelintheOC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelThomps…
Email: RachelintheOC@gmail.com

My merry band of wonderful minds brought a lot to the table today… R. Harlan Smith asked about blogs and their use. Joseph Giacalone talked business plans. Jim Ault, Susanne Ramharter and Sergey Andrianov brought their wonderful thoughts about these beasties (social media) to the group.

Finding your voice and bring it forward is the challenge.

Here’s what I (John Rakestraw) had to say…

Making Social Media Work Best For You

We need to center ourselves on the idea of solving people’s problems, worries and fears in a way that makes you that source they look for and can’t live without. We must be the cure for their pains and have that remedy that moves them toward a call to action. When we listen to our readership, followers, and circles… we truly need to hear their concerns and build our social design around the core social media channels that they flow with.


John and Toni Rakestraw are the owners of Rakestraw Book Design. Toni is the editor; she keeps all those words in line. John is the voice of the company. He can often be found hosting Google+ Hangouts on writing and issues writers face online. Archives for his shows can be found on YouTube.