Friday, March 7, 2014


I have known for a few years in order to make it in the business of publishing the initial step one must undergo is resiliency also referred to as gaining a  'tough skin.' Things change, which may occur at various stages of the writer's journey. I reassure myself often by stating its okay

I have always been the type of person that let things affect me by over thinking  why things happen and blame myself, few years ago I decided I had to work on this, I achieved this by simply telling myself to focus on the things I can change which include:

  • Reading often variety of books that teaches various skills of writing a great book, a few years ago I purchased Writing the Breakout Novel workbook by Donald Maas this is a fantastic guide for me as I revise my novel(s) in addition, I have a few more books  specifically for writing YA books, since I write as well for teens.
  • Not rushing things, publishing is slow, therefore it would be a shame to send a manuscript that has so many flaws, although the publishing world seems huge its actually quite small and garnering feedback for a manuscript with flaws is not the way I want to go.
  • Reading an array of books
  • Remembering why I chose to write
  • Identifying numerous resources and seeking the help of writers/authors within the community
  • In addition, learning the business also include asking questions, such as identify the credentials of an editor.
I could list many more, but these are the main points I tell myself often, and also tell my peers that are also writers, aspiring to be published like me, human beings I think if giving the choice would always want things to work out their own way, to gain perks however that euphoria is a dream, reality is hard sometimes but it teachers humans to be resilient and grow. If I faltered the first time I got a rejection (I so deserved it, I had no clue few years ago what it takes to hone the craft and sent out a batch of horrible writing samples and queries) then I should not be writing, I write because it's what I love and it's what I will fight for by learning and growing and not backing down when the going gets tough.

Happy resiliency to you.

Keisha Martin

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ELEVATED by Elana Johnson--interview

Why did you venture into as you mentioned on your website the indie realm of publishing?I ventured into Indie publishing with this book, because I think it's worthy to be published. My agent thought so too, as did some editors. But ultimately, there were no offers for the book from a traditional publisher. That doesn't mean the book isn't good -- for this particular title, it meant the traditional market couldn't support it. But that doesn't mean books have to die anymore. So I published it myself -- and it has been an amazing experience!

Can you tell us a bit about the book?
ELEVATED is about a girl who gets stuck in an elevator with her ex-boyfriend. She hasn't spoken to him in a few months, and she's been keeping some pretty big secrets from him. So there's a lot of drama and angst.

How did you come up with the idea for Elevated (gorgeous cover by the way)
I got the idea for ELEVATED about 5 years ago, when I was visiting a planetarium with my kids. We got in this huge elevator to go up to the dome for a laser light show, and I thought, "What would happen if we got stuck in this elevator?"

So the idea was to write about people stuck in an elevator -- one of my greatest fears! It only took a little bit of thinking to make the people exes.
And thanks on the cover. My amazing friend, Erin Summerill, did an original photo shoot for the cover. I love it too!

What were the best writing moments when you were writing Elevated?
When I decided to turn it into a verse novel! I had been toiling on it for a few months, having written only 100 pages. Nothing was working. Then I had the idea to stretch myself and try writing in a new way: verse. ELEVATED instantly had new life.

How has the journey been from traditional publishing to publishing your indie novel?
It's been great! I've had great support from friends and family, and the only differences I've noticed have been mostly positive. I have really enjoyed turning into a "hybrid" author, where I can still write and publish in the traditional market, but also self-publish books that that market doesn't support.

What’s your favorite scene to write?
I loved writing the scene where Elly sees herself clearly for the first time in months. The first line of the poem is, "I've been living a wax paper life." I absolutely love that line, and her realizations. That was a fun part to write.

What was the hardest scene to write?
The entire end! I always have trouble with endings, and writing ELEVATED was no different.

What do writers need to know prior to self-publishing their novel?
It is just as much -- or more -- work as traditional publishing. You should plan to hire a professional cover artists, interior designer, editor, copy editor, and proofreader. There's nothing to be skimped on if you want to put out a quality product for readers.

Are you planning a series for Elevated?
No. It is a standalone novel. I will be self-publishing another verse novel in September, titled SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE, but it is unrelated in every way to ELEVATED.

ELEVATED (YA contemporary romance) is available now!

Possession, Surrender and Abandon -- all available from Simon & Schuster!
Digital short stories Regret (only 99 cents) and Resist (free!) round out the trilogy.

For more info please check out Elana's blog

Keisha Martin

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tis the season for my writing goals

Tis the aseason for my annual writing goals, my aspiration to become a published writer began summer of 2009 and since then I feel I have made strides, not agented nor published but my strides come in the way of finishing five books editing one with my lovely editor Lynnette Labelle and still appreciating the love of writing. Also a biggie for me this year was to truly understand how to format my manuscript its imperitive for writers to know this standard for the business, I was very appreciative when my editor returned my chapter and told me to figure out the formatting when I finally got it I was rejoiced but then had an internal battle with myself because I should have known how to format almost like an sixth sense. So my writing goals have and will remain the same writing until I improve and hope for the best that one day my novel will be snatched out of the slush pile and make an agent swoon over my novel happy writing.

Keisha Martin

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Silence. Scream, She couldn't utter a word but what she felt... Darkness closing in on her the threat of the freight train crashing into her... the tearing apart of happiness the cloud that hovered... Shifting into the abyss of tortured past, the forgiveness that was once craved will never be a reality, the thing she knew for absolute certainty was that there had to be a time to let go to focus on things that meant more and understanding the honest truth that she had to hit the hard slab of concrete rock bottom to begin climbing to the top. Life sometimes is full of uncertainty, quick sharp turns that seem like a biker that came out of nowhere and CRASH the collision of life, the hardest part of living is life its self death would be far to easy but then what is the point of pushing on obstacles make one stronger to appreciate the curbs that lead to strive so.... Live in full evolution of oneself. Keisha Martin

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Keeping up with the Kard...joking just simple me.

Blogging is hard I feel like I am writing for myself because as I scroll through various blogs which most are from writers I realize writers write similar blogs, many talk about the experience of getting stuck with plot(s), the journey of getting agented, the journey of getting published and some offer great writing resources. I read a post today by the awesome Janet Reid regarding agents appreciate writers/authors who have online presence however Janet Reid took this topic a step further and talked about when she is interested in authors she checks out their online presence and checks if the writing skills match the sample she looks at via query or requested pages. That really resonated with me because my first manuscript is still getting polished by my awesome editor but the writing I do on this blog is all me blood sweat and tears.I m pretty good going back and fixing spelling errors but the technical stuff of writing I always stress someone will point out my punctuation is not correct or I have a run on sentence etc which is issues I continue to work on and other known suspects. Janet Reid made perfect sense there has to be consistency in the writing aside from the voice in my opinion for example some days depending on my mood my blog post reflect that and I am an emotional writer in general when I write I really like to show the sorrow, the joy via my words sometimes when my characters are sad I try to write it in a way as if the words are bleeding. So again my ultimate goal is to continue to hone my craft and hope for the best so check out Janet Reid blog although she is not the right agent for me in regards to what manuscripts themes she is looking for she always writes engaging post and has fabulous resources for writers to utilize and I have participated in a few of her contest that are so fun and helps me continue to learn how to craft great intros or scenes. Happy writing Keisha Martin

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back in the groove of writing/reading

Normally toward the ending of July is when I get my writing/reading momentum back in full swing so to speak and also its the time as well in which new ideas tap my muse on the shoulders, and is firmly told to get back in line, it has been a rocky year dealing with plenty of self actualization which normally tended to be beating up on myself, I find I return back on track when I seek the advice of good friends and get their perspective on certain experiences I endured and the theme that I continue to struggle with which is not caring what people think of ME. Wow that is huge and relates so much to writing and the journey towards publishing because a major part of the journey is what people think of writers projects and it's never personal but for a beginner writer pursuing to acquire an agent/published at times it can seem so. The goal then is for me to achieve the goal of thickening my skin a bit more so that when I resume querying I won't let the expected rejections to bring me down and also within my personal life it's darn tooting okay that some people won't appreciate me because they are missing out and also sometimes people not liking me has nothing to do with me and likely more about themselves. Change can only occur when mistakes are not repeated. Keisha Martin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Update and random thoughts.

Its hot in Toronto, but I am not complaining (okay I did) because few months prior I was looking out my window to heavy snow fall, wind, ice, and praying for heat, I use this theme in my books often there is never any middle ground humans in general are never really happy, and even if one attains to equalizing that middle ground I don't think its ever achievable because things always come up. I have been struggling with that theme trying to find equilibrium in my life being a mom, having a great career (off for summer woo hoo) and striving toward firstly acquiring a literary agent and then published. But until that happens I am still revising ECLIPSE almost done I cannot wait for the whole manuscript to be finished and then tackle synopsis (gah) and then the query and hopefully have another novel to query with the first its all easier said than done and will take time so until then my middle ground will be to take my time and enjoy the solace of writing. Keisha Martin