Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude (Julie Musil Guest Post!)


I'm sooooooo very excited to have my agent sister on the blog today. I'm sure you all know Julie Musil, and if you don't, GO SAY HI. She's an amazing, uplifting, supportive friend and I adore her to pieces.

Today is the release day of her book, THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE! And she's here today to talk about having an Attitude of Gratitude. Also, she's willing to give a FREE ebook away to the person of my choice. So I've decided to pick a winner from the person who uses the most exclamation points in the comments!!!! :)

Take it away, Julie!


Morgan, thanks for letting me visit your blog today! I’m honored to share with you why I have an attitude of gratitude.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m so thankful to be a writer in 2014. We’re writing in a time of change, and to me, that’s exciting. Sure, the amount of physical book stores is shrinking, which makes me sad. But other than that, everything else is positive.

Why is it a great time to be rockin’ the keyboard? Here are my thoughts:

   Ezines: These days, the Internet is full of ezines that offer free subscriptions to their readers and great opportunities for writers. In most cases you earn little to no money, but it’s a great way to earn publishing credits. I published some of my early work with Imagination Cafe & Stories for Children. Those credits paved the way for acceptance into paid markets, like Scholastic Math (see page 8) and Highlights.

   Choices: Agent? Traditional publishers? Small publishers? Indie? There is no longer one way to publish. Writers can look ahead and choose the path that fits their lives best. All these choices empower writers and give us freedom.

   Hybrid: Can’t choose which path to take? No worries! You can do both. Many traditionally published writers are choosing to also indie publish their work. Authors like Elizabeth Craig write a series for their publisher and another series that they put out themselves. No need for either/or.

   Publishing outlets working for us: Amazon’s KDP, Create Space, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press, Apple iBooks—all of these companies are working hard to make publishing easier. If a non-techie like me can figure out how to indie publish, anyone can. Seriously.

   Freelancers: these days, there are thousands of freelancers out there who can make our writing lives better and easier. The small cost of working with a pro pays dividends when we’re able to offer quality books to our readers. I used the fab editors at A Little Red, Inc., and my cover was designed by J. Allen Fielder.

   How-to resources: When I decided to indie publish, I went directly to a seasoned pro—Susan Kaye Quinn. Her blog pointed me in the right direction. If you’re even thinking about going indie, start there.

   Online communities: I can’t imagine writing back in the days before the Internet and blogging. The support and help that we offer each other is priceless. Got a question about publishing? Google it. Got a question about formatting? Search the KDP or Create Space forums, where other writers stop in to help. Feeling insecure about your writing? Join a group like Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We’re all connected. We’re in this together. It’s a beautiful thing.

Some may moan about the state of today’s publishing. Not me. I’m grateful that I’m writing in a time when writers have the freedom to make choices.

How do you feel about being a writer in the current climate? Worried? Confused? Thankful? Please share!
Julie Musil writes Young Adult novels from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her novel The Boy Who Loved Fire is available now. For more information, or to stop by and say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Buy Links for The Boy Who Loved Fire

Thank you, Julie! I'm so very excited for this release. I've already bought my copy and I'm excited to read and review!
Red. Head. Out. :)


  1. FIRST COMMENT FIRST COMMENT FIRST COMMENT *goes back to read the post*

  2. I never really thought about it in that way. I mean it honestly when I say that I can't imagine where I'd be without the online writer's community. They've been INCREDIBLE to me and I owe them more than I can say. I probably would have given up on my writing if not for them! I'd be alone and crazy. It's a close call, but I truly think that the community is the best part about being a writer right now :) (And maybe the fact that we have laptops and not typewriters.)

  3. Wahoo! Happy release day Julie! :) I dunno, some of those choices make me really nervous and anxious ... but I do agree they're a good thing. Just scary :)

  4. I'm not good with exclamation points so I guess I'll just have to be enthusiastic with my words.

    We've come so far in the last 10-15 years, and now that everything's becoming digital the sky's the limit. Everything's so accessible. I especially love the online community. It's nice when other writers realize it's not a competition. We're all in this together, and it benefits all of us when we help one another. Plus, it's like a support group. I can justify spending 40 hours a week in the land of make believe killing imaginary characters in the most gruesome ways and other writers are just like, "Yep, totally normal. I did that yesterday."

  5. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That should do it, he thought...

    (pls. send winning copy of Julie's book c/o me at 1 Grass skirts "r" us Dr., Honolulu, HI.)


    (in case of close vote, pls. use any or all of the preceding exclamation marks to push one over the winning column.)

  6. Aloha Julie (and waves at Morg:)

    This may sound corny.... but seriously THANKS for this post as I have started to wonder if my ms may be better served out there in the world via indie pubbing, or continue to wait for the One who will believe it the project as much as I do.

    This post is now officially bookmarked and should I head down the path to indie-hood, I already feel a whole lot more comfortable about the how, where, why and when questions :)

    Cheers! :) (honorary "!" added for emphasis :)

  7. 2014 rocks! There are so many opportunities for writers today and we need to just embrace them. Congrats on your book Julie.

  8. Julie, happy release day!!!
    There are so many opportunities now, and so much information out there.
    Thanks for mentioning the IWSG. Our site has a ton of information as well.
    Now, go enjoy today!

  9. Happy Release day, Julie! I'm soooo looking forward to reading The Boy Who Loved Fire!! =D

  10. Congrats on the release. Yeah before the days of the internet I couldn't imagine getting many books out either.

  11. Congratulations on the release of your book Julie! :)

  12. Congrats to Julie!!
    I have to admit that the line "Why is it a great time to be rockin’ the keyboard? "
    Had me thinking of the band the Doors!!
    C'mon baby light my Fire!!

  13. Congrats, Julie!! I hope you have much success, and are doing something fun to celebrate today :) Great post--there are definitely so many more resources for writers these days, it's awesome!

    And, Morgan, I have to add that Outlander is absolutely the best series ever!!!! :)

  14. Morgan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks SO much for having me on your blog today, and for being such a sunny, awesome, amazing person.

    SC Author—getting the first comment on Morgan's blog is like winning the lottery!! I totally agree about community. I can't imagine being on this writing journey without all the amazing writer folks online.

    Tiana—I know what you mean about all those choices. Too many can be overwhelming. But at least we have choices!

    A Beer for the Shower—You're so right! It's nice to connect with people who "get" us, right? And you're right…now that we're digital, the sky truly is the limit. Or cyber sky :)

    Mark Koopmans—you totally crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you ever decide to self publish, let's chat. I now know of some amazing resources.

    Sheena-kay—you're so right. And sheesh, things change faster than we can keep up!

    Alex—great point about the IWSG site. There is all kinds of info there. Plus inspiration. Plus encouragement. Plus….

    Ruth—thanks so much! I truly appreciate your support <3

    Pat—thank you. And I'm with you. I can't imagine even trying to do this several years ago.

    Optimistic—thank you! And thanks for stopping by Morgan's amazing blog.

    David—is that seriously in a song? I feel like a total goober, because I didn't know that!! Hope I don't have to pay royalties now :)

    Meradeth—thanks so much! These days, writers have everything we need at our fingertips!

  15. Congratulations Julie. You rock my friend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Aw man, I'm not much of an exclamation point user.

    Attitude of Gratitude is my theme for this year, so this is perfect. Thanks! <- see, I used one. ;)

  17. Such an informative post:) I'm heading over to Susan's blog to read about Indie publishing now:)

  18. Ivonne Huertas—-guys, this lovely lady is one of my besties from high school! Vonnie, thanks so much for stopping by, and for always being so supportive.

    S.P.—I think Attitude of Gratitude is a great theme for 2014. I think I'll steal/borrow your idea!< I used one too ;)

    Mark—No joke, Susan's blog is the perfect place to start your indie journey. Good luck!

  19. I agree - 2014 is a great year to be writing and publishing. I'm thankful we have so many choices!
    And, Susan Kaye Quinn's blog has been an immeasurable help to me too as a indie author.
    I'm looking forward to reading your book. :)

  20. Tyrean—thank you! Isn't Susan amazing? I love how she just put it all out there for us to gobble up :)

  21. I love your positivity, Julie! It's more than enough for my daily dose!

    Hmm...is it cheating if I just fill the rest of my comment field with 1000 exclamation points?! <--Look there's another! Okay, I won't! ;-)

  22. YAY, Julie! The current state of publishing offers dynamics that we've never seen before, and in lots of ways increases the competition. Best of success to your book, Julie. Happy Launch Day! :)

  23. Julie, I wish you the highest sales with THE BOY WHO LOVED FIRE. It makes no sense to cling to a negative outlook -- it tends to create a self-fulfilling prophesy. Try to succeed to our utmost. We only fail when we stop trying. Great post.

  24. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  25. Kathryn—Thank you! We certainly have so much to be thankful for these days.

    David—You're right. Competition is increased, for sure. It's another great reason to put our best work out there.

    Roland—Self-fulfilling prophecy, ain't that the truth! No negativity allowed :)

    Words—I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the visit, and for taking the time to read.

  26. Congratulations Julie!!
    You've made some important points... thanks for sharing!
    Hi Morgan *waving*

    The boy who loved fire
    I would love to acquire...
    That's all I can say
    So I'll be on my way...

  27. Love it! Here's the thing, I could just sit here and hold down the "!" all day, but I'm thinking I'm going to buy the book and support my wonderful friend.

  28. Congrats, Julie! Happy Launch Day! I love the break-down of these options we can enjoy now. As Sheena-Kay said---2014 ROCKS!! Oh, and Hi, Morg, even though we've already texted several times already today, lol.

  29. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I just wanted to beat Koopmans. ;)
    Best of luck to Julie! I like her thinking and will have to check out the book.

  30. Michelle—that little poem just made my day!

    Crystal—Thank you, friend!

    Cortney—2014 definitely rocks! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Elizabeth—That is so funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (You totally beat Koopmans)

  31. Hey Morgan and hey Julie,

    First of all, I do understand you've been anxiously waiting for one of my comments that are often sold on E-bay for at least a nickel.

    Such thoughtful, concise advice. And Julie, "IWSG" aka"I Was Seeking Gary", is a group dedicated to me. Such flattery. Delusional moment has ended.

    Congrats on the release of your book. My book's release is subject to the Governor's pardon.

    "How do you feel about being a writer in the current climate? " I'm good in any climate. I've been known to wear only shorts in the coldest of weather.

    See you and I'm outta' here......

    Gary :)

  32. Nice review. The book really sounds amazing.

  33. Gary—thanks for stopping by!

    Lady—thank you :)

  34. As someone who did start writing in the days before the Internet, I can tell you it was pretty much like writing in a vacuum. No information, no support. On the flip side, it was a lot less overwhelming. Fewer choices was actually easier sometimes. Write, submit, hope.

    And I can tell I'm out-classed in the ! department so I yield to the pros.

  35. Oh no. I love Koopmans and Elizabeth, but:
    PS Good to see you, Morgan. I agree with Julie. We are so lucky. It takes seconds to put our work into the world, while authors in days of ole (e.g., 20 years ago) had to endure so many obstacles.
    Thank you.

  36. You know, I've never considered Ezines. Definitely something I should look into. Thanks!

  37. LD—I can't even imagine writing before the Internet! Well, actually, I did write before the Internet, I just never sent the work out. Maybe there's a connection??

    Rawknrobyn—-Ugh oh!!!!!!!!!! I think you're ahead in the !!!! tally! Yes, we are soooo lucky!

    Charlie—I loved submitting and publishing with ezines. Heck, anything that exercises our writing muscles is good :)

  38. I love being an author in this day and age. So many choices. Right now, the traditional path isn't for me, but I might give it a try later when my son's in elementary school and I have more time. You can be a writer for any lifestyle these days, and it's wonderful.

    1. Christine, so true! No need to rule out any path. I tell ya, I didn't start writing seriously until our three boys were in school. I can't imagine getting work done any other way, and I'm impressed with mom's who manage to write five words with little ones at home :)

  39. I'm also thrilled to be a writer in this publishing era. :-)

  40. Misha—we truly are so lucky! Great community, great resources.

  41. Julie, love your cover and your books sounds awesome!!

    1. Cathrina—Thanks! I truly appreciate your kind words.

  42. So many great choices that translate into opportunities that getting writing out there should be a breeze. It's a matter of picking the right ones though. Good ideas to chew on.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  43. I'm a little mixed. Part of me is a bit worried about making the right choice (indie? traditional? hybrid?) What I'd love to do is have a publisher put out paper books for me, and do the e-book myself. But I do agree it's an exciting time to be jumping in, albeit a tad scary. Thanks for the great advice!

    The Warrior Muse

  44. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  45. Arlee Bird—True. Choosing the best fit for each writer is key. I suppose it depends on the personality and temperament of each writer!

    Shannon—You know what? I put out the print version myself, using CreateSpace, and I'm SO glad I did! So far, almost half of my sales have been print. It's definitely work, but for me, it was totally worth it. Plus, there's nothing like holding a print copy of your book. Once you've done the hard work of formatting for ebook, print is pretty easy. Good luck!

    Words—I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the visit.

  46. Big congrats Julie!!
    And awesome advice! We have so many options and you've outlined exactly how to take charge of our writing careers. :)

  47. Congrats on your release. It's a pleasure to meet you, Julie. That was a great list of things to be thankful for in the current world of publishing. I try to keep and attitude of gratitude as much as I can, but I can always do more. Thanks! And hey, Morgan! Hope you're doing well. :)

  48. Pk—You've definitely taken your writing career in your own hands! I think making the initial decision is the hardest part.

    Micheal—Thank you! I can always do more, as well. Sometimes I have to remind myself to be thankful :)

  49. Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  50. let! me! just! say! that! I! am! so! thankful! to! taking! a! real! nosedive! back! into! writing! in! a! time! where! it! is! really! blossoming!!! I! am! so! thankful! for! blogging! and! all! the! support! groups! that! I! have! enjoyed! being! a! part! of! Thank! you! Julie! for! keeping! our! business! positive!!!!! phew!
    and! morgan! this! one's! for! you! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I love me some morg's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!and thanks Julie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!this looks totally ridiculous morgan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! phew...my finger says no more!!!

  51. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kidding. :P

    I agree. I'm glad we live in a time when authors have choices.
    Congrats, Julie. :)

  52. Chris—Thanks so much for stopping by Morgan's amazing blog :)

    Tammy—OMG that is soooo funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Morgan, how will you choose? Will the process include counting each !!!!!!!!!!!! We must know!!!!!!)

    Melissa—Thank you!!!!!!!!!

  53. Congratulations on your release, Julie! I love the cover art and the color scheme. As an amateur artist, one of the first things I tend to notice about a cover is how well it uses colors, and if they match the mood of the story or title.

    I've decided to go indie myself, and I'm glad there are so many options for that nowadays, instead of just the old vanity publishing or exorbitant self-publishing options of even 10-15 years ago. I think it's great that a lot of people who were passed over by commercial publishers and agents have the chance to put out their work anyway.

    1. Carrie-Anne, thanks for the kind words about the cover. I absolutely love it! My designer was an absolute pro, and easy to work with.

      I wish you lots of success as you embark on self-publishing! Hopefully you'll stop by Susan's blog. It's THE place to start :)

  54. Congrats on the release! I really like the cover art.


    1. Gina, thank you! The cover design process was such fun.

  55. Hi Morgan - great guest here is Julie; Congratulations on your book - sounds as though there could be some moral tale in there, or just plain dark and scary ...

    But I loved the advice in the post and the links - they're always so helpful ... couldn't agree more with the supportive bloggers I see around ...

    Good luck to one and all .. cheers Hilary



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