Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

A page where fellow Authors, Independent Authors, Aspiring Authors, and Writers can come to get tips and tools of the trade.

10 words and phrases: too many times stated incorrectly.

1. Suppossably – Supposedly

2.For all intensive purposes – For all intents and purposes.

3. Irregardless – Regardless

4. I could care less- I couldn’t care less

5. Expresso – Espresso

6. Pacifacly – Specifically

7. Excetra – Etcetera

8. I seen it – I saw it

9. Of upmost importance – Of utmost importance

10. I need to lay down – I need to lie down

These grammar tips brought to you via: facebook – grammarly


Common sense steps to Self publishing…

I get messaged by people quite a bit asking me if I will critique their work and as much I would love to, I simply don’t have the time.

I do however want to provide some common sense steps on how to publish your work on a shoe string budget.

This concept is known in the literary world as being an ‘Independent Author.’

The first thing that you need to know is that everyone will not pat you on the back and tell how wonderful you are and how great your writing is.

The first thing that you need to ask yourself is: do you have a love of words and are you trying to tell your reader something that comes from your heart?

If so… then it doesn’t matter what everyone thinks. Your work will resonate with some and not others.

This is why Authors have and develop a fan base.

If you must be critiqued then go here and set up an account and develop crocodile skin, because some will love you and some will hate you.

Like so many other things, it is what it is. This is a website of Authors who enjoy critiquing and being critiqued.

There are also places like these websites, where they will walk you through the self publishing process. (Self publishing) (Self publishing)

Much about self publishing can be learned on the internet.

I don’t recommend self publishing for everyone.

I look at it like this, every situation is different and you have to find out what works for you.

You have to ask yourself, “Why do I write?”

For me personally, though I may not be some phenomenal Author, I am a hell of a story teller.

There is nothing that makes me feel better than a reader connecting with me and saying, “Oh my gosh, I have felt that before.”

The sense of belonging and acceptance that I give people through my stories is what does it for me.

Remember, there are many times that it is, “Not all about you,” but in this situation, in the literary world, it IS all about you, because only you can make your dreams come true and many times dreams come true by good old fashioned blood, sweat, and tears.

Be Blessed Suzanne

Oldschool writing

Tools of the trade…

I decided when I began writing that I would give back.

My way of doing that has been through providing different writings and excerpts to other readers, and Authors; via the internet. (How to writings, if you will.)

I believe that regardless what career or interest that you are pursuing that you will be learning: ‘The tools of the trade’ throughout your lifetime.

As an Author you need to do two things a lot:

1. Write

2. Read

Yes, you need to read.

I believe the reason for this is not so much to glean from another author’s style, but to saturate your mind with new ways to word things, and new ways to apply grammar.

Grammar is a funny thing; it is unlike math which is an ‘absolute. In other words there is only one way and one correct answer to achieve your goal.

Grammar… though it has its laws of ‘being;’ does give us some wiggle room. I myself am awful at it and have chosen to hire a professional editor. It usually cost me at least a thousand dollars to put out a book by the time I pay the professionals involved. When I first began I couldn’t afford a professional editor but as soon as I could I hired one. I want to give my readers the best most professional product I can. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Editors and book cover professionals as well as marketing people are a wonderful thing if you find the right ones for you.

Much like many other art forms there are countless ways of arriving at the end conclusion. And let’s face it; this is what determines your fan base.

This is how you connect; if you will. When a fan, ‘relates,’ that’s when a connection occurs.

When the way that you ‘said it,’ or ‘communicated the story,’ opens the door of their imagination and they see the words unfold into a picture within their mind’s eye; then you have succeeded in accomplishing your goal.

I recommend that authors read and write outside of their genre. Most Authors have one genre per ‘Pen name.’

I do not. I write romance, crime, suspense, fiction and even BDSM, however I do have a pen name (Stormy Dawn Weathers) where I still write things that are as shock and awe as Suzanne Steele. I did that in an attempt to write things that weren’t as shock and awe and my readers didn’t like my more tame writings. Being type cast in the television  industry isn’t always a bad thing even though some actors don’t like it. I know because I’ve been working in media for over twenty years. If I’m connecting with my readers that’s all that matters to me. Though I write in different genres I always write about men who are obsessed with ONE woman and no other will do.

I read various genres and the funny thing is they all correlate believe it or not.

For example: BDSM is a prevalent issue in many crime/suspense novels. ‘Silence of the Lambs’ is a wonderful depiction of this analogy. Therefore reading genres that fall under various headings has taught me how much literature has in common, regardless of label or genre.

Remember first and foremost: No one can do it like you. No one can write it like you. No one can tell it like you.

Be all that you can be, but first and foremost as one great Author said: “To thine own self; be true…”



Eat the meat and spit out the bones…

Many of you have the dream of writing a novel and some of you already write stories on your profile.

It does not take long at all to find out that the waters of literature can be treacherous at best, if not navigated correctly.

I want to touch on something that has nothing to do with your success, be it by financial gain, or notoriety.

But yet it has everything to do with your success inwardly.

It’s really very simple, be nice.

Regardless of what level of writing that a fellow Author or writer is on, encourage them.

Believe me they will get more than enough critiquing.

Now I know what some of the higher in the ranks of writing or authoring are thinking, “I’m just trying to help.”

That is nice that you would like to help, find out where their facebook Author page is and go like it.

Follow them on Twitter.

“But I don’t want my name associated with that crap because they have bad grammar, or they forgot to dot an i or cross a t.”

And I say this: shame on you!

They will go through the same growing process that any Author or writer goes through.

Some people did not have the same educational opportunities that others may have had.

I look at it like this: if a person is writing because they love the art, then they will grow and take the stepping stones necessary to be all that they can be.

When a true artist writes for the love of the literature, they will grow. They will learn, and they will become all that they are meant to be because of the love of literature.

That love of the art is what will propel them forward; into being the best that they can be.

I applaud you if you are writing from your very being.

I applaud you if you simply write because you love books.

I encourage you to write and to be all that you can be for yourself and for those that enjoy reading your work.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am not some phenomenal, educated author, but I can tell a hell of a story. I have a deep respect and love for this thing called art and literature.

I encourage you to get out there and tell your story and when it comes to advice and critiques, well… ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones!’

Glean the good that you can for learning and do not even try to process the mean.

Write, because it keeps you sane.

Write, because you love to connect with your readers.

Write, because no one can do it like you.

And remember in your journey to pay it forward. You will need an encouraging word one day.


Though a single black rose tis his kiss of death, for her it holds no power. For when she doth receive: tis not a mere black rose, but a bouquet there of. From: 'The Black Rose' ©2013 Suzanne Steele

Though a single black rose tis his kiss of death, for her it holds no power.
For when she doth receive: tis not a mere black rose, but a bouquet there of.
From: ‘The Black Rose’
©2013 Suzanne Steele


This is a perfect example of what can be done with free on-line editing. This is a 'before edit' pic, that I shot with my Nikon D-3100

This is a perfect example of what can be done with free on-line editing.
This is a ‘before edit’ pic, that I shot with my Nikon D-3100


This is 'after' being edited with a free online editor. The post with the site addresses; is up under the title of 'Editing for Dummies.' You can find it on my 'Tools of the Trade' page.

This is ‘after’ being edited with a free online editor.
The post with the site addresses; is up under the title of ‘Editing for Dummies.’
You can find it on my ‘Tools of the Trade’ page.

Photo-Editing for Dummies

I will be the first to admit that I am anything but a professional photog.

I actually got into shooting self-shots and my own pics by accident.

I am a stickler about copyright issues and I refuse to post others pics or re-blog.  This limits a blogger immensely; so some ingenuity on my part was necessary.

These sites have been some tools of the trade, that I have used.

I decided early on that I would do my own pics and go from there.

I started with a Kodak sure-shot and then moved on to a Nikon D-3100 due to its point and shoot capabilities. I found that it would give me time and room to grow, while embarking on the journey of learning photography.

Along with taking pics, comes the challenge of editing: and it isn’t an easy feat.

(Much respect: to you photogs out there.)

Therefore, I came up with this writing: ‘Editing for Dummies.’

There are various online editing websites that you can go to, where it isn’t necessary to download anything. Here are just a few…

1. The basic edits are free and the royal edits are not. I cross edit my pictures many times and use different sites; in order to get different filters and effects.

2. I like this one, but at times it does so much for me: that layering isn’t possible. I do like this site for when I want the editor to do all of the work for me.

3. This site is full of fun effects.

4. This is also full of fun effects.

5 This is a free download to get ‘Gimp photo shop,’ this is harder to navigate and takes some experimenting and possible tutorials to master. There are numerous tutorials on Youtube.

6. This is a free download for photo-scape.

It is a more in depth photo shop and it will take some studying for a novice.

Two things: When I download anything I try to go through just go there and type in downloads when searching for an item. Some downloads are free and others are not, but the site is a trust worthy site and I tend to be leery of down loading things due to malware.

Please read the terms of agreement: as many of the free editing sites only permit using the pics that you edit through them, for blogging, or sharing with friends and family. In other words they don’t you to sell them. I honor copyright and regulations and I encourage you too also.

Hope this helps and happy blogging…

©2013 Suzanne Steele



2 thoughts on “Tools of the Trade

  1. I will have to show this to my father. He recently self-published his book called Am I Black?. He’ll probably find your site helpful. 😀

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