RRSMS – Behind the Scenes

 

Behind the scenes of Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, there are so many people working hard to make it all that you see, myself included.

But I would like to introduce you to some of the people who have taken the time to make everything possible. Here I asked them a couple of questions about RRSMS and what it means to them and the answers are just absolutely touching! We have people from promotions, to social media, and even one of the owners who took the time to answer my questions, my own at the very end.

Kate Marie Robbins (Creator)

– Name: Kate Marie Robbins
– What you do at RRSMS: Founder, blogger, web designer, editor, formatter, graphic designer (I do a lot)

Q: When someone mentions Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, what first comes to mind?

A: An amazing community of people

Q: When you created RRSMS, what did you think it would be like? Is it different than that or is it similar?

A: I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started it. I wasn’t sure where it would go or what it would amount to. What happened was far better than I ever could have imagined.

 Q: What does RRSMS and its community mean to you personally?

A: RRSMS is my world, my heart, and my soul. It has become something exponentially epic. Words cannot describe the feeling I get from being a part of the community. It isn’t about me (as a founder), it’s about everyone that’s come together to help make it what it’s become. All of the supporters, authors, and volunteers have made it what it is. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. RRSMS is where I need to be, it was what I was born to do.

Q: Have you written a piece for any of their anthologies? If so, which ones?

A: I have pieces in most of the anthologies. I try to put something into each one, even if it’s just the introduction to the anthology. As of right now, I have pieces in: Rock & Roll Saved My Soul Volume One and Two, Concert Experience, Fighting Chance, Random Acts of Kindness, one of the Authors Against Bullying anthologies (forthcoming) and the first volume of Rescue Me.

Q: What would you like to say to all the readers, volunteers, and other creators of RRSMS?

A: I would like to express my undying gratitude and appreciation for everything that everyone does. It’s been a long journey thus far and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without all of the people who have helped me.

 

Gina Dierolf

– Name: Gina Dierolf
– Age: 22
– What you do at RRSMS: Volunteer, write for the anthologies, co-run the Tumblr site, and am on the street team

Q: When someone mentions Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, what first comes to mind?

A: A community of individuals who are working together to help other people in need while doing what they love.

Q: When you started to volunteer your time to RRSMS, what did you think it would be like? Is it different than that or is it similar?

A: When I first started volunteering I didn’t think that I would be this involved where I would be helping run social media sites, I was more in the background. But I enjoy how I get to help make RRSMS something big and that I get to continue to watch it grow.

Q: What does RRSMS and its community mean to you personally?

A: The community and RRSMS means a lot to me. We are all working towards one unified goal which is to spread what we do so that we can help as many charities and people as we can, it is for a good cause and the people in the community are wonderful and helpful!

Q: Have you written a piece for any of their anthologies? If so, which ones?

A: Yes, I have written for Concert experiences and one of the RRSMS volumes, I believe volume 2

Q: Would you recommend writing and donating time to help with the community? Why or why not?

Of course I would You don’t have to be a writer to be a part of RRSMS you can use it as a creative outlet to be able to express the impact that music has had on you. Also by volunteering for RRSMS you are allowing more people to be involved with a community that gets to help others while having fun and doing what they love!

 

Sarah Ashley Kaider

– Name: Sarah Kaider
– Age: 20

– What you do at RRSMS: Volunteer, co-run the Instagram account as a Social Media Marketing Specialist, and am on the street team.

Q: When someone mentions Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, what first comes to mind?

A: A nonprofit group that puts anthologies together to benefit those in need, and donates proceeds to each respective charity.

Q: When you started to volunteer your time to RRSMS, what did you think it would be like? Is it different than that or is it similar?

A: When I first volunteered for RRSMS, I knew that I would be helping to make a difference. I didn’t know that it would be this much fun!

Q: What does RRSMS and its community mean to you personally?

A: The RRSMS community means making a difference, supporting each other, and having fun!

Q: Have you written a piece for any of their anthologies? If so, which ones?

A: I have not written a piece for an anthology yet, which is something I hope to correct through future anthologies. smile emoticon

Q: Would you recommend writing and donating time to help with the community? Why or why not?

A: I think everyone should give writing a piece a try. You don’t have to be a published author or aspiring writer to be involved in the RRSMS community. We believe in giving anyone with a story a chance to have a voice. And if writing isn’t your forte, getting involved with spreading the community is a wonderful accomplishment in itself. The RRSMS community is one I will treasure for a lifetime, because I know that we are working hard to make a difference in the world.

 

Sid Scott Lee

– Name: Sid Lee
– Age: Twenty
– What you do at RRSMS: I am one of the volunteers who manage the Tumblr page, I work alongside Gina. I also share good news stories on their Facebook page when they come up.

Q: When someone mentions Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, what first comes to mind?

A: I think of a great community of people who are working together for great causes.

Q: When you started to volunteer your time to RRSMS, what did you think it would be like? Is it different than that or is it similar?

A: I wasn’t sure what I expected if I’m being honest. However, I was greeted with a very open and accepting group and exciting writing opportunities and a chance to do what I love; helping people.

Q: What does RRSMS and its community mean to you personally?

A: It means just that, community, we’re people from lots of different walks of life are all working together towards the same goals.

Q: Have you written a piece for any of their anthologies? If so, which ones?

A: I have written for a few, I am Loved and Dark Fantasia. I try my best to contribute as much as I can.

Q: Would you recommend writing and donating time to help with the community? Why or why not?

A: I would highly recommend writing something and donating time. We are an all inclusive and accepting group. It’s a highly rewarding experience.

 

Heather Kirchhoff

– Name: Heather Kirchhoff
– Author Page: https://m.facebook.com/Heather-Kirchhoff-376618135776063
– Age: Twenty
– What you do at RRSMS: I run the Twitter account, as well as promote the books and try to get as many submissions as I can. I also post inspirational posts on Authors Against Bullying’s page.

Q: When someone mentions Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, what first comes to mind?

A: An amazing group of hardworking people coming together that wants to try and help others out.

Q: When you started to volunteer your time to RRSMS, what did you think it would be like? Is it different than that or is it similar?

A: I didn’t really know what to expect. I just stepped in where I was needed without much thought.

Q: What does RRSMS and its community mean to you personally?

A: It means a lot to me. I want this publisher to be successful because of what we do. Every cent we make on the books goes to charity. To me that’s worth it.

Q: Have you written a piece for any of their anthologies? If so, which ones?

A: I’m in Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, Authors Against Bullying Volume Two, The Concert Experience, and Fighting Chance. I’m also going to be in Rescue Me Volume Two, Everyday Miracles, I Am Loved, and maybe Fighting Hunger.

Q: Would you recommend writing and donating time to help with the community? Why or why not?

A: Yes! All proceeds goes to different charities. I think that is a pretty good reason to submit a story or two.

 

Renee Jean

– Name: Renee Jean
– Age: 33
– What you do at RRSMS: I am the creator of partner series Rescue Me – Animal Anthology and do my best to help with events.

Q: When someone mentions Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, what first comes to mind?

A: For me it is the inspiration that the series has given me. Because Kate created this series I was able to have the vision and drive to create Rescue Me.

Q: When you started to volunteer your time to RRSMS, what did you think it would be like? Is it different than that or is it similar?

A: I am slightly different from most that volunteer because I don’t know how to do most of the things associated with social media marketing so I help as much as possible with events and work to promote by sharing when books are being released. Rescue Me is my biggest focus with RRSMS.

Q: What does RRSMS and its community mean to you personally?

A: It is made

up of friends and people that feel the same way I do about giving back to the community. We may not live in the same places or have ever met in person but the members are family to me and we see the community as a global one. It is a world we want to share our talents with in order to improve what we see around us.

Q: Have you written a piece for any of their anthologies? If so, which ones?

A: I have been a part of a few. I had a story in the Concert edition, Random Acts of Kindness and the other partner series Authors Against Bullying

Q: Would you recommend writing and donating time to help with the community?

A:  Why or why not? I am a huge advocate to giving back so for me it isn’t even a question I think everyone should be a part of a charity at some point and RRSMS is one of the best ways I have found to give back.

 

Brianna (Bree) Vanderland

RRSMS has helped so many charities and people. Partnered with Rescue Me and Authors Against Bullying, they stand up for what they believe in and they fight for what’s right. They hold on to their beliefs and promote music, kindness, and safety. It’s place people can talk freely about things that are bothering them and seek help. Though they’re not professionals on helping people, they give amazing advice and only want the best for those who are fans.

Rock & Roll Saved My Soul is a place that is worth so much more than just books.

– Name: Brianna Vanderland
– Age: Twenty-Three
– What you do at RRSMS: I am the creator of Authors Against Bullying and I help make promotional banners for anything the team may need. I also help with promotions when I can.

Q: When someone mentions Rock & Roll Saved My Soul, what first comes to mind?

A: When someone mentions RRSMS to me, the first thing that comes to mind is a group of my favorite people, all working towards one goal. These people are like another family to me.

Q: When you started to volunteer your time to RRSMS, what did you think it would be like? Is it different than that or is it similar?

A: At first, I didn’t know what to expect. I hadn’t been a part of something like that before, but I thought it would be an amazing cause and a new experience.

Q: What does RRSMS and its community mean to you personally?

A: Personally, RRSMS means so much to me. The posts on the page makes me smile and l look forward to them every day. They brighten my day, but it’s more than that. Each cause is so dear and close to my heart.

Q: Have you written a piece for any of their anthologies? If so, which ones?

A: To show my support, I have written pieces in many of their anthologies, all of the Authors Against Bullying anthologies, and I’ve sent in a piece or two for the Rescue Me anthologies.

Q: Would you recommend writing and donating time to help with the community? Why or why not?

A: I would highly recommend it. Everything here is for a good cause, one that means so much to each of its members. Without anyone’s help in this endeavor, none of this would be possible. As the creator of Authors Against Bullying, I thank you all for your help with this mission that we hold so dear.

The newest book in their series is released TODAY ( 3/26/16 ) and
all proceeds benefit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention! Don’t
forget to grab your copy TODAY!

Buy off of AMAZON.COM

Learn more about the AFSP here
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Haters

No matter what you write, no matter how many things you publish, who you speak to or what you say, I can promise that there will be haters, people who cannot stand one thing about you, but that’s not important.

What is important is that you keep reaching for your dreams despite them.

There are so many people in the world that would rather you fail – turn away – give up your dreams, but it’s not something that you should do. Don’t let them win. Push past it, ignore them, and continue on your way. You’re worth it.

Music

Many authors listen to music while they write. I do that myself. Something about having background noise while writing calms me, allows me to focus on my writing, but it has to be the right kind of background noise.

When I write, when I’m not listening to the background noise of NCIS, Dexter, or the various other tv shows I like to spam watch on Netflix, I’m listening to music. Now, this is easy. Most of the time you can go to Youtube and search for what kind of music you like, but for me, it’s usually the ones without words. The words get me all mixed up and I might just start typing the lyrics to whatever song I’m listening to at the time. Instead, I try to listen to the beautiful, instrumental music that makes me feel something – makes me feel anything that I can put into my writing. I used the ups and downs of the music to inspire me to write things that will turn people’s heads.

Try to find something that is right for you – because what works for me might not be right for you! Think on this!

Looking for a Cover Designer

I had made a post previously about cover designers and I had listed some of my personal favorites, but there are more to that list. I’m not adding them in this post, but I was asked what do I look for when looking for a cover designer.

Now, when I think about my book covers, I immediately go to the three people that have been helping me with my covers since I started, but it’s more than that. Lately, I’ve been working on photoshop, learning how to make my own covers, but besides that – there are some traits that I look for when I think about cover designers.

Do they design in the genre my book is in: You don’t want someone who only does romance books to design something that is meant for a horror novel. I’m not saying that it would be bad, but they’re completely different genres and it would be hard to tell what you were getting yourself in to until it is too late.

Do they have samples: Samples are a good thing. It gives you the chance to see what they can do before you buy it. For example, I wouldn’t go on Fiverr and look for a cover designer there. When it comes to covers, it’s something that you want to be up close and personal with the designer, working together to create your image.

Price Range and Messages: You probably don’t want someone who takes about a month to get back to you, but on the other hand, you don’t want something overly expensive (but hey, if it’s something that you love, how can you put a price on that?). I know personally that I want something that is decently priced for the amount of work put into it.

Now there are many other things to consider and once I get more sleep, I am sure that I will write them down and put them into another blog post, but for now, consider the above. Consider whether they will work with you for you to both reach a common ground when it comes to your book cover!

Write Often or Pace Yourself?

This is a question that is asked constantly by many people and  the answer lies within yourself, I believe. There are times that the characters speak to me and I cannot get them to shut up and when this happens, I tend to write often, but other than that, I pace myself. I make myself a daily goal, though lately I have been taking time away from that to deal with some issues in my life, but I feel like I will be getting back to that daily goal soon. My personal daily goal has been set at 1,000 words per day, but that’s something for me – a personal accomplishment for myself.

This is a question that I cannot answer for you. I do think that it’s a good idea to set a personal goal and try to reach that goal each day, but I know there are some people who cannot do that no matter how hard they try. As far as this question, only you will know the answer for yourself.

Mind of Their Own

The one thing we all hate is when we’re writing and we think that we’re in control, but we’re not. The characters speak and they do their own thing – turning your story upside down and changing your plot.

My best advice when this happens is to let them – Listen to your characters and don’t fight them. Them changing your story might be for the better and when you’re not fighting with your characters, the words flow better. Changing your story to what your characters want could very well be just what your story needs. Remember, you created these characters – they’re your babies and like any baby, they do grow up and they decide that they want to make decisions for themselves.

BUT if you don’t want to listen to them,  not all hope is lost. You can still keep to your original plan and to do so, I would take a step back from your story for a day or two and start planning chapter by chapter for your book. Plan everything, the conversations, details, scenes, all to make sure that things stay the way you want. This is something that I don’t advise as your characters will push back (trust me, it’s happened to me) and it will make writing 10 times harder than it already is.

Using Emotions in Writing

So, the past week, there was something that happened that made things a little hard on not only me, but others around me. My step-mother’s father passed away and he was like a grandfather to me. It was hard seeing her, her children, and everyone else that knew him upset over it and trying hard to stay strong. At the funeral, there were many tears for a much loved man.

I will admit that since the funeral, I have been having a LOT of bad days, getting cross with people, having little patience, and even making so many mistakes at work. On top of all of that, I haven’t written nearly as much as I would have liked to. I felt like I was blocked and the words just weren’t flowing as easily as they had been before.

But it’s been more than that and I know what I need to do to move past this mental block that I have put on myself and that’s use my emotions and pour them into my writing – no matter what. I need to get the reader to feel what I am feeling and if I can do that, I consider it the only job that I have as a writer for what are we if not artists that use words? And how can we call ourselves writers if we cannot accomplish the one job that we set out to do.

We need to set out and put our emotions in our writing. If we feel like crying, make the piece sorrowful and give the reader something to cry about! Make them swell up with tears and sniffle. Make them want to burst into laughter until their sides hurt or make them hate another character more than anything else for their actions! SHOW EVERYTHING and using this method will make you a better author in the end. Details are everything to a reader, especially when it means that they feel it too.

I know that I have been bad at posting on this blog lately and I am sorry for that. I could make promises on how I will be better, but lately, I don’t know how it will turn out. I know that I will be posting some book reviews soon and go from there. I’m hoping that I can get some requests in for advice to post on here, but I haven’t as of yet. I will ask around and get a new list of fresh topics to write about and hopefully get back to posting a few posts a week for you guys!

I can only thank you all for being so patient with me!

Will I Ever Be Ready

In one of my groups, someone asked me a simple question that had me thinking back to when I published my first book. Samantha asked me,

Did you ever have a hard time feeling like your book was ready to publish? I’ve revised SOOOO many times. I don’t dare send it to the editor yet. I’m waiting on a couple of beta readers.

~ Samantha, Writing Rocks (Facebook Group)

Well, I gave her a reply that was true to myself and something that I feel the need to share with more people as I believe this question is asked a lot.

Yes. I always had a hard time hitting that publish button, putting my new book out there for the option of millions of people able to buy it and read it and judge and criticize not only the book, but me too. It’s a tough thing to do because that book is like a baby to you (yes, I felt that way too and I feel that way about all of my books). You poured your heart and soul into the book and there will be people who tear it apart.

My advice is to remember that you can’t please everyone. There will be people who absolutely hate your book and then there will be people who are jealous of your success and try to bring you down. With everything, remember that you’re not writing for them. You’re not editing for them. You’re not publishing for them. You’re doing everything for YOU!

You’re the reason things have gotten this far and I’m sure we all have people to thank for words of encouragement when we feel like we’re not doing things right, but that’s all a part of the process. I did go through this moment of doubt before I put my books up, thinking that they weren’t ready, but don’t let that hold you back! As an author who has been published for three years, I still feel like some of my books aren’t ready, but there are people who love them and think that they’re amazing.

The thing is, as authors, we learn as we go. We grow with each letter that we type, each idea that pops into our head and we have to write them down or the characters scream at us, building the story up in our minds until our fingers eventually glide over the keyboard as we tell their story (and if you think we have any control over our characters, think again)! As time passes and your book is out there, you can always go back and add to it and make it something that grows with you. Make it so that people see your progress.

Just remember that writing and publishing a book is all about YOU – not anyone else.

Authors Against Bullying

I know, I know! I’ve been so bad as I’ve been gone again – FOUR DAYS! But I caught something that made me sick and dizzy and eww!

Well, today, besides sleeping and noming on chicken stew, I pulled together with Kate Marie Robbins and Zara Elise Thelms and pulled together the next TWO Authors Against Bullying anthologies! One will be on bullying, but we are also expanding and partnering with another author to bring awareness to another cause – Human Trafficking.

Attached, I have both promo banners for the anthologies and I am proud of all we have achieved with AAB. Our first volume  went as far as #13 in its category! I’m so thankful for all the hard work and dedication people have put into the anthology and while Volume Two is now with our publisher, I hope to see more people participating and sharing the cause!

AAB

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Breaking You Mold

When I first started writing, my first book that I released was a Fantasy book and at that moment, I thought that would be all I wrote. I love reading Young Adult books and I love the way that the Fantasy genre pulls me away from real life, making anything possible – literally anything. The thought of magic, elves, dragons, and so much more,gave me relief from the troubles that I had been facing. I read for an escape and I write for the same reason.

But as I grew as a writer, I felt like I would be letting people down if I didn’t take risks, experiment, and pull myself out of my comfort zone. Now, not everyone likes an author who writes more than one genre, but why should you limit yourself? I’m not good at writing things that are horror, but does that mean that I will give up trying?

NO!

Why would I want to limit myself? In my opinion, everyone should experiment and try to push past their comfort zone. On the other hand, why be limited to just one genre?

Personally, after I published my first book, the ones that soon followed were also all fantasy book, which was why I considered it the only thing that I would write. But that turned out not to be true. After a few anti-bullying short stories that I put out there, I worked more into my ideas and Tempting Fate was thought of – a hot and steamy romance that I wrote and will be publishing on March 27th under the name Brianna Vanderland (oh, yeah, I’m actually using my birth name)! But after that, my thoughts also progressed and I’ve been working on Goddess Becoming, a more mature Fantasy book that has things twisted all around with some science fiction thrown in (or is it science fiction with some fantasy tossed in… hmm…). Anyway, the thing is that I have LOVED stepping out of the zone that I originally set myself in. I have even begun planning a paranormal book that has to do with someone being haunted!

The thing is, I think stretching myself and testing the waters on all of these new books and genres have also helped me improve my writing. It has taken me to places I couldn’t even dream of and many people say that they all love everything that I have put out and then there are some who don’t like any of it (which is so not my problem, just saying). I guess the thing is that I’m still looking for the genre that I fit in and all of my writing is only for me. I don’t write for other people – I write for me. If other people just happen to like it then I am thankful and I am glad that I have those people in my life who support me with it.

I’m guessing that my main thing here is to write for yourself and if you want to try something new, go for it! Don’t confine yourself and make yourself think that you have to write in one genre or you have to fit in somewhere. It’s okay to stick out and to be whomever you want to be!

Dance with Darkness Preorder

It took Amazon.com long enough, but of course, being Amazon, Dance with Darkness is FINALLY up for preorder! The ebook will be $0.99 for the duration of the preorder 🙂 After preorder, it will be put at its regular price for $2.99, so get it while you can!

PREORDER LINKS FOR DANCE WITH DARKNESS! ON SALE FOR $0.99 for preorder sale 🙂

Amazon US – http://tinyurl.com/AmazonDWD
iTunes – http://tinyurl.com/iTunesDWD
Kobo – http://tinyurl.com/KoboDWD
Barnes and Noble – COMING SOON

Paperback links coming soon as well!

Minimizing Distractions

As we’re writing, there are many things that would pull you away from actually writing – I’m someone guilty of spending way more time on Facebook and on their games than writing or paying more attention to whatever is on netflix at the time. I’m so guilty of all of the above, but when you really want to get cranking on that word count, try a different approach.

When I’m really trying to bust out some more words to meet a goal that I’ve set I make sure I’m in a rather peaceful place (like that exists for some of us) or as peaceful of a place that I can find. Instead of turning on the television or opening facebook, I open my music player (usually spotify, but youtube and everything like that works as well), and put on something soft and quiet – for me, it’s usually classical piano music or something epic that has many highs and lows as far as trying to emote and something WITHOUT WORDS (I don’t even know, but when trying to listen to something with words while writing, I end up writing what is spoken to me instead of what is in my mind). I use the tone and vibe the music gives me while writing and it actually helps me personally by improving my writing as far as emoting goes.

Now, I know the urges to check your inbox or check your facebook are strong, but don’t give in to them. Don’t give in to any of it! Keep them all closed and focus on the words before you and most of all, listen to your characters.

I know that this won’t help everyone, but all I’m suggesting is to try it at least once before you bash it! If I can find at least one other person this helps, then my goal would have been accomplished!

 

Now, what in the hell are you doing reading this? Turn off the internet and get to writing!