Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hadden Shares His Business Perspective on Writing

Richard began working as a contract trainer for companies that had leadership training programs. He had begun speaking to other companies about these ideas. He got to travel a lot because of that opportunity. One day while landing in Orlando airport, and waiting in the airport that day he received a phone call from his old friend Bill. Bill talked to him for a while explaining that he wanted to see him and share his ideas for writing a book. His friend, Bill had been working on the book for a while. They later met up and shared their ideas and begun to develop the book until it was completed.

It was in 1995, that Bill called Richard and asked to meet him in Orlando. While they met, he shared with Richard his ideas for the book Contented Cows Give Better Milk. He wanted to reach the leadership of these businesses. By doing this, they could present it to the leaders and the leaders would then pass the message along to the employee's. While Richard was there in Orlando and talking with Bill, he had asked him to help him write his book as he had been struggling with the ideas of the book. So, Richard agree. Now, back in 1995 the only way they could view each other's work was through email. Google docs was not around at that time.

Luckily for them, they later discovered Google docs. Google docs allowed them to be looking at each other's work at the very same time. They could make their changes and save it to pass it back and forth. For a long time that was how they worked together as a team. Often times, they would call on another and share their ideas with each other to confirm each other's ideas. Once the book was finished it was time for them to decide how they would publish it. This became the hard part of publishing a book. Deciding who would do that. After much consideration, they decided to publish it themselves.

They hired a consultant that was a friend of a friend of Bill's. This really helped them with doing self publishing. They had no idea how to do any of the technical part of publishing. So, their consultant helped to accomplish this. The first book that was self-published came out in December 1997. This book was called Contented Cows Give Better Milk. They had several designs to choose from for this book. Needless to say, it was the cover that caused the book to sell.

Later they began to learn the marketing side of being a self-published book. They talked with several radio stations to help them with their search. As they began, that they printed about five hundered cards and sent them to those radio stations and got eighty five responses back. They were amazed by the amount of responses they got back. Within one of those responses they got an offer to speak with Clark Howard. Clark Howard was not the one that Richard spoke with, but had someone else that took his place that night. It was around Christmas time that this interview was to take place and all of the employees had gone home early. So, he got the replacement speaker. This was in 1997 in Atlant.

Nevertheless, Richard took the spot and took the call from his office. He began speaking with the young lady that did the interview. He answered the questions as best as he could and before he knew the phone lines began to ring. He wondered who was calling him on Christmas Eve. He didn't realize that it was peple responding from the interview.

His wife had set up a website for him that allowed people to purchase the book online. When he was done with the show and had gone home he had twenty one orders waiting. He was in disbelief.

They began to market the book after that speaking engagement. Richard was able to gain speaking engagements including CNN and many others. Richard loves to speak in front of people as that is his primary job. Contented Cows has given him the opportunity to share his business plans with many companies that are struggling in their leadership skills.

Christine M Ramey, FCCW Secretary

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Henderson's Gives Tips on Screen Writing

Ken and Lesa Henderson came tonight to talk to us about screen writing. Lesa began writing at the early age of ten. She knew from that moment she wanted to write somehow and in some way. Lesa had the dream of one day writing a novel. She later met her husband Ken, got married and got involved in ministry with him. Meanwhile, she pursued her writing and was published in national magazines such as Woman's World, Ladies Home Journal, Charisma Magazine and many others. It was not until later in life she felt God calling her to screen writing.

They began working together through the ministry of their church and through the work of writing. They seemed to be every where together and from that learned how to complete each other's sentences when speaking. For several years, they served on the board of MOVIEGUIDE and The Christian Film and Television Commission with Dr Ted Beahr in Hollywood.
They have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people through their work.

Ken and Lesa shared with us the tips to writing a well written screen manuscript.

They urged us to always have a beginning, a strong middle, and a great ending. These were very valuable points as it related to writing. It is valuable because many of the moviews you watch are formed in this way. Ken shared how as they were learning to construct a screenplay they would go to the movies together with a stopwatch to see where the Plot points in it were. They could sit down and watch a movie and have it timed by when the beginning was noted, the middle of the story arrived, and when the closing would come. These were all very important when writing for a screen play of any kind.

Today, they have their own production company and have produced a film 201 Belmont, and written two others ABOVE YOUR DREAMS AND FIRE OUT OF GEORGIA. The latter two are expected to begin filming in 2010.

Lesa also just celebrated the release of her first novel SOMEONE TO TRUST BY WHITROSE PUBLISHING. To contact Lesa on this novel or any other you can view her website at

It was interesting listening to the two of them share, as one would finish what the other was trying to say. They told us it was because of all the time they've spent together ministering and working. I guess that would be tru with anyone you work with as closely as they have to work together!

They also talked about the importance of sending a clear message. They want the message to be clear that they are writing for the Lord! They want those who are lost to receive the message loud and clear.
Christine M Ramey, FCCW Secretary

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quatrano Defines a "Professional Writer!"

Nancy Quatrano has a very warm and engagin presence. On Thursday's meeting, she immediately engaged the group by asking us to define the term "Professional Writer." The members in attendance all agreed that to us it meant being able to make a living from our writing. Nancy challenged us to broaden our definitions to "Anyone seriously interested in writing for publication is a professional writer!" With her definition as the backdrop to the meeting she explained "Etiquette for the Professional Writer."

Nancy provided handouts to assist us in following along as she expounded on the key components of etiquette.

Number one component is to be prepared. Be prepared to meet people and put forth your image as a professional writer. Know what you are going to say, be ready to answer questions and engage in conversations. Know your abilities. What do you want to do? What can you do? You need to be ready by reviewing these ideas and coming up wit the answers. Also important is to never pretend you know more than you really do. Don't have your own agenda. Be open to listening and learning something new. Which leads us to component number 2 Learn, Listen, Rewrite.

Listening is a great way to gather information. People talk about what they are passionate about. You learn about people by what they talk about. Also, listen to strangers talking. This is a great tool to help learn to write dialogue. It helps you pick up on dialect and regional nuances. You will be amazed how much you can learn simpy by listening. Keep notes in a 3 X 5 card file or a "dialog" folder in your desk so you can refer to them when you are writing an article or chapter and need that local "flavor."

Component number three Write to Submit. You will never get paid to be a writer if you never submit your work. "Be encouraged to do little things." Write articles and short stories, they are fast and easy ways to get published. You need to commit time to your writing and give yourself deadlines to get things done. "A Professional Writer submits their work." Submit to magazines, contest anything that will get you read and may be seen by editors. Join writing groups, go to conferences, submit to reputable contests. These will help you hone your own writing skills and shape your image as a professional writer. "Writers blossom with other writers." Becoming known will help you get noticed by Agents and Editors.

This is the Fourt component. To finally make it to the world of agents and publishing. Nancy reminds us, "God gives us our passions, our job is to use them." If we just use our passions, the results will be there.

God blessed Nancy with a voice and a gift to write songs. She was singing with the adult Wesminister Choir at Princeton NJ when she was nine years old, and professionally by the age of 13. By seventeen, she was making a comfortable living at singing. She planned to use her earning to go to nursing school, but soon decided there was too much life to be lived. After one year, she left nursing school. Her singing and songwriting passion turned out to be the stepping stone to her writing career. She sold her first commercial work in 1999 to Pisces Press in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which also resulted in two ghostwriting assignments and has published non-fiction, romance and mystery short stories every year since.

Nancy's final words; "Everyone is a work in progress, just like our writing. Don't give up our dreams. Writers who don't write are unhappy."

Nancy's website for more information on her books and services at or email her at Look for her short memoir "By the Grace of God" in the February 2010 issue of the Pasco County FWA Chapter newsletter.
Tracy Redman
FCCW Treasurer and Incoming President for 2010