Called 2 Speak: Journey to Success in Three Easy Steps

What makes you want to speak out?

I’m proud to be part of the Blog Hop promoting A Time to Speak. This hop is to spread the word about Nadine Brandes’s new dystopian novel, A Time to Speak, releasing October 16th. It is also to encourage myself and others to speak out for our passions and against injustice.

I Will Speak Out… about my journey to success.

No, this is not a post about a successful person explaining how they achieved success whether it be a multi-million dollar career or a post of great power. I’m talking about the journey to success, which is highly personal. The getting there.


One of the many things I’ve learned professionally that applies directly to writing is “managing expectations”. It’s easy to be starry eyed like I was in high school. I remember writing a “where would I be in 20 years” essay. I was basically CEO of Procter and Gamble with two school-aged children. The reality, I’m a mid-level professional, working part-time, and at my 20-year reunion I had a kindergartner and first-grader. My new definition of success is having a dream job that allows me to balance work and life so both are rewarding.

Like probably every other writer out there, we dream of the best-seller and 6-figure advances for our sequel. But the reality is that most writers don’t make a living on writing fiction alone. My new definition of success is publishing full-length novels that resonate with my readers. And that I have two published short stories and two more to be published next year.


Few things have torqued me off more than the backlash from people who are “out-of-shape” being offended by “in-shape” offering words of encouragement as they exercise. Granted, the blog post that started it was something to the effect of “hey fatty”, which is totally not cool. However, I posted one written by an “out-of-shape” person saying something like, “please do encourage me”. And got critical comments about it.

Not that it matters. Whether you’re “out-of-shape” and posting 1-mile walks or the progress on your first fun run or you’re a Top 20 triathlete completing your first full Iron Man, I’m going to be encouraging you. That’s what I do. Last year when I was training for my first half-marathon, I cherished likes and comments on my workout posts. as for fitness, I’m somewhere in the middle, a quasi-distance runner with a muffin top.

Same goes for my friends in the writing world. Whether it’s your first contest win or short story publication to winning a major writing award or ranking on a Best Seller list, I’m there cheering you on! Because I so loved getting congratulations when I had my stories published!


It’s easy for me to be discouraged meeting writers who are younger than me achieving success. Whether it’s an author who’s young enough to be my child or someone my age who has a decade or two of publishing credits. Extrapolate that in proportion for successful older writers. There are also those who started the writing journey with me who’ve already been published, won awards, hit best-seller lists.

When the curtain is pulled back, I more often than not, find out that they really had a head start. Writing is a new journey for me. If I laid it next to my engineering career, I’m doing great. Four years into my engineering career, I was just starting. I was a level 1 engineer. Twenty years into my career, I’m registered in two states as a Professional Engineer. However, to achieve that status, I had to have a four-year degree in engineering and four more years of experience. Never mind the two grueling exams. As a writer, I’m a high school graduate with four years’ experience. You can get a P.E. that route but it takes ten years’ experience.

Life is a journey. And as with any form of travel, it’s not worth taking the road unless you enjoy each sight along the way.

Now for the inspiration for this post – Parvin Blackwater from A Time to Die who has a significant calling in A Time to Speak.

What happens when you live longer than you wanted to?

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow.

The Council uses Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes.

Parvin and Hawke find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?

Book Two in the “Out of Time” series.

Read about the first book, A Time to Die, here.

Nadine Brandes is a talented author who absolutely captivates her readers from page one to the end. If you haven’t yet read A Time to Die, you should especially if you love dystopian novels, strong heroines, and great adventure.

You can follow Nadine, her books, and writing at:

This stop is the first one on a blog tour with a Rafflecopter giveaway!

Here is a list of the tour dates and locations: #called2speak

9.28.15 – Gretchen Engel

9.30.15 – Nadine Brandes
10.01.15 – Jason Joyner
10.05.15 – Gretchen Engel (part 2)
10.06.15 – Tricia Mingerink
10.08.15 – Gretchen Engel (Scriblerians)
10.09.15 – Emilie Hendryx
10.11.15 – Janeen Ippolito
10.12.15 – Zachary D Totah
10.14.15 – Brittany Valentine
10.15.15 – Andrew Swearingen
10.17.15 – Megan Besing
10.19.15 – Angel Roman
10.21.15 – Lisa Godfrees
10.27.15 – Natalie Walters
10.29.15 – The Artist Librarian
11.02.15 – Rosalie Valentine
11.17.15 – Amanda Fender


One thought on “Called 2 Speak: Journey to Success in Three Easy Steps

  1. Pingback: Called to Speak – Disabilities & Chronic Illness – Janeen Ippolito

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