Inside Look with Donna Cummings author of An Encouraging Word

click to see all the Inside Looks at SJs

It’s not a mirage, Donna Cummings is here! Que the coffee and bring on the brownies. Donna always makes me smile and she’s definitely encouraging. When I heard about her new book, I just had to have her over to talk about it. So, relax with your goodies. Enjoy.

I want to give SJ a huge thank you for letting me come back for a visit. She indulges my silliness, and encourages me with endless cups of coffee, so really, I was ecstatic when she asked if I wanted to chat about my latest book.

It’s a little different than the other things I’ve published. Okay, it’s completely different. Instead of humorously-ever-after romance, it’s a compilation of posts from my blog, All About The Writing, where I’ve explored the writing process, and the writing life, the past five years.

First off, I’m not claiming to be a writing expert. My areas of expertise–drinking coffee, and avoiding stuff–don’t really have a bright career path included. (Dang it.)

Way back when, I chose the name of my blog because it was a catchphrase that encapsulated what agents were looking for. No matter what intrigued them enough to ask for a look-see of your manuscript–hook, theme, plot–in the end, the deciding factor was “all about the writing”.

Still, even with a snappy blog title, I had no clue what to blog about. At first I made a few announcements about contests I’d finaled in and/or won. That fell within the scope of “all about the writing”, and it didn’t cause my very-private-self too much agony–especially since I was pretty much the only one who saw the posts.

Then I took a trip to an Agent Pitch Slam in NYC, a speed dating thing where you pitch your book to an agent for three minutes and then move on to the next one. I was sure my blog audience (um, ME) would enjoy reading about my first solo trip into “the city” and meeting with agents.

I started by describing my 6 a.m. walk to the bus that would take me into Manhattan. It should have been uneventful, really. But there was slasher-movie fog everywhere, and two huge deer walking in the middle of the street. They stopped to stare at me for a while, and then darted off into the darkness. To this day I’m convinced they could sense my fear at being a quart low on caffeine.

After that surreal start to the day, I wrote about finally making it to the Javits Center:

It’s a freakingly huge monstrosity of an edifice. It sits on about fourteen thousand city blocks, and has easily 2.5 million entryways. I stumbled through one, and then walked and walked and walked until I saw a human being, who told me to continue the direction I was headed, and if I hit the Pacific Ocean, to turn around because I had gone too far.

After what seemed like days, I nearly wept when I saw an oasis: the round green sign stating “Nectar of the Gods” (aka Starbucks). Please please please don’t be a mirage. I hadn’t had time for coffee that morning, and would have easily taken out a payday loan for a thimble full of the stuff.

I quickly discovered blogging was a natural milieu for me. I loved it. I could explore a variety of writing topics–whatever sprang to mind–while I got to play with words and ideas in a humorous way. Blogging helped me get unstuck when I was feeling discouraged, and showed me how to work through tricky parts of several WIPs. I was delighted each time someone said my posts guided them through a troublesome patch, or were the exact words they needed to hear at that moment in time.

Although I hadn’t planned it, I had stumbled upon a theme: dealing with the endless writerly doubts and fears, and forging ahead when it seemed the muse considered my words a deadly virus that had to be eradicated to ensure the future of humanity.

An Encouraging Word is a compilation of 52 of these posts that I hope will bring cheer and solace, encouragement and renewed optimism, and even a chuckle or two. Think of it as a cheerleader on your e-reader or computer or mobile device. It’s there when you need a little boost. It’ll give you a well-deserved pat on the back.

And it won’t ever expect coffee in return.

click to see book on GoodreadsAn Encouraging Word
by Donna Cummings
Length: 117 pages
Published: February 19, 2014


I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

I can usually be found on Twitter talking about writing and coffee, and on Facebook, talking about coffee and writing.







Buy link: Amazon

14 thoughts on “Inside Look with Donna Cummings author of An Encouraging Word

  1. S.J., thank YOU for having me, and for saying such nice things. Here, let me refill your coffee cup so you keep saying them. LOL I’ll even let you have another brownie! 🙂

  2. Pingback: ROW80 Check-in #93 The End is Coming | S.J. Maylee

    • Nancy, Donna’s book is the perfect thing for you. I hope you get a chance to read it. I hear you on buying coffee out, that’s something I rarely do. So, we’ve perfected our in home process. Yes, I’m kind of a coffee dork. 🙂

      • *clinks coffee cup with S.J.* Hail, fellow coffee dork! LOL I make my coffee at home 99.9% of the time now. It’s a wonder the coffee places aren’t on the verge of bankruptcy as a result. 🙂 It’s always nice to know it’s there, though, when I need a reward. Or motivation!

    • Nancy, I hope you enjoy it. I re-read parts of it when I’m needing encouragement — and it also helps to have fellow writers to talk with and cheer on. 🙂 I know what you mean about the coffee being too rich for your blood. LOL I’ve made it into more of an occasional treat now.

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