Tag Archives: self-publishing

5 Answers to Writing Questions


From The Loyalist’s Luck launch party. Great cake!

Today I’m being interviewed on Patricia Zick’s illustrious blog. Here is the link where you can read Patricia’s questions and my answers. I bare my soul. Well, about writing anyhow. I even mention Stephen Leacock Medal winner, Terry Fallis, and his contribution to my writing. Come join us now as I answer her five questions.

Author Wednesday on P.C. Zick’s site.

Voting is going on as I write this for the People’s Choice Toronto International Book Fair Self-Published Awards and my first book, The Loyalist’s Wife, is a finalist. Thanks to all those who have already voted to help me out. Voting closes on Friday and the winners are announced  on Nov. 16 in Toronto. I’ll be there! Hoping to win but happy to be nominated–never thought I’d say those words!

If you’d like to join in the voting fun, come along. Here’s the link. It only takes a minute.

And if you were naughty and didn’t click on Patricia’s site above for my interview, please do it now.




Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Authors, Awards


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We Had a Book Party!

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.inddIT’S HERE, IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE!

My days are mostly spent in my office sitting at my computer, moving my projects along at what always seems more like the turtle’s pace rather than the hare’s. In fact, the more I’ve sat here over the past seven years, the more I’m even coming to look like that turtle! (Hence my new walking regime!)

In June, 2013, my publishing company launched The Loyalist’s Wife and I was ecstatic. So much work, so many miles traveled, so many people met, places visited, and ideas acted upon. And, finally, a book to hold in my hand.

And before that book was even published I was hard at work on its sequel, The Loyalist’s Luck. This month of October has been crazy busy as we launched number two in the trilogy. In one fell swoop, I went from a mark of 33% to one of 67% for finishing the Loyalist trilogy. (Once a teacher, always a teacher.)


Here are some pictures from the formal launch here in beautiful Woodstock, Ontario.

Fellow author and person extraordinaire, Sharon Clare, Helped me out by reading a section from my new novel. David Butler, an amazingly gifted person in his own right–the man can write!–happens to be descended directly from Colonel John Butler of the famous Butler’s Rangers. He figures in both of my Loyalist novels so far. David said a few kind words of welcome and congratulations. You can learn about David’s famous father, the artist Ross Butler, here.


Laughing at a small slip up I made at the podium.

Laughing at a small slip up I made at the podium.

Sharon Clare expertly reading.

Sharon Clare expertly reading.

Sue Garner hosted and read, her sassy smile flashing throughout.

Sue Garner hosted and read, her sassy smile flashing throughout.


We had to have cake! Thanks, Ron, for arranging this and all the other details.

This book table had to be refilled several times as people bought a lot of books.

This book table had to be refilled several times as people bought a lot of books.

Joyce and Donna welcomed everyone to the festivities.

Joyce and Donna welcomed everyone to the festivities.

Book club friends going through a copy. So wonderful that they came!

Book club friends going through a copy. So wonderful that they came!

We drew names for two free books. I was so happy to see the winners: Olive, my dear friend, and Keith, one of my many wonderful brothers.

We drew names for two free books. I was so happy to see the winners: Olive, my dear friend, and Keith, one of my many wonderful brothers.

There were many more at my launch, including my 93-year-old aunt and a carload of cousins from as far away as Miami who completely surprised me. They drove all the way from South Carolina. So, as any reader can see, my heart is full. All the hard work has paid off when family, friends, people I’ve met over the last year and a half on speaking gigs all show up for the new book. As well, people I don’t know who joined us just thrilled me.

This is a small word to contain the huge joy I feel but here it is:


See you all in two years when The Loyalist Legacy has its debut!

Next week this blog will be back to writing about historical fiction, wonderful readers and tips for writers. Come join us!

The Loyalist’s Luck on Amazon

The Loyalist’s Wife on Amazon

also available on Kobo and in many fine bookstores.

PHOTO CREDITS: Sherry Isaac, Brian Jackson


Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Marketing Books, Publishing


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How To Publish and Keep Control

IMG_2433_editedSo you write a book, and it takes you a year, and you think the next step is handing it to a publisher. That’s what I thought seven years ago. And then came revision, character arcs, economy of words, and a host of other writing no-no’s and must-do’s.

For five of my six years to publication, traditional publishing was absolutely the way I wanted to go. The marvellous books I’d read were published by the big houses, and I longed to follow that tradition.

Throughout all the conferences, workshops, online searches, critique groups (even one I started myself), and connections with writers, I dreamed of finding a publisher. I pitched, queried, rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. Somewhere along the way, however, I learned something else. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 11, 2014 in General, Writing Tips


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Inside the Writer’s Mind

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be on a local television program here in the heart of Ontario where I live.I enjoyed the experience but watched the result with the critical eye of someone watching herself, always an uncomfortable position. For those writers who may be in a similar situation, the main take-away from my point of view is dress for television. I am chagrined that I didn’t, even though I know better.

Here, then, is the result. View it knowing my caveat, okay? Hopefully others can learn from my mistake.

Interview of Elaine Cougler on Rogers TV, September, 2013.

video Rogers Set 2013

The interviewer who came to film me was good at just letting me talk. He asked a number of questions which the viewer doesn’t hear and then edited them out so that the clip is totally of me talking about writing and The Loyalist’s Wife. I liked that technique because it allowed me to get into my own thoughts and experiences about writing and just run with them. The downside is the chagrin I feel when I hear the sentence errors which come about when one talks in that sort of rambling and thought-provoking way. Still the experience was great fun and I thank my local Rogers TV group for doing it.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife on Amazon here.

Sign up for my email list to receive my quarterly newsletter, the next issue of which is coming next week!


Posted by on November 14, 2013 in General, Presentation Tips, Videos


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Christmas in July For Writers

Last Christmas I was wandering through a lovely bookstore in Victoria, B.C. and I turned a corner to see the long wall of magazines. Of course I always look to see what is there for writers which usually entails pushing aside dozens of knitting, mechanics, numismatics publications to find maybe one or two writing selections.

What did I find? What I always find in Victoria, a city which embraces creativity like a cat does a ball of yarn. So many mags of the writing persuasion called to me that I actually had to browse to see which ones I would buy as I couldn’t possibly take them all. I decided on the Writer’s Yearbook 2013, a special issue of Writer’s Digest.

And then that yearbook sat in a pile until a month ago. (Do other writers have so much reading they just can’t get to it all?)

I am so glad I finally picked up this issue as it is fantastic. Here are the cover headlines:

  1. 100 Best Book & Magazine Markets for Writers, Want to get Published? Start Here!
  2. How to Get an Agent: Insider Tips for Writing Query Letters That Work
  3. The Top 101 Websites for Writers
  4. The Year in Publishing: Is the Industry Finally on the Rebound?
  5. Blog Your Way to a Book Deal
  6. Freelancing Secrets: How to Sell More Articles
  7. 50 Easy Ways to Build Your Platform One Step at a Time
  8. Book Contracts: What You Need to Know

No wonder the tag at the top calls this issue “Your Annual Handbook for Writing Success.” There is so much information that I had to limit myself. Can you guess which articles got my attention?

At the time I was working pretty hard on query letters so that headline grabbed me right away. And I love to look for other writers and writer-friendly websites so number 3 was a sure thing.

But the one which surprised me and which held my attention the longest was number 7. I loved reading about author platform on the web. Christina Katz had about nine categories under which she gave instructions which were clear, concise and useful. Even though I’ve been on the web for years there were still many things for me to learn. Some of the things that I feel I need to work on are: my page, recycling content, holding an online event, putting my best blog content forward, and shaking things up a bit in my online presence.

This magazine is still listed for sale for just over $5 on their site which I’ve linked here. Treat yourself to a summer Christmas gift. You’ll be glad you did.

The Loyalist's Wife_cover_Mar18.indd

The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler


Authors: Your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing. Download from the link in the side column!

Consider leaving a comment below with your best writing magazine find. A lot of writers will be glad you did!



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What is the Backstory When a Writer Publishes?

The Author’s Voice–Time for Some History With Elaine Cougler is the title of Dale Long’s post today on Inkstroke’s Blog. Dale is a happy, funny, loving life kind of guy whom I met almost two years ago at a writing conference. He mentions that in this post where you’ll find out how long it took me to publish The Loyalist’s Wife, and why. He also drew from me that I am a bit …’ll have to read the post to find out this detail. :-)

The LoyalistsWife_3D_510x602

The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler


Authors: Your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing. Download from the link in the side column!

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Authors, General, Publishing


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5 Sites or Posts I’ve Found to Help Authors


A shot of green amid the March snow.

It’s March, past the middle, and snow should be gone.

It’s not.

So I put in this lovely picture from a butterfly conservatory visit to help me think of spring. And now on to the news of the day.

I don’t know about you but I’m always having to figure out how to do something else on my writing journey. It might be formatting my draft mss to the specifications needed by publishers. Or finding just how to make that movie thingee that gets people interested in buying my book. Just now my questions are more about publishing and marketing as I stumble along that overgrown path.

Fortunately, the Internet is the home of generous and helpful professionals who usually have the answers to my questions.

Here are five sites or posts I’ve found which have helped me on my quest.

  1. Market Your Book, Jan Bear’s site is jam-packed with helpful tips, so many that I haven’t even had time to read through all the tabs. I have, however, added her to my file of useful articles I find on the web. I keep updating this file and currently have 199 items gleaned from the web about writing and all its linked subjects.
  2. Steal This List is Janis Hubschman’s grabbing title for a ten-point article of pure gold for writers. She also names some of favorite 10-point lists for writers. And don’t you love that she invites us to steal her list? Gotta love it.
  3. Jonathan Gunson’s article about something the CEO of Goodreads said caught my eye. Most of us writers would much rather write than market so this simple idea is like shrimp and lobster on the salad bar to me. And it’s so simple. Sorry, I’m not going to spoil it. Click on the link to read the article.
  4. Brinda Berry, a frequent commenter on this blog, did a guest post on Gloria Richard’s site. I love both these ladies so this is like chocolate and raspberries all done up in a truffle. But I digress. Check out Brinda’s discovery of a unique give-away for contests to promote her books. This is fantastic and she gives all the details on how to get one in your own hot little hands.
  5. Susanne Lakin has a series on Live, Write, Thrive where self-published authors guest on Susanne’s blog about 5 things they’ve learned about self-publishing. If you are thinking of going in this direction, these authors can give you a huge helping hand.

Consider leaving a comment about your greatest Internet find for writers. Or just say hello. It’s all good.

Download your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing from the link in the side column!


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