Advice & Tips For Writers: Jeanine Kitchel

appJeanine Kitchel writes about Mexico, the Maya and the Yucatan. She began traveling to the Yucatan Peninsula in the 1980s. Soon afterwards she and her husband bought land and built a house in a fishing village on the Mexican Caribbean coast. She founded a bookstore there and became interested in the Maya culture. Her travel memoir, Where the Sky is Born: Living in the Land of the Maya, and her second book, Maya 2012 Revealed: Demystifying the Prophecy, are available on She currently writes crime fiction in the new genre of “narco lit.” Wheels Up—A Novel of Drugs, Cartels and Survival, her debut novel, launched May 2018 and is also available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

1.What’s the best way for a writer juggle their personal and writing life? Ordinary life often gets in the way of a planned structured day. Any tips? It’s not easy to fit everything in as a writer because it is truly a full-time job, often 7 days a week, especially for indie authors. One day you wear a marketing cap, the next you are fully behind the computer screen, channeling your protagonist. I try to get up early and find I have good writing time then, before the world gets in the way. I always quit writing at 6pm for quality time with my husband for dinner and relaxation time.

2. What can a writer do to overcome ‘writer’s block? I find I can usually “write myself out of it” if I just take the time to do it. Sometimes the problem is getting too involved with the marketing end, especially early on in a project.

3. What should a writer look out for when deciding if their manuscript is the best it can possibly be before releasing it to an agent/publisher/the public? I strongly suggest hiring a good editor. I was very fortunate to have found one. I had BETA readers plus my writing group before I found my editor, but their advice was lacking compared to the professional touch.

4. How can a writer be prepared for, and deal with rejection? Rejection is what happens when we put ourselves out there. We’ve all heard the stories, if not have lived them, and you have to have a thick skin. Try not to let it get you down too much. Enjoy a day (or hours) to sulk, then get back on that horse.

5. How should a writer deal with negative reviews about their book? If one wants to be positive, like PT Barnum said, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Try not to take them to heart. Buck up and press on.

6. What’s the best piece of advice you have heard in respect of writing/being an author? From Elmore Leonard, “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Nothing any good isn’t hard.” Raymond Chandler, “The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.”

7. Can you share any valuable websites/magazines/blogs for authors in respect of tips, help and advice? Anne R Allen,  Jane Friedman

8. Any tips in respect of getting the synopsis right? Work it,  write it. Sleep on it. Re-read it. Work it and write it again until it sings.

9.Any tips on marketing and creating a fan base? (Valuable websites/blogs/apps) Email lists are gold. Write your own blog. Twice a month if possible and keep it fresh.

10. Lastly, can you share with us about what your usual writing day is like? Right now am in the middle of marketing my debut novel and my writing day is all over the place. When things get back to normal, I try for a little writing in the a.m. but have found afternoons are my best time to write.

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