MBM: Priorities and Choices for Writers, by Braden Bell


Welcome to the eleventh day of


If you’re new to March Book Madness, it’s an excuse for me to discuss everything about writing, editing, and reading books with some amazing authors and readers. Fun, fun, fun!

Here’s the schedule:

The collective talent listed above . . . Wow! If you’ve missed any days, make sure to catch up. It’s been awesome.


Today, Braden Bell is here discussing priorities for writers

Braden Bell is the author of Kindling, a middle-grade novel that’s fast-paced and a lot of fun. I loved it!

You may remember me mentioning Kindling before. It’s book 1 in the Middle School Magic series. Last summer, I was part of Braden’s book tour. As part of the tour, he answered some of my questions about his book. Read that interview here.


This blurb describes the book perfectly:

  • Homework? Of course. Crushes? Sure. But who knew seventh grade included superpowers?


Book 2 in the series, Penumbras, will be released this July, and I can’t wait.

Braden and I both share a love of books and music. We both have five children. We also serve on the LDStorymakers BOD together, so that’s cool. Super nice, talented guy. I’m excited he agreed to share his thoughts for March Book Madness.

So here he is.


Priorities and Choices for Writers, by Braden Bell

When I published my first book, I heard a particular comment that irritated me.  A number of people said some variant of, “How did you find the time to do that?” or “How fun! Boy, I wish I had that much time!” Continue reading “MBM: Priorities and Choices for Writers, by Braden Bell”


MBM: The Art of Accepting Criticism, by Mary Bateman-Mercado

Welcome to the sixth day of MARCH BOOK MADNESS!

Today, Mary Bateman-Mercado is here talking about the Art of Accepting Criticism. I’ve known Mary for almost ten years. Like me, she has five kids; three boys and two girls. But unlike me, she seems to have her act together. :)

I’m constantly amazed by Mary’s abilities and talents. (Make sure to read her bio, although there’s a lot not included, like awards and cool people she’s met over her years in journalism — hello, Oprah!) But the best part is that she’s also a gracious, loving person, who’s more than willing to share her knowledge with us. Yay!

  • (Even as I type this, she’s working with a group of young women, including my daughter. She’s so awesome.)

The topic Mary chose is one most of us struggle with — me especially — so I’m thrilled she picked it. Here she is:.


Mary Bateman-Mercado, Channel 7, ABC Detroit
Mary Bateman-Mercado, Channel 7, ABC Detroit


The Art of Accepting Criticism (Without Letting it Destroy Your Enthusiasm), by Mary Bateman-Mercado


What’s the Meanest Thing Anyone Has Ever Said to You?

I heard an interesting discussion on the radio the other day. A question was posed, “What’s the meanest thing anyone has ever said to you?” It was the premise of the talk show host and guest that criticism, even the vile, hurtful type of criticism can work to make you stronger and can actually work to empower you, if you embrace it.

Embrace it? Hmm?

It got me thinking especially in regard to my career as a writer.

Continue reading “MBM: The Art of Accepting Criticism, by Mary Bateman-Mercado”