Lisa A. Kramer

Author, Speaker, Creativity Facilitator

Lessons of An Independent Author: The POWER of Good News

by Lisa A Kramer
I would be lying if I said that everything is a breeze once the book has actually been published. It's more like a roller coaster, with very steep peaks that take forever to climb and fast-paced drops into lows so long you feel trapped forever.

Perhaps, I suppose, if you are with a top 5 publisher who pours publicity power into your book, it might feel more like the journey of a rocket. But, if you are published through a small house, have to do most of your own publicity work, don't have a huge budget and are also juggling things like jobs, family, life . . . it can feel a little bit more like climbing Mount Everest with words.


Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Women in Veils by Marcia Cebulska

by Lisa A Kramer
I met playwright  and fiction writer, Marcia Cebulska during my one year living in Kansas and working with the Inge Theatre Festival, and she is one of the high points of that year. Along with several other women and some wonderful creative opportunities, I learned the power of collaboration, community, and compassion. (Click on the above links to learn about one of those wonderful experiences). I reached out to see if she would contribute to this series, because I knew she would have a wonderful story to share, and would understand that unique abilities come in all shapes and surprises. I am delighted with her celebration of the Nuns who helped Marcia become the amazing inspiration that she is. To...

The Power of Community

by Lisa A Kramer
Sometimes I think life would be so much easier if I could answer the question "what do you do" with one simple answer.

"What do you do?"

"I am a ________."

I can't do that though, because there are so many different versions of me. Each one of them takes priority in different situations, and there isn't really one that I can say I value the most. I value them all as facets of what makes my life rich, complicated, and very, very confusing.

Recently, the talented and hilarious writer/Mom/social media expert extraordinaire Sarah Cottrell (Housewife Plus) connected me with (in her words) : "A spirited group of clever ladies who sometimes drink and swear, always laugh, and - most importantly - need a place...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Towards a More Loving, Connected, Joyous Me by Mandy Traut

by Lisa A Kramer
I only met Mandy when she contacted me about contributing to this series, but as soon as I read her post I knew she had to be part of this. The more I work with people who have disabilities of any sort, the more I see them as truly powerful and courageous people. As I wandered over to her blog Aphrodite Blossoming, I discovered a woman who is truly living life on her own terms--a phrase that has become my own personal motto in life. While her choices may not work for everyone, I admire her strength of conviction and wonderful attitude. I only hope I can learn to embrace that motto as bravely and confidently as Mandy--and discover my...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Stop Soul Stealers by Beth Teliho

by Lisa A Kramer
I only really got to know Beth Teliho recently, through a Facebook group, but I have been following her blog for a while now. I have discovered in her another "kindred spirit"--a woman who loves words, writes beautifully, and yet has many of the same doubts and fears that I face on a daily basis. I look forward to reading her upcoming book, but also getting to know her more as our friendship grows. I can't tell you how much this post made me smile, because she "kicks ass" in more ways than one. (Please not that this post has a little language). "Beth is a day-dreaming introvert, writer, artist and recovering crazy cat lady who probably doesn’t day drink at...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: My Long Game by Cameron D. Garriepy

by Lisa A Kramer
"Self-described shenaniganist and unabashed romantic Cameron D. Garriepy wrote her first romance novel on an antique typewriter, using a stack of pink paper. Detours between that draft and her publishing goals have included a BA in Music, a professional culinary education, and twelve years in the child-wrangling industry.

Cameron writes from the Metro Boston area, where she lives with her husband, son, and a poorly behaved pug. Her latest novel, Damselfly Inn, will be released April 13, 2015 by Bannerwing Books."

I met Cameron when the fabulous and talented Andra Watkins came to do a book tour for To Live Forever. Cameron and I wandered around the book store where Andra was doing a presentation and signing, blatantly clutching copies of the book...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: "Discovering My Hidden Power" by Mark Pakaluk

by Lisa A Kramer
I am not sure which of his posts brought me into the world of Mark Pakaluk (aka The Idiot) on his now defunct blog "The Idiot Speaketh" but however I got there, it introduced me to a wonderful person. You might credit Mark with my continued presence in the blogosphere. When I first started out, I didn't understand that blogging is about building community: reading, commenting, reacting, responding. Mark showed me how as he interacted with humor and kindness to every comment made on his blog. He and I became friends, often having conversations on Facebook. With Mark I  met, battled, and ultimately ignored my first internet troll. I wrote my first guest post for him. He became friends with...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: Calming Colors and Cotton Swabs by Angela Amman

by Lisa A Kramer
I first "met" Angela Amman through her short story found in Echoes in Darkness. I then wandered through her romantic side in  Atlantic to Pacific: Two Christmas Stories. She is one of those eloquent, poetic writers that packs intense emotion and powerful stories in short, wonderful packages. She is also a powerhouse in the world of writing: co-producer/co-director of  Listen to Your Mother, Metro-Detroit; managing editor of Bannerwing Books; and owner/writer at I am truly honored that she wanted to contribute to the celebration of unique powers. Please enjoy the first (of many, I hope) lovely contribution to this series. ***

Calming Colors and Cotton Swabs My friend and I rode our bikes to the drugstore around the corner from her house,...

The Power of Looking Through a Different Lens

by Lisa A Kramer
My daughter had a friend sleep over on Sunday night.

Yesterday, rather than let them sit around playing computer games all day (which they love to do) I insisted we take advantage of the slightly warmer weather (a balmy 40 degrees unless you factor in the wind) and go to the botanical gardens for a little hike. My husband gave them the challenge of taking pictures.

I grabbed my camera--yes my camera instead of my phone--and decided I wanted to explore the world in black and white.

When you look at the world through a different lens, you discover things you might never have noticed before.

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On a regular basis I see the world through many different lenses. (Or, if you...

The Power of Having a Dream

by Lisa A Kramer
"Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."--Martin Luther King, Jr. Today many people will reflect on the message of Martin Luther King Jr. Today the world will ponder his "I have a dream" speech and his legacy, and their will be abundant responses to how far we've come and how far we still have to go.

Today, I believe, Martin Luther King Jr. would weep, because in many ways it seems his dream is farther away than it has been in a very long time. I don't have the right words to express this, but others do in more powerful ways such as Chris Lebron in "What, To The Black American, Is Martin Luther King Jr. Day?"

Today, I...

Giving Power to the Unheard Voices

by Lisa A Kramer
Have you heard of Boko Haram?

Perhaps those two words have trickled into your new feed over the past couple of days, but nothing compared to the deluge of "Je Suis Charlie!" which flooded everyone's feed after the attack in Paris.

I knew nothing about it until I saw this article yesterday morning. Nick Chiles, Editor-in Chief of AtlantaBlackStar writes: "As the world mourns the vicious massacres in Paris, one of Africa’s top religious leaders suggested that the lack of a similar outcry across the globe over the slaughter of up to 2,000 people by Boko Haram last week in northeast Nigeria is further evidence that Black lives don’t matter as much as whites’." Now, perhaps this statement is true, but I think there...

Lessons of an Independent Author--Questioning the Power of Reviews

by Lisa A Kramer
At least once a month (or more often depending on how busy and I am and how voraciously I read) I wander into the library and leave with a stack of books.

While I occasionally look for a specific book, and sometimes try to find something off of my ever-growing "to read" list, more often than not I simply browse the newest collection and pick out books that look interesting. I trip over to the librarian recommendations and pick out books that call my name. I skim through the young adult section, or sometimes the children's section, and add books to my pile. I may even pass through the classic section and choose something I've always wanted to read but never had.


The Power of Making Memories: A Review of NOT WITHOUT MY FATHER by Andra Watkins

by Lisa A Kramer
Below you will find my Goodreads review of Andra Watkin's new memoir Not Without My Father. Before you read on, I wanted to mention that Andra has created an amazing Make a Memory campaign for this book. Her own experience creating a memory with her father is one that she will carry with her forever, and she hopes that others will join her in that path. What will you do to make a memory today? *** Full disclosure: I appear in this book. It's a little surreal reading about your own experience through the eyes of another person--someone whom you had only met in the virtual world of blog writing, and yet who you spontaneously decided to join on what was, perhaps,...

Celebrating Our Unique Powers: An Invitation

by Lisa A Kramer
  " The book teaches that all women have unique gifts, things we often ignore by listening to criticism, by heeding our own flagging confidence, and by giving up too soon."  --Andra Watkins, Review of P.O.W.ER

From Sarah's copy of my book. I signed hers on her dedication page.

Sarah takes after me.

Physically she is the perfect blend of the two of us, but fortunately she seems to have gotten Nathan's metabolism and will probably surpass me in height.

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But emotionally . . . well that's all me. The good and the bad. The stubborn and the creative. The passionate and the caring.

Sarah sees all. She knows when I am being hard on myself, doubting myself, putting myself...

Lessons of an Independent Author--The Power of Patience

by Lisa A Kramer
Reality check!!!

The chances of one book becoming an overnight sensation (especially when published by a small independent publisher and there isn't the funding for a huge publicity campaign) is astronomically tiny.

Most books fizzle out soon after launch.

Depressing thoughts for a newbie author who really believes in her work.

When I reached a low point recently . . . as I felt like everything had stalled and it was all hopeless, Cameron D. Garriepy --new friend, talented author and publisher--sent me these words of wisdom: "What you have to hold onto is that you are playing a long game, especially when you're on a budget as an indie author. Keep doing what you do, make noise, write books. They aren't going out of...

The Continuing Power of Women's Voices

by Lisa A Kramer
"George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human-rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to Kofi Annan regarding Syria and was selected for a three-person UN commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So, of course, her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award."— (Tina Fey on the former longtime bachelor receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Awardfor lifetime achievement.) In an interview published today at The Writer's Life, I was asked where I came up  for the idea for P.O.W.ER. Rather than repeat my answer, wander on over there to read it. Don't worry, I'll wait . . .

Maybe my answer doesn't go deep enough. This book comes from a belief...

Je Suis Charlie--the Power of the Pen

Je Suis Charlie--the Power of the Pen
by Lisa A Kramer
" [Kramer] dares to point her finger solidly at religious extremism, misogyny, and an undervaluing of creativity, the arts, and individualism as dire perils to democracy." (Kristine J. Schmidt, Review of P.O.W.ER) Image attributed to Banksy in response to Charlie Hebdo massacre.

I am not a cartoonist nor do I (often) write political satire. I am a person who expresses herself through the written word, on stage, or in other creative expressions. I explore and confront problems through my perspective and I very rarely censor myself except, perhaps, when it comes to certain personal relationships.

I believe the right to question and challenge societal ills is a human right.

When I was thinking about how to market P.O.W.ER I semi-jokingly...

Lessons of an Independent Author: The Power of Labels

by Lisa A Kramer
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate labels?

Seriously, I hate having to categorize something as just one thing: one genre, one career, one type, one LABEL.

Some of my (and my books) labels . . . but there are many more.

I find it difficult to categorize any of my work into one genre because I write the story that needs to be told, in whatever format I need to tell it. Here at Woman Wielding Words, I blog about whatever inspires me or whatever I feel like. I can't call myself a Mom blogger or a comic blogger or a journal blogger or a political activist blogger  or anything else, even thought I write about all...

Lessons of an Independent Author: The Power of Your Personal Story

by Lisa A Kramer
I have a theory about how people read in our world.

Of course, I can't prove this theory without launching a massive research project, but if my theory is correct it influences how people buy and sell books.

Basically, my idea goes like this. With an increase in technology and access to information of all kinds, we (as a society) have become ever more fascinated by the lives of people we will never actually meet. This suggests that even an avid reader of fiction (like myself) yearns to know a little bit more about the person behind the book. We want to feel like this author would be our best friend, or at least would enjoy scintillating conversation over a cup of...

Lessons of an Independent Author: The Power of Publicity

by Lisa A Kramer
I won't deny it. I had this fantasy that I would wake up sometime during the month of December to discover that I had become an overnight best-selling author sensation.

Of course that is pure fantasy in a world where hundreds of thousands of new books are published daily; the chances of one tiny novel standing out are phenomenal.  This article from the Huffington Post explains it all: "The Ten Awful Truths--and the Ten Wonderful Truths--About Book Publishing". After the first surge of sales (which in non-famous, newbie author terms was about 25 paperbacks during one week), it has inevitably slowed down to a trickle (6 paperbacks last week, but up from the week before). These numbers don't include the books...