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Long Overdue Update

Well, I've been doing a terrible job of updating the blog, haven't I? I'm definitely still blogging, I've just been focusing a lot of my energy on my Psychology Today blog (Psychology for Writers) and the QueryTracker Blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Google+!

If you haven't checked them out, you might be interested in some of my recent Psychology Today posts. You'll notice they're all about characterization—those seem to be the most popular!
Over on the QueryTracker Blog, author/lawyer Leslie Budewitz and I recently exchanged views on the insanity defense. She wrote about historical and modern legal approaches, and I wrote about which psychological disorders your characters would (and would not) need to have to plead insanity.  I also do writing-and-fiction Q&As over on the QTB. Recent questions sought information on dissociative amnesia and brainwashing. (Forensics specialist Kristy Lahoda has also been doing explosives Q&As over on the QTB!)  You might also enjoy:

Archetype Writing Site

I have continued to keep Archetype Writing alive, and today I spent an hour going through the site with a fine-toothed comb to fix some dead and misdirected links.

The Writer's Guide to Psychology

If you haven't yet picked up a copy of The Writer's Guide to Psychology, I'm thrilled to say that the book has received excellent reviews and is selling quite well on (where you can get an autographed copy)! It can be difficult to find in brick-and-mortar bookstores, though if you have a local Powell's Books, they're sometimes in stock there.

Q&A Problems Fixed; Book Updates

If you've tried to send a question through my Q&A form and it hasn't worked OR if you sent me a question and I never answered it, please re-send. Someone let me know about the problem, and I've gotten the form all fixed now, and I'm receiving the questions properly again! I haven't done any Q&As lately for the blog, and I'd like to remedy that!

In Other News...

My latest Psychology Today post, What You Think You Know About Psychology May Be Wrong, was selected to be an Essential Read in PT's Creativity area, and was also recognized in a CNN Health blog.  The post is essentially a reiteration of the WGTP's premise, so if you like the post, you'll love the book!

Writer Stina Lindenblatt posted a wonderful review of the WGTP this morning -- she called it brilliant! You can check it out here.

The Kindle version of The Writer's Guide to Psychology is finally available!!  If you prefer a hard copy, of course, you can also get one of those!

Finally, don't forget my upcoming book signing in Columbus, Ohio: Saturday, January 22nd @ 2pm at the Borders on Kenny Road.

Guest Posts & WGTP Giveaway Winner

Be sure to stop by Murder by 4 for a guest post today (Friday) about mistakes writers make in thriller/suspense fiction, including misconceptions about the Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity plea and The Ambiguously Insane (But Often Brilliant) Villain.  On Monday, stop by Mary Lindsey's delightful Purposeful, Deliberate Waffling blog for a guest post on what I've learned (and wanted to pass on to you) about publishing a book.


Thanks to everyone who posted comments here, through the Facebook feeds, and through email!  I threw all the names in a hat and the winner of the signed book and the fab mug is....Deb Salisbury!  Congratulations!  Deb, could you email me with your snail mail addy, please?  (My email address is here if you need it.)

Thank you too to everyone who participated in the blog tour, whether as a reader, a host, or a commenter! If you didn't win a signed copy to keep for yourself or give as a gift (or both!), Amazon has a great price -- and I've been promised that a Kindle edition is coming very soon! I will be sure to post again here when that happens.

Psychology Today Blog

In the meantime, if you haven't had a chance yet to check out out my Psychology Today blog, Psychology for Writers, please stop by!  So far we've talked about haunted asylums, what makes a good villain, The Vampire Diaries, and what to do when your personal issues show up in your stories!

Today is the day!  The day every writer waits for and dreams about -- the day her first book hits shelves.

For me, that book is THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO PSYCHOLOGY: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior.

If you haven't ordered a copy yet, you can visit my WGTP website for more information including the media kit (which includes review excerpts) and a detailed table of contentsfollow me on Facebook, or visit my new YouTube channel.  And you can always send me your psychology and writing question here at Archetype Writing.

I am also thrilled to announce that in addition to enthusiastic blurbs from novelists like Jonathan Kellerman, Jilliane Hoffman, and Roberta Isleib, my first reviews are in from the New York Journal of Books, and they're  excellent. Please read a brief review from the NYJB here and a much more extensive one (by a different reviewer) here.

I created the Archetype Writing website several years ago with the WGTP still just a seed of an idea in my mind.  My goal was twofold: first, to try out the idea of psychology for writers (thank you all for your support along the way!), and second, to build a platform. I know that Archetype has grown a little static as I've worked on the book, but the site is still alive!  I hope to be able to update more regularly in the upcoming months.

Blog Tour & Giveaways

In the meantime, please celebrate my book release with me!  Over the next two weeks, I will be doing a blog tour.  Several of the stops will include giveaways of autographed books!

This week:
Dec 1: QueryTracker Blog
Dec 2: Shooting Stars
Dec 3: Murder by Four (moved to 12/10)

Next week:
Dec 6: Danyelle Leafty/Myth-Stakes
Dec 7: Imperfect Clarity
Dec 8: Christine Fonseca
Dec 9: Elana Johnson -
          Also, Christine Fonseca is also going to review the book this day.
Dec 10: Murder by Four is hosting a guest post

Dec 13: Mary Lindsey      

Archetype Book and Mug Giveaway!

I'll be keeping you posted on the various giveaways here.  I'm also going to be doing one here.  Post a comment here, on the Archetype blog between now and next Thursday, December 9th, and you'll be entered to win not only an autographed copy of the book, but also a very special, very rare Writer's Guide to Psychology mug!  I'll announce the winner here on Friday, December 10th.

Emotional Intensity Book Winner!

Thank you to everyone who commented on the interview with Emotional Intensity author Christine Fonseca. Time to announce the winner!  I printed out the comments, cut them up, and threw them into a hat and out came Kay Elizabeth's name!

Kay, Christine will be contacting you to get your address so she can send out your signed copy!

If you'd still like a copy, you can order one from Amazon (they are waiting for another shipment in a couple of weeks, if you can wait that long).  If you want one right now, you can order the book or even get a PDF copy directly from the publisher, Prufrock Press.

Thank you again to everyone who participated!

Today we're joined by fellow author and psychologist Christine Fonseca, who's talking to us about giftedness, the writing life, and book promotion. Read on to learn about why you (and your children) may be intense, and how to deal with that perfectionism!

To celebrate the release of her first book, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings, we're giving a copy away! I'm going to throw the names of everyone who comments on this post into a hat (seriously...I have lots of hats) and draw a winner. enter, leave a comment below!  I'll post the winner here on Wednesday  Friday (deadline extended)!

1. How did you decide to write Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings?

After working with families of gifted students through the school district, I became increasingly aware of how society perceives the emotional aspects of giftedness as opposed to the cognitive attributes. Most people love the way a gifted child can solve problems with intensity, but do not understand that same intensity when it comes through via their emotions. As a result, too many kids grow to believe their emotions make them less – make them crazy.

Something needed to be done to help kids, parents and educators understand the emotional aspects of giftedness. Thus the idea for this book was born.

2. How do you define giftedness?

Great question. As you may know, there is no standard agreed upon definition of giftedness. That being said, I like this one the best (From the National Association for Gifted Children, NAGC):
“A gifted person is someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression.”
To expand that a bit, I would also say that a gifted individual demonstrates a specific set of attributes within their cognitive and emotional domains consistent amongst the gifted. This includes a high level of intensity in all aspects of their lives – cognitively and emotionally.

3. Why can gifted people be so intense?

I find the intensity to be a nature part of giftedness, related to how gifted kids interact with the world. Unfortunately, while being cognitively intense is generally a great thing at any age, being emotionally intense can be problematic – especially if you have not yet developed the emotional tools necessary to work with the intensity.

I remember working with a group of 3rd and 4th grade gifted students recently. I asked them to tell me the top things they worry about. Instead of the typical answers you may expect to hear from 8 and 9 year olds (my grades, my parents, my dog dying – that sort of thing), these children confessed their fears about the wars our country is involved in, the natural disasters that had been occurring, global warming and whether or not the country was headed for problems economically.

A gifted child truly approaches life looking through a very different lens – one that is much more global and intense.

4. Perfectionism is a problem for so many writers, and also for many gifted students. Do you have any tips to help people deal with their perfectionism?

I think the first thing to do is set realistic goals. If you, as a writer, tend to average 500 words during your writing sessions, don’t set a goal for 1K.

Next, it’s important to focus on the process – the journey – not just the outcome. If I had been outcome oriented when I queried that first novel, I would have quit three years ago. But I didn’t, because I focused on what I was learning, not on the fact that I hadn’t yet achieved my goals.

Check your perspective. Too often we have a faulty perspective of our world. When we get one rejection, we say “EVERYONE hates this book, again.” Not true. A better statement would be “This isn’t the right story for this agent.” Same event, two distinct ways of looking at it.

Bottom line, perfectionism is not completely bad – it is a driving force that enables us to continual grow and develop. But, taken to an extreme, it will paralyze us. It’s important to utilize some of the above strategies to prevent perfectionism from keeping you from achieving your goals.

6. What have you learned along this journey toward publication, both about yourself and about being a writer?

Needless to say, my journey towards publication did not really start with that first novel. Or the second. It started with my nonfiction.

Through this journey, I have experienced amazing highs – finding an agent, selling my first…and second…books, holding my galleys in my hand, holding the book in my hands. I have also experienced extreme lows – having to shelve a novel…and another, rewriting a story from a blank page, endless rejections, endless confidence issues, jealousy.

All of it has been part of my journey, teaching me what persistence really means, patience, tolerance, and an acceptance that this is NOT a journey I could have done alone. These are things many gifted individuals never get a chance to learn. Perhaps that is why so many gifted peeps are drawn to the creative arts – for a chance to not only express themselves, but to find a true challenge.

7. In addition to EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS, you have another book coming out this spring: 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS: THE ULTIMATE HANDBOOK. Where do you find your ideas?

Giftedness is a significant underserved population when it comes to advice books. My ideas come from endless conversations with gifted adults and children – listening to their concerns, answering their questions, offering help when I can.

Fiction is a different story. These ideas come from people-watching. Yes, that’s right – I LOVE to spy on people, listen to the things they talk about, how they interact with each other. All of my stories usually start there – whether I am writing a contemporary “issue” piece, or exploring some dark gothic fantasy.

8. How do you find the time for your writing?

Like every other writer balancing multiple careers, I scrap time whenever and wherever I can. I am a pretty driven and disciplined person when it comes to work (unlike my approach to exercise), so finding time usually isn’t a problem. My issue, is remembering to stay balanced – take some down time in between projects, take time to flake out, that sort of thing.

9. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about your book/s?

I just want to take a moment and thank everyone for the wonderful support I’ve had for EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS. The stories of hope and the ah-ha moments parents have emailed me about make every moment of this entire process worth it.

Thanks for having me Carolyn. I can’t wait to celebrate YOUR book release soon.  (Isn't she awesome? -Carolyn)

Want more info on Christine and her books?  You can read the first chapter of Emotional Intensity here. You can also visit her website or blog, or find her on Facebook or Twitter. The book is now available, and you can order it here, or get the e-reader version here.

Archetype Writing Site: Back Up!

I got in touch with the person with the power to fix things, finally, and the Archetype site is back up!  Apologies again for the interruption, and I'm hopeful that won't ever happen again!

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