Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Melissa Ohnoutka

Hey Guys...

Here's another RWA Chapter mate with her book, and a blog about something we all can relate to. Fear. Welcome Melissa and take it away.

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Conquering Fear, Let me Count the Ways

Publishing a book really takes a lot out of you. Mentally, emotionally, physically. I had no idea. At one time I thought you just wrote a book, sent it in and voila! People would love it as much as I did. It wasn't long before reality hit hard. My first contest was a real eye opener. Gulp. I thought about throwing in the towel, but it was too late. The writing bug had me and wouldn't let go. It was just too rewarding and fun to give up. Other mom's look forward to getting out of the house for some physical activity like the gym, running or playing tennis to unwind. Me, I want to create something.

But it's taken years for me to come out of the closet so to speak. I started writing seriously when my second child was born to save my sanity. She's now almost fifteen years old and, even to this day, if you asked someone close to me if they knew I was a writer you'd get this blank stare. Or even a comment like, "Nah, you must be talking about someone else." Then if you tell them you're quite certain it's the right Melissa Ohnoutka (could there possibly be another person out there with my name?) and I write about murder, psychos, human trafficking, etc. and they'd really think you'd swallowed some kind of hallucinating drug. My poor mother still thinks something horrible happened to me when I was little that she doesn't know about. Why else would this weird stuff be floating around in my head? LOL

So why not tell people I'm a writer? Hmmm…Good question. And I have lots of answers, none of which are any good. All I have are a bunch of excuse for keeping quiet. Fear tops this list. But fear is part of this wild and whacky game, right? Another in my top five is blaming it on being shy and not wanting any attention drawn to myself. Speaking in front of people turns me into a babbling brook of stutters, short quick sentences, and sends my heart pounding like crazy. After four years of queries, conferences and face to face pitches, I've learned that being shy and giving into the fear just isn't going to cut it. These challenging experiences are helping me grow and making me stronger. No matter how much they seemed to hurt.

So when Christie asked if I would like to do a guest post, my first reaction was to run for the hills, dig a deep hole and stay there till one of my kids came looking for me. They would you know. Especially when supper wasn't ready or they needed a pair of clean socks. But thankfully common sense and that part inside me that loves to write knocked me around a bit and I realized the error of my thinking. You betcha I want to be a guest.

I owe this new found courage to a great book I came across last year. "Failing Forward," by John C. Maxwell. And it's not just for writers. No matter what your dream is, there is one truth and it rang loud and clear. There is no success without failure. So take those risks. Move forward. And Dare to Dream!

If you'd like to find out more about my new release "Faithful Deceptions" or what's up next, please visit me at:

Links for Faithful Deceptions:

Amazon -

Barnes & Noble -

Thanks for having me ladies!


C.C. Hunter said...

Hi Melissa!

Thanks so much for joining us today at Killer Fiction.

I love your topic of fear. I think we all deal with this.


Anonymous said...

I'm a fairly outgoing person (I hear some of you snorting), but I can relate to fear. And failure. And questioning my ability as an author. But then I have great friends that give me tons of support.

I suppose fear is necessary and keeps us humble. Still, I prefer a healthy dose of courage.

Congrats, Melissa, on your new release.

Happy sales!


Melissa said...

Thanks again for letting me join you today, Christie! I enjoy reading your blog. There is always a great laugh, something interesting or helpful I can use. :)

Melissa said...

Jenn, your spunky attitude is awesome! And I would never snort at you. LOL

Isn't there a quote somewhere, "There is no Courage without Fear?" Drats! I guess there is no getting around it. You are so right! Thank goodness for the support of great friends!!

Unknown said...

Even the best of us can suffer from shyness and fear of rejection. Mark Twain said, "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it." Tennyson said, "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, he is simply braver five minutes longer."

Like it or not, Melissa, you're a Hero...:)

Bethany said...


You wrote an incredibly good novel, and you're such a sweetheart to boot.

Great post--I can definitely relate!

Rock on :-)

Melissa said...

Not sure about the Hero part, Will. LOL It won't be easy, but I can do this! Especially with you guys in my corner. :)

Melissa said...

Bethany, thank you so much! This has been really exciting, but the best part is having my writing buds to share it with. :)