Guests – SlushHeap

Raymond Benson October 22, 2013

He’s back and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

Raymond Benson is joining the SlushHeap panel once again and this time we will be discussing The Obstacles Authors Must Overcome. Raymond has certainly demonstrated his ability to get through the rough patches to enjoy tremendous success. His book, published in 1984 and entitled The James Bond Bedside Companion, was what set the ball rolling. Since then, he has completed six books in the James Bond series, the first two books in the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell series, and, of course, his most recent works, The Black Stiletto Series.

His long line up of impressive titles speaks for itself, but that doesn’t mean that Raymond didn’t experience many of the same obstacles that other authors face every day. He will join us on SlushHeap to discuss what writers can do to get past those potential road blocks. You can watch him live on October 22, 2013 at 7pm EST. In the meantime, check out his personal website for more information and take a few minutes to watch his book trailer below.

Rachel Thompson October 22, 2013

We have been watching Rachel Thompson for quite some time now. Anyone in the writing community can benefit from her knowledge and willingness to share. Now, we are fortunate enough to announce that she will be sitting down with us, live, on Slushheap.

Rachel is an award-winning author. Her works include Broken Pieces, Walk in the Snark, and Mancode: Exposed. Her success as an author is, in part, due to her efforts with BadRedhead Media, which is a company that aims to assist authors in building and marketing their individual brands. As owner and operator of the company, with more than 200,000 followers on Twitter, another four thousand on Google+, and equally as many on Facebook, she has certainly made an example of herself.

In addition to her social media impact, Rachel’s voice is clear in her many articles written for San Francisco Book Review,,,, and Self Publishing Monthly.

There are so many reasons why this bestselling author is a welcome guest on the SlushHeap panel, but there is one point on which we disagree with the self-proclaimed bad redhead… coconut is not something to be hated!

Don’t miss Rachel Thompson on October 22, 2013 as we discuss Obstacles Authors Must Overcome.

Kate Tilton

On October 8, 2013, SlushHeap will happily welcome Kate Tilton to the panel for a discussion centered on Hiring an Author Assistant.

Kate’s guest post of The Bad Red Head Blog led to surge of interest on the topic. We’re thankful that she’ll be bringing her experience to our stage for an evening of talk surrounding how authors’ lives can be made easier. What does an author assistant do? Can you afford to hire one? What does it take to be a great author assistant? We’ll be sure to ask her all of the important questions and inquire with her about the Thursday night Twitter talk called #k8chat and why others might be interested in joining.

To learn more about what Kate does, visit her website and watch her live on SlushHeap!
Annette Stone October 8, 2013

Annette Stone joins the SlushHeap crew on October 8, 2013. She is a perfect fit for the episode entitled ‘Hiring an Author Assistant’ because she has been hard at work building a business by helping others promote their books, interact with their readers, and maintain the constant overwhelming long to-do lists that all authors know so well.

With a background in Accounting, she already had a mind for business that easily made the transition to her more recent line of work. As the owner and operator of Author Assistant Agency, she is consistently making the crazy world of writing, publishing, and marketing a little easier. For more information on what services she offers, visit Annette’s website and don’t miss her appearance on SlushHeap!
R. Harlan Smith October 1, 2013

Writer, author, artist, educator… personality, R. Harlan Smith has been a big supporter of SlushHeap since his first surprise appearance in Season One. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to highlight him as a guest on October 1, 2013 as we talk about Determining Your Niche Market.

Harlan has several books now available on Amazon, with his best seller being Robin of Tudor Gables – a story of a young boy making his way in the aftermath of WWII and trying to figure out why the adults around him are so crazy.

In a recent blog post, Harlan admitted that he writes for a female audience. Though many male readers would argue that his books are equally enjoyable for both sexes, success in business (success as an author) often comes fastest to those who have a clear description of who their biggest buyers will be. This is what makes Harlan the perfect guest for this week’s episode of SlushHeap.

You can watch Harlan live on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7pm EST right here.

Marguerite Ashton October 1, 2013

Mother of five, Marguerite Ashton is not new to a busy schedule or a demanding audience, which is perfectly evident when one considers the vast number of responsibilities she carries in the writing industry.

As the founder of the popular Criminal Lines blog, Marguerite was able to create a tight-knit community of those most drawn to mysteries and crime series. A partnership with former guest, Joe Giacalone also led to the Google+ Crime Writers Panel community and HOA. In her spare time, she hosts a regular BlogTalkRadio show, entitled Criminal Lines Radio and somehow finds the time to write. The first book in her proposed Crossing Series is entitled Burned Bridges and is currently available on Amazon for just $1.99 (kindle edition).

You can learn more about Marguerite Ashton on her personal website or by visiting our Watch SlushHeap page on Tuesday, October 1 at 7:00pm EST.

Aaron Wood October 1, 2013

Born and raised in a volcanic lair (I didn’t say it, I just copied what he wrote), Aaron Wood is now enjoying life as a graphic artist in Massachusetts. He has achieved a great deal of success with his artwork, featured on Etsy, which holds tightly to the Pop Art mantra with special homage paid to social media, Star Trek, and ‘old skool’ video games.

This is Aaron’s third time on the SlushHeap panel. He has joined us in the past to discuss Cover Art and Crowd Funding. On October 1, 2013, he will claim a seat in the Google+ Hangout on Air to talk about Determining Your Niche Market. The show will air live at 7:00 pm EST. You can watch it here.

In the meantime, check out this clip of Aaron Wood claiming that Amazon continues to do a ‘major disservice to authors.’

Katie Hayoz October 1, 2013

Katie Hayoz, friend of the show, will join us, once again, on the SlushHeap panel to talk about Determining Niche Markets on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7pm EST. You can watch it live here.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the new cover of Katie’s YA paranormal novel, entitled Untethered and watch the clip below featuring clips of her last appearance on SlushHeap. Read more about her on our Friends of the Show page and send her some love on Twitter.

LM Preston September 24, 2013

Washington D.C. native, L.M. Preston is joining the SlushHeap team on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 to discuss Writing Books for Kids. Her Middle Grade and YA novels are written with a sophisticated tone that doesn’t attempt to dilute heavy situations for her young audience. The outcome is a series of fantastic stories that can be appreciated by readers of any age.

Her efforts have not gone unrecognized and neither has her dedication to the industry. In 2012, Preston served as Vice President of Mid Atlantic Book Association and as co-chair for the Maryland Writer’s Conference. She continues to work as moderator for YA Lit Chat and will undoubtedly have a great deal of advice for the new writers in the audience.

This is a guest that you don’t want to miss. While you wait for the show to begin, take a look at her website or watch her book trailer below.

Jo Marshall September 24, 2013

As the author of the absolutely adorable series, Twig Stories, Jo Marshall is an inspiration to new writers aiming to reach the youngest market. Her main character, Leaf, is lovable, adventurous, but most importantly relatable to children.

The landscapes evident in her books are not a far cry from what Jo Marshall witnesses daily from her Washington home. In fact, it was her growing concern for the environment around her that led her to create the series. She hopes that children will discover her own love of Mother Nature as they read. This is a small part of her efforts to save the world for the coming generations, as she continues work with the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Writing wasn’t always her primary passion. Her degree in German Language and Literature was put to the test when she took a position as liaison in West Berlin. She then moved on to devote her legal knowledge to nonprofit organizations.

We have to say that while we admire her work in other areas, we are very happy that Jo decided to put her thoughts on paper. We are even more pleased that she has decided to talk with us about it. She’ll be with us on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 7pm EDT.

Samantha Chase September 17, 2013

USA Today- and NY Times Best Seller, Samantha Chase will join the SlushHeap panel on September 17, 2013 to discuss Writing Characters of the Opposite Sex.

Long time teacher, Samantha Chase had taught her students to follow their dreams, to work hard, and to never give up. So, what sort of role model would she have been had she ignored her own advice. In 2011, she stepped up to the plate, inspired by the young minds that surrounded her, and released her first novel to the public — Jordan’s Return.

This first step might have been a difficult one, but it paid off. She now has a catalog of nine romance novels available on Amazon, including her part in a love series co-authored by Noelle Adams, Judy Angelo, and Stacey Joy Netzel.

In any traditional romance, an author must write two characters of opposing sexes, which makes Samantha Chase the perfect choice for this episode of SlushHeap. We really look forward to speaking with her. You don’t want to miss it!

Dave Newell September 17, 2013

Self-published authors are sure to love Dave Newell, who joins the show on September 17, 2013 to discuss Writing Characters of the Opposite Sex.

He wrote his novel, Red Lory very quickly; had it edited, reviewed and published in no time, and has since received news that it will be made into a film.

So, what inspires a man to act so quickly when it comes to writing? In his words: “Knowing a baby was coming was motivation to finish before I died of sleep deprivation.”.

We asked Dave to join the show because he has a very strong writing style that truly brings characters to life on the page. He has seen great success (in his relatively new career path) as a result. If you have been following Dave on Twitter, G+ or via his blog in recent months, then you likely know that Red Lory movie rights have been purchased by Tikaba, Inc. In addition, the audio version of the book was read by award-winning voice over specialist, Richard Henzel.

In short, he inspired us and we know that he will do the same for you. Don’t miss Dave Newell, author of Red Lory!

Carrie Butler September 10, 2013

Carrie Butler will join the SlushHeap team on September 10, 2013 at 7pm EDT to discuss what it takes to write an effective love story.

Carrie is highly esteemed in the writing world, despite being quite young. She has achieved a lot, including the cooperative effort to launch and the recognition of this feat by USA Today.

The sequel to her very well received Strength: Mark of the Nexus will hit the market soon. Readers have high expectations with the first of the series being ranked at 4.5 stars, after 80 reviews on Amazon.

This, she says, all came about because she was a big daydreamer in school. The business classes that she needed to complete for her major were obviously not too much of a struggle for her, as she graduated summa cum laude, despite her wandering mind. The two facets of her personality combined quite nicely, as she now creates stunning romance novels and markets them with flair.

Learn more about this up-and-coming star on her website or watch her live as we talk about romance… you never know where the conversation could lead.

Marguerite Ashton July 16, 2013

As the founder of the popular Criminal Lines blog, Marguerite Ashton has certainly left her mark on the writing community, but she isn’t done just yet. Not only has Ashton co-created the Google+ Crime Fiction Writers Community, she is also prepared to join us on SlushHeap for an episode about proper Research for Authors. This is a topic that has been close to her heart for a long time and she certainly has a lot of very useful advice to offer to new authors.

You can learn more about this amazing writer, lifelong learner, and dedicated mentor on her personal website. You might also take a listen to her regular BlogTalkRadio show, entitled Criminal Lines Radio, or you could just sit on the edge of your seat this Tuesday, July 16th from 7:00-8:00PM EDT.

Joe Giacalone July 16, 2013

Most would be impressed with simply meeting a man who served with the New York Police Department, but the SlushHeap teams looks for extraordinary people. Fortunately, we had the pleasure of meeting Joe Giacalone. The retired member of the NYPD and former Commanding Officer of the Bronx Cold Case Squad is an inspiration.

Joe’s book, The Criminal Investigative Function: A Guide for New Investigators surprised the author by attracting an unexpected niche in the market – authors. Those writing crime fictions and horror novels can, of course, benefit from the knowledge and experience of a man who saw such scenes firsthand, which is exactly why we have invited former Detective Sergeant Giacalone to join our panel and discuss the importance of research for authors.

When asked what he wanted the audience to know, Joe answered, “I’m just a regular guy that had a dream to be a published author and worked hard to achieve it no matter how many hours of sleep that I lost. One day, there will be plenty of time for sleep!” That will undoubtedly be the underlying theme, as most successful authors agree that good research and great writing takes time. Watch Joe live on Tuesday, July 16th at 7:00PM EDT and learn more about the amazing man on his personal website.

Caley Rose July 9, 2013

We might have invited Caley Rose simply to make SlushHeap look and sound better. After all, this Columbia University trained actress is not only beautiful, she has a voice to die for. However, it wasn’t just her stunning looks or her sexy voice that led us to her, it was the fantastic reviews she earned for her skills as a voiceover artist.

Caley has made a name for herself on stage and on air, but we more look forward to her appearance on SlushHeap, where she will help to explain the importance and the process behind the Creation of Audio Books on July 9, 2013. Afterward, we will be happy to let Disney, Budweiser, Sea World, and her many clients claim her attentions once again.

This is an episode that you won’t want to miss, but just in case you can’t wait, be sure to check Caley out on her personal website or watch her interviewing skills as work below:

Dai Kornberg July 9, 2013

The SlushHeap team would like to introduce you to a very talented individual, known as Dai Kornberg. We were introduced to Dai via a good friend, Will Bevis, and were immediately impressed upon listening to his audio sample.

Dai once called himself a teacher and spent many years in a special education classroom helping to shape the youth of America, but his degree from New York University was for Communications and communicate he does. He is now better known for his talents in cartoon voiceover.

We are very excited to welcome Dai to our panel for our discussion about Audio Book Creation, a topic he certainly knows a great deal about. However, we might also have to inquire about his pet tarantula named after his mother-in-law!

In all seriousness, you won’t want to miss this show, airing on Tuesday, July 9th at 7:00pm EDT. You can learn more about Dai Kornberg on his YouTube Channel, where he showcases another of his many talents — strolling magic.
Marla Miller June 25, 2013

We asked Marla Miller, perhaps better known as ‘Writers’ Mama’, to join us on SlushHeap on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 because of her success with Kickstarter. It’s true that Marla was able to reach her goals on the crowdfunding website and was provided the financial backing necessary to afford the production of her novel, titled Deadly Little Secrets. However, that is hardly her only achievement in the industry.

Marla Miller has earned her nickname because of her steadfast drive to learn the ins and outs of the writing industry and then to share that information with those who followed in her footsteps. Today, she hosts a Google+ HOA talk show called Indie Authors with our previous guest, Jason Matthews, teaches writing workshops, participates on writers’ panels, and subscribes to the believe that a successful author must be much more than a good writer.

We truly look forward to the insight this longstanding author will undoubtedly share on Tuesday evening. Please take the time to learn more about Marla Miller, buy her books, and watch her live on SlushHeap!

Cory Basil June 18, 2013

Joining us for our episode about Book Signings is Cory Basil. The author has demonstrated that he is both multitalented and dedicated to advancing himself in the creative industries.

Our audience members might know Cory Basil best for his illustrative work in Amy Neftzger’s The Orphanage of Miracles, but Cory is an author as well. His collection of poetry, entitled Skinny Dipping in Daylight, was released in December, 2012 and his second written work, entitled The Perils of Fishboy, is expected to release in October of this year.

Still, despite his many successes with writing, illustration, music, and his Grammy-winning film, Cory Basil likes to suggest that his biggest claim to fame was his ability to sleep with his eyes open. We just hope that he won’t put this talent to use on SlushHeap!

You can learn more about Cory Basil on his personal website or you can watch him live on SlushHeap on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 at 7:00PM EDT. For those who have not yet experienced his skill in film making, please check out the video below:

Alana Terry June 18, 2013

Another repeat guest, Alana Terry will surely have a lot to say… now that she has a new microphone! Alana is the author of multiple works and has recently returned from a book signing. She will tell us a bit about her experience and the tricks she uses to draw an audience to her table while promoting her books.

Alana Terry is the author of The Beloved Daughter, A Boy Named Silas: The First Five Years, and What No Sushi?; My Solar-Powered History at a Japanese-American Internment Camp. You can learn more about Alana on her personal website. Order her book, The Beloved Daughter here and she will donate $5 to Samaritans Purse to help the victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes.
Amy Neftzger June 18, 2013

Joining us for a second time, author Amy Neftzger takes an unusual approach to book promotion. She will tell us a bit about why she avoids book signings on SlushHeap 9: Book Signings, Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT.

Amy’s book, The Orphanage of Miracles was recently released for public purchase. It can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Fog Ink websites. You can also get a better idea of what the book is all about by watching the book trailer below.

Slash Coleman June 11, 2013

On July 16, 2013, Slash Coleman released his first book, entitled ‘The Bohemian Love Diaries’, but by that point in time he had already built a rather large fan base.

This one-man off-Broadway act is proving over and over again that he has the ability to tell a story in a way that few can. His words capture us, his drive amazes us, and his works entertain us.

You can find evidence of Slash Coleman’s genius at Psychology Today, where he keeps a regular blog, can buy his book on Amazon, can get a feel for his brilliance on stage via his YouTube channel, and can witness him as a member of the SlushHeap panel on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:00PM EST.

Joey Pinkney June 11, 2013

Best known for his efforts to promote other writers, Joey Pinkney is a writer in is his own right and has proven that he can take a brand and make it something great.

His website went online in 2006 and has sense become a major sensation with authors across the world. He has put his skills to great use providing a service that authors greatly desire as they fight to get their books to the top of an ever-growing mound of published works.

In addition to straight reviews, Joey Pinkney offers author interviews on his ‘Five Minutes, Five Questions with…’ blog, interview trailers, and social media backing. As his brand grows, so to do the reputation of the authors he supports.

We look forward to having Joey Pinkney on SlushHeap this Tuesday at 7:00PM EST. He will voice his opinions on the topic of Marketing and Brand Management for Authors. We believe that this is a show that you won’t want to miss! You can learn more about Joey Pinkney on his personal website.

You can see an example of his work for other authors below:

Jason Matthews June 11, 2013

With nine books now available on Amazon — including two of a proposed three part series — Jason Matthews is hardly new to the industry and much of his success can be attributed to a strong marketing plan.

We discovered Jason as a result of his own Google+ HOA. He recently partnered with another host to continue ‘Indie Authors’. This week marked the 56th episode of the ‘by authors, for authors’ show.

His experience in the market has driven him to assist those just beginning the journey, which is made evident by his self-help novels dedicated to creating, publishing, and selling e-books. This, we feel, makes Jason Matthews the perfect guest for SlushHeap and we are looking forward to speaking with him about marketing and brand management for authors on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:00PM EST. Please be sure to tune in! You can learn more about the author, talk show host, husband, and father at

You can watch an episode of Indie Author with Jason Matthews below:

John Ward June 11, 2013

This Tuesday, June 11, 2013, we have the pleasure of being joined by John Ward, founder of the Writer’s Discussion Group on Google+. This is the largest author-related community on the social media channel with just shy of 12,000 members.

Ironically, John Ward has proven to be better at building a brand than the majority of authors on the web, yet his first book is not due to hit the market until later this year. Thus far, the majority of his efforts have been dedicated to illustration. We hope to delve into his artistic adventures on the show, but we are also eagerly anticipating the additions John will make to our conversation on Marketing and Brand Management for Authors.

As opposed to asking fans to visit his website, John Ward has chosen to stay exclusively affiliated with Google+. You can learn more about John and his efforts in the writing community on his Google+ Page.

You can see John on the other side of the interview below:

Melissa Wyllie June 4, 2013

On June 4, 2013, Melissa Wyllie joined the panel of SlushHeap to discuss publishing. This up-and-coming author will be releasing her book entitled ‘Boundless’ in April, 2014. However, this is hardly her first experience with the writing industry.

Wyllie is the owner and operator of Found Feather Communications, a PR company prepared to represent authors like you! Her efforts can help to ensure your book is found among the masses of manuscripts self-published today.

We enjoyed talking with Melissa and hope that she will join us again. Learn more about her and her company at or You can also watch her appearance on SlushHeap on our ‘Watch SlushHeap Page’.
J. Johannes Froebel-Parker (“John”) June 4, 2013

It was not the dream of making millions that set J. Johannes Froebel-Parker (aka. John) on the road to writing his first book, but a desire to learn. His works, including The First Kindergarten, were founded on his research of his family line. It could be said that genealogy is John’s first love and writing is his second.

We look forward to speaking with J. Johannes Froebel-Parker about publishing because he chose to approach it in a very unique way with The First Kindergarten, which is now available on Amazon, along with his other, very well received work, Grandma Harrington and the Queen’s Wardrobe.

News was recently received that the latter of his works received a positive review by Thruline Entertainment and a recommendation to be considered as a motion picture.

John will join the SlushHeap panel on June 4th, 2013 at 7:00PM EST. Don’t miss it!
Amy Neftzger June 4, 2013

Before saying anything else about this guest, who will soon join us on the SlushHeap panel, we’d first like offer our congratulations. Amy Neftzger recently released a Young Adult Fantasy Novel called ‘The Orphanage of Miracles.’ We wish her great success with the project and hope that our viewers will reward her efforts.

Amy’s book was published by Fog Ink. This publishing company is based in Nashville, TN and founded on the principle of finding works with meaning, depth, and with something great to offer readers.

Prior to the June 4th episode of SlushHeap, where Amy will speak with us about publishing, she will be keeping herself busy at Book Expo America 2013 in NYC. To read more about these adventures and about the author in general, visit her blog or watch SlushHeap on Tuesday, June 4th at 7:00PM EST.
Toni Rakestraw May 28, 2013

Our apologies to this wonderful guest for not having her information up in advance, but Toni Rakestraw demonstrated just how much she has to offer the writing community when she joined the SlushHeap panel on May 28, 2013 to discuss editing.

Toni admits that she has been correcting her English teachers for as long as she can remember. It took a little insight and a lot of drive to turn that ability into something more constructive.

Today, Toni Rakestraw helps authors make their books shine. However, she has also taken on writing endeavors of her own, including her first published novel, ‘Titanic Deception’, which she co-authored with her husband and our Friend of the Show, John Rakestraw.

A list of the books Toni has worked on can be found at Be sure to check that out and, if you missed the Editing episode of SlushHeap, watch it here.
Katie Hayoz May 28, 2013

Live from Switzerland, Wisconsin native, Katie Hayoz joins us to speak about Editing on our sixth episode of SlushHeap. She recently published her first young adult novel, entitled ‘Untethered’, which she labels as a paranormal, coming of age tale.

It is not just her experience as an author that urged us to reach out to Katie Hayoz. This is a young woman who is entirely dedicated to the writing community. She has been a community member of the Geneva Writer’s Group for nine years. She has spent the time — nearly a decade — focusing her efforts on building and maintaining writing workshops, group critiques, and master classes. As the Assistant Director of the Geneva Writers’ Conference and a member of the editorial committee for the literary review, she has long acknowledged the need for ‘another pair of eyes’ to make a good book great.

We look forward to speaking with Katie on a topic that has been at the center of much debate in recent years. She will join us on May 28, 2013 at 7:00PM EST. You can learn more about Katie Hayoz at
Raymond Benson May 21, 2013

If you don’t know who Raymond Benson is, then he did his job as a ghost writer well!

Truth be told, while many may not be aware that Raymond Benson was the author of ‘Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell’, because he worked as a ghost writer for that project, many will recognize the name. As author of twenty-nine published books, Benson is hardly new on the scene. He was the third author of the official continuation James Bond novels, for which he is very well known. He wrote six original titles and three movie novelizations in the series.

Raymond Benson has a knack for turning ordinary words into literary masterpieces, which was the case for many of his video game novelizations, including ‘Hitman: Damnation’.

We are very excited to have the opportunity to speak with Raymond Benson about his work as a ghost writer and also about his most recent works, ‘The Black Stiletto Series’. You can watch him live on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 7:00PM EST or learn more about the author at or
JS Matthews May 21, 2013

For more than three years, JSMatthew has been diligently placing pen to paper (or perhaps fingers to laptop…) in order to help others get their points across. The downside to being a freelance or ghost writer is, of course, the inability to claim many of the words as his own.

Nevertheless, JSMatthew is building a rather impressive reputation in the social media arenas, recently attended the HubPages HubCamp in Boston, and has impressed many clients with his ability to write clear, concise verbiage.

Currently, JSMatthew focuses on content writing, as well as business and product reviews. However, he is also branching out into creative writing and the combination of the three skills is why we think he could be a very useful connection for the SlushHeap audience.

We look forward to speaking with JS Matthew on our upcoming episode, Freelance and Ghost Writing for Authors, on May 21, 2013 at 7:00PM EST. Visit freelance writer, JSMattew at or at
Alana Terry May 14, 2013

We are very excited to welcome Alana Terry to our fourth episode of SlushHeap. Alana has authored multiple works, but is likely best known for her award winning, ‘The Beloved Daughter’. This inspirational novel set in North Korea was the winner of the 2012 Women of Faith Writing Contest. It went on to claim the #1 rank in the genre on Amazon within three weeks of its release.

Alana is a mother first and an author second. She has taken on the challenge of homeschooling in addition to caring for her special-needs child. She captured the challenges and victories that have come with this in her memoir, ‘A Boy Named Silas: The First Five Years’. Both of these books can be purchased via her Amazon page.

You can learn more about Alana on the next episode of SlushHeap, airing Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 7:00PM EST.
Win Charles May 14, 2013

Win Charles has become a major player in the Google+ arena and will likely be known by an even wider audience in the coming years, both for her efforts to spread awareness for the Cerebral Palsy community and for her amazing artistic talents.

Many might see her disease first, but Win is a big believer in being all that she can be and it doesn’t take long for one to realize how much she has to offer society. An uplifting attitude, an eye for digital art, and, of course, her heartfelt words in her first book ‘I, Win’ are capturing the attention of thousands.

Win — live from Aspen, CO — will join us to discuss ‘Self-Help and Inspirational Writing’ on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST. You can buy Win’s book and learn more about her on her Amazon author page. See more of her artwork on

Mimi Luk May 14, 2013

Mimi Luk is new on the self-help scene. Her efforts as a life coach and health and wellness advocate came about after she faced life-threatening circumstances. The need for a new kidney was answered by a friend and that decision provided her a second chance at life, which she has not wasted.

Mimi has been working tirelessly to create a blog meant to encourage others to share her joy and love of life. In addition to these efforts and those as a life coach, Mimi is in the process of writing her first book. Her drive has not gone unnoticed. She has been a guest writer on other websites, has been interviewed in several media and has secured her first speaking engagement abroad.

Mimi Luk — live from Vancouver, CA — will be joining us to discuss ‘Self-Help and Inspirational Writing’ on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 7:00PM EST.
John Rakestraw May 14, 2013

Joining us once again, for our fourth episode SlushHeap, entitled ‘Self-Help and Inspirational Writing’ is John Rakestraw. The Google+ HOA Host of ‘Rakestraw Book Design Live Events!’ sat on our panel last week and his input was thoroughly enjoyed. This week he will be speaking about his own efforts in the self-help realm. John’s book ‘Creative Energy: Quotes and Inspirational Writings’ is directed at the writing community and is currently available on

We loved having John on our third episode and look forward to receiving more of his insights this week. You can watch the discussion live on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 @ 7:00PM EST.
John Rakestraw May 7, 2013

Perhaps it is because he has managed to hold onto a thirty-two year marriage when so many end in divorce. Maybe it is because he has taken on the task of raising eight children. Possibly it is because of his 200+ shows on BlogTalkRadio. I could be that you have witnessed on of his more recent episodes as host of Rakestraw Book Design Live Events. Whatever the reason, one simply cannot help but be impressed by author, cover designer, actor… the winning personality known as John Rakestraw.

We certainly weren’t immune to his charms, which is why he will be joining us on the third episode of SlushHeap, airing Tuesday, May 7, 2013 @ 7:00PM EST. You can also visit his personal website.
Kathryn Chastain Treat May 7, 2013

Severe mold exposure left Kathryn Chastain Treat in an unusual situation. At forty-five years old, while raising two children, she found herself in a battle with immune system dysfunction. She was forced to quit her job, struggle with depression, and overcome the subsequent financial toll.

Now, Kathryn must be constantly cognizant of her surroundings, but she is a survivor; She is a determined mother, grandmother, and the author of ‘Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope.’

You can learn more about Kathryn on SlushHeap’s third episode, airing Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 7:00PM EST. You can also find out what inspires her by visiting her blog.

Aaron Wood May 7, 2013

Aaron Wood, Cover Artist, has claimed many things. A quick trip to his Google+ Profile will tell you that he has climbed Mount Everest, can speak in eleven languages, has been struck by lightening on three separate occasions, and that he can run a one minute mile…

If you have any hope of knowing the real Aaron Wood, then you will have to watch him on the third episode of SlushHeap, airing Tuesday May 7, 2013 @ 7:00PM EST. You can also cheat and take a little tour of his Etsy Page for a little more insight.
Dan Benz May 7, 2013

Dan Benz enters his second year at SUNY Institute of Technology as Director of Sports Information and Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach. Benz, who graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Political Science from Williams College (Williamstown, MA).

New to the virtual art world, Benz has made tremendous gains in the graphic design department within SUNY IT. With a bit of help from Matt Frost, he is slowly taking over the role of creating flyers and game programs. He has started gathering and editing videos for ceremonies around campus as well.

We are looking forward to having Dan on the show tonight, May 7th, 2013 @ 7:00PM EST. We hope you are too!
Jim Niedermeier April 30, 2013

As an inspiration to the children he sees day in and day out, who would be a better guest for our show on Children’s Literature and YA Writing than Jim Niedermeier? Earning both B.S. and M.S. degrees in English Literature, Jim’s second love was always the written word (the first being his family — wife Karen and their two young daughters). However, he also felt compelled to share that passion with others, which is why he went on to earn a Certificate of Advance Study (CAS) in Educational Leadership. He worked as an English teacher and Director of Instructional Technology until he was offered his current position as High School Principal in Upstate NY.

When asked about his career, Jim answered that “though my career path has been a little less than traditional, the through line has been my desire to expose children to writing, books, technology — things that have always been considered social class changers… Learning allows people to break through barriers of all kinds.”

To hear more about what an educator and principal looks for in Children’s and YA Literature, watch SlushHeap on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:00PM.
Karen Moulder: April 23, 2013

Karen Moulder has led a very interesting and less-than-traditional life. Her determination has helped her break numerous barriers personally and professionally. She was the first woman to be hired in the Brownsville, Texas Fire Department in 1983. Her tomboyish nature and single mother circumstance led her to this fascinating and dangerous career which lasted more than ten years. Karen’s career involved protecting lives, property, and educating the public on fire safety. She entered a man’s world in a time when few women did. As a result, she faced a series of peculiar and challenging obstacles, but also became a role model for other women.

In 2012, Karen Moulder became a published author when her auto-biography was independently published. The book, titled ‘Burning Barriers’ can be purchased at major online retailers as well as in several bookstores near her hometown of Ware, MA. To learn more about Karen, click on her photo above and please watch her interview on the premiere episode of SlushHeap, to air on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 7:00PM.