Category: People I Know

People I Know: Kelly Gurnett

Kelly Gurnett (AKA Cordelia) is a freelance writer and editor specializing in blogging — and ghostblogging! — who loves to share how fellow freelancers can “quit” dealing with the endless stream of nonsense in their lives. 

Kelly Gurnett
Kelly Gurnett

How I Know Kelly

Ah, Kelly… I have so much to say about Kelly Gurnett and her writing, I don’t even know where to start.

Kelly’s blog, Cordelia Calls It Quits got its start in 2010, the same year LittleZotz Writing was born. And, just like LittleZotz Writing, Kelly has a page on her site dedicated to explaining her business name. So, naturally, I felt an immediate sense of camaraderie with her!

I also instantly adored Kelly for her seemingly never-ending optimism.

But she’s a special kind of optimist. Her optimism isn’t a result of having never been through true hardship (too often I’ve been told “Why don’t you just _________?” from people who have never even been close to relating to what I’m going through). From dealing with mental illness first hand to dealing with the pressures to low-ball her rates as a freelancer, Kelly has always opted for a positive outlook and helps others (or, me, at least) do the same.

In particular, her posts on dealing with freelancer burnout have meant a lot to me. If you know you need a break, but can’t justify taking one in your own mind (if you’re the kind of “I AM THE JOB” crazypants freelancer like I am), then you should check these out:

There are others, of course, but this intro is getting super long. So let’s get on with the interview, shall we? Check out Kelly’s e-mailed answers to the 5 questions I ask someone every month: Continue reading “People I Know: Kelly Gurnett”

People I Know: Samar Owais

Happy 2015, Everyone! My first “PIK” interviewee of the new year is Freelance Flyer‘s Samar Owais.

Samar’s a freelance writer and blogger whose name is pronounced like “Summer.” She’s based in Dubai and is absolutely gorgeous:

Samar Owais
Samar Owais

How I Know Samar

If you’ve downloaded my free e-bookThe Freelance Writer’s ABCs, you may remember a quote from Samar in the “V is for Vending Machine Mentality” chapter. Yep. I’ve been following Samar’s work for quite a while! 🙂 And, at some point, one or both of us reached out to say “hello.”

Since Samar is based in Dubai, UAE, and I’m in Los Angeles, whatever time it is “AM” over here, it’s exactly that time “PM” where she is! So when I’m still up poking around online at 4AM, I get to chat with 4PM Samar about our lives as super cool freelance blogger ladies.

And, on a more personal note, Samar is quite the make-up expert. I’m still not as skilled as she is application-wise, but she’s definitely encouraged me to branch out a little (I now own a hot pink lipstick and sometimes attempt putting on eyeliner!). But, I think, that speaks of Samar as a whole: She’s always encouraging and motivating those around her to try new things to better themselves (and their businesses!).

So enjoy this (e-mail) interview! Find out how Samar Owais got her start, what’s next for her blogging business, and how you can follow in her ever-glamorous footsteps. Continue reading “People I Know: Samar Owais”

People I Know: Anca Dumitru

Anca Dumitru is a freelance writer who specializes in helping B2B companies share their success stories through written content. Read on to find out how she got her start, what her favorite part of the job is, and how you can follow in her footsteps…

Anca Dumitru
Anca Dumitru

How I Know Anca

The story of how I met Anca Dunitru is very similar to last month’s PIK interviewee, and the month before’s PIK interviewee, and the month before that’s as well! We just happen to run in the same circles.

However, Anca and I then started writing for some of the same publications. We wrote for the same blogs. And we even scored cover stories for the same magazine! We even shared a difficult client and ended up swapping notes on how to handle his wily ways.

Over the past year, I’ve grown to admire Anca not only for her writing skills (which are stellar), but for her willingness to help out a fellow writer (namely me!). Anca has become one of my go-to writer buddies when I have a “Hey, have you ever had to deal with…?” freelance writer issues. Continue reading “People I Know: Anca Dumitru”

People I Know: Williesha Morris

Williesha Morris is an adorable freelance writer/blogger/administrative consultant. Read on to see how she got started (and how you can follow in her footsteps!).

Willesha Morris
Willesha Morris

How I Know Williesha

To put it simply: Williesha and I travel in the same circles.

Nearly every writing-related blog I frequent, Willi was right there too! We commented on so many of the same articles that I finally couldn’t contain my curiosity. “Who is this Williesha Morris?” I thought.

I clicked on her name on one of her comments and was taken to her website. I looked around and liked what I saw. But, it was her articles on interracial marriage that finally caused me to reach out and introduce myself. As part of an interracial couple myself, her writing truly touched me — and we’ve had several lovely conversations because of it.

Since I’ve now known Williesha for over a year, I can proudly call her one of the “People I Know.” And I think you’ll enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. Continue reading “People I Know: Williesha Morris”

People I Know: Melissa Dominic

Speculative fiction author Melissa Dominic shares how she got her start, why editing is nothing to be afraid of, and how remembering to enjoy yourself is the ultimate key to success.

Melissa Dominic
Melissa Dominic

How I Know Melissa

Melissa is a fairly new friend of mine, but she’s a sweetie.

Like Paris, last month’s interviewee, Melissa writes part-time. In fact, you may have already read a quote from her if you read my article “What to Do When Writing Keeps You from Writing.”

When I wrote my debut novel The Ballad of Allison and Bandit, I was having a bit of trouble getting it published. (I’d had moderate success with short stories, poems, and non-fiction; but zero experience with novels). Ramiro, my significant other, remembered that one of his fans (Magen Cubed) was a writer and so was her girlfriend (Melissa), so he reached out to them for help.

Melissa wrote back, in detail, with a bucketload of immensely valuable information — free of charge! And I said to myself “I want to meet this beautiful human being who was willing to help out a random stranger!” So I did. And we hit it off.

I think you’ll like her too. Continue reading “People I Know: Melissa Dominic”

People I Know: Paris Matic

Paris Matic is a part-time freelancer who works as a writer and illustrator. She’s also a self-described “muse” and “Creative Collaborator” who enjoys helping others achieve their artistic dreams via her helping hand(s).

Fun Fact: I uploaded this post a day early so it would go live on Paris’ birthday! 

Paris Matic
Paris Matic

How I Know Paris

Like a couple other people in my “People I Know” interview series, I know Paris because she’s a fan of my significant other’s artwork! (What can I say? He has the best fans!)

She was originally just some random chick who ran up to my S.O. for a hug and an autograph at an art/comics convention, but I ended up talking to her and discovered we had some things in common — namely our love for writing.

Paris has always walked the line between “hobbyist” and “professional,” but, as soon as sheFINALLY took that first step and got legitimately paid for her wares, I knew I had to have her as a PIK interviewee! Because this series has two rules: 1. The person must be a freelancer (even if it’s part-time) working in the field they love and, 2. they have to be someone I’ve known for at least a year. Paris definitely qualifies! (In fact, I was her first paying customer!)

And although she’s “only” freelancing part-time, I think you’ll be impressed with just how much she’s accomplished! She’s a great role model for those who want to “go freelance” but can’t (or don’t want to) do so full-time. You can still live your dream and get a lot done in your spare moments. Continue reading “People I Know: Paris Matic”

People I Know: Monique Muro

Monique Muro is quickly becoming an Internet personality to watch! She blogs, she vlogs, and she always does her best to speak (and write) for those who can’t find the words themselves.

Monique Muro
Monique Muro

How I Know Monique

I met Monique Muro in elementary school. We’d always shared a love of writing, but she was a lot less annoying about professing that love than I was (which is probably at least partly why she got picked on significantly less than I did).

We lost touch for a few years, but, by an act of fate(?!) we ended up starting blogs around the same time — and we reconnected! And it’s been a blast. We’re both a part of the blogging world, but we’ve each taken distinctly different paths. And I have a feeling you’re going to love reading about what Monique’s been up to. Continue reading “People I Know: Monique Muro”

People I Know: Lawrence Montaigne

Lawrence Montaigne is a retired actor, dancer, and “occasional” stuntman. He’s also a freelance writer and a great guy. Just don’t call him “Larry.” He hates that.

Lawrence Montaigne
Lawrence Montaigne

How I Know Lawrence

Back in 1999, my friend Nicole and I were dropped off at school early one morning. Not particularly eager to get on with our 8th grade classes, we decided to head over to the local donut shop and blow our lunch money on treats rather than head up to the school like we were supposed to.

We, being fickle teens, couldn’t decide what to buy. Growing frustrated with our indecisiveness, the clerk suggested, “How about a bag of donut holes?” To which I replied, “What? Like a bag of nothing??”

Nicole and I were startled when a man sitting in the corner burst out laughing. We turned to look at him and he said, blue eyes twinkling, “Donut holes are real. Give ’em a try.”

Bag of donut holes in hand, Nicole and I marched over to the man’s table, and asked if we could join him. He obliged us and, together, we sat munching on sugar, chit-chatting about this and that. It was a good time filled with good conversation between strangers. But, as the clock neared 8am, Nicole and I finally decided it was time to head up the hill and get to our first period class.

When the very same man we’d been chatting with walked through the door after us and announced he was our substitute teacher, you could have knocked us over with a feather. And thus began my lifelong friendship with Lawrence Montaigne. Continue reading “People I Know: Lawrence Montaigne”

People I Know: Dana Sitar

If you’re a blogger or indie author, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with this month’s interviewee. Read on to find out how Dana Sitar — blogger, author, and publishing coach — got her start…and what she’s going to do next!

Dana Sitar
Dana Sitar

How I Know Dana

In early 2013, I opened up an e-mail from Writer’s Digest and was greeted with this article: “5 Things That Should Be On Every Writer’s Bucket List.” It was written by a guest columnist and I loved what she had to say.

So much so that I purchased her book, A Writer’s Bucket List. I also subscribed to her newsletter (which ended up helping me become a bit of a “local celebrity”).

That guest columnist was Dana Sitar. And I’m still a huge fan.

Dana is also my kick-butt editor! In October 2013, she offered me my own monthly column —Freelance by Lauren — on her amazing blog. And, each month, she makes sure that my posts are uploaded on time, formatted beautifully, and get the attention they deserve. She’s a joy to work with and I hope to do so for a long time to come.

Read on to see what makes Dana tick! Continue reading “People I Know: Dana Sitar”

People I Know: Kris Emery

Kris Emery is a freelance writer and copyeditor based in New Zealand. With Kris, “your words are in good hands.

Read on to see how Kris got her start! (And a glimpse at our upcoming joint project!).

Kris Emery
Kris Emery

How I Know Kris

I met Kris a little over a year ago through a free webinar thrown by Love Your Small Business. The owners of LYSB, Jo & Janine, have a thing for separating webinar attendees into groups/partnerships to discuss what’s been talked about.

Kris & I were in one of those groups together.

We instantly hit it off and stayed in near-constant contact ever since. (An editor and a writer–makes sense, right?). And what started off as a “friendly acquaintance” has now become my “business partner in the making.”

Kris and I have an online class in the works!

Seeing as we’ll be co-teachers, I thought you should get to know her. 😉 Continue reading “People I Know: Kris Emery”