Natasha Raulerson

When Troll’s Come-A-Knockin’

This post isn’t about a reaction to the person on the internet spreading gloom and doom. Most likely, not matter what you say, they’re going to have a sassy–though most times ignorant and untrue–comeback. Their goal is to stir the pot, make people feel terrible about themselves, and spread negativity. Yes #Pitchwars, I am talking about that troll that has come into our community trying to abash so many hopes and dreams. They claim to be speaking the truth, but let’s dig into that a little shall we?

1.) They won’t show their face or say who they are.
Why do you ask? Oh I’m sure the person will claim the anonymity gives them the ability to say what they want without fear of backlash. What backlash? The risk of agents and publishing houses seeing what this person is writing. The publishing community is a small community. Prestigious agents look at the #Pitchwars feed. They see who is being positive and who’s causing a stir. Yes, your social media does matter. And yes, if you engage with a mentor, agent, or anyone else in this industry in a negative way, word gets around.

So, the logical conclusion is that they refuse to say who they are because while they are attempting to destroy the dreams of others, they are still pursuing their own.

2.) Mentors are lying by saying everyone has great manuscripts.
We ARE putting positive vibes out there. We say most of our submissions are great. Yes, in one way or another they are. Doesn’t mean they don’t need work. Hell, even once we submit our manuscripts to an agent, they still go through edits. When you get to a publishing house, even more edits. So this person trying to imply that if your manuscript doesn’t get picked it’s automatically a suck fest–not true.

Several factors go into picking a mentee.
-What are the agents looking for?
-Am I passionate about the story?
-Are the amount of edits needed able to be done in the amount of time we have?
-Is this person open to rewrites and changing major things?
-Am I going to work well with this person?
-Back to point one: is this person being a positive influence in the #Pitchwars community?
-Other things I can’t think of right now.

So you could have the most grammatically perfect manuscript on submission, but the voice didn’t grab me. Saying that your manuscript didn’t get picked because it sucked is like saying an agent rejected it with a personalized letter that said, “This is a great story, but I just didn’t connect. Keep querying, you’ll find your champion!”

Sorry, where in there does it say a manuscript sucks? It’s a compliment, but the story just wasn’t for that person. It is the SAME thing with mentors. We have to find something we know we’re capable of helping. I challenge you all to find one legendary author (Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Harper Lee, Ernest Hemingway, etc) who has perfect reviews. There are ALWAYS people who don’t connect or don’t like something.

So the logical conclusion on this point, is that the troll recently got a rejection (or multiple ones) and is feeling bitter. Thus referring to the reasoning of the first point. This person wants to bash other people and make them feel bad because said person already does.

3.) Assuming things are ‘easy to say from someone already published’.
News Flash. Not all the mentors have books out. I don’t. I have an agent, but my book isn’t sitting all shiny on a shelf yet.

I’ve been through rejections, revisions, and yes, I still think that my writing sucks half the time. I’ve been a novice. Some of the entries aren’t as strong as others. Doesn’t mean it sucks. It means it needs work. It means it’s time start learning the skills you lack. That is what every mentor has done in one form or another. So no, it’s not easy to say something from a standpoint of being already published because many of us are not. We have pushed forward, learned, found people to help, etc. It’s just as hard on this side of the competition as the other. I’ve been on both. I know from experience.

So the logical conclusion, is that this person is bitter because they are not yet published and trying to diminish the word of someone already published claiming they ‘just don’t understand.’ We’ve all been where every mentee is. Why do you think we try so hard to help?

4.) The #Pitchwars community doesn’t matter.
This is probably the most untrue statement the person is tossing at you guys. The community IS THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of #Pitchwars. By putting yourself in the community you’re going to meet people who are at the same stage of your journey, ahead of you that can help you, and even find some opportunities that you didn’t know existed.

Last year. I entered my manuscript Blood Moon. An urban fantasy about werewolves, ghosts, and shamans. In no which, way, or form was that sucker ready. The plot was subpar, I had way too many POV’s, and not enough to distinguish it from other UF’s. While in the community I learned my strengths and weaknesses. I got feedback from mentors. I set Blood Moon to the side and started a new project with everything that I had learned. That new project landed me my fantastic agent.

But let’s go back. Even before starting my second project. While eagerly awaiting to find out who would be the lucky mentee’s, a friend and I started a webshow, just on a whim to bring together everyone in our hour of nervousness. Brenda Drake came on the show. Other mentors came on the show. When #Pitchwars was over, we stopped broadcasting, but people wanted us back. So we started broadcasting again. Now, Whiskey, Wine, & Writing is pretty damn good web show and blog where we talk about all aspects of the writing community.

So the logical conclusion, is that this person hasn’t made the effort in the #Pitchwars community to help others or them-self.

What do you do when trolls come-a-knockin?
Remember the above points. The main one being that while they are trying to achieve their dream, their hoping to destroy yours. Don’t let them. There’s no point in arguing. No point in trying to justify things. Don’t let them be the seed of doubt. Push forward, learn, write, edit, rewrite, etc.

For clarification I’m not justifying anything. I’m pointing out the logical probability of why the person is doing this because I don’t want other people wounded by someones bitter, harsh words.

If you let the troll tear you down, then they win. Instead, let the #Pitchwars community build you up, help you achieve that next step on your journey. It helped in mine, and I have no doubt, for those who choose to utilize it, it will help you too.

No one’s journey is instant. There are always trials, tribulations, and setbacks. There are always things to be edited, things to work on, things to change. Factors weigh in. Walking the road with others help. Learning from the things you come across on the path is important.

So, in order to tip the scales on this troll. Let’s talk positive. Today, on the #Pitchwars hashtag, I want everyone to start tweeting something positive about their work. Whether it’s a character you created, a name you love, a strength you have in world creation. Whatever. Let us mentors know the positive about you AND your writing.







Whiskey, Wine, & Writing – Episode Seven – Don’t Cry Over Spilled Queries

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Welcome to Episode Seven!

In the past, we’ve talked about having an awesome group of people to help you through your writing journey. Tonight, Nikki and I will be discussing the ups and downs of querying. However, we will NOT be talking about our own stats list, as that’s a big no, no in the publishing world, which is probably the first thing we’ll talk about.

I’ll admit, this week has caught up with me, and I’m woefully unprepared, but Nikki Roberti is all about that awesome, bout that awesome and has saved the show this week, so a special thanks to her.

In case you haven’t seen Nikki on the show before, she’s most awesome, a Pitchwars Mentee, and such an amazing person all around.

Check out her website and twitter. You won’t be disappointed.

Websites to check out:

Some Do Not Do’s:

-Don’t complain on a public media or social website about your rejections.

-Don’t blog about your rejections.

-Don’t give up because you’ve been rejected.

-Don’t ever write in a query that they won’t regret requesting your work.

-Don’t ever tell them that they’ll regret NOT requesting your work.

-Don’t ever act like they are a buddy you’re emailing.

-Don’t ever stop improving your work.

-Do not query before your manuscript has been edited, polished, critiqued, edited again, critiqued again, and you are sure it’s as good as it can be.

Some Do’s

-Read up on how to write a query

-Find a community or a critique partner to go over it.

-Be professional in the query letter.

-Research an agent before you submit.

-Triple and quadruple check the guidelines before submitting.

-Triple and quadruple check your query for any errors before submitting.

-Know the general guidelines for the work you’re submitting ie, word count for the genre, if they want a synopsis, in which way to submit.

We’ll also be touching base on a few other topics like Pitchwars, NaNoWriMo, and more!

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing – The Return!

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing

is back due to overwhelming request. We are beyond stoked that you guys love the show so much.

That being said, I’ve been trying to work out a schedule and implement things so we have a decent show for you guys each week. We’ll see about maybe getting some guest authors and other awesome people on the show, maybe do some give-a-ways and other awesome stuff.

Right now, I’m hoping to have one show a week–the exact day is still to be determined. With the exception of competition fun (for contests such as pitchwars, etc) the show will only be an hour long. For special occasions it will probably run over.

If you are interested in GUEST HOSTING feel free to email me at:

Also, please use the above email for anything blog or WWW related.

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing Topics May Include But Are Not Limited To:

  • General Writing
  • Grammar Stuff
  • Contests
  • Twitter
  • Book Topics
  • Pet Peeves
  • Rants
  • Awesome Authors
  • Awesome Agents
  • Frustration With The Writing Process
  • Drunken Ramblings
  • Things That Occupy Your Desk
  • How To’s
  • Don’t Do’s
  • And Penguin Overlords Ruling The World.

The first show will commense on 9/27/2014 at 6pm EST. 

Leave your comments and thoughts!

Joseph Miller’s Avatar

When we did the Pitchwars Reveal episode of Whiskey, Wine, & Writing, we played all sorts of fun games. One of the winners received a personalized avatar by Graphic Design Artist Erin Feldman. Gracious enough to dedicate her time, she made a fantastic avatar and I wanted to share it with everyone.


Erin graduated from the University of Jacksonville with a Bachelors in Graphic Design. She does freelance design, not only for Avatars, but websites, advertising and more!

You can check out her work on facebook or follow her on twitter!

Thanks so much, Erin!

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing – Grand Reveal Game Winners

Sorry it took so long for me to get this up!  We want to thank everyone mentors/viewers who made The Pitchwars Grand Reveal episode of Whiskey, Wine, & Writing a fantastic show.

All right, now onto the good stuff! The winners of the games and their prizes!

Joseph Miller: Query & 1st Page Critique by Natasha Raulerson

Kaitlyn Caul: Verb Hair Care Kit/Mock Book Cover by Diane Pinguicha

Rebecca Mowrey: Ebook – Division Zero by Matthew Cox

EL Wicker: Ask a Teen Critique at Jodie Andrefski’s blog/Ebook – Death of a Waterfall by Kara Leigh Miller

Anne Lipton – Critique by Tiffany Rosenthal

Michelle Beahm – Three Chapter Critique by Jenny Ferguson/Ebook – Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

Colleen Halverson – Ebook – Virtual Immortality – Matthew Cox

Katie Doyle – Ebook – Aurora Island Resort Series – Kara Leigh Miller

Zurrie Cortez – Brenda Query

Rena Olson – Guest Blog Spot with Karen Johnston

TR Daily – Query & Ten Page Critique by Stark Contrast Editing & Nikki Roberti

(PS: We will be getting the ebooks to the winners ASAP)



I would also like to thank EVERYONE who donated a prize! It was so much more than we expected and could ask for. You are all fabulous!

 Special Thanks

Kelly Devos – @KellyDevosAuthor

Diana Pinguicha – @Pinguicha

Jodie Andrefski – @2000_Words

Erin Feldman – @Fayeelle

Nikki Roberti – @Nikki_Roberti

Stark Contrast Editing – @StarkEditing

Kara Leigh Miller – @KaraLeighMille1

Matthew Cox – @MSCox_Fiction

Karen Johnston – @KEMJohnston

Jenny Ferguson – @JennyLeeSD

#Pitchwars Superlatives

First and foremost I’d like to thank Nikki Roberti for putting this list together. She’s been a fantastic social media guru, and we were lucky enough to have her as a guest host. Which means we also got the LIVE reaction of a mentee! Nikki is truly awesome and so deserving of her mentee spot! Congrats!

Okay, now that I’m done gushing.




Most Likely to Succeed:

Most Likely to succeed: EVERYONE! You wrote a book and put it out there. Keep writing! #PitchWars superlatives
Funniest/most entertaining Tweeter
Ramon Ballard @Raballard


Funniest Tweeter: @RaBallard. Thanks for the entertaining positivity! #PitchWars superlatives


Most likely to Don a Mask and Fight Crime

Michael Mammay @MichaelMammay


Most likely to Don a Mask and Fight Crime: @MichaelMammay #PitchWars superlatives


Best Procrastibaker
Emily Herring Dunn @Newfangled_wife

Best Procrastibaker: @Newfangled_wife #PitchWars superlatives


Most Fabulous
Tiffany Rosenthal @TRosAuthor & Dakota Shain Byrd @ShainByrd


Most Fabulous: Tied with @TrosAuthor & @ShainByrd #PitchWars superlatives

Most Hardworking
Natasha Raulerson @ThirtyNerdy


Most Hardworking: @ThirtyNerdy #PitchWars superlatives

Best Talk Show Hosts
Tiffany Rosenthal @TRosAuthor & Natasha Raulerson @ThirtyNerdy


Best Talks Show Hosts: @TrosAuthor & @ThirtyNerdy #PitchWars superlatives


Most Supportive/positive

Jenny Ferguson @JennyLeeSD & Jessica Bloczynski @jabloczynski & Mel Stephenson @PaintandWords &  Tiffany Dailey


Most Supportive/Positive Tweets: @JennyLeeSD @Jabloczynski @PaintAndWords @Pinguicha @TR_Dailey  #PitchWars superlatives


Most Artistic

Diana Pinguicha @Pinguicha


Most Artistic: @Pinguicha #PitchWars superlatives


Most Appreciative Tweeter
SM Rose @SMr0se Kate Foster Kendra Young, Laura Brown


Most Appreciative Tweeter: @SMr0se @KendraLYoung @AuthorLBrown @Winellroad  #PitchWars superlatives


E.G. Moore @EGMooreWriter (best favoriter)  and Vanessa E. @VanessaEPeay


Friendliest Tweeter: @EGMooreWriter & @VanessaEPeay #PitchWars superlatives


Most encouraging of drinking alcohol:
Dana Collins @XDanaCollins  & Natasha Raulerson @ThirtyNerdy


Most Encouraging of drinking alcohol: @XDanaCollins & @ThirtyNerdy #PitchWars superlatives

Spunkiest Tweeter
Spunkiest Tweeter: Emily Herring Dunn @Newfangled_wife #PitchWars superlatives


Best Gifs/memes
M.A. Nicholson @Maryannicholson.

Participant w/ Best GIFs/Memes: MaryAnNicholson #PitchWars superlatives


Best Favoriter on Twitter
EG Moore


Best Favoriter on Twitter: @EGMooreWriter #PitchWars superlatives
Prettiest Tiara
Heather Truett @mmerubies

Prettiest Tiara: @mmerubies #PitchWars superlatives
Best sly hints by mentor

Dannie Morin @Dannie_Morin and Brighton Walsh @WriteAsRain_ and Whitney Fletcher @cb_whitney

Mentors w/ Best Hints: @Dannie_Morin @WriteAsRain_ & @CB_Whitney #PitchWars superlatives


Best Manuscript Licker
Brighton Walsh @WriteAsRain_


Best Manuscript Licker: @WriteAsRain_ #PitchWars superlatives


Most Encouraging Tweets

Naomi Hughes @NaomiLHughes and Joy McCullough @JMCWrites and Erica M. Chapman @ericmchapman


Most Encouraging Mentor Tweets: @NaomiLHughes @JMCWrites @EricaMChapman #PitchWars superlatives

Most Optimistic Mentor
Veronica Bartles @vbartles for #EgoClub


Most Optimistic Mentor: @VBartles #PitchWars superlatives #EgoClub

Most Adorable Accent
Fiona McLaren @BookOmnivore


Most Adorable Accent: @BookOmnivore #PitchWars superlatives

Best tweets about hipster coffee houses in Seattle

Rachel Lynn Solomon @Rlynn_Solomon

Best tweets about hipster coffee houses in Seattle: @RLynn_Solomon #PitchWars superlatives


Best Viking Beard
Brooks Benjamin @BrooksBenjamin


Best Viking Beard: @BrooksBenjamin #PitchWars superlatives

Most Diabolical

Lauren Spieller @LaurenSpieller


Most Diabolical: @Laurenspieller #PitchWars superlatives

Best Mentor From Down Under Mentor
Sharon Johnston @S_M_Johnston


Best Mentor From Down Under: @S_M_Johnston #pitchwars superlatives


Most Enthusiastic Mentor Tweeter
Rae Chang @RaeAChang


Most Enthusiastic Mentor: @RaeAChang #PitchWars superlatives


Most active tweeter with six kids
Rebecca Yarros @RebeccaYarros


Most Active Tweeter w/ 6 kids: @RebeccaYarros #PitchWars superlatives


Cutest Couple:
Jennifer Blackwood @Jen_blackwood and Brighton Walsh @WriteAsRain_
Veronica Bartles @vbartles and Rebecca Yarros @RebeccaYarros


Cutest Couple: @Jen_Blackwood with @WriteAsRain AND @Vbartles with @RebeccaYarros #PitchWars superlatives


Cutest Frenemies (most popcorn-worthy conflict)

Charlie Holmberg & Dan Koboldt


Cutest Frenemy Couple w/ Most Popcorn-Worthy Conflict:  @DanKoboldt & Charlie N. Holmberg #PitchWars superlatives


Nerdiest Mentor:
Dan Koboldt

Nerdiest Mentor (in Best Possible Way): @DanKoboldt #PitchWars superlatives

Mentors with Best Gifs/Memes
C_M_Franklin & Natasha Neagle & S_M_Johnston


Mentors with Best Gifs/Memes: @C_M_Franklin & S_M_Johnston & @andreasomberg #PitchWars superlatives

Biggest Advocate for diversity
Marieke Nijkamp @mariekeyen & @Jessie Devine


Biggest Advocates for Diversity: @Mariekeyen & @JessieDevine #PitchWars superlatives

Best Contest Organizer
Brenda Drake @BrendaDrake

Best Contest Organizer: @BrendaDrake #PitchWars superlatives

Welcome To The New and Improved Thirty, Nerdy, Fabulous!

When I joined #Pitchwars I never imagined the exposure I’d gain. Not only have I learned so much, but I’ve met fantastic authors and apparently, have a new live show called Whiskey, Wine, and Writing with my awesome CP Tiffany Rosenthal.

Most days I ask myself:

Because, holy crap! I’m doing author interviews, meeting fantastic people, and my writing is improving along the way. It all started as an impromptu chat because Tiff and I were freaking out over #Pitchwars. Now we’ve eight episodes with some AMAZING interviews! My blog and twitter are blowing up and I’m so humbled and undeserving!

I seriously, do not know what to do with myself some days, and feel like I’ve been swept up in a cyclone.


It’s been one hell of a ride though!

And I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!

So, a HUGE thank you to Brenda Drake for her awesome competition. There’s definitely more than one way to win.

Another MASSIVE thanks to Tiffany Rosenthal for being the best CP ever and coming up with such wacky ideas!

With everything going on, all the changes, and the awesome overload, I decided to revamp the site for a prettier feel, and easier navigation!

I’m clearly on a Dean kick today, but come on, can you blame me? Wait! Blame @2000_words – AKA the awesome Jodie Andrefksi for my sudden SPN cravings.


Eh hem.


I hope you enjoy the site, the show, the random thoughts, and if I’m very lucky, my crazy won’t chase you away.