Continue on the adventure with the Wright family as they continue their 50-state, 50-month, RV-living, homeschooling adventures through Utah as they explore on a dinosaur dig.
Wright on Time: Utah, Book 2 is the second book in the Wright on Time series of children’s chapter books by author Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley. Although part of a series, this book can be read independently. Published in December 2009.
With my recent interview on Louise Wise’s “Wise Words” blog and recent exposure of having one of the “50 Best Blogs in the Unschooling Movement”, I realized that I haven’t posted much personal information on this site about who I am and why I, Lisa Cottrell-Bentley, started Do Life Right, Incorporated. Here are a few common questions I have received. If you have another, please let me know and I’ll answer as many as I can.
Who am I? I’m Lisa Cottrell-Bentley, a unschooling/homeschooling mother of two brilliant and beautiful daughters. I live in southern Arizona with my wonderful daughters, amazing husband, and five spunky cats. We love solitude and live out in the Sonoran desert on ten quiet acres. I’m originally from Iowa/Illinois, and have lived in Arizona since 1999.
What do I do with my days? Well…it depends on the day. My family spends a lot of time at home, yet a lot of time traveling. We love the balance. I write articles for my own sites (and I have quite a few), as well as Vegan Mainstream. I’ve been a Girl Scout Leader (of the best troop on Earth) for ten years now. I’ve been teaching Creative Writing classes to kids and teens for about a year (I *love* this passionately). I also, obviously, spend time writing fiction stories of my own, editing other authors’ work, marketing, doing interviews, taking care of finances, publishing books, and much more related to making my business run smoothly while growing.
Why did I start a publishing company? Great question! This is probably the #1 question I’m asked by interviewers. A little history: I started Do Life Right, Inc. in 2005 as a consulting company, helping people out with their personal conversions to homeschooling and/or vegan lifestyles. We incorporated in October 2007. We turned the company into a publishing company in April 2009, with an influx of capital from a private investor.
After years and years of my older daughter becoming frustrated with all the children’s books she was reading, we discussed why she didn’t like the books she was reading and what the ideal book series would be. She was frustrated with all the books that were school centric, had deceased (or at least absent) parents, had siblings and friends who hated each other, etc. Her ideal book would be a series of books where the characters had true growth, siblings loved each other, parents participated in the lives of their children, and school (and/or the hatred of school) was not the focus of the book. She wanted action and adventure, mysteries, and science fiction details.
Since nothing like that existed yet, I set out to write this “perfect” series. Once I’d written several books of the series, I took these manuscripts to publishers and agents. The only feedback I received was that while the writing was great, I needed to “get rid of the parents, make the siblings not like each other, get rid of the homeschooling aspect,” and basically make it just like every other book out there–the exact opposite of what I wanted to write.
I took this information, along with the fact that there are over 2.2 million homeschoolers in the United States of America alone, and found an investor who believed in my vision. I was able to take that funding and publish the first two books in my series (as well as do a lot of marketing, trademarking, and much more). I’ve then used the proceeds to grow the company. We’re now about to publish the fourth book in the Wright on Time series, as well as several books from other authors. We are actively seeking great manuscripts with realistic homeschoolers of today as the main characters.
Where do you work? I work from home when I’m home, and in motel rooms, friends’/family’s homes and roadside Wi-Fi locations when I’m on the road. Since nearly all of my work is done on a laptop, I can take my office with me wherever I go. I actually get quite a lot done while I wait for my younger daughter at her dance class.
When did you start writing? I’ve had stories in my head since my earliest memories. While I can’t pinpoint how old I was when I wrote my first story, I was nine when I won my first writing contest. That said, I believe anyone can begin their writing career at any age.
How do you find time for everything? Well… I do one thing at a time. My children come first, always, yet I have plenty of time to pursue my own interests, especially the older my daughters get. Yes, I have a lot going on in my life, but I thrive that way. I enjoy having a variety of activities.
More information about me, Lisa, can be found here:
- Do Life Right — my personal blog where I talk about homeschooling, unschooling, veganism, my family, my family’s adventures, and just random topics
- Wright on Time Books — my children’s chapter book series about an RV-living, homeschooling family who travels the USA; Click HERE to go straight to the media page with interviews, appearance dates and more
- Rich Author, Poor Writer — fledgling site where I discuss the pros and cons of various types of publishing, and how to pick which option is the best for each writer’s individual circumstances
Wow! The volume of submissions has increased about tenfold since the beginning of our KickStarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money from people just like you. This is fabulous! I’m very excited by these submissions since the funds from this campaign are planned to do just this: Publish more amazing books about homeschoolers of today! By reaching our goal, we’ll be able to pick several of these interesting submissions and actually publish them!
While only a small portion of the queries are manuscripts Do Life Right, Inc. is currently interested in publishing, I want everyone submitting to keep their publishing dreams alive! What’s not right for us, is perfect for another publisher, and vice versa. Or, ultimately, you could start your own publishing company, or consider self-publishing.
In today’s world, there are a variety of ways to publish. Keep your options open, dreams alive, and mind open to jump at all the opportunities that work for you!
In the meantime, keep submitting and have fun!
Click here to check out the March 2010 interview of Lisa Cottrell-Bentley (me) on Indie-Debut 2010 by Lori Calabrese. I answer never before asked questions about Do Life Right, Inc. and homeschooling in fiction. March is Small Press Month, so I am honored to be highlighted on the Indie-Debut website. So fun!
Do Life Right, Inc., an independent publishing company based in Sahuarita, Arizona, is now accepting submissions for their 2010-2011 line.
We are currently looking for children’s fiction and young adult (YA) fiction about realistic homeschoolers of today. To find out more information, please read the Submission Guidelines.
- How long have you been writing? If you are new to writing as a craft, then you need to give yourself time to master the craft.
- Do you have a critique group and/or a professional editor? (Is your writing truly the best it can be? Do you listen to the comments you receive?)
- Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is? It’s true that it often takes money to make money. You need to be willing to invest both time and money into yourself. Even with big publishing companies, you’ll be responsible for all your prepublished expenses such as how-to-write books, writing conferences, and meetings. After publication, you’ll most likely be responsible for most of your website maintenance, travel expenses, and promotional activities. With self publishing, you’ll be responsible for 100% of these expenses. With most independent publishing companies and traditional publishing companies, you’ll be responsible for all of these expenses. [Do Life Right, Inc. will help authors learn how to market their books with more bang for their buck, while also investing in its authors.]
- Have you spent a year or longer regularly submitting your work to literary agents and publishers? Have you received feedback as to why you received rejections? If it had to do with the quality of your writing, consider taking a writing course and/or attending writer’s group meetings before submitting again.
- Are you current in your knowledge of the marketplace? Do you know who your market is and how to reach them? All publishers today will expect you to have this knowledge.
- Do you have the time, money, and energy required to make your book a full-time job as long as necessary in order to succeed?
Remember, these are just a few of the many initial questions you must ask yourself as you begin your publishing journey.
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Do Life Right, Inc. has expanded into independent publishing.
Traditional publishers today believe they know the entire market. We believe that no one knows your market quite like you do. Our mission is to empower our authors to brand themselves, market themselves, and to help us publish a high quality book or series of books by them for our specialty market of homeschoolers of today.
Does this mean you have to be alone and do everything yourself? No! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel if you become friends with the wheel maker. We are here to help be your wheel maker.
Our philosophy: Empowering modern day writers to set their own goals and aspirations while giving them the tools to see them through.
If you are a struggling author, take heed. You are not alone. Spend some time on this site learning about modern day publishing options. Independent publishing might not be for you, but traditional publishing also might not be. To learn about the different types of publishing options available today, see Rich Author, Poor Writer.