Becky Blanton Interview

Bob:  Hi, this is Bob Poole and welcome to the Water Cooler Hang Out. I am here today with a friend of mine Becky Blanton. Becky is a writer, photographer and, actually, she has worn at least a dozen other hats. What do you think Becky?

Becky:  Oh, at least. I counted them up and, I think it is over 100, Bob.

Bob:  I would say that you have had an interesting Work History, including also being a Police Officer, as I recall.

Becky:  Mm hmm.

Bob:  That was one of the things. But, now you concentrate on doing Writing and working with other Clients, like myself.

Bob:  I should also mention that I am a client.

Bob:  And, Becky helps me with … she does some writing for us, she does some writing for some of my Clients. But, what else do you do?

Becky:  I do Graphic Design, Layouts; I do eBooks, Flyers, Brochures, Email Campaigns, and Photography – a little bit of everything.

Becky:  I … I do a little bit of Writing Coaching and Consulting.

Bob:  Who is your average Customer do you have one?

Becky:  I do. My average Customer is a Solo Entrepreneur. They are either starting a Small Business, Launching a Small Business or wondering what to     do with your Small Business. I have a few Corporate Clients, you know, more than a million or five million in Sales, kind of people. And, they usually hire     me for, like, Speech Writing, or a Report or something like that.

But, primarily, I focus on the Small Business versus the Start-up the Boot-Strap or somebody that is struggling to get going and does not have a big     Budget.

Bob:  Okay. Now, that is considered, kind of a tough Market sometimes. What … do you like to work in that Market Place?

Becky:  I do. I am more motivated by helping people and providing them the kind of guidance and help that I did not have, when I was starting my     Business. And, I had several Businesses, and there was never really anybody there. And, it was so tough, and it would have been so much easier if there     like one kind soul out there that could, like, give me direction. So, that is kind of what I am there for, that is what I am about is … is, “How can I help     other people?”

Bob:  Well, you and I have both been in Business for a number of years, and we have seen … you know, we were around before the Internet existed.

Becky:  Mm hmm.

Bob:  Isn’t it amazing today, though, how much folks you can get directly just from the Internet as a Sole Proprietor (00:02:47 indiscernible)

Becky:  Oh, it is. I mean if I had had the Internet, you know, 16-20 years ago. I think my whole story would have been different.

Bob:  What would you have done differently? What do you think?

Becky:  Well, I had a Massage Practice and I was the only person in my Class to graduate with the full Practice. We had … at the end of your Semester,     you had to do a Lab, so people come in from out in the Public and they pay $10 or $15 and the get a massage for that. And, out of that Lab Practice, I     was the only one that got enough people that they followed up.

So, after I graduated they became full time Clients. So, I literally moved from Massage School into a full time Massage Practice. And, to have had a Web     Site, to be able to post back, to do affiliate sales, to sell product, to do Marketing – all of that would have been very helpful to me. It would have taken it     beyond, above and beyond.

Bob:  And, I guess even just to have learned to run a Business, I mean that is critical these days … is having a place to go to find out. Besides getting a     Coach, I mean, the average person does not know where to turn when they first start.

Becky:  Oh yeah. The whole idea … you know, do I need a Business License? Which License do I need … taxes. What is my tax schedule, do I make     enough to justify, you know, becoming an LLC. Is this a hobby, is this … you know, it is … without somebody to guide you through it.

And, people at Score and the different Agencies can help you with some of it. But, a lot of them do not know, and if it is a really specific niche that you     have, they just do not know. And, with the Internet it would have made it so much easier to find all that out.

Bob:  So, at some point you began writing. When did you do that? And, why did you start writing?

Becky:  I was the Assistant Advertising Director for a Fortune 500 Company in Locks Ville, Tennessee. And, I left that – I was in some Human Resources     problems with some other people, I will not go into it. But, I left the Company and went back to School and became a Communications Major. And, I     was taking Journalism and I started working for the Local Paper, and I just fell in love with it – I actually was on my way to becoming Homeless, after I     lost my Advertising Director Job. I was without a job and a friend of mine pointed me to a Contest in the Newspaper. And said, “You ought to enter this     Short Story Contest.” So, I did and I won. I won a Turkey and $25.

But, my Short Story caught the eye of a Reporter from the Washington Post. She was girl I had gone to school with, and she was working for the Post,     and she saw the story. She was in town for Thanksgiving and she saw the story, and she contacted me. The only time I think we had a conversation ever.     And, she contacted me and said, “You know, you really ought to go down to the Paper and apply. You are a good writer and you might have a career in     Journalism.”

So, I did. Then, I, you know, ended up quitting my job and my Communications Major. But, also because I was in Advertising and Marketing … so I quit     school, took the job at the Paper and never looked back.

Bob:  So, is that when you first considered yourself to be a Writer?
Becky:  Yeah.

Bob:  And then …

Becky:  I mean, I had been a Writer, you know, in my personal life. But, as a Professional Writer getting paid for it and a by-line. Yeah, I think was my     first.

Bob:  And, then what? You did other Journalism work after that, as I recall.

Becky:  Yeah, I had written several stories and the Associated Press was starting to pick up everything I wrote. Which was really unusual. So, they were     picking up everything I wrote. They were picking up my photos and my stories. And, one of the Copy Editors said, “You know, if the AP is picking up     everything you write. You need to consider writing for Magazines, because they pay more.” Like, I was getting, like, $50 an article. Some stories I would     make more money on Expenses, than I would make for writing the story, literally.

So, the … and this was in the Eighties, and the Copy Editor said, “Yeah, you need to write for Magazines.” And, I said, “Well, how do I do that?” And, he     said, “I do not know, but you want to do it, because, the money is good.” So, I went to the Used Book Store, and I found a copy of “The Writer’s Market”, and I bought it.

I mean I did not know that is what I was looking for. I just went looking for Books on how to write.

And, the funny thing about the Newspapers … when after a drink, I came in and I had won the Short Story and I asked for the Interview. During the     Interview, I told the Editor, and he said, “Well, can you write Journalism?” So, I answered, “Oh, yeah not a problem.” And, I did not know the first thing     about it.

So, I literally, left the Interview went to Library. Checked out about 20 books, read them that night. And, then I had to come up with a sample story, to     see how I would handle an Interview. So, I called the Local Truck Driving School and I said, “I am with the Newspaper, I am doing an article on Women Truck Drivers.” And, kind of like, BS’d my way into an Interview.

And, they happened to have a Professor at the Truck Driving School, who taught at the University of Tennessee, and decided to give up the Professorship     and drive a truck. So, I got a great Interview, I lucked into a really great story, and that was, “All she wrote.”

I was living in the Library. I was reading everything I could get my hands on and teaching myself how to do everything.

You know, how to write for Magazines, how to write (00:08:38 / Query Letter) how to, you know, start a Business. How to do all of that.

Bob:  Right. So, that brings us up to today and you are still writing. You are writing for other people, but you are also writing for yourself. Right?

Becky:  Yes, I do. I do eBooks, and I am working on a series of forty Novels.

Bob:  How many?

Becky:  Forty.

Bob:  Forty, okay.

Becky:  Forty in the Topics. I have got the covers, I have already got the covers designed for twenty of them. And, I think I have ten, that I already have         The Table of Contents. I am kind of writing them all at once, so they all, kind of fit in.

Bob:  I have never heard of this before.

Becky:  Well, J.K. Rowling … I was intrigued, because J.K. Rowling, when she wrote the Harry Potter Series – I do not know if any people know this. But, when she wrote it, she wrote the first one, but while she was writing the first one, she was also writing the others in the Series. So, she was coming up with (indiscernible) But, she was coming up with the Theme and the Story for all the other books in the Series. So, she actually took that five years and wrote them all at the same time.

Bob:  Okay.

Becky:  And, it worked. It works because you can change your story and your plot line a lot easier, than if you write one book and you are locked into that Theme.

Bob:  So, what are you … if we might ask what are yours going to be about?

Becky:  They are going to be about Aliens and UFOs and cattle mutilations and Shadow Government, and all the things that I was not allowed to report on when I was a Reporter. Because, as a Reporter, I actually went out to Cattle Mutilations. And, I talked to people who had been abducted. I saw things, and when I was in the Police Academy, I was told that if we stayed in Police work long enough, we would see mutilations. Both human mutilations  and cow mutilations.

So, they have been alerted ahead of time, that these things were real and did happen. And, the FBI came in and explained to us that people would say they were ritual or satanic sacrifices. Or, that they were Aliens, or that they were all these different things. And, we were told that our response was to be, “No, it is Drug Dealers.” No matter what it was, how weird it was that was our response, that is was Drug Dealers.

So, I saw a lot and learned a lot that I could never talk about, or, write about. And, now that I am out of the Industry, I am writing about those things. So, I think the books are 75 -80 percent based on truth and fact and events that have occurred. And, then the rest is creative license to kind of weave it all     together. It is the ultimate Conspiracy Theory Series. I will put it that way.

Bob:  Okay. It sounds complex. Okay. So, what is your … writing for Clients, writing for yourself, writing a Blog. I mean, you do all these things. What is your average day … work day like?

Becky:  Gosh, there is not really an average one. But, in a typical day, I will get up, I will walk the dog. I will putter my mini garden for ten or fifteen minutes, and I will eat whatever ripe tomatoes there are there. And, I will take pictures of the bees and the insects, because, I am fascinated by insects.

I will spend thirty or forty-five minutes just getting ready for the day. And then I write, and I check email and I make phone calls. And, I do Interviews and I do Podcasts. And, every once in a while I will participate in a Webinar, and I will listen to other Speakers. And, I read other Blogs, and I come up with ideas, and I send people things from HARO – Help a Reporter Out. I will get the recorder out, I send people ideas for stories that they might do, or things they might pitch.

And, if I get really stressed, I take out time and play Video Games. I am a big Bejeweled fan. So, I will do tha it is only a minute long, and that is why I do         that one. Because, if I get stressed I can do it for a minute or I can do it for five. And, then I can get back to work. But, I try and take a break kind of thing.

But, I am a raging extrovert, I have got to be talking and communicating and in touch with people and … So, I spend most of my day doing that.

Becky:  I do not have any problem with writing, you know. I have never had Writer’s Block, or Creative Writer’s Block.

Bob:  Mm hmm.

Becky:  I might have been stumped about how to start a Project for a Client. But, when it comes to my own writing I have never had Writer’s Block. So, I     think the hardest thing for me is starting a Project I really do not want to be working on.

Bob:  Yeah.

Becky:  So …

Bob:  That is pretty tough for everyone, I think, but …

Becky:  Yeah. Or, I learn … I mean, you know, I will take on Projects … or I did at the beginning – I took on Projects I did not really want to do. I was not interested or passionate about. But, I would think, “You know, I really need the money.” So, I was writing it for the money. And, I learned that that does not work for me. Because, if you are just doing it for the money, there is no life in it.

So, I started turning down jobs, that I could have done and made good money at. But, I started turning them down in favor of jobs that excite me. Or, that     are fun and creative, like, you know, the series of (00:14:30 indiscernible) that we are doing. I love that. You know, I love that. I am half-way through, you     know, looking at kits and stuff that … I have got to …

The hard part of writing is learning to say, “No,” to things that pay, but, are not really what your passion is about I guess.

Bob:  Well that comes … what? With experience?

Becky:  Yeah, it does. Because, I write … I have got another Blog. I am the “Anonymous Renter” on a Real Estate Blog. So, I am the “Anonymous Renter”, and I post two 800 word Blogs a day, five days a week, you know. And, then I do the SWPRN Blogs and then I have five of my own Blogs that I write, and I have Clients, and I am working on books.

Bob:  And, there is really two of you right?

Becky:  At least.

Bob:  I think I asked you, maybe, two years ago – and we did not hardly know each other at the time. And, I remember asking you like, “Can you please tell me how you manage to do all this work.” And, do you remember what you told me?

Becky:  I do not have a life?

Bob:  That is what you told me.

Becky:  I do not … I do not.

Bob:  True. You do have a life; you have a wonderful life that you are living … a work life. I mean you do not separate your lives into compartments, I do not think.

Becky:  No. It is exciting, though, Bob. Because, everyone says, “How do you come up with all of these ideas for Blogs?” I am like, “I cannot keep them out of my head.” When I sit down, and I say, “Okay, I need something for Bob.” It is like it pops up. It is like the Beetles said, you know, when people said, “How did you get the lyrics?” And, you know, I think it was John or George who said, “Well, you just reach out and pluck them out of the sky, like apples.”

And, it is the same thing with writing. Like, I sit down and think of an idea, and then, I type about 70 words per minute. So, as fast as I can type, the words just come. And, that is how I get it done. I am blessed that way.

Bob:  Well, you are blessed, and we are too, for the quality of your writing. It is just not quantity, it is … your writing is wonderful and people should check you out. So, tell me, where can they find you on the Internet. What is the … where do you want them to take a look?

Becky:  They can go to BeckyBlanton.com that is my personal Website, where I let it all hang out. And, it mostly a Site for work. And, then the Published Site for work is rsbpublishingonline.com.

Bob:  Okay. Well we will post of those two, so that Readers and Listeners can take a look at it. So, the last question for you? What is next?
Becky:  Well, I discovered the Books I thought were on my Laptop – I had 50 eBooks on my Laptop I had been working on for a couple of years. And,     I thought they were all gone when my Laptop crashed. But, I found them recently on an External Hard Drive. So, I have 50 eBooks that I am now tweaking and polishing and creating new covers for, that I am going to launch. And, they are going to be launched on a Website called “Bookybiz.com”.  And, Bookybiz.com is going to be a free and low cost eBook Resource for people who are starting a Business. You know, so they can learn how to write a Press Release. And, they can learn where to for Taxes.

So, it is going to be a Resource for the kind of Clients that I am working with now. That will give them in one place, like, where is an eBook? How do you     write a Report? How do you set up an Email Campaign? You know, what is marketing about? How do I create a Brand? How do I load the YouTube Video? All the stuff that my Clients ask me, I am going to be able to just point them to the Bookybiz and say, “Here you go.”

And, I will have Book Reviews of Business Books and that kind of thing. But, it is going to be a Resource for Small Business people.

Bob:  And, that is going to be free?

Becky:  Yeah.

Bob:  That is great. I mean that is … I love how you give back to the Community that you work with, and, the rest of us.

So, I want to thank you very much for being with us here today, at the “Water Cooler Hang Out.”

Becky:  Well, thank you Bob, I enjoyed it – it was fun, as always.