HomeBig CoursesHow To Think SidewaysI want to promote my students’ writing #htts


I want to promote my students’ writing #htts — 79 Comments

  1. I have never actually taken one of Holly’s legendary courses but I have some of her books and I receive her regular (and very useful) emails. I think Holly is a truly accomplished and seasoned veteran with a lot to offer both new and experienced writers. Her tidbits of wisdom and experienced have helped me to my current success with “The Killing Code”. It is at #8 in Kindle’s Technothriller rankings and has many excellent reviews. It’s also currently under review by Bestselling Crime Thrillers so I’m looking forward to seeing what they say. If you’re interested in Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, Vince Flynn, etc. style books, here’s the Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/The-Killing-Code-ebook/dp/B00BG3YJZW/ref=sr_1_8?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1364446699&sr=1-8 Happy reading and writing! Craig Hurren

  2. Pen name (maiden name): Martha Gilstrap

    I’ve gone through several of Holly’s courses but have particularly benefitted from How to Think Sideways and its Sweet Spot Map, and from How to Revise Your Novel–my favorite course so far! Thanks to these two courses in particular, I have now published Elegy: The Black Diamond, available at these locations:





    Barnes & Noble – PubIt

    Or you can order from me directly, as I now have a store on my web site.

    In addition, my second book, A Sprig of Adventure, should be out in early April.

  3. Hi Holly,

    “How to Think Sideways gave me the tools and confidence to work through that really tricky stage I always seem to hit about three quarters of the way through a novel!”

    I’ve published multiple novels since completing HTTS (and am finally making more writing than I was in my old job), so here are three of them, with links to pages where you can find the blurbs and cover art:

    Barging In

    Handle with Care

    Screwing the System

  4. Thanks so much, Holly.

    Name: Storm Weaver
    Book 1: Long Walk Home: Book I of the Illiyan Chronicles
    Link: http://www.amazon.com/Long-Walk-Home-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00BNVGM70/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363032126&sr=1-1&keywords=storm+weaver

    Book 2: If A Tree Falls: Book II of the Illiyan Chronicles
    Link: http://www.amazon.com/Tree-Falls-Iliiyan-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00BJQEKIC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363032126&sr=1-3&keywords=storm+weaver

    I am a How To Think Sideways student, and I think I made use of every single piece of the course. I’m still learning, of course — we all are. However, I’ve seen a huge improvement in the flow and continuity in my work since taking HTTS, and I can’t wait to do the Ultra ‘refresher’!

  5. Pen Name: Scarlet Darkwood

    Link to Books:

    Dance of Desire:

    Pleasure House:

    Cover Art Link:

    Lesson 6, how to write for your genre, helped me determine how much of an element I needed to include in my work so that it fit into a certain genre. I also learned how to look at elements in terms of percentages so I could shift my focus to write in another genre. Very enligtening.

  6. Name: Jenny Lundquist

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Polly-Jenny-Lundquist/dp/144245248X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361907455&sr=8-1&keywords=plastic+polly

    Cover art: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13451598-plastic-polly


    “Plastic Polly is my second published novel, but the first that I wrote under contract, and I was asked to submit a synopsis and three chapters–and then finish the project in ten weeks once it received the green light. I could not have done any of this without HTTS. I used Holly’s questionnaires to get a quick handle on each of my characters, and I used her clustering exercises to make sure as many scenes as possible were “candy bar scenes” to keep me motivated to meet my deadline. I cannot recommend Holly enough. She’s a fabulous writing instructor.”

    Note: I used your HTWS course to help me write my Princess in the Opal Mask series, which is forthcoming, and am happy to blurb when you want to promote HTWS. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17290682-the-princess-in-the-opal-mask

  7. I write under the name of Jacqueline Chandler

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/But-Cant-Hide-Jacqueline-Chandler/dp/1480294616/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361888161&sr=1-1&keywords=jacqueline+chandler+but+you+can%27t+hide

    Not sure if I can include the cover art work. I don’t have a separate link for it, I’d have to upload it as a file. Not sure you want me to do that.

    The book is called “But You Can’t Hide” and it is my other baby (as in of the non-biological variety). I love this book.

    The most notable comment from Holly which immediately and always springs to mind is that there is no book that cannot be saved.

  8. http://www.nikkimpill.com/writing.htm

    I wrote THE TEASE with HTTS and edited GRAVEDIGGER’S DAUGHTER with HTRYN. The courses were very valuable because they provide a practical, manageable structure for what can be a bewildering & overwhelming process. Breaking the act of novel-writing down into bite-size pieces allowed me to face the daunting task of writing a damn good story. I already have 10 reviews on Amazon for THE TEASE – 4 and 5 stars — all my readers appreciate how well-structured the story was!

  9. Thank you, Holly!

    I have been reading your website since 2001, and took HTTS when I decided to get serious and commit to building a writing career. The Sentence, in particular, has helped me to improve my grasp on plot and pacing.

    Although I still have a long way to go to be the kind of writer I want to be, I would not be where I am today without you, and fully expect to use your courses to keep improving my skills.

    Name: Anthea Strezze (aka A. L. Strezze)
    Link: http://antheastrezze.com/blog/my-e-books/
    My three favorite published titles to date are:
    On Ice (as A. L. Strezze)
    The Trouble With Wishes
    Refuge: Tales from a Zombie Apocalypse

    Thanks again! Actually, I think it might be time for me to go through HTTS again. πŸ™‚

  10. Thanks, Holly, I’ve taken all your courses and before that bought most of your “How To” Writing books. The one thing that really changed my writing life was the *sentence* so much so that I blogged about it and your revision course on the http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/rip-and-rebuild-revisions-part-1/

    As others have said I had almost given up on writing until I took your courses.

    Using the HTTS course I wrote:
    Pirate’s Proposal, published with The Wild Rose Press: http://amzn.com/B006Z8WF9K
    Trust No One, self-pub RWA(R) Golden Heart(R) finalist: http://amzn.com/B0089HULLE

    and using the How To Revise Course:
    The Good Daughter, self-pub and a 2012 RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice nominee. (and on a recent free Select run had over 66,000 downloads and has sold over 2000 copies since then)

    Thanks so much; you’ve given me the vision of possibilities!

  11. Lee Birdine

    My 3 Favorites can be found here:


    This Side of Hell (Hard Boiled PI/Mystery)
    A Lapse In Reason (same)
    Atlas Eyes (Military SF/Space Opera/Erotica)

    Terminal Frost (revised during HTTS), the first novel in the PI series can be downloaded free as a PDF at:


    No one part really stands out above any other because of the approach I took to taking HTTS. As a collective whole it is a very solid piece of work. Concise in its dissemination of information. I basically hopped all over it in no particular order as I needed. Other places I just read it for pleasure.

  12. Angela McGill (I used Fantasy in the HTTS course)
    Artwork included with short story:
    Buzzymag logo:

    There were a lot of things I learned from HTTS. Two of the important things were how to generate ideas and how to complete my book. Probably the most important thing was I learned that the HTTS community is the smartest, most loyal, and supportive group around.

  13. I was one of the first takers of HTTS. It’s not just for novelists. I used many of principles taught in the course to develop and write short stories. I find ‘the sentence’ and the sweet spot map the ones that come back to me time and time again since finishing the course. In truth, the course is never finished because it’s such a valuable resource. I find myself dipping into it all the time for refreshers or motivation and encouragement. I write under my own name, Deb Sutton, and my pen name Deborah Jones.

    Here are my links to two shorts:



    Thanks Holly! Apart from the fantastic chance to show our own work, it’s a terrific opportunity to see what others on the course have been up to and give fellow HTTS students some support.

  14. Name: Jessica Steiner
    Mortis Unbound (Fantasy self-pubbed novel).
    I have a summary of all the places where you can purchase it here in a post on my blog: http://jessicasteiner.dreamwidth.org/16734.html
    There’s also a nice copy of the cover there.

    I wrote the bulk of Mortis Unbound before I really dug into HTTS, but I went step by step through How to Revise Your Novel, which was a huge, huge help in getting it ready for publication. I had it professionally edited after I had gone through HTRYN, and the editor actually came in under her estimate because, as she said, the quality was already far higher than she anticipated for a first novel.

  15. My three favorites can all be found at http://raymundeich.com/novels.

    Take the Shilling (military sf)
    New California (sf)
    The Blank Slate (near-future sf/political thriller)

    I’ve also published one other novel and eleven works of short fiction, ranging from space opera to an historical vampire story.

    All of Holly’s courses are excellent, but How to Revise Your Novel most stands out, for tons of thought-provoking advice on how to get from first draft to a finished, coherent, moving novel.

  16. Name: Jennie Marts
    Title: Another Saturday Night and I Ain’t Got No Body

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/Another-Saturday-Night-Turners-ebook/dp/B00AQPJ924/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361246718&sr=8-2

    I have been taking Holly’s courses, and following her newsletters, and emails for several years now. She is always right on target with her advice and writing tips. I appreciate the way she stays on top of the changes in the industry and she offers advice that is easy to follow and you can apply immediately to your work in progress. Thanks Holly!

  17. Name: Carmen Rane Hudson
    Link: http://www.carmenranehudson.com
    This link includes both the books and the cover art. πŸ™‚
    Titles: Backlash and Dig My Grave

    Holly’s courses are the best money you’ll ever spend on a fiction writing course, hands down. I went from meandering manuscripts that never got finished to tightly plotted works of fiction, all within a reasonable time frame.

  18. I write under both Debbie Mumford and Deb Logan. The two books I’ll list here are both Deb Logan (YA Fantasy) tales.

    Faery Unexpected – http://www.amazon.com/Faery-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B005WUE7Y8/
    Thunderbird – http://www.amazon.com/Thunderbird-ebook/dp/B005Z4TAAC/

    Cover art can be found here: http://debbiemumford.com/deb-logan/

    And the Debbie Mumford novel I recently finished in your “Write a Book With Me” forum should be out within the month πŸ˜€

    Thanks for all your help and encouragement, Holly!

  19. Names: Michelle Tatam and Jessi Hammond
    Stories: (Michelle) Marina of the Sea (middle grade urban fantasy), (Jessi) The Ghost of Calliope Creek (G-rated adult paranormal)
    Links: http://www.michelletatam.com/my-novels/seaborn2-marina-of-the-sea/, http://www.jessihammond.com/the-davis-bay-series/
    How to Think Sideways, quite simply, put the joy back into writing for me. The lessons are clear, the exercises make you think, and the whole course has rebuilt my confidence in writing and given me a lot more skills to work with. I can’t thank her enough.

    • You know, last night I was trying to keep what I said short (although I knew I couldn’t stick to just one sentence). This morning I was thinking about “the gift that keeps on giving” and realized there was a lot more to it than what I wrote.

      I took HTTS in 2009. Since then, I’ve gotten revised lessons, walkthroughs, additional material, and now this opportunity to promote my work because of paying for the course one time. Holly’s generosity to aspiring writers is unmatched.

      Thank you, Holly!

  20. I took/am taking HTTS Legacy under the username of Irionuib, as well as the free course on creating plots (the name is escaping me at the moment). The fact that you take writing seriously enough to make courses to help them and show that, yes, this writing thing really is possible, helped me to take my own writing seriously and empowered me to self-publish with confidence. *coughs* Well, I tried to make that sentence short. πŸ˜› πŸ™‚ Let me know if you want a shorter version. I’m sure I can make one.

    So far, the only book I have out is an anthology of surreal short stories and poetry, called “Dreaming of Her and Other Stories”:

    Info and cover art: http://www.expectedaberrations.com/books/
    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Her-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B0098GHZGY/

  21. Author’s name: Stephen C. Spencer

    It’s fair to say that without Holly Lisle’s help (and I’ve taken MANY of her courses), none of what I’ve written would have seen the light of day–or at least provided the light itself from inside a Kindle close to you. Much of what’s good about my little books (and nothing of what’s not-so-good) is due to Holly’s advice.

    IT’S ALWAYS DARKEST (http://amzn.to/WXbsw6) Cover Art: http://bit.ly/12NTYFO

    THE DEVIL YOU SAY (http://amzn.to/Zhokf3) Cover Art: http://bit.ly/11VIbpH

    THIRD TIME LUCKY (http://amzn.to/YnhaTI) Cover Art: http://bit.ly/W4iTD7

  22. Name: Shantnu Tiwari

    Books: The Toilet Paper Conspiracy
    The Zombie’s Life Is In Danger

    Link: http://shantnutiwari.com/

    Before Holly’s course, I spent hours reading blogs, books on reading, and not feeling satisfied. The information was shallow and written by amateurs, people who did not make a living writing.

    The course was thorough and all encompassing. I would recommend this course to anyone who has ever wondered, “Do I have it in me to become a writer?”

  23. Pen Name: Diane J Cornwell
    Link: http://dianejcornwell.wordpress.com/fiction/

    Each list item is linked to page with cover image and blurb and links to Smashwords and Amazon. If the covers are not large enough, I can forward larger .jpg files.

    The whole course HTTS improved my ability to tell an interesting story. Holly’s plot and revision techniques improved my stories, but Holly’s Page-Turning Scenes techniques jumped the stories to the next level.

    The Broken series will be out in POD paperback in the next few months, and I will update the ebook covers then. The rest will slowly be formatted for POD.

    Thanks Holly.

  24. Name: Angelique Mroczka
    Titles w/ Links:
    HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month (http://paganwriterspress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/herstory-sm.jpg)
    Pagan Writers Presents Yule (http://paganwriterspress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CoverMockup-sm.png)
    Pagan Writers Presents Samhain (http://paganwriterspress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Cover_New.jpg)

    I probably own just about every workshop and course that Holly Lisle has offered, including How to Think Sideways (which is my favorite). Holly teaches you not only how to write, but to think like a writer as well. The knowledge that I gained from her courses helped me not only to publish my first anthology, but to step out into the small press publishing world and open my own company, Pagan Writers Press.

  25. Corie Weaver

    Coyote’s Daughter:

    Bear’s Heart:

    Holly’s Sentence is possibly the most powerful tool I have for focusing in on what I’m writing and keeping on track – and I still use the map to connect with my dreams and shivers to plot out new books. I wouldn’t have written the books I have without her!

  26. Karyn Henley

    Breath of Angel, Waterbrook/Random House

    Eye of the Sword, Waterbrook/Random House

    Throat of the Night, self-pub

    All of Holly’s lessons helped me, but creating The Sentence was among the most valuable, and I use it all the time, both writing and pitching.

    When writers ask me about getting an MFA, I tell them that while I value my MFA experience tremendously, I learned more in your courses and got practical guidance that I could use immediately. I appreciate you and your courses more than you’ll ever know.

  27. Pen Name: Chantel Rhondeau
    Link: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com/p/my-available-titles.html
    That is to my blog and I hope the cover art can be copied from that. If not, let me know and I’ll try to figure out something different. I’m technologically challenged πŸ˜‰

    Title: Crime & Passion, Always & Forever (I have cover art and blurb there for Love & Deception but it won’t be out until this fall).

    I probably wouldn’t have made it to publication without How To Think Sideways. I’m a total pantser and would quit halfway through. Holly’s course taught me how to find my best ideas for me, keep focused, plan out my characters, and to get from that great idea to a finished novel. I can’t recommend this course enough!

    (If that’s too long, feel free to shorten how best serves your purposes)

    Thanks so much!

  28. Hi Holly,

    My book is available here in paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Conrad-Turner-Quest-Trinity-Volume/dp/0985138114/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361383880&sr=8-1&keywords=conrad+turner

    and here for Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Conrad-Turner-Quest-Trinity-ebook/dp/B007JINHGA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361383945&sr=8-2&keywords=conrad+turner

    The book is “Conrad Turner and the Quest for Trinity.”

    How to Think Sideways helped me with the revision process of this book, and it is an invaluable resource for my next book currently in 1st draft.

    Thank you for everything!

    James Lee (Padrino)

  29. Name: Christopher Walker
    Title: The Lightforce Rebellion
    http://www.stormherald.com/books/the-lightforce-rebellion/ (click on the cover image to download a large version)

    How to Think Sideways really helped me see the steps I needed to take to go all the way from brainstorming to publishing, which for the engineer side of me is a really valuable asset to have. I especially benefited from learning how to create believable characters with their own fears and problems, and how to structure scenes with The Sentence so that they’re always engaging and make readers want to turn to the next page.

  30. I finished my self published book Breathe because of Holly’s How To Think Sideways Course. It taught me how to get to the end (Lesson 17) and why I wanted to self publish when all of my author friends insisted that traditional publishing was the way to go. Couldn’t have done it without this course and I know it’s made me a better writer!

    Amazon Link:

    I’m not sure how to link to just the cover art but I do have a jpg file?

    Elena Dillon

  31. In the acknowledgments in my first two books, I thanked Holly for her advice and support. Through Forward Motion and then her courses — particularly How to Think Sideways — she gave me hope.

    I had been diagnosed with serious diabetes and an autoimmune disorder, and the doctors were being quite grim about my prospects, one going so far as to say that I probably wouldn’t make it more than a year due to heart and liver damage.

    I wanted to have a book published before I died. Holly’s website encouraged me to try and keep trying even though the learning curve was almost vertical. If she hadn’t been there, I would have NEVER completed the first book, which led to the others. I believe in Holly.

    Strangely enough, working to publish and sell those books would get me up and about and moving again. It’s been nearly 10 years, and I’m still here, still struggling with health problems, but healthier than I’ve been in years. As for the doctor who gave me a year, he died of a heart attack about four years ago. Maybe I should have told him about Holly.

    Here are my books:

    Murder by Dewey Decimal
    Murder by the Acre
    Floozy & Other Stories
    Tales from Bethlehem

    And this summer, I will publish my sixth book, Murder by the Mile.

    My sales page for all the books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers is at: http://51313.blogspot.com/p/my-books.html

    Last year, I started my own micro-publishing company, Many Rivers Harbor, and have published two books for other authors and an anthology for a writing group. Learn more about those books at: http://manyriversharbor.blogspot.com

    Whatever success I’ve had, Holly has been a part of it. It’s rare in this world when you can recommend anything without reservation, but I can do so for Holly, her books, and her courses.

    Stephen B. Bagley

  32. How to Think Sideways gave me a number of great tools to use! PACTS, the 30-word Sentence, and the Sweet Spot Map are some of my favorites. I use the SSM for myself, of course, but I also create one for each of my major characters, to help me develop them more fully. It works beautifully!

    Elegy: The Black Diamond, a fantasy novel, was e- published 1/1/2013.

    978-0-9887500-0-5 Electronic book
    978-0-9887500-1-2 Paperback





    Barnes & Noble – PubIt

  33. Oh, my! How to Think Sideways has lots of great tools! PACTS is a favorite, and so is the 30-word Sentence. The definition of a scene and how to recognize one when I write it. And perhaps my favorite tool, the Sweet Spot Map! I not only have a personal SSM, I create one for each of the major characters in a novel, to help me develop the characters better.

    Cover art can be found on the Amazon link, or I can send you a .jpg file. It doesn’t seem to want to attach here.
    Elegy: The Black Diamond was e-published on 1/01/2013 and is available here:

    Elegy: The Black Diamond
    978-0-9887500-0-5 Electronic book
    978-0-9887500-1-2 Paperback





    Barnes & Noble – PubIt

    Cover art:

  34. How to Think Sideways gave me the tools I was missing. I had dozens of starts, and no finishes. For me, the missing component was learning how to use scene cards. Finally, I had a tool that would keep me on track; help me get to the end; figure out pacing; know where the meaty parts of the story were, and even more important, where the story needed help; and how to meet my word count.

    The scene cards alone made the course worth while but there was so much more. Finding and identifying my target audience. Learning how to do the word math so I could write a story that would fit my genre. Figuring out what my genre actually is.

    I could list the benefits of How to Think Sideways until I run out of words. The course beat any previous class I’d ever taken, and I could list dozens, including college classes that didn’t give me as much useful information as How to Think Sideways did.

    Thank you, Holly. You gave me the tools that allowed the author in me to emerge.

    My published book is: Cosmic Shift a MG Fantasy story.
    Paperback” http://www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Shift-Chronicles-Adventure/dp/0984661905/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361379003&sr=8-1&keywords=C.L.+Roth
    e-book: http://www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Shift-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00A4Q9ER0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361379003&sr=8-2&keywords=C.L.+Roth
    ISBN# print: 978-0-9846619-0-9
    ISBN# e-book: 978-0-9846619-1-6

    Bone Weary, an adult cozy mystery is due out in March 2013.

  35. My name is Zachary Ricks, and I took HTTS Legacy.
    I’ve self pubbed one book in e-book and podcast formats, and some short stories.
    The book is Crown of Exiles: Battlehymn, and is available at http://madpoetfiles.com/the-fiction-store/
    The cover art is saved at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1177388/BattleHymnCover.jpg.
    (And the whole thing is available in audio form at http://exiles.madpoetfiles.com/category/podcast-2/.)

  36. Hi, Holly.
    I just can say: Thank You. With you course i learn the most important thing i that “I can do it”. You first lesson about the four Thinking Barriers changed the way i see the all life. Now finally i self-published my first book on Amazon and CreateSpace. Actually i start writing my first saga plus a lot of projects for future books. For that i very happy with your course.

  37. Becky Burkheart, took the course as Sue Huffman. Bluesue22 at gmail dot com (divorced!!)

    books and stories at http://www.amazon.com/Becky-Burkheart/e/B008E019PS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

    The single most important thing your lessons gave me was focus and structure, not nebulous ‘blahblah’ but firm guidance each step along the way. It’s taken me maybe longer than most (partly from dealing with real-life crap) but I’m on track, going back through the lessons and finally making real progress. I have a complete series to publish and two complete novels in edits and soon (within the year) to be released.

    Thanks for this opportunity.

      • πŸ™‚ it’s been awhile. I’m glad you remember. Life’s pretty much been a b*tch, but it’s on a def upswing and lots of good stuff on the horizon. I don’t have much out at this point but lots of stuff done or close to it and will have a bunch out before the end of the year.

        Thanks again for doing this!

  38. my pen-name is Katharina Gerlach, I took all your courses and I’m a moderator of the forum, so I don’t know if I’m eligible. Still, I’d like for you to feature any of my books:

    Young Adult books:
    Urchin King (Fantasy)
    Amadi, the Phoenix, the Sphinx, and the Djinn (Fantasy)
    Scotland’s Guardians (Fantasy)
    Ann Angel’s Freedom (Historical Romance)
    Victor’s Rage (Historical Romance)

    Flesh & Blood (Horror Short Stories)

    You can find covers and descriptions on my homepage:

    I had nearly given up on writing thinking my novels would never sell (after all that was what the publishing professionals told me) but HTTS not only gave me back my enthusiasm, it also took the quality of my novels one step further. I’m not (yet) making a living from my writing, but I’m getting closer every day.

  39. I skimmed over your course, Create a Plot Clinic, to help me finish my book, A View to Die For. I say skimmed, because I needed help plotting — I had 300 pages written and couldn’t seem to connect the dots.

    Your advice helped — a lot. A View to Die For is an Amazon best selling paid mystery. It hit #26 on their top 100 list beating out a Patterson and Grafton novels. It is still at 1300 overall (out of over 1 million) and selling well.

    Thanks for the pointers, Holly,
    Richard Houston

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