July 15, 2020

Author Kristina Stanley on How to Write a Successful Fiction Book — The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 15

Author Kristina Stanley on How to Write a Successful Fiction Book — The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 15

What’s the secret to writing a widely successful book? Author Kristina Stanley has discovered the secret, and she’s developed a software to help other writers do the same. On this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve chats with Kristina about her personal writing journey, how she became an entrepreneur, and the truth about difficult it really is to write a good book.

Kristina and her husband of 30 years love sailing. But, as they sailed through the Caribbean, she found she needed more than just pretty scenery to keep her brain occupied. She read one of her favorite books, “Moonlight Becomes You” by Mary Higgens Clark, and decided she wanted to write her own novel. She pulled from her love of mystery novels and finished her first manuscript, “Avalanche.”

The process, it turns out, was much more difficult than she had imagined. Not only do you have to keep track of all the characters in the story, but you also have to make sure the story is fundamentally sound. The characters, setting, and plot all have to be intentional, crystal clear, and connected. It took a lot of hard work to turn her ideas into engaging books, but her connection with other established authors, support from her husband, and love of the craft kept her going.

Two books later, Kristina found an agent and a publisher. Her debut novel, Descent, hit no. 1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in one week. The following books in her Stone Mountain Mystery trilogy, Blaze and Avalance, soon followed. As she worked on her next novel, her husband saw the way she organized her book in an Excel document and thought, “There’s got to be a better way.” When he found there weren’t any tools to help writers visualize, organize, and improve their manuscripts, he and Kristina decided to make their own.

After eight years of research, Kristina and her husband created Fictionary.co, an innovative editing software that helps writers tell the best stories possible. Writers plug in their manuscript and the AI software determines the book’s 38 Fictionary Story Elements, determined by universal storytelling principles. These elements are key to all fiction stories and similar to Donald Miller’s StoryBrand Framework, which has helped businesses apply the age-old concept of storytelling to their marketing.

Kristina has used Fictionary.co for two of her books now. Look the Other Way, The first book she published edited with the software was her “best book” by far in terms of profit. During the process, she also saw the benefits Fictionary.co could provide for editors: how it can help them become better, more rounded editors while providing their writers with even more value. Her dream is to have more editing agencies become Fictionary Certified Story Coach Companies.

You can learn more about Kristina and Fictionary.co here:

Here are the links to Kristina's books on Amazon:

Descent (A Stone Mountain Mystery)
Look the Other Way

To learn more about StoryBrand, pick up your copy of Donald Miller's book, Building a StoryBrand, by clicking this link.

And you can get a shiny copy of The Golden Toilet on Amazon here:

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{"version":"1.0.0","segments":[{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3.0,"body":"When you have a significant event occur, that's going to set the scene for how your story is going to be. It has to be early in the story. So that, you know, to make it super easy. So if you're writing a funny book, you need to have humor in that opening scene. If you're writing multiple points of view, you need to change them quickly. You can't write three quarters of a book and then change the point of view because your reader goes, \"What?\" So by killing Ned right away, it's set you up for \"all bets are off.\" You have no idea what's going to happen. You think you can guess but you just don't know. And so it keeps you on the edge of suspense because they did it so early. They made you get invested in that character. You liked him and you wanted him to succeed and you never thought his head was gonna roll. And then they did it. And now you're set for the rest of the series, that the unexpected will happen and so you're completely caught up. It was super smart.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":60.0,"body":"Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI Online Podcasts where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown, and this is the place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Welcome back, everybody to the ROI Online Podcast and today, we're going to learn something that is opposite of what we've been told all of our lives: that crime doesn't pay. But our guest today actually proves that crime does pay, actually writing about crime and mysteries pays. Please welcome Kristina Stanley.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":117.0,"body":"Hi, thank you for having me.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":118.0,"body":"So excited. and proud that you're here. So Kristina has a company called Fictionary.co. It's a creative editing software for fiction writers and editors. And in particular, it talks about or it helps you nail 38 fictionary story elements that helps your book become way more impactful. Also, Kristina happens to be an author of a lot of books. She's the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery series. And so Kristina, I'm excited. Tell us a little bit about how in the world does someone start writing crime, mystery novels or series? That's fascinating.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":168.0,"body":"OK, so first of all, I love reading mysteries. So you know, write what you love. So, that's part of it. And I was the director at a ski resortand I ran the security team and the guest services team and the human resources team. And so that meant I had responsibility for all of the people things that happened at the resort. And I left that job and I went sailing with my husband down to the Caribbean. And while I was there, I discovered that one I really missed the ski resort. And two, I needed something mentally stimulating to do. So I sailed around, which is lovely, but you'd still need something in your brain. And so I just decided one day, \"I'm gonna write a novel.\" I had no idea how hard it was gonna be. The decision to go with mysteries was easy, because that's what I read, and I love them. So I really wanted to write a mystery.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":226.0,"body":"So it's like, I understand you're sailing around and I'm sure it's beautiful. But after a little bit, you're a little bit struggling for, \"I need a little activity or...\" But why in the world would you go....I think I couldn't make up a whole conversations and scenarios and describe people's feelings. And that's just, I don't know where that comes from.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":250.0,"body":"So the drive came way earlier. In the 90's, I was living in Germany and I was reading a book by Mary Higgins Clark. And I had a business trip the next morning where car was picking me up at four in the morning, and I have to read a little bit before I go to bed, and I could not put it down. And I knew I should go to bed. It was dumb to stay up. I knew I had a big travel day and a meeting at the end of the day and all that stuff, but I could not stop reading it. I just had to read it. So I was exhausted. And when I was sitting in the car the next morning, I thought, \"I want to write something that does that to somebody else where instead of being all stressed out about this presentation I had to do and stuff. OK, I didn't sleep, but I did something fun instead of being stressed.\" And I thought, \"I just want to do that.\" And I didn't know hard it is. I had no idea I thought, \"I can write a book.\" I just have no idea and maybe going in... I don't know, I probably still would have done it but I just thought it was a great fun activity to keep my brain busy and work on something that was real.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":316.0,"body":"So you know, growing up, I read all \"The Hardy Boy\" mystery books and \"The Call of the Wild,\" the Jack London books. I just love those books. I would sit and read the whole book on us Saturday and Sunday as a kid. So I'm, I really relate, getting caught up in those stories and just keep turning and turning. It's it's really neat to see life or think about things from someone else's perspective that you would have never experienced in your life. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":350.0,"body":"Yeah, yeah. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":352.0,"body":"So alright, you sit down, you start writing a book and so the folks who listen to this podcast: they're business leaders, they're business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing directors, StoryBrand guides, and, and students but... To sit down and think, \"I'm gonna write a book,\" there's a big hurdle that you got to get past to really give yourself permission or to actually see yourself as someone that writes a book when, much less, reading a book seems like a big hurdle for a lot of people. Where did you start to... You ran into your first obstacle you ran into your first resistance as Steven, oh... He writes \"The War of Art.\" \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":400.0,"body":"Yeah. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":401.0,"body":"Pressfield. Anyway, he talks about resistance, but where did you start to get past the resistance?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":408.0,"body":"So I'm very lucky I'm married to a man who's totally supportive and is a \"yes\" person and so you know, for his attitude was just, \"Go for it. Yeah, it's hard, but just sit down and do it. Just do it.\" So for me that the resistance came... You know, the first part was so exciting. You just kind of want to do this, right? You just you just I had no idea what I was gonna write, I had this idea there was a woman on a bus going to a ski resort. That was my idea. So I just started writing, OK. And the thing that happened to me really early on is what we talked about a little bit the other day is that I wrote a scene. And it existed. It wasn't there in the morning, and it was there at the end of the day. And for some reason, that totally motivates me. And every time I sit down and think, \"Oh I'm too tired to write. I don't have any imagination today, whatever.\" I think about that rush of a feeling, even if it's a terrible scene, I still wrote it. It's still there and it kind of kept me going and I was also in a luxurious position where I had time in my life at that at that time to really focus on it and so it's not as intimidating if you're working 12 hours a day and you're taking care of your kids and you try and do all these things and then fit it in somewhere. I had that not only time but the mental space to do it.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":504.0,"body":"Wow. So, you know, I've published a book as well as you're aware of it. Yeah, I'm telling you what I saw the first draft of it. It was a real rough draft. It was rough on me to read it. I went into a shell for a while before I could come back out, read it again, and then approach it and start to address that. Did you experience those? Are you just a natural?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":530.0,"body":"No, I'm not a natural. I have to work really hard at it. But what helped me is I had some really great mentors. Joan Barfoot, who's a famous Canadian author. She was one of my mentors, and also Gary Ryan, who, at one point, was the president of crime writers in Canada. And so he's well known Canadian author. And I had them hooked up to various connections. And so they were very helpful in pointing out to me, \"You need to work on this, but this is great. So keep going. You've got something.\" And so I had outside professional encouragement, which helps a lot to to keep it going. Because when you read your own stuff, and still when you read it, anytime I do a reading of stuff, because it your mind does, \"Oh, I could have written that better. Or I could have done that better.\" I mean, it was published, you have to move on. You can't do anything, just move on. But you still I think always, as a writer, have that doubt. And I read something by Ken Follett, who talked about his first books, which I think are fantastic. And he went, \"Oh, I can't believe those are out there. Terrible.\" No, no, no, I love those books, right? So I think that doubt never goes away. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":598.0,"body":"Yeah. So how are we was your first book, Krissy? How long did it take you to get it done? And then how was it received? How did it go over?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":609.0,"body":"So I was really lucky. OK, so it took me... I started writing in 2009. And then I wrote my second book. And then I wrote my third book. And then I got an agent. And she said, \"Well, your third book is really your first book.\" So I rewrote it. I switched the whole series, and I had to do first book, second book, third book and carry everything through. And then my agent retired right when I got a publisher, so then I went with a publisher. So because I had three books, they had a stage process to put all three out. And the first week that I was put up in Amazon, I hit number one on Amazon's hot new releases. So I just had tremendous luck on timing. I think of putting it out and who it went out with and that kind of stuff. And all through the time I was writing, I had very... I worked hard on my connections in the industry, on getting real advice from people and listening to that advice about what I needed to do with my story. So it's my story and my art, of course, but when you have professionals out there helping you, you just make it that much better. And so I took it very... Every piece of advice I got, I took really seriously and paid attention to it. And you know, you treat it like it's a business, that if I want people to pay money for this, it should be a high quality product.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":703.0,"body":"So what was the name of the first book in that series of three?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":707.0,"body":"So the first the first time around, you mean or? \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":711.0,"body":"Yes. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":712.0,"body":"OK, so right now it's \"Descent,\" is the first one, \"Blaze\" and \"Avalanche.\" But when I first wrote it, it was \"Avalanche,\" \"Descent,\" \"Blaze.\" And so \"Avalanche\" went to the end. \"Decent\" came from number two to number one and \"Blaze\" came from number three to number two. Yes.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":732.0,"body":"Look, I'm looking on Amazon, right\" And \"Blaze\" is over there, paperback version. Something must be really special. It's priced at $343.68. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":745.0,"body":"No. So you know what that is, the first time that happened to me I thought, you know... I call my publisher, \"Um, something's wrong.\" Somebody has a used version and they put it up. It's not me. It's got nothing to do with me. And no, but like, and you see it all over the place with books on Amazon, that they have some outrageous price on them. There's some funky thing going on. And these used copies available here and here. And this is completely out of my control. So I actually ignore all of that. I don't look at it. And when people steal it and then offer me a stolen copy I ignore that too. \"OK, no, thank you. I'm actually the author. But thank you very much for that stolen copy.\"\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":788.0,"body":"So time goes on. And you figure out, we start to... Something happens where you go, \"I need to set up a software to make this process more effective.\" \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":801.0,"body":"Yeah. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":802.0,"body":"Tell us about that inciting incident.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":805.0,"body":"So that, I remember exactly the moment that happened. So my husband and I have been married 30 years, and we've worked all over the world. And so we've worked in small expat communities, in offices where we were, you know, we could look at each other, see each other, have lunch together whenever. So we're very used to working together. So just, and then we lived on a sailboat together. So I'll caveat with that. And we were just getting off. We've been on our sailboat for five years, and we're just coming off and trying to figure out, \"Well, what are we going to do next?\" And I was actually writing. I was sitting at my computer and I was writing and he walked by, and he looked at the computers like, \"What are you doing?\" Like, \"Oh, well, I'm trying to, you know, keep track of this and that and my story elements.\" \"But you're in Excel, I thought you were writing.\" So, \"Well, I am writing but I need all these.\" You know, I have this massive spreadsheet with 86 columns and a whole bunch of sheets and linking this and linking that and when is this character coming in? And when are they leaving? And who knows what? But that's how I did it. And at the time, of course, that was on a sailboat. So I didn't have room for a white board, or a dining room table or anything. I had my little MacBook. I had everything in my little space. And he went, \"Well, surely there's just a better way.\" And he went and looked for a piece of software that could do it for me. And he went, \"Well, there isn't one.\" So that night at dinner, we sat around, he went, \"You know, when we go back, like we don't really want to work for anybody else now. So why don't we just build this and sell it and we'll start our company?\" And I said, \"OK, let's do that.\" And so we just started. Went forward.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":907.0,"body":"So, tell us what the software does. It's called Fictionary. Help me envision it, OK? I haven't used it.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":916.0,"body":"OK, so it's, it's for writers who basically have a first draft. You can write from scratch in it if you want. But there's a ton of writing software out there and a lot of great writing software. So that's not really our thing. Our thing is all about doing an edit on this story. So not the words, not just grammar, nothing with punctuation or spelling. It's about the story. And so what happens kind of thing of beauty in my honest opinion. So you import a manuscript, so 50,000 words, 150,000 words, whatever, it doesn't matter. So the manuscript gets imported, and the software scans it. And so it pulls out. The word count per scene. It pulls out all of the characters and then it draws a story arc. So the first thing a writer will see is based on their book, a recommended story arc for commercially successful book versus what their story arc is, and they can start working on it like, \"Oh, my inciting incident happens at 40% in. Hmm, that's a problem. That needs to bump up or go sooner in the books,\" that kind of thing. They can use the word count per scene to figure out pacing in their story. They can see their characters all in one place. And they can see them linked to scenes. And they can see when characters come in, how often they're in, who's got the point of view, what the order of the point of view is. So it's a very visual way. And then the hard work starts. So then we have all of our elements. And the story elements are based on characters, plots, and settings. And within those, then for example, you have: so what's your point of view character's goal? What's their internal goal? What happens if they fail? You know, all of these things and similar things for plot and setting and so it encourages the writer to then, \"OK, so I've had a look at my overall structure visually. I can see where I have issues.\" And then they can look at the flow of how they're starting each scene ending each scene. Do they have hooks? And are they varying the types and all of that and so it gives the writer a structured way of being creative. So it's not dictating. It's giving guidelines of: here are things to consider if you're having trouble. And these are the places you look at and as they edit, move scenes around and add text to whatever the story arc redraws every time so they can see it change and what it looks like. They can see, \"You know, jeez, I've got 27 point of view characters.\" Well, OK, you should have five to seven. So that's problem, right? Stuff like that to go... You know, you finish writing your draft. You got your big blob of 80,000 words and either printed or sitting in MS Word or whatever, and you know, huh. \"OK, great.\" You can't see it yourself. But if you have a structured way to go, how did I enter every scene? And you can see it together? You go, \"Oh, wait a minute, I start every scene in a doorway. That's problem.\" Right? Which I use that example. Because my first draft of my first book, I did that. My husband said, \"Did you... Do you know that you do this?\" And of course I do. So, you know, then you think, \"OK, I have to keep track of these thing.\" So and then inside of Fictionary with each of the elements, there's also writing advice. So why is it important? And how do you use it? And what are you looking for when you're trying to fix it? And so instead of having to go look it up on the internet, or you know, like pick up a book on writing, you can look right there. And so we've collected years and years of writing advice for each of these, and put it all in one place so that if a writer is just working on the characters, all that writing advice is there for them. And they don't have to go looking for it. It's right hand in hand.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1142.0,"body":"I wrote a nonfiction book, which is no nowhere near as complicated as a fiction. But I struggled to keep things straight in my head at first. It took a while until I really was like going through it may be that the eighth time that I started to know what was around that corner, so to speak. That was really hard for me to get clear. And I had laid it out on the tables, and I did it different ways, and I just couldn't get and then I have to clean it up every time you know, and then restart again. So you and... Your husband helps you get the software together. So the first, what was the first book that you applied that system to?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1190.0,"body":"So on our beta product I was writing \"Look the Other Way\" now, which is my fourth novel. It's a standalone novel that, oh, funny enough, it's a murder mystery that takes place on a sailboat in the Bahamas. Hmm.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1200.0,"body":"So is that is that where you were sailing with your husband?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1204.0,"body":"Yeah. So OK, we left there. And then I wrote a book about it, which seems to be what I do, I have to leave somewhere to write a book about it. But um, that's the first one. And at the time, I was also working with my publisher's editor. So we used the beta of really rough version of that for \"Look the Other Way.\" So that was pretty exciting to do. And then my current work in progress, \"Evolution,\" I've just run through. But having editors edit at it, I've had 13 different editors edit it because I want to prove out by using a system like this, it can improve the quality of an editor's work because they have to be thorough, comprehensive, and they can't skip. So they can have kind of preferences that they're really good at character but not setting for example. So I've just gotten all the feedback from 13 different editors on the same book. So that's very interesting.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1262.0,"body":"That was, so I was wondering is like... OK, you had this beta version. How was it received by these people that hadn't ever... they're used to running on their natural instinct? or your here's this author that thinks she's the, the big deal and and she brings her software. How did that go?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1282.0,"body":"So what we did there we spent almost a year testing it with writers. So we worked with writers all over the world and gotten to try it and got their feedback and then just kept working working. So we took about a year to do that. And then when that year was up, then we put out our first version. We let that sit for six months. So we just, you know, we sold it, but we didn't make any changes to the software. All we did was collect feedback from people. And it's amazing how generous people are on being willing to provide you honest feedback. And it helps tremendously when you're trying to make a product for writers, if you have hundreds and hundreds of writers using it and telling you, \"I like this, I don't like this, I don't understand this. That's really clear, etc, etc.\" So we spent six months just evaluating their first issue of the product, whatever you want to call it. And then we spent another seven or eight months making all the updates that we needed to make based on all of that feedback. And so then we started... Once we put that version out, we started really roll, and we continue... The thing that's really important, so we have a live chat. And so we talk to writers every day, every day, to see what's going on. Are they having trouble? Do they not understand something? Do they need... They're not quite understanding point of view. And so they do, you know, then we can add that stuff right into the app of, \"OK, people keep asking this question about their characters.\" So we just throw it in. And so we're really active with working with our customers to make sure that we continue to add things that are helpful as opposed to what I would personally like, because that's how I write.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1393.0,"body":"So your book, your first three come out and they are great. There's a bit of pressure there. Can you do it again? Can you do it again? So you run your fourth book through your software? How did it perform? \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1408.0,"body":"It's my best book.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1410.0,"body":"Yes! \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1411.0,"body":"So, you know, but to be fair, I'd already written three books. It was the fourth book I wrote, so it should be better anyway.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1418.0,"body":"You'd think, but some people don't. Some people stumble.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1422.0,"body":"Yeah. So it is just... it's my best book.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1429.0,"body":"But when you say \"your best book\" is that you feel best about it, or it really sold the best? \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1436.0,"body":"Both. Yeah, yeah. So I've made more money off of that one than the first ones. And I did... \"Descent\" well financially because I sold it to a publisher in Germany. And it was translated into German and sold there. So that's a little nice extra piece of income there. So out of the Stone Mountain ones, it's done the best, but out of all four, \"Look the Other Way\" has done the best. And then we'll have to see what I'm going to do with \"Evolution,\" my one that I've had all this editor input in on how I'm going to do that one, right, that's the next big... So we'll see.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1481.0,"body":"So you what version is yours... If you had version one, version two, what version are you now on Fictionary?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1491.0,"body":"I would say about four. But it's a hard question to answer because we we operate continuously and make change. So I'm going to say we've made kind of four big changes.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1505.0,"body":"In how many years?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1507.0,"body":"And so we launched it in 2018. So two years. So every every six months ish, right? You do the bigger thing, and every two weeks we do a little.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1522.0,"body":"That's life. So, alight, 38 you call them Fictionary story elements. Now, in the world of story, are the 38 elements? Or are those 38 that you identified? Because I've got different books on story, whatever.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1545.0,"body":"So it's based on the ones that I feel are most important. And there was a... We added a few just because of writer input and stuff, but basically, I spent eight years researching it. Read. I think it's like 120 different books on writing and editing. And when I mean read, I read it. I took a postgraduate course at Humber School for Writers. And then I took another structural editing at Simon Fraser University. And so I just worked really hard at researching, taking everybody's opinion out there and figuring out, \"OK, what do I think?\" And we put it into Fictionary.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1590.0,"body":"So are they categories like, you know, like the four in one category of elements or?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1597.0,"body":"It's broken into characters, plot, and setting. It fits into those three, yeah.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1602.0,"body":"I want to pause here just for a moment and talk to you about a program that we have just released called the ROI QuickStart Academy for authors. Every day. I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation and we want to grow our business but things that are in our way: our lack of knowledge about the specifics we should put in place, what kind of technology, what kind of messaging and what kind of campaigns? And that problem exists for authors as well. And we just gel so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with. You have a great idea. You have a great book. But what do you want to do? You want to get your book in front of more people. You want to make it easy for them to find you, learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you, hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that your book promotes. So what is the QuickStart Academy for authors? Imagine working with a small group of like-minded authors, and the experts from the ROI QuickStart team. It's a great way to get your messaging clear, to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about the QuickStart Academy for authors, you can visit roionline.com or click in the link in the show notes below. And now, back to this episode. So, you know, we're what's called a StoryBrand Certified Agency. And we were the first, or the original agency, and the reason that we were drawn to it is because Donald Miller wrote the book \"Building a StoryBrand,\" but he had broken down like a seven part framework like this real simple, easy framework that we could all follow together and it would help us make really clear succinct messaging for our clients' materials, websites, etc. When you think about those 38 elements, which of those... What are like top five elements that you really you have to just really be the best at if you're going to not be the best at some of the others?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1753.0,"body":"So the first thing a writer... So we'll look at character first, you need to know who has the point of view for the scene. Even if you're writing from first person single point of view, you need to have that in your head always, that that is the perspective you're telling the story from, because you're making a promise to the reader that you're seeing it through those eyes. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1776.0,"body":"OK. So if I'm not that means I'm we're in their brain looking at their perspective.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1783.0,"body":"Right. And so a very easy point of view thing is, if it's Christina heard the dog bark, that's that's filtering it right. That's where if it's, the dog barked, and I'm the point of view character, you know, I heard it because the dog barked. And I'm the point of view character. But you can't do things like a street over, a dog bark. Well, I can't hear that. So as the point of view character, you can't put it in the scene because I can't possibly know that and then you have a writer or reader distrust that you think... Unless it's unless it's you know, I have some psychic powers or something, right? But normal world, stuff that I can't see feel touch here, whatever can't be in the scene. Is not in the scene. And so it's very tempting to put in little thoughts and these and stuff. But then it's it becomes episodic, and you don't believe what the writer is doing because you don't feel it and you also feel distance from the character. You really want the reader to feel like they're seeing it through the character. So if I'm afraid, you're afraid, right? But it's so intense that that's really what you're trying to drive for.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1856.0,"body":"That's really cool. Because in that StoryBrand framework, the reason marketing's broken is because all brands present themselves as the hero but their consumers or customers or whatever, they need to be the hero. They need to see it from their point of view and you're nailing it.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1877.0,"body":"Yeah. So there's that and then also on character is... What's the point of views characters goal? And and there's two biggies. One is the overarching goal for the story, but there's also every scene the point of view character has to have a goal or they're not doing anything. And it has to be a goal of consequence. So if my goal is to have a sip of water, and I don't get it and nothing happens, does anybody care? No. But if my goal is to have a sip of water and there's poison in that water, OK, now becomes a little bit more interesting. So, it has to be something related to the story. It can't be a goal of, \"I have a mortgage and I have to pay it\" but it's really a murder mystery, and it has nothing to do with it. Nobody cares. So related to the story, it has to have consequences so that the the reader is worried that, if they don't get it or if they do get it, something bad is gonna happen and there's suspense in the story. So without a goal, every single scene, you're not keeping the reader.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":1943.0,"body":"So does that impact their insecurities too, the internal things that they're trying to resolve? Even though they're thirsty, there's something internal that's residing with that.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":1956.0,"body":"That's right. And so you have to also have that internal goal which typically relates to the flaw whatever the characters flaw is. You know, all characters have a flaw and it has to relate to that. And you don't want to solve that too quickly. The character might not even know they have the goal to solve that. It might be their... It's their need that has to happen for them to have it happen to have a good life or whatever it is. And somewhere along the line, they're going to discover that, \"Uh oh, I'm way too much of an introvert and it's actually causing problems in my life, I'm gonna have to deal with this and get up there and face it somehow.\" And then through the story, that's the character arc. That changes is mostly related to the internal, which then makes readers care and cheer for that character.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2005.0,"body":"So at some point, they're going to meet this other character, or they're going to find this this recipe or something that gives them some enlightenment or gives them some some direction. What is that element called in your...\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2025.0,"body":"So that element, that's really around the midpoint of the story. And that is where the character starts going from reactive to proactive. So there's an event that has happened at the story. And so that's the midpoint. And up until then the character is still kind of reacting to things. And at the midpoint, they got to start being proactive. And it's that moment in there and that sort of between, you know, 40 and 60% in the story, it sits in that point.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2057.0,"body":"So that's before they would get into the pit where they started being proactive, but they're going to fail.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2063.0,"body":"That's right. And everything they do makes it worse and worse and worse and worse until you get to the climax. And then of course, they either win or they lose.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2072.0,"body":"So I watched these series, like on Netflix, you'll have season one and season two. Let's talk Ozark, whatever. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2085.0,"body":"Right? \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2086.0,"body":"And so there's multiple story arcs going on over time, is they're not? I mean, it, you've got... We're learning about internal struggles on four or five characters off through the season. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2101.0,"body":"Mm hmm. Yeah. And so that's a very experienced writer, and it's talented. And so what we recommend is when you're first writing, don't try something that hard, right? Because you have to know that's a multi point of view story. And you have to know all of your subplots and it's hard to do skillfully. I mean, \"Game of Thrones\" is a prime example of that, where obviously very popular, did it well, but there's point of views all over the place. That you know, if you if you're a novice writer, you start with really no more than five to seven, you can control that. But it takes significant talent to get character depth for that many points of view. And, I love the \"Game of Thrones\" ones because some of those people you like, you really don't want them to succeed, right? They're just terrible and you just really feel like, \"Come on. Fall off the cliff!\" Right? Yes. And the other ones, \"Run!\" Right? It gets you going. And even though they flip point of view, point of view, point of view, they start at the right moment. You know what that character wants, you know what the consequences are if they don't get it. Or if they do get it, you know, those consequences are horrible for a character you care about. And so you're fully physically engaged in the story because it's so well done.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2183.0,"body":"I think what they did really well was they killed Ned right early is like, \"Wait a minute, we've just got invested. We're buying into his...\" Then all of a sudden, he's dead. And then they did it again. Least this unexpected... And I'm going, \"This is unusual. It's different. It hasn't been this way in a lot of stories.\"\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2206.0,"body":"So that's a really important point is, when you have a significant event occur, that's going to set the scene for how your story is going to be. It has to be early in the story. So that, you know, to make it super easy. So if you're writing a funny book, you need to have humor in that opening scene. If you're writing multiple points of view, you need to change them quickly. You can't write three quarters of a book and then change the point of view because your reader goes, \"What?\" So by killing Ned right away, it's set you up for \"all bets are off.\" You have no idea what's going to happen. You think you can guess but you just don't know. And so it keeps you on the edge of suspense because they did it so early. They made you get invested in that character. You liked him and you wanted him to succeed and you never thought his head was gonna roll. And then they did it. And now you're set for the rest of the series, that the unexpected will happen and so you're completely caught up. It was super smart.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2266.0,"body":"Totally. So of those 38 story elements, which one was like an epiphany for you. That you... just revealed itself and you weren't expecting it?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2277.0,"body":"Yeah. So that one is the emotional impact of setting.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2282.0,"body":"OK. Give us the backstory on that.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2285.0,"body":"OK, so I'll tell you that. So I read a Ken Follett book called \"Whiteout.\" And I loved it and I read every word and I'm a skimmer of description, but that's how I read. Yeah, whatever, that's a nice tree. I don't care.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2299.0,"body":"Can't keep up with all the descriptions.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2301.0,"body":"Yeah, I don't care. I read his book and I read every word and I thought, OK, that's unusual for me. Why did I read every word and I literally went back through his book. And every time he describes a location, it's relevant to the story and the emotional impact to either the reader or the character in that scene, and it's completely linked. He never describes anything that isn't important. And so if he had a character in a dark parking lot outside of a building at night, and he wants that character to be afraid. The emotional impact is there because he's put that character out there alone. Right? And so everywhere he had the characters, there was an emotional impact of either it's safe because you're giving the reader a break, and they need a breather because it's been doo doo doo doo doo, right? Or, OK, now it's getting scary. And it's brilliantly done. And I realized there that is the emotional impact of every scene. And so now when I write, after I have my first draft, I go back and I look at that and go, \"Does it need to be in this location or could I put it somewhere even better to make it more exciting for the reader? Or does it need to be a quieter, loving scene and I should tone it down a little bit?\" And so now I think really hard not maybe not when I'm writing my first draft because you just want to write it but after I have a first draft, I think really hard about what's the emotion this particular location is having?\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2402.0,"body":"So I'm I watch or I read and I noticed that in the middle of it, I'm going, \"What's that guy's name?\" I'm having a struggling to keep name. Is it because of me that I'm just not paying attention? Or is there something wrong with that they could have tweaked?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2421.0,"body":"There is definitely something wrong, and I'll see if I can remember their names now. The Tom Cruise movie that came out which I'm gonna forget the name but the recent one where he like hangs off a helicopter off a cliff, there's two villains in it. And they have like, it's Jim and John. That's not actually the names but it's something like that. The names are so close. And when the other characters are referring to them, you think, \"Which one was it? Wait? Was that him or him?\" Because the names started with the same letter. So what Fictionary does is it shows you all of your names together and you can see a book comes in you think, oh my god there 10 characters whose name starts with \"Al,\" right? Or every name is two syllables ?And you your brain can't remember. Like you, very quickly, Karen, Caitlin, you're not going to remember. And so Fictionary shows you, \"Hmm, look at all of these and how similar they are. And even when you look at if you have a first name of Ben and somebody else's last name is Benson.\" You know, in the worst case scenario, somebody dies meaning, \"Was that Ben or Ben, which one was that?\" They think, \"I don't want to read this. It's annoying.\" So character names are really important. And if you've gotten lost in the character names, that's the writers fault, not the reader, that the names are just too similar. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2502.0,"body":"Feel better now. OK. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2504.0,"body":"Yes, you should feel good. It's OK.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2508.0,"body":"So, where do you see... What are some brands that you really admire that you can tell that they really kind of clued in either naturally or deliberately in presenting their messaging good in a story way?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2528.0,"body":"Nike is a strong one, they have lots of good story. And that is actually I mean, there are some ads where there's story but it doesn't relate to the product. You can't remember what the product is. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2541.0,"body":"Yeah. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2545.0,"body":"Nike has a long history of super great ads that you you totally relate it to your... now, I run, so of course I pay a little bit of attention to it, but there's that. What else is jumping out... Now, I can't think of anything besides Nike. I can't think of anything else. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2565.0,"body":"OK. That's OK. That was totally unsuspected. I came at you from out of the closet. He didn't expect it. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2571.0,"body":"As soon as we hang up. I'm gonna go, \"Oh, I know!\" \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2576.0,"body":"So, so like that. What's that game where it's like Mr. Mustard with the candlestick? Clue?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2584.0,"body":"Yes, Clue. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2586.0,"body":"Is that a good training exercise on thinking about story? Or is that just is you know, we're drawn to it for some reason right?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2597.0,"body":"And sorry, is when a good?\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2599.0,"body":"Is Clue kind of like a little exercise in thinking about story?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2603.0,"body":"Sure? Yeah, I've actually played that game a lot with my nieces and nephews. Yeah, it is good sense it gives you different. It's always changing, makes you think of and what you should do as a writer is you should think, \"Well what if I did this or that or this or that or this or that?\" And it's a continually different thing, right? As opposed to just what first comes into your head, you write it out, you think you're done.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2629.0,"body":"So when you go to your meetings, or you're talking to people or maybe getting interviewed, do you find yourself kind of like building a little not a fictional story, but you're taking some events and making it flow better and just because that's your natural instinct?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2646.0,"body":"Sometimes or if I know I'm talking to someone who knows story, I just let them guide it. Because it's their show and they have a story thing in mind they want to do. If I'm driving it, then yes, I do that every time. I think about what is my story and how am I starting and how am I ending, but it's very dependent on who I'm talking to them what the scenario is.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2673.0,"body":"So you let them drive it. Explain that more to me, obviously. Instead of me assuming though, let's play like I'm really dim. Well, I may be, but...\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2685.0,"body":"So for example with you, right, you're about story. So we had a little chat ahead of time and then, \"OK, yeah, you know, are you doing that's great.\" I just let it go. And we have a nice discussion around it. And I totally trust you're just going to do the right thing with this, right? If I had the impression, I wasn't sure it was gonna go that way, then I would even go to the point of I would write up a suggested flow of, \"Let's talk about these. Here's the questions. Let's follow it this way.\" And so I try to assess on the other side, what they're about. And how story knowledgeable are they and do they apply story to their business or not? And if the answer is yes, then great. It's just a nice conversation. And if the answer's no, then I'm a little bit more forceful. I wanted to go this way.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2737.0,"body":"So alright, so in the hero's journey, right, the circle after they kind of come to the pit and they finally they get coming back with a goal... So Fictionary was your goal that you brought back to your community, from your journey that you went through, but the thing about that circle is the journey starts to go again, right? You're not finished. So what's, what's your next inciting incident? And what's your next journey that you're on?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2772.0,"body":"So the next journey is we've developed a product called Story Coach, which is for editors to perform structural edits on somebody else's book. And my goal, my personal dream is, I think there's a lot of writers out there. If they don't understand the editing process, they can get the wrong editor. And the editor may think they know what they're doing, but they don't and that's not great for the writer. And so my dream is to provide a platform and training to editors so that they can just provide the best quality. If you're going to pay your three to $5,000 for a structural edit, the editor should really be providing something special. And so we've hit the inciting incident in that there's a company called First Editing and all they have is they edit fiction and nonfiction, but they have become the very first Fictionary Certified Story Coach Company. So we trained all of their editors on using Story Coach. And they have to be at a certain level. So they had to be tested to make sure that they're at that level. And so they are now certified to perform story edits using Story Coach so that a writer knows, when you have an edit done that way, you get certain deliverables, and it's really clear what they are. What you get for your money. And I started that because I do a little bit of editing on the side, really, just to keep up my editing skills so that we're doing a product that's helping with editing. I want to make sure I'm always good at it. And I started editing people's books who said, \"Well, I've already had a story edit, but I still think it needs work. Can you do them?\" And so I go sure and then and then I would see what their original edit would be, and it would be a copy of it. You get a story edit. And that's why you aren't happy with your story. And so that started in my mind, there needs to be a way for writers to see, \"I should be getting this in a story edit.\" And there needs to be a way for editors to know, \"I should be delivering this in a story edit,\" so that editors can have a more successful business because they do a better job. But writers then get a true story structure edit and not just copy.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":2909.0,"body":"Yeah, I wasn't aware that there were so many different types of edits. OK, that was a learning thing for me. But in the back of my mind, I always... I had a feeling about what my story was supposed to do. And then I need to trust my editor to some extent, right?And I kept wavering on in my... Am I being stubborn, more in my natural at this and then do I trust that? That's a great, great idea. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":2940.0,"body":"Well, and the thing is, whatever writer has to remember, as an editor is one person. It's their perspective of what a good story is. But if you have an editor using a piece of software that forces them, they have to be accountable to all of the different elements and either tell you, \"Awesome, it's OK, or this needs work but here's why. And here's the writing advice to go with it of why you need to change this.\" Or you know why you should think about changing, right? Because you never really say you need to change it but you know, it's a suggestion of as you know, \"I'm reading this, I would change these things and these are the reasons.\" And the writer, when they get that edit they get the original story arc and word count per scene and all these things they can see. And then they take their editor comments, and they revise their manuscript and those all update and they can see the original one and the final one and they can see, \"Wow, OK, now I have a story arc that should be fitting what's commercial successful right now.\" Versus, \"I had this crazy story arc that I didn't know how to fix.\" And the editors comments should help them be able to do that. And they should be able to see, \"Oh, OK, here's my improvements.\"\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3015.0,"body":"I do want to say I was fortunate. I had a really good editor. The thing that's striking about this, to me is the reason that the software works so well. It's not on this... just your feelings of what a great story should be. It's what our brains crave, that it follows and honors these rules. And so what you've created is a software that helps you follow a framework. And then it's ...You, \"Don't know why, but I just liked it. It connected. Yeah, I was worried. I had anxiety reading that scene.\" \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3054.0,"body":"Yeah, that's right. Yeah. So, you know, there, the brain does like a story a certain way. And it hasn't changed in the history of people. So there's a ton of scientific research out there supporting it, right? So we've been through all of that and what that is, and how it impacts the brain. But the real critical thing is, yes, everybody likes a certain format of story, but there's millions and millions and millions and millions of different stories that fit into that. So it's all different and all creative and the voice is different. And so it's still providing a unique experience for the reader because there's only one you and that's how you write your story. All this is doing is help you write it better, but it's still your story.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3100.0,"body":"Totally. So what are what are your list? Tell me two of your favorite favorite books?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3108.0,"body":"Favorite books? Yikes. That's always a hard one. Because my favorites and usually when I'm reading now. This is gonna sound really funny, but \"Twilight.\" Yeah. Which is not a genre I read at all. But I read it because I wanted to study it in the context of Fictionary. And I loved it. Silly. I read it for totally work related reason and couldn't put it down and then had to go back and review it and evaluate it that you think wow, that one caught me off guard. I can't really narrow down because I read... Oh, I mean, I read a book a week. I'm always reading that... Mostly mystery and I like not too violence. I like the, \"There's a there's a crime and OK, there's a dead body over there.\" And then it's the story in the \"who did it\" kind of thing. I love that. I don't like gore. I do like thrillers but it depends on how violent they are. And for me, it's like this. I'll just skim the violence like, \"Oh, that's the villain. I don't read his scene. I'll just skip the whole scene and go over to the next one.\" So I kind of take what I like out of stories. And it's funny you mentioned \"The Call of the Wild\" though, because that was one of my favorite childhood books. And when that kid the movie came out, you gotta be kidding me. That book I love that stuck with me from childhood would be that, and I have to say \"Moonlight Becomes You\" from Mary Higgins Clark, because that's the one that triggered me that I want to write a book so it sticks with me. Once in a while. I go back and read it just to see, \"What did I like so much about this book?\" Like what was it?Aand it's a very simple mystery. It's almost it's almost a Cozy Mystery. But I love that so that will kind of sticks with me. That's about it.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3241.0,"body":"This has been a great conversation what... And you've been a great guest, too. \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3246.0,"body":"Thank you. \n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3247.0,"body":"What question? Does nobody ever ask you that you wish they would?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3256.0,"body":"Yeah for junior writers, I would like them to ask more, \"What's a scene?\" It's so critical to a powerful story and nobody thinks about it. And so we've actually started putting material together about that, because nobody ever asked me, \"What's the scene and all?\"\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3277.0,"body":"So is it like the foundation or the just the fundamental box that everything has to go in?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3284.0,"body":"It is. And if you don't get that right and understand what a scene is, you're not gonna have a great story.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3290.0,"body":"You know, so now, to be fair to everyone that's listening. She hasn't read my book. So it wasn't included in one of her maybe her favorite but \n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3299.0,"body":"I know, I know. And it's also nonfiction. You didn't... I was just totally assuming fiction.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3305.0,"body":"But I'm... My book's about that very thing, not the scene necessarily. But everyone assumes that every business has their act together as far as the fundamentals on their platform, that they're building this virtual business promotion. But they don't. And it's like, everyone's looking for a silver bullet or the sexy chat bots or whatever, but they don't get the fundamentals. That's what my books about.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3334.0,"body":"OK, fantastic, which, of course, it's really hard to get to as a business, right? We talked about that for six months. It's really it's really a hard question to answer because you think it's obvious. I have this piece of software that does this. Well, that's not really the answer. So it's tough and you have to spend a lot of brainpower and you have to talk to people outside of your circle and bounce it off them and again and again and again and again, until you figure out what it is.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3365.0,"body":"Yeah. And so I'm just thinking here, if you were to write a paragraph about what your software does, you'd start with your hero in what they're wanting. And then what's their external struggle? They're wanting to write a good book, but all the internal stuff, and that's what your software is resolving. Those internal things because you're listing out what success is going to look like. But that failure's in the balance here. And you're gonna make a transformation as a writer and/or an editor.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3401.0,"body":"It's funny you say that because I actually wrote a blog from the writers perspective of what your journey is, from the inciting incident to the climax when you're writing your novel. Just turn around the whole thing through. I mean, what I felt like for me, when I was doing it, just to itemize it out. But yeah.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3421.0,"body":"Kristina, I really enjoyed this. This was fun. If people want to connect with you, how do they find you? How do they get to chat with you on your software?\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3433.0,"body":"Well, I am in my website, obviously, it's fictionary.co. And I'm on Twitter @thestoryeditor, but I don't answer messages there. So don't do that. I'm Kristina Stanley on LinkedIn. I do look at those. We have a Facebook page called The Story Editor. And I answer messages from there. And if you sign up for our software for the trial, I always chat with people every day. So I do a lot of chat there. And then our email address off the website is helpful.editor@fictionary.co and there I will see stuff that if people want to talk to me directly, I will actually see those. So those are the best ways to to get to me.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3482.0,"body":"Awesome as everybody has witnessed, it's a great conversation for sure. Kristina, thank you so much for being on the ROI Online Podcast.\n"},{"speaker":"Kristina Stanley ","startTime":3492.0,"body":"Oh, it was such a pleasure. Thanks for having me.\n"},{"speaker":"Steve Brown ","startTime":3494.0,"body":"Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast. For more, be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better, be sure to pick up your copy of my book, \"The Golden toilet,\" at surprise, thegoldentoilet.com. I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI Online Podcast. "}]}