Thursday, June 9, 2011

Behind The Grog

A big thanks to Sharon for hosing us all here this week, for being a fan of The Naked Hero and WG2E, and for offering up our insight to you all. What a fun, fun idea!

Making a grog work means that everyone knows the expectations, everyone is on board with those expectations, and everyone has jobs they understand and can commit to. I’m definitely the Behind-the-Scenes girl of our blogs, running the dashboard, organizing our content, structuring the blog pages, etc.

Was I always a techy girl?

Nope! I learned out of necessity. We launched our blog way back when and I wanted it to look a certain way. I wanted to have links in the sidebar widgets. I wanted content organized just so. But none of the original founders had the money to spend on any more than the custom Wordpress design we’d agreed on (customizing a Wordpress design is very easy and one of the most affordable ways to get a blog/grog rolling).

Now, I should interject here and say that my parents call me a pioneer woman. That is, I am rarely idle, and I do what needs to be done, particularly when there’ s no one else to do it.

So, a little HTML didn’t scare me. I dove in, began reading about SEO and code and Wordpress, and I experimented. I learned. And while I’m no pro and would never quit my day jobs, I do enjoy having the ability to manipulate the look of our websites, add the content that the other gals want added, and I’ve grown with the industry and the world by learning to be techy.

I love participating on both The Naked Hero and WG2E (I also write for the grog, Killer Characters). They all give me something different--outlets for creativity, thoughts, and a means to hone my craft and dig deeper into the industry. Working with others means the pressure to produce a daily blog isn’t there. I write on my day and trust that the others will meet their commitments and write on their days. This is super important for me because I:

Am the Marketing Director for Entangled Publishing ( http://entangledpublishing )

Am a mother of 5

Am a wife

Like to read

Want a life

Am a writer ( )

Blogging is fun. It’s important for different facets of my career. It’s an outlet. But it’s also work, so doing it with other people who I enjoy spending [virtual] time with makes it all the better. We’re our own little family-- lots of love, some squabbles (like DD said, we don’t always agree on everything!), and the knowledge that we always have each other’s backs.

About Misa/Melissa

Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is the marketing director at Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL (Pleating for Mercy: ), and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox and two romantic suspense novels to be released in 2012.


  1. Misa,
    My hat goes off to you and how you "jump in", and I love how a little html doesn't bother you (like it does me--LOL). Great way to put it. Your enthusiasm for writing is infectious, in a good way, of course, and the fact that you have a life full of family and other "entanglements" only goes to show how talented and hard-working you are. I love the energy levels all of you ladies bring the screen and the pages of your books.

    I'm hoping to model, copy, and yes, envy, just a little...

    Thank you for honoring us with your time and wisdom.

  2. Thank you for having us, Sharon! I love our Grogs, not only for what they offer, but because of the friendships they've brought into my life. That's worth every minute I sit and wonder, What will I write about today?


  3. Wow, impressive resume! What interesting choices you've made!

  4. Misa is definitely our techie gal. While the rest of us are throwing our hands up and scratching our head, Misa does pioneer the site for us. I've learned so much from her, and now have a lot more confidence doing something like this for myself. But as she said, we work together, we all understand our 'job' with the site, and the role we each play. If you form a grog, it is important to have that one techie person, to guide the rest.
    All this week I was having techie problems with blogger. I finally figured it out...And now I can comment. What pushed me to do it on my own, was Misa's determination to learn this stuff. It's like speaking Greek to a Irishman.

  5. Holding my mojito glass high in the air and toastin' ya, Misa!

    You are a Techno Guro Goddess!!!

    And you makes all us Techno Dunces thank the powers that be for creating people like u!!!

  6. Uhmmm...that would be Guru...not Guro...and no I haven't had a sip of the mojito yet...I swear.

  7. Note to self: remember Misa's name when my blog gets all screwed up. LOl j/k I love doing my blog myself.

    Lee talks about your behind the scenes stuff alot. You must be one smart cookie.

  8. Thanks again Misa, and ladies. In the 4 days since you have been on my blog, the total traffic surpassed what I did month long the previous month. I know people will be reading and learning for weeks to come, and they'll have one place they can see it all.

    Again, many thanks for telling us your stories. This was fun and educational. Cyber Mojitos to you all.