XPost – Trademark and Writers, Using Tissue or a Brand Name?

Recently in several of the writers’ forums I frequent, there were conversations regarding trademark and brands.

Do we use tissuTR1e or a name brand? When can we reference a character from a movie or book?

Written by a published author (and trademark attorney), a post at the Romance University, http://romanceuniversity.org/2014/04/28/trademark-and-the-author-with-mindy-klasky/,  explains considerations on using a trademarked item, how to determine if a brand is so protected, and other tips for writers on the issue.

~Till next time. Helen





Author or Secretary — Which Are You

As authors, no matter whether we are independently published, small press or large, we perform many functions, and one of the largest is administration.  In celebration of that fact, a few notes about National Administrative Professional Day.


Administrative Professionals’ Day (also known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day) began with Mary Barrett, president of the National Secretaries Association, now called IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), and C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation. They served on a council addressing a national shortage of skilled office workers. The account executives at Young & Rubicam originated the idea for a National Secretaries Week.


From the first observation in North America in 1952, the practice of rewarding those who keep an office running, has spread across the globe.  In Australia, it is celebrated on the first Friday in May, and in North America, on the Wednesday of the last full week of April.


While authors can be considered executives, in many ways, they are their own administrative assistants.The International Association of Administrative Professionals defines administrative professionals as “individuals who are responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in support of an office-related environment and who are dedicated to furthering their personal and professional growth in their chosen profession. We create a story, then instead of handing it off to an assistant to type in, scribe the stories. In executive mode we go to appointments or follow schedules that were made by us in administration mode. So in celebration of the holiday that recognizes support staff,  for the roles that you fulfill in your own business, treat yourself to a dinner or buy that trinket that caught your eye. Or for a longer lasting gift, sign up for a conference or attend a professional development seminar.


Holidays, whether mainstream or obscure, can also serve as a basis for a storyline.  While more common ones may be Valentine’s Day, Christmas and New Year, even  less well-known ones such as  Administrative Professional Day  can be incorporated into a story. If writing contemporary romances, a twist would be for the executive to be a woman and the gifts given to her male assistant. Or set a scene in a future time when such traditions were outlawed only to be resurrected or the acknowledgment was to an artificial intelligence rather than a person.


More information on Administrative Professionals’ Week  can be found on the IAAP website.


 Till next time ~ Helen