Cynthia Kahn ~ Amused Now Launch 2013

Cynthia Kahn

Cynthia Kahn, Founder Amused Now

Hi, I’m Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now. 2013 has been a wonderful year! Since I launched Amused Now Blog with the Artists Helping Artists post on May 13, we have helped over 55 Featured Artists and guest bloggers!

Well, it’s that time of year to reflect back on all my blessings and to thank those who have helped me along the way. I could not have launched this blog without the help of two fabulous friends: Joseph Gier and Libby Baker Sweiger. Joseph taught Libby and me how to use Google+ Hangouts for the first time.

Did you know that I did not record the first Featured Artist video interviews? It was Libby took the reins and blazed that trail for us, creating those first video interviews for YouTube.

Thank you Joseph and Libby for all your help launching the Featured Artist Series:

I’d also like to thank those artists who believed in me and our mission to “create a world where artists can make a living doing what they love.” Since we have so many new fans, I thought it would be fun to share some insight into Amused Now’s beginnings and to show my appreciation by giving our first five Featured Artists and bloggers a little added exposure.

Damien Cripps

Damien Cripps

Featured Artist Damien Cripps ~ The Music Has the Power

It seems funny that we know so many indie artists in the US, yet our first Featured Artist resides in Australia. Libby has been social media friends with Damien Cripps for years, so she reached out to him for the series. What a trouper! Libby got up and dressed and interviewed Damien at 4:30 am her time, just as Damien was getting ready to go out and play a gig.

The video quality was a bit poor, but we loved the idea of hearing Damien’s back story and advice in his own words. We knew that we were onto something big. Libby wrote the post and I edited the video. It was my first time editing video, so I didn’t know to add an intro image or credits at the end. Those who watched that first interview suggested less small talk, more questions, so we revised the format.

Thank you Damien Cripps, indie musician who moonlights as a lawyer:
Video interview:

Juan Pablo Hurtado

Juan Pablo Hurtado

Guest Blogger Juan Pablo Hurtado ~ Be a Snob or Make Money Writing

Libby and I know Juan Pablo Hurtado from a Twitter and Facebook group we all belong to. When Juan offered to write his post, our blog was formatted with the old theme. We asked for a photo that described the theme of his post, but we did not ask for a head shot.

Juan’s writing felt so real to me. When I read his post, I felt his disappointment and anger when his writing career did not take off as planned. I felt the “Aha moment” when Juan finally decided “to embrace more openly the resources at my disposal.” The post is magic. The advice is pretty awesome too.

Thank you Juan Pablo Hurtado, computer engineer, filmmaker, and writer living in Guadalajara, Mexico:

Sam Wesst

Sam Wesst

Featured Artist Sam Wesst ~ Baby You’re the Best

We decided to interview Sam Wesst, because he’s a fantastic author and musician. Sam was the perfect choice, because he is super knowledgeable about both writing and music. Plus, he’s a fascinating character, an artist who lives the part of his pen name. He’s so down-to-earth; we loved the video interview. When I edited the video, I included snippets from two of his music videos.

The post was well-received. The evening before we post went live, Libby learned that Sam Wesst opened at the Dylan Days celebration of Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday in Minnesota, so we added the addendum.

Thank you Sam Wesst, humble, powerful, talented author and musician:
Video Interview:

Sid Sudiacal

Sid Sudiacal

Guest Blogger Sid Sudiacal ~ I Have a Voice ~ Why I’m Writing a Book

Sid Sudiacal is a young author and another friend of mine and Libby’s. Because Sid is just starting his writing career, he really needed the exposure that our blog could provide. We asked Sid to write a post for Amused Now, and we were delighted when he agreed.

The image Sid sent to go with his post Why I’m Writing a Book matched perfectly with the tone and honesty of his writing. When I first read the post, I was surprised at how strongly I felt his love for writing and his frustration between inspirations. Sid received so much positive feedback and encouragement after we posted his article that he volunteered to write a follow-up piece four months later:  The Joy of Writing.

Thank you Sid Sudiacal, budding author:
First post:
Second post:

KL Belvin

K.L. Belvin

Featured Artist K.L. Belvin ~ Writing and Living from the Heart

K.L. Belvin was our first featured artist that we met on Twitter as we tweeted under @Amused_Now. Neither Libby nor I knew K.L. very well when we asked him if we could interview him. We loved the fact that K.L. not only writes books and poetry, he’s also a publisher.

The resulting video interview was so raw and authentic. K.L. Belvin has an amazing back story, and he tells all. At one point, he reads Libby one of his poems. I was so moved by his poetry reading that I had tears in my eyes. In addition, K.L. shared lots of great publishing tips for new authors. The post and video were an instant hit with all our fans.

Thank you K.L. Belvin. We appreciate your honesty, openness and advice:
Video interview:

I couldn’t be more blessed. Here’s to the close of a fabulous 2013. I know that 2014 will be even better. I hired a new development team and the e-commerce site should be live at the end of Q1.

Happy New Year!

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now