Tag Archives: Writer

The Spice of Life: MJ Summers | Novel Ideas

vThe Spice of Life\

:MJ Summers

Exclusive by nickwale

Click on the cover to buy from Amazon

I want to introduce a brand new writer to you today, guys. Her name is MJ Summers and she has one of the most interesting books of the year so far. “Break In Two” tells the story of thirty-one year old Claire Hatley who is running from Seattle having just discovered that her live-in boyfriend has traded her in for a twenty-two year old hostess. Devastated and alone Claire must make a fresh start. She answers an ad for a chef at a guest ranch just outside Colorado Springs and finds herself face to face with Cole Mitchell, quite possibly the sexiest man to ever ride a horse. Common sense tells them to stay away from each other, but their attraction is not to be denied. He gives her a glimpse of what love should be, but just as she starts to trust him, the past comes back to tear them apart. Join Claire and Cole as they embark on the stormy love affair of a lifetime. 

Sounds like fun! 

MJ, let me start by congratulating you on the release of your book “Break In Two.” What originally drew you towards writing a book?

A) I read my first erotic fiction novel in April and loved it! I read a few more and thought, ‘I bet it would be a lot of fun to think of my own fantasy world and just get lost for a while’. I have a dirty mind, an active imagination so I decided to give it a try. The characters and the story just flowed out of me as quickly as I could type.

mj summers

What makes you a great writer?

A) I don’t even really consider myself a writer yet, so I definitely wouldn’t say I’m a great one. I’m someone who wrote a book. It’s an entirely different thing. Maybe someday I’ll be a writer.

Q) As a writer what do you find inspirational? 

A) Wow. That question itself could inspire an entire novel. Like most people, I find inspiration everywhere. In writing this story specifically, it was the human struggle to find love, to learn to accept ourselves and appreciate our own beauty. I think women especially have trouble with this – I know I do – and I wanted to explore that for myself. What makes us insecure? Jealous? The answer isn’t all the more beautiful women out there. As I wrote, I think I figured it out and it surprised me. I don’t want to give the answer here because it would be a spoiler for anyone who will read the novel.

Q) I can’t wait to read the novel that I may have just inspired you to write! So how did you approach the concept of writing a book?

A) With this book, I had an idea for how to start the story and what I wanted the two main characters to be like. I knew what they had both been through before meeting each other and how things would end but the rest of the story unfolded before me like a movie, in scenes. I could see it all in my mind as I wrote.  The needs and wants of the characters created the actual plot.

Q) What is the key ingredient of a “great” book in your opinion?

A) Characters that you can relate to, care about and learn from, great dialog, a compelling story line and seeing a character transform by the events that unfold.

via The Spice of Life: MJ Summers | Novel Ideas.


Cliff Roberts! Reformed Politician… Literary Powerhouse! | Novel Ideas

Cliff Roberts! Reformed Politician… Literary Powerhouse!

Cliff Roberts is a guy who has done a lot in his life. Interviewers normally ask him about his political career, his many jobs, seek small business advice or ask him what he had for lunch. I normally delve into the life of writers I work with… sure, that’s the territory. This interview will touch upon his career, but let’s get to the MEAT. What does Cliff write and why does he write it? He has written several books. “Reprisal” was his first mega hit and we’ve seen several since then. We will cover many of them in this interview and you will enjoy the writing side of Cliff Roberts!


Q) Hi, Cliff, I am going to jump right in and ask if you are still looking for a major publishing contract?

A) Well, I’ve been self-published since 2013. I hired a PR instead of a publisher. My first book was “Reprisal: The Eagle Rises.” I was offered a publishing contract, but the more I look at contracts, the more I’m thinking it’s not worth the hassle and the cut in pay per book. I sold several thousand copies of “Reprisal” over the first month of its release. Why do I need a publisher?

Q) How long did you spend trying to land a major contract? You started writing after school, correct? I will also throw in another sub-question to spice things up: Do you believe self-publishing is the way forward for writers? Are the big publishing houses on the wane?

A) After high school, while in college, I tried a few dozen times to be published the traditional way with no success, so I put writing on the back burner to get on with life– a job and family. As far as self-publishing, I believe it is the wave of the future. Too many publishers believe they are doing you a favor by agreeing to publish your work. It’s your work that makes them money; they should be thanking the writer for letting them publish it. By self-publishing, you avoid other people trying to change your dream. They correct grammar or structure, but they can also get into the story and sometimes want to see you write something other than what they claimed they liked in the first place. I think self-publishing is going to be the only way to publish sooner than later.

Q) Let me pose this question to you: If self-publishing had been around when you left high school, would you have gone that route?

A) Like most would-be writers, I probably would have thought I had to have a publisher. But I probably would have found my way to self-publishing soon enough. I’m pretty independent.

Much more at Cliff Roberts! Reformed Politician… Literary Powerhouse! | Novel Ideas. | Performing Flea

Guest Post: William Sutton on Performing Flea

Performing Flea

William Sutton, author of Lawless and the Devil of Euston Squaretalks of the fun of presenting his novel in readings and festivals.

 Writing is a lonesome game. Authors are often retiring by nature: brood now, take revenge later.Web DSC_8201

Whereas reading in public, writing in public, festivals, panels, groups, and simply talking about books – these can be the fuel that keeps the fires burning through cold winter nights at the desk.

Douglas Adams loved the collaboration of radio drama so much that he never quite recovered from the shock of finding himself locked in hotel rooms to finish novels. (“I love deadlines. I love the sound they make as they whizz past.”) I grew up writing plays, loving the maelstrom of passions that go into theatre, and the arc of creation through development through disastrous rehearsal to glorious realisation, and immediate audience response. By contrast, everything about writing books is delayed. The book I’m promoting now I finished years ago; I’m busy writing the third in the series; my researches now are outwith the first book’s subterranean world and in amongst the dark heart of the venal Victorian soul.

But I’ve stumbled upon a way to rediscover my excitement about the first book. Performance.

I just sang a song at the Portsmouth Book Festival launch. At my own book launch in Waterstones Gower Street, I dueted a series of London songs and underground songs, performing a parade of characters from my novel. The previous night, Web Gosport UkeI read and sang in Portsmouth Blackwells, while the lovely staff served Devils on Horseback, devilled eggs, and Victorian cocktails to the friendliest of crowds. Brilliant. A week before, I sat on a haybale in a tea tent in a Canterbury field, typing instant stories from audience prompts. Fantastic fun, and a million miles from the silence of the writers’ desk; and the voices keep murmuring when you return.

How did this come about?

A year ago, I needed to meet other writers. I hunted for workshops, festivals, groups. I joined New Writing South, I joined Portsmouth Writers’ Hub.

I went to an amazing workshop with the ReAuthoring Project. They invite you to be silly, they invite you to be bad, they invite you to think of your book physically, pictorially, post-it-notally, musically; but most of all to find your enjoyment in it, and find ways to convey that enjoyment. Writers being retiring, we’re not always that sparkling in debate; which means book events can feel trapped in earnest conventional tropes of Q&A, panels and murmured readings into dysfunctional microphones.

Through ReAuthoring, I began to recognise how much music and joy and silliness is in my book, alongside the intricate insights, incisive politics and riproaring pace. Determined to infuse my performances with that music hall spirit, last summer, I

– read on the poop deck of Light Ship LV21 (Thanks, Päivi and Gary)Photo 28-07-2013 12 08 17

– did a one-man cabaret in Deco 5, a Whitstable restaurant (Thanks, Tizi)

– wrote coffee cup sleeve stories and communal songs at Lounge on the Farm

These were challenging, but hugely rewarding. And I met more people, readers, writers.

When ReAuthoring did a workshop in Portsmouth, none of us imagined that it would turn a loose association of writers into a real community. Fifteen writers, tentative, asked to perform improvised drama a small box, to seek out a story in the labyrinthine bowels of the Guildhall, to dissect our tales into a few choice words on sticky notes. Fifteen writers, emerging from suspicion into a remarkably confident group. From that workshop, we have performed at Victorious Vintage Festival, at Blackwell’s Bookshop, at the Square Tower, where we present Day of the Dead on October 30 in Portsmouth BookFest. Best of all was the enchanted night of storytelling at Alver Arts Festival: Gosport Ever After. We rewrote fairytales, mangled and dark, and the audience listened in delight to ten new stories, told with twisted relish.

When I was invited on to a panel at Bristol CrimeFest, I wasn’t overwhelmed, I enjoyed recounting inspirational moments that led to the book, and we put on a good show. (Thanks, Ruth.) Chatting on Express FM, I sang a silly song. Reading the AudioGo audiobook, I loved recreating the characters, deploying full voices and Victorian verve.LoungeontheFarm

A fortnight ago, I was invited to Leesland ParkFest, a small local community gathering. Over the hum of a generator, I read to a dissipated crowd of smirking teenagers, deck chairs, and a few dogs; I wrote some stories for children on my typewriter; I’m not sure how useful it was to me or the audience. But I was reminded of Polly Morland’s book How to Be Brave: if you can risk ridicule among friends, you have nothing more to fear from public performance. Once you’re able to show your true self, audience feel that shining through your reading, and they may well become readers too.

This weekend I’m invited by the Big Green Bookshop to the first Wood Green Literary Festival, 2-3pm Saturday, Karamel Club, Wood Green N22, alongside @ExhibitABooks author John Matthews. Come along. And on 31 October I’ll be in the Firestation Bookswap in Portsmouth.

Watch a video of Will performing ‘Victorian Sensation’ here.

via | A is for Awesome Crime Fiction.

[Terry:  He performs bawdy songs in the characters of his novels.  I can’t compete. ]

“I’ll Be Damned,” Remarks Hitmaker Boyd Lemon | Novel Ideas

Well, I’ll be damned,” Boyd Lemon remarked when his latest promotional campaign pushed his bestselling novel “Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages” into the higher reaches of the bestseller listings. It was just a natural occurrence though for those of us working the Lemon campaign. Boyd is the ultimate professional writer– not working for money, fame or as a whore to his talents. He has already claimed those accolades. As a lawyer in the heady “Mad Men” era. An era that saw him excel and became one of the most sought after legal minds of his generation. It was, however, not what he wanted. To be a writer was what he truly wanted and on retiring he settled down, cut out the lifestyle, the money and the desire to be a “Mad Man” and became a writer– and looking at his latest sales figures– he has gained a huge following.

Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages” is one of those books that will keep you enthralled for days until you’ve had your fill of how the over side lives. What does it feel like to have the money, the power, the loss, the pain… What does it feel like to have a success that you don’t really care about. “Digging Deep” could be taken as a warning. If you want to go into a high powered job and nothing can dissuade you… This book just might. You just won’t want the money when you read what it really costs.

Boyd is one of the most interesting men I have ever met. As a man he is probably one of the most generous, friendly people you could meet. You could almost forget that this guy is trained to pounce on your words and make you eat your mistakes. You really could…

Now, if you are smart… You will go out and get a copy of “Digging Deep.” If you’re dumb you will just forget about it and go watch reality TV. It’s really that much of a divide… The choice is yours… You can catch more of Boyd Lemon in this months “Novel Reads By Novel Ideas.”


“I’ll Be Damned,” Remarks Hitmaker Boyd Lemon | Novel Ideas.

Do Indie Authors Still Suck? Or Did They Once Suck and Now Don’t? Or Did They Never Suck?

[Terry: OK, we have an impassioned and occasionally vulgar attack and a reasoned and polite — if deadly–response. So, I decided, as someone who once considered himself a journalist, to combine them into one.

FIRST.  An impassioned anonymous writer who has issued a obscene and illustrated jeremiad against independent authors.
SECOND: Misha Burnett, an old friend of this blog who responds reasonably but firmly–and wields a damn good literary stiletto.
THIRD: Because I wasn’t really a journalist, I only worked in television news, I’m going to include a POLL so we can trivialize the conversation and generally enjoy ourselves.
Hey!  I was extremely well-trained in the art and craft of crappy TV!]

Why Indie Authors Still Suck

Posted on August 10, 2013 by Grammar Nazi Panzer General


I’ve come here today to talk to you about Indie Authors.  Yes, that’s right, Indie Authors.

I contemplated answering a question about indie authors, until I realized that I’ve gotten the same question over and fucking OVER about the indie market. I figured it deserved its own, shiny little blog post.

So let’s address the main question here: Is the Indie Market really that bad?  I mean are they really?

Yes.  They really, really are.

There are exceptions to every rule, and I’ll address that in a minute, but for now let me just say, the Indie Market is shit.  It’s a little pile of shit, wrapped up in shit, to make a shit burrito covered in shit sauce.

In the Indie World, you can find the drudges of the literary market.  The unedited, untalented, unresearched drivel that has been rejected by every publishing house this side of the universe– and with good reason. But instead of putting the book down, or setting it on fire, the sorry excuse for a writer has turned to the indie market for validation.

The author has taken the 10,945th attempt to write the next Twilight and thrown it to the rabid, uncaring, undiscerning market of women clamoring for their next idiotic, pathetic female, and well-chiseled male, and they don’t care if anything is spelled correctly.  They don’t care if there isn’t a coherent plot.  They don’t care if the author writing the book has never taken a basic literary course.  And somehow, that validates their writing against all of the professional rejection they’ve received.

On the other side of that you’ll find authors who have never tried the traditional literary market.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and pull this percentage out of my ass…

Ahhhhhhh.  96%.  I believe about 96% of those who have never tried the traditional market don’t because they know they’re going to get rejected.  Their book is nothing but glorified fanfiction, and somehow they’ve decided that indie publishing is the way to go, and have the gall to ask hard-working human beings to pay them for that drivel.

There is a time and a place for that shit, my dears.  And it’s called Livejournal.  It’s the place where pathetic, lonely, vampire obsessed writers go to get their fix.

For the Rest Click HERE  Why Indie Authors Still Suck | So You Think You’re An Author.


An open letter to a frightened man

This is in response to “Why Indie Authors Still Suck” on So You Think You’re An Author by someone who calls himself “anonnymouse13″.

Now, I won’t address the obscenity, profanity, and random personal attacks liberally sprinkled through this post.  Seventh grade was a lot of years ago for me, and that stuff stopped either shocking or amusing me years ago.

Looking at the forty percent or so of the post that actually says something, he has written a rather passionate defense of traditional publishing.  Passionate, yes, reasonable, not so much.

Basically, he has one good point to make. Books require editing.  That happens to be quite true.  It is true for Indie authors and it is true for traditionally published authors.  Quite frankly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t agree with that.  So I’ll just admit the obvious and agree with him.

Books require editing.

However, from that fact he draws the completely erroneous assumption that because books require editing it therefore follows that authors must be published by traditional publishing houses or “they suck”.

In the first place, traditional publishing houses do not have a monopoly on editors.  There are a great many excellent freelancers who work on a per-job basis for indie authors.  Many of these freelancers have experience working at the traditional publishing houses and either left to pursue freelance careers or were let go in one of the innumerable restructurings that the publishing business seems to require.

In the second place, a freelance editor works for the author and does what the author wants done.  A staff editor works for a publishing house, and does what the publishing house wants, usually for less money than a freelancer, and often under an enforced schedule that allows for little more than spellchecking.  The days when a traditional publishing house could afford to give personalized attention to a new author are long gone.

The same goes for book designers and cover artists.  Traditional publishing houses view these as assembly line functions–you say it’s science fiction?  Here’s your picture of a rocket ship.  Fantasy?  Here’s your elf girl in a chain-mail bikini. Next!

Anonnymouse13′s main argument–that traditional publishing houses turn out a higher quality product than an independent author working with freelancers–is simply not supportable.  And that’s his best argument.

He goes on to say that he believes that the majority of authors who choose to self-publish do so because they know that traditional publishers wouldn’t accept their books.  He is probably right about that.  I can only speak for myself, but I am sure that no traditional publishing house would be interested in Catskinner’s Book or Cannibal Hearts. I rather doubt that The Fauxpocalypse Project could find a home at a traditional publisher.

Why?  Because I have books that don’t have either rocket ships or elf-girls in chain-mail bikinis.  I have morally ambiguous characters, sexually ambiguous characters, I play games with the narrative structure, I don’t wrap up all the loose ends in a nice neat package.  I like to make my readers think and question their own preconceptions.  Worst of all, I write books that can’t be described as “Just Like The Last Bestseller We Sold You! (And The One Before That…)” 

To be fair, you also need to click here to see the rest of Misha’s skewering.

via An open letter to a frightened man | mishaburnett.

[Vote as often as you like for as many choices as you like.  Trust me, this is as accurate as any other online poll.]

Putting the UR in FAILURE « Catching up with Cristian Mihai

Overcoming writer’s block

You can’t. I’m serious. You can’t overcome writer’s block, no matter what others tell you.Odds are that your case of writer’s block is unique — this virus is constantly mutating, depending on its host.Writer’s block, as those times when a writer feels that he simply can’t write anymore, regardless of how much time he spends staring at a computer screen, is one of the biggest frights in my line of work.

To understand writer’s block you have to realize that it’s all coming from inside. It’s your brain telling you to take it easy. You know, trying to help.

The ANSWER is at Overcoming writer’s block « Cristian Mihai.

Writers Making Movies, Mayhem And Huge Sales Figures… | Novel Ideas

Writers Making Movies, Mayhem And Huge Sales Figures…

I have a real treat for you, today! A full interview with bestseller Cliff Roberts and rising star Charlie Flowers. What do these two guys have in common? Well, Cliff rose to fame after the release of his novel Reprisal: The Eagle Rises, and Charlie? Well, Charlie just got the Novel Ideas “book of the year award” for his fantastic spy thriller Hard Kill.

Charlie is currently in the process of making a movie out of Hard Kill, and Cliff has turned down one offer in the hope of a better deal in the future. It’s a wonderful time to be a writer.

So, what do these two immensely popular writers do to make their books stand out? Let’s find out…

Nick: Hey, guys, great to get you both together for an interview.

Cliff: Hi! Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here!

Charlie: Hola! My pleasure!

Nick: Okay, so let me start by asking you, Charlie, how do you feel about writing? How did you approach the idea of writing a book?

Charlie: Blimey that’s a toughie! For me, I don’t think I DO think about it. It’s almost like an “automatic writing” process. Sometimes, I’ll get a strong image in my head and feel compelled to write about it. An example– the abandoned airfield in the second Riz novel. I was haunted by the image. In fact, I even drove up there to take a look at the base. It’s… creepy.

More via Writers Making Movies, Mayhem And Huge Sales Figures… | Novel Ideas.


Check out Terry Irving’s New Paranormal Thriller,

The Last American Wizard (The New Abnormal)

Welcome to a new friend: An Author and Editor –SLS Oborowsky

Author’s Thought

Writing for those who love to read

Author’s Note

Whether you read a book or magazine, go on the internet and search places, people or things they all take you to somewhere from the comfort of your home. They open you up to a world that may be similar or different from yours. This is my online space, flying with wordpress, to share with you all kinds of things: who I am in fragments, my accomplishments, my photos and anything I find interesting or strange that makes you think about things. It may be serious, some not so serious and some just darned right ridiculous.

writeLike a chef at work, you will see me perform. I will edit before your eyes as I post a share of thought filled with errors crying for perfection. It may not fill your belly but it will fill your heart of the taste of a writer at work. Because I share then edit, revise, and even remove and repost, I may drive you bonkers but do not despair. It is that of a writer, with errors to share and corrections to make. Do keep in mind I am first serving you words of wisdom before the edit as I write from the heart and soul. The life and times of a writer at work.

About Me


There is no “Buy Button” for my books on this blog. I leave the sales to Inkwater Press and other book venders.

My blog is for you to get to know the author behind the story. Visit me here or visit my other blog Books-SLS Oborowsky where I share links to other author’s blogs. Do join us here on If you add me and have a blog, I’m glad to add you back and happy to read your shared interest. If I have not added you, it is because I got a warning from your site, not because I didn’t try.

Even if you do not follow, do visit again and thank you for stopping by.

©all rights reserved

via Author’s Thought – SLS Oborowsky | Writing for those who love to read..

Home » books » Ivy: The Stem of a Rose and Ivy: The Blossoming of a Rose

Ivy: The Stem of a Rose and Ivy: The Blossoming of a Rose

These are my first and second books I ever published. The story tells about a Metis family living off a settlement and the tough challenges that face Ivy growing up with a single mother and two sisters. The story is in the era of the 70′s. With the first book, she is 9. She and her sisters find a pond and begin to swim in it until Ivy’s sisters become ill and one thing leads to another. The second book of Ivy is about her at 17 but fills in some crucial gaps from the first book. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed creating it. Ivcover (1000) (722x401)

©all rights reserved

All About Spelling

English spelling depends on the country…


Centre British/Canada
Center US
Litre British/Canada
Realize US/Canada
Realise British
licence British/Canada
license US/Canada
Disc British/Canada
Disk US
Skilful British
Skillful US/Canada
Color US
Colour British/Canada

and the list goes on.


Canada usually takes the British spelling which is the longer spelling even in medical words such as anaesthesia rather than US spelling – anesthesia.

For more visit Spelling style variations

[Terry: Just a side note. The difference between American and English spellings is not accidental. It was seen as an essential part of developing an “American Character” by early activists, like Noah Webster:

The speller was originally titled The First Part of the Grammatical Institute of the English Language. Over the course of 385 editions in his lifetime, the title was changed in 1786 to The American Spelling Book, and again in 1829 to The Elementary Spelling Book. Most people called it the “Blue-Backed Speller” because of its blue cover, and for the next one hundred years, Webster’s book taught children how to read, spell, and pronounce words. It was the most popular American book of its time; by 1837 it had sold 15 million copies, and some 60 million by 1890—reaching the majority of young students in the nation’s first century. Its royalty of a half-cent per copy was enough to sustain Webster in his other endeavors. It also helped create the popular contests known as spelling bees.

Handwritten drafts of dictionary entries by Webster

Slowly, edition by edition, Webster changed the spelling of words, making them “Americanized”. He chose s over c in words like defense, he changed the re to er in words like center, and he dropped one of the Ls in traveler. At first he kept the u in words like colour or favour but dropped it in later editions. He also changed “tongue” to “tung”—an innovation that never caught on.[30]

Part three of his Grammatical Institute (1785) was a reader designed to uplift the mind and “diffuse the principles of virtue and patriotism”.[31]

“In the choice of pieces”, he explained, “I have not been inattentive to the political interests of America. Several of those masterly addresses of Congress, written at the commencement of the late Revolution, contain such noble, just, and independent sentiments of liberty and patriotism, that I cannot help wishing to transfuse them into the breasts of the rising generation.”

Catching up with Writer’s Conquest by Thomas A Fowler

The Writer’s Conquest – Level Three – Creating a Platform

The Writer’s Conquest – Level Three – Creating a Platform | Writer’s Conquest by Thomas A Fowler.

Welcome to a new friend: Thomas A Fowler: Writer’s Conquest

Writer’s Conquest by Thomas A Fowler

Integrated Producer at an Ad Agency by day, Writer of Commercial Mainstream Fiction with a Sci-Fi Bent by Night. Providing Marketing & Writing advice for Writers and always aiming to Instill Hope.

July 13, 2013

Turn Your Author Bio Into a Brand Story

All too often writers think about their book, and all too often they ignore their story. As we create a platform for you to stand upon and find a place for your work, we’ve developed your brand vision. Now, comes the time to develop a brand story.

The brand story isn’t going to be too far from an author bio, but still separated enough you should develop the two separately. If you’ve already completed your author bio, certainly use it for inspiration, but do not copy and paste. Brand stories are slightly different.

How so you ask?

Omar Kattan, who has developed an entire site devoted to Brand Stories, ended his very first blog post with this suggestion: “When developing your stories, use what you know. It doesn’t always mean plot or fact. It means capturing a truth from your experience and expressing values you personally feel deep down to your core.”

Here’s a video explaining the actual statistical analysis of how developing a brand, and its story, can truly influence your marketing approach. This is all business focused, but if one had the resources to analyze the writing and publishing world, it wouldn’t be a shock if the statistics were at least in the same ballpark.

So how do you develop your brand story as a writer? It’s easy; it goes back to your development of brand as a writer. At this point, you should have your author voice, brand messaging, brand differentiators, and determined what you’ll write. You’ve lined it all up, now it’s time to harness this into your brand story.

This should be almost a combination of your personal story with your brand vision. Make it personal, and professional. Allow agents, editors, readers, and site visitors understand who you are and what you hope to accomplish as an author.

Make it as long as it needs to be, it’s never a bad idea to keep it simple and short.

So what will your brand story be? This post has been very video heavy, but if you really want to dive into this, why not start with something everyone loves, Lego?

Hope this helps you, the conversation’s always going on Twitter @ThomasAFowler, use the hashtag #WritersConquest. Latest updates can be found on my official website, and as always kick some ass and be proud of what you do.

via Five Elements of an Established Writer’s Brand | Writer’s Conquest by Thomas A Fowler.

July 12, 2013

The Artist’s Hobo Tool: Tools to Create a Writing Plan

This week, we wrapped up deciding what you’ll write, and launched levels three and four of the Writer’s Conquest: Creating a Marketing Platform and Going Back to Writing Basics. So here are some tools to help you map out a plan as you move forward to the next level of your writing career, and learn how to market yourself.

First up, is a pair of plugins to map out a blog schedule, and allow you to import a spreadsheet into the WordPress. Blogging superstar Molly Greene posted about a plugin to create an extensive calendar so you can map out your posts for the future and monitor your success. This began a bit of a Twitter conversation with Molly, Jodi Lobozzo Aman, Casee Marie, and myself that provided a plugin to import a CSV (spreadsheet file) into your WordPress in case you’ve built something in a spreadsheet format already.

Second is a very tangible series of events to help form a plan. I am very hesitant about sharing anything that starts with “Wiki.” But this works, so Form a Plan.

Third, it’s a scorecard to see how well you write. It allows you to understand your strengths and areas for improvement. Score yourself, and then get some people together who can give you an honest scorecard. So that means avoiding overly pretentious writers who will just give you terrible scores, simultaneously don’t give it to your Mom who’ll just give you 9’s and 10’s.

Fourth, when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by your plan creation, take a break. Do so by reading this great article about the “6 Stupidest Plots Supposedly Smart Movie Villains.”

Finally, Chuck Wendig is one of the Internet’s better, and more discussed, blogs. Here, he gives reasons Why Your Novel Won’t Get Published. It’s a bunch of harsh truths, but within it you will be able to see what it really takes as you make a plan.

How To Fight — For Writers Who Need to Write & Not Fight

Zevon in a promotional picture from 2000.

Zevon in a promotional picture from 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, I’m not a Mixed Martial Artist or a SEAL but occasionally your fictional hero pretty well has to “hit somebody” (Warren Zevon song about hockey players). Now, I have a problem with a couple of things about both book and TV/Movie violence.

1. My understanding is that if you hit someone in the face with an unprotected fist, the fist is likely to lose. It you cut your hand on the teeth, your hand will blow up like a balloon from the infection.

2. How do these people know precisely how hard to hit someone on the head with a pistol to keep them unconscious for exactly 3 hours with no lasting effects? 4 years of Med School?

3. Hitting someone over the head with an object (say a tire iron) would seem to risk a Murder rap.  Or at least years of paperwork and civil trials.

4. Anyone who discharges a firearm anywhere but a firing range is in serious trouble. A cop is going to be doing paperwork for years and, from what I read, killing someone is a major traumatic act (for the killer! I know it’s traumatic for the victim!) So when is firing a gun an acceptable risk?

5.  Every time I get a “wound,” (say a hangnail), it doesn’t go away when I shake it off. And I really  doubt that a “flesh wound” means that you can go through a 15 minute bar fight in the next couple of weeks, let alone hours.

So, I did buy “Throwing Lead: A Writer’s Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)” on Kindle and LOVED it. It tells you which revolver will probably break your female protagonist’s wrists, where those pesky bullets go after they miss the target and why hiding behind any part of a car but the engine block is completely useless.

and now, I watched this guy Travis Roesler of the Fight Smart Training Program run a bunch of neighborhood toughs ragged by simply dodging their punches. He’s also got a YouTube subscription channel that essentially shows you a series of ways to win a fight in a rational way or simply avoid one. (I once had an Aikido teacher who said it’s very effective to just keep slipping blows until the other guy just starts laughing)

So, just because you’re a wuss (like me,) is no excuse for having silly-ass slugfests or bullets that end up killing some 3-year-old a half-mile away. Here is a short list of stuff from Kindle
The Gun Primer: A Writer’s Guide To Firearm Facts For Fiction
Science Fiction Weaponry: A Guide for Writers (Throwing Lead Singles)
Writing Fight Scenes
Write The Fight Right
Armed and Dangerous: A Writer’s Guide to Weapons (Classic Wisdom on Writing)
and, of course, if something does go wrong.
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure

These probably aren’t the best books (and I would greatly encourage suggestions) but at least it will keep your protagonist from simply looking like an idiot when you really want to look cool.

Welcome to a new friend: Marisa D. Lyon

Marisa D. Lyon

Daydreamer. Passionate Writer. Music Lover. Photography Taker. Spirituality seeker. Sarcasm Master. Travel enthusiast.

Hi, I’m Marisa, a freelance journalist and creative Marisa Lyon2writer living at the beach in NJ.

Blocks from the sand, yet only a short car ride from both NYC and Philly, I’m provided with the best of both worlds. I have a background in business, advertising, marketing, hospitality and real estate/mortgages, but none of this even begins to accurately describe who I am.

I have sense of humor. I show my emotions. A song, or even single note, can bring me to tears.  I can put on my most professional face when needed, but I’d rather be my silly, corny, sometimes outrageous self any day.

My love of inspirational and thought-provoking words lead me to pursue my career in writing. To see and hear others beautiful work is inspiring, and to be able to experience that which they have generously contributed to this world is a privilege.

I enjoy portraying stories and evoking emotions with words. I especially love to combine my passions for music and writing.  For me, both are as essential as breathing. All I want from life is to be moved by people, places, things and experiences. That’s what music and writing do for me. Since I’m not exactly next in line for American Idol, nor can I currently play any instruments (although piano lessons are in the near future!), my contribution to music is celebrating it through written word.

In addition to writing and music, I love to travel, explore and capture moments through photographs. I’m happiest when I can feel the sun shine, hear the waves crash and have a pen in my hand. Although, the pen is interchangeable for a cold beer or margarita. During the summer months I can most likely be found at the beach or an outdoor music festival.

This blog is to showcase a collection of my work, as well as serve as a creative outlet. I write because I have a lot to say. I write because I want to share my thoughts and feelings with others. I write for the release of creative energy. When it comes to things I’m passionate about and that interest me, I could write endlessly. My hope is that I can reach others through my words. Even if only one other person has an emotional reaction or connection, it feels like a success. And writing makes me feel alive. It makes me happy. So either way, it already is.

To contact me about freelance opportunities, or just for a quick hello, please complete the online form located here. Alternatively, you can email me directly at lyon.marisa12 (at)

I look forward to hearing from you!


via About | Marisa D. Lyon.

The Truth Behind My Writing

I was recently approached my Murmurations, an online arts and creative writing magazine, to join their team of talented writers. I’m excited to share this piece not only because it’s my first contribution, but also because it’s the first I’ve written about my own writing. A short excerpt from this piece is below, but my full article is available here- The Truth Behind My Writing. Definitely check out their blog and website, and if you’re a writer or artist, submissions are currently open for the upcoming issue!


Without the ability to sing, paint, draw, design or craft well, if at all, I accepted the fact that I was not blessed with the artistic gene. I spent most of my life thinking analytically, pursuing careers and goals within the realm of business and practicality. But that lifestyle and mindset left me unfulfilled. After the initial satisfaction of completing a goal wore off, I was left feeling empty.

I’ve always been able to write. After all, this is one of the first things we’re taught in school. Out of habit, I approached writing logically and systematically. I focused on structure and grammar, rather than emotion or imagination. With regards to art, my mind was stuck in one dimension, blind to the colorful paths that lead off course.

Yet there was always an elusively faint glow in the distance. A dim light that shined brighter as I methodically made my way down the a straight and narrow path, until it’s magnetic force grabbed hold and inescapably pulled me in….


This Week’s Internet Inspirations 1. Cover of Home (Phillip Phillips) by The Piano Guys – Wow. These guys continue to impress me with every song they release. The music is intricate, […]

Cold Love: Guest Contributor

I am beyond thrilled to have the amazingly talented, Ashley Sapp, as a guest blogger today. I was privileged enough to stumble upon her work and was immediately drawn to the depth […]

[Terry:  Wow, what a professional website!  Makes Hey Sweetheart look like a part-time thing.  Oh, wait, Hey Sweetheart IS a part-time thing.]

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Writer Unboxed » Two Words Writers Should Avoid

Two Words Writers Should Avoid

Two words to avoidOver the years I have witnessed and/or contributed to critiquing many writers, through my longtime participation in online writers’ forums, through reading agents’ blogs, and through attending some major writers’ conferences.

In my experience, the most brutal critiques tend to come from established literary agents, who typically pull no punches in criticizing the first few pages of aspiring writers’ manuscripts, or in evaluating the effectiveness of their queries, pitches, or loglines. Watching how these agents tear apart the work submitted to them – like a hungry spider relentlessly dismembering a fly caught in its web – reminds me that this whole writing-to-get-published thing is a full-contact sport, and not for the faint of heart.

Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

Conversely, the most gentle critiques I’ve seen were posted in well-moderated online writers’ forums like Backspace, where rudeness is not tolerated, and even harsh critiques are expected to be delivered with diplomacy, helpfulness, and – this is important – accountability. (This is something you’ll find in a forum with a paid member base, where the site administrators know who everybody is, which in turn helps eradicate the vicious posting behavior that internet anonymity enables in some rather poopyheaded people.)

Whether delivered with a sledgehammer or with a spoonful of sugar, these critiques will often inspire a knee-jerk response from the writers, particularly those who are relatively new to this pursuit. And regardless of what genre they are writing, their response almost always begins with two words:

“Yeah, but…”

When a novelist is challenged on something he likes – one of his darlings – the first two words out of his mouth are almost always Yeah but.

~ Stephen Kingwhat are word for?, On Writing


It’s understandable to want to defend your own work, and that’s what most people do the first time its quality has been called into question. As Stephen King notes in his wonderful On Writing, “When a novelist is challenged on something he likes – one of his darlings – the first two words out of his mouth are almost always Yeah but.”

I bet many of you have run into this. But if not, here are a few examples of what I’m talking about – see if any of them sound familiar:





  • Yeah, but it gets funnier after the first five pages.

  • Yeah, but James Patterson did this exact same thing in a book that sold a bazillion copies.

  • Yeah, but you needed to know that this character used to be a professional ping-pong player 20 years ago – it’s essential to you understanding his arc!

  • Yeah, but it’s just that I’m no good at writing queries. The book itself is totally awesome, believe me!

  • Yeah, but the protagonist becomes much more sympathetic after the first couple hundred pages – honest!

  • Yeah, but you just didn’t “get it” – that’s why you don’t think you’re interested in my awesome book.

Much MORE on  Writer Unboxed » Two Words Writers Should Avoid.
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Writer Unboxed » Are You Building An Audience Of Writers, Not Readers?

Writer's Block 1

Writer’s Block 1 (Photo credit: OkayCityNate)

Far too many writers build an audience of the WRONG people. As a writer, you craft a work that is meaningful to you, and you wonder how you will connect it to the world. So you begin engaging with people online and off, telling them about your writing.And guess what? Guess who is MOST interested in this journey you are on? Readers? Nope. Oftentimes, it is other writers.So we do what feels validating and welcoming: we join amazing communities such as We forge relationships, we grow our platforms with people who want you to succeed as a writer.But therein lies the problem.

In other words: YES, engage with other writers. But don’t stop there.


Every single week, learn more about who your readers may be. Engage with them in tiny ways online. And off. Learn what it is about your writing that cuts to the heart of why your ideal audience readers. Discover what it is about one of your stories or books that jumped out at people.

How do you begin engaging with readers? Just a few ideas:

  • Read. Read books similar to yours, if possible. Engage as a fan would. Leave reviews online, recommend books, consider who else is doing the same.
  • Understand what other books are like yours, especially those published in the past 5 years. Where are they shelved in bookstores, how are they displayed, what comes up in “People who who bought this also bought…” in Amazon?
  • What is the language that other readers used again and again in reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and other sites?
  • Who are these readers – specifically? See their Goodreads profiles, understand what else they read.
  • Talk to readers. On social channels, follow them, comment on their updates, and learn about them. Engage as a fan of similar work, not an author trying to promote your own books.
  • Develop a group of beta readers.
  • Everywhere you go, ask the person standing next to you: “what do you like to read?” Then ask why.
  • Join book clubs, attend events at bookstores and libraries – do anything possible to chat with other readers about why they read. Study the expressions on their face, the cadence of their voice as they talk about reading.
  • Talk more about other people’s books than your own.
  • Create profiles of your ideal readers. Create lists of where you can find them online and off. Go there. Often.
  • Craft messaging that gets readers interested in your writing. Test this again and again, both in person, and in digital channels. Revise constantly.

via Writer Unboxed » Are You Building An Audience Of Writers, Not Readers?.

Welcome to a new friend:Vergielyn Cubol — What Is A Writer

Greetings! My name is Vergielyn, yes, the same Vergielyn that you probably heard about around the blogosphere. What Is A Writer is  a new site of mine and this is probably where you’ll find me on the upcoming days. I look forward to write new beginnings of my life – as a writer and as a person. See you around folks!

More About Me.

I was the blogger behind the writer’s inspirational blog –  The Writing Corp. I decided to build a new website because I realized that I needed something new. No, I didn’t leave The Writing Corp behind. It  will be run by my trusted fellow writers and I know that they will keep it alive. Currently, I’m working in the computer industry, trying out new things and exploring boundaries as well as trying to get out my comfort zone. I still write, still write to pay the bills and to inspire.

Of course, aside from writing I do other stuffs too. I love philanthropy, kick boxing, food trips, traveling, city walks (during night time, don’t know why), business-related talks and I ultimately love great conversations. Got questions? Drop them below! I may not be able to respond to all your messages but I’ll try my best to do so.

What Is A Writer | A Vergielyn Cubol Blog.

My Father’s Day Special Story

15 Jun

Do me a favor, go HUG your dad and tell him you love him. Do me the favor of doing the thing that I didn’t have the guts to do for the past 7 years of my life, the thing that I wasn’t able to say – not until when he finally left me.

It hurts living by myself (but don’t think my life is that miserable, God blessed me awesome friends) but what hurts the most is losing the man who had been with you since you first gasp for air. Months ago, I lost my father and the pain was unimaginable. I don’t know how I get over it but it still hurts. I know, wherever he is right now, he is “mutually” proud of me. He’s proud that I made it through on my own (plus my awesome friends), he’s proud how I learned from my mistakes and he’s proud of who I am. Pa, this one is for you.

The Father, The Daughter and The Writer


Some ten years ago..

“Hey Pa!!” I almost yelled those words with glee. Then I walked closer to reach the forty five year old man who was holding a white bag which was filled with something — something that I really really really love! Gee! It was my favorite tropical fruits!

The man was wearing his regular white shirt, rugged denim jeans and his all-time favorite blue slippers. His forehead was sweaty as he only walked that long distant from work to home, even though the heat was ranging that one sunny Saturday noon. “What’d you got?” I asked smiling, gazing on the bag that he was holding. Duh – I obviously knew what it was; I was just trying to play naïve.

“Oh I saw the vendor selling these on the streets, I knew he’ll pass by here and if you’ll see him you’ll only get jealous if you wouldn’t be able to taste ‘em today.” Said by the man in a giggly mood and then he handed the bag to me. I smiled and accepted it. Then in a sweet voice I uttered;“Pa?” The tone of my word sounded as if I was asking and then I looked into his eyes giving him that puppy look on my face.

“I know that kind of look!!” He exclaimed in between his mirthful words. “You need something?”

I nodded, biting my lower lip. “Yeah, a few bucks for a few new pieces of papers and a black pen.”

He smiled and said; “Oh why did I even asked?” His right hand reached for coins from the right pocket of his jeans. Then he handed me a few pesos, enough to buy what I wanted. I opened the bag of fruit, picked a few from it, gave the bag back to him and with smile on my face I started to walk away from the man while popping the juicy sweetness of those summer fruits.

“You are spoiling your kid so much.” I heard another man’s voice though I didn’t bother to look back

“Let it be. It’s her only happiness.” I then, again heard Papa’s words.

 January 22 2013….

“You have to live. C’mon Pa, my book’s going to be on the best seller’s shelves and we will going to have millions. Don’t worry about the bills here in the hospital, this awesome daughter of yours is gonna find a way to erase ‘em all.” I tried to cheer up my voice though deep inside, I was already shattered watching him struggling to grasp for air using that oxygen breather. He kind of giggled after he heard the word bestseller. I knew, deep inside him, he believed that I can do it, that I can be the writer I dreamed I would be. I held his hand and he held me back, squeezing my palm, giving me the assurance that he trusted me.

January 25 2013

Past one in the morning, January 25, year 2013, my Papa died and I witnessed how he lost his last breath. He was bed ridden for four days and can’t barely move. Yet, a minute before he passed away, he rose from his bed to reach for me and then hugged me tightly. I uttered a melancholic goodbye for I know that, that was it. I told him I love him.  A few seconds after we let go of each other (as he lay back in bed), he left me. It was the most beautiful yet painful thing I have in my life on which I know that will stay in my memory forever (or whatever the mature version of forever is). Writing this, at this very moment is making me cry. I lost the man who taught me what moral is, the one who taught me how to love and give unselfishly, that one person who guided me to the right paths and the one I used to constantly argue with because we had different principles in life. There were parts of my life where I think I had the baddest father in the world, but then, the past year of our life changed everything. We had good times, we shared great laughter, sang songs together. At the end I realized, if I had a bad father, then how come on Earth that I am on the right track on 95 percent of my life (even if we were struggling in poverty), how come I become who I am right now? All of these, all of who I am, I partly owe these to my father.

I know we had issues, but still, he is the best to me. My heart is broken. All I am holding on is my promise to him that I’ll make him proud.

 April 04 2013…

“I would give anything I own, I give up my life, my heart, my all….” The melody from the classic Bread song was captured by my ears. It was a usual day of an SEO geek in the office. I  was busy working on my desk, when suddenly; realization came to me. Tears started to ran down from face. Then I heard his voice in my head again, as if I can still hear him talking to me with these words, “when you hear this song and I’m gone, you’ll remember me, my daughter, you’ll remember me…”

My First Climb

AFK (Away From Keyword/Keyboard) Saturday – Yes,  geek reference it is.

My colleague, her brother and I decided to stay away from crazy coding, one morning in June 2013. Our feet led us to the highest mountain in Cebu Philippines – the Osmena Peak which is a thousand meters (and more) above sea level.


Yes, while in the city, the sun was up, this was what it looked like in Osmena Peak – misty, windy and cold.
Thanks to Roukie for carrying my bag!


Daisy and I plotting where and how to climb. I regret wearing an oversize shirt and short shorts. We had no gears whatsoever but It was surprising that I didn’t fear, I felt – thrilled!
P.S : FYI Mountains and Heights are my greatest phobias.


I couldn’t believe I made it to the top without bruises! Most of all I’m alive! It made me realize that we are actually bigger than our fears – those horrible thoughts are just literal sizes but we are always greater than them.


The view was my reward for that four-hour travel

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Welcome to a new friend| Robert Medak – Freelance writer

Who is Robert Medak?

Robert Medak is a retired Communications Technician turned freelance writer, blogger,editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.

He was born in southern California, and lived in Kansas until moving to southern West Virginia with his wife and their cats and dogs. While in California, he and his wife Connie ran an animal rescue where Robert wrote job descriptions, flyers, and was treasurer.

Robert is a small business owner of Robert Medak Freelance Writer. He works as a freelancer and entrepreneur working from a start-up learning along the way about marketing, social and networking, creating Web sites, and web content.

Robert has written or ghost written over 350 articles, he is familiar writing Web content, and written over 100 book reviews posted at Barnes and Noble, Powell’s Books, and his book review blog.

He is a writer, blogger, editor, and reviewer learning marketing and book promotion.

Robert continues learning about publishing, and branding. He applies what he learns to help others and is willing to answer questions. He believes in paying it forward, ethics, and being 100 percent original in all he does.

His goal is to create an income as a full-time freelance writer, and also have some stories he is working on published. Robert’s working on a nonfiction book titled “Taming the Freelance Market”.

Robert worked as a copy editor, and edited manuscripts. He was a reader/writer for Real Time Publishing.

Robert created a course on procrastination for Writers’ Village University WVU, an online site where writers help writers. He facilitated his course, and other courses at WVU. Robert co-founded a Creative Writing Workshop at WVU.

Specialties: Robert has a working knowledge of HTML, SEO Keyword articles, copy editing, and proofreading. He has a working knowledge of Microsoft Word Track Changes. Robert continues with ongoing learning of internet/social media marketing, and publishing.

Robert Medak’s ExperienceFreelance Writer/Blogger/Editor/Proofreader/Reviewer/Markete

via Who is Robert Medak? | Robert Medak.

Creativity Graph

Creativity Graph (Photo credit: lightsoutfilms)

Many writers and others periodically suffer from procrastination, especially when beginning a new project.

It’s easy to over think about what you face beginning a new project or while working on a project by trying for perfection. Everyone wants their project work to be perfect. Forget about perfection; just get to work.

Striving for perfection in your work is admirable, but perfection can also stifle creativity. When you hamper creativity by not seeing perfection in your mind, it’s easy to shelve the project by finding something else to occupy your time.

Creativity, especially when writing is a singularly lonely time. You need alone time where there are no distractions. A time for you to sit with yourself, and do your best work possible.

Get your project completed to best of your ability that’s all you can do, your best is good enough.

This doesn’t mean you settle for less than your best. Each subsequent project should be an improvement over the completed one. Push yourself to learn and improve.

Striving for perfection is a goal, but not if it makes you procrastinate or drive you crazy.

When writing, the goal should be to finish, then take time to edit. You don’t have the time to worry about things like is it good enough, do I know what I’m doing, I’m not good enough, or some other excuse that makes you sit back and procrastinate instead of charging ahead with your writing.

This is especially true when copywriting. If you plan on writing for a living, or for businesses, procrastination is the creativity death nil for you. It’s up to you if you let it happen. Are you going to let procrastination via your internal editor, or ego get in your way? Not if you want to call yourself a writer.

I may not be as subtle as other writers, but I try to impart some knowledge from years as a freelance writer. I don’t sugarcoat things. I try to work with honesty, integrity, and quality.

To this end, all of my content is 100-percent original, and my opinion only.

About the Author:

Robert Medak is a retired Communications Technician turned freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.

He was born in southern California, and lived in Kansas until moving to southern West Virginia with his wife and their cats and dogs. While in California, he and his wife Connie ran an animal rescue where Robert wrote job descriptions, flyers, and was treasurer.

To be famous, Or not to be…that is the question! | sshalsnoy’s Blog

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

To be famous, Or not to be…that is the question!

thDoes the average writer today want to be famous? Do you want to be famous? If you got an offer today for six figures but you would have to do public appearance son TV shows would you take it? Fame is something that many people pursue with a burning intensity that can destroy their lives, but when was the last time you heard of an author PURPOSELY trying to become famous? Usually it is something that happens by chance and pure luck, after lots of hard work, but I can’t honestly say I’ve read an Interview where an author says they wanted to be famous and had started writing with fame in mind. A few weeks ago I had writers block…like bad! I had started writing my second draft and read over what I had wrote and incredulously enough I thought it was excellent. Amazing even, I hadn’t really expected it to be good enough for my expectations. My family suggested that I submit it to agents when it was finished but I post-poned for quite some time and my writing stopped. What was causing the writers block? Fear. Are most writers afraid of being known for something as personal and revealing as writing? I would have to think so, but I honestly can’t say, how do you feel about fame? While my friends talk about how cool it would be for me to become the next JK. Rowling, my goals are much smaller. Make a couple thousand, remain a virtual nobody and keep my values in sight. Maybe even someone saying ‘hey I like your story’ every once in a while. That’s it. What about you? How would you react to a major deal like this?

via To be famous, Or not to be…that is the question! | sshalsnoy’s Blog.

Northrup VS Keys: The Showdown! | Novel Ideas

Like the great American buffalo, the Chris Keys’ brand of writing is diminishing. Times were when writers would spend months, years even, hunched over the typewriter turning out a manuscript that would be as close to perfection as the human eye could make it. But now, more often than not, the scene is that more and more writers turn book after book out within weeks. The market is flooded; and just like that buffalo, the traditional writer is a rare breed.

J.W .Northrup lives in Utah. He lives in a relatively middle class area with a warm and loving family to call his own. He wanted to meet the elusive Mr Keys and I was happy to go along for the occasion. It isn’t everyday that one gets to spend time with two of the most important, explosive and traditional writers of our age.

As the first glasses of wine are poured, Chris poses a question to the ever-serious Mr Northrup. “I loved The Gold Slaves. How is it doing?” J.W. shrugs and with a smile takes his first sip of a fine white from the nearby state of California. “It’s doing its thing… Climbing up a bit further everyday.” Chris settles back and nurses the glass in his hands. “I thought it was one helluva book.”

J.W. is a new breed of traditional writer and can write almost any way he wishes. I have seen him turn out a manuscript in days, and I have seen him spend hours working on one sentence. It’s hard to know what you will get from J.W. Northrup–he is as unpredictable as writers can be.

via Northrup VS Keys: The Showdown! | Novel Ideas.

McLemore Means Magic: Nick Wale Meets J.D | Novel Ideas

Meet the new boss… Not the same as the old boss at all. J.R. McLemore has been writing for a long time. He has several books, short stories and compendiums on sale. His sales are pretty solid and his ability to write a good story is well documented.

I wanted to meet J.R.

My first experience of this great writer was a pretty simple, straightforward read of one of his books. The book was called The Old Royal. It’s the story of a man who wants to achieve the greatness of his idol writer. He achieves it with the help of a typewriter.

The story was a sensation! So, here on Novel Ideas I want to present its writer to you.

Welcome J.R.McLemore!

Oh! Why do I call him ‘the boss’? Well, that’s simple! I call him the boss because one day soon he will be the biggest selling author on the face of the planet!

via McLemore Means Magic: Nick Wale Meets J.D | Novel Ideas.

Welcome to new friends: West End Publications

West End

Publications Independent Consortium


junk drafts

West End Publications is an independent consortium dedicated to aiding aspiring writers,authors,  bloggers, poets, and artists.

West End Publications is the creation of Edward Chesterfield and J.F. Jones who wanted to created a book publishing company for new and aspiring authors.

Over the course of the last 50 years the Book Publishing world has become ever more unreachable for the new author. Corporate book giants in their ever increasing quest for greater profits have all but squelched the niche for new authors.

If you are an aspiring author who isn’t a celebrity, reality star, or have a massive built-in-audience it is almost impossible to get a publishing company to look at your manuscript.

The goal of West End Publications is to help new authors see their manuscript go from draft to published work and in the process help them reach a greater audience then they otherwise would have been able to on their own.

via About | West End.

Edward Chesterfield – Bio


 My friends call me Ed

I have been a Ghost writer for many years and have      lent my assistance to quite a few well received publications

I’m very excited to be a part of this new venture; West End Publications

I enjoy coffee, beer, Hemingway, and Rugby.

Originally from the Windy City, I now live half-way between where I want to be living.

J.F. Jones – Bio 


Jones is a freelance writer and amateur philosopher on a search for the proper words to adequately define the human condition, which he often admits is a useless task.

The “Why” behind writing


“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. To ‘Why am I here?’ To uselessness. It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus“ Enid Bagnold

-Writing is an art. To those who don’t believe me, pick up a pen or open up your laptop and try to write a beautiful story. Its not as easy as it seems.

-Even blogging can be tough. It’s not just anybody that can create a blog and start writing. What do you write about? What do you say? Will people want to read what you write about?

-I became a writer for exactly the same reasons that Bagnold discusses; To write about why I am here.

-I write to search for meaning and truth. I want to know the ‘why’ behind everything.

-But I also want to share the little things on the side of the road. Not everything in my life is related to the ‘why’ behind it all. Some things are merely little experiences that I enjoy on this journey of life.

-So some times I am writing about issues that are very important to me. And other times I am writing about little things, that are important in their own right.

-Why do we write? Its something every writer should ask themselves.


Should we cuss when writing?

road sign

-Every time we sit down to write we are faced with decisions. Should we write in first person or third? Should the story end happy or sad?

-Hemingway’s quote makes a great point. Some authors steer clear of controversial language completely. While other authors make a point to use the most flamboyant language they can think up.

-Whatever we ultimately decide when writing. We should be ourselves. Write the way you are and write the way you talk. That is usually the best method.



[Terry: I tend to cuss BECAUSE I’m writing.  Does that count?]

Welcome to a new friend: Author of Freeblood, Marny Copal | believe in happy endings

Amazon’s Marny Copal Author Page

believe in happy endings

Vickie’s Website

The Official Blog of Writer Vickie McKeehan

via Author of Freeblood, Marny Copal | believe in happy endings.

Author of Freeblood, Marny Copal

Marny, first of all I’m so impressed you have a background in anthropology and archaeology, two of my favorite subjects. I once considered archaeology as a major because I loved to dig in the dirt. Seriously though, tell us what exactly drew you to these two fields of study? And were you ever on an excavation dig? If so, we’d love to hear what you were looking for?

Who doesn’t like digging in dirt? I remember actually eating dirt as a very small child. (I guess Mom couldn’t watch me every minute.) Plus, my mud pie collection was the envy of the neighborhood.

In the United States, anthropology is typically divided into four fields: cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. My first true love was cultural anthropology. Various customs, religions, mythologies, folklores, social structures, attitudes, and healing practices have always been intriguing to me, and those interests went hand in hand with my devotion to fantasy and science fiction when I was growing up.

As for archaeology, I took a fieldwork class one summer to fulfill degree requirements and really liked it. Once I graduated, I found work in archaeology, and I’ve been on excavations throughout Oregon. Mostly we found stone flakes, which are the byproduct of stone tool manufacture, but we also came across projectile points and other implements. I also worked on historic sites in the region. Finding dates and places of manufacture for old bottles and pieces of pottery is a lot of fun for me.


I’ll just get this out of the way now. I LOVED Quinn, Del, and Kasey, your main characters in Freeblood, the first book in the Quinn Chronicles, an urban fantasy / thriller. Plus, I loved your take on the vampire and the setting of Portland made it all the more compelling. What inspired you to jump into the vampire / paranormal genre?

Thank you! I’m glad to hear that the characters resonated with you. I have always been fascinated by myths and folklore, and the vampire yarn is one of my favorites. I also like the gritty feel of urban fantasies, and the old Portland—the real historic city—was a rough place, particularly on the waterfront. Mainly I jumped in because I felt compelled to write Quinn’s story. The tension surrounding the character pulls at me, and I feel the need to explore it.

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Does time even exist for writers? | author | a. j. adwen

Does time even exist for writers?


I’ve encountered a dilemma I never expected – the one where I am on the tail end of finishing this final edit on my novel, and since free time is so limited, I’m torn between getting it over with and starting the other stories in my mind.

If you’d told me a year ago that I would write and finish a book by the end of May, I’d have laughed by arse off. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m the queen of procrastination, and the victim of the time sucking squirrel. I’ve never been one to become addicted to finishing anything, unless you count a triple shot espresso and TV show marathons (not at the same time). Once I put my mind to something, I’m on it like a fat kid on cake, but it takes a lot for me to get there. I’ve literally become addicted to writing and editing, and creating new stories. Guess what I did instead of editing today? I started three new outlines. Three. Guess how many books I have to finish before I can start these? Two. There are two more in this trilogy. This is a dilemma, indeed. Is it possible to write two separate stories at once? Because if so, I’m going to be even busier than before.

Blabbedy blah blah. I know for a fact I’m not the only one, which is why I write these ramblings. For so long, I thought I was alone in the struggle to find the motivation when my schedule was packed, but then I started meeting other writers, and, like I said before, we’re all in this together.

I wrote the other day about my chosen path for publishing, and I was surprised to find a lot of encouragement instead of discouragement. Self publishing isn’t for everyone. Heck, it may not even be for me. Only time will tell. I have been overwhelmed with people who are eager to read the first book in the Othrinia’s Rain series. As of right now, I’ve set a tentative release date of August 1st!!!! Read here for reviews on the book.

Life is crazy. I love it. What is your story? Are you keen to pour it all into one book, or do you have multiple stories buzzing about in your head? I want to know!

via Does time even exist for writers? | author | a. j. adwen.

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE


Welcome to a new friend: Trista DiGiuseppi


I am an author. I mainly write dark fantasy, but also scifi, short stories, and sometimes horror. I mix other elements into my work, at times bending away from believability in order to keep my reader’s self-rationalization in check. I like to teach lessons in the stories I tell, using allegory, symbolism, and allusion. Most of my heroes tend to be female, but I do not fail to include strong male characters as well. My stories are violent, whether through personal altercations or descriptive renditions of war. They are not for the faint of heart, but they aren’t exactly Clive Barker, either. (I’d say it’s pretty balanced.) trista digiuseppi  Also, romance plays a bit of a role in my trista digiuseppibooks, because what is an adventure without it? An adventure may lead a hero to agony, dismemberment, or death, but I cannot deny my characters their emotional pursuits. I love to build worlds and then destroy them, and I love forcing characters to change and grow – or die trying.

I tend to write stand-alone novels, wrapped up in their own, isolated mythologies. My favorite type of book is the kind I can pick up without having to know the fifteen other novels preceding it.

Recently, Six Letter Press published my novel “Nails Jane” – check Amazon for reviews. Purchase information for Nails Jane (paperback and ebook) is located here. Also, browse this site for free short stories and free chapters of Nails Jane.

Currently: I just finished writing a second novel. It is under wraps and publication date is TBA. I have begun working on my third novel, as well as an anthology side project. There is much to come for my readers, so please sit tight and keep watch for updates.

Interests include: dark fantasy books/anthologies/graphic novels, open world RPG video games (e.g. dragon age, elder scrolls), hiking/kayaking, sushi, felines, Rasputina, Green Day, Chopin, Beethoven, Star Trek, offbeat/inappropriate humor, knives, and lipgloss. (Also, for some reason, I know too much about xenomorphs.)

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and studied psychology, writing, studio art, and anthropology. I worked for ten years as a public school aid, teaching disabled children how to read and write. My experience has lent itself to my writing style and deep fascination with mythology, science, neologism, sketching, and the overall human condition. I often incorporate such elements into my work.

Interesting fact: I publish under my maiden name. It’s almost like my former identity is now my pseudonym.

For me, writing is a full time job. I dedicate three to five hours every Monday through Friday, penning my novels.

Keep checking the site as newer material is advertised.

via About | Trista DiGiuseppi.

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John McPhee: On First Drafts and the Search for the Perfect Word : The New Yorker

The New Yorker

The New Yorker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From The Master.  The best description of and cure for Writer’s Block. It sounds so perfect, I almost wish I had it. (20 years of writing on deadline prevented me from ever getting it).

Block. It puts some writers down for months. It puts some writers down for life. A not always brief or minor form of it mutes all writers from the outset of every day. “Dear Joel . . .” This is just a random sample from letters written to former students in response to their howling cries as they suffer the masochistic self-inflicted paralysis of a writer’s normal routine. “Dear Joel . . .” This Joel will win huge awards and write countless books and a nationally syndicated column, but at the time of this letter he has just been finding out that to cross the electric fence from the actual world to the writing world requires at least as much invention as the writing itself. “Dear Joel: You are writing, say, about a grizzly bear. No words are forthcoming. For six, seven, ten hours no words have been forthcoming. You are blocked, frustrated, in despair. You are nowhere, and that’s where you’ve been getting. What do you do? You write, ‘Dear Mother.’ And then you tell your mother about the block, the frustration, the ineptitude, the despair. You insist that you are not cut out to do this kind of work. You whine. You whimper. You outline your problem, and you mention that the bear has a fifty-five-inch waist and a neck more than thirty inches around but could run nose-to-nose with Secretariat. You say the bear prefers to lie down and rest. The bear rests fourteen hours a day. And you go on like that as long as you can. And then you go back and delete the ‘Dear Mother’ and all the whimpering and whining, and just keep the bear.”

via John McPhee: On First Drafts and the Search for the Perfect Word : The New Yorker.

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Writer Unboxed » What Novelists Should Know About Short Fiction

The best short stories of Mark Twain

The best short stories of Mark Twain (Photo credit: Xesc)

When I first started writing seriously, all I wanted was to publish a novel.

I thought my intentions were honourable—that I wasn’t just another wannabe with dreams of making it big—but there was always that little part of me that still wasn’t ready to put in my dues.

I wanted it all, and I wanted it right away.

1. Reading short fiction can make you a more knowledgeable writer.

2. Writing short fiction can make you a more accomplished writer.

3. Publishing short fiction can make you a more marketable writer.

via Writer Unboxed » What Novelists Should Know About Short Fiction.

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