authors

20 Unknown Authors You Should Know About

Here are some unknown authors you should know about, including me, from a post that originally appeared in Medium, by Rutankhamen.

20 Unknown Authors You Need to Know About

Every author hard at work

There are a lot of authors out there, and it’s understandably hard to pick which one to engage with, so I’ve decided to help you out.

This list features authors across many genres, from different countries and with as varied personal stories as they come.

All have agreed to answer a set of questions just for you so, without further ado, lets read their answers. Enjoy!

Lyn Alexander (photo from her Amazon page)

Lyn Alexander
Retired veterinarian and Royal Canadian Air Force veteran, Lyn lives in New Brunswick, Canada and writes military fiction. In the past, she has spent 15 years in active service during the Cold War, which she says has helped shape her persona and made her look at the world with a direct eye. Her time in the Air Force provided the foundation for her Schellendorf series.
She told me that she’s always been writing, oftentimes getting caught in her imagination with stubborn characters that needed her to tell their stories. She says it beautifully: ‘It was a long apprenticeship which had no mentor except the books that I read.’ She also says that writing gives her an escape from the pressures of life.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she told the tragic story of falling in love with a good, honest and beautiful man, while serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was an American jet pilot, and they were planning on getting married. Fate made it so that Johnny was killed in a crash, leaving her devastated and heartbroken. She never married after that, and says she has never met another man as good as Johnny was. We feel for her, don’t we?

Her favourite interaction with a reader was a review left by the author of Helping Writers Become Authors, in which he says that he’d enjoyed her historical series for its superb historical research, verisimilitude, conflicted characters and interesting plots. The series offers a different perspective on the WWII and it’s unique in its approach, he said.

Her motto: Happiness is having a goal; and when you reach that goal, have another.

Favourite book out of everything she has written: The English General , although she points out that the book is the 3rd in a series of four, and would like to urge the reader to begin with the The Officer’s Code.

Her message to the readers: I wrote the Schellendorf historical series (noted in Weiland’s review above) because while posted in Germany I met and was befriended by Frau Rommel, widow of the famous German field marshal, the “Desert Fox”. We talked for long hours about her memories of the war, and about the difficulties her husband had at the highest level of the military. In The English General I try to show such problems from the eyes of a career soldier caught up…
…between his German wife who will not live with him and the Englishwoman who loves him…
…between his English roots and his love of Germany…
…between British Military Intelligence and his career in the Wehrmacht…
…between his love of the Army and his hatred of Hitler…
Erich von Schellendorf finds himself cornered by the appalling reality of Nazi control over his beloved country, and by realising that out of uniform he has no identity. Compelled to pursue his own troubled conscience, he maintains a delicate balance of honour through the most destructive war in history.

You can find her here:
http://www.lynalexander.com

Laura Greenwood (photo from her Amazon page)

Laura Greenwood
She’s a young author from Yorkshire, United Kingdom, who’s been writing ever since she was 7. She says that writing has helped her in many ways through her depression, and she’s been happiest since she has started taking writing more seriously.
Her day job is Catering Supervisor, which she believes is not very exciting. Some Catering Supervisors might disagree. Right?
Laura takes inspiration from anything and everything, more often than not finding herself in a situation where the stories just flow and she has to sit down and write. Most characters, over which she has little control, take her by surprise, and she has to follow their leads.
About her writing persona, she says she tends to hop genres. She reads in multiple genres and she believes that’s the general route her writing takes as well; from paranormal romance, to fairytale retellings, contemporary romance and even a short space opera, you can find it all in Laura’s catalogue.
She plans to work hard and make writing her full time career, and has several paranormal romance projects lined up for the year and, next year, she has a fully plotted out sword & sorcery series that will span 7 interconnected, but standalone books. I’m looking forward to that!

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she says she’s given her grandparents copies of her first two novellas, editing out a couple of scenes that were just a little too much for me to give them. Now they have a copy of a third novella, unedited, that features the f bomb. It was in an appropriate place, honest! Laura says. Do we believe her?

Her favourite interaction with a reader was when someone tweeted about her choice in jobs for her alpha shifter character. She still stands by her choice as an accountant. A shifter has got to eat. Indeed he does.

Her motto: You never know!
She goes on to say that, although it might not sound like much, for someone like her, who has suffered from anxiety and is most definitely an introvert, it takes a lot to put oneself out there. It’s understandable, and her motto makes perfect sense.

Favourite book out of everything she has written: She found the question tricky, but said that her contemporary romance, What Lies Beneath The Mask, has more of her in it than people realise.

Her message to the readers: I write because I enjoy it, so the main thing I want for my readers (existing or potential) is for them to enjoy what I write! I don’t need ranting and raving about them, it’s just good to know that people enjoy them!

You can find her here:
http://www.authorlauragreenwood.co.uk/
Twitter @lauramg_tdir
Or subscribe to her newsletter here.

photo from her Amazon page

Sandy Papas
She’s a Finnish writer of erotica with a twist. Seriously, go check her out and see.
In the past, she used to work in metal factories, illustration and nonprofits, which sounds dizzyingly busy, while her affair with writing started when she needed money for wine. That was when she discovered that writing is as much fun as drinking.
I’m not that much of an alcoholic, I just tell people that to get out of social occasions, Sandy explains. And we understand what that is like, right?
As far as inspiration goes, Sandy says that reality is her creative spark, it being such a messed up place. Creating seems to make it more sensical, a word she plans on making official in 2017. Let’s support her on that, it’s such a sensical thing to do. See what I did there? *I’ll see myself out*
Sandy plans to write until her arms fall off, with more than 40 short stories and a novella lined up for this year, but things get a bit blurry for September as she plans on starting studies then. Her aim? To become the Barbara Cartland of humorous erotica, minus the pink shawls. I’d prefer something a little tackier. Also, a naked Dwayne Johnson. Don’t we all?

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she revealed that she’s a semi-retired nude model. What’s more juicer than that?

Her favourite interaction with a reader: when someone tweeted about her work, including some spelling errors from her second story. I really appreciated that as a non-native speaker.

Her motto: If, at first you don’t succeed, add in were-turnips and it’ll start looking like something completely different. Advice we should all take to heart.
Did I mention she’s planning to feature a turnip shifter in her future projects? Anyone say next best-seller?

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: The first Dracula short, Dracula & The Night Nurse.

Her message to the readers: My FB-page, Twitter and blog are always open for messaging, though don’t try to get me to write zombie erotica.

She also wanted to take the opportunity to address someone she loves: Dwayne Johnson, if you’re reading this, call me. Let’s talk about what The Rock is cooking. 😉

I see a pattern emerging here. Do you?

You can find her here:
https://sexypotatoes.wordpress.com/
Facebook @Thesandypapas
Twitter @sandypapas

Drew Cordell (photo from his Amazon page)

Drew Cordell
He’s a young writer of science fiction from Texas, and a full time student majoring in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas, Dallas.
When he found himself drawn to the same books over and over he decided to create something that included all the elements that he loved about his favourite stories, but was considerate enough to do some market research, so that he didn’t write only for himself, but what readers liked as well.
His inspiration? Coffee. Without coffee and my writing playlist, I’m pretty much useless at writing anything. Understandable.
He finds it thrilling to share the stories that sometimes progress out of control in his head, and feels it’s genuinely rewarding to see other people excited about his work.
Drew will be graduating next year so he wants to dedicate more time to writing, and making it a full time career.
He’s currently busy working on the second book in his trilogy, and on a standalone novel, both to be published this year. Aside from that, there’s a prequel to his trilogy coming up in April, while he gets even busier with short stories for science fiction and fantasy magazines.
He also offers free crowdfunding consultation for authors, so if you’re interested, contact him and try it out.

When asked if he had anything juicy to share with the readers, he said that he used his business knowledge to crowdfund a professional self-publishing launch for his first book, Absolute Knowledge.

His motto: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ — Philippians 4:13

Favourite interaction with readers: Some of his Kickstarter backers were authors themselves, so he loved connecting with them and sharing tips on crowdfunding. For this reason, he created a series on his blog where he shares everything he learned from his campaign.

Favourite book out of everything he’s written: Absolute Knowledge

His message to the readers: If you enjoy science fiction, you should give my novel, Absolute Knowledge, a shot. If you’re not happy for whatever reason, let me know and I’ll make it right. I spent countless hours crafting this book, and if you enjoy hard sci-fi, cyberpunk, or action, then you’re most likely going to enjoy this book. I’m hard at work on the second book of the trilogy, Absolute Zero, and expect to publish it Q2–3 of 2017.

You can find him here:
http://drewcordell.com/
Facebook @DrewCordellAuthor
Twitter @DrewjCordell

N.M. Whittaker (photo from her Amazon page)

N.M. Whittaker
She’s a writer of romance from Brisbane, Australia, and a stay at home mum. She says writing is in her bloodline, with an ancestry full of poets, playwrights and authors. She draws inspiration from nature and the intricate details of human emotion, making her ancestors proud (her internet history notwithstanding).
Whittaker intends on making writing a lucrative career, so that she can be provide a good life for her son while also being at his side. She also goes on to say that so many Mums are too scared to ask their superiors for days off when their children need them and she doesn’t want that for herself. We agree; no one should have to go through that.
Her plans for the future include writing more romances in regency, paranormal and fantasy and we can’t wait to see what she has prepared for her fans.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she didn’t offer anything, but we understand. Don’t we?

Her motto: ‘If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.’ — Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Favourite interaction with the readers: Whittaker said she has none, but I hope she’ll have plenty to talk about soon!

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: The Elf Lord’s Chosen, which she says was the most fun to write.

Her message to the readers: Popular stories have always been primary cultural expressions so read what speaks to your heart and soul.
She also says: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be a writer. You absolutely can be if you work hard enough at it.

You can find her here:
Author page

Kim Iverson (photo from her Amazon page)

Kim Iverson
A fortunate writer for not having any other day job, Kim writes across fantasy and science fiction and lives in Seattle, WA. She’s started writing to express herself and to escape. Her first such work was when she was 12, and was a poem on her grief about homelessness and being looked down upon. Something clicked in her when her family said the poem made them cry. Kim knew ten that her words had a power of their own, and that they could connect her with the readers.
Writing, for her, is also therapeutic. After she was raped at the age of 25, she found that writing saved her life. That made her realise that other people could be saved through her writing too, by giving them a break, a way out. Even if for just a moment. We agree with Kim, and we thank her for keeping writing, we all need a break from time to time.
Her inspiration is the stories she creates. Seeing it go from daydream to something in existence feels amazing and there’s no better high for her.
Her plans for the future? To publish everything she has written and write lots more. A book every three months, and, maybe, for the most favoured series, turn them in an interactive website like Pottermore. We love her plans!

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said she doesn’t have anything, but we know her stories are enough.

Favourite interaction with readers: she loves when readers feel safe enough to constantly write to her, telling her about their day, sharing their stories. She lives for stories and talking to her fans is something Kim really loves.

Her motto: ‘Holn an image of the life you want, and that image will become fact.’ She keeps this quote by her desk.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: the next one she writes. Cheeky.

Her message to the readers: I don’t tend to write in any particular genre. Elements in my books match with certain genres, but for me it’s more about the story and the message beneath the writing. Genres for me are only a way to market the book in certain categories. So generally if you give another book of mine a chance, unless you absolutely abhor certain elements that may be in the book, you may enjoy another genre of mine. I also typically don’t stick to the normal rules for writing in the genres. My paranormal romance books may come across more as horror or suspense. Things such as that. I go for Psychological Suspense or Thriller when I write my stories, not necessarily, “this is a story about vampires.”

You can find her here:
https://kimberlysueiverson.com/
Twitter Kim Iverson
Or you can sign up to her newsletter here.

Lily Luchesi (photo from her Amazon page)

Lily Luchesi
A young writer from Chicago, now living in Los Angeles, she’s had plenty of odd jobs in the past, from dog walking to designing teasers for authors, but writing remains her first love.
At the age of 8, Lily had a teacher that taught her to love writing and she’s been honing her craft ever since.
Characters are her inspiration, as they take over and demand to be written about. Don’t we see this thing often with authors? I mean, characters sound like jerks, but we’re glad writers give in and obey them.
Nicely organised, she has her year all planned out. From anthology contributions, to a short story in Weirdbook’s May edition, to more books in her Paranormal Detective series.

When asked if she had anything juicy to tell readers, she said she wrote the first two books in her Paranormal Detective series on a tablet, while homeless. Because of a house fire, she was living in a motel at the time and we’re so happy that she has overcome all obstacles and kept writing stories for fans to enjoy.

Her motto: ‘It ain’t the blows we’re dealt that matter, but the ones we survive.’ — Stephen King.
She knows that, no matter what, there’s a reason for everything and all will fall into place eventually. You just have to keep surviving, Lily says.

Her favourite interaction with a reader: Lily loves the feedback she’s received for her character, Angelica. Her intention was to create a realistic woman, in a genre were other female characters were very uniform women, and loves that her readers feel like she has succeeded.

Favourite book out of everything she has written: Oh, man, don’t do this to me! We’re truly sorry, but we have to.
Her favourite is Last Rites, not yet released. We’re eager to get it once it’s published!

Her message to the readers: As a reader, I know it can be hard to buy a new book from an unknown author in a popular genre. I want you to know that when you pick up a Luchesi book, no matter if it’s an anthology that contains a short story or one of my novels, you’ll find something that I seriously strived to make wholly original and entertaining. I don’t write for profit, I write because I love it, and my characters demand an audience. My books aren’t just for men or women, they’re for everyone. I write horror, paranormal, and LGBT erotica, so there’s something in my catalog for nearly everyone. If you choose to read me, know that I appreciate it more than you know.

You can find her here:
https://lilyluchesi.wordpress.com/
http://lilyluchesibooks.wixsite.com/lilyluchesi
Facebook @LilyLuchesi
Twitter Lily Luchesi, Author

Joseph Mark Brewer (photo from his Amazon page)

Joseph Mark Brewer
He’s a writer from Hamilton, Ohio, who’s been working in the news business for over 35 years. He started writing in elementary school, and believes that everyone has a story to tell. His inspiration? The stories themselves.
Joseph has an exclusive prequel novella to his series, and it’s available to all newsletter subscribers. Get it here.
He’s always written fiction and plans to do so in the future, even after he leaves the news business. He has 12 novels in all for the Shig Sato series, and is preparing a new series featuring an ex-Navy SEAL bounty hunter who returns to his hometown to discover trouble is following him no matter where he goes. We can’t wait!

When asked if he had anything juicy to tell readers, he said no, sadly.

His motto: Never explain, never complain. Just write a story about it.
I love it and might borrow it from time to time, as motivation wanes and waxes.

Interesting interaction with a reader: He says he loves reading reviews, as they often point out things he has never considered before. He also takes thoughtful critique seriously, which is a nice thing to do as an author.

Favourite book out of everything he’s written: The Gangster’s Son, book 1 in the Shig Sato series.

His message to the readers: If you like international settings and gritty crime, discover the world of Shig Sato.

You can find him here:
http://www.josephmarkbrewer.com
Facebook @josephmarkbrewer
Twitter Joseph Mark Brewer

Sandra Bischoff (photo from her Amazon page)

Sandra Bischoff
She’s from Cornwall, NY, and works as a Pharmacist in a hospital Infusion Centre.
She started writing with a blog where she explored her character’s backstory from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books. That exercise later evolved to become her first book, Beyond the Sun.
Her inspiration lies in everything, from Camelot, to other books, and even music. In fact, her very first book, while inspired by Kenyon’s works, was also influenced by the song .45 by Shinedown. Sandra also has a healthy interest in everything Arthurian, which spurs her creativity in many ways.
Aside from that, she’s an avid reader, loves to cook and bake, paints at wine and paint parties and occasionally quilts. Now, that is busy!
Her future plans include finishing the 9 novels intended for the Dark Order of the Dragon series, as well as many other books outside of it.

When asked if she had anything juicy to tell readers, she said no, and went on to actually spell out that there is nothing juicy about her. We somehow find that highly unlikely, there is juiciness in everything, but we understand and will not tease her. Much.

Her motto: ‘Take a stand and make your mark.’ from one of John Jake’s novels. She says this one phrase is enough to pick ker up when things are tough and she feels like no one likes her books. We get the feeling and we’re happy she has something to cheer her up. We’re also certain there are plenty of people enjoying her writing.

Interesting interaction with readers: she has none to offer us, but we’re certain she will have plenty to talk about soon.

Favourite book out of everything she has written: Beyond Times, she says. Hands down. Besides being set in Camelot, the main character, Lance, is very dear to her heart. He’s damaged and unsure of himself, and tries to put up a huge facade.

Her message to the readers: If you are looking for a completely new spin on the Vampire genre, please give my books a chance. A Vampire’s modern day Camelot will leave you craving more.
I really like that idea! Between the romantic potential of Camelot and hot vampires, it can get pretty interesting.

You can find her here:
http://sandibischoff.webs.com/
Facebook @AuthorSandiBischoff
Twitter @sandibischoff

Corinne O’Flynn (photo from her Amazon page)

Corinne O’Flynn
With a fancy job as an Executive Director for a non-profit organisation, she lives in Colorado and has been writing since high school. She believes that being a reader from a young age makes an easy segue into becoming a writer.
It’s difficult for her to say what exactly inspires her, but she says it’s primarily for self expression. She enjoys many other creative endeavours aside from writing, like painting, and knitting. She also draws from her experience as a reader, where she could find herself pulled into stories and captivated by characters. Corinne says that’s the reason she writes. She wants to take readers on a ride.
Corinne will be very busy this year, as she plans to finish her The Expatriatesfantasy series, start a new paranormal suspense series with the first book already on preorder here, and wants to launch a brand new, top secret world with a novella. Aside from all that work, she will also be published in two anthologies this year. I bow before her productivity and wish I had it too.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she told us she’s left handed, and loves to play loud music in the car and rock out. She also has an inappropriate sense of humour. Don’t we all?

Her motto: ‘There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. Negative people find their walls. So never apologise for your enthusiasm. Never.’ — Ryan Adams.

Interesting interaction with a reader: Nothing in particular, but Corinne loves hearing people say that something she wrote resonated with them, she finds it fueling for her writing.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: Ghost of Witches Past, her upcoming release, her favourite because it touches on the paranormal, a subject Corinne absolutely loves.

Her message to the readers: Thank you for taking the time to visit with me! I love hearing from new and potential readers, and sharing my worlds with you. If you’re interested in staying in touch, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much everywhere.

You can find here here:
http://www.corinneoflynn.com/
Facebook @oflynnbooks
Twitter Corinne O’Flynn

R.M. Gauthier (photo from her blog)

R.M. Gauthier
She’s from Toronto, Canada and manages a go-kart track for most of the year. R.M. started writing because many stories demanded to be written, and says that all stories come to her like mini films and don’t go away until she has written them down.
For the month of February, she’s planning to release two new books, while working on her graphic design project in parallel. Sounds like she’ll be pretty busy!

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said she went back to college at the age of 43, and obtained a diploma in Film & Television Production.

Her motto: The world is what you make it.

Interesting interaction with readers: So far she’s only had great feedback for her novel, but she’s waiting for the day when someone will say her book sucks. Until then, she’s taking accolades in stride and writes the next book.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: Control, but only until book 2 comes out.

Her message to the readers: I love creating these world and characters. It is my wish that you will enjoy them half as much as I love making them.

You can find her here:
https://www.rmgauthier.com/
Facebook @BooksbyRGauthier
Twitter @Ren071968

Amanda Booloodian (photo from her Amazon page)

Amanda Booloodian
She’s from Missouri, works in K-12 Virtual Education and writes paranormal mystery.
Amanda tried to write her first novel in 6th grade, a natural path for a chronic daydreamer and world-inventor like she was.
She gets her inspiration from all sorts of places, strange stories on the internet or TV, paintings or simply reading. Walking in nice weather also helps her creative juices flow.
She says she likes her day job, but will always be writing. She has planned multiple releases in the AIR series for this year, as well as stories related to the AIR world, but in different locations. There will be a total of 7 novels in the series, alongside other fiction projects.
She invites all interested parties to sign up to her newsletter or to get in touch with her on social media. By the looks of things, we most certainly are interested parties.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said that, in AIR 3: Stolen Sight, the main character takes up Krav Maga. She decided to learn self defense herself and learnt it’s lots of fun!

Her motto: You only live this life once. Live it the best you can and be happy as often as possible.

Favourite interaction with a reader: she mentioned none. But we’ll make sure she has some, right?

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: AIR 3: Stolen Sight, which will be released in late May.

Her message to the readers: If you enjoy urban fantasy, hidden worlds, and exotic magic powers you don’t want to miss this series.

You can find her here:
http://www.booloodian.com/
Facebook @AmandaBooloodian
Twitter @ajbooloodian

Emily Kazmierski (photo from her Amazon page)

Emily Kazmierski
While enjoying life in sunny Southern California, Emily works as a freelance editor and writes YA fiction.
She’s been writing since she was a child and the very first story she ever wrote was about a little girl who died and was reincarnated as a humpback whale. She still has no idea where that story came from.
Emily gets her inspiration from her own dreams, or from other people’s lives. Her first novel is a what-if inspired by a friend’s mum that was diagnosed and beat breast cancer.
She also wants to be friends with all of y’all, so don’t leave her hanging.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said she didn’t want to tell. Now, that’s really not fair, is it?

Her motto: She doesn’t have one, but she follows the principle of not going things halfway. We can appreciate that, but she did leave us dry with the juicy details she doesn’t want to disclose. We’re still trying to figure what could those be.

Interesting interaction with a reader: she hasn’t had much interaction with readers, but she can’t wait to hear from people about her book and, hopefully, many more to come.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: Malignant

Her message to the readers: I hope that when you read my book you get to know and understand the characters and why they act the way they do. I hope they feel real to you as they do to me.

You can find her here:
http://www.emilykazmierski.com/
Facebook @AuthorEmilyKazmierski
Twitter @EmilyKazmierski

Elizabeth Bramwell (photo from her Amazon page)

Elizabeth Bramwell
She’s originally from Britain, but she lives in Canada now. She sports the title of senior administrator in a post-secondary Institute of Technology, which we find intimidating, really. Very respectful.
She began writing Regency romance with a story especially created for her Mum’s birthday, and she kept going from there.
Writing is like breathing to her, just something she does and she will never stop doing.
Elizabeth has degrees in both Archeology and Library Science, and dreams of having her own bookstore one day. She believes that reading is an important part of developing intellect, compassion and wisdom, and she would be a very happy bunny if she could build her life around working with those notions. We can only cheer her on and try not to be too intimidated by all her academic achievements.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said she didn’t want to tell. Thank heavens she gave in eventually and confessed that she is a huge Rock and Heavy Metal fan, and listens to bands like Halestorm, Iron Maiden, Disturbed or Queen while writing Regency romance. Now that is very interesting.

Her motto: Over, under, around or through. No matter what obstacle you face in life, you can get past them — although you might have to think outside the box to do so. A very good motto and one we should all take to heart.

Favourite interaction with a reader: a reviewer told her that they loved her books because it reminded them of the first time they read a Georgette Heyer novel. She may have cried hearing that.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: she gave us what we wanted with the juicy detail, but now she’s having her revenge! She said that her favourite book is the one she’s working on right now, but it shall remain a secret. Not fair!

Later edit: I investigated and I believe that the mysterious project could be the fourth book in her series, The Rebel Wife, on pre-order here.

Her message to the readers: Thank you for considering my books! It means the world to me when someone chooses to spend their leisure time reading one of my stories, and I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I love writing them!

You can find her here:
http://elizabethbramwell.blogspot.com
Facebook @ebramwellwriter
Twitter @ebramwellwriter

Emma Savant (no photo available)
She’s a young writer from Oregon and works for a non-profit that saves the world a little. It’s commendable and we like it, right?
The first story she every wrote went as follows: “Once upon a time there was a little girl who met a cat. The girl and the cat were the BEST FRIENDS IN THE WHOLE WORLD, so the girl’s parents let her keep the cat because they loved her SO MUCH.” Sadly, her parents were not moved enough to let her keep the stray cat she had found. In their defense, there were no pets allowed in their appartment.
She cites Franz Kafka when he said ‘A non-writing writer is like a monster courting insanity.’ Emma also says that when she doesn’t write she becomes a grump. Both her and her husband are understandably happier when she’s not a grump.
Aside from keeping her sane, she writes because she’s inspired by anything new, like landscapes or neighbourhoods, and wishes to create worlds that readers can get lost into. She loves J.K. Rowling’s works and wishes to create something as vivid and tangible for her readers.
Emma’s future plans include going forward with the Glimmering world and fairytale archetypes in her new project about a pop singer whose manager is determined to spin her talent into gold. Intriguing.

When asked if she anything juicy to share with the readers, she said she has nothing, further explaining that if she had, she would have even more things to write about. Do we believe her?

Her motto: Emma says she’s not much of a motto person, probably because she cannot commit to loving one for more than a few days, a sentiment we can all relate to.

Interesting interaction with a reader: One of her earliest readers just beat cancer. We love that readers share details with her and we can only be happy for the reader in question.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: Glimmers of Glass, her first novel in the Glimmer series. It was in it that she entered the Glimmering world and met Olivia and Imogen and she’ll always be fond of it for that.

Her message to the readers: If you love snark, fairy tales, and subverted clichés, my books are for you.

You can find her here:
http://emmasavant.com/
Facebook @emmasavant
Twitter @EmmaSavant

S.T. Sinclaire (photo from her Amazon page)

S.T. Sinclaire
She’s from Ontario, Canada and has a multitude of interests beside writing. S.T. is also a copywriter, photographer and graphic designer.
She’s been reading since the age of four and writing came only naturally to her.
The inspiration for her first book, Elf in My Backpack, was a rustling in the woods while she was out walking. She says that a reasonable person might’ve guessed ‘squirrel’, but her first thought was ‘hmm, what if it’s an elf?’ I love the way she thinks.
She says that she spices all her books with humour because, if she has to live with her characters, they have to be amusing sometimes, even the not-so-nice ones.
Her plans for the moment include finishing the Princess Marguerite series, while also working on a novel.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said she hasn’t.

Her motto: Follow your dreams and never give up.

Interesting interaction with a reader: a reader told her that her Princess Marguerite series read like an old-fashion fairytale, which confirmed she had accomplished what she had set to do. We are very proud.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: While she found the question tough, she did say that Princess Marguerite: The merchant of Dreamswas the one. But The Green-Eyed Monster was a hilarious one. We might have to read both and see.

Her message to the readers: I’ve always loved illustrated books and my children’s series books are loaded with illustrations. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

You can find her here:
Facebook @STSinclaire
Twitter @ST_Sinclaire

Paulina Woods (photo from her Amazon page)

Paulina Woods
She lives in Twentynine Palms, California, and serves drinks at a casino by day, while slaying dragons on Xbox by night. Ah, living the dream…
Funny enough, she started writing because she wouldn’t shut up. Her mum bought her a journal and told her to write her thoughts and stop making her siblings act out the stories she came up with. Of course, they ended up playing the stories she wrote in front of her mum, so not much help there. A creative mind is a creative mind, we know.
Her mum is Paulina’s inspiration. When she was growing up, she listened to her mother read parts of her work to her. Fond memories.
She hopes to make her Mum’s dream of being a published author come true and we cannot but wait until that day comes, so we can enjoy her mum’s stories the way she did as a child.
Paulina has big plans for the future, and wants to become a full time blogger and writer while travelling the world. She also wants to be known as an African Lore writer and makes the remark that all her characters have names from the Yorbra people. Very interesting indeed.
She is also trying to publish the three stories she kept promising her readers, for fear of getting tarred and feathered. We’re expecting those books, Paulina! *checks cauldron of boiling tar*

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said that the only way she can fall asleep is to tell herself a story. Of course, that oftentimes backfires on her, because she finds herself laying in bed, two hours into the night, and the story is still not over. I feel for her.

Her motto: Never give up on your dream.

Favourite interaction with a reader: One of her faithful readers discovered Paulina through the Stone Guardian book, and was delighted to know that there were books about plus-sized black women written by a black author. That reader is now her biggest supporter and has published her own book. We can only be proud of the both of them!

Favourite book out of everything she has ever written: Captive Guardian,book 2 in her Witches Amulet series.

Her message to the readers: I promise you a fun ride but be warned, my gargoyle do not become human.

You can find here here:
http://www.paulinawoods.com/
Facebook @authorpaulinawoods
Twitter @PaulinaShelf

Lucia Kuhl (photo from her Amazon page)

Lucia Kuhl
She lives in South Bend, Indiana, and is also a Ballroom Dance Instructor. Fancy.
Lucia had planned to become a bestselling author straight out of college, but she and the professor in charge of the writing program didn’t see eye-to-eye. She ended up graduating with a Marketing degree and has taken up writing again after being sidelined by an injury.
She finds inspiration in social issues and fun. I’m intrigued and I’ll go check out her books as soon as this article is done and live.
As a non-traditional career woman, she wants to become someone that can answer ‘Yes!’ to anyone asking her ‘Seriously, what’s your day job? Can you even make money with that?’.
Lucia has several series planned out, as well as turning The Crystal Ballroom serial on her website into a novel. The first book in the American Missing series will be released in February and she wishes to publish more this year.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said that, at the age of 6, she had a hard time deciding who to marry between Little Joe Cartwright form Bonanza, and Trampas from the Virginian, so she decided to marry both. Way to go, girl!

Her motto: Be part of the solution or shut up. Words to live by.

Interesting interaction with a reader: none comes to her mind.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: Kubbern’s Ghosts

Her message to the readers: We are each so much more than we think we are. This belief is the foundation for all my books.

You can find her here:
http://luciakuhl.com/
Facebook @AuthorLuciaKuhl
Twitter @Kuhlhat

Marie-Belle de Lis (photo from her Amazon page)

Marie-Belle de Lis
This publishing house’s resident kinky author, she’s a young writer of Erotica and Romance currently enjoying the humid winter of Italy, with big plans to travel the world. She used to be a live adult cam model and is a big supporter of consent in any sexual interaction. A victim of rape, she makes sure consent is clearly presented in all her books, no matter how much her characters are into non-consensual fetishes.
Marie-Belle also campaigns for the correct portrayal of BDSM in popular media and tries to make sure that everyone understands that ‘non-consensual’, in BDSM means that someone has given their consent prior to the rough fun, and it constitutes only roleplay.
Aside from her commendable efforts to blend hot fiction with social issues, she has big plans for this year. She wants to finish her first series, then go on to publish a couple more, and is also thinking of creating an interactive fiction game around BDSM. Now that is interesting! She also hopes to start publishing one of the many Romance stories running around in her mind.
Marie started writing because there were too many hot fantasies swirling in her head and thought ‘Why keep the fun to myself?’
Her inspiration? Humans and their darkest sexual fantasies. She says that one would be surprised what most of us really like. I agree, but I’m leaving it at that. No dirty disclosure today.

When asked if she had anything juicy to share with the readers, she said that, not for her lack of trying, not many people know she’s a proud member of the BDSM scene. Even her mother has a pretty good idea about her interests! She also still remembers fondly her first ever relationship with a girl.

Her motto: She doesn’t have one, but she always tells herself everything will be alright in the end.

Interesting interaction with a reader: none comes to mind, but she felt amazing when she received her first review. It meant that someone had actually read her story.

Favourite book out of everything she’s written: Finding My Step, from her published works, but she can’t wait to finish her Insatiable series so she can write about a girl learning what sex is all about, in all its glory. *wink*

Her message to the readers: Trust your instincts and never let anyone make you do anything you’re not comfortable doing.

You can find her here:
Facebook @mariebelledelis

Don McAuley (photo from his Amazon page)

Don McAuley
Don’s a Welsh writer who also works in Software and IT. He writes because he loves exploring unexplained mysteries and wants to share his passion with the readers. He’s inspired by good stories and the reaction of readers who love his writing.
He feels that he’s been working in IT for far too long and wishes to make writing his sole income source. He wants to explore short stories, mysteries and sci-fi and wants to get feedback from readers from his already published books, so he knows what they want to read and where should he go next. Very commendable of him.
Don also loves cheesecake.

When asked if he had anything juicy to share with the readers, he said he didn’t want to tell. Why is he doing this to us?

His motto: Judge not a person by what they do, but what they won’t do. Wise, indeed.

Interesting interaction with a reader: he appreciates every response and thinks that someone has taken time out of their lives to comment on his books is very humbling. I already love him, what about you?

Favourite book out of everything he’s written: Moon, his first book.

His message to the readers: I hope you like the books as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

You can find him here:
http://www.donmcauley.com/
Facebook @donmcauleyauthor
Twitter @Don_McAuley
Or sign up to his newsletter here.

Disclaimer: This list contains affiliate links, so a percentage of your purchase will be shared with me, at no additional cost to you. The authors featured here have been randomly selected and I have not been paid by any of them, and thus, the list is objective and unbiased.

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com

Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – an interview with Geoff Nelder

To paraphrase Forrest Gump (and his momma): “twisted is as twisted does”- so grab your free copy of Twisted Tales, a Readers’ Choice selection of short fiction from Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park. Literary lies, epic yarns – it’s an eclectic collection of stories by authors from around the globe.

In today’s Meet the Authors series I’m delighted to welcome to the blog Geoff Nelder. He was a Geography and Maths teacher who gained his MSc and Fellowship of the Royal Meteorological Society partly for research in weather satellites.

ChaosofMokii (1)     Just recently, Geoff Nelder, wrote an experimental fiction, THE CHAOS OF MOKII, as a short story. In this tale there is a city, Mokii, which only exists in the group consciousness of its inhabitants. Olga sits in a train but her mind is busy bluffing past a figment bouncer and into the glorious gothic yet brilliantly lit city where there’s fun but also trouble. Geoff submitted the short story – it’s only a half hour read – to Solstice Publishing, who loved it so much they published it as an ebook. It was a surreal experience for Geoff to be asked for cover art decisions, acknowledgements and blurb pages for a short story!
It’s out already for only 99 pence or dollar equivalent at http://mybook.to/ChaosOM
 

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In the research of Prime Meridian he stayed a Chingford hotel directly on the Prime Meridian and he spent a day walking that 0 degrees longitude from the northern to southern boundaries of London.

Your story ‘Prime Meridian’ appears in the Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park’s recent anthology Twisted Tales. What made you decide on that story?

Prime Meridian is my favourite story. It is part autobiographical in that the protagonist is a teacher, who is nothing special but has extraordinary things happen to him. In this case a grape-sized micrometeorite hits his house at the same time every day. He has to find out what’s happening before his home is a pile of rubble. For my research I stayed in a hotel in North London right on the prime meridian (the zero line of longitude) and hiked all the way to the southern edge of London all along that line. Readers who don’t embrace science fiction have delighted in discovering that it’s kind of SciFi and yet isn’t. Humour, character-driven threads and novel ideas are woven in. Great fun.

Did you find writing a short story easier or harder to write than what you’ve written in the past?

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Geoff Nelder

Writing is bloody hard work. I belong to Shorts Anonymous and have to confess I’m addicted to writing them, and have been for more decades than everyone else remembers. Novels? Dead easy. I’ve written eight, had six published, some with awards. Over 80 shorts published – each one costing me sweat and swearing. Some won awards and a few still earn me pennies. Novels give you time to develop characters, plot threads, false leads, be languid and live inside the beast. With shorts you have no damn time in, say, 2k to 10k words and yet the reader doesn’t want to feel hurried. Shorts are different animals to novels. I’m so excited, wound up, needy with my love/hate relationship with shorts I co-wrote a book on how to win short story competitions. How bad is that? Take me away!

Who has been an important influence on your journey as a writer?

Not my wife. She couldn’t give a flying fig unless I sneak her into one, but I value life too much. My car-crash journey as a writer has been steered by nutters such as Tibor Fischer with his crazy, marvellous novel, The Thought Gang. His mind for that story conjured the following: Fact 1 Bank robbers get away with it; Fact 2 Bank robbers are dumb; Idea gather a gang of unemployed philosophers to rob banks in France. Brilliant. He inspired my humorous thriller, Escaping Reality.

For shorts, I stumbled into that brilliant writing of A.L.Kennedy, e.g ., her Now That You’re Back. The skill of ALK’s writing is such that I hadn’t noticed until three-quarters through that collection that she hadn’t used any dialogue tags at all. Phrases I wish I’d written: ‘I have temporarily forgotten how to inhale’; ‘Something impatient about the sky.’

Allan Guthrie helped me tighten my writing so much it hurt. He’s the inventor of the article ‘Hunting down the pleonasm,’ agent, editor, writer of hard-nosed crime. Such a gent (get it?) that he suggested I slip my promo bookmarks into his Two-Way Split novel at his Edinburgh book signing.

What’s your next project?

Works in Progress include Xaghra’s Revenge—a historical fantasy based on the true event in 1551 when everyone on the island of Gozo were abducted by pirates. The ill and old were thrown overboard, the rest sold into slavery. Those souls are crying out for revenge. Yes?

Scoot is a series of illustrated stories for infants. He, his dog and friends, crash into surreal adventures inspired by my own grandkids. Something they can take into school to show off their author granddad rather than my scurrilous books for grownups.

I also write non-fiction. Articles for cycling magazines based on my longer journeys and odd ones such as one I’m dong now—cycling along the top of Offa’s Dyke.

Please share a little more of your writing background.

Dad illustrated a science fiction magazine and as a joke talked mum into having kids. I inherited his SOH and both their affection for science fiction. I wrote comedy sketches for my school players and was an editor and contributor to Sheffield university rag mag, sold for charity. I still see my awful gags around the web today for which I apologise.

A science fiction was my first novel, written (badly) while I was a teacher. Michael Crichton read it at Bloomsbury and it was praised then fell at the final committee fence. Gutted, I didn’t write another thing for hours. Later, I worked for the small publisher, BeWrite Books and became an editor at Adventure Books of Seattle. I still make more dosh editing other people’s stories than from my own but hey ho, it’s all creative writing.

Where can readers reach you?

Heck, I don’t want them to reach me. Have you any idea how often I’ve had to move house to get away from fans? Me neither. However, if they insist:

How to Win Short Story Competitions by Geoff Nelder & Dave Haslett Kindle http://hyperurl.co/283u9s

Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY

Geoff facebooks at http://www.facebook.com/AriaTrilogy and tweets at @geoffnelder

http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki

Geoff’s website http://geoffnelder.com

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Stay tuned for more Meet the Author interviews. If you like what you read in Twisted Tales you’re invited to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

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cropped-cropped-fbcoverthisishow.jpgJoseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Holmes, Poirot, and Japan Noir and you have a new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s Mistake , or Traitors & Lies – and to read how it all began, download my prequel novella Tokyo Summer at josephmarkbrewer.com

Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – an interview with Lubna Sengul

To paraphrase Forrest Gump (and his momma): “twisted is as twisted does”- so grab your ebook copy of Twisted Tales (or a print copy by clicking here), a Readers’ Choice selection of short fiction from Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park. Literary lies, epic yarns – it’s an eclectic collection of stories by authors from around the globe.

Twisted Tales 15LitLiesEpicYarnsFINAL

In today’s Meet the Authors series I’m delighted to welcome to the blog Lyubna Sengul

Julian: Rise Of The Prophecy appears in the Readers Circle of Avenue Park’s recent anthology Twisted Tales.  What made you decide on that story? 
Julian is actually the beginning of the sequel to my first novel The Danfians Prophecy.   The first three chapters of Julian can actually be read on their own, without reading the first book and the way it is left hanging adds mystery to it.  It can be read and enjoyed as a standalone short story.
Did you find writing a short story easier or harder to write than what you’ve written in the past?
Lubna

Lubna Sengul

I find writing any project, short, novels and play’s just as demanding as each other.  The creative energy is the same as I need for longer writing projects.   It is easier to edit a short story, less to look through.

Who has been an important influence on your journey as a writer?
My husband, Birtan, he encouraged me to do it and supported in my quest to become an author.
What’s your next project?
To complete Julian and to attempt to write another play and a sequel to another short story of mine, The Chronicles Of Natasha Khan.
Where can readers reach you?
Twitter: @Lubsen

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Stay tuned for more Meet the Author interviews. If you like what you read in Twisted Tales you’re invited to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Kurt Wallander and Japan Noir and you have a new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s Son and The Thief’s Mistake – and sign up for my monthly newsletter at josephmarkbrewer.com

Twisted Tales: Meet the Authors – An interview with Jean Gill

To paraphrase Forrest Gump (and his mom): “twisted is as twisted does”- so grab your free copy of Twisted Tales, a Readers’ Choice selection of short fiction from Readers’ Circle of Avenue Park. Literary lies, epic yarns – it’s a collection of eclectic stories by authors from around the globe. Twisted Tales 15LitLiesEpicYarnsFINAL

In today’s Meet the Authors series I’m delighted to welcome to the blog Jean Gill, author of The 13th Sign in Twisted Tales, for a chat about her story and her writing life.  Jean is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with a big white dog, a scruffy black dog, a Nikon D750 and a man. Her claim to fame is that she was the first woman to be secondary Head Teacher in Carmarthenshire. She has published 18 books, and is mother or stepmother to five children, so life is hectic.

Your story ‘The 13th Sign’ appears in the Readers Circle of Avenue Park’s recent anthology Twisted Tales. What made you decide on that story?

I think ‘Twisted Tales’ will appeal to adventurous readers who want to be surprised and entertained so I submitted a story that I hope does both. Will a naïve but gutsy youngster complete his coming-of-age ritual and be given his rightful place in a parallel universe? When the youngster is the constellation Ophiuchus, and the twelve established zodiac signs are stacking the magical odds against him, nothing can be taken for granted.

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Jean Gill

I’ve always loved the idea that, astronomically speaking, there should be a thirteenth zodiac sign but astrologers didn’t like the number thirteen – or any change at all. My zodiac sign is in fact Ophiuchus the Serpent-bearer and 13 is of course my lucky number. My books are now published by my own Indie imprint ‘The 13th Sign.’

Comic fantasy gives endless opportunities to poke fun at the world we live in and the personalities of the various Zodiac Signs might remind you of people you know. My ambition with this story is to follow in the steps of the master, Terry Pratchett. As he said, ‘writing is the most fun you can have by yourself.’

Did you find writing a short story easier or harder to write than what you’ve written in the past?

I’ve written and published many short stories, and was even a double prize-winner one year with London Inc’ International Writing Competition. My collection ‘One Sixth of a Gill’, free to those who subscribe to my Newsletter http://eepurl.com/AGvy5 contains poetry and shorts ‘to fit everyone’ and I enjoy the freedom of experimenting. I was first published as a poet and I like breaking rules in my work.

I was once part of a performance group of three writers in Wales, The West of Whitland Poets, and my friend, a short story author, was asked, ‘Do you think you’ll ever manage to write a novel?’ The idea that start with short stories and you write novels when you grow up as a writer is daft. What I’m after is the perfect marriage between content and form; I have hundreds of ideas and some have to be poems; some short stories; some novels; and I’ve written plays too.

Who has been an important influence on your journey as a writer?

I’ve been published every which-way, traditional and self-published, and have learned from many writers and editors over the years. Influences have been bad as well as good and I have my share of horror stories which put me off writing – but I always carried on and I’m so glad I did. You never forget your first acceptance from a publisher. Mine was when Outposts Poetry Journal published my poem Note from Guinevere to Lancelot. As poetry publishers get thousands of submissions each week, this was a big deal. My first editor and publisher (Johnathon Clifford of The National Poetry Foundation) was exceptional; he was one of those rare editors who can put their finger on what is wrong in a line of poetry and suggest an improvement. He encouraged me but was also fierce in rejection so I learned the three important lessons for any writer, from him: my work is good, it needs to be edited and improved, and rejections happen – get over it.

What’s your next project?

I’m researching Book IV of my 12th century Troubadours Quartet, historical fiction that tells the adventures of my fictional couple, Dragonetz and Estela, in the context of real events and characters in 1150 -1154. I’m feeling the pressure now because Book 1 won the Global Ebook for best Historical fiction and Book 3 is shortlisted for the Wishing Shelf Awards – the last book has to be good!

Book1, Song at Dawn is free http://smarturl.it/dawnsong so you can visit 12th century Provence and see whether you enjoy ‘Game of Thrones with real history.

Please share a little more of your background as a writer.

My writing had to run alongside my career in education, and my family, until 2003 and I’ve now published 18 books, including three translations (from the French). I write in many different genres, from modern family sagas, and historical novels to dog stories, poetry and a cookbook.

I never found a traditional publisher who loved all my work and it is both time-consuming and depressing to start submitting work afresh each new book so self-publishing suits me down to the ground. I do use a professional editor and cover-designer.

Where can readers reach you?

I love hearing from readers and anyone who reviews one of my books can send me a dog photo, with brief description, to go in my Readers’ Dogs Hall of Fame . http://jeangill.com/dogs/

Contact jean.gill@wanadoo.fr

Sign up for Jean’s Newsletter http://eepurl.com/AGvy5blogger1 banner

IPPY Award for Best Author Website www.jeangill.com

Blog www.jeangill.blogspot.com

Twitter  https://twitter.com/writerjeangill

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/writerjeangill

The Troubadours Page https://www.facebook.com/jeangilltroubadours

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4619468.Jean_Gill

Youtube book trailers https://www.youtube.com/user/beteljean

 

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Stay tuned for more Meet the Author interviews. If you like what you read in Twisted Tales you’re invited to leave a review on Amazon. Thanks!

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Kurt Wallander and Japan Noir and you have a new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s Son and The Thief’s Mistake – and sign up for my monthly newsletter at josephmarkbrewer.com

When It Comes to Writing, Just Do It

I have a friend who talks about writing, even goes through the motion of writing scenes, story arcs, dialogue, but he never really writes a word.

A word of fiction, that is. He’s written academic papers and feature stories for newspapers, and all manner of scenes, notes and such, but this notion of starting something just keeps buzzing around him like a fly in summer.

In a post called Rewrite the Story of Who You Are at the Writer’s Living blog, Monica Carter Tagore has a great advice on getting the words going.

Monica says, basically, the problem is in your head. “Look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I am a writer.'”

I wish I could get him to do this. He comes up with every excuse possible to avoid getting started. I wish I could get my friend to follow this advice: “Just promise yourself you’ll sit down and write for ten minutes or promise yourself you’ll write two pages. And that’s it.” I’ve known him for 30 years. We talk on the phone every week. He has read everything I’ve given him to read in the past five years. But he can’t seem to get going on his own work.

I think he just does not have it in him. I encourage him as much as I can. And I know he has not one great stories to tell, but two. He’s told them to me a thousands times, in bars, in living rooms, during car drives.

But write something down, page after page, day after day? Nope. I hate to say it, but long experience with this man tells me he’s going to be talking about this until the end of his days. And never a word written down found anywhere.

And this, I confess, inspires me to keep working on my stories every day. I, too, spent a lot of time talking about my writing but with little to show for it. That was some time ago. Now I have work on the verge of being publishable, and my journey through the writing life just might reach the land of publication sometime this year.

Because all I do was what Monica says to do: sit down and write for ten minutes or twenty or thirty, and write  two or four or six pages. Not in a journal. Not research notes. Not scenes or character sketches. I write the story.

And I think that’s all it comes down to: Just do it.

How do you get it done?

How Music Can Make You a Better Writer

How can music make you a better writer? Before I began writing and editing for a living, I was a music student studying voice and composition. In no way was I a musician, and after a year I dropped the scholarship. But later, when I began learning how to write, the theory and composition classes I took helped me understand that story structure is a lot like musical structure. Melody, harmony, rhythm — it all can be applied to writing.

Think about a favorite piece of music. A short story is like a track off a CD. A novel is like a symphony or concerto, and its chapters the movements. Like all good stories, music has central characters (the theme), multilayered conflict (melody, harmony, point, counterpoint); changes in mood (loud passages, quiet moments, instrumental solos),  and enough peaks and valleys to take the listener on an entertaining ride. One of the reasons why Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and it’s glorious finale “Ode to Joy” is so popular is that the piece has just about everything a good novel has: a strong central theme, dramatic flourishes, appealing solos, changes in mood, and a strong finish. If you go back and begin reading your chapters, can you hear the music? Can you think of it as a song?

What if you don’t know a symphony from a telephone book? Tell the story in terms of pop music. All the same elements are there. A pop or country song’s standard format is  verse, bridge, chorus. The theme of the story and the story itself is in the verses; the chorus repeats the theme, and the bridge — often the best part — can provide all types of opportunities for twist or a surprise ending.  Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back (or never sees her again): it’s the stuff of literature — and the Billboard Top 100.

If all your usual tricks don’t seem to be sparking your imagination, trying thinking of your  story as a song.  Maybe the music will help you add another dimension to your writing.

Here’s someone who is doing it right

ImageToday I met Judy Christie. Well, not in person. Through the Writer’s Digest online posting I get. The article is called “The No. 1 Tip of Successful Writers.” I have no idea how much Judy is like me: I’m not a woman, I’m not married, I don’t live in Louisiana, and I don’t have a bunch of books published. But she talks about the same thing I share with writers whenever I can: Just write.

Judy says, “But I have noticed bestselling authors had something in common. Despite differences in genre, style, voice, settings or character, they developed a writing habit.

“After years of procrastination and fear, that lesson helped me write my first novel and five since.

“When I flounder as a writer, it’s because I’m inconsistent with my daily writing discipline. When I produce my best stories, I rely on that basic lesson from the masters – words on the page.

“I’m almost embarrassed to admit that on my most rewarding and productive writing days, I use a kitchen timer, set for an hour at a time. I track how many hours I actually write — as opposed to time spent Tweeting, Facebooking or wandering around my friends’ blogs.

“You’d think at age fifty-five I wouldn’t need such a trick, but, after all, it took me fifty years to write a novel.”

That’s what caught my attention. I’ve had stories swirl around in my head for years, wrote many of them, even sent out submissions during my 40s, but NEVER TOOK IT SERIOUSLY. My favorite line is “Life gets in the way.”

Well, of course it does. OK, full-time moms with tots and husbands and cooking and cleaning, you can stop laughing. Everyone makes excuses. And they’re all bad. Thing is, when I turned 50, I had the same epiphany. I have to start taking my writing seriously. How did I do that?

Write every day.

I don’t use a kitchen timer  and count my words (although that’s a heckuva good idea), but I write. Every day. And I have short story collections and novels to show for it.

But the difference between Judy and me is I haven’t been published. Because I haven’t submitted anything. Not since 2002.

That was 10 years ago. Writing doesn’t do anyone any good if it’s not published. And I am America’s Most Wanted in using every excuse in the book for not submitting stories for publication.

Weird, huh?

OK, now you know.

As we speak I’m getting feedback on a query letter for a detective novel I’ve written that I hope will see the light of day sometime soon. (Some of the chapters are posted on this blog, as are some other stories. Feel free to read and comment!)

But I’m approaching 55 myself, and I don’t have near the success Judy does.

She’s my inspiration.

And I hope she inspires you, too.

Here’s a link to Judy’s article.

http://tinyurl.com/9xzn7ok

Do you write every day? What are your secrets or tricks?