"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thankful Every Day

It's Thanksgiving season here in the United States. This holiday often gets overlooked in America because everyone is in such a hurry to get to the Christmas festivities. However, it's still one of my favorite holidays. This is a special time to celebrate your loved ones, friends, fortunes, and good food.

As a thank-you to my readers and fellow bloggers, I wanted to share a short Thanksgiving romantic fiction piece I wrote (about 800 words). I hope you enjoy!

Thankful Every Day

Grace stepped back after placing the last dish upon the table. The smell of roasted turkey filled the air. Her customary dressing, green beans, rolls, and chocolate chip cookies sat nearby. Why had she thought cooking a full Thanksgiving meal would make her feel better?
Tears stung, “It’s just the onions,” she whispered to the empty room. For the first time in more than twenty years her home was quiet on this holiday.
I’ll just watch an old movie, maybe read a good book, and enjoy all this food. At least leftovers will mean I won’t have to leave the house on Black Friday.
Knocking at the door startled her.
She walked quickly to the side window to peek out. Who on earth…
“Grace, it’s me.”
“Bill?” she swung the door wide. “I thought you would be in Louisiana with your daughter and her family?”
“Me too. Her husband called early this morning. She and the girls have the flu.”
“That’s terrible.”
He grunted his agreement and then took in the scene at the table. “I’m sorry if I’ve interrupted. I just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Nonsense, you’re not interrupting. You’re staying for a proper Thanksgiving. I hope you’re hungry.” She pulled Bill further into the room so she could close the door behind him.
A look of relief crossed his face before he smiled at her. His smile soon turned to a light chuckle.
He reached out a large callused hand and cupped her cheek briefly before wiping her nose and chin with his thumb. Sensations jolted through her and it was all she could do to prevent herself from leaning into him.
“Flour,” his voice seemed somehow thicker when he removed a white powdered hand from her face.
Grace laughed nervously. Why did she feel anxious and giddy? She had known Bill for years. He was the best neighbor a single mother could hope for. His daughter was a few years older than her two girls. Bill had already been a widow when she moved here. He helped her keep her house in working order, and she had helped his daughter with more feminine tasks such as picking out prom dresses, shoe shopping, and boy gossip. Since those earliest days, they had all been good friends.
Now, the girls were all grown. His daughter with a family of her own, and both of her girls were off to college, the youngest having just left in September. Grace shook her head to dispel the sadness.
“Let’s wash up. Then we can eat.”
As they ate, they visited about changes to each family over the years.
“Do you ever think about getting remarried?” he asked her later over cookies and coffee.
“I don’t know if I could. You?”
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.”
She stared into his grey eyes with the familiar laugh lines around the edges. He was so very attractive. She felt a tinge of something she couldn’t quite identify and she frowned.
“Is something wrong?”
“No,” she drew out the word before continuing. “Honestly, I’ve been a little surprised that someone hasn’t lassoed you yet. I just assumed you were a committed bachelor.”
“I have been, but now I’m hoping to be committed to someone.”
“Oh,” unease spread through her limbs. I bet it’s Ms. Hanks from church. She’s always doting on him, bringing casseroles and pies by his house. She should probably be happy for the two of them, but somehow she felt something closer to jealousy and anger. He had been a part of her life for so long now. She had come to rely on Bill, and expect him to be around. She was being selfish and he was staring at her intently. “I’ll clean up while you turn on the television. The Cowboys game should be starting soon.”
“Grace,” he grabbed her hand when she started to rise. She fell back into her chair, unable to meet his gaze. “The truth is, I’ve been committed to this woman for a long time now, but I was afraid she wasn’t ready.”
She looked up when he didn’t say anything more. He still held her hand and seemed to be waiting for her to speak. She swallowed hard before offering a smile. “Don’t worry, Bill. I’m sure she’ll accept.”
“Will you?”
Her shock must have been obvious. He squeezed her hand.
“Grace, I’ve been thankful every day since you moved in that you were a part of my life. We practically raised our girls together. I love you and I want you by my side for the rest of our days.”

It took a moment to find her voice, but the anxiety evident in his eyes helped. “I love you too, and I’ll be thankful every day I get to be your wife.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Writing for Veterans

Thank-you to all veterans and active military. We may not show it enough, but you are so very appreciated!
A few years ago my interview of Vietnam War Veteran and author Tim O’Brien appeared in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 2. Since then, the publishers have continued the tradition of supporting our troops.

This yearly anthology presents essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and photography by military-service personnel, veterans, and their families. It is an annual series published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council's Veterans Projects and the Warriors Arts Alliance. 

"The stories and poems of service and sacrifice are essential in understanding what has so broadly been termed 'the American experience.' For me, Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors is required reading and worthy of a thousand tears."     ―St. Leger Monty Joynes, veteran, Vietnam
Books can now be ordered from the Southeast Missouri State University Press and Amazon. 

Interested in submitting to Volume 7? They are already accepting submissions which are due by June 1, 2018. Contests and prizes will be awarded in each of the five categories. To learn more, please visit:  http://www.semopress.com/events/proud-to-be-writing-by-american-warriors/

Interested in more "support America" reads? Chicken Soup for the Soul publishers have several books honoring veterans and their families as well. Try some of their titles such as: Military Families and The Spirit of America.

Interested in reading more veteran related material? Try Noir and Returning War Vet Sub-Genre, or Being a Veteran.

Have you written with our military in mind? What military reads would you recommend?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

3 Goals for Creating Better Villains

About a month ago I wrote a post called Crafting the VillainIn it, I mentioned the three types of villains I found most interesting and briefly discussed my own goals in creating better villains. 

Today, I thought I would share three goals I’ve been attempting to follow when fleshing out my manuscripts this month.

     1.      Give the villain purpose – their goal should be noble in their own minds and both believable and understandable if not outright condoned by the reader. They can’t just exist to be against the hero. Why are these two on opposing sides? What led them to make the villainous choices? Are they a more noble villain such as Robin Hood who steals from the rich to save the poor? Or are they motivated by betrayal such as in the Disney reimagining of Maleficient? Remember, your villain believes they are in the right. Making their intentions logical and relatable even when corrupt or unjust creates a complicated and interesting situation. The lines between good and evil will blur. The reader may well find themselves rooting for the villains success even as they root for the hero to prevail.
2.      Make them human – even if they possess out of this world powers or abilities, they should be relatable. They have emotions, quirks, and struggles, just like your other characters. No one was always 100% evil. Think about Anakin Skywalker: “there is still good in him”. Or Frankenstein’s monster. Even after the most hideous crimes, they were still capable of a selfless act and audiences wanted them to succeed. Why? Because they were relatable. Their loneliness, depression, and mistakes endeared them to us. If your villain is a group instead of an individual, choose an individual to represent the larger corporation or government body. That representative becomes your humanizing influence.
     3.      Make them create conflict – of course intentionally, but I like the idea of unintentional as well. Whether your antagonist is simply a liar and a cheat, or an outright mass murderer, decide early on how they contradict the hero’s goal(s). Then decide how badly your villain craves their own goal? Is it enough to hurt a few others, unlimited numbers, or even their own loved ones? Every villain has something or someone they care about and would save. What is your villain’s? What happens when their goal costs them what they treasure most? Think of Loki after his mother dies.

Most writers focus on how the stakes affect the hero, but what about the stakes for the villain? How do these circumstances affect their loved ones, or the fate of the world? Great villains are just as complicated, relatable, and even likable as the heroes. That’s what makes them memorable.

Who are some of your favorite villains? Why?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

November is here, and we are preparing for Thanksgiving in the United States. You can read my article  Hassle Free Thanksgiving Planning in the November issue of Thrive.

However, this also means Christmas is right around the corner. Many people, and especially stores, seem to gloss right over Thanksgiving and head straight into the Christmas season. Hallmark channels are already playing Christmas movies 24/7 - and yes I'm one of the sappy females already watching and recording them.

My house may be decorated for Thanksgiving now, but I am also enjoying several Christmas books as well. I would like to recommend a new release: 12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Book 1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas.

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancĂ©, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series--a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale--by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.

Reminiscent of an Agatha Christie book, this tale is a quick and moderately enjoyable read. Fans of the movies Murder by Death and Clue may enjoy it as well. 

This book started out strong, but about half way through it some of the circumstances and character reasoning no longer worked for me. I didn't feel as strong a connection to the atmosphere or people in the second half of the book. Characters and situations became too predictable, and the ending was only moderately satisfying and believable. An interesting twist happens, but I never felt like that was fully fleshed out.

This was still a light and somewhat enjoyable read that I think others may enjoy. The cover design and packaging were beautifully appropriate to the genre of the book. Overall, I would give this story 3.5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review

Are you preparing for Thanksgiving, and/or enjoying the beginnings of the Christmas season?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

IWSG: NaNoWriMo Participation

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

NOVEMBER QUESTION: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

MY ANSWER: I tried NaNo about three times. I didn't finish any of them because each of those years, my youngest daughter went into the hospital in November. While logically I know this had nothing to do with NaNo, I'm almost too superstitious to try it again. I do see the appeal of writing under deadline with a daily goal, but that system doesn't work for everyone. I know several authors who met the 50,000 word goal, however, the result was mostly trash because they gave up on the story just trying to get words on paper. They never went back to those projects. Likewise, I know several people that method worked well for, and yes they went on to publish those projects (buth traditionally and self-pub). I'm a big believer in finding what works for you without feeling the need to compare yourself to others.

Have you tried NaNo? What has been your experience. Will you try it this year?

Monday, October 30, 2017

Recommended Halloween Reads

It's Halloween and time to suggest some thrilling stories!

I recommend trying something new like "Black Cat Magazine". I've also suggested these hauntingly fun reads.

If you're looking for something a little lighter, try my romantic Halloween short story (about 800 words): Madame Tooshkas Spell.

What scary reads do you recommend?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Blogiversary and Giveaways

It's official! I have now been a part of the blogging world for SEVEN years!

To celebrate, I am offering a few FREE READS:

1) Anyone who wants a FREE copy of my short story "Broken Angel" can receive a pdf version by leaving a comment below, or you can also email me at: writinginwonderland(at)gmail(dot)com. Simply let me know where to send your copy. This promotion is good through November 1st.
2) Madame Tooshkas Spell - Halloween short story (romance) about 800 words.


Dancing Lemur Press is running a special all October - buy one audio book, get one free.
Buy any of the eleven Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. audio books in October 2017 from either iTunes, Amazon, or Audible. Send a copy of your receipt (less any payment info) along with your 1st and 2nd choice of free audio book to inquiriesATdancinglemurpressllc.com. You will receive a code for a free audio book download. You can choose your free book from these ten titles: 
He Gave Me Barn Cats by Maria Santomasso-Hyde, The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, Tornado Warning by Tamara Hart Heiner, CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh, CassaFire by Alex J. Cavanaugh, CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain, Matowak: Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler, Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure, and Dragon of the Stars by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Writing for Profit

From writing to publishing to marketing, the Insecure Writer's Support Group members provide tips on making money as a writer. This guide represents the spirit of the IWSG - to encourage and support writers everywhere! It is our hope that this book will benefit you as a writer, no matter where you are in the journey.

EBook ISBN 9781939844453 FREE
Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Monday, October 16, 2017

Trying Something New: Black Cat

While I enjoy the works of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I must confess mystery has never been my most prolific genre. Don't get me wrong, I love a good thriller. I just usually prefer something a little lighter when reading for pleasure (yes, I'm a huge fan of the romance genre. I love Happily Ever Afters).

I have, however, enjoyed more than a few issues of the mystery magazines such as Alfred Hitchcock Mystery and Ellery Queen. Oddly enough, I've not once read an issue of Sherlock Holmes mystery magazine. None of the stores in my area carry it, so...

I've often wondered over the reason these mystery magazines are still so successful, yet others have floundered by the wayside. Most genres no longer have print magazines dedicated solely to their market. Not only do these suspense magazines continue, a new contender has just been introduced.

Black Cat Mystery Magazine just launched its inaugural issue this past month. A production of Wildside Press, this magazine is slated to issue quarterly. I just received my copy of issue one, and hope to delve in soon. I've already recognized several author names (if you follow the SleuthSayers blog you will recognize them as well). If you're interested in learning more, you can read an interview with the editor, here.

Have you checked out this new publication yet? Are you a mystery magazine reader? Who is your favorite mystery writer?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday the 13th!

Welcome, foolish mortals... 

It's Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious? Does this day mean anything to you?

I love when the 13th falls on a Friday in the month of October - a time already filled with dress-up, horror, fantasy, thrillers, and ghost stories! Whether you believe in them, or not, it can be great fun to gather together to share those spooktacular traditions.

Do you write thrillers? If you're interested, don't forget to check out the submission call for the Insecure Writers Suppot Group Anthology Contest which is due November 1st. For more information, click here:  http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/2017/09/insecure-writers-support-group-and.html

Also available this month, Dancing Lemur Press is running a special - buy one audio book and get one FREE. Buy any of the eleven Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. audio books in October 2017 from either iTunes, Amazon, or Audible, including my five audio books, and get another one of their titles for free. 

What rituals are you partaking in today? Are you submitting to the IWSG Anthology?


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Crafting the Villain

It's confession time. I've been guilty of ignoring the bad guy.

A few years ago I realized why I wasn't happy with my fiction. I had been guilty of creating flat villains. They were simply in the story so the hero/heroine had an enemy. However, there wasn't a whole lot to them. They were boring, cardboard creations for my protagonists to react to. That's it.

There's an old saying that actors would much rather play the bad guy than the good. Why? Because they can be just as, if not more, interesting and in depth than the hero. The same can certainly be said of writing stories as well.

I began reading specifically to study villains. I soon realized there were three types of antagonists I found the most interesting.

1) The villain as the complete opposite of the hero - this could be in looks, experiences, preferences, or abilities.
2) A villain who is just like the hero except with one major difference. This shows how easily the protagonist could have become the villain, or how close the antagonist came to being the hero.
3) The hero and villain is one character. "Every villain is a hero of his or her own story" - Christopher Vogler in The Writer's Journey.

I tried to keep all of this in mind when I created my short story "Broken Angel." I was so pleased with the outcome that I've dedicated myself to crafting better villains. I'm revisiting old manuscripts that I felt were weak so that I can flesh out the villains side of the tale.

I have a few ideas for new stories as well, and it's difficult to focus on one at a time. However, I'm too excited about the possibilities now to give up. So, I'm diving into villainy to save my manuscripts.

How about you? Have you been guilty of ignoring your villain? Who are some of your favorite villains?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG: Personalized Characters

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

OCTOBER QUESTION: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

My Answer - Yes, there is a little of me in every heroine I create, a little of my husband in every hero, and a little of anyone who aggravates me in my villains ;-)

How about you? Do you ever include personal details in your character creation?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fall Reads

Fall has finally arrived, although temperatures in our area haven't dropped much and usually still feel like summer. Orange decor, and pumpkin everything seems to be surrounding us amidst continued clean-up after Hurricane Harvey. 

If you prefer to stay home cuddled up with a good book instead of heading out to crowds celebrating seasonal festivals, try one of my suggestions from 10 Scary Reads to Terrify Your Inner Child.

Interested in FREE scary books? Try one of these!

Need a last minute costume idea? Try one of these 10-Minute Lliterary Halloween Costumes and dress like your favorite characters.

How are you celebrating this season?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

IWSG Updates

The next #IWSGPit  is Thursday, January 18, 2018!
There is already a list of over three hundred agents and publishers and administrators will continue to add to that list through the end of the year.
October 4 is the next IWSG post day and it’s also the Show Your Writer Insecurity contest. Prepare your photos and post them on your blog that day. Cool prizes for the winners!

And the deadline for the next IWSG Anthology Contest is November 1. The genre is mystery/crime/thriller and the theme is Tick Tock. 
This is a great opportunity to see your work in a royalty-paying anthology. 

See the IWSG site for full details.

Will you be participating in any of these events?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hopeful After Harvey

Hello all!

I hate that I haven't been around to visit much lately, but I know anyone keeping up with us will understand. My parents lost pretty much everything due to Hurricane Harvey. Dozens of friends and family members are in the same situation. The recovery process will be long and painful for many.

Insurance and construction companies are saying it may be as much as four or five years before some are back in a home. Meanwhile, many have lost their homes, vehicles, and jobs. Some are simply moving as far away from the coast as possible to start over. Others have chosen a more gruesome approach. The suicide rate is up - some of them in a very public way.

Many are struggling. Many are depressed and angry. Many are still offering as much help and hope as possible.

While my writing has taken another dive lately, I'm still reading some excellent books. I wanted to share three helpful and hopeful reads with you.

Carey Scott, author, speaker, and certified Biblical Life Coach, invites you to journey alongside her as she introduces you to women from the Word who chose to live uncommon lives even in the toughest circumstances. From stepping into scandalous situations to breaking cultural norms to risking the departure of a comfortable life, you will discover hope and motivation to live God’s way in a world that screams, “Tuck your faith away! Just be normal like everyone else!”

Now more than ever, it's time to step into something new. . .something life-changing and life-giving. God is asking you to shine Him into a world that needs to know there is a better way to live. And when you say yes to becoming uncommon, it's a radical act of obedience to the One who created you to be extraordinary.  Uncommon offers personal stories, insights, life lessons, questions for further reflection, and biblical support written especially for women.

With authenticity, vulnerability, humor, refreshing boldness and anchored in the Beatitudes, Uncommon will empower you to rise up. . .to reject the common. . .to embrace your calling. . . and to live in a way that points others to God. Buckle up, friend. It's time to be uncommon.

I absolutely LOVED this book and have revisited several sections already. A definite must read for anyone struggling with ANY situation!

Journey now to Ruby City, Idaho of 1866 where...
A Marriage Mishap Creates an Awkward Love Triangle in this Silver Mining Town
Looking forward to a quiet life and a full stomach, mail-order bride Rebecca Rice is pleased to marry her shopkeeper intended, Mr. Fordham, until the justice of the peace calls him Thaddeus, not Theodore—proceeded by the title Deputy.

Is it possible to marry the wrong man?

When the newlyweds realize they’ve married the wrong partners with similar names, an annulment seems in order—and fast, since Rebecca’s true intended is impatient to claim her as his own, not to mention Rebecca would never marry a lawman like her father. But when the legalities take longer than expected, Rebecca wonders if Tad wasn’t the right husband for her all along. . . .

This quick and simple read may be slightly predictable, but it's still highly enjoyable. 

Life is a journey of joyful moments and painful moments, including twists and turns that threaten to undo us. But if we allow God to work through the joy and the pain, that journey can lead to the life-sustaining richness of His Grace and an intimate relationship with Him. That truth is the core of international speaker and teacher Darlene Sala’s new women’s devotional, Journey into Grace. With Darlene’s heartfelt voice alongside two coauthors, including her daughter, Bonnie, the 150 readings explore themes such as fear, forgiveness, learning, loving, prayer, and relationships.

This book offers women quiet moments with God as they bring their real life challenges to His feet.

While I have not yet read all of these devotions, what I have read so far has held nuggets of truth and true meaning. I look forward to reading more.

I received a complimentary copy of these books from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

What reads would you recommend to down trodden souls seeking hope and/or a great book to disappear into?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Top Writing Blogs

A special "thank-you" to Tiana at 10greatest.com for mentioning my blog in her list of top ten blogs worth visiting. 

She mentioned me, and featured Writing in Wonderland in her list of top business bloggers in her article which can be found here: http://www.10greatest.com/top-writing-blogs/

She also shared links to some other great writers, and created this special badge to share.

It's always great to connect and share common interests with new readers, and other writers. Thanks so much Tiana!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

IWSG Anthology Contest

It's time for another Insecure Writers Support Group Anthology Contest! A special thank-you to the IWSG administrators, organizers, aids, judges, and Dancing Lemur Press for continuing to create these opportunities for our members. Below is the information for this years contest.

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence. 

Story deadline: November 1st 2017

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.

Elizabeth S. Craig writes cozy mystery series for Penguin Random House, Midnight Ink, and independently. She curates links on Twitter as @elizabethscraig that are later shared in the free search engine Writers Knowledge Base.

Anne Hawkins is a partner in John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., New York. Founded in 1893 by Paul R. Reynolds, it is the oldest literary agency in the country. She works with mainstream literary and commercial fiction, including mystery, suspense, and thrillers and a wide variety of serious non-fiction, particularly history, politics, biography, science, and natural history. A number of her books have gained distinction through award nominations, book-to-film contracts, significant foreign rights sales, major book club selections, or placement on the New York Times bestseller list. Anne Hawkins is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives.

Candace Havens is the Editorial Director of Covet has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists, runs a free online writing workshop, and teaches comprehensive writing class.

Author, Public Speaker, and Executive Producer, Lynn Tincher was born just outside of Louisville, Kentucky in the beautiful city of La Grange. She has written four books, with the fifth one currently in the making. Her first book, Afterthoughts was optioned for movie production by Kilted Pictures and Dancing Forward Productions in Los Angeles. It is currently in pre-production with plans to shoot in Louisville, Kentucky very soon.

Ion Newcombe is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia's longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. His qualifications and employment range from horticulture through electronics into literature and communications.

Patricia (Pat) Stoltey is the author of four crime fiction novels published by Five Star/Cengage including a historical mystery called Wishing Caswell Dead (https://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Caswell-Dead-Patricia-Stoltey/dp/1432834401/) (December 2017). She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Sassy Dog, and Katie Cat. To learn more about Patricia and her books, visit her website/blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Mason Canyon had a love of books since childhood encouraged by a mother who loved to read. A 30+year career in journalism fueled her desire to know what a story is all about. Blogging at Thoughts in Progress since 2009 and operating MC Book Tours for over a year. Loves to read and share great stories with others. MC Book Tours

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. 

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word! 

I might have to submit to this one. How about you?

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Surprised Writing

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

SEPTEMBER QUESTION: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? (For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in?)

My Answer - Yes, two of my favorite published pieces "WIN" (a new genre for me which was published in the IWSG PARALLELS anthology) and "Family of Rejects" (published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot) are both pieces I am particularly proud of producing. I won't talk about unpublished pieces yet.

I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised with some of your own writing!

If you're keeping up with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, you can read my post yesterday, or follow my facebook feed.