Wife, Mommy, Urban Fantasy Author, Artist, Actress, Director... I'm only as old as I feel and I try to see the good in everyone. I take life one day at a time and focus only on the moment I'm in without fear or worry about the past or the future.
Virtual Poetry Reading – Episode 1 A #TheRedheadedAuthor Production
INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE:
The Story of Alice by Amanda Porter ~ Read by Tanja Miller
Desperately Falling by Nina Soden ~ Read by Jacinda Rose Swinehart-Johnson
How I Let Myself be Happy in 3 Steps by Chloe Long ~ Read by Megan Tompkins
What Was by Jason M. Summer ~ Read by Michael Anders
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe ~ Read by John Miller
This novel is the first book in Willow Rose’s electrifying new Harry Hunter series.
Detective Harry Hunter of Miami PD’s homicide squad throws himself into a case no one asked him to solve.
Four teenagers from one of Miami’s affluent neighborhoods are murdered on a boat. Another is found in a dumpster. All five of them go to the same school and are on a list of witnesses to another crime.
Because he’s in bad standing with his boss, Harry is given the task of protecting a possible future victim, but Harry isn’t always known to follow his boss’s orders.
Soon, he’ll risk everything while racing to stop a killer who has left everyone else in the homicide squad shaking in terror.
ALL THE GOOD GIRLS is the first book in the Harry Hunter Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.
Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.
She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.
Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting page turners with twists you won’t see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books.
Willow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
O.J. Barré hails from the lushly forested, red-clay hills near Atlanta, Georgia. From birth, O.J. was a force of nature. Barefoot and freckled, headstrong and gifted, she was, and is, sensitive to a fault. Books became her refuge as a young child, allowing O.J. to escape her turbulent alcoholic home on adventures to untold places and times. Her daddy’s mother was a Willoughby, making O.J. a direct descendant of William the Conqueror. Her Awen series is a love letter to that distant past.
In 2042, evil Reptilian aliens plot to destroy Humanity. Only one Druid can save our world.
Everything is going wrong for Emily Hester. She’s lost her fiancé, her nerve, and her career as a Disaster Specialist. Now a storm wielding witch is on her trail. She needs a new identity and somewhere to run.
What Emily doesn’t know is that the Awen Order of Druids is searching for her. Nor that she’s their only hope for saving the world. Can the druids’ dragon keepers find Emily in time to claim her legacy? Or will the reptilian horde overwhelm our world?
Awen Rising is the first book in the exciting Awen trilogy. If you like original stories with imperfect heroines, you’ll love O. J. Barré’s pre-apocalyptic urban fantasy set in a magical world with explosive action, strong-willed characters, and a great plot.
To be whisked away to the near-future with druids and dragons, and nasty reptilians with technology that rivals ours, buy your copy of Awen Rising today.
In 2042, Reptilian aliens plot to destroy Humanity.
The Awen Order of Druids has named Emily Hester as its new leader. Unfortunately, she’s no heroine, and her magic needs work. Her long-awaited date with the druid priest has ended in disaster. Now she’s stranded on a ledge in Zoo Atlanta with a dragon breathing down her neck.
Worse, the Reptilians are amassing inside the planet. They despise humans. They have no souls. And if they find a way out, our world is doomed. Can Emily escape and seize her magical powers? Or will Earth be left to the mercy of these monsters?
Awen Storm is the second book in the delightful Awen trilogy. If you like original stories with imperfect heroines, you’ll love O. J. Barré’s pre-apocalyptic urban fantasy with engaging characters, intriguing world-building, and a fascinating storyline.
To visit the near-future in which a secret society of druids defends Earth, and reptilian aliens rule the vast world beneath us, buy Awen Storm today.
DL White is an Atlanta based author of women’s fiction and romance, centering Black men and women. She began seriously pursuing a writing career in 2011.
She has a deep and abiding love for coffee and Sunday Brunch, especially on a patio, but her true obsession is water— lakes, rivers, oceans, waterfalls.
By day she is an Executive Administrative Assistant for a billion dollar beverage brand. By night, when not writing books, she devours them and blogs reviews and thoughts on writing at BooksbyDLWhite.com.
Angie Blake and Preston Reid are oil and water, fire and ice. Whether it’s in the courtroom, where they’re always in opposition, or in their personal lives, they don’t mix.
Nearly two decades have passed since they were high school sweethearts and split in an emotional firestorm, but their best friends are dating, and now engaged so they haven’t had a moment’s peace from each other. And they won’t get one since the soon to be newlyweds have roped Angie and Preston into planning their destination wedding. They’ve been tasked with organizing the most romantic, memorable event of their lives without tearing apart the lifelong foursome in the process.
Angie and Preston are wise to this game. This clever ploy to push them back together in the hopes that their long-dead romance will rekindle couldn’t possibly work.
There’s a thin line between love and hate.
**Only .99 cents May 22-24, and then only $1.99 May 25 – 29!!**
Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card?Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I’m kind of a super boring person… I normally say that I can read upside down and backwards. Aside from writing, those are my only talents!
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
So, remember Mark Furhman, the LAPD Detective in the OJ Trial? I used to work with him. After that trial he moved to the Northwest, where I used to live. I’m in his book about Robert Lee Yates, Jr, a serial killer in my hometown. Mark pretty much solved that case, then wrote a book about it. He also co-hosted a crime talk show at the radio station where I worked and when he would come in once a week, I’d greet him with, “well, it must be Thursday. Mark’s here. Dude wore the tightest jeans ever and cowboy boots. He never gave me any issues, but we kept a wide berth of social distance, LOL.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Late people. Wasting my time. Treating me like I’m stupid.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I’m an Air Force kid, so we moved around some. Spent some time in Rapid City South Dakota (COLD!) and Spokane Washington (not Seattle, near Idaho, also COLD) and moved to Georgia in 2003 because it is not cold here.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I do a lot of reading. A LOT of reading. I read about 150 books a year and pretty much always have a book going. I also watch a lot of Law and Order, the original series.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Direct, passionate, calm, funny, personable.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve never not considered myself a writer. I considered myself an author when I pubbed my first novel and got an author account at Amazon/ Goodreads.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Not really but if Steel Magnolias, The Shawshank Redemption or Remember the Titans comes on, I’m watching it. Commercials and all.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I mean any of them would be fun. Curl & Dye would be super cute, I imagine it like Beauty Shop/Barber shop with a little enemies to lovers, second chance romance story line.
The Time Is Write: How Making Time to Write Each Day Helps Keep Me Grounded (Guest post by Desiree Villena)
Lately, time seems to have lost all its usual meaning. When everything is done at home, the divide between work and leisure becomes hazy — one long, delirious blur without our typical routines to divide the days. This can make it hard to maintain momentum in your writing, especially when you feel a million competing voices in your head telling you all the things you should be doing: working harder, spending time with family, reading more, sleeping more…
I, too, often struggle with how to balance my creative projects with personal and professional demands. But though structure may have vanished, there’s still the same number of hours in a day. I’ve found that carving out dedicated writing time, even if it’s just a little bit every day, helps me regain a sense of meaning — I can’t control what goes on in the world outside, but I can control what happens in my stories.
Whether you’re writing a book that you hope to publish soon or crafting tales purely for your own enjoyment, writing for even a small portion of each day can do wonders for your artistic and emotional health. Here, I outline my approach to balancing writing with my other commitments, and delve into how working on my stories keeps me from feeling overwhelmed in the chaos.
Making use of small moments
Maybe you’ve already got a consistent writing schedule that keeps you on track — but for most of us, that’s a hard thing to establish! Building a reliable writing routine has been something that plagues even the most dedicated of authors. Personally, I’ve never quite been able to commit to a strict writing routine. While sometimes I wish I could make myself write at the same time every day or hit concrete targets, life is too unpredictable, and I’ve come to realize different writing tips work for different people!
Especially when you have a full-time job, a family, or other obligations that require your time and mental energy, dedicating hours of each day simply to write can feel like an unrealistic luxury. So my philosophy is to allow myself flexibility to write when I can, taking advantage of small pockets of time. Morning runs can occasionally serve as great brainstorming sessions, and gaps between meetings can be a great time to start outlining my next chapter. I even find myself jotting down ideas while watching TV or doing chores — inspiration can strike at strange times.
Writing does not have to be a 9-to-5 job or a non-stop marathon. Everyone writes at their own pace, and little chunks of time can quickly add up to great progress. Breaking up your day with short bursts of creativity can also help replenish your energy, giving you something to look forward to throughout the day.
Keeping my vision in sight
Dedicating at least small bits of each day to writing also gives me a sense of purpose as an author. Every day, I’m asking myself to treat writing seriously, and reminding myself why I write in the first place: while it can be challenging, especially when I’m struggling with a difficult passage or trying to edit, it is also an immense joy to bring characters to life on the page.
Keeping in mind my larger vision for each project also gives me something concrete to work toward — thinking about what this short story might look like when it’s complete, or where this character arc goes. Imagining my future readers once my work is published also helps give me a sense of purpose as I try to write stories that resonate. I ask myself questions like How would I describe this book? Why does it matter to me? Keeping sight of what I’m trying to write and why I’m writing serves as a potent reminder of why my work matters, even in confusing times.
Turning each day into a non-zero day
My philosophy of writing is dedicated to the idea of the “non-zero day”: doing something each and every day to advance toward my goal, even if it’s a tiny step forward. Progress is progress, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to tackle a challenge like “finish a story” or “edit a draft” — setting small, achievable, goals is a great way to keep myself motivated.
I aim to do a little something every day to stay grounded in my writing habits. Even if I’m not adding a single sentence to my work in progress, I can find other ways to still develop my craft: doing research, sketching out character backstory, or reading other books for inspiration. If you’re stuck on a book you’re writing, you might spend time looking at comparable titles, thinking about how’ll market your finished work to your audience, or developing your author website — granting each day a sense of purpose.
Giving myself freedom to explore
Even with all my strategies for maintaining inspiration, writer’s block inevitably hits sometimes. When this happens, I often find it helpful to allow myself to use “imperfect words” and freewrite without filtering.
The goal of freewriting is to write unhindered by self-consciousness or the expectation that a story has to be immediately polished. I go wherever my mind takes me. That means, if I feel inspired to take a total detour from my current project by starting a story in a new genre or embodying a silly new character, I let myself go for it! Sometimes using a creative writing prompt or taking part in a writing challenge also helps me regain that spark of imagination.
I never want to lose sight of the passion that urges me to write in the first place. That’s why my approach to my writing is to make it a funhabit — like a daily treat, not a job or chore. When I feel overwhelmed by what today might hold or wonder what tomorrow might look like, writing grounds me in the present moment — harnessing the emotion and noise of the world and making today count.
Lately I have been especially grateful for each sentence I put on the page. Even as we lose our sense of time, we do not lose our sense of purpose: words have immense power, and will always make themselves heard.
Desiree Villena is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors with the world’s best publishing resources. In her spare time, Desiree enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories — and occasionally giving writerly advice! She looks forward to writing in coffee shops and libraries again soon.
Coralie Moss loves everyday heroines and complicated witches, layered magic and earthly moments, and will always believe in the power of love. Whether she’s writing Urban Fantasy or Contemporary Romance, her characters get her up in the morning and Assam tea keeps her going. She lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia with her HEA, their son, and two globe-trotting rescue cats.
Clementine Brodeur has found her fated mate, and is now pursued by a three-faced killer.
I wasn’t expecting to meet Laszlo Arkadi the same day I discovered my family was built on secrets.
My deceased mother? On the face of it, she was a matchmaker for witches seeking love. Concealed from her daughters, she risked her life freeing enslaved Magicals.
My father? He wasn’t there for me. And since my mother’s death, he’s been trying to join her on the other side.
As for my oldest sister? I suspect she’s an assassin.
Now I’ve bonded with my ice demon, Prince Laszlo, he’s taking me to the Reformed Realm to meet his parents. Turns out, there’s more to meeting the Queen than simply learning to curtsy.
I just want to catch a break from family drama–mine and his. That royal ball Laszlo and I are required to attend? The invited guests think the prince is still single. The uninvited guests intend to escape with the realm’s most vulnerable Magicals.
I have to follow my instincts. Only now I’m bound to another. Can Laszlo and I merge our magics? Can we challenge a tyrant who envisions a world with many of us in cages?
Alderose Brodeur must avenge more than her parents’ deaths.
I use my muscles more than my magic. I have to. My father learned the hard way that magic can be sucked dry. He made certain I knew a good right hook is priceless, and to keep my blades sharp.
He’s dead now. My two sisters and I are talking again. But there’s so much Clementine and Beryl don’t know about me–and there’s no time for a girls’ night out.
The three of us must go up against Lionel Vigne, the same fae who brought down our parents. We know he’s hiding in the French Alps. He’s on the cusp of forcefully breeding rare Magicals, the crime that got him banished from fae lands.
I want to complete my mother’s mission on my own. Do I blend the metal in my blood with my blades and use brute force to end Lionel’s tyranny?
Or, if I truly am the Scarab Eater’s Daughter, do I put down my blades and let my magic act as a lure?
Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Q & A with Coralie Moss, author of the Sister Witches Urban Fantasy Series
#1. Tell us something about your writing process.
Writing is a very visceral activity for me. I’ve been told I’m a ‘kinesthetic learner’, which basically means I learn-by-doing. Yep, my parents loved having a kid who leapt first and looked later and I have the scars on my knees to prove it.
When I’m in the idea stage of a new book or series, it really helps if I give the lead character some skill that I already know at least a little something about. I can always change all of that later, but it helps to have a starting point that feels familiar. The writing process goes more smoothly too if I set the story—at least at first—in a location where I’ve lived. I need sensory input, and sense-memories, to jumpstart the writing process.
I based some of the magic system in this series on needle crafts, like sewing and embroidery, because I love to work with my hands and I know how to do all that stuff. I set the first book in Northampton, Massachusetts because I lived there for three years, and I visited it often when I still lived in New England. It has tons of bookshops and cafes and an all-women’s college, and it felt very natural to place ‘Needles & Sins’ along one of its side streets, in one of its granite and brick buildings.
#2. Who designs the covers for your books?
My cover designer is the very talented—and very patient—Elizabeth Mackey. Working with her is so much fun that I sometimes wish I could just make up book titles and have her design covers for them! We’ve worked on ten covers together now, and our process starts with me looking through sites like Shutterstock and Neo-stock for images. I like to give Elizabeth an idea for the cover model, as well as images of objects that are important to the book.
For Once Blessed, Thrice Cursed’s cover, three things were important: I wanted the model looking over her shoulder, in a pose that says, “Hey, come on, let’s go explore”. I also wanted a staircase, open doors, and *magic* sparkling from her hands. For the follow-up novella, Demon Lines, I wanted a handsome ‘demon’ guy on the cover. He got a staircase, too, but his was more elegant. He’s a prince after all.
#3. How do you come up with your character names?
Naming characters is another favorite thing—could I just make up book titles and character names, and design covers?! For the Sister Witches series, it became clear there would be three sisters (and no secret sisters. Or brothers, lol). Their names were unusual, and they came in alphabetical order: Alderose, Beryl, and Clementine. But Clementine’s personality came to me first and for whatever reason, I felt that she would be the easiest to write. I think I might have poured a lot of the love I feel for my own sister, into her.
Clementine’s sisters have been a lot more challenging to figure out. Both Alderose and Beryl have secrets they keep from each other, and sometimes I want to yell at them for it—but then I wouldn’t have as much of a story to tell.
I find that clothes are important to developing each character. Alderose loves leather everything, probably because she’s a butt-kicking, knife-wielding witch. Beryl has all of her clothes made for her, and she loves vintage-style dresses, interesting shoes, and handmade lingerie. There’s a reason for all that—which we’ll learn about in book #4. And as for Clementine, she’s into jeans and her dog, Sitka. Until she meets Laszlo. And then she’s into demons, too.
Horror, Psychological Thriller, Supernatural, a novella from the 2019 New Bizarro Author Series from Eraserhead Press:
Dory wakes up in the padded room of a psychiatric hospital with no recollection of how she wound up there. She soon finds out she’s been Blue-Papered–involuntarily committed. She gets sent to the wrong counseling group and discovers a whole new world of psychiatric patients she’d never known existed. At first she just thinks they’re cutters, all marked by similar scars, but then she finds out that those scars are from carving into their bodies where they chisel and scrape their bones. They harvest bone dust, and this dust is highly coveted and sought after, as well as highly addictive. When they realize she’s never been”dusted”, Dory becomes their target. After all, dust from a “freshie” is much more valuable than theirs. Frightened for her life, she desperately tries to prove to the psych. hospital staff that she’s not delusional about these particular patients wanting to slice her open and scrape her bones. The staff doesn’t believe her. They all think she’s crazy. Dory ends up on the run, fighting for her life, trying to avoid getting “dusted” by The Bone Cutters.
Like Girl, Interrupted and “The Yellow Wallpaper”, The Bone Cutters is one woman’s dark and surreal experience with a madness that is not necessarily her own.
Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon, Swag Pack , or an ebook of The Bone Cutters – 1 winner each! Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Renee S. DeCamillis is a dark fiction writer, an Editorial Intern with Crystal Lake Publishing, a member of the Horror Writers Association, a lyricist and poet, a life-long musician–hard rock/blues rhythm guitarist and singer, & a tree-hugging hippie with a sharp metal edge.
Renee earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Graduate Program, she has her BA in psychology, and she attended Berklee College of Music as a music business major with guitar as her principal instrument. Music has been a huge part of Renee’s life ever since she was a young child. She has been in a number of bands where she took on various roles, including hand percussionist. Renee is also a former model, school rock band teacher, creative writing teacher, private guitar instructor, A&R rep for an indie record label, therapeutic mentor, psychological technician, and pre-school teacher. (Yes, she loves to wear many hats; she is known to have worn thirteen hats all at once–literally.) She is also a former gravedigger; she can get rid of a body fast without leaving a trace, and she is not afraid of getting her hands dirty. Renee lives in the woods of Maine with her husband, their son, and a house full of ghosts.
It all started with a nightmare I had. I was at a Portland First Friday Artwork with a friend I’d had since high school. She asked if I would mind if we made a quick stop to see one of her friends. I agreed. That’s when we walked into a large open room with a group of people all sitting around in a big circle. First I noticed that they were all grotesquely scarred. I thought they were all cutters and that this was a therapy group. Then I realized one guy was talking to the group—he is now Slug Man in my book. As I focused on what he was saying, I discovered that those scars were from carving into their bodies to extract bone dust that they would then use to get high. I was horrified. What shocked me even more was that Slug Man was the friend my friend went there to see. When I woke up I knew that twisted dream needed to get turned into a story. I began writing it that same day.
2.) What can we expect from you in the future?
I do have some short stories coming out this year in various anthologies, but nothing I can officially announce just yet. But the big project I’m working on right now, which is almost complete, is a comic book. I’m writing for Phi3 Comics. I am currently writing Book 4 of the Spiralmind Muses’ Rise story line, and there’s a potential to co-write the screenplay.
The other big project I’m working on is the sequel to The Bone Cutters. I hope to get that written and published by 2021. This one will come from various points of view, including at least one bone cutter.
I am also working on a novel, with the first draft nearly done, about the evil intentions behind the invention of the iPhone. Teaser: Meat suits are involved.
3.) If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I do think I could play the lead very well; I can relate to some of her anxieties and the pent-up anger she holds inside, but I think it’s very egocentric for an author to play their lead character in any type of film or stage adaptation, so I would have to say no. I actually love it when the writer steps in as an extra with only a line or two, especially in the role of a quirky, eccentric character—like a gravedigger. When I write a book/story with a gravedigger protagonist, that’s when I’d like to play the lead.
4.) Where did you come up with the names in the story?
The protagonist’s name—Dory—is short for one of my favorite names—Dorian.
Tommy, the janitor, is named after the first person who befriended me at Berklee, and that Tommy is a drummer. The topic of drumming comes up in a scene with Dory and Tommy, and he is the first person who befriends Dory in the psych. hospital. Some people think he was named after Tommy Lee, but that is not the case; Tommy Lee never crossed my mind while I was writing this. Though his name came from someone I know, Tommy’s character is actually inspired by Danny Trejo’s character in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, the psych. tech. who befriended Michael Myers in the asylum. I love Danny Trejo! He’s a badass!
Arie is named for the Jamaican meaning of Irie—all right—as in “Every little thing’s gonna be all right” from Bob Marley’s song “Three Little Birds”. That song has special meaning for me. I’m a big Marley fan and I wanted to incorporate that somehow. Also, the meaning of Arie is lion of God, and my girls here are a force of good, so there’s that link as well.
Nurse Hatchet was named that way because a hatchet is a weapon. (I have a slasher story—which still needs to find a home—where the street where the killings take place is named Cleaves St. I love to play with words!) My nurse was not inspired by the nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, though many people think she was. But in hindsight, she does bring that character to mind, so I understand why people assume that. I worked as a psych. tech. in a psych. hospital, and Nurse Hatchet was slightly inspired by a co-worker of mine, but not a nurse—a psych. tech.
Dr. Headstrom, the psychiatrist who plays a very small though important role, was named that way because he’s a head doctor. After I named him, I couldn’t help but recall Max Headroom from the 80s, and it made me laugh. It also made me consider changing the doctor’s name, but I laughed. I decided it was the perfect name for this character.
5.) How did you come up with name of this book?
I will admit that the title of my book is not the original title; it is a title my publisher recommended. The original title was Chiseled High. My publisher was concerned that title would make people think the book is about a high school with a bunch of buff dudes or something, so she suggested The Bone Cutters. When she told me what my original title made her think of, I couldn’t help but laugh. I had never even thought of that, but I could see her point, which made me laugh harder. I had come up with a different title idea, but my publisher had reasons for thinking that one wasn’t a good fit for this book. I saw her point, and agreed, and now I am saving that title idea of mine for the sequel to The Bone Cutters.
6.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I do sometimes think about a certain confrontational scene in the book that I might like to make different, and perhaps a little better, but I can’t dwell on that. I still like how it’s written because it fits certain aspects of the book and the characters. I think some of my rethinking about it is partly due to reader responses, but I also know that when I wrote that scene I was also wondering if I should write if differently. I was writing for a submission deadline, and, honestly, I also didn’t think I had enough time to revise the scene and get it tight by the deadline. So I left it alone. Again, I can’t dwell on that now. I just take that forward with me while I write the sequel. Who knows, maybe one day I will rewrite that scene with a reissue of the book. You can’t always tell what the future will bring.
7) Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Less is more—that is the big lesson I learned. I’m normally an all-in sort of writer. Everything in my head goes on the page. But not everything in my head is pertinent to push the story forward and for the reader to get pulled along through the story. I hear some people complain about Stephen King and how his stories can often go on and on with scene descriptions. Some readers love that. Some readers hate that. (Many readers don’t care at all—if it has Stephen King’s name on it, they’ll read it no matter what. Personally, I’m a big S. King fan.) I’m trying to find a happy medium—enough scene description to give the reader a visual image and to set the mood, but not so much that the reader loses the sense of the actual story. My biggest fear with my writing—Here it comes!—is that a reader will come to a section in my book that makes them want to close it and set it aside. I want to be able to hold the reader’s attention long enough for them to read the whole damn book. (Then, hopefully, they’ll post a review somewhere online and share my book. Maybe it’s a good review. Maybe it’s not such a good review. But reviews are gold, and getting them is always a struggle for beginning writers like me.)
Pacing: writing this book made me think long and hard about the pacing and rhythm of a story. I love reading out loud; it helps me really set the mood with my voice, and it helps me get to know the characters better. It also helps me hear the rhythm and pacing better, and it always helps me discover where things are off, or clunky, or too slow or too fast, and where the rhythm falters and makes me trip over the words. Then I know what needs tweaking for a better flow. In my mind—everything makes music, and I want my stories to roll off the tongue like a song you can’t help but sing along with every time you hear it. (But not like one of those simple, crappy formulaic-catchy songs you hate but can’t get out of your head.)
8) Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Joe Hill: I love his work! His writing is a superb mix of heart and horror. When I read his work I can feel how much care he puts into creating each character. I also love his sense of humor. Not that his stories are comedic, but he does drop some little laughs here and there throughout his stories, and I really enjoy that. I also love his musical references he sometimes includes, as well as some throwback references to 70s/80s/90s pop culture. We grew up around the same time, so I immediately pick up on those little nuggets of nostalgia, which satiates the nostalgic side of my brain.
Paul Temblay is another one whose brain I’d love to pick for advice. He, like Hill, writes with a lot of heart. And both Tremblay and Hill can pump out work like crazy. They are very productive writers, and their work never reads like it was a rush job. Tremblay in particular—when I read his horror it’s like he’s in my head. He writes the type of endings I love and that I try to write—the non-ending that’s not tied up in a neat and pretty bow. I love it when stories make people think, they don’t answer all the questions, they don’t spoon feed the meaning to the readers; instead they set your creative mind to work trying to imagine what could come next, or what just went down—like real life. The meaning can be very subjective. I strive to write stories like that, similar to Tremblay.
Elizabeth Hand, Mary SanGiovanni, and Kelly Link: Three women who write very differently, but whose work I love just about equally. I still need to read more from SanGiovanni, but I instantly fell in love with her ability to tell a superb horror story in Behind the Door—no filler, all killer, and a lot of heart. She, like Hill and Tremblay, creates characters that I can sense she truly cares a lot about, which makes me care for them as well. SanGiovanni also writes like Tremblay—horrors happening in the real world. She has the ability to bring supernatural horror into the real world and make it believable, and I admire that and strive for that in my own writing. Elizabeth Hand is another writer, like Hill and Tremblay, who is extremely productive, and, again, her work doesn’t ever read like a rush job. There is so much advice I’d love to get from Elizabeth, and I have—since she was one of my writing mentors in graduate school. She is an all-round kickass woman and kickass writer. Kelly Link—her writing is so extremely magical and imaginative that I can just loose myself in it, and I’d love to know how she weaves such magic without confusing her readers and without having any of it sound like a Disney tale.
Chuck Palahniuk: I love his work, his humor, his cynicism…everything! He is very different from the others I mention here, but I love his work just the same. I think he’s a kind of love him or hate him sort of writer, at least that’s what I get from the responses I hear from others when his name or works are brought up in conversation. His writing is fearless, biting, snarky, and darkly humorous. I greatly admire that and strive to be just as fearless with my work. With that goal of mine, I realize that I have to accept the fact that I will have haters, but that’s fine—it’s nothing new for me. I have an innate and uncanny ability of pressing people’s buttons just by being outspoken-me. I often joke that I inadvertently bring out the worst in people, though that is not my intention. I’ve heard and read interviews with Palahniuk where he’s said things about what a horrible person he is. But when he gives an example of why he thinks he’s so horrible, often that example is exactly how I imagine I would think or act given the same situation. We seem to think in a similar way and have a similar sense of humor and similar cynical perspective of certain subjects, and I’d like to find out how he weaves in those perspectives of society and characters without sounding too preachy or hateful. Who knows—maybe that’s not a concern of his, and maybe that’s why he’s a love him or hate him sort of writer.
9.) Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, I have. The first book I wrote is a novel titled Diagnosis. It is complete and revised and edited, but after getting beta reader feedback I have come to realize that the second half of the book needs revision work. I now see that the real story was polluted with an additional theme that convoluted the book as a whole, and I no longer want to have that additional theme prominent in the story. I veered slightly away from the supernatural horror of the beginning, adding in drug addiction horror in the second half that just isn’t working with the main character. I absolutely love that story and love the characters and I do plan to go back and revise that, but right now I am in the middle of a few other big projects: a novel about the true intentions of the invention of the iPhone, the sequel to The Bone Cutters, and a comic book I’ve been commissioned to write.
Did you participate in last week’s #WritingWednesday post? It was all about sound. If you haven’t posted your response, click HEREso you can do that now. Then, make sure you check in here ~ every Wednesday ~ for the latest #WritingWednesday writing prompt! Now, back to today’s regularly scheduled post…
Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.
Read the writing prompt below,
Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!
The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.
Today, I’m writing in the voice of Stella, a character in my current WIP.
Today’s writing prompt:
What is around you, within touching distance? What do you see?
When they brought me to Operation Atlas, I couldn’t bring anything with me. My clothing stayed at home, my toys, my books, my mom.
Other than what I was wearing, which they quickly took upon arrival, the only thing they let me bring was a small gold locket my mother had given me. Inside was a tiny photo, almost unrecognizable, of my mom and dad before I was born. My dad died when I was only two, so I have no memories of him. My mom gave me up, when I was ten, at the first sign of my powers. She said she didn’t want to, but that she had no choice. The doctors had witnessed my symptoms and had called Operation Atlas without consulting her. It wasn’t until they were there, ready to take me away, that she even found out.
There was no struggle. I knew what their bright orange hazmat suits meant. I had see them on the television, when my mom didn’t know I was in the room watching from behind her. They had been collecting people of different ages, all over the world, for years. Part of me had hoped to one day be scooped up, carried away, and told I was special. Told I had special powers or gifts that could help the world. But, what I had envisioned was nothing like my reality.
I’d give anything to go back to that day in the hospital and take it all back. Turn back time. Instead, I sit here in my empty room surrounded by nothing of consequence, gripping tightly to the small gold locket my mother gave me all those years ago.
Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt [What is around you, within touching distance? What do you see?] inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with!
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What books have you added to your May 2020 reading list? Comment below and let me know!
As an avid reader of fiction (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Young Adult selections for June 2020!
If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the cover image, the title or the [BUY IT HERE] button.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The final book of The Wrights series by New York Times bestselling author Skye Jordan, is here!
Gypsy Wright knows how to run a kick ass bar on Nashville’s infamous Broadway. She knows how to raise a son on her own and how to set her priorities. But when her longtime frenemy, country music’s golden boy, Wyatt Jackson, needs her help, Gypsy doesn’t know how to say no. She could never have expected how easily the man she’d kept at arm’s length for so long could slip under her skin or into her heart. Or how quickly he could tear apart the world she’s so carefully built.
Wyatt and Gypsy have been side stepping the heat between them for years. He admires the hell out of her dedication to her son and her success, so when he’s faced with the unexpected duty of raising his five-year-old niece, Gypsy is the first person he goes to for help. When sparks finally ignite, they burn hotter than either of them ever expects, and with the futures of two kids, two demanding careers, and two hearts on the line, those flames risk reducing everything that matters to ashes.
Skye Jordan is a New York Times and USA bestselling author of sexy contemporary romance and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense.
A California native transplanted to the DC area. When she’s not writing, Skye enjoys travel and medical volunteer work. She is a lifelong learner, always taking courses in everything from spy craft to knitting and loves spending her summer rowing on the Potomac.