Monday, November 30, 2015


Seanan McGuire aka Mira Grant
I attended Chessiecon this weekend.

I got to meet Seanan McGuire. She writes so many things, in fact, that she had to become her own evil twin, Mira Grant, in order to publish them all. She is prolific. So much so she had multiple publishers and suffers complex rules for her work

She is a good story teller. Almost stand-up comedian funny. She didn't talk about writing or publishing or her tools of methods. I suppose that is boring for her. Plus her love of frogs is funnier.

She is very open for readers and fans. Funny mostly but has serious moments.

The conference was a nice size. The hotel where it was located was the perfect scale. I attended several panel discussions only one of which was weak.

--Next year I plan on attending again as an author on panels.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Wendi L. Wilson

Wendi L. Wilson

Tell me about yourself, Wendi.

I am superwoman. Okay, okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. I have a wonderful man whose been my husband for fourteen years. I am a mom to two boys who are currently fighting over who won their most recent WWE-esque wrestling match.

I am team parent to various sports teams year round. I am active in PTA, just having come off a two year stint as president. I have a menagerie of pets, all male, that I tend to, including two cats, two snakes, a russian tortoise named Mike Tyson and a betta.

In case you're keeping score, I'm outnumbered 9-1 by boys in this house.

Oh, and I am a writer.

Tell me about your current Book:

At 16, Melanie Johnson is a typical teenage girl. She has a BFF she adores, a mad crush on her good friend Jeremy, and an evil Barbie doll that destroys her self-esteem on a regular basis.

One fateful night, after being humiliated at a party, Melanie is attacked and nearly raped as she walks home. A mysterious dog appears out of nowhere, just in the nick of time, saves her and then disappears just as quickly. No one saw him but her. And the man who tried to rape her.

In the wake of the attack, Melanie tries to pull her life back together with the help of her friends. Just as things start to go her way, she starts to receive creepy notes from her attacker, promising to finish what he started. And to make things more complicated, Jeremy has a dark secret that Melanie's not sure she can accept.

Can Melanie and Jeremy reveal the identity of her stalker before he attacks again? Will Jeremy's secret drive a wedge between them?

And will the mysterious dog save her in the end, like he did in the beginning?


Amazon: Shadowed Strength

What are you working on now?

I am currently in the editing phase of Shadowed Series Book 2: Shadowed Instincts. I am hoping to release sometime in December.

What is your favorite beverage while you write?

Coffee, of course. Isn't that the norm?

What is your favorite Website?

So many to choose from..... I'd have to say that right now, at this particular time of year, my favorite website is's Fantasy page. I came in this year as reigning champ, talking smack with a bullseye on my back. Oh, but man, is my team stinking up the joint this year. I've changed my mind. My favorite website is Goodreads. Yeah, Goodreads.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Quotes of the Week

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.
—Melinda Haynes

I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live.
—Françoise Sagan

“All great books are strange, but not all strange books are great.”
-Daniel Handler

“Write things you care about. Write things that people want to read.”
-Neil Gaiman

“Finish things.”
-Neil Gaiman

“Real life doesn’t have to be convincing, but fiction does.”
-Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Art as a Writing Prompt

Giant space stations. Giant space ships. Scale and function as inspiration.

--Places I'd like to visit, but never will. Except in my mind.

Monday, November 23, 2015


I love the TV show, The Walking Dead.

It seems like all the scifi authors I know have a zombie novel in the works. I am no exception.

I have an outline. I probably won't get to it until about novel number seven or so.

The Zombies in my story are fast when they are fresh, but slow when they deteriorate.

I like my plot. It has great characters and  few very original twists. Fun stuff.

--It would make an awesome movie. Some day.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Roberta Worthington

Roberta Worthington

Tell me about yourself, Roberta.

 I guess I spend a lot of time ruminating about all the energy we are made up of. Where does it go when we die? I find it hard to believe it would just – poof – disappear. So, if it doesn’t, what happens to it? I don’t mean to be morose. I just wonder about the possibilities, and I suppose that’s where my fascination with ghosts comes from. I usually do other things while I’m wondering about all this. I love to bake. My specialty is white chocolate raspberry brownies.

Tell me about your current book:

Relic is a middle-grade novel about 12-year-old Samantha Whitaker. Her parents are fulfilling their dream of running a country inn, but Sam calls it “the Ick.” She purchases a strange item in an antique shop to annoy her mother, but when that doesn’t work, she makes a desperate attempt to flee her new life by stealing her parents’ car. As she leaves, she crashes the car to avoid hitting an odd village girl who darts in front of her – then disappears.

Despite Samantha’s resistance, a local girl named Twyla befriends her and aids her in looking for the missing girl. The search leads Samantha to learn about a famous former occupant – village benefactor, patron of the arts, and suffragette Olivia Ainsley Wagner Roth. According to the inn’s previous owner, Mrs. Van Dansk, Olivia still haunts the inn.

There’s an unusual relic, a hidden diary, an unfinished letter. Samantha finds she has to do some serious supernatural sleuthing to solve a mystery that has strange parallels to her own life. Relic is about friendship, growing up, and speaking up for others who aren’t able to speak for themselves.


What are you working on now? 

I have a couple projects in the works. My main focus right now is Eye of the Peacock. It’s a young adult novel – meant for an audience slightly older than the audience for Relic. It’s about a 15-year-old girl named Aubrey. She’s kind of shy, kind of fringy. Her guidance counselor wants her to start doing community service, so she gets a volunteer job as a docent at a local mansion. On her first day on the job, though, she has an accident and falls down a flight of stairs. She gets trapped between two time periods -- one part of her is in an ICU, but the other gets sucked back into time. There are ghosts, a murder mystery, and romance -- everything a teen could want.  Like Relic, Eye of the Peacock is also inspired by an existing mansion.

I’m also working on a noir piece for adults. I’ve created a pretty atypical story line that I love, but the genre is a challenge for me. Not my normal voice. It’s a ton of fun to work on, but it takes a lot of concentration and effort.

What is your favorite beverage while you write?

Lots of really hot Red Rose tea with milk and sugar.

What is your favorite Website? 

I love the NPR website, Maybe it’s the ex-reporter in me, but they have great stories. I find so much information there. Cool stories that get me thinking – I love Science Friday -- author interviews for inspiration. They also include a ton of other websites that help with my research.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quotes of the Week

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it.
–Edward P. Morgan

Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.
—Lisa See

Let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around.
—George Orwell

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

We can destroy what we have written but we cannot unwrite it.
—Anthony Burgess

Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work.
—Stephen King

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.
-Milton Berle

80 percent of success is showing up.
—Woody Allen

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Art as a Writing Prompt

I often use art as an inspiration for writing. This week, this work caught my eye.

by Mark Demsteader
--I love haunting images.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Experiences Help Writing

I have learned that to be a better writer you should have a full life and do things. Lots of different kinds of things.

Today that thing was deer hunting for me.

It is opening day in Virginia. Twelve minutes after sunrise I was done for the day. I harvested a nice eight point buck.

I had a new knife and a new coat. I learned things from both that I can useful in future writing. Even sitting quietly in the forest teaches me things. There is lots of time to think as well. n the quiet fresh air.

--It has been a good day.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Fast Friday Indie Interview - Simon Brading

Tell me about yourself, Simon.
Simon Brading

I relocated from the UK to Spain almost fifteen years ago, coming for work and staying for a girl. I’m now permanently settled in Barcelona with a view from the balcony of my flat that takes in the whole city and that rises above the ever-present layer of pollution.

I have had an artistic (read: starving artist) lifestyle since my late teens when I first discovered ballet. Over the last twenty years I have passed through the phases of Dancer, Actor and now Author and have yet to make much money being any of them and I am still very reluctant to call myself an Artist.

I hope one day to sell a few books and make some of the films and TV series that I dream about, but in the meantime I am content to watch the sunrise from my home and write some of the stories that I have in my head.

Tell me about your current Book:

When he finds himself in the early eighteenth century aboard a pirate ship, Sam Vives must pick up his sword and fight for his life, or else die forgotten in the past.

Sam Vives was just an ordinary boy, leading an ordinary life, in an ordinary school. Until one day everything changed. He found himself somehow in the past and fighting for his life aboard a pirate ship in the Caribbean, the Captain of a crew of loyal cutthroats.

With no idea how he got there or indeed how to get home again, Sam has to compete in a bizarre contest proposed by none other than Blackbeard himself and survive the murderous attacks of an apparently insane rival, hoping that he will find his way back to his family and the ordinary life that now seems so boring but invitingly safe.


What are you working on now?

I’m half way through writing a story for a series I have planned ‘Dismal Futures’ which will be a series of stand-alone sci-fi books set in futures that are bleak and uninviting (not the books, the futures!) yet all too possible.

What is your favorite beverage while you write?

I’m British, it’s tea, obviously! No, seriously, it really is tea…

What is your favorite Website?

The one website I have to check out every day is to see what’s going on in my day job as an actor, but my favorite website is, there are some real gems there for a Star Wars fan.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Interview: SUNY GCC

I was interviewed a while ago by the alumni folks at the first college I attended back in 1978! Fub Stuff! Check it out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Quotes of the Week

Write by the Rails
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.
~J.D. Salinger

I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.
—Robert Frost

The purpose of writing is to make your mother and father drop dead with shame.
—J. P. Donleavy

Happiness is pursuing work that sustains the spirit.
—Walt Disney

Don’t be dismayed by the opinions of editors, or critics. They are only the traffic cops of the arts.
—Gene Fowler

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
—Mark Twain

Those who write clearly have readers; those who write obscurely have commentators.
—Albert Camus

A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.
—Susan Sontag

The beginning is always rewritten much more than the rest…
—Susan Minot

It is the function of art to conceal the difficulties of its execution.
—Susan Sontag

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
—Ernest Hemingway

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.
—George RR Martin

The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it.
—Frank Herbert

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Saturday mornings are usually my favorite time to write. I usually wake up at about 5:30am and sneak out of bed (makes my wife love me more).

I usually make coffee while wearing my nightshirt, robe and slippers and in the quiet I crank out a chapter or two in my next novel.

Not today.

I heard last night that one of my friends from school had died. He was 57. Kevin was my brother Eric's best friend. We were a pack of knuckleheads back in the day. We all learned about girls, smoking, drinking, cars, music, movies, work and life together.

I had not seen Kevin in a decade. We emailed infrequently. His health had been failing for year so he didn't travel much anymore. He never seemed to get over my brothers death.

In my short story, The Outer Ring, there is a character based on him. The deep space survey ship The Ventura had a bar on it called Peck's Halfway. Peck was the owner and operator of the place.

I regret not stopping in to visit him my last time visiting home. You always think there will be more time.

Today, I am going to visit a friend. I'm going to hold a baby. I am going to skip ahead and write a sad chapter about loss of a friend, but mostly I'm going to think about Peck. Think about his stupid laugh and his enormous capacity for whiskey and bacon. Think about his face on the other side of the campfire. Think about how scared he was of ghost stories. Think about sitting with him and my brother waiting for trains to just watch them go by.

-- Rest in Peace, Peck. Say hi to Eric for me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Quotes of the Week

All writers have this vague hope that the elves will come in the night and finish any stories.
—Neil Gaiman

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
—Frank Capra

There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.
—Robert Graves

Everybody has talent. It's just a matter of moving around until you've discovered what it is.
—George Lucas

The only thing that gets me back to directing is good scripts.
—Steven Spielberg

The conscious mind is the editor, and the subconscious mind is the writer.
—Steve Martin

Tell a story! Don’t try to impress your reader with style or vocabulary or neatly turned phrases.
—Anne McCaffrey

Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.
—Isabel Allende

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
—Anaïs Nin

I just write what I want to write. I write what amuses me. It's totally for myself.
—J.K. Rowling

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I am accidentally doing NaNoWriMo this year. My Third novel, Blood of the Scarecrow, is scheduled to have it's first draft completed by December 1st.

That schedule allows me to complete the second draft during December and then off to beta readers in January.

Final revisions based on their feedback gets it to my professional editor in February.

--March 2016 Release!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Writer's Block

"There is no such thing as writers block. It’s a cop-out term employed by people who are either lazy or simply not prepared to admit that whatever they’re supposed to be writing isn’t working as they think it should or, more likely, hoped it would."

--Dougie Brimson 

Did I just jinx myself by posting this during NaNoWriMo?