Friday, September 30, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Bryce Gibson

Bryce Gibson

Tell me about yourself?

I write Southern fiction that takes readers to charming and oftentimes sinister areas of The South.  I live in South Carolina with my wife and our dog. 

Aside from writing, I work full time on a scuppernong farm.

During my early teenage years I started writing stories that (I thought) were along the lines of the Point Horror books from back then.  I still have all of them.  They are handwritten on lined notebook paper that I stapled together.  I drew the covers and everything.  I’ve been posting them on my Facebook page.

Tell me about your current Book:

My new book, Perennials, is a YA Southern thriller/mystery/horror novel that takes place in rural South Carolina.

When it appears that a serial killer has struck close to home, Dusty Miller must learn who to trust, or else take the chance of losing everything.

Summer in South Carolina—a time of ripe peaches, crackling bonfires, trips to the lake, and the rural legend of a creature known as the Lizard Man.

This year, a very real monster is lurking about.

The victims all have one thing in common—they share their names with plants.

Soon it becomes apparent that seventeen-year-olds Dusty Miller and Nandina Bush may be next on the killer’s list.

What are you working on now?

I’m in the very early stages of starting to work on my next book.  It will be another YA mystery/thriller/horror novel.  This one will be set on a South Carolina hops farm. A lot of the action will take place in and around an old plantation house that has the legend of a werewolf attached to it.  I’m excited about getting it started.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

With the exception of the occasional change in location, I always write in my home office that faces the backyard.

What is your favorite Website?

The horror movie website, Bloody Disgusting.  It’s my online go-to for horror movie news.  



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Quotes of the Week

There were times I thought I'd never sell another book, but I never doubted I'd write another book.
—George R.R. Martin

 You build a novel the same way you do a pyramid. One word, 1 stone at a time, underneath a full moon when the fingers bleed.
—Kate Braverman

Just because you’re sick of your script doesn’t mean it’s finished.
—Wiiliam M. Akers

Appealing workplaces are to be avoided. One wants a room with no view, so imagination can meet memory in the dark.
—Annie Dillard

You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good.
—J.K. Rowling

We write to discover what we think.
—Joan Didion

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
—Stephen King


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday Tips: Read What You Write

I write Science Fiction because it is my favorite kind of book to read. I have read a thousand Scifi novels over the decades.

(I would not dream of writing historic fiction about France in 1276.)

Even take that a bit farther down into sub genres. Read the sub genres that you want to write. Here are a few sub genres from Scifi I like and may write in the future:
  • Hard Science Fiction
  • Space Opera
  • Space Western
  • Time Travel
  • First Contact
  • Comic Science Fiction
  • Steampunk
  • Alternate History
  • Apocalyptic, Post-Apocalyptic
  • Cyberpunk
  • Military Science Fiction
  • Superhuman
  • Soft or Sociological Science Fiction
  • Near-future science Fiction
  • Science Fantasy or Future Fantasy

--If you want to write romance, read it. Read westerns if you want to write them. Young Adult, Murder mysteries, or Buddy comedies. We'll talk about crossing genres in another post!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Book Signing!

Come out and see me and a ton of other local authors! This Friday!

Read: March Upcountry

Last week I read March Upcountry by David Weber and John Ringo.

Here is the description from Amazon:

The Royal Brat is in Trouble
Roger Ramius Sergei Chiang MacClintock didn't understand. 

He was young, handsome, athletic, an excellent dresser, and third in line for the Throne of why wouldn't anyone at Court trust him? 

Why wouldn't even his own mother, the Empress, explain why they didn't trust him? Or why the very mention of his father's name was forbidden at Court? Or why his mother had decided to pack him off to a backwater planet aboard what was little more than a tramp freighter to represent her at a local political event better suited to a third assistant undersecretarv of state? 

It probably wasn't too surprising that someone in his position should react by becoming spoiled, selfcentered and petulant. After all, what else did he have to do with his life?
But that was before a saboteur tried to blow up his transport. Then warships of the Empire of Man's worst rivals shot the crippled vessel out of space. Then Roger found himself shipwrecked on the planet Marduk, whose jungles were full of damnbeasts, killerpillars, carnivorous plants, torrential rain, and barbarian hordes with really bad dispositions. Now all Roger has to do is hike halfway around the entire planet, then capture a spaceport from the Bad Guys, somehow commandeer a starship, and then go home to Mother for explanations. 

Fortunately, Roger has an ace in the hole: Bravo Company of Bronze Battalion of The Empress' Own Regiment. If anyone can get him off Marduk alive, it's the Bronze Barbarians. 

Assuming that Prince Roger manages to grow up before he gets all of them killed.

--I really enjoyed this book. The character and would building  is excellent. Read it!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Marco Marek

Marco Marek

Tell me about yourself, Marco?

Well it’s not always easy to speak of yourself, but  I can say I'm a quiet person who likes to respect the rules, other people.  I’m willing to help others when I can. I have a lot of interests. I like painting and photography.   I also love travel and digital art.  I created my book cover with photoshop and I like to create banners of other amazing photos to promote my book. I like sports. Football or soccer as it is called in America, is my favorite sport, but I like also athletics, tennis, formula one and rally cars.  I go with my mountain bike very often. I have lot of imagination. Since I was kid, I created imaginary characters and new worlds. I tried to put all on paper and I'm happy I published it, though in a independent way, but it’s still amazing to have a book listed on Amazon. 

Tell me about your current Book:

When Mary and Martina find a portal to Hyperearth,they must save their newfound friends and defeat the evil Sathon or remain in Hyperearth forever.

Hyperearth is a fantasy book.  If you like magic, action, adventure, exploring new mysterious worlds, you can’t miss it.  Inside a castle in the city of Lubena, Mary and Martina find a portal to another dimension named Hyperearth. This will be the beginning of various adventures of these two teenage girls, fighting the evil Sathon, but also making new friendships and curious discoveries along the way.

What are you working on now?

My current work is a thriller, mystery, romance with suspense, I like to write fantasy  most, but I wanted to try a new genre so I wrote a new book. The title is Amstel Girl and it is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. A young man is unfairly locked in a psychiatric hospital.  When he is released, troubles  start as people follow him.   He is contacted by gangs of underworld. Along the way, he meets a nice quirky girl with a strong attitude.  He starts a turbulent relationship with her.  He has a love/hate relationship with her.  He also  faces the thugs of underworld. They demand a new drug formula that he has hidden in his baggage.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?
I write mostly at home. I just take notes when I have inspiration when I go to parks with my mountain bike. But my favorite location would be  among nature with the only noise of birds and wind.

What is your favorite Website?

Well I don't really have  a favorite website.  I often check the website of a model who iis my friend.  She gave permission to use her photo for my book cover of Amstel Girl.   Let’s say it is my favorite website  .  But I also check, a database of actors/actresses and sport websites.


Twitter : 
Instagram :
Goodreads :
Youtube :

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Quotes of the Week

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
—Louis L'Amour

There is no great writing, only great rewriting.
—Justice Brandeis

The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.
—James Baldwin

You are only as good as the best thing you've ever done.
—Billy Wilder

There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.
—J.K. Rowling

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
—Orson Welles

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday Tips: The Second Draft

You have finished your first draft and spiked that ball in the end-zone! You have congratulated yourself. You have taken a weekend off. You have rewarded yourself. (Don’t use food. You’re not a dog) 

Now what?

The dreaded second draft.

  • Name the file with a draft number. Ex – BotS-1.0.doc
  • Back that thing up more than usual.
  • Increment the name to BotS-2.0.doc
  • Increment the name after every session.
This is where your mileage may vary. I work my second draft in very specific ways.
  • My main mission is to cut out the fat.
  • I create a detailed Character sheet of names.
  • I create a detailed Place name list as well.
  • Make a detailed timeline.
  • Cut to the bone. Remove data dumps.
  • Fix typos, but line edits are not the focus.
  • Make additions to the thin sections.
  • Review chapter titles if you have them.

For me the focus of the second draft is a general review. Removing and adding sections or even rearranging things if required. It is NOT a detailed line by line edit yet. That will come later.

Make sure that you save all the pieces you cut. They may be useful later.

Depending on the length of the work it should not take too long to do the second draft. Writing additional chapters or sections will take the most time. Pace and balance of your story should be fixed by the end of your second draft.

--Extra Backups when done. Actually, go backup your current project NOW. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

2016 Dragon Awards

Here are the winners of the 2016 Dragon Awards (winners in bold):


Best Science Fiction Novel

  • Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
  • The Life Engineered, J-F. Dubeau (Sword & Laser)
  • Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
  • Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit)
  • Agent of the Imperium, Marc Miller (Far Future Enterprises)
  • Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)

Best Fantasy Novel

  • Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia (Baen)
  • Asteroid Made of Dragons, G. Derek Adams (Sword & Laser)
  • Blood Hound, James Osiris Baldwin (Gift Horse Productions)
  • The Aeronaut’s Windlass, Jim Butcher (Roc)
  • Changeling’s Island, Dave Freer (Baen)
  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Grave Measures, R.R. Virdi (Self-published)

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

  • The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (Harper)
  • Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo (Holt)
  • Changeling’s Island, Dave Freer (Baen)
  • Steeplejack, A.J. Hartley (Tor Teen)
  • Trix and the Faerie Queen, Alethea Kontis (Self-published)
  • Carry On, Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Calamity, Brandon Sanderson (Delacorte)
  • Updraft, by Fran Wilde (Tor)

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

  • Hell’s Foundations Quiver, David Weber (Tor)
  • Blood in the Water, Taylor Anderson (Roc)
  • Chains of Command, Marko Kloos (47North)
  • Wrath of an Angry God, Gibson Michaels (Arc Flash)
  • Allies and Enemies: Fallen, Amy J. Murphy (Self-published)
  • The End of All Things, John Scalzi (Tor)
  • The Price of Valor, Django Wexler (Roc)

Best Alternate History Novel

  • League of Dragons, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
  • Germanica, Robert Conroy (Baen)
  • 1635: A Parcel of Rogues, Eric Flint & Andrew Dennis (Baen)
  • 1636: The Cardinal Virtues, Eric Flint & Walter H. Hunt (Baen)
  • Deadlands: Ghostwalkers, Jonathan Maberry (Tor)
  • Bombs Away: The Hot War, Harry Turtledove (Del Rey)

Best Apocalyptic Novel

  • Ctrl Alt Revolt!, Nick Cole (Castalia House)
  • Chasing Freedom, Marina Fontaine (Self-published)
  • Dark Age, Felix O. Hartmann (Self-published)
  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • The Desert and the Blade, S.M. Stirling (Roc)
  • A Time to Die, Mark Wandrey (Henchmen)

Best Horror Novel

  • Souldancer, Brian Niemeier (Self-published)
  • Honor at Stake, Declan Finn (Caliburn)
  • Alice, Christina Henry (Ace)
  • An Unattractive Vampire, Jim McDoniel (Sword & Laser)
  • Chapelwood, Cherie Priest (Roc)
  • Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, Paul Tremblay (William Morrow)

Best Comic Book

  • Ms. Marvel
  • Astro City
  • Civil War II
  • Daredevil
  • DC Universe: Rebirth
  • Providence
  • Saga

Best Graphic Novel

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

  • Game of Thrones
  • Daredevil
  • Doctor Who
  • The Expanse
  • The Flash
  • Jessica Jones
  • Outlander

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

  • The Martian
  • Ant-Man
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Crimson Peak
  • Deadpool
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

  • Fallout 4 by Bethesda Softworks
  • Darkest Dungeon by Red Hook Studios
  • Metal Gear Solid V by Konami Digital Entertainment
  • Overwatch by Blizzard Entertainment
  • Undertale by Toby Fox
  • XCOM 2 by 2k Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

  • Fallout Shelter by Bethesda Softworks
  • Quaser One by Emre Taskin
  • PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist by Outerminds Inc.
  • Hyper Burner by Patrick Cook
  • Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

  • Pandemic: Legacy by ZMan Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Blood Rage by Cool Mini or Not
  • Talon by GMT Games
  • Monopoly: CTHULHU by USAopoly
  • Codenames by Vlaada Chvatil

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

  • Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (7th Edition) by Chaosium Inc.
  • Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls by Flying Buffalo
  • Magic the Gathering: Shadows over Innistrad by Wizards of the Coast
  • Magic the Gathering: Battle of Zendikar by Wizards of the Coast
  • Mouse Guard 2nd Edition by David Petersen & Luke Crane
  • Star Wars: Armada by Fantasy Flight Games

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Matthew Burkey

Matthew Burkey

Tell me about yourself, Matthew?

I was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa and have been writing since I was a freshmen in high school. I became involved in the school’s paper and yearbook. I’ve always enjoyed reading and had aspirations to write my own stories somedays. As a young gay male, there weren’t many books that had strong gay male characters. And those that did always portrayed them as weak, whinny, and overly effeminate. I always told myself that I would change that someday. When I graduated high school I enrolled at UNO in Omaha.

However, I soon discovered that as much fun as journalism is, it wasn’t really for me. I still enjoyed writing but there was something missing. I dropped out of UNO during my second semester and instead transferred to a local community college and took the EMT Basic class (emergency medical technician.) I don’t remember what made me take that class to this day but I do remember the feeling I got when I saved my first life. I was hooked and soon afterward enrolled in Creighton University’s paramedic training program.

After passing my paramedic boards and going to work fulltime, I took up writing again. This was before the invention of ebooks and I kept most of what I wrote to myself. The longer that I worked in my profession, the more that I realized just how important writing was to me. It was a way for me release stress, deal with difficult emotions, and try and make sense of some of the things I saw on daily bases.

Back in 2014, I as poking around on the Amazon site and their link on the bottom that said ‘Publish With Us’, I clicked on the link and did some research. I realized that I could self-publish my own work, though I wasn’t sure anyone would read anything that I had written I was certainly excited to try. I’ve grown, both as a person and as a writer, since my first ebook hit the digital shelves. I’m still working on honing my craft and although I will probably never make enough money to quit my day job (not that I would, I enjoy that helicopter flights WAY too much) but at least I feel like I can tell the stories that I want to tell. That’s the nice thing about being an independent author, I can write what I want without anyone standing over me telling me what to do.

Tell me about your current Book:

When the King of Geweth is killed, his surviving son must traverse Aldara looking for clues as to who carried out the assassination before all of Aldara is plunged into war.

Welcome to the World of Aldara! When King Nathanial Lionheart his killed after his airship is sabotaged, it is up to his surviving son Kaidan to search through Aldara looking for clues as to who would want the king dead. After waking up in the care of the elves, Kaidan sets out on a journey through Aldara with his best friend, mentor, and a few unexpected allies. As they search the land they encounter danger at every turn, forcing the small group to put aside their differences in order to survive. Kaidan knows that he has to find the truth before things get out of hand and all of Aldara is plunged into war.

Back in Geweth, political enemies of the former king take advantage of the situation and begin their own grab for power. As Kaidan and his companions close in on the truth he will learn something about himself that will change his life and possibility the fate of all of Aldara.

What are you working on now?

Currently, I am working with Taryn to get the second book of the Legends of Aldara trilogy finished up. We are actually ahead of schedule and have been able to move up the release date from October to mid-August. The two of us are actually working on fleshing out an idea that I had for another science fiction story but it’s very much a work in progress. Beyond my projects with Taryn I am working on finishing up my own solo series of books. The last one entitled The Guardian Chronicles: A New Dawn, should be out sometime in December.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

I sort of write everywhere, although I think my favorite place to be in probably in what can loosely be called my den at home. Well, it’s not really den but the spare bedroom that hold my desk and a large amount of Star Wars/Superman memorabilia.

What is your favorite Website?

There are a lot of sites that I find myself getting lost in. Although the ones that routinely come to mind are two Play By Forum sites that I am a part of. It’s fun together with other writers and play off each other. Age of Miracles ( is one while another is a Star Trek based site called USS Highlander ( And google, oh so much google usage.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

VotV Banner

Quotes of the Week

Say what you mean. Say what you see. Make a photograph, if you can, for the reader.
—Stephen King

I write to find what I have to say. I edit to figure out how to say it right.
—Cheryl Strayed

If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you.
—Natalie Goldberg

Dialogue has to create a life. It has to be self-sustaining. Conversation is definitely not dialogue.
—Sam Shepard

I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the waste-basket.
—Ernest Hemingway

I sweat blood to make my style simple and stripped bare.
—Margaret Mitchell

Easy reading is damn hard writing.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
—Orson Welles

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday Tips: Rewards

Today's tip is a simple one but works very well.

When ever you achieve a goal, reward yourself.

The bigger the reward the more likely you are to reach your goal. I know several people that do this in different ways. It is the carrot at the end of your goal.
  • Go out and have a nice dinner with the spouse you've been ignoring.
  • Buy yourself a gift. Like a high quality Pen. A new car. A small island. Flowers.
  • Take a vacation. Get away from your computer. (with the spouse you've been ignoring)
  • Pamper yourself with a massage.
  • A new experience. Go somewhere new. Do something.
  • Buy new sneakers. Puts a bounce in your step.
  • Take a nap on the hammock.
Make it the right size with the goal. I try not to reward myself with food. I'm not a dog. Food is not special to me. When I finish my first drafts I usually go camping. While camping I enjoy some good beer, bacon, bourbon and an expensive cigar with my feet up reading books made out of dead trees.

You cannot reward yourself too often though. It will dilute the effect. I reward myself on two days.
  • Completion of a first draft.
  • Publication Day.
--Find your own goal and reward. Make it happen. Finish things.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Read: House of Suns

Last week I read House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Six million years ago, at the dawn of the star-faring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones, which she called shatterlings. But now, someone is eliminating the Gentian line. Campion and Purslane-two shatterlings who have fallen in love and shared forbidden experiences-must determine exactly who, or what, their enemy is, before they are wiped out of existence.

This was a very complex epic. Most Science fiction epics have a single core thread that pulls the story along. This has several. I enjoyed it.

--I expect a sequel.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Commentary: Writer's Block

I believe…

If you are easily offended, you may want to skip this post. Any post I write that begins with "I believe" will likely piss someone off. Today is no exception.

I believe Writer's Block is Bullshit.

I talk to a lot of writers and they marvel at my ability to write a novel every six months even though I work full time. I currently write at about 10,000 word a week on average.

“How do you fight Writer’s Block?”  I fight Writer’s Block the same way I fight Chemtrails. I don’t believe they exist.

Lots of people believe in Chemtrails. They see them in the sky all the time and think it's mind control chemicals. Lots of people believe in Writer’s Block as well. They have stared at a blank screen for hours and nothing happens or worse still, they get into the middle of the story and they vapor lock.

I’m not denying that these things happen. I’m not denying that there are vapor trails in the sky either. I’m just saying that both are a simple lack of understanding what it really is. Because both are bullshit.

When it comes to Writer’s Block you may be an excellent writer, you just absolutely suck at planning. Your process sucks. If you honestly want to stop getting Writer’s Block you must have the guts to CHANGE your shitty process. Both of the most common failures in process, the blank first page and hangs in the middle, are solved with the same tool. Planning.

This is where people start to say, “Oh that’s not my method” or else “I let the characters go where they want” or “I let the story write itself”. Here is the prime grade A Bullshit. The Bullshit lies people tell themselves because they need excuses to lie to themselves. Your process sucks. You're crippled by fear even. You don’t want to finish because people might read it and give you a one star review. You are a coward and don’t have the guts to change your process and finish things. Or even start things.

Here is a list of things that will cause you to fail, have caused me to fail:

  • Waiting for inspiration
  • Not planning the entire story out in advance, including the middle
  • Working on more than one project
  • Seeking perfection on first draft
  • Going back, second guessing, chronic revising
Add each of those to the great pile of Bullshit that is the excuse called Writer’s Block.

All of these things mean you didn’t have a detailed enough plan before you sat down at the computer. I use outlines now. I also use long bullet lists of descriptions of places, characters, things, scenes and plots. A bullet may look like this:
  • Elizabeth Cruise meets Ian Vinge, the Chief Engineer on the space freighter, and he recognizes the origin of her pressure suit.
That is the seed for an entire scene in my current novel. It became 2000 words in an event that is the exact opposite of BS Writer’s Block, a Writer’s Torrent.

One last stupid metaphor: A cross country trip

Writing a novel is like taking a cross country trip. If I wanted to Drive from DC to LA I am not going to just get in the car and drive where ever my random whim takes me. I’d end up lost in Canada somewhere because so many roads here around DC go North.

Before I even get in the car I get a map and not only decide what direction to go, what roads to take but what interesting things I will see and do on my trip. If I happen to drive by the worlds largest rubber band ball I may visit it. I will get to LA even though it may not be the most direct route. Before I even get in the car I know where I am headed. No hesitation. No fear. No road blocks. No Bullshit. I know I will stop at Waffle House.

Your Mileage May Vary...

--Finish things.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Janet Garber

Janet Garber

Tell me about yourself, Janet ?

Janet Garber, PhD dropout, loves listening to live blues and folk music, hiking in the “Gunks” with hubby, mixing up weird ingredients, and solving puzzles.  Her publishing history includes articles and essays for major U.S. newspapers, trade journals, and mainstream magazines, book and movie reviews for online magazines, one non-fiction book, as well as short stories and poetry in a score of literary journals. Her comic debut novel, Dream Job, Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager,, has just been released. Curious? Visit her on

Tell me about your current Book:

When her year-long commuter crush, Ponytail Man, reveals himself to be a repulsive slug and her worklife becomes ever more chaotic, Melie must strike out into uncharted territory to find a life of her own. If she fails, she’ll be one more sad and lonely woman in the metropolis cuddling up to a mechanical toy.

Melie Kohl, beleaguered manager in Human Resources, struggles to keep order at the out-of-control Axis Mundi Medical Center, which is swarming with buttock-grabbing doctors, hebephrenic staff and monstrous bosses. Her unorthodox methods cause her to run into a little murder here, some cancer there, a handsome devil and rivals, not all of whom are human, like Gladys, the first parrot-woman gladiator. She’s just turned forty; now is her time. You know Melie won’t give up until she has sorted it all out – the hunk, the macaw and her life’s work.

What are you working on now?

Now that I’ve gotten my first novel out of the bottom drawer and into the world, I’m thinking about another featuring an American woman and her French husband living/slugging it out in Paris in the 70’s. Or first I might pull together an anthology of my short stories. And there’s always my kiddie stories. And let’s not forget poetry. The important thing is to keep writing, and if I can exorcize a few old demons, so much the better!

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

Hard to say. I like sitting in my pj’s in front of my PC with my calico cat on my right; I don’t mind writing longhand in Panera’s; I even like tapping out ideas or whole articles into my phone. Oh, I know! I like jumping out of bed in early morning to jot down some amazing phrase from the dream I’ve just had.

What is your favorite Website? of course


TWITTER: @melie5

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Quotes of the Week

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
—Louis L'Amour

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
—Jack London

If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid

Reading is the sole means by which we slip involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul
—Joyce Oates

Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us.
—Paul Theroux

If you quit, then quit. If you can't quit, then you're a writer.
—R.A. Salvatore

You can't blame a writer for what the characters say.
—Truman Capote

A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave.
—Oscar Wilde

Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
—Arthur Miller

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday Tips: First Drafts

Only about 1 out of 100 people that say they are going to write a novel ever finish a first draft.

I spent 20 years trying again and again to write a book and could never finish a first draft. I will share with you two lists:

Things that stopped me from finishing a first draft:

  • No plan. I would always paint myself in a corner with plot if I didn't have a clear plan.
  • Waiting for Inspiration. The Muse is a fickle bitch.
  • No dedicated place or time to write.
  • Distractions. Work, family, friends, phone, TV, Internet.
  • Poor word processing tools.
  • Spending more time editing previous chapters.

This list freed me to finish first drafts:

  • Outline the hell of of your story.
  • Write EVERY DAY.
  • Create a distraction free place and time to write.
  • Scrivener. Buy it.
  • Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft.
  • Never go back and edit. Lots of time for that later.
  • Write one book at a time. Finish before starting the next project.
  • Keep notes in long hand. Keep a notebook with you all the time,
  • Read a lot. 
  • Discipline. Finish things.

Keep in mind that this is what helped me. As of this writing I have three novels published and a half dozen short stories. Every writer is different. Be honest  with yourself. Is your process working?

If you finish your first draft you are already beating the odds. I will do a future post on second and third drafts.

--Celebrate your first drafts. They are more important than final drafts.

Monday, September 5, 2016


Martin Wilsey To Participate in Local Author Fair

 (Warrenton, VA) August 30, 2016 — Martin Wilsey, author of the Solstice 31 Trilogy, will be appearing at the 2016 Great Writers, Right Here – a local authors fair, hosted by the Fauquier County Public Library on Friday, September 30 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Great Writers, Right Here will bring together local published authors, and readers who will have the opportunity to stroll from table to table and meet the authors. Martin Wilsey will share and discuss his work with the community and sign and sell his books.

Over 40 authors are participating in this celebration of local talent. In response to the increased interest, this year’s event will be held at the Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, 39 Alexandria Pike, Old Town Warrenton. This location, which enables more authors to participate in this event, is located across the street from the Warrenton central library.

--CLICK HERE for additional details and directions.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Cecily Wolfe

Tell me about yourself, Cecily?

I am a librarian. I like potato chips and anime.

Ceci Wolfe writes whatever her characters tell her to write.  Her stories have been published in the Rubbertop Review, Pilgrimage Press, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, and Rose Red Review.

You can find her on Goodreads. She and her sisters, Alys and Katy, share a book-focused Pinterest page under the name alyswolfe. A playlist for A Harvest of Stars is available on Spotify.

Tell me about your current Book:

When her stepfather’s abuse takes a terrifying turn, Locklyn must decide to leave the only boy she will ever love or stay, risking her life at her stepfather’s hand.

Locklyn Gaines isn’t her mother, but the residents of her small southeastern Kentucky town don’t care. Her mother’s secrets are Lock’s shame, and every time her drunk stepfather uses her as a punching bag, Lock wonders how much her dying mother knows about what goes on in the crumbling old house her mother’s family has lived in for generations. Isaiah Parker hardly remembers life before the first day of kindergarten, before he became obsessed with the serious, dark-haired girl in sunglasses who lives just beyond the field behind his house and rides the school bus with him every day. Protecting Lock had been a fantasy for the child he was, but Isaiah and Lock are nearly finished with high school, and Isaiah knows that now is the time for him to save her. Her stepfather has other plans, however, and one night may be all they have to do whatever it takes to escape and start over again, together.

What are you working on now?

A sequel to A Harvest of Stars, called Starlight, and a re-telling of a not-so-famous Henry James novel, which is racier than I thought it would be. Where James insinuates, I give all the juicy details. And there are plenty.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?
My home, in front of the fireplace in winter and at my dining room table or desk otherwise. Sometimes my recliner, but I associate the recliner with reading, so sometimes not much writing gets done there.

What is your favorite Website?

I love Behind the Voice Actors. I adore anime and can spend hours cross-referencing actors and their various roles.


Spotify book playlist: