Something for Short Story Lovers

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I have been working on a short story for an anthology my writers group that my writers group is putting together. While brainstorming last night, I realized I never really touched base on my work and the anthologies I am in. (Yes, there is a little self promotion going on here too, haha).

When I was a kid, I didn’t think that having my very own story in print would happen. When three of my writing friends started Third Person Press, I worked my butt off and crossed my fingers that I would get a letter saying they liked and wanted my story.

They did!

Undercurrents Front Cover

From Third Person Press website:

A Cape Breton Anthology of Speculative Fiction (The Speculative Elements, Vol. 1)
The fourteen stories in Undercurrents ply the literary oceans of time and space, possibility and imagination. And while you may find familiar themes in these pages-love, change, greed, spirituality-you will discover that they take on a new perspective when viewed through the lens of the speculative. Inside are stories that ripple and swell with the unusual: fiddle-playing ghosts, malevolent cats, urbane vampires, and ordinary folks who have drifted into the realms of the extraordinary. Set your oars in these unusual waters and see for yourself what swirls in the undercurrents.

The urban vampires? That’s me. 😉

What I love about anthologies, are that short stories are a quick read. Also, while you may not enjoy every story, you are bound to love and like most of the book.

Third Person Press went on to publish a total of four stories in the Elements collection. (There is also Airborne, Unearthed and Flashpoint). I was lucky enough to be accepted into the rest of the books. My stories are all set in the same world, with new supernatural creatures and problems being added in the mix. I love writing the Lily and Quinn series, and have no plans to stop writing with them. (I will talk about them more in a future post).

I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished so far. When I re-read my stories, I can see where I grew as a writer, as each one went on.

They have also published a couple of other anthologies, one being Christmas themed and the other is ghost stories. And last year they published ‘Rise of the Mudmen’ by James FW Thompson. I have that on my book pile and plan to read that soon! 🙂

If you are interested adding to your short story collection, you can check out Third Person Press site and see what would be up your alley!

 

 

 

 

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Why Every Writer Needs A Writers Group

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No matter if it is an online group or an in-person meeting, being in a writers group can help you out a lot. Joining my group was one of the best things I have ever done. I joined The Story Forge about fifteen years ago.

My group is laid back. We get that life happens and you can’t make it to every meeting or that you can’t get so many chapters written. There are also groups out there with more structure.

A Mixed Bag.  Our group has everyone from those who write for fun and for themselves, as well as published authors who are busy in the writing community. (Writers in schools programs, signings, readings etc…) We bounce around ideas and talk about various topics. We all also have different genres that interest us, from poetry to sci-fi and mainstream. Everyone has something to offer.

Support and Encouragement. I have left more than one meeting feeling inspired and ready to concur my current writing project. And on days I have felt like I want to give up, my friends help me realize that I am being crazy. If one of us is in the middle of something big or crazy, like NaNoWrimo, we encourage each other to keep going. Not every one in our daily life understands what a writer is feeling, but your writing friends always do and are there to back you up or give you a kick in the pants if needed.

You Learn A lot. My writing and editing skills have improved immensely since I started going to The Story Forge.  I also feel more confident when I critique someones work. While I am far from perfect, I enjoy helping others and feel I can help.

Brainstorming. Stuck with a plot? Need advice on a topic? Or maybe you are unsure if killing a character will help or hinder your story? Ask your writing buddies. They will give you feedback that you can mull over and help you figure out where to go next. Sometimes more brains are better than one.

Feedback. Finished a piece and need a second pair of eyes? Odds are someone will offer to read your work for you. The great thing about this is that they may see something you missed. When you read your own work umpteen times, you are going to miss the little things, or a problem you didn’t realized you had.

A Night Out. Writers tend to be solitary. Not always, but I am one of them. When I am not at work or out with friends, my favorite night in is curled up with hubby watching tv or with a book. It’s good to get out and talk with people who share your interests.

 

Where to find a group: Check your local library and ask a librarian. That’s how I learned about The Story Forge. You can also find them online like on Facebook. I belong to online groups as well, but meeting up in person gets you out of the house for an evening out, and you can make real life friends you can meet up with in between times. One of my friends is coming over tomorrow, for a coffee and a mini writing session. When all else fails, start your own! Put up a flyer at a local library or start your own online group.

How I have changed and benefited since joining my group: I have been published four times. (Soon to be a fifth…our group is putting an anthology together and the money made will go to our local library.) I have learned a lot about writing and improved so much. I have made some great friends; one of which was my matron of honor. I have become more confident and learned how to turn my inner critic off.

That’s just my take on it. I love my group so much and think every writer can benefit from having one.

Do you belong to a group? What is your favorite thing about it?

 

Author Autograph Success!!!!

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I have been writing fan mail to actors for at least a year and a half now. And I have gotten some great replies. Once in a while Mr. C is able to find an address for one of my favorite authors.

When we first started printing off photos to send, he started making custom cards. One of these was sent to author Jodi Picoult and I was stoked to get that back signed by her.

Today I went to the mailbox, and there was an envelope for me. I knew it was an auto since it was one of the SASE* I included in a letter, but I had no idea who. I could tell it was an older one. One of the first letters I had written.

I was a very happy chick when I opened it.

author auto charlaine

Charlaine Harris!

I got hooked on the Sookie Stackhouse books years and years ago. WAY before True Blood ever hit the small screen. I was hooked on them and ate up every book that was out. When I got caught up, I kept an eye out for release dates. I would buy the hardcover, because I was way too impatient to wait until it was printed in soft cover.

So when we started writing fan mail, she was one on my list. I love her novels and I had to write her. So I was thrilled today to get this. It took 418 days to get here. It was worth the wait!!! 🙂

Writer Gears Are Rusty But They Are Turning

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With October around the corner, there’s a lot on my mind. I love fall and all that comes with it. And usually part of that is prepping for NaNoWriMo.

Until yesterday, I didn’t even know if I was going to do it or not. None of my recent ideas or projects I wanted to start interested me. With the wedding officially less then a year, I have a lot to do and get done for it. I feel stressed, and NaNo is for sure an added stress and time bandit.

I was at work, cleaning up and the like when all of a sudden an idea hit me. Something fun. Something I think I can get really creative with. And it excited me!

I haven’t written a heck of a lot this year. I’ve had personal issues and a lot has been put on the back burner. It made me sad that my ‘writer brain’ was sitting, getting rusty, and I wondered if I would ever use it again.

Right away I scribbled a few notes down before my next client came in. I don’t have a whole lot planned out, not even a full skeleton. But I have something to start with. A basic idea and two characters. That’s enough for me to get into my novel prep!

Over the next few days and over the coarse of October, I will build and create my main characters, and do some world building. I will work on character sketches, create a story board on Pinterest, a ‘Novel Bible’, and do a lot of brainstorming.

So, fellow writers, have you decided if you are taking part in NaNoWriMo? If so, do you have an inkling as to what you’re writing about, or still in “maybe I will just wing it” mode? Do tell! 🙂

Your Input Wanted!

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Recently I did an interview with my friend Cruellatrix. Before I conducted the interview, I did what anyone would do: brainstormed. And, I reached out to some geeky friends of mine on Facebook, to see what they would ask. Some of their question were the same as mine, some I didn’t use (simply for the fact she would have had a list of thirty questions if I didn’t cut it off!), and others I added to my ever growing list.

I will be doing an interview again in the future. This time with a pretty fab author!! I have already started brainstorming. And this is where YOU come in. This time I wanted to reach out to all of you lovely people! 🙂

If you could an author anything, what would it be?

Your question(s) just may end up on in my official interview! 🙂

The Seventh Crow

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I’m just about to pop over to Kickstarter, and back the latest novel by my friend and talented writer, Sherry D. Ramsey.

“The Seventh Crow” is a YA fantasy adventure, a book that I can’t wait to get into my hands. I read the first chapter of it a few years ago, and I have been waiting for the moment where I could read it in its entirety.

Want to know what the gist of the book is? I found this blurb over on Kickstarter.

“A talking crow, a forgotten world and a young girl’s quest to regain her memory, her power and protect the people she cares for.”

What’s not to love??

If you are interest and want to get your own copy, check it out here and watch the video.

Added bonus: Not only do you pre-order your book but there are various and cool perks to each pledge level! 🙂 New stretch goals have also been added!

7th crow

International Women’s Day

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For once I am actually on top of things, and not worrying about being late like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

Today is International Women’s Day, and I have chosen to honor it with my favorite thing in the world: books.

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Books written by my favorite female authors, which include some of my most favorite female characters.

I could have picked a bigger stack of books for this, but then I wouldn’t have been able to get them all in one photo. So I narrowed it down to my top faves.

‘Lover Eternal’ is my favorite book written in J.R Wards ‘The Blackdagger Brotherhood’ series, which features Mary Madonna Luce, who is compassionate, kind, and has a heart made from gold.

‘One’s Aspect to the Sun’ is written by Sherry D. Ramsey. Sherry’s novels and short stories always feature strong and interesting characters. I love Captain Luta Paixon, and her secret. (Wouldn’t it be nice to never look older then your thirties?!)

I’ve loved Jodi Picoult since I read ’19 Minutes’, which is a heartbreaking story that hits too close to home for some. I love how she shows the story for everyone’s aspect, and not just one or two POV’s. In stories such as ’19 Minutes’, seeing those extra POV’s adds depth to the story. Bonus Points: I wrote to her and she signed my card I sent. 😀

Jane Austen. If I could have picked an era to live in, it would have been hers. ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is the novel that made me fall in love with her. I’m a sucker for romance, and I have watched the movie and read the book countless times. The Dashwood sisters remain near and dear to my heart. Although sometimes I have wanted to kick Marianne right in the caboose.

Being the sucker I am for vampires, the supernatural and romance, my guilty pleasure is the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. Although one of her books, towards the last of the series had me irked at the fantastic author, I have still loved each and one of these books. Charlaine has been one of the authors who inspired me to write dark fantasy/paranormal romance, and Sookie will always be one of my favorite female characters. (I’m a book or two behind. Don’t tell me if Sookie did something to fuck shit up.)

J.K Rowling inspired the world and our imaginations with Harry Potter. And what better female to honor today in the fictional world then Hermoine Granger, the bookworm/book smart/street smart lady full of sass who kept Ron and Harry in line. I am happy that someone had the sense to pull her manuscript out of the trash and seen it for what it was and is: pure gold.

Sophie Kinsella has always made me laugh with Becky Bloomwood’s antics, and made me cry in ‘Remember Me.’ No matter what book of hers I am reading, she never fails to entertain me and leaves me wanting more.

Another author that fills my love of dark fantasy is Karen Marie Moning. I started out reading her Highlander series when a client of mine recommended it to me. I devoured them quickly and moved on to her Fever series. The Fever series features MacKayla Lane aka Mac. She’s a girly girl who loves pink, who is thrown into the world of the supernatural and discovers she has a rare talent. I loved watching her transform from Mac 1.0, to the killer mac 5.0.

These are some of the ladies and characters who have inspired me and continue to do so. Aside from my mom of coarse 😉 Where would we be without those women who loved us no matter what and stuck by our side?

What female authors/ characters have inspired you?