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Put That Thing Away!

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 01 December 2015 · 8 views

Welcome to the end of NaNoWriMo. I hope you met your goals or at least got some good writing done. I know this month was rough for me but that I’ve had a lot of success figuring out the plot of my new story and that is a wonderful outcome for me!

Since there are a lot of sparkling new manuscripts out there right now and I wonder how many of you are thinking—what now? Do I start querying agents? Send this baby out to some small pubs to test the waters? Just how big is an average advance? And how big is an above average advance because, you know, my story rocks!

No! *slaps your little writer hand* Stop. You do none of those things. You know what you do after binge writing a whole book? You put it away. Yup. You heard me. You put that pretty little thing away. No matter how amazing it is, no matter how much your mom loved it, you put it away!!


Use the next few weeks to work on your query or research something for another story, exercise a part of your body other than your fingers or to catch up on the four weeks worth of Walking Dead you missed while typing. While you are doing all those awesome things, something great is going to happen to your novel. All the flaws you didn’t see before, the ones that a potential agent, editor or reader would see right away, they are going to float up to the surface and where you were once blind, you will now SEE. For real—look it up. It’s science.

Sometimes we need distance from our writing to see two things—our errors and our genius.

There is such an obvious importance to the moments where we find out horrible errors, flaws in logic, BAD WRITING and say, “Oh my gosh, did I really write that?” We want to be good, don’t we? At least we get a chance as writers to make our work right before we let people read it. I love singing and have performed many times in my life, but the one thing that freaks me out about singing solos is that it is just one moment. Even if I’ve practiced flawlessly I worry that if I mess up in a performance then that is how I’ll be remembered as a singer. Now, as writers we have the opposite situation. We can flub all we want as we write our first draft, second draft, seventeenth draft, and then present something lovely and polished to represent ourselves at the end. If we have the opportunity to represent ourselves in the best way possible, why not take it?


Yet there is just as much value in finding and then recognizing the beauty in our work. I love reading through a story after letting it sit and do that science thing I talked about earlier and finding those sparkling moments where I think, “Did I really write that?” These are the same words we use for when we recognize our flaws, but said in such a different way. I think it is these moments of identifying our talent, rather than in the actual act of writing the words, that we become writers.

So take that shiny Word doc you’ve become so intimately acquainted with and put it away for a little while. I promise that you’ll thank me when you take it back out and see how to make your hard work good work as well.

Also, don’t forget! If you’d like a chance to win one of three advanced reader copies of my newest book, WHEN I’M GONE, you still have time to toss your name in the ring. All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter before December 15th, 2015. I’ll announce my winners in my first newsletter. Good luck!IMG_3267



How to Procrastinate Like a Pro

Posted by trcolt in #writerslife, 01 December 2015 · 64 views
writers, author, writerslife and 4 more...

You know how writer's life consists of procrastination instead of really sitting down and write. Well, today I don't feel like writing at all and spend the first few hours watching The Sim 4 playthrough on youtube. That's is not really useful now is it? So after feeling like an noncontributing member of society, I've decided to do some research. I'm in the progress of fine tuning my first book and I'm debating what I should do with it. It's a psychological thriller called "It's A Terrible Life' and it's part of a series. Should I self-publish and wait until I have at least three books before I go the traditional way or do I try to find an agent right away? Decisions, decisions.

So I went online and it seems like no matter what you do, you need to market your books. If you're not the one doing it then nobody is. Whether you have an agent or not, a good following always help. So what I did today:

1. I've created a new logo for myself (see my profile pic).
I like it plain and simple. And once my illustrator has finishes my cover then I'll be able to do more. But at the moment, this will do.

2. I started a FB page.
I know it's hard trying to start from scratch, but you have to start somewhere. Lucky for me I have a bunch of friends but then again, I'm writing under a pen name and I don't really want them to know it's me. I'm feeling pretty insecure about people I care about reading what I wrote. Maybe this will change one day but right now, I skipped inviting them. Just more casual acquaintances and associates.

3. I started twitter.
I'm told by someone on FB that twitter is the best and easy way to get started. And I agree. It's simple and everyone has them. First thing first, though. You need followers. So what I did, I went and follow a bunch of authors and publishing company. Then I post my first few tweets. Tips I've gotten? a) stay active andaimed at 10 to 20 tweets a day and at least 10 retweets b) uses popular hashtags I don't know if this will work but I'm going to do so and I'll update my progress.

So, although I didn't get much re-editing done today, I did something. And this is how you procrastinate like a pro.

I hope this helps!

Cheers, Colt.

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COVER REVEAL for THE ROLE by Richard Taylor Pearson

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 01 December 2015 · 7 views

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover for Richard Taylor Pearson’s debut novel, THE ROLE. As one of Richard’s critique partners, I’ve had the pleasure of reading this book, and it is definitely one to put on your “to buy and read” list. Before we reveal the cover, here’s some more information on the book and … Continue reading COVER REVEAL for THE ROLE by Richard Taylor Pearson



Debut Author Emily Ross On Inspiration

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 01 December 2015 · 9 views

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come to us like a lightning bolt, through the lyrics of a song, or in the fog of a dream. Ask any writer where their stories come from and you’ll get a myriad of answers, and in that vein I created the WHAT (What the Hell Are you Thinking?) interview. Always including in the WHAT is one random question to really dig down into the interviewees mind, and probably supply some illumination into my own as well.

Today's guest for the WHAT is Emily Ross, author of HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH, for which she received a 2014 Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist award in fiction. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in Boston Magazine, Menda City Review, and The Smoking Poet. She is an editor and contributor at Dead Darlings, a website dedicated to discussing the craft of novel writing. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Massachusetts Boston, and is a 2012 graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program.

Ideas for our books can come from just about anywhere, and sometimes even we can’t pinpoint exactly how or why. Did you have a specific origin point for your book? 

Yes I do. I was having trouble plotting my novel when my sister suggested I turn to a true crime for inspiration and not just any crime. She confided in me that when she was 12 she’d been obsessed with the case of Charles Schmid, ‘the Pied Piper of Tucson.’ Schmid was a charismatic young man who murdered three teenage girls, and buried them in the Arizona desert. Two of his victims were sisters. I was surprised to be hearing about this crime that took place in the sixties, for the first time now from my own sister. I had to look deeper into this case.

I learned that Schmid had been very popular with Tucson teens and had lots of girlfriends. Some of the material about him read more like an episode of Gossip Girl, than the thoughts of a serial killer. Photos from an old Life Magazine article from 1966 showed him to be a handsome guy who didn’t look like a murderer. In fact he didn’t look all that different from kids I’d hung out with in high school. One of the many aspects of this case that disturbed me was that some of Schmid’s friends had known about the murders and didn’t tell anyone. I began thinking about how little I understood about my own friends as a teen, and how blindly I’d counted on love to solve everything. Slowly a story emerged about secrets, lies, and a girl who falls for someone who may not be what he seems.

Once the original concept existed, how did you build a plot around it? 

Researching this crime gave me a broad arc for my story and a sense of events that could happen. It also helped me to develop my main characters. I decided to tell the story from the point of view of a girl whose older sister goes missing, and based my protagonist loosely on Wendy Fritz, Schmid’s youngest victim. I was drawn to a photo I found of her. She looked so innocent and uncertain, and reminded me of myself at that age. Other than this photo though there was almost no information on her. Ultimately this turned out to be a good thing because it freed me to tell a story that was quite different from the case. But I didn’t leave my original concept entirely behind. I wove many details from the crime into my book, sometimes without even realizing it.

Have you ever had the plot firmly in place, only to find it changing as the story moved from your mind to paper? 

I usually don’t start with the plot firmly in place. I wish I did. Rather I have a vague idea of the major plot points and the ending, but things change a lot as I write a draft. I’m okay with that as long as I keep heading in the right general direction. But revising my novel was a painful process with lots of wrong turns. For my next novel I’d like to have the plot firmly in place before I start. We’ll see…

Do story ideas come to you often, or is fresh material hard to come by? 

A lot of vague story ideas float through my mind but they’re more like bits of a story, a line, an image, a voice. Sometimes when I write it feels like I'm making a collage out of all these little pieces of things. I have to figure out what connects them and how they fit together, but I usually don't start to see the connections until I’m well into a draft. Even then I stumble around in the dark hoping that a story will emerge from all the bits and pieces. The strange thing is that it often does.

How do you choose which story to write next, if you’ve got more than one percolating?

I’m pretty indecisive so choosing what to write next is hard for me. Right now I have two novel ideas bouncing around in my head. One is about a teenage girl who aspires to be a video game designer. It will require a lot of research, since I don’t even play video games. The other is about dance teams, something I’m a little more familiar with. To help myself decide I often just start writing to see if the idea holds my interest. If I find myself writing lots of pages, that’s usually the story I choose to write next. If that doesn’t work I have also been known to arbitrarily choose one of my ideas and force myself to stick with it for a while to see if I can make it work.

Sometimes the perfect word eludes me. If I can’t come up with it in the moment I usually write something in ALL CAPS like A GREAT WORD HERE and move on to catch it later in revision. Do you roll with the flow, or go find that word right away?

I’m a bit obsessive so I try to find the word right away. I look it up in an online thesaurus or Google things like word for [fill in vague phrase]. But I rarely find the perfect word that way so then I do my best to roll with flow (difficult as that is), and add a comment in my draft that says, COME BACK. Usually the word will come to me later when I’m in the shower or at the grocery store or in some other awkward situation that makes it difficult to write it down.

Look for a giveaway of HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH on Friday!



Brisbane Supanova 2015

  Posted by Mia K Rose in Mia K Rose | Forsaken Illusion, 30 November 2015 · 5 views

Over last Friday, Saturday and Sunday I attended Brisbane Supanova 2015. I primarily always go to Supanova for the authors more than anything else. They had four fantastic panels, all of which I enjoyed. Granted I didn’t take many notes because I was paying attention to what they were saying. Though I did manage to tweet […]



The Love of Reading Lives On!

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 30 November 2015 · 19 views

I had a group of Grade 8 students working in my classroom the other day. They were working on a variety of projects and activities and sitting in small groups around the room.

One of students started a discussion about the book he was reading (In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis). He knew a few others had read the first book in the series (Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy as well) and asked if they thought it was okay to read the books out of order.

One girl used the phrase companion book and, having read both books, told him it would be fine, although there could be a few spoilers about a character. A few other students agreed, and the conversation turned to what they liked about the world building in the book.

Another boy chimed in about the world building in Extraction by Stephanie Diaz and he encouraged them to read it because, while it was really different in almost every way, he thought all the books created vivid worlds, powerful characters, and intriguing (his word!) conflict, and that students who liked one would like the other.

The conversation was interrupted by the bell, but it was some great eavesdropping for so many reasons:

  • the authors the kids spoke about are friends of mine from Agent Query Connect (the kids know nothing about my connection to these authors)
  • the gender of the main character didn't matter to anyone
  • the conversation was completely and totally spontaneous
  • there was NO adult intervention or commentary (I sat back quietly and grinned!!!)
  • they showed great understanding of the books and all kinds of literary concepts
  • they were able to look past the obvious dis-similarities to deeper connections within the books
Talk about an uplifting few minutes! So, for those of you who are worried about the next generation of readers, relax! 

What about you? What positive reading have you seen and heard about lately?



Warm Christmas Memories, Part 1

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 28 November 2015 · 21 views

This month has always been my favorite time of year. I have so many warm memories of this festive season. So I decided that for the next four weeks I would do a series of reminiscences of Christmases past. Here's the first:

bedroom, window, curtains
This isn't my actual childhood window,
but mine was just as frosty during the
winter. Ah, the joys of the single
pane window.
Outside the blankets, it's icy cold, but underneath them, so numerous it's difficult to move, it is toasty warm. My bedroom is a converted attic and our house's heat source is a floor furnace that does an admirable job of warming the downstairs but is basically meaningless up here. But I don't mind at all. The best sleep is cold room sleep.

I'm half awake; it's a half-hour before I have to get up for school. I could get up, but I have no intention of stirring before I'm called. This time is too delicious. Wafting up from downstairs are sounds and smells that my pre-teen mind has no idea will become so precious to me as an adult. Mom has been up for a bit, and during this time of year--the weeks before Christmas--that means two things: blasting Christmas music on the stereo and baking delectable Christmas treats too numerous to list.

It just wouldn't sound right to me
without the pops and hiss of vinyl,
but if you want to try it, go to Amazon.
It's only $5.99 for the whole album.
We have lots of Christmas music, all of which hid in the bottom of the stack of LPs until Thanksgiving. This is long before the days of iPods, CDs, or even cassette tapes. Dad, along with the rest of the country, hasn't yet given in to the commercial excess of starting Christmas in mid or even early November. But from the morning after Thanksgiving until early January, I am awakened by one of those records. I love every single one, but my favorite is The Star Carol by legendary country singer Tennessee Ernie Ford. His rich, silky baritone fills me with warmth on the frostiest morning.

Accompanying the music are the sounds and aromas of Mom working in the kitchen, splitting time between getting breakfast ready for the house, packing Dad's lunch, and baking the aforementioned Christmas goodies. Mom is famous in our circle of neighbors and family for her baking prowess. The list is seemingly endless: chocolate chip cookies, snicker doodles, Niemen Marcus cookies, fudge, toffee, snack mix, wedding cookies, sugar cookies--I could go on, but I'm getting fat just thinking about it.

cookies, dessert, baking, sweets, treats, ribbons, food
I have no easily accessible pictures
from the time period. The
memories are still fresh, even if
the cookies aren't.
Mom annually bakes so much that most years we walk around the neighborhood, tins in hand, to share the bounty with older folks who don't have much Christmas to be cheerful about. Some years when I'm younger and frustrated about not getting to join my older siblings (I often joke I'm the fourth of three children because I came along unexpectedly almost five years after my brother Don, who Mom and Dad thought was going to be their last kid.), Mom soothes my tears by letting me join her in the kitchen. This is why I'll love cooking and baking as an adult--and why I'll have a sweet tooth until the day I die.  

Shortly before it's time to get up and get ready for school, I hear Mom come and slide back the door at the bottom of the stairs to let some warm air up. It's an accordion-style device that wasn't really designed for what Dad installed it for, but it works. The door opening only intensifies the sensory delights as whatever's in the oven just at the bottom of the stairs dances up and tickles my nose. I don't know how my brother can stay asleep through it, but he doesn't stir until a few minutes later when Mom yells up that breakfast is ready. I don't want to get up, not because I want to keep sleeping, but because where I am is just so perfect and part of me wishes that it can stay this way forever. But another part of me, even the me that's not yet old enough to understand why, knows that perfection doesn't last. So it's up into the frigid morning air to get dressed, trudge downstairs, and meet the day.

PS--I would be remiss if I didn't remind you one last time about my reading and signing event today from 4pm to 6pm. It's at Emmanuel Baptist Church, which is on the corner of 23rd and Liberty Streets. It's just up the hill from City Park, so when you're finished, you can go enjoy the lights. I know that's what I plan to do.



A Grateful Post

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Amy Trueblood's Blog, 25 November 2015 · 46 views

          Hello all,   The blog has been a little quiet as of late because I’m knee-deep in revisions on one book, while trying to desperately finish a first draft on another before year end (I know, I need to have my head examined over this choice!)   But while things may […]



The Life and Times of Jordan Adams

Posted by JordanTheNinja in JordanTheNinja's Blog, 19 November 2015 · 87 views

Hello, hello, hello.

It feels like it has been eons. Ages. As if the world has overcome me in the sense of passing. By this, I’m referring to my absence in many things. From this fantastic website. From any major writing. College life as well as work life have consumed most of my available free time. Trust, I’ve had fleeting story ideas, all of which do not return once they pass through the gigantic filter that is my brain. I’ve finally found time to write something that was non-academic and not bound by the rules of an essay, so for the first time in a long time it feels good to write something with entirely my own freedom.

I’m quickly approaching my 20th birthday, and I’m feeling old. Now, of course, I know that it’s silly of me to feel this way (it’s not like I should fear getting AARP letters in the mail, or start considering nursing home options) but this literal transition from teenager to adulthood is a little daunting to me. I think it’s because of this beautiful, man-made thing I call time that has me afraid. We are all governed by our own metaphorical hour-glass that will one day run out of sand. And each grain drop terrifies me.

Funny enough, it wasn’t even until very recently (about the start of this semester) that I began to feel this sense of having no time. As if not just my own, but the whole world's hourglass was about to drop its last grain. Perhaps it is merely my own fears projected onto my view of the universe, but I cannot shake this feeling. I do not know what this means, but I hope the feeling goes away. It is hard for me to fathom the future; where will my writing go? Will I have a wife and kids? What will happen?

There are so many things that I imagine when I consider my future. But what if there is not as much time as I imagined? What if things were indeed about to wrap up? The writer in me enjoys toying with this idea of having no time, but the “self” version of me is very uncertain. There are many firsts that I still want to experience; many things I still wanted to accomplish. The bits and pieces of poetry/writing that I’ve done over the past six months or so have had a dominating (and perhaps not so underlying) theme of “time” and the lack of it.

The reason that this is happened is because there are no filters with my writing. I write what I feel, what I’m afraid of. It is therapeutic for me. If I create characters and stories that are of things I’m afraid of or things that make me sad, it makes me stronger towards it somehow. Don’t ask me why; my brain is very weird that way. So here is just another example of that—I’m writing about time and how much it scares me.

Everything comes to an end sooner or later; all things go. I feel like everyone subconsciously is aware of this, but, naturally, they don’t want to talk about it. I’m on both sides of the fence—no, I do not want to talk about the end of things, but at the same time, you can’t avoid it. So why not discuss it? Why not share ideas and theories and stories? Stories are one of my favorite things (if you haven’t already figured that out already) and guess what? All stories have an end. Everyone is living their own story right now. It had a beginning, is currently experiencing the middle, and will one day reach its end. So if we think of life as just one big metaphorical book, I know how to handle that. I can grasp this concept.

At the end of it all, at the most basic fundamentals of life, regardless of what religion you believe in, we are eternal beings. We are not here for this brief amount of time. We were not created for that purpose, to just be born and then die and become nothing. With that, I find some comfort, that perhaps while we will one day reach the end of one era, it will not truly be the end of myself.

The thought of being able to write forever is comforting, but more comforting is the fact that, no matter how it all plays out, it is not truly the end.

Until next time,




Posted by Quiana Kyles in The Silent Whispers Movement, 15 November 2015 · 41 views

Hello World!

I'm, here just to rely a message to all 2000+ viewers who've seen the blog postings! Thank, you for all of your support...
For, me to step out of the shadows of poetry and expand to film is a big leap for someone like me..Yes, I grew up in the impoverished communities of Chicago but through the struggles I've learned how to do more then just survive but thrive.
Through, self-employment that is the only way to advance....In, my world through creative expression I've been able to create a world that I am truly proud of. The objective is to someday literally own the jet building create a production company that would give a voice to an under served population...

Right, now as we speak I have a fundraiser on the website indiegogo.com which is geared toward making the project His Voice His Movement a success at the box office but I am asking for your support... If, all of the 2000 plus viewers would lend a hand then we can send the message to Hollywood that the legacy of MJ is one that can't be denied.

For, every contribution that's made you do get a perk or two as a result of your efforts to spread the word and donate. Those perks include shout out's on cyberspace to Movie Merchandise! No, matter the level of contributions made you'll get a Perk!
Even, if you go out on my website www.facebook.com/HVHMCHI16 you can fill out the mailing list, answer the trivia questions and get 2 free tickets to the premier in Chicago! Of course you would handle all transportation and lodging on your own!

There, is a beauty in knowing that MJ influenced not just mere blocks (sorry Spike Lee) but nations......

Everybody, knows that the Jackson dynasty started in the MId-West...Now, it's our time to say thank you!
When, you have dreams in life you can't allow your surroundings to determine your success! You, can have a million No's keep pushing and find that there is one yes waiting in the midst of those sea of No's...

It, will get tough and the road may seem endless but take heart your help is just a step or two away...


The 2015 Chicago Book Expo

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 12 November 2015 · 39 views

I have heard great things about this event from other writers and am looking forward to attending for the first time. If you go, stop by my table and say hi.  I’d love to see you.Filed under: Events



moncler outlet engaged in

Posted by faefsdsdgs in faefsdsdgs' Blog, 11 November 2015 · 46 views

Commerce Is The Silver Lining In Target's Dismal Quarter Target (NYSE:TGT) reported another disappointing quarter due to underperformance at Canadian stores and losses incurred from the security breach of storebranded cards that occurred late last year. The silver lining here is that ecommerce sales grew 30% from last year, which is twice the current industry rate of 14%.
Earnings DetailsEarnings for Q2 2014 fell 20% from the same period last year to $0.78/share, but were inline with (downward) revised company projections. Revenues for Q2 2014 grew only 1.7% from the same period last year to $17.4 billion. Meanwhile, costs increased 3.6% to $12.2 billion as the company moncler outlet engaged in more marketing and relied more heavily on discounts. Hence, gross margins (((SalesCost of Sales)/Sales)100) are down to 30.1% from 31.4% in the same period last year.
There were also some onetime charges related to the security breach in credit card info, interest expenses, and asset impairment. These are detailed below.
All together, these charges are expected to reduce earnings by $0.48/share for the fiscal year.
No Quick Fix in CanadaJust a year and a half ago, Target carried out an ambitious plan to open 124 new stores in Canada over just a few months time. The plan was marred by poor execution and Canadian shoppers complained that the Canadian experience at Target was not the same as the American one. Now, it is working on turning around an operational disaster. For Q2 2014, Target reports a 63% increase in sales in Canada, but most of this was from opening of new stores. In fact, comparable sales were down 11.4%. Gross margins were also down to 18.4% from 31.6% in the same period last year.
Canada is an important market to fix and once it is fixed, Canada may inject some much needed growth into Target. moncler outlet online I am confident that the company can turn around the situation once it addresses the clear issues that Canadian shoppers have pointed out.


Katherine Memmel: "We Write Diversely. We Fail. We Write Again."

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 02 November 2015 · 63 views

We've got another #WriteInclusively guest post in line! :D I love these posts, and am actively looking for more. Especially if you are a writer of color, please please contact me! I'd love to have you guest blog.

Take it away, Katherine!


Let’s get this out of the way—I’m a white writer who thought I could write diversely and failed. Here’s how:

I was raised in a liberal household in the greater San Diego area, where over a hundred languages are spoken and white people are less than half the population.

I grew up watching Sesame Street and The Cosby Show and I spent more time singing along to Boyz II Men at middle school dances than actually dancing with anyone.

I don’t have many friends but I’ve had acquaintances of all races throughout my life. One of them, a high school colorguard teammate, used to let me ask her anything I wanted to know about being black on the long bus rides to competitions and parades.

When I moved to Wisconsin for a few years in my twenties I called out relatives left and right over their nakedly racist comments (the 2008 election was…fun).

There has never been a time that I didn’t consider myself progressive and open-minded, but most importantly, I’ve long been aware my place in the privilege pecking order—I don’t have it the best, but I certainly don’t have it the worst.

So when the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign started trending on Twitter last year, I charged into it with that righteous sense of sincerity tucked in my back pocket. I watched as pleas from writers and agents and editors and librarians and parents gathered into a great chorus, amplifying the ugly truth of fiction’s diversity problem: it’s not simply the lingering effect of tradition or an innocent oversight. It’s a tragedy of human potential.

Because diversity isn’t a movement or an agenda or a phase. Diversity is inevitable. White people only make up about 16 percent of the world population but control every pillar of power: politics, business, religion and entertainment. Think of how fast civilization could progress if all the ideas and wisdom and stories of the remaining 84 percent were just as welcome.

This cry for representation is the backbone of #WeNeedDiverseBooks, and as the campaign gained steam, I sympathized with the participants, retweeted them, nodded my head in solidarity. And when the time came to apply diversity to my own work, I assumed I was beyond ready for the task. But white privilege is almost invisible to those it benefits, and sometimes it reveals itself in unexpected ways.

Like writing dozens of characters in numerous short stories and novels that are uniformly white, not from some conscious decision but because, well, I’m white too. It’s an utterly weak excuse, which is why I tried to rectify it when I embarked on my third novel. It wasn’t easy, but after half a dozen revisions and two passes through my critique group, I thought my first attempt at writing believable people of color was a success. This confidence lasted through the first six months or so of querying, boosted by a relatively high request rate. It didn’t even tarnish when almost every pass was attributed to a lack of connection with the main characters because that’s allegedly the most subjective—and thus best—reason to be rejected.

And then #WriteInclusively came along. Reading through SC’s tweets and conversations, it became clear that I had fallen into the tokenization trap. There’s no other way to put it: my characters, while lovingly rendered, are POC on the outside but not on the inside.

Their appearance and other surface details reflect diversity, and although their struggles revolve around the main plot, not their identity, that’s not really the problem. It’s that I missed an opportunity to incorporate all the struggles POC face on a daily basis into the layers of their characterization—the microaggressions and fears and compromises that could have made my thriller that much more thrilling.

Alas, that manuscript is already out in the world, in the hands of agents, one of which was active in SC’s Query Kombat tweetstorm—I might have cringed permanent wrinkles into my face. But I’m eager to discuss a revision strategy in the event I get The Call, not that I’m entirely sure what that strategy will be.

Because the easy lesson in all this is to be more thoughtful and respectful when blending diversity into my stories. The harder lesson is to understand that I’ll never get it right due to the myopia inherent in white privilege. Diverse characters in a white writer’s novel will never have the impact on #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #WriteInclusively that diverse characters from a diverse writer’s novel will. And that’s fine.

So what can I do? I’m tempted to stay in my lane when it comes to main characters, especially when writing in third-person-limited POV and absolutely when writing first-person, because when I write white characters I don’t have the specter of inauthenticity hanging over me. I feel much safer incorporating diversity into the supporting cast, and I will strive to write them with the care and consideration they deserve.

How? By opening my eyes and ears and heart and imagination. By listening to POC and reading their stories. By following them on Twitter and engaging in conversations. By learning, growing, trying harder, writing better. No doubt I’ll stumble more along the way, but there’s nowhere else to go but forward. And there’s no excuse not to try.

Katherine Memmel is Fiction Editor for Black Heart Magazine and content manager for an international trade publication, with short stories featured in various online venues and an erotic romance novella trilogy (under the pen name Katrina Sparks) available soon from Enamored Ink. Tweet her!

Thank you thank you so much for the post!!! Some key points in my opinion were the idea that We Need Diverse Books (instead of a focus on diverse authors) has led to tokenization of people of color in literature. It is so so important to realize that people of color aren't just a change of skin, but have different experiences all together.

What were your thoughts? Comment below!

If you want to get more involved with the Write Inclusively campaign and be up-to-date with it, sign up for the newsletter. We do not email much - in the last 11 months, only two emails have gone out.




Ian Thomas Malone Book Blitz!

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 31 October 2015 · 134 views

Ian Thomas Malone – Book Blitz
Five College Dialogues and Five More College Dialogues

Five College Dialogues is a philosophic comedic treatise on college life told through the eyes of George Tecce, a graduate student working as a teaching assistant for an eccentric English professor. Told through Socratic dialogue, George, his students, and his mentor explore all the ins and outs of college life as they examine the state of post-millennial academia. Humorous and thought provoking, the Dialogues are the perfect resource for students, especially those with a philosophy requirement, as well as anyone who wants to relive their four years in an entertaining fashion. 

“A must read for students and nostalgic alumni” 

Five More College Dialogues follows George Tecce’s return to academia as he travels to the West Coast to pursue his Ph.D. The intriguing graduate student is teaching a class on his own for the first time. George continues to help students navigate the ins and outs of college life while poking fun at the often-fickle nature of the collegiate system. He mentors them in a range of diverse subjects including social dynamics, resume building, and relationships. The learning doesn’t stop in the classroom as George even makes his way to a party! Humorous and philosophical, the Dialogues are a perfect resource for students to maximize their college experience. 

Early Praise:
As a whole, the dialogues are clearly a statement on the ups and downs of the college experience.
Colorado College Catalyst
Unlike some publications on college life, “Five College Dialogues” exposes the raw truth and harshness of the collegiate experience. Malone does an excellent job with this exposition. The students’ problems are not sugar-coated.
                                                                                                                             –The Scranton Aquinas
This book didn’t disappoint me at all. Very comical and plenty of life lessons that would made you think over about your life as well.
–Agent Bookworm

About the author:
Ian Thomas Malone, a graduate of Boston College, founded the publication The Rock at Boston College. He is a certified yoga instructor and a Meisner trained actor. Ian will be pursuing a Masters in English Literature at Claremont Graduate University starting fall 2015, where he has been awarded a writing fellowship. A lifelong resident, Ian lives in Greenwich, CT with his golden retriever Georgie.

I wrote The Dialogues as both a resource for current students and a humorous reflection for alumni. You’ll find plenty of information out there that tells you how to survive college, but few that really tell you how to enjoy it. The Dialogues explain college in a way that no RA would think to tell you.” -Malone

Purchase Links:
Five College Dialogues on Eleventh Hour Literary Press - http://www.eleventhhourliterary.com/five-college-dialgoues.html

Five More College Dialogues on Eleventh Hour Literary Press - http://www.eleventhhourliterary.com/five-more-college-dialogues.html



Valentino Shoes may recommend

Posted by fullaf2ww2 in fullaf2ww2's Blog, 19 October 2015 · 63 views
Valentino Shoes

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Interview with Audiobook Narrator Cris Dukehart

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 04 October 2015 · 68 views

Who is the voice behind the audiobook version of Champagne and Lemon Drops? Cris Dukehart!

She graciously allowed me to interview her and here’s the behind-the-scenes scoop on narrating an audiobook as well as what it was like immersing herself in Blueberry Springs as she recorded Champagne and Lemon Drops.

Cris Dukehart

Who was your favourite Blueberry Springs character?

EEEP! That’s so HARD! What is that saying? That picking a favorite character is like picking a favorite child?

CrisDukehartHeadshotNOW… if you had asked my favorite character to VOICE… that one’s a little easier. Ever since I was cast, in 4th grade, as one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters and after a brief but VERY dramatic period of grieving and lamentation at NOT being cast as the sweetly chirping, lovely (BLONDE!) heroine, realized how much more FUN it was to PLAY BAD… to rip a dress to shreds without consequence (EVEN TO CHEERS)… to walk with an exaggerated hip sway and nasty sneer (knowing that after the show Cinderella was coming over to spend the night)… to give mean looks and be applauded for them rather than promptly deposited in time out… I have, more oft than not, positively celebrated the antagonist.

It follows then, that my favorite characters to voice (so far) in Blueberry Springs are Mandy, our gal Beth’s perceived nemesis and Oz’s mother, Angelica.


Do voices just ‘come to you’ when you are preparing to narrate or is there research you find you need to do?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops2Both, sort of. Part of my process as a narrator is to “pre-read” the story. I’m not really reading for content in those first moments, but rather for clues to voice and character… I’m sort of researching within the story itself. I gather and horde, like some hobbitty thing, any and all textual hints from the author, scribbling each character in a note pad as well as their history, appearance, habits and traits. And then, when I have a chance, I pick the author’s noggin. 😉

If a character has a lisp or chews gum… is bold or hesitant… has a back story that will sound in their voice or is, in Mary Alice’s case, the wonderful sage-like busybody everyone adores… these things are as integral to me in developing a character’s voice as the actual textual clues of timbre and tone and depth.

Accents, particularly those of places I have yet to travel to, often find me youtubing, or calling hotels and libraries in the area (if it isn’t a fictional location) and even, in some cases, enlisting the assistance of one of a few websites designed for dialects of the English language, or a dialect coach.


Briefly, what is the process of recording an audiobook? I know you do a read through of the book before you start. What sort of notes do you make for yourself to help along the process of recording the book?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops3Yes, there’s the pre-read where I make notes on characters and voices as well as any words or concepts I am unfamiliar with…

Then I set up my gear (audiobooks require different recording settings than say… commercial audio… due to the varied tones, and volumes and voices required in an audiobook…)

I go put the tea kettle on for my “Throat Coat” tea (I sip it through the read to help with voice fatigue), grab a Granny Smith apple from the fridge (a small nibble helps with mouth smackiness and icky noisy sounds that my lips, teeth, and gums make… noises I was, prior to spending long hours talking into an extremely sensitive microphone, blissfully unaware I made but that I am now HYPER sensitive to… BLE-ARG) … put on my “quiet clothes” if I am not already wearing them (it is ASTOUNDING how LOUD some shirts are and jewelry… FORGET IT!) and hole up in my little padded room to talk to myself for a few hours. (*giggle*snort*)


How long does it take to create a 9 hour audiobook?

ChampagneLemondrops518KIt typically takes me a ratio of 2:1 to record… give or take a bit… so for every 1 hour of audio, equates to 2 hours in the booth, accounting for stumbles and voice cracks, stomach grumblings, small children howling “MOOOOOM, I NEED…”(well… you name it… when I get in my booth, they need it), and any other myriad noises that interrupt recording.

After I record, there is a whole process of audio magic that happens, where the audio is reviewed, edited, mistakes are caught, I re-record the mistakes and then there is “mastering” and quality control… all of it, I would estimate, adds up to somewhere between 5-7 hours/1hour of finished audio.

So… if my math is correct (and it should be because I am using a calculator (giggle*snort*), that’s about 63 hours for a nine hour audiobook.


Do you keep a file of the ‘samples’ of the different book voices? How do you remember what everyone sounds like?

I do keep voice files, though I didn’t (even though it was recommended by any number of experienced narrators) always. One time of having to go back and listen to 18 HOURS of a story, with notepad in hand, in order to “remember” characters in a first book… for a sequel, cured me of THAT SILLINESS!

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops4Now, for each book, I make short recordings of each character saying their name as well as speaking a few lines so if and when a sequel happens, I can refer to the files rather than listening to 18 hours before recording.

As for remembering voices while recording… generally when I’m recording, the story plays out in my head as it might on a screen (I just happen to be all of the characters)… snort… THAT sounds like ALL SORTS of work related psychosis, doesn’t it? (laughing)… Like my friends down the street, my sisters, or my children, the characters in the book I’m narrating typically talk all day in my head… like they do for an author I think. They, and the author, provide a running dialog that is sometimes so real to me that upon exiting the “dead quiet” isolation of my booth I am astounded to find that I am still in my little post-it note cottage in rural Pennsylvania and not in coastal France, or Canada, Texas, some as yet undiscovered planet or world or ANYWHERE, USA.


Did you have a man you were rooting for—Oz or Nash—in the story?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops1Which chapter? Or even… which page?

(ACK! I am SUCH a fickle fanny!)

For much of the book, I was Team OZ…

I am all about redemption… OH and HANDS!!!

You can tell a world… an absolute WORLD… about a fellow from his hands… and I loved the references to Oz’s.

But… Well… that Paris vacation with Nash… what gal DOESN’T like a little “je ne sais quoi”?

A little “sweep me away” romance?

Plus and also too, I really believe that when a door appears to close, it is only to allow another, more suitable, more DESIRABLE one to open. I really LIKED Nash but… well… he was never really SUITED for our gal Beth… not really.

That door, for him is closed… but… well… there is someone for him though… I feel certain. 😉 (and SQUEEEE if I get to narrate their STORY!!!!)


What did you like most about Beth?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops5Beth was REAL.

If she was conflicted, she didn’t pretend otherwise… she invited us into her conflict and perhaps even LARGER… into her resolution process… and she made no excuses for either. It was refreshing and, I felt, inspiring.

In addition, Beth and I share a love of the happily ever after… the fairytale. And I absolutely appreciated that when Beth’s fairytale turned on its end… after consideration and a little fumbling about, she rewrote it to suit.


Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog… and to Blueberry Springs.

Take a listen to Cris Dukehart narrating Champagne and Lemon Drops!

Listen to the entire book:

Amazon US
Amazon UK


Psst! Not an Audible member? You can get the first book free when you sign up for a free trial membership.

Not your speed but still want big savings? Snag the ebook on Amazon, THEN upgrade to audio for only a few dollars more! The two are Whispersynced–read and listen and your devices will remembered where you left off!


Loved it? Leave a review! Both Cris and I love getting online reviews on our work–it really helps us out. Thank you!

The post Interview with Audiobook Narrator Cris Dukehart appeared first on Jean Oram.



The Final Chapter

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 29 September 2015 · 65 views

by all of us

It is not with sadness, but melancholy, that we at From The Write Angle announce we are disbanding, inter-marrying and moving into condominiums.

Wait, that was Doonesbury.

We have only been the imaginings of an autistic boy looking into a snow globe. … No, that was St.Elsewhere.

The war is over – nope, M*A*S*H.

We can’t continue because we’ve been jailed for criminal indifference.  We haven’t, that was the characters of Seinfeld, but maybe we should all do a little time for that offense.

What we’re trying to say is, we are moving on.

From The Write Angle began in 2011 on the premise that we are often best helped, not by those who have reached the top of the climb, but by our peers just a rung or two ahead of us. As a collection of writers at different levels on the ladder, we offered our thoughts from our point of view, our angle.

But our angles have changed. Each of us has kept to our own climb, which now takes us away from this blog.

For our readers who have journeyed with us, thank you. We hope we have helped. For those who have just found us, we leave behind these articles not as sage advice, but just clues, hints, of how we got where you are now, with the hope that they will guide you toward a better tomorrow.

And we wish that your success will one day inspire others.

In the comments of this post each of the contributors to From The Write Angle, past and present, will write a little something about where they were when they joined us, and where they are now. After that, the automatic lights will go out. This blog will be dark.

But as soon as someone walks through the door, the lights will click on.

If you are a budding writer who has stumbled on this anew, please keep posting comments. We’ll be listening. 



Extraction and Rebellion E-Books On Sale for $2.99 - Spread the Word to Win Prizes!

  Posted by Stephanie Diaz in Stephanie Diaz, 21 September 2015 · 107 views

Hey guys!! I'm resurrecting this blog to make a very special announcement...

As you may have already heard, Evolution, the third and final book in the Extraction series, went on sale on September 8th! The series is officially complete! You can buy your copy of Evolution on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Book Depository, or at your local indie!

To celebrate Evolution's release, my publisher has put the first two books in the series -- Extraction and Rebellion -- on sale for only $2.99 each for all e-book formats! This sale will only last for a limited time, so snatch up your copy now! ***And read on to find out how to win prizes by spreading the word!***

Buy Extraction for only $2.99:

Buy Rebellion for only $2.99:

Because I am super grateful for you guys for all you've done for me, I've decided to launch a special giveaway to coincide with the e-book sale. Help me spread the word about the sale on social media and you will be entered to win:

- (1) signed hardcover copy of Evolution,
annotated with behind-the-scenes facts and series secrets (limited edition!)
- (1) limited edition LEGO Clementine model
- (1) limited edition LEGO Logan model
- signed swag

This contest is open internationally. How do you enter to win? There are several ways (Which means you can earn more than one entry! But no more than 1 entry per option):

On Instagram:
Post the Extraction series e-book sale picture (see above), link to my Instagram account @StephanieEDiaz, and tag it #BookBargain.

Alternately, you can re-gram my Instagram post from here.

On Tumblr:
Reblog my tumblr post from here.

On Twitter:
Tweet the following message: DEAL ALERT! Grab e-books of 's EXTRACTION and REBELLION for only $2.99 each for a limited time! 

Alternately, you can retweet my twitter post from here.

On Facebook:
Post the Extraction series e-book sale picture on this page, link to either this website or one of the books, and tag it #BookBargain.

Alternately, you can share my facebook post from here.

The book sale will last for one month, but I will be selecting one winner for the giveaway on Monday, October 5th to receive the grand prize. Again, this contest is open to everyone, whether you live in the U.S. or otherwise. Thank you so much for helping me spread the word!



Cover Reveal for DARKEST DAWN

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 11 September 2015 · 55 views

I am super excited to share the amazing cover for DARKEST DAWN, the first book in a new series by Author Katlyn Duncan. DARKEST DAWN releases next week on September 17th and is available to pre-order now!

In addition to the reveal of this gorgeous cover, the reveal includes an eBook giveaway for one of the author’s previously released titles. Be sure to head down to the Rafflecopter for a chance to win after you’ve checked out the cover!

The Cover Revealed!

Author: Katlyn Duncan
Release date: September 17, 2015
Publisher: Carina
Format: eBook


One desperate journey for the truth

Returning to Willows Lake eleven years after her mother’s tragic death, Sloane Baker knows she will finally get the answers she needs! She always suspected that there was something more sinister at the heart of the accident that claimed her mother’s life, but a cryptic note could be the key to her past…

Two lives changed forever

The small town has always seemed safe to Brianna Taylor – until a mysterious new girl arrives who looks exactly like Bri! Now everything Bri knew has been thrown into question and Sloane’s arrival has changed the world of Willows Lake forever.

Strange things are happening in Willows Lake. But when they turn deadly, Bri and Sloane must find a way to save each other or risk losing everything they hold dear…

Pre-order it:



About Katlyn Duncan


Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

Find her:


The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway for...

  • ONE (1) eBook copy of any one of the author’s backlist titles in Mobi or PDF format.

**Giveaway ends on September 17th at 8:00 AM Eastern. There will be ONE winner**

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway



New...Well, everything.

Posted by DebsBlueRoses in Ramblings and Hand Cramps, 10 September 2015 · 91 views

Well, it's been 3 years and 2 months since I've posted in this blog! That's because, obviously, I had a blog which I linked, and I still do. BUT, it's under a new name and link, which I've connected here.

Also, if you are still following this blog (bless you) and haven't clicked over to what is now The Write Mage at Blogger, I was published at the beginning of this year by Cactus Heart Press! It was a great way to start my year, and I hope it's only the beginning. :smile:

I also have a new pen name, which, as it's the one I was born with, I plan on keeping, and that is Debra Renée. I no longer felt McKellan fit me, though I still love the series from which I borrowed it. My new non-pen also is who I am, and while I will always feel like Deborah is the name of an 80-year-old woman, I am happily embracing it. :wub:

Oh! And right now, I'm doing Pitmad, and I have two favorites on my MS I've been working on since before I joined AQC, and I must thank the people here, because I knew nothing of the ins and outs after you write "The End" for the first time until I came here.

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