Signing, Publishing and OMG!

Remembering the awesome that got us here!

by MC D’Alton

There is nothing like taking a leap in to the unknown to get the adrenal glands pumping copious amounts of RUN into your blood stream. That’s how Melanie and I have felt these last 2 weeks. Continue reading “Signing, Publishing and OMG!”

A Discovery of Writers – 3

Terry Harrington – Broken Karma

Q. Did any of your previous work influence the story you wrote for the anthology? If not, what was your inspiration – If so – how?

I haven’t written anything like ‘Broken Karma’ in the past. My inspiration for this story partially came from my own life and going through a separation after being married for 27 years. I reflected on the path I have taken over the past year and captured some of the emotions I felt during that journey.
Although it is a work of fiction, I think everyone has felt at one time in their life that their karma was broken. Deep down, they know they are a good person, but everything in their life is working against them – Their home life, their work life, their social life, nothing seems to go right.
In the end, my character discovered that it wasn’t his karma that was broken, but the people around him and their choices were not working toward his goals. He made some changes to better his life and became a stronger person.
My main message came at the end of the story where he invited to a party all the people in his life, good or bad, to share in the success of his new life. He didn’t hold any anger or animosity toward them. He discovered that they each helped him become stronger and achieve this point in his life.
Once I reached this point in my own life, things started turning for the better. I forgave, but understood the role others played in my life. I fit them in, even with their deceit. I quit my job and found a place to work where I am happier. And, I found a group of friends that support me for who I am.
I felt that was worth sharing with the world.

Gary Little – Ring Around the Rosie

Q. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

My answer to that question is a palette of multiple characters. I chose a little bit from my wife, some from my sister (she always thinks she’s smarter than me) and wives I have known through Barbershop. I do have to admit I may tend towards the masculine, though. Oh yeah, and there is this author I know that I may use to add an accent to a character. 🙂

D.A. Steen – Praenuntia

Q.     Do you hide any secrets in your books/ stories that only a few people will find?

Killing Lee
My best friend growing up (and still), is a guy named Lee. For fun, (and with his enthusiastic approval) I try to find a new way to kill off a “Lee” character in most of my projects. Let me add here that I don’t use gratuitous violence in my stories, but if, in writing my preferred genres of fantasy, sci-fi, and suspense, the plot requires a dark turn here or there, I usually try to kill off a version of Lee. I’ve used the names Lee, Leeman, Leland, Liam, Leo, and Lenny and have so far had the pleasure of drowning him, shooting him, pushing him off a cliff, burying him in the sand, and sending him forever tumbling through a rip in deep space. Good times, right? It sounds a little dark but it’s all in fun and has served as a long-running source of entertainment and laughter between my friend and me.  

As for the novel I’ve been writing, The Tumultu, I’m on the 3rd to 4th draft. After four years, it is a heckuva tale. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is the value of outlining. I wish I’d planned better from the beginning. 

My website is https://www.dasteen.com/

On facebook I am http://www.facebook.com/thewriterdasteen

Ryan Benson – Death, My First and Last Friend

Q. What are you currently working on? 

I’m working on a few short stories, as I figure out the story to my novel. One of the stories I’m working on a horror story about a person trapped in a town, and the other is a sci-fi short story about a society of clones.

Twitter – @RyanWBenson

The Write Practice

Buy HERE

A Discovery of Writers – 2

Edmund Stone – Audrey’s Discovery

Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I love fishing almost as much as I do writing. I feel like Ernest Hemingway catching marlins and giant tunas in the Caribbean. Now, back to the question. I remember when I was about five years old, I pronounced a large word. It was transcontinental. I read it from over my mom’s shoulder and she was ecstatic. My mom has always been an avid reader and encouraged me to read at a young age. After this encounter, I knew words carried weight and I would choose my words carefully so they would have the biggest impact. I wasn’t the best speaker so writing became a way for me to express those words. It became my language of expression to the world. Thanks for the opportunity.

WEBSITE

Sarah Gribble – Careful What You Wish For.

Q. In a nut shell, how did your story of discovery show it self to you?

This story was a fun one for me. For weeks I ruminated on the theme and honestly had no idea what I wanted to write for it. Then I picked up a new book, read about three paragraphs, and the opening lines for my story just popped into my head. I always have a notebook nearby, so I jotted the lines down and went back to reading. I wasn’t sure where I was going with the story yet. But I couldn’t concentrate on reading; the story kept popping in my head with new lines. About an hour and a half later, I’d scribbled the entire thing in one mad frenzy of writing. I could barely move my hand afterward, but I didn’t care. I love it when stories take over me like that! It happens rarely, but when it does it makes all the hard days of writing worth it.

Instagram  is probably the best way to connect with me right now. There’s also my site for email sign-ups WEBSITE.

Theresa Jacobs – Josie and the Muse.

Q. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

This is the hardest question for me to answer because though I’m a voracious reader, I’ve never been a socializer. Those two things go hand in hand- don’t you think? Until I began writing, only five short years ago, I did not connect with people about books or writing. Therefore, other then the most obvious famous books, I have no inkling as to what might be an underappreciated book. I will tell you one of my all time favorite books is: Dreams Of Leaving by Rupert Thomson. So if you’ve never heard of it grab a copy and we’ll talk. 

FACEBOOK

Cathy Ryan – A Gentle Sort of Love.

Q. What about story telling and writing is the most important for you?

I do think fiction stories must entertain first, but then, when that entertainment contract, that promise made by the writer to the reader is filled so that there is a degree of trust, there is an opportunity for the writer to inspire or to challenge the reader to look at the world differently, perhaps to understand another more deeply, perhaps to endure more patiently in hope of a better tomorrow, perhaps to love more honestly, perhaps to risk more, to change or to affirm something within themselves. (That’s a terribly long sentence, isn’t it?) So in addition to entertainment, it’s important to me that my stories resonate with readers and inspire them in a positive way.

I’ve noticed a growing societal disdain for men so that women seem to feel emboldened to treat them with contempt and rudeness, even those they profess to love. It’s not cute or clever and I don’t want my sons treated that way. A particularly egregious demonstration of this behavior (and a litter of stray puppies in the road one day) came together in the story ‘A Gentle Sort of Love.’

WEBSITE

J. H. O’Rourke – Urban Legend.

Q. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? 

Oh my, just one?  Haha.  Okay.  The ONE thing holding me back from becoming a better writer more than any other is Perfectionism.  I re-read and edit as I go, checking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typos.  I spend nearly as much time seeking a ‘better’ verb or adjective on an online thesaurus as I do actually writing my stories.  I feel strongly that procrastination is part of my own ‘special’ type of perfectionism.  For me, they are one and the same: checking, re-checking, scolding myself, second-guessing my word choices, and changing sentence structure as I write.   When I force myself to ‘just write’ whatever is in my head without reviewing what I’ve written, I feel as if I’m doing something wrong or forgetting something important or even vital to my story.  This is something I have to work on.  Logically I know this is what drafts are all about, but tell that to my writer’s brain!

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Matthew Hart – Grace at the Intermission

Q. What inspired my story for the theme of discovery?

My story Grace at the intermission is actually an amalgamation of two stories I had started.Well, actually one was more just the diner scene and interactions. I pictured that particular one as a mystery in which the protagonist i.e. Kevin was searching for his sister. The discovery aspect was in finding romance/attraction with Genevieve. The other story was a supernatural angel and demon battle. The difference between the original version and the finished version the protagonist was truly a demon who had been supplanted by the other demon. The angle was an ally of necessity. As I was searching through my notes and unfinished work trying to find something to work on and submit it struck me as a good fit if the two were combined. The reader would discover that the people in the diner were not human and Galadriel and Genevieve would discover they were pair bonded from times inception. 

The Write Practice BookBaybZ MC D'Alton

BUY HERE

A Discovery of Writers – 1

Over the next week The BookBaybZ will be chatting with the Authors of this awesome anthology of short stories all based on the theme of Discovery.

Here’s a little about each of them.

W. E. Pearson – The Caul

Q. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Because I belong to a writing forum and help moderate the site for over 4 years, I am friends with many, many writers/authors. They all write in many different genres and some specifically write in a targeted genre. This alone has stretched me as a writer because I have gone out of my comfort zone to read horror stories/novels in particular. It’s given me an appreciation for psychological fears expressed in stories.
These writer/author friends help me write better because many of them have read everything I’ve ever written. Their consistent interest and readership support has given me the needed feedback I require to not only get my first draft down but even multiple edits (second drafts). I also reciprocate and follow their stories/novels and critique their work.

You can connect with Wendy on Twitter

@wendypearson777

David Ratledge – Microfictions

Q. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction? Did this influence your story?

I began, as many often do, reading a lot of books about the craft of writing. Two books in particular that made me think differently about writing fiction were Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft and Chuck Wendig’s Damn Fine Story. They made me understand for the first time that there is no magic recipe for writing fiction, yet there is so much to learn in order to be able to write fiction well. For example, while there are plenty of nuts and bolts kinds of things that need to be  learned and skillfully applied, there is so much more beyond that. These other more hard-to-define things are perhaps impossible to teach and have to be learned by each writer in their own way and in their own time. The experience is different for everyone, and the path each writer takes is highly individual and personal. 
While I have only just begun my journey to become a writer, without the understanding I gained from reading these two books I doubt I could have created the stories I did. They gave me both the confidence to write the stories and the courage to offer them up for publication. 

The best way to connect with me at this time is on Twitter

Joslyn Chase – Something Wonderful

Q. How do you select the names of your characters?

When I choose a character’s name, I slide into the zone and let myself think about who he or she is and all the little parts that go into making them that way. And I pay attention to what comes into my mind. When I’ve found something that I think sounds right, I type it into Google to make sure I haven’t unintentionally put together the name of a well-known person.
Sometimes I find that my subconscious chooses a name with significance I didn’t realize. For instance, I have a book coming out in November called Steadman’s Blind. The protagonist is loosely based on a Chief Deputy from our local Sheriff’s department whose initials are R.S. so I decided to keep those initials and I came up with the name Randall Steadman, seemingly at random. I just liked the sound of the name. However, as I wrote the book, I began to recognize the sturdy character I was dealing with, truly a steady man.
In another instance, I had a character who was out for some vigilante payback. I named her Adalet, which is the Turkish word for justice. I think names are important, and I try to choose them well.

My new book is up for pre-order and I’ve got an awesome deal going, allowing readers to pick up a free copy of my full-length thriller Nocturne In Ashes which ties in with Steadman’s Blind, plus a video virtual tour of the book’s setting, plus a bonus short story featuring Steadman and his partner, Frost. All for a special price of $2.99. If you’d like to link to the pre-order bonus package, I wouldn’t complain!

Joslyn Chase’s most recent book, Double Eclipse, packs twice the suspense, with one mystery and one thriller intertwined beneath a total eclipse of the sun. Her novella, The Tower, is a Romantic Suspense set for release in November 2018. What Leads A Man To Murder, her collection of short suspense, is available for free at joslynchase.com. When she’s not reading or writing, Joslyn loves traveling, teaching, and playing the piano.

Joe Arcara – The Tunnel

Q. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

The idea of a spirit animal gave me pause, as I don’t believe I’ve ever thought along those lines before your email. Upon reflection, I suppose most men would choose a bear, wolf or other strong, virile animal. Having the advantage of seventy years of life, I think my spirit animal is most definitely a turtle. Hard shell, but soft inside. Moves slowly, but with purpose and persistence. Yup. It’s a turtle.
My website is josepharcara.com

Justin Boote – Discovering Monsters

Q. What did you edit out of this book/story?

As founding member and instigator of the anthology, my main concern was general editing for all stories, from first to second, and in some cases, third drafts, removing or changing any profanity and ensuring each story flowed smoothly with no plotholes or questions left unexplained or answered, occasionally rewriting the odd scene to flow better.

You can find out more about Justin HERE

John King – Beware the Sea Dragon

Q. Do you have any expectations of your readers?

To answer your question, I’m hoping for my readers to get invested in the characters. 
It may only be a short story, but Sam and the Sea Dragon are part of a much larger, if still fictional world; a world that I’m hoping to expand upon with my own fantasy book series The Three Tails Legends. My first book, Three Tails Legend: The White Wolf, should be out by Winter of 2020, and hopefully, more will follow, some featuring the Sea Dragons and expanding on their culture, their creation and their role in the world.

You can touch base with John HERE

The Write Practice BookBaybZ MC D'Alton

You can purchase your very own Ebook or paper back copy of A Discovery of Writers HERE AND REMEMBER – all proceeds go to charity!

KNIGHTS, PRINCES & ROMANCE with Alyssa J. Montgomery

  1. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I was actually travelling through England and stopping at many castles when my story “Knight of Her Heart” took shape. It was my first foray into medieval romance (which I write as Alyssa James) and I was definitely inspired by being in all the castles and imagining what transpired there in medieval times.

Continue reading “KNIGHTS, PRINCES & ROMANCE with Alyssa J. Montgomery”

Friday’s Gremlins

Friday was the best night of Jenny’s week, the night that the gremlins were the quietest. She was pretty sure that it had something to do with her Friday night tradition, celebrating the end of the week with her roommate Rachel. This Friday night seemed a bit different though, and Jenny wasn’t sure that the usual cure was going to cut it this time.

***

For as long as she could remember her grandmother had referred to the voices in Jenny’s head as gremlins, always reminding her of her doubts and insecurities. The gremlins were convincing, they regularly prevented Jenny from participating in the things she most wanted to try.

This week had started out like any other week. Jenny arrived at work on Monday morning confident in her abilities, but as the week went on, the gremlins made her life hell. They made her doubt herself, constantly telling her she was making mistakes. By Friday she was positive that she was going to get fired for being incompetent, even though she’d done nothing wrong. On a normal Friday, Jenny would then go home to spend the evening contemplating her impending doom with her roommate, a bottle of red wine, and some dark chocolate.

***

“This Friday is going to be different” Jenny wasn’t going to let any gremlins get in the way. Tonight was supposed to be her first official date with the tall, dark, and mysterious Jared. Jenny had always been attracted to men who had an air of danger around them, despite the fact that they never seemed to notice her. This was what made tonight so important. Jenny had been trying to score a date with Jared for weeks now, ever since she spotted the rugged scruff on his mischievous face. Like her, he had an interest in the darker side of life. She really wanted this date to go well, which of course sent her gremlins into full battle mode.

“You are going to bore him to death!”

“You will get broccoli in your teeth!”

“You are going to fart in front of him!”

“Just stay home!”

Jenny was trying to ignore the gremlins, but this time they behaved oddly. Tonight it was like they only had one voice; louder and more real than ever. Jenny decided to call on her trusty sidekick Rachel. She was always ready, willing and able to help chase away the gremlins.

“OH! Did you get a pet? I thought we agreed not to have pets in this apartment.” Rachel jumped back slamming the door.

“What on earth are you talking about?” Rachel had clearly been hitting the red wine a little too hard tonight.

“Over there!” Rachel pointed at a mangy unidentifiable creature curled up in the corner, “You know I don’t like pets and I don’t want to have to clean up after the mess they make. Look! It’s already chewing on your shoe!”

Jenny spun around. Something was gnawing on the sparkly black ballet flats she had picked out for this evening. At first, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She hadn’t brought any pet into the apartment and she was sure it wasn’t there two minutes ago. Jenny dove across the room to rescue her shoes from certain destruction, then she suddenly heard the voice of her gremlin come from the ratty ball of fur. “He won’t like you,” it said.

Jenny screamed “Did you hear that? It spoke!”

“Don’t ask her that, she’ll think you are crazy!” the voice replied.

The fuzzball finished chewing a hole in the shoe and propelled itself over to Jenny’s favourite purse as if by magic. It started eating the corner of that too. “I decided to come along on your date tonight, create some extra fun,” it said. “There is no way for you to stop me from ruining your date. You might as well give up!”

***

This can’t be happening. Was Grandma right all along? That gremlins can become corporeal when they really want to ruin a good thing? There’s no way I’m facing an ACTUAL gremlin! Jenny thought she must be imagining it, but since Rachel saw it too, it had to be real.

“What do we do?” she panicked. Jenny was not in the mood to handle this.

The gremlin started whirring around the room. Like the perfect storm the devilish beast was destroying everything in its path, all while spewing out insults at her. “You will embarrass yourself so much that Jared will tell everyone about his date from hell, Nobody will ever date you again!”

“We have to do something!” Jenny cried while dodging broken pieces of her once-prized dragon collectables.

“You’ll never stop me, you aren’t smart enough to figure out how to defeat me,” it smirked.

“Oh, so there IS a way to defeat you!” Jenny dove behind the bed hoping for a moment to figure out a plan.

***

Wondering about her own sanity, Rachel barely managed to commando crawl to the doorway and escape into the hall for safety. She grabbed the phone and started dialling the police, then slammed the receiver back down. They’d never believe she wasn’t just drunk. It isn’t like any sane person would believe what was happening.

Rachel decided she needed to calm herself down and figure out a solution to this gremlin problem before there was no apartment left. She poured herself a glass of red wine and grabbed a handful of dark chocolate. This ought to clear my head a bit, she thought as she slugged them back as quickly as possible.

***

Suddenly Jenny burst out into the hallway and saw Rachel. “That’s it! You’ve always said wine and dark chocolate can fix any problem!” Jenny grabbed the red wine from her roommate. “If drinking red wine on a Friday night can silence the gremlins in my head, then perhaps it has a similar effect on an actual gremlin!”

Just then the gremlin burst out into the hallway. “I’m saving you from yourself! You should thank me for stopping you from making horrible choices in your life,” it said as it started barreling towards Jenny.

In desperation, Jenny reached out and doused the gremlin. The gremlin screamed in terror as it was soaked in red wine. It hissed and bubbled as it disappeared into a puff of smoke.

“Well that was some quick thinking,” Rachel panted.

“Yeah but I’m still shaking like a leaf” Jenny stuttered, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it to my date tonight.”

“Here, eat some dark chocolate. That should calm you down. You have a big night ahead of you, and when this turns out to actually be something you’ll have a great story to tell!”