Thursday, December 20, 2012

Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

My motto is: Whether the glass is half full or half empty there's still room for more wine. It doesn't mean I'm a raging drunk -- just that I try to keep a positive outlook, and I like wine anyhow.

Whenever a year is getting close to ending, I look back on the significant events. It helps me to determine my failings and count my blessings.

So here's my review of 2012:

The Good -- Writing: 
 Way Out of Line was released in March. This was my first published novel when Publish America released it in 2003. It was only when I saw it in print that I realized they hadn't helped me with anything and I needed editing help. So I had to wait seven years to regain my rights, and I submitted it to my publisher Uncial Press. My wonderful editor, Jude wanted to go for it immediately, but some of the other Uncial Press readers didn't like it because the characters were too ordinary and they felt that readers like super heroes and heroines. I wanted readers to be able to identify with Trent and Hal, rather than envy them, so it was more of a victory than a let down for me. Thanks to Jude, the project was accepted and duly edited and I love the resulting published book. It showed me that anything can be achieved with patience and perseverance.

Kick Assitude, the sequel to Redneck P.I. was accepted right away at about the same time, and Jude said everyone there loved it. I love it too. It had taken me about eight months to write. My only complaint is that it takes so long for a book to be released, and it will only hit the sales racks in March 2013. I'm currently working on the trailer and sending the ARC -- Authors Review Copy -- to reviewers to get as many reviews as possible.

Capricorn Cravings, my next novel and the first in my "Zodiac Series" where each heroine will belong to a different star sign is now completed. My screenwriter sister, Anne, has just reviewed and edited it, and my veterinarian Tamara White is going through the veterinary procedures to make sure they're genuinely correct. This was a story I wrote long ago in 2004, and it was interesting for me to see how life has changed since then. I had to update my characters' cell phone and computer habits as technology has changed a lot since 2004. I am absolutely thrilled with the way it has turned out, and can't wait for my readers to get it. I know they'll love it! Although I love my publisher and editor, I would like to find a company who will process it quicker and get it onto the market sooner, so I've sent it to a lot of different publishers to see what interest it garners.

The other great thing that happened regarding my writing was the invitation I received from Ken Weene to join a startup Social Marketing Group he was creating for writers. We don't have a name for our group, but while some have come and gone, and one tragically died, the core members have stuck together and although most of us have never met and we live all over the world, we have become very good friends, almost like a family, and we support one another and assist one another with marketing efforts. WE have a collage with all our pictures on our Pinterest page here: 

The Good -- Other
The other blessings that I have given thanks for every day in 2012 are my health and the health of my family and good friends. Physical and mental health cannot be bought. They are, in my opinion, the most valuable thing anyone can possess. (Of course some might argue that I'm not of sound mind!)

Next to health comes love -- I am truly blessed with a wonderful supportive husband of 42 years, amazing children and grandchildren, and the most awesome extended family and friends anyone could ever wish for.

Other things I'm so thankful for are that we both have good jobs in a time when many are without work or their businesses are failing. Our home is not fancy, but it's ours and it's a roof over our head, when many have lost theirs. Our cars are old but functional when many can no longer afford a car. We have been able to put food on the table through out the year. 

We would love to live closer to our children, but moving has not been an option in 2012. We were lucky enough to be able to fly over to California and spend a few precious days with them. We were also able to fly to South Africa and visit family members and celebrate my mother-in-law's 93rd birthday with her. We both lost our jobs when the recession first set in and have been through some hard times, and this was the first time we have been able to afford to go back together for seven years. 

We're even planning to finally allow ourselves the luxury of a flat screen TV in 2013!

The Bad
The only bad thing that happened to me in 2012 was the loss of my darling mother on August 12th. She was 94 and her health was beginning to fail. She passed very peacefully, and I'm thankful for the wonderful time we spent together last year, and all the beautiful memories. I miss her every day, but I know she was ready to go and hopefully is reunited with my father and brother.

The Ugly
The most notable bad things that happened in the USA and the world in 2012 all seem to revolve around guns. My heart goes out to all the victims of the awful massacres that occurred in Colorado, Connecticut and Benghazi to name just a few. One might theorize that if there were no guns, some of those incidents wouldn't have happened, but I think more people probably lost their lives in car accidents in 2012 than all of those put together, and the families of the victims were probably just as traumatized. Many of those accidents were surely caused by texting while driving or being under the influence of alcohol or some other drug, legal or illegal. One can only hope and pray that the statistics get better in 2013.

I pray for help for all those in ill health or who are suffering in any way, particularly my friend Michael and his family, and K and Stew who are going through hard times.

To all my wonderful readers and subscribers, I hope you have the most fabulous Christmas ever and that 2013 brings you everything you've always wished for.

Peace and love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Right Brain/Left Brain Quiz

So many of you enjoyed the previous quiz that I decided to find another one.

Some people say there is no such thing as left/right brain dominance, but from the people who took the previous test on my blog, I see a pattern that shows it really does exist.

The people who mainly use their left side are definitely more organized, while those with right brain dominance are the crazier ones. (By their own admittance.) Then there are those who are close to evenly balanced, who exhibit a little of each side's attributes.

Have fun and click on the little link at the bottom of the table to take the test. (My results below show I use my left brain more, but I do have some right brain traits.)

Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz
The higher of these two numbers below indicates which side of your brain has dominance in your life. Realising your right brain/left brain tendancy will help you interact with and to understand others.
Left Brain Dominance: 11(11)
Right Brain Dominance: 6(6)
Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz

This is the previous post with the picture of the dancer that spins in different directions depending upon which side of the brain you are using. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Guest Post on Mae Clair's Blog

I attribute the fact that I write romantic suspense to my own experiences growing up in Africa, and in my guest post on Mae Clair's blog today,  I wrote about a couple of them.

The post can be seen here:


Here's another of my true adventures:

We were in our twenties when we had a guerilla war going on in our country, now known as Zimbabwe. My husband, David was drafted, like every other able-bodied man, and he spent a lot of time away from home -- so much time that our middle child, Blaise cried when he came home, because he didn't know this stranger who sometimes came to stay was his father.

Whenever he came home from fighting the war, his work as a geophysicist took him away yet again. His company had a policy whereby women were not allowed to accompany their husbands because all the geological explorations took place in remote areas where attacks by armed terrorists were common.

One day, when his boss was out of the country, we decided to defy that rule.

Some wonderful (and naive) friends, who were expecting their first child and thought it would be fun to practice on ours, offered to take care of our two toddlers and a baby for a few days.

The first thing that really scared me was when David decided to take the comfortable Land Rover, the one with leather bucket seats -- and no landmine protection. He had my best interests at heart, but I can still remember sitting very still for the more than hundred miles of dirt roads where land mines were prevalent.

I was issued with an FN rifle, like the ones the military used in case we were ambushed, and David kept the UZI on his lap.

I was relieved when we made it in one piece to the mine compound in Sengwa, but my relief was short-lived when we found that the military had commandeered the camp as a base, and were busy digging trenches because they had had word they could be attacked that night with mortars.

They graciously allowed us to use one of the bedrooms, though, and we all ate together in the common dining area. That night we were kept awake by the radio, which was located in the room next to ours, and all night we were subjected to reports from other groups who were out in the field.

The attack never occurred, but the following morning the Lieutenant chewed me out big time for leaving my rifle leaning against the wall outside when I used the restroom!! We heard that a local chief had been blown up in a land mine during the night, which meant it was probably not a good idea for David to take me and show me the sights. He particularly want me to see a pool in the Sengwa River referred to by the locals as the Pool of the Praying Fish.

We wisely decided to leave the following day, and I was overjoyed when our Land Rover wouldn't start and we had to take one of the older mine-protected ones. The only incident on our way home was that when we rounded a bend in the road, we almost ran into a herd of elephants. David had to reverse very quietly so as not to alarm them, because the elephants in that area had a reputation for attacking vehicles. They had tipped over more than a few, and trampled over them. We waited until they had wandered off before we continued our journey.

Several hours later we arrived home in one piece and our friends were relieved to have us take the kids off their hands.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Review - A Stop in the Park by Peggy Strack

A Poignant and Moving Love Story

A Stop in the Park is a touching and sensitive tale about love and dreams lost and re-kindled.

Michael and Jamie Stolis know their marriage is in big trouble, when a deviation from their normal habits includes a stop in a nearby park, where Michael meets a man named Rufus.

Rufus is a simple man who has a way of seeing into people's souls and knowing what they need. He takes Michael on an emotional journey that helps him find his true calling, and the pathway to regain the romance he had with Jamie.

Excerpt:  Jamie kissed Megan on the cheek and pulled the tangerine comforter up to her neck. She stroked her daughter’s hair and said, “I love you, muffin.” She then went into Emily’s room and did the same. When the goodnight ritual was over, she pulled the sash of her pink cotton robe tightly around her waist and went into her bedroom. The TV was still on, but Michael was asleep.

     Stepping close to him, she listened to his breathing. It was definitely sleep breathing, so she was safe. She pulled her slipper socks over her feet, ambled down the stairs, poured herself a glass of Chardonnay, and approached the computer. She sat down, fired it up, and leaned back. Michael had proved tonight that he could not change. Jamie still wasn't ready for divorce, but certainly could use a separation—one that didn’t take her too far from home. Rubbing her hands together, she said, "Let the games begin,” then took a sip of wine.

     When the machine was ready for action, she opened her Facebook page. She had a private message from Steve. “Hey, pretty girl. I’m waiting up for you.” Jamie gasped in delight. She liked hearing that she was pretty from him way more than she did from Michael. She tried to suppress a smile, but it didn’t work.

     Before responding, she scanned Steve's wall. His five o'clock shadow and unkempt sandy brown hair seemed to invite her to take an adventurous walk in the woods with him. There were shots of him playing tennis, sitting at a bar, cuddling with his puppy, and sailing on a catamaran. She wished she could jump into the pictures and start a new life. Of course, Emily and Megan could come along, but that cad she married would be left behind. Jamie gazed at her fantasy man a little longer, hypnotized by his emerald eyes that danced with mischief and vigor.

     She couldn't believe that he picked her out of all the women fishing for love on the cyberspace cruise. Of course, she touched up some of her visual posts with Photoshop, but not much. She shaved some hip fat and smoothed out the lines that were starting to creep around her eyes. The rest was real.

     Jamie went back to her message, gulped her wine, and raised her eyebrows. She typed, “Can you come out and play?” Within seconds she received a reply. “I wish you were ringing the doorbell and not my iPad.”
     Jamie’s eyes widened. This was so much fun.

Bio: Peggy Strack hosts the award winning blog, "Kick Back Moments," for the Saratogian Newspaper. She is a speech-language pathologist living in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband, Keith. She has two adult sons and enjoys an active lifestyle that includes hiking, kayaking, and skiing.

I loved your book, Peggy, and I hope this review helps you get more sales. You deserve it!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest Post by Mae Clair -- Werewolves and Time Travel

It’s a day away from Halloween and I’m delighted to be here! The month of October naturally inspires thoughts of things that go-bump-in-the-night. While the days are a cornucopia of color, kindled by gem-bright leaves, fat orange pumpkins, and golden fields waiting for harvest, the nights conjure shivers and goose bumps.

Why does everything seem more ominous in the dark?

I’ve been intrigued by tales of ghosts, mythical beasts and fantastical creatures since I was a kid. When I needed a hero who was controlled by a curse for my paranormal/time travel romantic suspense novel, WEATHERING ROCK, I dipped into that well of folklore and chose a werewolf.

I liked the idea of a hero battling a hex he couldn’t control. Enter Colonel Caleb DeCardian. He fought for the Union army during the Civil War. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to 2012 by a freak shower of ball lightning.

Caleb is a commander, accustomed to having others do exactly as he says when he orders. A person who thrives on self-discipline, and who has spent the bulk of his life emotionally detached. Now, suddenly, he’s at the whim of a curse that controls him.

When the heroine of my novel, Arianna Hart, is unexpectedly forced to spend the night at Weathering Rock, an old home built in the 1800s, it’s more than creaking floorboards that disturb her sleep.

Arianna teaches American history and has a particular interest in the Civil War. She meets Caleb on a fog-drenched night, and immediately recognizes there is something different about him. The more time they spend together, his secrets begin to unravel. She realizes she’s falling in love with a man from another time who could be wrenched back to his own century at any moment.

To complicate matters, Caleb didn’t arrive in the 21st Century alone. The man who turned him into a werewolf—once his closest friend, now a bitter rival--is stalking them both.

If you like a hunky werewolf, sensual romance, rivalry, and multi-layered plots, I hope you’ll consider WEATHERING ROCK!

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets--some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who'll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

“You’re where?” Lauren said into the phone, flabbergasted.

“Weathering Rock,” Arianna repeated.

“You mean that big old house off Blackberry Lane? The weird one that’s supposed to attract ball lightning?”

“That’s the one.”

Too keyed up to sit, Arianna paced the guestroom. “I had a small accident on the way home.” And met an incredibly sexy man with silver eyes and an old-fashioned personality. That part would keep until tomorrow.

Lauren drew a sharp breath. “Ari, you’re scaring me. Are you all right? Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine.” Walking to the window, she pushed the drapes aside and stared into the darkness. Her reflection leaped back like a disembodied ghost--raven hair, dark green eyes, her skin pale as milk in the night-blackened glass. The rain had arrived, pushed by a fury of wind and thunder. It pelted the windows, making her feel safe indoors.

I won’t hurt you, Caleb had promised. Why was it so important to him she stay?

She told her friend what happened, skipping her conflicting emotions about her blond-haired host.

“And you’re actually staying?” Lauren gave a cluck of disbelief. “I don’t care if it is raining, I’ll come get you. For all we know, one of them could have punctured your tire so you’d be stuck there.”

“You’ve seen too many slasher movies, Lauren. I’ll be fine.” She couldn’t explain why, but felt secure in the house, as if something sinister lurked outside. As long as she remained within the walls of Weathering Rock, she was protected from that unnamed threat.

By Caleb.

The thought shocked her. She eased to a seat on the bed, absently fingering the white eyelet cover. The furnishings looked plucked from a storybook, the bed dressed in a pale blue canopy and flirty skirted ruffle. The matching bureau was squat and old-fashioned with a standing mirror and gold-veined marble top. A walnut washstand with a pitcher and bowl was tucked into the corner.

“I’ll call you in the morning when I get home.”

“You’re sure about this?”

“Positive.” Arianna smiled, appreciating her friend’s concern. Lauren had been through a divorce eight months ago, the experience leaving her jaded when it came to trusting men.

“All right.” Lauren exhaled into the phone. “But I expect a call in the morning, followed by details in the afternoon. How about dropping by my shop after you finish your errands?”

“Deal.” Running Saturday errands was a regular routine for Arianna and she most always ended at Lauren’s boutique for a visit afterward. “I’ll talk to you soon.”

She said goodbye and set the cell within reach on the nightstand. Rain continued to batter the windows in fierce bursts, backlit by strobes of lightning. The intermittent flash made her think of the ball lightning she’d seen earlier, an occurrence Caleb had been reluctant to acknowledge. Yet another oddity from a man who excelled at them.

Yawning, she glanced at her watch. It was after one in the morning and the events of the night had finally caught up with her. She switched off the light and opened the drapes, inviting the frenzied dance of the storm indoors. She shimmied from her jeans and top and crawled into bed, the cotton sheets blessedly cool against her bare skin. Moments later, as she was drifting toward sleep, a rattling crack of thunder drew her upright.

Outside, lightning transformed the night into surreal-whitened day, silhouetting the bulk of a large animal against the window. Arianna recoiled from the touch of its eyes, yellow in the flash-fire burst of the storm. The image lasted only a pulse-beat before it was swallowed by darkness.

She shoved from the bed, hastily pulling on her blouse to cover herself, and threw open the window. The night had bled into a cauldron of shadow and patchy fog, making it impossible to see more than a few feet. The air was redolent with wet grass and worm-rich soil, an odor that made her think of swollen riverbeds and bogs. Rain pelted her face and left her shivering in her skimpy bra and panties. The animal--if animal it had been--had been swallowed by the storm.

She closed the window, careful to secure the lock.

It’s not safe tonight, Caleb had said.

She shook away a chill, convinced she’d been dreaming. The animal must have been a figment of her sleep-hazed mind. The events of the night, Caleb’s mysterious warning, and the legends surrounding Weathering Rock had taken a toll of her nerves.

Yet as she crawled into bed, she couldn’t help thinking the animal had looked very much like a wolf.

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five Star Redneck P.I. Review

Redneck P.I. -- Engrossing and Compelling -- a Must Read

Trish Jackson pulls out all stops in this fast-paced action and romance thriller, weaving the stories of her characters into perfect unison. Twila, a hard-headed girl from Alabama is no Southern bell transplanted to Boston. She met her match with the private investigator, Harland. What starts as a smoky spark erupts into passion will plenty of villains for the romance mystery reader. Redneck PI is a must read for those who want a book that will keep them turning page after page! Ms Jackson's novel is a delight for all!

Cynthia B Ainsworthe
IPPY Award-Winning Author, Front Row Center
Click here to buy "Front Row Center" now
Words and Passion 

Thank you Cynthia, I'm thrilled!!

The sequel, Kick Assitude is due for release by my publisher, Uncial Press in March 2013.  

Here's how it starts:

Kick Assitude

             Strangers who happen to pass through Quisby, Alabama are often heard to express their curiosity about the weathered sign with the faded words "Cyder Hill" still just legible, hanging crookedly on one of the imposing stone pillars. A strong padlock and thick chain bars access through the heavy iron gates.
Their questions always remain unanswered--hanging there like the fog hangs over a swamp on a fall morning…

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Words for Impelling Oneself

As a writer, the words you use for impelling the people you write about can tell the reader a lot about them. 

"Walk" is such a generic term, and there are so many descriptive words you can use in place of it. 

Does the agitated mother walk to her children who are fighting with one another again? Or does she stride?

Does the killer walk slowly up to his unsuspecting prey, or does he stalk them?

Would a laid back man walk along the road, or should he amble?

Did the terrified girl walk quickly away or did she bolt?

The following list is a gift my screenwriter sister was given by Screenbrokers ( and I'm passing it on to my fellow writers to show how much I appreciate you all. I'm confident you'll reciprocate somehow, sometime, by sharing a tip of your own.


Here are some more offered by Betsy Riley who said she couldn't comment: angles, blasts, careens, detours, escapes, floats, gyrates, hurtles, insinuates, jets, kicks, lurches, meanders, nitpicks, oscillates, parades, quivers, rolls, scuffs, tiptoes, undulates, vectors, yaws, zips

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Cover's Ready

Just in time for Biketoberfest in Florida -- this week I received the cover of my next novel, Kick Assitude from my editor, Jude. I love it!!

I love this story too—it was just so much fun to write, and I know it will make for wonderful entertaining and relaxing reading. I just wish the publishing process didn't have to take so long!

Here's an excerpt:

 I parked the bike and un-clasped the leash. My dog jumped off the seat and ran over to Pops' old coonhound. Coots was almost blind and crippled with arthritis. He sniffed my dog's butt then walked away and peed on a nearby bush.
Pops came to the door and I explained my problem to him. "This is my new dog. He sort of adopted me, so I'm keeping him, but I need something for him to ride in on the bike."
Pops didn't talk much since Mama was killed, but I saw something in his eyes light up. "Go inside and wait," he told me, and I watched him head over to the barn. It seemed to me that he was standing a little taller and walking a little faster than I had seen of late.
The dog followed me into the house and came face-to-face with Piggy Sue, Aunt Essie's miniature pot-bellied pig. They sniffed noses, and I was idly wondering if a dog and a pig can be friends when Piggy Sue turned tail and ran around the sofa, squealing and oinking, with the dog hot on her heels. They crashed through a side table, spewing the contents of the ashtray all over the carpet, and just kept going.
"What the--" Aunt Essie appeared at the doorway from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. "Whose dog is that and how did he git in here? Here, help me chase him out."
She handed me a broom. I went behind the sofa and lunged at the dog but he just nipped at my hand and jumped over my arm and carried on chasing the pig. They disappeared into the kitchen, then the bedrooms, where we heard stuff crashing all around them.
"Stop them," Aunt Essie shouted. She went into her bedroom and came out brandishing her revolver.
"Wait," I shouted, "Don't shoot my dog."
"Your dog? Since when did you have a dog? If he is yours you'd best get him under control." She waved the gun around and I ducked. The way her hands shook, there was no telling how much control she had over her fingers on that trigger.
"I'll get him," I panted, and tackled him and got him by one leg. He growled and made like he was going to bite my hand, but before he had done any real damage he released his jaw, stood quite still, and licked my face. I held onto his collar, silently thanking Doc Zerelda, and led him out the back door to my bike, where I retrieved the leash. I tied him to a tree beside my bike, where he stood crying and barking.
Aunt Essie had shut the pig in her bedroom, and I decided I should probably do some cleaning up. There was stuff all over the floor in every room. In Pop's room, I noticed Mama's things were all still in the house, her clothes in the closet, her sewing stuff still piled on the table in the corner, just as it had always been, when she was alive. I stood there staring at it.
"Your pop wouldn't let me touch anything of hers. I reckon he tolerates me being around because he knows he can't take care of himself, but he drew the line here."
I couldn't face going through it all and packing it up yet, but I knew the task would be mine and I promised myself that I would get onto it within the next month.
I had just picked up the last of the potatoes off the kitchen floor and mopped it when I heard Pops calling me.
Strapped to the back of my bike's seat was a welded aluminum basket, about one foot by one foot, with sides around eight inches high. I went back into the living room and grabbed an old cushion that had seen better days, like everything else in that trailer, and placed it in the steel basket. I untied the dog, and before I could snap my fingers, he was standing on the seat poking his nose into it. He stepped carefully into the basket, turned in circles and dug up the cushion a bit, then curled up on it, quite obviously pleased. "I think you've done that before," I said. "Maybe your previous owner, whoever that was, also had a bike.
"So what's his name?" Pops stroked the dog's head and played with his ears.
"To tell you the truth, Pops, I haven't thought about it--I just call him Dog. I paused and thought for a moment. "I think, maybe I'll call him  Scratch, 'cause that's what he did on my door when I first heard him."
Pops nodded approvingly. "Well, Scratch, you're a pretty smart little fella." He had always liked dogs. They liked him too.
Scratch barked twice in agreement.

To be released in March, 2013 by Uncial Press. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Next Novel is Completed!!

My next novel is completed. Yay!!! I am pee-in-your-pants excited about my "Zodiac Project", a series of twelve novels, each one featuring--and exhibiting the personality traits of--a heroine who is a different birth sign. I started with Capricorn as that is the first sign of the year,  and will end with the December sign, Sagittarius. 

"The Capricorn Killer" is about Riley Shaughnessy, a small town Colorado veterinarian with a dark past that she hides from people. 

When a serial killer murders her assistant, the safe life she has created for herself is in a tailspin, and she finds herself falling for hunky Powell Stewart despite the fact that everything points to him being the murderer.

Read the first chapter here:

My next step is to find a literary agent to represent me. I have not used an agent before, because they like to see that you are not a one time wonder, and are really serious about your writing career. I do believe they are important. Every literary agency seems to have a different set of instructions for submitting your work, but I have sent requests to several of them. I hate playing the waiting game, but it cannot be helped.

Meantime... I've started on the next novel in the series, "The Aquarius Arcanum". This one looks like it's going to be my first romantic suspense/mystery, and I am having so much fun writing it! 

Spirit medium Arlette Xylander is frustrated when she cannot communicate with the ghosts she hears in the dining room of her hundred-year-old New Orleans mansion on Bayou Le Gue,  left to her by the aunt she was never allowed to meet...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Guest Post by Cynthia Ainsworthe: So You Want to be a Writer

A short Article on Writing Tips.
While I am by no means an expert on the subject, I have written a romance novel, Front Row Center, which won the IPPY Award. I will share in a series of short articles what I have learned in the uphill climb to completing a novel.
            We all have a story in us, whether it is a short story, fiction or non-fiction book. First you need to determine who your audience is. Are you writing for your own enjoyment, or is there a message you want to send to others that will be entertaining and/or informative? Second, is your subject interesting enough to get the attention of the all important reader, to decide to read what you’ve written? And, third, what voice will you write in? First or third person? In first person you only have one point of view and is used for most non-fiction writers, and limits the development of other characters. Third person will allow more development of various characters as you can explore their thoughts and points of view.
            Once you have answered these questions, consider how you will draw the reader in. The beginning of every captivating story requires a hook—that all compelling first sentence that grabs the attention of others. It can be a statement, question or the beginning of dialogue. Take time to craft this first sentence. It is your introduction, the gateway to your story and gives the reader an idea of the subject or adventure that will unfold.
            Some authors use a formal outline for their writing, I do not. I think out my plot in my mind. I find an outline stifles my thought process, though I know it shouldn’t. Other authors find an outline to be a must so they don’t get lost in their story. The choice is yours; there are no hard and fast rules. What works for you is what’s best. Some writers use a digital recorder to record their thoughts when away from their computers—you never know when a creative thought will strike. I have done that as well, though I tend to bounce ideas off  my husband as to plot twists and turns.
            I hope you have enjoyed my introduction to writing. I will share more suggestions in future articles.
            Write and let that story out!
Cynthia B Ainsworthe started writing in high school, and was told by her professor in college she had great writing talent, when he gave her an A+++ for a term paper. Her novel. Front Row Center, which won an IPPY award, was inspired by her favorite singing idol, (hint -- he's in her picture) and she has also written a short story to be published in an anthology of short stories.

Front Row Center -- Their attraction was electric, their affair explosive, and their love ---devastating to the lives of others! 
Front Row Center takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of love and romance, with plenty of ups and downs, twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages. Sequel books are planned to follow.