Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Danielle Dresser | Writing Advice from My Five-Year-Old (or How to Actually Deal with the #RWAShitShow)
Author Guest / January 13, 2020

Back in November, I explained the concept of NaNoWriMo to my five-year-old daughter, who stared blankly at me for a moment and then declared, “I can do that!” and started drawing pictures on paper, begging me to staple them together, and then dictating the words to me. Readers, she has written no less than 50 short books about two characters named Stick and Pinecone (TM to come) in a little over two months. The best part is, however, after all of her dictation, as well as her growing comfort with reading and writing sentences on her own, she now writes her own books start to finish, and we are both so proud. Now, while I barely wrote 20,000 words during the month of November – and not very much since then – I can’t help but be inspired by my daughter’s tenacity, drive, and creativity. But cut to the recent events surrounding RWA, it’s questionable current and former leadership, the unfair takedown of Courtney Milan, and the countless writers who have come forward with their own unjust and malicious treatment by the organization, it’s HARD out here for aspiring authors to find the motivation to continue. And for marginalized writers…

Jon Sprunk | Top 5 Influences on My Writing
Author Guest / December 17, 2019

As a fantasy writer, people often ask me where I find my inspiration. So, here is a list of my Top 5 influences. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I am hardly the first author to be inspired by these amazing novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. I first read The Hobbit when I was a child, and I can still remember getting lost in the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and company. I quickly moved onto The Lord of the Rings trilogy and was completely hooked. To this day, I am amazed by the artistry and breadth of this series. And, of course, I feel challenged by it, to write something that might measure up to its greatness. Star Wars. I was seven years old when the first movie (A New Hope) first arrived in theaters. I saw it seventeen times with my father that year. It was truly a magical experience; unlike anything I had seen before. The adventure, the heroism, the battles, and the dynamic conflict between good and evil for the fate of the galaxy. Years later, when I began to experiment with writing my own stories, Star Wars was never far from my mind. Not the…

Rie Sheridan Rose | Write What You Want To Know
Uncategorized / October 7, 2009

I was sitting here thinking, trying to decide what wisdom I wanted to impart in this blog. I finally decided that there is a bit of advice that more experienced writers are always giving to budding authors trying to break into the business. You’ve probably heard it already. “Write what you know.” I think-particularly in these days of internet access-that this needs to be revised. I think the advice now should be “write what you want to know”-particularly if you write in the speculative genres. To me, there’s always been a problem with “write what you know.” It’s so limiting. I have always considered myself fairly educated, but if I stuck to only the things that I have direct knowledge of, I would never have written any of the novels I’ve had published. I’ve never seen a dragon, met an elf, traveled to fairyland, or played a lute. But I can imagine them. I can, in other words, “speculate” about what would happen if I were to do any of those things. To read more of Rie’s blog please click here. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Michele Dunaway | What works for me…
Uncategorized / August 3, 2009

Might not work for you. It’s a concept I’ve been mulling lately as I get ready to teach another year of school, where I have to individualize learning to best reach all my students. I was thinking about this concept as I read an article in a writing magazine that said, “write every day, even if it’s for 20 minutes” and also gave other such advice as “keep a journal”. It’s great advice, sure. But I don’t do either and I’m a published author of 21 novels. I write in big spurts, and then will go weeks and sometimes months without writing a thing. That “20 minutes” the author advises is spent doing all those things I didn’t do during that intense focus on writing. But that’s me. My big on and off spurts are how I balance and prioritize my time, and that’s what I’ve learned works best for my life. During the school year my priority is on my family and my teaching job. Writing is third. Over the summer, I can easily make writing number two and devote 40+ hours a week to my craft. Click to read the rest of Michele’s blog and to leave a…

Jessica Inclan | A Window Seat of Light
Uncategorized / March 12, 2009

When I was in college, I found myself sitting in the grove of trees by the classroom building with a friend.  We’d just left our class on Ibsen, Strindberg, and Mann, and we weren’t very happy.  How could we have been?  In Ibsen’s Ghosts, Oswald was just crying out for “the sun,” and so were we.  The sun hadn’t been out for a month, the dank Tulle fog all around us like, well, dank Tulle fog. It was there that my friend proceeded to tell me a story that almost made me jump out of my skin.  She must have needed to tell me, letting me into the dark side of her life, a life that maybe had only a window seat of light in it.  I was 22-years-old and hadn’t heard much at that point, sheltered in mostly good ways.  In later years, I tried to write about my reaction to her story in poetry, essay, and short story, until the writer Grace Paley told me that I wasn’t able to write about it because it wasn’t my story. Buy INTIMATE BEINGS “It’s hers to tell,” she said, so I never tried again. And the fact is, by the…

Beth Kery | Beth Blabbers About Book Marketing
Uncategorized / January 26, 2009

I not only have to write this darn book, but sell it too? My sweet husband bought me several books about marketing my book for Christmas. I’m relatively new at the business of writing, having first been published at Ellora’s Cave in 2007. My New York debut, Wicked Burn, came out in December of 2008. The amount of time (and money) that a writer spends marketing a book came as quite a shock to me, as it must for many authors. Before I entered the writing arena, I always envisioned an author plucking her next novel out on her keyboard, not plugging her published works. Click here to read the complete blog and enter her One Day contest. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Kate Douglas | Will I get them all written?
Uncategorized / January 2, 2009

I’ve been working on Wolf Tales IX for the past couple of months which, counting the novellas in anthologies, is the seventeenth title in my erotic tales of the Chanku. It’s due for release in January 2010. I remember wondering when I signed the contracts for the third set of novels and novellas if I’d ever get them all written. Now, all of a sudden, the stories I’m contracted for are almost done and I’m waiting to hear from my publisher about plans for more of the series. Characters who were new to me less than four years ago have now become old friends. I know their secrets, their loves, their needs and their fears. I wonder what the future holds in store for them, and I worry about them as if they’re real flesh-and-blood people who matter to me in the way of those I love in real life. I’m either desperately in need of a good therapist, or totally involved in my imaginary world…and I’m hoping it’s the latter, because it’s such a great world to hang out in. For one thing, it’s filled with fascinating (to me, anyway!) characters with a strong sense of family and a…

Jeaniene Frost | For love or money?
Uncategorized / December 31, 2008

When I was twelve, I was bitten by the reading bug. It wasn’t long after that when I decided to write my own book. I’d already written lots of poetry and short stories, so the idea of making the leap from those to writing and selling a novel seemed easy. Yes, I had a lot to learn. Fast forward around fifteen years to the day I told myself, "quit procrastinating and do it already." And so I finally did take one of the many ideas churning around in my head and wrote a novel from it. What I found out after I’d typed The End was twofold: one, I’d accomplished something I’d dreamed about by finishing that novel. Two – and equally important, in my opinion – was that I loved writing. That doesn’t mean pursuing a career as an author was as easy as finally writing that first novel. In fact, if I could rewind the clock and talk to former self on the day I’d finished my first book, I’d say, "Great! Now comes the hard part." Huh? you might think. Isn’t writing a book the hardest part of pursuing a career as an author? Well, for me,…

Sandi Kahn Shelton | Finding Characters
Uncategorized / December 30, 2008

One of the most fun things about writing a novel (or as my uncle put it, “telling lies for profit”) is coming up with characters. People are always asking writers where the characters come from — it’s the #1 question when you go for readings and signings — and I’m afraid they always seem disappointed by the truth, which is, “I have utterly no idea.” With my new novel, Kissing Games of the World, the main character, Jamie McClintock, showed up one morning when I was taking a bath. I was lying there concentrating on keeping the tub filled to the top with hot water using only my big toe (a delicate balance of draining and refilling which practically requires a degree in engineering and physics to keep it just right), when I noticed somebody wafting around over by the shower head, explaining to me about how she was an artist and a single mom raising her 5-year-old boy, Arley, who had asthma. They lived in a farmhouse in Connecticut with Harris, an older man famous in town for his rascally womanizing, who was now redeeming himself by raising his 5-year-old grandson, Christopher, whose father had run away. I really…

Uncategorized / December 11, 2008

No, I don’t write vampire novels, but I do write both contemporary and historical fiction. For the last ten years of my twenty-five-year writing career, I have written one romantic suspense novel and then one historical novel—back and forth. I have a writer’s split personality since it takes different skills and research techniques to do both. I love reading and writing in two genres and in two times, but it does have its challenges as well as its rewards. For my contemporary romantic suspense novels, I can visit the settings for my story and interview people who live there or have the same careers as my hero and heroine. For THE HIDING PLACE (Nov. 2008), I spent a week in the Rocky Mountains outside Denver. I was able to interview men with dogs trained as trackers. I took two classes to learn about how my female P.I. would work, one class from a tracer who looks for lost people, and one from a female private investigator. When I write my Elizabethan novels (most recently, THE LAST BOLEYN and MISTRESS SHAKESPEARE), I can, at least, still visit my settings. Nothing like a research trip to England! The Tower of London, Hampton…