2/1/17 Guest Blogger Mike Albo

2/1/17 GUEST BLOGGER MIKE ALBO

AUTHOR OF THE NOVELS HORNITO, MY LIE LIFE AND THE UNDERMINER: THE BEST FRIEND WHO CASUALLY DESTROYS YOUR LIFE (WITH HEFFERNAN) AND OF THE NOVELLAS THE JUNKET AND SPERMHOOD: DIARY OF A DONOR.

DURING THIS GROSS TIME HERE IS WHAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO…READING
We have experienced a paradigm shift. For artists and writers, the big question has become —  how do you express it?
I have been working on a levon for about eight years now. (Levon is novel spelled backwards. My pal, the fantastic writer Maud Casey, made it up. It’s to help you not say you are working on a novel which is hard to say without sounding like a jerk to yourself.) (But I’m nearly finished! Please let me live to see the day when I can call it a novel!). It’s science fiction. Oh, I mean “speculative fiction”. That’s the preferred term these days.

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Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

1/29/17 INTRODUCING OUR FEB 1 GUEST BLOGGER MIKE ALBO, NOVELIST, HUMORIST, PLAYWRIGHT, POET, STYLE COLUMNIST  “…Her face screwed up into a scribble.”  “I feel like I pollute when I show too much mood, so I smile, even when I ache inside.”  “Each time I meet him I pretend I haven’t met him, because he doesn’t remember meeting me because we are being casual, and casual means you are waterproof and no one face soaks into you”: all in the poetic prose of the novel Hornito, My Lie Life,  my introduction to Mike Albo and why I fell in love with him as a writer. An M.A. from Columbia, Albo offers two novels, two novellas, three plays, several solo stage performances, screen performances, along with contributions to, among others, the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, GQ, and The Village Voice. His work as a style columnist for the NYT inspried his novella, The Junket. We look forward to his contribution here at LLNB on Feb. 1!

Ellen Prentiss Campbell

ELLEN PRENTISS CAMPBELL

Author of The Bowl with Gold Seams

12-1-2016: A COZY HOUSE FULL OF BOOKS

The holiday season finds me grateful for the profound reading experiences of childhood. Remember when reading a book was living the book? Certain books and authors left a mark on my reading, my writing, and my life. And for the reading of my childhood, I owe special gratitude to my great-aunt Mildred Campbell.

My grandfather’s baby sister Midge was small but mighty. She grew up on the family’s strawberry farm in Tennessee. Witty and determined, Mildred became a history professor at Vassar College. Her cozy house on College Avenue in Poughkeepsie was full of books─including a shelf for the Oxford English Dictionary. She loved books and words; talked a lot; read a lot; wrote a lot. (Continue reading)

JENNIFER YACOVISSI

Author of Up the Hill to Home

ellencampbell-headshots-003211-29-2016: Author Ellen Prentiss Campbell is our December 1 Guest Blogger

Since I had the double assignment to post at the end of November and also to invite a guest blogger for the beginning of December, I took the opportunity to make sure our readers enjoy a full introduction to the wit, charm, and wonderful writing of Ellen Prentiss Campbell, who joins us on 1 December as our guest blogger. In the spirit of the holiday season, Ellen shares her childhood memories of the powerful impact of the books selected for her by a very special relative.

Ellen’s debut novel, The Bowl with Gold Seams (Apprentice House Press, reviewed here on 11-20-2016), was inspired by the detainment of the Japanese Ambassador to Germany, his staff and their families, at the Bedford Springs Hotel in 1945. Her short story collection Contents Under Pressure (Broadkill River Press) was a 2015 National Book Award nominee. Her essays and reviews appear in The Fiction Writers Review, where she is a contributing editor, and The Washington Independent Review of Books. Ellen is also a practicing psychotherapist and lives with her husband in Washington D.C. and Manns Choice, Pennsylvania. You can find more from Ellen on her website, www.ellencampbell.net.

Betty May

BETTY MAY

Changing Corners – A Young Adult novel based on racism

7/1/2016 – GUEST BLOGGER BETTY MAY – WRITING ABOUT PRISON LIFE

The phone rings.

“Hello?”

“Is this Betty May?”

“Yes.”

“And you write and direct plays?”

“Yes.”

“Can you write a comedy about life in prison?”

In 2008 a group of women serving life sentences in a maximum-security prison wrote a play designed to warn teenagers and young adults about the consequences of poor choices. Their efforts were not well received; the young people were disinterested and bored. The women decided the indifferent response was due to the serious nature of the play: “Kids want funny.”

Thus the rather bizarre phone call. (Continue reading)

GUEST BLOGGER CANDACE LEVY

GUEST BLOGGER CANDACE LEVY

Full-time freelance book editor, reviewer and journalist, and author of the blog Beth Fish Reads.

 

6-1-2016. READING WITH YOUR EARS: ALL ABOUT AUDIOBOOKS

Have you ever wished you had more time to read? If you’re like me, each week, when the new books are released, you vow to spend more time cuddled up on the couch, lost in a good story. For most of us, however, there aren’t enough quiet moments in the day to indulge. Say hello to audiobooks, your new BFFs.

Audiobooks allow you to capture all kinds of lost minutes: imagine reading at the same time you’re driving, exercising, cooking, and gardening. There is something magical about being read to that touches us deep inside, reviving memories of childhood bedtime stories and also linking us to our long-ago ancestors, who listened to tales told around the evening fire. (Continue reading)

Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

5/29/2016. BOOK EDITOR AND REVIEWER CANDACE LEVY IS GUEST BLOGGER ON JUNE 1

Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks or are you a hard line advocate of the printed word? I’m a devoted fan of both and usually have one of each going all the time. As guest blogger on June 1, Candace Levy will tell us why she loves audiobooks and why, if you’ve never listened to one, you really should give them a try.

Levy is a full-time freelance book editor whose clients include both major publishing firms and prominent independent presses. She is also a freelance book reviewer and journalist, covering books in a wide range of genres. When she’s not at her desk, you’ll inevitably find her listening to an audiobook while cooking, walking, making lace, or taking photographs. She was honored to be the Audio Publisher Association’s Audiobook Blogger of the year for 2016. To keep track of all her bookish adventures, follow her on Twitter (@BethFishReads) or visit her blog, Beth Fish Reads.

Carolyn Marie Wilkins

CAROLYN MARIE WILKINS

Author of Melody for Murder: A Bertie Bigelow Mystery; They Raised Me Up: A Black Single Mother and the Women Who Inspired Her; and Damn Near White: An African American Family’s Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success

5/1/16 — Bucking Convention – A Cozy Mystery on the South Side of Chicago

There’s something comforting about a world where truth and justice always prevail. In a modern society adrift in a sea of senseless violence, the cozy mystery format provides a welcome sense of moral certainty. By using time-honored conventions and well-worn tropes, the format affirms our deepest core values.  It might seem predictable, perhaps even boring to some readers.  But for me, a well-written cozy never fails to satisfy.

In a cozy mystery there is always an intrepid hero and there is always a murderous villain. Although crimes are committed, the messy details of the murder are kept in the background, and the story is told without gratuitous sex or violence.  All events unfold in a logical sequence and (surprise, surprise) the good guy wins in the end.

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Mark Willen

MARK WILLEN

Author of Hawke’s Point

Carolyn_headshot4/29/16 – Carolyn Marie Wilkins Is Our May 1 Guest Blogger

Carolyn Marie Wilkins is the author of Melody for Murder: A Bertie Bigelow Mystery; They Raised Me Up: A Black Single Mother and the Women Who Inspired Her; Damn Near White: An African American Family’s Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success; and Tips For Singers: Performing, Auditioning, Rehearsing.

Wilkins, a Professor of Ensembles at Berklee College of Music, is also an accomplished jazz pianist, composer and vocalist. Her performance experience includes radio and television appearances with her group SpiritJazz, a concert tour of South America as a Jazz Ambassador for the US State Department, performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony as a percussionist under Andre Previn, and shows featuring Melba Moore, Nancy Wilson and the Fifth Dimension. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, where Melody for Murder is set, she now lives in Cambridge, MA.

3/1/16 Guest Blogger Tawnysha Greene

3/1/16 GUEST BLOGGER TAWNYSHA GREENE

Author of the novel A House Made of Stars and short fiction in PANK, Bellingham Review, and Weave Magazine

SHOPPING IN MY OWN CLOSET    When I took one of my first creative writing classes at Auburn University, my professor, Judy Troy, suggested that we all “shop in our own closets” when writing stories. What she meant was that for a story to be real, we had to become vulnerable, and we had to place ourselves in our stories. While the characters, the settings, and the plot points were fictional, the emotions had to be real, and sometimes, we had to dig at the deepest, darkest parts of our lives to get there. (Continue reading)

Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

2/29/16 TAWNYSHA GREENE, AUTHOR OF A HOUSE MADE OF STARS, WILL BE OUR MARCH 1 GUEST BLOGGER.Tawnysha Greene author photo.jpg2

Tawnysha Greene received her PhD from the University of Tennessee where she served as the fiction editor for Grist: The Journal for Writers. Her work has appeared in PANK, Bellingham Review, and Weave Magazine. Her first novel, A House Made of Stars, was released from Burlesque Press in 2015 and was reviewed here on Feb. 20. Cleaver Magazine described A House Made of Stars as “stunning.”

Millie Mack

MILLIE MACK

Author of Take Stock in Murder, Take a Dive for Murder, Take a Byte Out of Murder

2/1/2016 – GUEST BLOGGER – MILLIE MACK

Miss Marple Still Going Strong

I recently attended a course on Agatha Christie. At the first class the teacher asked—what makes Agatha Christie’s mysteries as popular today as when they were first published? I found this question of interest, because I have some personal experience with the popularity of one of her characters — Miss Marple.

Back in October of 2012, I wrote a blog entitled the “Quotable Miss Marple.” To this dChristie-2ay, this blog remains one of my most popular. Therefore, like my teacher I will ask a similar question. What is it about this detective that continues to attract readers, fans and admirers?

Miss Marple is not your typical detective. She’s elderly, she knits and she’s nosy. She lives in the tiny village of St. Mary Mead where her knowledge of village life (Continue reading)

OUR 12/1/1015 GUEST BLOGGER DAVID MARSHALL HUNT

OUR 12/1/1015 GUEST BLOGGER DAVID MARSHALL HUNT

David is the author of the novel, Flower Girl: A Burton Family Mystery, and the fantasy series, The Star Stone, The Chair, & The Dog (Book 1: Secrets of the Star Stone Society) andT he Pilgrimage (Book 2: Secrets of the Star Stone Society).

12/1/2015 – How Experience Shapes Fiction

The blurry line between fact and fiction gets even more obscured when an author does extensive research into real world events, past and present, only to insert his/her personal experiences into the story which contains the fiction. For the most part realism is enhanced by personal experiences. I have for years adhered to the notion that, “There is no history written without ‘author bias’.” (unknown source). If you buy into this notion, then it becomes necessary to ask what is the difference between history and historical fiction? A short answer would be that the fiction-writing author is able to fantasize and get creative in the story telling process; nevertheless, it is critical to maintain a believable historical context. Thus the line is blurred intentionally. Author’s like Wilbur Smith, James Rollins, the late Tom Clancy, James Lee Burke, David Liss, and Clive Cussler are a few of my favorites at placing a story into an historical and cultural context that is believable, along with delivering a great story.

(Continue reading)

Michael J. Tucker

MICHAEL J. TUCKER

Author of  Aquarius Falling and Capricorn’s Collapse

11/30/15 Preview of December Guest Blogger David Marshall Hunt

David Marshall Hunt began a new career at the mellowing age of 70-plus years. While that can be Casual David Marshall Huntdaunting and challenging, for David it has been mostly fun. For 35 years he taught and researched at universities around the world. His home is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and near the C’est La Vie Coffee House where he hangs out on a regular basis to imbibe delicious cappuccinos and croissants and keeps up on local politics, football (a religion in Mississippi), art, and gossip.

His essay tomorrow is about how his experiences shaped Flower Girl: A Burton Family Mystery, and how his history bled into his eBooks.

Jen Michalski

JEN MICHALSKI

Jen Michalski is the author of The Tide King and The Summer She Was Under Water

11/1/2015 – A Jolt of Vertigo

”The best way to think about reality is to get as far away from it as possible.” – Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I have never been interested in magical realism, or so I’d thought. One Hundred Years of Solitude has sat in my pile of to-read books for almost a decade now, and although I enjoyed Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore and his collection of short stories, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, I thought his use of magical realism as metaphor could be a bit gimmicky. I have always written fiction that concentrate on domestic lives, those quiet intersections of reality that ignite into disaster. In his article “Magical Realism and the Search for Identity in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki,” Matthew Strecher defines  (Continue reading)

Kelly Ann Jacobson

KELLY ANN JACOBSON

Author of Cairo in White and The Troublemakers

10/1/15 — Women’s Fiction and Romance: Mutually Exclusive or Mutually Confusing?

Genres exist for a reason. Readers like to know what to expect, at least in general terms, when they pick out a book. And publishers want to accommodate them. As many budding writers learn during the querying process, the way they characterize a novel can be key to finding the right agent or publisher.

But what if a book doesn’t quite fit into one of the standard categories, or if it fits into too many? Or what if, to complicate matters even further, those categories aren’t all that different to begin with? (Continue reading)

Gary Garth McCann

GARY GARTH MCCANN

Author of the novel The Man Who Asked To Be Killed and five stories, most recently “Incorrigible,” Erotic Review and “The Yearbook,” Mobius

WE CELEBRATE LATE LAST NIGHT BOOKS’ 2-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH A REVIEW OF THE PAST YEAR’S GUEST BLOGGERS.

10/1/14 GUEST BLOGGER HARRISON DEMCHICKHarrison Demchick

FOR LOVE AND MAGIC.

There was a time when I determined, with absolute certainty, that I would never seek publication for my novel, The Listeners.

It wasn’t always that way. I was still in eighth grade when it clicked with me that writing is something one can do for a living, and from that moment on it was more than anything else what I wanted to do. (Continue reading)

Pallas Snider Ziporyn11/1/14 GUEST BLOGGER PALLAS SNIDER ZIPORYN

Author of the recently published serial novel A Cappella Drug Lord – sometimes described as a cross between “Glee” and “Breaking  Bad” – as well as the non-fiction book, The International Student’s Guide to American Colleges.

WHAT AMAZON WON’T TELL YOU

All I wanted to do was write, but I held back.

Before spending the next two months slogging away, I needed to make sure that my story was going to be read. And in today’s competitive world of indie publishing, there are no guarantees. (Continue reading)

Goodman 312/1/14 GUEST BLOGGER ERIC D. GOODMAN

Author of Tracks: A Novel in Stories and Flightless Goose, a storybook for children.

BREAKING BAD DIALOGUE: BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TALK FOR

You’ve probably heard the advice before: be careful who you talk to. But when dealing with dialogue, it’s even more important to be careful who you talk for.

When putting dialogue into the mouth of a character, it is important to make sure they speak the way that sort of character would really speak. (Continue reading)

Clifford Garstang2/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER CLIFFORD GARSTANG 

Author of In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know . Editor of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet and Prime Number Magazine.

MORE THAN MERE SETTING

When we first study creative writing, we’re told that the principal elements of fiction are plot, character, and setting. My sense is that teachers of writing spend a good deal more time on plot and character than they do on setting. Perhaps that’s justified. After all, the plot of a novel or short story is essential, whether it’s an action-packed thriller or a psychological drama. Without the plot there is no story. And it is widely recognized that plot and character are inextricable. Plot—a convincing plot, anyway—arises from character, and the reader learns about the characters in a work of fiction from observing how those characters react to the complications that develop in the plot.

But what about setting? It’s as hard to imagine a story without a setting as it is to imagine one without characters. (Continue reading)

Tom Wood3/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER TOM WOOD 

Author of Vendetta Stone and contributor to the collection of short stories Weird Western Yarns Vol. 1,  Western Tales! Vol.3, Tennesseans West, and the Civil War Anthology Filtered Through Time.

TIME ON A TIGHTROPE

Imagine you are high above the crowd, walking a tightrope.

Fans are on the edges of their seats as you put one foot before the other, holding their collective breaths and waiting to see what happens next as you slowly cross the span without a net. You know what you have to do to keep them entranced is a breathtaking combination of focus and balance. One misstep, lean a little too far one way or the other—and SPLAAAT. And the big finish has to be more thrilling than the last; you want them to leave the big top panting and coming back for more. (Continue reading)

Nancy Jarvis4/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER NANCY LYNN JARVIS 

Author of  The Death Contingency – Unlikely detective realtor Reagan McHenry  uses keen observation, flashes of insight, and sometimes stubborn tenacity to solve murders.
Editor, Cozy Food: 128 cozy mystery authors share their favorite recipes.

THE KINDNESS CONNECTION
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation sent out its first newsletter recently. Most of you probably haven’t heard of MM, a plasma cell cancer, because it’s not high profile, but it’s a nasty beast. Until recently, average life expectancy was two years. You can understand why I cried all night when my husband was diagnosed with the disease. (Continue reading)

JOSEPHDHASKEllnbintropic5/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER JOSEPH D. HASKE 

Author of the novel North Dixie Highway and short fiction in Boulevard, Pleiades, and other journals 

A significant turning point in my writing occurred when a fiction mentor reminded me that the simple concept of originality is a critical but often overlooked key to great writing. He said, of a story I’d just finished, “Yes, it’s good, very good. Well-written. But it sounds like Proust. Problem is, thousands of competent, contemporary writers sound like Proust.” (Continue reading)

JOHNVANDERSLICE6/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER JOHN VANDERSLICE 

Author of the novel Island Fog and over twenty works of short fiction in, among others,Pembroke, The Pinch,  Mobius, Seattle Review, Boston Literary Magazine…

WHY DO WRITERS ACT LIKE ROBBER BARONS?
Several weeks ago, at the university where I teach, I noticed something that disturbed and confounded me. The visiting artists brought in by other departments, most notably Music, did a lot more work—both on and off campus—than our visiting writers ever do. (Continue reading)

Lee Summerall in Italy7/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER LEE SUMMERALL 

Finalist in the 2015 Daphne duMaurier Writing Contest for the romantic suspense novel Game Face

Writing is easy. Good writing is hard. Reviewing is harder.

Learning to write, until recently, was taught in schools. Reports, essays, even poems. I’m not sure it’s still taught, which would be too bad as writing is a discipline, it makes your thinking clearer and more logical. The requirements of written communication force you to look at things, with any luck in new and different ways. It requires focus, clarity and concentration.

But writing fiction is not the same as writing a report or an essay. When you decide to write fiction – unless you write solely for your own amusement, which I understand some people actually claim to do – you enter the gauzy, glittery, treacherous world of entertainment. In this world, there is one overarching rule: do not bore your reader. The late, great Elmore Leonard put it nicely: “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”(Continue reading

Peter Gordon8/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER PETER GORDON 

Peter M. Gordon’s poems have appeared in Slipstream34th Parallel, the Provo Canyon Review5-2 Crime PoetryCultural Weekly, and several other magazines and websites. He’s President of the Orlando Area Poets and teaches in Full Sail University’s Film Production MFA program. His collection, Two Car Garage, was published by CHB Media and is available on Amazon.com and other bookselling sites.

08/01/15 – FIVE TIPS FOR MARKETING YOUR POETRY

“I wrote this for myself. Would you mind taking a look at it?”

 One of my students at a poetry workshop asked me that recently. I asked, if she wrote it for herself, why did she care what I thought? She said, “Well, I might publish it someday.”

There are as many reasons to write poetry as there are poets. I’ve heard people say they write to express their inner feelings. Some say they write to “deal with” their depression, or understand their romantic relationships, or to heal after a loved one’s death. What I rarely, if ever, hear, is that their goal is communicate these feelings to readers.

When I started to write poetry in earnest a few years ago, I found many wonderful books filled with great advice about how to write better poetry, but none about what to do with your poetry once it was finished. After all, if we’re taking the time to write poetry in the first place, we ought to spend some time helping our poems find their audience. I’ve outlined five tips to help you get started marketing your poetry for publication. (Continue reading)

 

 

 

 

Peter Gordon

PETER GORDON

Peter M. Gordon’s poems have appeared in Slipstream34th Parallel, the Provo Canyon Review5-2 Crime PoetryCultural Weekly, and several other magazines and websites. He’s President of the Orlando Area Poets and teaches in Full Sail University’s Film Production MFA program. His collection, Two Car Garage, was published by CHB Media and is available on Amazon.com and other bookselling sites.

08/01/15 – FIVE TIPS FOR MARKETING YOUR POETRY

“I wrote this for myself. Would you mind taking a look at it?”

 One of my students at a poetry workshop asked me that recently. I asked, if she wrote it for herself, why did she care what I thought? She said, “Well, I might publish it someday.”

There are as many reasons to write poetry as there are poets. I’ve heard people say they write to express their inner feelings. Some say they write to “deal with” their depression, or understand their romantic relationships, or to heal after a loved one’s death. What I rarely, if ever, hear, is that their goal is communicate these feelings to readers.

When I started to write poetry in earnest a few years ago, I found many wonderful books filled with great advice about how to write better poetry, but none about what to do with your poetry once it was finished. After all, if we’re taking the time to write poetry in the first place, we ought to spend some time helping our poems find their audience. I’ve outlined five tips to help you get started marketing your poetry for publication. (Continue reading)

7/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER LEE SUMMERALL

7/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER LEE SUMMERALL

Finalist in the 2015 Daphne duMaurier Writing Contest for the romantic suspense novel Game Face

 

Writing is easy. Good writing is hard. Reviewing is harder.

Learning to write, until recently, was taught in schools. Reports, essays, even poems. I’m not sure it’s still taught, which would be too bad as writing is a discipline, it makes your thinking clearer and more logical. The requirements of written communication force you to look at things, with any luck in new and different ways. It requires focus, clarity and concentration.

But writing fiction is not the same as writing a report or an essay. When you decide to write fiction – unless you write solely for your own amusement, which I understand some people actually claim to do – you enter the gauzy, glittery, treacherous world of entertainment. In this world, there is one overarching rule: do not bore your reader. The late, great Elmore Leonard put it nicely: “I try to leave out the parts people skip.” (Continue reading)

6/1/15 Guest Blogger John Vanderslice

6/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER JOHN VANDERSLICE

Author of the novel Island Fog and over twenty works of short fiction in, among others, Pembroke, The Pinch,  Mobius, Seattle Review, Boston Literary Magazine…

Why Do Writers Act Like Robber Barons?

Several weeks ago, at the university where I teach, I noticed something that disturbed and confounded me. The visiting artists brought in by other departments, most notably Music, did a lot more work—both on and off campus—than our visiting writers ever do. (Continue reading)

OUR 4/1/2015 GUEST BLOGGER NANCY LYNN JARVIS

OUR 4/1/2015 GUEST BLOGGER NANCY LYNN JARVIS

Author of  The Death Contingency – Unlikely detective realtor Reagan McHenry  uses keen observation, flashes of insight, and sometimes stubborn tenacity to solve murders.
Editor, Cozy Food: 128 cozy mystery authors share their favorite recipes.

4/1/2015 – The Kindness Connection
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation sent out its first newsletter recently. Most of you probably haven’t heard of MM, a plasma cell cancer, because it’s not high profile, but it’s a nasty beast. Until recently, average life expectancy was two years. You can understand why I cried all night when my husband was diagnosed with the disease. (Continue reading)

Michael J. Tucker

MICHAEL J. TUCKER

Author of  Aquarius Falling and Capricorn’s Collapse

2/28/15 — OUR MARCH 1, 2015, GUEST BLOGGER IS TOM WOOD

 

I’m sure there is a belief out there that the stereotypical writer is a shy introvert, who lives onTom Wood Journalist caffeine, speaks only to his cat, closets himself in a dark room hunched over a keyboard, and puts words to paper 24/7. Well, our guest blogger, Tom Wood, author of the inventive ‘fictional-true crime’ novel Vendetta Stone, will dispel that idea and give you a sense of how difficult it is to write a second book. When he’s not writing novels and Western short stories he is a freelance sports writer, and actor in the ABC series Nashville and films, such as, The Identical.

 

2/1/15 Guest Blogger Clifford Garstang

2/1/15 GUEST BLOGGER CLIFFORD GARSTANG

Author of In an Uncharted Country and What the Zhang Boys Know . Editor of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet and Prime Number Magazine.

MORE THAN MERE SETTING

When we first study creative writing, we’re told that the principal elements of fiction are plot, character, and setting. My sense is that teachers of writing spend a good deal more time on plot and character than they do on setting. Perhaps that’s justified. After all, the plot of a novel or short story is essential, whether it’s an action-packed thriller or a psychological drama. Without the plot there is no story. And it is widely recognized that plot and character are inextricable. Plot—a convincing plot, anyway—arises from character, and the reader learns about the characters in a work of fiction from observing how those characters react to the complications that develop in the plot.

But what about setting? It’s as hard to imagine a story without a setting as it is to imagine one without characters. (Continue reading)

Sally Whitney

SALLY WHITNEY

Author of the novel Surface and Shadowplus short stories appearing in journals and anthologies, including Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest 2017.

 

01/29/2015   AUTHOR CLIFFORD GARSTANG IS GUEST BLOGGER ON FEBRUARY 1

For author Clifford Garstang, the setting in a story is crucial. As heClifford Garstang said in an interview here last month, “[Setting] is part of the reason I read fiction. I want to be transported, not only to whatever the story is but also to the place.” As you would expect, setting plays an important role in Garstang’s award-winning writing, including In an Uncharted Country, a collection of short stories, and What the Zhang Boys Know, a novel-in-stories. In Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, a collection that Garstang curated and edited, each story takes place in a different country. As our guest blogger on February 1, Garstang will explain why the best fiction uses setting as more than just a backdrop.

Eric D. Goodman

ERIC D. GOODMAN

Author of Tracks: A Novel in Stories and Flightless Goose, a storybook for children.

12/1/14 — BREAKING BAD DIALOGUE: BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TALK FOR

You’ve probably heard the advice before: be careful who you talk to. But when dealing with dialogue, it’s even more important to be careful who you talk for.

When putting dialogue into the mouth of a character, it is important to make sure they speak the way that sort of character would really speak. (Continue reading)