Showing posts from March, 2010

How To Write That First Novel

[NOTE: I’ve been fortunate over the past five years to be intimately involved with a writer’s group that has allowed me to become acquainted with numerous authors, publishers, screen writers, and literary agents. They have talked openly about the publishing industry in general and their specific genres, and have offered considerable advice. Over time, I’ve grown to realize how valuable that guidance was. So over the next few weeks, I hope to share some of that wisdom with you.]

“What do I have to do to be a writer?”


Believe it or not, it’s as simple as that. Writers write. It’s what we do. But you’d be surprised how many potential authors forget that.

I’ve met several potential authors who have bragged about all the work they’ve done on their project. One had a detailed outline of their proposed novel. Another had 3x5 cards filled with biographical notes for each character. A third had a notebook in which he kept hours worth of research. When I asked them how far they had gott…


By: Angelica Hart and Zi

Angelica likes how words fill her mouth, the roll of them on her tongue, and sometimes, she just thinks cause it sounds right, it fits and it would take a hypnotist to convince her differently, even at that she might not concede. This leads me to the point, we wordsmith often within our stories, working under the philosophy that if the new word aptly and efficiently communicates the point we intended then it is the perfect word to use. The process makes for moments that are enjoyable. We are word lovers and as amateur lexicographers we play with meaning and nuance of words constantly. To roll out an example, we have used words like lamestorming, typonesse, well embrowed, and don't stopportunities. Here is a sample of how this point plays:

(While Zi was writing this piece Angelica entered the office, craned her neck to see the screen... He toggled to Minesweeper knowing this would torment her)
A: Are you writing a…

It's Proposal Day with Author Marianne Stephens

It’s Proposal Day
Ah, love and romance. They meet. Fall in love. He proposes. Spring is coming and thoughts of single women now turn from “we’re just a couple” relationships to “I want it all”…that “Happily-Ever-After” ending of marriage.
Visions of a man getting down on one knee, lovingly looking up into the eyes of the woman he loves and asking her to marry him, fill the heads of little girls from childhood when we first play “Let’s Pretend” with a neighborhood boy. We want that fantasy wedding, white gown and veil, new life, our own family.
But first, you may have to kiss a lot of toads along the way. No one warns you that finding “Mr. Right” may take forever. And, the older you get, the younger a man wants his date/wife to be. Plus, the more set in your ways you become, just as a man does.
Where do you find that man who’ll propose? Night spots? Concerts? The Internet? Blind dates?
Some are lucky. They find the right man and seem to know it immediately. I remember meeting my husband and…

The Joy of Books

I love books.  I'm not referring merely to the paperback that you pick up at your local bookstore so you can read it on the subway or at the beach or in bed late at night.  I'm talking about the existential concept of books.  Of owning a personal library.  Of having a study whose walls are lined with shelves, each one jammed with books.  Paperbacks.  Trades.  Hardcovers.  Special editions. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not adverse to digital books.  I just had my first novel published as an e-book and am very pleased with the results.  The editing process and the production quality are just as good as anything in print.  And the popularity of digital books is increasing.  The competition between Kindle, Nook, and the other e-book readers will eventually play itself out (like the competition between laserdisks, Beta, and VHS) so that all the formats will be compatible.  I can foresee a time decades from now when books become collector's items (just like the over-sized …

Meet "New to Me" Author Kiki Howell

Excerpt From A Questionable Hero Available Now at
A divine proclivity to perceive imminent danger made Shaebiel turn in time to glimpse the glinting silver of a demon’s sword inches from slashing into her flesh. As her body tensed for the pain, a sharp metallic clash rang in her ears followed by the shrill grate of metal against metal. Two long daggers crossed beside her, and moments later a human form was reduced to smoky ash on the blacktop. To her utter confusion and dismay, when she followed the length of the sword that had saved her, it was held by a demon—a devilish being with magnetic silver eyes. These eyes, lighter than the inky black of most of his kind, bore into hers, searched hers. As an angel warrior gifted with empathic abilities she could feel lust burning over the rush of his more erratic feelings of fear, confusion and shame. It could have been a minute or an hour they stood there, because time seemed to stand still wrapped i…


By: Angelica Hart and Zi

Zi was sitting in front of the computer typing, wearing a visor that read, Bird Crap Happens... Run! This his homage to Hitchcock.

Today we are outlining the plot of a novella we are planning. The working title is PLATINUM ARROW. I want it to have a sports subtext but I am having difficulty convincing her. No, she is not obstinate for stubborn's sake, but she does conspire to stand strong on her opinions. I admire that quality, have a little of that myself. Thus, being at loggerheads is a huge part of every day.

So the question is what makes Angelica unique and special. What comprises her rare genius. I believe it comes from a lariat she has pulled tightly about perception of self, believing in her own mind. She embodies an earnest trust in her gifts. Knowing her you notice she walks to the beat of a different accordion player and does not see it. This oblivious quality is her blessing and the readers' gift.

This makes her sound freaky-d…

Getting to know Author Kayelle Allen & a CONTEST

CONTEST: All who comment will be entered to win one free download of two short stories from Kayelle. One is Human Perfect, about spies in the android industry, and the other is Whiskey and Wine, the inspiration for Surrender Love.

**** Tell us about the Tarthian Empire. What inspired you to create this place and all the inhabitants there? How many books do you see for it?
The idea for the Tarthian Empire was to create a vast group of worlds with a rich history, and then write books within that setting. I could see no logical reason to create a new world with different life forms and rules every time I wanted to write a story. This was the logical way to go, in my mind. I have various empires and federations all over the galaxy for future works.
If I had to write books only set in the Tarthian Empire for the rest of my life, I would never run out of stories. The empire was founded in their year 4273 Tradestandard when Empress Destine Pietan united thirteen worlds. She also set up a sta…


An Editorial By Cynthia Vespia

St. Patricks Day is upon us. The little green leprechauns and four leaf clovers associated with the holiday are supposed to bring luck. No disrespect but I’ll drink down the Guinness and make my own luck. There’s a motto, you may have heard it, goes a little something like this: preparedness meets opportunity. In other words when the opportunity comes along for you to realize your dreams and goals you are prepared to meet them. It has nothing to do with luck. There’s no magic formula. It takes time, energy, and mountains of persistence to get to where you want to be in life.
On the recent telecast of the Academy Awards Oprah Winfrey told the story of how Gabourey Sidibe had been struggling to pay for college when she happened to hear about a casting call for a little movie called Precious. She proceeded to skip school that Monday to try out for the part. Tuesday they called her back in. Wednesday she got the part. And the rest is…

Talking Island Delights with Eve Summers & A CONTEST

Brief Island Delight (Please scroll down to see the contest.) The backdrop on my computer's desktop is a photo: coral-white sand, ocean waves of intense blue, coconut palms shading the beach. A perfect picture of paradise. That's Fiji. When I wrote "Fiji on Fire, Fiji on Ice", I kept looking at that photo. I wanted to transform the reader to that beach, together with a darker version of Josh Holloway (from LOST) and an endless supply of exotic cocktails, like the one below:
The Brief Island Delight Cocktail Recipe
1 oz coconut liqueur
1/2 oz white rum
1/2 oz dark rum
3 tbsp vanilla ice cream
1 oz whipped cream
1 tsp grenadine syrup

Blend vodka, rums and ice cream with half a glassful of crushed ice. Top with whipped cream, sprinkle grenadine on top, and serve. Excerpt from Fiji on Fire, Fiji on Ice: