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Archive for October 11th, 2013

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Beverly Stowe McClure, a former teacher, is now enjoying a second career: writing. She never planned to be a writer, but in the classroom she and her students did such fun activities in art and science that she decided to write about some of them. Luckily, a few magazines liked what she sent them, and her articles have appeared in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Jr., and others. Nine of her stories have been published as books, the latest one a MG/Tween eBook: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. She also has two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.
Beverly enjoys discovering her ancestors in her genealogy research. She plays the piano. (Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice.) She takes long walks where she snaps pictures of wildlife and clouds, and of course she reads, usually two books at a time. She teaches a women’s Sunday school class. Watching baseball (Go Rangers) is another of her favorite activities. Retirement is fun.

You can learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure at http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com or her blog at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

Would you call yourself a born writer? 

Nope, not even close. Everyone might think I was, since my eighth-grade teacher sent “Stars,” a poem I wrote for a class assignment, to a high school anthology and it was published in Young America Sings, a high school anthology. That poem was my only claim to publishing, as well as my only attempt at writing anything except school papers, until I grew up into an adult. I wasn’t really interested in becoming an author. When the writing bug finally bit me at a much older age, and I decided to become a famous author, haha, I had no idea how to start, so I took a couple of courses on writing for children. I worked hard, following my instructor’s directions. Writing was tougher than I thought it would be. I kept at it though and am so happy I did not give up.

What was your inspiration for A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat?

On a visit with my son and daughter-in-law, who live on James Island just outside Charleston, SC, we decided to go to Folly Beach and watch the sun rise one morning. Morris Island Light House, built before the Civil War, sits in the Inlet. As the sun peeked above the horizon, turning night into day, I pictured a ghost living in the light house. Who was he? Why was he a ghost? Why was he in the lighthouse? Then the vision of a pirate ship cruising in the waters, searching for something appeared. A pirate, tricorn hat on his head, cutlass at his side, stood on board the ship. Some people might think I’m a little on the weird side. But isn’t the imagination the place where many stories begin? Ghost stories are quite popular in Charleston. I heard a lot while I was there. According to legend, many of the old houses have resident ghosts. I’ve written one ghost story and knew I’d soon write a second one. Now I have: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. Since my target audience is children and teens, my characters are tweens, thirteen years old. And the ghosts … well, you may  recognize a couple of them.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I seldom think of themes when I write, but I’d have to say “family” is an important theme to me. I’m big on family and I think it shows in my writing. Also honesty and love are found in many of my novels.

How long did it take you to complete the novel? 

I started the novel in early 2010. Revised, revised, and revised. My critique group gave me expert advice. I revised some more. I confess to being a slow writer. The English teacher in me cringes at punctuation errors and such, so I spend a lot of time correcting myself. Finally, the manuscript was ready to submit in fall of 2011.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Most of the time, yes, I stick to a schedule. Having a set routine goes back to my teaching years, I think. I accomplish more if I write down my goals for each day, not that I always reach them, but they motivate me to stay busy. I generally start writing around 9:00 AM, after I’ve checked email. If I’m working on a new story, I do it first, and write until 11:00 or 12:00. I usually have more than one story going at a time, in different stages. Right now, I’m working on a new YA historical fiction novel, editing a YA contemporary that I hope to submit around the first of the year, if not sooner, and tossing about ideas for a couple of new stories. I alternate working on the new and editing the old.

Afternoons I search for promotion ideas, post blogs, read other’s blogs, and read books to review. My brain doesn’t create well in the afternoon, so I seldom write then. Perhaps a short story, but nothing that takes a lot of energy. Evenings I spend reading.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?pirate-blockade-runner-cat-200x300

Since the pirates in the story are “real” instead of fiction, I had to do a lot of research to make sure I portray them accurately. Many young readers will be familiar with Major Stede Bonnet, the gentleman pirate, and surely they’ll know Blackbeard, one of the most notorious pirates that ever lived. Also, the setting had to be authentic, because it’s where the pirates were part of the time in real life. Children are smart. They catch the little details and being wrong will stop them reading.

What do you love most about being an author?

When someone tells me they love/like/relate to my story, and that it helps them see a solution to a similar situation they might be facing. I write for the reader, and for the reader in me.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com

http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/102015270528558455280/about

https://twitter.com/beverlymcclure

http://www.facebook.com/beverlysmcclure

http://goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure

Thank you for hosting me today. Please stop by my blog and leave a comment. Thanks.

 

Purchase at MuseItUp Publishing or Amazon!

 

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ThreadingtheNeedle_FlatAn action packed political thriller.

Isidore Farrugia is a cop, brought up during the Years of Lead, a horrific period in Italian history, a time of terror and killing, his childhood memories, scarred forever by the brutal death of his mother. Nevertheless, he is a good man, loyal and protective of his friends and colleagues.

This is why although off duty and out of jurisdiction, when his friend Bianca arranges a meeting with her informant, Charles Brooks, he insists on coming too. However, soon his onlooker role changes, when the young 23-year-old American, Bianca came to meet is killed, and so are his assassins.
Then another murder takes place, and the Italian police investigators find themselves unearthing a web of political intrigue.
Bianca has a secret though, she knows, she must uncover the truth behind the information she has been entrusted with, despite warnings from her mysterious online contact Loki, to stay away. Adastra, a weapons manufacturer is hiding something… But what?
I found myself hooked, right from the start of this brilliant, action packed, political crime thriller, which is set in Milan.
For those, like myself, who are interested in history, the Afterword about the Years of Lead by Claudio Ferrara was very interesting.
This is actually the third book in the ‘Roma’ series, by this talented author, and there is a tantalising glimpse at the end into his fourth book, ’Turning to Stone.’

Threading the Needle is available in Paperback from Amazon.

Review by Susan Keefe

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I, Walter banner

Mike HartnerMike Hartner is a father, son, author, patriot, geek (ret), and husband.

His love of all things genealogical led him to writing, and writing has now led him to fiction and a large epic saga.

He lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife and son.

His latest book is the historical romance, I, Walter.

Visit his website at www.accidentalauthor.ca.

About the Book:

This is the life story of Walter Crofter, an English commoner who ran from home at the age of 11.  After two years living on the street, he ended up on a Merchant Mariners boat in the service of the Crown.

On his first voyage, he rescued a girl from pirates.  A very important girl, who stole his heart before she was returned to her home.

This is the story of his life.  What adventures he had at sea; what took him off the waters, and what happened to him as he lived his life and stayed true to his character.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.

I, WalterWould you call yourself a born writer? 

No. I’ve been a lot of things: mathematician, computer geek, programmer, desktop publisher, genealogist and now Author.

What was your inspiration for I, Walter

I started trying to write a 20c story about a pair of young adults. When that didn’t quite measure up either to my standards or my editors, we switched gears. He asked me to take one aspect of the story as far back as I could, and when I did, we found Walter Crofter.  Turns out that his story is the first in a series, and that is why the 20c story was not published.  It needs to be re-worked, but also put in its proper order.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I think one of the biggest themes I try to present is that each individual is different, and that everybody has their own crosses to bear in life.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?  

About a year, after I started writing Walter exclusively.

Are you disciplined?

Describe a typical writing day.  My writing always takes a back seat to being a husband and father.   Most of my writing is done late at night and early in the morning before everyone gets up.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?  

Experiencing Gerald, and the truly awful things people can do to each other.

What do you love most about being an author?

The ability to create from nothing.  My muse keeps reminding me that this story is my own.  That it was created totally from my own mind.  I beg to differ with that statement.  My writing is more transcription.  I listened to a character in my mind that is Walter Crofter.  Right now, I’m listening to his son James, and a Scotsman named Angus.  The two are vying for who is book two and who is book three.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?   

I self-published, and I’m immensely happy with my decision.  Yes, it would be very rewarding to have a five-to-six figure advance, and all the publicity machinery in the world.  But, let’s be realistic.. that doesn’t often happen for first time writers.  And then there is the wait period.  I’m pretty sure the waiting process would see me tearing out what hair I have left.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.accidentalauthor.ca for the book, http://www.mikehartner.com for my website, http://ow.ly/mINto for my Amazon sales page.

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