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CoverAlthough I have written for decades, I don’t have a wide variety of publishing experiences. So, this is how I will proceed for my next project from what I know now.

I’ll write about something that intrigues me. I think one of the most powerful forces in society is the ability to utilize insights. My fiction writing will continue to celebrate the quirky nature of subtle lessons and relationships.

I will fully develop characters, relationships, and motivations. However, I will write loosely concerning times, days, and seasons. I have spent more time during revision adjusting the details of the weather than the important points of the plot.

I will try to master the use of the audio-notes feature on my phone to record ideas, details, or entire action scenes when talking is more convenient that writing.

I’ll stay well organized.

I’ll take energizing walks when my brain is dry.

I’ll continue to seek out like-minds with whom to share ideas, phrasing, and coffee.

I’ll stay in touch with the mentors I have come to know.

I’ll hone my skills of interviewing experts for primary research.

I’ll try to stay on top of organizing my photos. Although my book did not require photos, the website did, and the trailer will. It’s a lot easier to take pictures at the time of the writing than to dig them up later.

I’m going to research my next project and confirm the salability of my topic, presentation, and length before I do much writing.

I’m going to expect to send out many queries for my next book before I get a nibble.

I’m going to continue to explore different modes of social media.

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Last Import - 15To Contact Chris McCloskey, you can go to www.tootenandter.com. Check out the pics and quotes from some of T&T’s adventures, meet some of the Guide Dog puppies, and send a comment or add to the blog.

Email Chris McCloskey at http://www.tootenter@gmail.com

Download a copy of Tooten and Ter: A Nose for Crime go to www.smashwords.com. In the Search box in the upper right, you can enter “McCloskey” or “Tooten and Ter” or “Nose” or “Crime”!

This is day 4 of Chris’ tour with the National Writing for Children Center. Continue her tour tomorrow at http://www.thelearningleaf.com.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday we’re hosting Day 3 of a 5-day virtual tour for Angela Joseph’s book, Women for All Seasons.

Throughout my journey as a writer, I have learned from my mistakes and picked up several tips along the way. One of the things I have learned is: 

  1. Practice. Writing is an art, and like any other, it has to be learned. Steve Martin, comedian, who also wrote a novel said, “I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.” With that bunch of blank paper, or a blank computer screen staring at you, it can be easy to become intimidated. But you have to write and write, edit and edit, rinse and repeat until your words sing to you, or someone else. And even then most writers are not content. I read somewhere that War and Peace was edited one hundred times before being published. Bottom line, the saying practice makes perfect holds true for writing as it does for any art form.  Which brings me to the second point: 
  1. Patience. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to be published. I know this is your goal as a writer, but before you begin sending out your work, make sure it’s the best it can be. Take workshops, attend conferences, network with other writers, and don’t be afraid of rejection. It’s just another tool to help you improve your art. If the editor/agent was good enough to explain why your story was rejected, thank him/her, keep the letter and refer to it often when you are writing or querying. Many famous authors like Stephen King, Jane Austen and others had their work rejected before they received acceptance. Which leads me to: 
  1. 510Q+Ep9v8L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Perseverance. Dr. Richard Carlson, now famous author of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff was discussing with his wife one evening that he was thinking of quitting writing because he had received such a small advance on his book, You Can Be Happy, No Matter What, when the phone rang. It was Oprah’s producer calling to say that she was just in their library looking for a book on stress management when the book fell off the shelf and hit her in the head!  The lady wanted to know if he could come out the next day to be on the Oprah show.  And as we say, the rest is history. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff has sold over 25 million copies.

Keep on writing. No matter what happens, never give up.

By leaving a comment on this post, your name will be entered to win a copy of  Women For All Seasons. You may read a free sample by clicking on this link: http://quildonwrites.blogspot.com/p/women-for-all-seasons.html 

You may also purchase a copy of the book from Amazon or Smashwords.

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secretside1

  1.  I hate the word “illegal.”  I far prefer “undocumented.  I mean, can a human being be illegal?
  2. A lot of people think that, yes, a human being can be illegal.  When my book was sold, I was profiled in the New York Daily News.  I shared my own story about being brought over the U.S. as a baby and overstaying my visitor’s visa (unbeknownst to me, of course.  I was too busy discovering my fingers).  Someone posted a comment suggesting I should be subject to the Son of Sam law, the law that prevents people from profiting from their “crimes.”  You know, like the guy who killed 6 people.
  3. Most people are really nice.
  4. When writing a book about an “issue” like immigration, you’ve got to forget about the issue and just write a story that is fun to read and makes people feel things.
  5. Telling a big secret about yourself (like the fact that you were once undocumented) is terrifying.
  6. Telling a big secret about yourself is incredibly freeing.
  7. M.T., the main character of my book, is a girl in the same predicament I was, but is entirely different than I was.  She’s got better calves (she bikes everywhere) and better business sense.  Also, she’s braver than I am because she gets the courage to share who she really is way sooner than I did.
  8. Writing a love story is fun.
  9. Getting an agent is an excruciating process but its glorious when it finally happens.
  10. Sometimes when the “worst” happens it’s the best.  I had my heart set on another title for the book for all the years I was pitching it and writing it, only to have it get taken by another book in my genre toward the tail end of my journey.  I was heart-broken.   Then I came up with the title:, The Secret Side of Empty, and I fell in love instantly.  Now I couldn’t imagine it being called anything else.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

mariaMaria Andreu is an author and immigration rights activist.  She lives in beautiful Bergen County, New Jersey with her two wonderful middle schoolers.  At the age of 12, she wrote in her diary, “Most of all, I want to be a writer.”  Growing up undocumented and poor, she never imagined that dream might come true one day.  Her work has been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Star Ledger and her first novel, The Secret Side of Empty, will be published by Running Press in Spring, 2014.

Read more of her work at http://mariaeandreu.com

Like to her Facebook page to enter to win a $250 gift card!  https://www.facebook.com/maria.andreu.books

**Read about the book and scroll below for details on how to enter to WIN a $250 Amazon gift card just by liking the author’s Facebook page!**

BOOK BLURB for “Secret Side of Empty”

You’ve heard the news stories.  Now hear the real story.

M.T. is starting her senior year with a lot going for her.  She gets great grades, has a best friend she met in kindergarten and a boyfriend who is sweet and into her.  But life – at least as she knows it – is about to end.

M.T. is what the news calls “illegal” – she came to the U.S. with her parents as a baby and never got the right papers that allowed her to stay.  She lives in fear of her family getting deported, in even more fear that she’ll have to go to the home country she doesn’t even remember, of people finding out her ugly secret and of the increasingly volatile situation at home.  When senior year is over, the protected world she’s found in her small parochial school will disappear.  Without a social security number, she won’t be able to go to college, get a job or, maybe worst of all, get a driver’s license.
But she’ll worry about all that later.  First, she’s got a senior year to take on.

A Note from the Author, Maria Andreu:

The fulfillment of great dreams feels best when shared, which is why I’m inviting people to Like my Facebook page and come along with me on the fabulous and improbable journey of publishing my first novel.  As my thanks, when you like the page by July 31st, you’ll be able to enter to win a fan-only sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card!

Be the first to get updates on the cover, new tour stops, and fan-only content (plus enter a sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card) by liking the author’s Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/maria.andreu.books

The book is already getting industry buzz and news coverage, so Like the FB page to get updates on that as well.

 

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If you’re reading this, chances are you are an author, maybe published, maybe not. Regardless, you dream of success.  The question is what do you think of as success.
Is success being published by a large publisher with mega sales? Do you think of success as making a fortune from your writing? Or do you dream of success as being well known with fame attached to your name and have people recognize your face and name everywhere?
Perhaps, you don’t care so much about fame or becoming wealthy from your writing. While a good return for your efforts is nice, the idea of success might be having people actually read and enjoy the books you write.
Ah, little do we know. And that’s the truth. Beginners know little about writing and even less of the publishing world. This has been true since out grandmothers’ days. Things have changed in the last hundred years beyond their wildest dreams. 
Any author who is comfortable with what they have achieved will tell you, the world of writing and publishing is constantly changing today, largely due to the changes and advances of modern technology.
Enter the Internet and the advent of new publishers and types of publishing. The first to break ground in this new medium would be the online publishers or small presses as they may also be called. These presses are responsible in large part for the success of many authors who never would have had a chance to be published and they are the founders of the new world of publishing.
This does not include the vanity presses of old.  The way the worked was simple. An author would finish a manuscript and whatever form it was submitted to the vanity press of their choice, along with a hefty check, is the way the book would be printed. Often the books themselves were well made since most of these vanity presses were printers who decided the extra income of producing books was nice to have. They would print and bind the book and send a certain number in boxes to the author and that was the end of their job. The author was now stuck with maybe as many as a hundred to five hundred copies of their book to sell, give away, or whatever they did with them.  Often, upon the passing of the author, the boxes were found stored somewhere, unopened. This was because the author had no idea how to sell their book, where to sell their book and how to reach the market. Bookstores would not accept them and unless the author went door to door, the only copies sold were to family and close friends who often as not never read the book.
Had those authors been around today, they could have saved their hundreds of dollars and been published on the Internet by a small press if they were lucky or later, they could self publish.
From the days of those old vanity presses, which are still around, the world has expanded to include several types of publishing and more come along all the time. Today, there is the ebook which with some learning can be published by the author and sold and publicized by the author. 
There are publishers who produce ebooks only and most of them are of excellent quality and well written books. Some will put the work into print but may charge the author for a set up fee.
There are traditional presses online that produce booth print and ebooks and their quality is excellent. Many will publicize the books they produce and build their name at the same time. Others leave the promotion to the author. For an author to be accepted by the first type of small press, their work must meet certain standards and be suitable to the niche market the publisher aims at.
To achieve the dream of success of other authors, they must make a connection with an agent who will successfully promote the work to the larger houses that refuse to deal with anyone but agents. This can be a very hard road to travel and result in disappointment. One must be prepared for this as it may take years to find the right agent who will believe in your work and promote it to those large presses.
So success may prove elusive to those of us who wait for someone to promote our work to others or we may take on the task ourselves and start those query letters or emails moving.
A writer’s success not only depends on writing that book, possibly the best book ever written, but their personal efforts to contact publishers or agents or both and getting their name out before the public, maybe months before their work is available and that effort must be continuous.
The reading public is wonderfully kind to most  authors, but it also has a short lived attntion span so the author must keep reminding them of his or her existence.
Our eventual success really does depend on us, whether we are aiming for top of the heap or a comfortable spot in the middle. You must decide what you can affort in time and money for the advancement of your book and work from that point. Achieving success means engineering our dreams to fit reality. And that is the most difficult step to success of all.
 *****
Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing in a variety of genres, excerpts of which are available for reading at Twilight Times Books or on Anne’s website.  Anne also reviews and edits, writes short stories and articles. She enjoys meeting people and travel. Be sure to visit her blog, “Invitation to a Book” on her website. Anne K. Edwards can be found on http://www.AnneKEdwards.com.

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trappedbanner2Is there a bad side to being an author? Let me count the ways!

Seriously, though, writing, and especially fiction, is a lot like life…with both up’s and down’s. But this article is more about the “down’s,” so let’s look at that.

As an author, we’ve worked hard on creating our masterpiece. At least, I know I have, especially when I learned being talented was not enough. I read books on creating a Blockbuster novel, attend several fine writers’ conferences, where there were more good classes, about the entire spectrum of being an author, than I could possibly attend. I’d written four novels and was focused on getting my first, Trapped, as good as I could make it, and eventually published. I learned a lot about what makes good writing, and am amazed at how many people who strive to be authors just don’t do the work to develop their craft.

Anyhow, the only thing remotely “bad” about any of the above, was the time and effort it took to really polish my skills…and that really wasn’t so bad, after all. Some of the “bad” are things all authors experience…and have come to expect:

Rejection!

What’s really bad about rejection isn’t so much that this agent or that editor didn’t think your work was for them. It’s that you’ve slaved over the perfect query letter, after consuming a plethora of articles from those same agents/editors on how to do it right…how to create that compelling hook. And then you read their web site and write a personalized letter, showing them you know who they are and what they like. And then the rejection comes in your dutifully supplied SASE: “Dear Author (NOT personalized), Thanks for thinking of me. Unfortunately, this is not for us (Despite being right in the strike zone of what they say they love). Perhaps you will have better success with someone else.”

Yeah? Who?

The frustration is that you went through a lot of effort to show them you MAY BE right for them, and they send the generic form letter. You know in your heart they probably never even looked at your submission. Agents admit they look for the tiniest things in the query to summarily reject you. Surely they are swamped  with queries, but their cavalier dismissal of you treasure is very disheartening. How many great authors were nearly buried with rejections. Gresham, Louis L’amore (350 times – America’s premier western author, whom wrote classics, like “How the West was Won”, “Hondo,” & “Conager.”), and J.K. Rowlings are a few.

Another “bad” thing can be contests. Contests have great potential for the new author. I’ve entered several, and in fact my novel, Trapped, is published by TAG Publishers because I won their “Next Great American Novel” Contest. Trapped was also a finalist in the Florida Writers annual RPLA fiction contest, with over 300 entrants. And the “rub” here come from inconsistent judging. To qualify as a finalist in the RPLA, the novel has to receive a total of 80 or more points, out of a possible 100, based on two preliminary judges evaluation of 10 different criteria, 1 – 5 points for each. Trapped received a total of 48 from one judge and 46 from the other, both very complimentary of character development, scenes, and the 1st person POV throughout of my main character, Jackee. The latter was at the suggestion of Dee Burks, editor at TAG Publishers. Every chapter was from the POV of Jackee, and whatever happened away from her had to be learned by what she saw and what she heard.

Unfortunately, the finalist judge didn’t like all the things the two prelim judges loved, and he/she especially wanted scenes with the other characters’ POVs. So, of course, Trapped, did not win the RPLA in 2012. It’s interesting, however, that readers unanimously say they can’t put it down, and I attribute that partly to the 1st person POV. I’ve had two of my other novels also as finalists in the RPLA, with almost identical results. High marks in prelims, but the finalist judge going another way. That, as I like to say, is why they make “chocolate, vanilla and 39 other flavours.”

So, I guess the recap for “The bad side of being an author,” can be condensed into possibly one word: FRUSTRATION. Frustration with the entire judgement system that tends to keep new, very talented authors off the market.

Of course, now we have e-books, and anyone with a bit of computer skill can publish their tome. And unfortunately, self-published e-books (and print, as well, from all the POD companies, many of whom make their money mostly from the authors…not book sales)  have come to be thought of as inferior… largely due to all those authors I mentioned earlier who aren’t willing to put in the work to become really good writers. There is, admittedly, a lot of junk out there. Hopefully, readers are able to sift out the nuggets and discard the chaff. That’s just one more potential frustration.

In spite of the above, I keep plugging. And it’s great to finally get the laudatory validation I’ve received for my work.

So maybe it’s all worth it, after all.

 ——————————————————-

BLURB:

trappedThe darkness is still, silent. Jackee Maren’s heart pounds reverberating through her body as fear sears her veins. Someone’s coming. No way out. This time they will kill me. Her breath is short, her chest burns. Must run. Faster. Faster! Her eyes fly open, her heart still racing with blinding fear. Jackee breathes deeply with relief and stares at the ceiling desperately trying to calm herself. The same dream. Something, someone is watching . . . and waiting.

A tragic car accident leaves beautiful, vibrant Jackee Maren completely paralyzed, able to move only her eyes. Jackee’s husband, Phil, is devastated and her two young boys left with nothing but a shell for a mother, but still, Jackee senses the foreboding of an evil presence and knows time is short. Slowly, Jackee learns to communicate with her physical therapist, Kevin, by blinking her eyes. As evidence comes to light that her car accident was no accident, Jackee knows she must expose the person who wants her dead before they get a second chance. While Jackee works to put all the clues together, she discovers she has the ability to sense the thoughts of others, but she hides this talent from everyone but her sons, not knowing who she can trust. By actively exercising her new psychic ability, Jackee finally learns who masterminded the accident but feels helpless to stop them from trying to kill her again. Slowly a plan forms to not only ensure her boys are safe forever, but to exact revenge on her would-be murderer. Jackee vows not to rest until this killer understands what it is to be TRAPPED!

BUY LINKS:  

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-ebook/dp/B00A6Z59ZU/

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Trapped-George-A-Bernstein/dp/1599304090/

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWHMGC-QHK8

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AUTHOR BIO

I was born and raised in Chicago and its suburbs, living there until the age of 39. I’m now a retired corporate President, life-long fishing enthusiast, and a dedicated author. As is my nature, I’ve worked hard to improve my writing craft, and have produced 3 award-winnning novels, as finalist and/or winners of several large writing contests. I’ve also become a world-class fly-fisherman and am an expert in fly-fishing for pike & musky, and wrote a book on that, as well.

I now live in sunny Florida, and split my time between writing, fishing & fine cabinet making, but my greatest love is creating riviting fiction. TRAPPED is my first novel.

 

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Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723553

http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79

All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s Books available at Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Kathryn+Meyer+Griffith

Now, first off, let me say, that by no means, am I or have I ever been a…witch. Nothing against Wicca but I’m just not one. I have no magical powers or cannot foresee the future. Nada.

I have seen a ghost, though. Right after my Great Aunt Mary passed away, the night before her burial, I saw her ghost in my parent’s hallway (I was sixteen and still at home) and, let me tell you, it scared the bejesus out of me. But she was just looking for my grandmother, whom she’d lived the last ten years of her life with, and I knew she meant me no harm. It was still a shock. She appeared in a ghostly halo of mist at the end of the hallway beckoning me…in German. I couldn’t spell German but I got the idea. She was lost, didn’t know she was dead and was looking for my grandmother, whom she’d loved so much in life. I ran, hid in my bed and pretended it’d never happened. Hey, but I know it did.

I have, though, always loved the eerie, the unexplained. The spooky. Horror.

Anyway, we’re talking about my book WitchesRevised Author’s Edition.

In 1991 I’d already been writing for about twenty years, on and off (though there was a long gap where I didn’t write because of a divorce, the finding of a full time job to support myself and my son, and a remarriage…life) when I contracted my fourth novel, my first of four to Zebra paperbacks, a romantic horror called Vampire Blood, about a family of vampires who ran a movie theater in a small town. I’d already had a fifth novel, The Last Vampire, completed and in with them when they asked me for another novel.

Got anything about witches, they asked. Witches are hot right now. Hmmm.

For many years I’d played around with an idea about a present day white witch who finds a diary of a long dead witch – either good or bad, I hadn’t decided – in her old house’s attic, or basement, or under a floorboard. The story would have been about the good witch reliving the other dead witch’s life through the diary. I’d always called that possible book Rachel’s Diary in my head.

So in 1991 or 1992 I began the witch book and it quickly metamorphosed into a story of a present day good witch, Amanda Givens,  who’s yanked into a perilous seventeenth century past by an evil witch, Rachel Coxe, to take her place…and die a horrible death as an accused witch. I had the idea then to actually send Amanda into the past to live (for a while) the other witch’s life. Of course, being a good witch, Amanda, changes the other witch’s unsavory reputation but still ends up in a prison waiting to die for Rachel’s earlier crimes. The story, simply put, would be how Amanda overcomes her trials and tribulations, finds her lost eternal love again in the past, and finds a way to return to the present alive. In the process, learning some important life lessons about accepting what life has dealt her and the value of sisters, friendships and the love of those around her. Or good versus evil and, in the end, good wins and is rewarded. I also threw in a few touches of humor in the form of three precocious witches’ familiars…a mind-reading and speaking cat called Amadeus, a mouse, Tituba, and a tiny bat, Gibbiewackett …all with feisty personalities and quirks of their own.

I was excited about the book as I was writing it and when it was done, pleased with it, but had no idea that over the years it’d become the jewel of my writing career and the book that my fans would love the best of all my books. I loved the cat face cover Zebra did for it (a rare occurrence as I’d learned the hard way that covers weren’t always what I’d envisioned and in the early days I had no choice but to accept whatever the publisher’s gave me…and some weren’t so hot, let me tell you!).

Witches came out in 1993 and did well. I noticed soon after as I went on to publish other books that I got the most response and admiration for it. Readers loved the three sisters, Amadeus and Amanda, Gibbiewackett and Tituba. In those days I was too busy working full time as a graphic artist, living my life and writing new books to notice. It went into a second printing in 2000 and after that, sadly, went out of print. But my fans never forgot it. I’d find comments on it and discussions on the Internet…even customer reviews raving about it years and years later. I tried talking Zebra into reissuing it but after Zebra and I parted ways there was no talking them into it.

Then in 2010 when Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, the publisher, Kim Richards, asked about all (there was 7 at the time) my out-of-print Zebra and Leisure backlist novels and if I’d like to have them reissued as new paperbacks and, for the first time ever, in e-books. Sure, that’d be great! I told her. And, as they say, the rest is history. Between June 2010 and June 2012 all 7 of them (and now another 3 of my Wild Rose Press novels and two short stories from 2007) updated, rewritten and with stunning new covers will be out again. All in e-books for the first time.

Of course, that’s meant a heck of a lot of rewriting. A lot of work. Those early novels go back twenty-seven years and were first written in the days of snail mail and on an electric typewriter before the Internet, e-mails and Windows Track Changes (for editing). Oh, boy, did they need revising. As of today I can happily say they’re all rewritten now except the very first one, Evil Stalks the Night, 1984; yet even that one will be completed soon.

I’ve often been asked what I think of e-books and I have to say it feels strange, all these years later, to be so into them. I think it’s fantastic to be able to put thousands of books on one little lightweight hand-held contraption and sell them as inexpensively as we do. I started publishing e-books four years ago and have seen such great changes in even that short a time. I love the editing process now. With Track Changes it’s truly a collaborative effort between the editor and the writer and it’s taught me far more about the craft of writing than the old way of just sending off the manuscript, being asked to change certain things, but then never seeing any of those changes or the basic edits until the book was printed and in my hand. Now, no more pages added by an editor (That actually happened in Evil Stalks the Night. The editor, who I never met, added three pages of his own and I didn’t even know about it until I held the book in my hand. And the three pages didn’t make sense…ech!) that I never know about or see until the book comes out. Yeah.

With a chuckle I recall a writer’s convention I attended in 1990 – yes, that far back – and the main topic back then was…OMG the electronic books are coming! They’re going to make us authors obsolete! Print books are going to die a terrible lonely death…etc., etc. Lack and alas, what are we going to do? Ha, ha. It’s ironic that 21 years later I’m in love with e-books. They’re the future. And I think there’ll always be room for print books as well as electronic ones.

So Witches…(Damnation Books) was rereleased 2011. I’m thrilled. The cover is still of Amadeus, the cat, and Dawne Dominique did an amazing job on it. My editor, Alison O’Byrne, helped me make it a better book than eighteen years ago. Of all my novels, I’m most proud of it. It’s held up pretty well. I hope it finds many more readers and fans.

So that’s the story of Witches…the little book that wouldn’t die.

Thank you!   E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net

*****

Kathryn Meyer Griffith has had fourteen novels and seven short stories published since 1984 with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, and now Damnation Books and Eternal Press. Her novels have been in the genres of paranormal romance, horror, romantic horror, time travel, romance, suspense, and murder mysteries. Her books: Evil Stalks the Night (1984); The Heart of the Rose (1985); Blood Forge (1989); Vampire Blood (1991); The Last Vampire (1992); Witches (1993); The Nameless One (erotic horror short story 1993); The Calling (1994); Scraps of Paper (2003); All Things Slip Away (2006); Egyptian Heart (2007); Winter’s Journey (2008); The Ice Bridge (2008); Don’t Look Back, Agnes (ghostly short story 2008); In This House (ghostly short story 2008); BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (2010); The Woman in Crimson (2010); Always & Forever (erotic contemporary short story 2011).  All in paperback – and in e-books for the first time ever – from Damnation Books and Eternal Press. Look for them. Along with her new book, Dinosaur Lake and four SPOOKY SHORT STORIES from Amazon Kindle Direct.

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Note from the author:

The Goodread’s Paranormal and Horror Lovers BOOK OF THE MONTH is now up for voting BUT JUST UNTIL OCTOBER 5! PLEASE vote for my EVIL STALKS THE NIGHT-Revised Author’s Edition. I would so appreciate it. VOTE HERE:
http://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/72294-book-of-the-month-small-press
Warmly, author of 16 novels, 2 novellas and twelve short stories, Kathryn Meyer Griffith rdgriff@het.net

*****

Evil Stalks the NightRevised Author’s Edition is special to me for many reasons. It was my first published novel in 1984 and as it comes out again on June 1, 2012, rereleased from Damnation Books for the first time in nearly thirty years, it’ll bring my over forty year writing career full circle. With its publication all fourteen, and one novella, of my old books will be out again for the first time in decades. Sure, it’s been a grueling, tedious two-and- a-half year job rewriting and editing these new versions but I’m thrilled it’s over. I have my babies reborn and out in the world again…and all in e books for the first time ever. Now, perfectionist that I am, I can finally move forward and write new stories.

I’ll start at the very beginning because, though Evil Stalks the Night was my first published novel, it wasn’t my first written one.

That first book was The Heart of the Rose. I began writing it after my only child, James, was born in late 1971. I was staying home with him, no longer going to college, not yet working full time, and was bored out of my skin. I read an historical romance one day I believed was horrible and thought I can do better than that!

So I got out my borrowed typewriter with the keys that stuck, my bottles of White-Out, carbon paper for copies, and started clicking away. I’d tentatively called that first book King’s Witch because it was about a 15th century healer who was falsely believed to be a witch but who was loved by Edward the Fourth. At the library, no computers or Internet back then, I did tedious research into that time in English history: the War of the Roses, the poverty, the civil and political strife between the Red (Lancasters) and White Rose (Yorks); the infamous Earl of Warwick and Edward the Fourth.  Edward’s brother Richard the Third.  A real saga. Well, all that was big back then. I was way out of my league, though. Didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just wrote page after page, emotions high believing I could create a whole book. So naïve of me. Reading that old version now (a 1985 Leisure Books paperback) I have to laugh. Ironically, like that historical novel I’d thought in 1971 was so bad, it was pretty awful. That archaic language I’d used–all the rage back in the 80’s–sounds so stilted now. Yikes! Yet people, mainly women, had loved it.

And so my writing career began. Over 40 years ago now. Oh my goodness, where has the time gone? Flown away like some wild bird. It took me 12 years to get that first book published as I got sidetracked with a divorce, raising a son, getting a real job and finding the true love of my life and marrying him. Life, as it always seemed to do and still does, got in the way. The manuscript was tossed into a drawer and forgotten for a time.

Then years later I rediscovered it and decided to rewrite it; try again. I bundled up the revised pile of printed copy pages, tucked it into an empty copy paper box and took it to the Post Office. Plastered it with stamps. I sent it everywhere The Writer’s Market of that year said I could. And waited. Months and months and months. In those days it could take up to a year or more to sell a novel, shipping it here and there to publishers, in between revising and rewriting to please any editor that’d make suggestions or comments on how it could be better. Snail mail took forever, too, and was expensive. But eventually, as you shall see, it sold.

Now to Evil Stalks the Night.

In the meantime, as I waited for the mail, I’d written another book. Kind of a fictionalized look back at my childhood in a large (6 brothers and sisters) poor but loving family in the 1950’s and 60’s. I started sending that one out as well. Then one day an editor suggested that since my writing had such a spooky ambiance to it anyway, why didn’t I just turn the story into a horror novel…like Stephen King was doing? Ordinary people under supernatural circumstances. A book like that would sell easily, she said.

Hmmm. Well, it was worth a try, so I added something scary in the woods in the main character’s childhood past that she had to return to and face in her adult life, using some of my childhood and my young adult life–my heartbreaking divorce, raising my young son alone, my new love–as hers. It was more of a romantic horror when I’d finished, than a horror novel. I retitled it Evil Stalks the Night and began sending it out. That editor was right, it sold quickly to a mass market paperback publisher called Towers Publishing.

But right in the middle of editing Towers went bankrupt and was bought out by another publisher! What terrible luck, I remember brooding. The book was lost somewhere in the stacks of unedited slush in a company undergoing massive changes as the new publisher took over. I had a contract, didn’t know what to do and didn’t know how to break it. Heaven knows, I couldn’t afford a lawyer. My life with a new husband, my son and my minimum-wage assistant billing job was one step above poverty at times. In those days, too, I was so clueless how to deal with the publishing industry.

That was 1983, but luckily that take-over publisher was Leisure Books, now also known as Dorchester Publishing. A publisher that quickly became huge. Talk about karma.

As often as has happened to me over my writing career, though, fate stepped in and the Tower’s editor, before she left, who’d bought my book told one of Leisure’s editors about it and asked her to give it a read. She believed in it that much.

Out of the blue, in 1984, when I’d completely given up on Evil Stalks the Night, Leisure Books sent me a letter offering to buy it! Then, miracle of miracles, my new editor asked if I had any other ideas or books she could look at. I sent her The Heart of the Rose and, liking it, too, she also bought it in 1985; asking me to sex it up some, so they could release it as an historical bodice-ripper (remember those…the sexy knockoffs of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss’s provocative novels?).  It wasn’t a lot of money. A thousand dollar advance each and only 4% royalties on the paperbacks. But in those days the publishers had a huge distribution and thousands and thousands of the paperbacks were printed, sent to bookstores and warehoused. So 4% of all those books over the next couple of years did add up.

Thus my career began. I slowly, and like-pulling-teeth, sold ten more novels and various short stories over the next 25 years–as I was working full time, raising a family and living my hard-scramble life. Some did well, my Leisure and Zebra paperbacks, and some didn’t. Most of them, over the years, eventually went out of print.

And twenty-seven years later, when publisher Kim Richards Gilchrist at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, an apocalyptic end-of-days-novel, and The Woman in Crimson, a vampire book, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course–and all in ebooks for the first time ever) my 7 out-of-print paperbacks, including Evil Stalks the Night–I gave her a resounding yes!

Of course, I had to totally rewrite Evil Stalks the Night for the resurrected edition, as well as my other early novels, because I discovered my writing when I was twenty-something had been immature and unpolished; and not having a computer and the Internet had made the original writing so much harder. Also in those days, editors told an author what to change and the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it.  There were so many mistakes in those early books. Typos. Grammar. Lost plot and detail threads. In the rewrite I also decided to keep the time frame (1960-1984) the same.  The book’s essence would have lost too much if I’d updated it.

As I finished the final editing I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the life changes I’ve had since I’d first began writing it so many years ago. Though it was actually published in 1984, I’d started writing it many years before; closer to 1978 or 1979. I’m as old as my Grandmother Fehrt, my mother’s mother and who the grandmother in the story was loosely based on, was back then. While I was first writing it so long ago, I was a young married woman with a small child holding down my first real job and trying to do it all. Now…my Grandmother, mother and father have all passed to the other side. Many other family and friends I’ve left behind, too. I miss them all, especially my mom and dad. It’s strange how revising my old books reminded me of certain times of my life. Some of the memories I hid from and some of them made me laugh or cry. This book, though, is the most autobiographical of all my novels as it contains details of my childhood, my devastating divorce, and what my life was like when I first met my second husband, Russell, who’s turned out to be my true love. We’ve been happily married for thirty-four years and counting. Ah, but how quickly the years have clicked by. Too quickly. I want to reach out, at times, and stop time. I want more. I have so much more life to live and many more stories to write.

So Evil Stalks the NightRevised Author’s Edition (http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79 ) republished by Damnation Books/Eternal Press will be out again for the first time in nearly thirty years on June 1, 2012, and I hope it’s a better book than it was in 1984. It should be…I’ve had over thirty more years of life and experiences to help make it so.

Written this 1st day of June, 2012 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith

***

A writer for over 40 years I’ve had 14 novels, 1 novella and 7 short stories published with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, the Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press since 1984. And my romantic end-of-the-world horror novel THE LAST VAMPIRERevised Author’s Edition was a 2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEE.

My books(all out again from Damnation Books http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79 and Eternal Press http://www.eternalpress.biz/people.php?author=422): Evil Stalks the Night, The Heart of the Rose, Blood Forge, Vampire Blood, The Last Vampire, Witches, The Nameless One short story, The Calling, Scraps of Paper, All Things Slip Away, Egyptian Heart, Winter’s Journey, The Ice Bridge, Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella, In This House short story, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons, The Woman in Crimson, The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) ***

You can keep up with me on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1019954486, my Author’s Den www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith  or my My Space www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith

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From the stories of Hades and the Underworld to Persephone and Zeus.

Thousands of years ago brilliant minds like Homer and Plutarch told and wrote the tales of characters like Zeus, Hades and Persephone. The stories ranged in theme, moral and purpose, but had such far-reaching, universal appeal, many of the motifs can still be found in the literary works of today. At its core, mythology served as a way for humans to analyze both themselves and life as a whole—something people still do—either independently or in classes— to this day.

Humans seem to have this innate desire to make sense of their existence and the world around them, and that is reflected in the arts such as writing, music and dance. That being said, it comes as no surprise to me that several contemporary teen fiction/young adult novels mirror these thoughts and ideals. Below are just some titles to consider if you are looking for some added mythological context. Many of them use the myths and characters in modern settings, which eloquently displays their timeless relevance.

Iris, Messenger

Centered around middle-schooler Iris Greenworld, this book by Sarah Deming puts ancient Greek gods and goddesses like Dionysus, Aphrodite and more in modern day Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Throughout the novel, Iris learns some lessons in self-confidence and strength, while also instilling some morals of her own onto the gods and goddesses. She also learns of various myths. It’s a great take on a traditional coming of age novel as it has an element of escapism I think many adolescents crave, while giving a cool, relevant history/culture lesson all at the same time.

Overall, it’s a story about self-discovery, which, if you think about it, is all the myths really were to begin with. Trying tales of a species trying to make sense of its existence.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Really any book in this series is a great example of the juxtaposition of the modern world and ancient characters from myths of the past—this one just happens to be my favorite. Taking place in New York, the story centers on Percy Jackson—a demigod who is just 12 years old. The ever-present reminders that they are, in fact, in modern times, such as the presence of magical sneakers and references to a Las Vegas Casino, help the reader connect to what might otherwise be a foreign, unrelatable topic.

It keeps readers grounded in reality, while giving them just enough room to slip into the fantasy realm. Overall, just like the other works mentioned, it helps remind people that no matter how far we’ve come as a species, the human experience will remain the same—same hopes, fears, dreams and emotions curse through us as they did through the people around during the heyday of these myths.

Oh.My.Gods

Authored by Tera Lynn Childs, this book examines the life of Phoebe, a high-schooler with dreams of attending USC. When a strange, unexpected turn of events places her on a secret island in Greece, amongst peers who have god-like superpowers, she is forced to find her inner strength in order to persevere. Along the way, she is faced with her fair-share of distractions, because after all, everyone has their own “Achilles heel.”

That is perhaps the biggest take-away from this book, that regardless of era or culture, people are imperfect and must rely on a sense of self and willpower to succeed.

Psyche in a Dress

Call me bias, but this book just might be my favorite on the list. It follows the life of Psyche—a young woman struggling to find her identity. I find it so compelling, because it gets right down to the fact that the struggle of self-acceptance is far from a new concept. It is an age-old dilemma that, women especially, struggle with.

All about lost love, and loving one’s self, this is a great read for anyone trying to have faith in themselves as an individual.

Nobody’s Princess

Written by Esther Friesner, this story recounts the tale of Helen of Troy—only this time from a different perspective. Although unlike the other books listed this novel does not take place in particularly “modern times” its approach is definitely contemporary as it allows the reader to hear and connect with Helen’s inner feminist. Unlike the traditional tale where Helen is seen as an object, she is given real personality and character here. She’s an individual with her own thoughts and feelings and girls everywhere can connect with her.

This is a must-read for anyone who can relate to the feeling of being ignored and overlooked—a timeless emotion far too many people experience….

So, whether you’re studying it for a class, or just interested in it yourself, you might consider reading one of these books. They offer new, fresh perspective on age-old tales we’ve all heard.

Patricia Garza is a freelance blogger and education writer that can offer suggestions on anything from choosing between accredited online colleges to picking a major. She welcomes your comments below.

 

 

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I’ve been asked why I write about the darker side of life, involving subjects like drugs, personality disorders, abuse, neglect, and violence. My work is fiction but it’s based on a lot of things I have personally experienced, and the characters in “Vida Nocturna” come from vampires I have known.

I wrote “Vida Nocturna” in a two-year graduate workshop at the University of Chicago, where people from the industry sometimes visited to show us how publishing worked. It became clear to me that books weren’t getting published because they were good. They were getting published because they were predictable sales and the publishing companies could go back to their stockholders to report that they’d placed safe bets, which very often meant that they closely resembled earlier work. Books were chasing the market in a death spiral of creativity.

My daughter was reading “Twilight” at the time, and this, to me, was a prime example of what was happening in publishing. Vampires sell, and romances are half of the fiction market, so it wasn’t surprising that publishers were climbing all over each other trying to put out the next series about vampires in love. Meanwhile, the book my daughter was reading seemed to be telling her to date the spookiest, creepiest guy she could find.

My book, “Vida Nocturna,” is a response to that. Sara’s narcissistic father and borderline personality disordered mother left her helpless, drained and afraid, turning to horror and fantasy stories to escape her real life. In college she fantasizes that her spooky new boyfriend is a vampire because he’s pale and slender and stays up all night with a strange dark energy. By the time she realizes he’s a cocaine addict, she’s been “bitten” by the drug and become addicted, herself.

Sara has always escaped her real-world fears by reading fantasy and horror stories. Now, as a social-phobic college freshman, she enters a dark world where horror is not supernatural and fantasy is a trap.

Evil is contagious. Victims become predators, and every predator was once just like Sara. Imagining she’d be different was her first step toward them. Now, draped in the decadent ‘80s subculture, she’s rendered helpless by powers she never imagined.


Mark D. Diehl has lived and worked in five countries. He met his wife Jennifer in South Korea and was chased out of the country by her powerful family and the police, and together they were stranded in Hong Kong with no income and no way home. (Read about this in the “Our Story” section of his blog at http://www.markddiehl.com.) Eventually he became a trial lawyer at a multinational law firm in Chicago, escaped that pitiful existence by attending a fiction writing program at the University of Chicago, and now lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. 

http://www.markddiehl.com

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1463554060/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

http://www.amazon.com/Vida-Nocturna-Mark-D-Diehl/dp/1463554060/ref=la_B008XKQ1NO_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346174233&sr=1-1

More videos of author reading in Freeport, ME, with 40 attending:
ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsUP-MqehU&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWgboqL0KP0&feature=plcp

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Why do I write? Well, because the little voices in my head tell me to—seriously, I’ve always talked to myself—now I put the voices on paper.

I was a late bloomer and didn’t start my love of reading until I was in my twenties and then I couldn’t get enough of the wonderfully, smutty Harlequin books.

I’ve worked in the government sector for fifteen years and always dreamed of having a job that I could work from home. This crazy idea came to me one night, after reading a particularly sizzling romance. Why not try my hand at writing one? So, out of the blue I told my husband I was going to write a Harlequin novel. He said, “Okay.”

I figured I’d read enough of them, I could write one—no problem. Eight thousand words later; I realized it was harder than I thought. I also realized, I wasn’t writing what I was most comfortable with—animals.

I put my Harlequin attempt on the back burner and started writing “The Boss from Hell”. My boss, who I adored, had been fired and his replacement was a living-terror. It was really easy to come up with material to write about and of course I threw in a bunch of romance and of course animals. Ninety thousand words later I was still optimistic that I could write for a living, but I’d need a lot of support, my cat couldn’t give me. The support came in the form of Romance Writers of America and all the people involved in the local chapter.

Several of the members of my local chapter read my book and made numerous suggestions, one of them came from an independent publisher—Books to Go Now. She told me to put the novel aside for now and try my hand at a short story. That’s where I incorporated the paranormal aspect to my writing and it really clicked for me.

I submitted ‘Flamingo Blues’, as a Christmas short story to Books to Go Now and I was offered my first contract. ‘Be Mine’, a Valentine short story, is book two of ‘The Corny Meyers Series’ and in addition to a contract, I won the holiday contest too. Woo hoo! Klutzy Love is book three of ‘The Corny Myers Series’, which was released August 2012.

I’ve been a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none, my whole life. I’ve worked in restaurants, weight loss centers, worked in a fish cannery and even worked in a top salon in Seattle, but none of that was as satisfying as seeing my own words in print. That’s why I write….

About Klutzy Love blurb:

Corny is a hot chick with a great job that she loves. All that changed in the blink of an eye when her boss had an accident involving an oversized rubber band. She’s still a hot chick, but her boss is dead.

Steve Spears is a seasoned narcotics cop who ends up wanting to strangle Corny on a regular basis. After finding out Corny’s dream of opening a pet detective business, he decides he doesn’t want a girlfriend who routinely puts herself in danger. That’s his job!

Corny misses Steve, but she’s getting on with her life. She decides to get a month’s worth of dating out of the way in a single night, by combining her three favorite things—men, food, and alcohol.

Steve’s big gun and cop’s intuition saves Corny’s life, but not from another trip to the emergency room. He makes Corny promise never to get hurt again—she agreed, but has her fingers crossed behind her back.

Bio:

Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.

She loves romance. Loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.

When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.

My website: http://www.sharonkleve.com/

My blog:  http://www.sharonkleve.com/blog.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Klutzy-Love-ebook/dp/B0091HGE6W/ref=la_B006JAH14S_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346092549&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/klutzy-love-sharon-kleve/1112629112?ean=2940015197198

 

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