Author Takeover – Jan Maher

Today’s highlighted author is Jan Maher, whose short story, “Dancing in the Dark,” is featured in “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors exclusively from this group. Here is what she had to say about life, writing, and her story:

1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

I’ll trade one thing I couldn’t live without for two I wouldn’t be entirely happy living without: reading and gardening.

2. What was your inspiration for your story?

A book of ideas about how to write short stories. The suggestion was to place two characters who don’t like each other in a setting where they can’t avoid one another. I think the setting came to me first: a stuck elevator. Then came the characters: an about-to-be-divorced couple on their way to finalize their divorce agreement.

3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for.

I’d go big on this one. First wish: that my wishes not have unintended consequences that make things worse in the world. Second wish: world peace. Third wish: Successful containment of global climate change. Is that asking so much?

4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write?

I very clearly remember being influenced by reading The Diary of Anne Frank when I was around 12. I was inspired and devastated by it. I started keeping a journal immediately after, and I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to write something worthy of being read and valued after my own life is over.

5. Would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no, lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?

I am a chaotic writer, but there’s predictable process in the chaos. I love to write in coffee houses. I like writing in groups, too, which is interesting (at least to me) because I’m such an introvert. First drafts are almost always handwritten in journals. Then I transcribe. I usually write a short story quickly, then put it away for a while and come back to it to edit and revise. A novel, on the other hand, takes me years. Literally. I research and noodle for a long time before the shape of the piece emerges. I generate guiding questions for myself and follow them until some prove to be dead ends and others have what I call “sticking” power. At some point, the need to get it all into basic first draft shape takes me over and I get much more disciplined about it. At this point, revisions happen as much on the computer as in my journals.

6. When faced with the dreaded “writers block”, how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?

I never have writer’s block, perhaps because I don’t have a fixed ritual of writing. If I’m stuck on one story, I switch to another and work on it, or take a break to research/read, or pull weeds in the garden. Sometimes, I write in my journal: “Turn the page and write a story.” Then I turn the page, look around me, and just start a story based on something I see in the environment. Sometimes I make use of writing books that contain prompts, such as the one that resulted in my ACOW story.

7. Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?

I did not, not exactly. I knew that the elevator would eventually have to get going again, but I didn’t know at what point in the story of the two people stuck in it that would happen.

8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct?

Hmmmm. Jake Gyllenhaal and Janelle Monáe, Ava Duvernay directing.

9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?

Since I didn’t have a clear sense of the ending until I got there, that’s difficult to answer. The biggest changes I made were tightening the dialogue to not overdo the bickering, revising to contain head-jumping, and increasing the vulnerability of both characters. I don’t think I expected them to remember what they loved or valued about each other, but they did.

10. What book were you reading when you thought, This stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…

I don’t remember. I do remember trying to “crack the code” of stories that sell to The New Yorker. I gave up.

11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?

I didn’t have to do specific research. I’d already learned about ear candling. (-:

12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?

A coffee house that overlooks a flowing body of water, serves light meals as well as coffee, and stays open late.

13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?

I relate to my female character pretty closely, though with the distance of time. I can draw on memories of negotiating terms of child custody, in particular, but the details in my story are different. Mostly, I put my characters in the elevator and eavesdropped, so I guess they took over.

14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.

Hard to choose just one, but if I must: Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon.

15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?

I only outline nonfiction work. All my fiction, short or long, is discovered as I write it.

16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?

I have a weakness for the carrot cake that my local coffee shop serves. At home, a cup of tea is more likely to be my choice. In both cases, I think it’s helpful because of the physical action of getting up from the table or desk, walking a short distance away, and coming back. Does that even make sense?

17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?

My work is definitely character driven, and in that sense my ACOW story is typical. The characters are typical of my short stories, in that in most of my short stories, the characters have some kind of clearly identifiable goal that someone or some force is getting in the way of, and the story has to do with how they get what they want. Another thing that is typical of almost everything I write is there are elements of humor in an overall serious story. In my novels, there’s much more focus on character development over time, and on the internal life and often turmoil of the characters as they deal with their secrets, their misapprehensions, their longings, and ultimately their breakthroughs.

You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

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Posted in amwriting, author, author takeover, book, Published Author, Short story, writer, writing

Author Takeover – William Thatch

Today’s special guest on my page is William Thatch whose short, “For Science!,” was just published in the anthology “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors from all over the world. Here is what he had to say about life, writing, and his story:

1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Air. You know how hard it is to live without air? Fish can’t do it. They like to pretend like they can, but they can’t.

2. What was your inspiration for your story?
Fear of failure. That’s not a theme within the story. It was just the inspiration to get it done well enough to make it into the anthology. As for inspiration of the story, couldn’t say that I remember. Probably riffing in a conversation with my editor and it sparked there.

3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
I’d start with world peace. Make things a nice place for people for a little while. Then I’d use the second wish for someone to come along and fuck up the world peace. Lull everyone into a false sense of everything being alright, then spark a debate that descends the world into hellfire and chaos again. Probably something like what color is that squirrel and one side insists brown and another side insists gay marriage is wrong somehow, and then everyone is killing each other with fire. Third wish I’d wish for money so I could watch everything burn from far enough away that I’m unaffected by it all because I’m an asshole.

4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write?
Mein Kampf. That’s a joke, but only people that have read my story in A Haunting of Words will truly appreciate it. I was writing at such an early age I don’t know that I can say that reading influenced my decision to start writing. But I can say that J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series certainly influenced my confidence in being able to write. She makes it look so effortless even though she is one of the masters.

5. Would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no, lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?
I don’t have a particular place I write—I’m usually in my bedroom, but that’s because that is where my computer is. Music is a must—sometimes it’s a specific song related to the scene I’m writing, other times it’s just finding hours long videos on Youtube for jazz instrumentals. I’ve done both pantsing and outlining, I think I prefer a mix of the two. Normally I like to at least know what the scene is and then I’ll wing a lot of the details. “The Highway” in A Journey of Words was that way. “A Wacky, Fantastical Misadventure in New Haven” in A Haunting of Words, and “For Science!” in A Contract of Words were both pantsing. I went into those with a couple of ideas that I wanted to get to and just went at it. I didn’t even know how For Science! would end until I got there.

6. When faced with the dreaded “writers block”, how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?
I find that my writer’s block is typically a result of instinctually knowing something is off with what I’m writing—a character acting out of character, a plot hole, something just not being entertaining—and I need to fix it before I can continue.

7. Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?
I did not know how For Science! would end. Hadn’t a clue. I genuinely got to, I’d say, about five hundred words away from when the beginning of the end began before I had the idea.

8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct?
I’m unfamiliar with directors. Maybe Kevin Smith, and I only say that because I think he’d play God well. As for the main character, who I don’t think I ever named, I’m not sure. I feel like you’d want someone with a lot of good will to power through the protagonist being a real dick. Ryan Reynolds, perhaps? I’m sure Betty White would have a role as well, but who she’d play I’m not sure.

9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?
Concept is exactly what I designed it to be. Man signs a contract to be killed by scientists and revived, while dead he explores afterlife to report on it. There was no planning beyond that.

10. What book were you reading when you thought, This stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…
I actually started reading a book specifically to prepare for this. I forget which one of John Swartzwelder’s books it was—Double Wonderful or The Time Machine Did It. I’d read them before, but like I did for A Wacky Fantastical Misadventure in New Haven, I began reading one of his absurdist comedy novels for inspiration.

11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?
No research was required. The less accurate the better in this case. Though I did have to look up the director of one of the Batman films, just to make fun of some poor decisions in Batman & Robin. I forget if I even used his name in the end.

12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?
A semi-busy room where other people are talking and watching TV. I find the noise, so as long as it isn’t too loud, forces me to block it all out to focus on what I’m writing.

13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?
I only relate insofar as similar humor. I didn’t direct the character much, only when moving from set piece to set piece, otherwise the character took over the story and ran with it.

14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.
I’m going to cheat and say the Harry Potter series as a whole. I’ve been meaning to go through it again, but I have such a backlog of things I haven’t read.

15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?
The most I ever do is one-line outlines for each scene / chapter. I don’t want to bog myself down with too much pre-determined details, it bores me. I like to feel the moment, I feel whatever I’ve written feels more genuine that way.

16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten while eating. I drink plenty of tea, but I don’t eat. The task of writing is for my hands, I don’t wanna distract them. They’ll get confused, forget what they’re doing, next thing I know they’ve wandered outside and are tipping cows, and that’s why I haven’t written anything in the last week. I can’t convince them to come back.

17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?
It’s atypical in that it is absurdist comedy and I don’t feel that’s necessarily the genre I go for most of the time. It is typical in that this is the second absurdist comedy story I’ve published in Of Words anthologies and I’ve already submitted to the next Of Words anthology and that one is also an absurdist comedy.

You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

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Posted in amwriting, author, author takeover, blog, novel, Published Author, Short story, writer, writing

Author Takeover – Rayona Lovely Wilson

Today, author Rayona Lovely Wilson takes over my page, whose short, “The Sammy Clause,” was just published in the anthology “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors from all over the world. Here is what she had to say about life, writing, and her story:

1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Do my kids count? Now that I’m a mom I can’t see myself without them

2. What was your inspiration for your story?

My inspiration for the story was trying to keep the message going that not only women are abused. A lot of people don’t think it can happen to men, but it really can.

3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

1. That no child ever had to go through any kind of abuse

2. That my writing is seen by millions of people and it will change their lives

3. That I continue to be the best mother I can be

4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write

The first book I read that made me want to write was ‘A Child Called It’. That changed everything for me. It broke my heart but made me want to write words too.

5. Would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no, lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?

My writing process is to sit down and write. I listen to the chaos of my children and I also have music playing as well. I can’t outline to save my life, so I guess that makes me a pantser.

6. When faced with the dreaded “writers block”, how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?

I’ve had bad writers block once, and I mean so bad it took 3 years to get over it. I decided to let the break happen and wait it out. Boy was it hard. Kinda depressing too because I couldn’t do the thing I loved.

7. Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?

I didn’t know how it would end right away until I started writing. I just went for it and it happened. I let my characters take me on the ride.

8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct?

that’s a tough one. I’d probably pick Sonny Moore when he was in From First to Last to play Dean. He’s so cute and small. I’d cast Emma Roberts to play Samantha, I mean, she kinda fits perfectly.

9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?

It ended the way I wanted it to end for a short story. The only changes I made was Samantha turning it into blaming Dean for why she did what she did to him. Boy is she a jerk.

10. What book were you reading when you thought, this stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…

I can’t remember the title, but I was reading a lot books about child abuse because that’s the area I write in but somehow, I wanted to try to focus on the aftermath and how it could possibly conflict with present relationships of my characters’ lives and relationships.

11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?

Yes, I did. Google helped a lot. One of the strange ones was being choked and how one would feel while the action was happening.

12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?

If I knew 100% that I’d survive, I’d sit on a cloud and write for hours.

13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?

I try not to put myself into my characters, especially this one because people keep asking if this based on my real-life relationship. Haha. This story for ACOW was based on my book and I was able to direct them to what I needed them to do. I promise I do not abuse my husband

14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.

If I say Fifty Shades of Grey will you all laugh at me? I mean, I really can read those books again and again. I dig the overall story.

15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?

None of what I write is outlined. I don’t even know how to outline stuff. I turn on the music and start writing

16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?

For the most part, whenever I write I’m eating a bowl of cereal. Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Crunch Berries…I love cereal.

17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?

It’s pretty typical. I like to write about guys who are in situations that people normally only think women are in. Anybody can be abused, raped, assaulted. I want to get that message out there.

You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

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Posted in amwriting, author, author takeover, blog, book, first novel, novel, Published Author, Short story, writer, writing

Author Takeover – M.R. Ward

Today, author M.R. Ward takes over my page whose short, “The Road Back,” was just published in the anthology “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors from all over the world. Here is what he had to say about life, writing, and his story:

1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?
Coffee. I mean, I could live without it if I had to, but I wouldn’t want to.

2. What was your inspiration for your story?
After the buzz of my first short story, “The Open Road,” I knew I wanted to continue the story because I love a good horror series. The only feasible way I could continue was to tell Mindy McAllister’s story, who was only mentioned once in the first story.

3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for? 
I would wish for free-flowing words, to make a modest living from my writing, and to go back in time twenty years so I could advise myself to not give up on my dream.

4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write?
I was a moderate reader as a child, but it wasn’t until my pre-teen years that I found a series right up my alley. R.L. Stine’s Fear Street was the first series of books I had to have and devoured them when they came out. They confirmed my love of mystery and horror.

5. How would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no? Do you lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?
I write at my desk, usually without music. I have listened to some horror soundtracks at times, but it just depends on my mood. I don’t outline, which could be the reason it takes me so long to finish a story, but I plan a few plot points or scenes in my head and let the story go the way it wants.

6. When faced with the dreaded “writer’s block,” how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?
I don’t. If I’m not feeling it, it’ll show, or I’ll just sit there and think of other things to do. I haven’t disciplined myself enough to push through or write every day.

7. Did you know how your story would end when you started writing? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived? 
I knew how it would end and foreshadowed the scene throughout the story. An interesting tidbit: I started the story with “dusk” and ended it with “dawn” in reference to the film From Dusk till Dawn.

8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct? 
I have no idea who I would cast, but I would love it if Blumhouse Productions produced it with Andy Muschietti directing. He did a phenomenal job with 2017’s IT.

9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?
The story ended up the way I had envisioned. There weren’t any big changes I had to make.

10. What book were you reading when you thought, This stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…
I can’t say.

11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?
I researched the New Haven area to find a real place for my characters to meet for coffee, but that was about it.

12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?
I’m easily distracted, so I have to stick with my desk.

13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?
I can’t say I identify with any of them. Mindy is the type of person who has no qualms sleeping with someone else’s boyfriend. Tommy is an all-around good guy who tries to protect Mindy at all costs. I’m a good guy too, but I couldn’t be a cop. I don’t have the gumption for it.

14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.
Stephen King’s Under the Dome. I’ve only read it once, but while I was reading it, I knew it was the type of story I wanted to write. I started writing again after I finished it.

15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?
I don’t outline. I let the story take me where it wants to go.

16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you-write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?
I might have a Dove dark chocolate every now and then while writing, but I don’t typically eat or drink anything while I’m writing.

17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?
“The Road Back” is typical of my writing, as it is horror, and that’s what I do. All of my stories, despite genre, deal with death, and who is more terrifying than the Deer Man?

You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

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Posted in amwriting, author, author takeover, blog, Published Author, Short story, writer, writing

Author Takeover – K.M. Reynolds

Today author K.M. Reynolds takes over my page, whose short, “The Twelfth Maid,” was just published in the anthology “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors from all over the world. Here is what she had to say about life, writing, and her story:

1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

If we are talking about things, not people, then my answer is coffee. Without a doubt.

2. What was your inspiration for your story?

I saw a photo of an old mansion at a friend’s house, and I got the idea for Hammond House. The rest of the story just sort of flowed from there!

3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

I’m assuming “More Wishes” isn’t an option… so

1. I would wish that my body would be in peak condition for the rest of my life, and that I wouldn’t be able to get sick or injured. In a nutshell; perfect, unwavering health.

2. I would wish that I (and my children and descendants) would be set for life financially, and not have to worry about money.

3. I would wish for love and equality to be the ‘norm’ on a global scale.

4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write?

Reading absolutely influenced my desire to become a writer. I remember reading the Nancy Drew series and The Chronicles of Narnia when I was about 9-10 years old and being enthralled. I knew I wanted to create memorable stories and characters that would persevere even after my death. I hope someday, that dream comes true!

5. Would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no, lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?

I typically write at my desk, unless I’m working out-of-home. I use earplugs to eliminate all distractions and write in silence. Even muffled background noise feels like a jackhammer in my skull, so the silence is a must. As far as outlining vs ‘pantsing’, I fall right in the middle. I like to create a general outline, detailing who my characters are and what I want the general beginning, middle, and end of the story to look like. Then, I just write what comes to mind and makes sense at the time. Sometimes, it flows beautifully with my vague outline, but other times, like in The Twelfth Maid, it takes a turn that surprises me.

6. When faced with the dreaded “writers block”, how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?

I often find myself facing a brick wall when I’m writing. Thankfully, I have several WIP’s going at once, so if I’m running out of steam on one story, I divert my attention to another, and usually, the little flame of inspiration re-ignites. On the off-chance that my other stories fail to get my creative juices flowing, I take a step away from the computer. I go for a walk, listen to some music, and sometimes take a nap (or go to bed for the night). After giving my brain some time to rest and recharge, it’s usually ready to jump back onboard a story line and keep going.

7.Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?

As I sort of alluded to in Question 5, I did not see the ending of The Twelfth Maid coming. The story was supposed to be a lighthearted romance with a touch of creepy… and it wound up dragging me down the rabbit hole. The story turned out well though, so I can’t complain.

8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct?

I would cast Elle Fanning as Mary, and Evan Peters as Archie Hammond. For directing, I honestly have no idea who I would choose.

9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?

The biggest change I made was essentially everything that happened after Archie startles Mary in the library and asks for her help. I did not plan to take the story in that direction at all, but the characters had other ideas. I just wrote what flowed organically and what I saw playing out in my mind at the time. Not at all what I had envisioned.

10. What book were you reading when you thought, This stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…

Personally, I’ve never had this experience… but I’ve heard of some very popular books that elicit this reaction from many of my writing peers. I’ve never read them, though.

11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?

I did have to search for some basic taxidermy related things, as well as how to effectively clean blood out of various surfaces.

12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?

Looking out of the window of a home nestled in the mountains, overlooking a lake. Sounds like heaven.

13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?

I don’t really relate to either character, to be honest. But they absolutely took over the story, despite my attempts at direction. Stubborn creatures.

14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.

Jane Eyre. I have so many favorites, but Jane Eyre will always top my list.

15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?

I usually create a very vague outline, with some mentions of possible major plot points or events in the timeline. When I sit down to write, I occasionally refer to the outline, but I mostly just let the story flow organically. Maybe it matches the outline, maybe it doesn’t.

16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?

I can’t eat and write at the same time; my coordination isn’t that good. Plus, I tend to get very easily distracted, so I create a bit of a ‘zone’ for myself with minimal interference to the writing itself. The only staple food or beverage during my writing is a large 30 oz mug of coffee that I refill a few times. I’ll take breaks for various snacks and to stretch my legs, but the coffee keeps me going. I also keep a gallon jug of water on my desk to prevent having to get up too often to fill a glass.

17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?

The Twelfth Maid was my first story that involved any type of horror element, however mild. I wasn’t sure I could even pull off this kind of writing, but now, all my new story ideas seem to be this same style and genre. So, I’d say it’s representative of about 50% of my writing style at this time.

You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here: http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

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Posted in amwriting, author, author takeover, blog, book, Published Author, Short story, writer, writing

Author Takeover – Kari Holloway

Today’s FW’s highlighted author is Kari Holloway, whose short, “Catching Up,” is featured in “A Contract of Words,” which includes 28 authors exclusively from this group. Here is what she had to say about life, writing, and her story:

1. Besides writing, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?

Sweet tea.

2. What was your inspiration for your story?

I was listening to Garth Brooks covers of songs from when he was growing up (he released a whole box set that does this), and one of the songs was Ms Robinson. I became really curious about a few of the lyrics, and upon further research, the importance of DiMaggio and the quirk of a deal led to a story.

3. If a genie could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for

End world hunger.

Social medicine.

Enough land in one spot to have a ranch with emus, cows, and other cute animals.

4. Has reading influenced your decision to be a writer? What book(s) made you want to write

I think every book influences me. It can do so in a good way or a bad way, but once you read something, watch something, it becomes a part of your mental thoughts shaping who you are. I don’t remember what books started me writing, but I do remember trying to emulate Louis L’amour when I was a kid.

5. Would you describe your writing process? For example, do you write in a specific place, have music playing or is that a no-no, lean toward outlining specifics, or are you a pantser?

I’m a pantser, and I can generally write anywhere. I prefer my computer, but my AlphaSmart Neo2 is pretty awesome.

6. When faced with the dreaded “writers block”, how do you push through and find inspiration? Is there a ritual or process you have to get yourself back on track?

I don’t get writer’s block. If I don’t want to write, it’s either I don’t want to face the scene that’s coming up (like what happened in Never too Late with the death of a character or in Mark of Cain when a character was doing something I wish they weren’t), or I just don’t want to write (it could be stress, it could be tired, it could be sickness), but it’s not writer’s block.

7. Did you know how your story would end when you started writing it? If not, did plans change while writing or did you improvise when you arrived?

Since it’s based on true events, I knew what it was about, but I had no clue how I was going to turn it into a creative nonfiction piece.

8. If a movie were to be made of your story and you were in charge of casting, who would play your characters? Who would direct?

The Hemsworth brothers. They could all have a part.

9. How close did your story end up being to the original concept you had in your mind? What were the biggest changes? Why did you make them?

LOL. I pled the 5th.

10. What book were you reading when you thought, This stuff sells??? Oh, hell, I can do that…

Never had that moment.

11. Did you have to do any odd research for your story? How did you conduct that research, and then how was it used in your story?

I had to do a lot of research about the times of the 1930s and 40s. The local and world culture, regional and world-wide events, and then had to do research on what was known about Joe DiMaggio’s childhood.

12. If you could pick one place to sit and write, where would it be?

Anywhere outside that was warm.

13. How closely do you relate to/identify with your characters? What inspired them? Did they take over your story or did you direct them?

Joe DiMaggio is considered one of the best of all times, especially on the New York Yankees. He was inspirational in his own right. The characteristics of the real him led to this creative version of him.

14. What do you consider your all-time favorite novel? One that you would read again and again.

Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks.

15. How much of your writing is outlined from the beginning and how much of it is ‘pantsed’ or written on the fly?

Every single bit is pantsed.

16. What are your favorite snack-as-you-write or eat-as-you write foods? How do they help your creative flow or process?

I rarely eat while I’m writing. The crumbs/stickiness would cling to the keyboard or the desk and it would irritate me.

17. How is your ACOW story typical or atypical of your writing in general?

It’s sports related. I haven’t done any sports related works prior to this. I can’t say what the future holds, it might lead to a baseball romance or maybe a game in my Devil’s Playground series.

You can order on Amazon (worldwide), Barnes & Nobles, Books-A-Million, or get a FREE companion soundtrack CD if you order through Scout Media’s online store here:

http://www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/of-words-series/

Posted in writing

Upcoming Author Takeover.

We’ve already established I am terrible at keeping this site up-to-date. Let’s get over that.

Okay, done. So as I said in my last post, my story The Main Event was accepted for publication by Scout Media for their anthology A Contract of Words. This was released on April 1st on e-book, and April 15th in paperback. Starting tomorrow, myself and a group of the authors from the anthology will be running an Author Takeover series on each other’s blogs and Facebook pages. When A Journey Of Words was released, we did a similar thing, a series of questions about the author, their process, their story, etc.

The first Author Takeover will be tomorrow 19/06, then Friday 22/06, then each Tuesday and Friday going forward. Look out for the Takeover posts and if you haven’t already checked out A Contract of Words, I implore you do to so and support these amazing up-and-coming authors. Follow the link above to amazon, or contact me through my Facebook Page to buy a signed copy directly from me.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the Author Takeover series, and happy trails, until we meet again.

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Posted in amwriting, author, author takeover, blog, book, Published Author, Short story, writer, writing

I’m terrible at blogging.

It’s been too long. Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy new year. Good, now that’s out the way . . .

I realise I am so bad at keeping these pages updated. I built this site around the time A Journey of Words came out in 2016, but I’ve failed miserably at updating it or actually even writing blog posts regularly.

So I vow to change that in 2018. Yes, I’m sure I’ve said that before, but I definitely feel I believe myself when I say I will keep it going.

And with that, I have some news!

I’ve written another short story over the last few months, called The Main Event. I submitted this piece to Scout Media for their latest volume of their Of Words anthology, A Contract of Words. I heard a few days ago that the story received a ‘3’ rating, which in Scout Media speak means it has been chosen as one of the stories for the anthology. The story follows an up-and-coming wrestler as he is about to sign a contract (required element)  for a local wrestling company and what he does to climb the ladder of success. I believe this will be published in Spring of this year but stay tuned for more information as I get it.

So on that bombshell, thanks for reading and check out my social media pages for updates.

Facebook Page: David Williams – Author

Twitter: Davidw_books

Instagram: Davidwbooks

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Posted in amwriting, author, Short story, writer, writing

Bonus Blog Swap Tour – Analise Paone

So I know I told you guys the last Blog Swap Tour post was on Thursday and it was. But just like how her story pops up at the end of A Journey of Words as a sort of bonus story, it was decided that Analise’s blog interview would be added as a bonus at the end of the tour. A Journey of Words is available through Scout Media’s website (www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com) and now Amazon worldwide as well as all good book retailers. You can also purchase the book personally from your favourite AJOW author for a signed copy. So the only thing left for me to do is introduce the youngest member of our talented storytellers, at 9 years old, I give you Analise Paone.
Author Name: Analise Paone

Title of your AJOW story: The Other World

Synopsis: A girl stumbles into an alternate scary world through a blue glow and meets all the classic monsters.

What inspired you to write this story: 

I love to watch scary movies like “Poltergeist” and read scary books like “Goosebumps.” I love scary stuff so I thought to myself, “yeah, I should try that.”

How long have you been writing: 

I came up with story ideas when I was 6 years old, but I didn’t have the time to write them. When I turned 7 years old, I started to write poems, and when I was 8 years old, I started writing short stories and stapling the pages together and showing them to my family.

What genre do you usually write in: 

Horror, comedy, and non-fiction.

What are you working on right now: 

I’m working on my first comic book and trying to work on more non-fiction stories and poetry.

What advice would you give to new writers: Come up with an idea and write it on paper first with a pencil so you can erase your mistakes. If you don’t know how to end a story or get stuck on a part, ask someone to help you. Also, put a lot of details and make your story make sense.

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Blog Swap Tour – William Thatch

So we’ve reached the final instalment of the Blog Swap Tour. No, please don’t cry. Here, have a tissue to wipe those tears away. They say ‘save the best until last.’ In today’s guest author, we definitely have one of the best. William Thatch’s story The Highway features alongside my own story, Get Your Kicks on Route 66 in Scout Media’s short story anthology, A Journey of Words. The book is available through Scout Media’s website, through Amazon and other good book retailers. Don’t forget to leave a review once you’ve read the book. Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Author Name: William Thatch

Title of your AJOW story: The Highway

Post a brief synopsis of your AJOW story: 

An abused dog gets free from her owner and goes on an adventure to see and smell things she hasn’t seen and smelled before.

What inspired you to write this story? 

A couple of things. First and foremost would be my own dogs. They’re full of personality, and the family often does voices for them for our own amusement which has led to a unique vocabulary for the dogs. For example, in the story the dog refers to cars as “Big Metal Beasts” and doesn’t understand that it isn’t an animal, similar to to the voices / characters that our dogs have grown to be. Secondly, a character in the story called ‘The Good Man’ is the protagonist of a novel I’m working on titled The Wayward Son. The novel begins with his having walked from Las Vegas, Nevada to Riverton, Wyoming. I’d been daydreaming about what all happened on his way there, but didn’t feel there was a story from his perspective about the walk. But, there was plenty of story in the dog going for a walk and happening to meet him.

How long have you been writing? 

Twenty-two years, give or take. I wrote my first story when I was five or six.

What genre do you usually write in and why? 

Science fiction. Everything I’m writing is set in the same world somehow. Sometimes the science fiction would be obvious, like characters having some sort of supernatural powers. Other times it’s background details, like more advanced robotics than what we have, but it isn’t the focus of the story. I usually pair the sci-fi with something else, like noir or westerns.

What else are you working on writing at the moment? 

As mentioned above I’m working on the Wayward Son, a novel about a man whose life has fallen to pieces and is returning to his childhood home to put it all back together. I have the first draft of a short story written for Scout Media’s next anthology (A Haunting of Words), titled Hollywoodland, Baby. I’m also in the process of preparing two television pitches—the Extinction Event and the Caper Chronicles. The Extinction Event has also been written as a series of short stories, but how and when that would be released is a unknown.

What advice do you have to give to new writers?  

Write. You’ll suck at first, but we all did. It takes time to learn how to do this properly. Just write, make mistakes, and learn from them. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll spot when you did something wrong and figure out how to not make that mistake the next time.

How can people discover more about you and your work?

Website: http://williamthatch.wix.com/author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The0s1s/

Twitter: @The_0s1s

Posted in writing