A Worthwhile Hour


Hey guys, as most of you know, I had a bash at NaNoWriMo last November and loved it. They still send me emails on a regular basis and some of them are boring (to me) but now and then there are some REALLY interesting articles to read (or listen to).

THIS in one of them!

It is long, it is an hour. But you know what? I listened to it as I did my morning ablutions, made and ate breakfast, and by the time I sat down to work I was most of the way through it. If you are anything like me, then you are overwhelmed by the amount of information out there on publishing. And not just the amount of information, but also how contradictory it is.

Right here, for me, was one space where I could hear from people who truly know what they are talking about, an unbiased look at the options available but more importantly what they all mean and why. I still need to work out what it all means for me. But I took SO many nuggets out of this, I am blown away.

It EXPLAINED so much! So if you aren’t on the NaNo mailing list (so you didn’t already get this link) and you are unsure of where you REALLY want to be in the world of publishing, then listen to this as you run on the treadmill, bath, eat, or whatever else you do today that you can listen at the same time! There are no slides to read or visuals to keep an eye on so you can do your own thing (although Brooke’s blue earrings are stunning, but that is beside the point!)

Where Jennifer hangs out: 

“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Who is Carole P Roman?

cprI met Carole over on Goodreads, and asked her if she would share some of her author story with us, so here she is in her own words:
I started writing on a dare from my sons. One of them had written a self-help book that was flying up the Amazon rankings much to our surprise. We didn’t encourage him to write it, but he did, published it and it became linked with another best-seller. I have a life-long passion for reading, so they both attacked me as soon as I came in. “Look what Michael did- you could do that too!”- kind of thing. They didn’t stop all day, or at night, the calls kept coming in. I wrote Captain No Beard An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, late at night, thinking it would appease them. When I arrived to work the next morning, they both got on Createspace, picked an artist, the wonderful and creative Bonnie Lemaire, and got the ball rolling. I still wasn’t all that excited. It wasn’t Gone with the Wind, it was a kid’s book. Big deal, I thought. Anybody could do that. About a month after it was published, my publishing consultant from Createspace contacted me. He was over the moon. Captain No Beard was given the Kirkus Star of Excellence and was named as one of Kirkus Best for 2012.  I accepted his congratulations not quite understanding how special this was, that I actually hit it out of the park on the first one. Nine more books in the series followed, each one decorated with awards from all different sources. This began my journey into the world of publishing and I am now fully planted and having the time of my life.

My husband was thrilled and told me to do more. I was a social studies teacher over forty years ago. I decided to do another series, an introduction to culture for small children to understand the world around them. I will admit my husband had more faith in the project than I did. Captain No Beard was full of fun and adventure. Only I got excited about history and culture, while most everyone else’s eyes glazed over. I thought about what a child would find interesting about how people live, what makes us different, what unites us. This series took off, outselling the fiction series by a landslide. I just completed the 21 book in the series and people are asking for more.  The newest book in the series has headed for the stars and explores life on Mars.

I expanded the series to include History for older children. With the same concept of seeing the facts through the eyes of someone their age, we explore pivotal times in the world. The books demystify history, making it easy for kids to understand the how and why things happen.

Lastly, I did a nursery series that I adore. It is a love letter to my kids and grandkids and very personal. Those who know me will understand. Those that don’t will still get a lot from these books as they were written from my heart.

I took on the publicity for both my son’s 17 books as well as my own. I explored various ways to keep them selling. This lead to me asking my media consultant and friend, Julie Gerber, from Away We Go Media to co-author a book about our experiences writing, marketing, and promoting indie books.  It’s an easy guide to spare the next guy from wasting his time on things that don’t work and concentrate on the resources that do.
I learned that I can pretty much do anything I want to do. Being female or older or anything else that iI can think of won’t stop someone who has the determination to accomplish something. I am in a place where most people are contemplating slowing down. All I can say is my foot is firmly on the gas pedal and pressing down!
You can find her on Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, or her Blog.
Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Interview with author Alex Carver

mollyHi Alex, it’s nice to meet you. I see that you write under your pen name, are you able to still tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m 30 ish (with the emphasis on ish) in need of exercise, though I blame that on sitting at a computer all day, and I have an occasionally perverse sense of humour. I have also recently been identified as being autistic, which has helped me to understand my social difficulties, if not overcome them.

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for over 25 years now, this is my 2nd go as a published author.

What do you write about?

Primarily I write crime fiction, set in England, but I also write sci-fi, and children’s mystery/adventure.

What is your greatest achievement in writing so far?

During my 1st time as a published author I had the pleasure of spending 5 weeks in a row at the top of the kindle drama chart; at another time and with another book I reached the top 30 of the Nook charts.

What is your greatest dream?

Tough question, on a writing level I would love to sell enough books on a monthly basis to pay my bills and live comfortably. Outside of writing, I would love to go back to Egypt for another trip and visit Macchu Picchu in Peru.

What is your greatest personal writing highlight, even if it isn’t a monetary one?

When I was published previously I received a review that compared my book to something written by Karen Rose or Karin Slaughter; reviews are subjective of course, but it was still wonderful to be compared to such well-known authors.

What advice would you give to someone new to writing?

I’m never keen on this question because I don’t feel I have been published for long enough, I don’t have the experience to really advise someone; that said, I would suggest anyone interested in writing as a career should write from the heart, and fact-check wherever necessary.

Some authors also blog, do you? 

I do, https://arcbookblog.wordpress.com is where I can be found, I review when I can, write articles related to crime and my autism, and blog about anything else that takes my interest.

Do you do any social media?

I have a twitter account, but that’s it, I’m not good with social media, I find it a little overwhelming and hard to get to grips with.

Lastly, who are your writing heroes? 

Jeffrey Archer, Tom Clancy, and George RR Martin

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Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Interview with Writer RL Jackson

rlpic1: It is lovely to meet you, Have you been writing long?
I’ve been writing my whole life. It’s a joy to be able to create and escape to a different world, where I make the rules.
2: What do you write about?
I write novels and screenplays of various genres.
3: What is your greatest achievement in writing so far?
I had one of my movies optioned once and have met some great people, in my journey.
4: What is your greatest personal writing highlight even if it isn’t a monetary one?
I don’t have one yet. I think the highlight right now, is being able to write and having an outlet to share my stories.
 5: What advice would you give to someone new to writing?
Bite the bullet and write. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or punctuation, just get it out as ugly as it is, and when you’ve done that. Read it. Edit it and repeat.
6: What is your latest Book?
It’s a new Contemporary Romance called “Crashing Into Me”
A year after being left at the altar, headstrong E.R Nurse, Lana McKenzie is finally piecing her life back together. Tired of dealing with seeing her ex and his new girlfriend at every turn, she longs for blissful solitude and can’t wait to enjoy a peaceful vacation alone in the mountains. However, her plans go awry when a rude stranger literally embeds himself into her life and mind.
Handsome, wealthy, and troubled, Kayden Capshaw is struggling with the death of his brother, while also trying to escape the claws of his controlling mother. In his grief, the last thing Kayden wants to deal with is the fallout from his last run-in with the law. Yet, he also longs to get to know the woman now snowed in with him at the house on the hill. 
The ice between them thaws every minute they spend together, and they find that they have more in common than they realize. Will they find a way to make it through, or will it all, like the snow, melt away?
7: Where can people find you if they are interested in your work?
Here is my blog website: www.authorrljackson.com
You can find me at facebook.com/authorrljackson
You can Pre-Order the book at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCRZAF9

Where Jennifer hangs out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Interview with Blogger Sushmita Thakare Jain.

1: It is lovely to meet you. Can you please tell us a little about who you are and what you write about?

It’s lovely to meet you too Jennifer.

I am a Biotechnologist by qualification but truly an Entrepreneur and passionate Motivator by heart.

I have my Businesses one is into trading of Jewelry & Perfumes while the other is into Business & Finance consultancy. I am planning to expand my first business and enter manufacturing so currently looking for interested Investors.

I write about Business & Finance related blogs on my website and wide variety of topics sharing my experiences, personal stories about how to go out and make your dreams a realization and about thought-provoking topics.

2: How long have you been blogging, and why do you blog?

I have been blogging since past 6 months.

It began in order to promote my company’s website; it was my husband who suggested me to share my writing when one fine day he went through my journal.

Before blogging I used to write my journal where I used to share my thoughts and experiences and short stories now it is fun to share it with an audience who interacts with you.

I love to blog for the audience, love to connect with them and grow myself as a writer as the audience is everything as the audience associated with us grow so do we!

3: What are your three greatest highlights of blogging so far?

To be frank I just have a steady audience on both my blogs which I want to grow so still on the journey to have highlights hopefully will have some in coming time.

4: What is your greatest writing dream for the future?

My greatest writing dream is to become a Published Author which I have started working on, fingers crossed!

I will be starting my book writing journey via Wattpad and will be beginning with short stories and then after them will take it ahead with novels.

5: What is one piece of advice for anyone who is starting out with writing or blogging?

The best advice for a newbie was shared by Bill Gates and I try and implement it!

Content is King

What would you like to share most strongly with your readers?

I love to share my experiences and advice about what to do when feeling low. When experiencing the slump I shift my perspective and use the obstacle as a stepping stone to achieve even greater heights. There are many tips and advice on how to cultivate a change in attitude but one key way to do this is to begin a gratitude practice.

Be grateful.

There is always, always, always something or the other for me to be thankful for.

First I find it. It always helps me come out of the quicksand of negativity.

Life is better when I’m smiling. I don’t believe that being positive in a negative situation is naive; it’s a sign of leadership and strength.

When I refocus and recharge myself with motivation and if required re-plan my goal, it helps me to fully develop my inner strength and become resistant to negativity.

People may say, the problem is that the bad is utterly debilitating that the bad knocks the life right out of you; it can leave you gasping for air amidst a pool of cold loneliness. But to that I say:

Know this my friend — you are not alone!

Whatever you are going through, no matter how difficult, sad, unfair or turbulent, countless others have felt that depth of despair. Countless others right now, this very second are feeling that level of depth and despair. This I am saying is not to take away from or minimize the gravity of your pain; I am saying this is to let you know that you are never alone.

I feel the wisest, most loving, and well-rounded people I have ever met are likely those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved and has found their way out of the depths of their own despair.

These are the people who have experienced many ups and downs and have gained an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, understanding and a deep loving wisdom.

Friends people like this aren’t born; they develop slowly over the course of time.

I don’t believe that anyone is punishing you. We all agree we can’t predict the future or can we? Do we know with certainty what will the future offers us?

So why to be discouraged just like in order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present same way we must take the negative slump in our life to shine brightly ahead.

Thank you Sushmita! You can find and follow her on any of the links below:









Where I hang out: Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon
“Here she comes, running, out of prison and off the pedestal: chains off, crown off, halo off, just a live woman.”  ― Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Guest Writer, Tam May:

I am thrilled to share with you this guest post from author Tam May. I don’t know her personally, but I have followed her for a while and in my eyes, she is the perfect example of authors who collaborate, which as you know is a big deal for me. I love people who share their time, knowledge and expertise with each other and believe strongly that this is the only way to have meaningful success. So here is what she has to say and I wish her all the best with her book 🙂


“Don’t you ever dare to make concessions. Then one walks down, down, down, down.” – Gertrude Stein

While Gertrude Stein was never one of my favorite writers (she believed intelligence and talent naturally belonged to men and not women), I read the above quote when I was doing undergraduate work in English. Stein gave this advice to many young writers (among them, Ernest Hemmingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald) and painters (like Pablo Picasso and Pavel Tchelitchew http://gaypariscea.blogspot.com/2008/09/gertrude-stein-writer-and-her-muse.html) she supported and mentored. As a writer still experimenting with my writing and with no real sense of creating a writing career, I didn’t understand at the time the idea of “concessions”. Only recently, I came to appreciate Stein’s words.

A dictionary definition of the word concession defined it as giving in. The idea of making concessions in writing is different for different writers. It can mean writing articles when you really want to be writing fiction, writing in a genre that doesn’t stir your passion but pays the bills, or not writing at all because fear gets in the way. Of course, most writers have to make concessions just as much as most people in order to live and prepare for the future. But each writer judges where their personal limit stands so that, as Stein implies, he or she doesn’t walk down, down, down, down, if not financially, then psychologically.

For me, the limit came with my style and voice. I’ve battled with who I am as a writer, knowing that my natural writing voice and style are a little unusual and quirky. I was drawn to poetic prose and to psychological fiction that scrutinized character motivation, behavior, and make-up so they didn’t always come out complete and attractive. But I was also very much aware that such fiction wasn’t going to bring me many accolades or success as the trends define it.

So I experimented with genre fiction. In 2013, I wrote the first book of a historical mystery series for National Novel Writing Month and then outlined scene-by-scene the second and third books for the series. The book was fun to write and I loved doing all the historical research. But ultimately, I went back to psychological fiction because I felt the series was burying my real passion for character exploration and lyrical prose. For me, writing the series was where I drew the line for my concessions.

I’ve recently been asked what advice I have for new writers. My best advice is to find your natural writing voice and style and pursue it, even if it isn’t part of the trends or it doesn’t take you to the bestseller list. Don’t make concessions.

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Gnarled Bones and Other Stories explores five tales of loss, fear, and guilt where strange and spooky events impact people’s lives in ways that are profound and unchangeable.

In “Mother of Mischief”, a newly divorced woman goes back to school to begin a new chapter of her life only to find herself circling back to where she started. In “Bracelets”, childhood nostalgia mingles with brutal fear during a circus outing for a mailroom secretary and her friends. In “A First Saturday Outing”, a lonely woman ventures out of her isolated apartment one quiet Saturday afternoon to an art exhibit that leaves an eerie impression on her psyche*. In “Broken Bows”, a middle-aged violinist reveals the mystery behind his declining artistic powers to a lonely woman on a train. And the title story, “Gnarled Bones”, paints a portrait of the complex bond between an orphaned sister and brother through journal entries and first-person narrative. For these characters, the past leaves its shadow on the present and future.

Gnarled Bones and Other Stories is available now in paperback and ebook on Amazon https://www.amzn.com/dp/B01MS7P9EM/

* This story was featured on Whimsy Gardener’s Storytime With Whimsey and can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW9mgw4qhuA.



About The Author

Tam May was born in Israel but grew up in America. She earned her college degree in English before returning to the States. She also has a Master’s degree in English and worked as an English college instructor and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher before she became a full-time writer. She started writing when she was 14 and writing became her voice. She writes psychological fiction that explores emotional realities informed by past experiences, dreams, feelings, fantasies, nightmares, imagination, and self-analysis.

She is currently working on a novella series called the Waxwood Series, set in a Northern California resort town. The series explores the crumbling relationships among the wealthy San Francisco Alderdice family. In Book 1, The Order of Actaeon, the Alderdice son and heir falls into the hands of a charismatic older man obsessed with power and leadership during a summer vacation in the resort town of Waxwood. The second book, The Claustrophobic Heart, brings in Gena Flax, a young woman who must cope with the mental deterioration of her aunt during their summer stay at Waxwood. In the last book of the series, Dandelion Children, Daisy, the daughter of the Alderdice family is drawn into the disturbed life of the man who ruined her brother during one rainy summer in Waxwood.

She is also working on another book titled House of Masks about a woman who, mourning the death of her father, breaks free of isolation and loneliness when she is drawn into the lives of her two neighbors, one eccentric and one embittered. For more information, feel free to check out her website at www.tammayauthor.com.

She currently lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature and watching classic films.

Author Links

Website: www.tammayauthor.com

Blog: https://thedreambook.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammayauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tammayauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16111197.Tam_May


screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-46-30-amSo a couple of months ago I came across this amazing young woman doing amazing things. That sounds like an ad, sorry, I didn’t mean it to, but most of you who know me know that I don’t plug anything I don’t believe in and that my thoughts and comments are very much my own. The books that I review I buy, ….and I buy because I choose to.

So back to this young lady, Victoria Griffin is her name, and she is bravely putting together an Anthology about Head Injuries, especially concussion, called Flooded. The story is hers to tell not mine, and next week I will be doing a post all about it, so I will leave it for then. For now I am super excited that her KickStarter launched today!! I have done quite a lot of research into what she is doing, and she appears to really have her head screwed on and know what she is doing.

The Writing Train did a post on her, the Kickstarter that went live today, and what she is doing and why, so if you want to know the details, and can’t wait till next week, then check them out. This is simply to say click on the links, back her if you can and would like to, and watch this space for more info next week (plus an update on how the whole thing is progressing 🙂 )

Guest Interview with Kathryn Bax.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-3-48-11-pmToday I have a guest with me that I am super excited about. Kathryn Bax (who writes under the pen name Kathryn McMaster) is Co-founder and Business Development Manager of www.onestopfiction.com (a One Stop place for Readers and Writers). I read her debut book “Who Killed Johnny Gill” a good few months ago, and as I researched the author I found her site as well as an author support group that she runs for Fiction writers. I am a memoirist myself, but reading all about her and everything that she is doing with the site gave me huge insight into the world of writing, publishing, self publishing and marketing for writer and authors, I have learnt so many tips from her that it is hard to remember what I learnt from whom, and in reality a huge chunk of it has come from either her or one of her many followers.

Her site is in it’s infancy but appears to me to be growing from strength to strength very quickly, so I thought that I would ask her to share with us a few things…

Me: Hi Kathryn, Thanks so much for answering my questions today. Can I ask you why you started your web site? Isn’t it just one of many that are similar that can be found all over the internet? … and what gaps are you achieving to fill in the market place today?

Kathryn writes: We all like to read free and discounted books, don’t we? Who doesn’t like a bargain? I co-founded One Stop Fiction for two reasons. The first was to provide readers with quality books at discounted rates, the other was as an author I was frustrated at the lack of places I could be seen, other than my own author Facebook pages and website. How could I make sure that my book was on a permanent website, rubbing shoulders with books from my peers? Along came the idea for the website.

However, 9 months ago, the idea hadn’t even been born yet. I was still frantically trying to finish my first novel. Once I was nearly finished I realised that I needed some ideas on how to market it. There was no point in writing a book that nobody would see.

So I paid a squillion to join a course on book marketing only to be bitterly disappointed. It had not stated on sign up that the course was primarily for non-fiction writers. I took very little away from the course and felt rather disgruntled. I was not the only one. Other fiction authors were very unhappy too.

So, being the rebel that I am, I decided to break away from the group and start my own Facebook group where we could all learn from each other and share marketing ideas. The group soon grew to well over 1000 members. However, after listening to the feedback from the new group, there seemed a need to provide a platform where writers could connect to readers and vice versa.

I had built and run several websites of my own before this. I was no stranger to HTML and website jargon. However, I knew that we needed a site that would be more than a ‘mom and pop’ venture. We needed something slick and professional, easy to use and attractive to look at.

In the previous disgruntled group were two very special people; Shaun Griffiths, a Young Adult author who would become our Content Manager, and Alex Okros; an author of short stories (still unpublished) and the published author of a time-management book.

We fast became Internet friends. One day I said to Alex that I was thinking of starting up a website for authors. He said that he too had had the exact same idea. I said that it was all very well and good to have lofty ideas but website platforms did not come cheap. Who would we get to build it? He started to chuckle and said, “Oh, didn’t I tell you? I am a computer programmer and my girlfriend designs websites.” Sometimes, some things are just meant to be.

The website was released to the public on 8/8/2016 which we hope is an auspicious date – not that we are at all superstitious! Already hundreds of books have been added to the site and we are thrilled to see how many people have entered our monthly competition to win a Kindle eReader Paperwhite worth $119. The competition is open to all, no matter where you live. There is no joining fee, and to say thank you for your subscription you have a choice of 30 free e-books to read.

So please come and join us, have some fun, and be prepared to find some great books!

By Kathryn Bax (Pen name Kathryn McMaster)

Co-founder and Business Development Manager


(you can also follow her on Twitter at either @OneStopFiction1 or @TrueCrimeNovels)