Posts Tagged With: writing

Bring Social Media & Ebooks to Your Event in 2016 & 2017 #motownlit

 

 

speakingGenericBy 2020, the independent book industry is due to make billions.

In a few years, mobile technology is due to make billions for small businesses.

Did you know at least 70% of new customers find products and services through their mobile devices?

Yet to understand how to make this money, businesses & authors need to learn the technology.

In one to two hours, Social Media, Publishing & Internet Marketing Empowerment Coach, Sylvia Hubbard can give your participants a deeper understanding, power and passion to bring their business, products and services to the emerging Web 3.0.

Get Your Questions Answered:

  • How will technology affect my business?
  • How can I set up online without breaking the bank?
  • How can the e-book technology profit me when I’m not an author?
  • What is Social Media and how can I use it to generate more customers to buy my product, service or book?

Other Workshops Available

  • Time Management & Social Media
  • After the Book Marketing in the 21st Century
  • How to Make Time Being a Good Mother & Running a Business
  • Publishing A Book in the 21st Century

Follow us:

Contact Us! 

313.289.8614

 

SylviaHubbard.com

MotownWriters.com

MichiganLiteraryNetwork.com

HowToEbook.org

MotownMomMusings.com

LoveABlackWoman.com

MichiganMurderAndMayhem.com

MotownBookClub.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#MotownWriters @Meetup Group Topic:Finding Readers|Make money in 2016 Dec12th 10am @DetroitLibrary

 

  • Saturday, December 12, 2015

    10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

  • Detroit Library – Main

    5201 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI (edit map)

  • 3rd flr
  • (Please forward this to a friend and bring several friends with you.)

    RSVP NOW!

    Whether offline or online finding readers is a hard job for Writers. Get ready to take notes as we discuss how to find your readers to sell more books.

    We’ll also touch on how to make money as a writer while increasing readership and SEO. See ya Sat and please bring a donation to help us out.

    Also bring your literary challenges, new books to announce and achievements.

    Networking is key to our survival as writers and authors! This is your chance to learn, network and connect!

    mwnbannerdark2

    RSVP NOW!

 

Categories: MWN Events Only, Uncategorized, Writing Groups | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MWN Author Spotlight –Do Haeng (Michael Kitchen)

Michael KitchenCome with us as we spotlight yet another great Michigan author, Do Haeng (Michael Kitchen).

Michael Kitchen is a writer who practices law, or a lawyer who writes. Whichever way you look at it, Kitchen has been writing for numerous years with a list of varied credits from a comic book story to church newsletter articles to hockey articles.

Kitchen is a graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, and obtained a Business Administration degree at Eastern Michigan University. He co-authored “Down Through the Years: The Memoirs of Detroit City Council President Emeritus Erma Henderson” (Authorhouse, 2004). His short fiction has appeared in “Written in the Mitten 2013” (Heron Bay Books) and Legends, Summer 2013 (Grey Wolfe Publishing). He won the 2009 Michigan Bar Journal Short Story Contest.

If not in court, Kitchen enjoys writing, reading, wandering and/or shopping in a book store, bowling, or watching soccer.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Plymouth, MI.  I currently reside in Chesterfield Township, MI.

Tell us your latest news?

My daughter and son-in-law began foster parenting three kids in August making me a foster grandfather.

When and why did you begin writing?

Back in college, I worked at the Greyhound Bus Station.  The manager was a comic book fan and could draw, and he encouraged me to write.  I was more the math/science type, but in my first English Comp class at EMU the professor told me the essays I wrote were of the quality he read in newspapers and magazines.  The bus station manager and a friend of his started a comic book fanzine and I became a contributor to it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Thirty years out of college, I’m still wrestling with calling myself a writer.  I grew up in a practical family background.  Reading was not encouraged by my parents (it wasn’t discouraged, it just wasn’t part of their lives), so the thought of going to school for a degree in literature or writing would have been frowned upon, whereas an accounting degree was more in-step with parental expectations.  Also, because it is not a full-time profession for me, I stumble in acknowledging myself with that title.  Even though I had one short story published in a commercial magazine in 1993, even though I won the 2009 Michigan Bar Journal Short Story contest, even though I’ve co-authored a self-published book and had my first novel published with a hybrid publisher, I don’t think I’ll actually consider myself a writer until I see that traditionally published novel sitting on the shelves in bookstores across America.  That will be the day that I’ll say that “I made it!”

What inspired you to write your first book?

I saw the movie “The Razor’s Edge” starring Bill Murray in 1984 when it was released.  I was in the early stages of exploring my writing skills and fell in love with the story.  I later read Somerset Maugham’s novel that the movie was based on, and saw the 1946 movie starring Tyrone Power.  My desire was to be able to write that kind of story.  Fast forward to 2007 and that’s when I decided to write something inspired by the novel/movie, making it more contemporary.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I try to keep it simple.  I don’t like reading a paragraph that describes a blade of grass blowing in the wind, so I do my best not to write that way.  Nor do I want my reader to have to have a dictionary sitting next to them.  However, I hope that whatever I write has an underlying purpose or theme.

How did you come up with the title?

I didn’t have a working title until I got to the point where one of the characters revealed it to me while writing the first draft.  That’s when it all came together.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The underlying theme is that life is a question to be lived every day.  Question everything.

How much of the book is realistic?

All of it.  Current events in American history gave my characters the elements necessary to propel them.  In “The Razor’s Edge,” World War I, the Roaring 20’s and The Depression affect the characters significantly.  I use The Battle of Seattle, the New Millennium, and 9/11 to influence my characters.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not exactly.  Are there characteristics of people and events within it?  Definitely.

What books have most influenced your life most?

“The Razor’s Edge” by Somerset Maugham; “No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America” by Ralph Nader inspired me to go to law school.  “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and two of Lawrence Block’s books on writing; “Telling Lies for Fun & Profit” and “Spider, Spin Me a Web: Lawrence Block on Writing Fiction”.  “Taking the Path of Zen” by Robert Aitken and “Stumbling Toward Enlightenment” by Geri Larkin regarding Zen Buddhism.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Unfortunately, I have not had the fortune to have a mentor.  Cima Starr was my editor in the correspondence course I took in the 1980’s who started me off.  I learned a lot from Lawrence Block’s writings about writing.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished reading Book One of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s “My Struggle.”  I’m also reading Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” and Charles Baxter’s “Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction.”

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Angela Flournoy and Ottessa Moshfegh are two that immediately come to mind.  I’ve read their short fiction published in current issues of The Paris Review and have both of their first novels on my to-read list.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on my next novel which is going through its second revision as I battle test it with my writer’s group.  Got a few short stories circulating, too.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Early on it was definitely Detroit Working Writers.  They had some awesome conferences back in the 1990’s when I was developing my writing skills and learning about the profession.

Do you see writing as a career?

I would like it to be.  But for now it shares time with my law practice.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No.  As writers we grow and change over time.  That novel is written from my experience and knowledge during  those six years.  If I had to write it over again, I’m a different person and the novel would likely be written differently than how it currently is.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Probably from playing Dungeons & Dragons in high school.  I had always read comic books, but the creation of characters and settings and conflicts that came from playing D&D with my friends sparked the interest.  I was also inspired by television characters who were writers – Ron Harris (Ron Glass) of Barney Miller and Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) of The Night Stalker.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It’s a literary novel about two young men who fall in love for the first time.  They meet their first loves while in jail.  Thematically its about the mental jails – both good and bad – that we create for ourselves.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Everything.  Through grade school I was not strong at all in English and Literature classes.  I always had an active imagination and could piece together a good story.  It’s the execution of putting it down in a proper way and to avoid charges from the Grammar Police that is a challenge for me.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Lawrence Block.  I took a correspondence course back in the 1980’s after graduating college.  This was the old days, where assignments and critiques were done through the US Mail.  I believe I used a typewriter, too.  Anyway, the editor that had been assigned to me said that based on my writing style I should read Lawrence Block.  I’ve been reading him ever since.  He tells a story straight without the flowery description and uses language that doesn’t require a dictionary to be near at hand.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No.  Would I love to?  Sure!

Who designed the covers?

I did.  It was from a photo I took at the FDR Memorial in Washington DC.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The time it took to write it.  And the point of view.  The first version was first person from Darryl’s POV.  Then I tried third person, but that didn’t work.  I went back to Maugham’s novel and found it was written first person from Maugham’s POV.  That’s when I created Mac, Darryl’s cousin, to tell the story.  He was perfect for the job.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

There comes a point where you have to say it’s finished.  I feel like I could keep revising it, but then it would never make it to book form.  I had to accept that there isn’t a book out there that’s perfect, and each reader is going to have their own impression and experience of it.  It taught me to approach writing like a practice, like Zen practice and law practice.  There will be good moments and bad, but no sustaining and constant perfection.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Know what your vision is for your writing.  If you have dreams of being published traditionally, know that it is extremely difficult, and that you not only have to write but read a lot and learn a lot about the business.  And develop a thick skin because you’re going to need to battle test your work with other writers, some of whom, if they are honest, will pull no punches in order for you to develop the piece your working on to be the best that it can be.  If you’re going to self-publish, you better be prepared to put as much effort in promoting and marketing the book as you did writing it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Many many bows of gratitude to those who have taken the time to read my work.  There is so much out there to read (I know, I have shelves of books that I may never get to in this lifetime), to watch, and to do that I am truly honored.  My hope is that what I’ve written was worth your time.

The Y In Life

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dec 12th Join me at #iWrite2k15: Ebook Workshop & Social Media Consulting #Detroit

Please take a moment and share this post with other who are writing a book, writers groups, and other interested parties in your blog, social media and even offline. (There are print functions below.) Thanks in advance.

REGISTER NOW http://www.eventbee.com/event?eid=157135035

iwriteDec12

On Saturday, December 12th, Join me and other professionals to discuss self-publishing options and solutions. I’m excited to join this team of knowledgeable people to help people to their literary goal.

I’ll be doing an ebook workshop for lunch and then social media consults throughout the rest of the day.

Note: I’ll still be doing the regular 2nd Saturday from 10am to Noon at the Detroit Public – Main Library so I’ll have a very busy Saturday.

See you there and I hope you register for the self publishing workshop and training at: http://www.eventbee.com/event?eid=157135035

iwriteDece12

Categories: MWN Events Only, Uncategorized, Writing Groups | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classes Writers can take for free via @Mashables #MotownWriters

Mashables had an indept list for all to take in all types of classes. I looked through them and choose specific classes Authors should consider taking to enhance technical, social media and marketing skills.

You can see the full list by clicking this link: http://mashable.com/2015/10/13/free-online-classes

Beginner’s Guide to Image Editing in Photoshop, Digital Tutors

This series of step-by-step videos will teach you Photoshop terms and definitions and get you started with using basic tools and techniques. You’ll start off by resizing and resampling images, then move on to correcting the colors of an image and removing unwanted information. You’d be surprised by how much you can learn in 90 minutes!

Duration: 1.5 hours / 10 lessons

 Getting Started With Photoshop CC, Udemy

Udemy’s introduction course covers the basics so you can get started using Photoshop CC as soon as possible. Want to learn to use the marquee tool in detail, feather a selection, or refine edge command? You’ve come to the right place.

Duration: 2 hours / 23 lessons

How to Get Started With Adobe Illustrator CS6 — 10 Things Beginners Want to Know How to Do, Adobe TV

In this 40-minute tutorial, Adobe Creative Suite Podcast’s Terry White will show you the basics that’ll help you get started using Adobe Illustrator CS6. Duration: 40 Minutes / 1 Lesson

Online Advertising, OPEN2STUDY

Want to find out more about major digital platforms, social and mobile search, and how online ads are priced and delivered? If so, then OPEN2STUDY’s Online Advertising course is perfect for you. Be prepared to learn how to set realistic and measurable campaign objectives, identify the steps involved in digital campaign planning, and understand the process of selling an online ad program.

Duration: 16 hours / 33 lessons

Social Media 101, Social Media Quickstarter

Email marketing provider Constant Contact created this online tutorial to get you started on building your social media presence across all of the top social networks — from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

Duration: 1.5 hours / 1 Lesson

 SEO for SEO Beginners, Udemy

Heard of SEO, but never got the chance to understand what it actually is? This is the course for you. Upon completing the class, you’ll become an expert on the three pillars of powerful SEO, resulting in you knowing how to get to the top of the search results.

Duration: 1 hour / 15 lessons

Getting Started With Email Marketing, Skillshare

In this class, MailChimp’s Allyson Van Houten teaches you how to craft an email marketing strategy that will help you achieve your business goals. Whether you’re a small business owner, a freelancer, or a part of a startup team, you’ll be able to learn from the bite-sized lessons packed with core email marketing concepts, guiding questions, and practical resources.

Duration: 1.5 hours / 14 lessons

Start Writing Fiction, FutureLearn

Intended for anyone with an interest in fiction writing (with no prior experience necessary), this course teaches you how to develop your ideas and reflect on the writing and editing process. You’ll hear other writers talk about their approaches to research and consider different plot strategies.

Duration: 24 hours / 8 lessons

Copyright Made Easy, Udemy

Designed by a licensed attorney, this class gives you a comprehensive introduction to copyright law. At the end of two hours, you’ll understand the benefits that intellectual property brings and learn how to apply copyright law to your content.

Duration: 2 hours / 8 lessons

Like I said you can see the full list at Mashables.com

http://mashable.com/2015/10/13/free-online-classes

Categories: Article, Notes| Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Check out #MotownWriters Books of the Month for November #MichLit

Featured BOMs

Would you like to be books of the month?

Check out our sidebar advertising | Click here

Categories: Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MWN Author Spotlight- Elizabeth Weyman

Elizabeth WeymanCome with us as we spotlight another awesome Michigan author, Elizabeth Weyman.
Where are you from?
Owosso, Michigan
Tell us your latest news?
I have recently published my second novel, “Promise at Daybreak” in September of 2015. My first released in August of 2014, entitled, “Under the Windowsill.”
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in first grade. I was the only one excited to finish a paragraph into a story instead of going out for recess.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was first published in a church curriculum guide and that was when I knew I wanted to be a full-time writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Whenever someone asked me in college what I wanted to do after my education, I would always say…I want to be a writer. Write books, advertising copy, newspaper articles or even magazine articles. I did it all.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My writing is contemporary. I write to entertain my readers. Give them a fun getaway for just a few hours.
How did you come up with the title?
I usually end up writing the entire book before creating the titles. My first came to me as I was driving into a nearby town. I just knew it to be the title the moment I thought of it. The second title came to me on a walk.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I think every author pursues this goal. Each book was different, but I try to instill a sense of what it is like to fix family relationships. Create in reader’s hearts a search which will ultimately lead to eternal hope.
How much of the book is realistic?
I always pursue realistic scenes, but in some ways, it is still just fiction. Many of my readers tell me they feel as though they are sitting down for tea or a meal with my characters. They feel a part of the scene. I think that’s as realistic as you can get.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think every writer pulls from ‘what they know.’ But I always point out to all my readers, it is still just based off of ideas from my creativity. There might be similarities to the people I know, but they are totally new created beings on paper.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers as well as The Last Sin Eater.  I love Rivers style and the way she weaves thoughts into her plots. I’ve loved to read for years. Some of my first loves were the Little House series and Nancy Drew.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
 I’ve met many influential writers at many of the writer’s conferences I’ve attended. Some are seasoned and experienced, others were just like me…starting out. But some of my closest mentors were newspaper editors who have influenced my writing in many ways.
What book are you reading now?
I’m in between reading right now. I have a stressful job during the summer which doesn’t allow me to read much. But I enjoy reading new author books and also watching for my favorite authors’ new works.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Cynthia Ruchti is a new author who is also a friend. I enjoy her works.
What are your current projects?
I am concentrating on marketing my second book right now, but the third one has begun formulating in my mind and I want to begin writing it in November.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My community. My hometown. For years I was their newspaper reporter and now they have come behind me with enthusiasm and excitement in my new adventure of being a novel writer.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. From day one.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have proofread…just one more time.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In first grade, as I said before, the teacher challenged us to read 100 books in a certain amount of time. I was one of ten or so students who took multiple books home every single day to read. I finished the project and got my name and photo in the newspaper. That was the beginning for me. Reading led to writing.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My third book will be about loss and mourning. I love to work through situations and show people the best way to relate and deal with a hard subject. Promise at Daybreak was about elderly sisters dealing with dementia and congestive heart failure. Death loomed, how would they handle it.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Promoting myself. I try harder to promote my books, but it is really hard to promote myself as a new writer. An author. Probably because I have to pinch myself daily to see if it is really true.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
As I said before, Francine Rivers is my favorite. I love how she weaves her life principles into fiction.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I’m not sure what you mean by this question. I have traveled to Mackinac Island to promote my books which has the same setting. I went there this summer for a book signing.
Who designed the covers?
I have the ideas and take the photos for my books, but I have a master at graphics from i-60 Media in Durand, MI.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Being diligent at each step. Writing, plotting, editing and then marketing.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It was a dream I had all my life. I wasn’t sure I could ever do it, but afterwards it taught me that if you have a dream, achieve it. Just do it!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Learn, grow and write…in that order. Just because you have an idea for a book, doesn’t mean you have the skills and talent to do it. I went four writing conferences, studied the craft in depth and then tried to pursue it.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I appreciate them. I am humbled every single time I get a compliment on my writing and my books.
Promise at daybreak
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MWN Author Spotlight with K. B. Carr @kbcarrauthor

 

 

K.B. CarrThis week the Motown Writers Network has got the spotlight on author K. B.  Carr!

K.B. Carr is someone who is lucky enough to be able to do what she loves best-
learn more stuff!

Her mother wanted to know why she asked so many questions all the time. K.B. told her that she asked because she wanted to know stuff. “Curiosity killed the cat.”, her mother said.
“But, satisfaction brought her back!”, K.B. replied.

K.B. is the mother of two children, Ryan and Kelsey, and she tries really hard to answer all their questions if she can.

She lives in West Michigan with her dog, Captain Jack. Jack is a girl dog with a boy’s name.

K.B. says that Ryan, Kelsey and Jack are her favorite Weird & Wacky Creatures.
And, they always will be.

Where are you from?

I grew up in Muskegon and graduated from Mona Shores High School, but I’ve lived in Texas, Florida, and California. I came back home to Michigan in 2005 to be close to my family.

Tell us your latest news?

Right now, I’m working on the next book in the series, as always, but I’m also working on a Kids’ Adventure line of products to go along with the books. And, as always, there are videos and outings planned for the future.

When and why did you begin writing? 

I think I’ve always written little things here and there, starting in middle school, but I’d toyed with the idea of the Weird & Wacky series since my daughter was in first grade. She’s 26 now, so that was some time ago! She was classified as a “reluctant reader” and it was a challenge to find subjects that she had enough interest in to get her to sit down and read about. She was always interested in animals, especially the strange ones, and she enjoyed weird animal facts. She loves animals so much, that for a long time, she wanted to become a veterinarian when she grew up. I thought writing my own books would be something to do when I retired, or something for my grandchildren. I finally started writing this year, when I realized that I needed to transition out of my career as an orthopedic therapist, because of a health issue. I thought, “why not start my writing career now, and see if anything comes of it?”

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure that I consider myself as an actual writer. To me, a writer paints pictures with words, and that is a serious talent. I think of myself as an “edutainer”, someone who educates, hopefully, in an entertaining fashion. I write children’s non-fiction and facts can be very dry and boring, so I try to make it funny and fun where possible. I think of myself as Carrot Cake or Zucchini Bread: it’s good, so you keep eating it, but you’re getting your veggies, and you don’t even taste them. Sneaky, very sneaky😉

What inspired you to write your first book?

Truthfully, the idea that I could learn to publish it myself, instead of having to find an agent, submit manuscripts, deal with rejections, and write what and when I’m told, was very appealing to me. There’s no real pressure and I can go as fast or as slow as my schedule allows, fitting things in when I can. I think there’s no better time for a writer to jump in than right now, when self-publishing has become so popular.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write for kids as if I’m actually speaking to them, so I’m going to call it “conversational writing”. Is that a real thing? Should be!

How did you come up with the title?

Oh, that was the easy part. Everything I read about publishing a book says to make your title as close to the subject as possible. “Weird & Wacky Creatures” seemed like a perfect fit for Book 1, then “Weird & Wacky Endangered Creatures”, etc., with the whole series named “Weird & Wacky Planet” was a no-brainer!

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

Oh, absolutely. Throughout the first and all the way to the last, the theme is conservation: of animals, of plants, of nature in general. Kids are the future custodians of Earth. They need to know what that entails, and do a better job of it than my generation has. To that end, a portion of the sales of my books goes to the World Wildlife Federation to help with animal conservation. Your readers can find out more about the WWF by visiting their website at WWF.org.

How much of the book is realistic?

Since the book is Non-Fiction, all of it is! I had input from two elementary school teachers, as well as their 2nd and 3rd grade classes. I learned about common core education, what a Biome is, and all the elements needed for a child to write a full report on a subject. There is a Glossary of terms in the back and all the terms in it are in bold throughout the book. All the facts needed in a report are in the book, as well as references on the internet where a child can get more information, as well as attribution to the photographer for the photo I used. Education is the BIGGEST goal.

Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?

As I was scrambling to find books that my daughter would be interested in, I found most of the books to be only factual in delivery, and rather dry. I tried to make the books more fun by adding silly comments designed to make her laugh and think about the animal in a different way. That’s the way I write all my books. Learning SHOULD be fun!

What books have influenced your life most?

As a child, I loved Misty of Chincoteagh, and all those types of books. My Aunt was a voracious reader and gave me all her books, so I read Cherry Ames, Vicky Barr, and Nancy Drew.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would love to have a mentor! Unfortunately, I’ve had to rely on my own experiences, and what I’ve read about writing a book, but I do consider the elementary school teachers to be mentors, of sorts. I know their input has been invaluable.

What book are you reading now?

I’m actually re-reading all of Diana Gabledon’s Outlander series. They’ve made a TV series out of it, and I wanted to familiarize myself with it all over again. I love those kinds of sweeping, epic historicals!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 

I honestly haven’t had the time to explore new authors much lately, but I’d like to read Girl On A Train. I hear it’s awesome!

What are your current projects?

Just getting more of the series published, get the physical books published, and get the product line launched. No biggie, right?

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

FaceBook! I’ve been able to connect with other authors, ask questions, and feel generally connected to a wonderful group of talented people. Writing is a solitary pursuit and can be isolating. Find a supportive group!

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. It is my genuine goal to be able to support myself one day (hopefully, sooooon) doing the work I love. That way, I can do more of it. Indisputable logic, really:)

If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I still change, add, and subtract things in my books. That’s one of the really great things about self-publishing-you can change stuff. I learn and change accordingly, so my books are always the best work I’m capable of at the time.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

A teacher in High School told me that I had a wonderful, creative talent and that my essays always made her laugh. Teachers have such an impact on their students. When you get one that believes in you and tells you so, it can open up whole worlds of possibilities. Thank you, Mrs. Bruce!

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Right now, I’m writing about a Warrior Princess, a Knight in Shining Dragon Armor, a Pocket Dracula, and they’re all animals. Can you guess what they are?

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Keeping the books to a certain size, for sure. There’s so much weird stuff out there, that weeding through what makes it into a book and what doesn’t, is sometimes hard! But, I do make those extra things into downloadable bonus chapters, so nothing is ever completely left out:)

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My favorite author is usually whoever I’m reading at the time, so that’s Diana Gabledon, right now. But, I think a favorite author is someone whose work you would read over and over again, so that’s her for sure. She paints with words and brings me totally into her world. It’s endlessly fascinating.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I haven’t travelled yet, but I certainly plan to. There are endless possibilities when animal conservation is the subject, and I look forward to having the time to do so. Videos are in the works, and I plan to have my son, Ryan do the shooting and editing. He’s a true computer whiz!

Who designed the covers?

My daughter, Kelsey, who wanted to grow up to be a veterinarian, grew up to be a graphic artist, instead! She designs all the covers and the logos, thank goodness. That’s definitely a skill I don’t have.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Truthfully, the hardest part is the technical end of things. It took me five days to format the first one for Kindle. Five days! And, I’ve just learned to change the resolution of the pictures myself. I like to joke that when the kids moved out, I was transferred back to the technological stone age. But, as my son says, you can learn anything if you google it. And, that’s true, but I don’t learn it quickly or easily😦

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learn all kinds of stuff all the time! And, not all of it’s tech stuff. Just doing the research on each animal is a wealth of information, and really, it’s my favorite part of the whole process. Good thing, huh?

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just do it. Sit down and start writing. Write about what you’re going to write about, how you’re going to write about it, who’s going to read it, how you feel about what you’ll write about. You’d be surprised at how helpful streaming thought is. I have notebooks full of thoughts that I go back and pick gems out of.

The other thing I find invaluable (besides Google) is to have a outline of the book before I start. That way, I always know where I am in the process and I’m never at a loss as to what I should be doing next. It’s quite a time saver.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes. Reading is important. I could pull out all kinds of statistics about the whys of that, but I think we all know it’s true. If your child (or you) doesn’t really care to read, find subjects that are interesting to the individual and start there. You never know where that will take you.

I would also like to point out that we haven’t done such a great job of encouraging our girls to go into the sciences as a career choice. Do we really want them to be more interested in the Kardashians? This is a serious detriment to us all. Girls have so much to bring to the table, INCLUDING nurturing hearts and compassionate spirits-something that is badly needed. Which leads me to this:

I’d like kids to know how important conservation is and that one day, they’ll be in charge of this planet. How many species of plants and animals will be permanently gone by then? And, how many more will be gone in their lifetime? In their children’s lifetime? It’s a heavy responsibility that we leave them, and we haven’t been such good custodians, ourselves. My REAL goal here is to leave the next generation better educated and prepared to take on the task.

weird

Author: K.B.Carr

Book: Weird & Wacky Creatures

Series: Weird & Wacky Planet Series

Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction

Website: www.kbcarr.com

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1DCBwnG

FB: facebook.com/kbcarradventuress

Twitter: @kbcarrauthor

Periscope: @kbcarrauthor

 

 

Categories: Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#MotownWriters: Author Sign up for Motown Literary Women’s Luncheon 2016… Limited Book Vendor Spots #MichLit

DETROIT WOMEN AUTHORS: CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT FORM http://goo.gl/forms/RVbRWahtjL

MotownLitWomen

Motown Literary Women Event 2016

March 19, 2016 11am

Location: TBD, Detroit, MI (tentative)

Half Table: $35 (covers food cost)

$20 Deposit Required to hold table by Dec 31st 2015

RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW | CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT FORM

*Please fill out form completely. Please be at least a Metro Detroit FEMALE Author.

Other events for other authors will come but March is Women’s Month. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedInView our videos on YouTube

Subscribe to be updated of this event and other events by Motown Writers Network… Michigan Literary Network | CLICK HERE 

Categories: MWN Events Only, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MWN Author Spotlight ~ Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson @JFF0628

JenniferThis week’s MWN author spotlight is on Jennifer Fisch-Ferguson!

Jennifer Fisch- Ferguson has been writing and publishing fantasy stories since 2003. Publishing credits include short fiction, writing contests and novels.
She attended the Eastern Michigan University and graduated with a B.A in African American History and promptly went to work with AmeriCorps on a literary initiative.

She went to the University of Michigan and got her Master’s degree in Public Administration in 2008 and while she finished writing her thesis, also got a Masters in English – Composition and Rhetoric in 2009. She recently is working on her PhD at Michigan State University in the field of Writing and Rhetoric. She has been teaching collegiate and community writing classes since 2003 and loves the variety and inspiration her students bring.

She currently is finishing her trilogy and dutiful writes on her blog space about her journey.

She lives in the Midwest with two amazing sons, one coffee supplying mate and acts as staff-in-residence to one cranky cat.

Where are you from?

Born in Detroit, but currently just south of Flint, MI
Tell us your latest news?

Book 3 will launch in November of 2015 and complete the story.
When and why did you begin writing?

I have always loved writing.  In fact I used to sell short stories in high school to my friends- with them starring in romantic escapades.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I always been a writer- an author… the moment I hit publish in 2013.
What inspired you to write your first book?

I love werewolves but I think they have been misrepresented- so I strove to tell my view.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I think it depends on the project- my urban fantasy tends to be much more packed and cerebral. My paranormal romances tend to be lighter.
How did you come up with the title?

laboriously – I hate coming up with titles. However it is an urban fantasy about werewolves- so I figured something with moon would be good.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There is no such thing as normal… life is what you make of it.
How much of the book is realistic?

The locations are very accurate and some of the situations have been formed from experiences.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not really and I certainly do not sing opera
What books have most influenced your life most?

Octavia Butler for sure.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Nisi Shawl- I had the fortune of speaking to her and interviewing her and she is just amazing.
What book are you reading now?

The Psychology of Batman😀
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I am a part of an indie group online, so I have read many of them.
What are your current projects?

Book 3 in the series and my new paranormal romance series – oh yea finishing this dissertation too.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My editor Artie is amazing! Despite the middle of the night texts when we are working on a project questioning why I do such things to my characters – he is more supportive than I could have hoped for.
Do you see writing as a career?

Yes! Between teaching and writing and book coaching- writing is my life.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, but in the first book I had a two week time frame right in the beginning that I would shorten.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I always had stories to tell. They just all happened to be fantasy in nature.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

In Follow the Moon (book 3) Kama has some choices to make.  She learns new truths about herself and the people she knows.  And as she finally feels secure with herself- an old encounter comes back to haunt her.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time to get it all down. I have so many stories in my head that I want to tell.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Octavia Butler, not only did she buck convention and wrote in a genre that didn’t really want her. Her stories sucked me in at age 8 and even still I find new and great things when I reread them.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I try to do book signings and shows when possible. I would love to do more, but what I have now is good.
Who designed the covers?

I did the layout. Bryan Syme did the art.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Not so much in the writing- I brainstorm all my works with my husband exhaustively.  The hard part is introducing people to urban fantasy that have no idea what is it.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Get on a schedule! I write every day for good or bad, but knowing that I have to write each day gets the work done.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t worry about word count- get into the habit of writing daily for a specific amount of time. Also- treat it like a job not a hobby. And invest in a good editor- a good developmental editor.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? Authors love feedback and interaction.  I am active with my blog and facebook/twitter and yes- I do answer.

Howl at the MoonEnter The Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MWN Author Spotlight ~ Linda Anger @TWCinMI

This week’s MWN Spotlight is on Linda C. Anger!

Linda C. Anger has lived and worked in metro Detroit, Michigan all her life. Her poetry and fiction has been published nationally in venues such as “Mused: The Bella Online Journal,” “Still Crazy Literary Magazine,” and “Almost Touching: A reader for women and men.”

Linda is the president and owner of The Write Concept, Inc., a marketing communications company founded in 2000. Her corporate clients have included DaimlerChrysler Corporation, HAVEN, The Royal Park Hotel, The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, and Demp Coaching. Business articles have been published in Black Engineer Magazine, Profiles in Diversity Journal, and MultiCultural Law Journal. Visit http://www.thewriteconcept.com

Learn more about her creative work and publications at www.fullcrumbcafe.com

Where are you from?

I was born at Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit, grew up in Orchard Lake, and have lived in the Rochester area most of my adult life.

 

Tell us your latest news?

My book “Sweeping the Floors in the Full Crumb Cafe,” which is a collection of poems, stories, and essays, has a modest following. I am working on a self-help book based on a blog I kept over the course of a year of chemotherapy. I am just completing two years as president of Detroit Working Writers, and will step into the presidency of Toastmasters Walsh College Troy in July.

 

When and why did you begin writing?

I was nine years old, was taunted by the other kids because of a physical issue, withdrew, and turned to books and notebooks as an escape.

 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was nine, I realized how much I loved to read and tell stories. That’s when I decided to be a writer, and once I made that decision, I was one.

 

What inspired you to write your first book?

Poetry was my initial genre, and was my focus until about five years ago, when I began to write short fiction pieces. Poetry came from daily existence. Stories came when I was mature enough to understand different aspects of life.

 

Do you have a specific writing style?

People tell me I have a strong voice. I only know that I speak / write my mind.

 

How did you come up with the title?

“Sweeping the Floors in the Full Crumb Cafe” – in what became the introduction to this volume, I wrote about the “teeter-totter” of life, and fulcrum on which it totters or rests. This brain of mine turned it into a metaphorical place, which became the Full Crumb Cafe.  “Sweeping the Floors” is the first in what I intend to be a series of Full Crumb Cafe books.

 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Every poem or story I write has a message.

 

How much of the book is realistic?

The poems are based on my life or my realizations about life. The stories sometimes are based on a real person or experience.

 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

See question above.

 

What books have most influenced your life most?

Too many to list here!  Anything by Anaȉs Nin, Hermann Hesse, Napoleon Hill

 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Hermann Hesse and Anaȉs Nin

 

What book are you reading now?

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern – for the 4th time

“White House Ghosts” – about the relationships between the US Presidents and their speech writers

“Mrs. Poe” – a novel based on the story of Edgar Allen Poe & his mistress

 

What are your current projects?

The self-help book is my focus as I wish it to be completed and published by spring 2016, but I continue to write poetry and personal essays.

 

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Detroit Working Writers

 

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I have made a living as a copy writer for over 15 years.

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No

 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

See question #3

 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I can, yes.

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Time is always an issue. Because I spend my workdays writing for other people, it is sometimes difficult to switch off my business brain and give my creative brain free rein.

 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have many favorites, as noted in the earlier question. What I love about Nin is the sensuality of her work. The woman can describe a leaf in such a way that it becomes erotic.  Hesse’s work is heavily spiritual, and Hill’s work is serious and practical. Morgenstern (The Night Circus) has an ebb and flow that is remarkable – this is the book I wish I had written!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No

 

Who designed the covers?

I did. My business is marketing communications; I am trained as a book compositor (layout and typography), and graphic design.

 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

See the question above about challenges

 

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

In addition to producing my own book, I have ghostwritten or edited quite a few others. I learn something about content development, layout, and production from each project.

 

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up, and don’t ever think your first draft is your finished draft. Write each scene from at least three different perspectives and find the one that drives the story forward.

 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

One of my writing champions, Margo Lagatutta, used to say, “How can I know what I think until I see what I say?”  I write, partially, to understand what goes on at the depths of me. If the things I learn or struggle with have meaning to you, I am honored.

Full Crumb Cake

Categories: Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Feature ~Ericka Stafford

Where are you from?

I was born and raised right here  in Detroit Michigan and still glad to call Detroit my home.
ericka Stafford II
Tell us your latest news?
My latest news would be my second novel which is part of trilogy which just dropped on amazon last week of February it’s available on ebook and the title is Looks Like Love Feels Like Hate.
 
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing about ten years ago but have been published since September of last year. To be truthfully honest I started writing on a whim I mean I have always been in love with the written word even at a very young age so I guess writing was the next natural step one day instead of reading I just decided I  was going to write a book.
 
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This is still all new to me I am just soaking in the fact that I am a writer but I guess it really hit me when I seen that my book with my name on it and the royalty check helped a lot too. (lol)  
 
 What inspired you to write your first book?
Drama! It seemed like me and everyone I knew was going through it so I just added a little more excitement to it and turned it into a story.
 
Do you have a specific writing style?
I would say my style is raw and uncut I don’t sugarcoat my writing.
 
How did you come up with the title?
Actually I didn’t when I first submitted my story to my publisher I was told that they loved the story and didn’t like the title  my original title for the book was Betty-B who is the main character of the book but they said when they just hear that name they think gangsta which the character was not. We threw a couple of names  around he came up with that one and I loved it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, the message would be that even though you grow up in bad circumstances you don’t have to become a victim to it unless you want there’s also the message of kids really watch there parents and can sometimes pick up on there bad habits so it’s up to parents to set good examples.
 
How much of the book is realistic?
I would say about 40%
 
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would say about 40% I really do have a friend whose mother was addicted drugs and she really did have to raise her sibling but in her case it was her brother.
 
What books have most influenced your life most?
Wow that’s a tough one because I read so many different types of books so I would have to say that I walk away with something from every book I read.
 
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
If I had to choose a mentor I would have to say my publisher Raymond Francis who is not only a publisher but also a writer and I say that because during this writing process he has totally taken me under his wind he has taught me a lot about writing he takes time to answer all my questions and he’s not stingy with his knowledge and he’s humble.
 
What book are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading Kwan’s book Road Dawgz.
 
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
LOL ! That sounds so funny because i still consider myself a new author but i would like to give shouts to D.L Collins, Larry Ellison, Kenya Rivers to name a few. Actually D.L Collins and Kenya Rivers are both authors from Detroit.
 
What are your current projects?
Right now I am back and fourth with writing three books but I am focusing more on pt. 3 of Looks Like Love Feels Like Hate which I hope to have done by April.
 
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
At the time i was writing this book the person I was with was a total motivation to he helped me visualize my dreams and step out on faith although we are not together anymore I would still like to thank him for that.
Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I could see that.
 
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think I would I am very satisfied with the outcome.
 
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I would say about ten years ago.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes! writing a three book series is very challenging because you don’t want the story to get stale and with each book the readers expect the book to get better and better and being a writer you have to deliver that every time or risk losing a reader.
 
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I wouldn’t really say I have a favorite writer because I read so many books and all of them are great.
 
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven’t yet put I plan too.
 
Who designed the covers?
Brittani Williams who I might say did a awesome job.
 
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
All of it ! No just kidding the hardest was the ending because I had to set it up in a way that would lure my readers into reading pt.2 so the set-up at the end had to be perfect.
 
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that not everyone will like your book which I knew anyway but you can’t let it get to you all you can do is try to go extra harder the next time.
 
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes do your research on these publishing companies the first publisher I was with (I won’t say any names) really did a hack job on me and it was hard to get out of that is why I am so glad that I found an honest family with Pleasure Principle Publications.
 
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To my readers I just want to thank each and every last one of you for giving this new author a chance keep reading my books and I promise to bring you more in the future. Without you there is know me.
ericka stafford

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Notes frm #MotownWriters @Meetup 1/10/15…Add yr own New Year Goals and Tips

New Year Literary Endeavors

Baby steps count too

mwn newer

mwn newer

Discussion outline of our January monthly meetup at The Detroit Public Library Main Branch. We meet every 2nd Saturday from 10am to Noon. Interested in Joining us next month, please feel free to come or RSVP at http://meetup.com/michiganliterarynetwork.

Please feel free to share this post with another writer, author, poet or group!

Writing Goals

Realistic Monthly Writing Goals

Word Count

Page Count

Publishing Goals

Set timelines.

Get a publishing buddy

Find someone who is ahead of the publishing goals and help them out to learn from them

Marketing

Offline – placing marketing material places in state and out of state

Visiting networking groups related to book or the writing industry

Supporting other authors and ppl in your book’s genre

Online

Social networks

Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google, Youtube

Produce one audio file and one video file a month

Produce one blog post a month

Get a free account at Hootsuite to make posting easier for yourself

Promotion

Find one event to speak at, perform at, teach at… online or off line.

Easy one… check out blogtalkradio and set up an interview for yourself

Get a blog to be featured on

Offline… check out churches, library or youth groups in the area to speak at about your genre, specialty or book

Overall

Get a buddy

Budget monthly

Do ONE thing in your goal sheet and then next month try to do two things and next month do three… and so on

Come back to Motown Writers and give us an update.

January group goal

Take one selfie of you and another writer. Post it to social media with a hashtag of #motownlit

Resources
http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work

Now add your beginning of the year goals and any tips you can offer to other writers! See you next meeting.

RSVP now at http://meetup.com/michiganliterarynetwork

 

Categories: MWN Events Only, Uncategorized, Writing Groups | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Motown Writers Network Author Spotlight ~ Rebecka Vigus

 

Rebecka VigusWhere are you from?

West Branch, Michigan
Tell us your latest news?

The third book in the Macy McVannel series, Sanctuary, is being released Aug.22, 2014
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at age ten. A teacher told me with my imaginations I would end up in books. I believed him.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In high school, some of my poems were in the school paper, but one of my poems was used by a minister in a sermon.
What inspired you to write your first book?

I had always wanted to write a novel. I became involved with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I wrote my first novel in 21 days.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I write easy to read books. Something you can pick up and knock out in about four hours. But, I have no name for my style other than they are mysteries.
How did you come up with the title?

For my first novel, it was set in a small town and in order to arrest the right person, you had to dig through all the secrets in a small town so Secrets was it. For the novel releasing in August, I had to really think about what the book was offering. Sanctuary is ultimately the goal, so hence, the title.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In the current novel I am dealing with spousal abuse and how to escape it. There is always a way out, you have to be willing to go for it.
How much of the book is realistic?

I write realistic fiction with a twist. So, this book could happen any place, in any town, in any neighborhood.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not it this book.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Mysteries. I love trying to figure out who did it before the author reveals it. Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornwell, Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Higgins Clark, Lee Child, David Baldacci, there are many who keep me fascinated.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

William Kent Krueger, I had a chance to do a one day intensive writing session with him.
What book are you reading now?

Stolen, by Daniel Palmer
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

C Hope Clark. I have read her book The Shy Writer Reborn and her mystery Palmetto Poison. I just received her first novel, Low Country Bribe to read.
What are your current projects?

I am working on a children’s anthology titled Of Moonbeams and Fairy Dust due out the end of November, 2014. I’m also working on the fourth Macy book, Something Borrowed, Something Blue due out in early 2015.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Blue Harvest Creative are my design team for my books.
Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. It has been my goal for fifty years. I am finding I am growing a fan base.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Absolutely not.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I remember writing non-sense poetry to start, but I have no one defining moment.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Macy McVannel is a police detective who teams up with her college roommate to rescue abused women from their spouses and set them on the path to a new life. This is the third book in the series. The first two were written from Macy’s point-of-view. This one was not written first person, so you get other’s views of Macy.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making each new book as exciting as or better than the last.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My current favorite is William Kent Krueger. I love his Corcoran O’Connor character. I love how he submerges you in the landscape of his stories.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not as much as I’d like to. I prefer to do live signings and book talks. I like getting questions from those who want to write or those who’ve read my books. I want to share my love of writing.
Who designed the covers?

Blue Harvest Creative are my design team. They do internal and external design and set up.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? For me the hardest part is knowing how and where to end it.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned even in law the lines are blurred.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing. Read all you can about writing, attend a writer’s workshop or conference, but keep writing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Please when you’ve read my books, write a review. Reviews sell books. If you didn’t like it, others want to know. If you did they want to know why.

Sanctuary

Author name: Rebecka Vigus
Book Title: Sanctuary
Categories: Feature, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MWN Spotlight ~ Nancy Barr

Nancy BarrWhere are you from?

I was born in Illinois, lived in Southern California for several years as a child, and have lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1981.
Tell us your latest news?

I switched careers from journalism to higher education about seven years ago and since then have earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and technical communication and started teaching communication to engineering students at Michigan Technological University.  I’m now working on a PhD, but I’ve started a new fiction project as well.  I have no idea when it will be ready for publication, but it’s great to be writing fiction again.
When and why did you begin writing?

I discovered I loved writing when I was still in elementary school.  I started keeping a journal of sorts to help me deal with life.  I never thought of being a professional writer until college and then an internship led me to a job at the local newspaper.  I began my first novel in 2000 because I felt I had a story to tell.  The characters had been developing for a few years and it just seemed time to put them on paper.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first felt like a “real” writer when my second book, “Page One: Vanished,” was released, even though I had been a “professional” for many years by then.  The first book felt like a fluke, a dream, but the second book made me feel like a legitimate author.
What inspired you to write your first book?

There was no single thing that inspired me.  The “Page One” trilogy’s protagonist, Robin Hamilton, was VERY loosely based on my experience as a small-town newspaper reporter.  She’s just prettier, smarter, and scrappier.  None of the other characters have any association with anything real and neither does the plot, except the opening scene in Ludington Park, where the first murder takes place.  I used to walk through the park quite regularly and that’s what started the creative process for that book.
Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, my journalism experience taught me the value of concise writing.  I love words, I just use them strategically.
How did you come up with the title?

The publisher, Susan Bays of Arbutus Press, wanted to develop a brand for the books, thus the “Page One” tag, indicating a news story worthy of page one.  Then each book has a teaser about the plot.  The first one revolves around a hit and a run death, the second book deals with the disappearance of several young women, and the third one deals with the drug trade (the U.P.’s notorious winter is also a character).
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Resilience.  Life deals my characters a lot of heartbreak but they come through it stronger.

 

 

How much of the book is realistic?

These situations certainly could happen, but they are pure fiction.  Unfortunately, “Page One: Whiteout” is the most true-to-life as U.P. communities struggle to deal with the influx of drugs like heroin and home-grown crystal meth.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Robin’s mother died when she was 10, while mine died when I was 9.  I wanted to explore a strong father-daughter relationship, like the one I had with my own father.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books and Judy Blume’s books about adolescence got me hooked on reading as a child.  By the time I was 10, I was reading everything mystery or paranormal-related in the school library.  When I read my first Stephen King book, though, I remember thinking, “I could do this, I could see myself writing someday.”  Of course, it was another 15 years before my first book was published, but that’s where it started.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Stephen King.  I must have read his book “On Writing” at least a half dozen times now.  I use his advice about eliminating clutter from your writing when I teach my engineering students.  It’s true regardless of genre.
What book are you reading now?

I’m never reading just one book at a time.  I’m reading a history of the Vikings, a scholarly work by Nancy Hartsock called “Money, Sex, and Power”, and the fifth book in the Harry Potter series (I never had time to read them when they were released!). Next will be “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts:  A Memoir” by Neil White.  It’s Michigan Tech’s Summer Reading Program for our incoming first-year students.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m sure there are lots of great ones out there, but I’ve been so focused on my graduate work that I don’t get much time to explore new fiction authors.
What are your current projects?

I’m working on something very different from my first three books.  It’s a mystery of sorts that takes place in the Copper Country in the early 1970s (a period which has really captured my imagination), just after the last copper mine shut down.  It will be darker, edgier, and more along the lines of an early Stephen King work than the “Page One” trilogy.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Teachers!  I was lucky to have some great teachers along the way who pushed me to do my best and challenge myself, never allowing me to settle for “good enough.”
Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! I write novels for entertainment, academic articles for my day job, and I teach writing.  It’s the only thing I know how to do to pay the bills!

 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not at all.  What finally made it into print is the third complete rewrite.  My writing has matured over the years so I’m not as enamored with the first one, but many reviewers thought it was a good first effort so I don’t beat myself up about it too much.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother was an avid reader and I caught the bug from her.  From there, it was just a natural progression to writing.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It has a strong female protagonist (naturally), a newcomer to the Keweenaw who is a product of the Sixties, unafraid to challenge the status quo.  I haven’t quite figured out the trajectory of the plot because it’s early in the creative process, but I’ve sketched out some unique characters.  I’m very big on strong characters in my novels!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Plotting is always the toughest for me.  There’s a balance between simplicity and complexity.  I want the story arc to be simple enough to connect with readers, but to have enough complexity to keep them engaged to the last word.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Other than Stephen King, I have favorite books of certain authors.  I’ve read Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” countless times (Mrs. Danvers is one of my favorite characters ever!). I love Anne Rice’s first two books in her vampire series.  William Kent Krueger’s mystery series set in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is beautifully written. And I could go on and on.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not so much now since it’s been a while since I’ve released a new book, but I still periodically give library talks, which I love!
Who designed the covers?

The publisher, Susan Bays, designed each cover.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Again, it’s always the plotting.  I have the most fun with characterizations.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

With each books I become a better writer and I have learned to appreciate a great editor!
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Focus on developing your craft any way you can.  Write blogs, be a columnist for the local newspaper.  Put together a family history.  Enter short story contests.   Just keep writing and putting your work out there.  Develop a thick skin.  No matter how great your writing, someone will always find fault with it so develop and nurture your own writing style.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I appreciate your loyalty.  I know many people would like to see another “Page One” book, but it’s time we all moved on. I like to think Robin is enjoying her new life.  I look forward to

meeting more of you when the next book is released!

  • Name of Author– Nancy Barr
  • Name of Book(s)– “Page One: Hit and Run” “Page One: Vanished” “Page One: Whiteout”

Excerpt: Page One Vanished excerpt

Page One VanishedPage One WhiteOutPage One Hit & Run

 

Categories: Author Insights, Feature, Motown Book Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 14,898 other followers

%d bloggers like this: