Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Story Settings with Denise Covey #IWSG

As many know already, IWSG is starting up a free newsletter. To sign up for it, click here. It will be released on the last Wednesday of every month and it's going to be awesome! If you are an IWSG member and would like to submit a short piece for consideration (no longer than 200 words) on anything to do with writing, publishing or marketing, then please send a DOC to Chrys Fey at chrysfey(at)yahoo(dot)com with "Member Article" in the subject line, no later than March 2nd. If you'd like to be considered for the first newsletter, then please send your article no later than February 17th. 

Also, I'm over at the IWSG Website with a cover reveal for our short story anthology from the IWSG contest, so don't forget to pop on over.

And check out our new IWSG Badge! 
And now, introducing the lovely and talented Denise Covey, a fellow Aussie whom I admire a great deal. Take it away, Denise.

Do you ever feel insecure when you’re developing your setting in your stories? Do you set your stories in places you’ve lived or visited? Or…do you take risks and set your story somewhere exotic?

That old adage ‘write what you know’ has been discredited. Now it's ‘write what you’d like to know’. But there’s something to be said for setting stories in places we know. Readers somehow feel its authenticity and dive right into the story.

Here are a couple of examples from the myriad I can think of...

Did Harper Lee know her Maycomb County when she penned To Kill a Mockingbird? Did her local knowledge of the setting lend authenticity to her powerful story which still resonates with readers today?

Jump to today.

I’ve just finished reading the second in the series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling), set in London, and can’t wait to grab the third which I see is out. Well I daresay JK knows London like the back of her hand. You can hear the jackhammers pounding away in the streets and cough up the dust in your throat; you can feel the chill air; slip in the murky snow; drink in the pubs with the flawed aristocracy, the twits…all as you follow her Private Investigator Cormorant Strike on his mission to solve the crime du jour. It has authenticity. It has a I-live-here-and-this-is-my-London tone.

I’ve always been a champion of the authentic setting, so for my novella, Under the Tuscan Moon, I recalled trips to Italy. Those medieval towns haven’t changed much since back in the day. Walk in those forests surrounding these towns and you could be back in the 1700s, the time my paranormal series is set. The wild pigs still hunt for truffles and other delicacies, the crumbling villas tower over the villages like vengeful giants.

This is my Italy...

Here's the blurb:
Within the velvety Tuscan sky, a harvest moon glows like liquid amber. Mysterious shadows seep noxiously through the unsuspecting forest, preying on the vulnerable, whose blinded gaze mocks their senses.
A man.
A woman.
Forever locked in a sensual embrace.
A werewolf howls…
A cloak swishes…
Alabaster flesh waits to be torn.
Timing is everything in the Danse Macabre.
On this night the nectar of revenge is at its sweetest.
Just ask Vipunin…
“Who is Vipunin?” you ask.
A tormented soul, longing to recapture the life stolen from him a century ago. His wait is finally over. His love, Ciassia, has returned and she will be by his side for eternity…
Or so he thinks…

Thanks so much for having me, Lynda!

Under the Tuscan Moon
A paranormal romance
Book One – Cassia

Denise Covey hails from that land Down Under, where she publishes flash fiction, short stories and travelogues in Australian magazines. When not writing, she teaches English Lit to her rapt senior students who think it’s way cool to have a writer as a teacher. Under the Tuscan Moon is her first, but not last, paranormal romance. Denise has decided it’s way cool to live in a world of vampires, angels, demons and werewolves.

Join Denise on Blogger, Word Press, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Wattpad.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On Not Giving Up #IWSG

Happy 2016 everyone!! At last I can announce the winners of the IWSG 2015 writing contest! But I won't. Instead I'll direct you to the IWSG website for that info. Big cheers and congratulations to everyone who took part. It was especially difficult to pick the winners because of the high standard. 

On a different note, I'd like to introduce you to Anna Simpson, a wonderful inspiration and a writer who didn't give up. Her new release is White Light, a cozy mystery. Take it away, Anna.

Thanks, Lyn, for welcoming me onto your blog.

Today is a twofer. It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group day and my blog tour stop. So I thought I’d put them together and explain something that may not look too obvious.

I’ve been really, really lucky. Mostly because I find people like Lyn online that are not just intelligent, and creative, but supportive. She is a perfect example of why we are drawn here every month.

Don’t blush Lyn. It’s all true.

When I wrote White Light I wasn’t sure it would get published. In fact, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t. I was lucky enough to get some great beta readers in and thanks to them I managed to improve the work. But then I let it sit.

It sat for a long time before I got the nerve up to submit it. As you might have guessed I was rejected at first. I did get some kind words along the way but they still added up to the same thing—No.

It hurt, but I didn’t give up. Because giving up is more scary than trying again. I revised White Light again and again, looking for mistakes. You know the ones I mean: Plot holes. Typos. Abandoned subplots. Then found #pitmad and found a publisher. It was like magic. All my insecurities left for a bit.

The whole process was an education. It still is, truth be told, and so worth doing again. What stage is your work at? Ready to submit? How do you keep going when it gets tough?

How to find Anna: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
How to find White Light: AmazonAll Romance Books, Kobo, Goodreads

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cruising Past Insecurities #IWSG

Insecurities have a tendency to crop up and hang around like weeds, breeding more weeds, making writing difficult. The best way to deal with those insecurities is to take a break. Walk away for a short time, remove the pressure, and just live a little.

I recently came back from said break where I went on a cruise to the South Pacific islands. Best break ever!

To avoid rubbing it in (because that would be bad), I'll post two photos that pretty much sum up the bliss. If I were to rub it in, I'd tell you all about the glorious weather we had, the scrumptious food we ate, the many and varied cocktails we drank... so I won't do that. I will tell you that I spent a lot of the time relaxing and reading through the story entries for the IWSG Contest, which are now with the official judges. Wow, there are some remarkable stories. We have a bunch of talented writers in the IWSG. Glad it's not up to me to pick the winners.
Right now I feel so refreshed that there 's no room for insecurities. Thus unto the breach I charge!!

How do you feel after a break? What are some of your favourite break types?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Stephen Tremp: On Re-Editing and Cats

If you are looking for my IWSG post, you can find it here: 5 Steps to Deal with Writer's Block because today I've handed my blog over to Stephen Tremp, intrepid writer extraordinaire.We've been blogging buddies for many years now and he's always inspired me with his can-do attitude. Take it away, Stephen:

My family of kids has just grown to four. That’s a pretty good size family. Sure, my focus is on my new baby Salem’s Daughters. She just entered the world and I’m busy oohing and ahhing over her.

But I do have other kids. Three as a matter-of-fact. And as much as I love my newborn, I can’t neglect the rest of the family.

So I’m re-editing the Breakthrough series in preparation to release as a box set.

My first book Breakthrough has been a real problem child as I had to do a lot of editing and bring the book up to date. Since I use real establishments and some have closed down, I needed to replace them with new restaurants and resorts and such. It’s amazing at just how fast that book became dated because of various references to people, places, and things. And there were a lot of typos and such to correct.

Opening took a lot of tweaking but not as much as Breakthrough. Escalation was in much better shape, but I had quite a bit of experience under my belt by the time I wrote that.

Oh, and I have Salem’s Daughters discounted this week to $0.99 because of Halloween.

Fun Facts Cats can be allergic to you. According to a 2005 Study feline asthma—which affects one in 200 cats—is on the rise thanks to human lifestyle. Since cats are more frequently being kept indoors, they’re more susceptible to inflammation of their airways caused by cigarette smoke, dusty houses, human dandruff, pollen and some kinds of cat litters. And in rare cases, humans can even transmit illnesses like the flu to their pets.

Did You Know Cats have similar illnesses as humans. They are susceptible to more than 250 hereditary disorders, and many of them are similar to diseases that humans get. Felines even have their own form of Alzheimer’s Disease, and, like us, they can get fat—in fact, 55 percent (approximately 47 million) of American cats are overweight or obese.

Have you gone back to re-edit or tweak books you’ve previously published?

Short Blurb: A four hundred year old evil is unleashed when the daughters of those killed during the Salem Witch Trials find a new generation of people to murder at a popular modern-day bed and breakfast. 

Come on Lucky Number Seven
Stephen Tremp writes Speculative Fiction and embraces science and the supernatural to help explain the universe, our place in it, and write one of a kind thrillers. You can read a full synopsis and download Salem’s Daughters by Clicking Here.

Stephen Tremp posts weekly blogs at his website Breakthrough Blogs.

Thanks, Stephen. I'm looking forward to reading Salem's Daughters. To everyone, if you haven't already, don't forget to visit me over at the IWSG website: 5 Steps to Deal with Writer's Block. I'd love to see you there.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Many Blessings of Being a Writer

During a discussion about how writers are both cursed and blessed, no one questioned the cursed side, but a few admitted they hadn’t thought of themselves as blessed. This stayed with me. There are so many reasons to celebrate being a writer, so I thought I’d share a few today.

We have freedom of creative expression. Not everyone has the ability to express themselves in a creative way. As writers, whether we write fiction or non-fiction, creativity is a doorway to living rich and full lives.

We are gifted with the ability to share our version of the world, to offer a glimpse of what we see and experience, even give others a portion of ourselves through our words. We have the power to make a difference to people’s lives through that shared experience. The multiple connections we can make are possible because of our writing.

Our research takes us into strange and unusual places. That alone can broaden our world like no other profession.

Writing teaches us to grow thick skins. Not everyone will love our work. And that’s ok. Learning to deal with the range of different criticisms frees us from the shackles of doubt, and strengthens us as human beings.

Writing keeps us sane. Otherwise those voices in our heads might manifest in a different, scary way.

Writing keeps the people around us sane. Let’s face it, most of us are terrible grumps when we don’t get the time to write.

Only writers have a reason to act crazy. Can’t beat that.

What do you see as a blessing or joy in your writing life?

This post was written for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.

Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open until November 1. The theme is Alternate History/Parallel Universe. Winners will be published in a royalty-paying anthology next year. For details, click HERE.