Crime story night

9 December 2008 at 7 p.m .
Crime story night

Masters of crime fiction:
Marek Krajewski ( Poland)& Cormac Millar (Ireland) discuss the subtleties of genre noir.

The Irish Writers’ Centre
19 Parnell Square
Dublin 1

Marek Krajewski – the most popular contemporary Polish crime story writer and one of the most frequently published contemporary Polish writers in the UK; lecturer at the Dep. of Classical Studies at the Wrocław University; awarded various prestigious literary prizes in Poland. His books have been translated into 11 languages.

Cormac Millar (Ó Cuilleanáin) – writer, translator and lecturer at the Dep. of Italian at the Trinity College Dublin. Author of critically acclaimed and extremely popular crime stories, such as An Irish Solution and The Grounds. he is currently working on another Dublin-based crime story.

Visit for full details
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Review: After the War, Before the Peace by Sharon Poppen

After the War, Before the Peace by Sharon Poppen
Reviewed by Denise Cassino

ISBN13: 978-1-4010-6545-4 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN: 1-4010-6545-7 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN13: 978-1-4010-6546-1 (Hardback)
ISBN: 1-4010-6546-5 (Hardback)
Pages: 551
Subject: FICTION / Historical
Publisher: Xlibris Corp
For purchase, visit

In After the War, Before the Peace, Sharon Poppen has created a cast of rich characters comprised of the Farrrells, a Confederate family still suffering the effects of the Civil War after which Union soldiers destroyed their plantation and raped their mother.
Mentally ravaged by these events, the father and oldest sons seek to avenge their losses, recover their stolen properties and gain reparation in their own way. Against the wishes of their matriarch, Elizabeth, they continue their quest until all of the sons are embroiled in the legacy, their women are left behind to raise families and maintain faith and unity and their youths are ill-spent. On the run as outlaws, they seek refuge across the border in Mexico where they love, live and suffer great human losses.
With the help of a supportive and remorseful Union soldier, they work tirelessly for to convince the U.S. government to grant amnesty to themselves and all those Confederate soldiers who have taken a similar path. Set primarly in the Midwest and Mexico, this book is a vividly drawn adventure, rife with lust, violence and the kind of family love and bond that seems now lost to a time passed.
Poppen has created a story the reader will not soon forget. Her women are tough and her men tougher. Yet they are steeped in the kind of love and loyalty that makes for a great read and a cast of characters one hopes might reappear in another life in another adventure-filled book someday.
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John Kremer- Marketing Expert Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, webmaster at the top-ranked, and developer of the new Ten Million Eyeballs online marketing events ( I'm also the founder of the Book Marketing Network.

As a consultant, my clients have included a self-published author who has sold over two million books, a new age publisher with 60 titles, and a $100 million publisher with a rapidly growing list of 1,000 titles.

What is the Book Marketing Network?

The Book Marketing Network is a social network powered by Ning that features more than 2,500 book authors, publishers, and promoters. It's very active with lots of wonderful people who share ideas, experiences, and tips.

What made you start this network?

I like to connect with people. Relationships are the key to marketing anything. The more relationships you have, the better you will be at marketing anything.

How can people join?

Just visit and sign up. It's really easy to get started. The network is now ranked #3 when you search on "book marketing" in Google. Of course, #1 and #2 are pages from my website.

How important do you think it is for authors to network? why?

Very important. As I noted above, relationships are the key to marketing online or offline. That means making friends. The more friends you have (real friends), the greater your marketing reach. I've written an article on how to make friends. Check it out at

Anything you'd like to add?

In my Ten Million Eyeballs online marketing course, I teach people how to create lasting and effective relationships online. Those relationships are the key to any Internet marketing success. At my Ten Million Eyeballs website, I give examples of about 40 individuals and companies that became successful building relationships on online.
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Kimberley Payne Interview

Where did you get the idea for your 'Fit for Faith' book series?
I’ve always had an interest in health & fitness, but I seemed to put it in a box like all other things in my life. I had boxes for family, career, faith, finances etc. However, one summer God spoke into my life and said that I needed to include Him in everything I do in my life. So I began by including Him in my everyday fitness. I started my day with a prayer, wrote to Him in a journal and ended my day with a scripture reading from the Bible. This became the beginning of Fit for Faith – 7 weeks to improved spiritual and physical health.

How has overcoming personal struggles helped make you a better writer?
I’ve always struggled with my weight and just writing about it on a daily basis helped me with both my health and my writing!

You have taught workshops in a variety of settings including churches, women's retreats, writers' conferences, and Women Alive conferences. How do you prepare yourself to get the most out of these events?
Prayer is huge for me. I pray about the event from the moment I find out about it. I pray right up to the point when I’m about to speak. Many times I have other people praying for me, the event, and the participants at the event.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?
Every day. Although I can write in my journal daily and I like to blog, I struggle with the chore of writing on a constant basis.

Do you write at set times or as the mood takes you?
It depends on the project. I find shorter pieces easier to get into and usually write them in the mornings.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I like to write a variety of things at any one time. Right now, I am working on an exercise article for writers, a historical fiction piece, a devotional for an online magazine and my novel. On my computer, I have a section called: Book Projects. Every time I get a new idea, I file it under this area. It helps me to stay motivated and excited about new projects without leaving ones that I have yet to finish. This also helps with writers block…when I don’t feel like writing on one piece, I always have a variety of other projects I can tackle.

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Academia Research

"What makes us stand out from other custom writing companies?

We provide a new and unfortunately still extremely rare standard of service for both our customers and our writers. We have a 24/7 support system to help sort out any problems at either end of the stick. Our company does not neglect its writers like many companies do, we value them - just as much as we value customers. After all it is their talent and hard work that keeps our customers coming back for more.

What makes us stand out from other custom writing companies?

* High fees, we make sure that your hard work is rewarded.
* Stability, we have been working in this industry for over 5 years now and constantly have a large amount of incoming orders.
* You will be able to choose from a large variety of available orders and will never we obliged to work on anything that you do not want work on.
* You will get paid twice a month and there are no reserves on your payment.
* Efficient and easy to use online system that will allow you to communicate with the customer, receive sources or any other necessary materials from him/her.
* We have a very good reputation both in the writing world and amongst our customers that means that working for us will help you attain or just keep up a good reputation.
* 24-hours support system from our admin and HR departments which assist our writers to learn more academic writing and eliminate any current problems concerning orders, payments and recruitment procedure. We do never ignore any of our writers' inquiries!
* Our writers are always encouraged to improve our work with suggestions. We are open to discuss all requests and claims to make our service easy and perfect for both customers and writers.

We pay our writers well and do everything that we can to make their job as easy as it can be; in return we expect well-written, fully referenced, unique and timely papers. We do everything to keep both our customers and our writers happy.

If you are interested please click here to register with our company, after you have filled out a registration form, we will send you a test paper for completion. If it is completed to our satisfaction we will send you an email confirming that you have become a member of our team".

Visit for full details
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PROMO DAY 2009- call for Moderators and Workshop hosts

PROMO DAY! is an all day international online event for people in the writing industry. There are lots of new features for the 2009 event including workshops by experts in the industry.

I'm looking for moderators for both the workshops and the PROMO chatroom.

As a moderator of the PROMO chatroom you will be required to monitor the PROMO chatroom and make sure everyone is behaving themselves and try to keep 'conversation' flowing.

As a moderator of the WORKSHOP chatroom you will be assigned a workshop to moderate during the event. All workshops are one hour long. Your role will be to make sure the workshop runs smoothly. In most cases the workshop host will run the chatroom and format of the workshop. You will be needed to keep track of who asks questions and the order of questions asked and if needed remind the host to make sure nobody gets overlooked.

To thank you for your help as moderator you will be entitled to the following benefits:

* Bio, with photo, posted to PROMO DAY website with a link to your website/blog
* Bio, with photo and website link/contact details included in the PROMO DAY book (Official publication for the event which will be available for purchase from the website).
* A moderators certificate to keep for your files.

I'm looking for presenters with expertise in different areas to host workshops during the event. The topics I am interested in are:

* Marketing and Promotion
* Networking
* Technical Aspects (copyright, ISBNs etc...)
* Book cover design
* Websites
* Virtual tours
* Promotional Video's
* Press releases
* Book reviews
* Blogging

I will however consider other topics, so if you are interested in doing a workshop on a topic not listed please let me know.

All workshops are one hour long and will have an assigned moderator to help make sure the workshop runs smoothly (they will keep track of who asks questions and the order of questions asked and if needed remind you, to make sure nobody gets overlooked).

As a workshop host you will be required to:

* Give a presentation on your area of expertise and answer questions by participants during an hour long workshop which will take place in the WORKSHOP chatroom of the PROMO DAY website during the event.
* Supply a file on your area of expertise for the free downloads section. Files should be in either word or PDF format. Files can be of any length.

To thank you for your help as Workshop host you will be entitled to the following benefits:

* Bio, with photo, posted to PROMO DAY website with a link to your website/blog
* Bio, with photo and website link/contact details included in the PROMO DAY book (Official publication for the event which will be available for purchase from the website).
* A Workshop host certificate to keep for your files.

If you are interested in being considered for the role of Moderator or Workshop host please let me know what hours you will be available on the 9th May 2009 and in the case of moderators, which chatroom you would prefer to moderate.

Here's what some past participants had to say about the event:

"I had a blast today, Jo, and met some wonderful people. It's fun to learn about everyone's writing process and what their upcoming projects are. Thank you for hosting this and looking forward to the next one".
- Lea Schizas

"Really enjoyed Promo Day. It was great chatting with other authors and meeting new people. I look forward to your next Promo Day. Thanks!"
-Debra L. Butterfield

"Thanks for another resource for an aspiring author".
-James R. Tate

"Today I had an awesome time during Promo Day. I got to meet other writers, read about their work, check out their website, and shared our areas of expertise. The conversation were very cordial and professional. Definetely a must do again! I look forward to the next one. Jo, you did an extraordinary job".
-Tannia E. Ortiz-Lopes

"Great PROMO event, lots of new points of contact .... hope to be back frequently!"
-Paul McDermott

"A great idea! I hope the promo day produced some new customers for us all. Thank you".
-Susan Watkin

Visit promo day for full details about the event
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The Fine Print of Self-Publishing Reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine
Reviewed by Cheryl Malandrinos

Now in its third edition, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine will arm you with what you need to know before deciding on which company will help you self-publish your book.

Through years of research and experience, Levine motivates you to take control of your writing career, shares the qualities good self-publishers should have, and explains in layman terms the fine print of of publishing contracts. Chapters 6 through 9 are then dedicated to analyzing, ranking, and exposing 45 self-publishing companies--the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Levine's conversational style and friendly tone throughout this book is a huge plus. It is obvious to this reader that he did not write the book to showoff how much more he knows about the subject matter than the average author. His advice truly comes from the heart; and while sometimes he just has to say it like it is, most of the book will leave the reader very encouraged about her options.

In my role as a virtual book tour coordinator, I am familiar with some of the self-publishing companies listed in the book. Most were placed exactly where I thought they would be in terms of ranking: Outstanding, Pretty Good, Just Okay, and Avoid. But there were a few surprizes in both positive and negative rankings.

Another huge plus is how much detail Levine provides into each company's contract--which will help an author decide on the company that best fits his needs. Levine also provides insight into why he ranked each company the way he did and a summary at the end of each analysis.

The Fine Print of Self-Publishing is not only a useful resource to the author considering self-publishing for the first time, but also to a self-published author who is wondering how his publisher stacks up against the competition. This would also make an excellent companion for Peter Bowerman's The Well-Fed Self-Publisher--which I reviewed here.

Do not take another step toward self-publication without reading The Fine Print of Self-Publishing first!

Title: The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, 3rd edition
Author: Mark Levine
Publisher: Bascom Hill Publishing Group
ISBN-10: 0-9802455-7-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-9802455-7-8
U.S. Price: $17.95

You can find more book reviews by Cheryl at
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Interview with marketing expert Penny Sansevieri

As author of 5 books including 'Book to Bestseller' which has been called "the road map to publishing success", what do you think is the first step an author should take to market their book?

***I believe they should know their audience, this is so important. You need to know who you’re marketing to before you step out onto the marketing super-highway. Also, the biggest mistake authors make is marketing their book, no one except for mom cares that you wrote a book – lead with the benefits. People care about what the book can do for them!

You are CEO of Author Marketing Experts (AME). What made you start AME?

***Well I’ve loved this industry all my life and always wanted to get out of corporate America so one day I did – but I was an accidental entrepreneur. A company I was with shut it’s doors so instead of listening to my gut and going off on my own I sought out another job, that company shut down and I *finally* got the hint and went out on my own. I realized that I wanted to start a company that catered to what authors needed, not what the industry or the media wanted. Yes, it’s important to adhere to media guidelines and industry standards but my service is always to the author first, that’s important. Authors need to feel like they aren’t a number, I felt that was missing in the industry….

Please tell us a bit about the company.

Well what started out as a one-woman show is now (ten years later) a thriving business with offices in San Diego, Seattle, New York and Chicago… but we *still* retain that personalized hands-on service, I’m a stickler about that. We focus on all types of authors but really cut our teeth on small press, boutique publishers and self-published authors. Consequently we’re an extremely creative bunch of people. I began to develop our Internet marketing department about 6 years ago and we’re not the leader in Internet marketing. This year alone we’ve had 8 books on the New York Times bestseller list! (yeah, we’re pretty excited about that!)

What services does AME offer to authors?

**Well we can get involved very early on in the career of an author. We can help with everything from manuscript coaching, ghost-writing, editing, helping find a publisher, creating a web site and, of course, our specialty, marketing and publicity. We work in both traditional marketing and publicity but also specialize in Internet marketing and publicity as I mentioned above.

You also have a project called 'one minute marketing' where you give tips to help those short of time. What is the one thing you'd say authors who lack time should do to market their book?

Well you know the Internet is the new “black” so my recommendations will always go to marketing themselves online first. I think it’s very important to make sure an author has an online presence. Here are a few things an author can do to get themselves noticed online:

¢ Start a blog: –

¢ Start posting comments on blogs: find these through

¢ Start a social networking page (FaceBook or Squidoo)

¢ Guest blogging: pitch yourself as a guest blogger

AME also offers AME University. Tell us a bit about the idea and how people can take part in the courses.

Yes, we’re really excited about this! These are free courses that we’re offering with industry experts. All an author needs to do is sign up at – they will be added to our email notification list and get notices of classes and how to sign up for them….

Anything else you'd like to add?

**Yes, I think it’s important for an author to have an Internet presence as I mention above. Get a web site and make sure that your site is doing an effective job of promoting your book. Here is a short check list of what should be on your home page:

1)The upper left quadrant of your site is the “power place” that’s where the eye goes to when someone surfs on your site – if the goal of your site is to sell your book then make sure that your book is in that left corner…

2)And speaking of goals…. What’s the goal of your home page? Your home page should have one goal. If you want to sell your business and your book is your business card then that’s the message your home page should promote, but if you want to sell your book then that’s what you should be promoting…

3)Make sure your home page has a call to action or a “buy now” button – surfers need to be promoted to buy your book!

4)Blog, blog, blog – a blog is a great way to create content on your site… update your blog at least once a week….

5)Go to a site called and find other blogs in your market/genre then network with them: contact them and offer a copy of your book or comment on blog postings they’ve done --- this is a great way to spread the message about your book on the ‘Net!
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Bonnie Grove Interview

You've written both non-fiction and fiction. Which do you prefer and why?

I’ve asked myself that same question. Both carry deep appeal. When I sit down and think about my non-fiction I get excited because I truly believe that connecting to God through your strengths will change your life (which is what I write about). Then, I get thinking about my fiction and I get lost in the story of this woman stumbling toward God.
That said, when it comes to the actual writing – me sitting at my computer click-clacking away – fiction gives me the biggest yee-haw! word for word. It’s pure pleasure.

As a mum, do you find it hard to organize your writing time?

The best answer I have to that is found on my blog – you can read the post here: That’s the long answer. The short answer is: Heavens yes!

Any tips for other mum-writers?

Train your family to take your writing seriously. Turn them into your support team! Start by taking yourself and your craft seriously. Then, outline what you need each family member to do to support you. It’s surprising how cooperative children can be if they understand that their actions and behavior are “helping mom”. But they won’t what to do unless you tell them. And, if possible, work with your spouse to job share household tasks and ask him to help you guard your writing time.

You also write a blog ( Do you think this helps your writing career? How?

You bet! For me, blogging is connecting to people. I love being part of larger discussions, which is why I often have guest bloggers. It’s not just me blah-blahing away on there. Rather, I am privileged to facilitate a larger discussion about writing, fiction, reading, and books. Through the blog I’ve been able to connect with people in the publishing industry, which is great, but even more engaging and fun has been connecting with readers of fiction. Readers are fascinating people and I’ve learned so much from listening to and interacting with them. I’m a reader, so it makes sense I love to hang out with other readers. Does that translate to sales? I have no idea, and I don’t know if that’s even the point. The more I learn and interact with readers, the better a writer I become.

You recently wrote a book series, the first book of which 'Talking to the dead' is due out summer 2009. How did you work on the character development for this novel?

I took a non-traditional approach to character development for Talking to the Dead. Most great books start with a character who wants something, is prevented from getting what they want, and then, in time, gets what they want. This is understood as “motivation” in writing. The character is forced to grow or develop as she faces reckless circumstances. This formula makes for great reading, but it’s not the only way to get there. My character, Kate, doesn’t know what she wants. And circumstances thrust a false need onto her. In a traditional set up, the character gets wiser as the book moves forward. In my book, the second she thinks she understands something, the whole game changes and she’s scrambling for answers again.
I have to say, there were times I felt terribly sorry for Kate, as circumstances tossed her, but it’s reflective of real life. Sometimes life throws things at us and we are forced to figure out what to do – and there’s no manual to follow! At times like that, we discover new, important things about ourselves. Like, hey, I am stronger than I thought I was. Or, yes, I can overcome my fear. For me, character development is about exploring our humanity in all its strength and fragility.

Did you have to do much research? How and where did you research?

My formal training is in counseling, psychology, and theology and all three of these disciplines find their way into my work. Which sounds more technical than it is. I basically am following the adage: Write what you know. I take the reader into secret places, such as a counseling office, or group therapy or even into the inner workings of a mind in crisis because of my training. It’s one of the many deeply cool things about writing; you get to explore and share what you know with the reader through engaging stories.

Anything else to add?

My editor, Nicci Jordan Hubert has posted the book blurb as well as an excerpt from Talking to the Dead on her blog. Please stop in to to read her thoughts about editing, my book, and to get a sneak peek at Talking to the Dead!
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Create Space

"CreateSpace is a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC, a subsidiary of Inc. We were originally founded as CustomFlix Labs, Inc. in 2002, and acquired by, Inc. in 2005. Our mission is to profitably connect our members to their worldwide audience.

CreateSpace provides inventory-free, physical distribution of books, CD and DVDs on Demand, as well as video downloads through Amazon Video On Demand™. We manufacture physical products when customers order so no pre-built inventory is needed. Through our service, you can sell DVDs, CDs, and books, for a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing, while maintaining more control over your materials.

With our services, you can make your books, music and video available to millions of customers by selling on, the CreateSpace Shop, and on your own website with a customized eStore.

CreateSpace on Demand Publishing is simple: we manufacture physical products when customers order so no pre-built inventory is needed. Through our service, you can sell DVDs, CDs, and books, for a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing, while maintaining more control over your materials.

With our services, you can make your books, music and video available to millions of customers by selling on, the CreateSpace Shop, and on your own website with a customized eStore.

Key Features

* No setup fees, no minimums, no inventory
* You set your price and earn monthly royalties
* Non-exclusive agreement preserves your rights
* One of the easiest ways to sell on
* Order bulk units at volume discounts

How it works

Get started by creating a member account. This account allows you to create and update your products, choose your sales channels, and view your sales reports. Also use your account to order copies of your own products at volume discounts.

During the setup process, you enter information about your product, such as title name, description, list price, etc. and upload your artwork. Book files are uploaded online through your account. For DVD or CD, mail us a copy of your master disc and we'll load it.

As part of the setup process, you will order a proof copy. Once you've reviewed and approved your proof, your title will become immediately available on your CreateSpace eStore and the CreateSpace Shop, and your listing will usually go live within fifteen business days.

When customers order, we manufacture and ship directly to them. You earn royalties based on the list price you set. When your royalties exceed $20, you are paid monthly by direct deposit or you may opt for a physical check or wire transfer for an additional fee".

visit for more details
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I Love to write day

November 15th, 2008 will mark the seventh I Love To Write Day, a grassroots effort to have people of all ages practice their writing skills. Created by Delaware author John Riddle, I Love To Write Day is an opportunity for people of all ages to write something: a poem, an essay, a letter to the editor, a short story, start a novel, finish a novel the possibilities are endless!

"On the first I Love To Write Day, 11,328 schools all across the country held special writing events and activities. Last year, we signed up over 20,000 schools. This year our goal is to have an I Love To Write Day program in over 25,000 schools. Please help us spread the word: tell schools, libraries and bookstores in your community about I Love To Write Day".

How To Register

Help celebrate the “world’s largest party for writers” by signing up for the 2008 I Love To Write Day. It’s free! Register by sending an e-mail to Include your name, hometown, occupation, and tell us how you learned about I Love To Write Day. If you are a student, tell us what grade you are in, and if your entire school will also be signing up. Keep watching our Website for new updates!

Questions and Answers from John Riddle, Founder of I Love To Write Day

As a freelance writer and author for the past 30 years, his byline has appeared in The Washington Post, The News Journal, The Middletown Transcript and dozens of other newspapers. He has written for over 50 magazines and trade journals, including Delaware Today, Charisma & Christian Life, Travel & Leisure, Home Life, Curriculum Administrator and others. He has also written for over 100 Websites, and is the author of 34 books, including Consulting Business, Streetwise Guide to Managing a Nonprofit Agency, The Story of the Pony Express, Getting a Book Contract in 30 Days or Less, and How I Made $66,270 in 9 Months Writing for Websites. He is a frequent presenter at writer's conferences all across the country, and last year spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. He lives in Bear, Delaware.

Why did you create I Love To Write Day?

"When I worked in the fundraising field a number of years ago I loved planning big special events. One time I tried to set the Guinness Book of World Records by having the most number of people dance the "Twist" in one location. I even got Chubby Checker to tape some Public Service Announcements to help promote the event. As a writer and author, I knew I needed a Website, and when I came up with the name I Love To, (that site has evolved into I Love To Write it wasn't long before the idea of holding the 'world's largest party for writers' came about. I travel around the country teaching at writer's conferences and meet many people who love to write, but think they don't have the time to write. Now there will be a special day where everyone can write something."

What is your goal for I Love To Write Day?

"My goal for I Love To Write Day is to have people of all ages spend time writing. They can write a poem, a love letter, a greeting card, an essay, a short story, start a novel, finish a novel…the possibilities are endless. But I want people to take the time to put their thoughts down on paper. They will be amazed at the results. Writing can be fun, but also challenging. People need to be challenged, and writing is but one of many creative ways to express yourself. I am very excited because I Love To Write Day activities are already being planned all across the United States. For many people, that will be the beginning of their writing career. I Love To Write Day has the potential to launch the career of the next John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King or Toni Morrison."

How can people become involved in I Love To Write Day?

"Everyone can get involved in I Love To Write Day. Just visit my Website, I Love To Write Day at and you will find suggestions and ideas on how to hold special I Love To Write Day activities in your community. There is a registration page, and I am encouraging everyone to sign up so that we can count how many people get involved in I Love To Write Day. People are also encouraged to spread the word about I Love To Write Day in their local communities."
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Review: The Choices we made by Sandy Lender

Sandy Lender, author of the Choices trilogy has written this short story collection based on the wonderful fantasy world of Onweald. Within this collection you will learn a little bit more background information on your favorite characters from the Choices books as well as be introduced to a few new ones.

This book gives you five short stories like Dunny and Quill, Joveran Border Crossing, Brell’s Rite of Passage, and Dewberries and Bonds, plus a deleted scene from Choices Meant for Gods, the first book in the trilogy and a sneak peek at the second book, Choices Meant for Kings.

I thought Quill and Dunny from Dunny and Quill were a bunch of fun characters that fit together, kind of like The Odd Couple. What with Dunny being a dwarf and Quill a human. Even though they get on each other’s nerves, they made a great team. Then
There was the story of how Chariss became who she was today. What I liked the most about this short collection of stories was that it was like getting an exclusive back stage to experience all the makings of how a character was created and the history behind the book. I think this is a great introduction to new readers of Ms. Lender’s Choices books, even though I know they will fall in love with her books as soon as they read them, like I did.

book blog
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Interview with Cheryl Pillsbury of AG Press

How long has AG Press been in business?

Officially, January 1st, 2008, but it started in 2006 after a few horrible, nightmare experiences with publishers that published my books. It took 2 years to plan our company, and we began operating this year. We wanted to be different from the others but offer more.

What genres do you accept?

We accept all genres, including poetry, but no hard pornography, racist material, or anything explicitly against children. We feel each genre is unique and special. But we will not look at anything containing a lot of foul language, porn, or inappropriate use of material concerning children.

As well as print, you now offer virtual books. Please tell us more.

Well, a lot of people these days travel and carry their computers. Some people have told us how they prefer to read from their computer, so we created the virtual book. It comes as a PDF file, burned on CD, and placed in a DVD case with the cover exactly like the book. It will also be very useful in libraries, taking up less storage and great for students to read and study.

Why should authors pick AG Press to publish their books?

We have lower rates then most but very high quality. We personally hand make our books--fold, glue, bind and cover them with the help of my staff. Our publishing packages include your ISBN number and barcode, the publishing process, and marketing. Editing/Illustrating is a separate expense because authors have their own vision--their own dream for their book. They also have one-on-one contact with their team to help create the book exactly as they desire. The author has the final say; they receive 30% in royalties and 30% off their author copies. They have a page on our website to display their book with reviews for all to see and read. We don’t want our clients to get lost in the world of conglomerate publishing companies. We’re smaller, so we can provide them with more personalized attention and better service. We share in their success, and that’s just not something you find with the bigger companies. We work with our authors through each phase and can direct them to other resources, such as our full, comprehensive marketing services. There’s an extensive array of PR packages to choose from to get the word out. Our marketing agent is Denise Cassino, and all of her information is included on our website.

How do you help market your author’s books?

We mail a press release to a list of major radio and television programs and newspapers with syndicates. We ask the authors to provide their hometown newspapers, libraries, or locations where they wish to place their books. We keep the books on our website and manage orders from the site; their books are also on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks, Books-a-million, Toadstool Bookstores, and other online stores.

Where can people find out more about AG Press and your services?

They can always visit our website,, or they can call me at 978-300-5178 or 617-447-1554-cell. They may request a folder, with all the information mailed out, for them to read.

Anything else you wish to add?

We’re also co-owners of Poetic Monthly. It’s a magazine created by Martin White, It’s for all poets, writers, editors, illustrators, etc. It’s filled with information about publishing, writing, poems, sites to visit and articles to enjoy. We also advertise the authors’ books here, giving them a full-page preview of their book. We became part of Martin’s publication last July. Since then, we have doubled in size, going from 45 to 72 subscribers, so far—with more readers and more steady sales. He receives hundreds to thousands of hits a week from his viewers.
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Joylene Nowell Butler Interview

Tell us about your book 'Dead Witness'.

Valerie McCormick is a wife and mother from small town Canada. While visiting Seattle, she becomes the only witness to the brutal seaside murder of two FBI agents. When she flees to the nearest police station to report the crime, she becomes caught up in a web of international intrigue and danger. Suddenly, she and her family are in the sights of ruthless criminals bent on preventing her from testifying against the murderer. Even with FBI protection, Valerie is not safe. Whisked away from her family and all that is familiar to her, Valerie fights back against the well-intentioned FBI to ultimately take control over her life with every ounce of fury a mother can possess.

Any self publishing tips to share?

Before contemplating self-publishing, make sure your book is publish-ready. Read. Study. Join critique groups. Have at least 3 critiques done from knowledgeable critiquers. They say self-publishing isn't for the faint hearted for a reason. There is so much work required before your book is ever printed. Networking is essential. Find a good solid printing company, and make sure your distributor will send your book where it needs to be. And when it's released, be prepared to work 16 hours a day for up to a year to make certain your novel is on the lips of every reader you can possible reach.

How do you go about promoting your book?

There's no end to do it. I belong to some very good online writer's groups. I network at Book Place, Ning, Goodreads, Facebook, Gather, Author's Den, just to name a few. Then there's the online interviews, blogging, book fairs, book signings, advertising, door to door sale's pitch. Next I need to do a virtual book tour. It goes on and on.

Is your family supportive of your writing?

Very. My best friend is also my accountant. It's because of her daughter that my books will be in every Save-On Food store in northern B.C. in such a few weeks. She gave a book to her boss, and as a result, Dead Witness will be stocked on their shelves before Christmas. My husband is my own personal driver. He's responsible for getting me to my book signings on time. Our youngest, stationed in Afghanistan, has been passing my book around to his buddies. I couldn't have written this book or any of my other manuscripts without knowing my family was behind me all the way. My mother was my first reader. She caught my spelling mistakes. My brother, a gun expert, was my consultant on Dead Witness

What is the most important thing you've learnt since being a writer?

I think the most important thing I've learned is to never become complacent. Never stop learning. I think being a writer has made me appreciate the most minute things in life. Unfortunately, I think it also has left me never satisfied with my written word.

Anything else to add?

It's sad how many authors choose self-publishing before their book is ready. I knew when I decided to publish my book that there would be stigmas attached. And for good reason. We're a high-tech generation. We want what we want when we want it. Writing is a long process. Sometimes it takes months to revise and edit a manuscript. But more often than not, it takes years. It's something that can't be rushed.
Read More is a great site to use for people in the writing industry. As well as the articles online there are writing contests and opportunities for writers to get published.

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Award winning site!

A big thank you to all of you that nominated this site. Your support is much appreciated.
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International Book Fairs this month- Nov 2008

Salon du Livre, Montreal 19 - 24 November

Feria International del Libro de Guadalajara Mexico 29 November - 7 December. The most outstanding meeting of the Spanish publishing world awaits for you at Guadalajara. From November 29th to December 7th, 2008, authors, literary agents, librarians, booksellers and more than 1,600 publishing houses from 39 countries will take part. With them, half a million visitors will enjoy the world of books and share the very best of the culture and arts of Italy, their 2008 Guest of Honour.

The Buch Wien, international book fair and reading festival, will be premiered from 20 - 23 November 2008 at Vienna’s trade fair centre, Messe Wien. It will be held in combination with the "Reading Festival” where authors will give readings at different venues, across the entire area of Vienna, from 17 - 23 November 2008.
For more infomation visit the website

The 10th International Book Fair for High Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction opens in the Central House of Artists on November 26.
The Fair of High Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction will present 260 participants from 21 countries and 15 special projects. The Fair and its parallel expositions will occupy all the halls of the Central House of Artists (about 6,000 sq m).
The program of the International Book Fair of High Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction provides for a large variety of events, including exhibitions, seminars, master classes, interactive campaigns, and talk shows. Special guest of 10th International Book Fair for High Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction is Finland.
For more information visit the website
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Hi Daddy! reviewed by Eva Marie Osier

by Janet Elaine Smith
coming soon from StarPublish LLC

The last thing on earth Mitzi LeFleur needs is Bob Jones, her ex-husband. She's successful in her career, beautiful, sophisticated, and settled into her own life, the hard work of years during which Bob has done a great job of running from one debacle straight into another. He's left behind a string of failed business schemes, not to mention four ex-wives (Mitzi, plus the three who came after her) and seven children. None of those children belongs to Mitzi, and that's the reason he gave for divorcing her. He wanted a family that Mitzi couldn't provide. So why does he keep his distance from all seven of the children he claimed to want so much? Mitzi wonders that when Bob calls her again after a long silence, and she also wonders what sort of woman he's picked out to become wife #5. Because that's got to be why he's calling her, as he always does when he needs someone to share major news. Or someone to pick up the pieces, after his life comes apart yet again.
Mitzi can hardly believe Bob's news this time, though. He's made a success out of a business venture at last, and he needs her help if he's to hang onto that success. Will agreeing to uproot herself with a coast-to-coast move, and entering into a business partnership with her ex-husband, lead Mitzi to anything more? And what about those seven children and their three mothers? Someone's got to teach Bob Jones how to do the thing he's always wanted to do more than anything else in the world, but has always wound up running away from in terror. Someone's got to teach this man how to be a father. What more unlikely candidate for that job could there be, than Bob's childless and completely un-maternal first wife?
Poignant and yet sparkling with humor, this is without question Janet Elaine Smith's finest work as well as her most recent. It's a simple story, simply told despite what might sound like myriad plot complications, and any reader who picks it up will surely be able to relate. Heartwarming in the best sense of that sadly overworked word!

Review by Eva Marie Osier, retired reading teacher.

Janet Elaine Smith’s latest book "Hi Daddy!" is a winner as always. Subtle humour and bits and pieces of home life are there as well. She does all this in her own unique style of writing, showing love with her own creativeness. Her beloved Ivan’s input is there also.This book touches the reader’s heart and is a real boost to family living. Children need both parents’ support and love.
As Mitzi la Fleur was the first of four wives and became the last as well. Her husband was determined to have children and so he and Mitzi were divorced since she was barren after four years of marriage. Her "ex’, Bob Jones, still valued her advice and financial expertise; so Mitzi agrees to become his office manager, plus benefits she has drawn up. The families Bob acquired after divorcing Mitzi all move to his new location unbeknownst to each other. Thus they settle into new lives with Daddy being available to love and know them for real. As each former wife is different, so are the skills they can use as they are all installed into jobs related to Bob’s new business venture: Four Strikes.
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Devon Ellington Interview

You have a very varied experience in writing. Which has been the highlight of your career so far?
There’s no one big highlight; there are so many joys along the way. Plays produced in New York, London, Edinburgh, and Australia are alwaysfabulous experiences. Because of my background in theatre, one of my greatest joys is to work with actors who connect to my work and bring it to life. HEX BREAKER’s publication this August was a highlight. It startedmy association with Fire Drakes Weyr Publishing, and is the first JainLazarus Adventure. NEW MYTHS’S publication of my story “The Merry’sDalliance” (written as Cerridwen Iris Shea) was a thrill, because it’s oneof my personal favorites of my work. Each publication or production orarticle that appears holds its own unique delight, and each one is abuilding block to more and, hopefully, stronger, creative work.

In addition to writing, you've also worked backstage on Broadway and infilm and television for most of your life. How have these experiences affected your writing?
It’s taught me about character and plot arcs, but, most importantly, it’s taught me about cadence. Each character must have a unique speechpattern, the way each person does. If a character’s speech pattern varies,it must be a character choice, there has to be a reason or motivation; itcan’t be sloppiness on the writer’s part. Also, it’s taught me to writewithin budget constraints, if I’m writing for theatre or an indie filmproject. I’m not going to write a cast of 45 with sets that twirl and lift if it’s a black box theatre and a budget that can support 4 actors. On the one hand, you want to write your vision, but there’s also the flip side, ofbeing commissioned to write specific work, and being able to write within the context of technical and budgetary constraints without losing acreative vision is a big plus. I’ll get the gig over someone who has noclue about production details.

You definitely don't fit into a niche. Do you think it's important for a writer to try different genres and types of writing?
I think it’s part of our responsibility as creators. Why do the samestory over and over, simply using the global replace function for character name and setting? Yes, there are writers who do that and are regularly published. But where’s the fun of that? Every project should challenge you, should make you take a creative risk, should make you grow in a newway. Not everything’s going to work, but you’ve got to keep trying newthings. Otherwise you stagnate. And so do your readers.

How does your writing process differ depending on the type of projectyour working on?
Every project is a bit like reinventing the wheel. You have to trustin your characters and use your process as a spring board, not a prison. Your subconscious has a much better idea of how it should all work thanyour conscious, so you have to have the trust to dive down the creativewell and see what you find. That’s one of the joys of writing. Sometimes you outline, sometimes you fly on the blank page. Sometimes you run with the inspiration of the moment, then have to stop and plot. If you start acreative project by focusing on your marketing plan, you lose the joy of discovery. Write it first, make it the best it can be, especially earlyon. Then figure out where it fits into the wider scheme of things – orcreate your own nicheless niche. Why let other people define you?

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My main blog on the ups and downs of the freelance writing life is Inkin My Coffee: To read an excerpt from HEX BREAKER, visit the Jain Lazarus website: There’s also the general Devon Ellington website,, the Cerridwen Iris Shea website,, and the businesswriting/teaching/coaching/critique site, I’m teaching my dialogue workshop again at the Muse Online Writers’Conference this year. That’s a great place to develop work, network withother writers, and, in general have a great time. It’s virtual and it’sfree.

Anything you'd like to add?
Come join me on the creative journey! We’re all in this together, andwe should support each other’s dreams!
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Margaret Fieland Interview

You've published a number of poetry and short story anthologies, which is you favourite and why?

My current favorite is the latest one, “From Freckles to Wrinkles,” published by Silver Boomer Books. You can order it at or from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

You belong to a critique group, how useful is this to your writing?

It's been critical. I never would have started writing stories if it weren't for my critique group. I hooked up with Linda Barnett Johnson after the first Muse on Writing online conference and joined her writing forums. In order to participate in the poetry, you had to do the short stories too.

How did you find the 'right' critique group for you?

I fell into them – not just Linda's but also one devoted to children's stories. My poetry critique group I ended up in after a fellow writer recommended the site.

What are you currently working on?

I'm working on a poetry collection for kids and a chapter book entitled “The Ugly Little Boy.” Excerpt below. I started writing it about a year and a half ago, wrote the first version, ran the first three chapters through one of my critique groups, then set the whole thing aside. Then recently I took an online class on editing and used the book as an example. In the process, I realized I need to chop several chapters at the beginning devoted to backstory and change the character of the grandmother and the father. I think I'm about half way through the current revision. It's going to be a very different book than the first version – much tighter and with more emotional impact.

Excerpt: The Ugly Little Boy

Alvin's eyes burned and his chest felt tight when he remembered the last time he'd visited Grandma he'd driven there with Mom and Dad. Now Mom was dead and Dad still in the hospital. Alvin peered out the window of Grandma's car as they passed through Millbank and down the tree-lined road that led to Pine Crest point. As Grandma drove past the lake with the community beach, down the road and into her driveway, Sam, Alvin's collie mix, put his front paws on Alvin's lap and barked.
"Yes, Sam, we're here," Alvin said, ruffling Sam's soft ears as they all climbed out of the car. Alvin noticed that he was almost as tall as Grandma, and that she looked even thinner and frailer and with her reddish-gray curls more faded.
Alvin, Sam and Grandma followed the flagstone path down the hill, past the rock garden. The marigolds, petunias, and geraniums lifted their faces to the sun.
The house, a ranch, was stained brown, surrounded by several large trees.
"Was there really a fence here when Dad and Uncle Arthur were little?"
"Yes, and your Grandfather and I really did tie the gate shut so they wouldn't fall into the lake." The lake was right across the road.
Grandma opened the front door, and Alvin followed her into the big living room. Paneled in pine, it had windows on both ends, a dining table at one end, couches and chairs at the other and a large fireplace in the middle.
Sam trotted up and dropped a ball at Alvin's feet.
"Grandma, Sam found a ball."
"Sam always manages to find a ball." Grandma stared at Sam, who opened his jaws and grinned a doggy grin. "You two go outside if you want to play catch. No playing ball in the house."
"That's what Mom always said." Alvin's throat felt tight. He frowned and rubbed his eyes.
Alvin pushed open the door and went outside. Standing on a flat spot in front of the house, Alvin threw the ball up the hill and Sam ran to get it.
It was beginning to get dark when Grandma called, "Alvin, time for dinner. Come in and wash your hands."
"Grandma, when will me and Dad have our own house again?" Alvin said when they were seated at the dining table.
"I don't know, Alvin. I don't know whether your father will try to rebuild your old house when he gets the insurance money." Grandma handed Alvin a hamburger and put one on her own plate. Alvin took a big bite. His throat felt almost too tight to swallow.
"I miss our house. I miss Mom and Dad. I wish everything would go back the way it was."
Grandma looked at Alvin and said, "Alvin, you're nine years old. That's old enough to know your mother isn't coming back."
Alvin ate a few more bites. Grandma put down her half eaten hamburger and stood up. "I guess we aren't very hungry tonight. Let's clear the table and wash the dishes. Then you can brush your teeth and get ready for bed."
Alvin picked up his plate and glass. He followed Grandma into the kitchen, Sam at his heels.
Grandma put the dishes on the kitchen counter. "Just scrape the hamburger into the trash and then put the dishes into the dishpan. I'll wash and you can dry."
"We could give the hamburger to Sam. I'll bet he's still hungry." Sam sat by Grandma's feet and panted hopefully.
"Hmmph," said Grandma, but she broke the hamburger into pieces and put them into a bowl on the floor. Sam grinned, then started to eat.
"At home Dad always did the dishes. "I just cleared the table." Alvin looked out the kitchen window at the front yard. He could feel the soft breeze through the open window. The sky was a dark blue with a few fluffy white clouds. Grandma's flowers swayed back and forth. It looked very peaceful. "I wonder if Mom can see the flowers from Heaven?"

You are a contributing writer to a new Zine, Tell us about it.

I've been involved in FemmeVip since the beginning. It's a zine for women, and I'm currently writing a column entitled Lifestyles. Check it out.

Anything else you what our readers to know?

Don't underestimate the importance of being well-organized as a writer. My writing really took off when I wrote a poem I wanted to keep (and see published) and looked around for someplace (online) to put them. I originally used Yahoo briefcase, but switched to Google Documents, which I like much better, because my editor on FemmeVip prefers it. I'm not a naturally well-organized person (I can hear my family snickering in the background – this is really a vast understatement...) but I keep my poems online in folders, keep a list of where I've submitted, etc. Without it I'd go nuts – plus I'd never have gotten anything published without it.

Visit the author at her website
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Writing Competitions this month

Munch Time Storytelling competition
Parents have an opportunity to compose a children’s story for this competition, with six winning entries to be published online as audio podcasts and narrated by celebrity mum Gail Porter. Winners will also get an all expenses paid day-trip to Lapland for their family, an overnight stay in a central London hotel for two, the chance to meet Gail Porter and a day in a London recording studio seeing their story come to life as a podcast. The competition is free. It is run by Nestle to celebrate a character launch for one of its products.
Closing date: 30 November 2008

The Green Story

A UK online creative writing competition, created by to encourage reading, writing and recycling. Entrants (children, teens and adult age categories) submit work to be voted on, and at the end of each month the winning entry becomes the next chapter of a book, which will be published in December 2008, with all proceeds going to The Woodland Trust. For more information, visit
Closing date: November 2008

Andrew Crofts short story competition

To publicise his new book, a top UK ghostwriter, Andrew Croft, supported by the Arts Council, is running a short story competition. The first prize is mentoring from Andrew himself to help work the story into a publishable novel, as well as publication on the Steffi McBride website. Visit
Closing date 30 November 2008

Pound a Poem

A National poetry competition for children aged 5 to 11 (Years 1 to 6). Focuses on literacy, healthy eating and good citizenship. Children are asked to write a poem about fruit or vegetables and pay £1 per poem to enter into the competition. All money raised goes to Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity. For more information, visit Launches 15 September 2008.
Closing date: 12 December 2008
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