Friday, February 29, 2008

TELLING Just Ain't SHOWMANSHIP by Show Maestro, Robert W. Walker

Rob Showing Off His Dog, Pongo

Here is the TELLIN’ of it:
At first, I wanted to scream at her, bang down her door. No, my senses gripped me – that would’ve only accomplished one thing, waking her folks. So instead, I stood there for over an hour, just kicking around. It was 2AM when I finally left.

* SAY WHAT? What happened between 12:30 and 2AM if this guy really “kicked” around outside her door for that long a stretch? THIS SHOW is not on the road or on the stage. It is a TELL all scene –especially the last two lines! Fill in that time with details, please. Never settle for less than three senses to be dragged in or triangulated; never settle for the general and the nebulous over the bedeviling job of getting in those details. Problem with TELLIN?—in the telling your story turns to cement, is too general, and too diffuse to SEE and FEEL, SMELL and TOUCH, and it leaves readers hungry for the details your narrator is withholding. It’s ultimately lazy writing, which often means poor revision techniques.

Don’t believe me? One of those folks who love the verb to be and sprinkles WASes and WEREs like rock salt on a driveway across your paragraph? Then take the same scene as it is rewritten below, wherein the actors are asked to do the telling, the feeling, the smelling, tasting, emoting, walking, and talking upon their stage and not some nebulous stage of the narrator’s mind. This is the key difference between dramatic writing and all other kinds of writing—and much of it hinges on dialogue. Let your characters do the walking and the talking, for what a character SAYS and DOES is who he is.

. . . Instead, I stood there for over an hour, just kicking around. Just standing there in the stillness of night, willing her back, believing she’d come back through that impenetrable door. When it became apparent she wasn’t going to rush back into my arms, I fantasized that she’d come running back to me at first sunlight, shouting, “I’ve reconsidered everything, and I’m just a bundle of nerves, and I’m so awfully sorry for all the hurtful things I said.” Sure. Like that was gonna happen.

NOTE * gotta take it to the max, Mark, live the moment, push the scene, use all the senses, including thought and inner turmoil. READ ON, sorry for the interruption:

Still, I stood outside her place, kicking at grass and dirt like a lost, stray animal for over an hour. SAT there watching the bugs swirl around the porch light, thinking about a word that Mrs. Piayja drilled into us in French class when I was a little younger than Polly was now—as the bugs attenuated the beam of light. First time in life I knew what the French teacher was talking about. And every now and then one of the illuminated mosquitoes landed back of my neck—using it as a landing strip. But I was too numb and desperate to feel their bites. (RATHER THAN the TELLing – Every now and then a mosquito would decide to land on my neck, but this didn’t bother me, because I was so numb and so desperate. OR: I was depressed. I was numb. I was desperate.)

* Now bear with me. Check this out:

Finally, I tried to pull myself together but failed miserably. ACTIVE: A perpetual cascading stream of tears clouded my vision. In fact, my eyes felt like the gnats and bugs had set up house in them. WAS PASSIVE: My vision was clouded by the perpetual cascading stream of tears, almost like the gnats and bugs from the light had invaded them.
For hours, I drove my car all around Wheeling, meandering down a plethora of streets, aimlessly searching for something or rather someone that I could never find.
At 5AM, I drove home to pick up my brother, Neil—my bloodshot eyes telling the story before I uttered a word.
“Not one damn word, Neil!” I warned him, prepared to slug him if he said the wrong thing.
“No problem, bro, but you wanna talk about I?” Obviously he saw that my world wasn’t right.
In a fragile state, I spilled my guts to Neil. Surprisingly, he listened. When I finished, Neil astonished me with this rather prophetic response. “George, I am truly sorry for you. But you’re a Mitchell and you’re my big brother. You ain’t about to go down without a fight. So tell me big brother, what’s your plan? Are you going down without a fight?”
“Damn it, Neil—for once—you’re right! I’m not going down without a fight!”
Together we formulated our plan.

* WOW, now we know what he did during the night and we feel his pain because it is all sifted through the character\actor’s five senses and maybe his sixth sense as well. That’s real a real SHOW. That’s Showing not Telling. In short, don’t let your narrator say or do what your character begs to say or do.

Happy writing till next time. COMING ATTRACTIONS or are they DISTRACTIONS? Two wonderful lady authors will be guest bloggers coming your way here! Two of my favorite ladies of all time who are also damned good writers – Julie Hyzy, author of The State of the ONION and Luisa Buehler, The Station Master.

Robert W. Walker www.myspace/robertwwalkerbooks
For a 3-Hour Online intensive, mind-blowing, life-changing, altering Writing Class that will shake up your writing and make you a better writer overnight, contact me at inkwalk at sbc global dot net

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Back to Reality! by DL Larson

Returning home from vacation is a melancholy euphoria. I'm glad to be home, yet sad that my time away is over. I'm happy. I'm sad. I smile at the many pictures I took, but groan at the pile of mail to sift through. I wrap up in a fuzzy sweater feeling cozy and warm, yet reluctantly tuck away my swimsuit, knowing I won't need that again for several more months. My emotions are on a roller coaster ride and I struggle to find my stride in my regular world.

Paging through the pile I left on my desk, the stack that begs to be attended, bores me. I'd rather finish the book I started on vacation. But time doesn't allow that and the little kid in me wants to drop to the floor and say, "I want to go outside and play. Now!" Except snow has replaced the ocean view I had last week, and damp cold bites against the memory of tropical breezes. Geesh! Transitions are difficult.

Transitions in writing can be just as challenging! There's the blank line to indicate a time break or point of view change; or the end of a chapter pretty much tells the reader that's all you have to say about that scene. Some folks use the *** to turn the story in a different perspective. But when I see the *** I'm back on the balcony of my ship gazing at the stars ... did you see the moon eclipse? It was awesome in the Carribean, then the blood fingers sneaking across like the beginning of an old werewolf movie ... I loved it. But there I go jumping subjects again, unable to stay on task. Good gosh, this transition may take awhile.

Yet I'm not so willing to let my memories seep back into vacationland. Did I mention I toured a rum distillery? Now that was tasty. 43% rum is simply liquid fire that brave folks swig to the back of their throats and if they're really lucky they won't be close to a lit match. But we were talking about transitions and I have to mention the rum industry came upon the best transition of all in 1985. That's when they started making Malibu Rum - that wonderful coconut smelling stuff that goes so well with ~ well, anything! I wonder if we have any pineaplle juice in the house. I'll be back in a minute ~ I promise.

Well now, I'm feeling happier, no pineapple juice, but orange juice is just as good, mmmm, maybe better. Or is it the hint of citrus and coconut that has me feeling so mellow? I'll have to think on that for awhile. But we were discussing transitions, or was that transmissions? Something to make things work and go in the direction you need to go. My son-in-law is having trouble with his truck transmission and he took my daughter's car and she took mine. So I'm stuck at home on this roller coaster ride in my mind and I have to say I'm getting my sea legs back, getting into the sway of things. Mmmm, yes, broken transmissions could be a good thing. But only occasionally. I think.

So now that I've made that clear, I hope you take my advice and don't be so quick to jump back into the work waiting. Kick back, enjoy life for another day, pretending you're still on vacation. Indulge a little. Who in hell turned the heat up in here? This sweater is stifling! No one should have to wear so much clothing. It's unnatural. And I'm out of juice. Where's that cute waiter with the bright smile?

I left the orange juice out. Does it spoil if not refrigerated? Guess I'll find out. But my point is ~ hmmm.

I had one a minute ago. I must have set it down, lost in the sand, only to be found by the next vacationer. A little treasure to take home. Home, oh yeah, that's right. I wanted to tell you I'm home. There's no place like home. Especially if you have a good imagination and as a writer, I do, have a good imagination. Who's that guy coming in? Oh, it's the waiter! He's out of uniform, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. I don't mind, really. Casual day at sea. I get it. He can still get me something to drink. Oh, he must be on break. He brought a drink for himself.
Well, if he's willing to share, and he seems friendly enough. Work can wait. I'm at sea, drifting along watching the deep blue sea make foamy waves as I sip my rum punch. Another beautiful day, wonder what everyone is doing at home?

Oh, I forgot. I am home. Man, transitions are beastly. Good luck with yours.

Til next time ~

DL Larson

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Social Networking - Splash and Splatter - by Morgan Mandel

We had another snowstorm over the weekend in the Chicago area. I was not happy about it, even though I should be used to it by now. After all, we seem to get one at least once a week this winter.

Yesterday morning, it got a bit warmer in Downtown Chicago. So, here I was dodging puddles and those scary slippery, mushy spots that happen after a snowstorm and a slight thaw, making my way, balancing my purse and tote bag on the left shoulder and my laptop computer on the right, scurrying as best I could to my day-job where I work as an administrative assistant in a law firm.

I wasn't doing too bad. Only a few blocks to go when suddenly out of nowhere on the street across from the sidewalk, a truck came roaring through, splashing everything surrounding it, including the nearby sidewalk. The spray came way too close. The vision of mudwater splattered all over my coat did not seem appealing. Thank goodness, I just managed to escape that fate.

Though I'd had a narrow escape and did not get splattered, the incident did get me thinking. Social networking is all about splashing and getting splattered. We make friends and join networks, listservs and sites, making large and small splashes, hoping to attract attention to ourselves and our books. How we do it depends on our personalities, as well as how well we learn from the experiences of others. We can be subtle or blatant, depending on rules set up on the various groups, sites and listservs and how much we pay attention to them.

While we're out and about splashing our way, we need to be prepared. We will inevitably get splattered by promotion from the other authors out there. We can side-step if we're not interested in what they offer, or we can happily get splashed and dive in, becoming a part of their lives, promotion and books.

I enjoy social networking and spend lots of time participating. Still, given my day-job responsibilities and the fact I do have a loving husband and a rascally dog named Rascal, I can't realistically spend as much time and effort bonding with the many authors as I'd like to, no matter how much I try. That said, what I do is pick the ones I really, really like or seem the most helpful to me, then respond and bond with them, willingly getting splattered by their joys and disappointments, immersing myself in their author lives, books and advice.

Everyone is different. It's for you to decide, as you wend your way social networking on the Web, do you want to splash, dodge, get splattered, or all three?

Remember, the more you put into it, the greater the return.
I'm on my way to getting splashed again!
Morgan Mandel

Monday, February 25, 2008

Busy as a Bee... er Norm

Deadlines, deadlines ... whoa ... gots me some deadlines.

At LIM an agent was impressed enough with my YA humor vampire idea ... not book, mind you ... to tell me to get off my duff and finish it.

Meanwhile, we're converting to a very sophisticated new computer system at work, where not only do I basically have to teach it to myself ... (the programmers are idiots) ... but teach my staff. Live day is March 1.

I also have to get a short story done, ASAP.

And I'm reading a bunch of manuscripts for a regional high school writing contest. There's a deadline for this.

Did I mention that we have a month-end closing at work on the old system that should be a joy?

All that, and a booksigning at 1:00 on Saturday, March 1 at Best Sellers Books in Palos Heights Il. (corner of Ridgeland and 127th) with four other authors from our anthology, The Heat of the Moment.

C'mon out ... I'll be the hectic looking guy.


(Oh, hey, I can't remember. Did I happen to mention that The Next Adventures of Guy ... more wackiness won the P&E Reader's Poll for Sci-Fi/fantasy? Woo-hoo! The Heat of the Moment was also a Top Ten finisher. Woo-hoo, again! Thanks to everyone who voted!)
The Adventures of Guy ... written by a guy (probably)
The Next Adventures of Guy ... more wackiness
The Heat of the Moment (anthology)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend Gettaway

Did you ever notice that a weekend gettaway (whether for business or pleasure) is great, but the preparation time and "de"preparation time takes up a lot of time? Mainly, I'm talking about laundry.

My husband and I were away for the weekend - not a long trip - we left on Friday after work and returned by midday on Sunday. And it seemed that everything leading up to the trip had to do with laundry and everything since we've gotten home has revolved around laundry as well. We did laundry before the trip so we'd have fresh, clean clothes for the weekend. We did laundry after the trip because all of our clothes, whether clean or dirty, have been smushed together in a small suitcase for forty-eight hours. It seems like I've spent more time doing laundry in relation to the trip than actually being on the trip itself. Will the laundry ever end?

I'm starting to ask the same question about edits. It seems like I've been working on edits for ages. First there were general edits, and then some rewrites, and then edits of the edits and rewrites, and then...well, you can see where I'm going with this. It seems like I've been working on edits longer than I worked on the manuscript in general. What I've got now are the final edits. I have a sneaking suspicion the word "final" in there is just a tease. Because after I turn in these so-called final edits, I'll get galleys - one more chance to make sure everything is perfect. But again, I get the feeling that even after I decide everything is A-Okay, when I get the book in print, I'm thinking I might find one or two things that may just have slipped through the cracks.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to be so thrilled to see this book in print. It will be a dream come true for me. I just hope I'm done with the laundry - er, ah - edits soon.

Until next time,


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yoh! Dog, You're Rockin' Now - What Editors SEE Wrong and Right on Your Page by Robert W. Walker

Sub-Title: Editors and Agents Only Know What They Want When They Sees it on de Stage . . . ahhh, page that is . . .and if it’s not in the “frame” then it’s not on the page; rather it has remained “in your head” where it may be visual to an audience of one –you alone! So get the whole scene in the frame or on stage or rather on the page.

Okay, here is what will turn an editor away screaming in the night and running from your page: Hanging over the door was a neon sign that read Mitch’s Bar & Grill, but the neon was so weak as to be unable to light up every letter.

Not only is this passive voice with two WASes in the sentence, but it tells us the sign is blinking without ever showing us the sign is blinking. A blinking sign oughta be seen not heard about. Put it on the page. Let us see the blinking and maybe how it looks and “feels” to your main character. Sift the neon through his or her “mind” or “blood” bro.

Okay, here is what might turn an editor ON to your Voice: Hanging over the door, the blinking neon sign read: M TH’ B R & GR ll. Stan immediately groaned in rhythm to the on-off, on-off sign. Where had Jill sent him and why?

Okay, here is another groaner for an agent or editor looking at your work: A vast smudgy picture window was to the right of the door, which gave Stuart the disturbing feeling that patrons of the place were peering out at him, studying him along with the busy street.

Okay, first when’s the last time you saw a street that was busy? Busy doing what? Technically speaking, very technically speaking, streets aren’t busy, they are “busy with” traffic or foot traffic or both but streets just lay there last time I looked. Believe me, readers do read as literally as that at times. Just LOL here, but the point is watch out for those misplaced modifiers or unintended results. The honest definition of a misplaced phrase is Unintended Result.

So now, how can that again passive voice be energized like the Bunny it wants to be? Here is an active voice rewrite of same sentence, admittedly too long in its original: As he approached Mitch’s front door, a vast, smudged plate glass window STARED back at Stuart along with every local patron. The locals made no excuse at studying him with wary eyes, not so much as a pretense of studying the foot traffic and cars going past, but directly at Stuart through the prism of that dirt-painted window.

Passive Voice – Active Voice 101 – the mind wants to go there—immediately to the passive voice. Why? A lazy muscle, the brain grabs for the quickest, simplest method of TELLing a story. It has to work to SHOW a story as it unfolds—has to draw on verbs that convey visual imagery, along with drawing on the five senses, and sometimes the magical sixth sense. Before you start dramatic writing, dig out that fourth grade lesson on Active vs. Passive Voice. Voice is everything in dramatic writing. A book like The Lovely Bones, Water for Elephants, and others do not rely on action and shoot em ups, and screaming damsels in distress and yet they work as bestsellers. Why? Voice. We become enraptured by HOW every sentence is created and how lovely the voice of the narrative sounds to the ear. Voice is the sum of all the parts of a novel; voice is the culmination of every element and elemental decision the writer makes. And it is Voice and Active Voice that an agent and\or an editor is looking for, a voice that he or she cannot turn away from (or put down). A voice that creates scenes and chapters that have a powerful effect on the reader. Scenes and chapters that are memorable years later.

Stick to ONE point of view per scene and\or chapter. Even in multiple point of view tales such as I do, decide whose chapter is this, whose scene is this, and stick like glue to the one POV that dominates this scene. Whose story is it anyway? Whose scene is it anyway? Stamp that on your forehead as you work. Do not slip in and out of two and three points of view within the framework of a singular scene. This is Dr. Tewes’ scene in Shadows in the White City. The next is from her daughter’s point of view, Gabrielle. The next is from our main, dominant POV, that of Inspector Alastair Ransom for whom City for Ranson is named. In City of the Absent we get whole scenes from the point of view of William Pinkerton of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, as we do from Dr. Christian Fenger, surgeon of the day, and from Alastair’s closest friend Philo Keane, as well as Ransom’s worst enemies and his snitch, Bosch, who might sell him out at any time and does. But always it is Ransom’s tales in this trilogy, and the reader can accept that Ransom, at some point, comes to know everything the reader knows. Whose story is it anyway? The broken detective, Ransom, so married to his crumbling, fading vision of Chicago.

So in essence DON’T do this:

There was an antique cash register at the end of the bar nearest Stan’s stool where he sat. There was a key for every amount fro one penny to twenty dollars.

Note how There typically always leads to a Was or a Were, so try to avoid THERE as well as the WAS beast and the Were creatures – passives that devour every opportunity for a visual, strong verb. Define me a Was. Look at what it appears like in your head. There is no visuals for verbs to be. What is a be? Draw me a picture of it.

So in essence DO this and you will astonish friends, family and even yourself –

At the end of the counter where Stan hunched over his coffee, an antique cash register chimed with each transaction. Phil pointed out the keys and said, “From a penny to a twenty, each key. Take a look! Love this old thing.”

My work in progress to be published in Spring 2009, DEAD ON, has taken many a rewrite to get such matters right each line of the way, from the penny to the twenty, the simple sentence to the compound complex that is. To get images working in the readers’ minds so that I can live up to the reviewer who said of my work, “Walker quite literally snatches the reader’s mind.” I can only do that with visually stimulating and powerful verbs like hunched, chimed, pointed, and in getting my characters to speak aloud, to move, make transactions, point, smile, laugh, and cry. This can’t be done in sentences beginning with There and using verbs like WAS and WERE.

OFFERING YOU NOW for free the first chapter of DEAD ON by writing to me at with query line Dead On. Dead On, Dead On—I love your product but I hate your ad!! The other way to see dramatic writing is to get hold of my Chicago City Series – City for Ransom, Shadows in White City (award-winner, the Lovey Award from Love is Murder – ), and City of the Absent at your local mystery bookstore, at, Barns and Noble or

The best to you in your writing endeavors –
Rob Walker --for recent photos of me and Johnnie Depp hamming it up. -- for Psych 101 for character development\robertwwalkerbooks --to become a friend!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love Is Murder Photos to Share - One More Part of Social Networking by Morgan Mandel

I love using Slide.Com because it can fit lots of photos in one spot. Here are a bunch from the past Love is Murder Con Feb 1-3. There are so many names, I'll let you read them from the captions.

Morgan Mandel

Saving Face on MySpace

MySpace can be a great place for authors to connect with fellow authors, readers, friends, and if you're not careful, connect with an embarrassing moment or two as well.

If you're in the middle of developing your novel, writing your first draft, or even revising your draft, consider setting up a Myspace page. The setup process is easy and builiding a network of friends is a nice break from the pleasant but hard work of progressing through the writing process. That said, and as we offer in Novelist's Boot Camp, remember that blogging on MySpace, adding friends, reading others' posts, or re-designing your MySpace page is not writing. You can add all the bells and whistles you want to your MySpace page, just remember that your writing goal is still out there waiting. At the end of your day, you don't want to have that goal grinning in triumph at you because instead of making progress on your novel, you changed your MySpace page design sixteen times.

Moreover, before you upload photos of your cats, your doily collection, and those shots of you dancing on the table at the last writers' conference, remember that MySpace is one of the first places people turn to find out about you. As an author, you're a brand--or will be if you execute your writing drills and get your book done. MySpace is a great opportunity to screw up a first impression, so choose wisely what you say and what you post.

Note too that businesses are checking MySpace to check up on future and even current employees. Photos of you in a costume that might be acceptable at, say, a vampire-themed ball at a Science Fiction/Fantasy 'Con might not play well in HR or in an interview.

It can also be embarrassing and downright painful to have your identity stolen--so minimize the personal information (hometown, birthdate, and so on) that you make public.

Finally, choose your friends well. If you're a published author, your publisher may say that amassing as many MySpace friends as possible is a good thing. Indeed, the more people who know about your writing project -- whether work in progress or published piece -- the more who might purchase a copy. However, there are snakes in the grass in the MySpace friends --filling your Friend list with profiles that are no more than links to porn or scam sites can damage your creditability and turn people off in a hurry.

In Novelist's Boot Camp -- both the book and the workshop (and we're doing our next one at the
Wisconsin Writers Institute in March--y'all come), we teach authors to be conscious of the process and text they're producing. Save yourself some embarrassment--public or private--and be conscious of what you're doing on your MySpace page as well.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Intros and stuff

Howdy, I think there were some questions about my technical abilities in introducing our wonderful guest blogger, Marilyn Meredith, so thanks to Mary for that part.

But enough about my ineptitude, let me introduce you to someone with plenty of eptitude. So without any further adieu or adon't, here's Marilyn...

(clap, clap, clap)



Welcome to Marilyn Meredith,
Our Virtual Book Tour Guest Blogger Today,

Author Profile:
The author of over 20 published books, besides the Rocky Bluff P D series, Marilyn Meredith’s mysteries include the award winning Deputy Crabtree series. She writes in other genres as well such as Christian horror and historical family sagas.

She was an instructor for Writers Digest School for over 10 years and served as an instructor at the Maui Writer's Retreat, and serves as a judge for many writing contests.

Marilyn is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, the Public Safety Writers’ Association, and EPIC, and has been a featured speaker and been on panels at mystery conferences and groups all over the country. She's spoken at schools, libraries, service and social organizations and writers organizations.

On the personal side, Marilyn has been married for over 55 years to the sailor she met on a blind date. They raised five children and enjoy spending time with their 19 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.


A missing child, strange burglaries and the inexplicable murder of a mother and her daughter disrupt the peaceful beach community of Rocky Bluff, CA. Officer Stacey Wilbur, first on the scene of both murders, assists Detective Doug Milligan with the investigation and finds herself breaking her long-standing rule to never date anyone who rocks for Rocky Bluff P.D.

How privileged I feel to be joining such great authors!

I read some of the posts and realized that down deep we all have a lot in common—the need to add more details to the drafts of our works-in-progress and to exercise, to name a couple.

Today, I’d like to give you and your readers some background on how I came to write the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Smell of Death in particular, and why I’m using F. M. Meredith as a pseudonym.

First about the pseudonym. When I wrote the first book in the series, Final Respects, I realized that a great deal of the story was told from a male point-of-view. In an effort to interest male readers, I decided if I used a non-gender name. Unfortunately, the publisher didn’t have a clue what I wanted and put my photo on the back of the book, ruining my plan. However, I’ve continued using the name for the rest of the books in the series. It’s kind of fun to autograph books with F. M. Meredith a.k.a. Marilyn Meredith.

The first home we owned we only had to pay $100 down. This was in the ‘60s. Consequently, all of our neighbors were people with low paying jobs: sailors (my husband was career Navy), firemen and police officers. We partied with the men and their wives, our children played and went to school together and I socialized with the wives. I had a first-hand view of how the job affected the police officers’ families and the family crisis affected them on the job. At the time, I had no intentions of writing about them.

Later on, my daughter married a young man who became a police officer. She didn’t like hearing his stories, but I did. He’d come off his graveyard shift and come to my house for coffee and I listened intently. Eventually I went on a ride-along with him. I also went on ride-alongs with other officers. I sat in on the change of the shift and when the officers learned I was a writer, they began telling stories. Many of these stories have ended up in my books.

Many of the same characters appear in each book, though different ones are spotlighted. In the latest, Smell of Death, Officer Stacey Wilbur and Detective Doug Milligan are the heroine and hero. The peace of the beach community of Rocky Bluff is disrupted by a missing child, a stalker of a teenager, strange home burglaries, and two murders. This series is as much about the Rocky Bluff P.D., the officers and their personal lives, as the solving of crimes.

Smell of Death can be purchased from my website or

Thank you for your time.

F.M. Meredith a.k.a. Marilyn Meredith

Visit me at

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Authors by Margot Justes

I love some of the literary giants, and have been known to go back and re-read a few.

Case in point is Jane Austen; I have read all of them-not that there were so many. But, I went back after the A&E release of Pride and Prejudice. The best adaptations of a novel ever, save for that bath and swim bits-well-it was Colin Firth after all. I really do not believe there will ever be a better Fitzwilliam Darcy. The portrayal was perfection…

At any rate, I am a recent convert to the paranormal genre. I have read Nora Roberts’ Circle Trilogy, my first foray into the paranormal world. I found that I enjoyed it a great deal.

A friend recommended Kat Richardson’s Greywalker, another story well written, with a great heroine.

I do not like gory, bloody, dissecting books. I love mysteries and go for the gentler and cozier approach. Elizabeth Peters introduces Archeology and Egyptology and vividly portrays life on a dig.

Anne Perry depicts Victorian England and illustrates the social peccadilloes brilliantly. Not to forget Laurie King and her resurrection of Sherlock Holmes.

Please share some of your favorite authors of fiction – no matter what genre.

Till next Saturday,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
Available for pre-order on
Echelon Press LLC

Friday, February 15, 2008

NET WORK IT, BABY By Robert W. Walker

When we’re at a party or a book event or writers conference, we network. It’s how we interface with other authors, agents, critics (uggg!), publishers, librarians, and fans of fiction. So why not do exactly the same online? Why not organize “murder parties” and book events like electronic tours, blogs like ACME here, join Myspace and “MyAsylum”—okay, just kidding as am not sure there is such a place beyond my own place. But the question remains, how much are you missing by not being a member of a chat group as intimate or as large as you want it to be?

There appears to be a group on alone for any and every interest and taste. I belong to which has some 3219 avid readers, writers, librarians, and a few jerks like myself. We discuss a wide variety of topics related to books, and I get to sound off sometimes on issues close to my heart like literacy! Another group I belong to is quite small and are mainly a bunch of friends.

There is a connection to be made with the major organizations from Mystery Writers of America to Sisters in Crime to Horror Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, and Western Writers of America to name but a handful. These are all extremely supportive groups, and the loneliness of the long distance runner is nothing compared to the loneliness of the long distance writer.

The disease needs a support group, whether you believe it or not. There are times, many times, in a writing career when having some one(s) to talk to and rant with might just keep a writer writing. Another wonderful group I belong to is where we exchange ideas for promotion and event marketing. A wonderful support team this, as are individual book publishing groups which, if you are fortunate enough to be published by have created sites where all the authors of say Echelon Press or Five Star Publishing can share recipes for writing but also recipes for success and marketing tips. Out of all of these come friendships, real, true bonding experiences.

At Love is Murder this year, at Malice Domestic, at Charlottesville, Virginia’s BookFest and other gatherings, I meet my online associates and friends in this field, and often I meet fans who’ve actually gushed over my books online or have been kind in their online reviews.

Bottom line is I have made some of my most important contacts right here online. I started the ball rolling on getting reviewed in the Chicago Tribune via contact made on DorothyL, and the resullt has been two great reviews in that paper. It began with writing to a member offline.

I have gotten other great contacts as a result of being on MurderMustAdvertise, not to mention the many wonderful ideas for marketing here. Then to meet "folks" at conferences like my Acme Authors crowd, DLers, yous guys reading this, and others at conferences, well it just stands to reason that this is the way to go for the method which I am continually being told is the world’s best advertising for books: WORD of MOUTH. Fact is, recent studies say this is true. Social networking, as I understand it, promotes word of mouth, so I am there, man! As you may oughta be. But it does take a huge amount of time investment, and you gotta sometimes just stop it so you can write the next damn book. Which is what I am not doing now but am doing now.

In fact, as my panel at LIM with Carolyn Haines, Alex Matthews, Carl Brookins, and Mary Welk suggests in its title, I am juggling several projects at the moment. So bye-bye all.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Below - Morgan Mandel and hubby in our Hawaiian regalia - note the turtle neck shirts underneath - It was way below zero outside! Well, we could pretend. That's what books are all about anyway.

Good friends and fans, Al & Rosemary Braun, getting into the Hawaiian spirit.

A smattering of the family and friends at the Hawaiian theme Book Launch Party for Girl of My Dreams by Morgan Mandel. More arrived later and some were camera shy.

Events are meant to be shared. When you're an author, what better place than online. Don't be afraid to include photos from important events on your blog and website, listservs file section, anywhere and everywhere you can put them. Corny, but it's true - a picture tells a thousand words. People who do or don't read both seem to be drawn to pictures. They also enjoy watching videos.

I don't yet have my videos ready, but I do have some great digital Love is Murder Con photos, Book Launch Party photos and book signing photos. They'are all important to me, so it's hard to choose which to share and when. Personally, I'll have to go with the Book Launch Party photos first, since they're closest to home in my heart.

Since one of the various locales where my romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams, takes place is in Hawaii, I chose a Hawaiian theme for my book launch party. That was ironic in the extreme, since the below zero temperature and ultra frigid wind temperature last Sunday provided a stark contrast to the party's theme.

The day before, I and my brother decorated the room I rented from the Arlington Hts Historical Museum, with cut outs and all kinds of fun tropical stuff, like small fans, little drink umbrellas, leis. Many of the refreshments I chose had a Hawaiian connection, such as Hawaiian punch, pineapple juice, coconut cookies, macadamia nuts. I also played Hawaiian music on a karaoke machine. We all had a good time pretending and forgetting the blustery day outside. Also, I sold lots of books!

Book signings are for selling books. Book Launch parties are much more than that. They're also for sharing the good news and giving back to the family and friends who support you on your writing journey. You may spend money on refreshments and spend time putting it all together, but the memories will be worth it - also the promo ops.

All the best,
Morgan Mandel

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Let it Snow


Here in the Midwest we've been dumped on by the weather gods. With so many storms and so much snow and ice, communities are literally running out of salt for the roads. Lots of crashes, lots of inattentive drivers. Will the idiots on their cell phones please pull over!

I find it ironic that after growing up in Vencie, California, I'm a better driver in the snow than many of the folks who grew up in the Midwest. I didn't experience snow until I was in college. I didn't even own a coat until my first ski trip to Big Bear Mountain. My attitude towards snow was you visited it, skied on it and then after a hot drink in the lodge left it behind. You didn't live in it!

Then came the army experience. After two tours in Korea (a climate similar to the upper Midwest) and living in New York while teaching at West Point where I met my husband, Todd, I settled in one of the last places I ever expected to live - the Chicago area. I guess love will do that kind of thing to a person.

So as I trudge through the snow to work and back home each day I can't help but think how nice it would be to have the kind of income from writing that would allow me to stay in on days like these and do what I'm itching to do all day - write! While shoveling endless piles of snow and scrapping ice off the driveway, the sound of snow blowers humming up and down the street, I couldn't help but fantasize about a log cabin (well-insulated) with a gently roaring fire in the background while my muse and I plotted the day and night away.

Since I write primarily romantic suspense, my fantasy includes a strong, rugged hero who knows how to save the day without overpowering the heroine. My hero is always a lot like Todd. And there he was tonight - heroic. But instead of being on a mighty steed, he charged up the driveway blowing a white stream of powdered precipitation from a fire-engine red snow blower. He truly was operating the biggest snow blower on the block and he never looked more appealing!

So while I take another step through my life in the frigid Midwest, I will continue to fantasize about being successful enough with my writing efforts to wake up each day and not leave home unless I want to. As the reality of wet, heavy snow invades my life I plot and write in my head. Perhaps the villian of my next book will be a weatherman.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Random particles of stray thought ... or dust motes

And announcing .... the Acme Author GUEST BLOGGER!!

(yay! clap, clap, clap)



Oh, that' s next week?

(turns red)

Which always made me wonder, would a 'blue blood' - royalty turn blue when embarrassed?

Anyway, on that note, I've decided that today's blog shall be random.

For example, where did the phrase, "Get off scots free" come from? I mean, I'm Scottish, or a Scot, and free, and don't see any particular benefit from it that your typical Irish or Polish wouldn't derive.

How come you don't hear much anymore about Helen Reddy? Um, yeah, Helen Reddy. Remember her? She sang Delta Dawn and I Am Woman. Hint, she's still alive.

You're going to have one of these songs in your head now, aren't you?



Delta Dawn, what's that flower you have on? Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?

How about now?

I also had reason to wonder about the phrase 'like white on rice." Isn't there brown rice? I've seen black, too. It would be better to say, "like white on snow"... except snow isn't white, it's crystalline. And if a dog's around, or certain guys who are no less potty trained, it can come other colors.

Related random physics note: Did you know that whatever you look at is actually every color EXCEPT the color you think it is? For example, when you are looking at a blade of grass ... let's assume it's alive ... you think it's green. Actually, it's every color except green. When white light hits the blade of grass, the grass absorbs all of the colors except green, which bounces back to you.

Are you going to look this up now?

Did you know that if you have chronic back pain, a good way to resolve it is to work on your abdominal muscles?

From the 'fun with the cold' chronicles, here's something you can do for fun next time your thermometer dips down below zero centigrade ... er, Celsius... anyway, boil some water in a mug in your microwave until it's a rolling boil. Using oven mitts, take the mug out and scurry to the door. Then fling the water into the air. All of the water will evaporate into a little mini cloud.
You can name the cloud if you are so inclined.

I suggest the name, "Floyd"?

I'm probably not the only one who does this, but I eat frozen lemon bars in the winter and drink hot chocolate during the summer.

Is it hard to believe that I usually blog with a glass of wine? Or whine with a glass of blog?

It took me awhile, but I found a place that I like to go to for haircuts. My reason? Well, they have to use 'thinning shears' to do that part where I have hair and that part that where there used to be hair, before it migrated to my ears and nose. I just like the fact that I have to have my hair thinned.

Are you still humming Delta Dawn?

See you guys next week... wait, no I won't ... there will be a guest blogger.

The Adventures of Guy ... written by a guy (probably)
The Next Adventures of Guy ... more wackiness
The Heat of the Moment (anthology)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Starting to Get the Hang of Things

Hi All,

I just returned from Morgan's book launch party for "Girl of My Dreams". It was fabulous! Not only did I have a great time, but I took notes. Lots of notes. Because soon, I'm going to need to put together an event like hers.

I'm going to have a book to launch. (It still sounds so great to say that!) I got the final edits from my editor this weekend. The next time I see a draft of my project it will be in galley form. So this is do or die time.

At this stage in my career, everyone seems to want to offer advice. Which is great. Because I am very new at this published author business. I'll take any and all advice I can get.

And, I'll offer some of my own here. Listen to what everyone has to say. Especially those who have been around the block on this before. Then sort it all out. Take what works for you, and leave the rest. Only you know what will work for you and your book.



Saturday, February 9, 2008

Love is Murder by Margot Justes

A conference not to be missed – Love is Murder (LIM). I have attended said conference for three years now. It gets better every year.

The likes of Lee Child, Barry Eisler, Tess Gerritsen, Carolyn Haines, William Kent Krueger and Joe Konrath – that was the star line up this year. Pretty impressive.

Along with many authors were the publishers and agents ready to hear pitches. Truly a well organized intimate conference that packs a punch.

The panels were informative and well attended. Todd Stone’s Whiskey tasting was packed with eager participants, anxiously awaiting the brew.

The bag piper was awesome. I have said before, keep the Whiskey; just give me the piper.

I wish I could name all the other authors that participated, but I would be here all day. Echelon authors Luisa Buehler and Silvia Foti won the Lovey awards. I am partial to Echelon, since if you look at the bottom of this blog, you’ll see Echelon listed right under the title of my book.

In fact I pitched my first year at the conference. The second year I signed a contract. This year I actually got to hold my book; for a very brief period of time. Between the conference and a book signing, I sold the fifty copies I had. I am eagerly awaiting another shipment.

Till next Saturday,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris
Available for pre-order on
Echelon Press LLC

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Welcome to Marvin L. Zimmerman

Marvin L. Zimmerman
Author of The Ovum Factor

Robert W. Walker, Friday Blogger, and the other members of the crew at Acme Authors Link welcome Marvin L. Zimmerman to our blogsite.
Marvin L. Zimmerman
Author of The Ovum Factor

Marvin L. Zimmerman is 58, father of one son, Eric, who is 6, and married for 20 years to Maisie Cheung.

For nearly 15 years now, Marvin has been Publisher & Editor of INMR Quarterly Review - a publication in the field of transmission and distribution of electrical energy, with 20,000 readers worldwide. He is also Chairman and organizer of the WORLD CONGRESS ON INSULATORS, ARRESTERS & BUSHINGS – a bi-annual technical conference and exhibition which takes place in selected cities throughout the world.

Marvin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and went on to complete his M.B.A. in international business (1972). Before starting INMR, he owned a small consulting firm specializing in international marketing. During this time, he traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting over 50 countries on all continents. He was also for many years a teacher of International Business at two of Canada’s largest universities - McGill and Concordia.

Marvin’s parents are both Holocaust survivors who managed to flee Poland just before the arrival of the Nazis. He was born in Salzburg, Austria shortly after the war finished and emigrated to Montreal Canada while still a child.

The Ovum Factor was written in Rio de Janeiro as well as the Amazon during the three-month period from October to December 2006. The images and experiences written into the plot of this novel are based on firsthand exposure to the jungles and rivers as well as visits to the Indians living there.

All his life, Marvin has been an ardent environmentalist and lover of the natural world. The plot of this novel is in many ways his reaction to the desperate situation
faced by the planet as a result of humanity’s unrelenting focus on growth without constraint. He wrote The Ovum Factor to help remind readers that our future ultimately depends as much on protecting the natural world as its survival depends on us.

Blog Post
By Marvin L. Zimmerman
Author of The Ovum Factor

Every novel starts with an inspired writer - a person who draws from a fountainhead of emotions and feelings they have accumulated from reading the fictional works of others.

As a young boy, I was especially fascinated by tales of great adventure that took place in far off lands and overlapped with tales of tragic love - the best kind of all since it is short-lived and never withers. Books such as Knight Without Armor and Lost Horizon by James Hilton, captivated me from the moment I opened them and became immersed in their tales of people struggling against almost insurmountable obstacles.

At the time I could not realize it. But reading these masterpieces was setting the stage for my own novels some forty years later.

In The Ovum Factor, I have tried to create a story that pulsates with the same restless energy that drives its protagonist through one seemingly impossible trial after the next. The plot overlays a tale of adventure and survival with the emotional angst of an unlikely hero who becomes separated from the woman he loves just when she needs him most. His struggle to survive and find what he desperately seeks is made infinitely more complex by the fact that the person he loves depends so much on him.

From the moment the hero, David Rose, awakes in his Manhattan apartment asking himself: What am I doing with my life? until the time he finds himself alone and critically injured in the deepest Amazon jungle, there will be a steady escalation of tension. And if this were not enough, the stakes are the highest possible - maybe even the very survival of mankind in the face of ecological degradation and climate change.

The reader who gives my first novel a chance will I hope be rewarded a story that will transport them from the centers of high-finance in New York to the California Institute of Technology in beautiful Pasadena - from China to the crime-infested slums of Rio de Janeiro, and finally into the hidden depths of the Amazon jungle. In between, there will be more twists and turns than the Da Vinci Code.

By the end of his journey, David will have completed both an actual and a metaphysical journey toward his true destiny - something that should prove emotionally satisfying for the reader.

To view The Ovum Factor video trailer, please go to

To learn more about the book and the author, please go to

Marvin, thanks for stopping by today.
Robert W. Walker

Is It Just Another Deadline? by DL Larson

A week from today I'll be in sunny Miami, awaiting our cruise ship to set out to sea. It's a vacation I've been looking forward to for awhile now. No snow, lots of sun and ten days to spend as I chose. I can't wait!

But I've several days of reality to deal with before I head for the airport. Tonight is "Author Night" at the Deer Park Barnes & Noble, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. I hope you venture out for this event, a great variety of authors, Morgan Mandel, Margot Justes and Me- DL Larson, will be traversing the snow/ice packed roads to see you.
Bring your money ~ you'll want to pick up several novels in order to be ready for the next snowstorm.

My other job, the nonwriting one, has demands on me before I leave as well. The painters are supposed to be at the library today, which meant I moved thousands of books in the last few days. My fingers tripping over the keys this morning remind me of how heavy they were. By Monday the paint will have dried enough to put things back to order. But we're rearranging, adding a Young Adult section to our library and we have new shelves to assemble; and I have a meeting Tuesday afternoon, after my preschool story hour, where our pre-teens and teens will make posters for our new art contest we are holding. Then Wednesday, we're hosting a mother-daughter Valentine's workshop. And that brings me to when I should be packed for take off. Eeek! And I have several chapters of my manuscript I want to edit before then too.

So we're back to dealing with deadlines again. Life is full of them. Some make us excited as we anticipate the big day, like my trip! Others make us groan at the added burden they cause. But I also like to look back and think of all the deadlines in my life as stepping stones. They've become a measuring stick for the progress I've made in the many areas of my life. Four years ago, I was hoping and praying to become a published author and today I am. Just a few years ago my local library had very few programs for our youth, today we offer something nearly every week. And I can't help remembering how I longed to have grandchildren and they are already six years old! I feel another Yikes coming on!

And all this pondering of past deadlines makes me wonder if the deadlines were once goals that time rearranged into commitments and promises? I like to think so. And I have a lot of goals yet to become reality. Maybe you do too. I hope to have many more books published, but if I don't commit to a writing schedule with deadlines of accomplishment, I might not reach my goals. So I take my deadlines seriously and realistically. The first step to succeeding is making a commitment to myself. I have to accept that my writing schedule is not up for debate, not a time to waste away in whatever meaningful manner I can dream up. I stick to it, mostly.

So with the first month of the new year already a memory, I hope you have set up a writing time and made some tangible goals to reach your writing potential. If you don't, no one will point fingers or say much of anything. But you you will have let another day go by without working on your dream. And that's a shame.

Good Luck~
Have a Wonderful Valentines!!

Til next time: (Feb. 28th)

DL Larson

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Catch Morgan Mandel with fellow bloggers, Margot Justes and DL Larson at Barnes & Noble, 20600 N. Rand Road, Deer Park, IL Thursday, Feb. 7, from 7:00 - 8:30 pm.

Since the Media Frenzy panel was such a great success at Love is Murder Con, and since many questions went unanswered due to time constraints, I'll be concentrating in detail on web promotion for a bit.

One of the basic ways to get yourself a web presence is to become a member of listservs. Listservs are groups formed on the web by people of similar interests. If you do a search on yahoo or google, you can find such egroups, ie listservs, for various subjects, such as pets, politics, books, and almost anything else you can
think of.

You can also find such groups on the ning network at Some are private by invitation only, but a great many are open to the public. You click a few buttons, answer a few questions, give your preferences and you're in. Some of the preferences concern how much personal information you wish to provide, what e-mail address you wish to use and your user name. The other questions depend on the group you join.

Here are some of the options offered by the yahoo egroups:

Individual e-mails - Just what it says. You get all the e-mails posted by the members. If a group is active, be prepared to be inundated by e-mails each day.

Daily Digest - You receive one or more summary e-mails sent to you (depending on how active the group is that day) These conglomerate e-mails list the individual e-mails from the group members and divide them into categories, so that you can pick and choose which of them you wish to read.

No mail - You can choose this option if you wish to only access the messages from the website for the group, instead of having the messages e-mailed to you. Some prefer this option to keep their mailboxes uncluttered.

After you join a particular group, you'll receive a welcome message, as well as a set of rules to follow. Typically, they're not that difficult. The catch is the rules for egroups vary. It's important to keep track of them. If you don't, believe me you will hear about it by the moderator and sometimes by fellow members.

Many listservs I belong to follow a Monday promo rule, meaning if you wish to do any promotion for your book, you'll do it on a Monday, and start your subject line with the word Promo, so people will recognize it for what it is.

Some groups don't allow promo at all, some only in certain forms.

Some allow excerpts of your book, some don't. Some allow adult content as long as you warn members in the subject line. Some don't.

Whatever you do, if nothing else, follow the rules as best you can. If you join a great number of listservs and have a hard time keeping track of what you're allowed, make a list so you won't do something you shouldn't. People in these groups tend to remember it when you don't follow the rules, so follow them. After all, your purpose to be on these groups is to create a good impression and make people like you, so hopefully the other members will become interested in what you have to offer.

When you're a member, it's hard to keep up with what everyone is posting. It's a good idea to try to pick at least one e-mail you can respond to each day from a group. People like it when you congratulate them for a good review or a new book coming out. They like it when you take special interest in them. You'll like it too when people do the same for you.

These are some of the basics of listservs. The main thing is get on some, make your presence known, follow the rules, don't get overwhelmed, enjoy networking.

Now, I better go to my listservs and check my e-mails myself.
Morgan Mandel

Now to reload

Another superbowl upset and another Love is Murder (LIMCON) are history--what a great game, what at great conference!
Love is Murder ( is the midwest's premier and Chicagoland's only conference and convention for readers, writers, and fans of mystery, romantic suspense, thrillers, suspense, horror--all the genres of dark fiction and true crime besides!
Despite a murderous snowstorm that delayed but did not stop many attendees, our 10th Love is Murder (LIMCON) was the best attended ever.
And no wonder, with headliners like Tess Geristen, Barry Eisler, Lee Child, William Kent Krueger, J.A. Konrath, and many more. We had some great publishers as guests--Bleak House Books, Echelon Press, New Leaf Books, Red Sage Publishing, and Teckno/Five Star. The agents of Browne and Miller Literary Associates and the Maria Carvainis agency took pitches as well. Sue Peterson of Brain Snacks books was our conference bookseller.
So what happened? Well, besides a fully attended Novelist's Boot Camp, there were panels, a Poe reading, master classes, demonstrations, Morgan Mandel videotaping (almost) everything, presentations, food, fun, a whiskey tasting, and many stories -- and more than a few lies -- told.
It was a chance to re-connect with some old friends and meet some new ones.
The amount of work that goes into planning, preparing, and executing a conference such as Love is Murder is monumental. Never mind that I'm on the board--the organizers still deserve kudos.
So I'll catch up on re-runs of the Superbowl commercials while I sort through the business cards and email addresses I gathered, put my notes from the panels and presentations where I can reveiw them, and think about next year's LIMCON.

Monday, February 4, 2008

GO ABTP! (chant, chant, chant)

Okay, first... a gloat.

My favorite team, ABTP won! Woo-hoo!

If you haven't guessed yet, ABTP stands for "Anybody But The Patriots."

Seriously, I'm a Colts fan, but regardless of what team I liked, I'd still hate the Patriots ... unless I lived in Boston. Then I'd like the Patriots, but I'd have to kill myself.

Is there a more miserable excuse for a human being than Bill Bellicose ... er, Bellichick, the irascible coach of the Patriots? Dresses like a bum, cheats like Bill Clinton and is the worst sport since, um, that one guy on the WWF.

How do you really feel about him, Norm?

He's a jerk.


Well, okay then.

So I'm pretty happy that Coach Belligerent isn't happy today. In fact, it seems like everyone's happy and gloating about it. The weather even warmed up and started melting the snow ... which, um... caused some pretty bad fog. But it reminded me of pea soup, and that made me want soup... which is a good thing.

And poor Tom Brady. Mr. Pin Up. I'm sure some supermodel will be consoling him. Boo-hoo-hoo! Anyone pitying him?

I didn't think so.

And do I mind that the people in New England are upset today? Hah! The Boston Red Sox weren't enough? ... the Boston Celtics? ...and probably their hockey team, whoever that is.

But get this, some people outside of New England actually rooted for the Patriots. Any of you wanna know why? It's because they didn't want the unbeaten 1972 Dolphins to drink Metamucil this year. And ... what? ... oh, champagne?

Anyway, who cares about a bunch of drunk sea mammals? I hate champagne, and hopefully they have some whopping hangovers right now that are making their dentures ache.

Oh, and I'm sure it just takes the cake for Coach Belchesalot that the brother of his arch enemy, Peyton Manning, swiped the trophy from underneath his sneer .

Hee, hee, hee... I'm so happy.

On a totally unrelated note, I had a great time at Love is Murder. I can't begin to tell you the great authors I ran into ... most of them forgive me. But the short list includes Lee Child, Raymond Benson, William Kent Krueger, Tess Gerritsen, Barry Eisler (pause while you women all fan yourselves) ... not to mention, ... but I will ... almost every single writer on the Acme Authors Link, Todd & Terri Stone, Margot Justes, Rob Walker, Morgan Mandel... did I miss anyone? ... hope not.


If you've never gone to a writer's conference, what are you waiting for?! What an awesome time, and every author I've ever met at a conference has been approachable, bribable, and willing to let you buy him or her a drink.

Gotta go. See y'all and stuff,

The Adventures of Guy ... written by a guy (probably)
The Next Adventures of Guy ...more wackiness
The Heat of the Moment (anthology)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New Kid on the Block

Hi All!

I'm the new kid on the block here on the Acme Authors Link. Many thanks to Morgan for inviting me to be the "Sunday Blogger".

I recently sold my first fiction book, "This Time for Always", to The Wild Rose Press. I don't have information about a release date yet, but I will keep everyone posted!

I am pretty excited about this new chapter in my life, but a little overwhelmed as well. It's been great having friends who are already published. They've answered a ton of questions and have been very supportive and encouraging along the way. That's been the best part of my writing career (pre and post published) so far: fellow writers who are always willing to share advice, expertise, sympathy, and congratulations (whatever the particular occassion calls for). I belong to a fabulous local chapter of RWA (Howdy Chicago-North!). Without these wonderful ladies, my road to published bliss wouldn't have been nearly as well-paved.

So for all you aspiring authors out there, my advice to you is this...get connected. Find a support system, personal and professional, and then get writing. Your dreams can come true, too.

All the best,

Debra St. John

Friday, February 1, 2008

Rob's Become a Museum Piece By Robert W. Walker

You may have heard the rumor. Well it is no rumor. Along with other items, a copy
of Fatal Instinct has gone to the Museum of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD. Imagine it,
my book under glass and I didn't have to die for the privillege. Just amazing and
mind blowing. I am feeling like Colbert here, dazed at the attention! Now I have to
figure out what to do with this dubious honor. Apparently, the dental thread and
bite marks on the victims in FATAL Instinct could not be denied.

T'anks everyone for the applause for this admittedly dubious honor. Am trying to
figure out how to turn it into sales for my current titles. Have had a number of
suggestions. A magnetic sign on my car door panels, a sash, badge, bumper-
sticker reading "I got a piece in a museum" but I continue to take suggestions.

Rob LOL Walker
Rob Walker
City of the Absent -- vote for it at Love is Murder for best
historical fiction 2007