Friday 26 March 2010

Interview with Melissa Murphy

Spring has sprung! This is my favorite time of the year. I get such a feeling of hope and optimism and simply enjoy the warmth and blossoming nature. Ahhhh.

On this fine spring day, we're chatting with promising aspiring writer Melissa Murphy. Welcome, Melissa. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, Dorothy! Thank you for inviting me. I am a married mother of four busy boys, and we also have numerous pets living with us as well. My love of writing and reading started way back in elementary school. At twelve I entered and won a writing contest which resulted in my short story being published in a children’s magazine that is dedicated to encouraging young writers under the age of thirteen, Stone Soup. I was hooked after that, but as it often does, life got in the way and I only just picked writing back up a little over a year ago.

The main thing is you got back into it. That's great! What is the name and genre of your manuscript?

My latest manuscript is called Secrets of the Gentleman Thief. It is a paranormal romance set in the mid-1800’s.

I like the title! I'm interested already. Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

Secrets of the Gentleman Thief is set in a fictional land, the Dark Forest. The forest’s great ancient trees conceal the existence of tiny magical creatures, guardians of the precious secret of all life.

Haunted by a traumatic event in her childhood that is locked away in the deepest recesses of her mind, Alisa Fenton embarks on a quest to find answers to the questions about her irrational fear of the Dark Forest that lies near her home. She begins by seeking out and interviewing those who are known to believe in the fairies of the Dark Forest. During one of her interviews, a psychic warns her about a dark stranger who is searching for her and could be her salvation or her ruin. Alisa’s brother, William, comes up missing forcing her to alter her plans. She then searches for answers to new questions. Unbeknownst to Alisa, the two situations are connected.

Her dark stranger, Daniel Emerson, an undercover agent for the Crown, is also looking for Alisa’s brother, though for very different reasons. William Fenton holds important information that Daniel’s superiors fear may fall into the wrong hands. Daniel fabricates a story of William owing him a large sum of money in order to protect the secret government organization. He suspects that Alisa knows more about her brother’s disappearance than she has divulged.

Despite their mutual distrust the two are compelled to travel and work together. Even the startling physical attraction that they both feel doesn’t allay their suspicious minds. Silencing anyone connected to the missing brother, a murderer closes in forcing them to flee and go into hiding. Passion erupts in seclusion reawakening the trauma lurking in Alisa’s subconscious and stirring Daniel’s guilt in the death of a woman he once loved.

Each driven by their own agendas, Alisa and Daniel follow a series of magical maps to the core of the Dark Forest, indeed into the very belly of the earth. The answers they find there only lead to more questions and uncertainty about the small amount of trust they have built. In the end, Daniel and Alisa must believe and trust in the magic of the fairies of the Dark Forest and in each other as well, to save all.

I'd definitely read this story! How did the idea come to you?

It’s kind of funny really. I was babysitting the three year old daughter of a friend of mine one day. She crawled up in my lap and asked me to tell her a story. Five to ten minutes later when it was done, I thought, that wasn’t half bad! I decided to write it down and then that led to the idea of turning it into a novel. In the beginning it was to be a YA novel, but it grew, changed and took on a life of its own, becoming so much more.

What stage is the novel at now?

It is complete. Well, complete until the next time I take a notion to do more revisions. lol I can’t seem to ever stop tweaking. I have been querying agents for this project and just last Friday got a letter from one who seemed interested. So, keep your fingers crossed for me, OK?

I'll definitely do that! So do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers?

Yes. For the first few manuscripts I wrote, I had only my two sisters and a couple of friends. Recently, I joined Romance Writers of America and found a great critique partner through them. I have also asked a couple of wonderful ladies who I met on twitter to help with a chapter that the interested agent asked me to revise. It never hurts to get another’s opinion.

I agree. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

For me, the hardest part of writing is trying to do it with constant distractions. Between the children, pets and twitter, it is sometimes hard to get my head into the story. I have found that I do my best writing late at night when the house is quiet and dark. Of course, I can’t do too much of this, for I do still need sleep.

Ah, this mysterious "sleep" I keep hearing about. Maybe one day I'll find out what it is. LOL Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Never give up! A friend reminded me recently that a lot of really great manuscripts get turned down before the authors find the right home for them. The trick is to persevere until you find that agent/editor who likes your style of writing and loves your story as much as you do. It will happen!

Great advice. Hold on to your dreams, people! So do you have an idea of your book’s cover art?

I love the covers of Mary Balogh’s books where the heroine is shown only from about her lips down. It allows the reader to use their imagination to put on her the face that they want.

Draw them in with mystery. Good plan. Who are your inspirations?

Of course, I have already just mentioned on of my favorite authors, Mary Balogh. Another one that I love to read is Karen Hawkins.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What are your most favorite and least favorite words?

I guess I don’t really have a favorite word. It is how you string them together and create a new and interesting world that I adore. Words that I don’t care to hear or use are any kind of curse words, or words used to put others down.

Is there something that you absolutely need to have nearby when you write?

I don’t have a thing, but I do have a place. The little office that I share with my husband has huge windows along one wall that over look the valley and next ridge. It is an awesome view. It proves to be another distraction at times, though. *grin*

Sounds great! Color me jealous—all I see out my window is the neighbor's house, lol. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

Certainly I could not do this without the support of my husband and family, but I must also include my betas, my lovely sisters and friends. There are so many who have helped, I could not possibly name them all.

And finally, where can people find you online?

For now there is only twitter – @melissamurphy2. I know I need to branch out more, but for the time being I think I have enough distractions already. lol

Yes, distractions are a curse on the world! Oh, sorry, got carried away. Thank you so much for chatting with us, Melissa. I'm crossing my fingers for you to hear good news soon!

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Interview with Kristen Howe

Today with talking to aspiring writer Kristen Howe.

Welcome, Kristen! Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Kristen Howe. I'm 33, almost 34, a former Jersey Girl who lives in Northern Ohio for the past 10 years, currently 5 years in the Cleveland area. I'm unemployed and currently work as a substitute secretary for my local school system. I also volunteer at my local hospital once a week too.

I understand you've got a lot on your plate. What are the names and genres of your manuscripts?

I'm currently working on five Nano/Julnowrimo mss at the moment. One of them I hope to pitch to agents this spring. Venom, Specimen and Double Exposure are my three eco-thrillers. The 24-Hour Chain Reaction is part psychological thriller/police procedural. Web of Deceit is romantic suspense.

That's a lot of writing! What are your stories about?

The 24-Hour Chain Reaction is about Detective Sierra Bledsoe, a SVU Detective from Dayton PD, who chases a speeder all across Southern Ohio, she finds out who the speeder is, and the ensuing events happen all in one day.

Venom is about a twisted poacher, who targets zoologists at a symposium in Key West, he is looking for a new kind of anti-venom; and it's up to Dr. Kylie Marx, a zoologist/herpetologist, to stop him in his tracks, which leads back to her past.

Double Exposure is about Dr. Alexa Phelps, a marine biologist and freelance photographer, who discovers a political scandal on the shores of Catalina Island, when it hits close to home dealing with potential politicians and eco-terrorists, with their regional outbreaks as ocean life dies.

Specimen is about Dr. Ursula Slater, a conchologist/zoologist, who learns that poachers are after a rare shell specimen on New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island, and has to go scuba diving to beat them to the punch.

Web of Deceit is about Officer Melinda Herron from the Riverhead PD in Long Island, New York, who uncovers the truth on why someone wants her dead. She's also emotionally blackmailed and recruited by Internal Affairs to go undercover and ends up both in a love triangle and a world of hurt.

How did the ideas of the stories come to you?

Before I decided to go to Nano, I had dreamt of the ideas first. Recurring dreams. If it worked for Stephanie Meyer, why not me? Nonetheless, I never got stuck with Writer's Block. All of my ideas came from my dreams. The 24-Hour Chain Reaction stemmed from "24", the failed Fox TV show "Drive", and real life police chases you see in the news--high octane power in one powerful day. It reminded me of Sandra Brown's "Chill Factor", with the same timeline.

I've got the idea to do eco-thrillers, from a Writer's Digest Magazine article about eco-thrillers making a comeback. Other than Nicholas Evans books, there haven't been many out there. Plus, all of my eco-thrillers are set in island locations, which is "outside the box" to set a storyline. Not many stories have been set there. For Key West, there's Stella Cameron's Key West. That's it. For Catalina, there's "Swimming to Catalina" by Stuart Woods. You might see a brief mention or have a brief scene, if any books set in California, but not the entire book. You won't see books in Block Island. But you might see some in Hawaii. You get the picture, right?

As for Web of Deceit, this happened last spring, around this time to try a new genre. I've read a bunch of romantic suspense books over the past two years from Lisa Gardner to Karen Rose to set how it's set up.

Are any of your manuscripts complete or still works in progress?

All of them are still works in progress.

What are your word count goals, and how far along are you at this point?

The 24-Hour Chain Reaction is still undergoing its final editing round. Venom is almost completed, and will be done in a few weeks--just have to finish finalizing my chapters, write 1-2 new final chapters, and rework/tweak the rest. Specimen is at its 2nd editing round. Double Exposure is at its second to last. Web of Deceit is at its first, since I've just started it for Nanoedmo. Yes, I do have a word count goal for all of them to be around 90-110 K. I need to cut 5K for Specimen. 20 K for Web of Deceit, since it's partially done, 22 K (than 42 K) for The 24-Hour Chain Reaction, 50 K for Venom, 93 K for Double Exposure. That's what happens when you overwrite, during Nano.

What's your next step – are you self publishing, querying for an agent, etc.?

I hope to pitch Venom this spring. That's my next step to query agents. The others won't be for awhile.

That's understandable. Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

It's a bit of both. I have a beta reader for Venom and just gained crit partners for Web of Deceit. I mainly do self-editing on my own. I've been a member of a few crit groups/forums for a few years. They're free and online.

Your poems have been published. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Sure. I am taking a break from poetry for awhile, I've been writing poetry for a few years. I write various poetry forms and topics, real or fictionalized. I've been published in some markets online and some in print. Other than copies, I've been paid a few dollars for my published poems. It's harder to get into those paying markets.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Editing. I tend to overwrite and have problems with show vs tell, tenses, tightening the flow. That's when crit partners/beta readers come in handy.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Don't give up. Read out loud. Have a fresh pair of eyes.

Sound advice. Do you have an idea of your book’s cover art?

Yep. I don't have any pictures, but I have ideas that I've discussed with fellow Twitter friend and writer, Shannon Delany, last year.

For 24-Hour Chain Reaction, I have a tilting hourglass, with the small car from the chase slammed into the base. The title would fill white space above the hourglass and down along the right side of it. Words horizontal but stacked or a stopwatch being attached to the car's bumper as its squealing away. We'll see part of the car like viewer's overhead and disappear off to the right (either top or bottom corner--let your bloggers decide.

For Venom, there would be a photo of the swamp in the Everglades and at the bottom the title dropped into it, with one or two snakes slither out of the swamp, through the letters and towards the reader.

For Double Exposure, a photo of Catalina with a photograph of two spills with the "E" electric and in a different color than the rest of the title.

For Web of Deceit, it'll be simple with a spider web, a spider and a NYPD badge (perhaps RPD) in the middle of the web. The title would be in black and silver.

For Specimen, I've thought of a scuba diver in the Atlantic Ocean with shells forming the word, and a spear through blue-green letters.

Who are your inspirations?

Hmm. I would have to say, for the thriller angle, it would have to be Iris Johansen and Erica Spinder. Mary Higgins Clark got me hooked onto mysteries, and then onto cozies, suspense/thrillers. For romantic suspense, Karen Rose and Lisa Jackson. I've been recently hooked on them for a few years, before I decided to write my own.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

Special thanks goes out to my mom for believing in me and helping me fix my errors. I would also like to thank all of my Twitter friends. They all support me. And to my crit partners/beta readers, thanks for going for the ride.

And finally, where can people find you online?

I have two blogs:
I'm also at Twitter as @Kristen_Howe.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with us, Kristen, and I wish you lots of luck in your publishing journey!

Monday 22 March 2010

Interview with Jordan Tohline

Happy Monday, everyone! Today we're talking with a very interesting aspiring writer by the name of Jordan.

Welcome, Jordan. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Ah, let's see. My name is JM (or Jordan, if you prefer), and my last name is Tohline (Tuh-lean). I've been writing for ten years. That's pretty much what I do. I write a lot. I read a lot.

It's funny, that very first time you pick up a pen or sit down at a computer and decide you're "going to write something," you don't realize how far that one decision will take you. Kind of exhilarating, no? Uh...yeah, of course, you also don't realize how rocky the road really is. You reach some scenic overlooks from time to time - places where you can stop and enjoy the view and appreciate your journey before kicking back into gear - but mostly it's a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of moving forward. I think part of becoming a "successful writer" is learning to appreciate all the steps necessary to get to where you want to be.

Maybe that's what I'll start telling people when they ask about me: "I'm learning to appreciate all the necessary steps." That might not make sense in most contexts, huh? Well...Oh well.

Sounds good. It makes sense to us fellow writers. What is the name and genre of your manuscript?

My current manuscript is called The Great Lenore. One would categorize it as mainstream literary fiction, but some would also categorize it as pure and utter awesomeness.

Of course, others would categorize it as a pure and utter waste of time. This is a good thing.

My goal right now (as I'm having to make some final adjustments to the manuscript) is to eliminate the middle ground who would read this manuscript and feel entirely lukewarm. I feel like, right now, there's probably 20% of readers who would love this story, 20% who would hate it, and a middle 60% who would finish reading the book and would simply move on with their life. The goal is to get that "lukewarm middle" down to about 20%, with 40% on either side feeling passionately one way or the other.

Reasonable goals. Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?

The Great Lenore is the story of Lenore Montana, whose plane from London to Boston crashed into the Atlantic, killing every person on board.

Lenore's husband and family gathered on Nantucket Island off the coast of Massachusetts to collect the pieces of their broken lives and to mourn Lenore. A couple days later, Lenore arrived on Nantucket Island also. Very much alive.

She had left her flight just before it took off, and now she was dead on paper. And she had a chance to start over.

Before she began her new life, however, she wanted to attend her funeral. She needed to see how her two-timing husband reacted to having lost her. She needed to see how the family reacted. She needed to see how the world...

Wow, sounds intriguing. I'm sure many people have thought about spying on their own funerals. How did the idea of the story come to you?

Who knows how ideas come. Right?

For ten years, I have "wanted to be a writer." And so, for ten years, I've been constantly stumbling across story ideas.

It was funny, though - I was about halfway through the first draft of this manuscript when my dad told me about an article he had seen: A husband and wife, who had been presumed dead, were found living their dream life down in South America. My dad said, "There's a story in there somewhere, don't you think?" Uh, yeah, I told him - in fact, that's pretty much the story I'm working on right now.

It's cool, though - it's a cool concept - because it's something most people would love to explore. Attend your own funeral; start a new life; make your new life absolutely whatever you want it to be.

I understand you're between agents. Is this a difficult transition to make?

Yeah, last summer I landed a really great agent who was entirely enthusiastic about my work. She and I tweaked the manuscript a bit, and then she subbed a couple editors at major publishing houses.

Both editors had some really good things to say, but ultimately they both passed. Okay, no big deal. My agent and I made a couple more changes, and we were ready to go out to editors again. And then. She sort of. Disappeared.

After several months of disjointed correspondence, she finally apologized and let me know she was having to pull back on much of her agenting work due to some personal issues. And thus: I became an agent orphan.

About a month ago I started querying agents again, and since then I've had 15 agents request the partial or the full. But one thing you learn through this process is: This business, truly and honestly, is entirely subjective. It's also a lot of waiting. The only thing you can do in the meantime is: Keep writing. Keep writing.

You're so write ... I mean right. ; ) Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

One thing that scares me is: Groupthink. Groupthink always puts one in danger of doing the same thing that everyone else is doing - and since I believe that doing something *unique* and *different* should be a writer's ultimate goal, I've always avoided writer's groups and the like.

Of course (or rather, "Of course #1"), every writer is different. I know a brilliant writer up in New York who joined the MFA program at Goddard College, and it was the best thing he had ever done for his writing career - being around other writers, getting their input, feeding off their passion. And he is one of the most unique writers I know. I think there is a balance, and everyone needs to find it.

Of course and also ("Of Course #2"), no writer is infallible. Every writer needs something/someone(s) to read their early drafts and be brutally honest with them. Someone who takes no prisoners, and who (optimally) revels in hurting your feelings.

Very good points. So, what’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part of writing, for me, is remembering that a first draft is only a first draft. I'm a perfectionist, so it's sometimes difficult for me to say, "Hey, this is the first draft. Get this story down, and stop obsessing over imperfections. Just fly! Just write. You can adjust it all later."

I struggle with that too. I think I'm getting better at it though. Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Tips for writers:

Write. A lot.

Read. A lot.

Can't get any clearer than that. Tell us who your inspirations are.

On the wall beside my writing desk, I have pictures of these people: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Plath, Salinger, Joyce, Kerouac, and Thompson. These are the writers whose lives and works inspire me the most (although, are not necessarily the writers who have influenced me the most).

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Tell us something special about yourself.

I have a cat whose name is The Old Man And The Sea. I call her Tomats for short. A couple years ago, my housemate and I were taking care of a pregnant stray, and she had her babies (Tomats among them) about 15 minutes after I finished writing the last sentence of the first draft of The Great Lenore. Ever since then, Tomats has helped me write (usually by sitting on my notebook or by playing with my pen while I write - not really much help at all, actually, but it's nice that she tries).

Sweet! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

To everyone who writes, and to everyone who reads, I love you. Without you there's no me, and without me there's no you. It's nice how that works.

Aw, how very yin-yang! And finally, where can people find you online?

I'm on Twitter @JMTohline
I also have an internet home here: - on here, you can download and sample the first four pages of The Great Lenore.
I also write a Very Short Story every weekday right here:

You're a busy person! Thank you so much, Jordan, for chatting with us. It's been fun.

Dorothy, thank you for this - what a great page you have here!

Thank you! And please keep us informed of your publication progress.

Lastly, Dear Reader, thank you for this - what a great face you have(?). Thanks for sharing your time with us. Hopefully I'll see you around.

Thursday 18 March 2010

Interview with Ashelynn Sanford

I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for stopping in and reading my blog. I'm glad others find it interesting to hear about other aspiring writers. I like the fact that it seems more like a community when we can be here for each other and cheer each other on!

Today we're talking with Ashelynn Sanford.

Welcome, Ashelynn. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a young aspiring author who lives in Northern Wyoming. I teach a group of five nine-year-old girls dance every Wednesday, and I spend two days of the week learning the routines that I teach from my boss. I go by the name Ashelynn D. Sanford, or Ashy.

You lead a very artistic life. What is the name and genre of your manuscript?

"The Year the World Ended" is the novel I’m focusing on now, and it’s a action/adventure. A genre I don’t normally write in.

And what is this action/adventure story about?

The Boudoirs are a French couple who know one secret, and if that secret lands in the enemy’s hands, North America’s empire is going to expand from just one continent.

Elijah Anson and West Anderson have been assigned the mission of getting the information from Pierre Boudoir. Eli’s only issue with the assignment is his burning desire for Chance Boudoir, Pierre’s wife.

When Pierre becomes sick with a plague, Eli reacts irrationally and takes Chance Boudoir with him to Florida, where the last space shuttle to the moon is launching. West is tracking them down, determined to get the information from Chance who pretends she doesn’t know the secret…

It’s a race against time, enemies, and trust. How can Chance trust the one person who captured and saved her?

The description's got my blood pumping already. How did the idea of the story come to you?

I believe it came when I was sitting my history class, watching a movie about World War II and the great depression. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been rethinking the plot, trying to further it along, and those ideas came to me when I’m in the shower…like always…

Is your manuscript complete or still a work in progress?

A work in progress.

Do you have a word count goal, and how far along are you at this point?

I don’t at the moment, but I’d like if it was over 75K. I’m still in the beginning stages, but hope to be much, much further, at least 1/3rd of the 75K goal by the end of March, early April.

What will be your next step when you're done?

Querying for an agent. I think everybody should try to get an agent before going to self-publishing; a lot of bestselling authors received a ton of rejection letters before somebody decided to take them on. Self-publishing isn’t something I’m looking into, and I hope I don’t have to.

I agree with you on trying for an agent. Good advice. So do you have a critique group or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

When I get to the editing phase, I’ll send it my close friends—Mireyah being one of them. I think being in a critique group helps writers and even friends whose advice you trust.

Yes, a fresh set of eyes helps a lot. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Finding time to write. You’d think for a nineteen-year-old not going to college would have a lot of time to write, right? My mother seems to think that I’m her housemaid, so I’m usually away from the computer nine hours in the day, and then when I am able to get on the computer, I either get distracted by the shiny things (Oo, internet…) or my mom has decided the fridge needs to be cleaned.

I'm sure most of us are often distracted by the internet. Can't be helped. Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Manage your time very well; if you have a few hours to kill, open up your MS and start writing. Whenever you can write, write. It will help you in the long run, even if it’s just baby steps. A lot of people say you need to write every day, but I don’t. As long as you’re thinking about it, I think that’s good enough. Some days you don’t have time to write at all without sacrificing something, and writing shouldn’t be your top priority. Family, job, relationships, etc. should be your top priority.

That's a healthy perspective. So who are your inspirations?

Kate Chopin because she wrote scenes that weren’t safe to write about in her time, and she was a woman and not a lot of women wrote “unsafe” scenes in the 1800s. I have a lot more other inspirations, but I’m just going to leave it at Kate Chopin because I could go on.

She sounds awesome! Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know (or maybe they do know but they are special traits/hobbies/quirks)?

  1. I love perfume and body spray. I can six bottles on my desk right now, and that’s not including all the bottles I have in my bathroom! Since I have decision-making issues, I have somebody else pick what perfume I’m going to wear that day. My Stepsis really likes this job.
  2. I can’t read one book at a time. I usually read two-three books at the same time, but right now I’m reading seven (yes SEVEN) published books and TWO manuscripts from two very talented young writers.
  3. I don’t want to write a bestseller; sure, it’d be cool, but it’s not something I’m aiming for when I become published. I’d rather have my book become banned than a bestseller. Not because banned books make a lot of money or anything, I’m not doing this for the money, but because I could say, “Yeah, my novel so-and-so is banned. Pretty cool, eh?”

Aha, I see. Well, that's one way to stand apart from the crowd. Okay, here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

My best girls: Dawn, Amy, Mireyah, and H. C. They’re always there for me, and even though there are a lot more people who support and are always there for me, these four are *always* there and not afraid to kick my butt into gear if I’m stalling with writing!

And finally, where can people find you online?

My blog:
My twitter: @AshelynnS

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Ashelynn. Good luck with your book, and be sure to let us know when you've reached the next step of your writing journey!

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Interview with Charolette Heil

You’ve stopped in just in time for another exciting interview! Today we’re chatting with aspiring writer Charolette Heil.

Charolette is a 28 year old aspiring writer from Minnesota. When not writing, she is usually working as an RN, attending classes for massage therapy, or spending time with friends and family. She has been reading since the age of 3 and started writing stories while still in elementary school. Her writing has improved somewhat since that time.

What is the name and genre of your manuscript?

The title is Lycanthrope Moon, and I guess it would be considered Urban Fantasy.

Love the title! Let’s hear your pitch.

For Grace Larkin, there is a definite line between reality and delusion. There has to be, when one works with the mentally ill. Her world is painted in bold strips of black and white. Anything logic cannot explain is a delusion; a fictitious creation of a disturbed mind. Then comes the day Connor Marshall is admitted. He believes he is a werewolf, an impossibility in Grace’s view. But as the days pass and the world grows stranger, the question of if he is indeed delusional keeps reappearing to bother her.

The day he escapes from her hospital, she believes she has seen the last of him. Before the day’s end, however, she finds herself at his mercy with no visible escape. As he shows her possibilities she never would have believed could exist, Grace soon discovers that nothing is as her training and education have led her to understand. Like it or not, she is drawn into a new and strange world populated by beings that are never quite what they seem. Friends appear from the most unlikely places, and enemies seem to be lurking in every shadow. She is astounded to learn that a war has been raging within the city - a war that no one even knew of. Her heart calls her to follow this new path, but that way lies madness and death.

The only question in her mind now is not whether werewolves are real, but if she – and those she has come to care so much for - will survive.

Very exciting! I'm all for werewolf stories. I can imagine it as a book to read while huddled in bed into the late hours of the night. How did the idea of the story come to you?

It was inspired by a number of sources. For one thing, I am an RN working with people with severe and persistent mental illness. Some of the people I work with have very entrenched delusional systems that they firmly believe in, and some of their delusions actually sound like something out of a science fiction or fantasy novel. I haven't yet encountered someone who believes they are a werewolf, but the concept I started with was, what if a person believes something that society states could not possibly be true, but happens to actually be true? How could that person prove that they aren't delusional to someone whose job dictates that they believe they are?

My other major source of inspiration was the movie Underworld, although the plot and characters weren't the fascinating part for me. I loved the idea that there wasn't just one werewolf, but a whole community of them, and that some of them were able to control their transformation. With so many werewolf stories, it's just one monster terrorizing a community. If you think about it, that really doesn't make sense, because both wolves and humans are social animals, so why would a cross between them be a solitary beast? I started with the idea of a werewolf community, and then fleshed it out and gave them a culture and a history as well.

You’ve put a lot of thought into the story, that’s great! What point are you at in the writing process?

The story is basically done, though I keep finding things to revise. Right now, I am researching agents and working on query letters.

Do you have a critique group or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I do a lot of self-editing, but I've also had a few people read through and give me feedback on things that don't make sense or need tweaking. I don't really have a formal beta reader, though.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

I write chronologically, from the beginning of the book to the end. I know sometimes writers will jump around and write the scenes they already have in their head that they want to have happen, but I don't like to do that. For one thing, when I write chronologically, often by the time I get to that scene it's changed a bit because of what happened earlier. Sometimes the hardest part of writing for me is getting from one scene I really wanted to write and connecting it to the next one. I'm not always sure how I'm going to get there, even if I already know where I want it to go.

Aside from that, right now the hardest part of writing is finding the time. I'm currently kind of in between projects. I finished Lycanthrope Moon, and I'm researching the next one I want to write, but I'm not yet in the throes of plot and character construction like I get when I'm in the middle of writing something. Also, I am currently going to school full time and working full time, so that doesn't leave a lot of extra time for writing if I also want to do those other bothersome things like eat and sleep. I'll be done with school in December, though, so I'm hoping to have a lot more time for writing after that.

Sleep? What’s that? LOL. Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

I think the best tip for any aspiring writer is just to write. Write, write, write as much as you can. Let the story that's in your head come out. Don't worry about how it's coming out at first. As Maureen Johnson said, give yourself permission to suck. Everyone does at first. That's what revising is for. Just get words onto paper however you can, and learn as you go. It also helps to be a voracious reader, I think.

I totally agree on both counts. So, do you have an idea of your book’s cover art?

I do, actually. I haven't done any mockups of it, but I have a pretty good picture in my head. The basic idea is the face of a wolf with brilliant green eyes superimposed over the image of a full moon. The title would be at the bottom, and my name at the top, in (much) smaller print.

Who are your inspirations?

My main inspiration in life is my mother. She doesn't write, but her passion in life is horses, and she has been living her dream of having her own riding stable for the past couple decades. She's the one who showed me that it is possible to live your dreams, and in fact, there is no other way to live your life.

As far as favorite authors, though, I grew up reading Robert Heinlein, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey. Later, I discovered Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series, and I would have to say that they are still my favorite book series. I also really enjoyed the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, and am looking forward to Mockingjay when it comes out in August.

I'm looking forward to that too! Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Tell us three things about yourself.

  1. I'm a night owl. I usually hit my second wind around 10pm, and so if I'm not sleeping by then, I have a hard time falling asleep until 2 or 3am. It's not a problem if I don't have anything to do in the morning, but when I work the early shift at work, I have to be there by 7am!
  2. I grew up on a farm and have been riding horses since I was about two years old. It's my mom's passion, not mine, but the knowledge about that kind of thing comes in handy when I'm writing about anything horse-related.
  3. I have a blended family, and am the oldest of six children, including a full brother, three half-sisters and a stepsister.

Big family! And I love horses. You’re so lucky! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

My family has always been wonderfully supportive, especially my mom and my brother, and I would be remiss if I didn't thank the writing friends I have met online who have helped me grow, both as a writer and in many other ways. And, of course, you too, Dorothy.

Aw, you’re sweet. I’m glad we found each other. Let’s let everyone know where to find you online.

I am on Facebook, and also on Twitter @wordweaver81. I recently started a blog as well, at I intend to talk about writing, philosophy, massage, movies, books, and a lot of other things that I tend to be quite enthusiastic about. Some samples of my writing should also be up shortly.... or at least as soon as I get around to it.

Fantastic! Thank you so much for chatting with us, Charolette. Good luck with your novel, and please keep us informed of your progress in publishing!

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Interview with Jim Angell

Today we’re chatting with aspiring writer James "Jim" Angell.

Welcome, Jim. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born on the little island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands (British Isles). I moved to Utah in 2005 after meeting my beautiful wife Jen. Since then we have spent the last five years based in the small quiet town of Bountiful. For my "real job" I work at the University of Utah as a Systems Administrator for the College of Engineering. I am also back in school part time at the UofU working on my second degree (going from Electronic Engineering to Journalism).

Bountiful is such an interesting name for a town. There’s a story-starter right there! Speaking of stories, tell us what you’re working on right now.

I have a few projects going on at the moment. My current focus is on my new project (possible series) called "Dead Beat". It's a Sci-Fi cop series set in the year 2052. I am also working on a novel called "Maidens Song" which is my first attempt at a magical realism story.

What is Dead Beat about?

The year is 2052. It has been 10 years since the signing of the All Nations treaty and the world exists in relative peace. That is until the first confirmed Ghost is filmed and broadcast across the globe. At first the world is overjoyed at the chance to see their departed loved ones again. Then the bodies start to turn up. Nothing too out of the ordinary for the area and nothing too suspicious at first. Until the murder of Professor Daryn Freeman, a Quantum Physicist at the Numar Institute. Detective John Ellis is called in to investigate, not knowing that this case will send him headlong into a fight for the survival of the human race. He is not in the slightest bit superstitious, has no time for religion and absolutely does not believe in ghosts. Little does he realize that the case he has just been assigned will take his beliefs to their limits and propel him into a battle for the very survival of the human race.

Sounds really interesting and maybe a little spooky. I like! So how did the idea of the story come to you?

My ideas come to me at the most inopportune times normally. This one came from a rather vivid dream I around 3:30 in the morning. This is why I strongly advocate always having a pen and paper by the bedside.

I usually have brainstorms in the shower—guess I need to invest in some kind of waterproof writing apparatus, lol. You said this was a new project, so I’m guessing your manuscript is still a work in progress.

Yes, the project is still in its infancy. I'm currently working on characters, including the sinister Reverend Jocob Green. Normally I have a bit of an affinity with my villains (I'm British, we're always the baddies) but I'm really starting to hate this guy.

Sci Fi requires world building, which means a high word count. Do you have a word count goal, and how far along are you at this point?

I try to not to give myself overall word counts for the full story. I will, however, give myself targets during a writing session. Normally I shoot for 1000 words per hour, doesn't always happen. I should have a working draft for the first couple of chapters by the end of the week, exams and work permitting of course.

Yes, the time factor. Still, 1000 words an hour is amazing. Do you have a critique group or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

My wife is a fantastic editor, having worked with a lot of copy during her career. I do a lot of editing myself, often as I go, but it's great to have someone around with less attachment.

That’s very convenient. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part I find is having too many ideas. Now I know people are going to comment on that not being a problem, but when you get several ideas at the same time, all seeking to come out on top, this generally ends up in the dreaded writer’s block. It's not that I don't know what to write next, I just don't know which one.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

One of the most important things I have learned is to take time away from the desk. There is this idea that, as writers, we need to be chained to the keyboard 24/7 until the story is told. The problem with that idea is that it will stop you experiencing life. And a writer that does not experience life has no stories to tell.

That’s a good point. Who are your inspirations?

My big three would be: James Herbert; Who first inspired me to write myself after reading his book "Moon". Gene Roddenberry; For daring to predict a future where mankind has completely screwed up. And my all time favorite author, H G Wells. His literary skill and incredible foresight have always been able to enchant me, no matter how often I read his stories. If you have only seen the movie adaptions of War of the Worlds then you need to get the book ASAP. There is simply no comparison.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know (or maybe they do know but they are special traits/hobbies/quirks)?

Uh oh, let's see.

  1. My left foot just slight outwards after a rather nasty injury when I was 18. Sadly it wasn't a sporting injury. The real story is that I was distracted by a girl I had liked all semester....while running down some stairs. You can figure the rest out yourselves.
  2. My Meyers Briggs result is INFJ.
  3. As a result of the #1...unpleasantness, I can actually turn my left foot 180 degrees.

I have to say, aside from the weird fact that you can turn it that far, your foot story is adorable. All because of a girl! But enough about her, here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you (and not who have caused you physical impairments). Who would you like to give a shout out to?

My wonderful and ever supportive wife who puts up with my sudden bouts of inspiration in the early hours of the morning. My friend and fellow writer Cherie, who got me back into the writing world after persuading me to do NaNoWrimo for the first time. And of course a very special shout out to my no 1 Twitter girl @craftycmc.

And finally, where can people find you online?

You can find me ranting and raving about my tortured life as a writer over on my blog; The Writers Stall: Or follow me on twitter @writingstorm

Thank you so much for chatting with us, Jim.

I've really enjoyed it, thank you for letting me do the interview. It's been a pleasure.

Good luck with your books, and keep us informed of your progress!

Friday 12 March 2010


We've all heard the saying about patience being a virtue. I've had to remind myself that a lot lately.

In addition to sending out queries a few weeks ago, I've also been requested to send my full manuscript to an agent at a great literary agency. Yippee! And now I'm patiently waiting for him to read it. I know this can take a month or two (hopefully not more, though I know it happens), but time seems to crawl by when you're waiting for something, doesn't it? And just a couple days ago, an agent contacted me about my novel after reading about it on my website. The agency she works for does not accept unsolicited queries or manuscripts, so I was ecstatic to have her email me with interest in my work. So now she's got sample pages, and again I wait patiently for her to get back to me.

Okay, who am I kidding—I'm not patient at all.

So I decide to keep busy by writing my third book and by keeping up with this blog.

Writing is not something I have to wait for, unless you count waiting for the free time to suddenly drop into my lap. Keeping up with the blog, however, is another issue of patience. I've got some great aspiring writers out there lined up for interviews, but they also have busy schedules and I have to wait patiently for them to get back to me.

And don't even get me started on waiting for this cold weather to end and for spring to finally arrive.

But I'll just keep repeating that oh-so-popular saying over and over to myself, because even if I'm not really as patient as I should be, I do believe that good things come to those who wait—even if they're impatient.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Interview with Dawn Maria

Hello everyone! Grab a seat and get comfy because today we're having a chat with Dawn Maria of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Welcome to We Do Write, Dawn. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm married (just celebrated our 20 year anniversary), have two teen boys (17 & 14, which means I'm drinking more) and am a proud pet owner (one cat, two dogs, everything I own is covered with pet hair). By day I work for the school district as a Para-Educator. I'm a one-on-one aide to a special needs student. I love my day job. I've been writing since I was a kid. I taught myself to type on my grandparents' Smith Corona, which sits in my office today. I've always wanted to be a writer, but finally got serious about it five years ago when I started taking Creative Writing classes at Phoenix College. I graduated from their Creative Writing Program in December 2008.

And you're actually a published writer. I read you've had some of your work published in magazines, and you've got a short story coming out this spring. Can you tell us about that?

I'm just beginning to see more of my work get accepted in the last year. One of the goals I set for myself was so make sure I send out at least one submission a month. It's a realistic goal for my lifestyle (day job, family and writing life) and keeps me moving toward my dream of getting my novel published. It feels good to have something out there too. I always feel hopeful when I submit. Rejections can be tough, but the more you send stuff out, the more likely you'll get something accepted.

That's good advice. And now you're writing a novel! What is the name and genre of your manuscript?

The book is called WHERE ARE THEY NOW? and it's Chick Lit (I'm not ashamed to say, though the new moniker I keep seeing is Upmarket Women's Fiction). The book explores the distance between what we think we want from life and what we actually have through the adventures of four women who used to know each other in the 80's and are brought back into each other's lives unexpectedly.

Sounds like something I'd like to read. Is your manuscript complete or still a work in progress?

I finished my book, but I'm in another round of revision, so I guess it's correct to say WIP.

Do you have a word count goal, and how far along are you at this point?

This round of revision should add another 25,000 words to the current 58,000. I'm getting deeper into the characters in this revision and slowing down the pace. I missed a lot of great opportunities in the current draft.

What is your next step when you're done with revisions?

Once I'm done, the next step is finding an agent. I submitted to about fifteen last year and had a few requests for partials, but not a full. I made the typical emerging writer mistake of submitting before the MS was really at its best.

I've read that happens to a lot of aspiring writers. We're so anxious to get our material out there that we jump off the diving board before the pool is filled. Another good tip for everyone out there - make sure your work is actually ready. So, do you have a critique group or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I have a former classmate who reads for me, but I'm hoping to get connected with a novel writing group. I have a wonderful accountability partner, Deni, whom I met on Twitter, and we check in daily to motivate each other. I'm getting better and better at self-editing each year, but there is no substitute for fresh eyes looking at your work.

That's true. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Right now finding the time to sit down and write is the hardest part. During the summer, when I'm off work, I've attended writer's residencies and retreats, usually for two weeks. That time made all the difference. The point I'm at in my revision requires that kind of concentrated time and I don't have it. I write during my break at work and before and after work when I can. The problem with after work is that's when I'm in mom-mode. Life with teens is as busy as it was with babies and toddlers, which has been a real shock.

I'm not good at staying up until midnight, so I feel very frustrated. Spring Break hits in a couple of weeks and I will likely sequester myself in my office. I find that once I sit down, getting to work comes easily.

Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

I think it's important to understand what your creative process is and work with it. Often writers go to conferences and hear about other people's processes and then walk away feeling they're doing something wrong. Trust your process. I don't write everyday and that's okay. I write Monday through Friday. Often I do end up writing on the weekend, and if so, that's bonus time. I think frequency is more important than quantity. However, the more time you spend writing, the more work you'll produce. Know what you own demons are. My big one is time management, so I focus on getting my butt in the seat, even if it's brief.

I have a notepad that has the days of the week on it. I try to sit down every Sunday and map out what I hope to get done M-F. Because my time is so limited, this helps ensure I don't forget something and quiets the to-do list voice in my head.

Who are your inspirations?

If I had to pick one book that has inspired and taught me the most about craft, I'd have to say Tim O'Brien's THE THINGS THEY CARRIED. I'm drawn to unusual structure and that book turns structure on its ear. It's fiction that reads like non-fiction, a novel that reads like short stories. A novel really is a blank canvas that you can fill how you want. That's so cool! We get to make those choices and that part of the process is exciting to me.

Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD is a resource I return to again and again. It's the best reference out there.

In my reading life, I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. I also read everything Jane Green and Claire Cook put out. They're two women's fiction writers whose work and careers inspire me.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know (or maybe they do know but they are special traits/hobbies/quirks)?

1.      Well, even though I read and write Chick Lit, I'm a huge Science Fiction geek. Star Wars, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, I love them all and am very active in a fantastic online community, Galactic Watercooler (GWC). I have a couple geek quotes in my novel and will likely have a geek character in the next one. Who knows, maybe one day I'll try and write a Sci-Fi novel.
2.      I am one of those obsessive scrapbook moms. Please don't hate me because my sons' baby books are done! I love scrapbooking and get out to special events to crop whenever I can. A photo album scrapbook is the story of your real life.
3.      Quirks? I am very anal about how the dishwasher is loaded. What's weird about this is that I'm a complete slob. The kitchen (or the entire house for that matter) can be a mess, but I'll make sure the dishwasher is loaded efficiently. I think it has something to do with being a visual person. It drives my husband and sons crazy because I always redo their work.

Hehehe, that is kind of quirky, but endearing. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

My husband and sons are very supportive. They all understand what "I'm working!" means now (though it took a while). They also provide great material for my blog.

I have to give a shout out to my BFF, Kathryn, because she comments on every blog post I write, God bless her. My friends from GWC are also incredibly supportive. It means so much to me when people take time out of their busy schedule and read my blog.

And finally, where can people find you online?

First there's my website and blog- Method to the Madness

I love Twitter and am on it all the time. Please say hello to me @DawnMariaAZ

I've avoided Face Book, but will probably join in the summer when I'm on break from work. I am so distracted by Twitter, I'm scared to add another website to play around in!

Yes, I know what you mean. But I'm glad you took the time to be distracted by this interview, because it's been great getting to know you. Thank you so much for chatting, and I wish you much success with your novel! Keep us up to date with any developments!

Tuesday 9 March 2010

More to Come

No, I didn't forget about the blog. Monday was just really rough.

But the week is already looking up - yay! I've got a few more interviews lined up and will be posting them in the course of the week, so keep an eye out!

Happy writing!

Friday 5 March 2010

Write Away

So how was everyone's week? Did you get a lot of writing done? Or even just a little?

A little fact about me: I'm an outliner. I think the industry term is planner (vs pantser). I have stories played out in my head from beginning to end, so I know how they'll end. I don't know every detail, and sometimes my characters end up surprising me, but I know basically how the plot unfolds. I usually do a rough outline of the chapters and then work on the ones I feel like working on first (but usually I write the first two or three before I skip around).

But some days, I just don't have time to write, or I'm so exhausted from "real life" that I can't find it in me to dive into this other world right away. So forget the diving. How about just dipping my toes in? They say to write, even if it's garbage. So I try to do this. Even if it's just to add a few lines of dialogue to a chapter, a sentence (or hopefully more) to another chapter here and there. Once I do this I usually end up coming up with another this and that to add in. By doing so, I can usually get through my rough writing patches. And then when I feel I can finally dive back into my work, it becomes a game of fill-in-the-blanks, which is a little easier.

I'm not saying this is the best method, but it works for me now and then.

Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Interview with Anne Riley

Hello, everyone! As you can see, We Do Write has a brand new look, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Today we're chatting with 26-year-old Anne Riley from Birmingham, Alabama. Anne is a high school Spanish teacher and, to use her own words, a wrangler of teenagers and unofficial adolescent counselor—comes with the job! She's married and has a cat that, according to her,  might as well be a child.

Welcome, Anne! So tell us, what is the name and genre of your manuscript?

The Clearing is a YA paranormal novel.

Let's hear your pitch.

When Natalie Watson's parents die in what appears to be a bizarre double-suicide, she is shipped from her home in Georgia to a boarding school in Maine. Her aunt is the headmistress and provides Natalie with a certain degree of comfort, but the other students are a different story. In the midst of fending off bullies and overly-charming jocks, Natalie meets Liam - in a super embarrassing way - and decides to solve the mystery of whether or not he murdered his sister the year before, like the rumors say. One night, she sees him sneaking off into the woods - and that's when she gets pulled deep into a world she never knew existed. A world that spans hundreds of years and dozens of dimensions. A world that might hold the key to solving her parents' mysterious deaths....

Ooh, intriguing! I feel like following Natalie into those woods and finding out what happens. How did the idea of the story come to you?

I've had this story in my head for years. I always thought the old "write what you know" thing was kind of boring, so instead I write what I want to read. I've always been intrigued by boarding schools and the possibilities they hold.

And you've got an agent! That's great. For those of us who don't have one yet, can you tell us if there's a way to know if an agent is the right fit?

Finding an agent is hard work! Somehow, it happened pretty quickly for me, but that was definitely a fluke. It takes a lot of research and a pretty large Excel spreadsheet to keep you from going insane. The best website out there for finding an agent is This is the site I used. It lets you narrow down agents by the genres they represent, and it also gives you links to their websites. From there, you can see what they have sold and who they represent, and find someone who would be a good fit for you.

You've done a lot of revision for your book. Do you feel you've done all you can do to it at this point?

At this point, yes. But if a publisher buys it? Oh, I'm sure there will be more revision then. And once it's bound and on the shelves, I'll probably read through it and find things I could improve. A writer's work is never done!

Besides your agent, and suggestions for revisions by editors at publishing houses, do you have a critique partner or beta readers?

Strangely, no. I mean, not officially. Several versions of the manuscript ago, I let a couple of friends read through it and tell me their thoughts - but that was only a one time thing. The only other people who have read it are my husband, my parents, and my agent (who is the ULTIMATE critique partner!). I tend to work solo for the most part, only asking for help if I'm really stuck.

What’s the hardest part of writing that you've struggled through?

Keeping up with the changes I've made throughout the various rounds of editing. It's hard for me to remember what I said about this character ten chapters ago, and whether or not I ever resolved that one thing I said in Chapter 2... things like that. Outlines are pretty much priceless for me because my memory is useless.

My memory is useless too, so I understand how an outline can be priceless, lol. Any tips you’ve learned about writing you’d like to share?

Just practice. Start a blog, write short stories, whatever you can do. You don't get better unless you write constantly.

I totally agree. So, do you have an ideal book cover?

Fairy rings are a central part of my story (those circles of mushrooms that crop up randomly) so I think I would like to see one of those on the cover.

That sounds perfect! Tell us, who are your inspirations?

Like the rest of the world, I'm obsessed with J.K. Rowling. I also love Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Kate Morton (The Forgotten Garden) and Kathryn Stockett (The Help). Also, David Gray's music totally gets me in the mood. *ahem* The writing mood, I should specify.

Hehe, I'm sure we all knew what you meant. Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. Can you name three things about yourself people may not know (or maybe they do know but they are special traits/hobbies/quirks)?

  1.  I love to make lists. Like this one. It's part of my organization-obsessed personality.
  2.  I lived in Spain as an exchange student for six months when I was in college.
  3. I often carry my passport in my purse, just in case I need to quickly leave the country. (One time, I used it for exactly that purpose. See? I'm not crazy.)

Don't worry, I think crazy is a good trait anyway. *wink* Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Who would you like to give a shout out to?

My husband, for putting up with my crazy writer self on a daily basis. My parents, for raising me in a household filled with books (and love, or whatever... j/k). My friends who have read all of, or a portion of, the manuscript and didn't tell me to burn it. And my agent, Alanna Ramirez, for being totally awesome.

And finally, where can people find you online?

And coming soon, a real website! It's not there yet - but it won't be long!

Ooh, I'll keep an eye out for your new website! Thank you so much, Anne, for letting me interview you. I know you're in the midst of another round of submissions to publishers, so I wish you all the luck in the world. We're all crossing our fingers for you!


Hello again!

Just a quick post today. I've got more interviews lined up, and I'm really excited that the blog is off to a good start. In case I didn't mention it, I'm still new at this interviewing thing, and I hope I don't disappoint anyone. What, me? Anxious? Nah.

I also wanted to mention that I found some really great backgrounds and headers and such over at, and I am very tempted to grab some of the wonderful stuff I've seen there and redo the look of this blog. Even though I made the current background myself, shabbyblogs is chock full of so much pretty that I can't resist trying it out. So don't be surprised if my look is different next time you pop in.

Until next time, happy writing!