Wednesday 30 November 2011

Guest Post by Claudette Walker and Matrix Filia

Through The Authors' Eyes
“The Casey Anthony Murder Trial”
by Claudette Walker and Matrix Filia

The bond of mother and daughter is so strong that when it breaks, it makes a sound as loud as thunder. How can a person not report their child missing? How can a woman go on with her life as if nothing happened? How does a child die when she is not at risk from war, gun violence, drugs, illness, or any kind of physical abuse? How, you ask? We could not understand it, either. When we heard of this case, it was as though knives stuck through our hearts. The circumstances surrounding the death of Caylee seemed fishy at best. One moment she is alive and the next dead, while her mother parties all around Orlando, Florida. To the authors, this was more than shocking – it was unimaginable. We share a bond as old as time, and the thought of this horrific act seemed like something out of a bad movie script. However, it was real – too real. From day one of the trial, the circus began. We were shocked at the lack of ethics from both sides. Lawyers on each side tried to make names for themselves at any cost. We watched with disbelief at the first-ever televised jury selection. Did they really think people would not recognize their neighbor or relative by their voice and their answers? It seemed as if the jury was on trial, and to be honest, we both believe this part of the trial should not have been televised. The opening statements were a bad attempt at justice, at best.

We set out to find answers, not only as mother and daughter, but also as human beings. Why did Caylee have to die? Why was she dumped like garbage in a snake-filled swamp? Why was there duct tape across her mouth? Why did her mother not care? We had so many questions and so few answers. We could never imagine our lives without one another and the thought of one of us in danger without the other leaping to her aid is incomprehensible. While watching this trial, we both felt the American judicial system would work; that the process would sort through the garbage. We put the American justice system on trial in our book. How would it and the world respond to a white, young, pretty woman who is accused of killing her sweet, innocent daughter? Like most people out there, we did not know how to respond to any of it. We wrote this book about the trial, in an attempt to understand.

To our knowledge, this is the first time that evidence such as Facebook, e-mails, text messaging, and high tech computer forensics has been used in such a high profile case. We called this trial the technological circus of the century. With law enforcement’s ability to ping cell phone locations and introduce evidence of the defendant’s and witnesses’ minute-by-minute thoughts and actions, the jury in this trial became overwhelmed with mountains of technological evidence. Likewise, the use of forensics was amazing in this trial. There was evidence of everything – even what movie had been checked out by the mother and her boyfriend. However, some of the critical evidence was left to a battle of conflicting evidence from experts. Could any witness determine the cause of the smell in the trunk? We could, but not all of the experts were so sure. We watched the spectacle of horrors as each side claimed to know what really happened.

We agree the lawyers’ jobs were tough, but at times we felt the real reason for being there had been lost. That reason was Caylee. It turned our stomachs to see the mother was mostly devoid of emotion, except when prompted by cameras in the courtroom and glances from the jury. Could there have been more evidence? Our “house lawyer” says yes, there can always be more. We did not want this child’s story – that of not only her life but also her death – to be ignored, to be lessened in any way. The trial brought us a new perspective on how the American legal system handles itself and how we as humans just cannot grasp every situation. A jury acquitted the mother, but did not find her innocent. There is a difference. We do not agree with the verdict but we respect it. We must question the system and the process that resulted in the verdict. We will follow the law and try to wrap our brains around what happened. We hope, through reading our comprehensive book about the trial, people can glimpse what happened in the courtroom and judge for themselves. We hope our book will inspire necessary changes in the legal system. This experience has strengthened in us a sense of togetherness that we felt could not get any stronger. It does not really matter how the trial ended – no verdict could undo the ultimate, awful reality. A little girl went missing, her disappearance went unreported, and she died. No one can bring Caylee back. For all of us, the wind whispers the names of Caylee and those of the many children who have needlessly died.

The Casey Anthony Murder Trial is available in bound book & ebook online at Amazon

Read more at   Ingram Distributors for bookstore distribution.  

Monday 28 November 2011

Getting to Know Shelli Johannes

Tomorrow is the release date of Shelli Johannes's debut novel UNTRACEABLE. I'm very excited for Shelli. She's a fabulous author and a great person to know. So let's get to know her and her book better!

Welcome, Shelli! And congratulations on your book launch. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have am MBA in marketing and worked in corporate America for over 15 years doing marketing, communication, and training. I walked off the job in 2006 and have been doing freelance marketing ever since. I own my own marketing company and have worked with Spanx and Goody Hair. I have a hubby from England, 2 kids and a Goldendoodle.

How long have you been writing?

I started right after I had my daughter in 2004. I always say she sat on something. I think since I had 4 months off maternity leave – I started writing while she was napping and couldn’t stop. I hadn’t written much before that. But when I was little I used to write all the time.

Let's hear about UNTRACEABLE. What’s the story about?

It is a wilderness thriller (contemporary) with a missing forest ranger father, a mystery, a kick butt heroine, and 2 really hot boys.

Perfect combination! How did the idea of the story come to you?

I loved and read James Patterson when I was a teen. Since then I have always wanted to do a James Patterson for teens. A contemporary thriller in the midst of paranormal and dystopic books. It started out as a story about terrorism in our homeland (shakes head and blushes from total embarrassment). I read a story about a terrorism cell hiding in the wilderness. It has obviously evolved since then b/c it is no longer about terrorism – AT ALL! Thank goodness.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Well, first it is staying focused. I’m a stay at home mom but I do freelance on the side plus have 2 kids so getting a block of time.

But from a writing perspective – I’m good at plotting but voice comes hard for me. It takes me a while to flush out the voice and heart of a story.

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

Learn the craft. Keep writing. Be persistent. And write the story in your heart. I’ve tried to follow the market before and it was a disaster.

So true; the market is constantly changing. Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Sweet tea or coffee – see a pattern?

Super Librarian
If you could have any super power, what would it be?

To write a bestseller in a day!

That sounds like an awesome super power to me! Quick writing test -- Use the following words in a sentence: rubber band, trapeze, and clergy.

The clergy pulled the man off of his trapeze and pushed the man to his knees. One man stepped forward and popped him in the head with a rubber band. “Tell us where the bearded lady is and we will let you live.”

Man, I am sick.

That was a great image though, lol. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Oh gosh. Awwwwkwaaaard. This could take a while so I’ll shorten it (though my acknowledgments are 2 pages in my book. I am so grateful to all the bloggers, and indie authors, and my writing buddies for supporting me over the years. I’m so thankful to my hubby for believing in me when I was down and out – he never gave up on me.

But especially to Kimberly Derting
for loving this book enough to offer a blurb because she knew I would never ask. But most of all – she still insisted I use it even after I decided to indie publish. Kim stood by me when others didn’t and believed in my writing and Grace.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

It is on Amazon, B&N and Smashwords for other ebook formats. You can get it in ebook or paperback.

Shelli, thanks so much for letting us get to know you and your book. I wish you a wonderful book launch and lots of success with all your writing endeavors!

Thursday 24 November 2011

Interview with Mariam Kobras

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you're all surrounded by family and food and fun today. Speaking of fun, let's whet our appetite with an interview with a tasty writer. Say hello to Mariam Kobras.

Mariam was born in Frankfurt, Germany (where I live now, how cool!). She lived in Brazil and Saudi Arabia as a child before her parents decided to settle in Germany. She went to school there, studying American Literature and Psychology. Now she lives in Hamburg with her husband, two sons, and cats.

Welcome, Mariam. How long have you been writing?

As a teenager, I dabbled in writing, like most teenagers do, I believe. At university, studying American Literature and Creative Writing, I wrote quite a lot, but mostly assignments, nothing like a novel. The “serious” writing started a couple of years ago, when I began with “The Distant Shore”. Took me about a year to write it. Right now, I’m working on the sequel. It’s nearly finished.

Tell us about THE DISTANT SHORE. What's the story about?

“The Distant Shore” is the story of Jon Stone, famous rock star and composer of great songs, and his love for Naomi. He met her when they were quite young and she sent him some lyrics she wanted him to use in his songs, and they lived together for a while, but then his Hollywood life drives her away. Many years later he receives a letter from a teenage son, and he travels to Norway where Naomi lives now, to find her and, well, win her back. Everything is just fine for a while, they fall in love all over again, even get married, she agrees to return to LA with him, they work together again... but, well, disaster is waiting to strike.

You’ll have to read the book to find out more. It’s quite dramatic. I’ll tell you this much: a very beautiful dress will get badly ruined at the Academy Awards Night.

Yikes! How did the idea of the story come to you?

Actually, in the writing. There is one scene in the book, quite early in the story too, where my protagonists, Jon and Naomi, meet again after many years. This takes place in the lobby of Naomi’s hotel in a small Norwegian village, and seeing Jon there, she drops a tray with plates. It’s quite dramatic, and I wanted to write this very badly. Of course I needed an opening to lead up to this situation, so I made up the story of a letter reaching Jon in California, informing him of an unknown teenage son. This makes him travel to Norway, and...that crashed the plates.
After that, I just kept writing. And the book happened.

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

I had a few beta-readers, friends I met on twitter, but no group or partner. Well, on second thoughts I DO have a partner, my lovely publisher and editor, MaryChris Bradley. She made a book out of a beginner’s wild, rambling writing.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

I’ve been thinking about this one since I got this mail.
The hardest part about writing is not being able to type as fast as I think. Writing is very easy. It’s pouring brain images into the keyboard, a nearly unconscious thing. I don’t think when I write.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Coffee, my headphones, my MacBook. I can write anywhere, and at nearly any time. To be honest, I DO write nearly all the time.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Super power? I don’t know. I don’t think I want any super power. If I could ask for anything it would health and the energy to go on writing for a long while yet.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: medication, college, and ballet.

The best medication, she had found, was an evening at the ballet after a long day at college, and evening filled with music and the grace and beauty of the dancers who seemed to float through life and never had to fight the printer in the library.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

My husband and my sons supported my writing well before there even was a thought of getting published, in fact they pushed me when I was ready to quit. My friends on twitter, who read my novel (and who are reading the new one as I write it) and clamored for more, carried me through the writing and all the way to the last sentence of “The Distant Shore”.

Most of all I want to thank my publisher though. She had the patience and faith to let me grow from an “aspiring writer” into an author, and held my nervous paw through the publishing process. I am very lucky.

And finally, where can people find you online?

You can find me all over the place!!/Mariam_Kobras

Mariam, thanks so much for chatting with us. I wish you much success with your books!

Monday 21 November 2011

Kate Walton's Book Trailer Contest

Author Kate Walton, whose debut novel is releasing January 3, 2012, by Simon Pulse (Simon & Shuster), is holding a live action book trailer contest.

Prizes include the opportunity for budding filmmakers to get their one minute trailer critiqued by ten top industry professionals (an Oscar nominated producer team, writers for the MTV Movie Awards, the director of Entertainment Tonight, an award winning independent filmmaker, two accomplished television producers, a film agent, and the director of the movie THE MIGHTY MACS). There is also a top cash prize of $500.

Doesn't that sound awesome?

So all you film-makers out there, get crackin'. The contest has already launched and the deadline for submitting your one-minute trailer is January 17, 2012. There's even a Filmmaker's Kit available on Kate's website with the contest announcement. For more details, read Kate's post.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Interview with Andy Hollowman

The week's almost over, blogosprites! I don't know about you, but it's been a long one for me. So how about another interview? Today we're talking with writer Andy Hollowman. Let's get to know him.

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

Gladly. I'm a pretty typical, 40-something guy. Live in the Raleigh, NC area with my wife of 20 years and three wonderful kids (well, they're wonderful *most* of the time). I enjoy the outdoors in NC, (beaches, mountains), camping, running, and being involved in my kids lives. My day job is in real estate financing and I also do some real estate buying on the side. Went to university at UNC-Chapel Hill and did a fair amount of writing then and after college (nothing published).

How long have you been writing?

I've been seriously writing since about 2002, when the idea for my first novel "Shades of Gray" got stuck inside my brain and I found that the only way I could get it out was to write it down.

Tell us about SHADES OF GRAY. What’s the story about?

My novel is a thriller that is revolves around the life of single father and travel agency owner who finds himself in a very bad financial bind when his daughter is diagnosed with a rare kidney disease, and his formerly thriving business is ravaged by the effects of 9/11 on his industry. He teams up with a client of the business that is a drug dealer, and a single mom, and together they form a partnership to smuggle drugs aboard cruise ships. The story is mostly set in the Raleigh/Durham NC area with brief stops in Mexico and St. Thomas, V.I.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I was a travel agency owner myself for most of the 1990's and one of my staff alerted me to a client that she suspected was doing something illegal during her travels. This client was later found murdered in her burned down home and thus our suspicions about her appeared to be true as the incident was reported by the police as drug-related. After this event (and the downfall of my business post 9/11), I began to think about the age old question of "How far would one go to save their company?"

Wow, interesting. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Re-writing. No doubt about it. I truly enjoyed laying out the story for "Shades of Gray". It was fun to develop the characters and put them in difficult situations. I enjoyed the sculpting of the plot and finding interesting ways to reveal clues and provide foreshadowing as to what would be coming about at the end. But the re-writing, OMG! That has been tedious. I read an author who described the process of creating a novel not as "writing" but as "re-writing". Boy this is so true. It takes a lot of time and energy to re-write. It has been valuable in that I can see now where the novel is much improved over its earlier forms.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

I need the following when writing - Coffee and sodas, lots of caffiene. If it is after five o'clock, then I need a glass of red wine. I must have absolute silence, so no music. And I must have my handy, dandy notepad with my thoughts and my outline at the ready.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

No doubt about it, flying like Superman.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I truly owe the most incredible debt of gratitude to my best friend, my wife. She has been through so much with me and remains the most honest, caring, and loving person I've ever met. To have her in my life has made writing possible and has made me the luckiest person I know.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Andy. Good luck with your book!

Monday 14 November 2011

Blog Tour: Shelli Johannes

Fantabulistic author Shelli Johannes is having a blog tour to celebrate the release of her debut novel UNTRACEABLE. And yes, I'm a stop on the tour! Check out Shelli's awesome book cover, and be sure to stop by on the 28th to check out my interview with her.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Here's the blog tour line up:

Nov 14th - Lori Lee on (What makes a good book signing)
Nov 15th - Kelly Polark (The Beats of Writing - using music)
Nov 16th - Karly Kirkpatrick (Guest post on Author Journey)
Nov 17th - *Once Upon a Twilight (Book Review)
Nov 18th - DL Hammons (Talking about marketing over Cyber-Coffee), Unicorn Bell (Book Review)
Nov 21st - Ashley Christiano (An Interview with Characters)
Nov 22nd - Shannon O'Donnell (An Author's Journey from A to Z and back again)
Nov 23rd - Refracted Light Reviews/Dani (Changing the stigma of self publishing)
Nov 27th - Readinista (Dissecting Untraceable)
Nov 28th - SupaGurl/Heather (book review) and Dorothy Dreyer (Getting to know You & Your book)
Nov 29th - LAUNCH DAY! Total Bookaholic/Jessica (Character Interview with Grace)
Nov 30th - Super Natural Shark/Jenny (Everything But the Kitchen Sink) and Susan Dennard (How did you get here?), Kai Strand (Three Times a Charm interview)
Dec 1st - Authors Now/Jamie Mason and PaperCuts/Samantha (eBooks vs Books)
Dec 2nd - Meredeth (Building Your Platform) and Christine (Redefining yourself and taking charge of your career)
Dec 5th - Nazarea (The Author Process) and PJ Hoover (Top 10 ebook Release Tips)
Dec 6th - Margay (How to Self Pub the Write Way) and Ali Cross (How to be a Wilderness Survival Ninja) and Cindy/Books Complete Me (Interview/Book Review)
Dec 7th - Literary Rambles (Mystery Post) and Laura (What makes a good thriller?)
Dec 8th - Elana (All about epublishing) and Elle (book review)
Dec 9th - Tynga's Reviews/Jennifer (A Christmas with Grace)
Dec 12th - Jemi (The Writing Process and Just For Fun) and Katherine Hawkins (Girl Crush/Inspirational Women)
Dec 13th - Elizabeth (Tips to writing thrillers)
Dec 14th - SupaGurl Books (The Playlist for Untraceable) and Unicorn Bell (Marketing in publishing)
Dec 15th - Kathy Inspired (Get to know the author on a more personal level)
Dec 16th - Good Choice Reading/Maria (Interview/book review)
Dec 19th - The Reading Angel Angela (Interview)
Dec 20th - Brent/Naughty Book Kitties (Publicity tips for Untraceable)
Dec 21st - Michelle/Hooked To Books (Writing to Music/Playlist)
Dec 22nd - Mary/The Book Swarm (Book Journey)

Friday 11 November 2011

Interview with Annabelle R Charbit

Happy Friday, everyone. Let's start the weekend early by indulging in an interview with a fun author. Let's welcome Annabelle R Charbit.

Hi, Annabelle.Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a research scientist and a writer. I got my PhD in Neuroscience from University College London, then moved to San Francisco to work at UCSF, and now I live in New York.

How long have you been writing?

Since 2006, when my comedy play, Sound Advice, was performed by CP Theatre Productions in London, UK.

How cool! Tell us about A LIFE LIVED RIDICULOUSLY. What's the story about?

In a nutshell, this is a comedy thriller about a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder, and what happens when she falls in love with a sociopath.

Sounds awesome. How did the idea of the story come to you?

I have a little OCD myself and when I was growing up it was such a dirty secret. So writing about it makes it less embarrassing. Plus I hope that by putting it out there, it will make people laugh and also feel less embarrassed and isolated about their OCD. Why she falls for a sociopath? Well I’ve always been fascinated by this concept of people with no conscience, and am certain that we all have a few such characters in our lives.

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

I hired an amazing editor, Susan Malone of Malone Editorial Services.
She is exceptionally talented and diligent. Her editing has been worth every penny.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Not getting fat! Every time I get stuck, I reach for the chocolate. I have put on nearly twenty pounds from start to finish of A Life Lived Ridiculously.

Ouch, yeah, I tend to reach for food as well. Maybe I better watch it. Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Three glasses of water and some British chocolate (Cadbury’s Dairy Milk mainly).

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Intelligence. Like the people in the movie Limitless.

I love that movie! Quick writing test. Use the following words in a sentence: upload, coconut, and suspicious.

The woman was suspicious when the man at the Apple Store offered to upload her app in exchange for a peek at her coconuts.

Everyone around me just gave me a look because I busted out laughing. That was great! Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you.

My editor Susan Malone for believing in the story, and my publisher Diane Dorcé for taking a chance on me. My cover designer, Duncan Long for his amazing book cover design. My best friend and better judgment, Letitia Bow for always finding everything funny and showing me that life is better when laughed at. My family for supporting all my crazy ideas throughout life. My husband for believing in me and never allowing me to stop believing in myself. My daughter, who makes each day worth living.

Let's hear your shout outs.

Susan Malone, Diane Dorcé, Duncan Long, Letitia Bow, Jason Bergenfeld, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Nutella on warm toast.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

A Life Lived Ridiculously will be on sale in April 2012, and will be available in print and ebook version on Amazon, among others.

Right now you can read the first three chapters on the website at

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Annabelle. And I wish you much success with your book!

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Interview with Michael Tabman

Today we're talking with an interesting writer with an interesting background. Let's get to know Michael Tabman.

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

Born and raised in New York City, I graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I was a police officer in Fairfax County, VA for three years serving in patrol, in plain clothes and as hostage negotiator for the SWAT team. I then joined the FBI, serving for 24 years and having been assigned to several field offices throughout the country. I investigated crimes ranging from white collar to bank robberies, organized crime, drugs and money laundering. Rising to the rank of Special Agent in Charge, my travels took me to Israel, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. I am now an author, speaker and consultant.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing immediately after retiring from the FBI five years ago.

I understand you've got three published books. Tell us about them.

My first book, Walking the Corporate Beat: Police School for Business People, based on my 27 years experience, draws parallels between the police world and decisions made in business and everyday life. Using examples such as arrests, raids and undercover operations, the stories - often amusing - show how applying simple thought processes can lead to success or failure.

Midnight Sin is a crime novel inspired by a case I worked as a plain clothes cop. Law and Order Producer Peter Giuliano said, “Michael has reached deep inside and managed to capture his heart and soul as a cop. My heart was pounding. This is a powerful story told by someone who has captured the feelings of all of us, no matter which side of the law you happen to be on.”

My current novel, Bad Intent, was inspired by my years on an FBI-NYPD Drug/Organized Crime Task Force. It is published in short story format- each installment is a short story building into a full novel.

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

I have two trusted friends who review my writing. I believe in a fresh set of eyes for reviewing work.

Me too. It's incredibly helpful. What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part of writing for me is remembering that fiction does not have to reflect reality all the time. My work is police procedural intensive, so I tend to try to stick to reality.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

I always have the television on for background noise.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

The ability to always know right from wrong and then assure that “right” wins.

I don't think we've ever had that answer before. Cool. Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: turbo engine, cream pie, and baby stroller.

To remain true to my genre:

 I was pursuing a car in a high speed chase, but it was getting away from me because it had a turbo engine; then as I turned the corner, I swerved to avoid a baby stroller, crashed and when I got out of the car, someone hit me in the face with a cream pie.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

My team who helps me write, and with my consulting work, likes to remain in the background. But they know how much I appreciate their help.

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

My books and everything about me can be found on

Michael, thanks so much for chatting with us. Your books sound great, and I wish you much success with them!

Monday 7 November 2011

Interview with Carrie Green

It doesn't have to be Halloween to cuddle up with a good horror book. I'm pretty sure Stephen King proved that. Today we're chatting with horror, suspense, and thriller writer Carrie Green.

Carrie is the author of ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE, and SUGAR IS SWEET. Let's get to know her a little better.

Welcome, Carrie! How long have you been writing?

I've been writing nearly my entire life, as soon as I could form the letters of the alphabet. My grandmother was a published author and poet. My grandfather was a columnist for a major Chicago newspaper. It was expected that I would write and like most children, I rose to my parents' expectations. I was given a diary, when I was five, and I wrote my first stories in there (with illustrations, even).

What drew you to write horror?

It's the genre that I love the most, mainly because it can be any genre. I often cite Stephen King's Misery, as an example of this claim, since it's a horror story as well as a darn good historical romance. I firmly believe that horror offers the greatest freedom of expression for writers. Readers will find elements of mystery, science fiction, women's lit, action adventure, romance, etc. in what I write!

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm in the middle of final edits for my full length novel, set in Chicago, Walk A Lonely Street, which will be published in 2012. It opens with the death of a jazz nightclub owner which the police are writing off as a suicide, but his wife and best friend believe otherwise, and they investigate on their own.

Intriguing! Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

All authors self-edit, it's part of creating a final, polished, product. I've just learned to not write and edit on the same days, in order to prevent writer's block. Writing and editing are completely different and opposing processes; trying to be critical, while writing, will only inhibit your creativity. As a PR professional, I always follow the rule of thumb that three sets of eyes should look at any document before it goes public. I do the same for my books, but I'm realistic that some typos will slip through, given the greater length of a novel as compared to a standard two page press release.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The isolation is probably the hardest part of writing. I have to sit in front a computer without any distractions in order to write. Unlike many authors, I'm unable to listen to music. I even close the curtains, so that I don't gaze out the windows. A closed door is also helpful. A completely empty house is best.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A giant computer screen is the main must-have for me. My eyes are going, so that the bigger the screen, the better; my husband just recently upgraded my screen for my birthday. I now have a monster screen!

Monster screens are best for writing horror, I'm told. ;) If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I think that being invisible would be cool. It's a classic horror super power!

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: ponytail, calculator, and windshield wipers.

Oh, it's horror Improv! Here you go:

Like a calculator, his brain tracked the flip-flap rate of the windshield wipers—one, two, three seconds, until he could shove her head back and entangle her ponytail in the plastic blades.

Evil! Hehehe. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Readers, of course, then my family and friends, and last, but not least, the super supportive community of authors that promote each other online. While I may write in isolation, marketing is definitely a joyful group activity—the WoMen's Literary Café,, has, especially, been a terrific resource!

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

Visit my Amazon page for all three books:

And congrats on ROSES ARE RED becoming an Amazon bestseller, hitting the top 100 in Kindle eBook Horror Occult. Thanks so much for chatting with us, Carrie, and I wish you continued success.


Thursday 3 November 2011

Interview with Sandra Yuen MacKay

Today we're talking with a talented woman who not only writes memoirs and novellas, but is a brilliant artist as well. I'm sure she has other hidden talents as well, but let's dive into an interview with her and learn about her memoir.

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

I'm a dreamer who likes variety in what I do. I'm a writer, visual artist and a public speaker on recovery. I have experience as a columnist and editor for Majestic, an online newsletter for, a writer's forum.

How long have you been writing?

I did journal a lot when I was young. My first published piece was a letter to the editor in Canadian Architect in 1995. Since 2002, I've been published in various magazines and online since then.

Tell us about My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness.

I wrote this book from a personal perspective about what it's like to experience hallucinations, paranoia and delusions and how I dug my way out of schizophrenia to live a purposeful life. Recovery isn't a straight line but has dips and curves. In writing the book, I gained perspective on the balance of positive and negative aspects of my life and was able to let go of some of the pain and losses I had. By sharing my story, I wish to give hope for others.

I also published an e-book titled Hell's Fire, a scifi novella about a father who goes on a mission to save his daughter from alien abduction.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part is receiving rejection letters! However, they do motivate me to work on my craft and some give me feedback on what editors are looking for.

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

Write from your heart. Dig into your emotions. Build conflict and tension into your story. Make sure the characters thoughts and actions fit into the structure of your story and plot, and tangents are minimal.

Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A cup of coffee, an online dictionary and thesaurus, and a blanket because my computer is in a cool basement. A clock is handy but I usually don't pay attention to it when I'm deep into my writing.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

I'd love to be able to fly. I have dreams where I'm airborne and feel the wind. I look down and see the lights of houses.

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

You can find me at Letters from Sandra or on Facebook

My Schizophrenic Life is available in print on Amazon, and or as an e-book at Smashwords or Amazon Kindle

Hell's Fire is available on Smashwords and Amazon Kindle

Thank you for chatting with us, Sandra. Your work sounds amazing.

Thank you, Dorothy, for taking the time to interview me!

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Publishing News: Elizabeth May

How about some great news to start off November?

Elizabeth May's THE FALCONER, set in a steampunk version of 19th-century Scotland, where a teen girl is the only human being alive who can stop the dark faeries threatening her life, her family, and her city, to Ginee Seo at Chronicle Children's, in a three-book deal, for publication starting in 2013, by Russell Galen at Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency (North America).

Rights for the series have now been sold in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, and Brazil.

Congratulations, Elizabeth! Can't wait to read the trilogy!

Learn more about Elizabeth May on her website.