Key Strategies for Tight Writing- Part Two

Today, in Part Two, I share a few key strategies I’ve found helpful in my quest for tight writing:

Dump most of the backstory, and by this I mean any of the information about the protagonist’s character history and background that can be weaved into the story through dialogue or action.

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Author Interview – Enticed By A Laird – Gerri Brousseau

I’m delighted to welcome back multi-published historical romance writer, Gerri Brousseau, and author of the recently just released holiday novella, Enticed by a Laird – Season of Surprises Holiday Anthology Box Set. 

A Few fun facts about our author:

I was born and raised in Connecticut where I reside with my beloved pug, Mimi Sue, and our cats, Harry and Louise (a/k/a The Weasel). I am the author of A Pirate’s Ransom, According to Legend, To Kill a Monarch (Soul Mate Publishing), The Yuletide Bride (Season of Magic), Puppy Love (Season of Love), andEnticed by a Laird (Season of Surprises).

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October Prompt Writing Workshop

Here at Scribbler's Ink, we've always believed in the power of writing prompts. Like all great athletes and musicians, writers should also spend time to perfect their craft. Our writing prompts are designed to unleash your creative voice and silence your inner editor. 

Each of our workshops are tailored to allow writers of all levels and all genres to be able to sit down, silence their inner editor and let their own unique voice come through. Our next workshop will be held November 21st in Salem, MA. We hope you will join us for this transformative writing experience. 

Our last workshop on October 24th was held at our new location in Salem, MA. Despite the cold and grey weather outside, our workshop attendees spent the day indoors sharing their writing, working on prompts and bonding over similar life experiences. 

Interview with Madison West, author of "Turkish Delight"

I’m delighted to welcome writer, Madison West, author of the just released, contemporary romance novella, Turkish Delight, part of an eight story holiday anthology, Season of Surprises.

First a few facts about our author:
Madison West is an avid reader and book reviewer for When not busy with her many graphic design projects, she loves to plot a story for her next book or upcoming trip to another part of the world.

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Five Tips for Writing Tighter Sentences - Part One

Critique partners, agents and editors are known to call for tighter sentences from writers, but often offer little direction on how to accomplish this.

I have a fantasy where I sit down, turn on my laptop, and words flow from my brain to my fingertips and onto the page in a perfect publication-ready state.


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Interview with Jacqueline Buchanan - Author of Tortoises on the Via de la Plata: Walking the Camino di Santiago

First a bit about our author:

I live in South East London, UK with my partner, Alan. My major life defining moments have been having my two sons, surviving the tsunami, walking 600 miles through Spain and being invited to tea at Buckingham Palace. HRH Prince Charles recognized my work with the Red X, and the cucumber sandwiches were excellent, but it bucketed down all afternoon causing my hat to fall apart. I am a teacher (FE). I am a writer.

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Writing by the Pool

On August 29th we hosted a workshop in picturesque Nahant, MA. Our writers sat at a table under the shade of the trees, and with an ocean breeze lingering around us, we worked on several writing prompts through out the day. There was a brief break for a delicious catered lunch, and some informal chatter. Join us for our next workshop on September 26th! To learn more please click here. 

"Love Delights” – Interview with Stacy Hoff

About our author:

Stacy Hoff is a writer and attorney. She specializes in contracts by day, and writing romance novels by night. Stacy lives in New England with her husband and two boys.


What would you most like your readers to know about you that they would not read in your official bio?

I am an artist. Once a month I take art classes. I’d like to take more, but considering my full-time law career, full-time mommy job, part-time writing stint, and need to also spend quality time with my husband, it just isn’t feasible. I relish the time I do have in the art studio. For the past two years I’ve focused on sketching live nude figures in charcoal. I love the creative freedom—so different from the linear process of writing.


How did you become involved with the Season of Love Anthology?

I know several of the wonderful ladies that made this anthology, and they invited me. I was excited to be asked, and thrilled to be included.


Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about “Love Delights, and what inspired this story?

One word: Chocolate. There is simply no food more seductive in existence. Anyone who wants to fight me on this is going down. Seriously.

As for the heart of the story, I tried to make this sumptuous as well—two co-workers (and ex-lovers) at a NYC ad agency won’t admit they’re hungry for each other. Too bad they’re in competition for the same ad campaign, and job promotion.


Do you have a preference for the novella/short story venue vs. the longer novel?

Both long and short stories present writing challenges, as well as excellent opportunities. Before writing “Love Delights,” I had only written long. The Season of Love Anthology gave me the chance to experience writing short. The downside of creating a 12,000-word manuscript is having a whole lot less time to build in all the elements needed (character arc, plot, backstory, etc.). The upside is having no sagging middle to have to jump in and save.


What is the first thing you know for sure about a new story; Concept? Plot? Character? Something else?

It really varies each time I write. I am a definite “pantser” and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I’d say if I get anything concrete down before I start, it is the general concept of the book, although that’s not usually too fleshed out, either. Since my day job is as a lawyer, I like to let my creativity guide the way when I write fiction. If I couldn’t simply follow my Muse I probably wouldn’t write novels at all. What would be the fun?


Is the writing process different for you when writing the shorter novella vs. a full-length novel?

Not at all. Pants away!


Your characters are so well developed, do you create a deep backstory for your lead hero and heroine when you are writing a novella, or do the characters let you know what they want to do and where they want to go as you write?

Thanks for the compliment! I do develop a deep backstory for my characters, though not everything will make it into the story.


If given the opportunity to influence the storyline, would your hero, Trevor, make any changes? Would your heroine, Deirdre?

Yeah, if Trevor could change in the plot he’d get Deirdre into bed—and his life—ASAP!

As for Deirdre, she would have already made peace with what has happened in the past—both with Trevor and her family—and be with him.


Tell us about your heroine; give us one strength and weakness.

Deirdre is extremely creative, which is why the ad agency holds her in high regard. Her weakness, however, is that all of her insecurities hamper her creative process.


Do you see any members of the Valenti family getting their own story?

Good question, I never thought of it! I always start off writing stand-alone books, although I’m finding sequels can emerge. In fact, this November I do have a sequel (Desire in the Arctic) coming out for the first full length novel I wrote (Desire in the Everglades). Would I write a sequel for “Love Delights,” starring one of Deidre’s family members, the Valentis? Sure!


If you could cast anyone to play the roles of Deirdre and Trevor, who would you pick?

I’m so pathetic with my crush on Hollywood hottie, Daniel Craig. He’s always who I picture when I write my hero. Sigh… Anyway, for “Love Delights,” Daniel would need longer hair.

For Deirdre, I’d need an actress who could portray a sweet yet insecure creative type. Bonus points if the actress can show a simmering sexual heat she’s desperately trying to beat back down into submission. Any ideas from Scribbler’s Ink readers would be welcomed!


Can we have an excerpt from Love Delights?

Deirdre’s iPhone’s appointment-book feature finally went off, letting out a sharp beep. This was it—meeting time. Positive thoughts, Dee, only positive thoughts. A cold shiver ran through her as a thought popped into her head. They do value me here, right? After all she’d gone through, she just had to get this promotion. She would get this promotion. In fact, in a few minutes when it became official she’d go down to a bar, toast herself with a coconut daiquiri, then drunk-dial her oldest brother, Jake, and gloat. A slow smile spread across her face.

About to enter Mr. Fein’s office, her biggest rival for the job promotion—Trevor Reynolds—reached for the exact same door handle. “Oh!” she exclaimed. Her smile immediately dropped from her face. Confidence plummeted along with it. Stop worrying, Dee! This must be a scheduling screw-up.

“Hello, Deirdre,” Trevor said in that sexy, sultry voice of his.

Deirdre hated that voice. Specifically because it worked so well on her. Despite all her determination to be immune, immunity from Trevor’s charms was not an easy task to accomplish. His sensuous voice was only half as tantalizing as his mouth-watering good looks.

Even hearing him through the thin drywall that separated his office from Deirdre’s brought embarrassingly steamy memories racing to the forefront of her mind. Memories of their one night stand—no, one night mistake. Ever since then, she tried to keep her meetings with Trevor to a minimum. Since this was Valentine’s Day, she’d tried doubly hard to avoid him all day. She’d been successful until now. Awkward.

“Hello, Trevor.” She gave him a tight nod. “It’s nice to see you, but I have an appointment with Mr. Fein now.”

“What a coincidence,” he said, cavalierly. “So do I.”

Her brow furrowed. Having Trevor at this meeting would not be good. How could she concentrate on Mr. Fein’s words when Trevor was watching her? Her still-lingering attraction to him was hard to block out. Worse, having Trevor at the meeting would create a professional mess. How would Trevor react when Mr. Fein announced she’d be getting the promotion he’d wanted? Unfortunately, he was just as driven in his career goals as Deirdre. Would Trevor be gracious when Mr. Fein gave the job to her? After all, there was only one Creative Director spot.

With multiple stories and multiple authors, how do you decide upon a title for the anthology?

Simple voting by all the authors decides all this. It wasn’t too hard for all of us to agree. We wanted to keep the words, “Season of” in the title to be consistent with the first anthology, Season of Magic.


What’s your opinion on self-publishing vs. traditional?

I have a traditional publisher for most of my full-length novels, Soul Mate Publishing, Inc. I love working with them. I am, however, glad I agreed to do this self-published anthology. I found it to be very “hands on,” so I’ve learnt a whole lot about the publishing industry in general. Both traditional and self-publishing have been wonderful opportunities for me.


How do you balance the need for self-promotion with the need for writing time?

I can’t say, because I drive myself crazy doing both. Right now my tongue is lolled out of my mouth after having run around “the twin circles of terror.”


Is there a genre you’d like to attempt to write?

I’m really happy writing contemporary, although I do have an upcoming release, Art and Seduction, a darker romance involving a college student and an art professor.  We’ll see how it goes. Normally I don’t veer away from my standard genre, so this will be new ground for me.


Do you have a favorite book?

Too many. I might as well work for Barnes & Noble and take my payment in product. I’ve always been a book junkie. In college I was an English Lit major. (No big surprise, huh?)


Is there a playlist you’d recommend for “Love Delights”?

“Chocolate” - Kylie Minogue

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” – Def Leppard

“Pressure” - Billy Joel (when Deirdre and Trevor are trying to come up with a winning ad campaign in an impossible deadline)


Do you have a favorite author?

Literature: the Bronte sisters

Contemporary: Kristan Higgins

Paranormal: Chloe Neill


Favorite word?

Homer Simpson’s “D’Oh!”


Least favorite word?

“Notwithstanding.” Legalese kills my creativity.


If you were to give only one tip to an aspiring writer, what would it be?

Join a professional writing organization. I myself am a proud member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Connecticut Romance Writers of America (CTRWA). I would not have been published without guidance from these groups. Trust me.


What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future?

Here’s my upcoming publication schedule:

Mid-September “Art and Seductionin the box set Hot Seduction—Six Sizzling Tales. (Dark romance, professor-student, love triangle)

Early November Desire in the Arctic (the stand-alone sequel to Desire in the Everglades. Action-adventure/contemporary romance)

Additionally, I have two more full-length contemporary romances I am finishing up now, hopefully to be published soon.

Things have been busy for me. In addition to all of these new releases, including Season of Love, Soul Mate Publishing, Inc. released Lawfully Yours, a full-length contemporary novel March, 2015. I should probably work on getting more than a few measly hours of sleep at night from here on out.

Thanks so much, Bobbi, for having me on Scribbler’s Ink!




Find Stacy on Social Media:










Interview – Puppy Love – Gerri Brousseau

A Few facts about our author:

 Author Gerri Brousseau 

Author Gerri Brousseau 

Gerri was born in Connecticut where she currently lives with pugs, Mimi and her cats Louise (Weasley) and Harry. If you haven’t picked up on it, Gerri is a huge JK Rowling fan.  In addition to writing, Gerri loves to cook, sketch and paint and spend as much time as possible with her granddaugher.


Tell us Scribblers a little about Puppy Love.

Puppy Love is the sequel to The Yuletide Bride, so you will meet some of familiar characters and be introduced to a few new ones. Here is a little blurb:

Sparks fly when a chance encounter entangles Lord Robert Nelson with the lovely Claudette Valentine and her dog, Madeline. The attraction is undeniable, but her father's plan to find her a wealthy husband holds a hidden agenda that Robert can't abide by. A story of attraction, longing, and if destiny can be changed, a loving marriage, instead of a loveless one.


Do you consider Puppy Love to be a sequel to Yuletide Bride or is Robert and Claudette’s tale a stand-alone story?

It's both!


What one thing about your hero, Robert that drives his heroine Claudette crazy? And what one thing about Claudette that drives Robert demented?

At the stage of their relationship, they still have stars in their eyes and have yet to discover anything that drives the other crazy. Claudette is quite headstrong, as is Robert, which in the future might prove to be problematic. Guess you’ll just have to wait for the third book in the series to see.


How much influence do your characters have on which direction the story takes you?

They tell me their story, I’m merely the typist.


How much research do you do into the time period before you begin writing and how much do you do on the fly?

I get the idea for a story and then I do research to see where my idea can fit. I do write fiction, so my writing is historically based though I may tweak things here and there.


What is the most interesting activity you’ve participated in for research?

Nothing too crazy, because I do write historical romance. Although I am contemplating writing a contemporary romance so I can feature my former skydiving experience.


If you could cast anyone to play the roles of Robert and Claudette, whom would you pick?

Since the author generally has no say in things of that nature, I haven’t given it much thought. I suppose I could see Collin Firth as Robert.  Not sure about Claudette. Guess I’ll have to give it some thought. Any suggestions?


Would you share an excerpt form Puppy Love?

I would love to.

            The snow crunched beneath Robert’s boots. Tightening his scarf, he pulled his coat closed when a gust of wind blew a swirl of snow around him.

            “Mickey, let’s make short work of this, eh?” A chill shook Robert’s body.

            The dog pulled him along the sidewalk toward the park. Despite the fact that the sun shone brightly, Robert’s breath frothed in a cloud before him as he huffed and puffed to keep up with Mickey.

            Rounding the corner, they came upon the wrought iron gate to the park. It was then that he caught sight of a dark-haired woman in a bright red cloak. She walked alone but for the large black dog by her side. Mickey lunged forward, and nearly pulling free of Robert’s grasp, the oversized pup dragged his master along. Robert slid and skittered trying to keep his footing upon the slippery snow-covered sidewalk. The commotion caused the dark-haired woman and her dog to take notice.

            “Mickey! Mickey! Here boy. Settle down now,” Robert called in an attempt to gain a measure of control over the animal.

            Too late. The large black dog appeared to have developed quite an interest in Mickey. The two dogs stood nose to nose for what seemed like an eternity, but in actuality was only a second. The brief moment vanished when they raced around chasing each other, winding their leashes around both Robert and the dark-haired woman, and in so doing, drawing the couple into an awkward face-to-face embrace.

            “Madeline! Stop this instant!” the dark-haired woman shouted. The black curly haired dog, so intent on play with Mickey, did not listen.

            “Mickey!” Robert shouted. “Mickey, settle down now.”

            The two dogs, running out of leash, finally came to a halt and stood panting.

            “I beg your pardon, Madam. This is the first I have had occasion to take Mickey here for a walk. I had no idea he—”

            “It’s quite all right,” she replied. “Maddie and I have met this dog before, isn’t that right Maddie?”

            “You have?” Robert reached around the woman in an attempt to untangle the leashes, but it only drew them closer in their embrace.

            “Monsieur,” she stammered. Her lovely French accent rang in Robert’s ears like a familiar and favored song. A smile involuntarily curled the corner of his lips upon hearing it.

            “Again, I beg your pardon, Milady, but perhaps if I—” 

            Upon hearing Robert’s voice, Mickey started to pull on his leash and only tightened the snare.

            “Yes, we have had the occasion to meet. However, I must say that Monsieur Hastings seems to have a better grasp on the task of walking a dog.”

            Robert’s cheeks burned. “Please forgive me,” he said. Gazing down into her smoldering brown eyes he couldn’t hold back a smile. His heart leapt when she returned it.

            “If you would allow me to reach around you, I believe I should be able to get this sorted,” he said, drawing his thoughts back to the situation at hand.

            “Oui, yes, of course.”

            “Perhaps if you were to hand me the strap attached to . . . Maddie is it?”

            “Madeline, her name is Madeline.”

At hearing her name, a soft whine escaped the dog. I wonder what her owner’s name is, Robert thought. The dark-haired woman did as she was asked, and reaching around her with both hands, Robert made short work of disentangling the leather snare.

            “There we have it,” he said, handing Madeline’s leash back to the dark-haired beauty. His hand lingered overlong when their fingers touched. Despite the fact that she wore gloves, heat rushed up his arm and nestled in his chest.

            “Merci, Monsieur. Thank you.”

            “Robert. Robert Nelson.”

            “Thank you, Monsieur Nelson.”

            “Robert. Please call me Robert.”

            She moved to take a step away from him and suddenly panic rose in him at the thought that she would walk out of his life never to be seen again. His heart hammered with the thought.

            “Wait,” he said.

            She paused and turned back to face him. Her red hat sat askew upon her head and loose tendrils of hair escaped her once neatly pinned coiffure.


            Robert’s gaze traveled over her features. Her cheeks were pink, perhaps from the cold, her dark lashes rested against her creamy skin and her pink lips formed the perfect pout.

            “You haven’t told me your name,” he said with a smile.

            “Claudette. I am Claudette Valentine.”

            “It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Milady.”

            Mickey and Madeline sat together with their tails thumping in the snow.

            “It appears that our dogs have become fast friends,” he said.

            “Oui, it would seem so.”

            “I wonder if we might walk together, for the sake of the dogs and their new found friendship.”

            She paused for the briefest of moments before answering, her gaze going from Robert to the dogs. “For the sake of the dogs you say? Oui?”

            “Yes, for the dogs, of course.”

            “I suppose if it were for their sake then yes, let us walk together.”

            She turned to walk further into the park and slipped on the icy walkway. Robert stepped up and grabbed her around the waist preventing her fall. Helping her stand upright once again, he reached up and adjusted her hat. Again his gaze locked with hers and his heart throbbed in his ears.

            “A dangerous business this dog walking,” he murmured. “Kindly allow me to escort you, Milady.” He presented his elbow.

            Placing her hand upon his arm, she allowed him to escort her further into the park. 

            “Tell me, Lady Valentine, what brings you to London?”


If you could rewrite anything in your book what would it be?

There is one section I would like to tweak, but my characters wouldn’t hear of it.


If your hero or heroine could rewrite a scene in their story which would it be?

Since they told me the story, I would imagine it’s exactly how they want it. However, I’m sure Lady Claudette would much rather have had Lord Nelson move a bit faster in his pursuit. 


What is the one piece of advice for other authors who are considering self-publishing?

I would say, get a good editor, and be prepared to do a ton of marketing. Self-publishing is a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it.


What in your opinion is the biggest pro and con between self-publishing vs traditional publishing?

Pro for self-publishing – you get a much larger share of the royalty. The con is that you have to spend a lot more to get the book up and running.

My books published through traditional publishing had no up-front cost. The publisher assigned me an editor, they paid for the copyright, cover art, and formatting. They took care of uploading the books to all the e-book sites, and published the print copies.  Although the percentage of profit is less, the initial expenditure is as well.


What is a typical writing day like for you?

I sleep until the bed tosses me out. Then with a mug of coffee in hand, I head to my comfy recliner. After getting cozy in the chair with my lap top and, of course, my pug (Mimi Sue), and with music playing softly in the background, I place my fingers on the keyboard and begin. I turn off my “inner editor” and just let the characters tell me their story.


Is there a genre you’d like to attempt to write?

Yes! I’m one of those writers who always is working on a few different things at the same time. I’m working on a contemporary romance as well as a YA. One thing I would love to try is Steampunk, but on the one occasion I tried, I found myself staring at a blank computer screen.


If you could become one fictional character for a week, who would it be?

Elizabeth Bennett, simply because I’ve always been in love with Mr. Darcy.


What are you reading now?

Voyager, the third book in the Outlander Series. When the Starz Series began, I decided to read all the books. I’m only on the third book because my writing time takes precedence.


What writer has most influenced you as a writer?

Without doubt, J.K. Rowling.


What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future?

 Season of Love, anthology box set featuring Gerri Brousseau's story "Puppy Love"

Season of Love, anthology box set featuring Gerri Brousseau's story "Puppy Love"

Gerri: Right now I’m preparing to begin the third story in the “Season of Series” which is entitled, “Enticed by a Laird.” I have several projects lined up, but I just have to find more time to write. That will happen over the summer when I will leave my “day job” and begin writing full time.

If you would like to read “Puppy Love” here are a few links.

If you would like to know more about Gerri, please visit her website at

And if you would like to read more of Gerri’s books, here are some of the links:

The Yuletide Bride (Season of Magic)

A Pirate’s Ransom:

According to Legend:

To Kill a Monarch:

Meet the Guest Speaker for our upcoming Dialogue Writing Workshop

We are very pleased to introduce our next guest speaker, Rich Feitelbeg, for our upcoming workshop. Rich will be presenting at our workshop titled: "He Said/She Said Dialogue Writing Workshop" on Saturday June 13th. To learn more about our workshop, please click here

Rich Feitelberg is a poet and novelist, author of the Aglaril Cycle. His first novel, is complete and Rich is working on the second. He also has two collections of short stories and a poetry collection to his credit. Over 10 individual stories can be found on Smashwords.

Rich has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Worcester State College. His Master of Arts in Technical Communication was received at Bowling Green State University. Currently, Rich is working on the Aglaril Cycle and writing more poems and short stories.

Rich is a member of the New England Horror Writers and the Association of Rhode Island Authors. To learn more about Rich and his writings, please visit his website here:

Interview- “A Wedding and a Promise,” by Merry Holly

Tell us what “A Wedding and a Promise” is about?

It’s about Chase and Noelle who got engaged in Season of Magic, and what it takes to 

put together a rushed wedding. 

How did the second Season of… anthology come to be?

Right from the beginning I planned on several books in the series. I love the premise 

of a collection of romance novellas in one place that can be read in one evening, and 

offer a variety of situations. Ours include contemporary romance, historical 

romance, and romantic suspense.

When you wrote first introduced Noel and Chase in the Season of Magic 

Anthology did you know you wanted to continue their story?

At first I thought it was one story, but as I got to know them I wanted to know all 

about them. I’m not sure they’re done yet. I think the first year of marriage getting to 

know each other in another country offers so much intrigue and many situations to 

keep them busy.

Are the characters of Noelle and Chase based on anyone you know in real life?

No, I never base a character on real people. I take a little bit from this one or that 

one, and even strangers I’ve encountered for a short period of time, and then mix 

them all together to get a character. I find that so interesting.

If you could cast anyone to play the roles of the main characters in this story, 

whom would you pick?

It’s a tough question because there are so many great actors out there. Let me 

see…I’d pick Chris Hemsworth for Chase, and Amy Acker with chin length, curly hair 

for Noelle.

What are your strongest influences when it comes to character creation?

When the story pops into my mind, the characters are defined. What I mean is I 

know what they need to look like and what their demeanor needs to be. From there 

I go in depth and create a bio for each one. I know what they have in their fridge and 

what food they hate the most.

Is there a difference in your writing process when you are creating  a 

novella/short story vs. a full-length novel?

Yes, you have to write tight in a novella and not waste words. Sometimes it’s hard to 

be descriptive with little white space.

What is the biggest pro and con of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing?

Self-publishing gives you control. With that said, all the work is on you. The 

formatting, uploading, creating the cover, the advertising, marketing and setting up 

all appearances. With a traditional publisher (if you’re lucky) you get help with all 

the above, plus they have in-house artists to help create your covers.

How do you balance the needs of self-promotion with writing time?

Promotion is an important part of writing. Without it you sell no books. Like 

everything else in life, I have a schedule (time management).  Once you put 

something on a schedule, human nature tries to reach the goal. Without my 

schedule, I’d be lost. I’ve tried it both ways and the list of to-dos for the day really 

works. You’d be surprised how much you’ll accomplish.

I schedule writing time, housework, work, fun time, and marketing. And I’m not up 

all night doing it. I get a solid seven hours of sleep a night, which is very important 

for the creative process and one’s health.

In “A Wedding and a Promise,” what is your favorite scene?

I like when they first arrive in Florida, and Noelle confronts Chase about boundaries 

and packing for her. It’s at this moment that it really dawns on her that they really 

are strangers.

Can you share an excerpt from “A Wedding and a Promise” with us?

I have to tell her soon. I hope it's not a deal breaker, but she needs to know before 

the wedding. Turning his head, he glanced at her while she slept. Bundled in her 

coat, her hat pulled down low on her forehead, he was amazed at her ability to sleep 

so soundly in the truck. How would she react? Questions floated in his head while he 

drove to Rhode Island on I-95. When would be the best time to tell her? She'd asked 

him so many times—why the rush? Fear was his excuse for being a coward. Would 

she postpone the wedding until he got back? He loved her and hoped she didn't 

change her mind. He wanted, no needed, Noelle by his side. Cripes, the minute we 

get to the hotel room I'll tell her. Maybe, after I make love to her. You're a coward, 

Chase. Yes, I am. I'll wait until we get to Florida to tell her.

Reaching out, he took a strand of her hair where a curl had escaped from under her 

hat and rubbed it between his fingers. Hmmm, soft and silky. I can't wait to mess it 

up. He had visualized this weekend since Christmas. Not that he didn't love his 

family or like hers, but he needed time alone with Noelle. He couldn't wait to get to 

Rhode Island to make love to her and spend every minute with her—just the two of 

them. The plans for his latest project sat in his suitcase. Tell her. They screamed.

Do you have a particular daily writing schedule or process you stick to?

No matter what, I write 1,000 words per day (at least five days a week.) I strive for 

10,000 words a week, but if I hit 5,000 I’m happy. That doesn’t mean they are all 

good words, but Nora Roberts once said, and it’s true “You can’t edit a blank page.”

What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

I like quiet when I write. When I edit, I’m very eclectic when it comes to music. I love 

it all from opera to rock-n-roll, to country, and metallic. It all depends on my mood.

What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned from your journey as a writer?

The hardest was jumping in and taking the second publisher without research. 

Before an author signs a contract, they should do their research and understand 

traditional publishers, small presses, and vanity presses. Once they understand the 

industry they can gauge their income from each source. Exposure sells books. A lot 

of the smaller companies popped up in the early part of the century and don’t have 

the sources to market you properly.

What would be your one piece of advice for other authors who are considering 


Research, research, research and then more research—I like self-publishing but it’s 

a lot of work if you want to be successful at it. I like learning new things. I keep an 

open mind and if someone says, “you can do it better this way,” I listen and adjust. I 

have learned a lot from one of the authors on Season of Love. 

What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future?

I have another holiday anthology coming out in November. And I just completed the 

first draft in the Jake Carrington Series. I’m editing and re-writing now. Hopefully 

that will be out in the early part of 2016.

To purchase your own copy of Season of Love go to:



To keep up with Merry Holly (aka Marian Lanouette)

A look at our recent Short Story Workshop

On May 16th we hosted our very first workshop on the subject of Short Stories. Our instructors Bobbi Lerman and Kristin Binder covered story arcs, character development and plot pointing. In addition to working from our trademark writing prompts, we had a very special guest speaker join us. Edith Maxwell is a renowned mystery and short story writer and we were very pleased to have her speak on the art of short story writing.  

Meet the Guest Speaker for our Short Story Workshop


We are beyond excited to have Edith Maxwell as our guest speaker for Scribbler's Ink Day Short Story Workshop on May 16th. 

To learn more about the workshop, click here

About Edith 

Agatha-nominated and Amazon-bestselling author Edith Maxwell writes four murder mystery series, most with recipes, as well as award-winning short stories.

Farmed and Dangerous is the latest in Maxwell's Local Foods Mysteries series (Kensington Publishing). The latest book in the Lauren Rousseau mysteries, under the pseudonym Tace Baker (Barking Rain Press), is Bluffing is Murder. Maxwell’s Country Store Mysteries, written as Maddie Day (also from Kensington), will debut with Flipped for Murderin November, 2015. Her Quaker Midwife Mysteries series features Quaker midwife Rose Carroll solving mysteries in 1888 Amesbury, with John Greenleaf Whittier’s help, and will debut in March, 2016 with Delivering the Truth.

A fourth-generation Californian, Maxwell lives in an antique house north of Boston with her beau and three cats. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors (, and you can find her at, @edithmaxwell, on Pinterest and Instagram, and

Glimpses at our recent Memoir Writing Workshop

This workshop was held on May 28th at Brushstrokes Art Gallery in Marblehead, MA. Our guest speaker was Molly Lynn Watt, who read excerpts from her book of poetry "On Wings of Song: A Journey into the Civil Rights Era."  Molly also brought in various pictures and momentos from that time period to show the workshop attendees how she took her unique experiences and turned it into a story. 

Meet the Guest Speaker for our next Memoir Writing Workshop

We are so very pleased to have author Molly Lynn Watt as the guest speaker for our next workshop "Write Your Life: Memoir Writing Workshop." To register for this workshop, please click here

About Molly Lynn Watt

In 1963 Molly worked at Highlander Center in Tennessee directing the North South Smoky Mountain Workcamp to build a residential facility that would be used for voter registration training. Dr. Martin Luther King identified 15 young activists from Birmingham, Alabama, and Myles Horton, Director of Highlander Folk School enrolled fifteen volunteers mostly from the North for the residential, and interacial, workcamp. Interrupted in the middle of the night by intruders, the goup was jailed, the camp was burned, this is the basis of Molly’s most recent book, On Wings of Song— A Journey into the Civil Rights Era. Recently she and her husband Dan Lynn Watt were each honored by the University of Rhode Island by the Multicultural Center with an award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service during Freedom Summer 1964.

Molly Lynn Watt, poet, educator, community organizer worker, pursued a professional life committed to leading educational and social reform most often within diverse communities using experiential learning with learners from three months of age to learners well into their nineties. She was a cofounder of the Folksong Society of Greater Boston, Teacher Center Brookline, the Action Research Center at EDC, and the Logo Institute. She served on the Martin Luther King Speakers Bureau sponsored by the AFSC in New Hampshire giving talks, workshops and interviews throughout that state. 

Her book of poems, Shadow People, was published by Ibbetson Street Press in 2007. She served as editor of Bagels with the Bards Anthology, volumes 1-4, as poetry editor for the HILR Review, and for 12 years as the curator of the monthly Fireside Readings. Molly reads her poems, leads workshops and is widely published.

She and her husband, Daniel Lynn Watt, coauthored and perform George and Ruth: Songs and Letters of the Spanish Civil War, also available from CD-Baby.  They serve on the faculty of the weeklong summer institute “Creating Modern Knowledge” directed by Dr, Gary Stager. Together they lead the weeklong Ukulele Festival at World Fellowship Conference Center. They are cofounders—with a couple of dozen others— of Cambridge Co-housing in Massachusetts, where they live and play with the Common Strummers Ukulele Band.

You can learn more about Molly and about her books over at

Glimpses at our recent creative writing workshop

Scribbler's Ink hosts monthly workshops, here are some photos from our last class. We had quite the fun and energetic group of writers. To learn more about our classes and to register for our next course, click here

Five Writing Tips for Beginning Writers by Karilyn Bentley

When I was asked to write a blog on writing tips I was honored. Even so, I doubted I had the experience to offer much. Yes, I'm published, but I'm not a big seller, so in my mind, who would want my advice? The only advice I've written lately is how to write with a puppy, which is tongue-in-cheek and meant for a chuckle. What to write? What to write? I finally decided to write what I wished someone had told me when I started writing.


So, what should writer just starting out know? 


1 - For one thing, get a very tough skin. Or never read your reviews. Remember, for every person who loves your book there are others who hate it. And they aren't polite about it either. Get used to the fact not everyone is going to love your characters like you do. In order to survive as a published author a thick, impervious skin is a must.


2- A published book does not mean that you will be able to stay home and eat bon-bons all day. Yep, that's exactly what I thought would happen. Really. You can stop laughing. Except for a few envious souls, most authors have to publish several books and build a back-list before they start making a living wage. Even then, many of us still keep our day jobs out of necessity.


3- A published book does not mean your publisher will send you on an all-expense paid bookstore tour of the country. Small presses expect you to do your own marketing and publicity, and even being published by one of the Top 5 publishers does not guarantee a book tour. 


4- Get used to social media. Learn how to use it. Or at least present a profile on the top sites (like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads). Spend some time marketing and doing publicity but don't get so caught up in social media that you forget you are a writer. The best publicity is the next book.


5- Finally, I'll leave you with advice from the great Nora Roberts: You can't edit a blank page.

So get to writing!


About The Author

Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories, and preference for sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works—a blend of fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest, and started her writing career as an author featuring sexy heroes, and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in North Texas with her own hunky hero, a psycho dog nicknamed Hell Hound, a crazy puppy, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish. More on Karilyn and her books can be found at











Demon Lore (A Demon Huntress Novel – Book One) - Interview with Karilyn Bentley

I am pleased to welcome multi-published writer of fantasy/romance Karilyn Bentley. 

Karilyn is the author of the recently released, Demon Lore, a riveting page-turner. 

First a few facts about our author:

Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories, and preference for sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works—a blend of fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest, and started her writing career as an author featuring sexy heroes, and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in North Texas with her own hunky hero, a psycho dog nicknamed Hell Hound, a crazy puppy, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish. More on Karilyn and her books can be found at

What would you most like your readers to know about you that they might not find in your official bio? 

I love hot tea! And have a secret coffee addiction ever since my MIL bought us a Keurig. 

So much fun to stick a little K-cup in the machine, push a button, and watch it brew a 


What would you like to tell Scribbler’s Ink readers about your book, Demon Lore? 

This was my favorite story to write. It's the story of Gin Crawford, a messed-up ER nurse 

who is also an empath. She finds a mysterious bracelet that gives her demon hunting 

powers—a gig that she's not too happy about. 

Here is a blurb:

Gin Crawford has enough problems dealing with her empath abilities. Finding out she's the world's newest demon-slayer is the last thing she needs. Unfortunately, when she slips on a mysterious bracelet she is given no other choice. On the plus side, her new gig comes with Tall, Dark and Handsome, a mage who may or may not have her best interests at heart. Thrust into a power-play between good and evil, Gin must choose a side before she becomes the next victim in the ongoing battle.

What inspired this story? 

It wasn't so much of an inspiration as my muse put two scenes together and came up 

with a story.

Writing the story in the present tense makes for an interesting read. Why did you 

choose to do this, and was it difficult from the writing-process aspect?

I wanted to try something different and make the story more immediate. It was a little 

difficult at first, but once I got into the story and Gin's voice, it got easier. 

What are your strongest influences when it comes to character creation? 

My characters usually pop into my head. I don't base them on people I know. At least 

not the main characters. 

Do you develop a deep backstory for all of your characters before ever sitting down to 

write, or do you just have a general idea of who they are?

I tend to have a generalized idea of who they are and some of their flaws. The rest 

comes to me as I write.

When brainstorming a story idea, do you begin with character or plot?

Hmm. Good question! It's a little of both. I see characters in a scene and then wonder 

who they are and what is happening to them. Then I go from there. 

How much influence do your characters have over which direction the story takes 


A lot. I can come up with a bit of a plot, but my characters show me interesting things 

about themselves as I write. It adds depth and can change the story.

What is one thing about your heroine, Gin, that drives your hero, Tall, Dark and 

Handsome (TDH) crazy? And, what is the one thing about (TDH) that drives Gin crazy? 

Her snarky mouth drives him nuts. His attitude that he knows best makes her even more 


Gin possesses an interesting mix of flaws, vulnerability, courage and determination. I 

don’t see her as a damsel in distress. Do you feel the days of the heroine needing to be 

a damsel in distress in a romance story is over for good? 

I sure hope so! She might be in distress, but she needs more of a plan to get out than a 

prince rescuing her. Nothing wrong with the prince, but the heroine needs to be able to 

hold herself up. Gin's definitely not a damsel in distress! 

Which secondary character was your favorite to write, and will they warrant their own 


T, Gin's twin brother was my favorite to write. I'm not sure yet if he gets his own story or 

remains a part of hers. I'll have to think on that one! 

What is the most interesting activity you’ve participated in for research? 

I'm boring. Most research I do online, in books, or I ask people. 

Can we have an excerpt from Demon Lore? 

Most definitely! I love to share!

The evil man-thing stands on my porch, his lips turning in a menacing smile of death. I 

don’t need to touch him to know he wants me dead. Muscles freeze, trapping my 

breath in my lungs. Like a rabbit in view of a wolf, I’m immobilized, waiting for death’s 

blow. Time slows, his gaze locks on mine, trapping me in place.

Move, move, move! My mind screams as the man’s fingers twitch.

But the spike of adrenaline explodes into my limbs too late to stop the backhand blow 

slamming across my jaw.

I Superman it halfway across the living room. Land on the hardwood floor in a thud of 

pain-ridden limbs. My jaw morphs into a screaming ball of nerves. My head no sooner 

hits the floor than I hear the bracelet scream, a high-pitched wail quivering through my 

skin like vibrations from a tuning fork. The bracelet tightens around my wrist, cutting off 

the circulation, and then it loosens with a pop at the same time I hear the door click 


Ohgodohgodohgod, I’m going to die. I don’t want to die. No, no, no, no, no. Pain and 

terror hold me crumpled on the floor as my mind crawls backward in time. 

But I’m no longer a child, fearful of fists and words, cowering on the ground.

I’m a fighter. 

My head spins, but I refuse to lie on the floor waiting to be killed, so I attempt to stand. 

Evil Guy laughs as I ass-plant it. Laughs as a moan escapes my lips. He takes a step 

toward me, right arm drawn back for a hit. His fist hurls toward my face, but I manage to 

block it with my left arm. My right arm, the one with the bracelet, shoves forward, 

slamming into his chest.

His black eyes widen, mouth open in surprise, his hands fluttering to his chest before 

dropping. I stare at my hand, stare hard, for I’m as surprised as Evil Guy. The bracelet 

had become a sword, a long, thin spike of metal extending from the silver links, straight 

into Evil Guy’s heart.

A sword?

Definitely a sword. The flat of the blade rests against the back of my hand, cool metal 

heating from the warmth of my skin. Small silver links circle around my palm, lending 

stability to the two-foot long sword.

I’m not sure which scares me more, Evil Guy paying me a visit or the fact the bracelet 

performed a morphing trick. 

Do you have a critique partner/belong to a critique group? 

I used to belong to a critique group when I started out, but we seem to have gone our 

separate ways as far as critiquing goes. I have a couple of beta readers who read 

through my work once the book is finished and give me feedback. And I'm a member of 

the Plotting Princesses.  They're an awesome group of ladies who help each other plot, 

come up with blurbs and other writing help. I'm really excited they asked me to join 

because I've gotten so much out of the group.

Do you write by the seat of your pants or are you an outliner? 

A pantser! In case you couldn't tell! Writing an outline kills the story for me. I usually 

know the general idea (as in Gin gets a mysterious bracelet and must come to terms 

with wearing it) and a bit on how the story ends (Gin comes to terms with wearing it). 

Everything else comes to me as I write. Which means a lot of discoveries from 

characters I thought I knew. 

What is the writing process like for you? 

If you were to describe your process in one word, what would it be? 

After determining the general idea of the story and the characters, I start at the 

beginning and keep going until the story ends. Usually about 10K words in, I get stuck 

and the muse runs off to the beach leaving me to figure things out. Then about a little 

over halfway through my muse comes back, which is really good. I miss her! My process 

in one word? That's a hard one. Maybe difficult?

Do you write at the same time, same place every day?  Do you write every day? 

I did, until we got a puppy last year. Now I tend to write more in the kitchen than my 

office (puppy likes all her humans in one place, we aren't spoiling her, no, we are not) 

and at odd times. As she ages, it's getting better and I'm starting to move back into my 


How do you balance the need for self-promotion with the need for writing time?

Good question. Hard answer. I don't know if I have the right balance. I'm still working on 


What writer has most influenced your work?

 J.R. Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Karen Marie Moning. I know, I know, that's three. I 

never was good at math! 

Now for some fun questions:


If you could have one super power what would it be? 

I'd be able to turn into a fly, buzz into rooms with closed meetings and eavesdrop. 

Imagine all the ear-burning things I could learn!


If money were no object, where would you most like to live? 

Colorado. I love the mountains.


What is your favorite curse word? 

Hell. It's versatile. 


What is your favorite sound? 

Water over rocks.


What is your least favorite sound? 

Loud music, and fingernails on a chalkboard.


What are you currently reading? 

Burned, by Karen Marie Moning


What is the best and worst piece of writing advice you have ever received? 

Best: Put butt in chair and hands on keyboard. I can't think of a worst one. 


What books or other projects do you have coming up in the future? 

The fourth book in my Draconia Tales series, The Detective's Dragon, is coming out this 

year. I also have four more books in the Demon Huntress series planned. Stay tuned!



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