Kristin and Bobbi's Write Life Wednesday: Author Swag - Pre Goody Room

This weekend, Bobbi and I are headed to the New England Chapter Romance Writers of America Conference Let Your Imagination Take Flight, where we will be presenting the workshop Prompt-Writing to Unlock Your Muse. 

It's going to be a lot of fun, and if you are in the Boston area and haven't yet registered, you should do that! Go ahead, it's fine... I'll wait.

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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 Contemporary-Books.com. 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!

 

LINKS FOR STACY HOFF

 

Find Stacy on Social Media: www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff
Twitter: twitter.com/authorStacyHoff
Web: www.stacyhoff.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorstacyhoff/

 

AMAZON BUY LINK FOR SEASON OF LOVEhttp://www.amazon.com/Season-Love-Box-Merry-Holly-ebook/dp/B00X3ZAR3E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431122019&sr=8-1&keywords=Season+of+love+-+stacy+hoff

 

AMAZON BUY LINK FOR LAWFULLY YOURS: http://www.amazon.com/Lawfully-Yours-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00U7U2WCC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1425508177&sr=8-2&keywords=book+-+lawfully+yours

 

AMAZON BUY LINK FOR DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES: http://www.amazon.com/Desire-Everglades-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00NFSMCYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410289138&sr=8-1&keywords=desire+in+the+everglades.

 

 

 

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.

            “Oui?”

            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.

http://www.amazon.com/Season-Love-Box-Merry-Holly-ebook/dp/B00X3ZAR3E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433166880&sr=8-1&keywords=season+of+love+box+set

If you would like to know more about Gerri, please visit her website at www.gerribrousseau.com.

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

The Yuletide Bride (Season of Magic) http://www.amazon.com/Season-Magic-Holiday-Box-Set-ebook/dp/B00OZ136A6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433167171&sr=8-1&keywords=Season+of+Magic+box+set

A Pirate’s Ransom: http://www.amazon.com/Pirates-Ransom-Gerri-Brousseau-ebook/dp/B0091PRUTO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433167032&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Pirate%27s+Ransom

According to Legend: http://www.amazon.com/According-Legend-Gerri-Brousseau-ebook/dp/B00BP7HL1S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433167092&sr=8-1&keywords=According+to+Legend

To Kill a Monarch: http://www.amazon.com/Kill-Monarch-Gerri-Brousseau/dp/1619354608/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1433167126&sr=8-2&keywords=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: http://www.feitelberg.net/aglaril/

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 

self-publishing? 

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:

http://www.amazon.com/Season-Love-Box-Merry-Holly-

ebook/dp/B00X3ZAR3E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432640455&sr=8-

1&keywords=Season+of+Love+Boxed+Set

To keep up with Merry Holly (aka Marian Lanouette)

https://www.facebook.com/marian.lanouette

https://twitter.com/AuthorMarian

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 (wickedcozyauthors.com), and you can find her at www.edithmaxwell.com, @edithmaxwell, on Pinterest and Instagram, and atwww.facebook.com/EdithMaxwellAuthor.