Have you ever wondered how difficult or complex navigating the self-publishing world is? Join us Sunday, September 2, 2018 for the Scribbler’s UK Writing Retreat luncheon speaker and cozy mystery writer, bestselling Amazon author, Liz Hedgecock, as she takes you through her self-publishing journey--thus far.

A whistle-stop tour through what I've learnt (and what I wish I’d learnt earlier) in becoming a self-published author. Caution: may include editing, marketing, covers, and planning ahead.

Liz Hedgecock spends much of her time hopping between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries murdering people. To be fair, she does usually clean up after herself.
Liz’s re-imagining’s of Sherlock Holmes, Bitesize, a collection of flash fiction, and Murder At the Playgroup, a modern cozy mystery, are available in e-book and paperback.

Liz now lives in Cheshire with her husband and two sons. When she’s not writing or child-wrangling you can usually find her reading, messing about on Twitter, or cooing over stuff in museums and art galleries. That’s her story and she’s sticking to it.

You can also find Liz here:


Amazon author page: http://Author.to/LizH




Write Life Wednesday - Recording an Audiobook

The Rhythm Within Me: the Experience of Recording an Audiobook 

by Ann Campanella


This past year, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to record an audiobook. The book is Motherhood: Lost and Found, a memoir about my mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s at the same time I was trying to become a mother and struggling through a series of miscarriages. My mother was ill for 14 years, and much of that time, I leaned on my horse Crimson, who happened to be a grandson of Secretariat. His presence on the farm was a stabilizing (no pun intended) force in my life. While this period of my life often felt hopeless, it changed me as a person, and eventually I was blessed with the birth of a precious daughter.  It seems like divine timing that after a year of working on various aspects of this project, the audio version is due to be released around Mother’s Day.

What was involved?

Recording the book was another transformational experience for me. I’ve always been a reader, but I hadn’t thought much about how this trait had been developed until recently. Every evening when I was a child, my mother came and sat on my bed. She would tuck me in and turn on the reading light she had asked my father to install above the headboard of my bed. She often read pages from a little green book by A. A. Milne called When We were Very Young or from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. Sometimes she let me choose a book from the stacks on my bookshelf. I could stretch out bedtime and get her to linger if I asked for one more story or one more poem…which I always did.

Now, over 50 years later, I realize that my mother’s voice has become embedded within me. The week of her memorial service at the family graveyard in Upstate New York, I wandered through the old headstones under the pines and heard her voice, “The woods are lovely dark and deep….” from Stevenson’s “Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening.” It suddenly struck me that my poetry, which had provided the seeds for my memoir, was based on a rhythm I had unconsciously absorbed from her. This same rhythm is woven through the prose of my memoir. It is a language of love.

How did it get there?

Along with me my mother, I credit my writing groups. They provided an audience to whom I was able to share out loud the sections of my journal that eventually became chapters in my memoir. I didn’t just read these sections once. But over and over. As I wrote and revised, I wanted every word to be right, delicately woven into the tapestry, creating living scenes where the stitches of the story were invisible. My writing group members listened as intently and lovingly as my mother would have. Their nuanced feedback helped me toward my goal.

How long did it take?

Twenty years. Gulp. No, that’s not a typo. It was a long and arduous process, but I loved every minute of it. Each revision was an opportunity to study the prism of my mother’s life, to nestle against her again and feel the refrain of her love and tenderness wash over me.

There were long breaks in the editing process because I was in the midst of caretaking both my mother and my young daughter. But I was always drawn back to the page, lured by the embrace of my mother’s words. The rolling language that she had planted deep within me was familiar and became a treasured gift as Alzheimer’s gradually took away her ability to communicate.

Towards the end of her life, I couldn’t help but be aware that I was now passing this gift of words and reading on to my daughter, the way Mom had passed it down to me, and her mother had passed it to her and so on. Like I had done with my mother, my daughter snuggled against me at bedtime, and always asked for “one more book.”

Amplifying the senses

Recording my audiobook expanded my sense of what I had written. I was now able to share my story on another sensory level. As I read the words out loud, I re-entered the experience of my book, not just the writing of it, but the living of it, moment by moment. Speaking into the microphone, I lost track of time and simply allowed the rhythm of each scene to carry me away.

I felt the warmth of my mother’s presence, her soft voice speaking under the glow of my reading lamp. I sat with her on my couch when she was agitated because she didn’t know where she was. I walked the hills of her childhood home with her, sharing stories she had long forgotten. I stroked her rice-paper skin as she lay dying. 

Each sentence, paragraph and chapter was another opportunity to be with my mother, to feel her gentleness and the vibrations of a life deeply felt. 


To order a copy of Motherhood: Lost and Found, click here. For the audiobook, click here.
Connect with Ann on her social media:
Website: www.anncampanella.com
Blog: Fields of Grace
Facebook: @anncampanella.author
Instagram: @horses_2nd_time_around
Twitter: @authorAnnC

Kristin and Bobbie's Write Life Wednesday : Weather to Write

Does your muse pull the blankets over her head and give you her most confident you-don’t-tell-me-what-to-do-dearie sneer at the sound of a driving rain hitting the window panes? When the sky is the perfect summer cloudless blue and warm sun is streaming down, does your muse blow you off and head to the beach?

Weather affects our moods. Weather affects our productivity and our creative flow. It only makes sense that weather can also affect our muse.

How do you entice her back, you ask?  There are a variety of schools of thought on this matter. Some say ignore her, play hard to get (yeah right, like any self-respecting muse would fall for that old trick), or show her your independent streak, telling the old girl you don’t need her, you’re just fine on our own. Problem is, muses tend to be highly intelligent, perceptive and all knowing, and your BS is gonna bounce right off them. Negative thought will send your muse hopping onto the next train out of dodge until there is a definite atmospheric change.

Now, me? I say at times like these there is only one road to go. A change of venue is what is most likely needed. Forget cleaning the bathroom, the laundry, figuring out which bills to pay, making supper for your husband (he needs to learn to cook!) Boot out your inner drudge, embrace your repressed adventurer and follow her.

If she heads to a nice sandy beach where they also have an ocean front bar, I say anchor your umbrella and get to writing. Your muse turns out not to be a beach person? Not a problem. Settle in with her at a local café or coffee shop. Listen in on conversations around you. Writers are not only allowed, but expected to do this. Not to mention the best dialogue and lines have been discovered from a good eavesdropping session. Do you really believe Shakespeare came up with “A plague on both your houses,” sitting around the house moping?

If your muse turns out to be a film buff, take advantage. Take in a foreign film together and listen to her when she instructs you to read the emotions playing out on the screen before you.

My muse tends to be an active one, seeking new experiences, scents and visuals. You’re muse on the other hand my prefer a walk, stretching out on a soft patch of grass and studying the clouds, or a simple, but energy replenishing nap. No matter, stay with her, listen to her suggestions. Be grateful she is letting you hang out with her on an unexpected walkabout.

At the very least it’s time well spent. In the end the lesson is not necessarily about how many words you wrote that day. The lesson is weather always changes and sometimes while your waiting it out, you might as well have some fun!

Happy writing!


Kristin and Bobbi's Write Life Wednesday - 5 Places to Find Your Muse NOW

Writing can be hard. I get it. Really I do. We've all stared at the blank page or blinking curser, questioning why the universe would give us this passion if not the words to fulfill it. But here's the thing. Whether you call it inspiration, your muse, or a cure for writer's block, the answers to the question of where to find inspiration are all around you. Here are 5 places to find your muse now.

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Kristin and Bobbi's Write Life Wednesday - Practice Writing

From my experience, free writing or practice writing as Natalie Goldberg refers to the exercise, is one of the best tools for writers of all levels. From the person looking to write their first piece, to the seasoned writer needing to break out of a seemingly endless block and reconnect with their lost or forgotten muse, timed prompt-writing never fails to jump start one’s creative flow, help discover your writer’s voice, or strengthen the one already in place.

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Kristin and Bobbi's Write Life Wednesday: Hooking Your Reader - Opening Hooks that Work

The hook is a tried and true technique in the opening of a story that snares the readers attention to a degree that he/she will keep reading even if the family dinner may be burning to a charcoal crisp on the stove, your husband/partner states they have something important to discuss, or your all-time favorite television show is about to begin. A good hook leaves the reader unable to resist turning the page. A good hook tugs at your emotions and gets under your skin compelling you, the reader, forward into the story to follow where the writer wants you to go.  

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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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