Category Archives: Thoughts on Writing

A CONventional Experience, Part I

Happy Monday everyone,

I’m soon off for work but beforehand I thought I would do up my monthly post here at IWAssocation. This month I thought I’d focus on conventions and attending them (next month will be as a guest/vendor) and how great it is to meet actors/writers you admire (at least it has been for me).

My earliest convention experience was here in Newfoundland, it was a small one in a hotel (it’s 20+ years ago, so I can’t remember much more). It didn’t have any guests, just people selling stuff and societies/groups giving out information.  What I took away from it was a connection to a larger world of geekdom and meeting more people who had the same interests as me. Back then I was huge into Star Trek (I still enjoy it but don’t spend 10+ hours a week watching the various series). The Star Trek club I discovered at that convention was called the USS-Avalon. I used to love going to Sunday meetings, playing board games, watching the show and eventually I got more involved. I started out holding onto the records, then I contributed to the newsletter, than ran it and eventually the whole club. The newsletter was the first opportunity I had to write and see it published, I later enjoyed the control of picking articles I like and of course publishing segments of my first attempt at a novel (it was a Star Trek one of course and probably terrible). I experienced what it is was like to have my writing/editing/organizing skills criticized and I improved a little,  but I’m getting  off topic.


Move forward in time, the club becomes the Avalon Society and eventually ceases to exist (I got tired of running it and most of the people I liked in the club were gone). I decided to go to a convention in Halifax (Nova Scotia), while they now have Hal-Con, I think it was called something else back then. Here I got to meet a Star Trek writer, Marc Okrand (he also created the Klingon language).


I was a little star struck to be sure but I had a great time at the convention and felt once again the warmth and friendliness that geeky people have for each other. At this point, however, I’d moved from writing Star Trek to Star Wars and had begun to show the first few chapters to my friends (once more I don’t think it was very good.) I didn’t forget Marc Okrand though and later I would do a panel at conventions on the Klingon language, for now though, moving on again.


Sci-Fi on the Rock became the first serious convention here in Newfoundland (now in it’s 9th year) and I finally got to meet local authors, Darren Hann (who also ran the convention for several years) and a book company owner (and author) Matthew Ledrew (who owns Engen books). Here I saw people who did it, who wrote books, put them out (Darren is self-published) and promoted them. I was intrigued, I talked with the both of them and purchased their books.


I was a very shy person growing up, all throughout high school and into my early 20s, going to conventions and meeting outgoing people was a turning point for me. I saw that if they could do it, why couldn’t I? Eventually I got back to writing (this time a vampire book, which I had started in 2002 and finally finished in 2010) and by November of 2010 sent it off to various local publishers (including Engen) books. I’ve detailed my publishing history elsewhere so let’s continue with the convention theme.


Once my book was published (two technically) I started to go to larger conventions. This time one in Florida called Megacon in 2014. This was the biggest convention I had been to yet and had some people I really wanted to meet. Two of them being writers, first there was Wil Wheaton, who many of you may know from Star Trek: The Next Generation and more recently The Big Bang Theory, he’s a big geek like me and he’s written several non-fiction books. I really enjoyed talking to him and I gave him a copy of my first book. I once did journal/autobiographical novella type thing but I lost the only copy (it’s just as well, I’m sure it was terrible). None the less it was great to see a geek guy be successful and remain so friendly an down to earth, a genuine pleasure to meet him.

WilWheadon StanLeeMyBook

The biggest thrill for me was meeting Stan “The Man” Lee. As you may know he co-created so many Marvel characters, Hulk, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Ant Man, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, X-Men and Thor just to name a few. He was always the face of comics for Marvel and a personal hero of mine, he make comics fun and (in recent years) even cool (and most certainly successful). It’s not often I’m genuinely excited to meet someone but I was here, it was a nice moment in my life. As with Wil I gave him a copy of my book. I also thanked him for all the great characters he’s created. While his writing may now by dated, in the 60s to the 80s he was certainly one of the great comic book writers and certainly an inspiration to me.

So that brings me to now, I’ll be at a convention this weekend (Sci-Fi on the Rock April 24-26) as a guest. I’ll tell you about my experiences selling and talking a t convention, at another time.

So have you been to conventions? Did you meet any great writers? Was it everything you hoped for? Let us know!

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Judge a book by it’s cover

Hi again all,

I’ve had a fair amount of experience with book covers. Two different companies and a bunch of artists/cover designers. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings and I don’t believe in spreading negativity, so for that reasons some names will be left out. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case I think the covers can speak for themselves.

NewfoundlandVampire-coverFRONT700.jpg Here’s the cover for the first book (published in 2012 by Penumbra Publishing). There are parts of it I’m happy with (the blood red sunset, the water, Cassandra and the obvious vampire traits.) I’m not much pleased with Joseph or what he’s wearing. Newfoundland is an island so the water is fine (and some important scenes do take place on a rocky beach). After hearing lots of comments on it (and people who said it was terrible) I came to see that it gives an impression. It often makes people think of a romance novel (and a cheesy one) and all the things that go along with it. While there is romance present in the story, I don’t like people to get the wrong idea and not take my work seriously. Let’s move on to the cover for book 2.




NewfoundlandVampire2-coverFRONT  This time I took a much different approach, I paid a guy to make a cover for me (and I don’t mind saying it cost almost $300). He did many versions of this (at least 30) until the cover had to be sent it or the publishing would have been delayed. This came out in September of 2013, also by Penumbra Publishing. I’ll just call the designer Alex, he was agreeable and made many changes as I asked him to and tried lots of different things. He thought I should pick out a scene from the book that was important and created a creepy atmosphere (I picked an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans). I found some real pictures of it from a website (there was no one I could ask permission from) and he incorporated them to my satisfaction. What didn’t occur to me at the time was that the title “Killer on the Road” has nothing do with the cover. I also never thought about how much is going on, looking back I can see it looks jumbled. I do like the eyes above and I thought Cassandra looked even better than book 1 (these are both real people after all). I thought he did her fangs and the blood well, I liked Joseph face hidden almost completely in shadow. I also thought the splashes of blood were cool. The moon above was a nice touch a subtle nod to time passing (as book 1 was a sunset). Still though I wanted something different, which brings us to an attempt I made getting a cover done for book 3.


NFLVthumbnail  Here’s the rough draft I got for what could have been the cover to book 3 (tentatively called) “The Gathering Dark.” This time I wanted to try hiring an artist to do something with no stock images and nothing computerized (aside from scanning and minor alterations of course). I’ve been told this looks terrible and while I think it needs work, it has potential. He incorporated what I wanted, each character ready to fight at an airport (St. John’s in particular) in the background, the moon large in the sky (and it would have been blood red), and different characters reflected in each sword. Casandra’s hair is different and their looks are meant to convey that events have taken a dark turn in the story. The artist was a nice guy but ultimately he just said he was too busy to go any further (he never asked for any money in advance.) At this point I decided to leave Penumbra Publishing so this brings us full circle for a look at the new cover for book 1.

NLVampireDPCoverRough Vanessa (Armada West) has been working diligently on a new cover for me now that I’m with Distinguished Press (and I love it here by the way, everyone is great!) What you see here is just a rough mock-up but I like the direction it’s going. Once again I wanted a red sunset and this time I choose a university building (it was a dorm in the book) as the backdrop (several important scenes happen on campus). Cassandra looks great (no vampire traits here) and Joseph is fine but I’m looking for a better model to choose from. This is a return to photo stock images but it’s not costing me $300 and Vanessa has been very accommodating. I’ll be sure to share a more finished version of the cover when it is ready. I still may one day pay an artist for something really different but not for the re-issue of book 1 or 2. Oh I should say book 1 will be out April24th and book 2 will be July 24th (of 2015) and of course from the fine folks at Distinguished Press.




Here’s another version of the cover for book 1, this time I choose a different male model, I like him better as he looks more like me (and a regular guy). You’ll notice Cassandra also has fangs and some blood about her lips. It’s an ongoing process but I’m excited for the final version.

So what do you all think? They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover but I think most people do. You can’t help it, a cover is your best form of advertising for anyone browsing in a store or on a website (or app). Talk to you all next month!


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Stop! Rewrite!

When I first submitted Embers for edits, my editor sent it back to me with notes and corrections that didn’t even go past Chapter 3, and I was told to rewrite the whole thing.

In short, I was mortified. I thought that my entire book had to be awful for my editor to not have bothered to do a complete edit all the way through. I despaired for days. I convinced myself that I was a terrible author and that I’d probably never write another book again. In time, though, as the despair faded into determination, I realized that what my editor had done was really a blessing in disguise.

In Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki, the author recounts her journey to becoming a renowned geiko, starting back from her early childhood. While she was taking dance lessons, every girl there dreaded hearing their teacher tell them “stop!” For them, being told to stop was the dance teacher’s way of saying that their dancing was horrible and they should leave class and never return.

At one point, Mineko, who had been a proficient dancer and named successor of the okiya that took her in, received a dreaded “stop!” from her teacher and she returned home in tears. Upon arriving home, she was confronted and asked what was the matter. When she explained what had happened in dance class, she got an unexpected reaction.

The purpose of the “stop!” was not a punishment or an unofficial ban from dance classes. In actuality, it was a much-needed push. Mineko had been hitting a wall with her dancing, and her teacher had only been trying to give her that extra push to do better, to try harder. Ultimately, Mineko went back to dance class, and she returned stronger than ever, surprising even herself.

So, what does dancing have anything to do with my editor’s own instructions to rewrite Embers? I, too, was hitting a wall creatively. Writing Embers was a long and difficult process. I had a lot of challenges in life to overcome, so being able to create with such burdens on my shoulders was difficult.

When my editor told me to rewrite Embers, it was much like how Mineko had been told to stop. It was my push. I realized that it was the moment I could either allow myself to submit defeat and continue to wallow in despair, or I could stand and fight and turn Embers into the amazing novel it could be.

I’d worked too hard on it to give up. So I broke through the wall, and I shattered it. I came back strong, and now here we are, just days away from Embers‘ launch day.

So, I say to you other authors out there, don’t be afraid. If your editor tells you to rewrite your book, don’t greet it with despair like I did. See it for what it really is–the push to do better. Because what it boils down to is simply whether you’ll choose to give up, or choose to exceed everyone’s expectations, including your own. Face the challenge head on. You can do it.

Write the novel you were meant to. Take good and turn it into greatness. Take greatness and become extraordinary.

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My writing journey so far

Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

I hope everyone had a great Xmas and holiday season. Mine was nice, quiet with a small family but that’s fine with me. Like most people I ate and drank too much and now cutting back but enough about such boring trivia. Today I thought I’d briefly get into my journey as a writer and how I got here.

I’ve always loved stories, when I was young that made me an avid reader of Archie comics, then all the superheros (and some anime) and then novels of primarily the sci-fi/horror/fantasy genres (and yes I still read comics today, just not as many monthly titles). When I was around 13 I started doing short-stories, I don’t have any of them now but I’m sure they were all terrible but none the less the seed was planted.

In high school I wrote poetry from the school newspaper (again probably lousy stuff but it felt good to do it at the time). I also kept a journal for many years (that I wish I still had but sadly it’s lost to the ravages of time). I was not at happy teenager and my poems were pretty sad. I hope geeky kids have an easier time in school now as I know I sure didn’t.

Time moved on and I found myself writing music and movie reviews for the Memorial University student paper The Muse. I have always loved music (and movies) and the chance to get to see/hear them for free was fun (though most of my reviews never got published). I liked the fact how movie reviews for the paper meant I got to take someone with me to a movie (though the only time I took someone the movie was terrible. If you never saw “Vampire in Brooklyn” count yourself as lucky!).

I finished at Memorial and writing took a back seat, sort of. I always had the need to express myself in a creative manner. Fortunately for me I had Dungeons and Dragons. Role-playing is a wonderful way to exercise your imagination and for me being the Dungeon Master (basically you create a world and control how the story goes, to a point) was enough writing for a long time. My wife (who is not into D&D) said if you’re of the female persuasion (or just want a good laugh) you should watch this video.

Like lots of people who enjoy literature (I did a BA in English at Memorial) I tried to write several times. I attempted a Star Trek book, then a Star Wars, the a vampire one. All three (ok technically two) never amount to more than a few chapters. A book just seemed to big, too daunting.


I started my vampire tale back in 2002 but it got put aside. Then some 8 years later I found myself at a very boring job, my mind wandered all the time and I began to think of that book I started. I had kept the file and going back to it I found that I still liked the idea of a vampire based on myself. It was a chance to explore fantasies I knew would never come true and it was a way to imagine how my life could have turned out differently if I had made other choices (and if vampires were real). After 4 months I had a rough draft and then began the process of submitting it. I learned some hard lessons (like the first 3-4 drafts are always terrible) but after about 9 months of editing and submitting my perseverance paid off, I had found a publisher (Penumbra Publishing).

Things went well there for a while. My first book did okay (was released in April 2012) and I soon completed book II “Killer on the Road” and it came on in September of 2013. About a year later is when things took a wrong turn. My sales were shabby and no matter what I did I couldn’t improve them (I spend a lot on promotion, getting a website, getting a cover done and other things) and my profit was very small. I eventually became dissatisfied with my Penumbra, I won’t get into all the details as I don’t like to say negative things about a person. My old editor was honest with me and had taught me a a lot about writing, editing and being an author but I knew by October of 2014 that it was time to move on. It was slightly ironic that the day I told Pat I was done with Penumbra my first short story “Robots” was published by them. I am proud of that story and I hope to see it re-released as part of a collection someday. I’ve written some other short stories the past few years and I’d love to have them published someday too.

So this bring me to my new home Distinguished Press. Through Twitter I got to know the friendly, helpful (and talented) Karyn Pearson. She mentioned my work to Jen Leigh and in early November of last year I signed a contract with DP (there is some truth in the saying it’s not what you know but who you know). I am thrilled to be with DP, everyone has been really friendly. There are lots of interaction with authors (it’s one big happy family!), lots of promotional activities we help each other out on and Catrina has lots of great ideas for the future.

I was happy to go back and look at the first book in “The Newfoundland Vampire“. Jen pointed out some things that I hadn’t considered and that will make it a better book (and I’m sure she has other notes for me as well). As writers can attest your characters become your friends and going back to visit them is always great, it’s like re-watching a movie you love or a TV show, just on a much more personal level. Book I will be re-issued on March 27th and book II “Killer on the Road” sometime later this year. That leaves book III (tentatively titled “The Gathering Dark) and hopefully book IV (need to started writing it!) for 2016.


Well this turned into a lengthy post. I’ll leave you with a question, what has been your writing journey? Inquiring minds want to know! 😉


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I started writing my first book in 2012. Mirror Image started as a reoccurring dream and I wrote it down to get it out of my head. Little did I know the journey I would embark on. The original story is vastly different from the published story. For one thing, it was strictly sci-fi. There was no romance. In fact, the three Brooks brothers didn’t exist. There were a couple other elements I didn’t like and actually put them aside to save for another series. I learned a lot during the course of the first year in writing. Writing a sci-fi romance series has been fun and challenging. I have learned there is an art to it. I am just the vessel for telling the stories. They are actually the writers. These characters have become a family for me. Once Mirror Image had been fine tuned into the story it is today, I immediately set to writing the second, Mirror Shattered. That story is very much the cornerstone for that series. During the writing of Mirror Shattered, I signed a contract with Distinguished Press for the series. I took a break to focus on edits and everything for Mirror Image, so when it came time to write the third, it was like visiting old friends.

As writers, we get attached to our characters. I can only hope any reader would get equally as attached or at least some level of enthusiasm. I cried several times while writing Mirror Reformed. When the story was done, it felt finished. The story was complete. I’m not ready to say goodbye to them yet, but thankfully I’m not there yet. I’m releasing short stories for John, Seth and Logan, and Jackson. The prequel for Mirror Image is also coming. Plus, and because this is sci-fi and I can do it, the third book in my other series, Amethyst Chronicles, will cross over with the Mirror series. How, you may ask, since Amethyst is a thousand years after Mirror Reformed? Guess you’ll have to wait to find out how Ember travels back in time. But I can say I am extremely excited for it. Ember facing off with Mack or going toe-to-toe with Logan, another like-minded warrior? Oh, it’s going to be gooooood.

Saying goodbye is never easy, but it’s not really goodbye, is it? I can always pick up the books anytime I want to visit them. I just remind myself in the meantime, there are other stories to tell.

Haven’t read my Mirror series or Amethyst Chronicles? Click the link to hook yourself up!


Mirror Image (Mirror series book one, now $.99)

Mirror Shattered (Mirror series book two)

A Mirrors Beginning: John Brooks  (short story, $.99)

 Amethyst Chronicles: Winter’s Kiss

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Diaper Parties and books, what will they think of next?

Greetings and salutations all,

This is my first post at the IWAssociation and as a proud member of the Distinguished Press author family. They have been wonderful so far, very welcoming and fun to talk with. I’ve got a great new editor (and owner) and have already made some new friends. Enough about DP though onto my post.

About a month ago I went to a diaper party, what a diaper party some of you may be asking? (I know what it is because I’ve been to a bunch) Let’s see what the good old interwebs has to say:

“This is the male equivalent to a baby shower. When the mother of the child has a baby shower, the father of the child has a Diaper Party, at which his buddies (usually the significant others of the women attending the baby shower) bring cases of diapers and beer.

Hey man, is your Diaper Party the same day as the baby shower?”

women-history-month-sports-no-interest   The above is from and it sums it up. It’s the male version of  baby shower, here’s the problem I’ve had, all my friends are geeks. As such I’ve  never had a very good time at any of them. Yes I know what you’re thinking, maybe that’s more my fault than theirs but let me give you an example of how they can get weird from a brief recount of the one I went to last month. So a friend of my brother’s (and I guess a casual friend of mine) who we’ll call Bill invited me to his party. I brought diapers but no beer (I had been at a party the night before and was more than a little hungover) and it wasn’t a BBQ. You know how you have friends that you only see once, twice or maybe three times a year? Bill is that kind of friend for me. So I went and as expected the hockey game was on (Bill’s a geek but a lot of people he invited aren’t). I have zero interest in sports, at least watching, I’ve haven’t followed a team since high school and couldn’t care less about the Olympics or any playoff/championship game. There was food but of course I’m a vegetarian (no one else there was) so about 90% was not what I would eat. To make this party even more strange is the fact that his parents are there (he doesn’t live at home but this is where the party was held) and they invited all these people in their 50-60s who are all bikers. I knew maybe 6 people there out of 30. All this adds up to a rather boring time for me, at least for the first few hours.

(I couldn’t find a picture of a guy who didn’t like sports but it’s okay, I’m a lot cuter than her 😉 So as I’ve noticed during parties after a while when the early birds leave (or in this case they really out of place biker people trying to social with people 30 years younger than them) break into smaller groups where people chat more. This one guy came in the room and started talking about TV shows (in particular Game of Thrones, which is amazing by the way!) books and movies. Naturally my geek antenna went up and once I had my chance I worked my way into the conversation. We had a nice chat about geeky stuff (there’s a ton of comic books movies these days and lots of good TV). Bill felt his social duties to mix with the rest of party ended and he came in too (I quite like Bill if you’re wondering, I’m just not a family man and I find you naturally spend time with childless couples rather than those with them). Eventually we started talk about books and in particular horror ones (which I am something of an expert on).







We both agreed that “The Dark Tower” (by Steve King of course, if you didn’t know that you may be on the wrong website!) starts off wonderful but eventually turns to almost unreadable garbage (King basically admits that he pumped out the last two books because he thought he was going to die after a bad accident). And no I haven’t read the latest one (which actually takes place earlier in the series) and yes the comics are generally top notch so I don’t condemn everything with “Dark Tower” on it. I finally found a chance to start talking about my books (“The Newfoundland Vampire” books 1 and 2) and I handed out a bookmark (now double sided!). I don’t know if he’ll buy a copy (I don’t remember his name, I’m terrible with them) but I think I made a good impression. (You know I was going to work a plug in here somewhere!) I always like to hear people’s perspective on vampire books/movies/TV shows in particular as I’m in the editing process for the re-issue of book 1 at my new publishing home Distinguished Press and this should hopefully be available right sometime in July of 2015.

So if you’re at a crappy party by advice would be drink more (if you’re of age and get a ride home of course) or just stick it out and wait for the people you want to chat with. As for diaper parties…they’re not going away here in Newfoundland and at least I can buy the biodegradable ones, plus I find there’s always a few geeks everywhere I go.

Have you been to a diaper party? What did you think of it? Until next time everyone!

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Social Anxiety Disorder – (SAD) – Definition, Coping, and Character Creation

What is it?

It’s when a person finds themselves excessively uncomfortable in social settings. This can be online, public, or otherwise. Each person’s anxiety varies individually. Some have concerns with the phone, while others are unable to move forward with simple things in life like going to the store or a restaurant.


Coping from the insider’s mind

When a person experiences Social Anxiety Disorder in one form or another they have to find ways to cope. That means adjustments in what others may consider daily lives. Many people experience anxiety making a phone call but find use of the internet and text messaging is smoother for completing many daily communication tasks.

Regarding exiting the home for one reason or another, a person with social anxiety disorder often seeks those they are most comfortable with. While some can, in time, move forward on their own, it isn’t something expected by the person experiencing the disorder. The steps needed to be taken are often smaller than the outsider would appreciate. The effort to move beyond a comfortable environment alone is stressful and overwhelming. It can generate anxiety attacks with a simple thought of doing so. The smaller steps taken to overcome this are needed to ease the process of being able to cope. Visiting a common store with someone close often can create a feeling of familiarity for a person who’s experiencing SAD. Eventually this location may become a feeling of safety and thus could be something they experience on their own in time.


Coping from an outsider’s point of view

Those with social anxiety disorder often appear to be unwilling to challenge themselves to take on the events of the world around them. This isn’t the case and to approach someone with SAD while holding onto this thought process, a person can do more harm than good. If a person attempts to explain to they are unable to bring themselves to do certain things alone, or beyond their comfort zone, it is an advisement of what they contend with daily. This information does not change who a person is. It does identify current limitations that need to be respected.

Should you select to support a person who encounters daily events of Social Anxiety Disorder it is important not to pressure them. This may be easier said than done as the nature of the disorder can generate pressure in itself. Listen to the individual experiencing the social anxiety and you’ll hear what they need to manage or cope. If they ask for support going to the store, this is an activity a personal support friend can draw themselves into. Select someplace that can accommodate everyday needs and make it a regular stop. Eventually this activity will become comfortable for the person who experiences Social Anxiety Disorder and it may become something they are able to achieve one day on their own.

Should there be activities, such as eating out, that a person enjoys but due to their social anxiety concerns they may have other challenges. Keep in mind that dining out is often done in the company of friends. Those who are not friends may trigger the anxiety. With this in mind – all restaurants are filled with anxiety. The server is a stranger. The host that walks to the seat is a stranger. The people at most of the other tables are also unknown to the person with social anxiety. As such some easy tips for helping them cope would be to allow them to select a seat most comfortable to them. If needed, identify what they would like to order and convey that to the server when it’s requested.

If you’re a friend to someone who finds phone calls anxiety inducing, text, email, or social network with them. It’s a simple process that allows and enables the person to be social in a way that does not induce anxiety.

Speaking from Experience

When I first began to experience Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) it covered many layers. Overtime, as I pushed myself, I’ve been able to move beyond some things and not others. Often pushing myself out of need and with the help of anti-anxiety medications has enabled me to continue to provide for my family. This fact doesn’t make the process any easier. I am still excessively contained to people who knew me as an extrovert. Online, I often still appear to be, however that doesn’t change what I experience.

For me, phone calls are a big deal. I can manage as needed but when I can avoid it I do. This has led to some hurt feelings among those I care about. While this result is regrettable, it is better to maintain a level of personal emotional security than for the anxiety to interrupt my daily routine. Most have come to understand that text messaging is key for maintaining communication with me. I’m grateful to everyone who has. It makes one of my personal anxiety concerns less interrupting.

There are many people who experience some form of SAD. Our experiences are unique to us individually and as such we need that support to cater to the individual not as a blanket response. If you know someone who experiences it, regardless of what you may once recall of them, spend your time getting to know their needs and emotional limitations without being intrusive. Give them the room to control what is needed to cope and support any requests made in that arena.

Applications to Writing

In creating a realistic character who experiences this disorder an author needs to take into account all aspects of their world. This character is typically not going to be someone who can not leave their home at all. That’s another anxiety inducing disorder all together,Agoraphobia. You will want to create a character who is willing to challenge their limitations in some small way each time. At no point will those steps appear to be huge, but they will feel huge for a character.

For example: If you have a character that finds meeting new people may cause them to become short of breath or encounter another physical manifestation of their anxiety, this character may only order food to be delivered. This delivery person is a new person and could trigger the anxiety but it’s a step forward for someone with a daily experience of SAD.

To maintain realism with a character who lives every day with Social Anxiety you will want to generate a forward and backward stepping process in their development. For every step forward there will be a struggle. For every victory, a defeat should mimic their achievement.

Do you personally experience this disorder? Have you ever created a character who’s experienced this or another social disorder? How so? What are your thoughts?

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Troupes of romance

Two days ago, the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan posted an article entitled 25 Erotica Lit Tropes that Need to Die. This spawned a friendly discussion in a writing group on Facebook and got me thinking. To me, most of the article is laughable at best. Regardless of her intention, the author came off as a bitter woman who hasn’t had a good tumble lately, if ever. And judging by the comments on the article, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Yes, some things in erotica are a bit eye rolling. But one thing I think the author didn’t take into account is romance and erotica stories are FANTASY. Sex in of itself is dirty and really kind of gross when you really think about it. Often our private lives are lacking in one area. Not necessary in the bedroom, but we are all wanting or needing something our normal day to day lives doesn’t give. That’s why we escape to books to begin with. I’m not going to get into too detail regarding my sexy time with my husband. That’s just between us. But I can assure you it’s not lacking anything. Still, I have written several graphic sex scenes in two of my novels that differ completely from me and Brad.

Some of the things felt like the writer of the article was calling out Fifty Shades of Grey, not the genre as a whole. Still, erotica is the biggest genre for a reason. Yet there are a few things I’ve seen in novels that do make me roll my eyes. For instance, I will never write a romance with a billionaire or a cowboy. I am breaking two of my rules and writing a story featuring a rocker and one about a pirate. To be fair though, the rocker is just the occupation. It’s not key to the story. I just need a reason why two of the main characters travel a lot and I’m already writing a wrestling romance story.

Good Lord I write a lot. lol

What are some cliches in romance that take you out of the story or you feel are overdone?

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My Writing Process

Stephen Jennison Smith invited me to do this linked blog tour; please, read his blog entitled “My Writing Process” It can be found @

What am I working on?

I’m always working on nonfiction, inspirational, and miracle filled anecdotes.

Currently, I am writing on a nonfiction tale that I think may split into multiple manuscripts before it finishes. Initially, the story began as the final saga of the following linked narratives:

    Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down


    My ArmOr (my life).

While compiling the final chapters, including the final deathbed prophecy of mom that is unfolding, I realized I might be compiling a book on spiritual anecdotes as well. Thus, I am considering cutting the written parts in half because my rhetoric is currently at over four hundred pages and has lost its original focus. My original intention was meant to be the witness and testimony about the remaining three forecasts from God and how they came to be. If I split my current story, one book will be called HIS Story, too; and the other will be Three’s a Charm. The latter story would cover what happened to mom’s predictions that she claimed came from her near death experience or trips to Heaven before she actually died.

How does my writing differ from other books in this genre (nonfiction- inspirational and miracle filled anecdotes)?

My books are different because I write when The Holy Spirit moves me and that ghostwriter helps me find the words God wants people to hear. Starting when mom died, she left behind some predictions that she says God directly handed her. I felt compelled to chronicle those things that other witnesses thought were mom’s random babbling. Most of what she foretold came true but three of her forecasts were unfulfilled as of the copyright date of my book entitled Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down . Current events are proving that she actually spoke with a Higher Source; His spirit moved mine into believing and recording those messages for posterity. Today, I write about how some of the three unfinished forecasts have already happened; plus, I have met people with similar miraculous stories that need to be captured for future generations. Mom’s remaining predictions will complete my current manuscript- once they all occur.

There are things the reader needs to know to understand my latest work in progress. Ideally, they should read my nonfiction stories in the following order.

Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down has the backdrop of terminal cancer as well as Christianity. It is a book about life after death. By the way, the unfinished prophecy mom brought from Heaven is coming to light proving God’s hand in this story.

My ArmOr describes the unbelievable trauma I endured when I almost lost my left arm. In the book, I describe the wonders of life as well as how I used my past to propel me through my limb’s rehabilitation. My ‘can do’ attitude prevailed after the doctor and physical or occupational therapists gave up on that arm. The book contains some answers to the unfinished prophecy, too.

Why do I write what I do?

I write to tell people good news. Many of my nonfiction tales are about hard and traumatic situations that turn out to be a part of grand miracles and healing from Heaven. Some people say they spoke with Him but there is no proof. Meanwhile, my mother’s babbling is proving to be from the right source or The Highest Being of Wisdom and Knowledge AKA God. I simply scribe for God.

How does my writing process work?

An event happens, The Holy Spirit moves me including helping me find the bigger picture and meaning in life with all its traumas. Then, I compile HIS Story AKA my next book. Sometimes, it seems to take forever.

You can learn more about my nonfiction and other writing @

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Turning The Pages Book Signing and Awards!

Turning The Pages Book Signing And Awards!
April 26th, 2014

Orlando, FL

The Book Signing and Awards Ceremony will be held at: 


Turning The Pages Book of The Year Awards Ceremony will follow an open to the public book signing


The book signing will be from 10 am until 3 pm. This will include a break between 12-1 for

lunch. The book signing is open to the public and all are welcome to come see, meet, greet,

and get autographs from the authors. Readers do have the option to buy a lunch ticket ($50). Otherwise lunch is for attending authors only.

The Book Of The Year Awards Ceremony is a ticket only event that will start at 7 pm. You must have

bought a ticket to get into the ceremony. Dinner will be provided. Also winners of The Book Of The Year

event will be awarded with certificates and medals.


  • Bailey Ardisone
  • Jordan Deen
  • K.T Dixon
  • MCV Egan
  • Ronnie Knox
  • Jana Leigh
  • Felicia Lynn
  • Jacinta Maree
  • Gracie Meadows
  • Wendy Nystrom
  • Cynthia P. O’Neill
  • Terri Peake
  • Dawn Robertson
  • Stacey Rourke
  • Jacelyn Rye
  • Melissa Schroeder
  • Toni Sinns
  • Hannah Steenbock
  • K.S. Thomas (KarinaGioertz)
  • Rebecka Vigus




For those who are unable to attend in person but would like to help in other

ways we do have donations open until March 10th. Click here to donate cash. 


If you would like to have your items in our event bags, part of our

basket giveaways, on our bookstore table ($25 for bookstore table display to sell your books),

or other material sent in please email 





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