Writer feature

Writer Showcase: John M. Donovan

Genre: Literary Fiction

Background: In third grade I started writing mystery stories with my friends as characters. At that point I can say I was writing specifically to entertain people.

In sixth grade I had the best teacher of all time, who not only laughed at my stories but encouraged me to write more. In seventh grade my English teacher told me “If you miss being a journalist, you’ve missed your calling.” (I’m not a journalist, but I’ve always broadly interpreted her statement to mean “being a writer.”) In high school I realized that this was what I wanted to do with my life.

Thanks to some discouraging words (“You can’t make a living writing”) and a nagging fear that maybe I wasn’t that good, I lost sight of this dream for a while and didn’t re-commit to writing till sometime in my late 20s.

Writing Highlight: I think I’m pretty good at capturing moments in time, writing realistic dialogue, using natural (not forced) humor, and getting my themes across without beating the reader over the head with them. I strive for smooth narratives that won’t trip the reader up.

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Love and Corn and Whatnot
sequel to Trombone Answers

Next Project: In early 2021 I plan to release a novel that I consider the funniest thing I’ve ever written. It’s a satire of professional sports called Fluffball! Or, How Five Really Tall Guys and an Immortal Chinese Philosopher Opened the Door to a Parallel Universe and Saved Professional Nerf Basketball, More or Less.

After that release will be a novel much more grounded in reality called Kerouac’s Ghost.

To keep up with John M. Donovan follow his blog: https://www.hillsboropublishing.com/blog-1

U.S. Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/John-M-Donovan/e/B01DAN3OK6/

Contact John for bulk book orders: https://www.hillsboropublishing.com/contact

Writer feature

Writer’s Showcase: Karen Eisenbrey

Genre: High Fantasy and Comic Urban Fantasy.

Background: I have always loved stories and wanted to be a writer from an early age. In college I was an English major, but after I graduated, I had no ideas and didn’t write much of anything until the “chaos years” when my kids were small. Once I had kids it seemed like a good idea to just start writing. A fateful dream with two wizards and three plot twists sent me into the fantasy genre.

Writing Highlight: my first published novel, The Gospel According to St. Rage, is a book about a girl who starts a garage band and gains superpowers; that book actually got me writing songs! I’ve always sung but I’d never had much success with songwriting. Writing this book I discovered that if I wrote songs from the point of view of my protagonist, I was more successful.

Next Project: I am pegging away at the third Daughter of Magic book in my fantasy trilogy. The first two are Daughter of Magic and Wizard Girl.

To follow Karen’s blog: https://kareneisenbreywriter.com/blog/

Or you could connect with her as I first did, on Twitter: @KarenEisenbry

She also has a nice page featuring not just her novels, but all the anthologies she’s contributed to: https://kareneisenbreywriter.com/my-books/

A note about Karen is that she has contributed to a number of anthologies; in fact it was the Paws and Claws anthology from Cake & Quill which first caught my eye. This is one of nine (and counting) anthologies that Karen has contributed to!

Cake & Quill, 03/17

Proceeds from Paws and Claws go to Bob’s House for Dogs, which offers hospice care for elderly dogs.

Not a Pipe Publishing, 11/18

Note Karen is featured as the writer on the top margin, left, on the cover of Strongly Worded Women.

Writer feature

Writer’s Showcase: Margret Treiber

Genre: Speculative/Science Fiction (and one horror story).

Background: I’ve been interested in writing since I was in elementary school.  I remember writing a terrible romance story, and my mom finding it.  I was mortified.  I didn’t write again until I was a teenager. 

I then wrote on and off until I hit my early twenties.  I sent one story into Aboriginal Science Fiction magazine.  I got a personal rejection, which I was pretty proud of.  Unfortunately, it got lost in time.  I stopped writing for a while, dealing with real-life and all that crap, but started again in my 40’s.  I wrote a novel I wasn’t happy with, then started writing short stories.

Writing Highlight: I’m good at writing morally ambiguous characters.  I also live with a  science consultant who has been known to point out when my science makes no sense.  Usually, I listen.  Sometimes, I go with bad science and call it Science Fantasy. 

I used to think I was unique in my flagrant use of curse words, but apparently, there are others of my ilk.  I was very proud of my last two novels until I realized how typo-ridden they were.  I liked the short story I published in LampLight, “Atmospheric Pressure”.  It’s creepy and dark.  It didn’t hurt that they edited it well.  My short in The Weird and Whatnot, “Dance, Monkey, Dance!” is another of my favorites.  It is especially better after they illustrated it and formatted it very fancily.

Next Project: My next story, “Better SAF Than Sorry,” is due out in the anthology Imps and Minions at the end of August. I’ve been writing shorts that tie-in to that story and may eventually create a collection of them in the future. While I see my greatest strength in shorts, I am working on a hard corp Science Fiction novel that I’m about a third of the way into.

To keep up with Margret Treiber follow her website: http://www.the-margret.com/

You can also follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/margret.treiber

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B0052U63BI

A note about Margret is that she has a wonderful sense of humor, which I appreciate. Under the “don’t ask” column she confessed she once wrote a ‘cell phone porn’. Since I can’t ask, we’ll let it go at that, but clearly this is a writer who is willing to explore the corners of Speculative Fiction!

Short fiction is an art form that isn’t always popular with writers; I was very excited to discover a writer who is using the format so successfully. For readers, anthologies allow the satisfaction of a complete story in a short period of reading time, as well as the variety of sampling multiple writers in one publication. If you aren’t reading anthologies, you should be!


Writer feature

Writer’s Showcase: Iris Chacon

Genre: Romantic Mystery, Cozy Mystery

Background: My grandmother read to me from an early age, so I was in love with clever words from the beginning of my life. As a preteen I wrote plays and poems and won my first writing prize for creating lyrics to a school fight song at age 13. In my young adulthood I wrote screenplays and after that, I wrote short documentaries for non-profit organizations.

One day I pulled out a favorite movie script that hadn’t sold and decided to see if I could use it as an outline for a novel. Within a year I had published my first three novels and was working on the fourth. Nobody has been as surprised as I have, to see how well received my books have been.

Writing Highlight: For decades I’ve been working to produce high quality entertainment with the kind of wholesome worldview my peers and I enjoy. I know the real world contains profane words and sordid events sometimes, but neither I nor my friends and family live in that atmosphere, therefore, we don’t find those things entertaining.

I’m driven to give audiences and readers as much joy as I can pack into every page. Life is hard. What we all need is more good, clean, fun. Writing for stage and screen taught me a lot about dialogue. Here is a link where people can listen to a half-minute of dialogue from the audiobook version of Duby’s Doctor: https://youtu.be/5DajIrIBXO8

Next Project: I’m nearly finished with the long-awaited, much-requested sequel to my first book, Finding Miranda. All the quirky denizens of Minokee, Florida will be back and in rare form in The Mammoth Murders: The Minokee Mysteries, Book Two. The first book has won awards and fans; I’m embarrassed it has taken so long to answer fan requests for a second book.

A note about Iris is that I chuckled when I read that while she doesn’t ‘mind’ cat and dog people, she’s a rabbit and horse person herself. As a current rabbit owner and former horse person myself, this spoke to me. Rabbit-loving-readers unite!

Iris Chacon webpage and blog: https://www.authoririschacon.com/

Iris Chacon book page: https://authoririschacon.com/get-the-books/

Irish Chacon book trailers: https://authoririschacon.com/book-trailers/

Writer feature

Writer’s Showcase: Caron Allan

Genre: Mystery (Friendship Can Be Murder series), Romantic Historical Mystery (Dottie Manderson series).

Background: I wrote my first novel Ghosts! Ghosts! Ghosts! in 1970 and unfortunately it is now lost because my mum kept it in a drawer with my drawings, a knitted bookmark and a tea-cozy I made. I started reading adventures at age seven or eight and was reading Agatha Christie by age nine. [Eventually] I remember sitting on my bed in Aldershot, Hampshire, UK, and thinking, I want to write a new story, but what shall I write about? Then I thought, what is it I am afraid of?

Writing Highlight: I had to overcome [close] people telling me that a) I was no good as a writer, b) it was wicked thing to want to write fiction, and c) who did I think I was anyway, thinking I could be a writer? So I destroyed a large amount of my writing, which I now regret.

I have spent years working on books: the first draft of Easy Living was written in 1997 and I was finally ready to share it with the world in March 2019. In my historical mysteries, I am trying to give the reader a fairly authentic yet accessible experience (books written in the 1930s are ‘wordy’ and formal for modern readers.) While I modernize compared to the way things would have been written, I keep manners and lifestyle quite close to how they would really have been.

I also like to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to write.

Next Project: I am currently working on book five of the Dottie Manderson series; it will probably be out in the beginning of September. I have loosely planned at least five more books in that series.

I’m also working on another stand-alone book, set in the mid-1940s, right after the war, (yes, a mystery.) On top of those, next year I plan to embark on another series called the Runaway Writer.

To keep up with Caron Allan: https://caronallanfiction.com/

Book page with links for purchasing in different countries: https://caronallanfiction.com/my-books/

A note about Caron is that not only has she overcome the disparaging remarks of previous critics of writers and her writing, she has a wicked-good sense of humor. I knew she and I would hit it off when I read that when she “isn’t plotting how to kill people” she spends time in the local shops looking for everyday items that have “lethal potential.”

Now that’s my kind of shopping and my kind of creative writer.

Writer feature

Writer’s Showcase: Mary Ramsey

Genre: LGBTQ Romance & Fantasy

Background: I served in the United States Air Force and earned a BA in cinema. While I was born in California, my work in the USAF took me all over the world – including the Midwest. I have a fondness for unique and underrepresented superheroes and characters. I love an inspiring story that makes me cry; my favorite movie will always be 13th Warrior.

How Did you get into Writing: I have always been drawn to overly dramatic stories featuring people on the fringe of society. As a teen, I wrote about drug addicts and the mentally ill; people who were so lost they needed to find a light. I then moved into fanfiction, playing around with characters from comics and videogames. Finally came my first novel, Dakota Son, where I took a step back and learned to combine my sense of drama, and a bit of helplessness, with a sense of reality. I then went on to create a series based on LGBTQ characters from that novel.

Writing Highlight: I find video games are able to tell a compelling story without holding the reader’s hand and explaining too much: that inspired me. Each of my stories takes place over a long period of time but is told in a way that introduces the reader in an organic manner.

Next Project: I’m in the process of re-publishing Dakota Son. I’m also working on something new, with a protagonist named Leonardo Riveria. This will be an LGBTQ-paranormal-romance about an immortal demon hunter, which I’m planning to make a series.

A note about Mary who is blessed with a generous heart; she not only is an artist but on the website for her art offers to do artwork for others. She has a vibrant style, available under the label Deviant Art, that you can check out here: https://www.deviantart.com/dourdan

More information about Mary’s books can be found here: https://dourdan.wordpress.com/

Writer feature

Writer’s Showcase: Cheryl Oslund

Genre: Romance

Background: I started as a reporter and weekly columnist in Canada, but I’ve always been interested in writing.

How did you get into Writing: I wrote poetry and short stories as a kid. The older I got, the longer my stories got.

Writing Highlight: I’ve always loved the ability of a story to take you out of your own life to travel the world, the universe, space and time, and meet people and beings we might never have seen or heard of before. My romances give people a chance for hope, a chance to enjoy something positive that focuses on love. And a love story is always a nice escape, a chance for a brighter day.

Next Project: I’m working on a romance/mystery set in the 1800’s!

A note about Cheryl: she knows the  meaning of perseverance. A computer glitch deleted the updated version of all her three of these featured books and she had a year of writing to get back to where she had been.

Writer feature

Showcase for You & Your Work!

There are a lot of great writers out there, many independent, who are trying to spread the word about the work they have toiled on. I have decided to start using this space as a place where I can showcase writers and their work.

If you would like to be featured in this space, reach out to me @ChristyOslund on twitter: @ChristyOslund  or drop me an email >cmoslund@gmail.com< with the subject line: Writer Feature.

woman reading book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This is What I’ll need

Author Name [if you use a pen name, I’ll need it]

Genre [I know this can be complicated, but I’m cool with complex tagging]

Cover-Picture of  book [I’m happy to feature up to four if the files aren’t too big – however – all the unique titles should be in the same genre]

Answers to the following, in no more than one paragraph each (I will edit if I feel they are getting long; readers don’t appreciate big blocks of text.)

Brief Bio: tell us something that is interesting or memorable about you; it doesn’t have to be crazy inventive, just a truth about your background.

What Got you Into Writing: have you always written; how old when you wrote your first story; did you have an inspiration [again, short and memorable is preferable].

A Highlight of your Work: what is something unique, something you’re proud of, something that makes your writing stand-out?

What’s Next: Your ongoing or planned project that excites you.

assorted title books collection
Photo by Marta Dzedyshko on Pexels.com

This is what you Gain

A Pitch: As writers sometimes we need more practice pitching our material: to potential editors, agents, publishers, readers, cover artists etc. As writers, we can be tempted to launch into way more detail than the hearer is interested in. Having the equivalent of an ‘elevator pitch’ [no more than 60 seconds] about our work is important.

Potential Readers: Writers are also readers! Or at least, they sure should be. I’ve been thinking it would be handy to have a centralized place where I could go to see what other writers are writing that I could read.

To quote Kinsella: If you build it, t(he)y will come.

Let’s hope that idea – building and attracting users – works as well for writers as it did for that baseball field in the corn.

[Have you read Shoeless Joe? It is worth the time.]

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W.P. Kinsella’s classic        On Amazon