Monday, January 25, 2010


It's time for some exercises!

While interviewing an author recently, she mentioned she had enjoyed Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott so much that she tries to read it each year. That sounded like a wonderful suggestion so, I went to work to find my copy of Lamott's book. Along the way, I found a couple interesting writing books I thought I'd recommend:
One of my favorite books for fiction writing prompts is "What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers" by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter. Published in 1990, they released a revised edition in 2009. I like the book mainly because it was one of my first fiction writing exercise books, which I then recommended to my writing students. I've continued to enjoy it because of the approach of the authors as they lead the reader through 83 different exercises ranging from beginnings to mechanics to plot. The book sets out the objective of the exercise and uses examples from either a published writer or from a student. If you are a beginning or an advanced writer, there are element that will keep you busy. Often these exercises seem to serve the author who is writing a story.
Another book that I've started relying on when I feel the need for a fiction exercise is "The 3 A.M. Epiphany" by Brian Kiteley (2005). In Kitely's introduction, he explains that when he uses exercises in his workshops "to derange student stories, find new possibilities, and foster strangeness, irregularity, and non-linearity as much as to encourage revision and cleaning up after yourself." Kitely's 201 exercises guide his students and readers to have a better understanding of why you're writing what you are writing. These exercises--or pairing them up--can be used in the service of a story or not.
Sometimes doing an exercise without having a goal in mind is the best way to release your creativity.

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and creativity coach, who is still looking for her copy of Bird-by-Bird. Besides contributing to AOL's ParentDish, she blogs at The Write Elizabeth, delving into creativity in everyday places.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009


Which is the most important part of the equation? Money? Creativity? Books?

For two weeks, I've been in the throes of working out a collaboration agreement for a nonfiction book proposal, not to mention the pitch and the proposal. At one point I spoke to a creative person/writer friend about what a collaboration agreement entails and how to shepherd the work into print.
It seems every discussion of traditional publishing (which is the avenue I'm following) leads to a discussion of self-publishing (which my friend is considering). Often, it seems, financial considerations recede as a creative person "just wants to get my work into the hands of my readers." Oddly, when I've held a book to which I've contributed, it has been a thrill...but I've never actually met anyone who has read one of those books. The check for those works were maybe less thrilling and sometimes, in those books, my creativity might have taken a secondary role to my skills as a writer.
Fortunately, as I spend time Twittering or blogging, I believe I am able to reach my readers and I'm able to tap into my creativity. Not having an editor can be a fabulous feeling, but I cannot physically hold my work--I've even settle for reading one of my books in a Amazon Kindle. But, then again, when I look at the analysis of the locations of blog readers, I'm amazed at how far my reach can be on the Internet.
So, in the mish-mash of this post, I guess I'm trying to sort out which is most important: to keep plugging away at writing for traditional publishing? To write your heart out and self-publish to reach your audience (including writing rambling posts like this one)? To keep your eye on the financial bottom line? And where does creativity enter the equation? What are your thoughts?

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a creativity coach and the moderator/main blogger for CoastalCarolinaMoms. She is also a freelance writer and ponders daily doses of creativity at TheWriteElizabeth. Once she shakes away all these ponderous questions about publishing, she plans on returning her focus to the book proposal. Really. Well, maybe, she might have to think about what to eat for lunch.

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Friday, February 06, 2009


Save the Book! Please!

I am using my post today to talk about sad news I have received this week--one is that my favorite independent bookstore has closed, and two, The Washington Post is no longer going to have a print edition of their weekly book section, "Book World."

First, my favorite independent bookstore . . . Pages for All Ages in Savoy, IL (which is in Champaign County) closed its doors on my birthday! UGH! Last week, I went there, excited to look for a book, and it was closed. But the sign on the door simply said, "Closed for inventory." I thought this was weird, but I surely didn't think they would be going out of business. They had been in the book selling business for 20 years, and people of all ages flocked there. Of course, maybe all these people were just drinking coffee, reading books and magazines, and using the free Internet service. Now, it is closed. Closed. Closed. Closed. I keep hoping for a miracle.

Then, I receive an email from one of my writing friends that says,

"The big news on everyone's tongue this week has been the unfortunate decision by the Washington Post to shutter its stand-alone book review section, 'Book World.' 'Book World' is scheduled to appear in its final print edition on February 15, though it will continue to be published online. According to the Washington Post, the printed Sunday book content will be split between two sections in the paper - 'Outlook' and 'Style & Arts.'

"Book World fans should take heart however, because if you are in possession of a connection to the Internet (which, if you are reading this, you are), you'll still be able to read 'Book World' online, and, according to the Washington Post's Rachel Hartigan Shea, 'you may not notice any change in our coverage at all and might even see some improvements.'

"This Sunday is one of your final few chances to read 'Book World' in print, so pick up a copy of the Washington Post at your local newsagent. Or start reading Book World online."

So, what is this saying about books? I'm hoping it is saying nothing. I am hoping, and this may sound weird, that these are just more results of our failing economy. I hope it is NOT saying that people are losing interest in reading. Are people really losing interest in books?

To me, books are the eighth wonder of the world. I guess I need to start convincing more people.
Happy Reading!
Margo L. Dill
Read These Books and Use Them (blog)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008


Proceeding to Checkout: The Response

By Jill Earl

Last week in her post, ‘Like to Proceed to Checkout?’, WOW! teammate Alison got me thinking about my own book-buying habits, which can be found below.

My book buying habits are determined more by interest and how discounted they are. I’ve set up wish lists at a pair of online bookstores, with copies saved on my computer. Once I’ve made my choices and factor in the genre(s) and/or author(s) striking my fancy at the time, then I move on to the purchase.

Topping the list is my local library. It’s here during my Saturday visits where there’s often a lack of self-restraint. They have a darn good sale section, with frequent overstocks of new releases, all for ridiculously low prices. This is the place where I seriously get my book on!

Writers’ conferences are in the mix, coming in second. This is where I pick up the how-to’s and other resources every few months or so. And sometimes, back issues of journals and magazines are available for reduced prices , great opportunity to research new markets.

Third would be good old brick-and-mortar bookstores. Definitely don’t rush me here! A friend tried that once---twenty minutes, can you imagine? Fortunately for him, the cheesecake smoothed things over. Barely. I seldom leave without my trade magazines at least. And some chocolate. Gotta keep one’s strength up while wandering the aisles!

And last for me are online bookstores. Like Alison, I receive online sale ads with coupons from these places and have recently used them to place a couple of orders. I usually do more virtual window shopping than ordering, though.

Even though I do try to budget, it’s getting a bit out of hand. For one, no one’s been able to sit on my loveseat for ages, so I need to think more about budgeting for a couple of bookcases rather than books.

One thing’s for certain, I’ll be more careful with future book buying. Accountability is always a good thing.

Thanks, Alison!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008


An Abundance of Riches

"Just the knowledge that a good book is waiting at the end of the day makes that day happier." -Kathleen Morris

Have you ever suffered from the "problem" of having too much good stuff to read? For my birthday tomorrow, my young daughters have each wrapped two books that I bought for myself at the book store. Simultaneously, I received an e-mail from my local library advising me that several books placed on hold are now ready for pickup (and a few more are "in transit" too). Not to mention that my in-laws sent several wrapped books, probably legal thrillers.

So now I find myself with so much waiting for me to dive into! Here's some of what's on deck:


Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper: Gifting the World with Your Words and Stories, and Creating the Time and Energy to Actually Do It

by Sark

I own most of SARK's previous books. They always inspire my creativity.


Time to Write: Professional writers reveal how to fit writing into your busy life

by Kelly L Stone

I have read so many books about writing, and this looks like yet another good one. Annette also interviewed the author in a previous issue of WOW! Women on Writing.


Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness

by Esther Hicks

Other books by this author are very interesting and helpful.


Feel It Real!: A Guided Approach to Bringing the Law of Attraction into Your Life

by Denise Coates

I saw this one while on vacation, and it's getting lots of good reviews.

*When You Are Engulfed in Flames

by David Sedaris

The latest from a favorite humor writer.


What now?

by Ann Patchett

Bestselling author Ann Patchett's commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College.


Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now

by Gordon Livingston

Not sure where I heard about this one, but it looks good.


Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir

by Natalie Goldberg

I'll always check out Natalie Goldberg's stuff.

* * *

May you be blessed with some good reading too!


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Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Your Life, in Six Words

Talk about boiling things down to their essence. I recently learned of an interesting book called Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. Complied by the editors of online magazine SMITH, it contains over 1,000 six-word memoirs, including additions from many celebrities including Stephen Colbert, Jane Goodall, Dave Eggers, and more.

A few examples from the famous, particularly some that might appeal to writers:

"Couldn't cope so I wrote songs"
Aimee Mann

"Revenge is living well, without you"
Joyce Carol Oates

"I asked. They answered. I wrote."
Sebastian Junger

The entries from the "obscure," a.k.a regular people, are equally good. Here's a sampling--some funny, some touching:

"70 years, few tears, hairy ears"

"Naively expected logical world. Acted foolishly".

"Never really finished anything, except cake"

"Joined army. Came out. Got booted.”

"Extremely responsible, secretly longed for spontaneity."

"Cursed with cancer. Blessed by friends" (from a nine year old)

"No wife. No kids. No problems"

“I like big butts, can’t lie”.

Can you tell your story in six words? SMITH is collecting submissions for their next six-word memoir book. It may be fun to give it a try.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2008


New Classics

Remember all the serious literature we had to read in English Lit classes--books about whales, starcrossed lovers, law cases whose outcomes were a matter of life and death? I enjoyed some of the assigned reading, but in other cases, it took a lot of fortitude to make it through five pages (it seemed that long anyway) of a description of the sky over the sea at twilight. The books we had to read were classics and I sometimes got the feeling that my teachers didn't really care if we liked the books or not. That didn't seem to be the point. The point was, we read the classics and tried to make some sense of the symbolism, the themes and what the author was trying to say.

If the teacher did a good job, most of us could grasp why the book was considered a classic, but to this day, I just don't get Billy Budd.

I don't know if today's young students are required to read the same books, if the long-ago classics have truly endured for them. Have school systems chosen some new classics, I wonder? While a book like Sense and Sensibility may soar right over the typical 15 year-old's head, perhaps a book like Andre Dubus III's House of Sand and Fog would be more understandable, more concrete. Is Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale required reading in a large number of schools? If I taught English Lit, it would be on my list. What about Richard Russo's numerous odes to small town Americana?

Times change and while I hope that Great Expectations is still being taught somewhere, I also hope a more contemporary book is being taught alongside it. I have a short list of what I'd like my students to read, if I were a teacher or professor, books written in the 20th or 21st century and are new classics to me. What are some of your new classics?

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Sunday, February 17, 2008


Bucking the Trends

It never fails. Once a Harry Potter-like phenomenon hits, dozens of YA books about wizards and magic follow. Some are successful, while others fall into literary oblivion. A huge chick lit book is made into a major motion picture with Hollywood's hottest stars slated to star in it? Expect chick lit to fill the bookshelves in the next year. This is what happens when trends hit the publishing industry. A lot of new writers will get excited and want to jump on the latest bandwagon, prompting scores of them to blindly send out queries and/or manuscripts, explaining why their book is better than the current bestseller.

This is not always the best approach and here's why:

1. Publishing is a slow business: By the time a writer gets a final draft of a manuscript finished, it could be at least six months to a year after the hot new trend debuts. (If it only takes one month to churn out a "polished" manuscript, there's small chance it's really polished.) Once you start on the querying road, it could be another six months to a year before you get a "yes" from an agent or publisher and then another year or two until the book is actually published. Guess what? The trend is probably dead by then.

2. The trend is not really your style: Say the trend is romance with a quirky heroine; she swears like a sailor and chain smokes, but is really kind to puppies and elderly ladies. If this is right up your alley, it'll show with each enthusiastic word you put on paper. If you're more the crime scene analyst type who's trying to catch the latest serial killer and you force yourself to write about the quirky heroine, chances are she won't ring true and you'll hate every word you have to write about her.

3. Many agents aren't interested in the latest trends: While some agents leap onto the latest bandwagon, some are more concerned with writing that will last the test of time, writing that will become the next generation's classics. The last thing they want to see is the next Narnia chronicle; they want a hero who readers remember long after they close the book.

Instead of spending the next year or two of your life hoping to publish a book whose premise will be outdated and tired by the time readers get their hands on it, spend it crafting a book whose characters you love, whose story is true and whose trend is timelessness.

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Monday, February 04, 2008


Don't Cheat the Reader

I recently read a couple of books and one stuck with me, while the other annoyed me. Both used a disease-of-the-week plot device, but in the book I liked, it didn't feel like a device; it simply felt like something that could logically happen. Plus, what was more important is how the affected character reacted to having the disease.

Imagine a man who's spent his entire life not quite doing the right thing because he's incapable of it. He's not a bad person, just not the most caring, compassionate guy around. He gets cancer and instead of some miraculous change overcoming him, he deals with the disease the same way he's dealt with life. No pages-long soliloquies follow and I have to admit, it was refreshing to read this realistic portrayal of a dying man.

In the other book, the reader is given hints that one character is ill, but when it comes down to who gets sick, it's another character. This book was like a romantic comedy in book form, so when the main character becomes ill, you just know she's going to recover, right? Wrong. She dies and I felt incredibly cheated by the book as a whole. It was like watching While You Were Sleeping and in the last scene, having Michael Myers from the Halloween movies come in and butcher everyone. It was like death was added to the plot to make the book heavier than it was supposed to be.

One thing that's vital to creating believable fiction is having your characters behave in believable ways. I know, it's fiction, it's all made up, so what's to believe? But readers deserve better than writers acting like literary gods who create whole worlds full of characters who do only what the writers want. You have to listen to your characters and find out what they would do.

If you've created a woman who finds out her husband is cheating, how is she going to react to this news? If you've done a skillful job of outlining her character and adding relevant details, you won't have to wonder about this for long. If she's a fiery, action-oriented woman, readers won't be surprised if she tosses all of his belongings outside a bedroom window before driving to the other woman's house to confront her. But what if she's a quiet, introverted type? Would this behavior be as believable? It can be, but only if you've provided subtle clues beforehand that make the reader think, wow, I didn't see that coming, but I can see how that could happen. For instance, she may be quiet, but what if events shown in flashback reveal a lot of pent-up anger? What if this is only the latest in a string of affairs for the husband and she's finally had enough? However you create her, you're not creating her in a bubble. If you want her to be believable, she has to have prior life experiences that make her behave the way she does right now.

If you want your readers to think and ultimately be satisfied by what you've written, don't cheat them or yourself by making your characters do what they know they would never do.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Interview with Jane E. Johnson - 1st Place Winner!

Jane E. Johnson is All Heart

There are times when you read a story and enjoy it so much that you want to know about the person who wrote it. Sometimes that person turns out to be just as you expected, and other times that person surprises you! Jane is more than we expected and full of wonderful surprises. Getting to know her has been a gift.

Finding out the motivation behind Jane's story shows her true spirit. Listening to her 'speak' through her words is a blast! She's warm, caring, funny, and a down-to-earth person with a huge heart.

Join us as we interview Jane E. Johnson, our gracious first place winner, and find out why a fresh outlook like hers is bound to take her anywhere she wants to go.


WOW: Jane, congratulations on winning First Place in the WOW! Winter 2007 contest! That's quite an accomplishment. In fact, you found out that you won before we officially went live! Can you share with our readers how you 'caught us in the act'?

Jane: Thank-you, it was really fun to win a contest put on by such fun and encouraging people. I feel like we are all winners. And I really love all of the entries. It's a funny story about my finding out that I won. I was up late and reading some great articles on the WOW! website. I clicked on an article and when the new page opened, all of a sudden I saw my picture. You can imagine my great joy and happiness. I immediately e-mailed the WOW editors that I was sitting right there and was so excited to have won.

WOW: I remember that... we were close to midnight (Pacific Time) and were scrambling, like always, to get the issue up. Then you e-mailed us! Now that reaffirms that people ARE watching... so we better make those deadlines! ;-)

Jane, we loved your story "Funding a Memory," which is loosely based on true events. Could you tell us which parts are true and which are fiction?

Jane: There is a lot of truth to it. I am like JB, and I have two brothers with names beginning with the letter M. I also really do have 9 siblings, "steps halves and wholes". We really did go on a family vacation back in the 70s in a VW pop-top camper. My step dad is very ill. And he really did answer that he would like to go to Reno, (before the doctors determined just how ill he is). His pet name for my mother is "Reb" because he is a 'Yamn Dankee' from Philadelphia Pa and she is a Rebel from Mississippi.

The fictional part is that it was my younger sister who was actually there with me and Mom in the hospital room with Pappaw. My real brothers and my little sister would probably be in the RV with me -- not giving me a hard time about taking him on a trip -- but I needed a conflict for JB. He really did call me Jitterbug when I was young. Probably because I couldn't sit still and I talked a lot. (Imagine that!) I don't get to take him on a trip, but I believe this fictionalized account really helped him to see how much I care for him.

WOW: I believe it has. Did he get a chance to hear it?

Jane: My mother read it to him just after I told them that I won first place. She said he got a tear in his eye. He's proud of me and happy to see that I am writing again.

WOW: We're proud of you too! Believe me, there were a lot of entries. And like most contests, we recommend that writers get their entries in early, but yours came in not too long before the deadline! Do you think the adrenaline helped to write the story, or was it emotion?

Jane: Adrenaline, emotion, anger and frustration that his life couldn't last longer. As I wrote the story I already knew that it would never come true. But it was truly the desire of my heart to take my parents on a trip somewhere. I have been talking about it with them a lot over the last year and we were planning to go to Branson MO, this summer.

I wrote the story the night before the night that it was due. I was in a hotel on my way back from just bringing him home from the hospital. I cried and cried as I wrote it. But it has been shown that some of the best artistic creations come from pain. It is fun to write things out the way you wish they could be.

WOW: That's the magic of stories... and they help heal the soul. As you were caught in the moment, did you have a tough time with the word count?

Jane: I went over by about 100 words. So I tweaked and edited and cut it down to just under 500. It was a great experience. I usually have a problem with ending my stories, but the word limit really held me in tight. It was a fun exercise because it really helped me to look quickly for a punch line. I believe what I cut was mostly details about the VW pop-top camper trip. It was about 1:00 a.m. when I finished and I was exhausted emotionally and physically, but felt a therapeutic relief from writing it all out and sending it to WOW!.

WOW: I'm glad, because you did the same for us. I remember when you wrote us the night you won, your e-mail couldn't have come at a better time. It was therapy for us in the midst of a lot of stress. Feeling your enthusiasm made both Beryl and I smile, even shed a tear.

You'd told us that one of your family's wishes was to see you become a successful writer. That shows the love between you and your family. We also know that you've written a 500-page middle-grade manuscript. Can you tell our WOW! readers what it's about?

Jane: When my six children were young, I would sit outside in the hallway at bedtime and make up stories for them. The characters in the stories where always ogres, fairies, wizards and other fantastic creatures. I have three boys and three girls, and a lot of times the boys were the ogres and other beasts, while the girls were the beautiful magical fairy princesses.

About six years ago, when my oldest was 16, she asked if I would write down some of those stories. I couldn't remember very many of them. But I sat down and plotted out a story where all six of them are wizards. It grew into this amazing tale that sends them out on a quest to conquer an evil dragon by the name of Gwandoya. My problem with the manuscript is that it is written in third person omniscient. I have been told that it really should have been written in third person limited and am on hold right now as I get some opinions and critiques and decide if I need to change it to just one child's point of view. (You try to tell the other five that they don't get to ride shotgun!)

WOW: That is a hard feat. Although, recently, I was reading a book where third person limited jumped from several characters' points of view throughout the story. As long as you change paragraphs and make smooth transitions, you can do it without the reader even realizing it's happening!

So, do you have an agent to guide you through this process?

Jane: I do not have an agent, but a few years ago I did contact Sandy Ferguson Fuller. Her assistant Lynn Volkens wrote back and let me know that she would love to take a look at my manuscript. They offer a critiquing/editing service and were recommended to me by an author friend of my other Dad's. That was about 3 years ago though. I just came across their name again and am most likely going to send the manuscript to them soon.

WOW: How has the submission process been going for you?

Jane: I haven't submitted my book anywhere because I know it needs a lot of work. But I sold 4 stories to children's magazines several years ago. I love getting the mail of a writer. Even if it is a rejection. If you are not getting the mail of a writer, you are not a writer.

WOW: So true... and with a positive outlook! The life of a writer includes many sacrifices. And we know from your bio that you have six children! How did you manage being a mom, a wife, getting a Bachelors' degree, and still find time to write?

Jane: I put my writing on a back burner for the past four years while I finished my Bachelors' degree. I just achieved that goal in December and immediately started to think about writing again. I pulled out old files and found at least 20 short story manuscripts waiting patiently to be sent out. I have already updated and sent out 2 short stories to magazines, entered WOW's flash fiction contest, entered another contest for Kansas writers, SCBWI Kansas, joined a critique group, and I'm going to the Poconos (back in my home state) for a writers' conference next week.

I love children and find that the best way to raise children is to take them on adventures with you. Many of my early short stories and two that I sold to a magazine with a younger audience were based on true events that happened with my children. So the laundry may not get done, but we have a lot of fun making memories together. Sometimes it is difficult to switch gears but now that they are all in school I try to write during the day and focus on them when they get home. I don't sleep much. I often do my best writing late at night. Sleep is overrated anyway ; )

WOW: We know that one personally Jane, and we admire your drive! It's not only sleep that's overrated, but laundry too! So, now that your children are in school, what are you working on?

Jane: I have sent the first 15 pages of my book out to be critiqued at the writer's conference I am attending. I'm also working on a new middle grade novel. This one is a historical novel based in Philadelphia in the 1970s. Can you believe the 70's are historical now! I am also researching magazines again and am looking into writing short pieces for assessment tests. I am a substitute teacher and will be entering a teacher prep program in June. I have a soft place in my heart for special needs kids and will go on to get my Masters so I can teach them. But one thing I noticed is the lack of materials out there for these children. They need text written in language that is more easily understood. And tests that don't confuse them or trip them up.

WOW: I totally agree. That's such a good idea, and one that NEEDS exploration.

Jane, you are a pioneer. You have a wonderful heart, a clear vision, and drive to accomplish everything you set out to do. Winning
First Place in the WOW! Winter 2007 contest is only the start in your adventures -- we guarantee it! Overall, how has entering the WOW! contest been for you?

Jane: This has been an amazing experience all around. I have told everyone I know to enter next time and especially to get on your website and read all of the encouraging words and wonderful informative articles. My sister just called me today and told me that she did write up an entry using the next prompt. She is so excited for me and I knew that she and my other sister and my two adult daughters would have a fun time with the flash fiction idea.

WOW: We sincerely thank you! We only hope that with more entries we can provide greater opportunities for writers. And Jane, when you get published, you have to grant us your first interview!

Jane: I love how you say When. I am sure with your encouragement it will be "when" and not "if". Thanks to Angela and Beryl and all of the contributors at WOW! I'm so glad I came across your website, just surfing along a couple of months ago. Wow.

Be sure to read Jane E. Johnson's first place story,
Funding a Memory.


To contact Jane E. Johnson for kudos, interview requests, PR, or MS requests on her upcoming novel, please contact:

We hope you've enjoyed this interview with Jane. She's shown us the true spirit of a winner: gracious, honest, warm, self-sacrificing, and down to earth. A woman with a story of kindness. A woman going places.

Thank you Jane
for making this a wonderful interview, and we wish you the best in all your endeavors.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Front Range Author Signs Bestseller

Dynamic author and good friend, Sandi Ault, returns from her national book tour to the Front Range THIS SATURDAY to read and sign her BESTSELLING NOVEL Wild Indigo! If you're in Colorado or the surrounding area, this is not to miss...


Sandi Ault at Borders Books & Music:
Saturday March 31st:
12 Noon - 2 PM
1750 29th St., Boulder, CO
Phone: 720-565-8266


Sandi Ault at The Readers Cove:
Saturday March 31st:
4 - 6 PM
1001 E. Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, CO
Phone: 970-266-1618

WILD INDIGO, a mystery published by Berkley Prime Crime, has achieved critical acclaim. The New York Times called it "a striking debut" with "thrills galore!"

WILD INDIGO has appeared on eight bestsellers lists since its release in January, 2007 including The Boulder Daily Camera Local Hardcover Bestsellers and The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

Beryl did a fabulous interview with Sandi Ault -- to check it out, CLICK HERE. This is a MUST-READ interview!

To visit Sandi Ault's website, go to: or to find out more, email Sandi at:

Sandi has achieved bestseller status, and it's not too surprising since she has Betsy Amster as her agent! Betsy has a great eye for picking talent. To read our WOW! interview with Betsy, CLICK HERE.

Join the fun! If you're nearby Colorado, we hope you take this wonderful opportunity to meet Sandi Ault -- the wonderful writer behind Wild Indigo and an amazing woman.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006


Last Push to help the Gulf Coast through literacy!

Please visit the Literacy Claus website to find out how you can help our fellow families and survivors of Hurricane Katrina. If you've been thinking about it, this is your last opportunity of this season. You can still order books through Amazon for this cause, or donate a few dollars in gas money for the kind folks at Literacy Claus to get to their destination. We wish you a joyous holiday and a happy New Year!

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Thursday, November 23, 2006


WATER RITES - Coming Soon! by Mary Rosenblum

I just created this animation for our wonderfully talented author and friend, Mary Rosenblum. Her new book, due out in January, is bound to be a bestseller!

Water Rites touches on the all-important issue of global-warming, and is a must-read. This novel originally stems from her first SF novel entitled, The Drylands. It will be collected with the three Drylands novelettes that appeared in Asimov's Magazine and are prequels to the story, featuring the main characters. Water Rites will be published in January by Fairwood Press. Take a look at the cover... it's simply gorgeous!

Here's a Description:

Drought had come to the 21st century, and the land was dying. Crops failed, refugee camps overflowed, riots raged across the country, and the Army Corps of Engineers had the dirty job of rationing what little water was left.

Carter Volitaire, a Corps officer in charge of the Columbia Riverbed Pipeline, had orders to stop a group of desperate farmers sabotaging the Pipe--at any cost. Nita Montoya, a Drylands woman burdened with a strange mental talent, knew the farmers were being framed. She could help Carter expose the real saboteurs--but only by exposing her own abnormal ability.

In the Drylands, the few people strangely altered by the drought were feared and persecuted if their mutations came to light. But if Nita couldn't trust Carter with her secret, there was no way to stop the wave of violence that would sweep their lives away...

Check out the WOW! interview with Mary Rosenblum!

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Friday, November 17, 2006


Give the Gift of Literacy...

Ten of thousands of families lost homes, personal property and much more during hurricane Katrina. Homes are being re-built and lives are being put back together again along the Gulf Coast. But homes aren't the only thing needing replaced for these families who have lost so much says Bruce Goldwell, author and success coach. Children need to have a way to escape the trials that they are surrounded with on a daily basis and a way to insure that their futures will be bright. Goldwell believes that one of the ways to do this is through the gift of books.

"Many families along the Gulf Coast lost everything. I want to do something to brighten up their holiday season and beyond. I founded the Literacy Claus project to raise books all over America so kids and families along the Gulf Coast can have the gift of literacy this Christmas", states Goldwell.

"Bruce explains the charity best, so here is a quote from the page. I encourage everyone to head over, and help!", states Jonathan Fesmire, the author of "Seeds of Vision" and several other books.

"In Waveland, Mississippi, 85% of the residence still live in FEMA trailers. Many of these families lost everything they own during hurricane Katrina. Other cities along the Gulf Coast suffered great loss as well.

We invite you to "Give the Gift of Literacy" this holiday season by sharing books with those living in Waveland and surrounding areas along the Gulf Coast.

The mission of the "Literacy Claus" Project is to give the gift of books to children and others that lost their homes so they can enjoy reading them all year long.

You are invited to support the "Literacy Claus" Project by either donating books for these "Our Brothers and Our Sisters" of the Gulf Coast or helping in the collection process. Books will be distributed just before Christmas. Use the contact form below for more information on how you can donate, collect books in your area and where to ship books for distribution.

Those of us on the "Literacy Claus" Project Team and all supporters thank you in advance for your participation." - Bruce Goldwell

Mr. Goldwell believes that American's all over the country will want to take part in the Literacy Claus once they know about it. Collections are already in progress in other states outside of Utah and people are asking how they can take part. Volunteers are needed to collect books, as donors of books and in getting the word out all over the country.

Bruce Goldwell is the author of "The Door to Super Achievement", "The Power of Choice", and a series titled "Dragon Keepers". He is the founder of the "Literacy Claus" which is a charity event to raise books for kids and families on the Gulf Coast. For information about the Literacy Claus visit
Submitted by: Bruce Goldwell

For anyone you know of that have books ready to ship at this time,
you can have them send the books to:

C/O Bruce Goldwell
2250 N. Univ Pkwy #4899
Provo, Utah 94604


Thank you Bruce for letting us know about such a great cause.

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