For Love the Bell Tolls

For-Love-the-Bell-Tolls-KindleFOR LOVE THE BELL TOLLS
A Gothic Romance Short Story Anthology
from Stars and Stone Books

Featuring: Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Read Gallo, Serena Jayne, Kylie Weisenborn, and Heather Sheldon.

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Cara McKinnon – “The Doors Between”
Can love overcome an otherworldly evil?

Sheri Queen – “The Circus Train”
Finding love isn’t easy, especially when someone wants your blood.

Read Gallo – “Blood and Petals”
How much would you change to get what you want?

Serena Jayne – “Kiss Me Dead”
With only the light of their love, Simon and Lila attempt to conquer darkness and death.

Kylie Weisenborn – “Undead Men”
When the dead become unburied, so does the truth.

Heather Sheldon – “Lost Love Found”
A haunted gift flips Mandy’s world on end, and her handsome new neighbor might be her only salvation.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS

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What Is Gothic Romance?

This anthology’s genre is gothic romance, but the authors were allowed to pick their own interpretation of “gothic.” We asked the authors how they decided to interpret gothic, and why they went that route.

Read Gallo – “Blood and Petals”

Initially, I got hung up on the image of a woman in white fading in a dark Victorian garden, so I was very literally gothic at first. But a book I was reading about teen pregnancy in the 50s, where young mothers were encouraged to “surrender and forget” their children struck a chord with me and I transitioned the time period from England in the 1900s to America 1950s. It was surprisingly easy to transfer the way the girls were treated. I think I could have made it more modern and not have lost much of that bite.

Serena Jayne – “Kiss Me Dead”

For me, gothic is all about horror. The horror of living. The horror of death. The horror of tragic love. The Grimm Reaper, such a dark character, made for the perfect gothic hero. Lila’s desperate situation is also dark.

Cara McKinnon – “The Doors Between”

I went for a variation on a traditional 19th century gothic romance. I say variation, because those usually feature swooning virginal heroines and Fiona is the exact opposite of that. But it does have ghosts, possession, a curse, a brooding old house in an isolated location, and family secrets.

Sheri Queen – “The Circus Train”

I set my story in the late 1800s with a focus on the evils that stalk a circus performer and her elephant companion. I liked the history of that era and the voodoo legends that prevailed in NOLA.

Heather Sheldon – “Lost Love Found”

I choose an antique journal because I enjoyed the idea of part of the story taking place in the past. I’m a big historical romance reader.

Kylie Weisenborn – “Undead Men”

I had a hard time with this prompt at first. I immediately thought of dark, creepy Poe-era details, but I had to do some research to make sure I was portraying that time in history accurately. Embalming first began in the mid-1800s, so I had to take a little bit of creative liberties with the exact year the story would have taken place, but it worked out!


The anthology authors will be answering more questions on this blog tour! To check out all of the stops, visit: https://www.starsandstonebooks.com/blog-tour.

What’s Next for the Born to Love Wild Authors?

Born to Love Wild: A Paranormal Romance Short Story Anthology

Take a walk on the wild side of love with this paranormal romance anthology featuring USA Today Bestselling author Traci Douglass and many more.

BORN TO LOVE WILD
A Paranormal Romance Short Story Anthology
Stars and Stone Books

Featuring: USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini.

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The Born to Love Wild authors all came together to answer some questions about their stories for the anthology. Here, they talk about what they’re working on now and what’s coming out for them next.

Andie Biagini – “Water Temperature”
An engineering student and a cryptozoologist. One of them can talk to sea monsters, but it’s not who you think.

Right now I’m in different parts of the revision process for two different paranormal novels, one about Victorian-era ghosts causing trouble in the 21st century, and another about a college campus that sits on top of a portal to Faerie. I’m starting to dip my toe into a contemporary romance, which is genre I’ve never written before—less magic and more kissing than I’m used to, for sure. You can follow me on Twitter @andieinitaly to see what I’m up to.

Bigelow – “Focal Point”

Sometimes a wizard from Sweden needs help from a medium from Michigan.

 I’m currently working on a dark fantasy as well as other short stories.

M.T. DeSantis – “Forever Love”

To find a chance… A chance to find…

For the first time in a while, I have a novel-length project that I’m burning rubber on. It’s currently a little secret, but the writing style is similar to Forever Love. I’d go so far as to say Forever Love gave me the confidence to try something longer with lyrical prose. I have a flash piece in an anthology with Transmundane Press releasing later this year, and I’m writing a smattering of short stories, some for Stars and Stone anthologies.

 Traci Douglass – “Blood Strong: A Blood Ravagers Novella”

One guardian demon in love. One witch with a secret crush. One evil threatening their newfound connection.

 This summer is busy, busy for me. I’ve got this short story coming out on July 24th. Then I’ve got book four of my Seven Seals Series, Scion’s Redemption, releasing on July 30th. Then, on August 1st, my first contemporary romance release with Harlequin/Mills & Boon Medical Romance comes out, One Night With The Army Doc. After that, I hope to have the last three of my Seven Seal Series books out before the end of 2018, plus I’ll be working on revisions for book two for Harlequin Medicals, getting proposals together for more Medicals books in the future, and working on edits for two new books for Entangled Bliss set to release in early 2019. Whew. I’m tired just typing all that! LOL.

Read Gallo – “The Flying Saltines”

When a river falls in love with an ordinary person will New York City survive?

Honestly, the October story for Stars and Stones… I’m also trying to sell a fantasy trilogy called Witch, Ghost, Dog, Clone.

 Pepper McGraw – “Full Moon Shenanigans”

The full moon’s coming and it’s time to embrace the wildness within.

I’m working on several upcoming projects. I have three more stories in the Shenanigans series and am also working on the next book in the Murrysville Coalition series. I also have a completely new series on the horizon that I’m not ready to announce yet, but am super excited about.

 Cara McKinnon – “A Change of Heart”

She’s a hybrid shifter who’s not supposed to exist. He’s a wolf who was born to protect her. But her secrets force him to choose: his mate, or his pack loyalty?

I am finishing up a short story for the next anthology from Stars and Stone Books (coming out just in time for Halloween!) called For Love the Bell Tolls. The genre for the anthology is Gothic Romance (with a theme of Hauntings) but all of the authors were given free rein to decide what “gothic” meant to them. I’m going with traditional Victorian gothic—a haunted/possessed house story, complete with brooding male main character and plucky, no-nonsense heroine. I couldn’t quite bring myself to write about a swoony, insipid virginal type, so she’s a world-traveler who comes back home as an adult to discover that the boy she was in love with as a girl has inherited his family’s possessed estate, his wife has died under mysterious circumstances, and his young child would rather talk to ghosts than living people. But the truth about what’s happening in the house is darker than any of them could imagine.

After that, I really need to finish book four in my Fay of Skye series, Secret Magic.

Sheri Queen – “The Robinson Agency”

Some are born with the gift to see into the future. Others create their own destiny.

I have another short story in the works, the third book in my Sleepy Hollow Hunter series that I expect to release this fall, and tons of re-writes on a new series in which I have the first book written.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS

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An Event and a New Book

I haven’t been blogging much this year. The truth is, I have been in a very deep depression and my anxiety is out of control. I finally went to see my doctor about a month ago and we’re trying a mix of meds and therapy. So far, it is helping a little bit, but not a lot. I need to completely unlearn almost forty years of unhealthy coping mechanisms and replace them with healthy ones. But what I haven’t been doing much of is writing.

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Secret Magic is still coming, but right now it’s on an indefinite hold while I work through the worst of my issues. I did manage to write a few short stories during my black times, though, and those will be coming out later this year. The first one is called “A Change of Heart” and it will be out in July in the anthology Born to Love Wild. More on that in a few weeks, but for now, check out the cover to the left and click this link to reserve your copy on Kindle!

In the meantime, I am still making my annual trek back to my favorite place on earth, Seton Hill University, aka Hogwarts for Writers. I graduated with my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction in 2012, but I miss it so much I go back every year for the alumni workshop, In Your Write Mind. If you’re looking for a small but very craft- and business-focused event where you can make connections with other authors as well as industry professionals like agents and editors, check out In Your Write Mind.

And if you’re going to be in the Pittsburgh area this Saturday night (June 23rd) from 5:30-9:30, you can come see me! I will be at the Seton Hill Performing Arts Center in downtown Greensburg, PA at the mass booksigning. I’ll be signing from 5:30-7 and 8-9:30. That hour break isn’t for dinner, either—it’s to hear amazing historical romance author Beverly Jenkins speak!

I will have copies of all my books, including Kindle download codes for cheaper than what you’d pay online! So come see me, pick up a book, and then stay to visit with all of the other awesome authors who will be there. I hope to see you!

Delays, Depression, and Medical Issues

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The title of this blog post pretty much says it all. I had a medical procedure done a few weeks ago and have a few more scheduled over the next month or so, and the side effects are not making it easy for me to focus on my work. I have not finished Secret Magic yet, and there is no way that I’ll be able to finish and revise in time for even a late-December release.

I would like to be optimistic and say that I can be ready by mid-January, but with the holidays coming up, it’s more realistic to say that the book will be out in late January or early February.

I am so sorry for this delay. This year has been very difficult for me as a writer for lots of reasons, but my health–and my mental health–are playing a big role in keeping me away from the keyboard. I’m working on getting the physical side of things under control, but unfortunately the “cure” has managed to push me into one of the deepest depressions I have experienced in years.

I am getting help, and I will keep writing. But it’s slow going, and until things even out with my brain chemistry, I don’t want to make promises or commitments about release dates.

Thank you so much for supporting my work, and I appreciate every one of you who follows my blog and reads my books. All of the Stars and Stone Books catalog is on sale from now until the end of the year, so it’s a great time to get started if you haven’t read my work yet. Here’s a link to my author page on Amazon.

If you’ve already read the books, the best gift you can give me as an author is to leave a review, especially on Amazon. They make a difference not only in how Amazon promotes my books, but in helping future readers decide if they want to take a chance on a new-to-them indie author.

Thank you again, and if I can finish revising it, I have a short story that I’ve been working on off-and-on this year that I will try to post around Yule as my holiday gift to you.

I am also going to put out one more episode of the Feminist Romantic this month–about holiday romances. It’s already recorded and ready to go, so that will be out next week. But other than that, I’ll be going away from the internet and social media for the rest of the year. I need some time to be unplugged, with my family, and remembering why I do all of this. So happy holidays to you, no matter what you celebrate in this time of darkness. All of the holidays around the winter solstice celebrate the return of the light, and I’ll be spending the next few weeks trying to do the same.

My love to all of you, and I’ll see you again after the new year.

Author signing autograph in own book at wooden table on white pl

NaNoWriMo 2017

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I haven’t blogged in a while, because I have been trying to finish Secret Magic and the combination of actually finding my groove with the story and NaNoWriMo in November meant that I didn’t want to spend any of my free time on blogging when I could be writing the book.

But it has been a while, and I figured I’d better check in, especially since I won NaNo (yay!) and am nearly finished the book.

I’m still pushing hard to get the book out by the end of this month, but you’ll notice that I haven’t put up a pre-order link yet. I’m not going to set an official date until the draft is done. Once it’s finished, I can plan for how long it will take to do revisions, copyedits, and proofreading/formatting.

I will announce the pre-order as soon as I can, and thank you for your patience! This book is going to be good, I promise. My editor has already read the first half and in addition to all of the things I need to tweak in revisions, she had some great things to say about the story and characters. I hope you love it as much as she and I do.

I will have two episodes of the Feminist Romantic going up this month. The first one, on December 6, will be about revision–not that I’m quite there yet with Secret Magic! The second, on December 20th, will be about holiday-themed romances. In addition to the usual Christmas romances, I’ve found a number of Chanukah romances and one Yule/Solstice romance, but I’m still looking for other holidays around this time of year (Diwali, Kwanzaa, etc.). If you know of any titles, send me an email (cara@caramckinnon.com) or leave a comment and let me know!

When the Words Aren’t Coming

Writers Block

This year has been a terrible year for me as a writer, and I know I’m not alone. It’s so hard to concentrate on a fictional world when the real world feels like it’s spinning out of control.

I deliberately scheduled my year to shift most of the writing into the spring and summer this year, leaving editorial and research for the rest of the year because I’ve learned that I have trouble writing in the fall and winter due to seasonal depression. Unfortunately, real life and my other jobs got in the way of writing in the spring and summer this year. Now that I have time to write, it’s like something has atrophied inside of me. My depression and anxiety is worse than it has been in years. I am writing, but very slowly. What used to be 2000-3000 word days are now 200-300 words. A thousand word day feels like a victory.

This year has taught me much about myself as a writer and as a business person. I tried to balance the business of my publishing company with the creative act of being a writer, and I’m failing at doing both. I have a different plan for next year and how it will go, but I know that I need to back away a bit from publishing, promotion, and advertising if I’m ever going to finish another book. And that’s what really brings readers back–more good books.

I’m still trying to finish Secret Magic by mid-December, but the going is tough. Sometimes I want to throw my computer across the room, like in the picture above. But I don’t, and I won’t.

I won’t give up.

I promise.

 

September Plans

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My kids are finally back in school, huzzah!

That means it’s time to start the serious business of writing the fourth book in the Fay of Skye series, Secret Magic.

I hope to finish the bulk of the book this month, with mid-October as my deadline to have it to my editor. Since I also have an anthology coming out in November to write a short story for, that’s on my plate as well.

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you know that I’m asking for help to pick a title for that story. Subscribe here and I’ll send you the choices so you can help me decide!

I will also be revealing the cover to Secret Magic later this month, so keep an eye out for that. But I will otherwise be going “dark” on social media while I write, so other than my scheduled blog posts here (which are already written) and live-tweeting episodes of Outlander season three, I’ll see you all sometime in October!

Announcing: Love Across the Universe

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Kindle Love Accross the UniverseLove Across the Universe
Twelve Stories of Science Fiction Romance
Set on Intergalactic Shores

NOW AVAILABLE
From Stars and Stone Books

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Summer love is summer love, no matter the planet. Climb aboard your spacecraft and travel across the universe with these twelve tales of love on beaches in the future and among the stars. Includes stories by USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, A.E. Hayes, Sheri Queen, M.T. DeSantis, L.J. Longo, K.W. Taylor, Mary Rogers, Elsa M. Carruthers, Emmerite Sundberg, Serena Jayne, and Oriana Maret.


Traci Douglass – “A Dream to Build a Kiss On”
A Dreamworld Short Novella
Can passion bloom between a bookish botanist and an analytical android?

Cara McKinnon – “The Pirates and the Pacifist”

Kai doesn’t believe in violence. Sam and Dek believe the ends justify the means. Will passion be enough to bridge the gap between the pacifist sent to broker galactic peace and the space pirates hired to keep him away at all costs?

A.E. Hayes – “Tristan’s Tryst”
One mysterious being. Two lovers who find her. Can this threesome handle the heat of this scorching summer?

Sheri Queen – “Red Sand”
If she can only save one thing, which will it be—the red beaches of Mars or a love she can’t imagine living without?

M.T. DeSantis – “The Princess of Sands”
Secrets and lies. Can they be each othe’s freedom?

L.J. Longo – “Breathless”
The manager of a resort planet and the head of its secret defense unit team up to save the guests—and discover danger is a potent aphrodisiac.

Serena Jayne – “You Only Love Once”
Carpe diem the hell out of love.

K.W. Taylor – “Reprogramming”
Alex didn’t want to be marooned on an alien planet with a robot, but it may just be exactly what she needs.

Mary Rogers – “Breakfast on Pluto”
A chance meeting of two people unaware of their destiny with each other results in an unbreakable bond, but even duty has its boundaries. Will love help them break free—and will love be enough?

Elsa M. Carruthers – “All B+ut You”
In a world where looks are so important that Genetic Modification is standard procedure, how will those without Genetic Modification cope, let alone find love?

Emmerite Sundberg – “Fluid”
She’s everything she’s ever wanted but with one flaw—they can’t actually touch.


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Get your copy of Love Across the Universe now!

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Delays and a Reveal

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I had so many plans for my writing this summer.

But as it often happens, those plans had to bend in order to accommodate real life. Back at the beginning of the year I talked about how difficult it was to write with the world in a tailspin and my kids underfoot, and that definitely hasn’t changed. If anything, the state of the world has gotten worse.

And I have both kids home unexpectedly this summer thanks to a broken arm and some financial factors. So my days are now divided between my day job and my kids and other family obligations–with writing coming in at a distant third place.

My original publication plan was to have Book Four in the Fay of Skye series out in October, around the same time as Theft of Magic came out last year. But that simply isn’t going to happen this year. My publishing company is doing a holiday-themed contemporary romance anthology that will be published around Thanksgiving, so I’m pushing Book Four to December.

So that’s the delay. Now it’s time for the reveal!


Book Four in the Fay of Skye series will be called Secret Magic.

If you’ve already read Memories of Magic, you can probably guess whose story this is, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s time for Evie Finn and Percy Seward!

Evie was first introduced in the epilogue of Essential Magic as a student at the Fay School in Glasgow, and appeared as a minor character in both Theft of Magic and Memories of Magic. She is Ronan McCarrick’s adopted sister (not officially–but they sort-of adopted each other as members of a street gang in Dublin) and recently finished her magical training.

Percy is the youngest brother of the Seward siblings. He was referenced semi-frequently throughout the series, but up to this point has been on the Continent and not actually in any of the books. He returned home during the course of Memories of Magic and was present for the epilogue. He is employed by the British Army in intelligence and diplomatic service, and has almost no magic–except for the ability to understand other languages and a tiny bit of fire starting.

I have already started the book, and I am very excited about writing it–it’s just that I don’t have enough time to devote to it to get it finished and polished before October. My kids will be back to school on September 5th, and I’m planning to write most of the book in September and October.

Here’s a link to my Pinterest board for Secret Magic. There’s not much on the board yet, but eventually there will be character-inspiration pictures, lots of period references, costuming ideas, location pics, and more.


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I’ll be revealing the cover of Secret Magic later next month, but if you’re signed up to my newsletter, you’ll get to see it in just a few days! Click here to sign up, and in addition to getting early access and exclusive newsletter extras, you’ll also receive my short story “Love at Dawn” from Crazy Little Spring Called Love for free! I can’t send that out until August 2nd because that’s when my rights revert, but anyone who is signed up to my newsletter by then (or who signs up in the future) will get the story.

Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes mortals need a little push from a god and goddess to fall in love…

Leora has been in love with one man her whole life. Unfortunately, the man standing beside her on the dais about to recite the words of the Sacred Marriage Rite isn’t her dream husband, Linden. It’s her nemesis, Reed. And yet–the way he’s looking at her  from behind his mask makes her burn with desire.

Reed sees Leora and nearly curses the gods. In this ceremony, the Harvest God and Dawn Goddess will consummate their wedding using Leora and Reed’s bodies. Tomorrow, he and Leora will be sworn to secrecy and have no memory of the ritual or the identity of their partner. If either reveals the truth, they’ll risk offending the gods and damning their country to twenty-five years of famine and drought. Reed doesn’t want secrecy and a coupling he’ll immediately forget. He wants Leora for real—and for always.

Will they defy the rules of the gods for love? Or is that what the gods intended all along?


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In the meantime, I have a story in a science fiction romance anthology coming out next week! It’s called “The Pirates and the Pacifist” and the anthology is Love Across the UniverseI’ll have two blog posts about it next week, including an excerpt! So stay tuned.

Here’s the blurb for Pirates:

Kai doesn’t believe in violence. Sam and Dek believe the ends justify the means. Will passion be enough to bridge the gap between the pacifist and the pirates?

Kaikoa meets Sameer and Dek—leaders of a crew of sometimes space pirates—when they abduct Kai and keep him from attending an important peace summit. But when the pirates’ payment never appears and a gunship shows up instead, Kai, Sam, and Dek find themselves on the same side of a galactic conflict–and tumbling headlong into a reckless passion.

Now they are searching for the truth about who hired the pirates to keep Kai from the summit—and whether the enemy wants one side to win, or simply chaos in the galaxy. But when the allies find the ones who double-crossed them on a terraformed resort moon, will Dek and Sam follow their new lover’s pacifist wishes, or will the pirate code of an eye for an eye tear their fragile threesome apart?

Pre-order your copy of Love Across the Universe now!

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Con Report: In Your Write Mind

IYWM

I enjoy going to conventions. I like meeting new authors and readers, and sharing my books with others. I like going to panels and learning new things. But there’s one convention/workshop that I look forward to every year and would only miss for a family emergency.

That’s In Your Write Mind.

IYWM is sponsored by the alums of the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. Alumni run the convention and make up most of the module presenters (although we are open to anyone with expertise!). Every year we bring in a panel of guest presenters as well (usually 2 agents, 1 editor, and 1 author), and that’s always a highlight of the event as they take pitches and do critiques in addition to their presentations. There are also several large events such as a mass booksigning and a costume ball that are not to be missed.

This year was particularly wonderful. Last year I had a single book out, and although I participated in the mass book signing, it’s a very different experience to sit at a big table alone with one book and some bookmarks than it is to have four different books, lots of signage and swag, and beautiful new covers.

But I should tell this in order.

The first day of IYWM is low-key. There are a few semi-structured events such as pitch practice and query critiques, but mostly we all just hang out and spend time with our favorite people that we haven’t seen for a year. I am a highly introverted person with mild social anxiety, and when I first came to the SHU WPF program there were many times when I felt like I was on the outside of things looking in. I never once had that experience this year unless I deliberately took myself away from the group for some down time. There was always someone I knew and someone who wanted to chat, whether about writing or publishing or random stuff like kids and pets. So that was fantastic. I was also too distracted to take many pictures, so this con report is text-heavy and image-light. Sorry!

I stayed in the dorms, which is semi-equivalent to staying in the convention hotel, except with paper-thin mattresses and inadequate pillows. But it was nice not to have to drive in from another location in the morning–until I had to go pick up our guests.

One of the awesome things about IYWM is the opportunity to volunteer to be a “minion” for the special guests. I had a mini-van, so I ended up being one of the primary sources of transportation for Kurestin Armada, Sandra Kasturi, and Diana Rowland. We had a blast, even when I managed to get us completely lost one day.

But I’m getting ahead of myself again. That first day, I met the other minions and Sandra and Diana at the guest hotel and we all went to dinner. Kurestin didn’t come in until later, so after dinner I went to pick her up and took her to one of the “genre dinners”–a meal hosted by current WPF members in a given genre. This one was for spec fic. We had a good time chatting with everyone, but the service left A LOT to be desired.

Friday morning started with a critique session. I haven’t been to one in years, but I got some good feedback on my short story for the summer science fiction romance anthology (Love Across the Universe), and then went back to the guest hotel to get Kurestin. We both went to an excellent module on advertising given by J.R. Baird, and then went our separate ways. Other presentations I saw that day include one on writing passion that doesn’t equal sex, and another on writing video game guides. I also gave a presentation on indie publishing.

Then I went to dinner with some truly awesome people and afterward headed to the Performing Arts Center to participate in the book signing.

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As I mentioned earlier, I very much enjoyed the book signing this year. There were problems (it was our first year in a new location and it POURED rain all night), but I got to talk to lots of authors and readers, and I sold more books than I expected to sell, so for me it was a success.

Saturday was guest presentation day. The first class I went to was on story structure with Diana Rowland, where I got some great ideas to implement as I write book four in the Fay of Skye series. She also showed us some very cool photos of when she worked in the coroner’s office! After that, I went to John Bowers’ presentation on foreign and film rights and got some names of agencies that specialize and will work with indie authors.

Then it was time for the hilarious author lunch with Diana Rowland, who told us the story of her publishing life and was a hoot.

After lunch I went to Kurestin Armada’s class on the first five pages of a manuscript, and how they should break down in terms of plot, character, and worldbuilding. I realized I didn’t actually introduce the plot for my kitchen witch book until the very last sentence of the first scene. Problematic!!

The last presentation of the day was a panel with all four guests, talking about various aspects of the publishing industry. That was fun, too, and the guests (especially Sandra and Diana) had us all laughing.

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After the guest panel, we took the guests out for dinner at Primanti Bros and I took us on the “scenic route” around Greensburg thanks to letting Google Maps direct us instead of just looking at where we were going and figuring out the best way to get there. It was a little stressful and embarrassing for me, but we all joked about it and the next time I see any of them, it will be an easy way to remember me!

That night was the costume ball. The theme was “International Persons of Mystery.” Usually I try to come up with a costume, but I’ve been working non-stop all spring and didn’t have time to put together anything interesting. So I wore my Death Star dress from Torrid and my combat boots and decided that was mysterious enough!

At the ball, I finally got the chance to talk with author Andi Adams, and we had a good time sharing publishing stories and talking shop about reviews and marketing.

Sunday was more of a low-key day. We minions made sure our guests got back to the airport/train station, and I managed to go to a panel about military life and one about naval warfare before the graduate luncheon, inviting new MFA grads to the alumni association. Then there was just the business meeting to attend and back into my car to head home.

I’m still recovering physically (I’m writing this on Wednesday 6/28–the workshop was 6/22-6/25), but I’m creatively recharged and emotionally content after a fulfilling few days with my writing family. Going through the SHU WPF program was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life (student loan debt aside!).

As I said on my personal Facebook page while I was at the workshop, I have worked hard to achieve the success I am experiencing now, and I will continue to do so. But I would not be where I am without Seton Hill and the WPF/IYWM network. If you have any way to get to Greensburg, PA next June, I highly recommend you purchase a membership and join us for next year’s workshop.

griffin

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