The Author Speaks — How Danielle Thorne Writes.

DanielleThorneBioGrayPicHow long have you been writing? Do you have any other publications?
 
A lifelong poet and storyteller, I started writing seriously 16 years ago. My first novel, The Privateer, was published originally in 2008. My other books include contemporary and historical adventurous romances. Death Cheater is a prequel to Cheated, and was my first paranormal.
 
What is your beverage of choice as you write? (For example, I am a hot tea drinker, brewed with great whole leaf tea.)
 
I’m a bottled water drinker, but as soon as autumn nears I turn to evening cocoa to keep creative and comfy. Starbucks has a great sea salted caramel cocoa that makes me giddy.
 
Tell me a little about your writing space. Where and when do you usually work on your books?
 
I keep an office down the hall from my bedroom. It has a lovely view to the back of my wooded yard, which helps me think. You’ll often find it cluttered with crafts supplies, piles of genealogy folders, and lots of books. My best creative time is late nights, but I usually am busy with other aspects of writing during the day.
 
Tell us something that most readers don’t know about you.
 
One thing that surprises most readers is that I received my scuba certification about 8 years ago. I’m not a real social butterfly or dare devil, but I conquered a lot of fears learning to dive.  My love for our planet and the beautiful creatures of the sea has deepened in ways I could never explain. Readers will find a sea theme or sea reference in most of my books.
 
CheatedCheatedCoverArt72dpiWebsites
Athena Gray is determined to finish her senior year without any paranormal interruptions. She’s certain it’s best to ignore her ability to help spirits cross over, but a new phantom in the backwoods of Omega is watching her every move. Determined to protect her sister and best friend, Dan, Athena pays no attention to strange events at school until they follow her home. She finds she must come to grips with an angry and jealous ghost who wants her dead because somewhere between this life and another, Athena’s adversary thinks she cheated. It will take the power of family and friendship to survive her own personal haunting and reclaim her life before supernatural forces extinguish it forever.   
DeathCheaterCoverArt72dpi (2)Death Cheater
Whether it’s strange things like dead butterflies fluttering to life, or the time she saved her dying grandpa just by willing him to live, Athena Gray knows that she is different.

The only person who doesn’t seem to think so is Dan, the most popular boy on Omega High School’s baseball team. But even Dan can’t understand the reason she acts haunted, until a spirit roaming the local historic burial mounds takes an interest in the people Athena cares about.

When the dark force blackmails her into using her gifts for devious reasons, Athena must figure out what it really wants before someone innocent is targeted for death.

About Danielle
Danielle Thorne writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of sweet romantic adventure books and a former editor for Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her popular blog, The Balanced Writer, focuses on life and the pursuit of peace and happiness. Currently, she is a freelance copywriter in-between working on her next book and pursuing a Communications degree.
 
More books by Danielle Thorne
The Privateer
By Heart and Compass
Josette
Turtle Soup
Coming Soon
Proper Attire

A Passion for Reading

reading with momAs I struggled with completing my latest manuscript — Book #9 — I wondered what happened? Was I getting tangled in the technical details? (The heroine is blind and writing from her point of view can’t include visual descriptions.) Why wasn’t the story taking off? Why wasn’t it as fun as writing usually is for me?

The answer hit me when I read fellow author J. Morgan’s blog today. Check it out: http://jennmorgan69.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/passion-in-reading/

Maintaining a love — a passion for reading is a life-long pursuit. I am going to pull out a favorite right now and rediscover the wonder of reading. Then I will go back to my manuscript.

Why research fiction?

Writing Advice from Petie McCartypetie-mccarty

The question in the title is one I hear all too frequently when talking to readers, and I am amazed by the number of readers who are oblivious to the fact that authors are always required to do a certain amount of research when writing their stories.

I’ve had readers claim, “But it’s fiction! Why would you do research? Can’t you just make the stuff up?

The answer is No. Not even for the wildest science fiction, where a whole new world has been created, can the author afford to scotch the research. Questions would still arise and would still require answers — like How did this world come into existence? And the answers must be plausible. If your story is not believable, you will lose the reader before you get he or she hooked – a fate worse than death for an author.

There will be few stories an author can write strictly from their personal experience. I spent two years of my career surveying Florida waters by airboat, and I still wasn’t close to being able to create a story about an airboat safari for my debut novel Everglades. I spent several months researching every aspect of the famed River of Grass and the adjacent Big Cypress National Preserve before I crafted the first scene. Then I had to research the sugar plantation industry to create a believable scenario for the conflict.

Even an author writing about a small fictional town in the mid-west will have some anchor businesses in the town to hold the populace and thereby the story together. And unless the author has owned a business similar to one in the story and is familiar with the nuances of the business operation, then research will come into play. The author simply cannot avoid research.

catchofthedaycoverart72dpi__73343.1359481854.1280.1280Sometimes, we luck out and find an expert to plug all of our research gaps. I certainly did for my second novel Catch of the Day. My day-job lake-survey partner is also a professional fisherman – they prefer to be called anglers – with the national Bassmaster Southern Opens series. He vetted my manuscript upon completion to be sure I hadn’t made any fishing faux pas.

Now the Catch of the Day doesn’t actually have a large amount of fishing tournament information and description in it, but what is there had to be accurate. As with most fiction, the characters and their interaction and dialog provide most of the story, but what little narrative is provided for color must be realistic. The reader will know.

Fiction research is always worth it in the end, even if you spend months reading up on a subject, for there is no greater feeling for an author than to have a reader post a review or send an email that says, “You made me feel like I was right there in the story…”

Download and read The Catch of the day or Petie’s latest novel, No Going Back, and check out all her books at Desert Breeze Publishing.

Author offers advice to would-be writers

Photo of author

Photo of author

Paisley Kirkpatrick is my guest this week, and she has two books published with Desert Breeze Publishing, and more to come. Paisley, tell us what makes a writer. How can people with a book in their heads become published as you have?

You’ve got to have a dream to have a dream come true. When you dream, don’t dream small. Go for the biggie because you only go through life once. I can testify that when the biggie comes true, it is worth all the waiting, all the dreaming, and most of all — all the hard work.

Ah, the work. It is more than dreaming then?

My friends said I am one of the most stubborn people they know. How could I possibly practice writing for 22 years and never give up. I prefer calling it perseverance — more letters in the word, and it sounds prettier. Twenty-two years ago I started writing this story called Marriage Bargain. Once I had it into a computer — way back in the days of two floppy discs to get the computer to load up — I needed to learn the proper way to present it. Just how could I do that? I had no idea the wonderful world of writers, chapters, and RWA would change my life. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I have landed in a place where I know I was born for, the place I persevered for.

Yes, I agree that a professional association and the support of other writers is key. 

What do you think of the advice to new writers to “write what you know.”?nightangelcoverart72dpi__49216.1359521482.1280.1280

Unfortunately, I didn’t hear this piece of advice before I started writing, but I did have a great crutch. My great, great grandfather, Dr. Charles Kirkpatrick, wrote a journal when he traveled across the country in 1849 on a wagon train. Not bad for finding what I needed from an ancestors that lived the story. Inadvertently, I did write what I know after studying his words. This five star journal is kept under glass at the Bancroft Library at UC California, Berkeley.

Wow! What a rich resource from your own family’s history! What was your toughest lesson to learn as a writer?

My first review by a chapter mate made me realize how little I knew about the craft of writing. I handed her my magnificent story and could hardly hear her thoughts. She gave it back to me and said she’d try reading it again when I learned point of view. I had no idea what she was talking about, but I learned. I’d say out of all the things I’ve learned to master, POV is one of the most important and can be a very difficult skill to perfect. If I had any advice to give to a beginning author, it’s the one I would tell them to master first. It can make the difference of distinguishing one character’s thoughts from another. I find it difficult to read a story where the author head hops because when you have to stopMarriageBargainCoverArt72dpi (1) the flow of your reading and reread to figure out who is talking it takes you out of the story and can frustrate a reader enough that they may give up on your story. You certainly don’t want that to happen. This same friend who guided me into learning POV tells a story on me and how bad I was at POV. ”Paisley had a five sentence paragraph with four POVs, one of which was the rock.” It’s something I will NEVER live down, but laughing at yourself and not taking criticism too seriously, is important when you are a writer.

When we transition from readers to writers we do have to think about how the writers we love actually craft their work. Any last words for your fans?

To let you in on how my dream came true, I got my writing contract and March 21, 2013, my second book is released. It’s about a hero and heroine on a wagon train…

Be sure to check out both Paisley’s books. You can download them right now from Desert Breeze Publishing, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

Is there room to write?

MARY GALUSHA loves to tell adventurous romantic stories. She is descended from immigrant homesteaders, and draws from stories told and retold Mary Garound the kitchen table to make history and romance come alive.

Mary, you spent some time living in Montana, where Sapphire Skies is set?

Yes, I was born in Little Big Horn county. I have always been fascinated with my home state and the adventurous stories of the brave settlers there. I’ve always dreamed of their stories and in the last few years I have begun writing them into novel form.

 I have spent some time in that country, too. It is always interesting to read about people living through the settling of the American West. Is Sapphire Skies an inspirational story in terms of faith?

Strong faith has always lived in my family and carries through into my stories. It is natural to write from that foundation of faith when I think about the rough world my characters live in. They are strong men and equally adventurous women who build loving relationships while facing the unknown to realize their dreams in the settling the Wild West.

 Mary, you write from home. Tell us about your writing space.

I write in our study, my husband has half and I have the other. It’s a small room. My half is getting more like a cave every day. I’ll have to do something about that. Someday.

 Ssapphireskiescoverart72dpi__27473.1357185032.1280.1280o tell us, why do you write? What drives you?.

I love words and the rhythm of the written word. Plus, I think I have something to say that might make people think.

 What other authors do you enjoy reading?

Writers I enjoy reading are Alexander McCall Smith, Mary Kay Andrews, and for mysteries, John Sanford and James Lee Burke.

 Mary Galusha graduated from Stephens College and the University of Arizona. She taught elementary school, counseled in high school and raised her family on an avocado ranch in southern California. Now she is writing, which has always been a dream. When not working on historical novels, Mary can be found attending book groups or playing hilarious games of bridge where the rules are observed, sometimes. She and her husband enjoy their family, friends, and movies. Download her debut novel, Sapphire Skies from Desert Breeze Publishing. It is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and other book sites.

 You can find Mary on the web at www.marygalusha.com

Writing is Hard Work

,bitetheoneyourewithcoverart72dpi__95079.1359436540.1280.1280J. Morgan on Writing

I’m a writer, or at least that’s what it says on the spray painted sign I park my car in front of. Seriously, it say J. Morgan, writer. It might not be as cool as Rick Castle’s Kevlar vest, but it still remains the truth. I write. Sometimes so easily, I can believe I can do it. Other times, those dark times that no one likes to talk about, writing is best described as pulling your own teeth without a rubber mallet handy to deaden the stupidity.

As a result, I’ll be the first to admit writing is hard work. Over the years, I’ve been asked are there any tricks to doing it? I want to say no, because either you can write or you can’t. There’s very little in-between. But! Bet you saw that coming. If you can write, there are a couple things you can learn. First you have to be open to being taught. That’s the kicker right there.

When I first got into writing, and published, I thought I knew how to write. I entertained myself, so why shouldn’t others be entertained? Because, being able to write doesn’t mean you know how to write. There’s a distinction there. Don’t think there isn’t. Talent and skill are two different things. Bear with me because this next bit clears it up, or I hope it will.

I come from a background in the visual arts. I’m a painter and pencil artist by trade, though trade will leave you starving. I’d always written and been told you’re talented, why don’t you write a book or something. Twenty years down the road, I finally listened to those pesky voices. I could write and did have some talent. So, I wrote a book. Two books, actually, but the first one was garbage, so let’s not discuss it. The second one got accepted by a publisher. I said wow, those voices were right!

Here’s where the ego got smacked around. I had talent sure. But, talent without polishing is still garbage, only pretty garbage. My first editor got me to doing something I’m totally adverse to– thinking. Thinking led to self discovery. Self discovery led to a startling revelation. I had a long way to go. That brings me to my first writing tip. Always be willing to learn.

With that out of the way, I’m going to pass on my first tip that doesn’t involve ego bashing. Write like you’re acting. To totally understand your characters, you MUST immerse yourself into them. Become them for the span of your scene, your book! If you can’t completely get who they are, how can a reader? Seriously, walk a mile–fifty miles–in their shoes. Then, you can overcome any writing block that comes your way. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to be blocked, because you will. IT means, once you are able to get back into that character’s head, you can push through and keep going. It might take some crying, whining, and general begging, but it’ll happen. Trust me.

Second valuable tip. Just because you read a book, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write with all five, in a paranormal author’s book, six senses. What does that mean? It means when you write, ‘She stepped out into a bright sunshiny day’, make us believe it’s a sunshiny day. Let us hear birds chirping. The wind blowing through long grass in need of mowing. The rumble of a lawnmower across the back yard. The yells of kids playing somewhere down the block. Something to make a reader fall into a three dimensional world. That’s just one sense, hearing.

Sense two. The smell of cut grass. The lingering scent of the morning dew evaporating on the lawn. Honeysuckle wafting across that breeze up there.

Sense three. The feel of that wind brushing across her cheek, embracing her body. The sun toasting her skin, as she steps off the porch. Oh, you get the idea.

Sense four. The sun blinding her. Those playing kids. A bird flying from tree to tree. The grass waving. Give them something to actually see.

Sense five. The taste of the honey suckle on the breeze. Can’t think of any more but you might.

When you write a paragraph, don’t consider just seeing it. Live it!

I’m not sure if I have anything else I could impart to you. Writing is a learn as you go type of thing. Through making mistakes you’ll learn more than I could show you. Just always trust your instincts and listen to critiques with an open mind. Aside from that, have junk food handy and you should be set. Thanks for listening to me run off at the mouth. I hope I’ve helped give you some new twists on writing. Thanks to Lynnette for having me here today.

Now, get to writing!

Jmorgan

 Where in the net can you find J. Morgan?

My Yahoo Newsletter

My Website

Facebook

My Blog away from home

 J Morgan’s books are available at Desert Breeze Publishing in eBooks and Love Free, Stake Hard is coming soon in print.  There are several series and  over a dozen books with Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

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A blog about writing romance or about animals or what?

A marketing professional’s question…pepper - Copy

It is a fair question. In answer, let me tell you a story.

After a fairly significant event that interrupted my career, I was working from home, deciding what to do with myself, and I decided to get back to my writing. I joined an on-line critique group, set aside writing time, researched articles where I could write short stories, joined the Romance Writers of America…all the things a serious romance writer should do.

During this time I learned the delight of being home with my teenage daughter. I had worked outside the home herwhole life, but now we had that precious time immediately after school when her day tumbled out as we drove home.

She’s the one who heard the kittens in the woodpile. A feral cat had a litter and they were as cute as they could be, especially when they began chasing each other around our back yard, tumbling and hissing and occasionally falling into the pool, but we were always there to fish them out. My daughter picked one of them up and asked, predictably, if she could keep it. I answered, predictably, no, her father didn’t like cats. Then she asked the question that changed our lives.

mostly ollie“Why do we let him decide?”

Why, indeed. Long story short, we adopted two kittens, and later another came into our lives to be rescued. We rescued a dog a few years later, and then a cockatiel showed up on our back porch.

I’d never owned a pet before, not one of my own. A few animals found their way through our lives as I was growing up, but none were mine and most had pretty sad stories, didn’t turn out well.

After I turned 50 my daughter’s spunk turned that all around and I am absolutely in love with all my animals. Now I can’t imagine life without them. Art imitates life, so my characters include animals. That is why Paige adopts two kittens found in her backyard in More Than a Job, Mark’s yellow lab, Atlas, becomes a therapy dog and reading tutor in The Return of Joy and a calico cat and a German shepherd are animal helpers in Animal Instinct, because all the heroes and heroines in our Time After Time Saga have animal helpers.

71916925269910592_1wlk4eov_bIn a few weeks you will meet another calico cat and a cockatiel in Survival Instinct. In Finding Her Voice, Starting Over Book Three, Ollie (the terrier mix above) accompanies Jen as she takes a journey across the country to figure out how to rebuild her life. This fall you will meet two more animal helpers, a horse and a barn cat, in Pioneer Instinct. So as the marketing professional calls it, in developing the “brand” of Author Lynette Endicott, animals will always play a part.  I enjoy bringing animals in with guest authors, too.

Check out all the books that are available at my Amazon author page.

There is a page for each of the books mentioned in the menu at the top of this page. Hope you will browse through to see what is coming soon.