Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

June 14, 2018

There are four outstanding writers who entertained me during the months of April and May, Beth Flynn, Theresa Shaver, Nora Roberts, and Holly Tierney-Bedord.

I became a fan of Theresa Shaver many years ago when I first read her Stranded Series. I was delighted to find out that there was a book five! (As a side note, for those of you who read a lot and want to keep track of new releases by authors you love, take the time to follow them on Amazon or BookBub or on the author’s website. You’ll get a nice notification when their next book releases, so you don’t miss anything.)

Frozen: A Stranded Novel continues the story of a class of Canadian teens who are originally stranded at Disneyland in California when an... Continue Reading

June 11, 2018

A few years ago, I met Kelly DiNardo at a writing conference in Madison, Wisconsin. Kelly was an instructor that year, and we struck up a conversation where I learned that she had recently relocated to Madison from the East Coast. I have to admit I was fascinated by her freelance writing career, which included publication in well-known national magazines. Later, Kelly was the visiting author at our Books & Beer Book Club in Columbus, Wisconsin when we read her biography of the striptease artist, Lili St. Cyr. Kelly has been practicing yoga for years and, even after her move to the Midwest, she has maintained her co-ownership of the Past Tense yoga... Continue Reading

May 29, 2018

This Month's Featured Articles:

Can You Trademark a Word? #CockyGate

Morality Clauses in Publishing Contracts

The Book Industry Study Group's Interest in POD (and more)

GDPR - How the EU is Changing How Authors Do Things in the USA 


Now in its second year, the Writers' Forum is a compilation of the month’s important publishing news and helpful writing information for authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. For readers, there are links to southern Wisconsin bookstores to preview their upcoming events. I’ve been an independently published author since 2014 and provide this information to assist others in the way that generous writers assisted me when I was at the beginning of my indie pub journey... Continue Reading

May 22, 2018
          Swap out a beach read for a reference book — or a social media account

As summer approaches, I’m recommending some great beach reads. Okay, they aren’t mysteries or romance novels. They are books about writing craft, but if you’re a writing nerd like me, you’ll enjoy them.

This month, I’m recommending works about craft that are opposites. The first series takes time to read, and the concepts the author presents take time to digest. The author presents the information using logic, and his work is highly structured. The second book is a delightful and classic reference book that’s been updated.

Anything written by Larry Brooks

(... Continue Reading

May 15, 2018

I’m so glad to talk with author R.R. Campbell about his upcoming 2018 release “Accounting for it All”. Campbell is a Wisconsin author and editor as well as the host of Writescast, a podcast for writers, by writers.

Ryan, tell us a little bit about how you got started writing. Have you always been a storyteller?

I've always loved stories. I remember as a young child I wanted to start a newsletter that everyone in my extended family could contribute to, so we could stay in touch between holidays (this was pre-internet, of course). Though that enterprise ultimately didn't come together, throughout my childhood I tinkered with writing short stories, poetry, and even wrote a serial for my fifth-grade class during our free-write time. 

I was also on competitive... Continue Reading

May 8, 2018

Welcome back to author Amanda Zieba, who I first introduced you to in the kick-off post for 2018 on Forging (Real Person-to Person) Connections. I appreciated very much Amanda's post about writing book reviews--so much so that I'm giving the whole thing to you here. (However, you can also access it on Amanda's blog.)


Writing Reviews by Amanda Zieba

What do you do when you read a good book? You tell somebody about it, right?!?!

“Oh my gosh, you have to read this book! I stayed up way too late finishing it. It’s going to change your life! You just have to read this!”... Continue Reading

April 30, 2018

Two years ago, we spent the latter part of April in Ireland and visited the Beltany Stone Circle in County Donegal. You can hear all about that trip in my blog post from May of 2016. I would be very happy to be back again to celebrate May Day at Beltany today. You might not know that Beltane is another name for May Day. This stone circle is a very special place, particularly on this day when it is perfectly oriented toward the sun. (We will never know the answer to how this feat of engineering was accomplished 5000 years ago.)  





May Day is a cross quarter day, meaning it falls half way between the spring equinox (Ostara) and the... Continue Reading

April 27, 2018

THIS MONTH'S FEATURED ARTICLES: What to Do About Facebook Author Page Changes & my Wisconsin Author Project Contest Warning (NOTE: I am NOT picking a fight with public libraries!) Plus, Celebrate Indpendent Bookstore Day, Compare publishing platforms, take a look at the new social media app Litsy and (much more . . . 

The second year of the Writers' Forum continues! Each month there is no shortage of important publishing news and helpful writing information to share with other authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. This is a compilation of the news you need to know along with a preview of the upcoming book events in southern Wisconsin. I am incredibly thankful for the assistance and advice given to me from writing and... Continue Reading

April 27, 2018

At the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute in April of 2018, I presented a session called “The Winner’s Circle: Are Writing Contests Worth the Fees?”.  I discussed the ways to check if a contest is reputable, which ones are good to enter, and what to do if you win. Later, I expanded on this material and created a 30-minute video, including how to make the most of a contest win, along with a resource sheet. You can acccess this $25 course HERE, or click the image below.

So, I was already thinking a bit about contests and the warnings I made to my fellow writers about... Continue Reading

April 23, 2018

Happy Release day to author Rex Owens and the final book in the Irish Troubles series--Dead Reckoning!

This is Owens' best book yet! (And that is a huge compliment because books one and two in this series are excellent reads!) If you have an interest in the past few decades of political turmoil in Ireland, you'll appreciate this entire series. In Dead Reckoning, Ian Murphy confronts his Irish Republican Army past in and offers redemption in a uniquely artistic way. We feel for this character and those around him as he creates a stage play, revealing his secrets as an act of atonement.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Ian Murphy buries his life-long friend Kieran Fitzpatrick. As a result his life adrift, Ian is incapable of overcoming dependence on whiskey. Every day, he battles the... Continue Reading