Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel

April 20, 2023

A conversation with authors Valerie Biel & T.K. Sheffield

Throughout 2023 writing instructor and pre-published author Tracey Kathryn (T.K.) Sheffield and I will be offering a blog series on plotting from the beginning developmental stage through the messy middle and all the way to the end, including editing advice on how to fix plot problems in a completed manuscript.

In Part 1, Tracey lists wonderful resources that are great for those that are new to writing or looking for a new approach to plotting in: "Plotting a Novel: Resources for Those Just Starting Out... Continue Reading

April 13, 2023

The author series continues, sharing the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they tell us what they would tell their pre-published selves, and NEW FOR 2023, what they always do to help make book launches successful. This month's featured author is Sheila Lowe, a professional handwriting analyst and the author of the fictional Claudia Rose series whose main character is a handwriting expert!

Long before her first book was published, bestselling author Sheila Lowe was a handwriting analyst. Her study of handwriting and personality began in high school. Later, she branched into forensics. A certified forensic document examiner, she testifies in court cases. Upon returning to school, she earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in... Continue Reading

April 3, 2023

Celebrating the Release of the Sean McPherson Series Book Three

To celebrate the release of Impervious, the third book in the Sean McPherson series, I’m so pleased to feature an interview with author Laurie Buchanan. I love this series so much (see my review below.) The stories are mainly set at the Pines & Quill writing retreat in the Pacific Northwest where ex-cop Sean McPherson as gone to heal after his partner is killed by a sniper. In this idyllic location, Sean works in the Zen-like capacity of groundskeeper and all-around handyman—that is until the peace is violently shattered and his investigative skills are needed once again.

Now in book three, friends and family have gathered for the union of Sean McPherson and Emma Benton. But just as the festivities... Continue Reading

April 2, 2023

Responsible Use of AI?

How Amazon is Punishing Victims of Piracy

The Most Interesting Buildings that are Now Libraries (and Bookstores)

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More on the Use of AI . . . can it be used responsibly?

The plethora of articles on the use of AI in creative work continues (and I suspect will continue indefinitely.) Let me bring you the latest from what I’ve been reading . . .

PlagiarismToday.com (Yes – that’s a real website!) features an article about Grammerly’s new AI product: Grammerly to Launch AI Writing Tool . . . describing the product and problem this way: “To be clear, GrammarlyGo appears to be a very... Continue Reading

March 16, 2023

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m so happy to feature K.M. Waldvogel and her marvelous book, Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, & Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution. This is an interesting read for adults and kids! I love stories about our lesser known heroes in history. Each woman featured in this book is a great example of bravery in the face of danger and a commitment to a cause bigger than themselves. This is a super addition to any home, public library, or classroom collection. Well-written and well-researched, the book is a wonderful window to the past.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The Revolutionary War has divided the country. Neighbor has turned against neighbor. Family members argue with family members. Angry rumblings of "no taxation without representation... Continue Reading

March 9, 2023

The author series continues in 2023, sharing the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they tell us what they would tell their pre-published selves, and NEW FOR 2023, what they always do to help make book launches successful. 

Our March author is Margaret Mizushima, the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Active within the writing community, Margaret serves as past president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, was elected the 2019 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and is also a member of Northern Colorado Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Women Writing the West. She and her husband recently moved from their home in Colorado to the Pacific... Continue Reading

March 5, 2023

Throughout 2023 writing instructor and pre-published author Tracey Kathryn (T.K.) Sheffield and I will be offering a blog series on plotting from the beginning developmental stage through the messy middle and all the way to the end, including editing advice on how to fix plot problems in a completed manuscript. Last month, we brought you Part 1, "Plotting a Novel: Resources for Those Just Starting Out." This month Tracey tackles how to use plotlines, tropes, and conflict to test your story ideas. 

Story Inspiration: Using Plotlines, Tropes, and Conflict to Test Ideas for Novels

Happy March,... Continue Reading

February 23, 2023

Audiobook Narrators Being Used to Train Their AI Replacements?

24 Quirky March Occasions to Use to Market Your Book

Top 5 Publishing Misconceptions (and how to unlearn them)

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Huge Blow-up (deservedly) About Findaway Voices/Apple Contract Clause Regarding Machine Learning

The audiobook production & distribution company Findaway Voices (now owned by Spotify) has a clause in its contract with authors which gives the rights to Apple to take these narrated (by human) files and use them for ‘machine learning’ – which is basically the training of artificial intelligence (AI) to do the same job with no humans involved.  This contract clause had been in place for some months and the dispute led to the reversal of this... Continue Reading

February 9, 2023

Throughout 2023 writing instructor and pre-published author Tracey Kathryn (T.K.) Sheffield and I will be offering a blog series on plotting from the beginning developmental stage through the messy middle and all the way to the end, including editing advice on how to fix plot problems in a completed manuscript. So let's begin with Part 1 from Tracey!

Where are you in your writing life? Are you writing a novel—your first, perhaps?

I attended a New Year kick-off seminar with the Wisconsin Writer’s Association called “Butts in Chairs.” Presented by the wonderful Laurie Scheer, the meeting inspired attendees to jump into writing. Don’t procrastinate, she advised, begin.... Continue Reading

February 2, 2023

The author series continues in 2023, sharing the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they tell us what they would tell their pre-published selves, and NEW FOR 2023, what they always do to help make book launches successful.

Our February author, GP Gottlieb has performed, taught, composed, and administrated while writing stories, songs, and several unwieldy manuscripts. She also fed her family and developed lots of healthy recipes. After recovering from breast cancer in 2015, she turned to writing in earnest, melding her two passions: nourishment for mind and body and recipe-laced murder mysteries. Gottlieb is the author of the Whipped and Sipped Mystery Series, which centers on a single mother of three who owns a fabulous vegan café in... Continue Reading

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