Writerly Wednesday Spotlight – Castelane Inc.

Cup of Pens ClipArtHappy Writerly Wednesday to all of you.

I have been redecorating my website. For the last year I have been promoting the book trailer for If I Should Die (Author’s Revised Edition) and during that time, no one alerted me to the typo in one of the final frames. Audrey Shaffer noticed it last week.

I contacted Kim McDougall at Castelane Inc. Kim graciously corrected the typo during a very busy time of year.

Thanks Audrey Shaffer from The Writer’s Chatroom for alerting me.

Writerly Wednesday Spotlight – Castelane Inc.

Book Marketing & Promotion for Authors, Publishers, Publicists and More

Here at Castelane, we offer a one-stop-shop for eBook publishing services and book marketing at prices you can afford. We provide a variety of publishing options, precision editing, professional book marketing, book promotion and branding, video previews, custom design and more. Find all the publishing and marketing services you need right here, in one place.

Whether you are a new author looking to self-publish or a seasoned veteran, you understand the importance of professional design, copy editing and proofreading. We provide a staff of experienced professionals who will review your book for grammar, development and overall content, as well as design custom book covers and offer eBook conversion options for every book style platform – from smartphones to tablets. Every book needs a strong marketing plan by someone who knows the industry – with over 20 years of experience, we know how to utilize social media and other online channels to engage your audience and promote your brand through multimedia, famous author pages and more.

Contact Kim through her Website


Don’t touch anything sharp!

If I Should Die 

Visit All of My Writerly Wednesday Posts 

Hello World – Sally is in the Building!

A Sign Saying I'm BackI’m back.

I have renewed my Domains for Writerly Wednesday and Fiction Friday. I have my virus protection up-to-date and may be starting a job with another publisher, soon.

What? Someone asked where I have been?

No one would believe the stranger than fiction story behind my quiet spell. Let’s just say that when I am in a persistent vegetative state, a journal will surface.

I am going to put out a call for Writerly Wednesday Submissions and get back into my Fiction Friday Posts. I am even thinking about putting a toe into self-publishing my Spoon River of Houses anthology.

A few people have suggested I try my hand at some Writerly Workshops.

Hello World Name Tag

So, Hello World – Sally is in the Building!


If you have been a previous guest at Writerly Wednesday you are welcome to come back.  If you have a new book fiction, non-fiction or creative non-fiction that has a buy link, go ahead and shoot me an email. Full Info is here.. 

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Narrator Becky Parker

This week at Writerly Wednesday I’d like to welcome my very first narrator guest.  Welcome Becky Parker, narrator of I Left My Brains in Francisco by Karina Fabian.   There are two Zombie Quizes included in this Interview – when you click on them you will be taken to youTube.  Other links will take you to the Amazon Audible Pages.


Becky Parker Geist Bio Photo
Becky Parker Geist

Becky Parker Geist (performance name: Becky Parker)

Becky Parker Geist is the founder and owner of Pro Audio Voices, serving clients internationally as a go-to place for exceptional voiceover for audiobooks, advertising and animation.

After receiving her M.F.A. in Acting in 1981, Becky began narrating Talking Books for the Blind through the Library of Congress, narrating over 70 titles in two years, and quickly became one of their most popular narrators. As a professional stage actress, she has toured internationally (England and U.S.) and on the east and west U.S. coasts. She performs a wide range of voiceover
work, but has a particular love for creating audiobooks with sound effects – the more theatrical the better! Becky brings her broad range of theatre skills –acting, directing, producing, marketing – to bear in all her voiceover and production work.

Committed to leadership and building strong, long-term relationships, Becky serves as President
of BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Association) and is a member of IBPA
(Independent Book Publishers Assn), APA (Audio Publishers Assn), and TBA (Theatre Bay

Becky is married to classical composer John Geist and has 3 adult daughters: Elise, Jes and
Jerrilee. As of 2015, Becky can truly say she is bi-coastal, going back and forth between New
York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been having a blast working Off Broadway
in NY for the past few years and has been a professional stage actor in the Bay Area since 1985.

http://www.ProAudioVoices.com becky@proaudiovoices.com


  1. You are the Voice of the Neeta Lyfee Series. You are also my first interview with a narrator, voice over artist.  Your signature file says – Pro Audio Voices is a San Francisco Bay Area based company serving clients internationally as a go-to place for exceptional voiceover services for Audiobooks, Animation, and Advertising, with an emphasis on those with uplifting and inspiring stories and messages.  Can you tell us some of the steps involved in bringing the Neeta Lyffe Series to life?

In terms of the production process, first I read the manuscript – at least far enough to get a solid feel for the characters and story. Then I start recording. During the recording process, there are things I’ll check with Karina about, such as pronunciations of unusual names, words for which there could be multiple ways of pronouncing them, or words/names for which my online research comes up empty. I typically record a chapter then edit it, then send it on to Karina and Kim for corrections or final approval.

Audio editing involves listening to my recording with my director/editor ‘ears’ on. I’m listening for things like slurring, external sounds, content emphases that might be off, mis-reads or inverted word orders. I’m a believer in reading every word as written – word perfect – because I assume the writer and the text editor have already worked through the process to find the best expression.

Mixing – getting the right balance of sound levels between the narrative voice and the sounds/music – is really important to get right or else the sounds become a distraction instead of an enhancement. It’s all about the story and bringing it to life in the imagination of the listener. That is always my primary goal. Give the listener the most engaging, enjoyable audiobook experience possible.

I also then master the audio file, which is the technical and creative act of balancing, equalizing and enhancing, the digital files so that the finished product will have attained the maximum quality and competitiveness in the open market, and will produce the highest quality master files for duplication on CDs, etc. With the Neeta Lyffe books, it takes longer to edit since I’m designing the soundscape and sourcing or creating sound effects and/or music and mixing those elements in – making sure the balance seems right – all before I send it for approval.

Neeta Lyffe Book One cover art
Neeta Lyffe Book One

Initially, we had made no plans for adding sound effects into the mix in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator. Sound effects, I believe, should only be added when they truly enhance the listening experience. There were moments in this first book in the series, when music was playing in Neeta’s mind, and when the characters were on a radio show and the story just started calling out to me for sound effects. I checked in with Kim at Damnation Books and with Karina to see how they felt about adding sound effects. They were both really excited about my proposal and that decision has made a big difference in the audiobook series. Only a very small percentage of audiobooks are fully produced with sound effects – and certainly sound effects are not appropriate for every book – but I think they really add to the fun of the Neeta Lyffe series.

I Left My Brains in SF cover art
I Left My Brains in SF

In Book 2, I Left my Brains in San Francisco, Karina had several references to a fictional song that is important to the plot – I won’t reveal how or why – no spoilers here! There’s a scene in which the song is playing, and I realized, “I need that song.” So I created it. It took a lot of time and work but it was fun and the team was really happy with it. In the audiobook you never get to hear the whole thing, so we’re giving it as a bonus download from my site in the audiobook (free code is in the closing credits).

Sometimes there are corrections that come back such as a pronunciation or the emotional tone of a line of dialogue. I make those corrections and send them back to be checked again. Then, once all the audio files are given the thumbs up, I upload them to ACX and we submit them for approval. Once it’s approved, the audiobook is launched! The primary distribution channels are Audible and iTunes.

Zombie Quiz #1

  1. You have also put together other promotional items for the newest Audio Book in the series, I Left My Brains in San Francisco. Can you tell us a bit about what goes into making Zombie Quizes? 

One of the voiceover products I offer through Pro Audio Voices is the creation of whiteboard animations. I use VideoScribe software package to make them (or work with other video professionals depending on the project needs). As with any kind of presentation or performance, producing a video first means thinking through the whole piece, what the intent is, how it will be used, how we want it to feel, and what response we hope for. Next is figuring out the text – and I turned to Karina for some of what I used, but also wrote some of my own questions that I thought fit the books. Then I gather the images. In this case Karina sent me the zombie hand – which was perfect! After that I record the audio, and this requires a bit of tricky timing to make it all work out right, because of the limitations of the software. Then I adjust the timings of the writing and between slides and such.

What we hope for with the animation videos is to get folks to play with us. We ultimately want people to know about the audiobooks, obviously, and hope they’ll decide to listen to the series. There’s a free audiobook offer on my website (proaudiovoices.com) when you subscribe to Audible and it’s great when folks use that freebie to get the Neeta Lyffe books. Again, the videos are a fun way to get our potential audience to play with us.

  1. What does your work area include? We know a writer has her software, her notebooks, pens, white boards, ocean side view, what does an Audio Artist have in her creative space?

My studio includes my microphone with pop screen (to cut the pop of air as in plosives like ‘p’), an audio interface (I use a Steinberg UR44) that connects my mic to my computer software, my Mac laptop with the Digital Performer DAW (Digital Audio Workstation, which is the audio software), and my iPad (to read from, so there are no noisy page turns as in a print book). I have a booth with soundproofing foam both to keep out external noise and to cut that ‘empty room’ rebound sound you get in a typical room. I have a notebook that I make notes about things like length of each audio track, settings from mastering the audio files, character and voice notes, pronunciations, etc. I also use my Mac for research for pronunciations, sending audio files, working on my website, etc. In and out of the studio, I use a small digital audio recorder to collect sound effects.

Many of the clips in my ever-growing collection of sound effects I created myself. Sometimes I’ll hear a sound and think I might be able to use that, so I’ll pull out my audio recorder that I carry around with me everywhere. These can be common sounds or really unusual ones, but sound collecting (this is also called “foley”) provides me with options when I’m looking for the perfect sound for an audiobook.  For other sound effects that I don’t have easy access to, I’ll often find what I need on freesound.org, a crowd sourced sound effects database. I’m very grateful to my fellow foley artists around the world.

Zombie Quiz #2

  1. What other things do you do that writers should know about?

I am really committing to helping authors succeed and do ongoing marketing of the completed audiobooks. That’s rare for audiobook producers. Most producers just produce the audio and move on. I consider the relationship I have with each author and title one that deserves ongoing attention. And I have very committed to helping authors succeed, as evidenced by my service as President of Bay Area Independent Publishers Assn.

The other big thing I’d like writers to know is that as an actor, my job is to bring these characters and this story to life in the mind of the listener. There’s a fine balance of narrative and dialogue that a lot of narrators miss, in my opinion. If the narrator is not feeling the character’s emotions on some level, and/or does not know how to effectively express them, then I think they are missing the boat and causing the listener to miss it as well. Narrating a story is a bit like weaving a tapestry, balancing the dialogue and the scene enactment with the narrative voice.

When I add in sound effects, it’s like adding another color to the woof (the thread weaving in and out of the warp) and how it enters and exits and shows up in the tapestry all should feel organic. The editing and mixing is with the ear of director-producer – a very different role from that of the actor. When I’m editing, I’m also directing, and sometimes find sentences or segments I choose to re-record because I know I can do them better. It’s WAY more than just saying the right words in a ‘nice’ voice. It’s more like producing and performing a one-woman show for an audience of listeners who will each experience it as a private performance.

  1. When did you know Audio work was what you wanted to do?

That’s an interesting question and makes me look back to my very first recording work. When I was in third grade my best friend and I used a reel-to-reel recorder to make our own “radio show.” We spent several weeks (maybe months) on it, and it was great fun. So I was primed from an early age. But as an adult I knew after I graduated for U of Illinois with my MFA in Acting and got my first job: recording audio books for Talking Books for the Blind through Library of Congress. Loved it! And I became one of the listeners’ most popular readers, which led to being hired full time as one of only 2 full-time staff narrators.

  1. For anyone thinking about having their work converted to Audio, what is the first thing they should do?

Well, I think the simplest thing is to contact me at Pro Audio Voices to talk it over and get their questions answered. If they have not yet been selling many books in their other formats (print, ebook), then I’d recommend focus on marketing and start building a following first. An audiobook edition will certainly help with sales of all editions, but marketing has to happen if an author is to sell any editions. There are other advantages, though, to jumping right in. One of the things I do in that first conversation is ask about the author’s goals. Are they hoping to: create another income stream from the same content (always a good idea), increase cross-sales of other editions (that works), build another business or speaking career (for example, a book about financial planning to serve and draw in clients; or demonstrating expertise for a speaker on multiple marriages), or what else do they want to achieve? This helps me give better advice to help them meet those goals.

They could also go to ACX.com and try to sort through the labyrinth to figure it out themselves. But there is no real guide available there, so most authors I’ve talked to find that just overwhelming and confusing.

Authors should also know there are some genres that don’t get as much action in audiobooks. Fiction dominates, and within that highest selling genres are romances then mystery/thriller, so if you have one of those, get it into audio. But all genres are represented, so if you’re writing in a different genre or non-fiction, don’t be discouraged. Think about who your target market is and are they likely to be listening to audiobooks. I can help you sort through these questions. And I have occasionally recommended to an author not produce an audiobook when I thought her/his book was not ready for that step. There are a lot of factors to consider.

  1. Tell us about how you handle scenes with many different characters talking.

Dialogue is some of my favorite stuff. I consider it very important to differentiate the voices so the listener can tell who is speaking without getting confused. When they get confused, you’ve lost them, at least for a while. I use a wide range of voices and several techniques to alter my voice to create different sounds. For example, I can focus it more into my nose for a more nasal sound, drop it into my chest for those big heavy guys, add raspiness or breathiness, raise or lower the register. Sometimes I’ll talk more out of one side of my mouth or the other, or open the back of my throat more. Even just changing my face into a squint or scrunch can change the voice. It’s really fun.

But one of the challenges in a book with lots of characters is remembering who sounds like what and how I made that voice. Consistency. The toughest is when a minor character goes away and later suddenly turns up again. Occasionally I have to go back to listen to what I did before. I really appreciate it when authors provide me with a list of characters (those that speak) and a few key characteristics for each to help me give them each an appropriate voice. Characteristics might include things like size, age, distinct vocal sound, life attitude, where the character is from geographically.

I do want to emphasize again, though, that the most important thing that is happening in the dialogue is the scene and characters coming to life through great acting. The vocal differentiations are a part of the craft of acting – finding each character’s voice – and the art is in truthfully playing those characters. As a listener I am often disappointed with the limited range of narrators in scenes with multiple characters. I consider dressing each character in appropriate vocal ‘clothes’ an important and delightful part of creating an exceptional listening experience.

Thank You Becky and Thank You Karina for being my guest on Writerly Wednesday.




I Left My Brains in San Francisco Audio Release is Live!

I Left My Brains Promo Art

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  

Welcome to Writerly Wednesday.. this site has been quiet far too long.  I can’t think of a better way to reboot the activity of Writerly Wednesday than having Karina Fabian come back as a Guest.

I Left My Brains in San Francisco Audio Release

An Interview with Karina Fabian

  1. Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator and I Left My Brains in San Francisco released through Damnation Books and now both are available in audio format. Could you tell the story behind writing the first Neeta Lyffe Novel?

It all started with a mutual friend, Becca Butcher. When Kim wanted to launch Damnation Books with a zombie anthology, Becca nagged me to write a story. I don’t like zombies much. So I wrote a pun-filled story about a team of exterminators taking out a zombie infestation in a Korean restaurant. “Wokking Dead” was a big hit, as was the lead character Neeta Lyffe. People asked Kim when Neeta would get her own novel, and the series was born. It’s been a lot of fun. My zombies are far quirkier and more slapstick than most, and the political and social satire is very cathartic!

  1. What can you share with us about yourself? You are very busy and multi-talented. Does your mind ever go quiet?

No, it does not, and I always have several creative, marketing and writing guild irons in the fire. However, after this tour is done, I’m making a concerted effort to BACK OFF. I need to concentrate on family until the kids are out of the house. I have few precious years left with them.

  1. Tell us about your writing space. You favorite tools for writing, software, pen, paper, voice recorder, picture window? 

I have my own study, which features a black desk with a green backing that picks up the green in the Celtic dragon curtains. My two bookshelves are also black and green and crowded with books mostly about faith and writing or that were written by my friends. I have a desktop computer with two screens because I got spoiled on the two-screen set-up at work. On the wall next to the curtain is a big white board which has my life priorities in the form of a jar with rocks. The big rocks are the things I need to concentrate on. I also have in one corner of the board a 4-quadrant organization of goals and activities. I’m hoping this will help me keep more focused. I just started this method, though, so time will tell!

  1. Where can we stalk you?


  1. Many of us do not have a clue about the process involved in taking a novel from print to audio. Can you share a little bit of the behind the scenes experience?

In a nutshell:

  • My publisher says, “I want to make an audiobook and I’m hiring an award-winning narrator to do it.”
  • I do the happy dance.
  • Becky (said award-winning publisher) calls me and we chat about voices.
  • I do more happy dancing because this is going to be so freaking awesome!
  • Becky starts the narration. She writes to ask about voices or words or to point out typos and make sure they are typos. (I cringe here.) She sends me the chapters to listen to, to critique.
  • I spend many hours marveling at my own words coming back at me in a different way. It is amazing how a different reader can change even the tone of a scene. It’s a whole new novel in some ways.
  • I happy dance because it is still freaking awesome.
  • The publisher takes care of the production, cover, loading on audible.
  • I recruit Becky for a book tour and we have a ton of fun with interviews, making videos and she even turned my TREE song into a real tune.
  • People buy the audiobook and post reviews saying how freaking awesome it is. (OK, guys – that’s your role!)
  1. Does Neeta ever touch anything sharp?

Only when taking out a zombie is involved. In fact, I thought of you when I wrote the opening line of the third book, Shambling in a Winter Wonderland: Neeta’s mother had told her the only time she should run with scissors was when a zombie was involved. Neeta wondered what her mother would have said about surfing with a katana.

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  

Cover art for Neeta Lyffe
Neeta Lyffe

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator  is available at Amazon in Trade Paperback, Kindle and Audible Formats

By the 2040s, the shambling dead have become and international problem. While governments and special interest groups vie for the most environmentally-friendly way to rid the world of zombies, a new breed of exterminator has risen: The Zombie Exterminator. When zombie exterminator Neeta Lyffe gets sued because a zombie she set afire stumbles onto a lawyer’s back porch, she needs money, fast. So she agrees to train apprentice exterminators in a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like a game of tag. But that’s nothing compared to having to deal with crazy directors, bickering contestants and paparazzi. Can she keep her ratings up, her bills paid and her apprentices alive and still keep her sanity?

I Left My Brains Cover ArtI Left My Brains in San Francisco (Neeta Lyffe Book 2) is available at Amazon as Trade Paperback, Kindle and Now as Audible Format.

Sequel to Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator

Zombie problem? Call Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator—but not this weekend.

On vacation at an exterminator’s convention, she’s looking to relax, have fun, and enjoy a little romance. Too bad the zombies have a different idea. When they rise from their watery graves to take over the City by the Bay, it looks like it’ll be a working vacation after all.

Enjoy the thrill of re-kill with Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  

Stalk Karina at …

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10981939-karina-fabian

Thank You Karina for letting me have you as a guest, again.

Come back on 21 October when Becky Parker Geist, the narrator of both of Karina’s books, submits to an interview!

I am keeping this post up because Karina’s Audio Book is Live..

Here is where you can buy your copy…  I Left My Brains in San Francisco. 

Come back Next Week to Visit With the Narrator of this Audible Release.  


Submission Packet?

Submission Packet ..  What is it  and why should you be working on it?

blue file folder clipart
Submission Packet

A submission packet is a group of files you’ll be glad you took the time to do.

A Submission Packet includes the following –


• A Query Letter
• You will want to include 2 synopsis files.

A Synopsis of about 1600 words
A Longer Synopsis of about 800 words

• Sample Chapters (1-3) or 50 pages
• A Cover Letter



You may want to write your synopsis first.

A synopsis is your novel’s plot told though one character’s eyes. This should be presented in the present tense and in 3rd person.

It does not matter that your novel has been written in first person past tense or that you have many plotlines and character viewpoints.

Choose the Main Plot and the Best Character to tell the story.

Start the synopsis with a hook, a first main event. Include the most important plot elements. Stick to the important points. Tell how the story ends.

Write the first Synopsis using about 1600 words. Then rewrite it cutting the word count by half.

This will give you a long and short synopsis.

Query Letter

After you have tucked the Synopsis files away in an easy to find folder, start your query letter.

A Query Letter can be distilled into a Hello I have this – are you interested?

Use the information you just finished up writing in your synopsis.

Think about the first part of the query letter as a blurb.

Read the blurbs for the books you find online. Go to a bookstore if you still have one nearby and read the book jackets.

A query letter is not a synopsis and needs to be kept to a single page.

Cover Letter

Your cover letter is one you will send while buzzed about the reply to your query. The Editor or Agent wants to see your work. You will be glad you have this one ready to go.

You’ll want to follow the guidelines to the letter. You should begin by indicating someone asked for your sample chapters or full on manuscript. You will know who to address so use that name and address.

A cover letter ‘covers’ your submission.

It doesn’t need to be epic long.

With the Synopsis, Query Letter and Cover Letter you’ll want to have three chapters or the first 50 pages ready.  The whole manuscript is very important as well.  The Manuscript is the Product you offered to the submissions officer and if you are a new author you should darn well have this final revision ready and waiting.

The there are more odds and ends you should be ready for.. with your submission packet ready and waiting it won’t be such a head spin when the other pesky things come your way.

There will be a contact to sign and more forms to fill out.

Maybe you already sent your sample chapters with the query letter because the guidelines asked for it or maybe you will be sending chapters with the cover letter. But with the cover letter, most of the time, you will be sending the full manuscript.

In any event, somewhere along the line you’ll find yourself answering questions you never saw coming. Take your time and answer them fully because it helps the cover artist, publisher and your assigned editor.

There will be formatting issues to address. These guidelines will probably come with the request for the whole manuscript. Sometimes these can be very hard to follow, especially if your word processor is different than the publisher uses.

You will be one step ahead and able to relax and enjoy the ride if you have most of this prep work done ahead of time.


5 Things Successful People Do.. a Writer’s Chatroom Topic

Grant Cardone Founder and CEO, Grant Cardone Sales Training provided the core of the things I’ve chosen for thisWriterly Wednesday Post. You Can find the original article here.. I have used the 1 – 5 headings word for word and put my personal thoughts below them.

Thank you Flo Stanton for providing this link.

This is going to be the topic at The Writer’s Chatroom, tonight, 20 August 2014 at 6PM MDT..

5 Things Successful People Do that Others Don’t

Are you stalled out in your writing life? Are you having trouble finding the time to write or promote or blog? Do you need something a little more serious than butt glue?

Let’s try some of these pointers from Grant Cardone about Successful People..

1. They Go to Work to Prosper, Not Just to Work

I know some of you are thinking that writing for the big payoff is similar to selling your body for grocery money. You need to take on the attitude .. “I’ll Write For Money.” “I’ll Write as if my Life Depends on It.”

If Writing has become a painful, drag yourself to the computer issue, then, maybe now isn’t the time for you. But then I’ve heard Dr. Phil say, “Fake it Till You Make it. Think .. When Harry Met Sally.

2. They Exercise Incredible Drive

Are you driven? If this is an issue for you then concentrate on this aspect of success.

Think Nike.. Just Do It.

Life is a Story – Tell it Big. Don’t let another day pass without doing something in your writing life.

Once, I can’t remember exactly what it was, I complained that I couldn’t do something.

My Darling Husband asked.. “When have you ever started something you really wanted and didn’t finish?”

3. They Never Make Excuses

Can’t Never Did Anything.

The parrot crapped all over my submission. Print a new copy.

I’ve already had 6 rejections. Rack up 60.

Don’t blame it on economy. Don’t blame it on the stuck up editors and publishers you are trying to approach.

Don’t say you don’t have time.

Anyone who can’t find time should visit with Karina Fabian.

Don’t get lost thinking someone else can do it better. Do your best and honor those who came before you by writing through the excuses.

4. They Focus on Their Goals Daily

I have never been able to plan into the future.

At Audrey’s Goal Setting Chats each year I tell myself, “This is the Year I will Set and Achieve Goals.”

Then I think, “Nevermind.”

I do have a task list, a small list of goals that I jot down in my DayTimer and I check them off as I finish. These goals are realistic for me and I tend to get them done.

I do not believe in multi-tasking.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can do more than one thing at a time.

I recently saw a demonstration on Brain Games that validated my stand on multi-tasking.

Do one thing, one do-able thing.

Then move on to the next.

Checking off a bunch of small tasks will boost your ego.


Do it one day at a time.

Finally, Successful People –

5. They Are Willing to Fail

I and the author who wrote the original post, like to think of failure as a learning or teaching moment.

Remember the 6 rejection letters? Big deal, right? Maybe, you can tweak your submission letter. Maybe, you didn’t adhere to the guidelines. Maybe, it just isn’t the right market for you.

Be willing to collect a wall full of rejection letters. It is proof that you are a writer.

Don’t set your goals so big you are destined to fail. Don’t make excuses. Become excited about what you chose to do and write toward the big payoff. You define the payoff. Make it a goal you can reach and then get it done.

Thank you again, Flo Stanton for the topic and thank you Grant Cardone for writing the post I relied on when I wrote this post.

Don’t touch anything sharp.

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Bob Nailor

Photo of Bob Nailor
Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Bob Nailor who is Co-author of “Ancient Blood: The Amazon” and author of “Pangaea, Eden Lost,” “Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold” & “2012: Timeline Apocalypse” available now! Also a contributing author to “Mother Goose is Dead,” “The Complete Guide to Paranormal Novels” & “Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology” plus many other anthologies.

With all of Bob’s credits I am pleased he took the time to be a guest and even forgave me for getting this post up a week late.  Thank-you Bob.

  1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

Is there such as a thing as “favorite marketing task,” Sally? I guess I would have to say book signings since I get to interact with the reader, meeting them face to face. Most of the time it is fun.

  1.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

I decided to go “indie” because I wanted to make sure it got out in a timely manner. One of my books took almost 2 years to find a publisher.

  1.   What do you have under your bed?

Intriguing question. As the years have passed, what is ‘under the bed’ has changed. Originally it was toys, then it was my trainset. As I matured, there were the proverbial magazines that most young males collect and when I married, at first it was storage and now, in my later years, if you were look under my bed — uh, do make sure you don’t get too close when you lift the bed skirt – I don’t want you to get scratched or bitten. Some of those dust bunnies are notoriously mean.

  1.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
  2. 99% of the time I’m a plotter. I do outlines so I have a vague idea of where I want to be and where I should be going. BUT… if the story takes on its own life, then I have to follow where it wants to go and see what comes. In once incident I wrote five chapters before I got back on track with the outline. Strangely, it was some of the best stuff written, and that from a beta reader.
  3.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I wouldn’t call it a bubble but I do prefer to be alone when I’m writing. Just let me put on the headphones, crank up the tunes which is very eclectic from Mannheim Steamroller to Liza Minelli to Iron Butterfly to Imagine Dragons and everything in between.  I do have a group of friends who help me edit but that’s when I’m finished, for the most part.  Of course, when I’m writing with my co-author, well… actually, I write alone during that time, too.  Yup. A loner.

  1.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

Most of the time ideas come to me at the worst moment.  But I’ve learned to handle that and always have a notepad or blank sheet of paper and always have a pen to write down any ideas or thoughts that come up. Before Smart Phones, I always carried a small cassette recorder in my car so I could dictate ideas or storylines.  Worst moment?  Let’s just say I used toliet paper to jot down the idea.

  1.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

Right now I use Word for writing but I’ve been playing with Scrivener to test it out.  As stated above, I never go anywhere without pen and paper.


Photo of Bob Nailor
Bob Nailor

Bob Nailor is an author in several books that span many different genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror and more. He lives in a ranch home nestled on a quaint wooded acre in NW Ohio. He and his wife have four sons and eight grandchildren. Bob enjoys traveling in his RV which allows him to absorb the ambiance of different locales for his stories. When not traveling, he can be found gardening during the summer and in the winter, snuggled in the warmth of his home, watching the snow and wildlife outside the windows. Although retired, Bob is constantly busy with speaking engagements, writing or editing.

Email: bob@bobnailor.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/bobnailorauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bobnailor


52 Weeks of Writing Tips.

Cover Art 52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor
52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor

A collection of 52 writing tips and innovative suggestions to empower you and increase your writing prowess.

These tips will assist both the newbie and the expert — we all learn as we move forward and I am sharing secrets and how-to ideas I’ve discovered as I learned the craft. Topics cover multitutde of topics including editing, marketing, sales, characters, dialogsand much more.

Amazon Buy Link 

 (Because of my delay on getting this week’s post live I am offering to buy a copy of 52 Writing Tips for a random reader.  We’ll work out the ‘how’ later.  So, please leave a comment this week if you’d like your name to go into my virtual hat.) 



By Zombies

“That’s passive voice!” With that, my editor slash

Cover Art 52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor
52 Weeks of Writing Tips by Bob Nailor

ed away at the document using her red pen with wild abandon.

It looked right to me and it sounded okay. My whole body screamed “So who cares?”

I attended a seminar with one of the offered sessions being something like “about Active vs. Passive Voice” so I decided to sit in. The speaker bounced across the front of the classroom in near ecstasy, expounding on the failings of a passive voice story.

I was poised to ask a question when another brave soul interrupted the speaker and asked bluntly, “Who really cares?”

Dust motes froze in time. Those fuzzy balls in the corners snickered. Yes, it was that silent in the room you could actually hear them.

“Why, your reader cares.” Her eyes reminded me of those children’s paintings from the 1960s, the ones with the large eyes.

I nonchalantly scuffled around in my seat so my poised hand now rested in my lap… nobody the wiser that I considered the identical question. Like the others in the classroom – I stared, shocked, at the hapless victim who asked an innocent question.

With hands flailing in the air, the speaker ranted. “Your reader wants action! Your reader wants to be included. There is no reason to tell your reader, let them experience the moment.


It’s simple! In Active Voice, the subject of the line does the action. In Passive Voice, the sentence is turned around. Simply put:

• Active: Jack hates Jill.
• Passive: Jill is hated by Jack.

It is really easy to tell Passive from Active. Usually (almost always) the sentence is definitely more concise when it is Active Voice.

Now, as I learned just a few short weeks ago. The easiest way to decide if a sentence is active or passive is very simple.

… buy the book to learn the secret.

Amazon Buy Link 

Bonus Question!!!
Do you have any writing goals?

My goal this year is to get at least four books published. I have spent many years writing novels during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’ve moth-balled almost 14 novels in cyberspace. I decided they aren’t going to earn me a penny unless I clean them up and get them published. I am half way to my goal with the release of “52 Weeks of Writing Tips” and am now finishing up my edits on the third novel.


Other buy links to other titles.  

Pangaea, Eden Lost – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JH8MKMM/

Three Steps: The Journeys of Ayrold – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1466448636/

Ancient Blood: The Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/161572771X/

Eternally Be Mine, Valentinus – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GS8AKP8/

 Thanks again Bob!  

 (Because of my delay on getting this week’s post live I am offering to buy a copy of 52 Writing Tips for a random reader.  We’ll work out the ‘how’ later.  So, please leave a comment this week if you’d like your name to go into my virtual hat.) 

If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.






Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Laura Dasnoit

Laura Dasnoit author photo
Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Laura Dasnoit author of Forgotten Legends.


  1.   What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

So far? It would have to be the interview I had with Radio of Horror. It was definitely a different side of marketing that I am used to, but it was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

  1.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

I’m published with Eternal Press. I love the enthusiasm of my publisher.  They believe in me even when I am head-to-desk (rinse repeat) over a story.

  1.   What do you have under your bed?Under the bed is a stack of books that I intend on reading. The set wouldn’t be complete without the scattered dog toys left by my loving four-legged child. Oh, and socks. I kick them off in my sleep. My feet are notoriously cold.
  2.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
    A bit of both, I suppose. I plot out what I am going to write for the day and just go from there. Sometimes I stay on track, but most of the time, I write by the seat of my pants.
  1.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

Definitely the bubble girl over here; I reserve any attempts to reach out to my group until I am done with the book. Cuddles come later.

  1.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?It all comes down to music. The fight scene at the end of my book, Forgotten Legends, was written to 300 and the Gladiator soundtracks. I think the worst position I can find myself in is not finding the right music for the scene. That is when I go into panic mode. There’s a gif out there somewhere with a panicked expression. That would be me.
  1.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I use Microsoft Word. I save the pens and notebooks for the editing phase, and of course, the cursed/blessed highlighter of doom. To add, the set would not be complete without a bottle of writer’s tears. That or Kraken Rum.

Wow, a bonus question!!!! 

8. Any writer rituals?

I have to wiggle my nose Bewitched style before typing.

Honestly, this only makes me wish I could wiggle my nose like Samantha Stephens.


Laura Dasnoit author photo
Laura Dasnoit

Laura started writing at a young age when she discovered it was an outlet for her crazy imagination.  Since then, she has worked as a private investigator and even hit the ring as a professional wrestler.  Though she’ll forever have her heart in Atlanta, she now lives in New Hampshire with her beau, four legged son, and Ned the newt.

When she’s not working on her latest story, you can find her in a comic book store, watching ghost stories, or indulging in her unhealthy habit of antique book collecting.



Forgotten Legends Cover Art
Forgotten Legends


Forgotten Legends 
Iris Borden is a private investigator who considers her life normal. Well, aside from the dreams of Norse Gods. It is changed forever the day she is tricked by Death into becoming a soul collector. From that moment, she is propelled into a world she never imagined possible.


Buy Link(s)

Eternal Press Buy Link

Amazon Buy Link


“Where is he?” A loud voice boomed from a gray haired man. He

Forgotten Legends Cover Art
Forgotten Legends

loomed, even from a great distance and I dared not to utter a word. With a disgusted shrug, he picked up the remains of entrails from the first of three boulders.


“We have no quarrel with placing you where he was.  For the last time, where is he?” Outside the cramped cave, the sky crackled with light and sound, and I heard the rain pound against the earth. The embers of the late night fire stood in rage against the bitter wind that howled through the opening. Twelve men who were just as imposing as the man before me, stood in a row behind me, as to prevent my ability to flee. Cast in anger, the old man picked up the intestines and threw them at my feet.  The slime and cold blood splattered on my toes.


The man moved and every step pressed heavy into the ground. He grabbed my chin to force my gaze up to meet his. His eye was the color of steel, and his other was nothing but a hollow socket. Two crows sat on either shoulder uttering tales that only he could understand. He rubbed his thick unruly beard in thought,

“It is time for you to learn.”


From behind, a countless number of hands grabbed at me. A tight grip formed around my waist and as I looked down, I saw the thick band of a dark snake with a triangle head and piercing gold eyes. The room silenced at the sound of a coyote’s laugh in the far distance.


“Please don’t do this,” I whispered.  The weight of the snake was nothing compared to the loneliness and dread that surfaced all thoughts.  It slithered up and appeared to take pride in how much I could shake in fear.  Every part of my body tried to hold still as the snake’s head faced my own, its slender tongue flicked across my nose.  When it opened its mouth to show the fangs, I screamed in fear, “Loki!”


I awoke with a start from the dream. The alarm was buzzing. I fumbled around for it, bleary eyed. With a groan, I slammed the button a little too hard and pushed myself up out of bed. It was 7:15 a.m. There was something agonizing about being up before the sun on a Saturday, but in my profession, clients didn’t expect you to wait until Monday.


The nightmares were becoming more and more vivid. I really needed to lay off the coffee before bed, but considering I went to bed at two this morning, it’s a hard habit to break.  In an effort to forget the snake, I turned on every light in the bedroom and cranked up the radio.


Eternal Press Buy Link

Amazon Buy Link



Thank you Laura for being my guest and I wish you great sales.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes David Andrews

author photo David Andrews

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes David Andrews

Ancient Mariner – Teller of Tall Tales

David Andrews in the author of Coasting and The Sapphire Sea.

“Coasting” is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC contest.”

  1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

In late 2013 I was contacted by an old friend, the Federal Secretary of the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers. He’d read “Coasting” and wanted me to write a letter to the editor of their monthly journal, “On Watch” showing that there was more to life than just engineering. The result was gratifying. My telephone starting ringing with a succession of old friends and even sometimes enemies wanting to praise the book for it accuracy. Knowing all of them as I do, I doubt that everyone had bought the book, but they’d all read it and I didn’t begrudge one of them their economy. There was no malice in it, just a way of life. They’re all Internet savyand technology adept.

  1. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

Editors who stand to gain by making my book better.

When I retired in 1997 with a desire to write stories based on my experiences as a seaman, I understood that I would have to learn the writer’s craft first. Three short courses and a professional manuscript assessment provided a reality check that the only way to learn how to write publishable fiction was to become published. Published authors get the services of editors for free, everyone else has to pay for them. With twenty six published stories, I’ve now had the services of thirteen editors and have learned something from each one.

My road to publication was simple. I researched the industry and how it worked, then began entering competitions, particularly romance ones, for feedback. Winning two national ones was good for my self esteem and a third one gave me a contract for five category romances, to be written at thirteen week intervals.

The discipline of my working career came into its own then and I completed the five books to publishable standards on schedule and then another project suggested by my publisher in the same time frame. It was a great learning curve with a publisher/editor who knew exactly what she wanted.

One of her demands was for a female pseudonym. Her research showed that women were more comfortable reading romances written by women than by men—the theory being that men understood too little of romance to be able to write it. I complied of course, choosing my wife’s middle name and her maiden surname, becoming Amy Gallow. Amy penned twenty-one published stories before I decided that I’d learned enough to write under my own name.

My systematic approached worked because my 2012 novel, “Coasting”, is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC competition.

  1. What do you have under your bed?

The last fifteen years of my sea-going career were in the offshore oil industry and I’d climbed far enough up the ladder to be under constant pressure. One offshore oil facility earned over a million dollars a day profit and I was the one they turned to if it didn’t. The crew worked twelve hour days in a hostile environment, handling high pressure flammable liquids and gases. The demands of upper management and the safety of the men and women who were my responsibility were often in conflict.

To maintain my sanity, I put aside an hour a day when I wrote fiction and everyone learned that disturbing me without good reason during that hour was not welcomed.

A significant body of writing grew out of the practice and I am still plundering it.

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

“Timor Phoenix”, now contracted to Eternal Press, was planned minutely using Microsoft Project.

I used the software extensively communicating with upper management, first to explain what I planned to do and then with a cost benefit analysis for the head office “bean counters”(the only language they understood). Later it was used to control progress and adapt to hiccups along the way.

“Timor Phoenix” began life as a MS Project file, complete with critical paths, manning lists, etc. My familiarity with the program allowed me to make extensive notes, analysing probable reactions and event sequences. When I came to write the story the first time, I had everything printed out on a table beside me and referred to it constantly.

“The Sapphire Sea”, on the other hand grew from a series of notes I made while serving as Chief Engineer on one of the supply boats mentioned in the story. They were more technical details, personalities, and possibilities than story. When I started the story, I read through the notes and began typing.

  1. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

In the beginning, I tried writing buddies, critique groups and the rest, but soon found they simply wasted time. Now I usually write two to three drafts, then let my wife read it, listen carefully to her comments, make any adjustments that make sense and then submit it.

  1. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

At seventy-six I have a lifetime of memories to sift through.

One story grew from an incident not long after I went to sea. I was at a dance some distance from the seaport where my ship was berthed and becoming quite friendly with the young woman sharing the a bracket of numbers. Another crew member was there and as we passed each other on the dance floor, he asked what time the sailing board was set. The atmosphere turned icy and the young woman stepped backwards out of my arms and walked away, leaving me standing alone in the middle of the dance floor. Seamen were not her favorite people it seemed.

This incident was the trigger for “A Soldier’s Woman”; a Coffee Time Romance Reviewer’s Award.

Every idea goes through a sifting process that fits the parts together into some form of storyline that I can put into a computer file. The next step is the research to gather the factual skeleton I can clothe with the flesh of my idea.

Then I start writing.

  1. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?

I began with Word Perfect more years ago than is comfortable to recall, but circumstances and the demands of publishers switched me to MS Word. I need no other tools than this and my computer.



Email David   dacyn@bigpond.com



author photo David Andrews
David Andrews

In 1997 I retired from the maritime industry after forty-five years on ships ranging from paddle steamers to the most technologically advanced offshore oil rigs. I wanted to write sea stories but realized I would have to learn my craft first so I began writing romance as Amy Gallow. First published in 1999, she penned twenty-one published stories before I felt competent to turn to my preferred genre under my own name. My 2012 novel “Coasting” is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC contest.”



The Sapphire Sea

The Sapphire Sea Cover Art
The Sapphire Sea

She was old, bordering on obsolescence, under-powered and small. Her crew were the last scrapings of the barrel, a mixture of drunks, old hands and new chums, yet the Sapphire Sea carried as many hopes and dreams on her last voyage in the Timor Sea as the most modern of her cousins.

Join her in Singapore as she sets sail on her final charter. The crew won’t mind and you’ll glimpse a way of life experienced only by those who had the good fortune to live it.

 Buy Link for The Sapphire Sea



The Sapphire Sea.

The Sapphire Sea slid sternwards beneath the surface, snuffing out the flames. The darkness grew thick and velvety and the water colder. He could feel it leaching the heat from his body.

            The effect of shock?

His mind took the escape route of examining the question rather than the broader implications of his situation. It was much easier to deal with the possibility of an unrecognized physical injury. His boots were gone and his body was battered but still whole. He ran his hands over his arms and legs, but could find no injuries.

The sudden appearance of a cluster of small yellow lights fifty metres away brought his mind to heel. Perhaps the others on deck had survived the explosion, shielded like him from the direct effect of the blast. He swam towards them.

The life jackets were empty, probably from the ready use locker on the bridge deck. The wooden lid had floated off and released them as theSapphire Sea sank. He tied them together and started towing them away from the oil he could smell breaking the surface, using the stars to swim northward across the tidal flow. He was at home in the water but they might come in useful later and their lights would guide any other survivors towards him. When he judged himself clear of the leaking oil, he found one of the whistles attached to the life jackets and blew several piercing blasts. There was no response.

He was alone.

The sea was calm, but the underlying swell of the distant storm lifted him regularly so he could scan the area for the flashing light of the EPIRB. It should have floated clear like the life jackets. Retrieving it would increase his chances of being found.

A small spark of light appeared intermittently to the south. It could be another life jacket released by the sinking, but he hesitated to swim back into the oil slick, especially when repeated blasts of the whistle drew no response.

He looked up at the stars, identifying “The Pointers”, Beta and Alpha Centauri, and used them to find the Southern Cross. It had just turned from its left side, making it after midnight. They’d missed their midnightreport to the rig and it was another six hours until daylight. It would be better then.

 Buy Link for The Sapphire Sea


Cover Art Coasting
Coasting by David Andrews – “Coasting”, is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC competition.


Email David   dacyn@bigpond.com



Thank you David for letting me do this for you!





If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kathy Fischer-Brown

Photo of Kathy Fischer-Brown

Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kathy Fischer-Brown author of Winter Fire.


1.  What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?

I can’t say that I favor one method over another. To be truthful, I’d rather spend my time writing. I’ve done virtual tours, which are fun and enabled me to interact with readers and potential buyers. I’ve taken out ads, entered contests, done guest posts… All have value. But I really can’t say one particular method wins out. If any have resulted in a sale (or two or three), it quickly becomes my favorite J

2.   What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?

Since 1999, I’ve had a number of publishers. A couple “went under.” Others did next nothing to publicize my books. In 2010 when Jude Pittman of Books We Love asked me to submit my historical romance, Winter Fire, I couldn’t resist. Jude had by then well over a decade of book marketing expertise on the web and with BWL, there was a noticeable difference. My books started to sell. Unlike the other publishers I’ve dealt with, BWL actively seeks venues to advertise their growing backlist and new authors. Having cover designer Michelle Lee on staff is also a big advantage.

3.   What do you have under your bed?

Probably dust bunnies, but I avoid looking. This is prime real estate for our dogs and they despise the vacuum cleaner.

4.   Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?

Definitely a pantser. I have a pretty good idea of where the story is going, but how to get there is part of the adventure. Unexpected things always happen, some leading to dead ends. But many times, a character materializes out of nowhere and before long, he or she becomes an integral part of the story.

5.   Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?

I love working with a critique group. Years ago, when I was an RWA member, I was part of an amazing bunch of writers. It’s difficult to work in a bubble with no one but my hubby to read my words and comment on them. Thankfully, he’s a teacher, director, and playwright, but still… he’s my hubby and his comments and suggestions are not those of a completely objective writing partner or group.

6.   When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?

My ideas come from a variety of sources—not the least of which are dreams—and at (sometimes) the worst places. Many a time, late at night while walking my pups, an idea or “aha!” moment will pop into my head and there’s no way to jot it down. I have learned not to trust my brain, so I repeat a word or phrase over and over until I’m at my desk. Otherwise it vanishes into the ether. And then there’s the shower, which never fails to gift me with fully realized scenes and the choice of jumping out with my hair full of shampoo to jot it down, or rinse off and hope I’ll remember at least a part of it. If something from a dream captures my imagination, I don’t have to do anything. It will simmer on the back burner and when it’s ready, it lets me know…kind of like a tea kettle letting off steam. At that point, it becomes unavoidable unless I’m in the midst of another project. Then I just turn down the heat and let it continue simmering.

7.      What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?


I’ve been using WordPerfect since its DOS days and consider it my favorite word processing program of all time. During my years working in offices, I was forced to learn Word, and I have a copy on my computer for final edits and submissions. I also keep a notebook on me at all times. My favorites are the little hardcover ones from Moleskin. They fit in my purse or a pocket and you can write in them pretty much everywhere (except the shower). When I take notes, I’m very particular about my pens. One has to have a good weight and balance and feel comfortable in my hand. It must also have a click top, a medium point, and black ink. I used to write with a fountain pen, but a leak in my purse put an end to that.

Other tools I couldn’t live without are dictionary and thesaurus programs. I used to pull my Roget’s off the shelf, find an entry, flip through the cross referenced pages, and by the time I’d find a suitable synonym, my train of thought would have vanished around the bend. Today, I use a program from Word Web, and another from Babylon. Both are exceptional; one even dates its entries. So now, my compact OED and Webster’s are gathering dust.


Photo of Kathy Fischer-Brown
Kathy Fischer-Brown


Authors get their ideas in a variety of ways. For me, it’s mainly from dreams—very cinematic dreams—that stay in my head long after I’ve awakened. Mostly these night flicks are nothing more than a collection of cryptic and often unrelated scenes that need to simmer on the back burner while my muse helps to add seasoning and substance to the mix.

I’ve always loved history. Way back in junior high, my mind would wander from dates, battles and treaties to musings on what it might have been like to live in another time. Family vacations always included visits to Civil War or Revolutionary War battle sites, tours of colonial houses and restored villages, which, even these many years later, serve as inspiration.

Born in New York City, I live in central Connecticut with a long-time husband, a grown-up daughter and two dogs. 2012 was a big year for the family as we welcomed our first grandson into the world.






Amazon Author Central 


Cover Art for Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown
Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Blurb for Winter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown


When Ethan Caine pulled the unconscious woman from the half-frozen creek, he had no idea that his world was about to explode. Dressed in quilled doeskin of Iroquois design, she stirred up dark secrets from his past. At the same time, she was everything he desired. But she was more Indian than white, and on the run for murder. He needed to know the truth. He needed to find it within himself to trust her.

Banished by the Seneca Indians who had adopted and raised her, ostracized by the whites in the settlement, Zara Grey wanted only to be accepted. “Ethancaine” treated her with kindness and concern. It was easy to trust him. But her Indian ways disturbed him, and in her heart she would always be Seneca.


Buy from Amazon


Excerpt from Winter Fire


Anticipating a deer come to water, he quickly dug a foothold in the snow and, bracing himself, raised his rifle.

Immediately, he lowered the weapon and expelled an impatient breath. Just his luck!  Not a deer at all. A woman.

And a foolish woman to boot!  She had wandered out onto the thin ice, and now stood stock still—as if in fear or uncertainty—-her faded brown wool cloak seeming to tremble all around her.

“Get back!” he shouted. “The ice won’t hold you!”

She whirled around in alarm.

And in that split second, he saw her eyes. Those startled doe’s eyes. Zara Grey!

Cover Art for Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown
Womter Fire by Kathy Fischer-Brown

In the next instant, a crack—like a musket shot—echoed through the ravine. She reeled as the ice heaved up beneath her amid an angry surge of black water. And then, her face frozen in a look of surprise, her mouth open in a semblance of a silent scream, she disappeared through the widening breach.

His gaze fixed on the roiling chasm, Ethan hurled himself down the slope. She surfaced—flailing arms and legs, and gasping desperately for air—churning up the black water into an icy froth. She grasped at the splinters of ice.

“Keep your head up!”

Racing along the bank, he ripped off his deerskin jacket and hurled it, along with his rifle and belt into the snow. If she went under again, she’d be trapped. Already the current had taken her, sweeping her like a bobbing cork toward the opposite bank where the ice was thicker.

“Keep your head up!”

But the frenzied movement of her arms had slowed. She gasped at the water along with the air. She could barely keep herself afloat. As if she had made a conscious choice to surrender herself to a stronger power, he saw the spirit drain out of her. An eerie calm settled over her eyes as her gaze met his, then she slipped under again without a struggle.

Without stopping to think, Ethan tore off his shirt and moccasins, and dove through the opening.

Praise for Winter Fire

“Kathy Fischer-Brown recreates the terror of the Indian wars and vividly evokes the wonder of newfound love.”

— Faith V. Smith, Romantic Times

 “Kathy Fischer-Brown weaves a tale of intrigue set to a backdrop of history and romance…. This is a touching story, the characters are vivid, the history is accurate, and the details really give the story a sense of place.”

The Romance Studio

“Reminiscent of ‘Last of the Mohicans’ with its raw, haunting mood, Winter Fire, by Kathy Fischer-Brown, is a compelling story of love and hate, acceptance, and forgiveness. Oft times painful, it is a rich, exciting read through a dark time told exquisitely by an exceptional writer.” 

— Bonnie Napoli, author of Shadows of the Eclipse

Buy Winter Fire from Amazon

Other Books by Kathy Fischer-Brown

Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter (Book 1, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy) 

Courting the Devil (Book 2, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy) 

The Partisan’s Wife (Book 3, “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy) 

Kathy Fischer-Brown Special Edition


Historical fiction, historical romance, historical novels, Native American romance, bargain ebooks, ebook, Romance novels

Thank you Kathy for being my guest.  I wish you best sellers.


If I Should Die and Milk Carton People by Sally Franklin Christie are available at your favorite book-seller in print and e-formats for your favorite e-reader.