Monday, October 30, 2017


Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

They call me Ben. That’s not who I am though. Thing is, I don’t remember my real name. So I make do with Ben. I live in Davor City, one of the biggest cities on post-Spasm Earth. I’m rather ordinary looking—blonde hair, hazel eyes, medium build—just like a hundred other guys you come across every day.

What I hope to achieve? World peace. No, seriously! With the government clamping down on super-powered, the supervillains on the rampage, and ordinary people caught in the crossfire, I really hope for peace. And I wish I could find out my real identity.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I scan databases. Mostly the missing persons' list. Someone, I’m sure, is out there looking for me. And perhaps . . . maybe they’ve had me listed as missing. I can’t seem to give up on finding my real family, so I keep looking. Any chance I get.   

What is your favorite color and why?

White. It reminds me of snow. It’s weird because I've never seen real snow, yet, just thinking about it makes me happy.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Nothing fancy, just a bowl of steaming rice, fish, and veggies, with a dash of pimento sauce on top. It’s called a donburi, Eric style. Why I love it? It’s the first food I tasted since my memory was wiped clean, and the one taste I’ll remember until the end of my life.  

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I like to sleep, especially when I’m worried or upset about something. I call it ‘sleeping through problems’ and it does wonders. Usually, I wake up with a brainwave and things just kick into high gear right after.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

I hate it when bad guys are blessed with super good looks. Take Simon Brill, for example. All he has to do to make a girl swoon is flash that lopsided grin. Wish it were even half as easy for me, the hero.

A quote from Jumpers:
“It was unfair that a man as vile be blessed with such good looks—dark hair and sharp eyes, a craggy face that was peppered with the right amount of boyish charm, and that swagger—things I’d heard girls tediously croon about far too often.”

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

That’d be Shilpa, of course. Smart, beautiful, mysterious and a Jumper like me, Shilpa is one woman I would do anything to keep in my life. Problem is, she’s barely in my life to begin with. How do you hang on to people who are not even yours?

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

Davor City, that cold and heartless maze of giant concrete buildings, is actually a 200-year-old man-made island. Like spokes of a wheel, five bridges—the longest nearly 10 miles in length—connect Davor City to the mainland.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Good one! Well, sometimes I wonder, am I really a hero that she wants to make me? Who was I before the Spasm took my memory? I could’ve been a serial killer for all she knows.


 Question for Kathryn:

I often wonder if my writer is anything like me. What about you? Are you similar to any of the characters you’ve written?

Let's just say that I am at least pieces of the characters I write about, and if not like me, I pull character traits from those I know or wish I didn't know. My first published book, A River of Stones, is the most like me, but I hear that most writers bring out their true selves or qualities they would like to have in that first book. For me, A River of Stones was a book of healing. It is still the book that when I speak to others about it, I usually get teary eyed.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017


Today and tomorrow I will be offering my eBook, Scrambled, for free. If you haven't read the Susan Cramer Mystery series yet, now is the time!

Scrambled has received mixed reviews, and I'd like to hear yours. 

Expect twists and turns, red herrings, mounting questions, and an amateur detective that's new at the job. Scrambled is a clean read, and many teens have enjoyed the book.

Scrambled Audiobook

Would you rather listen to the audio? Listen here for a taste!

Or get the eBook FREE here.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Fantasy - Futuristic Music Playlist

I don't know about you, but I like to listen to the 'appropriate' music while writing the various genres that I write.

I'm on my second draft of Light/Shade. 

It is my first YA Science Fiction Fantasy, and I have found it interesting to listening to a certain style of music to set the 'mood.'

I have been using Pandora, but today I found this while searching for something 'thoughtful' to share with you today.

I like it.

Do you?

This one is more futuristic. I like it too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I’m Aaliyah and I'm from Mumbai, India. I’m 18 years old and I don't think that there was anything in particular that made me start writing. It just happened.

One day I grabbed my iPad and BOOM! the blank page was filled with creative words, which I then posted on Wattpad, where I got really good reviews on my work.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I write when I have the time, and I always have time since I dropped out of school at an early age *laughs*. But if I get busy, which I seldom do, I write when the moon is nigh.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

I write on my laptop and the best place for me to write is in my room since it's cozy and quiet and the view is amazing. I mostly prefer a laptop to bleed my words.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Favorite part about writing: Being IN the story, feeling the characters feelings and looking through other character’s perspective and getting to know their thoughts.

Least favourite part: Sometimes not knowing where the story is heading and also bringing up new characters.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

It was afternoon, and my sister and I were doing our own things when suddenly I said, “I want to write a book.” I don't know what came over me, but yeah.
It took me about a year to complete my book and an extra month for editing.

Get the eBook at Amazon
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I mostly use social networking sites, since I'm on a low budget *embarrassing laugh*.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I'm currently writing the second part of my book. Please watch for it.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I would tell them to take that laptop of theirs and just start writing because you may believe that you don’t have enough talent but ask yourself, do you want to just give up on your dreams? You can’t do that. It takes time to bring out the hidden talent in you but it also takes a little ‘believe’ to make it all happen. Ask yourself, why did you start writing in the first place? Because you have that talent! Don’t give up, keep writing and make sure that your book is on that shelf of the person who was waiting for it.

 A Question for Kathryn:

Was it difficult to promote your book? If yes, then how did you manage to overcome the difficulties? 

Promoting your book is the difficult part that comes after writing your book. In my yearly updated marketing book, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget," I tell authors: "I've come to the conclusion that nothing worth having comes easy, but that working hard and knowing a few secrets helps to ease the journey along the way."

Working smart comes with working hard. An author must discover what works for them and what doesn't, and then spend that time marketing smart. 



Monday, October 16, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Justine Hemmestad

Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

In 1990 (I was 19 and married for three months) my car was hit by a city bus – I sustained a severe brain injury, was in a coma, paralyzed, and the doctors thought I wouldn’t recover (my story is in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries). Within a few months I was walking again and began writing, and my husband and I moved to Iowa where we started our family of seven kids. I also began college part-time in the mid-2000s, as I continued to research and write Visions of a Dream, as well as a few other books I was writing (my novella Truth be Told is also on Amazon). I’ve earned my BLS from The University of Iowa, and I’m now working on a Master’s Degree in Literature through Northern Arizona University. Writing helped to discipline my mind and organize my thoughts post-brain injury.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I write in my head wherever I am, but physical writing seems more focused the more chaos surrounds me and when I use actual pen and paper. I have seven kids, so when they were all young at once I couldn’t schedule time – I just had to be prepared to write if I had the chance. I can understand the writers who write in a cafe or with a bustle going on around them, as it makes writing more streamlined when I’m ‘in the zone.’

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

I write wherever I am if I have the opportunity. I carry a notebook and pen with me wherever I go and I always have them near me even when I sleep. I write on a laptop or computer when I’m at home or in the later stages of writing. I find that when I write with pen and paper, my writing flows better and I have more concentration to employ all that I’ve learned about writing in my story.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part about writing is also my least favorite part – that it takes so much of my heart to write, as a writer (I think Hemingway) said, you just sit down at a typewriter and bleed. Fatigue also gets bad for me after writing for a while. It’s refreshing but it almost makes me feel like I’m going to pass out.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

I came up with the idea of writing about Alexander the Great after I watched a documentary about him and admired his fortitude. The more research I did on him, especially through his own words in documented speeches, the more I felt inspired to not only write about him in order to discover his motives but also to recover from my injuries myself. I was researching it and writing it for twenty years.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

With the release of my prior novella, Truth be Told, I was featured on the front page of the local newspaper – which was good for sales. However, with Visions of a Dream, I want to be read for the quality of the writing and the story itself and for that to be passed on by word of mouth from those who have read it. I tried a publicist, which didn’t work out well, and now I’m trying to get the word out about Visions of a Dream and how important the message is, not only for Alexander’s story but also for the times we live in today. My goal is more toward getting it put into libraries – I want it to have staying power if it takes a long time to be noticed.

Get the Book at Amazon
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

My new novel, Visions of a Dream, focuses on the spiritual fire that ignites Alexander the Great's actions as he learns from the other cultures he comes into contact with. The first three parts of my book are in his own point of view to allow readers inside his head so that they might understand why he believes as he does, and the fourth part is in the point of view of his companion, Baphomet (a name that in ancient times meant knowledge), to highlight Alexander’s emotional distance that accompanies PTSD (first “documented” at the Battle of Marathon one hundred years prior), and the emotional and spiritual challenge she provides him with. This third person point of view allows for Alexander to be seen objectively. Baphomet and his companion since childhood, Hephaestion vie for his love but they also provide the steel he needs to be sharpened spiritually and emotionally, for before he conquers the world he must first conquer his own mind (Masahide’s quote, “My storehouses having burnt down, nothing obstructs the view of the bright moon,” is included in Part Three). He was inclusive of all people, all cultures, and all religions and he lived that belief. Alexander’s relationships with his fellow man knew no restrictions, nor did his love of the sublime. He immersed himself in the Persian culture when there, in the Egyptian Culture when there, and also the Indian culture when there, for he believed in the individual beauty of each culture rather than assimilation. This immersion gave me the opportunity to authentically present each culture’s deepest spiritual beliefs as they would have been presented to Alexander. To this end, the exploration of his heart and mind becomes the greatest legacy he leaves behind in the world.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I’m very focused on getting the word out about Visions of a Dream as well as working on my Master’s Degree in Literature. I have a few upcoming talks at local libraries and I’ll be participating in a book fair in Iowa City (home of The Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where I’ve taken a few courses via distant learning). I’m also working on having Visions of a Dream reviewed, which has been a more difficult endeavor than I thought.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I would advise them to center themselves, meaning to find out what inspires them and be humbled to that – then the writing process takes care of itself. Also, take writing classes to improve upon talent (which exists if you feel inspired) with solid foundations. Listen to the advice you’re given, considering your respect for the source, even if it wounds your pride. Be humble to your honest love for writing because it will always carry you back to itself. Read a lot, as that is often where inspiration arises.

A Question for Kathryn:

Can creativity be learned?

What a great question! I think everyone has a creative side to them, but not everyone uses the creativity they have been given. Perhaps they feel like their life or work hinders them, but, the truth is, using creativity simply means opening our eyes to it. Once we do that, we can use what is inherently already inside of us. 

Thanks for the question!


Visions of a Dream Book trailer:

Friday, October 13, 2017

It's a mystery no longer! WRITE HERE IN EPHRAIM writer's conference!

I know it's Friday the 13th, but some pretty great stuff can happen on this day too!


Start Date: Oct 13, 2017
End Date: Oct 14, 2017
Friday: 12:00PM to 5:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM to 8:00PM
Location: West Campus Gym & Hi-Tech Building 
Friday Only Cost: $25
Saturday Only Cost: $35 Includes Lunch
Conference Cost: $60 Includes Lunch
Early Bird Conference Cost: $50 Includes Lunch
Note: Keynote Speaker - Natalie Whipple
FREE: Students are free! Valid ID required.

October 13, 2017 - Friday Writer's Bootcamp

Location West Campus Gym, 250 West 100 North, Ephraim, UT 84627
11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Meet with published authors in small groups for professional feedback on your personal writing. Bring 5 copies of at least one chapter of your writing, less than 10 pages (double-spaced) is recommended.
"I like the smaller, intense classes. I know of one from my group last year who got a publishing contract from it." - Mikey Brooks

Writer's Camp Instructors: 
Natalie Whipple, Meg Jensen, Steve Clark, Brent Boswell, Lindsay Flannigan, Megan Batterman, Juliana Ali, Kevin Nielson, Heather Clark, Nikki Trionfo, Rod Miller, Robin King, Erin Summerill, Janell Youngstrom, Eschler Editing (check back soon...more instructors and authors to be announced).
11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

12:00 p.m. - 12:20 p.m. 

12:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Find Us on Facebook
2:00 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.
2:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

6:00 P.M.  Guest Speaker - Brent Boswell

Brent Boswell is an American young-adult fiction writer and playwright best known for his action adventure novels, Brother’s Bones, Big Mean Pig, Mission Invisible: The Magician’s Curse, and the best-selling Christmas novella, The Santa Exclusive. As a playwright, he wrote and directed. The Mormon Handcart Pageant, an outdoor, nighttime production depicting the 1856 crucible migration of the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies to Utah, and their subsequent rescue, which ran for eight season and played to over 100,000 people.


REFRESHMENTS, MIX AND MINGLE with Brent and other published authors!
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
GET YOUR AUTOGRAPHS (I will be at the bookstore!)
8:00 P.M.  ~End Bootcamp~
- See more at:
On Saturday, I will be teaching two classes. One on self-publishing, the other on nonfiction writing.

October 14, 2017 - Saturday 

Location West Campus Gym & Hi-Tech Building, 250 West 100 North, Ephraim, UT 84627
9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Simply attend whichever class you want! No need to pre-register for individual classes.
REGISTRATION - West Campus Gym (Registration will also be available in the Hi-Tech Building after Welcome & Door Prizes)
8:00 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
9:00 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. 
9:30 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
Room 138 Critiki Room: Critique Group Panel
Room 120 - Closed
Room 163 Steps to Self Editing by Lindsay Flannigan
Room 137 Self Publishing by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
Room 109 - Closed
10:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.
Room 138 - Creativity 101 by Juliana Ali
Room 120 - Kevin Nielson
Room 163 - Using Humor in Fiction by Rod Miller
Room 137 - Constructing the Novel - Part 1 by Meg Jensen
Room 109 - Critiki Critique Group - Brainstorming/Feedback
11:30 p.m. - 12:20 p.m.
Room 138 Publishing Realities by Steve Clark
Room 120
 - Characters Readers Can Root For by Natalie Whipple
Room 163 
First Chapters Lure Readers AND Agents by Nikki Trionfo
Room 137 
Constructing the Novel Intensive - Part 2 by Meg Jensen
Room 109
 - Critiki Critique Group - Brainstorming/Feedback 
LUNCH - (blue nametags: ham, red nametags: chicken salad)
12:30  p.m. - 1:20 p.m.

1:30 P.M. Keynote Speaker - Natalie Whipple

West Campus Gym
Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations or magical powers like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption. She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU, with a minor in editing. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook Thai curry, pho, and bulgogi. 

2:10 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.
Room 138 - Lies They Tell Writers by Rod Miller
Room 120 - Ignite a Sense of Mystery in Every Genre by Nikki Trionfo
Room 163 - Everything to Write a Query Letter That Gets Manuscript Requests by Rebecca Butler
Room 137 - Writing Nonfiction that Sells - Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
Room 109 - Critiki Critique Group - Brainstorming/Feedback 
3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
Room 138 - Editing Basics and Beyond by Eschler Editing
Room 120 - Maximizing Conflict by Natalie Whipple
Room 163 - Erin Summerill
Room 137 - The Seven Deadly Sins of Fiction Writing by Steve Clark
Room 109 - Critiki Critique Group - Brainstorming/Feedback 
4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m. 
Room 138 - Book Marketing 101 by Steve Clark
Room 120 - Bringing Reality Into Fiction by Daniel Godard
Room 163 - How To Write a Novel In 30 Days by Robin King
Room 137 - Reaching "The End" Using Self-Management by Janelle Youngstrom
Room 109 - Critiki Critique Group - Brainstorming/Feedback 
FIRST PAGE PREVIEW - RM 109, High Tech Bldg.
5:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.
Find out what works and what doesn't by a panel of professionals. Bring the first page of your writing anonymously for a random drawing to be read and evaluated by professional authors and publishers. Learn from feedback on other writers' first pages, too! Fun and informative.
6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
BOOK SIGNING - West Campus Gym
6:30 p.m.
LUAU DINNER SHOW - West Campus Gym
7:00 p.m (open to the public)
COST: $5 PERSON (pay at the door)
- See more at:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

Okay, the basics. I’m 57 years young, been married to the same wonderful man, Curtis Spain, for 37 years, and all my children have paws—two dogs, Big Ben and Charlie. I’m a fitness instructor with a militant teaching style and often asked if I’m a former drill sergeant, which I am not. I’m a VIPS (Volunteer in Police Service) for the West Jordan Police Department and a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). I love feeding the wild birds in my backyard, including ducks that often visit. I’m a bit boisterous and sometimes laugh so hard I snort. I suck at multitasking, especially when trying to write and cook at the same time (have scorched pans to prove it). And I’ve been told (mostly by my husband) I should have been a “product tester” because I’m rough on “things.” Meaning, if I can’t break it or hurt myself with it, the item is well made.

As for my start in writing, I’m a late bloomer. It wasn’t until my early thirties (1990s) that I dreamed of being a writer. I took a few writing classes at night, bought oodles of books from Writer’s Digest, and started writing my first novel, “Mistaken Trust,” in 1995. However, due to life, work, and some health issues, I never finished it and shelved the entire idea of writing for about 15 years. As my life evolved, the opportunity opened up for the writing bug to strike again. It bit me, hard. I was infected and this time there would be no cure. 

In the fall of 2011, I resurrected “Mistaken Trust,” updated it, and worked toward finishing it. So much had changed since 1995. Home computers and the internet were as common in homes as refrigerators. And this thing called “indie publishing” had cropped up, thanks to Amazon. Still, I had no concept of publishing. Or the craft of writing for that fact. However, a passion burned deep within, so I kept writing. 

April 2012, I finished the first draft of “Mistaken Trust.” With the help of numerous friends, including my BFF Peggy Beach, a retired English teacher who devoted literally hundreds of hours tutoring me and editing my novel, and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Horrocks, helping me navigate the indie author waters, one year later, on my 53rd birthday, “Mistaken Trust” became available on Amazon. Four years and a half years after that, in the fall of 2017, I will release my eleventh novel, “Werewolf Awakening-the hunt begins.” In addition to writing those eleven novels, I’ve written two novellas, a short Christmas story, and a memoir. I’m living proof that if I can write/publish a novel, ANYONE can!

It should be noted I was raised in a family where the higher education of women was considered a waste. With merely a high school diploma, I had to learn the ropes on my own. However, my dream of becoming a published author would have never come to fruition without the generous support and encouragement of many wonderful friends. Likewise, my ability to continue to live my dream won’t be possible without the continued support of those friends, along with the generosity of acquaintances, such as you, Kathryn, for the opportunity to do this interview. So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU, Kathryn.

K- You're welcome!

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I don’t have a set time to write. I create with words whenever I have the time and the burning need to get my fingers on the keyboard hits me (which is pretty much constant). On average I write about six hours a day, six days a week. That’s average. Due to running a household, taking care of a special needs dog, working a part-time job, and spending time with my hubby and friends, sometimes I only write for an hour or two. Other days, I write for ten hours. My husband is super supportive. When I’m on a “writing roll” as I call it when my fingers are burning up the keyboard, Curtis will vacuum, dust, go shopping, prepare dinner, pretty much do whatever needs to be done around the house just so I can keep writing. 

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?


I’m a combination plotter/pantser writer. I start with an outline, then write by the seat of my pants, letting the characters take over the journey. Sitting down at the keyboard is always an adventure because sometimes I don’t know what will happen next!


I prefer my desktop computer with a large monitor in my office which is dedicated to my writing. I surround myself with pictures and sayings that motivate me. I framed the covers of all of my books and posted them on the wall so I can see the progress I’ve made. I also frame the cover of the current novel I’m working on. Sure, the cover and title may change, but I hang it on the wall to keep me focused on the goal of completing my book. 

Sometimes I use my laptop to write outside under the covered patio in mornings while enjoying the fresh morning breeze and the songs of birds. And sometimes I take the laptop into the basement, set myself up on the spare bed down there, and write into the wee hours of the morning. 

What’s your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I love researching. I write “dark and chilling thrillers” which involves researching criminal acts as well as police procedures and self-defense tactics. Having said that, I also love the process of creating wicked villains committing dastardly deeds, while figuring out how the hunky heroes and sexy heroines will triumph over the bad guys. I’ve been told I have a “twisted mind” when it comes to the bad guys in my novels. I’ve also been told my heroines are strong and resilient and celebrate the indomitable human spirit which is the reason I write and the message of my ALL of my books. Having been a victim of predators myself, I strive to place my characters in terrifying life-threatening situations which they eventually survive, overcome, and become stronger for their experience.


Keeping a positive attitude about marketing. As an indie author, I must wear ALL hats, including that of a marketer. I’m still seeking that magic dust to sprinkle on my novels the moment I press the “publish” button and abracadabra all that is necessary to get the word out—and out to the right audience—that another Shirley Spain Dark and Chilling Thriller has just been released will be done. Until then I smile, even though I have to fake it sometimes, as I do whatever I can to promote my books.

K - I have a 'happy' marketing book you may just want to check out. You can find it here.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?


Most ideas for my books come to me “out of the blue.” I could be driving down the road and see something that sparks a thought. I might be watching a show on my favorite TV channel, Investigation Discovery, that spawns an idea. However, most frequently, ideas come to me when I’m in the shower. I suppose because that’s where I am totally relaxed and my mind is open to receive creative input. Then again, it might just be the Universe’s way of keeping me from singing in the shower because I’m tone deaf. My husband says I sound like a crow when I sing. Well, I’m quite fond of crows so I consider that a compliment.


The amount of time it takes me to write a full-size novel (70,000-150,000 words) depends on how much time I devote to its research, creation, editing, rewriting, marketing plan, etc. I’d say on average, from inception to publication, five or six months. In my “A Killer Among Us” psychological thriller collection, I’ve kept my novels to about 70,000 words or around 350 pages. In my “Jewels Trust M.U.R.D.E.R.” series, those novels are large, ranging from 100,000-170,000 words and 400-600 pages each. 

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

Email list. Website. Book trailers. Facebook. Launching parties.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
Work in progress: 

I’m currently writing the second book, "Werewolf Obsession" in my Full Moon trilogy.

New book: 

Just in time for Halloween,  the first book in the Full Moon trilogy, “Werewolf Awakening—the hunt begins,” will be available. Earlier this year I released “Forever Breathless,” book 4 in my “A Killer Among Us” psychological thriller collection. All of my "A Killer Among Us" books are available FREE to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

Yes. A second memoir.  

May 2014, I wrote my first memoir. “One Last Kiss,” is a short story—a snapshot of a life-altering event for me—detailing the heartache I experienced when I lost Annie, my pit bull mix “child” who I considered my canine soulmate. Having experienced multiple miscarriages and unable to have children of our own, dogs became our children. My husband and I had loved and lost other dogs before, but Annie and I had a deep connection words cannot explain. Her death hit me hard. I plunged into a deep depression, not willing to leave the house, go out with friends, or even go to work. With hopes writing would help me through the grieving process and move me toward healing, my dear friend, Peggy Beach, challenged me to document Annie’s death in the form of a memoir. Writing those fifteen pages was the second hardest thing I’d in my life. The first was burying Annie. In retrospect, I’m glad Peggy pushed me to write “One Last Kiss.” However, at the time I think writing it increased my heartache to almost unbearable proportions.

But happy days were just a few months away and is the reason I have a second memoir on the back burner, “Then Came Ben.” 

July 23, 2014, was the day I saved a severely emaciated big black Labrador mix from death at the local animal shelter. Truth be known, that crippled dog, who I named Big Ben after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback, rescued me from a hideous darkness of deep depression I had been wallowing in since Annie’s death. A darkness from which I would likely not have survived had Ben not come into my life when he did. This second memoir is about the power of love and how two creatures—one human and one dog—saved each other. I’ve had numerous requests from those who have read “One Last Kiss” for a follow-up story with a “happy” ending. Perhaps I shall be inspired to write the “Then Came Ben” memoir in celebration of Christmas in the future.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn’t believe he/she has enough talent?

Desire trumps talent every time. Skills can be learned. Passion, however, can’t be taught. Either you have passion, or you don’t. I can’t remember who said, but consider this saying: “If you REALLY want to be, have, or do something, you WILL find a way. Otherwise, you will simply find excuses.” My challenge to beginners: FIND a way and forget excuses! Of course “finding” always starts with action. DO SOMETHING today toward making that writing dream a reality tomorrow. DO something TODAY your future author self will thank you for. DO SOMETHING, perhaps right now, and allow the powers of the Universe to help and guide you to becoming that author you currently only dream of becoming.

Question for Kathryn.

Those who know me best are often puzzled by the intense nature of my books and often ask: “Shirley, why do you write such “dark and chilling thrillers” and not children’s books, fun fantasies, or clean romances?” For me, the answer’s simple. I write the type of story I like to read: gutsy, gritty, and full of suspense.  Kathryn, I present that same question to you: Why have you chosen to write in the genres you have?

K- I have always enjoyed an intriguing mystery - not dark and chilling - but rather, focused on the detective work itself. My Susan Cramer Mysteries fit that scenario. Susan is an amateur detective, and she doesn't always make the best choices, but she is a lot of fun! I also enjoy writing Christian Fiction because I get a kick out of simile and metaphor. I like to present a story without saying everything straight out. This gives the reader an opportunity to reflect on how they might better their own life. I also enjoy writing for teens. These books are always written in first-person because I feel as if the close and personal touch is what teens are looking for. I also write a little nonfiction. I like to share my thoughts on spirituality as well as the writing and publishing world. I started out as a journalist, and these skills have helped me in the pursuit of my nonfiction books.


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