My Writing Life: Kristen James

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Kristen James has written over twenty books and ranked in the top 100 Bestsellers in Kindle US, UK and Canada, #1 in ten different categories, #1 in Movers & Shakers, and #1 free rankings. And now, the fun stuff–  I was born in a tiny town in western Oregon and lived there until after my high school graduation. (I guess that’s where I get my love of small town settings!) I discovered writing in the 4th grade. My school published one of my short stories, and I realized other people might like to read what I wrote. I saved up and bought my own typewriter, and soon I was tapping out books over summer break. I wrote several “practice” novels and I continued writing though the next ten years. I got married, started a family, moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, back to Portland, Oregon and … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: David Ebsworth

David Ebsworth

When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer? I've dabbled with writing for most of my life but never had the confidence to attempt a full novel until I was coming up to retirement, back in 2008. It seemed like a great chance to challenge myself and fulfil a long-term ambition at the same time. Since then I haven't been able to stop! What's your favourite book? What was your favourite book as a child? My favourite book of all time is Great Expectations and, as a child, it was definitely Rosemary Sutcliff's Sword at Sunset. Where do you get your story ideas? I like to write stories that I wish somebody else had already written—but which don't yet currently exist. So I look for angles on more familiar tales … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: Pauline Baird Jones

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When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer? I fell in love with books first, of course, but I think it was Georgette Heyer's books that caused me to pick up a pen (back in the olden days when that's all I had to write with) and write what I now know was fan-fiction. Then it was just a case of: "I don't want this book to end, so I'll write more so it won't end." Where do you get your story ideas? My ideas seem to happen in this weird part of my brain. Sometimes it is a jungle I must pass through. Others a locked room with a combination I have to figure out. And always it is an adventure I pass through with my characters. I can see external triggers every now and again, but the story that results doesn't usually … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: David Farland

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When did you first discover your love for writing? Is there any particular book that made you want to become a writer? When I was a teenager, my brother-in-law forced me to read Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS, and after that I went looking for fantasy titles. It would be impossible to describe all of the books that I fell in love with, but certainly some of the standouts would be works by Ursula K. Le Guin, Stephen R. Donaldson, Carlos Castenada, and Frank Herbert. Later I picked up on Orson Scott Card and a host of newer writers. So at 16 I caught the reading bug, and by the time that I was seventeen I literally had a hard time finding new works of fantasy and science fiction to read . . . so I began to make up my own. My first novel that I began to write was called A WIZARD IN … [Read more...]

KWL Blog from 2014 In Review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 150,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it. The top blog posts in 2014 were: 10 Winning Ways to Open Your Novel (Craft of Writing) This article, by Darcy Pattison, outlines tips from her book Start Your Novel and lists a number of ways to start novels, giving examples from the top 100 opening lines of all times. Twisting the Plot for a Great Mystery (Craft of Writing) Connie Shelton's article covers the elements of what makes a good mystery with a focus on great plot twists. Six Tips for Engaging Readers within two seconds: … [Read more...]

My Writing Life: James Calbraith

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When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer? I'd have to find my old notebooks to tell for sure, but I think I was about 10 when I started writing short stories. I never really stopped. I’ve wanted to be many things since then—a theoretical physicist, an archaeologist, a programmer, a lazy layabout—but it always comes back to writing stories. I read whatever I could get my hands on, and most of the names are now obscure to all but the most devoted fans: Robert Sheckley, Harry Harrison, Gordon Dickson. I didn't try to write a proper novel until I was much older, and the transition from short to long form took me ages. Where do you get your story ideas? For the past few years, almost all of my ideas come from … [Read more...]

Insider Radio Secrets: Part 2 – Music Choices

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By Scott Overton In spite of the advent of television, then music videos, all-music video channels, satellite radio, iPods, and the internet, old-fashioned free-off-the-airwaves radio broadcasting is still alive and well. Most of us probably spend part of each day with a favourite radio station, especially when we’re in the car, but there are a lot of things we think we know about the radio business that probably aren’t true anymore. As a radio broadcaster for more than thirty years (a morning show host for twenty-five) I put a lot of insider knowledge into the writing of my mystery/thriller novel Dead Air, about a morning man who finds himself marked for death by unknown enemies. One of the beliefs that’s been around forever and still seems to be unshakeable is the idea that … [Read more...]

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