Tuesday, January 29, 2013


In case anyone is interested in writing--books, novels, screen plays, and all that--mark your calendars for February 21 - 23. There's a rockin time planned for writers of all types and genres. Just to whet your appetite/interest, I've pasted the schedule below.
Thursday Schedule
February 21, 2013
Registration 5:00PM—6:00PM in Kiva Foyer
Kiva A
6:00PM – 7:50PMCritique Camp

8:00PM – 8:55PM
Query & Pitch Class
New York Times Best Selling Author Aprilynne Pike

9:00PM – 10:00PM
Query & Pitch Workshop
New York Times Best Selling Author Aprilynne Pike
Friday Schedule
February 22, 2013

Registration 7:00AM—8:00AM in Kiva Foyer
Kiva AKiva BKiva C
8:00AM – 8:15AMWelcome
8:30AM – 9:20AM
The 10 Biggest Mistakes
Writers Make

Kathryn Jenkins Gordon
Can You Hear Me Now? Dialogue That Speaks Volumes About Your Characters and Pushes Your Plot ForwardErzsi Deak (30 person Cap)Worldbuilding: The Invisible Foundation Aprilynn Pike
9:30AM – 10:20AMKey Components of Young Adult Literature
Dr. James Blasingame
Write From Your Inner Truth (But Don't Wreck It)Angela MorrisonThe 5 Things You Should Know Before Submitting Your Manuscript to a PublisherChris Schobinger
10:30AM - 11:20AMHistorical Fiction: One Genre That Is Here To Stay
Heather B. Moore
The Indie Author: No Longer a Stepchild in the Publishing FamilyMarsha WardCreating Characters You Love - Or Hate!Lynn Gardner
11:30AM - 1:50PM
Lunch in South Atrium & Bookselling in the Fiesta room
2:00PM - 2:50PMArchetypes, not Stereotypes:
Nailing Down Your Main Characters

Jennifer Griffith
Self-Published? How to Earn a 6-figure Income Giving Your Book Away For FreeLeslie HouseholderThe Importance of Eggs Benedict to your Career as an AuthorJames Owen
3:00PM - 3:50PMYour Online Path to a Bestseller:
Step One is Branding
Dave Eaton
Crafting a Can't-Put-Me-Down First Chapter Lara PerkinsThe How's, Where's and Why's of Research-- And is it Really Necessary?Lynn Gardner
4:00PM - 4:50PMWorldbuilding:
The Invisible Foundation
Aprilynn Pike
Writing Cross-CulturallyStacy WhitmanDesigning a Winning Screenplay (Part 1)Evan Neill
5:00PM - 7:00PM Dinner (On Your Own)
7:00PM - 8:15PM Agent/Editor Panel
9:00PM - 11:00PM Protagonist Ball & Book Signing In Kiva A and Foyer
Saturday Schedule
February 23, 2013
Registration 7:00AM—8:00AM in Kiva Foyer
Kiva AKiva BKiva C
8:00AM – 8:20AMWelcome
8:30AM – 9:20AMSelf-Published? How to Earn a 6-figure Income Giving Your Book Away For Free
Leslie Householder
The 10 Biggest Mistakes in Querying an Agent
Kathryn Jenkins Gordon
She Loves You, She Loves You Not: Writing Romances Editors Want to Buy
Janette Rallison
9:30AM – 10:20AMBuilding a Personal Mythology
James Owen
Can You Hear Me Now? Dialogue That Speaks Volumes About Your Characters And Pushes Your Plot Forward
Erzsi Deak (30 person cap)
Key Components of Young Adult Literature
Dr. James Blasingame
10:30AM - 11:20AMDesigning a Winning Screenplay" (Part 2)
Evan Neill
The 5 Things You Should Know Before Submitting Your Manuscript to a Publisher
Chris Schobinger
eBooks: The Rising Generation in the Publishing Family
Marsha Ward
11:30AM - 1:50PMLunch in South Atrium & Bookselling in Fiesta Room
2:00PM - 2:50PMLife After the First Draft: Steps to Self-Editing
Heather B. Moore
Crafting a Can't-Put-Me-Down First Chapter
Lara Perkins
Shine Up Your Story With Conflict
Jennifer Griffith
3:00PM - 3:50PMHow Can I Get More 'Eyes' On My Book?
Dave Eaton
Free Verse Poetry: A Secret Weapon for Improving Your Prose
Angela Morrison
Writing Cross-Culturally
Stacy Whitman
4:00PM - 5:00PMKeynote: James Owen
5:00PM - 5:30PM

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Today, author Marie Higgins is here to tell us a little bit about herself, and writing. Hello Marie!

Marie: Hi there.

There’s a new Indie revolution these days, and I wonder, are you an Indie author, or are you traditionally published?

Marie: Both. Four of my books are with Walnut Springs, and the others I have self-published.

Sheesh! Another over achiever. Just how many books do you have published?

Marie: I currently have 16 published. All of them are available for e-readers, but only eight are in print. I still plan on releasing a few more books before the end of the year – AND have a few more in print.


A definite overachiever! How long have you been writing—since you were two?

Marie: I think it’s been nineteen years. Scary, huh? Four of those years I just wrote for fun, but then because I had so many ideas floating around in my head, I decided to try and make a career out of it. I’m very happy that I followed my heart!

Is your life full of romance like your books seem to be?

Marie: Hahahahahaha… hahahahahaha  Oh, that was a funny question! Thanks for making me laugh so hard. The answer to that question is NOOOO! Not that I’m not happy with my husband – we’ve been married 27 years – but romance just isn’t part of our marriage now. lol


Hm. I don’t know how to respond to that. Do you snack when you write? If so, what?

You’d think I do by looking at me… But no, I don’t. Once in a while I’ll eat popcorn while I’m at my desk, but usually I’m not writing during that time – just reading through my emails or I’m on Facebook.


I’m an ice cream lover so I just have to ask ... what’s your favorite flavor?

Marie: Rocky Road… (I always think of the movie The Goonies and Sloth when he says “Rocky Road”). I love chocolate, and I love nuts!

Mmmm! I love that flavor too.


Tell us your deepest darkest writing secret.

Marie: I wish I could create that one story—the story above other stories—that movie directors would flip over, and readers couldn’t get enough of. But then…don’t most authors dream of that?


What is your writing process after your initial story idea?

Marie: After I’ve written down my ideas and got a basis for my story, I just start writing. I’m character-driven, which means my characters write it for me. Some people think I’m plot-driven because some of my plots have so much depth to them, but no…that’s still my characters’ writing it. But anyway…I write the first few chapters then stop and usually research a couple of things. I’m a historical romance writer, so occasionally I’ll run across something I don’t know. After I’m done researching, I’ll go back to writing. At night, when I’m in bed, I think over what could happen in the next chapter. Usually it does, but sometimes my characters change their mind and it turns out different than what I’d imagined.

It must get pretty crowded at your place with all those characters running amuck! I understand you have a book recently published—tell us about it.
Marie: I thought you’d never ask! It’s called, Touching Heaven, and it’s book 2 in The Grayson Brothers’ series. Here’s a little more:

Peter Grayson is traveling the wayward path against his family's wishes, gambling to earn his living after his brother was shot and killed.  Needing to experience life to the fullest now, Peter travels to Texas to reclaim his granddaddy’s sugar-cane plantation.  Finally, he saves enough from his gambling winnings to buy back the family home, but he’s robbed and left for dead. He’s nursed back to health by a kind—and mysterious doctor.  Seeking revenge for the injustice dealt him, Peter tracks down the young thief and his lovely sister, Cecilia Ashby.  Not only is Cecilia living on Peter’s plantation, but she’s keeping secrets of her own.

Available on Kindle and Nook – or for any ereader.

You tube videos:

Now that we’re done with the interview, here’s a little something extra that I learned about Marie:

Since Marie Higgins was a little girl playing Barbies with her sister, Stacey, she has loved the adventure of making up romantic stories. Marie was only eighteen years old when she wrote her first skit, which won an award for Funniest Skit. A little later in life, after she’d married and had children, Marie wrote Church roadshows that were judged as Funniest and Best Written. From there, she branched out to write full-length novels based on her dreams. (Yes, she says, her dreams really are that silly)

 Marie has been married for twenty-seven years to a wonderful man. Together, they have three loving daughters and several beautiful grandchildren. Marie works full time for the state of Utah, where she has lived her entire life. Marie plans to keep writing, because the characters in her head won’t shut up. But her husband smiles and pretends this is normal.

Visit her website / blog to discover more about her http://mariehiggins84302.blogspot.com

You can also find her on Twitter - @MarieHigginsxox, and on Facebook



Tuesday, January 15, 2013


The American Night Writers Association is hosting its 21st Annual Writers Conference:
Time Out for Writers
at the Phoenix East / Mesa Hilton Hotel on February 21-23, 2013. Registration for this national writers conference is open to the public: authors, writers - whether novice or published, and students, professors and teachers.
Nationally recognized presenters, including NY Times best-selling authors, agents, editors and publishers teach the classes.
  • Dr. James Blasingame - a professor of young adult literature at Arizona State University.
  • Erzsi Deak - founder of Hen&ink Literary Studio
  • Dave Eaton - marketing consultant
  • Lynn Gardner - author
  • Kathryn Jenkins Gordon - managing editor at Covenant Communications
  • Jennifer Griffith - author
  • Leslie Householder - best-selling author
  • Heather B. Moore - award-winning author
  • Angela Morrison - award-winning author
  • Evan Neil - screenwriter
  • James Owen - best-selling author
  • Lara Perkins - Assistant Agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency
  • Aprilynne Pike - best-selling author
  • Janette Rallison - award-winning author and ANWA Executive President.
  • Chris Schoebinger - editor at Shadow Mountain Publishing
  • Marsha Ward - award-winning author and Founder of ANWA
  • Stacy Whitman - editor at Tu Publishing
  • Classes
    - 36 classes to choose from for all stages, genres, and platforms! More titles are posted periodically on our web site.
    • "Can You Hear Me Now? Dialogue That Speaks Volumes About Your Characters and Pushes Your Plot Forward"
    • "Your Online Path to a Bestseller: Online Marketing Essentials
    • "The How's, Where's and Why's of Research"
    • "Creating Characters You Love - Or Hate!"
    • "The 10 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make"
    • "The 10 Biggest Mistakes in Querying an Agent"
    • "Archetypes, not Stereotypes: Nailing Down Your Main Characters"
    • "Self-Published? How to earn a 6-figure Income Giving Your Book Away for Free"
    • "Historical Fiction: One Genre That Is Here to Stay"
    • "Life After the First Draft: Steps to Self-Editing"
    • "Write from your Inner Truth"
    • "Free Verse Poetry: A Secret Weapon for Improving your Prose"
    • "Designing a Winning Screenplay"
    • "Worldbuilding: The Invisible Foundation"
    • "Make Your Romance Writing Sellable"
    • "The 5 Things You Should Know Before Submitting Your Manuscript to a Publisher"
  • Workshops - Critique Camp, Query Letters and Pitch Workshops on Thursday night taught by New York Times Best-Selling Author Aprilynne Pike.
This is the best and the "most for your money" conference in Arizona. For more information contact: communications@anwa-lds.com

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


My novel is finished! I’ve made the decision to go Indie. That means I’m going to be author, publisher, marketer etc.

HYPERVENTILATE!!! Take a deep breath. It will be okay. Breathe again.

Okay, so... I’ve written this really great novel...

You’d think this was “The End” of the story. But it’s only the start.

Do I hire a professional editor?

Do I hire someone to format my book?

Do I hire a cover artist?

Which publishing company/companies should I use?

Should I buy my own ISBN?


I can do this thing! Why am I stressing so? I’ve already Indie published FOUR books. Why is this one different?

1. Three of my books are children’s books. I was the editor, formatter, and cover artist of sorts.

2. The fourth book is a short, non-fiction travel book that’s filled with photos.

3. This is my first full-length novel. I want it to really shine!

4. Of course I want all of my books to shine. I worked hard to make sure they did.

I can do this! I already have experience.

I’m breathing calmly now.

But what if I hire an editor and he/she thinks my novel is horrible? Stinky like limburger cheese.


I’ll keep you posted on my newest Indie Adventure.

What will I do next?

And, how long will it take?

I’m hoping to have it published by March. Do you think I’m insane? Really, do you?
Am I insane? I might be.
Who knows.
Well, I’ll know by March.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

SWITCHBACK, by Clair M. Poulson

This cozy LDS mystery is part budding romance, part mystery, but all parts action.

Now, let me clarify the term LDS cozy myster. The main characters are LDS and live according to LDS standards, however there is no peachiness nor hidden agenda regarding the LDS church. The cozy mystery gets the reader on the edge of his/her seat with anticipation, but can be enjoyed by the faint of heart.

Rocky is a cowboy private investigator from northern Utah who is hired to find and return two prize roping horses for Glenn Gridley. Before he gets very far into the investigation, Glenn’s ex-son-in-law, Alden is found murdered on their ranch by Shanice Gridley Overton, his ex-wife.

The tension increases during Rocky’s investigation as the Gridley’s bookkeeper is also murdered, several shots are made at Rocky, a bomb is found on the Gridley ranch—and so on.

Step-by-step Rocky uncovers a crew of people working toward the Gridleys’ destruction, and Poulson weaves the clues so expertly that it didn’t take long before I suspected everyone except the Gridley’s and Rocky—including a local detective.

As I indicated, I enjoyed this story. It kept me eager with anticipation, both in regards to the hope of romance between Shanice and Rocky, and in regards to each of the main characters’ safety. My only frustration was at the end of the book when the story ended so neatly. It reminded me of the way British novelist, Georgette Heyer ended her books—that’s all folks. Then again, Poulsen has published over fourteen books, and being compared to Georgette Heyer isn’t exactly a bad thing.