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I was delighted when asked to be in the author spotlight until I tried to condense my life into 1,500 words! When thinking about what readers would want to know about me…hmmm, there’s no dirt so let’s go to the abnormal and unique. (Okay, so everyone probably has “dirt”, but that belongs on the Torrid side of Whiskey Creek Press.)
For many years, our family was involved with “rendezvous”, which is basically a reenactment of the fur trade era of about the 1840s. We camped in an 18-foot teepee, cooked over an open fire, and ran around in leather and calico. I can throw a tomahawk (which will only do me any good if I want to cook a playing card for dinner), shoot a black powder gun (ditto for the metal target of a wild boar), and start a fire with flint and steel (now that is a useful talent!). My rendezvous name was “Talking Hands”, which was given to me by a character named Bones. He never would tell me if my name was because I was a writer, or because I couldn’t say two words if someone held my hands still! For years, I would send Christmas cards to friends we had met at rendezvous, one of which was always addressed to “Zeke P and Griz Stumpsitter” because I didn’t know their real names for years. And, the postman always delivered them!
Speaking of Christmas, although I know it’s only October. My first mainstream book with WCP was a book of Christmas stories titled “Christmas Quilt Anthology.” As happens with most of my stories, a single sentence leads to a whole story, or in this case, 10 stories over the course of as many years. The title story happened when my sister showed me a quilt top she had rescued at an auction. That held no appeal until she wondered about who had made the quilt and what their lives were like. Now that was something the writer in me could get into. These stories became my Christmas cards to friends and family, and when I tried to quit writing them after number 5, my loyal fans wouldn’t hear of it. You can find “Christmas Quilt Anthology” at WCP listed in the anthology section. It’s a fun collection of stories, poetry and letters; has a few ghosts, lots of children, and always a “happy ever-after” ending.
I love writing short stories as well as novels, and I’ve even dabbled in poetry a time or two, mostly writing for family and friends. One story that I’m most proud of is the one I wrote about my Dad, who flew in the Berlin Airlift at the end of WWII. I grew up an Air Force brat, but all of the grandkids only knew Grandpa Rusty who piled them in the pickup and drove them to the DQ. So for his seventy-fifth birthday, I wrote “An American Flyer”, which is published in an anthology titled Voice of a Soldier. All the authors donated their stories with the proceeds of sales going to two military family relief groups.
I have belonged to several writers’ groups over the years, and each has helped me further my career. Probably the most fun, though, is getting together with the Coffeeshop Writers, a group in my town who began several years ago, meeting at – you guessed it – a coffee shop. We don’t critique, but we discuss all venues of writing, publishing and markets, and we give each other accolades for every story we finish and every contract we get. Oh, and we usually get to the town gossip of course. We’re an eclectic group that writes anything from werewolf paranormals to romance and fantasy, to ghost stories. Four of us put together a book of ghost stories called “Trespassing Time: Ghost Stories of the Prairie”, and while it was great fun to write, I did give myself quite a scare while doing a lake story. You see, I live at a lake, and the storms that come across the water can take your breath away. Knowing that there used to be a town where the lake now stands, still gives me goose bumps when I watch storm clouds building over the water!
As a group, the Coffeeshop Writers are discussing writing a book on writing, but not your average “how-to”. This will be filled with fun essays, blog entries, and probably a lot of tongue-in-cheek commentary, because that’s just how we are. But under it all, there will be valuable information for other writers, as all told, we probably have over 100 years of experience in the field. Hey, that’s cumulative, not each of us!!
Remember when I said that a single sentence could spin into an entire story for me? My ideas come from everywhere – a song on the radio, a newspaper headline, a conversation, or a road sign. (I have a butler in one novel whose name is Selkirk, the name of a very small town I drove passed.) I carry a small notebook with me constantly to jot down ideas before they escape me. One day, unfortunately sans notebook, I was pulled over on the side of the road madly scribbling on sticky notes. I had two different people stop and see if I needed help. The only answer I could have given them would have been “Only if you know another word for annihilate.”
Anyway, there is a reason for telling you this. My October release with WCP, titled “Silver River Love” starts with a notebook of cryptic poems. Samantha and her father had always played word games as they traveled around the country by wagon – slightly more advanced games than you and I playing “I see something green” while on long car trips. When she receives a book of poems from her father, who is in Nevada while Sam is in finishing school in Boston, she reads them and just knows he’s in trouble.
Oh, yeah, the trouble is only starting when Sam convinces her friend, Roger, to travel out west with her where they meet the arrogant, very masculine sheriff, Tyler Sloan. Sam finds out things aren’t always what they seem, both with her father’s cryptic poems, the possessive but lazy Roger, and the attractive, authoritarian sheriff. I loved writing “Silver River Love” because the characters are so believably real and funny. I always try to have humor in my stories, and this is brimming with it. If you love historical romance with a little mystery thrown in and a lot of fun characters, I know you’ll enjoy “Silver River Love”!
Right now, I have several works in progress. I’m debating whether to write a time travel romance based on the Steamboat Arabia that they unearthed in Kansas City, (is that not the perfect idea for a time travel with a steamboat that has been buried for over 150 years?), or a western historical romance about a young man who swears he’s going to find his siblings, separated from each other over ten years ago, and no one, not even the beautiful daughter of his boss at the ranch is going to stop him. And then there’s another historical drifting around in the back of my mind about childhood friends, war, love and loss and reuniting. For our readers who often say “so many books, so little time”, well, it’s the very same for authors. I think if I could write 24-7, I could never get all the stories done that I would like to do. Oh, and I forgot the nonfiction proposal I have out to do a gentleman’s memoirs. He has the most unique, and actually romantic, story to tell, and I am literally pushing him to do it and let me help. He’s not a writer by profession, but believe me, it’s a story the world needs to hear!
Have I teased and tantalized you enough? I do hope you’ll browse all the great books WCP offers, and of course, buy “Silver River Love” to enjoy yourself and copies of “Christmas Quilt Anthology” for all your family and friends this Christmas.
And if you sometimes like stories with a little more heat, I also write for the Torrid side of WCP and have a four-book trilogy (yes, that’s right – I just couldn’t let those guys go after 3 books!) ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, ANYWAY is a series about the McVicker brothers, and individual titles include Fantasies Delivered, Fantasy Road, Fantasies Undercover, and Fantasies Forever. Check them out on the Torrid side.
Thanks for being such a loyal supporter and reader of Whiskey Creek Press. As part of the author family, I so enjoy knowing you’re out there, propped in your easy chair or on the couch, a great book from WCP in your hand. Authors also love to hear from their readers, and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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