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Archive for the ‘authors and books’ Category

Tuesday Morning Coffee: getting your groove on or back or sideways or however a groove works – haw!

When Angie’s nekkid husband comes in (but we didn’t get to see him – lawd!) and Ann says she flaps around her house like a bird – well dang — and I receive texts that Ann interprets as inappropriate (because they usually are – teehee). But we do manage to stay on topic, a little anyway.

And yes, I have neglected my blog and for that I offer up only discombobulated grunts. One day my life will fall back into place, but won’t that be boring? haw! My life, right now, is all about exploration and discovery and wild rides and meeting new people and seeing new (and old) places and experiencing things I’ve never experienced because I’ve been afraid or busy or made excuses or was hiding — now, well, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAWWWWWWWWWWW! watch out, Kat (or watch out, World – maybe I should say!). All many of these experiences will go into my new novel. Yeah. WHUPOW!

Morning Coffee . . . how we create – how we write – how we don’t self edit our work because that’s the death of it

10364033_10152476299144176_4680787522175960798_a1011253_10203243524002060_658622034422461467_nLawd, y’all — I am behind in my posts, but insomnia has ponked me upside my peahead most undeliciously . . . so, again for now, until I can gets me shits together, I will post here the last Tuesday’s and today’s video from our Morning Coffee series. We’re moving into more “themes” here instead of random chaos, but for me it’s always about chaos – haw haw!


Hope you’ll join in live on Tuesday mornings at 10 ET, but you can catch us on YouTube – muwah!

Today’s ‘show’ – creating from random words – how we create – how we write – how we don’t self edit our work because that’s the death of it – and Papito joins me in my closet.


Last Tuesday’s “show:” where I was completely low-key – I was! believe it or not – my insomnia gripping me harder that night and thus that morning the shadow of it was all over my personality – I was actually subdued! Dang! We chatted about writing/creating about Place – Home- Geography.


Y’all join in now, ya hear! :D



Morning Coffee on the Creating Calm (or in my case: chaos) Network . . . .

1011253_10203243524002060_658622034422461467_nAnn White, bless her patient and brave soul, has invited me to be a part of her Creating Calm Network on Tuesdays at 10 ET for Morning Coffee. Also joining is my bestie and former partner in our Rose & Thorn Journal endeavor, which we closed down a couple years ago (you can still access some kickass writing/poetry/art, though, as the archived issues are still there).

Ann has said no topic is off limits – she best not say that! Haw! I will talk about sex sex sex SEX, and writing and marriage(how I don’t believe in it) and religion(how I don’t believe in it) and sex and men and women and sex(how I definitely believe in it) and lingerie and writing and publishing and my insomnia and fitness and health and Angie’s bra-lessness and sex – wait, did I say sex? HAW! Okay, I won’t talk about sex that much, but it will come up, probably less than I think about it though – teeheeheehee! 10398086_10152474576124176_3232207411175342070_n

Ann is in her studio, Angie in her study, and I am “broadcasting” from my closet — yup, that’s my new Space, my new Office, my new Place, my new Sanctuary for hiding and writing posts and novels and on FB and twitter and whatever else I may do — including curling up in a fetal position on my furry rug and rocking back and forth back and forth — since I left the Cove at Killian Knob for the flatland badland of Texas, I am very discombobulated!

The first video I was using crappy internet connection so I’m dragging and jumpity – I used my iPhone this time for June 10 show and that seemed to work better, though I am so jittery, I will need to find an anchor for the phone – haw! BOING BOING BOING BOING BOING goes kat. 10305604_10152463711914176_2993508658427162551_nWe are still “getting into our groove” but we hope to have, loosely, some topics to tackle over our morning coffee. Mostly, I try to control my chaos enough to pay attention and focus.

Ann is the Owner/Moderator and poor thing is trying to control two wild and weird women: Angie and me. Haw!

10417600_10152480426884176_6460205242015283935_nWe hope you’ll give us a tune in and come get to know us, and support Ann’s endeavor. And as well give us some ideas for what we can do or talk about, etc..

Maybe my insomnia will go away once I get out some cray cray from my brain . . . PONK!


To access the “network,” here is the link: Morning Coffee Hope to see you on Tuesdays at 10 ET! WHUPOW!

Over at the Bell Bridge/BelleBooks blog . . . .





Living the Dreamy Dreamland of a (cray-cray) Writer

Oh, the joys of being a writer! Why, we see the world in ways unlike mere mortals. Yeah. We do. Of course we do. We walk about with our heads in the clouds, or huddle inside our little spaces with far away dreamy dreamland eyes that rarely blink. I think I once didn’t blink for a week—no! Really! When one of my eyeballs fell out, I thought, “Dang, woman! For gawd’s sake blink!” So I did, and believe you me, I make sure I blink every once and a while. It’s much better that way; take it from me, the voice of experience.

I’m more the reclusive kind of writer. There’s only rumor that I really actually do exist at all. No! Really! There’s no one actually to prove it—okay, there are some who have seen me, waiflike and ethereal, meandering in an otherworldly way with clouds hovering over my wittle head. I’m so incredibly cute!—um, in very very weirdly dangerous to myself way—but I promise I am absolutely not dangerous to others. No sirree. I don’t even see others most of the time to be of any danger to them. Yeah. I just think of really strange things because my characters are doing all this cool stuff and I want to do it along with them. I do! I want to have all that excitement, and mysterious happenings, and!, all that good hot sex. Woooowheee. FOR THE REST OF THE POST, CLICK HERE.

later y’all! ‘preciate your support! and the support of the BB blog!

The Lightning Charmer – so it begins . . . Aw Lawd! *Jittery Jittery Jittery* LAWD!

The Lightning Charmer coverY’all know how much I detest the “author spamming” stuff, so it’s difficult for me to go on my FB page or to come here and talk about my novels, and if you scroll down my blog posts and FB updates, you will see I rarely do that. However, it’s difficult, no it’s impossible, not to say “It’s here!” when a new book is released, or if I have other good news — like promotions or whatever.

And so, now I can say, at least for Amazon, The Lightning Charmer is here! Amazon always jumps out of the gate first, it seems. The “official” release date is November 1, but Amazon already has The Lightning Charmer up in print and e-book.

I’ve always been excited about a new release, but I find this time it hasn’t fully hit me yet. Perhaps when I receive my author copies I’ll hold one in my hands and do my usual writing a personal note to myself in it and feel it – FEEL IT – F.E.E.L. I.T.. But for now? I’m caught in a surreal weird-land of Not Yet Feeling It. I went to the Amazon page and stared at it – yup, it’s there; it’s real; it’s happening, but still – LAWD!

What is my hope for my book out with Amazon first? Well, that it will climb in the charts of course, and that it will receive good reviews of course, and that it will do well on Goodreads, as well, of course, since Amazon and Goodreads are combined (from what I understand). But will I be looking at my ranking and checking reviews? Nope! Not I, says the Kat! *haw* – Because I don’t keep up with reviews and rankings, and I believe that reviews are for the readers, not for authors to go poking her head in and looking around and commenting.


As well, I learned from my wise editor Deborah Smith (who is a best-selling author herself and please google her and check out her books!) never to go hunting up reviews, and stop looking at rankings. The only time that it may be advised to celebrate rankings is if someone contacts me and says, “Your book is climbing the charts and is in the top 100 and writer's blodkaclimbing!” Then I can go “Whoohooooooo!” *laughing* yeah. That happened with Tender Graces — made it to Number 1 and caused The Help to be Number 2 -sure did, but at the time I didn’t understand what was happening, so I didn’t talk about it – Duh, Kat!

So, y’all, if you want use Amazon as your book source, and you think you would like to read my latest, then I invite you to it. If you only want to say “Congrats, Kat!” and not to read my book, that’s fine, too! I never expect everyone to be interested in what I write–even friends and family! If you want to send me chocolate and vodka to help me to control my jittery, well, that’s awesome! *laughing*

Now, I’m going to try to control the jitters in my stomach–this book is different from my others and I admit so much nervousness in the hopes my “Regular Readers” who have been such wonderful “fans” of my work, will love TLC and be happy with the new direction I took.

A little more about The Lightning Charmer Here on my website.

Y’all are awesome. All of you.

Naw, the gym ain’t no charity–so stop donating to it! But, join a gym wisely.

Always looking in the rearview at what I missed? hell no!

Being on the road is nice, but too much of it pretty much sucks :D

Hi Y’allses! Did you enjoy your holidays? I did–had a wonderful time in Oregon with my little Oregon family. However, with a few exceptions (like my little Oregon family), I can say with sincere LAWDYNESS that I am sick of traveling. Enough. Yup, good to be home now, and after extensive travel over the past 14 months, I am ready to spend quite a long time in my little Smoky Mountain cove finishing up my new novel The Lightning Charmer, rocking on the porch (less’n it’s too cold, which it is right now), taking mountain walks, and kickin up my heels on the gym’s treadmill. Yup, y’all, I am one of those people who love love love to exercise–it was part of what made me a good trainer. Same as I love love love to write, which makes me a pretty good book writer, too, I think!

Gyms make money on Sales, so they want to impress/entice you in–but be sure to look in the nooks and crannies of the gym and the contract: When I worked as a personal trainer at a gym, January/February were our busiest months, and so sometimes we trainers had to help with “sales.” I hated “sales” because, as many of you may know, I have a hard time “selling” things, even if I believe in them!—e-yup, I also sucketh at promo and marketing and salesmanship of my novels. Lawdy.

move move move your body, stretch, be strong!

ask questions about the trainers at the gym, ask to meet them and talk to them first

So, during those busy “sales days,” we trainers, and other gym staff, would tour unsuspecting prospective victims clients about the gym while touting the wonderful exceptional qualities of gym and staff–some things we were told to say bordered on “not quite as wonderful as said.” Well, I was always honest/truthful, even if it meant I would not make that sale and would not make any extra money, but that’s just how I rawk-n-roll. Listen to the “spiel” but look carefully about the gym and ask as many questions as you need to: Is the gym clean, and do they regularly clean the equipment? Is the whirlpool/jacuzzi cleaned properly, drained, sanitized, and re-filled regularly, etc.? Is the equipment in good shape? Do the staff seem upbeat, excited to have you there? Is the contract easy to understand? Do they offer a few free weeks you can take advantage of? What kind of classes are offered and are they included in the contract? Etc etc!

Gyms take in monthly contract sales whether you and you and you and you attend the gym or not, and even sometimes over-book because of the “donations” concept, so why just “give” them your money? GO!: Sometimes I’d hear the salespeople talk about “donations/donators.” Yeah. Those are the people who are all gungo-ho’d to join a gym and work they’s asses off after the holidays (or before a wedding, or a reunion, or whatever the event may be), and after about a month, or when the event is over, their happy asses quit going to the gym—and since they signed a contract for a year, la tee dah, all they’s butts are doing is making a donation every month. It’s difficult to worm your way out of a contract, folkses, so think twice before signing your name to a binding document.

Most Gyms will work with you, for they want/need your business: What I would suggest to potential clients of the gym was to sign up for a shorter contract—say three months. Yes, it was not as good of a deal, but three months was, and is, a good amount of time to see if you’ll be consistent in your gym-going. Then, if you are consistent and want to continue, work with the gym for a better contract–believe me, folks, all gyms WANT and many NEED your business, so you can ask them to give you a good deal or you walk–just be reasonable, for after all, it is a business where people/bills have to be paid, too.

Ha! *personal trainer evil eye!*

well, huhn!

Ask about free personal trainers, and use them, but ask about their experience: When you sign up at a gym, take advantage of the (usually a few sessions only) free personal training service, if it is offered. Do, however, ask them what kind of experience the gym trainers have. More education does not necessarily mean a great trainer, but they should be certified by a reputable agency (you can do your research), and what they say to you when you talk with them should make sense to you, and fit your personal goals. Of course, if your personal goal is to sit on your ass, well, no reputable trainer would say, “Sure dude! I can work you out on your couch! Just show me the money.” Haw. Lawd no.

Gyms should offer, at the least, a trainer/staff to show you how to use the equipment properly: You simply must know how to work that gym equipment properly, with proper form, to effectively, and safely, work out. Don’t think you are “bothering” the trainers, for that’s what they are there for. And, if they are worth a dang, they will enjoy showing you what to do—I used to love the busy times, because I hated standing around twiddling my thumbs. I loved training, and when someone wanted me to help them, I did it gladly and with passion, and for free. I had clients who paid me to work with them, but that was separate from the help I gave to clients on the gym floor. Take advantage of trainers who are walking about the gym. If they do not have trainers on the floor, then ask a staff person to provide someone to answer questions/help you with equipment. If there is no one available, maybe another gym is in order? However, don’t try to wheedle free hour-long sessions from a trainer, y’all, now! Dang!

Try out some new products and let me know if you liked them, or not --ewwwww on the vodka here--and maybe I'll try them for my next I am your Guinea Pig" post  . . .

You don’t have to say “no, never” to this kind of thing, but you CAN say, “Hardly ever, only occasionally”

Don’t burn up and burn out: One of the worst things you can do is to go in that gym all fired up and jumping around and slamming your fist in the air and Doing Too Much until you burn out and drop out. I saw it, and I see it, time and time again. That fired up WANT to be in shape and/or lose weight. The person will go to the gym every day, stay for far longer than they should, eating little food and/or foods that have

An apple a day may be a cliche, but it is solid advice--it just may keep the doc away, uh huh

An apple a day may be a cliche, but it is solid advice–it just may keep the doc away, uh huh

no taste because they think that’s the best way to lose weight. Dial it back a little and give yourself time to be used to the new load you are placing on your body with exercise—if you are too sore to work out, or have a stress-injury, you will not be able to continue your work out safely and effectively until you feel better. If you eat foods you hate, you won’t keep up with your new eating plan. Take time to think things through with a well-thought out plan for a reasonable exercise routine that you can slowly build on. Take time to think about meals that are tasty but healthy that you will reasonably fit into your daily meal-times. Don’t be unrealistic, but DO challenge yourself to try new foods/workouts!

Don't wanna hear you ain't writing or moving or eating right - huhn -

Do your research to find a gym/trainer that/who fits: Now, get out there and do some research. Find a gym that fits you. If you hate gyms, then I’m not talking to you in this post—although, I will say to you who hate gyms: Why? If it’s the money, fine, I can understand that, and perhaps you can talk to a gym about some kind of reasonable contract. But if it’s because you become a “donator,” then consider altering your thoughts and routines at the gym—and consider trying out the gym for a shorter contract time, or a gym that offers month-to-month without contracts–although, you could use that contract as a motivator–“I’m going because I simply will not throw away my money for nothing!” YEAH!

DSC08450-001Now, go ye and be healthy and kick-ass! I’m here for you if you have any questions–about working out, or about writing!

When my head exploded, that was enough for me: Taking back my life, Part 2

Go Away. I’m enjoying doing Nuttin!

I’m feeling rebellious. Feeling all eye-rolly and pouty and “whatEVER”-y. The more I hear and read about how much I should be doing to draw people to me and to my “product” (that’s my books, y’all, but also it’s my blog, my You-Tube page, my FB/twitter—my online presence), the more I back away with my hands held out, “Whoa, just whoa now . . . .”

Remember this post “Doing the F*ck what I want; I”m taking back my life” ? Yeah. I’m still feeling that, majorly.

I’ve been off-line a whole lot more than I have in years. It feels rather wonderful!  In the mornings, I rise and instead of pushing my face in a screen, I grab my coffee, sit in my comfy rocker, and stare out at the smoky mountain view: the mountains, ridgetops, the critters. I see/feel/hear/touch/experience. And guess what? My coffee tastes better—no! Really! I thought I was just preparing better coffee, but I’ve come to know it’s that I’m actually TASTING the sumbitch instead of slogging it down my throat as I scan the ‘puter. And I took that unplugging further to other points in my day. I’m feeling human again, less cyborgish—haw!

Always looking in the rearview at what I missed? hell no!

It’s becoming about self-preservation of my sanity, y’all. Yeah. When I am online, I am inundated with people telling me how I’m doing things all wrong, and how I’m missing opportunities, and how I could be a fucking millionaire if I’d just listen to their advice and stop whining about how I don’t want to listen to their advice—how if I weren’t so hard-headed and resistant and a negative-nelly, then I’d be not only more beautiful and younger and AWESOMER, but I’d also be selling a whole lot more books and people would flock instead of trickle to my blog and facebook page and twitter. I’d be one popular bitch! But since I’m not doing the things they tell me to do, I will be forever medium, maybe even less than medium, I’ll be low, just a simmer on the hotplate of life.

Going INSANE hooohooohahahahhaahahaha

And I’m watching writers, and others, as they try to catch up and catch on, as they jump through hoops, as they constantly try to let everyone know their product is available so please please buy it or like it or try it for free. And the more I see it, the more I don’t wanna.

All that advice and hollering and people waving their hands in the air like that Horshack dude on “Welcome Back, Kotter,” yelling Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! makes me feel crazy and discombobulated and confused, and worst of all, Less Than. Yeah, folkses, it’s having the opposite affect/effect than maybe intended—instead of feeling inspired, I am becoming Rebellious. I am turning away from all that advice. Just as I said in that earlier blog post, I am still, and further, Taking Back My Fucking Life.


For all you who know how to market yourself, who enjoy that, who can navigate through all the White Noise Din and find the advice that fits you perfectly and can apply that advice and then become really Kick-Ass, then well dang, You Go! I’ll be eating your dust and feeling those envy twinges. For all you who give advice, and I’ve been known to do it—we all do it—I know many of you, like me, do it from a place of goodness and an urge to share what you know and pass it forward, well, then go ye to advice-giving and don’t look back. But for all but a few I’ve come to admire and adore, I just can’t take in anymore of it; I’m full; I’m filled to the brim; I’m over-flowing; I’m a Mt. Vesuvius of information and advice exploding out in a fury of fire and rock. I’m kind of done, at least for this moment, this time in my life.

I no longer want to feel as if I am not good enough, to feel less than, to be told I am missing all these opportunities and thus stupid for it; I just don’t want other people to define who and what I am any longer. I just ain’t good at all that stuff and that’s that. Pretty danged simple: I ain’t good at it; it makes me crazy. Nothing anyone says has made any difference, and believe me, I’ve read and tried to apply and instead my head spun around and then exploded.

Here is what I have to offer you all, and it’s pretty danged simple: I write good books—they’re not for everyone, but they are for many. I write them the best I can—I give my ALL when I write; I do it with love and passion and sincerity and care. I do the best I can with my words and language and then they are put out to the world and I hope for the best. I can’t beg you to buy my books, to like me. I don’t want to scream and shout and raise my hand in the air as I try to attract your attention. I would love to be discovered by you, and then for you to love me and my books.

I’d love to have your respect, most of all.

Kat enjoying friends

I want to be Me. Who I am. Imperfect but still Kick Ass. I don’t want to make myself into some Product that I have to sell to all of you. I just want to do what I love and live my life. I want to see people as People, interesting people who I want to interact with in Real Life and Online, not as walking wallets who should buy my books, or as potential numbers on my stats. I want to enjoy you all, and I want you to enjoy me.

When constantly scrabbling about seeking approval or friendship or readers or “numbers,” I am devaluing myself but I am also devaluing YOU; I feel cheapened and I cheapen YOU—does this attitude apply to everyone out there who promotes/gives advice/etc? Hells to the No, I am only speaking of how I feel about my life and what works or doesn’t work for me. Everyone must find his/her own Kick Ass Life.

Letting Go of some things feels a little worrisome at first, but the more I Let Go, the better I feel. The more I ignore what so many people are telling me I “Should Do,” and instead do what the fuck I want to do, the better I feel; the more I feel comfortable with myself instead of feeling that kind of “ick” feeling of constant self-promotion, the more my life takes on a richer more colorful hue.

Does this mean we never talk about good news, or our books/whatever? Well, that’s silly; course not! But when I do have something wonderful to share, well, I can share it and feel proud of it or happy about it and then go on with my life. Like when calling/emailing/texting a friend and saying, “Guess what happened!” and sharing it, versus constantly calling/texing/emailing that friend until she/he is sick of my ass.

Maybe all this will mean my books will forever be stuck in some limbo of “okayness” when it comes to sales and rankings and I’ll never be more than than medium. It’ll probably mean my blog and other social networking sites will always be in some middling piddling land. Maybe it’ll mean people will shake their heads at my stupidity and think how I am missing so many opportunities.

But hot damn! I’ll be happier! Oh yeah. Much much happier—with my life, myself, and all the world around me–cause the dirty little secret is that if you do sell a shit load of books or whatever your product is, if you do call to you lots and lots of people, if you do make some kind of Successful Goal, it never ends, you will want or need more or it doesn’t last and you try to grab it back as it fades back some, it’s forever a hard-ass ride to the top.

When I let go, I feel more substantial.

I feel free.

That’s me. Yeah.




Will all y’allses authors stand on your head wearing a book suit with a little book hat?

For months I kept an eye on a new hot dog and ice cream parlor. This new business tried just about everything to draw customers to it—new items gaily written on the menu board, wi-fi now available!, bright colors shouting out, huge signs proclaiming their awesomeness, and a woman dressed as a hot dog with a hot dog hat who stood outside and waved exuberantly while rubbing her tummy and beckoning everyone to “Come on in!”

Did it work? If the parking lot was any indication, not so much. However, just a few miles from this little hotdog stand is a hamburger and ice cream joint that always has a full parking lot. One could say it’s the difference between hot dog love and hamburger love. Still, I wondered: just what makes the customer choose one place over another?

It isn’t always about the quality and taste of the food or the spiffy look of the establishment. Maybe the food isn’t as good, or isn’t any better, in the crowded

Good food, okay food, exceptional food . . . atmosphere, word of mouth . . . what draws you in to a restaurant?

restaurant, but the atmosphere brings in the customers, or how long it’s been around, or people talk about it and spread the word, or or or . . . .

There are the places that are always full, seats hard to find, and while the food may be consistently good, or even hit or miss, there’s just something about the restaurant that pulls in a good loyal crowd.

There are the iconic restaurants, and the ones who garner five-stars who employ chefs with a pedigree. The food is good, the atmosphere stunning, the prices astronomical.

Well, isn’t there good food and wonderful atmosphere in the little tiny diners across America? —why yes, and they’ve only to find that One Thing, or Some Thing to call the customer to them, and once that happens, off they’ll go! Right? Right? Well. Maybe. Maybe not.

I’ve tried to study the whys of how some restaurants are packed and popular and others, though they have good quality food and sincere staff/owners, are barely hanging on. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes there simply isn’t a why. Sometimes there is only a How It Is. Sometimes it’s just luck. Timing. And luck. And Lots of Luck. And some Something that can’t be defined no matter how much we try, no matter how many blogs and updates and twitter feeds we read about “How To.” Sometimes it just is.

So. Our books. Yeah. Our readers. Our love. Our Life.

We can try to call people to us with contests or give aways or pointing out the good reviews

finding the silver lining . . .

we have or wear a funny book suit with a book hat on our heads while exuberantly rubbing our bellies—et cetera et cetera et cetera—but, in the end, sometimes our books may never become iconic or popular—we may never make a million bucks, and be lucky to make some thousands of bucks, or some may be lucky to sell but a few books at all.

While there are those savvy people who know how to market effectively, most of us are standing around with deer in the headlights eyes, flinging out sticky shit one side to the other in the hopes something sticks.

See, I’m thinking — I have to wake up with myself every day. I have to look in

No, really, I am a NICE person – I wouldn’t push my brother over the edge.

the mirror and like what I see. I have to feel comfortable with myself. I have to write the best book I know how and then hope a lot of hope. It is not in my nature to stand outside in a funny suit, rubbing my stomach, and wildly beckoning y’all to come inside. It’s in my nature to give you my words with love and hard work and sincerity and do the best I know how while remaining the person I am. To try my best without being a big pain in the ass to the social networking airwaves.

Would I love to see my books back in the Number 1 spot at Kindle? Hells to the yeahs, but will I hop on my head while reciting the complete works of Shakespeare to get your attention? Nope! Because what would you think of me? What would I think of myself? Lawd!

Keep it flowing and flowing and flowing and flowing . . .

Readers: what you can do to help your favorite author is to pass along the word – tell others about the author/book(s), and further if you are so inclined, review it on Amazon, B&N, etc., or talk about it on your blog/facebook/twitter: give us your love for it will be appreciated. Writers, what you can do is support other writers – someone else’s success does not take away from our own potential or real successes! We also can be more appreciative of what we have and where we are, for there is always someone else who’d love to be in our position. We should write the best books we can, and present them as beautifully and as “perfectly” as possible (note: in other words, don’t be in such a hurry to throw out your words just to say “I’m published”).

By the way: that hotdog stand went out of business. Just sayin.

Tell me: what’s up with y’all? My laptop is still in the laptop hospital and this little mini-netbook is terrible. lawd. I hope this post turns out presentable. Lawdy be in a bucket of worms.

Announcement: Three Authors signing & Music in Waynesville, NC . . .

This is off my schedule of course, but since it’s a “special announcement,” here I am. If you are in the Western North Carolina area, I hope you will join us for music and authors and books and some food. I am now home from Oregon – lawdy I have so many photos to upload.

See y’all later – either at the bookstore or here online!

On Sunday, July 15 at 3:00 p.m., Blue Ridge Books will host authors Kathryn Magendie (Family Graces), Kimberly Brock (The River Witch), Erika Marks (Little Gale Gumbo), and the musical act, Grits & Soul.

Kathryn Magendie’s Family Graces is the last in her trilogy that includes Tender Graces and Secret Graces. Her trilogy traces the journey of Virginia Kate Carey as she deals with the ghosts of her dysfunctional family.

The River Witch, Kimberly Babb Brock, set in Georgia’s Sea Islands, follows the mystical story of ballerina Roslyn Byrne after the end of her career and a devastating miscarriage.  Erika Marks’ Little Gale Gumbo is about a family that relocates from New Orleans to a small island town in Maine. Camille and her two teenage daughters open a Creole restaurant and become an indispensible part of the community.

Grits & Soul, comprised of Anna Kline and John Looney, has already met with national acclaim. Their song “Flood Waters” caught the ears of CNN reporters last summer after it was featured on NBC affiliates around the South.

Blue Ridge Books152 S. Main Street
Waynesville, North Carolina 28786


Wednesday Classroom: Do your research to gain trust with your reader, yawwwwl

Morning Y’allses! Guess where I am while you are reading this? In Oregon! Lawdy but I’m far away from my little log house. GMR and the dawgs and the ghost dawg have the house and cove all to themselves and I bet they miss my pea-headed s’ef.  So, for this post, I’m a’trying to post ahead of time. Just think, as I’m typing this I’m in the little log house, but as you read it, I’m in Oregon. Wheeee ain’t technology grand?

Folkses, as you all may be able to tell from reading my posts on writing, I can be strict about some thangs. I try to have things Right. I want to convince my audience, and you should, too!

With fiction, bring in truths to ground the reader—and whatever those truths are will be  up to the writer to convey them. The amount of danged old research we do will have much to do with the place/time we create. My worlds have been and are in South Louisiana, West Virginia, and here in these western North Carolina mountains. My time has been from the 50’s to the present. My research will deal with that time and place.

If I’m writing about a real town, I need to be accurate about that town to honor its people and sense of Place–I wouldn’t have New Orleans as the capital of Louisiana–lawd!–because it is Baton Rouge; I wouldn’t have Maggie Valley with a McDonald’s because we do not have fast food joints in Maggie (except for one lonely Subway, and who knows how it managed to find its way here). If I’m writing about a fictional town based on a real town, I have a little more flexibility, but I still need to be mindful. Most of my books do not mention specific towns, but my readers can often guess where I am talking about, or place my characters in a specific area that they can relate to.

If you’ses have yourse’f a world that’s all made up, like “Madeupland,” you still must ground the reader in some reality, yawwwl, right? riigghhht! So there will be some research even if it’s minor. Mainly, if you have a “Madeupland” you best be consistent–I tell you what!

All you’ses wunnerfuls out there have seen me write this before: Convince your audience and you’ve done your job, no matter how, what, where, when, who you write. Throw all the danged ole rules out the window for all I care—just convince me, or you lose me as your reader.

Sometimes you may think you have something correct, but you do not! oopsies! It doesn’t hurt to double-check those things you “remember” or “think you know.” I had Tang in a Tender Graces scene–later, it began to bug me, when was Tang invented? I looked it up and Lawd!, it wasn’t released to the general public until sometime after my scene–the astronauts had it first.

Whenever I mentioned a movie or a television show or a football game, I made sure I had it Right. Folkses, you don’t EVEN want to go messing with South Louisiana and have their LSU Tigers game days, or anything else, wrong–lawd! I can’t have my South Louisiana town’s team playing  Old Miss in September when they didn’t play until later in the season, or have them playing in town when it was an out of town game. I can’t have the movie Rocky coming out in March of 1976 (in Secret Graces), because it didn’t release until December 1976. Look It Up and double check–our memories are wankity.

You can play around with research to enhance your books. Was there a significant weather event that would change something with my characters or their Place? Or make something fun/interesting? (Like the South Louisiana Hurricane mention in TG when Mee Maw comes to visit—category five Grandmother.) Or, if in the holler in West Virginia there was a bad snow storm, Katie Ivene wouldn’t be flying to town in her Rambler with the windows open yelling “wheeee!” I found sites that show historical weather. I love those little details even if only I know that on April 13, 1976, it really was 82 degrees and foggy in a town in South Louisiana (I use weather more as a mood or as Place or whatever, not that I go around quoting weather).

Little details help the reader to “Be There” with the character, to ground them in a place or time or mood, maybe even to have them say, “I know that place/event/area!” “Hey, I remember that!”

Don’t rely on only one source. I do the best I can to make sure I have everything as accurate as possible—because you are worth my time and care, you being the reader. Often, I double and triple check my sources.

Will someone find an error if they go through my books with a fine-toothed eye? I don’t know, but it won’t be for lack of me working hard and doing my job best I can. I don’t respect lazy writing and I know it when I read it.

When and how you do your research is up to you. Do what works.

Don’t cheat. Don’t be lazy. It’s worth it to build trust with your readers. Do you want your reader to stop and say, “Hey, wait a minute! This ain’t right . . .” and bump them from your world, your story? Naw! And more important to me: I want my reader to trust me and to forget about me and only focus on the narrator and the story.

Do you make sure you have things Right and build trust? Does your work require extensive research, or just a bit?

See all y’allses wunnerfuls later!

Don’t forget: I changed my blog posting schedule for my Classroom series & I am your Personal Trainer series, etc, to the first and third Wednesdays of the month, with Friday open to photos/art/video: no words. So there will only be posts twice a month, and on most Fridays, photos/video/art with no words.

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