Monthly Archives: July 2014

Canning with Crackerberries

Want to know what you will find in this book? Pickles, relishes, tomatoes, preserves, jams, jellies, and whole chapter of hodge-podge recipes. Recipes that have been passed down through they years. Just like grandma used to make.

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This book is dedicated to the men and women who toil in their gardens and sweat in their kitchens and labor over the fruits and vegetables their hard work has produced.

Here’s to you!

Love your harvest!

Printed version will be available soon, but if you just can’t wait, the Kindle E-book can be purchased HERE.

 

 

 

The Review Process

The Review Process

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The best thing you can do for an author after you have read their book is a review. This not only helps potential buyers but it gives feedback to the author about what promising fans like or dislike about their writing.

You can write an easy quick review or take your time and be more meticulous. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you do it. A review based on the star rating system might be something like this:

• Five stars would be for a novel that is simply an outstanding piece of work.

• Four stars would indicate that the piece is excellent but certain adjustments would make it better.

• Three stars is an average piece of work. It’s okay, take it or leave it — not bad, not great.

• Two stars would indicate the writing could be good, but there are a lot of loop holes in the story and some major adjustments need to be made.

• One star is a major revision — why bother even making the effort?

Now this is just my opinion to how the rating system could be used. Other people may have different ideas. You could even try including your rating system in your review. Feel free to copy and paste mine, if you like.

It is helpful to say what you liked about the story as well as what you disliked about the story. I am telling you this from experience. When I first started writing reviews I was not a published author so I didn’t realize how important they were.

The most important thing about writing your review is to be honest. That is the best gift you can give back to an author.

Now for starters go get yourself a copy something new you haven’t read, (Crackerberries Books) read it and practice your review technique on Amazon!

 

Cheers.

10 Lessons

10 Lessons I Learned After Getting Published

Improve your writing. I won’t lie to you. It has been a long road for me. That was what I thought I was going to do when I joined F-Story, a place for writers to improve their writing technique. I can’t argue the fact that I did improve my vocabulary in the four short months I spent on F-Story. I learned some punctuation and verb usage as well, but nothing that E.B. White or an English book couldn’t teach me.

What is the draw? Post a piece of writing and immediately get writing critique from other members. This is good, because isn’t that what all writers want? We want honest feedback about our writing. Is it good or is it bad? Could I really get an honest opinion with suggestions on how to make my writing better? I was hooked, and for less than ten bucks a month I could post two pieces of writing a day and get at least two or three reviews and comments about my work.

Within three weeks of being a member on the site, I had an exploding profile, and I was rising within the ranks. The excellent rating was awesome, and the five, and often six stars fit real well with my exploding status, as well as stroking my oversensitive ego. I was on top of the world, and my writing was outstanding.

Do I need to mention what a fool idiot I was? It didn’t take long to find out that everyone on the site who would put the time and effort into reading to make the F-Story monopoly money to promote their work would share the same exploding status as me. It all depended on how much time and effort you wanted to put into writing reviews.

It didn’t take me long to realize after I gave a meticulous review most people didn’t really want my recommendations and balked at the thought of receiving anything less than five stars. I wanted to give the writers good, honest feedback about the piece that I was reading. I found that I was spending six to eight hours, and sometimes even more than that, a day to read poems and stories for fellow writers to give my honest detailed review. This cut way into my writing time. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I fell into that 5-star rating for a spell, too. Please don’t tell me my piece of work is anything less than excellent.

I met some people, just like the ones anyone meets in social network forums. A lot of nice friendly people and even bonded and formed personal relationships, so I thought. The thing that I was trying not to do was to treat F-Story – a serious writing forum  like every other social network where everyone wants to be your friend. I tried to treat it like a job. My bad.

I don’t care what anyone tells you and what anyone says about internet forums and social networks. We are people and it is our inherent nature to care about ourselves and what we ourselves want to accomplish in life. People will tell you they are your friend and how great you are and suddenly you fall under the Machiavellian of people, which I did. I believed what people told me, and I trusted people I had never met in person.

After four months of playing the game of rising in the ranks of F-Story, letting my housework, bills, and physical relationships slide, and not really doing any writing, I finally realized it was a bad addiction. A very bad addiction. Almost like a drug addiction. The whole thing came to light when I read a poem of a concept I had shared with one of my F-Story friends who took the idea and wrote it in their own words, and rose higher in the ranks than me.

So here I am again, playing with social media and sharing with friends. Forgetting the lessons I learned at F-Story. But the big difference is I’m published. I can now say I have published a novel and I am an author. It has been my life long goal and a huge accomplishment for me because it has been my dream forever. As with any goals being accomplished, the time is right for new goals to be set.

These are some of the things I have learned and I would like to share them with you who are trying to become published. These are important things to keep in mind when you are setting your goals. So important that I’m going to remember them while I’m setting my new goals.

Top ten things I learned from getting my first novel published.

1. Do not let people tell you what is best for you and your book. Only you know this.

2. Take your time and proof, proof, proof. Have friends, relatives, and co-workers read your book for typos and context errors. No matter how many times you try to proof the book on your own, YOU will miss mistakes.

3. Research, research, research. There is a boat-load of information out there and no one is going to give it to you for free. But if you look hard enough, you can find it for free.

4. Be patient.

5. Promote yourself as well as your book. Don’t expect that just because you have a lot of friends and family they are going to promote you and your book for you. They are not.

6. If you make a mistake, brush it off, learn from it, don’t do it again.

7. Just because someone else has more experience in the world of publishing and writing than you do doesn’t mean they are better than you. Anyone can write a book, and anyone can publish a book. But only good story tellers can write a book well.

8. Have confidence in yourself and in your writing. If you are you are writing because you enjoy writing, it will show in your work. If you are doing it to make money, get over yourself.

9. Set a schedule and stick to it. Write every day. The only way to make yourself better at something is to do it. (Perfect practice makes perfect.)

10. Do not become enthralled with social media. Use it to promote yourself and your book and leave it at that.

Above all like what you do, like yourself and don’t let others try to tell you how you can do it better. If they’re so smart tell them to write their own book.

My new novel The Salt-Water Killings is in the works.

Salt Water Red

Books by Crackerberries

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Blackhorse 2015

A regime of conspiracy, racketeering, and treason within the United States Military. The US Military is no longer what it used to be. After supervising military intelligence on Blue Duck Island Army Base, Sergeant First Class Jon Hunter is less than a month away from retiring to his hometown of Winston-Wisdom. Before he can enjoy his plans of fishing and skiing Sergeant Hunter has one more mission.

 

coming-soon       BookCoverPreview

Flowers for Elizabeth (under review)

A mother and daughter’s rocky relationship is put to the test in this poignant tale. Find out what happens when the grandmother babysits for young Elizabeth. She just wanted to help her G’ammy in the garden.

 

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Mildred the Strawberry Moose

What happens when a group of forest animals come together and help a fellow member in need?  Find out in this whimsical children’s bedtime story. Filled with pictures and lots of favorite forest creatures.

BookCoverPreview (5)                                        coming-soon

Canning with Crackerberries

The best thing about walking into a kitchen is the smell coming from the pot on the stove. Here you’ll find a collection of old-time canning and preserving recipes from pickles to jams.

 

If you are interested in any of these books, just click on the book and you will be directed to the appropriate online purchasing page.

Cheers.

Who’s Coming to Your Cook-Out?

bean fire                             grilling sp

“The beers’ on ice, the tea is extra sweet and the grill is smoking. Plenty of burgers, hot dogs and chicken for everyone so make sure you have a big appetite. But save room for dessert because your grandmother has made an apple pie, banana pudding and strawberry shortcake and a whole table full of cookies.”

My grandfather could get anyone excited about anything, even the simplest things. My grandmother said he could lure a hibernating bear in with his cooking on the grill.

We never knew who would show up for the afternoon cook-outs. We just did whatever we were told: go get the ice from the big freezer in the barn and restock the buckets of beer, go in the cellar and bring a few more jars of bread and butter pickles that were canned the year prior. We always had plenty to keep us busy and out of trouble.

I always watched to see who would show up. Sometimes it would be the rich people from the other side of town just coming over to make fun of what my grandfather was doing. Most times it was just relatives and good friends. They came, arms filled with bowls of potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelons and many other mouth-watering treats.

Today the first visitor was a bony older man with wispy, thin white hair. He was dressed in white from head to toe; white shirt, white pants, white shoes and he even wore white gloves. My grandmother told me that he dressed that way because he worked on type writers and it was very important that he keep clean so when he went to work on them, there would be no dust or anything to ruin the keys. I think she made that story up. He was just so strange-looking and I never noticed him eat a thing.

An hour later while making a trip to the barn to fetch some more ice I saw a little girl named Cecilia Pinto. She always wore out-dated ragged clothes and she looked like she didn’t own a comb or a brush. Everyone made fun of her at school and no one wanted to be her friend (me included). Some people said she got lice and after that she never had any friends. She was with a man somewhat skeletal with a drawn in face. He wore a green Army coat and his hair was stringy but combed back with some sort of Brylcreem or something similar. He was a strange cat that would walk and stop every few feet or so and put his index finger up to an imaginary chalkboard and he would seem to be carrying the numbers of some complex math problem. For me I thought quite interesting to watch him but didn’t want to be caught staring so tried my best not to.

As I was stuffing my third hotdog into my face I saw Bobby. He was known around town as the freak of freaks. He had Tourette syndrome and would go off at a moment’s notice on a tirade of explicit language filled with vehement. I thought it was funny. He walked around town always in a hurry and occasionally he would look back and brush away the imaginary people he seemed to constantly have following him.

My grandfather walked up to every one of these eccentrics and made each and everyone feel welcomed and at ease. He offered them the comfort of his home and did not judge them for their idiosyncrasies. I thought they were a wayward group of minorities and I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. They were just weird.

Later that day after everyone went home; my grandfather asked me what I thought about our special guest. I didn’t know what he was talking about. “What special guest?” I scoffed. “We didn’t have any special guest!”

“Oh, but we did,” my grandfather spoke with such wisdom. “Today, Jesus visited our cook-out.”

“No-saar!”

“Oh, but yes, He did, more times than I think you realize. You see, he was the man with the wispy hair, the little girl who didn’t own a comb, the counting man, the man who spoke obscenities’.”

Isn’t it interesting how people can exist in the background of our survival and we can live our lives not even acknowledging them or giving them the time of day? They stick out in our mind and we remember them, not for anything great that they have done, but for who they were. Nevertheless, we shy away from people like them because they are not like us. They are different.

Our human nature is to crave attention and appreciation. We all crave to have a pat on the back or an occasional “Atta-boy”. The people mentioned above got plenty of attention, but not appreciation; laughed at, pointed at, ridiculed, made fun of, mocked. Most likely not the attention they craved.

My grandfather spoke with such wisdom. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have unwittingly entertained angels, that’s Hebrews 13:2,” he recited from memory. “Obedience to His word will gain us much wisdom and knowledge.”

I couldn’t wait for the next BBQ!

Fabulous Fiction Fridays — W.H.Matlack

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 Ebook cover - WTR                          Noir Town Full Cover Art

Today we are sitting down with W.H. Matlack, Solstice Publishing Author of Waiting to Run.  He agreed to be interviewed for Friday’s Fabulous Fiction Author.  He only has a short bit of time because Mowry has a routine and he will be expecting Mr. Matlack to take care of the feline duties at the office.

ME: Mr. M. would you be so kind to tell us about your latest book?

W.H. Matlack: Waiting to Run is a suspense thriller that brings in elements from the JFK assassination conspiracy theories. It features a young lady who becomes a very powerful, although reluctant, witch who must fight the deadly ghost of Lee Harvey Oswald. Her power is based on manipulating Quantum states and Dark Energy in a Holographic Universe. She is aided by the ghost of Dorothy Kilgallen, who was the last person to interview Jack Ruby before his death. The very fate of the universe itself lies in her hands. Thank God it’s only fiction.

ME: Wow, you can say that again. Although, so many books and theories have been written about the JFK conspiracy it’s hard to know what is real and what is not, if you know what I mean.  So what can we expect from you in the future?

W.H. Matlack:  More suspense thrillers based on real scientific theories. I might try a ghost story at some point. I like the idea of scaring people before they turn out the lights.

ME:  I don’t know about anyone else, but those are my favorite books to read.  So how do we find out about you and your books?

W.H. Matlack: I’m published by Solstice Publishing, and my books are available on their site as well as on Amazon. Go to http://amzn.to/1jwSMgq for Noir Town, my mystery, and http://is.gd/tJoW1Y for Waiting to Run, my suspense thriller.

ME: How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

W.H. Matlack: Like most authors, little bits of my real life show up, but they are almost always heavily covered in fiction – to avoid law suits, mainly.

ME:  Ha ha, that’s funny. No writer wants a law suit do they?  When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first book?

W.H. Matlack: I’ve always written short stories, and I even published a line of comic books, but it was fellow author, Andy MacRae who encouraged me to turn to novels. I really didn’t think I could do it, but I’ve put out two of them, so…

ME: So keep the momentum going right?  I hear ya.  Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?

W.H. Matlack: Depending on how much effort I have to put into the plot, it can range from six months to a full year.

ME:  That makes sense. Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

W.H. Matlack: I maintain actual business hours. I don’t write at night or early in the morning because that takes time away from my family (terrific wife and two cats who need almost constant attention).

ME:  That is probably good practice for any writer.  I know about two cats that need constant attention.  What is your writing routine once you start a book?

W.H. Matlack:  I just face the “void” and start writing. My favorite quote is from Lewis Carroll who said, “I sent Alice down a rabbit hole with no idea of what she would find there.”

ME:  I like that…kind of like getting on the horse and not knowing where he’s taking you.  What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing – or are there constant interruptions?

W.H. Matlack: Having a family means you’re going to get interrupted. My training in Journalism helps me concentrate amid the noise.

ME: What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

W.H. Matlack: I’ll put on a Netflix movie or television series. It’s just as important to know when not to write as it is when to write.

ME:  That is a good point.  What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?

W.H. Matlack: It’s more fun creating worlds than just about anything else.

ME: I hear that a lot with authors. “If you don’t like the world you’re in, wait a minute, I create a new one.” Where do your ideas come from?

W.H. Matlack: They just spring up unbidden. I have no idea where they come from, except I have a theory that there is a place called “Idea Town.” If I knew where it was, I would move there.

ME: Ha ha, that sounds like a cool place. If you find it, let me know.  Do you feel humor is important in mysteries and why?

W.H. Matlack: Humor is vital. I write more humor than anything else. It keeps mysteries from bogging down and taking themselves too seriously. My example is Noir Town. It features a cynical private dick (that’s short for detective) who is pretty funny most of the time.

ME:  Private dick, now that is funny.  What about love scenes in romance novels, do you find them difficult to write?

W.H. Matlack: By “love scenes” can I assume you mean “sex scenes?” Yes, they are difficult, but I think it’s wrong to over-write them. The challenge is to have them advance the plot or develop character.

ME:  You are probably right there, however a lot of people don’t do that.  What kind of research do you do?

W.H. Matlack: I don’t spend a lot of time researching my books. I just include enough reality to make them feasible. I start with the Internet. Google Maps is invaluable for looking at places I’ll never actually visit, which is almost everywhere.

ME: Where would we be without Google Maps?  Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?

W.H. Matlack: My hero is Michael Crichton. You never knew what would interest him next. I like to think of myself as that kind of writer. I know I would be better off sticking to one genre, but I just can’t seem to be able to do that.

ME: What does your wife think of your writing?

W.H. Matlack: My wonderful wife gives me nothing but encouragement even if she doesn’t really like the book’s subject.

ME:  Awwe, that’s so sweet.  Do you ever ask her for advice?

W.H. Matlack: I do ask her for advice, but I don’t really reach out to anyone when I’m writing. I don’t like Beta readers or critique groups. I want what I produce to be MY work, not OUR work.

ME: I get what you are saying there.  My husband tells me that all the time…make it your work!  So why not tell me about your family and what you all like to do.

W.H. Matlack:  I’m married and we have two cats. I’m a musician (drummer) and writer. I have a degree in Journalism from San Jose State. I like talking to people (maybe a little too much). I love sharing ideas about things – all kinds of things. I especially love learning about the Cosmos. Call me a nerd if you like. I don’t mind.

ME:  You do sound kind of geeky.

W.H. Matlack: What? You were the mascot for the football team in high school, so you weren’t a nerd? Do you still mascot for the football team? I thought not. Guess what? I still write.

ME: Touché. Just a few more things Mr. M., and I’ll let you get back to Mowry and his brush.  Could you tell us some of your favorite things?

W.H. Matlack:  – Dessert: cherry pie.

City: Any small town. Not impressed with New York, although I do like LA.

Season: summer.

Type of hero: seriously flawed.

Type of heroine: powerful, self- assured.

Favorite book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Favorite authors to read? Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Nelson DeMille

ME:  What are some of your favorite things to do?

W.H. Matlack: My wife and I like walking to our little downtown.

ME: What do you think of critique groups in general?

W.H. Matlack: So that’s how you would write my novel? Well, here’s how I’m going to write it.”

ME: I love that answer. This next question I hate to ask because I always hated it when I was asked it in job interviews.  But the powers that be dictate the questions so where do you see yourself in five years?

W.H. Matlack: Right here.

ME:  Have you always wanted to be a writer?

W.H. Matlack: I’ve always been a writer. All my life.

ME:  How many books have you written, how many have been published?

W.H. Matlack: I’ve published two novels, nine comic book titles, and written countless short stories (most of them not published)

ME:  After you’ve written your book and it’s been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?

W.H. Matlack: I always purchase a box or two for signings. I don’t really like reading them. I always think, “Who the hell does this guy think he is? Oh. Yea.”

ME:  Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?

W.H. Matlack: I do love Jhona, the central character in Waiting to Run because she is a very strong woman. Even as she gains strength as a witch, she doesn’t lose her femininity. Lee Harvey Oswald is pretty cool, too. He’s just pure evil…and a total idiot.

ME: Oh I think he probably always was a total idiot.  I’m really looking forward to reading it…in fact I’ve already started it.  What book for you has been the easiest to write? The hardest? The most fun?

W.H. Matlack: I whipped out Noir Town pretty quickly although I had to completely re-write it after discovering other books with the same plot. The hardest is the one I’m working on now. I had a lot of fun with Waiting to Run.

ME: What the heck is that sound?  Do you hear that?  Let me get the door.  Oh, I didn’t know you brought the cats with you.  Aren’t they adorable and look at that tiger, he’s got his brush in his teeth!  Okay I better this interview wrapped up. Are they going to be okay in here? Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

~ Both cats jump up on the desk and make themselves at home. The yellow tabby start cleaning his paws.

W.H. Matlack: This is Mowry with the brush and this is Alex with all the hair. He doesn’t like getting brushed, and he doesn’t hesitate telling me so. On the other hand, Mowry, the Orange one, likes getting brushed so much that he comes into my office and demands that I take a few minutes out of writing, or whatever I’m doing, and give him a good brushing. My cats are fine with being interviewed, but bear in mind, they still don’t understand this whole writing bit where I stare at a computer screen and only occasionally tap at the keyboard. Hey! I could be petting them! See look, they want to be petted!

I  think about the story angle first. Characters next, and then I need to figure out where they are, so that’s setting I guess.

ME: I guess we’ll finish up this interview with company.  What are the elements of a great romance for you?

W.H. Matlack: Maureen O’Hara, the greatest of all Pirate girlfriends. She was so awesome, and girlfriend to so many pirates. Does that make her an element? I think it does.

ME:  What is the hardest part of writing/the easiest for you?

W.H. Matlack: Hardest: getting my edits back and realizing that I don’t have even the most rudimentary grasp of English grammar. Easiest: There’s really nothing easy about it. It’s mostly pure torture mixed in with a few chuckles and a lot of nail trimming.

ME: Have you experienced writer’s block?

W.H. Matlack: Every time I finish something I become convinced that I will never have another original idea again. NEVER!

ME: How do you work through it?

W.H. Matlack: I work through it by sitting down, facing the void and writing whatever comes. It’s scary at best.

ME: What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

W.H. Matlack: Knowing that I can totally get revenge on anyone I choose just by putting them in one of my books. I confess. I’ve done that more than once.

ME:  If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

W.H. Matlack: The same thing I do when I have writer’s block: clipping my nails

ME:  Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

W.H. Matlack: It only takes one agent or publisher to like what you do. Just one. You just have to find them.

ME: That’s the hard part, finding the one, right.  Okay, Mr. M. I’ve enjoyed having and the little fur-balls here. I suppose is time for you to get back to your office.  Can you give us your links of how to find you again?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noirtown?ref_type=bookmark

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WillMatlack

The books: Noir Town  and Waiting to Run

Chance to Win

win

Starting right now, ending Saturday at midnight!
Here are the rules:
Like Blackhorse 2015 on Facebook. Invite all of your family and friends to like the page too. Now here’s the hard part. After your friends and family like the page they will need to send a PM (personal message) to the Blackhorse 2015 administrator and reference your name in the message.

At the end of the promotion, (Saturday 7-12-14 at midnight) the person with the most name references (friends and family who liked the Blackhorse 2015 page) will win a signed Electronic Version of the new novel, Blackhorse 2015 and they will also receive a second copy for a friend or family member of their choice.

So how many friends do you have? Let’s find out!

Winners will be posted on the fan page Monday morning!

Inits – KC Sprayberry

Please make welcome KC Sprayberry with her new release Inits!

Excerpt:
 
Thudding footsteps, a smack on the back as I’m swallowing, and
then RAS straddles the chair across from me.
“Don’t gulp. Then I won’t have to keep you from choking.” He fills his plate with enough food to feed the back line of the Atlanta Falcons. “The jerk used all the hot water.” RAS glares at me. “You will so pay later.”
“Yeah, right.” I stuff more pancakes, strawberries, and sausages
into my mouth.
I always pay. When will he figure out that I’m not his favorite
tackle dummy?
ME: So please, KC, if you will, tell us what initiated this story?
KC Sprayberry: This is a story that was with me for a long time, a story begging to be told more and more each day. Many, many people have been bullied. Most of us survived and went on to have useful lives, but we will always remember those who pushed us around, physically and mentally.
ME: I get the feeling maybe you were bullied as a kid growing up in school?
KC Sprayberry: We stood up and walked away. The bruises weren’t always visible, but they were and are there. We remain quiet when harsh words are spoken … walk away when others begin conversations that make us feel uncomfortable. One and all, we dream of the day when bullying will stop.
ME: So I am guessing this is your way of perhaps helping someone new that is being bullied?
KC Sprayberry: Some of us are around to share our stories. Others could no longer handle what was said or done to them. How do you stop a bully? Words? Actions? Treat them as they do you? There is no perfect solution, yet we can never stop standing up against these people.
ME: This sounds like a great book for both parents and young adults dealing with the realities of bullying.  I’m looking forward to reading it.
KC Sprayberry: You can enter for a chance to win a copy here!
 
Enter here for a
chance to win a copy of Inits!
ME: WOW, that’s great, everybody loves FREE!
Blurb:
High school means a whole new world. Yet, for Alex Starkey, pimples, discovering one of his buds is a real girl now, and an older brother using him as his favorite tackle dummy are tiny problems. What gets Alex’s temper simmering are his inits. Surviving his freshman year without diving into deep trouble seems impossible.
Bio:

KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an
interest in English and creative writing. Her first experience with publication
came when she placed third in The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now preparing to enter college.

Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short
stories. She has three books that are Amazon best sellers: Softly Say Goodbye,
Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice. Her other novels available are: Take Chances,
Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, and Starlight.

A few more fun things I found out about KC Sprayberry after I did a little bit of snooping.

*At one point in her life she had what’s known in western vernacular as a “fiddle foot” for many, many years. It’s quiet now, but you never know when it’ll itch again.

*She hate shoes, even when it’s freezing, but to avoid frozen toes she puts on a pair of slippers, which according to her youngest, even drives him to school wearing them.

*She lived in Germany for five years while in the Air Force, and could speak German, French, and Spanish with ease. So don’t think speaking in a different language around her is going to be confidential!

ME: Thanks for being with us today, KC. Will you please give us your links so we can find you and follow or read about other books you might be working on?

Facebook Twitter Blog Website Goodreads

Amazon Author Page Google + Pinterest Authorgraph

Is it about Money?

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Write when it’s dark
Write when it’s light
Write in the day
Or the middle of the night

Write when I’m sad
Write when I’m mad
Write to be happy
Or when I feel sappy

Write to be found
Often profound
Write when I’m witty
Share a little ditty

Write when I vent
Write to repent
Write to share a song
Or write to say, ‘so long’

When I’m in a fight
Or uptight
Write to befriend
Or maybe cheer up a friend

Write when I’m hot
Write when I’m not
Write when things are tough
And when I’ve had enough

Write on a bet
Write of a pet
Write to philosophize
Or apologize

Write all I will
All my guts spill
Write to be funny
But never for money

                                                        … Okay so things change.

Wait just a minute

There is no limit

If they want to pay me

Please don’t shame me

I’ll take the cash

I’m off in a dash

All things change

It’s not that strange

I write the book

Promote E-Nook

Wait for sales

Chew my nails

Write the next one

Oh boy this is fun!

Fabulous Fiction Fridays: Chrystal Vaughan

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 Dead in the WaterSideshow

Fridays are for Fabulous Fiction Writers and today we are celebrating with a bang because it is also Independence Day. Please welcome my guest, Chrystal Vaughan.

Me: Hey Chrystal, nice to have you here. Glad you could come with it being a holiday. I won’t keep you long because I know you have family waiting for you to do the big BBQ and cook-out thing. So tell us what do you write?

Chrystal: I write paranormal horror and sometimes paranormal YA; actually I write a little bit of everything but typically not erotica though I might change my mind on that ha-ha.

Me: Oooh erotica sounds like fun. Now I’d like to ask what inspired you to write a book.

Chrystal: I have been a writer since I was very young. Dead in the Water was inspired by my students (I work in a high school).

Me: You work in a high school? It takes a special person to work with students and have the patience for teaching. I applaud you for that. Next question, two-part: What is your favorite part of writing and what is the most difficult part?

Chrystal: My favorite part of writing is the creation of new people and their worlds. I love when the characters decide to break out of the mold I have created for them and take off in different directions than I’d planned. The most difficult part of the writing process for me is editing and marketing. Editing is a necessary part of writing but I enjoy creating over editing. Marketing is the worst part for me; I’m really not a salesperson.

Me: I’m there with you as far as the editing is concerned. Not much fun doing that. So how long does it take you to write a book?

Chrystal: It took me about a year to write Dead in the Water, my second book. That doesn’t include editing, publishing, or marketing.

Me: And why did you choose to write books from the Young Adult genre and why not anything else?

Chrystal: Actually, Dead in the Water is my only Young Adult novel. My other two books (Sideshow, out now, and Conspiracy of Ravens, due for release very soon) are both horror novels for adults.

Me: Conspiracy of Ravens, that sounds really interesting. How was the impact (or desired impact) of your book on the Young Adults, like your students?

Chrystal: I wrote Dead in the Water for my students at the school where I work. I wanted to write something for them that was appropriate but also entertaining, something that my little sisters could read (they are teenagers and pre-teens) without too much graphic content or language.

Me: What was your favorite scene or character to write?

Chrystal: My favorite character is Evalyn (Eva) Dunbar. She is such a typical teenage girl, particularly in my neck of the woods. I love how she blossoms from an introvert who thinks of herself as a freak into a young woman in love.

Me: She sounds like my kind of character. If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Chrystal: In the book, Eva does speak for herself, and so does her boyfriend Jesse. I think I would give Natasha (the antagonist) the chance to speak. I’m sure she would apologize for what she did to Alex and for what she tried to do to Eva. Natasha had a very hard life; that doesn’t condone killing anyone, but it helps to understand some of the reasons behind her actions.

Me: Well, Chrystal, it has been a pleasure having you here. I know you have big plans for later today, so I won’t keep you much longer.  Can you give us a hint as to what Conspiracy of Ravens is going to be about?

Chrystal: Sure, here’s a link to the trailer:

Me: Fabulous, now grab yourself a burger or a cocktail on your way out. There’s always something to eat and drink around this joint. One more thing before you go. Could you give us a list of where to find you on social media and to purchase your great books?

Chrystal: You can purchase all of my books at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=chrystal%20vaughan&sprefix=chrys%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Achrystal%20vaughan

You can purchase Sideshow at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sideshow-chrystal-vaughan/1117375038?ean=9781492935629

You can purchase Dead in the Water at Amazon and Solstice Publishing:
http://solsticepublishing.com/dead-in-the-water/

I’m also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/chrystalwrites), Twitter (@TheChrystalShip), and Goodreads (Chrystal Vaughan). You can find excerpts and book information on my blog at http://www.mermaidsandmayhem.blogspot.com.

Me: Great, thanks again for being one of my Fabulous Fiction Friday Authors. I sure do appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule. Have a happy and safe 4th!

Happy Birthday

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Happy Birthday to me. I wasn’t going to write a blog about me on my birthday, but then after I thought about it I decided, why the hell not? It is my birthday after all and why shouldn’t I celebrate me? I like chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, but in order to maintain this womanly figure, I’ll skip the cake and eat a nice salad with homemade salsa instead.

I’ve also decided that I will add a memory that I have of each person that writes on my Facebook wall. Let’s just say it’s my gift to you. If you don’t read my blog, then I guess you won’t know.

I’ve been thinking about my life through the years. I’ve recalled some of my experiences, the people who I’ve come in contact with. There have been a lot of men and women I’ve met through my years. It has been tough sometimes, easy other times. Lots of different experiences, good and bad, happy and sad.

Sometimes we waste too much of our time thinking about someone who doesn’t think about us for a second. I’ve lived my life so many years thinking that the people I come in contact with should show me the same loyalty and respect that I show them. Finally after all these years, I realize that most people don’t have the same set of standards as I do. I know that sounds conceited and superficial, but aren’t we all to a certain degree?

My sister so kindly put it this way, “…is passive aggressive and attaches a price tag on kindness.” Unfortunately that college education the taxpayers paid for, didn’t teach her the difference between acknowledgement and reciprocation. I don’t expect an exchange in kindness, but I do expect acknowledgement. If you can’t take two seconds to say a simple thank you, then you are not worthy of my friendship. If this hurts your feelings, maybe it’s time to think about the kind of friend you’ve been.  I’ve lived too many years being the friend who keeps in touch, the friend who gives 51 percent, the friend who goes the extra mile, while the other person sits back and reaps the rewards. Relationships (I don’t care what kind they are) are fifty-fifty. It’s give and take on both sides. If you’re not up for the task, how does Mick Jagger put it? “Get off of my cloud.”

My one true friend who has been there through thick and thin, I met in the eighth grade. We started going together on Valentine’s Day when we were freshmen. We were inseparable all through high school. We were babies. Life needed to be lived and we were too young to live it together. He went his way and I went mine and we experienced much life without each other. Twenty six years later we reconnected and all the old feelings returned. True friendship, true love, true respect for each other. It truly was an act of God, and life has not been better.

I don’t like to preach about my faith because I’ve seen too many bad things become of it. Christians praise God for this and that and everything else. It gets so sickening after seeing it so much. People who do that give Christians a bad name. I can share this from experience because I did it. If you know what God did for you, good, live it. Show it. He died on the cross for you, He didn’t say you had to. I’m a sinner, saved by grace. I swear, I drink, I talk about sex. I dress provocatively sometimes. I even smoke a cigarette on occasion. I write controversial shit and there are a lot of explicit words wrapped in sex and drugs and violence. Does that mean I’m going to hell? No, it means I’m real and I’m living life in a sin cursed world.

Today I celebrate my birthday. Today I thank God for all of the people and experiences He has put me in contact with throughout my (almost) half-century life. I am who I am because of the choices I made, and the experiences I lived. There is not one person to blame for anything I have gone through, good or bad. When bad things happened, I had put myself in a situation I should have thought better of. When good things materialized, I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. We all have options in our life. It is up to us to make the best choices for the path we wish to go down.

Now on to bigger and better things. Now on to the next best seller. Check out some of these blogs for an in-depth interview with the emerging author of Blackhorse 2015, Crackerberries.

http://www.ellemarlow.blogspot.com/
http://www.mermaidsandmayhem.blogspot.com/
http://rebeccalfrencl.blogspot.com/
http://getinjohnshead.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/hanging-loose-with-crackerberries-anderson/