A Tribute to Writing

 Happy New Year Everyone!

It is time to get started on another year as we continue our journey in the world of writing. And to signal the end of 2014, I’d like to make a tribute to writing by recognizing the members of the Writing Writers Group (WWG).

Dream big picture

Reach for the stars..


Reaching a Goal

There were several members of the WWG that saw their dream of becoming a published author turn into a reality during 2014.


In tribute, Tipping hat by President Coolidge hats off to each of you

Paul Dellinger for his book Mr. Lazarus and Other Stories Mr. Lazarus book cover

Rosa Lee Jude for her completion of her five book series, Legends of Graham Mansion Graham Mansion Series

Renate Braddy for her Scars debut Renate Scars book cover

K.R. Thompson for not one, but TWO series: The Keeper Saga and The Untold Stories of Neverland with Book One-Hook Hook book cover

Pam B. Newberry with two books: The Letter: A Page of My Life and The Fire Within Fire book cover

The WWG is developing into a prolific bunch of writers!

It is exciting to share what we’ve learned, to support each other’s writing goals, and to know someone will always be there when one of us is feeling lost, despondent, or as a failure. Being an active member of the WWG is an important component to being able to make the writing journey seem less like a dream and feel more like life–it is real!


Dream big picture

Reach for the stars…

Goal Setting 

Setting goals is another important part of living the writing life. And, like all good New Year’s revelers, we are being encouraged by all of the writing gurus in the writing world to determine and set goals.

So, what are your goals for 2015? Have you set any yet? If not, why not?

There are many different ways you can set a goal. But, sometimes, as we’ve heard, the KISS method maybe the best method.

  • Take time to sit down and reflect on what 2014 meant to you as a writer.
  • Use a pad and pencil to record your thoughts, feelings, and dreams.
  • Consider how you want 2015 to be used to help you improve your chances at reaching your goals. But mostly, ask yourself what do you REALLY want for 2015?
  • After you list your dreams, begin to make plans for how you plan to reach them. It is possible! Think about how good you will feel this time next year when you look back on your journey—it will spur you forward!

Reading picOutside Reading 

Here are some good reading suggestions you may find thought-provoking as well as inspirational:

2015 picMy New Year’s Wish for You
May you

  • Find this blog helpful to you
  • Support each other in your writing endeavors whether through posting comments or sharing this post
  • Make plans for 2015 to be stellar, because you are!
  • Consider writing the next great novel, novella, novelette, short story, or an entry in your journal, but mostly, just WRITE!

Always with Smiles and Cheers,

This post, A Tribute to Writing, was first posted on The WWG Blog by Pam on January 2, 2015.

Pam’s Bio: An aspiring novelist and honey bee keeper. Learn more about Pam’s writing by following her website and signing up for her newsletter: The Newberry Tales.

Pictures in post: All book images courtesy of the respective authors. Dream Big and Read photos by Stuart Miles and 2015 photo by Satit Sirhin all from Free Digital Photos dot net, and the President Coolidge picture courtesy of Wiki Commons

Five Books and a Funeral

by Rosa Lee Jude, Co-author of the Legends of Graham Mansion series

The five books of the Legends of Graham Mansion Series

The five books of the Legends of Graham Mansion Series

Squire finally stopped talking.

That may seem like a strange opening line for a blog post. It’s only strange if you don’t know who Squire is.

Revelation Book Cover

Book Five – Revelation

The final book, REVELATION, in the Legends of Graham Mansion series has just been released. This five-volume journey began when co-author and historian Mary Lin Brewer contacted me in March 2012. “I have this idea for a series,” she said. “I’ve got tons of research, legends, and stories. But, I’m not really a fiction writer. I understand that you are.” As they say, the rest is history, quite literally now. Two and half years and five books later, the series is complete. I finally shut up Squire.

For those of you who have not read the series, “Squire” is Squire David Graham. This mysterious, but brilliant, man was a powerful entrepreneur of the 1800s in Southwest Virginia. He amassed a substantial number of businesses and land holdings in a relatively short amount of time and was known for his ruthless business dealings and not-so-pleasant personality. The beacon of his success still stands today in the form of a historic mansion in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Many say that he has never left his stately home. I say he has spent the last two and a half years living rent free inside my head.

While our central character and heroine was a lovely young lady and time traveler named Grae White, Squire seemed to be the one who truly haunted me. Through the many long months of writing the series, he visited me in my dreams. Sometimes so forcefully that I would have to get up in the middle of the night and pay homage to him on my keyboard. The grave scene in AMBITION was the result of three such nights in a row.

As I tied up the loose ends of the series in the finale, I reread the previous volumes. Even an author has to remind herself, at times, about what she has written. I couldn’t leave any key elements unresolved. The more I read the previous books (REDEMPTION, AMBITION, DECEPTION, and SALVATION), the louder Squire’s voice seemed to get. He was determined that I finish his story. But, one late July evening, as the final words were typed, he grew silent. I felt like I had been to a funeral, my emotions were spent. I had laughed and cried a lot through the final story. I had said goodbye. I had finished Squire’s story. He has been silent ever since.

Writing a series is a serious undertaking. It’s not just the beginning and end that are important, it’s all those words in between that link together to convey the world you have created for your readers. It’s a commitment. The characters become family. The readers become friends. You don’t want to let anyone down. Many readers have asked how I managed to write so many words (about 450,000) in two and a half years. The answer is simply dedication. Just about every night and every weekend, words were typed. While I was at work during the day, the story passed to Mary Lin who would fill in the historical matter, legends, and some of her own twists. Weeks turned into months and like the little engine who could, we built a series—one page, one chapter, one book, at a time.

And now, it’s over. All has been revealed. REVELATION is in the hands of those who will cherish it the most, the readers. Now in its entirety, we hope that it is embraced by legions of future readers for many years to come.

The journey is over. Or maybe, it’s only just begun.

Introduction of Rosa Lee Jude

Rosa Lee Jude began creating her own imaginary worlds at an early age. While her career path has included stints in journalism, marketing, tourism, and local government, she is most at home at a keyboard spinning yarns of fiction and creative non-fiction. She lives in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia with her patient husband and very spoiled rescue dog.

To learn more about the series, visit http://www.LegendsofGrahamMansion.com

If you would like to follow Rosa Lee’s writing adventures, like her Author Page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/rosaleejudeauthor

You can also like her Author Page on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/rosaleejude

Thanks Rosa for another very informative post! We hope you will leave a comment or two and will follow Rosa as she begins a new journey in writing. Word is she is working on a new book. You should post questions to her and get her to share what she’s planning for her writing adventure!


Meet Marine Letsco: Who is she and why should I care?

Okay…it’s time to get down to it. I’ve mentioned on three blogs and on the back cover of my recently published book The Letter: A Page of My Life that I am currently working on a new investigative/murder-mystery series.

What’s it about? Ah, good question…

Meet Marine Letsco, the protagonist of my new series.

Standing at 6 foot 1 in bare feet and in spiked heels, 6 foot 4, she weighs in at a lean 140 lbs. and is a captivating beauty. Her long, straight auburn hair flows gently over her shoulders and down to the middle of her back. Her muscular body is curvy in the right locations, but she is as deadly as a brown-recluse spider. Bored with her life, Marine hates what she does even though her job offers her the finer things in life — road trips to all parts of the world, clothes that most people only see in magazines, and a night life that even James “Sonny” Crockett of Miami Vice fame would be envious.

Marine never knew her father though she was named after him. He was killed in Vietnam serving in the marine corp. She doesn’t remember her mother and never learned her fate. Growing up in an orphanage, she developed a killer instinct based on her exposure to cruel and devious people. Marine is a paid fixer.

While on a trip to the Caribbean that was a vacation turned work assignment, Marine begins to pursue the idea of changing her career track. She knows she wants to do something different with her life, but she isn’t sure what that maybe and that’s about where her story begins.

View from a Carribbean Island

View of the ocean from a Caribbean Island.

It is hoped that Marine and the other characters in this new series will enable you to Escape to the Caribbean (working title) with me as I write this story over the next months.

Until the story is ready for beta readers to review and provide feedback, guest bloggers will post to this blog to share their experiences as they learn how to be an author. These guest bloggers are members of the Writing Writer’s Group (WWG) and will write on various topics from how to try your hand at blogging to how to keep inspiration for your writing when you feel really low.

The first guest post will be provided by Paul Dellinger, who is learning how to build an author platform. Paul Dellinger is a retired newspaper reporter who has a couple dozen short stories published, co-authored a book on fallout from a UFO flap, and two plays and a radio series performed. He lives in Wytheville, VA, with his wife, Maxine.

Check back next Thursday to read his post and every Thursday, as a different member of the WWG will post about writing. Better yet, sign up to receive an e-mail notice of when a new blog is posted (see sign-up below) as periodically, I’ll interject a post regarding my progress on Marine and her story.

Until then, write on!

Oh, and don’t forget to check out my memoir The Letter: A Page of My Life. Feel free to leave a comment about this blog and tell me what you think!

It’s Official…

I’m an officially published author on Amazon! My book, The Letter: A Page of My Life, is now available in both paperback and eBook format. Visit my Amazon author page for links to purchase and to leave a comment.

My first hurdle was getting the book ready for print using CreateSpace. I was able to accomplish that in December. Now, I have finally been able to convert my manuscript to an eBook format.

What was the hang-up?

Where would you like me to start? Seriously, it is a royal pain to convert a book to eBook format when it has a lot of pictures!! So insane!

Since I’m a newbie in this e-publication community, I’m not real sure who to blame or where the problems lie. But, I do know it is far more complicated than it needs should be. Someone, let’s call them “The powers-that-be,” who control the standards on eBook formatting have been fighting with this very issue. While they try to determine which or what method will benefit themselves, authors must labor through the craziness of figuring out what is the most and best use of the different eBook reading devices. The code is a brain-drainer!!! Oh my gosh!

I had to go back to school and read, read, study, study, try things out, and then start all over again when it didn’t work.

Bottom line — I’m still not happy with my final eBook, though only I and some of the major gurus out there will be able to point to HTML errors or bad code I may have innocently used.

Yet, if it wasn’t for several of those gurus out there and published authors that were willing to share their knowledge, I wouldn’t have my book in eBook format. It’s that simple.

Who helped me?

The following glorious people were instrumental to my success. One is a dear friend, the others have never met me, but have made it possible for me to publish my book. Many thanks to each of you and any others not specifically named:

Rosa Lee Jude – co-author of the Legends of Graham Mansion series. She pointed me to J. A. Konrath’s website and his many blogs on the value of e-publication.

J. A. Konrath – author of the famed Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series and the fantastic blog The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. His blog helped to make my publishing life much easier when he introduced me (through his blog, as we’ve not actually met) to Guido Henkel.

Guido Henkel – the formatting wonder guru! Wow! His nine-part series Take Pride in your eBook Formatting is a must read. Guido takes you through the bare bones, basic steps on how to format an eBook you would be proud of. It helped me beyond compare. My one area of biggest concern was the images, which Guido said in his blog that I’d need other resources to help me over that hurdle. His blog led me to Paul Salvette.

Paul Salvette – an author and e-publishing guru published The eBook Design and Development Guide in Kindle format. It is a little on the heady side, but necessary as he goes into multiple examples covering a variety of formats and eBook devices. I highly recommend his book for a good read if this is an area you want to dig into for future e-publication work. I plan to use many of his suggestions in the future.

Where do I go from here…I’m moving on to finish working on my investigative/murder-mystery series. I’ll keep you posted!

Write On!



Publishing Time!

Hello There!

This is an exciting time of the year. For some people, it is a chance to connect with family and friends without the hassles of work. For others, it is a chance to reflect on the past year, eat an abundance of food, and watch a multitude of television or go to the movies. For me, this is an extra special time! Especially, Tuesday, December 24, 2013, which I’m referring to as a new birthday for me.

It was the day my first ten books of my new book The Letter: A Page of My Life arrived at my door via the UPS guy!

My publishing career has officially started and my new book is about ready for release!

Now, I’m onto the phase of getting my book converted into eBook form and making it available in a variety of venues. It is planned that I’ll have it available no later than January 15, 2014.

I’ll keep you posted on availability right here on this blog site, so check back with me!

Happy New Year!