I’m a “Working Writer”

I just finished watching @PLL and felt inspired to run upstairs and actually pull out my laptop and work on my current WIP. It’s at 30k of a garbled mess at the moment, but I’m slowly piecing it back together and hope to have it ready to publish by the end of the year. Wither, I’ll send it to my publisher or try to venture out on my own is yet to be seen.

That being said, I received an email from my publisher today and originally they were going to re-release my novels Stealing Hearts and Forever Love as two paperbacks, but now have decided to publish them together as one volume in  a digital compilation that due out on February 10th along with another novel, Catching You, which is going to be out in paperback.

And. I’ve only been with Rebel Ink for a year and have three novels out. Wow! That has to be some sort of record for me. No wonder I’m trying to finish my “UN-finished” manuscripts before sending them out into the world. At least that’s one of my goals for 2016.

The other one is to finish all of books I haven’t read yet before buying something new, but I’ve already failed at that one when I pre-ordered my fellow rec rat Heather Hambel Curley’s newest release, Haunt.

Well, I had every intention of staying up late and writing since I close tomorrow night, I can already feel my eyes getting heavy and think I’m going to try to get more than 2-3 hours of sleep before my daughter wakes up wanting rocked back to sleep. Maybe I’ll try to write a bit on my dinner break instead.

Such is the life of a “working writer”. I think I just coined a new phrase for myself.








Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

Welcome Kathryn Robson

Today I want to welcome fellow Rebel Kathryn Robson to my blog. BTW ❤ the name!!!!


Playing Twenty Questions with Kathryn Robson


Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

100% the characters Amy and Daniel came first.

Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?

That is actually quite a difficult question, through the course of a book you evolve your people to have their own characteristics, so that if you throw them into a situation, and want them to act a certain way for a certain outcome, it may not coincide inline with their persona, as they would never do such a thing. So I suppose, I control them at the beginning and then the story evolves through them, if that makes any sense at all.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

Isn’t that almost the most fun part? Like naming a pet!

Golden actually started out being called ‘Full Circle’ but when I had finished, it was so different from what I had set it out to be, the title changed itself.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

First a vet, then a nurse. What I actually did was manage a Mcdonalds, then opened a clothes shop, now I have two and a new one in the making. But deep down I still wish I had gone down the nursing path, or maybe paramedic. And now I wish I could throw it all in and write stories all day!

Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?

I really want to start writing on my second book, out of lack of time it is all only mapped out in my head.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

I sometimes write with my pen between my middle and my index finger when I need to write fast.

You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

Choosing to accompany my son on the Manta at Seaworld – worst decision ever! Most terrifying thing I ever did.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

I need more sleep!

What were you doing at midnight last night?

Reading Lee Child.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Snails. Oh, and fermented duck egg. Don’t try it, just don’t!

What do you want to know about the future?

I like to make plans for the future, in all aspects, even down to what color I am going to paint the kitchen next year, but I would not want to know anything.

What’s your heritage? English, German, Irish etc…

I was born in Scotland by Scottish parents with a hint of Irish on my mothers side. I lived in America for 6 years, grew up in Germany speaking fluent German, now I live in Wales learning Welsh.

Deep down I still feel 100% Scottish, strange huh?

What is your favorite pizza?

Mushroom, onion and pesto.

What’s one thing scientists should invent?

Teleportation! I hate traveling in all and every form, train being the least tiresome.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

Put my muck-boots on and go up the mountain to play with the horses for a few hours or take the dogs for a walk along the beach.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No it was an accident, I never thought it would be so much fun, I could sit and write all day everyday now.

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

What I am doing now. We have just signed the lease on a high street clothes shop and are in the planning stages of interior design, signage and shop logo – so exciting!

Fill in the blank favorites (two word max!) – Dessert. City. Season. Type of hero. Type of heroine.

Dessert: Fruit salad, City: Edinburgh, Season: Summer, Hero: My hero wears dog tags or badge, Heroine: She is real, strong but with flaws that make her human, not some

perfect version of a modern day superhero, she sort of stumbles through everything, meaning well and trying her best.

Tell us about your current title.

I can’t write too much without spoiling the book. It is a Supernatural Fiction, with a good healthy romance embedded in it.

Golden see’s Amy escaping her abusive stepfather and making a new life for herself in a big city. Finally she is surrounded by friends and feels safe for the first time in her life, but her past is not done with her, her stepfather hunts her down and now she not only has herself to worry about as she is not his main target!

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

The Migrant Report

I received a copy of The Migrant Report in exchange for an honest review. Despite not being something I would normally read,I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Rajakum’s writing style and would read another of hers given the opportunity. I felt that her characters drew me in right away, although it was a little hard to keep them  straight.She took a harsh reality of how workers can be treated in other countries and made it enjoyable to read.

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

Prozac Anyone?

Now that I’m able to peek my head out of the “writing cave” where I’ve spent the last few weeks working on the edits for my newest novel, Stealing Hearts, I can finally update on here. Edits went slow as molasses partially because by the time I got my daughter to bed, I was exhausted myself and ended up falling asleep most nights at 10 p.m.! Lame, I know. But, I got them done by the skin of my teeth and now have a release date…..

Dec 10th, 2015 Stealing Hearts will be published with Rebel Ink. My second book in a year since my first novel, Forever Love just came out this past April. Wow!


I wonder if I can keep up the pace of publishing two novels a year or not. I emailed my publisher about other projects that I wanted to work on and the Forever Series is going to have one more novel, Catching You is going to be republished sometime soon and I’ve got four or five novels that I want to get finished for that series and then other random projects that I’m not sure are even going to see the light of day. I feel as if I’m turning into a writer friend of mine Melissa Storm with all the projects that I’ve got going on on top of raising a rambunctious 2 year old!

I think that I need a prozac or something to keep up this schedule that I want to do and be a wife on top of it all! Thank god that my husband supports my writing and won’t let me give up my dream despite my constant complaining that I cant do it all.

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

Hello Katie Gallagher

I finally got my rites for my first two novels back from my old publisher,so I was able to send them to my current publisher and we’re working on rewriting them and putting them back into the world 🙂 Ive figured out the new title,Stealing Hearts,and the cover and now I’m just waiting for the edits to show up in my email. Not very patiently if I say so myself,lol.
And, on top of my writer duties and my day job,which I’m thankfully off for a few days, my husband and I are starting to look at houses to get out of my mother in laws house.
We moved back home from fort Riley, Kansas in 09 and have lived here ever since,but ever since my father in law passed away  last year,its been hard to stay here and it seems like we’re not wanted any more so we’re leaving. I can’t wait to start our new life. Maybe I’ll even have my own office so that I have a place to go to write when I want to get away. I can finally feel like a real writer.

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

Coffee and a muffin with …Joyce T. Strand

Coffee and a muffin with…
Joyce T. Strand

Q: When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Eeeeek! Quick! No dawdling! You have to finish your interview with Kathryn Hickle so she can tell her blog readers about THE JUDGE’S STORY – new mystery featuring a Judge set in a small town in California in 1939.

Q: What does a work session look like in your world?

My work session basically is my laptop computer. Period. I don’t need anything else—well, I do need internet access. OK – I also love a view of the surrounding hills to look at while I’m contemplating. And access to coffee. Maybe a cat in my lap next to my computer. For THE JUDGE’S STORY, I required a library at the Ventura County Museum to research my judge and his community in 1939—with a year’s worth of a daily newspaper on microfiche. But basically just my computer!

Q: Which comes first for you, the chicken (story) or the egg (character/s)?

I just wrote an article on what comes first when writing a mystery—the plot or the character. Agatha Christie usually started her books with the murder first and then curved her characters, such as, Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot, around it. Michael Connelly claims that readers will remember his books for his characters, Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch. But I remember Mary Higgins Clark or Dick Francis books for their plots—some of which were terrifying, such as Clark’s book about a character buried alive in a coffin; or Francis’ horses getting shot with a “bolt.”

I definitely started THE JUDGE’S STORY with my character—the Judge—who was based on the memoir of a real California Superior Court Judge who lived in Ventura, California in the first half of the 20th century. I then created a fictional crime consistent with others of the times and a fictional group of characters around the Judge. But it was the Judge’s ethics, mores, behavior that guided the actions and reactions of the plot.

For my four current day mysteries, I start with a real criminal case and involve my amateur sleuth characters in it. The mystery or plot drives my characters’ actions.

Regardless, what’s important for the story is that characters get developed and plots get told. But the exercise is different depending on which initiates the story: the chicken or the egg. I like both!
Q: Has anyone ever told you you’d make a great…

Well, yes. Sort of. My late husband. When I complained about not being able to find a job after being laid off, he suggested that I write a book because after all that’s what I did for my 25-year career as a public relations executive—write, write, write. So, he said, I’d make a great author. When I questioned him about what I’d write, he responded, “Mysteries, of course. You read enough of them.”

Quite frankly, though, I think he just wanted to keep me from whining so much about not having a job.

Q: How do you relax and recharge your batteries?

I have several ways to recharge my batteries and they all include leaving my computer behind. My most favorite activity, however, is going to Broadway musicals or almost any live theater. Also I love going out to dinner at a special restaurant. And wine-tasting is fun and definitely helps to re-set my perspective and gain experiences!!! And travel helps – but I usually take my computer with me when I travel, so sometimes it just makes my life more complex.

Q: Fill in the blanks…

Dream date— Hugh Jackman
Place you like to hang—Theater (live)
Movie—Princess Bride
Novel— Shogun
Television show—NCIS or Castle
Guilty pleasure—Watching Television

Q: Are you working on anything at present you’d like to share with us?

First, I’m busy marketing THE JUDGE’S STORY, which I just released. I had such fun researching and writing it that I plan to do another historical mystery. The next one will feature a female reporter in the early 20th century, ala, Nellie Bly.

And I just finished the first draft of my next current-day mystery starring Brynn Bancroft – Corporate Executive turned winemaker – tentatively titled, PALETTE FOR MURDER, which I plan to release the end of the year. It’s a mystery about the murder of an artist that is set in wine country where the protagonist helps solve a murder while developing a killer Cabernet.

Q: Tell me something about your current title readers won’t/can’t get from the blurb or just reading the first few chapters.

I created THE JUDGE’S STORY based on a memoir of a real California Superior Court Judge, who was the grandfather of a friend. My friend mentioned that his family discovered the 1941 memoir in the attic of his grandfather’s house. He had written it at the recommendation of his law partner in the 1930s—maybe I knew him, Erle Stanley Gardner? Whew. You bet I know the creator of Perry Mason.

When I read the memoir, I was pulled into the life of this “hero judge” who did indeed live an interesting life and fought for many causes in his time. I didn’t need to re-tell his story, but I craved to star him in a mystery. So the character of the Judge is based on a real Judge but I wrote a fictional mystery and characters around him.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this interview with Joyce as I did doing it

 Web page : http://joycestrand.com

 Blog : http://StrandsSimplyTips.blogspot.com

 Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/JoyceTStrandAuthor


Amazon :http://bit.ly/1I0rZIL

Barnes and Noble :http://bit.ly/Xx8kab

Twitter : @joycetstrand

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment

A day in the life of Mommy

My daughter slept in till 9 am! She’s almost two years old and that is the latest that she’s slept, like ever. But unfortunately I was at work and didn’t get to be there when she woke up. I went to work in a bad mood and didn’t get out of my funk until it was time to go home. Does that tell you how much I hate my day job?

I’d much rather be at home raising my daughter and writing in my spare time. One can dream. For now,I work 30-35 hours a week and by the time I get home  exhausted that the only thing that I want to do is sit with a nice glass of wine and stare numbly at my phone reading a book with my kindle app.

Instead,I play outside withKeira,making dinner, cleaning up the tornado that the house has become, giving her a bath then comes bed time. Some nights she goes right down,while others she fights tooth an nail. Then, if I have the energy I boot up my computer and write for an hour or two before crawling into bed,exhausted.

But tonight I sit and write this blog,when I should be sleeping because work beckons in the morning.

Maybe tomorrow night I’ll feel like writing. I still need to edit the short story I just finished.

Posted in Writing | Leave a comment