Tag Archive for: “Author”

Untitled Post

by Saralyn
my lifetime, I’ve witnessed a multitude of tragic, life-changing events:  hurricanes, assassinations, explosions,
riots, terrorist activities, and deaths. And now a pandemic and outrageous acts
of racism, both of which shake our value systems to their very roots.
phrase, “May you live in interesting times,” often attributed to the Chinese,
comes to mind. The first time I heard this platitude, it was meant to comfort
me after a devastating loss. I researched its origin and learned that its
meaning is misleading. Instead of consolation, the phrase is actually a curse,
the extrapolation of which is: “It is better to live in uninteresting times.”
In other words, times of peace and tranquility are uninteresting, while people
are more fascinated by times of trouble.
one aspect of life-changing experiences that offers hope for the future is the term
“change.” Events bring opportunity, in real life and in fiction. This fact has led
me to examine quotations about change, and I thought I’d share some that
resonate with me.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it,
change your attitude. -Maya Angelou
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across
the waters to create many ripples. -Mother Teresa
Every small positive change we make in
ourselves repays us in confidence in the future.
Alice Walker
No matter what people tell you, words and ideas
can change the world. –Robin Williams

my opinion, authors have an extra layer of opportunity, an extra layer of
responsibility in troubled times. Our words, our ideas, our plots, our
characters have the potential to reach numerous readers. We may bring light to
readers in darkness, hope to readers in desperation. We indeed can change the
conversations with my Muse these days, I ask for extra doses of inspiration,
sensitivity, compassion, patience, persistence, and good-heartedness. In
addition to good health and safety, I wish these same doses for you.
strives to make the world a better place, one
book at a time. A member of Mystery Writers of America and International
Thriller Writers, she has won several writing awards, including the Killer
Nashville Silver Falchion Readers’ Choice 2019 award. Her children’s
Naughty Nana, and her Detective Parrott Mystery series,
 Murder in the One Percent and A Palette for
Love and Murder,
 have earned her a world of readers, both
young and adult. Look for 
A Murder of Principal, which will be released in January,
Visit Saralyn’s Amazon Author Page at https://www.amazon.com/Saralyn-Richard/e/B0787F6HD4/ref
or her website at http://saralynrichard.com.

Visions of the Future

He says he fell in the deep end,
thank goodness, or he’d’ve
hit his head on the steps.

Y’all my 65-year-old fully dressed husband fell into our pool whilst washing down the deck. It reminded me of something I’ve seen recently that said “You can tell if you’re old by how people react when you fall. If they laugh first, you’re young. If they immediately run to you to ensure you’re okay, you’re old.”

Well, I did the second scenario with him. All he needed help with was the removal of his hearing aids. Which made me laugh and then our 17-year-old son and I fell into a huge fit of the giggles. My sweet husband may never live this down. It’s been three days and his shoes are still soaked because he won’t listen to me tell him to take out the soles and set the shoes and the inserts in the hot almost-summer sun we’ve been enjoying here on the outskirts of Charleston.

In April he turned 65, which makes this the once a decade nine months of teasing I get to subject him to because our ages are flipped. He’s 65 and I’m 56. I think it’s hilarious. He shakes his head at me a la Desi at Lucy.

Which got me to thinking about the romance that we write, the beginning, falling in love, and getting to know one another. The first time they fart is kinda cute, the “don’t go down the hall or near the guest bathroom anytime soon” is equally adorable but never written about.

When I was a child, our family would go on two-week trips with another couple and their niece and nephews. I usually shared the room with the couple and the niece. Once I caught the wife trimming her husband’s bushy eyebrows. I said, “Wait, is that a thing? Am I going to be doing that when I’m older?” She replied, “Only if you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship this long.”

Mary Grace Coker Couch and 
Dud Spiegel (DS) Couch, Jr.

When I could drive myself to Easley, SC from either college in Columbia or home in Charleston, I’d visit with my grandparents once a month of my own volition. My grandfather would wait until I visited so I could cut his nails. He said when I trimmed them; they didn’t need filing. Whatever magic I did, left them perfect. He might have said this so I’d visit more often, but it worked.

My grandfather got very sick toward the end. My grandmother and I would sit at the kitchen counter playing solitaire and not speaking before nine in the morning (her rule). Papa would venture down the hall to the restroom from his bed. Nanny would eagle-eye and sonic-ear his every move. It made me sad but joyful that their intense love affair had lasted over sixty years. She was attuned to his every move.

As I’m writing my stories of the blossoming of love, I’m instilling in that depth of feeling the longevity and faithfulness of many years to come. The stinky bathrooms, the wiry eyebrows, the missteps into pools while fully dressed and while the spouse is on a conference call, the never getting the order right at the drive-thru, the refilling of the coffee cups without asking, the Batman signal of the empty tea pitcher on the counter, the kiss every time one of them departs or arrives, all melt into one beautiful love story that’s lurking in the unwritten epilogue.

When you read a story, do you ever picture the hero and heroine as a long-time couple with all their quirks and habits?

For example, imagine Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in their fifties. They’re 21 and 28 when she accepts his proposal. How will they change but still be in love thirty years later?

What would they be doing to get on one another’s nerves? What would they do to show their deep love? Would they finally be straight with one another and not hide behind their words? Will she still think he’s hot when his dad bod goes swimming in the pond?  Will she caution him not to be reckless on his horse? What’s his reaction when she’s gone on one of her extensive walks and hasn’t returned by tea-time?

Are they enjoying being home together all time, since Mr. Darcy lives off interest income? How do they spend this time? Do they have couple friends? Dinner parties? Travel? Is she exasperated with him now that she’s hit menopause? Is he worried about losing his hair?

My take? I think Fitzwilliam will take joy in his wife being her own person and speaking her mind, I can see him watching her with pride at dinner parties or when she’s taking the lead in community events. And Elizabeth/Lizzy will pamper on him and sit in his lap by the fireplace for years to come, much to their children’s and servants’ chagrin.

I might be embedding my relationship with my husband in their storyline though, what are your thoughts?


Robin Hillyer-Miles writes romance of the contemporary, magic-realism, and cozy mystery varieties. “West End Club” appears in the anthology “Love in the Lowcountry: A Winter Holiday Edition.” She’s writing “Cathy’s Corner” a 45,000-word contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Marion’s Corner, SC.

Robin lives near Charleston, SC where she works part-time for the YWCA Greater Charleston (she took this photo <<< on 12/11/2020 her first day on the job) and gives tours of downtown Charleston (when there’s not a shutdown because of a pandemic). Her yoga instructing has fallen by the wayside but she strives to continue her home practice (it’s fallen by the wayside too, honestly).

She and her husband of 24-years love working from home together. Their teenage son enjoys finishing his junior year of high school online. The dogs don’t know what’s going on but they are digging all the attention. Her husband insists she needs a pool wherever they live, and she’s been enjoying the heck out of it during this stay at home order.

You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RobinHillyerMilesAuthorTourGuideYoga

The anthology is offered on Amazon in paperback or e-book here:

Author Events

by Bethany Maines

Like the Olympics author readings are cause for applause (from the audience), tears (usually from the author over their story), and gasps of surprise (like when someone literally falls out of their chair).  Unlike the Olympics, these events usually go better with alcohol. 

I recently participated in Noir at the Bar Seattle a quarterly reading event that brings together a variety of authors to share their work.  The entire purpose of the evening is to delight the audience with tales of crime, murder and debauchery.  And the latest event was no exception.  From serial killing teenagers to con men and a very threatening masseuse each tale took the listeners down a different dark alley.  Located at the aptly named Alibi Room at Seattle’s Pike place market (near the gum wall, for those who have been) the venue provided excellent atmosphere.

I enjoy the opportunity to read in public, but this wasn’t always the case.  It’s nerve wracking to reveal any artistic work to the judgement of the public, but then having to be the vehicle for that art, whether it’s dance or some other type performance, puts the judgement not just on the work itself, but on the performer.  Or in other words, you’re all staring at meeeeeeeee! 

What has helped me is to realize that the act of reading is separate from the story itself.  I can have the perfect story, but if I biff the performance then no one will know.  In order to present my beautiful baby story to the world in the best way I must ovary up and give it a proper introduction.  Fortunately, my introduction for Tammy Loves Derek, a happy-go-lucky tale of gold-digging and revenge went well.  Perhaps in the future I will be able to find it a nice publication to match it up with.  But I will definitely be looking forward to the next opportunity to share my words with an audience.

Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

W. C. Fields Was Right

by Shari Randall

Last weekend, I attended my first writers’ festival – the Local
Authors Fair at the New London (CT) Public Library. To clarify, I attended for
the first time as an author. I met lots of great folks, fellow authors, and
dedicated librarians. And I learned the secret to sales at writers’ events:
Adorable dogs and cookies.
It’s been a month of firsts – my first novel, my first book
signing, my first blog interviews. In each, I’ve had fun, but I know I’ve made
rookie mistakes. For example, at the authors’ festival appearance I showed up
with books. Just books. No cookies. No candy. No dog.
Bottom line? I sold two books. The author with the adorable
dog? She had a constant line of buyers!
Don’t let this happen to you.
If you haven’t written an uplifting story of a dog that
beats the odds, or don’t have an adorable dog to accompany you to events, here
are some out of the box ideas for selling books at signings and fairs from my
favorite writers, the Sisters in Crime of the Chesapeake Chapter.
Sherry Harris swears by a basket of chocolates to “lure
people in. Even though that sounds creepy.”
Barb Goffman suggested that authors offer to take off an
article of clothing for every book sold.
Maya Corrigan warned that this might work best only during
the warmer months. Libby Klein disagreed, saying that this strategy might work
better if the author offered to put on an article of clothing for every book
Donna Andrews suggested that you have stuffed animals do the
talking. During one Barnes and Noble group book signing, where customers either avoided
making eye contact or asked the authors where to find the bathroom, Donna liberated some stuffed reptiles from the
children’s department and used them to entice, er sorry, entisssse, customers
to visit the authorssss. The result? The rest of the signing was a resounding
Other advice? Grace Topping said don’t sit down – remaining
standing is more welcoming.
Alan Orloff said something about offering to wrestle an alligator, but
then, that’s Alan Orloff.

Do you have any advice for author events?

Shari Randall is the author of CURSES, BOILED AGAIN, the
first of the new Lobster Shack Mystery series from St. Martin’s Press. At her
next signing, she’ll be the one standing at the signing table with a basket of
chocolates, fully clothed, thank you very much.