Authors' Chat

Old Fashioned Biscuits and a Great Book!

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together.     Dirt: The Story of Two Orphans by S. L. Dwyer The opening is stark. Thirteen-year-old Sammy Larkin comes across his parents, hanging from the rafters in their barn.  Left to take care of his seven-year old sister Birdie is hardly his only problem. The Larkin family lives in Texas County, Oklahoma during the height of the Depression’s Dust Bowl and in one of the worst hit areas. Sammy’s parents left a total of $.66 for the children, thinking that they would go to authorities and be safely placed in foster homes. Author Sharon Dwyer wrote to me, “I had to imagine what could be the worst that could happen during that time for kids. Times were difficult enough without having this type of…

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Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, multi award winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree David Penny shares with us his expertise with us. What are the steps in creating a setting for your story? How long have we got? I write Historical Mysteries which are also set in Southern Spain during the time of the expulsion of the Moors, so for me creating a setting is a mixture of detailed research and outright imagination. When I started my research, I discovered that little is known about my chosen period, and much of what is published can be over 150 years old. The world of Moorish Spain would have been very different to modern Spain, so I needed to world build as much as recreate a world now lost. I also walk the ground. I spend long periods of time in Spain,…

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Did you know that many of our indieBRAG readers are authors? Why should that matter?

  I read an interesting article the other day about the importance of authors reading books – even if they don’t like to read.  Does that strike anyone else as very strange-- Not the importance of reading, but an author not liking to read?  How can an author write a compelling story and expect readers to enjoy their work if they don’t enjoy reading?  Mind boggling. Reading for indieBRAG gives a reader an opportunity to analyze both the good and not so good attempts at writing a worthy book.  I have often been told by authors that after reading a book for indieBRAG they have gone back to change things in their current works.  It is not uncommon to find things they don’t particularly like only to realize they have committed the same error in their writing.  So, you see, it isn’t important to only read the great classics, but to also learn from those who are trying to appeal to your audience as an author. Stephen King has also said in his book on writing: “The real importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing… Constant reading will pull you into…

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Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, Award Winning Author Sophie Perinot, shares with us her expertise. What are the steps in creating a setting for your story? Creating a realistic 3-dimensional world for our characters and readers to inhabit together is one of a writer’s most important tasks. Historical novelists have both an advantage and a disadvantage when creating settings, because that many of the locations in our work are real. The advantage to genuine settings is we can visit them in person or—if that is not physically or financially possible—visit them virtually via the internet. We can also research the bejeebers out of them. As someone who majored in history, I am very serious about my research. I’ve also been to many of the locations featured in my work, especially those in my most recent novel, Médicis Daughter,…

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Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, writer Stuart S. Laing, author of the, The Robert Young of Newbiggin Mystery Series shares with us his expertise. First of all, please allow me to thank you for giving me the opportunity to join you today. It is always a pleasure to spend some time discussing writing with someone who works tirelessly to promote writing and authors. -Stuart What are the steps in creating a setting for your story? As a real estate agent might put it: location. Location. Location. As I write a series of murder mysteries set in Edinburgh, Scotland during the 1740s I enjoy trying to take the reader back to what, for some, are familiar streets but create a picture of how they were almost 300 years ago. Fortunately, I have several maps from the period which are…

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Ingredients In Story-Telling That Impact A Reader’s Imagination

Writing a story is an art in itself. Creating the right setting, the perfect characters, plot, believable dialogue and conflict. With those blended ingredients are what makes a story impact the reader’s imagination, mind and heart. The most important aspect of story-telling is to draw the reader in your character’s world. How are the stories written to do this and how does one make it work? Today, award winning B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Scott Prill shares with us his expertise with us. Stephanie: What are the steps in creating a setting for your story?  Scott: I have a beginning and an end in mind before I start writing.  Filling in the "in-between" is what is fun and challenging about writing a book.  As I create characters and scenes, additional thoughts for existing and new settings and characters follow. Stephanie: There is a fine line between creating a visible backstory and a hidden backstory of your characters? What are the steps in balancing it out? What should you not do?  Scott: I am not sure if this answers the question – but I try and have twists and surprises in the story.  It is fun to create a story where a reader…

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Antagonist Hun King, Uldric with Award Winning Author Scott Prill

I’d like to welcome Award Winning Author Scott Prill today to talk about his antagonists. Scott was born in Iowa and received a M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa in 1977.  His subsequent career choices have reflected a strong interest in natural resources.  Since graduating, Scott has held positions as a limnologist and environmental consultant.  He also has a M.B.A. and is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.  For the previous twenty-six years, Scott has been an in-house environmental consultant for the law firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Scott resides in Bayside, Wisconsin, with his wife, Marcie.  He enjoys spending time with their three adult children and writing.  Into the Realm of Time is Scott’s debut novel.  Antagonists name.  There is more than one antagonist in Into the Realm of Time.  However, the number one antagonist would be the Hun King, Uldric. What are two emotional traits your antagonist has? Uldric's is a man with a narrow focus.  His two primary emotional traits are ambition on both personal and establishing Hun empire levels.  He is also has a "chip on his shoulder" and motivated by revenge. Does your antagonist feel victimized? How so? Yes.…

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Sarah’s Tomato Pie

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes Each month, I’ll share the magic of a good foodie lit read and one of its recipes. Cooking and recipes in books take us into the mind of the character or narrator and brings us into the book’s kitchen to see, smell and share the lives within. ​Or I’ll take a good read and, with the author, find a recipe to pair with it! Either way, here’s to cooking and reading together! Susan  the indieBRAG Food Sarah’s Journey by David Beasley Review and Recipe by Susan Weintrob Her father and later her half-brother were her masters.  But family ties did not free her nor guarantee fair treatment. Sarah’s situation worsens, becoming so horrific that she fears for her life from her step-brother-master’s brutality. Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery in 1790, finally escapes to Canada in 1822 with three of her children. "I heard a school librarian in Simcoe mention that a student wrote an essay about a slave who had a son by the town’s richest merchant and that their son became one of the richest men in NYC.” Thus began David Beasley’s research on the life of Sarah Kinney Lewis, born into slavery…

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Interview with Award Winning Author Nicole Evelina

We are delighted to welcome Award Winning Author Nicole Evelina today to talk with us about her advice in creating a setting for a story, creating visible backstory, conflict, creating believable dialogue and advice on what to do when writers are stuck on a specific scene. Nicole, what are the steps in creating a setting for your story? Really for me the only two steps are the decision and the doing research. The decision is really based in what will best serve the story, both in terms of historical accuracy and plot/characters. When I can, I like to visit the location (even if I am writing about another time period) because there is no substitute for walking where your characters do. But if I can’t, I look at pictures, Google Maps and Google Earth, read guidebooks and talk to locals (gotta love the internet for that!) To me, the setting has to tell the reader something about the time period (or for contemporary books, the nature of the story) and the characters. It has to be accurate, lush and evocative. So I’ll give two examples. In my Guinevere books, Avalon is a main setting. Obviously, it’s a mythical place, so…

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A Book from my Childhood – Igniting a Passion By Marisa Parker

As a child, I loved Enid Blyton books. The Famous Five Series was especially something that I became totally enthralled in. The stories drew me in. The words would wrap themselves around me and levitate me to another world. I have a vivid imagination you see. And of course, Enid Blyton's story telling was just so captivating. I grew up in Africa and yet, the sentences peppered with exclamations like, "Jolly Good!", and descriptions of mouth-watering English high teas were intriguing, and so very different to my way of life. However, it was a book called the Island of Adventure that really did it for me. That first book of the Adventure Series (Enid Blyton) was a brilliant read for a shy teenage girl with simmering hormones who didn't quite fit-in. Books were a welcome and comforting escape mechanism. Looking back, I remember that sometimes, and I still do this today, I’d re-read a sentence or paragraph if it was well written or made me think twice. The seeds were already growing of how one day, I would want to write my own stories. Write something that would captivate the reader or at least make them think … hopefully good…

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