Saturday, February 29, 2020

Writing On An Average Night ~ by M.T. Roberts

Writing is a form of productivity, but a rare one that can often be achieved through torpidity; tossing in bed at night, woolgathering ingenious, never-before heard twists and turns that no self-respecting reader could ever deny was pure gold. Needless to say, it’s this very oddball merit of the medium that entices so many would-be auteurs to the page. At first, anyway (staying is the real trick). For writing, in the end, is still productivity. And when the notions of work and toil and creation come to mind—again, productivity—most of us are a little less enthused to embark on such projects after a long day at work, much-less after the continuation of that long day, when we come home and children and spouses, or just life, may be involved.

Writing (in an ‘authorly’ sense) is supposed to be art, or whatever it’s supposed to mean to whomever is engaged with it; it’s meant to be devoid of any normalcy we as average individuals feel throughout the course of our every day, fantasy-less existence. Right? No? Maybe? Sure? Sure. So, yes, naturally you wonder to yourself when the sun goes down and dinner is in the works on a Monday evening as you sit in front of the T.V.: where did all the energy and exuberance of 3 a.m. skulk off to? Were we not absolutely brimming out of our pajamas with desire and drive last night? Were we not melting the very sheets with our well-thought ideas and names and places? Well, we were, but as we eat our Monday evening dinner, dreading work, dreading a routine meant to ready us for (of all states) sleep, we come to the grind of it.

Writing is work. It’s not enough to dream. And it’s not easy. It’s not even fun half the time. But here’s where those special few who first came to the page now stay on the page. Because we know writing is hard, we want to do it. Because it’s work no one asked you to do, and because no one even suspects it’s what you do, we want to do it. It’s because we create not only our own stories, but the time in which we get to create them, that we want to do it. And that’s why, come tonight, we will do it. When your visons and dreams come back, you’ll sneak out of bed and crack the bedroom door ajar just enough to slip through. And you’ll take your time. You’ll take your time spreading your toes to the areas of the floor you know are least likely to creak and pop; you’ll hope those weird sinews in your limbs don’t pop either (strange when that became a thing), and when you reach your laptop—your pen and paper, or notepad, or god forbid, typewriter (silly to sneak there!)—you’ll be vigil and begin or continue or end.

Come Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? Well, those are different stories. 

Listen to M.T. Roberts podcast episode here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Episode 142 - Guest Rebecca Thein

Rebecca Thein – author of Rise Above the Truth, Following Sweet Dreams Home, and the Unrelenting Passion series.


Episode 141 - Guest CJ Baty

CJ Baty – author of the Knights Club series, the Pinkerton Man series, and the Legend of the Ghost Train series.


Sunday, February 23, 2020


These are the most listened-to episodes of the week. Did your favorite make the list?

1)   Julie Lence
2)   Debra Parmley
Victoria Gilbert
4)   Linda Poitevin
5)   Jason Peters
6)   Cherime MacFarlane
7)   TwinsieTalk Book Reviews
8)   Tracy A. Ball
9)   Book + Main
10) Melanie Jayne

*stats compiled from - these do not include numbers from ArtistFirst Radio Network

Saturday, February 22, 2020

15 - or 93 Dog -Years of Writing: An Author's Evolution ~by Renee George

February 2005, I submitted a novella to several publishers. I was collecting rejections at that point, and I fully expected to add more, nice but perfunctory thanks, but no thanks, letters to my collection. Two weeks later, I was offered my first book contract. That was fifteen years ago (that's ninety-three in dog years, which is how I count these days). I was thirty-six, working full time as a nurse while getting a second degree in English, my son had just turned ten, and I was caring for my dying father-in-law (he died in April 2005 when my first book was published), we moved from our home to take care of my mother-in-law, and then my own father died the next year in April, almost an exact year to the date. I was depressed and feeling like I had yoked myself.

In many ways, my writing in my thirties reflected my need to escape the stress of work, classes, and my first taste of being part of the sandwich generation (taking care of both a young child and an elderly parent). It was tantamount to domestic life escapism for me. I wrote about men and women with very few ties to family or community (because often I felt overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility I had to both, and it was a relief to leave them behind for a while, if only in story). The books were plot driven and heavy on the paranormal. Most of my characters were young, in their twenties, damaged but still hopeful, and still trying to figure out who they were--journeys of self-discovery.

In my forties, my stories were mostly about heroines in their thirties, usually going through some transition. They were a little more jaded, but still hopeful. They knew what they want and had a plan to get there. I also started migrating from romance into mysteries. In my personal life, for the first half of my forties, my son was graduating from high school, I gained a bit of weight, my mother-in-law's health was on a steady decline, and I was trying (but failing) to strike a balance between the all-consuming personal vs professional life. By my late forties, I had developed really strong female friendships, and they really played a part in advancing my heroine's growth. I can't tell you how many times I have felt rescued, uplifted, and supported by my BFFs. I also fell in love with animals again. I have two dogs, a beagle and pit bull, and two cats, a gray female and orange and white male, who I obsess over! Just check out my Instagram for proof that I stalk my animals. So, the dogs and cats started making it into my stories as well.

Now, I'm fifty-one. This past year I had a total hysterectomy and salpingo-oophorectomy (basically I had uterus, tubes, and ovaries removed) in October 2019 (only three months ago!!), my mother-in-law passed away in December, and my son turned twenty-five years old. A quarter of a century! Writing it down makes me feel old. *laugh* But actually, I am emotionally in a good place. Something clicked after I turned fifty, and I am no longer searching for an identity. Even when a new crisis pops up, I'm calm, collected, and logical about how it should be handled. And once again, my writing is evolving into something that mirrors my life. 

I am currently writing the first book in a new cozy mystery series, the Nora Black Midlife Psychic Mysteries, with a heroine who is fifty-one years old, who recently moved back to her hometown, lost her mother to brain cancer, and has just recovered from a hysterectomy. She is starting a new business and a new life, and she's really comfortable with herself. But when her best friend's abusive ex is found dead at the scene of a fire, her BFF is the main suspect, and Nora, who has developed an interesting psychic side effect from dying during surgery, has to figure out who the killer is. Friendship is centric in this cozy psychic mystery, as it is in my real life.

And there you have my author evolution from 2005 to 2020 as a wife, a mother, a care giver, and finally, a woman over fifty but feeling like she is getting a second chance at another beginning (thank heavens for hormone replacement therapy. *laugh*).

Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling Author, Renee George writes paranormal mysteries and romances because she loves all things whodunit, Otherworldly, and weird. Also, she wishes her pittie, the adorable Kona, could talk. Or at least be more like Scooby-Doo and help her unmask villains at the haunted house up the street.

When she’s not writing about mystery-solving werecougars or the adventures of a hapless psychic living among shapeshifters, she dons her superhero cape and rescues kittens. Okay, the kitten totally showed up one day and suddenly she’s got a new pet named Simon.

She lives in Missouri with her husband of 30 years and spends her non-writing time doing really cool stuff…like watching TV and cleaning up dog poop.

Check out Renee's books on her website and be sure to follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Bookbub.  You can also 'like' her page on Facebook and join her Reader Group, and to stay up on what's new, be sure to sign up for her Newsletter.

Listen to Renee George's podcast episode here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Episode 140 - Guest Julie Lence

Julie Lence – author of the Weston Family series, the Jackson Creek series, and the Revolving Point, TX series.


Episode 139 - Guest Debra Parmley

Debra Parmley – author of the Desperate, Dangerous, & Deadly collection, the SEAL Protectors series, and The Hunger Roads trilogy.