Sunday, June 28, 2020


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

1)   Cindy Ervin Huff
2)   S. Massery
3)   Angela Ford
4)   MJ Preston
5)   Ester López
6)   Jackiem Joyner
7)   Jessica Lauryn
8)   Judith Katz
9)   Patrick Heffernan
10) Carolyn Denman

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

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Ending Fear through Communication ~ by Charles Peterson Sheppard

I met a young woman named Anai (Ana-ee) just the other day and we struck up a conversation. I found her fascinating. She seemed rather fearless to talk all about herself to a complete stranger like me. After all, I have grown cautious over the years, hesitant to open up, but Anai suffered no such trepidation. She was a sunshine yellow flower filling up a huge, empty space. At first, I chalked it up to naivete; she was after all, still in her twenties. But what impressed me most was the genuine nature of the exchange.

At one point she admitted, "I am a nerd, and I know it, and I'm proud of it." She gamely elaborated, telling me she owned nearly every gaming console that had been made, from early Nintendo to successive versions of Playstation, X-Box (and some others I never knew existed). Her father had built her a large expressly designed desk to house them all. He was an avid gamer, just like her. I could tell she really knew her stuff, and so I said, "Hey, have you ever thought about starting your own YouTube channel, or creating your own video blog, or even writing a book about everything you know?"

"Oh no," she said, "I don't think I could do that.

"Why not," I asked.

"Well because I'd be afraid to put myself out there like that..."

It struck me right then: that's a major fear of almost every writer I have ever known. In fact, most writers are a lot like our engaging young console gamer, Anai. They have a deep, rich, energetic love of the craft of writing, yet they are shackled by self-doubt, fear of judgment, fear of failure, and perhaps even fear of success! Of course, we've all read or heard about the successful writer who just wrote, and wrote, and wrote without the slightest concern of criticism or judgment. Unfortunately, that's not the case for many writers who work desperately to overcome several obstacles to do what they do. Not surprisingly, there is no shortage of articles about how how to write fearlessly, so to cover old ground would be redundant. Others have addressed the issues very well. Therefore, I want to focus on one thing, the publishing that I feel is best illustrated by my exchange with Anai.

One of the greatest techniques to increase your confidence, motivate yourself and provide the momentum to keep working on your project, be it a full novel, short stories or poetry, centers on communicating with a solid network of writers. The more you network, reach out and connect, the more you'll want to do what you love, which hopefully is write. My best promoters are other authors, and I met each and every one of them on social media. The concept is not new. If you become familiar with the lives of famous authors, you will know that a good portion of them blossomed and hit their peak after traveling abroad and hanging out with other like-minded writers. Today, that type of social grouping can be utilized without leaving your home town, through the internet. Book launches, book signings and readings, virtual writer's groups, book conventions and shows, writers' retreats, and of course standard social media can all be utilized as effective tools to network and expand your fellow author base. Before I made myself available to others, I always saw other authors as competing with me for the attention of readers. I've come to realize that the indie author market is so saturated, that I could not possibly hope to outshine, outshout or outspend other writers. I had to learn to appreciate in order to be appreciated.

And this approach works wonders. A group of authors cooperating together can bring far more exposure to a book than one author working alone. The constant interaction with others can also serve to motivate you to finish your project. So don't be afraid to join others in promoting each other. And by all means, keep writing.

Listen to Charles Peterson Sheppard's podcast episode here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Episode 176 - Guest Cindy Ervin Huff

Cindy Ervin Huff – author of Secrets & Charades and New Duet.!5b32f

Episode 175 - Guest S. Massery

S. Massery – author of the Fallen Royals series, the Broken Mercenaries series, and Something Special.!5b32f

Sunday, June 21, 2020


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

1)   Ester López

2)   Carolyn Denman
3)   Patrick Heffernan
4)   CJ Baty
5)   Judith Katz
6)   MJ Preston
7)   Tonya VanWinkle
8)   Kat Mizera
9)   Diana Rose
10) A.d. Ellis

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

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Allure Of The HEA – Why I Read And Write Romance ~ by Carmen Cook

When I finally announced I had been writing a book, a lot of family and friends were intrigued. I mean, how many of us had thought about writing a book “someday”? How many have dreamed of putting pen to paper and creating the next great American novel? And here I was, actually doing it. Not the great American Novel part, but writing a book. Aunts and Uncles came out of the woodwork with questions and encouragement. Friends wanted to hear more.


And then I told them I was writing a romance. Picture the air being sucked out of the room while people tried to figure out what to say. I mean, why romance? I’m an educated woman, I could write anything. Why would I stoop to writing that? People had opinions about my stories without ever having read a word. Others snickered. My mom was the one who asked the inappropriate question of if I tried out all the sex scenes myself (and then turned bright red and started stuttering when I happily answered ‘Of Course! How else could I describe them?’). But there were those who were supportive as well. A male colleague won my eternal affection when he heard I wrote romance and his first reaction was to immediately exclaim, “There’s a lot of money in romance!” (He’s right, there is. It’s a billion-dollar industry.)

What none of those people seemed to understand is that romance is a genre that transcends everything. A common misconception when it comes to the romance genre is that we read it for the sex. Yes, there is sex. Really good sex. Sometimes it’s unbelievable sex (I’ve yet to meet a virgin who achieved multiple orgasms). I hate to break it to you, but the sex in most romance novels isn’t the core driving force of the story.

Back when I first started writing and was having a lot of conversations defending my chosen genre, I spoke to a friend who is a die-hard sci-fi fan. We talked about what she found so intriguing about the genre, and at its core, she said it was the good triumphing over evil. No matter the foe, no matter the obstacle, she knew good would win in the end.

That’s the thing with writing (and reading) romance too. No matter the conflict, no matter the challenge, I am assured that at the end of the book, the heroes will be happy with one another. That they will have overcome whatever the obstacle was –be it a serial killer in romantic suspense, or the town gossip in a rom-com—and they will live happily ever after…or at the very least Happily For Now (HFN).

But the biggest objection I’ve heard about writing romance is that it’s so unbelievable. And for me, that’s a full stop. The idea that being cared for and loved, in spite of our imperfections, shouldn’t be unbelievable. Having someone love you for who you are isn’t unbelievable. There is nothing unbelievable about love.

So, for me, romance is my genre of choice. The allure of the HEA has never been more appealing.

Listen to Carmen Cook's podcast episode here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020