Supporting writers one interview at a time

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Sayword B. Eller is a novelist, short story writer, and podcaster living in central North Carolina. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and Author’s Guild, and is the leader of Randolph Writers in North Carolina. Never shy when it comes to discussing writing, Sayword hosts a weekly podcast, About This Writing Thing, where she discusses her journey toward traditional publication, what’s going on in the writing industry, and even other people’s books. She is currently hard at work revising what she hopes will be her debut novel.

Thank you to Sayword for sharing her thoughts on writing! …


Supporting writers one interview at a time

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Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country. …


Supporting writers one interview at a time

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Meet Stuart McDonald:

I’m originally from the Lake District, where my family still live. Studied Graphic Design at Harrogate Art College and Middlesex University in London. My first job took me to Trowbridge, Wiltshire where I was tasked with re-designing the local paper from a tired old broadsheet to the more modern looking tabloid it is today. I’ve been here ever since and have worked for several different companies and also freelance over the years.

After receiving several poems from me, my girlfriend told me “You need to do something with that talent”. I also have a creative and talented daughter Isla, who inspired me to start writing children’s stories. …


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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Coping with isolation by any means possible

I’ve lost track of what week of quarantine we’re in, but I do know that I haven’t written at all during this isolation period — until now. At first I worried about my lack of productivity. Then I got frustrated by seeing so many articles about the pandemic. Like many others, I started cycling through all the stages of grief. I’m still in that process.

Some things have helped, however. Slowly, I think that many of us are learning ways to cope and adjust. These methods range from the extremely creative to quiet meditation.

Little things make a big difference in the gaps of the day, those times when I might have talked to a friend or met someone for coffee when I might have lingered in the grocery store aisles or gone to the gym. Granted, I do not have infinite free time right now; I am teaching (online, of course) and homeschooling while my husband works at the hospital. …


The challenges and impossibilities of educating during isolation

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I have taught online for over ten years, previously serving as an online Course Lead for my department, which involves designing and maintaining an online course for other instructors to use. I also currently serve as one of my college’s Instructional Technology Coaches. As an IT coach, I help other instructors all over the college make sure their online courses are set up best to serve students. We are looking for consistency across the whole college, but also looking for opportunities for student engagement and interaction. Does the class meet accessibility standards? Do the links still work?

This is all to say that I was not nervous about teaching online or converting face-to-face classes to online. It would be a tedious job, but I understood how it could work. Even so, I panicked as soon as I heard my seven-year-old son would be home with me while I taught. …


Supporting writers one author at a time

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Beth Overmyer is the author of several works of genre fiction, the middle grade novella In a Pickle being among them. Fueled by tea, loved by cats everywhere, she balances her home life with writing novels and leading a creative writing group at her local library.

Thank you to Beth for sharing her thoughts on writing and her own writing process.

Tell us about your book(s). What influenced you to write it/them?

I write in several different genres, but my focus now is fantasy — which is broad enough with all the sub-genres it umbrellas (epic and urban, for starters.) The idea for my latest series, The Goblets Immortal, came from two words: warring goblet. The words just popped into my head, and I let them sit for a while as I wrote other things. After waiting, I started asking myself if there were more than one goblet, and what each one did. Then came Aidan, my protagonist. He’s rough around the edges and isn’t great with other people. Well, I mean, he’s been on the run for most of his life for a crime he was framed for. The poor guy has trust issues. Anyway, book one follows Aidan as he is makes allies (and more enemies) in his quest to find his family that vanished when he was a boy. The mage Meraude offers him a deal: bring me the Goblets Immortal, and I will reunite you with your family. …


Supporting writers one interview at a time

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A spirited writer from the ripe age of seven, Alyssa DiCarlo finds joy in the simplest things in life — a pen, paper, and her vivid imagination is all she needs to be truly content. Published by 21 years old, DiCarlo dreams of sharing the deepest depths of her mind with all of those interested in her intriguing tales.

Born and raised in Florida, Alyssa and her husband have jumped from state to state before settling in Alabama. …


Supporting writers one interview at a time

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Born in 1954 in London of mixed Scottish and English parentage, Timothy Balding grew up and was educated on a British military base in Germany. He left school and his family at the age of sixteen to return alone to the United Kingdom, where he was hired as a reporter on local newspapers in Reading in the county of Berkshire. For the ensuing decade, he worked on local and regional titles and then at Press Association, the national news agency, covering politics in Westminster, the British Parliament. He exiled himself to Paris, France, in 1980, and spent the next thirty years working for international, non-governmental organizations. For twenty-five of these, he was Chief Executive Officer of the World Association of Newspapers, the representative global group of media publishers and editors, established after World War II to defend the freedom and independence of the press worldwide. …


Supporting writers one interview at a time

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Shauna Alderson began writing teen fantasy even before she was a teen. After she “grew up”, she completed creative writing courses (and a BA in Development Studies) at the University of Calgary. When not reading or writing, she can usually be found teaching ESL, composing on the piano, creating art, or volunteering abroad. She also enjoys dessert, Studio Ghibli films, and being the silliest person she knows.

Her debut novel, Paragon, just published this month!

Welcome to Shauna and thank you for sharing your ideas about writing.

Tell us about your book(s). What influenced you to write it/them?

My debut book is called Paragon — it’s a teen fantasy about a girl named Randi who starts out as a bit of a wimp. She discovers she has the mark of the gods on her skin, making her one of the seven Paragons meant to protect the world from evil. Only thing is, she doesn’t have the power that’s supposed to come with the title — and now she’s being hunted by power-hungry thugs. So Randi travels far from home in search of a way to protect herself and the people she loves. …


Supporting writers one interview at a time

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E. J. Wenstrom believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, purple hair dye and standing to the right on escalators so the left side can walk. Her award-winning fantasy series Chronicles of the Third Realm War features a peculiar mashup of Greek mythology, Judeo-Christian folklore, and an extra dash of her own special brand of chaos. It starts with Royal Palm Literary Award Book of the Year Mud (#1), Tides (#2), and Sparks (#3), as well as the prequel Rain (#0).

When she isn’t writing fiction, E. J. …

About

Penny Zang

English professor + book nerd + drinking buddy. Visit me at Pennyzang.com and Twitter: @penny_zang

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