Mark Stevens is the author of the Allison Coil Mystery Series--Antler Dust (2007), Buried by the Roan (2011) and Trapline (2014). Trapline won the 2015 award in genre fiction from the Colorado Authors League and the 2015 Colorado Book Award in mysteries. The fourth book in the series, Lake of Fire, was published in September, 2015. Kirkus Reviews called it "irresistible." More about Mark on his website.
Aimie K. Runyan's first novel, "Promised to the Crown," launches this week. The novel is set in 17th Century France and New France, a.k.a. Canada.
The idea for the book started for Runyan in third grade when she took an instant interest in the French language and soon, an even deeper interest in everything to do with France.
Her interest in France stayed with her through high school and college and it was while working on her Master's thesis on the women who helped found French Canada that she won a generous grant from the Quebec government to study onsite for three months, enabling the detailed research necessary for work on her novel.
On the podcast, Runyan offers tips for guarding your writing time and how she fit work on the novel around raising two small children. She also talks about how she found her agent following a session of Pitch Wars on Twitter and the steps to finding her publisher.
The podcast includes Aimie reading the opening of Promised to the Crown.
This week on the podcast, a two-part preview of Genre Con, a day-long educational event taking place in Golden on Saturday, May 14.
First up is Terri Benson, who serves in a dual capacity as RMFW’s Western Slope liaison and education chair. Terri provides some insights into how Genre Con will run and what attendees can expect from both the morning group session and the afternoon breakout sessions.
Following Terri, Angie Hodapp (Nelson Literary Agency) provides a sneak peak of the morning session, "The Right Stuff – Opening Pages that Lead to Yes."
Besty Dornbusch &
"The Silver Scar"
Betsy Dornbusch writes epic fantasy. She has also dabbled in science fiction and she has written and published short stories that have appeared in over a dozen magazines and anthologies. Her first fantasy novel came out in 2012 and her latest trilogy is wrapping up, after Exile and Emissary, with Enemy, coming soon. She just announced the sale of a new standalone, The Silver Scar, to Night Shade Books.
On the podcast, she talks about the draw of world building and writing fantasy, she reveals the moment on a trip to England that sparked her writing career, and she talks about the benefits of writing short stories as a way to hone your craft.
A Little Bit Every Day I started writing the fifth book in the Allison Coil Mystery Series on Jan. 1, 2014. (Yeah, New Year’s Day. Just Because.) I finished the draft on Monday, March 28. I wrote 500 words a day. That’s 453 days, which would have been 165,433 words if I made forward progress every day. But I needed to back up a few times, re-work a few things. I took a break to write a short story. And another. I finished Draft 1 with 112,000 words, still too many. Lots of cutting to come. What’s my point? 500 words a day isn’t much. It adds up. Do the math.
There’s A Feeling I Get This excellent column by Bob Lefsetz is all about rock and roll. But I thought about writing the whole time. Led Zeppelin went their own way with “Stairway to Heaven.” Their previous album was a dud.
Here’s Lefsetz: “What Led Zeppelin said back in ’71 is that you’re best doing it your way, by yourself, with your peeps, than hiring outside hands to meddle with your vision … That we react to and love most that which is personal and human.”
Lessons Learned I’ve had some excellent podcast guests lately, but check out the one with Eleanor Brown. She had a huge hit with The Weird Sisters. Huge! She was on the road doing promotion for 18 months! And then she wrote three more books that all went pffffft before finding the groove for the one that comes later this year, The Light in Paris.
Much like Led Zeppelin, she listened to her heart. (I guess Tom Petty sang that, too.) Humility, folks. It’s a tough business. Listen.
Her workshop is Saturday, April 30 at Columbine Library in Littleton.
Legends of the Fall Everything they’re saying about Jim Harrison, who died recently, is true.
Read his stuff if you don’t know his work—gritty, singular, raw, honest. I looked up an old review I wrote of his three-novella collection, The Woman Lit By Fireflies.
Anyway, at the bottom of the review I came across a funny exchange with my late pal Gary Reilly and I shook my head (yet again) at Gary’s dry humor. I miss that guy. (Click on the picture to read the exchange.)
The Detachment Speaking of Gary, Running Meter Press is launching The Detachment at The Tattered Cover on Friday, April 15 (Colfax Store) at 7 p.m.
I managed to get advance blurbs from some amazing writers—Stewart O’Nan, Ron Carlson, John Mort, Fred Haefele.
Carlson compared The Detachmentto Catch 22 and that’s a guy who teaches fiction in an elite program out in California. O’Nan (pals with Stephen King and one prolific writer himself) called it a ‘classic.’
Speaking of length, The Detachment is 534 pages. It’s a powerful, heavy book based on Gary’s experiences in Vietnam as a military policeman.
Honors for Gary Speaking of Gary, Pick Up At Union Station (his seventh novel in The Asphalt Warrior series) was named a finalist in literary fiction for the 2016 Colorado Book Award.
That’s three finalist nominations out of that seven-book series.
The other two were Ticket to Hollywoodin 2013 and Doctor Lovebeads in 2014.
The Detachment is the ninth title we’ve published of Gary’s—after seven books in The Asphalt Warrior series and The Enlisted Men’s Club, the first book in his series about Vietnam following Private Palmer.
And Running Meter Press still has about 15 books to go.
Gary wrote more than 500 words a day.
Tethered by Letters
Is Metro Denver and the Colorado Front Range chock full of writer groups?
There’s bound to be one out there to suit your needs.
Here’s a new one I came across last year. Tethered by Letters.
Yes, based here but with connections all over the world, really. One reason I mention them is because they do a great job—web site, online interactions, classes and a literary magazine called F(r)iction.
The other reason to mention them is because they offer pretty good money for flash fiction, short stories, poetry and more. Check ‘em out!
Eleanor Brown is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Weird Sisters, an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and a Barnes & Noble Book of the Month.
Later this month, on April 30, Eleanor is giving a free workshop in Littleton, Colorado called "Flammable Characters."
On the podcast she gives us a preview of the “flammable characters” concept and chats about the bumps and roadblocks in her writing career, including writing three whole books before finding the right source of inspiration that would make for a worthy follow-up to first. The Light of Paris will be published in July.
Warren Hammond & The KOP Series, The Tides of Maritinia
Warren Hammond is the author of the KOP series of novels -- KOP, Ex-KOP, and KOP Killer -- as well as the standalone The Tides of Maritinia. The first three mash up mystery and sci-fi, the standalone Tides is more of a spy thriller set in a watery, distant planet.
On the podcast, Hammond talks about the inspiration for the KOP series and getting the rights back and re-publishing them, with new covers from an artist from Italy.
Warren Hammond grew up in the Hudson River Valley of New York State. Upon obtaining his teaching degree from the University at Albany, he moved to Colorado, and settled in Denver where he can often be found typing away at one of the local coffee shops.
Always eager to see new places, Warren has traveled extensively. Whether it’s wildlife viewing in exotic locales like Botswana and the Galapagos Islands, or trekking in the Himalayas, he's always up for a new adventure.
This podcast includes a reading from The Tides of Maritinia.
J. L. Abramo was born in the seaside paradise of Brooklyn, New York on Raymond Chandler’s fifty-ninth birthday.
His seventh novel was just published and it's set in the town where he was born. Brooklyn Justice is a series of interconnected stories featuring private eye Nick Ventura.
Abramo is the author of Catching Water in a Net, winner of the St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America Award for Best First Private Eye Novel; and the subsequent Jake Diamond private eye mysteries Clutching at Straws, Counting to Infinity and Circling the Runway.
Gravesend, Abramo’s acclaimed stand-alone crime thriller from Down & Out Books, was released in September 2012. Chasing Charlie Chan, a prequel to the Jake Diamond private eye series, was released in 2013.
On the podcast, following the interview, Joe also reads an excerpt from his latest work.
This episode is a live recording from workshop held Saturday, March 12 in Denver at the Ross Cherry Creek Branch Library.
The workshop was designed as a primer for the annual Colorado Gold Contest, which opens April 1.
The workshop was hosted by contest co-chair Pam Nowak and veteran contest winner Kevin Wolf.
This live recording runs just about an hour. As Pam makes clear, many questions about the contest and how it’s run are easily found under the "contest" tab elsewhere on website. On this recording, Pam and Kevin emphasize some key tips that should help you get your manuscript in contest-ready shape.
The guest this time is Marc Graham--an actor, singer, bard, engineer, Freemason, and whisky aficionado. And writer. Graham just sold Of Ashes and Dust, his first historical novel, to Five Star. Graham talks about the long journey to publication, his approach to researching historical fiction, his writing process and the chance meeting that led to a publication contract.
This podcast includes Marc reading the prologue to Of Ashes and Dust.
Wendy Terrien has been writing stories since she was in grade school. Her debut novel The Rampart Guards, which received a starred review from Kirkus, is the first in her urban fantasy series.
Inspired by an episode of the television show "Bones" that suspected a killer to be a fabled chupacabra, Wendy was fascinated and dove into research about cryptozoology - the study of animals that may or may not exist, or cryptids. Pouring over stories, videos and photographs of creatures others had seen all over the world, Wendy developed her own story to share with middle grade, young adult and grown-up readers.
This episode includes Wendy's reading of the first chapter of The Rampart Guards.