The Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Blog Needs You!

laptop-and-notebook
http://www.1001freedownloads.com

First:  Co-editor Julie Kazimer and I are looking for one new regular monthly contributor to the RMFW Blog. If we have several applicants, you get a bonus point if you're already familiar with WordPress. You receive a second bonus point if you are funny (as in humor writing). And you get more points if you promise to be obsessively on time (as in getting your posts in draft or scheduled at least a week ahead of time). Regular contributors educate and inform, focusing on their writing craft or writing life areas of interest. Self-promotion is minimized. Click here for the current list of contributors.

Second: Starting in January, we also need at least two guest bloggers per month and sometimes more. The submission guidelines are posted under the Blog link on the RMFW website. We'd love to see some new faces on the blog this year. If you're interested now or later, email us at blog@rmfw.org  The guest bloggers are invited to add an author photo and recent release cover art to their posts, but should still aim to educate and inform.

Third:  We need volunteers to participate in the Getting to Know You Project for 2017. For that one, we give you three questions to answer and request an author photo and social media links. Click here for a sample of the GTKY post from 2016.

RMFW Members Only:  Occasionally we feature guest posts by conference keynote speakers, agents or editors, but those are rare exceptions. We want RMFW members for these open blogging positions. Doesn't matter if you're published or not. Doesn't matter whether you opt for traditional publishers or prefer to do it yourself. Doesn't matter what genre(s) you write. Doesn't matter if you write under your own name or a pseudonym.

What's Important: You have something of value to share with the world about writing craft or the writing life. You know your grammar and punctuation. You meticulously proofread your own work. You strive to meet deadlines.

You can contact us by emailing blog@rmfw.org

The RMFW Spotlight is on Terri Benson, Education Chair and Western Slope Liaison

Our monthly feature, The RMFW Spotlight, is intended to provide members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers with more information about our board members as well as featured volunteers. This month we're pleased to present Terri Benson. You can also connect with Terri at her website.

2016_terri-benson1. Tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.

I am the Education Chair and the Western Slope Liaison, and the western slope events take place where I work so I get the room ready and put together the press releases, etc. I initially stumbled into RMFW from a newspaper ad about a workshop and was so excited to find that there were actually people like me out in the world. I have gotten so much from the group, both in terms of camaraderie and education that I felt I needed to do whatever I could to give back.

2. What is your current WIP or most recent publication, and where can we buy a book, if available?

I am currently working on a new series. It’s a female amateur sleuth who is also a classic car restorer. I’m having fun with the story, but finding I need to be a sneakier person to get enough “mystery” in there to qualify. I have one book out (paperback and ebook), an historical romance, titled An Unsinkable Love which is set half on the Titanic, and half in the New England garment factories.

3. We've all heard of bucket lists -- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?

I want to travel the world for research – SEE the history that I love to write about. My bucket list would have that at the top, but then several hundred “sub-items” because there are so many places I want to go.

4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?

I get so involved with my characters that sometimes I lose track of what it is they’re actually supposed to be doing, as in the case of the Bad Carma character – solving a mystery instead of having fun restoring all those cool cars. And research. Lots and lots of interesting research often sidetracks me from putting words on paper.

5. What do you love most about the writing life?

I can be anyone and do anything I want. I have no limitations on what I can write (that’s not to say anyone will want to read some of it). It is so much fun to decide what I want to know about, and what I have to do to “become” it and how I can make a story from it.

6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?

Read more. Turn off the TV or go somewhere no one can find me and write (and hope my husband doesn’t divorce me).

2016_terri-benson-office7. What does your desk look like? What item must be on your desk? Do you have any personal, fun items you keep on it?

The room my desk is in is also the “Christmas present” room, so right now it’s full of bags and boxes of shopping. When it’s usable, I have 4 bookcases full of (mostly read) books, binders of WIP and/or finished manuscripts and research, and a big wall calendar that was supposed to keep me on task and on schedule (but since I’m not in there writing….). I don’t keep much on my desk. I’m not a knick-knacky kind of person – I prefer to have my space pretty utilitarian.

8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?

I’m in the middle of a post-death Sidney Sheldon (written by another author) that a friend gave me, as well as a cozy mystery on my I-pad. I’m really terrible about book names and authors (unless I know the writer). I generally don’t worry so much about who wrote it, if it was a best seller, or that it had all 4 star reviews – it’s usually because the blurb sounds interesting, it’s a genre I like, or a writer I know or have met or who was recommended by someone at Gold/in RMFW. I like finding someone with a style I enjoy – I have a ton of Dick Francis novels because I really like the way he writes.

Thank you, Terri. One of the many services Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers performs for its members (and non-members as well) is education. Thank you for filling that important role of Education Chair and coordinating programs for the Western Slope.

The RMFW Spotlight is on Corinne O’Flynn, Conference Chair

Our monthly feature, The RMFW Spotlight, is intended to provide members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers with more information about our board members as well as featured volunteers. This month we're pleased to finally corral the Colorado Gold Conference chairperson, Corinne O'Flynn. Her focus on Colorado Gold in Denver on September 9-11, 2016 kept her very busy, but she's finally recovering and ready to roll as one of our regular contributors.

2016_corinneoflynn1. Tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.

I am currently the Conference Chair for Colorado Gold. 2016 was my first year as chair, and I am super excited to be planning 2017 already. Before this, I was Technology Co-Chair with Wendy Howard. Before that, I was an aimless writer. I got involved because I believe in being active in the communities where I belong. It's the best way to meet people and be a part of the momentum. 🙂

2. What is your current WIP or most recent publication, and where can we buy a book, if available?

My most recent publication is TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time, an anthology I did with six other RMFW members through our publishing company, Wicked Ink Books. It recently took home two CIPA EVVY awards! We’re working on the next anthology now. I am also working on PROMISE OF THE SCHOLAR, Book Two of my fantasy series, The Expatriates. You can find my books on my Amazon author page.

3. We've all heard of bucket lists -- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?

I am currently working on meditation and making time to mindfully slow down in my life. I operate at a pretty high speed, which is great when there are a lot of balls in the air, but I find moving at this pace is less sustainable as I get older. I would love to make meditation a daily habit, but I struggle with finding time for everything.

4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?

Ah... it’s like you saw that coming. My problem in writing and in life is time management. I am incredibly organized but not very disciplined. It’s something I struggle with daily.

5. What do you love most about the writing life?

I love the discovery that comes with writing. Its seems like everything is an opportunity to dig into and develop. And, of course, I love my writing tribe!

6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?

I’d tell myself not to stress so much about the timing of everything. When I was first starting out I felt this urgency about getting it all done. There was a rush to write, to finish, to query, to enter contests, to publish, and, and... I’d tell myself that the urgency is not real.

2016_oflynn_office7. What does your desk look like? What item must be on your desk? Do you have any personal, fun items you keep on it?

I love my office! I am a memento keeper and I also hang on to most of the stuff my kids give me as presents. So, my office is like a gigantic scrap book. When I am sitting at my desk, I have a stack of books on my left that act as a lamp-table and a writing shrine full of things that inspire me and have meaning. One of my favorite things is my moss terrarium which was inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS. I loved that story.

One of the more inspirational things in my office are the sparrows. The morning I published my first book in 2014, I woke up to find a sparrow flying above me in my bed. We were in NY visiting family so it was doubly disorienting to wake in a strange room with this sparrow circling a few feet above me. It didn't seem real. One source of animal wisdom I found said that the sparrow signifies power, productivity, and self worth. It also is one bird that persists in many climates despite external factors. That felt extremely meaningful and resonates with me today.

8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?

I’m currently reading CLOSER HOME by our very own Kerry Anne King (Kerry Schafer)! It’s fantastic and I highly recommend. Before this I read BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty and HEART OF THE GOBLIN KING by our IWOTY, Lisa Manifold. On deck is a re-read of DIVINE EVIL by Nora Roberts because it’s mentioned in a writing class I am taking and I am intrigued to revisit it as a writer with my class notes in hand!

Thank you, Corinne. Your hard work for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and this year's Colorado Gold Writers Conference is much appreciated. We'll be looking for your regular posts on the blog (the second Monday of the month starting October 10th).

Getting to Know You: The RMFW Q&A Project #7

The Getting to Know You Project is intended to introduce RMFW members with short responses to three questions, a photo, and a few social media links if available. If you would like to participate in the project for future months, please email Pat Stoltey at blog@rmfw.org

Jamie Ferguson

Website & blog: http://jamieferguson.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamie.ferguson.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamie_ferguson
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+JamieFergusonAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamieferguson
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamieauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamie.ferguson.author/

2016_Jamie Ferguson1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write because I love writing. To me, crafting a story is like creating a sculpture. Sure, at times it’s hard work, but writing is by far the most rewarding type of work I’ve ever done.

My writing is very character-focused. I love to dig into what my characters think and feel. I primarily write contemporary fantasy and historical fiction, but I focus on writing compelling, character-based stories regardless of what genre they fit in.

I try to work on something writing-related every single day. This helps me keep my head in the game. For example, if I need a break from a manuscript I might work through a few lessons in a class, research something for a future project, or make progress on one of the many administrative tasks on my list. My favorite writing spot is sitting on the couch, with my dogs nearby to keep me company.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I have several forms of synesthesia, including the kind where numbers, letters, and words have associated colors and feelings. And yes, this does come into play when I’m naming characters in my stories.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Spending time with my dogs. I have two border collies who I take hiking, train/compete in agility with, and of course we spend a lot of time playing fetch. A LOT of time...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mary Gillgannon

Website: http://www.marygillgannon.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mary.gillgannon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryGillgannon
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/956290.Mary_Gillgannon
Google+: https://plus.google.com/110101925775202977316/posts

2016_Mary Gillgannon1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

Although I’ve been an obsessive reader since grade school, it wasn’t until I started working at a library and discovered the historical romance genre that I dared to believe I could write a book. My first “office” was a tiny corner of our family room. I wrote mostly in the mornings on weekends and after my kids went to school and before I had to go to work. I now have a beautiful upstairs office that I share with a dog and three cats. I still write best in the mornings, despite not being a morning person at all.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

As a teenager, I was obsessed with Jim Morrison of the Doors, and I credit a lot of my literary background to his influence. My obsession lasted into adulthood and right after college I moved to L.A. and lived in tiny apartment on Venice beach. Great atmosphere for writing poetry, but as a woman, I found L.A. a very scary place. I decided my dream life was elsewhere and moved back to Wyoming and married my boyfriend from college.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Although I still love reading and have become rather fanatical about gardening, my real passion outside of writing is travel. I’ve made five trips to various parts of the British Isles, including four visits to Wales, my spiritual homeland. I’ve also enjoyed “winter break” trips to Mexico, Belize and the West Indies. Travel feeds my creative spirit, offers research opportunities and fuels story ideas.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Janet Lane

Website: http://janetlane.net/
Blog: https://janetlane.wordpress.com/ and RMFW Blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janetlaneauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/janetlaneauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15418008.Janet_Lane

2016_Janet Lane1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write "History, made passionate in medieval England," aka historical romance and women's fiction. It's my passion because I firmly believe that "Amor vincit omnia" -- Love conquers all. I love exploring relationships and making the impossible, possible through my characters. My favorite reviews mention that my writing transports them to my story worlds and makes them care for my characters. I write from my home office at an elevation of 8,300 ft. in Morrison, frequently crashing my husband's home office (better view), and wherever my MacPro and I travel.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I directed my community's annual musical production for 22 years, and I ran away from home at 6, 12, and 14. Oh, and my husband, John, and I were married at the Renaissance Festival.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Must I choose one? I love to ski, spend time with my family and new grandson, and play tennis. And I love good treasure finds at estate sales and consignment stores.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cindi Myers

Website: http://www.cindimyers.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CindyMyersauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CMyersTex
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24560.Cindi_Myers

2016_Cindi Myers1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write romance and women's fiction -- right now I'm writing Romantic Suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

I write stories because I can't NOT write them. I've been making up stories as long as I can remember. It's part of who I am. (And I've been making a living as a full-time writer since 1997, so if I quit now I'd have to go out and get a "real" job. At this point, I am woefully unsuited to the corporate world.)

When -- since I produce 6 or more books a year and have for years now, you could say I write all the time. I do try to keep to a 5 day a week schedule.

Where -- I have a lovely office in my home on the Western slope of Colorado -- Ridgway. The window over my desk looks out onto my yard. But I also write at retreats, on camping trips, on the sofa, on my front porch -- wherever.

How -- I'm a plotter. There's still lots of room for surprises and innovations along the way, but I like the security of having a road map.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I was once the only woman employee at an all-gay-male travel agency. Talk about a fun bunch of guys!

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

You're only going to let me choose one? Well, I never could follow rules (that non-corporate thing). I love to garden and grow vegetables, flowers and fruit.
I also love to sing and sing in two choirs here on the western slope.

Many thanks to Jamie, Mary, Janet, and Cindi for volunteering for the Getting to Know You Project. If you'd like to participate in future GTKY posts, please email me at blog@rmfw.org

Getting to Know You: The RMFW Q&A Project #6

The Getting to Know You Project is intended to introduce RMFW members with short responses to three questions, a photo, and a few social media links if available. If you would like to participate in the project for future months, please email Pat Stoltey at blog@rmfw.org

Travis Heermann

Website: http://www.travisheermann.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Travis-Heermann-Author-155963681137209/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TravisHeermann

2016_Travis Heermann1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write a variety of stuff, leaving no genre unturned. I have a historical fantasy trilogy, a YA supernatural thriller, a science-fiction noir novel I'm shopping, and a horror-western novel debuting in September called Death Wind. The Death Wind original screenplay, co-written with my friend Jim Pinto, gave rise to the novel and won Grand Prize at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA, in 2012. I've also dabbled in mystery and romance. Am I missing anything?

I write full-time in various capacities, from freelancer to fiction, so my goal is to be writing all the time, even if I don't always manage it.

The methods I use for composition vary depending on the nature of the piece I'm working on. Sometimes a story seems to demand that I write long-hand first, then transfer to PC. Sometimes I can just crank it out in Scrivener. I can typically finish the first draft of a short story in about a week, with another week or so of reflection and revision. When I'm on a roll, I can do 50k words in a month, so theoretically I could finish a novel in two months, although I have yet to try it.

As for where I work, we recently moved into a house large enough for me to have a private office, and I haven't had that before, so it will be interesting to see how that works out. Prior to that, and probably still occasionally, I worked in a rotating pool of coffee shops around the Denver area.

The writing bug seized hold of me when I was about twelve, and it's never been cured. I can't see myself doing anything else, not anymore, although back in my 20s I tried to deny it for a while. I write because I have to. If I don't, I get really crabby. You wouldn't like me when I'm crabby.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

My family and I just moved back to the States after a year living in New Zealand. During that time, we traveled extensively within NZ, North and South Island, and also in Australia. We made the pilgrimage to several filming sites for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, including Hobbiton and the Weta Workshop. My office door now bears a placard from Bag End saying "No Admittance Except on Party Business."

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

That varies, honestly. I love video games (games of all sorts really). I love immersing myself in the experiential and/or strategic thinking of detailed virtual worlds. The Bioshock and Starcraft universes are two of my favorites.

But I also enjoy martial arts. In NZ, I had the good fortune to join a Japanese ju jitsu dojo. I wouldn't call the training sessions enjoyable--they often involved a great deal of physical pain and exertion--but the feeling of accomplishment gave me a tremendous sense of satisfaction. Over the course of about six months, I achieved the (lowest) rank of white belt, and let me tell you, they do not give those belts away. It's one of the things I'm proudest of having done in my life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rachel Hoff

Website: http://pencilprincessworkshop.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-hoff-87541644
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachel.hoff.52

2016_Rachel Hoff1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write YA sci fi and fantasy because I'm miserable whenever I'm not writing and when I am writing, these are the stories that come to me. My writing time is any time I can wrestle away from handling kids, doing household-chores, and freelance editing, so I write in the early morning or late night, when the kids are at school, or on buses. I write longhand in pencil for first drafts, so those can happen in any clean space. Getting things into the computer usually happens at my desk.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

As my critique group knows, I lived in China for about a decade before moving to the Denver area five years ago, and my family (husband, two other kids, and I) are now in the process of adopting a teenager from one of the provinces we lived in.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

It's hard to choose, but I think baking is my favorite non-writing or reading activity. I love the way it makes me take my time. I love the texture of dough, and the rhythm of kneading, and the heavenly smell once the bread is in the oven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jennifer Kincheloe

Website: http://www.jenniferkincheloe.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSecretLifeofAnnaBlanc
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenkincheloe
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jrkincheloe/

2016_Jennifer Kincheloe1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write historical mysteries set in 1900s Los Angeles because no one else was telling the story of the police matrons and female cops who worked for the LAPD back then. They were tough, brilliant, amazing women who transformed law enforcement and were virtually ignored by history. Scotland Yard credits them as creating the first crime prevention program in the world.

Despite the serious subject matter, being serious does not come natural to me, so my books are humorous and light.

I write in bed or at the Botanical Gardens. When I'm in the flow, I write blissfully and constantly (and some days never really get out of bed). When I'm starting a new book, which is terribly difficult for me, it's painful, my drafts seem hopeless, and it's very, very slow.

I LOVE revising.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I lived for a summer in a remote village in Papua New Guinea where there was no telephone, no mail service, and no roads (not even dirt ones). The only doctor was a shaman. I arrived by flying, driving to where the roads ended, then taking a motorized raft eighteen hours up the Sepik river. The airlines lost our food and luggage, so I wore a beautiful sarong and these neon orange, leopard print men's briefs that someone gave me. I ate leaves and sago paste. I hunted crocodiles at night from a canoe.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Teaching my kids how to do things, like cooking or replacing toilet seat lids, and seeing them do it; road trips with my husband; hiking alone with my dog; listening to audiobooks; designing research studies and coding statistical analyses.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Judy Rose

Website: http://www.jrrose.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Judith-Robbins-Rose-ChildrensYA-Author-Candlewick-Press-127997043963855/

2016_Judy Rose1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

Though I’ve spent my life writing (print, radio, stage and screen), it is a dream come true to now be writing young adult novels. It’s a challenge—the hardest thing I’ve ever done—and that motivates me. I usually write on my laptop, in my recliner…or whenever the muse comes. I’ve been known to write on napkins and grocery receipts in the car at stop lights.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I did standup comedy for a while, at the same time and venues where Roseanne Barr got her start. One of the pros at the Comedy Works in Denver said to me, “If we could take your writing and Roseanne’s delivery, we’d have one really funny person.”

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

I love working with middle grade students, which is something I didn’t know about myself until I entered the second half of my life. I’ve had a chance to teach acting and writing classes to pre-teens, which is so much fun. Tutoring and mentoring individual students has changed my life.

Thanks to Travis, Rachel, Jennifer, and Judy for participating in these get acquainted Q&A posts.

The RMFW Spotlight is on Scott Brendel, Editor/Agent Critique Coordinator

Our monthly feature, The RMFW Spotlight, is intended to provide members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers with more information about our board members as well as featured volunteers. This month we're pleased to present two spotlights, especially in honor of the Colorado Gold Conference in Denver on September 9-11, 2016. Today we're featuring Scott Brendel, and on Monday, our conference chair Corinne O'Flynn.

2016_Scott Brendel1. Scott, welcome to the RMFW Blog Spotlight. Tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.

For the past few years, I have coordinated the editor/agent critique workshops held during the Colorado Gold conference. I also help run one of RMFW's critique groups. At various times over the years, I have helped judge the contest, was the Education chair, and served for two years as President. Many people in RMFW have been enormously helpful to me in ways I can't begin to describe and volunteering has been one way to try to pay that back.

2. What is your current WIP or most recent publication, and where can we buy a book, if available?

Last summer, my short story, entitled "Threesome," was published in a literary 'zine called Cactus Heart (http://www.cactusheartpress.com/e-issue-16/e-issue-12/). It's about two estranged brothers who meet on a golf course to carry out their father’s final wishes.

I recently finished a new novel called Just Beyond the Light, in time to pitch it at ThrillerFest. It's set in the late 1970s in the mid-South where I spent time after college. A young woman—a dancer—living in a boarding house ends up in a coma after her wrists are slashed. Her brother (a petty criminal on the run) and a detective mourning the death of his young son try to determine if it was attempted suicide or attempted murder.

3. We've all heard of bucket lists -- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?

Here's one I actually fulfilled. I wanted to go with my father to visit Egypt. Unfortunately, our trip was cancelled after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Years later, we finally made the trip, this time with my sister, mother and our spouses.

4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?

I get carried away with description. As one of my critique partners says, "Tell us what the building looks like. We don't need a treatise on its architecture."

5. What do you love most about the writing life?

The unexpected things I discover in the course of writing the first draft and the sense of satisfaction when I finally get to the end of the story.

6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?

Take the plunge and join a critique group. I toiled in isolation for too long before putting my work in front of the kind of people who could help me the most.

7. What does your desk look like? What item must be on your desk? Do you have any personal, fun items you keep on it?

It's cluttered with unpaid bills and scraps of paper with story notes. My desk faces a wall with built-in book shelves that remind me of the end goal. And a nine-inch figure of a troll that I picked up in Sweden many years ago watches me while I write.

8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?

Everybody's Fool, by Richard Russo, who I met at a Tattered Cover reading over twenty years ago. He's a fellow, former upstate New Yorker. An incredibly talented writer with a gift for capturing the humor of hapless but earnest small town folks who struggle their way through life.

Thank you, Scott. Your work with the agent/editor critique workshops for Colorado Gold is most appreciated. There are quite a few of us who found agents or editors through our participation in those sessions.

Getting to Know You: The RMFW Q&A Project #5

The Getting to Know You Project is intended to introduce RMFW members with short responses to three questions, a photo, and a few social media links if available. If you would like to participate in the project for future months, please email Pat Stoltey at blog@rmfw.org

Theresa Alan

Website: http://www.theresaalan.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Theresa_Author
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theresa.alan
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/115314.Theresa_Alan

2016_Theresa Alan1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

All of my published books are comedic women’s fiction. I’m working on a new series that is also comedic women’s fiction, but I’m also trying a book that’s darker, more in the vein of The Girl on the Train. I write in the mornings because that’s when my brain is most highly caffeinated. These days I write from home, although coffee shops are good choices, too. Why I write? It’s an addiction. I wrote my first book at the age of nine (I still have it) and have been writing fiction and nonfiction ever since. I’ve also been keeping a journal since the age of nine, and it’s a much cheaper form of therapy than actual therapy, plus, it’s nice having help remembering different times in my life—memory can be tricky. I’d forgotten something hilarious that had happened to me my freshman year in college; I put the scene in my first novel, Who You Know, and that true-from-my-life scene was far and away the most commented on in the fan mail I received.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

My sister is an experienced improv comedian, and one time in New York City we went to the Upright Citizens Brigade, an improv and sketch place founded, in part, by Amy Poehler. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey happened to drop by the night we went. We could have reached out and touched them both. As women who write comedy, it was a thrill to see two of the best comedic writers in the world perform two feet away from us.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

It’s a four-way tie between reading, movies, going to see live comedy, and, of course, hiking (I live in Colorado, so there is a law about loving to hike).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thea Hutcheson

Website: http://theahutcheson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thea.hutcheson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Theah1771

2016_Thea Hutcheson1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write all over the board--SF, fantasy, romance, erotica, New Adult, and Crime fiction. I write in all the nooks and crannies of my life. Lately, I have been hard pressed to back myself into a corner, but I have been reasonably successful, and I keep trying.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I work events--Operations Manager at various Chocolate Festivals around Colorado, The Athena Festival, and the Denver Modernism Show; and Competition Director for Denver County Fair.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Lately, the thing that gives me the most pleasure (and fright) is taking road trips in Stanley (a 1941 Studebaker truck) and Big Jim (a 1955 GMC one ton utility truck) with my long-time partner, Randy Merrick, and camping in our vintage trailer, Olive. I get pleasure because we see cool places all over our great country, and our adventures and the sights we see end up in stories, which makes them all tax deductible. But being on the road can be frightening. People don't realize trailers and their tow vehicles have mass. They can't stop on a dime and that space they made between them and the car ahead of them is to insure they can slow down reasonably well. If you jump in there, and then traffic slows, it is heart wrenching sometimes to have to avoid an accident.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bernadette Marie

Website: http://bernadettemarie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbernadettemarie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/writesromance
5 Prince Publishing: http://5princebooks.com/

2016_Bernadette Marie1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I write HEA Contemporary Romance because I, as a reader, want to walk away from books feeling happy that I invested my time in a romance where everything was good in the end. I write all the time! I have a laptop and will travel. There is no set schedule for me. When I feel it, I do it. Luckily, I feel it all the time. I can usually write a book from start to finish in two months.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I have a second-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. I started martial arts with my older kids, and the others joined us when they each turned 3. After a 3 1/2 year hiatus, I have just recently begun training again and I now feel whole.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Disneyland! Yep, I crave it. Dream it. It's like my drug, and the best part is I can take my family of 7 and no matter what age, we all turn into children. (Yes, I also blog about it on my parenting blog. Writers have to write about everything.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yvonne Montgomery

Website/Blog: https://yvonnemontgomery.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KIXKIU
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yvonnemontgomerywriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorYvonneM

2016_Yvonne Montgomery1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I'm currently writing paranormal mysteries because I love working on stories in which the supernatural and reality bump up against each other. I tend to write from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in my study on the 3rd floor of our house. My partner is a Mac computer named Dimmsdale, and the printer is Hester Prynt.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

One fun thing few RMFW members know about me is that I love cheesy horror movies. I introduced my grandkids to Godzilla, a noble achievement.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

I have two favorite non-writing activities that give me great joy: reading and gardening. However, I don't enjoy reading about gardening.

Many thanks to Theresa, Thea, Bernadette, and Yvonne for volunteering for the Getting to Know You Project. If you'd like to participate in future GTKY posts, please email me at blog@rmfw.org

Getting to Know You: The RMFW Q&A Project #4

The Getting to Know You Project is intended to introduce RMFW members with short responses to three questions, a photo, and a few social media links if available. If you would like to participate in the project for future months, please email Pat Stoltey at blog@rmfw.org

Mari Christie (Mariana Gabrielle)

Website: http://www.marianagabrielle.com/
Professional Services Website: http://www.marichristie.info/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MariChristieAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MChristieAuthor
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/marichristie/

2015_Mariana Gabrielle1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

My historical novels feature second chances for scarred souls; all of my characters come to my books broken in spirit and are, in some way, uplifted. I write Historical Romance (Regency and Victorian) as Mariana Gabrielle, and Mainstream Historical (American Civil War and Turn-of-the-Century New York) as Mari Anne Christie. In my day-to-day life, I am a professional writer, editor, and designer in various corporate, government, academic, and publishing industries.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

I chose writing over auditioning for the National Musical Theatre Conservatory.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

I don’t do anything except write. I am a very boring person in that respect.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Karen Duvall

Website:  http://www.karenduvallauthor.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Karen.Duvall.Author/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KarenDuvall
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/405199.Karen_Duvall

2016_KarenDuvall1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

That’s a tough question because my process changes and evolves all the time. In fact, I’ve recently switched genres. I used to write strictly fantasy, but now write mainstream fiction with elements of magic or the supernatural (magical realism). I write because I’m compelled to, yet I don’t write as enough as I’d like. My day job has interfered more than ever, leaving me very little time to get much writing done. I write on my desktop computer in my home office. As for how I write, I can’t write with music playing, that’s for sure. I need a blank auditory background to get in the flow.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

During my first year of college at the University of Hawaii, I took a skydiving class on a dare and loved it so much that I went on to do it competitively. I bought my own rig and logged in over 60 jumps before I moved to Colorado and hung up my parachute because the altitude was too much for my sea level-accustomed body. A few months later a bunch of the people I jumped with in Hawaii, including my skydiving instructor, died together in an evening skydiving accident while doing an exhibit jump into football stadium.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

I’d have to say my day job as a graphic designer. I’ve been a professional graphic artist for well over 30 years and I now specialize in designing book covers for self-published authors. However, I also design 3D art for an online computer game called Second Life. The Second Life virtual world gets 40,000 to 50,000 registered uses from all over the world logging on every day. I’ve been a Second Life resident for seven years and though it’s a way for me to make a good income, it has also been a tremendous help to my writing through inspiration and roleplay opportunities for character development.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Karen Albright Lin

Website: http://www.karenalbrightlin.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karen.a.lin
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-lin-8778135

2016_Karen Albright Lin1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I do my first drafts longhand at restaurants over lunch. I typically work on more than one project at a time. I used to be a contest junky; every win offered oxygen. I'm a produced screenwriter who has done work-for-hire, script doctoring, and happily collaborated on a few projects (most importantly with my Sister of the Quill, Janet Fogg). I've been represented by a few very successful agents for a novel, cookbook, and a ghostwriting gig. Why did they fall through? I’ll tell you when I'm keynote! I've published articles, personal essays, shorts, flash, and a column for BTS Book Reviews. I'm also an editor for award-winning and bestselling fiction and nonfiction writers. The best perk of all--I get to teach for cruise lines and that means cruise for two for free to places like Russia, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.

Why do I write? I'm a show-off. But I probably would have been a forensic entomologist, if not for a high school teacher who encouraged my writing by taking me to a writer's conference, helping me get a full-ride creative writing university scholarship, and getting the principal to announce writing awards instead of only news of winning football games.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

My first genre was erotica (the middle school kind). I still write it, but thank goodness it's different now.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Dancing and food tourism with my husband of 29 years.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elizabeth Richards

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethlrichards

2016_Elizabeth Richards1. We know the who (that's you), so will you give us the what, why, when, where, and how you write?

I am working on a historical mystery set in Colorado in 1893. I’m fairly sure I didn’t spend all my growing up years in the 20th Century so historical fiction is a natural for me. I spend 10-20 minutes writing every morning before going to work. On the weekends I am often found writing at EverBean Coffee Shop in Evergreen.

2. What is one fun thing few RMFW members know about you?

My career has spanned everything from cleaning up sheep poop at a petting zoo to being the director of operations at an Artificial Intelligence start up company. Both were fun in their own way.

3. What is your most favorite non-writing activity, the one that gives you the greatest joy?

Is it too much of a cliche to say reading? I grew up a military brat, often moving every one to two years. Books were friends when life could be lonely. They opened up a world beyond our everyday life. When I was in 5th grade (New York City) I discovered Rosemary Sutcliffe and read Warrior Scarlet, the coming of age story of a Celtic boy. The next year, in Miesau Germany, we lived near a Celtic graveyard from the time of Isiah. It was as if, out of the corner of my eye, I could glimpse the echo of people who’d lived there a hundred, a thousand, three thousand years ago.

Many thanks to Mari, Karen D., Karen L., and Elizabeth for volunteering for the Getting to Know You Project. If you'd like to participate in future GTKY posts, please email me at blog@rmfw.org

The RMFW Spotlight is on Angela La Voie, Volunteer Coordinator

Our monthly feature, The RMFW Spotlight, is intended to provide members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers with more information about our board members as well as featured volunteers. This month we're pleased to present our Volunteer Coordinator, Angela La Voie.

2016_Angela La Voie_Headshot_cropped1. Welcome to the blog, Angela. Tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.

I am the Volunteer Coordinator for RMFW and Colorado Gold. The people in RMFW were so welcoming when I joined. I’d like to help create that same experience for members wishing to share their time and talents with the organization.

2. What is your current WIP or most recent publication, and where can we buy a book, if available?

I’m working on the rewrite of a novel set during the Korean War.

3. We've all heard of bucket lists -- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?

I’ve done several big ones on my list, including climbing a fourteener, completing a sprint-distance triathlon and two half-marathons, even flying in a small aircraft and steering the plane (briefly!). There’s much to be said for achievements. I value the quieter things, too. On a recent visit with my niece, she was asking me questions about my wedding. She was eight at the time and doesn’t remember much even though she was in the wedding party. She’s a teenager now, an aspiring writer, and an Anglophile. She wants to become a tea drinker and lamented that she didn’t remember the high-tea bridal shower at the Brown Palace Hotel (She’s not your typical teen!). I’d love to take her there for high tea. That would involve a cross-country trip for both of us, but it would make for a fun memory.

4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?

Learning to trust my instincts about my process has taken time. I tend to draft with a lot of summary to put a footprint in place with as much of the territory that I can see. These sketches let me slow down and have patience to work through the discovery process, the imagery, and the music of the language. As I rewrite, I both layer in detail and strip out everything that rings false. I fought against these tendencies until I learned to allow myself a crummy first draft that’s for me alone to guide my work.

5. What do you love most about the writing life?

I most enjoy the opportunity to continue to evolve—to try new things and dig in deeper.

6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?

I would tell myself to have faith that all life experiences connect. Journalism taught me how to publish on a daily deadline. Business taught me about marketing, business development, and project management. Although seemingly extraneous to writing, these skills are important to authors today.

2016_AngelaLa Voie_Writing Room7. What does your desk look like? What item must be on your desk? Do you have any personal, fun items you keep on it?

My desk is handcrafted from natural cherry in a simple Shaker style. The color of the wood reminds me of the tropics. My desktop is a rotating gallery of objects that inspire me. Right now, I have some hydrangeas from my garden, a tiny watercolor calendar, a glass bird a friend gave me, and a photo of my husband and me. My mousepad has a collage of family photos. The extension table is stacked with research and drafts of my novel. I’m in the process of piecing together the sections. As long as I have coffee in the morning and a refilled water glass throughout the day, I can work.

8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?

I just started reading What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Learn more about Angela and her work at her website. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.