Rocky Mountain Writer #106

Saytchyn Maddux-Creech & Writing Short Stories

Are you comfortable writing short stories? Have you thought about it, but don’t know how or where to begin?

Well, Saytchyn Maddux-Creech is teaching a 15-day online class called, Write An Amazing Short Story in Two Weeks.

The course is being offered online through RMFW-U beginning Dec. 2.

On the podcast, Saytchyn gives a sneak peek at her approach to short stories—she’s published about 20—and touches on some of the key ideas she’ll cover in the course. Even if you only have a "crumb" of an idea, she says, you should try the course and give it a go.

Saytchyn Maddux-Creech survived the MFA program at Colorado State University with her love of all things creepy intact. She writes horror, fantasy, and mystery with a literary accent. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary and genre magazines under her own name and the name Sandra Maddux-Creech. You can find her most recent work in Petrichor Machine, Typehouse Literary Review, and Menacing Hedge, as well as in the award-winning RMFW anthology, Found.

Follow Saytchyn Maddux-Creech on Facebook

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #105

Emily Littlejohn & A Season To Lie

Emily Littlejohn’s first full-length novel Inherit The Bones landed an agent and a good contract with a major publisher—in one of the fastest sales the agent had ever seen.  Was it luck?  Emily says luck may have played a small role, but so did hard work and listening to experts—being open to feedback from both the agent and her editor.

As Emily puts it, books are not written in a vacuum.

This week, A Season To Lie releases and it features the same protagonist, police detective Gemma Monroe, solving murders in the fictional Colorado mountain town of Cedar Valley.

Emily is a former librarian who has been obsessed with mystery and horror novels since she was a child.

When she’s not placing her heroine in precarious situations, Emily can be found enjoying the beautiful Colorado mountains with her husband and growing family.

A Season To Lie releases on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Emily Littlejohn's website.

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Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #104

Jayme H. Mansfield & Rush

Jayme H. Mansfield found fiction in her own family history.

Rush, her second novel, is based on the life of Jayme’s great-great grandmother and the details of her involvement in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893.

Using original letters from the era and her own research in Oklahoma, Jayme found out that “tall tales” about her ancestor weren’t so tall—and would make for a good novel.

Jayme H. Mansfield is an author, artist, and educator—and feels a bit incomplete when she’s not juggling all three balls.

Her award-winning debut novel, Chasing the Butterfly, is a book club favorite and Amazon bestseller.

Jayme lives in Lakewood, Colorado, where she and her husband have survived raising three hungry, hockey-playing sons.

When Jayme isn’t writing, she teaches art to children and adults at her long-time art studio, Piggy Toes.

Rush launches Nov. 1!

Visit Jayme at www.jaymehmansfield.com

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #103

Jennifer Kincheloe & The Woman in the Camphor Trunk

Jennifer Kincheloe is back on the podcast and she’s got a brand new historical mystery coming out in just a few short weeks.

The first book, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, was a finalist for a slew of awards and also was winner of the Mystery & Mayhem Award for Historical Mystery. Earlier, it also won the Colorado Gold contest.

So there’s lots of anticipation for book two, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, debuting in mid-November from Seventh Street Books.

We caught up with Jennifer last week in Toronto where she was attending Bouchercon, the annual mystery conference for writers and readers.

As you will see, writing historical fiction sometimes opens your eyes to things going on in our world today.

Jennifer Kincheloe's website

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #102

Aimie K. Runyan & Daughters of the Night Sky

After listening to this episode with historical fiction writer Aimie K. Runyan, you might want to think about keeping an idea file.

When things went flat with her first publisher, Aimie needed a Plan B and she was ready, dipping into a list of concepts she wanted to take from idea stage to full length novel.

Now, 18 months after her first novel was published, Aimie is less than three months from the launch of book number three, Daughters of the Night Sky. Her readiness, and flexibility, played a major role in keeping her writing career going.

Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines.

She is the author of two previous historical novels: Promised to the Crown, and Duty to the Crown from Kensington Publishing. Her upcoming novels Daughters of the Night Sky and Girls on the Line will release from Lake Union Publishing in January and November of 2018.

Aimie is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children.

Aimie's website

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Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #101

Shawn Harper & Matryoshka Blues

Shawn Harper calls it "the good kind of hurt."

That’s the hurt from hearing a comment at your critique group that means there’s work to be done, that your work in progress is not quite ready for prime time.

On Oct. 7, Shawn is one of four panelists leading RMFW's free monthly workshop called Getting the Most Out of Your Critique Group.

On the podcast, Shawn passes along a few pointers and suggestions if you’re thinking of diving into the critique group scene. And Shawn would tell you it’s a good idea. As he puts it, the process “helps you ways you don’t anticipate.”

Thanks to Shawn’s own critique group, a would-be short story morphed into Shawn’s first novella, Matryoshka Blues, the first in the Average Joe Mysteries. That book is now being expanded into a full-length novel and there’s a second title in the works.

In fact, the title of that book leads to a question about whether a writer needs permission to use a song lyric as a title and stay tuned after the recording for a few thoughts on this topic from an RMFW expert.

In addition to the chat with Shawn, we’ve got a new installment of Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha is here with some cautionary thoughts about the temptation to summarize conversations.

Follow Shawn on Twitter

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Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #100

Jeffrey Lockwood & Poisoned Justice 

Episode #100 of the Rocky Mountain Writer podcast comes down to three things: insects, noir and a preview of the upcoming workshop this weekend on bone forensics.

The guest is writer Jeff Lockwood, who earned a doctorate in entomology and who has worked for 15 years as an insect ecologist at the University of Wyoming.

But Jeff is also a writer and last year published his first crime novel Poisoned Justice featuring ex-cop turned pest exterminator C.V. Riley, who plies his trade in the very noir streets of 1970’s San Francisco.

Jeff has found a way to merge his work in science with his work in humanities. His second novel, Murder on the Fly, comes out later this year.

Jeff is one of two presenters, along with Dr. George Gill, at the upcoming workshop this weekend in Denver regarding bone forensics that is being co-sponsored by RMFW and Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. Dr. Gill has studied bones and crime scenes, both new and old, around the world for many years. More about the workshop here.

Jeffrey Lockwood

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Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #99

Kerry Schafer / Kerry Anne King & World Tree Girl, I Wish You Happy

We last checked in with Kerry Schafer way back in February of 2016 and she was on the phone from her home in Washington State.

This time, we’ve got her for in-person chat, recorded last week at Colorado Gold, RMFW’s big annual three-day writing conference in Denver.

We’re more than 18 months down the road since the last interview, but Kerry Schafer is as busy as she was back then, with two new titles – World Tree Girl by Kerry Schafer and I Wish You Happy by her alter-ego Kerry Anne King.

Kerry has also started working as a creativity coach and she is here to pass along a few tips, particularly around the attitude with which you approach your work.

Kerry Schafer holds a BA in English from York University and a master degree in counseling psychology from Washington State University. Kerry spends her days working as an RN in a clinic, spinning her tales early in the morning and in the evenings after work.

In addition to the chat with Kerry, we’ve got a new installment of Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha is here to encourage you to break out your “inner sadist” and try being a bit meaner to your main characters.

Kerry's website

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For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #98

Peggy Waide & RMFW-U Online Classes

The guest on the podcast this time is the only person in Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers with the title of “dean.”

Peggy Waide is the dean of RMFW University, an online learning program that is offering an increasingly rich series of classes.

In fact, there’s a class coming up in mid-September with Sharon Mignery titled "The Art and Craft of Building Great Conflict."

Classes this year have already covered writing the dreaded synopsis, writing effective flashbacks, writing winning contest entries, and turning your novel into a screenplay, among others.

A long-time member of RMFW, Peggy Waide entered her first Regency romance in the Colorado Gold Contest and the judging editor offered her a contract. Peggy published four titles with Leisure Books and is today shopping an amateur sleuth mystery and she’s wrapping up a contemporary romance.

Peggy has served as Vice-President, Pal Rep, Colorado Gold Conference Chair as well as presented workshops at Colorado Gold conference and Romance Writers of America.

RMFW-U Online Classes

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Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #97

2017 Writer of the Year Panel - Live from The Tattered Cover

We did this in 2015 and 2016 and here it is again—the live taping from the panel with the finalists and winners for the Writer of the Year and the Independent Writer of the Year.

This event was taped on Wednesday, August 23 at the Tattered Cover on East Colfax.

The moderators are 2016 Writer of the Year Mark Stevens (also your podcast host) and 2016 Independent Writer of the Year Lisa Manifold.

The panelists are Wendy Terrien, 2017 Independent Writer of the Year; Shannon Baker, 2017 Writer of the Year; IWOTY finalists Bernadette Marie and Stephanie Reisner; and WOTY finalist Colleen Oakes.

Unfortunately. Writer of the Year finalist Robin Owens, was unable to attend.

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com