Wednesday, December 5, 2018

#IWSG 5 Objects I Always Have On Hand Writing


It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Read about our fears, commiserate and offer advice to other writing comrades. If you'd like to join us, click HERE and sign up. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts for the December 5 posting are:

This month's optional question is: What are five objects we'd find in your writing space?

I think a better question is what do I not have in my work nest? Hint: It morphs into a "work mess".

Yes, the bar stools have my workout gear drying on them. It's December in San Francisco.
Hunter S. Thompson wrote in diners digging in to a Kentucky style breakfast and ordering 4 Bloody Marys at a time. Anthony Bourdain wrote every morning the moment he woke up to espresso, a pen and a pad while he was just coming into consciousness. 

I write with my Taylor guitar next to me, notes from my publisher on hand (always a source of encouragement), my iPhone, notebook(s) and computer. I write long hand first, then I type. My main trick is turning off the Internet so I'm not interrupted when creating the Word Doc. 

And this little guy is always around -


The joy of writing long hand. The notebook pile continues to build.
What five things do you have in your writing space? I heart comments. I will always return a comment on other's blogs unless I'm trapped in a avalanche or abducted by aliens.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#IWSG Good v.s. Evil - Battling Toxic People Through Writing

Click below to join!


Graphic Novel Coming Soon!


The Handler - By Matt Garcia and Adrienne Reiter


It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

The awesome co-hosts for the November 7 posting are: Ellen @ The Cynical SailorAnn V. FriendJQ Rose and Elizabeth Seckman!

This month's optional question is: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?



My last Halloween working at Books Inc.


I've hit a rough patch this last year. I'm a private person (believe it or not). Social media still gives me social anxiety. As quiet as I am I still seem to attract toxic people. Because, San Francisco.

I write about food and vino for a wine blog. Cooking, baking, trying new texture/flavor combinations in food is one way my writing has kept me creative. But my biggest creative endeavor is sitting in dives, on park benches and wine bars observing people. They're where I get my best ideas for fresh dialogue.  

Now my haunts are limited. I was laboring under a sea of lies. Now people are mad at me for perceived slights I never would have committed had I known all the facts. I'm being accused of saying things I never said. Thankfully I have friends around me for support.

How does your writing influence your creativity?


Thursday, October 4, 2018

#IWSG A Day Late!

I'm a day late for this post. Ugh. Because. Trying to balance? 

Welcome to Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly post! If you're a writer who needs support, or can offer advice JOIN HERE.


The awesome co-hosts for the October 3 posting are: 
DolorahTanya MirandaChemist Ken, and Christopher D. Votey.

Question this Month: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?


I'm going to make a leap and say that all our writing is directly effected by life events. Here's my proof wrapped in an amateur hypothesis.

I'm a plotter, not a "pantser" - A pantser is a writer who "flies by the seat of their pants". (duh) I'm envious of pantsers. If only I had the guts. As a mystery writer, I feel I have to plot. It's impossible not to. However...

As much as I try, I never truly can see where I'm going with the plot. If I get heart broken, lose a client, or someone in my family becomes ill my character arch's will abruptly change.

Do life changing events do the same for you? Please comment below. I always comment back. Happy belated IWSG Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#IWSG Publishing Options - What are you working towards? #publishing #writing #reading #shoppingyourbook


It's another IWSG Wednesday! Now that it's September, my hats off to all the teachers back in the classroom as they continue to burn their last drop of midnight oil writing at home. You're amazing!

Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group is a special place where we writer's share our hopes and insecurities once a month (or more) and provide each other support and encouragement. Are you an artist in need of a community? JOIN HERE! 

The awesome co-hosts for the September 5 posting of the IWSG are Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

I'm both traditionally and self-published. As a hybrid author I feel I understand a few avenues of the publishing world. What creates buzz. What entices fans. The truth about publishing is - no one knows it all! There are a myriad of venues, platforms, and ways to reach your audience. It's a noisy world filled with traffic and head-on collisions. 

It really grinds on me when I hear people scoff at self-published authors. I admire the hell out of self-published authors! They're a one artist team. Achieving what they've accomplished requires infinite talent and discipline. 

It took me eight years to acquire a publisher and publicist I can trust. I was spinning my wheels while gaining no traction with my self pubs and random indies. I went traditional because frankly, living in the city I live in I haven't the time nor the overhead to put out successful novels by myself. I have another novel coming out in a few months. If I was busy promoting and marketing my last book it wouldn't exist.

I have a strong local and online community of writers from all walks of life and various publishing platforms. Here's what I've learned - It doesn't matter as long as you're doing it! It doesn't matter how you publish. While I have tremendous gratitude for my team and their faith in me, what works for me might not work for everyone else. As a bookseller in three San Francisco bookstores I have first hand accounts of top five publishing houses like Simon and Schuster sink without a trace, while an indie pub shot into the stratosphere. 

Writers are in constant conversation on different publishing venues. With the publishing world morphing daily, I find it endlessly fascinating. 

To quote our lovely co-host Toi Thomas, "What's your publishing path?"

Please comment below - I will always get back to you on your blog unless I'm abducted by aliens, or trapped in a basement. Happy IWSG! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

#IWSG - Pitfalls To Avoid On Your Publishing Journey

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!
Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts today are: Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Susan Gourley, and Lee Lowery!

The question for August 2018 is: What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?


I've accepted long ago that being a writer is all about fielding bad news. You get rejected. So. Much. It's literally your job when you're not writing. According to Ta Nehisi Coates it's why so many give up on writing and go to law school, business school, or study medicine.

With so many publishing options these days, it's a noisy world. Daunting, really. If writing is your passion, and by passion I mean compulsion, keep going! Cream rises to the top. After years of writing, competition at your advanced level dwindles down. Those other potential candidates chickened out by choosing alternate career paths. You really will get those writing jobs and advances one can live on if you just hang in there.



Don't be afraid to ask for help! Join a community like, Insecure Writer's Support Group. It takes a village. No one makes it alone. I experimented with so many venues before I could roll into higher paying assignments, which finally led me into landing my publicist. 

Happy IWSG Wednesday everyone! What would you warn our tribe while on their publishing journey?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

#IWSG What Are Your Writing Goals?


It's the first Wednesday of the month. Time for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group. A place where we brave through sharing what we're insecure about and support one another. JOIN HERE!


The awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are Nicki ElsonJuneta KeyTamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!


I wasn't aware we were posting on Tuesday this month. My bad. Happy 4th of July, everyone!


The first book of my Brittany Wolfe series released yesterday! This segues nicely into my writing goals. I've heard from multiple fabulous writers who I support, "To build an audience you need an anchor series." I tried with my Rebecca Ashley series, and I got stuck during the build. 

Now that I've jumped to another rail and begun building with my new niche of pop-culture noir mystery I've got my momentum back. In part due to the bootcamp of grad school, and partly due to my amazing publisher who clearly saw my vision, understood my voice, and pulled it from the void into reality.

Now I'm only worried of keeping up the pace through the emotional rollercoaster ride that is my writing process. 

Creating an "anchor series" is my main writing goal. What's yours? 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

#IWSG Character Names vs Story Titles

Hey guys! Happy IWSG Wednesday. Science Fiction writer, Alex J. Cavanaugh created this amazing support group for writers like myself to help and receive help. Because, art isn't created in a vacuum.

Join us HERE!


Our co-hosts this month are the 
awesome  Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

The Question this month is -
What's harder for you to come up with, book titles or character names?

My answer is CHARACTER NAMES. Hands down. I've renamed MCs more than a few times because they hated the name I gave them, or couldn't live up to their given name in the fantasy world I puppet master. 


My new release, Lounge Act - Stolen from Nirvana

Book titles used to be hardest until a musician friend I worked at two bookstores with cued me in on an awesome secret. Steal like an artist. So many music albums stole from famous book titles. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Call of Cthulhu, Battle of Evermore, Nirvana's Scentless Apprentice, all great sounds given stolen titles. Why not do the same? 
à la Charles Peterson

Character names are more difficult for me. I tend to stick with the same names even though I try not to. There's always a James. There's always a Stephanie. There's always a Phillis, even though I consciously try not to do this!

What about you? Which is harder? A working title, or character names?