Lessons Learned from Authors

Every good writer is also a reader and we learn lessons from the writers we read.

YA Author Rendezvous

2410-153219Written by
Paul Briggs

Most of what I know about writing I learned from other writers. Sometimes they were literal teachers — my creative writing instructor at Washington College was a novelist named Robert Day — but usually I learned from reading their works and seeing what they did right or wrong.

One lesson came from a writer at alternatehistory.com: Never put the same tragedy in the backstories of two different characters, or it will turn into a running joke. (The writers of Avatar: The Legend of Korra could have profited from this.)

From Orson Scott Card (yes, really): This is something Card learned from a teacher named Francois Camoin: “When you have a word embodied in a story, the word itself should never appear.” Card applied this to his short story “Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory.” To pick an example everyone’s likely to be more familiar with…

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Say Hello to J. B. Havens


  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a wife and mother of three. My kids and husband keep me really busy so fitting in writing and marketing is always a challenge. When I am not writing, I am reading in what little spare time I have.

  1. When did you first start writing?

I discovered I loved writing when I was assigned a ten page paper on Jack the Ripper in high school. At first I hated having to do it, but the further I got into it, the more I enjoyed it. Soon after I wrote my first story, which I gave to a friend as a gift. After that writing a book and getting published became my dream.

  1. What inspires you to write?

Many things. Writing is not just a job to me, it’s so much more. I want to provide for my family but also there is a deep satisfaction in accomplishing something that I set out to do. I decided I was going to write an awesome book and publish it. The feeling you get when you hold your book in your hands for the first time is indescribable.

  1. Tell us about your latest release.

My debut novel, Core of Steel released on Friday, October 16th. It is the first in a series that follows Steep Corps, an elite special operations military unit. Staff Sergeant Bea “Mic” Michaels leads them on a mission in Columbia to take out a drug cartel.

  1. What are you currently reading?

Currently I am reading Indian Hill 4, by Mark Tufo. I also avidly follow his Zombie Fallout series.

  1. If you had a super power what would it be and why?

This is a fantastic question! I’m torn between being Mrs. Iron Man (no super powers but he’s crazy smart and has very cool toys) or mind reading/telepathy. (Great answers! – DMK)

  1. If you could have dinner with anyone (real or fictional) who would you choose?

Do I have to choose only one? Mike Rowe or Mark Tufo.

  1. What are you currently working on?

I am working on the second book in my Steel Corps series, called Hardened by Steel.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I have several ways be contacted, my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/jbhavens, email me at www.jbhavensauthor@gmail.com , or my website, www.jbhavens.weebly.com

Pick up your copy of Core of Steel today from

Amazon US

Amazon UK



Breaking news: Michael J. Fox arrested for insider sports betting

So that’s what happened!

Stubhill News


Los Angeles—Michael J. Fox was arrested Wednesday morning in relation to insider sports betting on DraftKings.

Fox aroused suspicion after achieving a statistically-impossible, perfect record on the site under the username NoChicken.

Authorities found an unusually worn copy of a sports almanac which was just recently printed and which has markings cataloging winning bets Fox has placed since the late 80’s.

“The operating theory is that the Back to the Future films were really documentaries from an original, prime timeline,” said NASA astrophysicist Barry Manilow. “The implications are heavy. It is suspected that we are living in an alternate 2015, as there are no flying cars and there are only four Jaws movies. We can only assume that we are forever stunted as a society. The amount of lives lost due to our lack of progress in technology and medicine is unfathomable. Worst of all, instead of hoverboards, this sad reality is limited to the Swagway.”

“We suspect…

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Puzzler’s Wednesday – Ajeesh VM (AKA – Rainmon)

Over on my puzzle blog, it’s Puzzler’s Wednesday!

Paws 4 Puzzles


Today on Puzzler’s Wednesday well welcome Ajeesh VM (AKA  Rainmon). Tell us a little bit about yourself, Ajeesh?

I am a software engineer and live in Chennai, on the Bay of Bengal in eastern India .

When did you start solving and making puzzles?

Solving: 2009 or 2010

Setting: Thanks to CCS (Facebook group Cryptic Crossword Society), I started trying my hand at setting individual clues from 2012-13. So far I have set 3 grids for Sunday special in Retd Col Deepak Gopinath’s blog ‘The Hindu Crossword Corner’ with the pseudonym Rainmon.

Do you just concentrate on cryptics or do you solve/create other kinds of puzzles too?

I love to solve maths puzzles too

A cryptic clue that always stayed with you?

He has left the property (7)*

Favorite constructor?

Buzzer from The Hindu

What do you like to do when you’re not doing puzzles?

Spending time with my…

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Feeling A Way – Blog Tour

Feeling A Way 
After The Collapse Book 1
S.A. Gibson

A child has been kidnapped and swordsman William Way must save him, but doing so will not be an easy feat. In this post-apocalyptic world, where new dangers and mysterious happenings lurk at every corner, doing what’s right could lead to unimagined threats.

While William’s journey has just begun, Kalapati, a bow woman for hire, has begun her own quest. But she is charged with delivering a child to a sinister cult leader, bent on taking charge and controlling the lives of all those in the state.

As William and Kalapati fight to complete their missions, they soon come to wonder how their efforts will change their futures. Will they join forces for the greater good or will the past experiences of each limit the choices available to them? The battle for libraries to control the future of California begins.

Buy Links

About the Author

 Published author of academic articles and book chapters and post-apocalyptic “woodpunk” fiction, S.A. Gibson turns his passions for learning, artificial intelligence, and human communication into accessible worlds of wonder and fascination. He is proud of having been active in political actions for peace and justice. He has served as an official celebrant in performing a couple’s marriage. He lives with his beautiful wife and their beloved Dachshund-Chihuahua in Southern California, where he is currently producing an academic title on international ethnic conflict.

Sins of the Future – Cover Reveal!

Last October we released the anthology Sins of the Past. This year we present Sins of the Future. Set in a time where anything is possible, from self-driving cars to aliens taking over the world. Each story is unique in its own light because each author took their own views and twisted them to become the stories that are featured in this anthology set to release October 31, 2015.

Sins of the Future features:

They by Jackie Pitchford

In the Driving Lane by Misha Burnett

Highly Strung by Stephen Blake

Add Green Sauce by Matt Lovell

The Verge by R.L. Andrew

The Man with Bio degradable Skin by Angela Garratt

The Nyghtmare Machine by Don Miskel

Kitty by Boyd Miles

Mercury’s Kiss by Jen Ponce

Graduation Day by Chasity Nicole

Malfeasance by Kerry E.B. Black

Return to Sigma Seven by C. Lloyd Brill

Doris by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Looking through Different Eyes by Steven Soul

The Day Everything Went Still by Leticia Toraci

Now that you know all the stories and authors featured in this amazing, futuristic anthology and you know when it’s to be released, it’s time for the big cover reveal.


Our cover was created by the wonderful Cleve Sylcox who was an author in Sins of the Past.

Sins of the Past is available on Amazon