Category Archives: Columns

Part 1: The Two Types of Publishing

You’ve written your first manuscript and are trying to make heads or tails of which route to go in the publishing industry, but it isn’t as cut and dry as you thought it might be. You’d like to make an income, maybe even retire to a new writing career. Does that sound about right?

Two Types of Publishing

Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking a look at the different types of publishing out there and hopefully provide some insight into which is best suited to your needs. First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure your manuscript is as perfect as it can be – that means you’ve already hired an editor and made revisions to the original work. Whatever route you go, mistakes are going to cost you in the long run. Eliminating them before you start will pay off.

There are basically two types of publishing: traditional and self-publishing. I know a few people are shaking their heads at that, but it’s true.

Traditional Publishing

Traditional publishers buy the rights to books. They are most likely retain all creative control and pay the authors a royalty from sales. Author cost is zero. They may help with some marketing, but authors are expected to do their own as well. While it is advised that you send an error-free manuscript in, traditional publishers have their own in-house editors who go over manuscripts and make changes at no cost to the author.


Self-publishing is a little more complicated. It includes any type of publishing in which an author is required to pay out of pocket on the route to becoming published. There are numerous different types included under the umbrella name including: vanity publishing; subsidized publishing; print-on-demand publishing; and self-publishing. Each one is a unique entity to be considered carefully before making a final decision.

Join me next week, when I take an in-depth look at traditional publishing on the road to helping writers make their publishing choice.


13 Objectives for Writers

The second month of the year has just begun! Why not set a goal for this month–or perhaps for the rest of the year? C.A. King, Books & Quills Staff Member and published author, shares thirteen goals and objectives for writers. Choose one or more to try to implement this month!

Write something every day. It doesn’t matter how much or how little – just write.

Don’t worry about editing or re-drafting until the first draft is written in full.

Write what you want to write and how you want to write it. Develop your own author voice.

Join a writer’s group or attend a conference. Almost all professions require personnel to keep up-to-date with new courses as the world revolves around us. Don’t be afraid to keep learning. You can never know too much.

Utilize writing prompts. Keep everything you have written organized. It might come in handy when you are building the perfect scene.


Set goals! Know what you want to accomplish and by when. Make sure you stay on track.

Broaden your horizons. Try writing in multiple genres.

Create your brand. Social media is a necessary evil. Consider a website, blog, or vlog.

Network with other authors. Learn how to promote each other and share information about what works and what doesn’t.

Set up a marketing plan.

Publish! Do the research and choose between self publishing or traditional publishing. Then do it!

Have fun!  

Questions & Answers with D.L. Gardner

I’m excited to have the chance to take a peek into the world of another new-to-me author. Today we are talking with D.L. Gardner.

About D.L. Gardner: 

A young adult and young-at-heart fantasy novelist living in the Pacific Northwest USA. Noted for her novels, screenplays, and film projects, she writes in all subgenres in the fantasy genre including adventure, historical, urban and comedy.

Today we’ll be discussing the book Thread of a Spider:

Following an ambush at the Upton Rail Station in 1921 Ireland, British troops burn Ailis’ home to the ground and arrest her fiancé, Liam, for murder. She and her younger brother Paddy flee to an enchanted glen. Lured by a haunting song, Paddy is abducted by forest folk. Perilous obstacles, and a questionable stranger, hinder Ailis’ attempts to find her brother or free her fiancé, until her only hope for survival rests on the magic of the Fae.

The light was nothing like a headlamp, nor anything man-made, nor anything man could conceive of making. It was, rather, a globe of illumination having no source whatsoever that Paddy could decipher. The brilliant glow appeared to be powered on its own. It hovered in space, casting a beam on the surrounding foliage and reflected like stars in the babbling creek. The longer he stared, the more transparent the radiance became, until he saw a lone figure inside the bauble—a most amazing creature. A woman, nay, a faerie the size of his hand. Slender with long, golden hair and smooth, white skin. She wore a flowing tunic that danced in the breeze of her own making and took on all the color of the globe that burned brilliantly around her. Her wings were a delicate lavender that fluttered like butterfly wings and changed hues from blue to periwinkle as she stirred. Beads of light reflected on a spider’s web which forked out across the foliage surrounding her—spires of ivory lace from which she tugged a single thread. With one end of the fiber in her teeth, she worked her fingers charmingly, so that the filament wound into a beautiful ball of yarn.

Questions & Answers:

It’s time to delve into the Q. & A. This my favourite part. My questions are crafted to give a reader a clear look at how an author writes; what drives them; and what can be expected in their books.

Question: Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
My favorite character in my book is Paddy. Whereas the story is mostly about his sister Ailis and her struggles to free her fiancé, Paddy’s the one that befriends the Fae, and convinces them to help the Irish win the war. He’s a feisty 15-year-old wanting to fight, yet hating himself for killing a man. He loves his family, his country and he learns to love the forest folk as well. There’s something to be said about passion, and Paddy is passionate!

Question: Please describe him/her/they a) physically b) their personality.

He’s 15, red hair, a bit tall for his age. Lots of freckles. A real Irishman and proud of it. He everything a boy that age can be. A tease to his sister. Zealous. Anxious to join the Volunteers and fight but when he finally does fire that gun, the damage is devastating. His heart is as big as a pot of gold, and he embraces myth as quick as he embraces reality. He wants nothing more than to have his family safe, and his country free.

Question: Could I have a couple of quotes from your book of dialogue that shows that personality?

Zealous for his friend, Tommy, when he understands that the boy’s been kidnapped by Fae.

“Magic,” he snarled. “Fae!” He crumpled the cloth with his fist, and shoved the fabric into his pocket. “I’ll find you Tommy, I swear. By the sword of Saint Michael, I’ll find you and bring you back home.”

A tease to his sister.

He interrupted her thoughts. “You’ve heard the tale of the Black Boar? The dark swine is evil, Ailis.”
She glanced at him. His eyes were still closed. “What are your blathering ‘bout?”
“The spirit of the Black Boar. Chased from Northern Ireland to West Cork.”
“Sure, and that’s but a tall story!” she said.
“Thought they had killed him, but he came alive again, and lives to this day.”
Paddy opened one eye and stared at her intensely. “In the form of a Brit.”

Passionate for his country and his countrymen.

There was fury in Paddy’s voice, and his face burned red with passion. “He’s a snitch. He’s going to have everyone we know either shot or hanged. Ailis, he shot you and left you for the buzzards! No one does that to my family. No one! He needs to die!”

Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?

Historical Fantasy

Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?

There is violence.

Question: Do you have any upcoming events?

I have a book signing coming up in Western WA.

Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?

I’m currently writing a WWII historical romance based on the actual letters and life of a nurse in England and a wounded infantryman she cares for.

Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc…)

Cover artist Cover design Les Solot Les and Models which I hired for the photo Tess Stuart, and Kohde Rion Howard. Also, I want to thank ManuFixers for the encouragement and wonderful edits.

Question: If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Please describe the place rather than just a name. The weather, the time of day, the ground, the surroundings, foliage, etc.

I’d be in the green hills under misty clouds, a creek babbling at my feet, the sound of mourning doves in a stand of Paper Birch, the smell of mint and watercress surrounding me and the love of my life by my side.

Question: If the character from above were in that place, what would they be doing?

Considering there’s a war going on, I don’t think they would be enjoying the peace. I think they would looking for Fae, or tracking down the British that took Liam away.

Question: If your character was allowed one chance to say anything to your readers, what would he/she say?

Paddy would say, “Stay close to your loved ones, and don’t let them wander off where the woods are deep, or the fire of war burns. At least not without you watching their backs.

Question: If your character could donate to any charity, which one would he/she choose?

He’d be giving his coins to the unit his sister is a member of, Cumann na mBan.

If you’re interested, you can check out the following links to find out more about this author. Thank you D.L. Gardner and all my readers for your time!



Barnes and Noble:

Google Play:


A Look at Author J. E. Muller

I don’t often feature an author in my weekly column, but this newly published gal has my attention. For being brand new to the world of writing, self-publishing and marketing, Mueller seems to have all the right moves down pat. That alone sparks my interest! Let’s take a look together at the self-proclaimed fantasy author, Skyrim lover, and cat herder.

J. E. Mueller has been an active writer for years, as well as a very out-of-the closet geek. From conventions in full cosplay, to movie marathons with themed food, geekdom is far from a turnoff. Mueller also enjoys a variety of video games from Skyrim to Stardew Valley, Splatoon to Mortal Kombat.

Mueller’s debut novel, Fire’s Song, was released June 17, 2017 and today is sitting at an Amazon ranking of 774 in its fantasy subgenre. Those are good statistics for a new author almost 2 months after release. I’ve added it to my reading pile and I’ll be sharing my review in the coming weeks.

Fire’s Song:

Having already lost and given up everything, Key is determined to find a cure for her curse. With her very touch able to kill, she must seek answers from a distance. In this world, if a curse born dies, then the demons win their soul. Without much more to lose, Key decides to try the last of her luck on a village catered to magic born. Her questions unleash events that take her places she never expected existed.

An excerpt was provided by the author to share with our readers. Let’s take a look inside the book:

“What foolish move is this?” He turned the swords to point at me.

“Your fire can’t kill me,” I replied simply.

“The swords can,” he said, confused and surprised by my boldness.

“Obviously,” I responded without stopping until I was in front of him. Before he could say another word I punched him in the face as hard as I could.

Not ready for it, he fell backwards. The swords clattered to the ground and I encased them in a smaller flame shield. The strain from the extra magic usage was instantaneous. I could only hope it didn’t show in my expression. My years of bluffing were finally coming into play.

Regaining his feet and composure, he glared at me. His nose was now bleeding and likely broken.

Holding up my fists I got into a defensive stance. “Wanna dance?” I asked, ready to go. My plan was very limited. I was making it up on the fly.

Questions & Answers

It’s time to delve into the Q. & A. This my favourite part. My questions are crafted to give a reader a clear look at how an author writes; what drives them; and what can be expected in their books.

Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?

Medieval fantasy

Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about? Mild language

Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works? 

I am currently working on book two of my three book series. I’ve also started to outline a shorter, possible one shot. Aiming for novella length on that one.

Question: How does your cover tie into your story?

My main character, Key, is a bit of a wanderer thanks to her curse. So the forest in the background captures that, as well as the fire capturing and displaying just what her magic can do. The demons nicely off to the sides show the added effects they’ve had on Key as well as the world she lives in.

Question: What was your favourite book when you were growing up?

As a child, Ella Enchanted and Fever 1793. As a pre-teen/young teen, Harry Potter.

Question: If you could meet any character from any book, who would it be? Why?

Modra from the Chronicles of Lorreck series. I see a lot of myself in her. The good, the bad, and some terrible decision making reminds me a lot of my own journey.

Question: When did you realize you were meant to be a writer?

When I first started writing ‘books’ around fourth grade. They were around 5-10 pages, and at that time doing something like that just for fun really showed my interest in writing.

Question: If your life was a book, what would be the tagline?

Blundering attempts at simple things with extra laughs.

Question: What advice would you give new writers?

Books change lives. You never know how your words can impact someone, how your words can change, and help another. Don’t give up.

Question: What has been the worst mistake you have made in your writing career?

Trying to show my story to an alpha before it was ready. I learned a lot from that experience.

Question: What is the best moment you have had with a fan?

A fan was rereading my book and sent me a wonderfully angry message. They forgot one of the plot twists. They knew everything would work out in the end (mostly) from prior reading, but that one moment of dread caught them off guard a second time and it was a wonderfully hilarious interaction.

Thank you for your time. If you are looking for more information you can connect with this author online using the following links:

Until next time, happy reading!

Hide a Book Day – September 18th

I’m sure you’ve heard of it before – celebrities hiding books in well-known places. This year is a bit different. Goodreads, for their tenth anniversary, is teaming up with The Book Fairies.

Don’t be surprised if you find a book or two on your way to work or at the park. Book Fairies will be hiding books in some unusual places to help promote reading and literacy. Pictures of Emma Watson hiding a few of her favourites are already making rounds on the internet.

This is an amazing event, but did you know you too can participate?

As a reader, I know first hand I always have excess books my shelves can’t handle. Rather than leaving them sitting in boxes this year, I plan on distributing a few around nearby towns for people to find. As an author, I’ll be adding a few of my own into the mix.

On the Book Fairies website, you can order book bags, bookmarks, stickers, buttons and ribbons to include with the books. It can add up fast, though. Authors can also offer their books to be hidden by others – an amazing idea. Other than the price, the other downside is you have to order them from the UK, making shipping time an issue. I’ve ordered mine.

If you want to participate and are out of time there are still a few options. Write a note on a sticky pad and attach to the inside cover, or, if you are the author, write a note directly in the book and sign it for an added special touch!

I’m looking forward to participating and hope to run into a few other fairies on September 18th. Thanks for reading, and see you next week for more of The Write Information.

For more information on The Book Fairies please visit

My Top Picks for the Summer Indie Book Awards

It is September and that means the polls are open for the Summer Indie Book Awards hosted by Metamorph Publishing. Readers can vote in flocks for all of their favourites from September 1st to September 11th, 2017. This is the event’s second year and so far it looks like the growing pains it experienced in 2016 have been eliminated.

Full List of Books Nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards

It’s still early, but here are the categories and my personal picks for front-runners in each:



There are so many great titles in the Anthology category, but I’m putting my money on Hugs and Kisses: A Writers’ Retreat Romance Anthology coming out on top.


There are only three choices in this genre. It is also my first time hearing about any of them. Good luck to all three authors.


Even though my kids are now grown, I love children’s books. After checking out the choices I think Where’s the Frog? could be a front runner.


We have a competition in this one! It’s going to be a close call, but I expect ICE to lead the pack.


Dead on Your Feet could take this away. I have, however, added A Few Simple Murders to my wish list.


I’m predicting Catch Me If I Fall, but with only four to choose from, this is anyone’s game.


I’d be surprised if Untamed didn’t walk away with this.


PanDora’s Destruction by Kitten Wallace has potential in this category. I will note there is a distinct absence of some of this year’s top indie erotica titles.


This is the category to watch! It’s so tight, anyone could take this. I’m looking for Crown of Delusion or More Things on Heaven and Earth to place well. The competition is going to be tough, though, with the likes of Grant Leishman, Mark McQuillen and R.R. Virdi being among the authors to choose from.

Although one of my own books was nominated in this category, I don’t expect it to place in the top five.


This is a hard choice, but I’m betting on The Beekeeper’s Daughter doing well.


Yolanda Olson has a couple titles listed and both are probably going to end up topping the list. I’m looking for Dawn of a New Breed to stake a claim in the top few as well.


Only two titles are listed. It could be exciting to see who comes out on top. I can see both being in the top two.


This is another category with only a few choices. I expect to see Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me come out on top.


I’m picking Agents of Shadow to rake in the votes on this one.

New Adult 

I can see Jenna’s Story doing well.

I’m not picking a clear winner as one of my own titles is in the mix and I have to keep my fingers crossed. Good luck to all the authors.


Another tough fight. I’m looking at Snowed In to be near the top. Kiss of Vengeance should also place well.

This is another category one of my books is nominated in. As a sequel in a series, I don’t think it has the following needed to hit the top.  Good luck to all the authors nominated.


This genre is packed with choices! I expect to see Embellished by Karen Glista finish high on the list. I’m not counting out Jill by Rose Montague, either. This is going to be a tight race to the finish and one of the more exciting categories to follow.


Wow! Talk about some great poets! I’m picking Transverse to edge out the competition and Look for Stained Glass to place near the top.


This is an impressive list! I’m expecting to see Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels and Advance by K.A Duggsy to take the top two spots.

Science Fiction 

I expected this genre to be slam packed with titles. As it turns out, it is a manageable size. I’ll be looking for Starstruck and The Riddle of the Gods at the top of the pack


With only three titles listed, all will place well. I’m taking a pass on predictions on this one.

Short Story 

There are a lot of good short stories on this list. I’m taking a pass on picking the top spots as one of my own titles is in the running. Good luck to all the authors nominated.


I’m expecting Amanda Evans’ book Finding Forever to place at the top, but I can’t count out R.M. Gauthier’s two nominations either. This could be an exciting finish.

Time Travel 

An interesting category! This one is anyone’s game and I simply can’t pick a clear cut winner. I’ll be watching the results closely!

Young Adult

Again I see some familiar names I expect to do well, but I am predicting a surprise victory for an underdog title in this one!

Good luck to all the authors nominated. I can’t wait to find out the winners! Whether you agree or disagree with my picks, you can have your say by voting daily!

Until next time. Happy reading!


Q&A: E.A. Comiskey
Q&A: Karen Glista
Q&A: Amanda J. Evans
Review: Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi

The Art of Writing Short Stories

One might expect writing a short story to be an easy task in comparison to penning a full sized novel. The age old saying, ‘not everything is as it appears’ definitely applies here. The short story is actually one of the most difficult literary genres for an author to find success.

For all intents and purposes, the short story is a beast on its own. It isn’t a poem or novella or even a novelette. It isn’t meant to lead up to something bigger and should never be the first chapter of a book yet to come. When a reader picks it up they know it is self-contained and stand alone.

That doesn’t sound so hard, until you break down what needs to be incorporated:

  1. A complete plot, beginning to satisfying end.
  2. All loose ends need to be tied up. Readers shouldn’t be left with questions.
  3. Characters worth caring about. This is probably the most difficult part. Many times it is difficult to make readers connect with characters in larger works.
  4. The story needs to be thought-provoking.
  5. An infusion of emotion.

All of that needs to be accomplished in less than ten thousand words. That’s a task! Those who are successful find a way to infuse the emotions of their genre into a web of words that traps their audience for a short while, before releasing them back, ever so slightly changed.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring the world of short stories and their authors. I hope you’ll join mine on my latest literary adventure! Until next time, happy reading!

Do You Believe in Magic?

How many books have you read where the strongest magic is love?

“I don’t want realism. I want magic!”
― Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

If you are like me, it’s a lot. Whether it’s Harry Potter or even some of my own titles, love can steal the show. It is as strong and powerful as any main character and can foil a villain without violence. But is that notion real or fantasy?

I’d like to share with you a story:

It was anything but a typical Mother’s Day. My husband had been diagnosed with terminal cancer the November prior. He didn’t go out much and I hadn’t expected a gift, but there was one. A tiny rose plant sat on my desk, little red buds ready to explode into blossoms. He told me a cut flower would wither and die but this plant would last forever.

The following January he passed away. The plant sat on my desk, a reminder of his love. I went through another tragedy soon after when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I began home care. He passed away the following January. My rose bush bloomed a single white rose.

You might think nothing of a flower, but the roses had always been red until that day. Now on special occasions such as mother’s day or my birthday I receive a present – flowers in all different colours from the same plant. I’ve seen pink, white, yellow, orange, peach and starburst. To me it’s the very definition of magical.

So, when someone asks if I believe in the magic of love, I will always answer, “Yes, I do.” Until next time, Happy Reading.

Until next time. Happy Reading.

Finding Inspiration to Overcome Writer’s Block – July

How do you deal with writer’s block? That’s probably the most frequently asked question of any author and their least favorite to answer. I decided to tackle finding an answer in 2017 by drawing inspiration other forms of art. Once a month, I’ll be trying something different and discussing the results.

For July, I trudged out of my comfort zone for a paint night at a local artist’s studio. The Brier’s Edge in Brantford, Ontario offers both group and private lessons for what seems to be any artistic endeavor a person might want to take on. I decided to attempt a painting.

Some people might not think a simple painting to be a big challenge – I assure you, for me it was. Anyone who knows something about me knows I can’t draw. I’m the stick figure lady, and even those are lopsided. I can’t even make a straight line. The artist, Susan, had her work cut out for her. I’m sure she wished for a stiff drink a few times during the two-hour session.

The best part about the experience was that the finished product was a combination of the artist and myself. She showed me things and helped me. There wasn’t a stick figure or wavy line in sight. While I’m not ready to try painting on my own, I feel that artistically I have grown from the experience and would recommend paint nights to everyone.

Are you wondering about the results of my experiment? I couldn’t help but be inspired by such a talented artist! Expect to see some new announcements in the near future. This evening was a success!

I’m looking forward to finding a new adventure in August. I hope you’ll join me for those results next month!

Thanks for reading The Write Information.

The Ultimate Fan Art Experience

Recently, I was approached by another local author with some ideas about a new event. If you remember last week’s article on paint night, it ties in.

The Ultimate Fan Art Experience is an author signing event, a painting event, a dinner party, a charitable auction and more. There are even optional Zumba classes. Think author retreat with book sales and you’d be close to what this event is shaping up to be.

Set tentatively for November 30th to December 2nd, 2018, there is plenty of time to prepare. It’s also prime holiday shopping time in an art loving community. A full weekend event where authors and fans can participate as much, or as little, as they choose.

Here’s how it works. Friday there will be an optional meet & greet followed by an author paint night. The paint night is included in your table price. This is where participating authors create a painting of one of their book covers. That painting will be used as the example in scheduled workshops for fans on Saturday and Sunday. Authors are urged to visit workshops where their book cover is being recreated.

Author signing will be open both Saturday and Sunday. There will also be a charity raffle and/or auction both days.

Saturday Night Authors will be treated to a buffet dinner and dance (included in the price of the table).

Zumba classes will also be made available for those interested.

If you are looking for a great experience, look no further.

Author Interest Form:


Looking to attend as a fan?

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