I have never considered myself remarkable. I am, however, surrounded by remarkable women. Women who amaze me with their talents, energy and fortitude. How could I ever achieve to be like them? Most of us are modest about who we are, our gifts and our accomplishments. We are meant to give and care about others. We tend to put our needs and ourselves on the back burner. But, this may be what makes us truly remarkable. Our ability to give and care for others and still live our passion. To have the energy and determination to move forward and still be there for our families and friends.
When author Carolyn Leeper asked if I would like to be included in a book she was writing entitled 19 Remarkable Northwest Women, I didn’t realize what she was actually writing about. I read the manuscript when Carolyn hired my business, Armchair ePublishing, to design the book cover and complete the book’s layout and ebook conversions. It was during this process, while I was reading the stories of these women, that the full scope of the book hit me. I was in awe over what these women had accomplished and surprised when I learned Carolyn had included me as one of the nineteen.
I have always been fascinated with people and their stories. What makes them tick? What motivated them? How they accomplished their achievements? This book was an invitation to study some truly remarkable women and the things they have done; the adversities that got in their way and yet made them stronger; how their passion and determination led to their accomplishments.
I see these strengths in the women I’ve met and have had the intense pleasure of getting to know over the years. I idolize them and feel humbled to be in their presence. They encourage me to keep going and set forth my own accomplishments and follow my passions. I look up to these women and I think, “WOW.”
For me, women are remarkable. The balance of work, family and life in general can be difficult and yet they not only manage, they succeed.
My advice to all women: Be grateful, for you are remarkable. Be proud of your awesomeness. Lead others and share your greatness, so that they to can be great!
After two and a half years of searching and tracking down Curly Beeler and his gang, for shooting him and leaving him for dead, then raping and killing his wife and unborn child, along with stealing his stock and burning his ranch to the ground; Clay is checking out a small town before going in. Through a pair of binoculars, Clay Brentwood spots the man he's been searching for, standing in front of a cantina in a small town in southern New Mexico. Clay takes over the scene..
Pushing away from the boulder he'd been leaning against, Clay walked over and patted his horse on the neck.
"Should I ride in and try to enlist the sheriffs help, or inquire about some men to hire to help me round up Curly and his gang, or should I go in alone.?"
The horse gave him a knowing look.
"You're right. I should go it alone. After all it's not their fight, it's mine and mine alone. How many men did he have with him, was it nine or was it ten?"
The black stallion shook his head.
"You're right again. It was nine - nine, hardened gunslingers against just one man, me, with only surprise on my side. Think I should ride in with guns blazin', or just ride in and play it by ear?"
The big horse shook his head and pawed the ground. Clay scratched him behind the ears.
"First thing in the mornin', we'll just ride into town and see what happens."
Visit Jared's website
Connect with Jared
Where Does Your Stories Start?
What do you write first?
The beginning? The middle? The end?
By the time I start a story, I’ve already been thinking about it for quite a while. I know some of the basic plot points, such as where it starts, perhaps a few scene ideas, plus the climax. I also know who the story is about, including their basic appearance, back story, and a bit of personality. Finally, I like to know where the story takes place before I start anything (for a fantasy story, of course, more attention goes into this aspect than, say, a contemporary story, because the setting is a strong element of the fantasy genre…but that’s a whole other discussion). In that preliminary stage, I tend to take a lot of “what if” kinds of notes. What if this happens? What if that happens? What if the character reacts this way? These notes are my way of getting to know the story and the character before I start writing, so that when I do dive in, I have at least somewhat of an idea of how things will progress.
As far as the writing is concerned, I tend to work fairly linearly. I start at the beginning of the story and work my way toward the end. On occasion, I’ll write a piece of a later scene that I’m working toward, but it’s never a complete scene—usually just detailed notes with a few sentences I didn’t want to forget. Working from beginning to end allows me to view the story the way the reader will view it. It also allows me to keep better track of information and how things unravel, because my mind is moving forward with the story, rather than jumping around and becoming jumbled up in the details.
But that’s just how my brain works—every writer is different, and has a different process. I try to keep my process as straightforward as possible, so my creativity has room to breathe.
Visit Nicole's Website
Where Do My Mysteries Begin?
My mysteries always begin first with my infamous list, then a bit of history, followed by an extended visit.
The list has grown over the years and has been added to not just by me, but dozens of folks who have read my books. It has grown so long I would have to live well into the next century to write a book about each item on the list. Here are some of the latest additions: The Shamrock, The Bensen, The Excelsior, The Monticello, The Peabody, The Jefferson, del Coronado, The Biltmore, and the Crescent. If you haven’t already guessed, the list is made up of hotels—historic hotels—the settings of my Sydney Lockhart Mysteries, which takes places in the early 1950s. The hotels I choose have to still be in operation today.
Once I decide on a location, I give Sydney a reason for being there. This is where my research begins. I like to use an actual historic event to build my plot. For example, my latest mystery, Murder at the Galvez, takes place at the Galvez Hotel in Galveston, Texas. Looking through some old newspapers, I discovered a controversial project involving the development of Pelican Island, a small piece of land once used as on unofficial Confederate fort, complete with fake guns to ward off the enemy had a Civil War battle reached the Texas gulf coast. In the 1950s, the island was the depositary for the dredge from the digging of the Houston Ship Channel until the city decided to develop the island and turn it into a resort. The fictional murder that takes place in the book is associated with the project. In Murder at the Arlington I got a lot of mileage out of the illegal gambling that once took place in Hot Springs, Arkansas. And I couldn’t resist using the Driskill Hotel’s colorful ghost history in my upcoming book, Murder at the Driskill (Austin, Texas).
And finally, to give each story the feeling of authenticity, I have to spend several days or weeks at each hotel, soaking up the ambiance. Like the saying goes, “It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.”
Kathleen writes the Sydney Lockhart Mystery series and the Classic Triviography Mystery Series published by LL-Publications. Her Sherlock Holmes and Alfred Hitchcock trivia books were finalists for the 2013 EPIC Award in nonfiction. Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story, has been nominated for the George Perkins Marsh Award for environmental history.
Where Do My Stories Start?
This is such an interesting question for me, because there are several answers. Even though I write fairly chronologically, the story ideas often come through a variety of means.
I may overhear a phrase or sentence in a restaurant or grocery store that intrigues me, and get’s me to thinking about a story. This can attach itself to a character right away or a scene, or just an event. Once I get that sentence in my head, other things become attracted to it, perhaps a beginning or an ending, if the sentence feels like it’s mid-story. Or other people might have to be included if the sentence was part of a conversation and I wanted to keep it that way.
There are times when I’m walking in the woods and I’ll just get the whole idea for a story all at once. Of course, during the writing it changes, but the original idea could have been whole. Then there is rewriting. During rewriting, I might add or subtract information, scenes, details, anywhere in the book. So, even if I wrote the book chronologically, there are still events, problems, conversations, being inserted well after the novel is finished.
I teach a class where I discuss place, idea, character, and event, and go on to suggest that a book can be “primarily” about any one of these. A writer can start with anything, but eventually has to populate the novel with each of these. Things have to happen to someone, and they have to happen somewhere. Whether I start out in the middle or the end, I know I’ll have to include everything I can to make it a good story, so I’ll reenter the story again and again, just to be sure it’s right.
Terry Persun holds a Bachelor’s of Science as well as an MA in Creative Writing. He has worked as an engineer, has been the Editor-in-Chief of several technology journals, and is now marketing consultant for technical and manufacturing companies. Seven of his novels have been published. His science fiction novel Cathedral of Dreams won a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist Award, and his historical novel, Sweet Song won a Silver IPPY Award. His latest science fiction space opera is Hear No Evil.
Visit Terry's Website
The Author in all of us
There is a story inside. One that needs out and to be read by others. It's there and now it's time for it to flow from author to the reader. Join us as we celebrate Indie authors.