Apr 132015
 
Author Judith Fein

Author Judith Fein (Photocredit: Paul Ross)

If anyone personifies “The Road Less Written,” it’s travel-writer and author Judith Fein who “lives to leave.” You can find her articles in nearly 100 different publications, and she and her husband, photojournalist Paul Ross, share their travel adventures at GlobalAdventure.us. And, she’s a co-founder of the group travel blog, YourLifeIsATrip.com, the “#1 website for experiential storytelling and narrative travel writing.”

Judith is also the author of Life is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel and a new memoir, The Spoon from Minkowitz: A Bittersweet Roots Journey to Ancestral Lands. I came to know Judith’s writing through the latter. Her voice and her ability to connect with the reader, her past, and well…everything else in her path, made me yearn to ask her a ton of questions. Being polite, I limited it to a few. Continue reading »

Jan 162015
 

Episode-39Justin-SloanWhen we think of post-military careers, “creative writing” isn’t always the first thing to come to mind. But that’s what writing is for our own Justin Sloan.

He was recently interviewed for a One Bold Move podcast (link below) that focused on his transition out of the military and into a life of creative writing. But for Justin, it’s not so much about choosing creative writing.  It’s about (1) How to discover your passion, and (2) How to follow your passion.

Continue reading »

Dec 252014
 

The Crimson VaultAs a Christmas present to all of you, I would like to share my interview with Will Wight, the author of the Travelers Gate trilogy. It makes sense for me to share this with you all today, because Will is offering a Christmas discount on the second book in his trilogy, The Crimson Vault. He also has his next series coming out soon, and the cover looks amazing (Of Shadow and Sea). To add extra candy to the stockings, my book Creative Writing Career features his interview and many more, and is also on a Christmas sale for $0.99. So treat yourself to some Christmas magic and pick up electronic copies of both of our books and enjoy some wonderful reading this weekend.

Will went straight into an MFA program from undergrad, published the first book of his trilogy, and has had some success working as an author. The result of his drive to write was that he did not have to find a mediocre desk job like many of us have to do in order to pay the bills—he is a writer who pays his bills through his writing. We have much to learn from Will.

Continue reading »

Dec 172014
 

adaptingHave you considered turning your novel into a screenplay? How about a graphic novel? Video Game? Many writers out there find that dipping their toes in multiple lakes leads to a greater chance of success, and if nothing else it will lead to more discoverability.

Take for example, the first question I ask of Allen Warner (below), in my interview with him that you can find in my book, Creative Writing Career. Allen’s journey included a screenplay, a short story, and the published graphic novel series. And the screenplay was optioned! This likely would not have been possible if he just sat back and wrote the novel version.

Continue reading »

Oct 282014
 

Tomiko BrelandToday I am happy to share my interview with Tomiko Breland, who I had the pleasure of meeting at my time in the Johns Hopkins MA in writing program. Tomiko is a fiction writer and an Associate Publisher at The Zharmae Publishing Press. She won the Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest and is working on a novel. Additionally, she has an editing/graphic design/freelance business, called Paper Star Editorial & Design.

(If you would like to read more interviews, check out my book that will be coming out late November on how to position yourself for a creative writing career. To get on the mailing list, contact me at SloanArtst@gmail.com)

Continue reading »

Sep 232014
 

Jerri BellThis week I had the great pleasure of being introduced to Jerri Bell, who was kind enough to share some thoughts with us on the process of editing and how she got to this point. Jerri Bell served in the Navy from 1988-2008. Her fiction has been published in Stone Canoe; her nonfiction has been published in The Little Patuxent Review and the Charleston Gazette-Mail, and on the Quivering Pen and Maryland Humanities Council blogs; and both her fiction and nonfiction have won prizes in the West Virginia Writers annual contests. She is currently the managing editor of O-Dark-Thirty, the literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project.

Continue reading »

Jul 052014
 

I was recently asked to participate in a Blog Tour  Q&A with Kris Mehigan. You can visit her blog at:

http://krismehigan.tumblr.com/

Right now, I am working on:

…a couple of books, actually. The book I recently finished is titled, “The Portraits of Gods”. Here’s the jacket description:

At 49, Bryan Wakefield finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Approaching retirement, he considers what life will be like once he is forced to abandon the daily means of escape his job has provided from the tumult of his personal life. To complicate matters, Jack also possesses superior autobiographical memory; an extraordinary ability that allows him to recall specific events from any given date in his past with uncanny accuracy. It’s this very ability that causes him to dwell incorporeally in the doorway between past and present, comparing the dreams and reverie of youth to the disappointment of his adult life. One day, on his way to work, Bryan misses his exit. But instead of getting off at the next exit, he continues driving, setting into motion events that will force him to strip away his desensitization by pitting past against present and breathe new life into his search for validity and meaningfulness.

Blending beauty and symmetry of language, The Portraits of Gods tells the tale of lost love and one man’s struggle with the slow-acting poison of regret.

The work is currently being shopped around for publishers.

My work differs from others in the genre because of my…

…tendency to blend deep philosophy with events and situations we’ve all experienced. Living’s a hard thing, or at least it can be as long as you’re not blissfully ignorant. 

I write what I do because…

That’s simple: Because I have to.

My writing process is…

I identify myself as a writer, though to help pay the bills, I “moonlight” as a police officer. In the pre-dawn hours, I like to park someplace scenic in my patrol car with a cup of coffee and my laptop and write while watching the sunrise…do it before all the calls for service start coming in. The morning seems to be the time of day when the ideas flow most smoothly for me. It’s also indescribably meditative. Otherwise, I don’t have a set method of writing. Although I keep notes of my work to keep me from running into plotline snags, I don’t do outlines and such. I tend to just write where the wind takes me. And then I’ll do as many revisions as possible until I’m satisfied with it.

 

Coming Monday: Redwoods Society Intern Cliff Gateflower visits the Mall of America to do some people-watching.  

Jun 102014
 

Her books have rung the bells of the New York Times Best Seller list ever since her debut novel, The Informationist, first burst onto the literary scene to critical acclaim (the book is currently being adapted into film by director James Cameron).

Since then, author Taylor Stevens has assembled a global following of fans with her Vanessa Michael Munroe series; the main character of which has been described as a heroine with shades of Jason Bourne, Sherlock Holmes and Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.

Born and raised into the apocalyptic, sex-and-Jesus hippie cult, the Children of God (the same cult that the family of River Phoenix once belonged to and which now goes by the name, Family International), Stevens was separated from her family at a young age and denied an education beyond sixth grade. Sent to CoG-operated communes throughout the globe, she lived a bleak adolescence that consisted of begging on city streets and caring for the commune’s younger children. It wasn’t until she was in her twenties that Stevens managed to break free from the cult.

The highly anticipated latest installment in her Vanessa Michael Munroe series, The Catch, is scheduled for release on July 15.

In an interview with the author, she discusses the long and meandering journey from cult kid to bestselling author.

 

Taylor Stevens pic Continue reading »

Mar 172014
 

ron cappsMany veterans find they need to write, and it makes sense. Men and women of the armed forces go through several intense years. Whether it was serving time overseas or just working their butts off on the home turf, they go through a lot to keep America safe. It is no surprise that they want to express themselves and find some way to share their stories. Lucky for them, there are many great programs for current military and veterans.

Continue reading »

Feb 242014
 

1900119_10152292751333383_1749696764_nWhile studying the craft of writing at the Johns Hopkins University, I had the pleasure of meeting many soon to be published authors. They were hungry for the craft, ready to show the world what they can create with mere words on the page. One of my classmates, an especially ambitious young writer named Kelly Ann Jacobson, recently published her first novel and agreed to share her thoughts on writing. You can find more information on Kelly and her novel at her website, www.kellyannjacobson.com. Continue reading »

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