Saturday, August 25, 2012

Writers4Higher features Mary Kane


Welcome to Writers4Higher


The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.

This issue, Writers4Higher features


Mary Kane


Hi Mary Kane. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!

1.         Tell me about yourself, your book.
After twenty-seven years as a criminal and civil trial lawyer in state and federal courts, I know what it is to try to convince an unsympathetic jury, appeal to an impatient judge, and seek justice for the “little guy.” I was the first woman in the country to become a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Washington D.C., named me co-recipient of the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 1993 for my role in an environmental class action. During the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh, I provided commentary for MSNBC, National Public Radio, and Tribune Broadcasting. I retired in 2010 and decided it was high time to write creatively rather than argumentatively and Southern Justice is the result.

Southern Justice’s Kat James enjoys a successful criminal defense practice in a small city in the South. Her Yankee upbringing is undeniable as she shares a frank, and sometimes humorous, perspective on lawyering. After she accepts a judge’s request to represent a young black boy charged as an adult with the robbery and murder of a local state trooper’s wife in an outlying, rural jurisdiction, the trial unfolds with gripping suspense and gritty realism. Through Southern Justice, the reader experiences courtrooms and law offices with riveting authenticity, and face truth as never before.

 
2.         Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

I will continue to draw on my experience as a trial lawyer, keeping it realistic. This is what I know.  

3.         How do you use your talents/time to help others?


Until very recently, I was on the board for a center for independent living, Ability 1st. I devoted many hours to this fine non-profit designed to assist our disabled citizens gain independence.

Before I retired, I volunteered my time to the Florida Public Defenders, teaching young lawyers how to improve their trial skills. I spent many years lecturing on the subject. I always learned a lot by teaching -- it was like eating a big slice of humble pie.





Would you like to find Mary Kane?
Stop by and check out this talented writer and editor.

Here are links:






Thank you, Mary Kane! We will look forward to seeing the legal system at work, from one who knows the intricate details.



Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher market. Find great gear for the writer in you.
Rhett DeVane
Fiction with a Southern Twist














Saturday, August 18, 2012

Writers4Higher features M.R. Street


Welcome to Writers4Higher





The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.





This issue, Writers4Higher features

M. R. Street






Hi, M. R.  Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!






1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.


The first thing I wrote was “Charlie the Chuggly Cherry.” This was when I was about four years old, and I pecked out the letters on my mother’s Remington typewriter. Alas, the story is lost to the ages, but my love of stories remains.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, I came to the impression that the only way to make a living as a writer was to be a journalist. Journalism is a wonderful field, and in fact, it led to my first writing award – First Place Feature Story in the Clearwater Sun Awards, which was for high school journalism. I even majored in Journalism at the University of Florida – once it became clear that I didn’t have the right stuff to be a veterinarian. For a while, I was the sports and soccer stringer for the Independent Florida Alligator. But after dropping out of UF and moving to Tallahassee, I switched my major to English (Creative Writing) and promptly embarked on a career which had nothing to do with my degree. Yes, I became a state employee. I’ve now put almost 30 years into the state, writing here and there, but not trying to get anything published.

About 10 years ago, I went to a workshop at LeMoyne called Writing and Illustrating for Children. The instructor was Jan Godown Annino, a former journalist herself and a natural storyteller. That is when I discovered you can write for a living and make millions and become famous throughout the universe. Or not. What I really learned was, I wanted to give this writing thing a go, because it had been hibernating in my soul for too long. Like a Florida black bear waking up after an extended nap, I was voracious for food to feed my muse: books to read, stories to write, and a critique group to join. I soon found my niche, my favorite berry bush, my honey tree: middle-grade fiction.

Blue Rock Rescue grew out of a writing exercise in a critique group meeting. My inspiration for this story was the summers I spent in the mountains of North Carolina. Although Blue Rock Rescue is my only published novel (and it won a major award!), I have several others in various stages of pre-publication. Unbeknownst (or sometimes knownst) to them, my family members often contribute characteristics to my characters.


2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?


Like most writers, I would love to have a book turned into a major motion picture, or even a made-for-TV Hallmark special. But writing has already taken me places that enrich me emotionally, if not financially. For instance, I’ve been invited to deliver the keynote speech at a fifth-grade promotion ceremony and to participate in author panels for elementary and middle-school students. A co-worker at the state told me recently that I get a glow from these events like a pregnant woman (without pregnancy).

 I hope my writing leads me to more experiences like those. I hope my writing takes me to Ireland one day, so I can infuse with reality a fantasy story I’m writing that is set there. I hope my writing takes me to many more writing conferences, where I meet other writers, learn more about writing and publishing, and re-energize my soul and my muse. And maybe even get a gig as a speaker.


3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?


As mentioned, I love to speak to and with young people. I love to listen to what they have to say, since it is honest and current and joyful and sad and frustrated and scared and hopeful and immortal. I will go to any school in the area to make presentations or to listen to and be a resource for young authors. I volunteer as co-chair of the Student Outreach Committee for Tallahassee Writers Association. I have donated copies of Blue Rock Rescue to several school and public libraries, and will continue to do so.

I have recently become a member of the Leon County Reading Council, and I hope that will give me opportunities to give to the community in the future. I’ve also registered with Volunteer Leon and am waiting for a volunteer position to open up at the Eastside Branch Library. I find that sharing the love of reading, with young and old alike, is richly satisfying; My muse, my soul, and my honey-tree-seeking inner black bear (apologies to my friend Jan for usurping her totem for this metaphor) benefit from my volunteer activities.



Would you like to find M.R.?




Check out the links to this talented author:






Thank you, M. R.  I'll  look forward to hearing much more from you in the future!


Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher Market! We have gear for the writer in you.



Rhett DeVane

Fiction with a Southern Twist











Sunday, August 12, 2012

Writers4Higher features Barbara A. Kiger


Welcome to Writers4Higher


The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.

This issue, Writers4Higher features
Barbara A. Kiger


Hi Barbara. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!




1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.



I am a writer who lost her sight 25 years ago. Unable to continue my current career, nursing, I focused my attention on a second career choice, writing. In pursuit of this goal, I enrolled in a couple of writing classes, attended as many writing workshops as time and money would allow and joined a pair of local writing groups. As a reward for this diligence, several periodicals accepted my submissions. I was a published writer. Not content to stop there, I set my sights on a loftier goal, becoming a published mystery writer. After a ten-year struggle of writing followed by rejections, followed by rewriting and even more rejections, my goal became a reality with the publication of my first mystery novel, Payback.



2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

Like Payback’s gutsy protagonist, Regina “Ginny” Arthur, who channels her curiosity, concern for fellow-man, and a strong sense of what’s right and what’s wrong into solving problems, I plan to continue sharing Ginny’s high-jinks. I have done just this in a second novel, Cold Storage, which is due out later this summer or early fall. In Payback, Ginny deals with drug pushers, murderers and the mysterious disappearance of a much-loved uncle. In Cold Storage, a mounting body count sends Ginny down a snowy trail peopled with human traffickers and domestic terrorists.



3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?

Although a third “Ginny” story is roaming the far reaches of my mind, I am currently involved in putting the story of our family on paper. No, I am not doing the genealogical research, most of which has already been done by others in the family. My challenge is to breathe life into the lists of names and dates.

Nor have I abandoned my article writing. I am a contributing writer for our Diocesan Council of Catholic Women web site and newsletter, and am editor of our parish Women’s Guild newsletter.

Besides the writing, these same skills have been used to enhance the many talks I have given on spiritual growth and leadership. I have also given numerous talks in support of our local Lighthouse of the Big Bend, telling of their many programs for the blind and visually impaired and of how this agency brought “light” into my “dark” world.

Would you like to find Barbara?
Visit these links to read about this talented author:









Thank you, Barbara. You are an inspiration, hon.

Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher market. Find cool clothing and gear for the writer in you!



Rhett DeVane
Fiction with a Southern Twist




Saturday, August 4, 2012

Writers4Higher features Chuck Sambuchino




Welcome to Writers4Higher





The purpose of the Writers4Higher blog: to feature authors in a new light, a fresh look at the way writers use their talents and life energies to uplift humankind. Writers4Higher doesn’t promote religious or political views. Authors are asked to answer three simple questions: simple, yet complex.





This issue, Writers4Higher features

Chuck Sambuchino


Hi, Chuck. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!





1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.

 


My name is Chuck Sambuchino and I am author and editor. During the day, I edit for Writer's Digest Books, working on annual guides such as the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS. During the night, I do my own writing -- humor books, plays, screenplays, articles, etc. Right now I'm working on promoting my newest humor book called RED DOG / BLUE DOG: WHEN POOCHES GET POLITICAL (Aug. 1, 2012, Running Press), a large collection of photos of dogs doing stereotypical liberal and conservative things. I love writing and storytelling.

Personally, I'm a husband and dog owner. I love sports, working out, trivia, playing piano, playing guitar, watching movies, and travel. I also have horrible eating habits. I am addicted to fresh chocolate chip cookies and didn't eat my first salad until I was 30.

I'm not sure I really have "inspiration," so to speak. I find that a lot of my success just comes from drive. I can only feel satisfied after a long day if I have been productive and got stuff accomplished. Because I'm built like that, I tend to write and work on my platform a lot.



2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?

When I got my first humor book published (HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK in 2010), I hoped it wasn't a fluke and I could do it again. This summer, that dream is coming true with RED DOG. So hopefully I will continue to write humor books as well as be an editor for Writer's Digest Books.

But a big next step that's kind of a dream of mine is screenwriting. My love of stories stems from watching too many movies as a kid. My oldest and strongest dream is to write a movie or two that becomes a motion picture. I'm working on that goal now -- getting my screenplays into the right hands to give this goal a whirl. We shall see.

Truth is: As long as I'm getting paid to edit and write, rather than, say, working at Subway, then I try to remember I am blessed.




3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?


I travel frequently to present at writers' conferences and love meeting new writers in different places. In the next few weeks, I'll meet new writers in Indiana as well as the Greek isles. So that is exciting.

Besides the conferences, I try to answer almost any question that comes in over e-mail. I feel like that's how you simply make connections and build new friendships -- do favors for others asking nothing in return. I'm always a big sucker for when a young kid or student writes me and says they don't know what to do next. I almost always take the time to write those young people back.

Other than writing, I play piano at a retirement home for older folks. They seem to like it. Well, most do. I have gotten heckled once.



Chuck Sambuchino works for Writer's Digest Books and edits two annual resource guides -- the GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS as well as the CHILDREN'S WRITER'S & ILLUSTRATOR'S MARKET. His Guide to Literary Agents Blog (guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog) -- all about agents, submissions and platform -- is one of the biggest blogs in publishing. He was recently included in a FORBES Top 10 list of "Social Media Influencers: Book Publishing."
His first humor book, HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK (gnomeattack.com), was released in Sept. 2010 and has been featured by Reader's Digest, USA Today, the New York Times and AOL News. The film rights were recently optioned by Sony and director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future). His second humor book, RED DOG / BLUE DOG: WHEN POOCHES GET POLITICAL (July 2012, reddog-bluedog.com), is a collection of funny dog photos merged with political humor.
In addition, Chuck has also written two other writing-related titles: the third edition of FORMATTING & SUBMITTING YOUR MANUSCRIPT (2009), and CREATE A WRITER PLATFORM (fall 2012).
Besides that, he is a freelance editor, husband, cover band guitarist, piano lover, chocolate chip cookie fiend, and owner of a flabby-yet-lovable dog named Graham.






Would you like to find Chuck?


Check out the links to this talented author:


 GLA book: Guide to Literary Agents

CWIM book: Children's Writer's/ Illustrator's Market


GNOME book: How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack


DOG book: Red Dog/ Blue Dog: When Pooches Get Political


FORMATTING book: Formatting and Submitting Your Manuscript


PLATFORM book: Create Your Writer Platform: The Key to Building an Audience,Selling More Books, and Finding Success as an Author



 





Thank you so much, Chuck. On a personal note: I had the pleasure of meeting Chuck at the Harriette Austin Writers Conference at the University of Georgia. This man has vast stores of knowledge about the writing world.

We appreciate you, Chuck.

Be sure to visit the Writers4Higher Market! We have gear for the writer in you.

Rhett DeVane
Fiction with a Southern Twist




Writers4Higher features author and blog master Darrell Laurant

  Hi Darrell. Welcome to Writers4Higher. Tell us about yourself. I am something of a hybrid creature, geographically speaking...