Monday, April 25, 2011

The Strong Witch Society


Authored by Salvatore Buttaci

Master of the Flash is back! In his new collection of 200 short-short stories, Salvatore Buttaci introduces us to characters hard to forget. In less than 1,000 words they tell stories of humor, hidden emotions, love, nostalgia, violence, time and space travel, and downright horror. The author's flashes appeal to all readers in search of a good read worth the purchase price. It won't be so easy putting this book down.

Go to our BUY NOW page at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just Tell the Story, Please by Marvin Wilson

In this post I’d like to discuss using restraint in your writing. A sure-fire indication of an immature, novice writer, is the tendency to overwrite; to use extremes way too often in the descriptions of what is happening as the plot moves along. Think of it as ... let’s use parenting as an analogy. You, the writer, are the parent, and your readers are the children.
If you are a parent who is quick to high emotion, easily excited, uses loud, harsh language and outrageous threats all the time to control your kids, well what happens, eventually, to your children? They become immune to the loud decibel levels, the constant haranguing, and all that … to the point where you have to hit them over the head with a frying pan to get them to sit up and pay attention.
If, on the other hand, you parent with controlled emotions, use an even, soft voice the vast majority of the time, and only threaten to exact punishment or disciplinary measures when the real intent is there and then follow through on your word, well … those children, when you raise your voice just a little, will sit up with perked ears and exclaim, “Wow! Better pay attention … Mom almost never uses that tone of voice.”
Get my drift? Here’s an example of unrestrained, loud writing …
John ran out the door as fast as he possibly could. Never in his whole entire life had he ever seen anything so horrible, so awful and terrifying. His blood pounded in his ears like it had never, ever, done so before as he raced with all his might down the street, demanding his legs to carry him away from the hideous scene as fast as they possibly could.
Trust me, I’ve edited books for freshman authors who shout out their prose just like that. So stop chuckling at my blatant overwriting over-exampling. (wink) And imagine an entire book where everyone and everything happening is the mostest, greatest, fastest, unbelievably this or that ever in the whole world or lifetime of the character. It makes you numb. There’s no room left to kick it up a notch, no gas left in the tank when you really need to accelerate your story, hmm?
Okay. Here’s the same passage, toned down, but still getting the point across.
John fled out the door. Never had he seen anything so terrifying. His blood pounded in his ears as he raced down the street, commanding his legs to top speed, distancing him from the hideous scene.
Much better, hmm? Did we miss any story? No. Do I have room left to up the intensity later? Yes. Remember, as you write, the old truism, “Less is more.” Leave room in your prose for acceleration and heightening of intensity when it is necessary, and keep your lead foot off the gas pedal when it isn’t.

Marvin D Wilson, multi-published author and editor with All Things That Matter Press, using the pen name “Professor Old Silly,” posts writing tutorials on his blog each Tuesday. The above tutorial is a re-post from the archives of his blog at:

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Authored by David Appelbaum

THE SHOCK of LOVE is a book about spirit.It is a book within a book. The book found
within is a manuscript entitled THE SHOCKof LOVE. It is purportedly written by Paolo
Cellini, Professor of Romance Languagesand a student of the era of the troubadours
and courtly love. Based on the idea of abook of the heart, current during that time,
it is divided into nine chapters that giveallegorical detail of the journey of love, a
love that completes the spirit in a person.There the reader follows the courtship, the
'alchemical' marriage, and the darkgestation before emerging transformed andcompleted. The outer book, the book thatencloses the found manuscript, tells thestory of Cellini as well as speculating onwhy it came to be written.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


For authors, a blog, or two, can be an important marketing tool. It is a great way to build readership and to 'strut your stuff.' There are some do's and don'ts so here are a few tips.

Don't get into people's faces about your book. If your blog looks like an add people will avoid it like the plague.

Don't scatter your posts on a million topics. You can't be an expert in all areas and people will soon discover that you are just filling the pages to get attention.

Don't take on topics if you have no expertise or interest. readers don't like shallow writing.

Don't rant. You don't want to come off as crazy or weird, unless that is your marketing strategy.

Don't fill your blog with tons of adds-if you have any-be selective.

Do find a niche. As a writer, you must be passionate about something. If it is the topic of your book, that is great, so you'll want to post about issues that your book addresses. When appropriate you can insert a reference to your book. You can also write about the art of writing, How To's, and be a place to visit for guidance.

Don't allow open 'ID or anonymous' for comments. This is just me, but it opens the door to massive amounts of spammer messages. If someone has to put a real email address they are less likely to load you up with spam.

Do offer tips. People love free advice and like to hear what others think work or don't work.

Do be honest.

Do have Favorite Links and a Blog Roll. This is where you can link to your web site, your publisher, other authors and sites that might pertain to your topics.

Do write about things that are of real concern to you. It is okay to be passionate.

Do fill in the Labels or Tag section below your blog. These are what SEO's pick up on. BE SURE that your first sentence or two contains words that you use in these Labels or tags. Again, this is for SEO. BE SURE TO PUT YOUR NAME IN YOUR LABELS

Do make sure that you have enabled your blog with SHARE buttons (Twitter, FB, etc)

Do vary the nature of content. Find videos on YouTube that are germane and copy the html embedd code and post on your blog. Have guests blogs. Have some opinions, some straight facts, etc. Post Cinchcasts that are audio reports (

Do make your links live so others just click and go to the link page.

Do post as often as you can.


Go to Google Insights and see what is trending and what is a hot topic. You can also see who and where there may be an interest in your topics.

See what is trending for topics on Twitter and Yahoo.

Ask others if they will share a gust blog with you on a periodic basis.

Set up a set of questions (say 10) and invite others to answer them. These can be author interviews, expert interviews, survivor interviews, etc.

Some sites allow and encourage a re-posting of their blog-wider exposure is good.

Search for articles-there are many sites that offer free articles on just about any topic.

The key is to write about things you care about. Be helpful, offer advice and tips, be honest and caring in your topics. Never defame another author or blogger. And, don't be concerned if you don't get tons of comments. People live busy lives and often will not comment on your blog. Post often and try to thank those who comment on your posts.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Authored by Katie Rosa

Katie Rosa was ready and eager to start a family, so when the pregnancy test from the local pharmacy told her she was expecting a tiny tax deduction, she was thrilled. Since this was her first pregnancy, she had no reason to imagine that things might go terribly wrong.
Five months into her pregnancy, Katie was thrust into the scary unknown world of hospital maternity wards, high-risk doctor's offices, and the tedious life of the bedridden.
Through the course of her ordeal, Katie experienced times of overwhelming fear, moments of intense happiness, and learned that humor, family, and friends really do make the difference in a crisis.

Book marketing - The Proactive Author Wins

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Authored by Jeff Gephart 

For Lukas Willow, the only fate worse than death ... is life.
Once a musical prodigy, Lukas' life took a vastly different turn when he discovered that he possessed unexplainable clairvoyant powers. Haunted by troubling visions, he becomes an alcoholic recluse, his life suspended in a stagnant state of paranoia and self pity. When the mysterious Katie Reiker, a beautiful but emotionally scarred young woman, shows up on his doorstep, an unconventional relationship begins to develop that might just save them both. Time is running out, however. An impending natural disaster that only Lukas knows about forces him to make a difficult decision, one that will affect the lives and futures of everyone in his town. This poignant, captivating novel explores the importance of making connections, and the paradoxes of finding hope, forgiveness, and redemption, even when faced with the fatal condition of being human.

About the author:
Jeff Gephart has worked professionally as a graphic artist and as an elementary school teacher. Having
written two feature length screenplays and a few short films, Jeff has spent time in front of and
behind the camera. He also enjoys writing poetry and short stories.

Saturday, April 2, 2011



Developing Unique and Believable Characters by MARVIN WILSON

There is the old adage, ‘write what you know’, and it certainly does help for a writer to have lived long, loved and hated, had several peaks and valleys during the journey, been ‘around the block’ several times and experienced lots of different situations.
I read that Hemingway would seek out wars and hire on as a mercenary so he could experience the intensity of real life and death battle. I’ve never been in a war, but part of my writing arsenal is having had a rather widely varied and experiential life background. From a young Hippie Rock and Roll travelling musician, to nightclub entertainer, to a formally trained Zen student, to carpenter, to small business owner, to network marketer, to sales and sales training, to skilled trades instructor and adult education teacher, to public speaker and motivational coach, to mention some.
I came from a small, lily-white northern Michigan town, but have during my adult life hung out in metropolitan cities, been down in the ghettos and made friends there, got to know and make friends with people of all races, ethnic and religious backgrounds. And I have had first hand experience with serious narcotics addiction, complete with considerable interaction with underworld characters: hookers, drug dealers, hustlers, etc. So it’s easy for me to draw from all the different types of people I have known to put composite characters together that are going to feel real to the reader because they are based on actual people I’ve known. Not usually just one person, but piece this from that one with that from another—that sort of thing.
But a writer does not have to have all that much first hand life experience to create real and distinctive characters. You can write people that you never have ‘known’. You just have to be a fastidious observer, a people watcher at all times, a perpetual, insatiable sponge of information gathering. Go sit in the mall and watch people. If you are from a small town, go to big cities and hang around downtown observing people. And visa versa if you’re from the big city and have not experienced small town living. Interview crooks, ex-cons of all types of crimes, set appointments with pastors, doctors, nurses, pilots, war vets, etc., and build up a vicarious life experience background from which to draw on when creating characters.
Also important is making sure you keep your ‘self’ out of your characters. Unless you want to speak through a character who is going to represent you and your messages, and that is perfectly fine—just keep it to one—you should guard against having your characters talk and act like you do. As an editor I see this all the time from novice writers. There might be anywhere from three to seven main and supporting characters and all of them use the same pet phrases—an obvious giveaway that the author uses those phrases. Same goes for mannerisms, emotional reactions, everything. Create one-of-a-kind characters, each with his or her own mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, ethical and moral, sexual persuasion, whatever, makeup.
Here are a couple things that can help. One, keep a character journal. For every main and supporting character, have a list of all their characteristics, including special notes to yourself as you write and develop them. Here’s a sample from my Beware the Devil’s Hug character journal-
Full name: Destiny Marie Jackson – Nickname, “Cocoa”
Gender: Female
Age: Twenty nine
Height: 5’ 7”
Weight: 110 lb
Race: African American
Occupation: Prostitute
Skin tone: Creamy coffee when healthy, ashy when book opens and she is on heroin
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Unkempt medium sized Afro
Body type: Slender, medium sized perky breasts, long legged
Sexual persuasion: strongly sexed heterosexual, and totally not satisfied sexually in spite of all the sex she’s having.
Voice tone: Raspy alto
Speech mannerisms: ghetto slang talker, swears a lot in opening chapters. As story unfolds she cleans up her language and expands her vocabulary.
Pet phrases: hecky; good googely moogely; okey dokey
Distinguishing features: large scar under her chin. Tramp stamp tattoo of a Harley Davidson logo
Role in story and relationship to other characters: Secondary main character, falls in love with and marries The Old Man. Becomes best friends with Angel, Christian Wilson’s fiancĂ©.
Religion/spiritual path: Agnostic at first, then Christian
Notes: Abused sexually by her father as an early teenager. She ran away from home at 16, never finished high school. Her parents live off Fenkel Street, just west of Livernois. She now lives on eight mile. Likes pizza, hip-hop, Mountain Dew, not a heavy alcohol drinker, favorite books are romance novels. Detroit Pistons fan.
I use the same list for all my characters. I might not have all the categories filled in as I start writing, but I go to the journal and fill in the blanks as they are created. I can then refer to the journal as I write if I forget any minute detail about the character, thus ensuring consistency in the story with respect to how this person looks, speaks, dresses, acts, reacts, and so forth.
And here’s another technique I’ve recently started using: before you write your book, interview your main characters. Just as if they were sitting in the room with you, ask them questions like …
· What is your favorite food? (ask color, music, kinds of books, movies, hobbies and interests, etc)
· What are your core spiritual beliefs?
· If you were in a situation where you could help someone—a total stranger in desperate need—but it meant you had to make a personal sacrifice to do so, what would you do?
· What was your upbringing, your family situation like?
· What do you hate the most in life?
· What do your fear most?
· What turns you on, makes you happy?
· In a relationship, what do you want to get out of it … be it a sexual, life partner, friendship, spiritual, or business relationship?
You get the idea. Be creative, and adjust the kinds of questions you ask your characters according to the genre you are writing in.
So there are some thoughts, ideas, and a couple tried and true techniques for developing unique, believable, realistic and consistent characters in your fictions. Use them and let me know how they work for you in future class sessions.

Marvin D Wilson, multi-published author and editor with All Things That Matter Press, using the pen name “Professor Old Silly,” posts writing tutorials on his blog each Tuesday. The above tutorial is a re-post from the archives of his blog at: