Don't Sweat The Details

Hey gang! Hope this post finds you all making steady progress on your writing and/or life goals. If not, it's only Tuesday, so there's plenty of time to get on with it. :-)

Today, I'm sharing the cover of my pal's (Victoria H. Smith) latest work: The Space Between. If you know V, you know she is an absolute ball of energy and fun. But you might not know she brings that same enthusiasm and passion to her writing endeavors. (Plus, I hear she weaves a mean romance!)  So you'll definitely want to make it to the bottom of the post to check TSB out.

But first, a brief message from the blogger of the house:

Don't Sweat The Details

Details. The Devil is in them, and wherever that son-of-a-gun is hanging out, you can be sure troubles aren't far behind. 

Don't get me wrong. Any writer worth their salt will tell you that writing is a business of details. Details take an average story to great. Details keep a reader thinking about your story long after they've put it down for the night. Details will need to be handled if you plan to publish your work.

No doubt, details are important--in writing AND life.

However, details have this way of burying us when it comes to large, never-ending tasks. And any writer worth their salt will also tell you that becoming a good writer is very much a large and never-ending task. 

You can always be better, do better. You will never please every reader, reviewer, editor, etc.. There will always be things you don't know. Perfection is not an option. Just the nature of a honing a craft, I'm afraid.

Details can gnaw and worry you until your goals and dreams are unrecognizable bits that are easily washed away in the floods of doubt and life that inevitably come. (Think of them as our freaking monsoon seasons.)

I think wiser folks use the saying, "Not seeing the forest for the trees." Don't do that.

So what DO you do? Details are important, but can clearly cause problems.

Here's what I recommend: Approach your writing, and life, with a child's perspective and determination.

If a kid wants to go to the zoo, they don't get bogged down in the details. They aren't worried about things like money, transportation, pants--they just want to go to the zoo, and are already planning what they're going to do there before they even know if it's possible.

(I'm not suggesting your write without pants on, by the way. But it can be done. Just sayin'...)

All I'm saying is that if you put in the time, and are determined, the details have a way of working themselves out. You don't have to master them all at once, so why try?


The Space Between by Victoria H. Smith
Expected release date: April 2, 2013
New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Cover Designer: Okay Creations
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

Links to find the book: Goodreads



When Drake started the night at his father’s campaign fundraiser, he never imagined he’d end it being conned into buying drugs on the West Side. Losing high-stakes poker has its consequences, but he’d repeatedly face them just to hear Lacey Douglas sing. Drake sees Lacey light up the stage, and he has to have her. But his intentions for being on her side of town turn out to be the reason he can’t.

Chicago native Lacey has dreams of the opera, but life has its obstacles. Lacey has come to know her hardships as part of living in the real world and accepts them fully. When Lacey meets the intense and invigorating Drake, a fire is lit inside her, unleashing those dreams again.

Two paths that should have never crossed prove to create the exact pairing the other needs. But when their worlds take time to catch up, everything they have is tested. Finding the space between the two sides that challenge them will be hard, but it’s the only place that will keep them together.

The Space Between is a new adult contemporary romance.

About the author:

Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes.

Author Links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

I'm Going On Tour! Who's Coming With Me?

Hey gang! Hope this post finds you all better than well. Thanks to everyone who left encouraging words for the authors who've been visiting my blog of late. I know it means a lot to them.

As many of you probably know, I released a new story (Witch's Nocturne) in December. *confetti and hangovers* I've done some blog touring already to celebrate, but mostly on the blogs of people I know well. (You all! Thank you! Thank You! ... just in case I haven't told you so enough.) Now it's time for me to REALLY hit the road, and I hope some you will join me.

Here's where I'm going (and when)

2/4 Books and Things ~ Blood Fugue FREE for Kindle Day!
2/5 Missy's Reads and Reviews
2/6 Jessie's Book Place
2/7 Kaidan's Seduction
2/7 Lost in Books
2/8 Bookhounds
2/11 Far From Reality
2/11 Defiantly Deviant
2/12 Words Create Scenes
2/13 Lovely Reads
2/14 Deal Sharing Aunt
2/15 Free Ebooks Daily ~ Blood Fugue FREE for Kindle Day!
2/15 Candace's Book Blog (My tour organizer ... she rocks!)
2/18 Bookhounds ~ Blood Fugue FREE for Kindle Day!
2/19 Girl With a Laptop and Books
2/20 Love is Not a Triangle
2/21 Buried in Books
2/22 Curling Up With a Good Book
2/25 Paperback Princess
2/26 Book Loving Mom
2/27 Amethyst Daydreams
2/28 The (Mis) Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
3/1 Oh Chrys!
3/1 For the Love of Film and Novels
3/2 JC's Book Haven
3/4 Pages of Forbidden Love
3/4 Crazy Four Books

You'll notice that the fist story in the Moonsongs series, Blood Fugue, will be free on Amazon February 4th, 15th, and 18th. So if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, I'd greatly appreciate you snagging a copy--on me, of course. :-)

ALSO, as my loyal blog-friends, I want to make sure you know about the giveaways I'm doing in conjunction with the tour. 

I've gotten my hands on some fabulous signed books (including Capitol Hell by Jayne J. Jones & Alicia M. Long, Soul Screamers, Vol. 1 by Rachel Vincent, and John Green's mega-hit, The Fault in Our Stars ... pics below). They'll all go to one lucky winner (US only). 

I'll also be giving away 2 $15 gift certs to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Lastly, for my international friends only, $20 toward a Book Depository purchase. 

The Rafflecopter is at the bottom of this post, and will go live the first day of the tour. Be sure to come back here and enter, or better still, visit one of the tour stops and enter. (There'll be several ways for you to enter, I believe.)

One final favor to ask: Would you consider sharing my tour banner on your blog (if you do such things)? Clicking it will send your folks to this blog. I'd truly appreciate it, and am always glad to return the favor if you ever have a need. Truly just ask.

Here's the html for the banner:

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
<a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="160" src="" width="320" /></a></div>
<br />

I think that's it! I've done a mix of interviews, excerpts, etc. for the various tour stops. And most will be reviewing my work *gulp*, so  each stop should be a new brand of fun. 

Hope you'll join me!


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Two Awesome Covers, Same Great Taste!

Hey gang! Today I have the honor of sharing two amazing covers with you. 

The first is from my pal Julie Flanders for her upcoming release, Polar Night. I think the cover (and Julie!) is fabulous, and I am beyond excited for her. 

The second is for Susy Asylum from the talented author, Michael Pierce. Susy sounds like it's going to be an intense read, and I think the cover very much speaks to that vibe. 

Congrats to both on the awesome covers, and much success going forward!

Feast your peeps: 

Polar Night by Julie Flanders

When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case. 

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems. 

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same. 

Author Bio: Julie Flanders is a librarian and a freelance writer who has written for both online and print publications. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home in Cincinnati, Ohio with her dog and cat. Polar Night, a suspense thriller with a supernatural twist, is her first novel. It will be published by Ink Smith Publishing on February 7, 2013. Find Julie online at her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Susy Asylum, The Lorne Family Vault, Book 2

by Michael Pierce

Cover Art by Sketcher Girl Studios- Vic Caswell
In SUSY Asylum, there is no release. There is no escape. No hope. In SUSY Asylum, the patients come face-to-face with their mirrors, locked away with the other halves of themselves who are thirsty for more than blood. Or so says Commodore Chaos.

Oliver and Desiree are introduced to the writings of the mysterious blogger, Commodore Chaos, when they return to Provex City to indulge in what the sublime city has to offer. The blogger claims the Lornes are collecting people venturing between the higher planes of awareness and locking them away in their mythical asylum. But are these legitimate concerns for inter-plane travelers or just the ramblings of an anonymous conspiracy blogger?

Oliver looks to the city as his only connection to his father while Desiree looks to the city as an escape from the torment of losing her best friend—again. Provex City is a wonder of beautiful treasures, entrancing them to continue returning. But behind the beauty, wolves have continued hunting Oliver, a boy who is still mostly unaware of his importance in the rebellion.

Oliver’s belief is waning. Desiree will not always be by his side. Mr. Gordon will not always come to his aid. Oliver finds himself alone, forced to confront his biggest fears, fight his inner demons, and face the very cold reality that no one is coming to save him. 

Welcome to SUSY Asylum.

State of Emergency by Summer Lane

Hey gang! It's my week for new book releases. :-) Today I'm bringing you an interview with author Summer Lane, who's latest, State of Emergency, just hit shelves. It sounds like a fabulous read, and Summer is a real sweetheart of a person, so I hope you'll join me in welcoming her to the blog.

Also, there's a giveaway with the release, so be sure to check the bottom of the post for details on how you can maybe win stuff.

EJ (Me): I've seen from your bio that you teach writing. What ages have you taught, and what led you to teaching? (I've an education background and am always fascinated by what draws people there ... definitely a calling. :) 

Summer Lane (SL): I work with 2nd and 3rd graders. I’ve always wanted to share the concept of storytelling with the little ones, so when I get an opportunity to do so, I jump right in! I always used to “teach” my little brother about writing and history (my favorite subjects growing up), so maybe that’s where the interest in working with children came from: Making my brother sit and listen to my lectures.

Me: State of Emergency is all about the dystopian-Armageddon-survival. But you've weaved some romance in there. Any particular motivation for writing a story about finding love in chaos? 

SL: I think it’s the best kind! J I love reading books that have romantic elements, so it was only natural that my novel have a little bit of it, too. I wanted something outside the normal romance story – not just two beautiful people falling in love at first sight. I wanted two strong, independent people to find each other and fall in love progressively. I wanted them to be together not only because they need each other, but because they want to be together, and their love for each other isn’t just based on physical attraction (although that helps!). It’s based on respect and trust gained over time.

Me: Random Question Time: BOOM! You wake up tomorrow and the world has gone to hell. You get to pick three things to take with you from your home, then it's get out of Dodge time. What are they?

SL: My Go-Bag (yes, I really have an emergency bug-out bag!), canned food and a pack of bottled water. My Go-Bag would have all the necessary items for bugging out in the case of an emergency; matches, a jacket, socks, first aid kit, radio, tools, etc. Maybe something sentimental you want to save from being left behind (I’m the type of person to toss the waterproof matches in favor of a childhood stuffed animal…really.) 

Me: Most of my followers are writers, so they'll be interested in the book you published in 2012, Snappy Social Networking. Tell us a little about it, and can you offer a couple (or more) 'must do' tips for being better at being social? 

SL: Snappy Social Networking is basically a book that’s meant to help people jump right into the world of social media without getting stressed out. I was definitely stressed out at first, so after I learned the basics, I wrote a book about it and divided it into three sections for the “newbie:” Twitter, Facebook and Blogging. It’s less than 30 pages long. If I had any one tip to offer about being successful on social media, it would be to keep up a consistent presence online. People have short memories when it comes to the online world, and constantly being out there is your key to success.

Me: You've a passion for New Adult (NA) literature. (As do I!) Why do you support the category, and where do you see it going in 2013? Also, where do your writing ambitions fit in?

SL: Yes, I totally have a passion for NA! I support the category because it fills the gap that no other categories of books do: the age between full adulthood and the High School years. I think NA is really taking off in 2013 – I’ve seen so many NYT bestsellers begin to be classified as “New Adult” on publisher’s websites, to that’s definitely encouraging. As a writer, I love New Adult just as much as I love Young Adult, but I identify with NA more only because I actually am a “New Adult,” fitting into the age range of under 30 but way past High School.

State of Emergency is New Adult. My main protagonist, Cassidy, is 19 years old. She’s an adult, but she’s still got quite a bit of naivety going on. The supporting character/love interest, Chris, is in his late twenties and considerably more mature than she is. The themes in the book – surviving independently, being separated from family, etc. – are all New Adult themes. But I also recommend the book to YA readers, as well, because I wanted a novel that both age ranges could enjoy equally. 

Me: Now for the good stuff, where and when can we get State of Emergency! 

SL: Well, you can purchase State of Emergency on Amazon & Barnes & Noble!

Cassidy Hart is your typical High School graduate: A little shy, a little sarcastic, and a little naive. But when an electromagnetic pulse takes down the United States, she's forced to kick into full survival mode when she gets separated from her father.

Yeah. Things suck.

But with the help of a handsome soldier named Chris, she just might find her dad without getting into serious trouble.

Emphasis on might.

Oh. And there's the matter of avoiding getting killed in a world that's quickly turned into an active war zone.

It's going to change Cassidy's life. It's going to be a major pain in the butt.

Summer Lane is the author of the YA/NA Dystopian Romance, State of Emergency. She is a freelance writer, editor and lover of all things feline. Summer is also the author of Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between. In her spare time, Summer is the creator of the online magazine/blog, Writing Belle, in addition to being a frequent contributor at NA Alley, a website dedicated to all things New Adult. 

Summer began writing when she was 13 years old, due to the fact that the long afternoons after school were somewhat boring, and writing stories seemed to make the time pass a little quicker. Since then she has written many books about jungle cats, secret agents, princesses and spaceships. She is also a non-fiction writer, but her debut novel, State of Emergency, is her favorite book yet. You can find Summer hopping around on the Internet by following her on her blog, Twitter @SummerEllenLane, or on Facebook: Writing Belle.

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Author Interview With Libby Heily

Hey gang! Today I'm extremely honored to share my blog with author Libby Heily. She's a dedicated writer and a true up-and-coming talent. Her new book, Tough Girl, is out now. I've read it, and it's different and wonderful. 

Here's my Goodreads review:

"A fearless author needs fearless readers...

Tough Girl is harsh ... and sweet ... and gritty ... and endearing. It truly is all of those things, which is no small thing for a single book to accomplish. The story of a young girl (Reggie) and her imaginary guardian, Tough Girl, is a--at times--brutal examination of the isolation and hopelessness brought about by mental illness, bullying, and poverty. The author does a wonderful job of making the reader both admire and pity Reggie by fearlessly examining the realities of her world, and juxtaposing it against the beauty and power of a child's imagination.

Ultimately, Tough Girl will be a difficult read for many people. It pulls no punches, and doesn't apologize for making you squirm--and it will make you squirm, or should. Tough Girl feels real and raw, because for many the torment Reggie experiences IS very real. However, if you are a fearless reader who doesn't shy from the bright lights of self-examination, and the often hard truths of human nature, I think you'll find Tough Girl to be an excellent and worthwhile read."

As you can see, I loved it. I hope the following interview lets you get to know Libby a little better, and also encourages you to connect with her. She's a cool person, a talented woman, and you won't regret it a bit.

And on top of all that, today is her birthday! So be sure to wish her a happy one in the comments. :-)

Author Interview: Libby Heily

E.J. (Me): Tough Girl is a unique take on some (unfortunately) timeless social issues like bullying and poverty—what was your inspiration for writing it?

Libby Heily (LH): Reggie's story grew from the seed of a very basic idea, a girl escapes into a dream world. The actual issues explored came slowly over time as I got to know the story better. The closer I grew to Reggie, the more I was able to delve into the problems Reggie was facing. The piece was definitely informed from Dale City itself. 

Dale City is the town Tough Girl takes place in, and it's also my hometown. For instance, in one year, I had three run ins with three separate people who should have either been institutionalized or at least should have been receiving consistent psychological care. At least one of them was the sole guardian of a child. The Apartments were also a real place, though they were depicted less like they are in reality and more like the inhabitants of the surrounding neighborhoods feared them to be. 

As for bullying, I think you only need to go to school to do research on that issue.

Me: I was very fascinated by the interplay of genres you used in Tough Girl. Reggie’s tale is almost contemporary fiction, and Tough Girl’s story is Sci-fi-ish. Why those two, and what were the challenges of mingling the two?

LH: When I set out to write Tough Girl, I didn't really know I was going to be delving into both genres. The contemporary fiction of Reggie's life was deliberate. I drew on my experience with (both viewing and shooting) independent films to tell that half of the story. There's a starkness to smaller budget films, mostly from necessity. The lack of flashy effects, super high production values, or scene-chewing actors really makes the audience focus on the story and the characters. I kept that style and that focus as the goal for Reggie's reality.

Once I got into the story, I realized that while I could go over a few of Reggie's thoughts and emotions, there was no easy way to explain her to a reader. Reggie is eleven and she is trying to understand the world around her. She is extremely guarded about her physical and her emotional safety. I knew pretty early on that I had to show her dream world and not just the character of Tough Girl. 

Science fiction, which is actually a pretty new genre for me, provided a wonderful escape for Reggie. There is safety in the realm of sci-fi. Reggie can process her own world by creating similar situations on different planets and she can have adventures that are not tinged by reality. For a kid whose reality is definitely depressing, a dream world full of wonders and possibilities just made sense. 

Me: Reggie’s character is middle-grade aged. However, after reading the story, I’m not sure I’d classify Tough Girl as Middle Grade lit—or that it is perhaps more mature than most of the MG I’ve read. As the author, how would you classify it?

LH: Definitely not MG. I even put a warning on the sales copy that the novel contains adult themes and adult language. I feel it's better fit for contemporary fiction or for a sub-genre I'm not positive exists: contemporary young adult fiction. 

High school students are concurrently reading Jane Eyre and Twilight. There are these huge swings from high school curriculum and what teens are picking up to read in their spare time. I think there's a middle ground there that can be explored. My hope is that this middle ground is where Tough Girl lives.

What’s your writing process like? Specifically, what was it like for Tough Girl?

LH: Tough Girl took me two years once I put pen to paper. Before the writing started though, I'd spent a few additional years mulling over the idea while working on other projects.

The actual writing process went much like this:

Notes - scene sketches - plot outline - character journal - revise plot outline - scene sketches - revise plot outline - write draft - repeat.

All in all, it took four full drafts and by that I mean complete rewrites. It also took many many rounds of editing for each draft, especially the last one.

Me: Tell us about your chosen publication path for Tough Girl. Any tips for others?

LH: I stuck with the independent streak and self-published Tough Girl. There were many reasons but the big ones were speed and freedom. Self-publishing was the quickest way I could get the story out to readers. I started as a playwright and to this day, after years of sending out plays and getting readings, I still have not had a full production. I just could not let that happen with the novel.

As for freedom, there were a lot of risks taken in Tough Girl. It's too adult for YA, too YA for contemporary fiction. I was advised to age up Reggie, or tone down the story in order for TG to find an audience. I would love nothing more than for Tough Girl to sell a million copies, but not if it means the story gets ruined in the process. Self-pubbing means Tough Girl can be what Tough Girl is, and does not need to be manipulated or massaged for sales.

Me: Best for last: Where/when can we get Tough Girl?

LH: Whoot whoot! Best. Question. Ever. It's available now:

Barnes and Noble

Connect With Libby

I'm a bookworm and a writer, a nerd that's seen every episode of Farscape and can't wait for the next Dr. Who Season to begin. I enjoy running and playing sports and am always hopeful the Baltimore Ravens will win a superbowl. I love movies but don't care about the Oscars.

I eat apples regularly but find apple juice bitter and don't like it.
 I'm a foodie and a beer snob. I eat babies. Okay, just baby carrots. I studied acting, video production and creative writing. I've had very few jobs that reflect any of those years of study. I am Libby Heily, and it's nice to meet you.

Twitter - @LibbyHeily

A New Thing: Indie Life

Hey gang! Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to wish Ellie luck on Monday. I know she truly appreciates the support, as we all do.

Speaking of support, I've decided to join in a relatively new blog movement being instigated by the fine authors over at the Indelibles blog. 

It's called Indie Life, and it is operated similarly to Alex Cavanaugh's excellent Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG), of which I'm also a part.

Basically, on the second Wednesday of every month a gaggle of Indie authors will share their triumphs, failures, and tips for success with the blog world. It's open to all independent authors, or those who are striving to be. The sign-up is below, and you can click the link above for more details.

Here's my first contribution to the group:

Being Independent Does Not Mean Going Alone

Writers and solitude is a marriage of necessity. Like most marriages, the relationship isn't always filled with longing gazes, special moments, and cosmically aligned thoughts of happiness.

Much of my time spent with solitude results in angry muttering, eye-rolling, foot tapping, and dreams of no longer being alone. No, I'm not always excited to be in the company of solitude, in fact I find her down right stifling most of the time.

But as I say, it's a relationship born of necessity. I need that quiet refrain to bolster my thoughts as a bird often needs a gust of wind to soar. Yes, it can be turbulent and scary, but it's a means to an end--a push into my subconscious where all of those stories await.

However, once the actual writing ends, I'm usually not that eager to be MORE alone. I've done my time, finished my chores, and am eager to journey into the more social aspects of the craft. I don't think I'm alone in this. 

Most writers, I've found, prefer to talk about what they're reading over what they're writing. Believe it or not, we enjoy chatting about ideas for stories with other writers more than stewing over the sentence we spent half a day re-writing. 

So you now probably understand why the thought of being an independent author scared the hell out of me...

In a business that by its very nature is lonely, it seemed like I was choosing to be more isolated. It was almost purposefully declaring myself as not part of the group, and I wasn't sure my ego could handle it. After all, I'd traveled a long damn way to simply choose not to go inside with the others. (It's actually not a one or the other choice, but that's a future IL post...)

Ten year-old me started thinking, "Whoa, being different gets you teased in the locker room and beat up at the bus stop. You don't want that kind of attention. You're so not ready." 

Of course the brave adult in me said, "Any attention that gets your work in front of readers is good attention. Any 'thing' that forces you to finally declare yourself a writer to the world is a good thing. You're ready."

Eventually, adult me won out, and I wish I hadn't spent so much time agonizing over the decision.

Little did I know that I was turning away from one group just to walk into the arms of another. I had no idea there were so many authors doing this publishing thing on their own. Talented, friendly, and professional authors, eager to build relationships and develop their craft.

So perhaps you're like I was, and the biggest obstacle you're facing in your writing journey is choosing the right path. And you'd prefer a path with other likeminded people on it. Don't assume that being independent means going alone. There's a real community already formed, and you can join any time you like.


Indie Life Signup

Passing Time by Ellie Garratt

Hey gang! I'm unbelievably excited to share the cover of the upcoming release of one of my favorite author-bloggers. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but the stories sound outrageously creepy and cool.

Hope you'll put Passing Time on your calendar, and check out Ellie too, if you don't already know her. She's truly a fantastic blogger and a gifted writer.

Passing Time: Nine Short Tales of the Strange and Macabre

Nine dark fiction stories that may just give you nightmares.

A man lives to regret Passing Time. A father will do anything to save his son in Expiration Date. An author finds out her worst nightmare is back in The Devil’s Song. A woman gets more than the claim fee when she takes out vampire insurance in Luna Black. 

In Dining in Hell, the Death Valley Diner becomes the wrong place to stop. 

A serial killer wants to add another file to his collection in The Vegas Screamer. In Eating Mr. Bone, an undertaker could meet an unfortunate end. A con man meets his first ghost in Land of the Free. And will truth finally be set free in The Letter? 

Publication date: 11th February 2013 

About The Author 

A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror, meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time is her first eBook collection and contains nine previously published stories. Her science fiction collection Taking Time will be published later in the year.





Please visit Ellie’s blog on Friday 11th January, when she will be interviewing Passing Time’s cover designer, Ida Jansson.

IWSG: Goals

Happy New Year gang! Hope that everyone had good Holidays and are as eager as I am for 2013. I held off on posting this as a regular post as I thought it fit well with the Insecure Writer's Support Group that I'm a proud part of.

Here's what IWSG is all about:

Click HERE to join the IWSG
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.
Now that we have that cleared up, I have a confession to make: I'm not a resolutions kind of guy. Resolving to do stuff--in my mind--is just short of making a promise, and that's a serious business. So serious in fact that I'm not willing to make those kinds of lasting proclamations for anything life (or chance) can void on a whim. 

I'm only going to resolve to do something if it's VERY important. And very important things shouldn't be pinned to my refrigerator at the end of the year next to the grocery list and the holiday greeting from Aunt Edna and her cats. 

No, I believe the most lasting and realistic kinds of change are the kinds we tackle at the beginning of each day and evaluate at the end. Change lives and breathes with us, not in spite of us. I think that's why I like to set goals

Goals, I've found, are much more malleable things. They can be contorted, cajoled, and kicked into submission. Goals tend to dance to the rhythm we choose, not swing off with the first hussy or jerk with snappier moves. Goals go on the journey with us, they aren't perched on high, cackling when we fall.

So with that in mind, I'm going to offer up some of my writing goals for this new year. A 'to-do' list to put in front of me, things to aim for, and to adjust accordingly. 

Some of them I do every year, but are worth repeating I've found. :-) You can use them, too. Stick them in your travel pack. But remember, if they get too heavy or cumbersome just cast them off, or simply make them fit. They are ours to command! 

Here's How I'm Going to Kick 2013's Ass

Write only the kinds of stories I would like to read.

Read a book on craft ... maybe even two or three.

For every book I read from my favorite genre or category, read one that isn't.

Draft something really shitty, then revise it until it's less shitty.

Write what I know until I know how to write about the things I don't--which is most things when I really think about it.

Quit being afraid to share my work with others. Growing is painful, but required.

View revision as writing, not work.

Treat writing as work, not art.

Make art out of my writing.

Be hopelessly optimistic about my talent.

Be hopelessly realistic about my talent. (AKA - the key to always improving.)

Write the story I've always wanted to write, even if I have no business writing it.

Understand that publishing is completely within my control. (My eye is twitching...) Quit asking for permission and waiting for an okay if I'm tired of asking for permission and waiting for an okay.

I'll never know if I don't ask, so fire off a query ... or twenty.

Size-up my expectations and reality, then make sure my determination is bigger than both.

Become my harshest critic and biggest fan, then tune them both out completely and write.

Celebrate and cherish every word I put to paper or screen.

Be willing, and happy, to scrap every word I put to paper or screen for the sake of making the story better.

Be efficient with my time so I can waste more of it on writing.

Write without a filter.

Tell someone who doesn't live in the Internet I'm a writer--and mean it.

Always believe a story, and the writing, can be better. Then make them so until the deadline/editor/agent/crit partner rips them from my hands.

Find my voice, even if it means screaming on the page. I can adjust the volume later. (But usually don't have to.)

Treat writing a story like painting a room: Understand it's going to take more than one coat to make it look good; the number of doors, windows, etc. are going to increase the amount of time and effort required to get the job done; rushing things will only make a mess; allow time for drying in between coats; the job is much easier to do with proper technique and a little help...

Believe that if I put my best foot forward, I'm allowed to never look back.

Put more thought into my next story than the last, and worry more about what I can do than what I can't.

Those are just a few of my personal writing objectives for 2013. What's tops on your list?