Authors In Our Midst

Because of my schedule, I very often only read the front pagers and skim the comments, so I feel like I miss a lot of the on-going discussions. I knew we had quite a few writers among us but hadn’t kept up with links or books titles. That’s why I thought it would be fun to do an Authors In Our Midst post.

I’d love it if the writers would use this post to answer any questions from fellow aspiring writers, maybe help them navigate the murky world of publishing, and talk about their writing journeys.

In response to my request for submissions, here are the authors so I have so far:


From Iowa Old Lady – Finders Keepers

The eight gods that govern the world are tricky and fickle, and even the most innocuous of their blessings comes with consequences. Those who find a blessing are cursed to dance on strings in exchange for good fortune. Which begs the question: is finding one good fortune at all?

Cade lives a simple life with his mother and brother, but when he finds a heart stone, he wonders if he can’t change that. Heart stones are said to bring luck to those who hold them, and Cade’s tiny family could surely do with good fortune.

But heart stones aren’t just tokens of good luck; simply tracking one down is a sign of a special gift. Cade is a Finder, just like his mother before him, but this gift is hardly what is seems; if the larger community finds out about this, Cade’s entire life will change.
And not for the better.

Now he lives outside the law, struggling to find a way to reclaim what was once his, all while fending off a new hardship that he never anticipated: an overwhelming desire to take back what is his.

No matter the cost.


From Tissue Thin Pseudonym – Becoming Phoebe

Eighteen-year-old Phoebe Rose spent her childhood in one foster household after another, never having a place she could feel safe or group of friends she belonged to. What kept her going was hockey. The rink was the only place she felt at home.

Now what she wants more than anything is to play on her college hockey team—to leave her past behind and start building a new life. But she knows things are never that simple. Becoming Phoeb eis about painful secrets, unexpected friendships, and joining a team so you can become your true self.


From Frankensteinbeck – Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’ve Got Henchmen

What would middle school be like if half your classmates had super powers? It’s time for Penny Akk to find out. Her latest (failed) attempt to become a superhero has inspired the rest of the kids in her school to reveal their own powers.

Now, all of her relationships are changing. She has a not-at-all-secret admirer, who wants to be Penny’s partner almost as much as she wants to be Penny’s rival. The meanest girl in school has gained super powers and lost her mind. Can Penny help her find a better one? Can she help an aging supervillain connect with his daughter, and mend the broken hearts of two of the most powerful people in the world? And in all this, where will she find time for her own supervillainous fun, or even more dangerous, to start dating?

It’s going to be a long, strange semester.


From Smiling Mortician – Everything You Need to Know About College Writing

In their teaching, community college instructors Lynne Lerych and Allison DeBoer Criswell have discovered that a unique combination of humor and coaching helps overwhelmed students successfully master the conventions of academic writing. Now they have translated their experience into an engaging text to reach even the most wary students.

Everything You Need to Know About College Writing is anchored by a sequenced, hands-on-approach to teaching rhetorical skills that help students face their fears of writing. This practical method starts by modeling each concept in action, then asks students to discuss and explore the concept together, and ends with an opportunity to practice. The authors’ compelling tone—and presence as illustrated characters throughout the book— keep students returning to the text for more on-the-page instruction. Filled with relevant student examples at every stage of the writing process, illustrated student writers whose progress and thought process the text follows, and engaging activities at when they’re needed most, the text offers a unique way of untangling the toughest writing tasks while helping students to learn from mistakes.

Plenty of grammar and mechanics coverage, plus tips throughout, help even the most reluctant writers stay on track.  A mini-reader, a brief section on writing across the curriculum, and another on citation conventions appear at the end of the book to round out its robust support for all elements of a writing course in a small package.


And finally, from our favorite cat lady, WereBear – Cat 911

I’d like you to try my targeted plan to solve your worst cat problems, those tough behavior problems that you just can’t seem to fix.

When the cat won’t use the litter box, keeps asking for food, howls all night, and is trying to scratch everything in the house, you wonder if the cat has problems that can’t be fixed.

You feel so desperate you just don’t know what to do.

But I do. With my detailed, step by step, instructions, you can:

Stop the bad behavior. Right away!  Figure out what vital part of their care the cat is missing.  And…Give it to them.

Ok. That’s everyone I heard from…but I’m sure there are more. So if you have a book or website to share, hit the comments and add your links.

There will be no recipe exchange tomorrow night – you’ll have to find your own way for your Valentine Dinner (or try these recipes).  

77 replies
  1. 1
    Mnemosyne says:

    You can also add commenter JoyceH — I’m reading her Regency romance A Feather To Fly With right now.

  2. 2
    PhoenixRising says:

    My book, which is based on the true story of what happened when the now-Mrs & I decided to adopt an orphan (spoiler: she wasn’t) is sold at my blog as well as bookstores everywhere–you can order it from the friendly, knowledgeable clerk at the counter!

    Y’all do shop at bookstores, right?

  3. 3
    ruemara says:

    Oh, great! I have a Feather on my kindle but I’m swamped with readers, my own writing and the paying work. Very cool idea though. I’m so into the fiction books. And I even tossed a couple of bucks towards jurrassicpork’s eBook. It’s not bad.

  4. 4
    Peter says:

    I used to be an artist in your midst, and over the last few years I’ve switched to writing about and photographing food. I recently started this quarterly with a restaurant; the big book I wrote and photographed about them will be out later this year. Previous issues contain excerpts from the book. Thanks!

  5. 5
    Miss Bianca says:

    Nice. I’ve just passed the hurdle of my first rejection letter from a major publisher (a very nice, very encouraging letter), so I feel like I’m almost there!

    ETA: I’m a sucker for a good Regency, so I’m going to check out Joyce H’s book for sure! Is it only on e-Book?

  6. 6

    Thank you for doing this, TaMara.

  7. 7

    I is in your blog pimping my blog:

    I blog about many topics, lolitics here and in India, movie reviews, recipes, physics and of course kittehs!

  8. 8

    @Miss Bianca: Congratulations! Rejections are a sign you’re a real writer.

  9. 9
    p.a. says:

    Congrats to all. Hope you asked before publishing their names. I can’t imagine an issue, but I’m not them…

  10. 10
  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    Author’s In Our Midst


    (What’s a thread about successful scribblers without a proofreading comment?)

  12. 12
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    Tor Books, baby…I can say I’ve been rejected by the best! ; )

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    Good work, talented Juicers.

  14. 14
    ruemara says:

    @NotMax: ha! Well caught.

  15. 15
    Redshift says:

    Very cool, everyone! I had no idea there were so many!

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: Agreed. Thanks, TaMara! And, IOL, I’m looking forward to reading your book.

  18. 18
    munira says:

    Well that didn’t work very well – the link to Amazon I mean. I’ll try again.

  19. 19

    @Smiling Mortician: I used to teach rhetoric and professional communication, so I’m happy to know a fellow rhetorician is around.

  20. 20
    munira says:

    Well i don’t know how to enter the link to Amazon. Anyway, my books are available there.

  21. 21
    Miss Bianca says:

    I think I gotta read everybody’s now…

  22. 22
    piratedan7 says:

    JD Rhoades also posts here, he’s got one out called Ice Chest if you like thrillers….

  23. 23

    @munira: Someone explained linking to me not long ago. You type something like the sentence mentioning your Amazon page. Then you highlight the words you want to make the link. Click on the Link box above the comment box. Another box will appear. Paste the url in there and click ok. Voila.

  24. 24
    MikeS says:

    I really don’t think of myself as a writer, but actually I have been writing an outdoor/nature/ecology for the Reading Eagle (Berks County, Pennsylvania) for over 3 years now. Sometimes they are behind a paywall, but if you google them sometimes there are direct links. I think this one about bumblebees and irises is visible to all.

  25. 25
    raven says:

    I don’t know which author is The Smiling Mortician but I’m interested in the title of the play Lynne wrote about returning vets. Back to the World was a Curtis Mayfield song and album about Vietnam and I had never heard this generation of vets refer to “The World”.

    Had a long old stretch of sacrifice
    Gettin’ back home will be awful nice
    “Chile, your woman has long been gone”
    The doggone war just lasted too long
    People don’t give a damn
    People don’t give a damn
    People don’t give a damn

    So I’m standin’ here in future shock

  26. 26
    MomSense says:

    I’m going to read all the juicers’ books. They look great.

    I have done three audio recordings on my story which works out to about 5 pages. I’m going to try to do another tonight.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    All you bloggers are making me feel guilty about not keeping up on my Pre-Code Movies blog. I’ve really gotta get back to that.

  28. 28
    Barney says:

    @NotMax: There is only one Author. And The Author is In Our Midst.

  29. 29
    mapaghimagsik says:

    That’s some really nice stuff! I’m not sure my poor attempts at Fan Fiction really merit such, though. I am pleased with my short story though.

    eta: Ah, screwit

  30. 30

    @mapaghimagsik: Writing Tolkien fanfic was some of the most fun I’ve ever had with words.

  31. 31


    I’ve been doing the rounds of Twin Cities bookstores today with pretty good luck. A couple of hybrid new/used stores (The Paperback Exchange and Moon Palaca, both in Minneapolis) each took a single copy on consignment. More promising were Subtext Books and Common Good Books, both in St. Paul, which accepted a review copy and said that they’d likely be ordering copies of Becoming Phoebe through Ingram. They probably won’t do so until after the 27th, because I initially set up my discount and return policies in a way that’s unfriendly to bookstores, and the changes I made before publication won’t take effect until then. But I should actually have sales.

    I’ve also been reaching out to book review blogs requesting reviews. I’ve had six say yes so far. Two of them have a 6+ month backlog, so nothing will happen soon. Two didn’t say what their schedule would be. One is in New Delhi and I have no idea how long it will take the review copy I sent to get there. The last one scheduled Phoebe for the 23rd, which was awfully generous.

    Right now I’m trying to figure out what would go into a “synopsis of the plot that specifies which characters are bisexual or what the bisexual content is” for a review blog that covers books with bi characters or content. Phoebe at one point describes herself as “probably bi,” but both of the interactions she has that could really be termed both a relationship and sexual are with women. One of those two women has relationships with both men and women, but eventually comes out as a lesbian. So, it’s complicated to come up with a description.

  32. 32

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I’d guess it’s especially complicated since your characters are at an age where they’re just figuring some of this stuff out too.

    I’m about a third of the way through and enjoying it. I played no sports, since that would have required me to put down the novel I was reading. But my father was Canadian and we lived in Detroit and hockey was on our TV. One of the things I’m enjoying most is all the detail about what makes for good play. I knew a lot of the terms like blue line and icing, but had no sense of how it all fit.

  33. 33
    David Fud says:

    Did the John Cole blog book ever see the light of day? I know there was some effort on it, but I don’t remember any updates.

  34. 34

    @Iowa Old Lady: I never played sports, either, but I’ve been a huge sports fan since I was about three.

    What’s funny is that, given the problems I had with the jocks in middle school and high school, I came to the conclusion that I love sports and hate athletes. One of the things that’s been so powerful about following women’s hockey is that I’ve had to ditch the second half of that. Not only do I prefer the action of the women’s game (no check rules forces you to play defense differently, in ways that I think are more interesting), the players are more appealing people to root for.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:


    Pretty countryside in Berks County.

    Lived amidst sprawling farmland outside of Sinking Spring for a few years way back when. Used to joke that the abode was so rural that our postal address was RFD ∞.

  36. 36
    Kathleen says:

    Congratulations to all featured writers and commenting Juicers! And thank you, TaMara. I’m starting to write my second play and will be invoking the spirits of Mustang Bobby and all of you other great writers in BJ Land..

  37. 37
    Hillary Rettig says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m author of:

    The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way (Lantern Books, 2006). Entire text is here:

    and the indie-published
    The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block (Infinite Art, 2011), which is available in a few languages.

    I’m working on books on these topics:
    – productivity for undergraduates
    – weight loss and fitness
    – entrepreneurship for artists and other creative types
    – and another activist book

    Thanks Tamara for starting the thread!

  38. 38
    Hillary Rettig says:

    Since it’s that kind of thread I’ll also mention that I’m teaching writing productivity online at later this month, and also returning to Grub Street Writers in Boston (where I taught for many years) in March. More info here:

    Happy to meet my fellow authors – also didn’t know there were so many!

  39. 39
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @munira: wow! you’re really living the cabin in the woods dream! are you there in winter, too? what’s that like?

  40. 40
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @PhoenixRising: wow. that looks like an amazing experience (and story).

  41. 41
    Germy says:

    “I have writers the way other people have mice,” a disturbed hostess has written me. “What can I do to keep them from arguing, fighting, and throwing highball glasses after dinner? One doesn’t dare mention names, such as Herman Melville and Harold Loeb, or the fight is on. What would you suggest?”

    from The Porcupines in the Artichokes
    by James Thurber

  42. 42
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Germy: This seems relevant:

    Note that they put it in the “entertainment” section.

  43. 43
    Germy says:

    I am a recovered writer. Wrote novels, essays. screenplays. Got one small film made, won an award (big deal) sold some articles.

    Now I limit myself to commenting on message boards.

  44. 44

    @Germy: That’s a great quote. I had hoped to be around when this posted, but of course the day got away from me. Glad everyone is enjoying it. If I get enough additional submissions (from the authors themselves) I’ll probably do it again. Love a good book.

    And where is Mustang Bobby these days?

  45. 45
    hitchhiker says:

    Okay, I have a couple. One is this memoir, Some Things Are Unbreakable, and the other is a sort of neuroscience for dummies: Don’t Call It a Miracle, which was commissioned by the Christopher Reeve Foundation last fall.

    If you’re interested, the former is easiest to get used on Amazon. The latter is free for giving the Reeve people your name. :)

  46. 46
    PaulW says:

    Hello, writer here. I’ve gotten short stories published, struggling – as always, damn me – on the big damn novel that will sell twelve copies.

    I have a librarian/writing blog at and I’ve got a bunch of estories on Amazon and

    What questions did you have?

  47. 47
    JCJ says:

    TaMara, if you are still looking for authors I believe BGinCHI is an author. I don’t remember the title of the book, though. I think his name is Brad Greenburg. Maybe he will have another book after he comes back from Norway.

  48. 48
    JCJ says:

    @JCJ: searched it – When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed.

  49. 49
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @raven: Hey, Raven. Do you know Mikey, who used to comment over at Sadly, No!? Fascinating, brilliant Vietnam vet. My musical, Back in the World, is based in part on conversations I had with him via email. If you’re interested in seeing the musical (with some lyrics by Mikey) hit me up at llerych (at) gmail. I have a DVD. [I’m Lynne, by the way.]

  50. 50
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: They can’t really get rid of us.

  51. 51
    Hungry Joe says:

    All you have to do is click on the Hungry Joe name, right up above on the left, and it’ll take you to my book site. I’m the author of the middle-grade (ages 9-12) novel “Anyway* ” (asterisk included), published by Simon & Schuster in 2012. The subtitle is “A Book about Me with 137 Footnotes, 27 Exaggerations, and One Plate of Spaghetti.”

    It’s an entirely contemporary coming-of-almost-age tale, told in first person, in which absolutely nothing extraordinary happens; there are no wizards, vampires, zombies, ghosts, extraterrestrials, time-travelers, or, for that matter, murderers, abusers, or even mysterious neighbors. It’s mostly funny and upbeat, but it tackles a couple of serious issues as well.

    In addition, for some 20 years I was the book review editor and columnist for a fairly large newspaper, so I know a thing or two (though maybe not three) about the book biz. If someone wants to ask me something after I bug out of this thread in a while, I can be reached through the site.

    So many writers here. It surprises me not at all.

  52. 52
    Miss Bianca says:


    A pre-code movies blog sounds awesome….

  53. 53

    I am slowly reissuing my SF series in ebook and POD formats. The first two are out, and available in all the usual places. The publisher still has the rights to the last book in the series, so that’s still available. If you like SF with politics and aliens and hard medical detail, you might like these. Details at my website to keep from cluttering the post with links.

    I’ve also published a supernatural thriller entitled GIDEON under a pseudonym, Alex Gordon. Yeah, I know–I picked the name before that ballplayer guy became all famous. The second book in that series, JERICHO, comes out in April. Alex’s website is here.

    Advice? Publishing has changed so much since my first book came out in ’99. So many of my friends have gone hybrid or full indie. I belong to a co-op of writers who initially got together to reissue their backlists, but are now publishing new novels and collections. A writer can manage and control their career to a degree that was inconceivable 10 years ago, but it’s a lot of work. Social media and self promo–still figuring that out. Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes a good nuts and bolts business column.

    Not sure if I’m answering questions or muddying the water. I’m still at the learning stage with a lot of this stuff.

  54. 54
    WaterGirl says:

    Come on you guys, jump in! I know there are more, but here are at least 3 off the top of my head:

    BGinChi has written a book.

    I think we can count Cole’s friend who has written at least two books. He had that great author thread where we could ask him questions.

    And somebody here wrote “Anyway”.

    Edit: Hungry Joe, I had no idea that it was you who wrote Anyway!

  55. 55

    Doesn’t Major Major Major Major have a story running on his blog too?

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Eli Drive says:

    Elijah Drive

    author of:


    happy to answer any and all questions.

  58. 58
    Todd Travis says:

    Todd Travis here, horror and thriller writer. Whatta wanna know?


    Self Publishing is much more lucrative than trad publishing.

  59. 59

    Hey, I comment once in awhile, and I have a lot of published plays. I write movies, mostly, these days, but I’ve put up the rest of my work in book form now. I’ve had a few published with a regular publisher, but self publishing is much, much better. You can see on the link below.

    One thing that I’ve done is make the majority of them royalty-free. In addition, my play THE PENIS PAPERS is actually permanently free, too.

    Check it out.

    Joshua’s books

    I recommend Hugh Howey’s blog, and The Passive Voice blog, as great resources for those thinking about publishing.

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    What about Tom Leveson? He has authored multiple books. I gave his last one to two friends and they both loved it.

  61. 61

    A good string of tweets from Maria Dahvana Headly on being an overnight success…20 years in the making.

    She started so young. I didn’t begin writing in earnest until my early 30s. First book sold at age 40. I’m 57 now, with 7 books under my belt, and I often feel like an amateur when I compare myself to writers half my age.

    And I shouldn’t compare, because that way lies madness.

  62. 62
    Francis says:

    umm, Tom Levenson is also one of our published authors?

  63. 63
    Woodrowfan says:

    I have one academic history book and another coming later this year (and multiple journal articles.) The books at the top, esp “Please Don’t Tell My Parents” look like more fun reads…

  64. 64

    Holy smokes, this thread is a keeper! Well done, one and all, and thank you TaMara, BlackHorseFilly, for putting this up! Patiently awaiting next week’s recipe thread …. =)

  65. 65
    Bumper says:

    @Smiling Mortician: omg. I sort of know you! You work at the same place as my husband. My son played in the pit of your show! It was great, btw

  66. 66

    Long time fan/lurker.

    I think some folks here may enjoy my novel, a sardonic take on corporate America, and others my memoir (concerning my mother’s long struggle with cancer). Check them out, here:



  67. 67
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    My book, The Exorcism of Sathish Kumar, MBA
    Very much enjoyed writing this. The plot is about a young computer programmer, not very good at work, in Chennai, India. Arjun Palani works at BSD Tech, which is in a meltdown since its CEO Sathish Kumar went crazy and stripped naked in a software conference. The company is laying off many, when Arjun finds himself marked for a secret team named the EXM team, selected by the top executives for some strange tasks. As the bizarre tasks progress, Arjun’s suspicions are heightened about the secret captive in the company’s 8th floor.
    Proceeding from this beginning, the novel takes you through the unravelling of an international conspiracy with American hedge fund thugs flying drones in Chennai, the role of Wikileaks and a spectacular journey to the Underworld, the mythical world of Ahi, where resides the long dead demon Vellaya Thevan.

  68. 68
    stinger says:

    I had a short story rejected by MZB’s Fantasy Magazine–does that count? Working on a historical adventure novel now.

    I was fortunate enough to read several chapters of Becoming Phoebe, and am looking forward to reading the rest! Also the other books linked in this thread!

  69. 69
    Brian says:

    I’m a refugee from academia who is half way through a web development bootcamp (8 weeks of intensive training in computer programming). I have a daily blog here: Life Between the Lines.

    I also do some content writing for a tutoring company. My columns appear on the US News Education site, and Time’s education site.

  70. 70
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Bumper: Holy cow! If I think hard enough, I can figure out who you are!

  71. 71
    BGinCHI says:

    Shit, sorry I missed this thread…but I was asleep! Norway, you know.

    Click on my handle for my web site for details of my novel.

    New novel is with my agent now, trying to sell to the bigs.

    Any questions, let me know.

    And congrats to the other writers here!!

  72. 72
  73. 73

    I’m a 99.9% lurker, but happily found a home for my elderly father’s cats a few years ago through the Juicers.

    I write the Central Galactic Concordance space opera series, with 3½ books out (one’s a novella). I’m an indie author all the way — my risks, my rewards. I’m currently working on a secret paranormal romance project, then I’ll go back to my series with book 4. Oh, and I co-authored a retro SF comedy a few years ago, too.

    Book 1: Overload Flux
    Book 2: Minder Rising
    Book 2.5: Zero Flux (novella)
    Book 3: Pico’s Crush

    This year, I plan to get new covers and publish all of them in paperback (POD), and maybe go to a convention or two.

  74. 74
    Miss Bianca says:

    I forgot to mention that in addition to my first rejection letter, I’m also a regular contributor to Colorado Central magazine. Foxhunting in Colorado is my latest, but I’m working on some new ones…Falconry in CO will probably be the next biggie…

  75. 75

    I’ve completed 3 books and have been holding out for a traditional publisher. Finally got an agent in December. A couple of posts describing that bloody business:

  76. 76

    I’ve had one book published, my doctoral thesis entitled “A Comfortable House – Lanford Wilson, Marshall W. Mason, and the Circle Rep Theatre.” It came out in 1993 from McFarland and Company. Since then I’ve spent most of my writing either on novels that won’t get to see the light of day, and plays, one of which was produced off-off-Broadway in 2008, titled “Can’t Live Without You.” I’ve written a collection of ten-minute plays, most of which were produced by New Theatre in Miami over the last few years, and my latest full-length, “All Together Now” is in development at New Theatre with a possible full production this coming season or next. You can learn more about me and my plays via my link at New Play Exchange (and find out my real name. All of it.)

    I have self-published all of my plays as well. They are available through me if you’re interested. Drop me a note at mustangbobby (at)

  77. 77
    SFAW says:


    Thanks for the Curtis link. When I was young – “Superfly” and “Freddie’s Dead” vintage – I didn’t appreciate him nearly as much as I do now

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