Uncategorized

Author Interview: Margaret Moseley

This was an author interview that I conducted in the 1990s.

Psst . . . see that woman over there? . . . No, not here. The one in that, yeah, that one, the lady in the blue polyester pantsuit . . . no silly, I wouldn’t want one of those outfits for my birthday . . . no, my point is that . . . no refill, thank you, I’m done here . . . my point is that, what if she climbed to the top of the Rune Stone . . . no, not in those shoes, of course not . . .c’mon, would you please listen to me? . . . What if she climbed way up there and then she “murdered” somebody???

What you’re just heard is not live. Nor was it directly quoted from any historical figure, live person, or fictional character. No, instead, it is my questionably creative reenactment of how someone nominated for the 1997 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, Margaret Moseley, was first inspired to create the truly unforgettable character in Bonita Faye.

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Author Interview: Stein on Writing

Deep in the Archives

This is an author interview that I wrote in the 1990s.

Sol Stein penned his first story on telegram blanks, stolen from Western Union. “My father took them from the Grand Central Station,” Stein said, “because we couldn’t afford paper in the depths of the Depression.”

Sandra Tan on Unsplash

His first poem was published in a school paper when he was seven. “I wrote my first book when I was 13, and it was published when I was 15,” he said. “When I went to see the publisher, he asked me why my father didn’t come himself.”

writing advice

Creating Stone Soup With a Pen

Now, you all remember Stone Soup, don’t you? In it, starving strangers convinced villagers to add ingredients to their pot of broth, one containing only water and a single stone. As the villagers agreed and added their contributions, the soup fed them all.

So, stay with me here. When writing, the stone is your story idea that you water while you also add ingredients to the genesis of that idea. For example:

Tossing carrots into the pot could = creating characters.

Potatoes? Plot!

Squash is the setting. You get the idea.

Historical writing

Speak the Name: Lodowick G. Miller

In the summer of 2018, I began the in-depth process of researching the life of Wells Waite Miller, a man who played a key role on July 3, 1863 as Captain of the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His actions, and those of the men who fought with him, are increasingly being seen as a crucial element in the battle now known as Pickett’s Charge, and in the Battle of Gettysburg, overall.

As part of this research, I would find tantalizing scraps of information about an older brother named Lodowick—and what I found (and what I was given by retired teacher and history/research buff, Bill Molina) would play a role in Lodowick’s name being entered into official Civil War records, allowing him to receive the recognition, honor and dignity that he deserves (more about that later in the post). Because Lodowick died on March 30, 1862, I’m publishing this post on March 30, 2020.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Defending Nonfiction Writing

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Science fiction writers create and populate fantastic new worlds, while mystery novelists scatter compelling red herrings while deftly slipping into key clues. Romance writers make readers sigh sweetly when the heroine realizes that, yes, she really does love him, after all . . . and what about those daring pioneers as they bravely trek into unknown lands of the West?

Compared to fiction writing, nonfiction writing – at first glance – can seem downright boring. But, the reality is that there are excellent reasons for pursuing the nonfiction craft. Here are just a few of them!

Uncategorized

Literary Lorain Poetry Contest

By the Lorain Historical Society

poetry writing contest

Theme: Women Who Empower

Prize Money:

  • First Place: $150 VISA Card
  • Second Place: $100 VISA Card
  • Third Place: $50 VISA Card

Who: Open to all residents of Lorain County

What: Submit one poem (free or formal verse) on the theme; 50 lines, maximum

When: Contest open from February, Monday 17th-midnight, March, Tuesday 17th

Where: Submit to  literarylorain@gmail.com

How: Within the body of your email:

  • Paste your poem (no attachments, please!)
  • List your legal name and, if applicable, your pen name
  • Provide your phone number and city/town

Important Notes

  • Submissions will be assigned a number; judges will not know your name
  • Poems cannot contain hate speech or sexually explicit language/themes
  • Only poems that follow the rules will be considered for prize money
  • No poems will be accepted after midnight on March 17th; to be fair to other entrants, there can be no exceptions
  • Winners will be contacted in late April and asked to read their poems at an event on Saturday, May 2, followed by an open mic

Any questions, please email info@lorainhistory.org

author interview

Author Interview: Writers of the Purple Sage

author interview: Barbara Burnett Smith

Deep From the Archives

This is an author interview that I wrote in the 1990s.

Writers of the Purple Sage by Barbara Burnett Smith

Barbara Burnett Smith proves that persistence pays. After having an agent for four years, belonging to two active writers groups, and penning several books — yet making no sales — she threw her hands up in the air and quit.

At least briefly.

“I stopped writing, stopped marketing, and even severed my connection with my agent,” Smith said. But, after another mystery writing friend, Susan Rogers Cooper, told her she was too good to not be writing, she gave it another try.

author interview, Nonfiction Writing Advice

Author Interview: Ruffled Feathers

author interview: Barbara Taylor McCafferty

Deep in the Archives

This is an author interview I wrote in the 1990s.

Ruffled Feathers by (Barbara) Taylor McCafferty

Barbara Taylor McCafferty was born on September 15, the same day as Agatha Christie. She loves figuring out a good puzzle, like those found in novels by Christie. So, what does McCafferty do for a living?

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Writes mystery novels — just like Agatha Christie!

Well, not exactly like Christie. McCafferty has her own unique style, sticking her unsuspecting characters in bizarre situations and watching them wiggle their way out of them.

“I always start a story with a question that begins with ‘wouldn’t it be funny if?'” she said. “Like in my book, Ruffled Feathers, a guy gets a ransom note and the person allegedly kidnapped is standing right next to him. So, you wonder, ‘Is this an error in timing? A gag?'”

author interview, Nonfiction Writing Advice

Author Interview: Fool’s Puzzle

author interview: Earlene Fowler

Deep From the Archives

This is an author interview I wrote in the 1990s.

Fool’s Puzzle by Earlene Fowler

Toss in one fresh, sassy, 34-year-old ex-cowgirl, mix in two parts of a murder almost spoiling a folk art museum quilt display, add a dash of a fifty percent Anglo, fifty percent Latino, one hundred and ten percent macho cop with gorgeous eyes, and what do you have?

You have the deliciously intense, tangy-tasting romance of Benni Harper and Gabe Ortiz, in Earlene Fowler’s first mystery novel: Agatha Award nominee, Fool’s Puzzle.