Contributors

Matthew RidenouProfilePic1r

My first goal in life was to become Superman, and when that didn’t pan out, an NBA superstar. That didn’t work out either, so eventually I tasted the proverbial ink of writing and publication. Striving for this goal has yielded much more success than wearing a red cape or the number 23 ever could. After studying, improving my craft and storytelling, learning all I could about the industry and its expectations, I finally believe my writing to be publishable.

This blog takes us through my journey of writing, and shows us what to expect when striving for that dream of publication. What does it take to get published? What should we expect? How do we know when we are “good enough?” These questions are interesting to consider, and some of the answers might surprise you even more.

As writers, how do we stay motivated? How do we continue to come up with fresh ideas? And how do we consistently improve, even after our work is publishable? I say this, originality and genius can spawn from a moment of inspiration. In this blog, I’ll show you my experience with writing, take you along on my journey to publication, answer questions about the craft and storytelling, and will discuss Superman, basketball, and many of my other interests.

Here’s a little about me. I have an awesome family, a blow-dried Saltine sense of humor, and am generally happy and a fun guy to be around. I organize a local writers group called Stonehenge – which has helped me improve immeasurably. Though I strive for perfection, I realize it’s unattainable – it’s the road that matters. Writing is an art, and I continue to improve through experience and practice, always keeping an open mind to new ideas and fresh outlooks. My thirst for knowledge and the “magic” of writing has shown no bounds, and I hope to share this great love with you, my dedicated readers.

Feel free to contact me at mridenour1979@hotmail.com, follow me on twitter @MattJRidenour, like our Facebook page, or peruse our critique group at Stonehenge. Thank you for taking this journey with me.

CherylCheryl Mahoney

This is obviously not me.  This is my cat, Lucky, who gets to be my public face, unless and until I decide to put a picture of myself up.  Lucky is half Siamese and half Tabby (a Siamabby?), with a sweet disposition, a loud meow, pretty blue eyes, and a reasonably marvelous tail.

I am, naturally, human.  I’m in my early twenties, born, raised and living in California.  I’m a graduate of the University of San Francisco, where I was an English major, writing emphasis.  One of my professors told us that an English major “prepares you for nothing specifically and everything generally.”  So far, I think he was right.

By day, I’m a marketing associate at UniversalGiving™.  We connect people to the top opportunities to give or volunteer all over the world.  I also write for the team blog, PhilanthroPost.

By night and on weekends, I’m an aspiring novelist.  And whenever I have a spare moment, I read marvelous tales.

So if you put together a love of reading (especially young adult novels), a passion for writing, and social media knowledge by way of my marketing job, the natural result is…this blog.

I read fiction because I see no reason to live only in this world when there are a thousand others to choose from.  I love talking about those other worlds, and if you get me started on some of my favorites, the conversation can go on indefinitely.  A few favorite fandoms include Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean (and Johnny Depp!) and The Phantom of the Opera.  I love old movies and my favorite singer is Michael Crawford (original Phantom in London and on Broadway, but his other CDs are fantastic too).  Favorite authors (more below) are L.M. Montgomery and Edgar Rice Burroughs, neither of whom wrote young adult fantasy.  Favorite fantasy authors include J.M. Barrie, Tamora Pierce and Diana Wynne Jones.  And, of course, there’s always Mr. Shakespeare (who I do believe was the man from Stratford).

If you’d like to discuss any of the above topics at length, feel free to write to me!  Or if you’d like to comment on something you read on my blog…or if you’d like to suggest a book to review…or if you know an agent who represents first-time novelists…you can write to me at cherylmahoney42@gmail.com

Rien ReignsRyan

Over time you’ll learn that I am a great many things, but as a reader of this blog, author should top the list.  To my solitary son though, I will probably always be ‘dada’, or at least I hope so. And to my wonderful wife, I’m usually ‘honey’. I guess that makes me a ‘honey dada’, which actually I prefer, as opposed to a ‘sugar daddy’. Speaking of honey, I’m also a farmer/gardener so you’ll probably see the occasional post relating to that aspect of my life. The last great thing that comes to mind is – I’m an introvert, which will most assuredly play a part in my posts as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you’ll continue to get to know me.

RuthR.A. Gates

I’m a mom, wife and writer living in Sacramento, CA.

My journey as a published author started when my daughter, Monica, placed the book Twilight in my hands and told me to read it. She loved it and thought I might, too. I was reluctant because it was a young adult book and I am a grown up, at least according to the calendar. But after watching the movie, I caved and read the entire series in a week. That started my craving for more young adult, urban fantasy series. I’ve read the Mortal Instruments series, the House of Night series, Evermore series, Evernight series, and many more. My favorite, though, was Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. I just loved Rose and her take-me-as-I-am attitude. When I finished book 4 and had to wait for the next installment, I found fanfiction.

I read through many wonderful stories about Rose and the rest of the gang and loved every second. Then I decided to write the VA story I really wanted to read. I had so much fun writing each chapter and reading all the wonderful reviews. I even met a dear friend through writing those stories and inspired her to write as well. I’ll always be grateful to the fanfiction community for encouraging me to write my own book. Fanfiction readers rock!!

So, between caring for my 3 children, ages ranging from 14 to 5; helping my retired mother; and managing a household, I write. And I write what I love to read most – young adult, urban fantasy.

If you’re visiting fanfiction.net and want to read my VA stories, my username is ruthless527. Just remember they are unedited and not perfect by any means. But they’re fun.

Kody KlineKody

I am, if anything, a teller of stories. I love to write Fantasy and Sci-fi. My favorite writers are David Eddings, Philip K. Dick, Robert Aspirin, Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Shakespeare, and Alexandre Dumas. For me, the greatest story ever told is The Count of Monte Cristo.

Aside from writing, I love movies, music, photography, living life without fear, the tao, and exploring my spirituality.

“If you understand, things are as they are. If you do not understand, things are as they are.”

AndyAndrew Harper

I have always loved stories and story telling and have had a piece of fiction on hand for as long as I can remember. Despite doinking up school as a youngster, I managed to educate myself enough through novels to eventually make it through an M.A. in Sociology. I owe my education to Piers Anthony and Stephen King far more than public school, or even the hippie commune private school I ended up in eventually. Throw in the influence of comics and I’m a bit of a weird dude.

As far as taste, I love sci-fi and I love fantasy, but my soft spot has always been for the dark stuff. Horror. Suspense. Blood and guts and violence. I don’t know why I like it, but it sure shows up in my writing. If I tried a children’s book it would have a rape/murder on page three probably. I’ll be using this blog to explore why I can’t help but read and write in the realm of nasty.

And by the way, GO BRONCOS!!!

Steve R. YeagerSteve

Steve lives in Northern California with his wife, two kids, and a pair of crazy dogs. He has worked as a corporate software engineer for over twenty-five years and now spends his spare time writing as an exercise in sanity retention.

Steve’s first book, a post-apocalyptic thriller, came out in November of 2012. Amazon (Kindle/Softcover): Chicken Nuggets – The Raptor Apocalypse B&N (Nook): Chicken Nuggets – The Raptor Apocalypse

His personal blog can be found here: sryeager.com

DaveDavid W. Good

I am new – a beginner – dawn.

I have passions and knowledge within that I long to share.

Searching for the right medium that will allow me to pass on what I know, what I dream, what touches my heart.

Photography allows me to share visions in color or black and white – a window to my soul. You can view my work and thoughts at Life From All Angles.

Writing is an avenue to communicate thoughts – painting my mind’s eye with words.

Music permits me to touch you physically, without coming in direct contact – feel the rhythm of my mind as it reaches your innermost core. The dance we share from across the room.

In all these forms, I have found vessels to speak, to shout, to sing, to communicate my love, my rage, my joys and sorrows, my confidence as well as my insecurities – to that end I am truly bilingual.

This is my Art ~ This is my Passion

Enjoy

Karen BlakelyKaren

This is a blog about writing.  So how did I become a writer?  It started when I was seven.  I can’t remember any of the other things I wanted to be.  I only remember wanting to write.  I still have a few of the starts of my early work.  Let’s just say those early bits deserve to stay on the shelf.  Way on the back of the shelf!

I was in my early thirties when I allowed life and family commitments to convince me writing was an unreachable dream.  It might have stayed that way forever, if it wasn’t for Harry Potter and surgery.

I fell in love with Harry Potter.  Even though I was an adult, I was seriously disappointed when I read the last of those ‘young adult’ books and had no more to look forward to.  Three years ago, stuck in a chair, recovering from surgery (and on pain medication), I decided if no one else was going to write books I could look forward to, I’d have to do it myself.

Even after the pain medication wore off, I couldn’t shake the idea and finally got serious about writing.  I took a class, did research on the internet, read books, and then started typing.  But how could I know if anyone else would think my writing was worth reading?

That’s when I found the Stonehenge Writer’s group.  They gave me the tough love I needed, and I hope I’ve been able to return the favor.  Several of us have now published books or short stories, and others are in the process of doing so.  You can check out my website at http://www.kat-tales.net to hear more about me and about the first book in my Chimera Chronicles series, which I published December 2012.

To anyone interested in writing:  First, read everything you can get your hands on – books just for fun, and books about the art and craft of writing.  Next, decide why you like or don’t like the books you read.  Then, when you’re ready to start writing, join a writers group!

Finally, I encourage you to read this blog.  We’ll share our thoughts on books and movies, and what makes them interesting (or not).  We’ll share what we learn about writing.  And we’ll share the frustrations, struggles and delights of the journey going from writer to author.

DreaDrea Moore

I stumbled upon fantasy quite literally in a local bookstore where books-to-be shelved stood in stacks on the floor. I completely judged the book by its cover, and my dad bought it for me.

I’ve been addicted ever since.

But pretty soon I realized that the characters in my beloved books weren’t doing what I thought they should. I spent so much time postulating the potential trajectory of plotlines that I became quite opinionated about the stories.

Not that I, at 11, had much informed understanding of story. Driven, I plopped down in my bedroom with drawing pad and pencil and created a map. In my created world the characters would do what I thought they should!

Or so I thought.

Whatever the case may be, I invented the world of Don-Yin, which has a deep and diverse history. There are positives to building a world so well, and there are negatives. The positive is that I have the rules down so well that “the rules” are one of the few thing the characters don’t argue about.

The negative is that with such a deep history it takes a lot of working and reworking to produce something that doesn’t confuse a reader. I have learned that I need to be more attached to my characters than my story arc, because sometimes if I want to be true to the characters and the world, but craft a good story, I need to completely re-envision the story. Starting over also means surrendering more control to characters.

So I am working on Silver Mask, the first Don-Yin novel that *will* see the light of day.

Jenny Lee LeeJenny

I’m thirty. I’m a mother and a wife. I’m just another face in a series of space who wants to follow a pocket dream–in my case, that dream is to take the story my imagination has spun and make it something real.

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