Friday, July 31, 2015

Readers Meet Action Writer James M Corkill

Author James M Corkill
by James M. Corkill

Although I did a little writing during my early years in high school, I never aspired to be an author until twenty-five years later, while I was a Federal Firefighter. I was always reading in my spare time and thought some of the stories were awful. During one of the oil crises in the late 1980’s, a friend asked a general question; what would happen if suddenly we didn’t have any more fuel? I began writing down some of the issues that might arise if it actually happened, and it was the beginning of my first novel, Dead Energy. Once I began, I couldn’t stop, and I was fortunate to meet a famous horror writer named Hugh B. Cave, who lived on the island and became my mentor. After Hugh passed away, I borrowed his last name for Alex as a tribute to his memory.
Cold Energy by James M Corkill
Back then, I didn’t have a computer, and I was a terrible typist. The constant rewrites nearly caused me to give up on the story. One day, a box arrived, and inside was a used computer, and a note from one of my brothers telling me that now I had no excuse to stop writing. It took me nearly three years to finish Dead Energy, and I self-published a few dozen copies with limited success, but then stuck the disk copy in a closet for a few years while I tried to think of something else to write about. I tried to write in a different genre, but nothing seemed to work.
After my second wife was taken by cancer, I stopped writing and began drinking, until four years ago when someone I had never met recognized my name and asked if I was going to write another story for Alex Cave. I was shocked that someone had enjoyed my story enough to remember my name, and after we talked for a while, I realized this chance meeting was what I needed to hear at the right moment, and I quit drinking and began the rewrite of Dead Energy into The Alex Cave Series.
In Cold Energy, you’ll meet Alex’s best friend, Okana. That’s his last name, by the way, and he won’t tell anyone his first name. He prefers it to be pronounced, O’Kaw-nuh, like O’Conner without the R’s. He’s become my favorite character, and perhaps even my alter ego. He will be with Alex throughout all their new adventures, along with many of Alex’s familiar friends, and some really bad people.
The Alex Cave Series Box Set
Book 4, Gravity, is in final editing, and I’ll release it on 3 October this year. In the meantime, I’ve started working on a new problem with dire consequences, and once again, Alex will get involved in a desperate situation where only with help from his friends can he save humanity from destruction.

I hope you enjoy my stories, and don’t hesitate to connect with me through my website, if you have any questions or ideas for Alex and me.

Best wishes, James.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How the love of an Island Helped Shape A Writer's Series

South Padre Island
Author Hebby Roman
            South Padre Island is, after the Florida Keys, the southernmost point of the United States. But unlike the Florida Keys, South Padre is not a well-known beach destination. Unlike Key West and most of the larger Keys, you can't get there by air. The closest place to fly into is Brownsville, Texas, and then you'll need a car to get to the island.  

Padre Island is a long barrier island (several hundred miles) that stretches down the Texas Gulf Coast from Houston to the tip of Texas where the Rio Grande River marks the border with Mexico. The town of South Padre Island is situated on the southern tip of a strip of the island that's less than a mile wide, and the town is relatively new because of its unique history.
Before European expansion in North America, the island was inhabited by native tribes. Western settlement started when Padre Jose Nicolás Balli arrived in the early nineteenth century. The remote island had been granted to his grandfather by King Carlos III of Spain in 1759. The Padre brought the first permanent settlers and established a church to bring Christianity to the native Karankawa Indians. He and his family were driven out by the Mexican-American War and ownership of the land was contested for a century and a half. Within the last decade most of the ownership disputes were settled via a series of lawsuits.
Because of the ongoing land dispute, access to the island was closed by the National Park Service until 1962, after which limited settlement was allowed and newcomers began to establish a beach tourism economy on the island. By 1978 the island had a population of around 314 and a decade later it had a population of 1,012 and 111 businesses. Today, the permanent population hovers around 2,000.
With its unique history and remote location, South Padre might not be well known, but its wildness is a big part of the island's charm. All the beaches, even in front of the newest and ritziest resorts, are public. And large swathes of the island remain under the control of the National Park Service as a protected National Seashore. Wildlife is prolific in this part of Texas: hundreds of species of migratory birds pass through South Padre, sea turtles lay their eggs on its protected beaches, and dolphins play in the surf.
The weather is mild year round. The natural beauty of the place, abundant wildlife, and the beach attracts tourists, most of them native Texans. With one exception, thousands of self-employed people and retirees from the northern reaches of the U. S. spend winter in South Padre to enjoy the mild climate. Many of them drive down in recreational vehicles. And the locals have given them an appropriate nickname: "snowbirds."

My new series, "Snowbirds" took its inspiration from this influx of winter Texans and is set in an RV Park. It's a series exploring romantic relationships among mature couples, and the first book is entitled: "Catalina and the Winter Texan."

Hebby Roman can be reached at 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Foreseen - A Kickstarter Campaign for Indie Film from a Book

Ashley Fontainne
by Ashley Fontainne

FORESEEN is almost completed, but we need your help to finish!

The project on Kickstarter went live last night, and we only have 38 more days to fund it. The production team needs an additional $30,000 to finish filming the final scenes in Steamboat, Colorado in October, 2015. The money raised will help provide cameras, microphones, sound & lighting, costumes, props, travel by actors to set locations, and food while filming.

Foreseen (Kickstarter Campaign)
Your pledge of funds will gain all sorts of great perks, including the following:
  • $10 or more donation: a digital download of Behind the Scenes of FORESEEN to watch the magic behind the making of the film;
  • $25 or more: the above perk PLUS a digital copy of FORESEEN the movie AND a signed paperback of the novel THE LIE (which FORESEEN is based);
  • $40 or more: the above perks PLUS a signed poster by King of Horror, Bill Oberst, Jr.;
  • $45 or more: the above perks PLUS a signed poster by Scream Queen Tiffany Fest;
  • $50 or more: the above perks PLUS a signed disc copy of FORESEEN;
  • $75 or more: the above perks PLUS 2 discs - one for you and one for a friend;
  • $100 or more: all of the above PLUS your name listed in the movie credits;
  • $150 or more: all of the above PLUS a behind the scenes pass to visit and meet the cast and crew in Los Angeles;
  • $200 or more: all of the above PLUS a chance to come party with the cast and crew at the screening in Hollywood!
  • $500 or more: all of the above PLUS 2 tickets to the LA screening of the film AND the after-party!
  • $1,000 or moreProducer's Package, which includes your name listed as "Associate Producer" in the film credits and on IMDb, PLUS have the option to appear in a scene of the film (travel and lodging not included);
  • $1,500 or moreOn Camera Package, which includes a SPEAKING ROLE in the film, plus all of the items above!
  • $2,000 or moreCasting Package - Always wanted to be an actor? We will cast you and direct you in one scene. Send a copy of your headshot through Kickstarter and we will write you into the story!
  • $3,000 or moreExecutive Producer Credit: All of the above, plus 4 tickets to the after-party and a day on set in Los Angeles!

Simply click here to make your donation.

A sincere thank you to all of my family, friends, and fans in advance for helping us keep this movie independently made, allowing us the opportunity to keep the original story and vision from The Lie. I know it's there because I had the honor of collaborating on the script!

I am grateful for all the continued support from each of you!

P.S. If you donate $25 or more, please email me your shipping address for your signed copy of The Lie.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Can writing be erotic and still classy?

Ann Jacobs

I’ve begun to think it can. Books can feature ménage a trois, BDSM, fetishes, polyamory, and so on without coming across as vulgar and trashy. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with vulgar and trashy—favorite reading’s a matter of personal taste.
For eleven years I wrote erotic romances ranging from mild (not far off mainstream romance of today) to downright kinky. I’ve found I don’t mind the kink as long as it’s done in a classy way, but that some stuff I wrote early-on in my kink days seems downright crude now that I re-read it with an eye to republishing it for a hopefully expanded audience.
What strikes me as crude now that apparently didn’t in my earlier days of publishing? Four-letter words most people don’t utter in polite society? Not really, as long as the profanities and slang for body parts fit the character who’s saying/thinking them AND the situation he or she is in at the time. When I first started writing erotic romances, most of my publishers wanted—even insisted on—use of “dirty” language at every opportunity, and I obviously complied.
The Prosecutors by Ann Jacobs
Then, is it excessive sex? Not really. I love sex and enjoy creating hot, emotionally charged scenes with the bedroom doors wide open. To me, what makes a sex scene cross the line from classy to crude is repetitious, gratuitous and salacious sounding descriptions of body parts in unnecessary detail—with or without the use of locker room slang in the telling!
Once it’s obvious to a reader what a breast or vagina or penis looks and feels like to the character who’s doing the thinking/feeling/touching/tasting, it’s not necessary or desirable to keep pounding the readers with the knowledge that his cock’s longer/thicker/tastier than she ever experienced before—or that she tastes and smells like sex, musk, whatever, ad nauseum.
From talking with many readers and authors, I find most women don’t like most slang words that describe the female anatomy—but that they also don’t particularly enjoy reading clinical terms for the same body parts. I’ve found, over time, that the less these terms are used, the better I enjoy a story—so I’m on a search-and-destroy mission to minimize them in my own work as I revise it to be republished.
In THE PROSECUTORS boxed set, coming out early next month, I wrote a completely new, albeit derivative novella based on characters I’d introduced in MASTERED twelve years ago. It’s LOVE GAMES, the lead title in the set—and it takes only the characters and the basic story line from its predecessor. MASTERED was hardcore BDSM, while LOVE GAMES is mainstream contemporary romance with light BDSM elements.

Ann loves to hear from fans and can be reached at her Website or by Facebook

Friday, July 10, 2015

Medieval Dress-up? Bring It!

Author Jacky Gray

If anyone had told me five years ago I would be spending great chunks of my time dressed as a medieval lady (complete with custom-made sword, Acorn), I’d have thought, “Yeah, and…?” I’ve been doing dress-up for decades and my favourite outfit was definitely Xena Warrior Princess.
If they told me I would be doing this in the company of Knights in Shining Armour, Vikings and Pirates, I’d have said, “Bring it!” These are definitely my kind of people. Along with Faeries, Witches and many other delightful re-enactors I’ve met while signing books at Renaissance and Spiritual Fayres all over the UK.
What an Adventure!

I watched my first live joust in Las Vegas’ Excalibur, of all places. I’ve subsequently watched many more. They run every day at Warwick Castle, and the cheers can be heard in my dad’s back garden. Little wonder I have warrior blood in me, but it wasn’t activated until I watched Kevin Hicks loose one hundred arrows into a piece of rope the size of a man’s head in five minutes. On that day, my character Archer appeared, suggesting I tell his story. As a 35-year-old, he was involved in a complex, military thriller (never released), but the more he revealed about the alternate, quasi-medieval world he’d grown up in, the more I wanted to tell that story instead.

Archer showed me his incredible life as a teenager and eighteen days (or more accurately nights) later, I had a complete teen-fantasy novel. Over the next year, he introduced me to a number of his friends, and four more books were drafted. It took a while to get them professionally edited/covers designed, with the fourth book released last November, and the next two awaiting edits. The seventh (final?) is temporarily on hold while answering the demands of readers hungry for sequels in an adult series. Hopefully, in the New Year, I’ll be able to see how the final story plays out. Really not delaying it because I don’t want it to end – that would be silly.

Meantime, three books all have swanky new covers, courtesy of the incredibly talented Rebecca Sterling. I’m pretty sure these have contributed to both Archer and Slater reaching the number one slot in the Amazon Bestsellers lists for Children’s Ancient Civilisations. And for Archer being read in ten different countries and appearing on bestsellers lists in four of them in one day.

The second book, Rory, drags Archer away from his comfort zone to meet rude, stroppy teens in modern-day England, where he is subjected to way more than just poor manners and bad attitudes. But, being Archer, his courage and integrity help him prevail until he meets his worse adversary yet – the foul-mouthed Mandy.

Re-released on 11th July with added detail and a fun new scene, Rory is available at only 99cents/99p for the next two weeks. Read more about it here.

Jacky Gray is proud to be a member of the World Wise Writers

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Being Gladys

Author Jacqueline Druga

Admittedly I am dating myself by making this comparison reference, but anyone that knows me or reads my bios, knows I am not a spring chicken. Though inwardly, I feel that way. Of course, don’t we all.

I’ve always been nosey by nature, I come by it naturally. My grandmother was the queen of nosey, so much so, we hated going to funeral homes with her because she could be found huddled in the corner, speaking loudly about gossip as it applied to mourners as they walked in. In her defense, she didn’t realize she spoke so loudly.

My mother claims not to be nosey, me, I own up to it. I am. How else am I going to get realistic characters if I don’t watch people closely.

Back in the 70s, and even later thanks to cable, we were treated with the television show called BeWitched. The Stevens had a nosey neighbor, if you watched the series, you are familiar with her. Her name … Gladys Kravitz.

Gladys didn’t miss a beat, she was at that window, peeking out at the slightest movement or noise. She knew everything about everyone without talking to them. Because she was a window watcher spy.

Now, so am I. It’s a horrible thing to admit to and I swear I don’t do it on purpose just to look, but my third floor writing room window has an amazing vantage point. So in an essence, my writing has made me a Gladys.

I stare at the screen to think of my next passage, turn to stare out the window … and can see it all. Day and Night.

Crazy neighbor lady, hanging her unmentionables out to dry on a makeshift clothes life from the mail box to her porch.

Single Mother Neighbor struggling with groceries and two kids … whoops, I should help her … (Text daughter to run out and give a hand)

Drunken Middle Aged Neighbor guy locked out, singing ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’ to his wife until he passes out on the grass.

And of course, the breaking and entering of the house next door. I swiftly called the police, they probably thought, ‘Oh it’s crazy nosey writer neighbor again, ignore it’, because they didn’t show up for ten minutes.

Of course when they asked me, “What did you see?” I replied, “A lot in the ten minutes it took for you to arrive. They got the big screen TV, that took them four minutes to lug out.”

Oh, well. There are ups and downs to having a nosey neighbor. Nothing is sacred, nothing is private, and if your neighbor is a writer, you can bet just about everything makes it in his or her novel one day.

Reset by Jacqueline Druga
Visit my website:

The Beginnings Series:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Meet Award Winning Filmmaker Dianne Whelan Who is Trekking 500 days in the Wild Across Canada

by Renee Field, Founder,

Dianne Whelan, Award Winning Filmmaker
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the very talented award winning filmmaker Dianne Whelan over the course of the last six months. 

I knew the first day when Dianne came into our advanced management course with her attitude ‘I’m going to do this film no matter what’ that we’d click. Dianne is an original filmmaker, a talented storyteller and a creative artists who breathes originality. She does things her way. This might not be the easiest way, as I learned, but she’s true to her heart. 

So what is Dianne doing? Dianne is walking, biking, and canoeing across the Canadian trails for over 500 days. On July 1st 2015, Canada Day, she left ground zero in St. John’s Newfoundland of the Trans Canada trail to start her 24,000 km route across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans, linking 1000 Canadian communities. She plans to film an independent feature documentary and write a non-fiction book about the journey. 

“My vision is to make a documentary that explores four themes, ART – SPIRIT- ECOLOGY-STORY. I perceive these four themes to be like the four quarters of a circle.” She’s writing and filming as she goes. How is she doing this? With faith and little funds. What Dianne can do and get through trading skills she does but still undertaking such a momentous task is daunting. 

Dianne told me she gave up her house so the rent money could help her project, she also sold her car. We talked in the course about ways she could fund this project through sponsorship but she struggled with this. Why? Not because she didn’t have sponsors knocking at her door but this project she felt shouldn’t be tainted in anyway by corporate ideology. 

Dianne wanted to show the true beauty of the Canadian trails – how they connected all of Canada at one time. How the formation of the rails helped shaped Canada as we know it today. She wanted to tell the story of the people who helped to build it, what they endured and why the lines mean so much to everyone even though the railway lines are gone there is a connection to the soul of Canada.

Dianne at ground zero in Newfoundland , July 2015
Meet Dianne

Dianne Whelan is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, photographer, author and multimedia artist residing in Garden Bay, BC. In April 2010, Whelan traveled to Nepal and Mount Everest Base Camp to direct and shoot her award-winning documentary film 40 Days at Base Camp. According to the Nepalese government, Dianne is the first woman to shoot a film on the world’s highest mountain. 

The film had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival, was the opening night film at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and screened at Shanghai International Film Festival. 40 Days at Base Camp is currently distributed in 26 countries and has gone on to have over 100 theatrical and festival screenings internationally. Dianne Whelan was the recipient of the Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Arts Centre in 2011. 40 Days at Base Camp won two LEO awards for best cinematography and best sound design in 2012. Dianne’s newest book Base Camp: 40 Days on Everest has just been released. The book is a gripping and eye opening expose referencing Dianne 

Whelan’s experience on Mt. Everest while filming her documentary 40 Days at Base Camp. Last summer and fall Dianne she toured around Canada and the United States hosting public speaking and multimedia presentations on her book and film. As of July 1, 2015, Dianne is on the Trans Canada Trail for the next two years. She hopes to finish by July 1, 2017.

Check out her BLOG 
All donations for this epic project can be made from her WEBSITE

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Highlighting Great Canadian Authors to Celebrate Canada Day

by Renee Field, Founder, StoryFinds

It’s Canada Day and I thought I’d highlight some great of my favorite Canadian Authors. When I was in high school we were forced to read The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence. I say forced because not everyone in my class at the time was thrilled. Well, I fell in love with Laurence and went on to read probably most of her other books and short stories and then I discovered other Canadian authors like Margaret Atwood who provoked the Canadian public with her book The Handmaid’s Tale and Alice Munro who wrote Friend of My Youth which will make you cry. 

I moved to Montreal for a time to study and had the pleasure of taking a Creative Poetry Course with the late Irving Layton who also introduced me to Mordecai Richler and when I later moved to Toronto I fell in love with Michael Ondaatje who wrote The English Patient and my favorite In the Skin of a Lion and then I went on to read The Dispossessed: Life and Death in Native Canada by Geoffrey York. This book truly opened by eyes to how Canadians treated our own natives and I’d love to see this book become a reading staple in all Canadian high schools.

Recently I’ve had the pleasure to read Thomas King’s novel The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America which made me laugh and want to cry. My daughter is currently reading Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series and I will admit it might not hold her attention. She keeps expecting a fairy to pop up but I’ve told her it’s a fun chance to read about how life was on Prince Edward Island and sorry there aren’t any fairies.

Well beside the quite famous Canadian authors I’ve recently read a lovely romance novel called A Sinful Temptation by Atlantic Canadian author Kelly Boyce and plan to read the rest of the series now. Then I fell in love with edgy New Adult Romance by Sara Hubbard who wrote Beautiful and Broken and I dare any reader to not cry when reading the very successful Color of Heaven series by Atlantic Canadian author Julianne MacLean. I’ve read all of MacLean’s sexy highlander books and honestly couldn’t believe when I read The Color of Heaven how vastly different her writing was and how much I loved both of these series. I would be remiss in not mentioning my fellow writing friend Cathryn Fox. I’m a huge fan of all of her sexy reads and usually read them twice but recently enjoyed His Strings to Pull.

I would love to know what other Canadian books readers can recommend. I’m always looking to add more to my reading pile.