Friday, May 27, 2016

Meeting Crazy Internet People . . .

"They" say it's dangerous to talk to people online.
"They" say online relationships aren't real.
"They" say you should be very careful and probably avoid meeting them in person.

And for the most part, I'd say they're right. 

I suppose you have to know yourself and really do your homework. My story isn't a scary one, thank goodness. Mine is a really really cool and fun one. Well, for me and the parties involved it was very much fun. For you? I dunno . . .

Last summer, I met my friend and editor Lynda Dietz (who's back in the blogging world, go say hi!) . . . and needless to say, it was a hit!

But then . . . 

That was jut not enough. 

So I also went on to meet my other friend and fellow author Raymond Esposito and his lovely wife, Cheryl. 

And if you've watched any of Raymond's and my Writers After Dark series, you know we have an ongoing joke with me and "choking" . . . here's our attempt at a profile picture for our YouTube Series:

AND YET . . .

That still wasn't enough!!!!

The thing is, the three of us are great friends. So the logical thing to do was to meet . . . ALL of us, in ONE place, at the SAME time! And what better than Raymond's 50th birthday party? So last April, Lynda, Jeff (my hubby), and I went down to Florida and spent a weekend with the Espositos . . . man, was that fun!!!! 

How much fun, you ask? 
Well . . . take a look at these pictures::

Writers After Dark 
Special Presentation

What about you?
Have you met any online friends in person?
Would you ever?

Thanks for watching! :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Those Crazy Internet Memes!

In one of those odd games life likes to play, let me tell you: I went from disliking memes (waaaaay back when) to having a collection of them. Heck, I even make my own*, like so:

But, well . . . at least I'm not going crazy posting 'Real Men, Real Love, or How Women Should Be Treated Like Queens' memes . . . You've seen those, haven't you? These days you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one.

Don't get me wrong, some are great. But some make you wonder what's going on in this modern dating world (soon to be an episode of WAD), and what kind of perception of romance  is being created by social media for "The Singles" of this era. The thing is . . . they are pretty hilarious when you break them down, and that's exactly what my co-host, Raymond Esposito, and I did in our Writers After Dark YouTube Series

So if you're up for a chuckle, 
give us 11-ish minutes of your time and come laugh with us:

Feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel: 

What are your thoughts on Internet Memes: love or hate? 
Any funny ones you've seen? 

Thanks for watching!!!

*Not all are original content!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Reviewing Your Reviewer? — IWSG (31)

I love reading.
I love writing.
I love reviews. Don't you?

And it's okay to receive not-so good reviews once in a while, because come on . . . we learn from them. Well, well learn from the good reviews too. And umm . . . since I'm talking about reviews and all, what better time to plug a FANTASTIC 5 Star Editorial Review I received from Reader's Favorite? Look, I even got a stamp to go with it! (Fun fact: All 5-Star Reviews are automatically and legally labeled "Fantastic." #TrueStory)

But that's not what this post is about
(No one likes a show off!!! :P)

Nope, I'd like to talk about misguided reviews that miss the point. 
You know the kind: 

"OhMahGosh! I can't believe Harry Potter knew Edward Cullen! I don't understand why they didn't give us closure in HP and explain that he didn't really die. No guys! He became a vampire!" — Umm, two different series with one actor appearing in both movies. But okay.

Or say:

"I didn't read the first book in the series, and even though the author did a good job at explaning what happened previously, I wasn't familiar with the world in the beginning. I felt too lost to enjoy it. 1-Star!" — Yeahhhh, so . . . one, would think reading the books in order would help. But what do I know?

Or even:

"There was too much romance in that book! I wanted more action!" — You mean the one with the cover of the hot couple making out? With hearts all over it? That says it's from a Romance Bestselling author? That one? I can't believe it had too much romance! Shocker. o_O

All right, so you get the point! And if you have one more minute to spend on me . . . would you watch this quick "Reviews That Make You Scream!" trailer? 

At Writers After Dark, we're looking to showcase examples of this, for laugher of course! No bashing, no hating, no complaining! Just a quick line or three from a review that was way off the point of your book and a response from you. It could be: in comments below, email (, and it could even be anonymous! But but but, you can also send us a clip of you reading and reacting—we'd love that!!! Plus, you get to plug your books so win-win, I say! — If you comment below with one, let me know if you'd like it to be included in our video—if not, share anyway! I'd love to laugh & won't use any material without consent. ;)

BTW, for those who've asked: we've been on hiatus because we've revamped the videos. They're shorter, and I dare say hilarious. But we're giving all the A-Z'ers a couple weeks to recover—because we're nice like that! Thanks for the interest and the support!!! And for watching!!!

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Be Mysterious: How to Save Yourself Some Pain Before You Release Your First Book —Guest Post By G. R. Fillinger

Hey guys,

Meet G. R. Fillinger! His debut book, Iron Inheritance,  promises an intense and captivating ride! And if that wasn't enough motivation for me wanting to introduce his work to you, well let me tell you: he's a fellow Netflix researcher who loves jokes—cheesy jokes! I don't know about you, but that speaks to my soul and I already know he's legit ;) Okay, in all seriousness, though? Go read his work! But first, let's find out what's lurking in that brain of his in the following guest post . . . 

Take it away, G.R.!!!

* * * 

Be Mysterious:  How to Save Yourself Some Pain Before You Release Your First Book

Some of the best scenes I've read end with a cliffhanger. The character's about to make a pivotal decision. Danger lurks around the corner. Lives hang in the balance.

Then the scene ends, and we're forced to keep reading. 

It's addictive and fun, and most readers love the way it gets their pulse pounding. I know I do.  

Here's where I went wrong:  I thought that kind of drama was only meant for stories. I crafted my chapters around those key moments when the question would have to remain unanswered for a while. 

Turns out I needed a little more of that in my real life when I got close to releasing my first novel. 

Here's the story:  I got the idea for my latest series four years ago. 

Now, I didn't spend four years writing this thing. Most of that time was used for procrastinating and watching too much Netflix--you know, "research." 

During the past year and a half or so, I put things into gear and wrote several drafts. By the time I was getting close to the finish line, all the research I'd done on publishing was bubbling out of me. I wanted to get this right. I had to hire an editor, a cover artist, and a formatter. I had to contact bloggers to get early reviews. I had to schedule blog posts and set up all my social media. 

My head was spinning, and when that happens, I make lists with self-imposed deadlines. It's just the way my mind works; I'd never have been able to force myself to actually write a book before I died if I didn't have this quality. Once I figured it all out on paper, I found that I had an actual date when I wanted to release my book 

Unfortunately, publishing your book isn't a solo gig. Writing may be, but getting your book out there for readers to see? Not so much. 

Things that I thought would take two weeks ended up taking two months. Time flew by, and I kept having to push back my launch date. 

Here's the worst part:  I had told a few people when I thought I'd release my book. They'd ask me, and suddenly I had this date in my head, and I just couldn't keep it from coming out. They asked a question, and I answered. It used to be so easy. 

Naturally, when my launch date for October...and then December....and then February got pushed back to March, I'd endured more than a few disappointed sighs, and I'd learned my lesson. 

I can't just be a normal person when people ask me about my book. I have to be an author. I have to give them just enough to entice. 

With that in mind, here are some answers I've come up with to far to fend off my friends, family and rabid fans:
  • When's your next book coming out?
    • I'm working on a scene with time travel right now, so it's kind of hard to say...
    • Only a prophet would know something like that. (My book series actually has some prophets, so this is kind of an inside joke). 
    • Remember that part in my last book when ___ betrayed ____ with just one little ill-timed fact? Yeah, not letting that happen to me. 
What about you? 
Do you have any phrases you keep in your back pocket 
to answer readers' questions without actually answering them? 

See you in the Comments section, and thanks very much to S. K. Anthony for giving me this opportunity.  

About the Book:

Title: Iron Inheritance
Genre:  Young-adult Urban Fantasy
Series Title:  The Blood Artifacts (Book 1 of 5)
Tag line:  The ultimate power lies dormant in her blood … until she spills another’s.

When eighteen-year-old Evelyn Brooks is attacked by a man who can control demons, she finds out she is a Nephilim with angelic essence, and her only remaining family is killed.

In the turmoil and grief that follow, Evelyn discovers a world where the celestial and terrestrial are linked by two secret, angelic societies. She is pulled into their struggle and discovers that her own talents have the capacity to save and destroy.

Will she be able to control her new powers to save her friends? The boy she begins to love? Or will her longing for revenge blind her to the betrayal following her since day one?

About the Author: 

G. R. Fillinger is a young­-adult fantasy author with a propensity for a ction, pop culture, romance, and jokes–very cheesy jokes. He likes to explore themes of identity, free will, and true love. Most of all, he loves to create and discover those hidden worlds that only a chosen few know about.

He cultivates his skills as a writer by eavesdropping and collecting phrases aged to perfection. If you’re mid­-conversation and he turns away to write something, chances are it’ll end up in a book. If you see his eyes glaze over, it’s because he’s forgotten his notebook, lost his pen, and is presently repeating the phrase over and over so he doesn’t forget it. It’s nothing personal. You’re probably just hilarious. Either that, or he’s trying to curse you. Take it as you will.

G. R. Fillinger has a BA in English Literature and an MA in Education. Currently, he teaches Creative Writing at a high school in southern California. Like writing, teaching is a passion, and he wouldn’t give it up. Not only do his kids come up with the most off­-the­-wall ideas and sayings, but they also seem to learn something occasionally. Being a part of that is quite a rush.

He also loves to travel, especially if it involves camping and hiking. It’s a chance to quiet his mind and learn to look at the world in a different way. That, and he gets to spend copious amounts of uninterrupted time with his family.

When he’s not writing, he spends time with his wife and newborn son. Right now, he’s really diggin’ the whole new­-dad thing. Bedtime songs are the best. 

Stalk Him: 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Delirious Writing — IWSG (30)

Lets talk about delirious writing sessions. 

You know the ones, right?

Not to be confused with drunk writing—I'm talking about those spurts where you're like "Yeah, man! I'm in the zone! I'm busting these words out. I'm totally killing it." You write for hours. And more hours. But you don't dare look back. It's best to avoid the "edit & revise distraction", am I right? I mean, the story is flowing so flawlessly from your mind, you just don't want to mess with the process.

Next few days, you pick right back up where you left off. You only had a couple hours of sleep, went to work, took care of your family and all other responsibilities, but . . . man oh man, your creativity is still hard at work and you just go for it. The plot twists are genius!  Your characters are so darn imperfectly perfect that you wanna cry. Nothing is stopping you now!

You just know you're going to blow people's minds . . . 

And then you go back to find that you are most definitely going to break record in shocking your readers . . . because you hardly made any sense in about 70% of what you wrote o_O

No? This never happened to you? 

Err . . . well, I've had my moments. Never where I thought I wrote flawless-anything, but where I felt that I've made major progress and that all I'd have to do is tweak around to keep my facts straight. Which would be great if my facts or my awesome ideas didn't include:

*** Misspelling . . . a lot. I once spent about about fifteen minutes trying to figure out why the word "payed" made me pause. 

*** One of my characters left once to go, umm,  "flower plants." And sure my characters in The Luminaries do have some special abilities, but well, nothing like that.

*** In Static, while I was busy at work, the most fantastic idea hit me. I *knew* THIS was the new direction for the group. I *knew* it would fit perfectly into the story lines I had going. It was as if I already knew what would happen to the group. Well, apparently I did know. As I went to write down my genius thought on my loose outline . . . I found the same idea staring at me—judging me, I might add. But clearly if I thought of it twice it was definitely the way to go. I did say writing "on couple hours" of sleep didn't I?  O_O

*** I've had contradictions. Repeated convos. And lots of missing words . . . you know, the ones your eyes "fill in" for you. I figure I might have been hungry so I just ate those words, readers be damned.  :P

What about you? 
Any funny moments from delirious writing?

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hop.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Being a Housewife . . .

So there's this blog . . . 

It's called The Really Real Housewives of America. It has some of my favorite ladies in the blogging world and they post about REAL wifey stuff! Guys! You have to check it out! This group of authors-mommies-wives are so cute and smart and funny! And to prove how cool they are, they even had me over as a host this week. 

Say whaaaaahhhhh? 

Well yes, that's what I said, too. And speaking of saying stuff . . . you know how they say, 
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”? That's what I did. These ladies had no clue I had no clue how to be a proper housewife. But, hey, I faked it like any other housewife would. About knowledge on house stuff that is O_O. Ahem. 

On Monday, in a post titled "I Don't Need To Clean My House", I talk about, well, not cleaning. And I give some tips on how to do just that. Or not to do. Whatever. Go read it before  you judge me, though ;)

On Wednesday, I shared one of my favorite healthy pizza recipes. A "Chicken CRUST Pizza" (I love pizza!) anyway, the crust is made out of chicken! Perfect for high protein dieters. It's easy and delicious, I promise! 

And tomorrow . . . umm, I went back in time to the 50's in search of marriage advice. Oh boy! I'm not sure that was a good thing. Just be sure to check out "How to Have a Happy Marriage . . . the RETRO Way!"  for yourself. You'll laugh your butt off, because honestly? Stuff like "Your husband is the boss of you" and "put a nice ribbon in you hair for when he comes home from work" is just too darn hilarious!

So there you have it! If not for me, at least give this blog a shot! You'll instantly have access to tons of tips and advice! You're welcome :P

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Writers After Dark — Episode III: Valentine's v. Halloween

Love is in the air . . . so are frowns.

While there are some of us who bask in the pinkness and the heart-filled world that explodes right about now, there are others who are just plain annoyed.

Let's face it: 
Valentine's day is just not for everyone. 
Probably, especially, if you're single. 

As a non-single person, sure, it's nice to have a great date with my sweetheart. It's wonderful that he wants to show me he appreciates me . . . but well, must it be when Hallmark says it must be done? I mean, I won't say no to chocolate goodies, but . . . on the other hand, there's Halloween. When everyone can have candy, chocolate, put on their "fat pants" and be happy. Even those who are single. 

What side are you on? 
Yay or Nay to Valentine's Day?
Would you rather Halloween?

Well, here's Raymond's and my take on these two holidays, which I'm happy to say went off way better than our last episode . . . maybe not as funny, but better for our sanity. Actually, maybe you should compare them and decide for yourself. I may or may not have been under the influence of shots ;)

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel: 
Writers After Dark