Blog Archives

An Interview with Author Jeffrey Candelaria

Author Jeffrey Candelaria drew inspiration for his first novel, TORO: The Naked Bull, from childhood and teenage experiences. He began the book in 2008 and persisted another thirteen years until its publication in 2021. Jeffrey is currently the host of the radio show “Straight Talk with Jeffrey Candelaria” on KIVA 1600 AM, Saturdays from 1:00-2:00 pm. You’ll find him on RMKPublications.com, on Facebook, and his SouthWest Writers author page.


What would you like people to know about the story you tell in TORO?
First, TORO: The Naked Bull is a reminder that the lust for glory, self-aggrandizement and fortune seeking, when unbridled, can result in the destruction of the individual and the people they love. TORO is such a tale.

When readers turn the last page in the book, what do you hope they’ll take away from it?
That love, loyalty, and courage are bigger than secular accomplishments. And that readers want a TORO II.

What challenges did this work pose for you?
The story and plot were not an issue as much as the editing and formatting. The logistics of the book were challenging more so than storytelling and content.

Tell us how the book came together.
I visited Mexico City as a child. While there, my grandfather took me to a bullfight. I fell in love with the pageantry, protocols, and juxtaposition of man against beast. Again, TORO is not about bullfighting per se, rather it is the stage for the story of four brothers and their struggles to find themselves as individuals, independent of “The Family Montoya Legacy.” The book took thirteen years to complete. I worked on it every Christmas season during vacation from work. I completed the book during the heights of the recent pandemic.

What is the main setting?
The setting varies: The Montoya Ranch, ongoing confrontations with toros (bulls), and various situations which evoke behavioral manifestations and strife amongst the four brothers. TORO: The Naked Bull could easily be told in almost any place or time. It is a story as old as time: the lust for power, the jealousy amongst family members, and the discovery of one’s nature. Bullfighting and the trappings surrounding the pursuits of becoming a famous matador are the catalyst for the development of characters and circumstances which reveal unvarnished motivations and the brothers’ temperament.

Was there anything surprising you discovered while doing research for the book?
Perhaps the staging of the corrida, or bullfight, itself. The bullfight is a choreographed event with numerous protocols and very particular ways of presenting the “Dance with Death.”

What was the most rewarding aspect of writing TORO?
When completed, TORO was an exercise in catharsis for me. Additionally, it was a tribute to my late grandfather who raised me. (He is a character in the book.) I also learned a great deal about the human condition.

Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you started your writing/publishing career today?
Nothing. I enjoyed the process or writing, construction of plot and the overall journey.

What book has had a strong influence on you or your writing?
1984 by George Orwell.

What is the best encouragement or advice you’ve received in your writing journey?
Rose Kern’s advice about style. I have a background in journalism and I was writing in that stark style. For TORO, I shifted my style from that of a journalist to more of a storyteller.

What writing projects are you working on now?
OPEDs.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
Please order my book on AmazonTORO: The Naked Bull.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




An Interview with Author Marty Eberhardt

Marty Eberhardt is a former director of botanical gardens whose poetry and short prose can be found in nearly a dozen publications. In October 2021, Artemesia Publishing released Death in a Desert Garden, Marty’s debut novel and the first of her Bea Rivers cozy mysteries. You’ll find her on her website MartyEberhardt.com and on Facebook and LinkedIn.


What is your elevator pitch for Death in a Desert Garden?
Bea Rivers’ euphoria over her new job at Shandley Gardens is shattered by the death of the Gardens’ founder. When the police determine the death was a murder, Bea is drawn into the investigation, while trying desperately to maintain the life of a committed single parent dating a struggling writer. Every one of the members of the Gardens’ small staff and board are murder suspects. Through the sizzling and beautiful days of a Sonoran Desert summer, someone keeps dropping odd botanical clues. As Bea’s family’s safety is threatened, she discovers just how tangled the relationships at the Gardens really are.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
While I am familiar with the inner workings of public gardens, I haven’t had much to do with the police. I was fortunate to have a few friends in law enforcement who answered questions, and one read the book through.

Tell us how the book came together.
I’m not sure where the story idea came from, but first I imagined the place and the protagonist. The rest of the characters arrived in my brain and decided to do what they wanted to do. I picked a mythical botanical garden in Tucson, because I’m familiar with both public gardens and Tucson. I picked a harried single mother because I well-remember what that felt like, and I think many parents know this stress (even if they’re not single). Work/parenting challenges are front and center during this pandemic!

Who are your protagonists, and what do they have to overcome in the story? Will those who know you recognize you in any of your characters?
Many will see part of me in Bea Rivers. I was a single mom working in a botanical garden. Those in the know will also see the late Tony Edland in the character of Angus. Both of them are lovely guys. As for what Bea has to overcome, she has to be a good parent and a good employee simultaneously. As if that weren’t enough, she needs to solve a murder, because people she cares about are in danger of being accused.

Why did you choose the book’s main setting?
The setting is Shandley Gardens, a public garden in the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson. Using the Rincon foothills location gave me the opportunity to write about the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, which I love deeply. Also, there is no public garden in this location, in case anyone is looking for close comparisons.

What makes Death in a Desert Garden unique in the cozy mystery market?
There are several unique, or nearly unique, parts: the setting in a botanical garden, the Sonoran Desert natural history, and the single parent protagonist.

What was your favorite part of putting this project together?
I’ve heard many authors say this, but it was the way the characters took on a life of their own. I didn’t know until I got to the computer what they were going to say or do. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did plot things out, but how each character reacted to their circumstances was part of the mystery of the mystery.

You also write poems and short prose. Is there one form you’re drawn to the most when you write or read?
My primary reading interest is literary fiction. I also read a bit of nonfiction, especially if it relates to something I’m writing, and I read poetry. But I punctuate the serious stuff with mysteries. I relax with them, and so I tried to write one that would have what I want out of a mystery: a tough puzzle, some quirky characters, and a strong sense of place.

What writing projects are you working on now?
I’m writing a sequel to Death in a Desert Garden tentatively titled Bones in the Back Forty. A forty-year old skeleton takes a murder investigation from Shandley Gardens to a small town in southern New Mexico, where there’s a history of archaeological looting. I’ve also written an entirely different kind of book, a period piece set in early 1960s Saigon. It’s the story of how family members’ lives are changed by living in South Vietnam during the Diem regime, at the time of Buddhist burnings and multiple coups d’états. It’s tentatively titled American Innocents.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
We humans must all nourish ourselves with what gives us joy, so that we have the strength to do the work of caring for each other and the planet. Much of my joy comes from immersion in the natural world. I try to communicate that in everything I write.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




An Interview with Author Barb Simmons

Author Barb Simmons writes contemporary and paranormal romance. She also writes erotica under the pen name Belle Sloane. Her most recent contemporary release is The War Within (February 2021), the first in her Wounded Warrior Romance series. You’ll find Barb on BelleSloane.com and her two Facebook pages: BarbSimmons and BelleSloaneBooks.


What would you like people to know about The War Within?
That it was the most fun I ever had writing a book, and I think it really shows in the story.

What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
That people with disabilities can and do enjoy all the same things in life as people without disabilities. Sometimes they just need to get a little creative about things.

Who are your main characters?
Mike Ramos is a former Marine Raider who lost his leg in battle. He also struggles with the fallout from his experiences in Afghanistan. He knows he’s struggling and avoids getting the help he needs to move on. He finally sees the light about that. Vivian March is an Ortho nurse and fitness fan like Mike is. She overcomes issues with military vets and family history.

What makes the setting important to the telling of the story?
For me the setting is often like another character in the story. Setting lends tons of texture and strengthens the reality of the story.

What sparked the idea for the book?
The idea for The War Within came to me when I was on the leg press at the gym. And bam, I was on it. I usually mull a while before getting going with a story. But this one was one of those wonderful times where the bulk of the story came faster than I could type when I sat down to work.

What challenges did this work pose for you?
I did what I usually do—researched stuff I’m not familiar with and armed myself with a host of technical advisors.

Any “Oh, wow!” moments when doing research for The War Within?
Just that the story flowed so nicely as I went along. That doesn’t happen too often.

Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
When I first started writing (1992), I was a pantser from the word go, but over the years I’ve developed into a hybrid of sorts. I do use a white board to give me a visual of where I’ve been and where I’m going. I tend to write the first three chapters of a story and then settle into a deal where I plot the next one to three chapters, then write then plot the next one to three.

Do you have a message or a theme that recurs in your work?
I seem to have a penchant for redemption stories.

What typically comes first for you: a character? An era? A story idea?
Usually what comes to me first is the main character in a particular setting, where something happens to them that takes them forever out of their normal world.

What writing projects are you working on now?
The War Within is the first in my three-book series of Wounded Warrior romances. I’m currently working on the second book, which is Trevor’s story. He was the mentor in the first book. This will be my first romance featuring an older hero and heroine. Trevor is a Vietnam veteran.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




An Interview with Author Jodi Lea Stewart

Jodi Lea Stewart is the author of three historical fiction novels for adults as well as a contemporary young adult trilogy (Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves). TRIUMPH: A Novel of the Human Spirit (September 2020) is her newest historical fiction release. You’ll find Jodi Lea on JodiLeaStewart.com, on her Facebook pages at jodi.lea.stewart and AuthorJodiLeaStewart, and on Twitter. Visit her Amazon author page for all her titles.


What would you like readers to know about Triumph?
People read novels for entertainment, escape, or education. If I am being bold, I might dare to believe TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit hits all three categories. Let me explain.

Entertainment when reading a novel comes from a compelling and sensible plot with colorful characters the reader comes to greatly care about. With every page and chapter written for TRIUMPH, my desire was for the story to stay exciting enough to compel the reader to eagerly turn the page. My background in journalism aids me endlessly in striving to achieve that goal, and whether I succeeded or not is up to my readers to decide.

Escapism takes many forms in novel writing. One form is transporting the reader to exotic locations. Spanning from 1903 to 1968, the settings for TRIUMPH include a spooky Louisiana swamp at night, a Texas ranch, New Orleans, and a bustling St. Louis in the 1950s—a city that, after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954, became a frontline city ending segregation in public schools.

Educationally, the story spins on the theme that regardless of our socioeconomic level, our race, age, or creed, we all have merit. We all desire to be appreciated and accepted. By my readers getting to know and care about the characters in TRIUMPH, I hoped they and I could use them as models of how we can all transcend prejudices and limits that keep us stagnated in preconceived ideas.

What do you hope readers will take away from the book?
Celebrating our human differences is exhilarating. What a boring world it would be if we were all alike. Further, no matter where you come from or where you are going, regardless of how much money you have or don’t have, no matter your color…you have merit.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
TRIUMPH is my first novel with different points of view and different timelines. I like to metaphorically say that during the writing process, I became a mad scientist in a white coat, coke-bottle glasses, beakers bubbling behind me on the Bunsen burners. I was mixing formulas, testing data, researching, and spilling my concoctions all over the Louisiana wetlands and beyond. I was also juggling timelines, points of view, four strong storylines, dialects, and accents. Also, I constantly, had to be an introspective analyzer of my own filters and stay aware of any possible prejudices that I might not know I had. I found the process beautifully exhausting!

Who are your main characters?
ANNIE is from what many people call a broken home. In other words, her momma is divorced and works herself to exhaustion but is barely able to support her four kids. Annie’s grammar is backwoods, to say the least. Mercy’s correction of Annie’s poor grammar amazes her, but Mercy is a beautiful fascination to Annie from the moment they meet on the schoolyard the first day of fifth grade. Annie allows Mercy to lead her, correct her, and reshape her in every possible way.

MERCY is from an affluent Black family living in the Ville, an upper crust section of St. Louis. Already sophisticated beyond her age, she finds Annie’s invisible blond eyelashes and eyebrows intriguing. The girls feel a strong bond the first time they meet. Together, they secretly explore St. Louis via bus and streetcar, encountering cultural prejudices at every turn—including from within Annie’s own family. The turbulent times and the Civil Rights Movement will test the girls’ loyalty and affect their choices on the way to adulthood.

WILLIE is a young boy stolen by a Vodou priestess when he is five. In an attempt to save him, he is stolen again by ISABELLE, who takes them on a hair-raising trek through the swamps at night and over the terrifying Suicide Bridge. One day, Willie will fight bloody battles in France, come face-to-face with the horrors of Vodou, and seek the answers to his mysterious life.

In bustling New Orleans, 1903, JACK, a former Texas Ranger, has an encounter with a young beauty, SELENE, hiding in his hotel room. What she wants and needs will change both of their lives forever and set in motion a dynasty that remains sealed until the end of the story.

You use several settings/time periods in the book. What makes them important to the telling of the story?
I wanted my readers to experience the journey of several key characters, whether through their heritage or their personal lives, as they live inside the mores of the early twentieth century, past the mid-century mark, and into the 1960s. The sweeping differences in our culture during that time period in this country, and how those differences permeated and affected individuals and society as a whole, provides an intricate and colorful backdrop to highlight changes in the characters’ personal prejudices as they become enlightened to the dignity and spark of life in every individual.

How did the book came together?
I wrote TRIUMPH in less than a year, and the editing process took a few months to complete. The hardest part for me is setting up the launch for any novel. It can get quite exhausting, and the one for TRIUMPH actually gave me my first case of writer’s block for a few months. I shifted my energy from creativity and editing to getting my latest creation “out there” and it changed my brain for a little while. Strange but true, but I overcame it and wrote another novel right away. The story for TRIUMPH began with my sitting down at the computer one day, and out of the blue, I wrote a scene of a Vodou priestess stealing a child. My husband said, “Oh, this sounds evil,” when he read it. I said, “Yeah, it does, and I’m going to write a whole book starting with that scene,” and I did.

Some of my own background fueled aspects of this novel because my mother had us briefly in St. Louis when I was very young. Single and with three children, she worked three waitress jobs for fifty cents an hour and managed to keep us all afloat. I had my first experience with prejudice there, and it vividly imprinted on my mind as unfair. It seems all my friends in the schoolyard were mostly African American, and I didn’t even realize it until the principal called my mother to “tell on me.” I think that experience created in me a fierce loyalty to all races from that time forward.

What was the most rewarding aspect of writing Triumph?
The most rewarding aspect was getting to share my heart on the issues of prejudice in whatever form they take.

What are the challenges of writing for the historical fiction market?
Accuracy is the biggest challenge in writing historical fiction. The research is exhaustive, as it must be, to dare place a story and characters inside a time period in which the author has not personally lived. I suggest books, interviews, and family stories to add authenticity. Check your facts many, many times.

Which do you prefer: the creating, editing or researching aspect of a writing project?
I struggle as most writers do through the first pass when I am creating something from nothing and making all the plot points meet and work. That’s when I do ninety percent of my research, but I actually research and double check throughout the entire process. After the first completed pass, I sail a zillion times through the rereads, rewrites, and edits as happy as an oyster with a new pearl.

Do you have a message or a theme that recurs in your work?
The message that recurs in all my novels is triumph over adversity. I didn’t realize it until an online writing coach said everyone should name all of our favorite movies from the beginning of time to find what their life theme is. My favorites were Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, and Secretariat. Those choices showed me the theme of my life also runs through my written work. Overcoming adversity and good over evil prevail in my novels no matter what story, adventure, or mystery I wrap them in. How ironic that I named my most recently published work TRIUMPH, a Novel of the Human Spirit before I came to this conclusion.

What writing projects are you working on now?
My newest historical fiction novel, which I can’t share the title of yet, was completed in nine months and is my first international novel. Right now, I’m working on sending the foreign words/phrases to my word advisors for accuracy. I don’t speak all those languages in this novel (Spanish, Chinese, Italian, and Croatian), but I sprinkle words and sentences in for authenticity and spice. This latest work is about a clandestine international agency that rescues lost people, most of them children. It features three strong women, and has, like TRIUMPH, different timelines and different points of view. It begins in Texas for all the main characters, but PINKIE winds up in Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. BABE is born in Texas and is taken to China and then Hong Kong. The background features the invasion of China in 1937 and their ensuing civil war, and also takes place during World War II. The timespan is 1937 to 1959. Honestly, I’m very excited about this novel. Look for it in mid-2022.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
TRIUMPH is an adult book, 18+ target age, mostly because there are descriptions of long-ago Vodou ceremonies that are quite fearsome. It is for readers who enjoy high-concept historical fiction written with a literary pen, unfolding inside an interwoven plot. It should appeal to readers who enjoy a Southern theme with racial issues shown in a positive light. Though it sounds a bit supercilious of me to say, I truly believe the same audience that loved To Kill a Mockingbird would love this novel.

There is a bit of a Huckleberry Finn (without the racial slurs and terminology, of course) feel to TRIUMPH. It is slightly reminiscent of the vintage movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, played out by two girls of different races who merely want to be best friends. I think anyone who enjoyed the novels Where the Crawdads Sing and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café would enjoy the heck out of TRIUMPH.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




An Interview with Author Linda Wilson

Former elementary school teacher Linda Wilson has written over 150 articles for children and adults, along with short stories and books for children. Her dream to be a children’s book author came true in 2020 with the publication of Secret in the Stars: An Abi Wunder Mystery, the first book of a ghost/mystery trilogy. You’ll find Linda on her website LindaWilsonAuthor.com and her Amazon author page. Visit the Writers on the Move blog where she’s a contributing author.


What would you like readers to know about the story you tell in Secret in the Stars.
My fondest desire is to create entertaining stories for young children about nature and the great outdoors. I would like readers to get swept away with the story and come away with a desire for adventure and exploring sports and outdoor activities.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
My biggest challenge in attempting to write a novel was living in a small town with no critique partners. I was a member of the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), but because of distance, couldn’t be involved. It took about eight years to finish Stars. The biggest help was moving to Albuquerque and finding critique partners. Thanks to my connection with the New Mexico chapter of SCBWI here in Albuquerque, I finally learned enough to publish the book. I have since finished Secret in the Mist and two picture books.

Who are your main characters, and why will readers connect with them?
In the beginning of Stars, eleven-year-old Abi is anxious to get home from a camping trip with her grandfather. The first day of Summer Art Camp starts that afternoon. But her plans are dashed when her grandpa’s car breaks down and she becomes stranded at an old country inn. Abi, who lives in an apartment two hours away and is not athletic, meets eleven-year-old Jess, who lives in the country and is good at sports. A friendship blossoms based on the girls’ interest in solving the mystery in the story, and also on how much they admire each other. As a budding artist, Abi is aware of the world around her and uses her memory to create sketches of all that interests her. By Secret in the Mist, book two, she has awakened an interest in art in Jess. Jess is a fast runner, a good swimmer, and in Mist she takes Abi horseback riding. By the end of Stars, Abi finds that she can run faster than ever before. In Mist, she finds that she’s good at horseback riding, too. My hope is that Abi and Jess become role models for my readers.

Why did you decide to use the particular setting you chose?
I love this question because Stars and Mist both take place in fictional Pine Hill, a town based on Purcellville, Virginia, a beautiful town where we lived in the heart of horse country near where Jackie Onassis rode horses. In book three, Secrets of the Heart, we go to Abi’s apartment, which I think many readers will be able to connect with.

The country setting is deliberate, written for children who know and love the country, and also for children who do not have the opportunity to spend time in the country. There are personal reasons, too, which include the inn in Stars (based on an 18th century B & B a mile down the road from our house), and in Mist, horseback riders trotting their horses on our road and a marsh across the road where a bullfrog lived.

Where did the story idea come from?
We had so many guests for a wedding once that some needed to stay at the B & B down the road. Before our guests arrived, I paid the B & B a visit. The 18th century white-washed stone building loomed high on a hill, down a long, winding dirt road. Along the way, cows grazed on lush green grass and flowers bloomed in gardens, completing the Virginia country charm.

The proprietress sat me down in the old-fashioned parlor and regaled me with tales of the many renovations her husband had recently completed. On our way upstairs to see the bedrooms, I thought she said, “Oh, here’s my husband now.” I turned, expecting to see her husband climbing the stairs behind us. But I saw no one. Her eyes fell on a silhouette stenciled on the wall. I followed her gaze of a man in overalls and straw hat, lantern in hand, appearing to hurry up the stairs. Without another word, she continued to the second-floor landing. I followed, perplexed.

Where was her husband, I wondered? I asked her, still expecting to see him. She looked surprised and said, “Oh, he died a year ago.” Died? But he’s here. I can feel his presence. He hadn’t yet left her side. I knew that, though how I’ll never know. But I felt the truth of his presence in my bones. She tilted her head in the oddest way and added, “Why, I lost my Herbert a year ago, to the day!” She added, “I painted Herbert’s silhouette on the wall, as he so often looked on his way to bed.” Color rose to her cheeks. “I suppose it’s silly, but it’s my way of keeping him close.” I went home with the idea of her husband’s ghost dancing in my head and then finding his way into my heart. I still get goose bumps every time I think of that eerie encounter.

What was it like working with a cover designer and Tiffany Tutti, the illustrator for the book?
I gave Tiffany my vision of what my characters looked like and the scenes I wanted to see portrayed. I used two to three traditionally published model books because I wanted Star to look professional. I think we succeeded. As a self-published author, I was able to find two terrific companies to format Stars and create the cover using the manuscript and illustrations by Tiffany Tutti, Formatted Books, and 100 Covers. In addition to the book cover,100 Covers also created a beautiful media image, which I’m very proud of.

Tell us how the book came together.
By the time I retired, I had written many articles for adults and children, had been editor of a newsletter, and helped a fellow author interview and write biographies of people who grew up in Westford, Massachusetts where my family lived at the time. I had always wanted to write fictional stories for children. I began by writing and publishing short stories. Stars is my first book. Though like many writers, I have partially written manuscripts stashed away in my drawer.

The illustrations for Secret in the Stars, and the completed book, were accomplished with what is known as a “vanity publisher.” I worked with a terrific editor, staff, and illustrator while the book was in production. Just days before the book was to be published, I read 10 Publishing Myths by W. Terry Whalin, a fellow contributor to www.writersonthemove.com. From the get-go Whalin advises googling any company you’re about to do business with to check for complaints: “company name + complaints.” Was I in for a shock. I was directed to a private Facebook page of authors numbering forty-nine at the time, who had not received any royalties for their books for over two, sometimes, three years. I was lucky. When I cancelled my account, I was able to retrieve my files right away, both the illustrations and the interior, and was able to publish the book on Amazon. Other authors weren’t so lucky. Today there are many more authors involved and some were never able to retrieve their files. We have retained an attorney who has been helping the authors as well as finding ways to put this company (one man) out of business.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you began your writing/publishing journey?

  • How much revision is needed to create a polished manuscript.
  • How important knowledgeable critique partners are in editing things I can’t see, and also how much I’ve learned and enjoyed by critiquing their works.
  • How long it would take to feel competent in writing fiction. I knew it would be difficult and I had read that an overnight success takes fifteen years. I suppose I’m about at that mark, fifteen years! However, I wouldn’t change my experience as a writer for anything in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
A Packrat’s Holiday: Thistletoe’s Gift is available in eBook, and the September 2021 paperback copy is available in full color on Amazon. Discounted and signed copies of Packrat’s Holiday and Secret in the Stars are available by ordering from LindaWilsonAuthor.com. Chris Eboch, prolific author and editor from Socorro, New Mexico, says of Packrat’s Holiday, “Children will love this story, where the littlest creatures have adventures and become heroes. Fun language and cowboy slang make for a great read aloud.” My next picture book, Tall Boots, features a 4-H Horse Show complete with the official 4-H name and emblem. Tall Boots will be available soon. You can read about the books on my SWW author page.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




An Interview with Author Victoria Murata

Author Victoria Murata is a former middle school teacher who has published three novels since retiring in 2002. In a break from her historical fiction releases, she embraced the fantasy genre with her newest book, The Acolyte: Magicians of the Beyond (March 2021). You’ll find Vicky on Facebook and her Amazon author page.


What is your elevator pitch for The Acolyte?
Danica reads minds. It’s a problem for her because she’s been branded as “weird” by other kids at her high school. So, when Phil offers her an exciting opportunity to live with like-minded and gifted people in a place called the Beyond, she seizes it. But every opportunity comes with challenges. Her new home is literally out-of-this-world, and her training is rigorous for a mission she’s certain she’s ill-equipped. Once she leaves the Beyond and walks through the portal into another world, she discovers her lack of training is the least of her problems. The wicked magician Dumone knows her secret, and he’s been searching for her. When he finds her, he will do everything in his power to obliterate all she holds dear and destroy her.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
It’s a new genre for me. I’ve previously published two historical fiction novels, so writing fantasy required a different mindset. All fiction needs imagination, but fantasy requires the writer to venture into unknown territory and create worlds that don’t exist, with problems that have never been faced. It can be a lot of fun, but I believe the crafting must be carefully done to create a world that the reader will not only believe but will appreciate and enjoy.

How did the book come together?
I know this is overused, but the idea for this novel came from a dream which I don’t even remember any more. There’s been so many transmutations of this story since the beginning. But the main characters are still true to the original idea. All three of my novels have taken three to four years to write. When I write, and I don’t write every day, I begin with reading over the previous day’s writing. I edit and revise (I can’t help it!) and that usually gets me in the groove to continue and see where I’m taken. I’ve read often about the editing mind vs. the creating mind. For me, it’s harder to switch from one to the other when writing fantasy. Writing fantasy requires me to be in a stress-free and imaginative state of mind. If I’m distracted with a problem, it’s hard to switch it off so that I can write freely.

Who are your main characters and why will readers connect with them?
Danica is the main character in The Acolyte. She’s sixteen when she’s visited by a strange woman who tells her she has a destiny to fulfill. It all sounds wildly intriguing and mysterious to Danica whose life is underwhelming. She takes the plunge and follows this woman to a new and very different world. I think readers will connect with her because she’s a very human young “magician” who questions her abilities and wonders how she will ever be able to accomplish her mission. Another important character is Philomena. She’s a birthless, deathless magician who keeps worlds from destruction by the Others. She has a team of Coverts with unique powers who help her. Danica is the newest. She’s the acolyte, and if she’s successful on her first mission, she’ll be the next Covert.

Describe your main setting and why you chose it. Do you consider the setting a character in the book?
The settings are characters in a way because the details evoke emotions and feelings that the reader can relate to. The main setting is the Beyond. It’s a place created by Philomena where people live who have been transported from other worlds because their worlds were destroyed. In the Beyond there are five communities, one which houses the Coverts and all the people who were recruited to become Coverts. They are talented and magical, and they all constantly train for when they are called to embark on a mission. In the Beyond, they are trained not only in tactical offensive and defensive areas, but in languages, cultures, history, and skills that they need for their special objectives which all involve aiding or saving a world from interference or destruction by the Others. Another setting is Lymonia, a world in another dimension that appears Medieval but is so much more. Here is a place that is concrete and ephemeral at the same time.

What was the most difficult aspect of world building for The Acolyte?
It was fun building the worlds in The Acolyte. The Beyond is so mysterious, so full of surprising and quirky elements. At the same time, it’s familiar in an imagined paradise kind of way. For example, there’s a labyrinth in the Beyond that offers so much more than a calm and meditative walk to its center. As Danica advances deeper in, she finds clues to her past and her future that scare her and propel her forward to her mission. Deciding how fantastical I wanted to go was difficult. I personally love fantasy when there aren’t too many “out-there” elements. As a young adult, I loved the Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. It was set in a time I love, and it was just fantastical enough for me to believe it. Fantasy is such a huge genre and deciding on the elements that I appreciate in fantasy—and that I wanted to include in mine—was challenging.

What did you enjoy most about working on this project?
My stories are character driven, and I loved seeing Danica come to life. I loved seeing her decision-making process, sometimes fear-driven, and the consequences of her choices. I so enjoyed seeing her come to terms with her action and her failure to act. Part of Danica’s training in the Beyond for her future mission involves an obstacle course designed to test a candidate’s decision-making process, but this is no ordinary obstacle course. She must constantly remind herself that “nothing is as it seems.”

Of the three novels you’ve written, which one was the most challenging?
Historical fiction is easier to write in some ways. It involves much research, but the characters get to navigate through the challenges of the day, and they grow with each one. No matter if it’s historical fiction or fantasy, the characters have complex histories and complicated personalities. The challenge in all my writing is showing how the characters handle the problems they encounter. I enjoyed creating characters with strengths and weaknesses by showing the angst and the joy, the doubt and the certainty. The absolute fear. Nervousness. Indecision. And having them come out better for it in the end.

Looking back to the beginning of your writing/publishing career, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then?
I did not hire an editor with my first novel. I had friends edit it. I had beta readers. I revised it numerous times. With my second novel, I hired an editor. She was fantastic. I was amazed at how much she found that needed “fixing.” I hired her to copy edit, not do developmental editing, but she did a little of everything, and she suggested eliminating a chapter that didn’t move the plot forward. I will never again publish a book that hasn’t been thoroughly edited by a professional.

What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I’m not a disciplined writer. I don’t keep a schedule. I have no rituals. This is probably why my books take years to write! The characters are always in my mind. I’ll go for days wondering how they’re going to handle a situation. The story is always percolating. Then I’ll get inspired and I’ll sit down and write. Sometimes I’ll write for hours. Sometimes just for a bit. Sometimes the words flow on to the page. Sometimes I do a little writing and a little thinking. I don’t revise as I write—I leave that for the next day.

Do you have a message or a theme that recurs in your writing?
I believe coming of age happens at all ages. We’re always growing and learning from life experiences. We never know it all or get it right every time. I’ve learned many lessons in my own life, and I’ve seen how repeated mistakes and lessons not learned have a ripple effect with far-reaching consequences. Most of my main characters are women. They all have devastating life events and challenges that bring them to their knees, but they come out triumphant in the end because they face their problems and overcome their sometimes crippling difficulties.

What writing projects are you working on now?
I am working on book two of The Acolyte series. I’ve introduced a new character who is intriguing to me. He’s a ranger who was brought to the Beyond because of his superior tracking abilities and his amazing attention to detail. He knows the forest, the animals, the plants, and he never loses his way. He suffers from paranoia, so he doesn’t trust people, and he doesn’t go out of his way to socialize. He will be invaluable on the next mission to another world where there are strange doings in the forest outside of the capitol city.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




Author Update: Cornelia Gamlem

Author Cornelia Gamlem founded a management consulting firm (the Gems Group) to offer HR and business solutions to a wide variety of organizations. She has used her expertise in employee relations and human resources to co-author five business resource books with colleague Barbara Mitchell. Their newest release is They Did What? Unbelievable Tales from the Workplace (September 2020). You’ll find Cornelia at BigBookofHR.com and MakingPeopleMatter.blogspot.com, as well as on Facebook and LinkedIn. Read more about her writing in SWW’s 2019 interview.


What is your elevator pitch for the book?
It’s unlike any other business or HR book you’ve ever read. It’s been described as 50 Shades of Gray for the workplace.

What do you hope readers will take away from it?
There were a number of lessons we hoped to share. First, so much of dealing with employee workplace behavior occurs below the surface—solutions to problems are not obvious to everyone. Second, managers’ and HR professionals’ jobs are not easy. There is not one solution to similar problems. Dealing with human behavior is not black or white. Finally, for the HR reader, some of these issues occur more often than they might imagine, and we’re providing insights to different approaches to addressing them.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
My coauthor and I had always written pure nonfiction. We wanted to write a compelling book that presented stories rather than case studies. So, we chose the genre of creative nonfiction. For us, that meant we had to borrow elements from fiction writing—character development, story arc, suspense—and learn how to do that. The book is a series of short stories set against a fictitious backdrop.

Tell us how the book came together.
I was teaching an HR course at a local college when a student asked how you learn employee relations. My response was with practice and experience. When we finished our first book in 2011, The Big Book of HR, I had the idea to write this one—and our journey began. We interviewed many of our HR and business colleagues about the most challenging situations they had encountered, and a pattern of issues began to emerge. Of course, we had our own experiences to draw upon and add. The issues became the focus of each individual chapter. The challenge came with the writing and editing cycles—we’ve lost count of how many edits we did before we had a good working draft. In the meantime, we were approached by our publisher to write three more books along with a second edition of our first book. Those occurrences kept putting the project on hold, but we used these times to continue learning the craft of writing. When we tell people we took nine years to write it, we quickly explain we published other books during that period.

How was the work on They Did What? divided between you and your co-author?
This was a different approach for us. With our other books we divided the work according to our respective areas of expertise then stayed out of each other’s way. For They Did What? we divided the chapters initially by the issues, but then passed our completed drafts to each other for review, discussion, editing, rewriting. At the conclusion, we couldn’t honestly tell you who wrote what. We are lucky in the fact that we respect each other’s expertise and opinion and were both very open to critique from each other.

Would you like to share one of your favorite misbehaving tales from the book?
The cover of the book has a picture of a conference table. That’s because conference rooms and tables play prominently into many scenes—meetings and a place to gather for discussions. Employees, however, often take advantage of this space to engage in, shall we say, shenanigans, and we were surprised at the number of erotic stories we heard that involved conference tables.

What was the most rewarding aspect of putting this project together?
Learning more and more about writing and the publishing industry. We took the train from Washington DC to New York City every summer to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference and attended classes at the Smithsonian about writing. Of course, the highlight was finally finishing the book.

What marketing techniques have been most helpful to you?
Without a doubt, podcasts. We’ve been guests on quite a number of them over the past year, reaching diverse audiences. Since we write business books, we’re very active on LinkedIn, and that activity has attracted attention which has led to more invitations for podcasts, webinars and other on-line activities.

When you tackle a nonfiction project, do you think of it as storytelling?
Absolutely. The art of storytelling is emerging as a management competency in the business world. People learn from stories. It’s such a powerful way to communicate information. That was one of the reasons we looked to the genre of creative nonfiction to write this book. All the stories in the book are based on actual events, but to preserve confidentiality, we had to be creative, such as combining stories from several individuals with the same theme. The lessons, however, remain the same. In all of our books, we integrate scenarios to illustrate lessons and keep the reader engaged.

What is the best encouragement or advice you’ve received on your writing journey?
We were sitting in a session at the Writer’s Digest Conference listening to Hallie Ephron talk about backstory. “Write it out and keep it in a separate file. Then, layer information in when the reader needs to know it.” A communal light bulb went off. It was so clear that backstory is important, but you have to know how to use it.

What writing projects are you working on now?
The Big Book of HR – 10th Anniversary Edition. That book will be released in January 2022 and is the third edition. We’ve submitted a proposal to our publisher for a follow up to The Manager’s Answer Book, one that would focus on people management issues.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy has a new speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




Author Update 2021: Loretta Hall

Freelance writer Loretta Hall is a space enthusiast and an award-winning author of nine nonfiction books and hundreds of magazine articles and reference book chapters. Her newest book release — this one co-authored with Wally Funk — is Higher, Faster, Longer: My Life in Aviation and My Quest for Spaceflight (Traitmarker Books, October 2020). “Traveling the world, shattering glass ceilings, and always keeping one eye on the stars, Wally relentlessly, joyfully reached higher, flew faster, and traveled longer on her way to space.” After waiting six decades to fulfill her dream, Wally Funk finally made it into space on July 20, 2021 onboard the first human flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard. You’ll find Loretta on Facebook, her Amazon author page, and several websites including AuthorHall.com. Visit WallyFly.com and read more about Loretta and her writing in SWW’s 2016 and 2018 interviews.


What do you want readers to know about the story you tell in Higher, Faster, Longer?
The book is Wally Funk’s memoir, for which I did the writing. I think Wally is a great role model for positivity and perseverance. She continued to pursue her lifelong goal for sixty years despite repeated roadblocks. She shrugged off each dead end and looked for a different path. And in the meantime, she developed an outstanding professional career and enjoyed an adventurous life.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
I wanted the book to be Wally telling her own story. That meant we collaborated closely on the content of the book. There was one interesting anecdote I would have liked to include, but she didn’t want it included. On the whole, though, it was a very enjoyable experience.

Tell us how the book came together.
I met Wally when I was giving a talk at a national conference. The talk was “Women Space Pioneers of New Mexico,” and she was one of the people I spoke about. She came to hear my presentation; and at the end, she came up and gave me a big hug. We quickly became dear friends. I kept telling her she should write her amazing story, and finally she asked me to help her do that. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas, so I made a couple of trips there to interview her and examine her photo albums, scrapbooks, and other memorabilia. We also spoke on the phone numerous times. Each time I drafted a chapter, I mailed her a copy (she doesn’t do email), and we discussed any changes she might want. The process took longer that I had hoped, because my husband’s health failed during that time. We published the book about two and a half years after we started working on it.

What is it about Wally Funk or her life that made you pursue writing her story?
For the past dozen years, I have focused my writing primarily on human space exploration and its history. One of the aspects that I find particularly interesting is women in space. Wally was one of a small, elite group of women who first challenged NASA to consider women as astronaut candidates at the beginning of its manned space program. Even though they didn’t succeed, they laid the groundwork for other women to finally be accepted and prove their worth as astronauts.

What are some interesting facts you discovered while doing research for the book?
When I started the project, I thought it would just be about Wally’s efforts to fly in space. Then I discovered what an amazing, barrier-breaking career she had in aviation as well. Back in the 1970s, aviation was definitely a male-dominated field, but she became the first female inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration and the first female accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. She made huge contributions to aviation safety.

Do you have a quote you’d like to share from Higher, Faster, Longer?
One of Wally’s favorite sayings is “throw it a fish.” When something goes wrong and she has no control over it, she “throws it a fish” and moves on in a new direction. She learned the expression from the Taos Pueblo Indians when she was growing up, and it has served her well. Now I find myself using it sometimes!

What was your favorite part of putting this project together?
There have been two favorite parts. One was getting to know Wally on a very personal level. She is a wonderfully caring and capable person. The other was making her story accessible to the general public. I think its inspiring, and it’s a fun read because she is such a fun-loving woman.

What writing projects are you working on now?
We are working on a children’s version of Wally’s story. She loves to encourage youngsters to learn about STEM subjects, and we hope to inspire students to follow their dreams with enthusiasm and determination. Now that she has finally flown to space with Blue Origin, the story will have an ending that will be more satisfying, especially for children.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
People who are interested in Wally’s life story can find more information at WallyFly.com. I update the website monthly with new photos and anecdotes. The announcement of Wally’s participation in the Blue Origin flight created a flurry of interest in her story. I was grateful that we had a website up and running long before that flurry occurred, and that it was one I could update quickly and easily.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




An Interview with Author William J. Fisher

After William J. Fisher retired from the United States Air Force, he worked for twelve years for two Indian tribes in New Mexico as an economic and land development planner. In his debut release, Cruel Road (October 2020), he uses his knowledge of native culture and history—and his insight into military and historical political issues—to paint a picture of the struggles, privations, dangers, and drama of the mid-eighteenth-century historical period. You’ll find Bill on his Amazon author page.


What is your elevator pitch for Cruel Road?
John Fraser, Scots-Irish gunsmith and militiaman, faces a difficult dilemma when a local tribal chief abducts his new and pregnant wife. He searches for a year to find her and return her to safety. After he does not find her, he remarries, but shortly after, she returns on her own. Cruel Road is the story of real-life John and Jane Fraser, among the first settlers of western Pennsylvania. Indian conflicts, French and English fighting over territory, and survival in the Pennsylvania wilderness are major challenges for the couple. John and Jane Fraser are my direct ancestors.

When readers turn the last page in the book, what do you hope they take away from it?
I hope the reader has a better sense of this colonial period that is little known to the general public. Also, the lesson in the story is that the love between two people can be a powerful motivator.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
The story is about my sixth great-grandparents. I wanted to tell the story with the limited historical facts available and fill in with my own ideas about what really happened. I wanted to honor the main characters as my ancestors.

Who are your main characters, and what will readers like most about them?
John and Jane Fraser are the main characters. They are tough and flawed. They survived situations and dangers that most people could not.

What is the main setting, and how does it impact the story and the characters?
The setting is mid-eighteenth-century Pennsylvania. The place is a wilderness populated by native peoples who are mostly unfriendly, French and British armies fighting over territory, and new colonists who are trying to survive in a strange unknown land. The characters must deal with all of this.

Tell us more about the book.
The book took 16 years to finish after I completed most of the research. I started it and then put it aside when I went to work for Cochiti Pueblo in 2006. I had a long commute and 12-hour days until 2016, when I retired. I started in again in 2017 and hired an editor. I finished it in October 2020. I designed the cover myself and self-published to KDP.

What makes this novel unique in the historical fiction market?
I believe most historical fiction novels are mostly fiction in a historical setting. My novel is mostly history, but I wrote it in a novel format with dialog and some new characters and scenes that I created to tell the story. I did this to be true to my ancestors’ story and not put in contrived story lines to exploit the events and setting to sell a book. The book may not fit the usual historical fiction guidelines but is factual and true to the historical time.

What was the most rewarding aspect of putting this project together?
I am proud that I could tell the story of my great-grandparents and provide it to my extended family, as well as to readers who enjoy American history. The book is also a good action/adventure piece that readers in that segment would enjoy.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I wanted to tell the story of my great-grandparents that is little known today but had a great impact in their time. The book started out as a gift to my family but was entertaining to others as well. Finishing this book has inspired me to write more historical fiction and other genres.

Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you started your writing career today?
I could not change much that has happened. I finished the book at the right time. I sometimes wish I had started earlier and finished it before my parents passed, but now was right for me.

Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? How do you feel about research?
I worked as a researcher and analyst in the Air Force, and I had college courses that taught those areas, so I am comfortable with research. Creating the story is the most fun. Editing is especially important but not my favorite activity.

What sort of decisions did you make about including or portraying historical figures or events in order for Cruel Road to work?
My main character, John Fraser, was a captain under George Washington during the French and Indian War. There is a lot written about Washington that includes details about John Fraser. I had to get the part Washington plays in the story correct or readers would complain. I spent a lot of time on this.

What are the hardest kinds of scenes for you to write?
I had a hard time with romance scenes, so I limited them. I also had to write war, killing, and death scenes. I did these subtly without being gory or overly dramatic.

How have your previous careers impacted your writing?
I wrote technical documents and reports for 40 years. Since then, I learned that kind of writing differs from novel writing and that I was not a brilliant writer. I have belonged to SouthWest Writers for almost twenty years. With their courses, lectures, workshops, and encouragement, I am becoming a better writer.

What is the best encouragement or advice you’ve received in your writing journey?
The best advice is that writing is hard, and it takes a long time to get it right. Keep writing and it will come to you.

What writing projects are you working on now?
I am writing a historical/crime novel based on a true story that I came across by luck. I took possession of the legal documents and personal papers of a man who died over thirty years ago. He was a nice, ordinary man, but he had a hidden past that I have uncovered. It is shocking, unexpected, violent, and heart-breaking. I am having fun uncovering this man’s past and writing his story.


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




Author Update 2021: Melody Groves

Author Melody Groves is a retired teacher and former gunfighter who uses her love for the Old West to inspire her nonfiction books and articles, as well as two historical fiction series (the Colton Brothers Saga and the Maud Overstreet Saga). TwoDot Books published her newest nonfiction release, When Outlaws Wore Badges, in April 2021. Melody is a member of SouthWest Writers, Western Writers of America, and New Mexico Press Women. You’ll find her on MelodyGroves.net, Facebook, and her Amazon author page. Read more about Melody and her writing in SWW’s 2016 and 2018 interviews.


What is your elevator pitch for When Outlaws Wore Badges?
Fourteen men of the Old West walked both sides of the “blue line”: some at the same time.

What unique challenges did this work pose for you?
Finding characters to write about was easy, but writing enough for their ploys to make sense was tough. I had a limited word count so keeping in pertinent information, but not too much, was a challenge.

Of the fourteen outlaws you write about in the book, who is your favorite?
That has to be Burt Alvord in Arizona who, as a deputy sheriff and his gang, robbed a train then formed a posse from that gang. He deputized them all and rode out looking for the robbers. Totally dejected, they appeared in town the next day when they couldn’t find the outlaws. Now, that takes a lot of hutzpah!

Tell us how the book came together.
I’m not sure where the idea came from—I’ve always liked to write about unusual aspects of the West. A couple of my historian friends made suggestions about who I should include. The research, writing, editing on my part took about eight months. The hardest part was finding photos that would work. I bought a few and took a few others off the internet, which isn’t the world’s best resolution. It took a bit for me to understand that while all old photos are in the public domain, not all can be printed for free. Also, getting permission to use some took forever—people were really slow to respond.

Any “Oh, wow!” moments when doing research for this book?
My closest “Oh, wow!” moment was when I started putting together the connections most of these men had to each other. Especially those in the Dodge City Gang that worked out of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

What was your favorite part of putting this project together?
Favorite part? That’s easy. When it was done.

Your writing takes many forms—articles, nonfiction books, and novels. Is there one form you’re drawn to the most when you write or read?
I do enjoy writing all three forms. I’m drawn to reading more nonfiction magazine articles because, truthfully, I’m not constantly editing them, as I do fiction novels when I read them. I don’t worry much about that in nonfiction!

Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? How do you feel about research?
Editing or creating? Both have their places. At times I’m happy to already have the words written, I just need to “fix” them. Other times, I love the freedom of putting brand new words on brand new pages. And I love research. I much prefer going there, seeing it, but that’s not always do-able. I try hard not to go overboard on research—you can spend all day researching and not get any writing done.

How has your experience writing nonfiction benefited your fiction writing?
I’ve learned that using the details in nonfiction is equally important in fiction. I judge a ton of Westerns each year and am amazed at one or two that insist the Rio Grande is in a different place than it really is or a pass looks a certain way when it doesn’t. I’ve also read stories in which the facts are just plain wrong. And even in fiction, the facts are the facts.

If you’ve ever suffered from writer’s block, how did you break through?
I don’t get writer’s block, I get writer’s apathy. However, I do dread that blank sheet of paper in front of me. What I do is simply start. If it’s a magazine article, I’ll look for a quote and that always leads me. A novel…I start with where the hero’s life changes. Nonfiction book…chapter one. And I also use deadlines as great motivators!

What writing projects are you working on now?
Glad you asked! A Billy the Kid book—all about him as a person (coming out June 2022). Also a magazine article on Albuquerque’s first town marshal (Wild West Magazine, Dec 2021) and an article on Billy the Kid’s mom (Wild West, August 2022).

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
To be a successful writer, however you define success, you absolutely must write every day. You’ve got to think like a writer—edit what you read in newspapers, books, etc. Look for story ideas. And support local writers (and bookstores) by buying their books and writing reviews on Amazon. So important!


KLWagoner150_2KL Wagoner (writing as Cate Macabe) is the author of This New Mountain: a memoir of AJ Jackson, private investigator, repossessor, and grandmother. Kathy posts to a speculative fiction blog at klwagoner.com and writes about memoir at ThisNewMountain.com.




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