The Case of the Colossal Book Festival

Place: Tucson, Campus of University of Arizona Date: March 14 & 15, 2015 Case: Festival of Books Case #: 03-14-1515 Description of event: Huge – really huge! Sunshine with windy periods 120,000+ readers (per event brochure) 7000+ books for sale (per estimate, stopped counting at 217) a. Every fiction and non-fiction genre available Suspects, players, readers, authors, etc. 1. Thanks to BookGoodies for providing space to...

Read More

20,000 Castles and no duplicates #MedievalMonday

An estimated twenty thousand castles were built in Europe during the medieval period from 850 up to 1700 AD, and no two are the same. There are however a lot of similarities amongst them. Terrain, available quarries, cost, and intended use determined the final structure. Worldwide castle construction was estimated at over 70,000. Castle Terminology Motte: Flat top earth knoll. Later came to refer to the ditch/moat around the middle...

Read More

Do you write from an outline or Seat-of-the-Pants?

This is a popular question within several author interviews I have read, or answered. I expect a pants answer, as my bias is creative types need freedom to flex the mind; and yet, I am surprised by how many writers answer outline. Hoping to find a magical solution, I have developed a bad habit of scanning an interview to review the answer to this question. The responses range from outline only to seat-of-the-pants only, with a...

Read More

What is International, Protected, and a Chameleon? #MedievalMonday

The Pasty (Pas Tee) (Althea’s favorite food) The pasty is basically a meat and vegetable turnover. The original ingredients are thought to be beef, potato, swede (turnip-like vegetable), and onion. It is a chucky meal as all the ingredients are cut into fairly large pieces. Many of today’s recipes call for smaller pieces. It is thought to have been made first around the 1300’s in Cornwall—the most southwestern peninsula of Great...

Read More

Desire

Desire – to wish or long for; want, crave . . . There are hundreds of vendors providing advice and services for writing and/or publishing a book—pricing ranges from $0.00 to $10,000.00 plus. Some vendors claim their “writing pill” can turn writers into an overnight success; while others take a more realistic long-term approach. However, without desire nothing will be published. Having come from a technical background, my...

Read More

A Day in the Life of Francis – A Medieval Boy #MedievalMonday

Francis’ long brown hair whisked in front of his face. He stood and lowered the stick as he rolled his eyes in disgust. The wind pushed his carved sailboat across the moat—too far for the long stick to retrieve it. Normally, he wouldn’t care but this was a gift from his uncle Hunter. He ran along the moat’s edge, across the drawbridge, and carefully slid onto the steep gravelly narrow strip of land against the castle wall. It was...

Read More

Tiny Flea Annihilates Half the Medieval Population #MedievalMonday

In October 1347 twelve merchant ships arrived at Messina, Sicily, carrying silk and other goods purchased in Caffa, Crimea—the western end of the Silk Road. They also carried something that changed the world forever—fleas infected with bubonic plague. Depending on the source, the statistics range from 30% to 60% of Europe was infected between 1348 and 1352. Some worldwide estimates range from 75M to 100M people died. The chain of...

Read More

Fan-x Experience: It was like Halloween, but more fun

Note: for those that want to read the conclusion and move on, I have flipped this blog post. Conclusion: What I learned about book promoting. Sellers need to have a free something to attract readers, which the customers will display while walking the show. For example, buttons with best lines from the book. When the reader has collected all five, they receive a discount on a book purchase. (This is probably obvious to the seasoned...

Read More

Cozy Mystery Writer – Linda Weaver Clarke

What inspired you to write mysteries? That’s a very good question. I used to write historical romance, but then felt the need to develop my talent in other areas and mystery seemed like a fun one to pursue. The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change for me with a completely different mind set. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma...

Read More

Two Handy Reference Books Every Beginning Writer Should Have

The Emotional Thesaurus – A Writer’s Guide to Character Expressions How many times does the axiom “show, don’t tell” appear in fiction writers’ guides, how-to books, conferences, and blogs? This easy to use guide makes it possible to avoid clichés, write varying levels of emotion, and select the right physical/emotional responses for any character. This book is full of excellent emotional references. Each major category has a...

Read More