Monday, January 20, 2014


 Hello? Pea friends and followers... are you there? It’s okay if you aren’t. It’s been a long while. We understand.

Needless to say, the construct of the Pod is undergoing some… changes. J and A are pursuing their visual arts. I’ve been floundering, bumping into walls, and trying to figure out what my creative and writing goals are. All in all… it has been a Pod in flux. That’s okay. Sometimes ideas run their course and what follows paves the way for new and exciting ventures. That is how we view it around the Pod. All support. Always Pea Love.

No doubt… A, J, and M will find their way back together in a new form one day—possibly even here. After all, we still have Pea sleepovers and frequent Pea dinners where we share our creative endeavors and support each other passionately. That will never change. But I want to let the few of you that are still listening, still hoping to see posts, that we’re taking an indefinite break. And until that comeback tour, which has no pending date, J and A are doing their things and I’m reconstructing my online presence in an M only format.

Gone Fishing- the Ninja Peas
I’ll be posting a few last posts in conjunction with the launch of new endeavors. I’ll be stealing some oldies but goodies from the Pod, revisiting them, and reinventing them in a new space. And I’ll be hashing out my own tributaries of interest about writing, life, and anything else which strikes my fancy. Of course, A can be found on her book blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. J is around, doing her thing via Facebook et al also. I’m sure new ventures for all of us will continue to sprout. Stay tuned into those other channels and you'll be sure to hear of them. And I will be reporting them in my news space... because that's what Peas do. Support each other.

So for now… Adieu. 

I’m tacking up an official Gone Fishing sign and we’ll hope you find us in our other venues.

Pea Love and All Best,

M, J, and A
You can also find us on Facebook by our respective names

Friday, January 17, 2014

The 4 W's of author Jodi Vaughn

Author Jodi Vaughn gives the Peas the a run down of her book VEILED SECRETS!
WHO is Celeste Hart?

Celeste is a misfit that is desperately trying to find her place in the world. She has always felt invisible and never fit in. She values family, and honor, and kindness above all else. She has a quiet strength and steel resolve that accentuate her true beauty. When she discovers her Fae blood, she must hone her power to fight the evil that is coming.
WHAT can a reader expect from VEILED SECRETS?

Loveable characters, dark paranormal plot and sexy romance that will keep the reader turning the page.

Author Jodi Vaughn
WHERE will the readers find the book?

VEILED SECRETS is available at:
Barnes and Noble

HOW can we find Jodi Vaughn?

Check out her blog
Follow her on Twitter: @JodiVaughn1

Friday, August 9, 2013


No formula can predict the sudden plot twist that leaps from an author's unconscious mind to his fingertips to the computer screen, causing him to whistle and exclaim, "Where did that come from?" Is that true magic? In a way. But it is dangerous to hope that random flashes of lightning will make one's fortune as a writer.  ~Donald Maass

Unless, of course, those shining gems emerge from steady hard work and focus on learning craft. But then that's not exactly a flash of lightning, is it?

I have been in a manuscript rewriting crisis for more than a year. I'm embarrassed to admit it. Yet the offending project is one I can't seem to move on from. It's a project that, though it has promising elements, falls into fiasco by the midpoint and only gets more confused from there. Great characters, interesting premise, surprising plot twists ... BUT.

I have yet to feel passionate about any editing attempt to date. Needless to say, I've been spinning my wheels, banging my head, wishing for divine intervention to lead me to the right course of action. Where the f*ck is my Muse? Well, she can't be expected to do all the heavy lifting, can she?

In the interim, I've read craft books, taken workshops, gone to conferences, all searching for that gem that might help me break free from the blockades around making this book the one I hoped it would be. Through all of that research and attention to craft, I have yet to learn how to excavate the gems and repair the shards with an end result of a fully intact working skeleton.

So I've been revisiting conference notes, scouring craft blogs, and rereading writing books.

Last night I revisited WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL by Donald Maass.

I have been fortunate enough to attend a couple of his workshops at conferences and I've always found him on the mark, inspiring, motivating, and in turn find myself excited about every morsel he shares. But I think, as with everything, the assimilation of knowledge and information into true understand has a time and place. I was open to what his approach could teach me before, but I wasn't in the place to process or utilize it effectively. And I think that is one reason immersing yourself in the writing culture is so important if you want to grow as a writer. You never know when that shimmering nugget will be the one you need. And you can't always know when that explosion of glittering inspiration will break through.

I read WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL last night in one sitting. All 260 pages. And though I have read it before, maybe now is my time. Because, for some reason, though I know it to be false, I feel like I'd never read it before now. I was astonished and inspired.

Donald Maass does an expert job of balancing the concerns of craft, art, and business in his approach to writing with reason and expertise. It's a great book for any writer wanting a readership.

A lot of people in my life are writers--aspiring, struggling, disheartened, tired.
Revisit the knowledge you know.
Then learn something new. Rinse. Repeat.

Read WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL. And if you have, but haven't in a while, pick it back up. You might be surprised, like me, by what you find in it's pages.

Pea <3

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crazy Summer Fun? Yes!

It has been a crazy summer for me to say the least. The World Horror and Horror Writers Association conference in New Orleans, then a jaunt to Neuchatel, Switzerland with my husband for his work, followed by ITW conference in NYC and the International RWA Conference in Atlanta. Before RWA gets really rolling and I  jet home to leave yet again for my family summer cruise, I best quickly recap my adventures and let you know what is in the works for the fall. I don't want you to think I've forgotten you.  *grin*

This summer has been about connections.

HWA… I met the amazing and talented Alma Katsu in New Orleans. I was a big fan and serendipitously ended up at a cocktail table with J and her. If you have yet to pick up her epic dark romantic tale, The Taker you are in for a real treat—the third in the trilogy is out soon. My fan-girl moment with Jonathan Maberry was by far a highlight and got me excited about rumors for a Rot and Ruin film in the works. There were so many other moments I touched on in a previous blog, so check that out.  And I posted plenty of photos on my Facebook page. I also got to spend time with mentor Carolyn Haines—always a blast.

ITW…. This event was a journey and a joy. It was my 3rd visit to ITW in NYC. And it didn't disappoint. Although I didn’t pitch this time around, I made a lot of connections that I'm really excited about and feel I have some places  and people to query when my manuscript is polished. I caught up with friend and talent Joshua Corin thriller author. I met a slew of up and coming writers that I will be on the look out for as well met a few authors I really admire. Plus, with Anne Rice as a spotlight guest interviewed by Christopher Rice the weekend was bound to be memorable. I learned so much at this con and really felt like I came away with ideas to combat trouble issues in my writing and my career.  I also got to sneak away for Moroccan food and bowling in Williamsburg, manages a trip to the Met, and shopped on 5th Avenue. I can’t complain. I have been blessed to adventure my way to new experiences by pursuing this weird, at time unsteady and daunting, and certainly bizarre career path I have chosen. 
More on all this when I open my new blog.

RWA… Reconnecting with pal K. D. Wood is always a blast. RWA proves to be a very different experience this time around versus the last time in Orlando. I was excited to already reconnect and talk shop with the wonderful Jenna Bennett, chameleon and fantastic talent, who also goes by Jennie Bentley. We’ve got three more days of the conference. So I’m sure much fun and many more moments will be had. I'm be sure to update you.

I will save my adventures in Switzerland for later. *sneaky smile*

My writing well is full and overflowing. And I can’t wait to put all this knowledge and inspiration to use.

In other news, I plan to relaunch my own blog and redesign my website. This is going to be a work in progress for the next few months. I hope to stumble upon a place singularly me that I can explore ideas, topics, and share with you all (maybe I will use the moniker Thai Shaped Head...well see). I will do my best to keep Pod readers updated and connected, but as I begin to dip into some personal and specific blog themes—I’m going to try rethink how I blog as a whole and venture out alone from the security of the Pod. *trembles*

That’s all I have for you today. Stay tuned in the Pod and keep an eye out for new spaces.
Peas and love. M

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guest Pod: K. D. Wood on Critique Partners and Groups

Today we have a special guest here Inside the Pod. M sat down with author K. D. Wood and asked her a few probing questions. Here is what K. D. had to say...

The day I finished my first manuscript was one of the most amazing, terrifying, exhilarating and confusing days of my life. It is also a moment that is forever burned into my brain because I remember staring at the screen and thinking, now what?

Unfortunately back then, I wasn’t pals with many writers. I just wrote for the pure thrill of putting that first story on the page and giving it life. Confused by my research and desperate to know where my story stood, I decided to start the submission process after only two revisions.

Nineteen rejection letters later, it was glaringly obvious I needed a new approach to my manuscript. I started reaching out and connecting with other writers. This led me to understand just how important finding great critique partners can be for a work in progress.

After actually finishing the manuscript, finding a critique partner or critique group is the life’s blood of all your future revisions.


Because just letting your mama/best friend/spouse read your manuscript won’t help move your manuscript or your writing forward. Your family loves you. They want you to be happy. This means unless your family/friend reader works in the publishing industry they are going to tell you that your book is AMAZING. That the story is the best thing they have ever read.

They are going to tell you what they think you want to hear because that’s what people who love you do.  Now that I’ve ripped that band aid off.

I. How do you go about finding a critique partner or group?

There are many, many different options for finding other writers. But first, you have to decide which platform will work better for your personality. Face to face interactions or online. If you want to mingle with other writers in person, start locally. Look for writers groups for your particular genre. My own group River City Romance Writers I discovered while partaking in another resource. I heard about RCRW while attending MidsouthCon in Memphis, TN. Writer’s retreats, conventions, library groups, book clubs, coffee shops and book signings are all great places to meet other writers.

Recently, I got to know a few writers who have a hard time in social situations due to Aspergers. Though working hard on their novels, they struggle with interacting in social settings. If that’s a hurdle you also face, there are online communities for writers too, and one in particular is Bookcountry. Facebook is packed with writers. I’ve made some amazing writers pals participating in #WordWar on twitter too.

And let’s say after you take this crucial first step, you hit writer’s gold and meet someone or a group of people you want to hang out and talk writing with. There are several very important questions you need to consider.

II. What do you want to accomplish as a member of a critique group or with your new critique partner?

If you and your new potential writing pals are not on the same page about goals, conflicts will arise very fast. So you need to ask the questions that are most important to your writing goals. Communication, communication, communication.

III. Are you writing as a hobby or on the road to publication?

These two things are very different and can make or break a potential relationship. If you’re pounding away on your novel, preparing for submissions, churning out those word counts every day, you need to make sure your future critique partners are in it to win it also. Otherwise, you’ll just end up frustrated because your goals are so different.

One of the best ways to make sure you don’t run into this issue is to ask this question of yourself.

IV. Are you setting realistic critique goals for your group or partnership?

Let’s face it. Life is extremely busy. We all have stuff to do whether it’s jobs, family, kids or laundry. There are a million things to be done every day. When you have these initial conversations with your potential critique partner or partner it’s a question you need to address. If you’re a full time writer, pounding out those words eight hours a day but your potential partner has a twelve hour shift at the hospital, there will have to be some extreme specifics in time management ironed out for both sides to be happy with the partnership. And even with a situation like this, if your personalities and writing style are so in sync, anything is possible if you work hard enough to find a middle ground.

Now for those more uncomfortable questions.

V. Will your potential critique partners be willing to call you out on accountability when you start being a big old whiner-pants?

This is the part of finding critique partners that involves making sure you’re compatible as friends first. As a critique partner you need someone who is able to tell you to pull your head out of your ass without crushing your spirit but who also won’t let you get away with whining and when you don’t have your pages for the week completed. Someone who is bleeding on the keyboard the same way you are, who can understand when you break down and want to shred your latest revision and just how crappy that feels. Finally, there is one VERY important step to helping you move forward in your writing and finding a critique partnership.

IF YOU’R BOOK ISN’T FINISHED, MAKE FINISHING YOUR MANUSCRIPT A PRIORITY – Everyone’s time is valuable. Joining a critique group and not having your pages complete for meetings or delivering a stinging critique to someone who is working on their 11th draft when you haven’t even reached the first END on your own is disrespectful to your friends and the time they are investing in your work. Everyone in your new group needs to be pulling his or her weight, so don’t you be the straggling zombie shambling behind everyone else. Write the very best book you can. That way, you will be open to all the hard work that comes with diving into a new revision with lots of great ideas from your new critique partners.

K.D. Wood lives in north Mississippi with her husband, two boys and one very bad puppy. She writes Young Adult and New Adult Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. Visit her on Facebook (K.D. Wood) and follow her on twitter @KDWoodauthor

Thursday, June 20, 2013

HWA Con 2013

I'm blogging from Switzerland! I know. Crazy, huh? I had such a great time at my last Con--even the town of Neuchatel will have to wait until I post this.

June 13th through 16th was the Horror Writer's Association Conference and World Horror Convention. Both J and I attended this year and we had a great time. It has been awhile since more than one Pea attended a conference together and we were quickly reminded why we enjoyed it so well. Lots of laughs, lots of inspiration.

Genre-bending Panel (I left my Con notes in the states.)
The panels we attended were terrific and we got to meet and rub elbows with some idols. There was a terrific Mash-up/Genre Bending panel that kicked things off just right for me. I was introduced to some amazing authors--which is one of the joys of these sorts of things. We get to meet writers we may not know or may not have read and find reasons to pick up there books, learn craft from them, and have out horizons broadened. Meeting both Alma Katsu (The Reckoning and The Taker) and the amazing one-and-only Jonathan Maberry (Rot and Ruin & Joe Ledger Series') were highlights of my weekend--both were gracious and patient with with this here fan girl.

Dean Harrison and me.
We also ran into some friends. Dean Harrison was in attendance promoting his book These Unquiet Bones and our very own Carolyn Haines was getting in touch with her dark side promoting The Darkling. Overall, it was a terrific weekend and con I will attend again. The organizers and attendees were a great bunch.
Carolyn Haines as R.B. Chesterton.

Can you believe J and I never got a photo together this con? Blaspheme.

We sat at Alma Katsu's table.
Squee! Fan girl moment... It's Jonathan Maberry and me.

Next week, we'll have a guest blog from K. D. Wood. Yay!
Peas and love to you all.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Game Pod Challenge: 4 Phrases

Today's Game Pod challenge rules?

Write a 300 to 500 word count flash fiction or scene that used the following four phrases as dialog, text, theme, metaphor, action, etc. in the work. 

A windmill full of corpses
Passive-Aggressive Post-it notes
Getting drunk on mouthwash
Licking things to claim them

First up, G...

 by J. G. Walker
Three men entered the hotel dining room. As the door shut behind them, Tom--the middle-manager, the one with the most seniority, and the man in charge--spotted a book on a table. 
He pointed. “There!”
No sooner had Tom uttered this than his teammates, Pete and Stig, scrambled away in a blur of khaki and denim. Pete, benefitting from longer legs and an elbow deployed to Stig’s chest, reached the table first.
While Stig sulked, wheezing, Pete picked up the hardbound book, and Tom stepped closer to look at it: An aged, bedraggled knight wielded an enormous sword, leaning back against the door of a rustic windmill. Around the door’s edges, various bloody arms protruded, some with hands, some without. A few hung limp, but others still appeared intent on strangling the knight.
The title: Don Quixote: Zombie Exterminator.
Pete sat on the table, dropped the duffle he’d been carrying, and began to scan the book. He eventually stopped, unpeeling a purple sticky note from one of the pages, reading aloud: “Are you doing your best for the company? Answer: You can always do better. Spread the word.”
He smiled at Tom. “Mark the dining room off the list.” He folded the note and shoved it into his shirt pocket with the other gems of company propaganda they’d collected.
Then he lifted the book to his face and ran his tongue across its dusty cover. Twice.
Stig recoiled. Tom was too stunned to move.
“Why’d you do that?” he said.
Pete held the book out to Stig. “Do you want it?”
“No,” Stig said, clearly horrified. “Not with all your slobber on it.”
Pete looked at Tom again, grinning. “That’s why.” He placed the book on the table and reached into his jacket, producing a bottle, a blue one with a familiar label.
“Is that what I think it is?” Tom said.
Pete unscrewed the lid. “Probably.”
Stig shook his head. Apparently, he knew something Tom didn’t.
“Here’s to me,” Pete said.
Tom watched, amazed, as Pete upended the bottle of Listerine.
All things considered, mouthwash was probably a good idea for Pete. Even on a good day, he could stand it, but especially after licking that book.
He did seem to be drinking a lot of it, though.
Finally, Pete finished, but instead of spitting the mouthwash, he swallowed.
“Gah!” Tom said. “That stuff’ll kill you.”
“Common misconception.” Pete smacked his lips. “Gives quite the buzz, actually. And kills germs.”
“You’re crazy,” Stig said.
Actually, Tom realized, considering Pete’s daily office behavior, the Listerine explained a lot. An question occurred to him.
“Have you licked everything we’ve found this morning?”
“Yup,” Pete replied, then belched. “Which room’s next?”
Tom passed the list to Stig, who consulted it.
“Scullery.” Stig pointed. “That way.”
Tom sighed. “Okay,” he said. “Let’s go.”
Team building exercises, he thought.
A scavenger hunt.
With these two idiots.
Ten more items.
Bloody terrific.

Next up, M....


By Michelle Ladner

Nick knew instantly the post-break-up agreement had been broken. He stood at the door of the apartment he’d shared with Kay and stared at the bright yellow square stuck to the faded green paint. On the note, a scrawl of purple marker read:

Let’s keep things civil, Kay had said to him. There’s no need to get your family involved. You know how your dad can be.
Nick teeth ground together. Jack sure had moved her out, hadn’t he? He plucked the note off the door and crumpled it, stuffing it deep in his pocket.
He turned the key in the knob and flung the door wide. All the furniture he’d charged to his credit card last year with her urging was gone. Worse than that, the artwork his gran painted him last Christmas was gone too. A few odds and ends were still scattered about the studio apartment. He saw more yellow squares with ridiculous purple script stuck to what Kay deemed her remaining things.
The space smelled mustier than he remembered. He paced around, cataloging all the things she’d already taken, their things.
In the middle of the kitchen counter sat a cardboard box. Stuck to the front of it, another angry yellow square with purple script stared back.
He shook his head and rifled through the heaped box, chewing on his bottom lip. He realized these weren’t his things, but instead an odd collection of trash and random incidentals retrieved from under the bathroom sink.
Heat rose to his forehead. He decided to grab a beer from the fridge. She didn’t drink beer.
All his beer was gone. As well as the milk he’d just bought on Monday. Only half a wrapped sandwich stared back. On it, another Post-it…
Nick slammed the fridge door.
He plucked a full bottle of mouthwash from the heart-gouging box of his stuff. Imagining her skinny, slutty body pinned to a windmill full of corpses. He wrenched off the top and gulped down half the blue minty liquid.
After a moment, staring at the mouthwash bottle on the kitchen counter and experiencing a strangely fresh and warm feeling overcoming him, Nick opened the fridge. He unwrapped Jack’s sandwich, peeled it apart, and licked both halves. Carefully, he placed the halves back together, rewrapped the sandwich, and laid it back on the fridge shelf.
He packed everything in the apartment with a Post-it on it into his car. Sitting on the curb, sipping on the mouthwash, he dialed his father’s office.
“Markham and Markham and Whitley,” the secretary answered.
“Hi, Carol. This is Nick. Can you ask Dad to meet me at the apartment at six tonight after all?”
“Sure thing, Nick.”
Nick smiled, hanging up the phone, and downing the rest of his mouthwash.

Hope you all enjoyed our Game Pod! Let's do it again!!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Guest Pod: The Appeal of Horror by Dean Harrison

Today in the Pod, my long time friend and colleague, Dean Harrison agreed to share a post about the appeal of horror. With the my upcoming attendance to the Horror Writer's Association annual conference this June, it only seemed fitting. -M

 The Appeal of Horror by Dean Harrison

“Why do you write scary stuff? Why not write something the whole family can read? Why can’t you write something nice and happy? Why don’t you write a children’s book?”

Those are a sample of questions about my fiction that I have fielded from relatives over the years and is not surprising.

Many in the mainstream don’t understand the appeal of horror as a genre. They turn their noses up at it and label it as nothing more than garbage lacking in value, and void of any insight into the human condition. They believe it offers nothing but cheap thrills, blood, gore and sex, and  that it teaches no moral lessons beneficial to society.

But if they look beyond the onslaught of splatter-punk and Stephenie Meyer novels, they might find their negative perception of the genre to be wrong. From William Shakespeare to Stephen King, storytellers for centuries have used their talent to shine a light on the darkness within us all, a darkness which some in the mainstream are too afraid to face.
In horror, a character is put in a situation where they must confront their worst fear or else suffer a terrible fate, such as death. Those kinds of stories reflect the good and the bad of human nature, and expose what human beings are capable of when thrust into extreme situations, and the heroic acts they perform when pushed to the brink. I strive to illustrate this in my fiction, and so do the countless others who write within the genre.
Horror evokes a visceral, emotional response and an intense and prolonged feeling of fear. It is one of the oldest forms of storytelling, according to Michael West, author of The Wide Game.
What makes [horror] relevant today, West said in a Facebook interview, is its ability to help us “deal with our own fears, to explore the human condition, real world problems, and injustices through allegory, and to continue to provide a safe outlet for our emotions.”
Horror stories, in essence, are character studies. Just look at such writers as Jack Ketchum (The Girl Next Door), Brian Keene (The Rising), and J.F. Gonzalez (Survivor). You will find stories of human beings forced to rise up and confront evil, to fight for the survival of those they love and the things they care about. Even classics written by the likes of William Faulkner (Sanctuary), Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray) have something to say about the dark side of human nature.
Some people say we as humans are inherently good, but we all have a bad side. According to Ty Schwamberger, editor of Fell Beasts, it is that bad side that comes out when we watch the news “or almost marvel at the destruction that some madman caused on the highway.”
Michael Knost, editor of Legends of the Mountain State: Ghostly Tales from the State of West Virginia, has a slightly different view of horror, and why it holds such appeal. He says it’s actually beneficial to our mental health.
“Horror is the only literary genre that focuses on the excitements of fear, fright, terror, apprehension and dread,” Knost said. “It is a genre that takes on the goal of making its reader actually feel one of the variants of this emotion.”
And because of the emotional elements involved, Knost said we shouldn’t surprise ourselves with the “mass appeal for these particular styles of literature and cinematic experiences.”
“After all,” Knost continued, “the majority of our emotions are processed by our brain's limbic system. When endorphins reach the opioid receptors of the highly emotional limbic system, we experience pleasure and a sense of satisfaction.”
According to Knost, that means horror emotions are created by endorphins, which give us pleasure, much like those from breathing, sexual satisfaction and hunger.
“Taking all this into consideration,” Knost concluded, “the horror genre is very important to our mental well being, keeping us emotionally stable and as far from depression as possible.”
Elizabeth Massie, author of Wire Mesh Mothers, believes horror is “dread to the nth degree, a state of being that in the first moment of its emergence replaces everything else in the human heart and mind.”
“And in this brutal moment,” Massie said, “some of the most powerful stories of human strength, weakness, compassion, cruelty, courage, and love can be born.”

According to Massie, good horror fiction deals with the most basic of human emotions. Stripping away the fluff of the ordinary day-to-day, it gets “down, dirty, dangerous and gritty to see how characters will either face up to or run from their circumstance.”
When done well, Massie concluded, horror can offer “insight into who we are, why we act as we do, and the quite beautiful desire humans often have to come together and unite with each other against the direst of situations.”
Horror can also have a mix of other genres such as romance, comedy and action all in the same story, said Thomas A. Erb, editor of Death Be Not Proud.

“It is not all about the blood splatter,” Erb said. “It is about fear--internal and external.” He added that everyone loves to be scared.
 “I believe it is in the human condition to wonder about the unknown and to love to fear it,” he continued. “If we can’t explain it, we will let our devious little imaginations create far greater and vile things that truly exist at the bottom of the lake or dank basement of our house.”
Erb also believes that we as a race need to have fear.  “Fear of anything. It is through fear that we truly live.”

“When we read or watch a truly terrifying book or film, we live vicariously through those characters,” Erb concluded.

And it’s when we feel the panic and horror of losing what we have in our lives that we find value in it.

***You can find more on Dean Harrison at his website.
He's also done some previous posts with us: THESE UNQUIET BONES and an interview.

Next time, a Game Pod with me and G. Fun times will be had!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Recap: Daddy's Girls' Weekend 2013

Another year... another Daddy's Girl Weekend. For those unfamiliar with the antics of the Peas' university writing mentor, known troublemaker Carolyn Haines, and her esteemed cohort, Sarah Bewley, each year (for the last three) these ladies have hosted a writer and reader conference in or near the Mobile, AL area. DGWE always proves to be great craft and business advice paired with an unforgettable time. This year was no exception.

 Chris Grabenstien author of iFunny, Dean James AKA Miranda James author of The Cat in the Stack Series, Ben LeRoy of Tyrus Books, Scholastic Editor Mallory Kass, Muse Literary Agent Debbie Carter, friend Ron O'Gorman (whose book Fatal Rythmn with be available from Tuscany Press, Marilyn Johnston, Kimberly Daniels, Robert Warren, Alice Jackson, John Hafner, and Dewitt Lebrano were all in attendance as faculty and panelists this year, offering a wide array of perspectives of craft and business.

This is always a fun event and I've yet to miss a year. Plus, it's always good to get back to your roots. In many ways, Carolyn's classes is what really started this crazy endeavor anyway.

Follow the Con via Facebook at: D. g. Weekend

They are already gearing up for registration and accommodations for 2014. You won't want to miss it (even if just to watch the antics of Carolyn's posse.  ;-)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Olde City New Blood: February Recap... Eesh!

This is so, so late...

Olde City New Blood

A recap on a conference that happened months ago seems...
Well, I just should've done one sooner.

But it was such an amazing group of organizers, authors, bloggers, and readers--I feel like the Peas owed all of them a little shout out.

Holla! You were terrific!

This was one of the most fun cons for me. Not only did all in attendance have their fingers in some facet of the genre/sub-genres/categories I love, but the attendees and faculty were so accessible. I got to hang with one of my heros (Janice Hardy) and meet a slew of other authors and new faces that were just amazingly generous with their time and willingness to share: Alex Hughes, James R. Tuck, Jenna Bennett AKA Jenny Bentley, Karina Cooper, Delilah S. Dawson, Lexi George, Lea Nolan, C J Ellison, just to name a few that were particularly awesome to me and gave me great advice. Since, I have read a lot of their books since, I am even more glad I got to be in the company of their talented selves. (So if you are looking for a summer reading list and some new authors to explore, start with the links above).

I also met an incredibly talented lady forging her way through this jungle of the publishing world, Cat York. A talented illustrator and writer. And now a friend and comrade for the future.

For news on the next incarnation of this conference... check out Coastal Magic
This is a Con worth following. Give them some love--great things are happening here.