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Book Review~~The Orchid Sister by Anne D. LeClaire

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5 out of 5 quills        A Review

How do I write a review, for this book, without giving away the twists and turns of the story and end up writing a spoiler? I can’t.  This beautifully written book has plenty of twists and turns. It’s a love story sort of, a story of intrigue sort of, a story of grief, revival and survival in huge doses. The threads of this tale are so tightly woven that to write about the plot is a spoiler x ten.  I just can’t do it. 

The writing is superb.The characters are well drawn and I cared about every one of them. If I had one tiny criticism (and it disappeared within the first six pages) it was that it had too much narrative for my taste. But after page six, I understood how the author constructs her story.   So I was immediately drawn into the story so much so that long descriptions (rather than the dialogue telling the tale) didn’t bother me.  

I highly recommend this book to my readers. 

Available now.Click here to buy

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
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Interview with author, Boo Walker

TS. After picking a five-string banjo in Charleston and Nashville and then a few years toying with Wall Street, Boo chased a wine dream across the country to Red Mountain in Washington State with his dog, Tully Mars. They landed in a double-wide trailer on five acres of vines, where Boo grew out a handlebar mustache, bought a horse, and took a job working for the Hedges family, who taught him the art of farming and the old world philosophies of wine. Recently leaving their gentleman’s farm on Red Mountain, Boo and his family are back on the east coast in St. Pete, Florida. No doubt the Sunshine City will serve as a setting for a novel or three soon. Boo’s bestselling page-turners are instilled with the culture of the places he’s lived, the characters he’s encountered, and a passion for unexpected adventure. 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? 
Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

BW. I write in my dream space, my mancave in a Spanish-style house built in 1925 by an opera singer in St. Pete, Florida. I’m surrounded by guitars and banjos that constantly try to distract me.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

BW. I have a pretty serious coffee ritual to start my morning and writing day. I always have a bag of single-origin, fresh-roasted beans, which I grind that morning. I measure out an exact amount with my scale, and then brew using a Chemex coffee pour-over. Once the caffeine starts to kick in, I’m sit at my desk. I’ve come to rely so much on this routine that my entire day is shot if I don’t have my perfect cup.
Depending on my mood, I most always write to music without words, be it jazz, classical, or electronic.
I also have a couple less productive rituals that are actually more like procrastinating actions. I’ve somehow come to think I need to restart my computer before ever writing session. It’s totally stalling. And then I’ll grab my guitar for a little warm-up session. Another stalling tactic. Once I’m ready to dive in, though, I use an app called Be Focused, which sets 25-minute intervals where I do writing sprints. I don’t allow myself to surf the net or answer calls or texts. The sprints are writing only. No distractions.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

BW. R.D. Blackmore lingers somewhere high up in my family tree on my mother’s side. He wrote a book called Lorna Doone. He was a big inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson, among others.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

BW. If I haven’t written by noon, I’m in trouble. I’m such a morning person, so only under deadline and at gunpoint can I write much in the later afternoon or at night.

Part II of this fascinating interview posts May 24th.    Click here to read my REVIEW of Red Mountain.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my 

 

  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

 

In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the altar of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

Fragrance of Life © Trisha Sugarek

Cool rain drums on blistering
asphalt, the scent streams into
the nostrils–hot, grassy smell of
summer, freshly cut-smoky
cedar lingers on the air

Fresh popcorn drenched in
butter, I sit in the dark, musty
movie house. Childhood
memories of Tom Mix dashing
across the screen

A breath, deep of rain-damp wool,
heady peat of whiskey
neat. Old butt-imprinted leather
and the dusty, pulpy smell of a
well thumbed book as the page
is turned

The mule drawn plough turns the
rich, boggy earth beneath an
autumn sky. With luck and some
rain the larder is full at harvest
time

Wrapped in strong arms, nose
pressed to warm skin smelling of
soap and outdoors. Drinking the
heat in with the smell of the
man, your man

Sweet puppy breath. Pure
doggy conviction that you will
love him as much as he loves
you

Candles and incense in the
great cathedral… the heart fills
with faith, hope, and
expectation

Soft curls, sweet skin, the babe
squirms closer… powdery
newness, innocence, and trust

Briny, sharp tang of the northern
sea. Balmy, yielding, essence
under the Southern Cross
Green aftertaste, fishy decay
and salty fresh scent of the
clean-swept beach

Sultry air twines itself through the
Quarter, crushed sugar, wet
pavement, yeasty bouquet of
hot beignet. Warm beer,
praline sweet, heady grape
Old river water slugs along

Stifling, coppery smell of blood
be it the battle field, hospital,
crime scene, butcher shop, or
birthing room…

Cloys in the nostrils sticks in the
back of the throat like old
mucus,

Icy sweetness of winter air,
frigid sting of snow to come…
sharp pine tantalizes the senses,
as harsh breath smokes the air

Steaming manure in fresh straw,
roasted peanuts, pink spun
sugary sweet…
the pungent animals stalk the
cage. Sawdust under old
canvas glows like old gold in a
shaft of sun light.
The Big Top!
Childhood rushes back

The smell of her on your
mustache… you don’t want to
wash your face… lose the
intoxicating scent of her love

New trees struggle to rise above
a sea of old petroleum.
Pine sol lies still on the cold tiles,
stale baloney on old bread.
Rancid tired clothes reek of
cheap cologne
The truck belches halitosis

Move on down the highway

Sharp fall gusts through the
quaking aspen,
pitchy sap barks in the
crackling fire,
snowy air assaults the senses

The loon sings, warming and
plucking at the heart.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

‘Windstill’ ~~~In Honor of National Poetry Month

Windstill © by Trisha Sugarek

Subtle silence
Windstill
trees await the next
message on the air

Windstill
not a whisper of birdsong
not a leaf-rustle intrudes
as it falls
fluttering to the ground

The wind has departed
beyond the next hill
leaving in its wake
Windstill

Will it return? The breeze
dancing amongst the leaves
to the tune of the forest

Shall the still wind haunt
amongst the trees?
or come roaring back, shrieking?
Windstill
                                                         ********

There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and received these: 

‘Trisha,this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

Haiku ~ In Honor of National Poetry Month

Haiku and Renku Poetry © by Trisha Sugarek

Haiku

to write haiku is
to distill to perfection
with only three lines

 

Memories of the South 

spanish moss shimmers
slave ghosts of days long gone by
hanging from the trees

stain on Old Glory
dark time of subjugation
when man enslaved man

memories forever
then bodies, now gray moss hangs
tears, blood-darken roots

Samurai Song

delicate blossom
rests in the still gnarled hand
bruised petals weep tears

weary eyes open
tiny cuts, the body bleeds
peace still years away

sun rise breaks the hill
heralds another battle
draw your sword and charge

Life after Death

Dark, cold days of grief
think you can no longer breathe
great loss, emptiness

Summer woods
a single leaf floats
deer creep along well worn paths
fish leap with delight

rings spread on the pond
katydids shout their presence
goslings paddle near

breezes stir the trees
the forest floor perfumes rise
a lone bird exults
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

 

In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the alter of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

FOGGY NIGHT © Trisha Sugarek

The white orb, tidal
saturated with huge flows
pierces through the veil
a ghost ship shrouded
in fog slips up the channel
Night gulls sing and cry
day is gone, night creeps
fog seeps in, the tide rolls out
water glistens, gold

Night soft, edges blurred
trees in ebony, drift by
damp seeps into bones
Fog casts tents of light
Hunters of the sea own night
swoop, dive, attack, eat
Fishers, feathers stark
white against the night shadows
palm trees shape the gauze
brushes hard with paint
Pilings sway, waists cinched with rope
the craft finds its home

There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and recieved these: 

‘Trisha,this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese, and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

Interview with Poet, Author, Joe Albanese

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. his work can be found in publications across the U.S. and in ten other countries. Joe’s the author of For the Blood is the Life, Caina, Smash and Grab, and a poetry collection, Cocktails with a Dead Man. If you are frustrated with the brevity of this interview, don’t despair. He lets it all hang out in this wonderful book of poetry.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

JA. Most of my writing gets done at the dining room table. Although sometimes I write in front of the tv, just for the ambient noise. Poetry I’ve written all over, mostly on my phone, then transfer it so my computer later.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

JA. Yes, I try to avoid writing at all costs. So I clean up a lot beforehand, do any chores that need or don’t even need to be done before I can sit down and write.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

JA. I’m probably done with my writing career. I have two more books I am trying to get published, but then I’ve finished. Or at least I’ll be taking a long break while I try to find a “real” job.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

JA. Usually the middle of the night. There are the least amount of distractions.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

JA. Just sit your ass down and start typing. Something good will eventually come.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

JA. I try to see how they relate to me first. Are they similar, or completely different? Then I try to get into their mindset in terms of how they’d react in the story.

Q. What first inspired you to write?

JA. My friend was high and asked if I wanted to write a screenplay. I haven’t looked back.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

JA. Mostly situation. Then I try to figure out which characters would be most fun in that situation.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

JA. Not really. When I’m writing, I think about it a lot, but I never really get lost in it.

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

JA. My novella, For the Blood is the Life, just got published in March. It’s crime-horror.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

JA. A few years ago. After my friend stopped writing with me, I got more into it.

Q. How long after that were you published?

JA. A few years before my first short story was published in Sheepshead Review.

Q. Do you think we will see, in our lifetime, the total demise of paper books?

JA. I hope not. I can’t read on a tablet.

Q. What makes a writer great?

JA. Someone who can bring truth to untruthful situations.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

JA. Well, I have a lot more grey hair now than when I started writing.

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

JA. Yes, my poetry collection is mostly personal, dealing with my anxiety and depression mostly.

Q. What’s your down time look like?

JA. Ass in a chair, watching bad tv and movies.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

JA. Most of my fiction is crime. I guess I could one day, but my brain loves coming up with criminal characters and situations.

Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

JA. It’s okay to be yourself.

 

Did you miss my review of Cocktails with a Dead Man? 

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese,  May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review ~~ The Cliff House, by RaeAnne Thayne

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4 out of 5 quills    A Review

A charming story in a style that is all RaeAnne Thayne. The Cliff House takes the reader on a journey of discovery and healing (hearts) with four major characters, Daisy, Beatriz, Stella and Gabe. Each chapter is titled with a character’s name. A great study in POV (point of view), fellow writers. 

As you know by now, I am not a reviewer that includes cliff notes or spoilers. But I will say this story weaves through a rock star’s life, a single mom’s challenges, a buttoned up accountant’s fear of her wilder side, and a reluctant hero. With a surprising mystery artist thrown in. 

The characters are deep and well-developed and that leads to a satisfying read. The setting is northern California along the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean which is, for those few of you that have never visited this part of the world, a must see for anyone. 

There were a couple of under-developed sections of the story but the overall journey of these fine protagonists abundantly made up for it. I recommend this book to all my readers! 

 

Release date: March 26th
To Purchase, click here 
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
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You’ll receive (in an email) weekly posts with the latest book reviews, tips about creative writing, and once a month an in-depth Interview with a best selling author or a new, upcoming writer.  Generous folks, famous and not so much (yet) have given of their time to answer my probing questions about their writing process. Fun and interesting candid photos, of the author, are sprinkled throughout the interview. 

Sometimes a post about something I thought was interesting…..But, ALWAYS to do with books, authors, writing, words, and live theatre.

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When I’m not busy with my blog, I am writing….every day. I practice what I preach! 
Short plays for the classroom, general fiction, children’s plays and fairy tales,  poetry and a true crime mystery series. Diversity is the
spice of life!  
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz. March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese

 

To Purchase

 

 

 

Writing Non-Fiction, by Guest Blogger Kai Nicole

TS. I would like to welcome this wonderful writer with a lot to say about what most single people are thinking about. Enjoy!

When I think about the experience of writing a nonfiction book I have to look to my other experiences to try and figure out how to describe it. Honestly, since I am currently writing a script, which is technically fiction, I find that writing a nonfiction book is very similar. I think the major difference between writing fiction vs. nonfiction is the purpose for which they are written. Fiction is written for the purpose of entertainment whereas nonfiction is written for the transfer of information.

While I was writing my book, Date Like A Woman, my purpose was to share the knowledge I had around dating and relationships that I noticed many women didn’t have. My purpose was to give others an opportunity to “pick my brain” about dating without actually knowing me personally. Through my book I become a close friend that my readers become connected to. My book becomes a window to my thoughts and insight, not for the purpose of entertainment or escape as many fiction books are but as a resource and place of comfort to help my readers along the way.

I think this is the motivation behind nonfiction writers. We write to share information. And, if you are also entertained, well, that’s a bonus. However, whether writing fiction or nonfiction, you are drawing from your personal experiences. For me, I was not only drawing from my experiences but also from what I had learned from reading and research. The biggest difference between fiction and nonfiction books is that nonfiction books have to have evidence of being truthful and plausible. There has to be an effort to support the main premise of the book as true. Fiction doesn’t have this restriction. Nonfiction writers must be able to tout their “knowledge” as true, which is not an easy task.

Authors of both nonfiction and fiction must draw on personal experiences to create a story, nonfiction being a truthful story, fiction being a possibly true story. But, only nonfiction authors must back their stories up with evidence of truthfulness.

I am sure other authors, whether of fiction or nonfiction, can attest that when you are writing, you rarely just make up a false scenario. While the fiction writer may have the liberty to embellish more than the nonfiction writer, there is usually truth to every story. I am having this very experience now as I write my script. Many of the scenes that I am creating in my script are drawn from very real experiences in my life. While the story is fiction, much of what I am writing is true.

Now when it comes down to it, I don’t see writing fiction or nonfiction as easier than the other. Both require major effort on the part of the author. Good writing is a long and arduous process. As best said by George Orwell, “Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

And let’s just say, most authors, myself included, have a demon they will never get rid of.

Kai Nicole, Author

Date Like A Woman

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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

To Purchase