Meet Rachel Rivers

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’m watching the birds and squirrels from my window trying to outsmart each other in their attempts to get to the peanuts I put out on the table for them. So far, the Blue Jays are winning. I’m excited for you to meet our next author, so let’s get right to it!

Rachel Rivers Meet Rachel Rivers…

Rachel writes light-hearted cozy mysteries with a paranormal twist. Her books are on Kindle and in Kindle Unlimited. You can find out all about her series, Hex Falls Paranormal Cozy Mysteries on her Amazon Author Page.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Life, friends, family, my father.

Plotter or Pantser?
Plotter for sure.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write what you love… but make sure it has an audience if you expect to make any money. If you don’t care about money…write what you love and be happy.

How long have you been writing?
Seriously, for about 12 years. But I’ve actually been writing since I was eight, hoping to get serious.

How do you handle writer’s block?
People are going to hate this, but I don’t get writer’s block. I always have ideas. I’m always able to write. Living long enough to write all of my ideas is my biggest concern.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
A lot of brainstorming! LOL And help from my nineteen-year-old.

Describe a typical writing day.
I’m up at 6:15, let the dogs out, shower, typically make tea, and sit down at my desk by no later than 6:45. I then write non-stop until about 11:30, when I usually break to eat, talk to a writing friend, then head back into my second session of writing from around 1:00 to 3:30ish pm. Then it’s dinner and marketing, marketing, marketing from 7:00 to 9:30 pm as I watch TV, and that’s it! Writing-wise. Phew! Enough, right?

Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?
Full-time. As you can tell by my schedule above.

What was your favorite part, and your least favorite part of the writing journey?
My favorite part is hearing from fans. People who have enjoyed or being moved, in some positive way, by my stories. That’s what makes me happiest. My least favorite part is composing Chapter Ones. Chapter One is always the hardest for me to get right. It always feels like it’s being dragged out of me.

810LLPcjXuL._AC_US218_.Hopeless Pocus

51twjIANYPLBedknobs & Broom Hilda Sticks

rachel rivers2   Be sure to visit Rachel’s website!

 

Have you ever heard of a Brozy Mystery? Be sure to watch for my next post, and you can find out all about them!

Victoria LK Williams

Want to connect?  Click on this link to find your favorite social site…
https://linktr.ee/VictoriaLKWilliams

Meet LeAnna Shields

As I write this post, I can look out my window and see the clouds racing by, getting darker with each hour. We are under a hurricane warning and the storm is supposed to skim the Florida coastline. It’s not a powerful storm, but only the first of the season for us. A foretaste of the rest of the season. If you are also in the storm’s path, I wish you safety.

713P-ym5n2L._US230_Meet LeAnna…

LeAnna writes Fantasy or genres and is now beginning to write Cosy Mysteries.  You can find her books on Amazon, in the Kindle Unlimited program. Check out her Amazon Author Page. 

106168126_282987426382532_5712767051706947355_nThe Art of the Facts

83426156_589746001947698_960977683472909502_nSparx of Suspicion 

 

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for 10+ years. Well, that’s how long I’ve been published, I think I’ve been writing for 20+ years. I started writing in Highschool during my homeschool free time. I started with Star Wars Fan Fiction, but when a friend of mine saw my writing her critique pushed me to create my own characters. That eventually lead to my current mystery books. One is called the Art of Facts and the other is called Sparx of Suspicion. The Art of Facts is a 1920’s steampunk-themed cozy that features an African American Archaeology Professor. Sparx is a contemporary mythic themed cozy that features a Native American elf named Sabiya Feathercroft.

How do you handle writer’s block?
Sometimes music helps. When I was writing my Mystic Ranch Mysteries, I was struggling to get a feel for Sabiya’s (my MC) personality until I came across a song featuring Lindsey Sterling called Something Wild. Really, it’s one that focuses more on Sabiya’s love interest Bridger Kane, but through his eyes, I was able to get a lens on Sabiya. With Art of Facts, I had a playlist of techno swing music. Bands like Caravan Palace.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Sparx of Suspicion came to me because Sabiya’s best friend in the book runs a coffee shop called Sparx. The Art of Facts came to me from the fact that the MC Maxine deals with out of place artifacts in the book.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Oh, that’s tough, Sabiya would have to be played by a Native American Actress. Bridger… well, Josh Gates could probably do it.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
For Mystic Ranch, I draw my inspiration from mythology and folklore. Sabiya is a Canoti (Sioux elf), Bridger is a male Sprite, Lexiana (Sabiya’s best friend) is a centaur, and so is Cyrus (who raised Sabiya like his own daughter after hers died when she was thirteen). My world is full of mythics just leading ordinary lives. That is, until murder strikes. A lot of the inspiration for The Art of Facts came from watching old movies.

LeAnna’s Closing Comments
As you can see, I write a little of everything, but I love the mystery genre right now. And My closing words for you are don’t limit your creativity by what might or might not sell. If you can write it somewhere out there is someone who will read it and love it. You might be the starting point for a future writer. Have a great day, stay safe, and as I say on my podcast Keep Cozy.

I have to add how much I love LeAnna’s covers! I look forward to reading her books.

Victoria LK Williams

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter!

Meet Angela K. Ryan

The fireworks are over, graduations (such as they were this year) complete, and vacations have started. In other words, we are in full gear summer mode. My husband and I are doing “staycations” this year; lounging by the pool with the cats. What about you? Are you sticking close to home in light of the pandemic or branching out from the nest? One benefit of a slower-paced summer is plenty of time for reading. I have read several books by Angela K. Ryan and love them. And I think you will too. Now onto the interview.

92948265_3075097849188692_7494302844405678080_n Meet Angela K. Ryan…

Angela K. Ryan is a Cozy Mystery author, and you can find her books on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. She writes the Sapphire Beach Cozy Mystery Series.

 When did you start writing?
I have loved to write for as long as I can remember.  In college, I majored in Print Journalism and worked briefly in that field as a freelancer, but soon decided to go in another direction. I got my Master’s in Ministry and have worked in college campus ministry ever since. However, several years ago, I realized how much I missed writing. I published some religious fiction under another name, and plan to write more in that genre, but I also wanted to try something lighter. Cozy Mysteries were the natural choice. I have always enjoyed reading them – my Kindle is filled with cozies – and I discovered that I LOVE writing them as well. Strong female sleuths, often in the midst of a life transition, who live in a close-knit community with an interesting puzzle to solve. What more could you ask for?

What do you hope your readers take away from your books?
I try to make each one of my cozies fun, clean escapes with characters that uplift and inspire. As a reader, I frequently turn to cozy mysteries at the end of a long day to relax and escape from the pressures of work and life, or when I am dealing with something particularly challenging that I need to put aside for a while. You could say that cozies are my drug of choice! Similarly, I hope that when people read one of my books, they feel as though they’ve been taken on an enjoyable adventure away from their own stresses and challenges.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
I wish my process were faster. I start out with a rough outline, usually creating all the suspects, some of their secrets, motives, etc. I also jot down ideas for plot twists and turning points, but many of them come to me as I’m writing. Then I briefly outline any subplots. After I’ve gone as far as I can with the outline, I write the first draft. If I can devote 3-4 hours a day to writing, I can write the first draft in about ten days, but it is still VERY rough. That first draft sucks the life out of me!
Then I start the editing process. This is where the writing process becomes fun for me again! I polish it up, add in more suspense, twists, and turns. This takes about two weeks. Then I do another two read-throughs, which go much more quickly. I enjoy plotting and the last few drafts the most.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences or purely all imagination?
Several elements in my stories are taken from real life. My main character, Connie Petretta, has a background in humanitarian work, having she spent time after college volunteering in Kenya. This is based on personal experience. For a number of years, a friend and I had a small non-profit organization and raised funds for impoverished communities in Rwanda and India. I had the opportunity to visit Rwanda twice, which is what inspired the idea of having an m.c. with connections in Africa. I chose Kenya because at the time my main character would have been doing her post-graduate service, many programs had suspended volunteering in Rwanda because of the genocide. So, since one of my best friends is from Kenya, that is the country I chose for Connie.
Also, the last names of my main characters – Petretta and Belmonte – are taken from my family tree.
My mom lives in southwest Florida and my Sapphire Beach Series takes place in a fictitious town in southwest Florida. I love spending time there and I enjoy bringing it to life in my books.
And finally, there are some funny stories in my books, especially in Books One and Three, that are based on true stories. I won’t give away any spoilers, but the funny stories are connected with Gertrude, a loveable octogenarian. You’ll have to read the books to find out more!

58379368_2192347097467177_3009178633039249408_n  Free Prequel  92582227_519515778952110_149390369988018176_n  Book 1

A final word from Angela…
It’s always a treat to hear from readers and to chat with other authors! I’d love for you to introduce yourself by emailing me at angela@angelakryan.com

Be sure to visit Angela’s Amazon Author Page to find all her books!

Link to stay in touch via weekly updates: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c6q6e7

In August, I will continue the author interviews, but with a bit of a twist. No, I’m not giving out any clues, but boy, you will enjoy this next series! (hint-hint; there’s two clues in that sentence, ha-ha!). While you’re working out my puzzle, I’m off to continue the next book in the Beach House Mystery Series. Don’t forget, Mist By The Lighthouse, book 3, is now up for preorder.

Victoria LK Williams

Meet J.L. Collins

Yep, it’s summer! And even if you are only taking a “stay-cation”, then the time is now to pick your summer reading list. I hope you are finding some great new authors and are adding their books to your list! I know I am. And there are so many more to come. But first, let’s meet our next storyteller.

jerri collins 1    Meet J.L. Collins

J. L. writes cozies – Paranormal cozies at the moment, but will branch off into historical cozies later this year! 1920’s New York City, to be exact. Her books are part of the Amazon KU program, and you can browse her Amazon Author page to find all her books.

“Writing good, true-to-themselves characters that are relatable and worthy of fighting for has always been my number one favorite parts of writing stories. I’d like to think that all of my books incorporate this, as well as plenty of humor and quirky situations. And a little magic doesn’t hurt, either!”

jerri 3
(First in my series, Witch Hazel Lane Mysteries – Grits In The Graveyard – only 99c)

Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
I used to work at a funeral home and cemetery for a few years. I’ve always been incredibly fascinated by the paranormal and supernatural, but one thing I came to learn in my days there was there is no more peaceful place than a cemetery. It creeps a lot of people out, sure, but that has a lot to do with our fear of death.
When you’re around it all day long, you learn there’s nothing creepy about it. Funeral directors are some of the coolest and kindest people around. You kind of have to be to handle so much grief and sorrow every day. You have to be able to be sympathetic but also know how to distance yourself enough to stay sane.
My favorite part of working there was working with the families on their memorials for their loved ones. I created the designs for them with their help, and it was nice being able to bring them some sort of comfort.

What book is currently on your bedside table?
I always have at least one non-fiction book on my kindle and one paperback waiting for me, not to mention a fiction book! At the moment I have ‘Refuse To Choose’ by Barbara Sher, ‘When’ by Daniel Pink, and ‘Lair of Dreams’ by Libba Bray.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
I have a whole crew of celebrity inspiration for my Witch Hazel Lane mysteries! My main character and her best friends would be played by Jessica Lange, Dolly Parton, a mid-1980’s Betty White, Cicely Tyson, and Pam Grier.

Do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on this year? 
Yes! I’m currently working on two different paranormal cozy series set in different worlds. One is perfect for those fans of the new genre of paranormal women’s fiction, as the main character is older and so is her tight-knit group of best friends. The other centers around a woman in her mid-30s who just landed herself trapped in a magical town that’s been cursed with eternal winter and no way in or out.
But what I’m very excited about is my new historical mystery series coming the end of this summer! They’re set in NYC in the 1920’s, in one of the most exciting and intriguing times in the city’s history. I’m a huge history nerd and the research has been so fascinating. I’m obsessed with everything – can the ‘20s lingo please make a comeback?

Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt?
(An excerpt from ‘A Cold Case In Spell’-)
“What the…?” I fumbled to spin around but what I didn’t expect was a guy to be standing there. Especially the same guy that had just popped around the corner of the pillar half a second ago.
“Get off me!” I backed up the steps as fast as I could given the slipperiness of them. But he just stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face. Which funny enough, had a jaw that could cut glass. I only noticed this second, as the first thing I saw was the stupid cloak he was wearing.
And in true Indie fashion, I blurted out, “Are you a LARPer or something?” I mean, who else would wear what could only be described as a traveling cloak in sub-zero temperatures?
His lip curled. “Should I pretend to know what that is?”
“A LARPer? You know, a live-action role player? Ring any bells?” I shot back. I looked the rest of him up and down, assessing every detail just like Grandaddy taught me should the need arise to kick a guy where the sun don’t shine.
A shock of hair like dark chocolate. Which reminded me that I still need snacks in my camper.
Puzzling colored-eyes. Not quite as gold as Goldie’s, but not quite hazel. Hm. Thick lashes because that’s how unfair the universe is.
I wouldn’t call him buff but fit in a more lean kind of way. He could climb a tree and then balance on a broken limb like Mr. Miyagi. So potentially still a LARPer.
He was taller than me by a few inches, maybe 5’10. A pretty nice height, not that it mattered.
The cloak thing though, I wasn’t sure about. Did I just get thrown into an alternate universe with a guy straight off of a jaunt in medieval times?
Then there was the amused expression on his face that told me perhaps I’d been looking a little too closely.
“Do I need to ask who you are, or are you willingly going to tell me?” His voice, which surprisingly had an almost British accent to it, caught me off guard.
“It doesn’t matter who I am. I’m just trying to leave. And if you aren’t a murdery psychopath, maybe you could just tell me where to go and I’ll be out of your way.” I reached for the crowbar that had slipped from my hands. “Please don’t be a murdery psychopath.”
Goldie picked that exact moment to let out a squawk of laughter. “Oh, I like you.”
The guy stepped out of my way, gesturing for me to pass. “By all means, don’t let me stop you. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of your futile attempts to leave town.”
I raised a brow. “See, that right there sounds murdery. And threatening. You don’t just tell someone that and expect them to trust you.” My cheeks stung as the wind whipped around us.
“I don’t need you to trust me,” cute but weird guy said, eyeing me suspiciously. “I need you to tell me who you are and how you managed to break into Charming Springs. We haven’t exactly seen any new faces here lately.”
This time I laughed, which felt a little delirious to be honest. Maybe I was going a little crazy after all. “Break in? What is this, a bank heist? Look… LARPer guy, my camper is over there,” I said, pointing in the right direction, “And it’s been fun but I’d like to leave. Now. If you can help me, great. But if not, please get the h-heck out of th-the way.” When had my teeth started chattering?

jerri 2
(First in my newest series, Ice Witch Mysteries– A Cold Case In Spell – only 99c)

So, now that you’ve gotten a taste of J. L.’s writing you need to connect with her. Sign up for her Newsletter and friend her on Facebook for more. 
For our next post, I will share some recent releases that you may not know about!  Until next time, grab a book, an icy drink, and find a shady spot to relax!

A peek inside my new book…

bookbrushimage (16)

 

Only a few more days until book 2 in my new series, A Beach House Mystery, launches. I so excited about this series, and  I got caught up in Mist Across The Waves. This is a series of 6 books that includes murder, magic, mermaid legends and the wrath of a sea witch. But it’s also about a group of characters that I really love to write about.  So, as promised, here is a small snippet of the story…

3D ereader Beach House Mystery 2

Capt. Rose turned the ferry back in the direction they had come, ready to head back to the dock. They had gotten about halfway to their destination when she slowed the boat down to a full stop. Most of the guests didn’t pay any attention, but Jenny, Morgan, and Gabe immediately felt the sensation of the boat coming to a halt. The hair rose on the back of Morgan’s neck, and she remembered her unease of being out on the ocean. Quietly moving to the captain’s wheelhouse, the three went to find out what was going on.

When they entered the captain’s room, she answered their unspoken question pointing out to the starboard side of the ferry. “There’s a ship out there. There are no running lights on it, and the engine isn’t operating. There’s been no distress signal, but I have a bad feeling.”

Sure enough, there was a good-sized private boat floating in the waves near them.

“I’m sorry to spoil your party, Jenny, but I need to make sure that ship isn’t in distress,” Capt. Rose explained.

“You’re right, Captain Rose. What can we do?” Jenny immediately jumped into action, her training taking over. Gone was the birthday girl, and back was the cop.

“I’m going to try and pull up alongside the boat. Do you think you and Gabe here could board her and see what’s going on?”

Gabe and Jenny quickly agreed, and Capt. Rose went about getting the ferry as close as she could to the boat. She was an excellent captain, and there was less than a foot between the two vessels when it was time for Gabe and Jenny to board.

“I’ll go first and throw over the ropes. You tether the boat to the ferry and then come over with me,” Gabe instructed Jenny.

She quickly agreed, and in a matter of minutes, Gabe was on the disabled vessel and Jenny was tying off the ropes. By now, the other party-goers were aware something was going on, and they were lining the rails to watch. Jenny ordered her party guests to stay back and jumped over to join Gabe.

“Hello? Anyone aboard?” Jenny called out but received no answer. Moving forward, she approached the open area of the boat. There was a full moon, and it was easy to see the decking. She and Gabe both came to a stop when they saw the blood pooled along the side of the boat.

“Call the Coast Guard,” Jenny shouted to Rose. Then with Gabe at her side, she slowly walked around the upper deck of the boat, making sure there was nobody injured and in need of help. But the deck was empty. Turning to Gabe, Jenny motioned to the door to the lower deck. He nodded his understanding, and they slowly walked to the door. Gabe was ready to kick the door down, but Jenny held her hand up and turned the knob slowly, not wanting to alert anybody who might be down below of their presence. The two disappeared from the sight of those aboard the ferry, and everyone held their breath in anticipation.

It only took a few moments for the two aboard the disabled vessel to come back on deck.

“The boat’s abandoned, there’s nobody on board,” Gabe called out. There was a collective sigh of relief, but not from everyone. Jenny realized the blood they had seen was severe. Someone had been attacked or seriously hurt, and they were no longer on the boat. It only stood to reason whoever belonged to the spilt blood had gone overboard. Climbing back on the ferry, with Gabe behind her, Jenny walked over to Capt. Rose and Morgan.

“This is now a crime scene. We need to wait for the Coast Guard. I don’t know what happened here, but somebody suffered a severe or fatal injury on that boat.”

Without a word, Captain Rose reached over and flipped a knob on the speakers, shutting off the music. The time for festivities was over. Morgan walked back out on the deck and stood away from the others looking out to sea, feeling a sense of danger surrounding her. In the distance, she could see a boat approaching, but from experience knew it wasn’t the Coast Guard cutter. The sense of being threatened increased, and without even realizing it, Morgan let one of her new abilities take over to protect those on the ferry. The boat approaching was bringing danger with it.

It started at Morgan’s feet, swirling and dancing with the wind, thickening as her sense of danger increased. The mist spread and began to engulf the ferry wrapping it in its protective cloak. Jenny and Gabe walked over to stand next to Morgan; they both knew about her ability, and they both realized she was trying to protect them.

“Jenny, get everybody inside and tell them to be quiet.” Without looking at her friend, Morgan gave the instruction, and Jenny hurried off, getting Winnie and Kathy to help her escort everyone inside.

Gabe didn’t move. Instead, he reached out and grabbed Morgan’s hand for support. Together the two of them stood on the deck, watching and listening. By now, they could no longer see the boat approaching, but they could hear the motors. Morgan made a motion with her hand, and the mist moved to thicken around the boat tethered to the ferry. She didn’t know why, but she had a feeling it needed to be hidden from sight.

The other boat was close but not dangerously so. Voices carried in the mist across the waves.

“We need to find that boat and its cargo.”

“It can’t be far. Pops was bleeding pretty badly when he took off. We’ll find him.”

“Yeah, well, we’d better. And that book had better still be on the boat, too.”

The voices faded as the boat passed the ferry, not realizing how close the two vessels had been.

 

I hope you enjoyed a taste of Mist Across The Waves. Look for it’s release on June 3rd. You can also preorder it-so you don’t have to remember to go back!

Next post, I’ll introduce you to another fantastic author. Are you enjoying these interviews as much as I am? 

Until then, stay safe & healthy and happy,

Victoria LK Williams

15 books on shelves

 

Meet Judy Moore

I need to be up front with this post: I’m biased! Judy Moore is a friend of mine and a fellow Sister In Crime member. We have spent hours chatting about books and writing. Even better, we live close to each other, so grabbing a cup of coffee and talking books is super easy.

61Eq65XWpRL._US230_   Meet Judy…

Judy writes wonderful thriller and suspense novels, but I’ve been trying to convince her how great the world of cozies can be. I’m tickled to death that she has written her first cozy mystery. I’ve read it, of course, and Judy nailed it! Her books are on Amazon and part of KU. You can also find her books on Goodreads.

Judy has a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine feature writer, and publications editor for several years. A former tennis pro, Ms. Moore’s writing background also includes sports writing, and athletes from various sports are sprinkled throughout some of her novels. A lifelong resident of Florida, she currently resides in Vero Beach.

51FEqXzaumL   A Book Signing To Die For

When did you start writing?
As a child, I read all the time and was obsessed with fairy tales, the Dana Girls, and later Agatha Christie. But I was a math major and never thought seriously about writing until I took journalism my junior year in college and then changed my major from math. Once I started writing news and features, it came very naturally, and I knew it was the job for me. I became a newspaper reporter, a magazine feature writer, and a publications editor. When I took an early retirement from my full-time editing job, I decided it was time to start writing mysteries myself. I’m glad I’m at the point in my life that I can afford to write what I really want to write. I love coming up with oddball characters and writing books where the unexpected happens. I can’t stand formula stories. Sometimes, the bad guy might get away with it.

What is your approach to writing?
I write in a simple journalistic style. Grab the reader’s attention and hold on to it. The first page is essential. If readers aren’t drawn in immediately, they’ll probably put down the book. It’s important to use quotes effectively and succinctly. They have to be natural. I put myself in the character’s head and ask myself, “What would this person really say?” The quotes have to reflect the character’s personality. Above all, don’t let the reader get bored. Keep the story interesting and keep it moving! The biggest challenge in writing mysteries is to give the readers enough clues without giving away the killer.

Have you ever been on any sports teams? If so, what sport?
I grew up playing competitive tennis in Miami, played college tennis at Florida State University, and played on the European circuit. I later became a teaching pro and high school coach. I also played paddle tennis competitively, and my partner and I won the national beach paddle tennis championships three times. Won some table tennis tournaments as well. Because of my tennis background, I also wrote a tennis column for the newspaper for several years and covered many major events.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Having been a journalist, I write quickly. I can write a book in six weeks, and a novella in two weeks. I don’t have a set writing schedule, but just go at it until I’m finished. I might write two hours a day, or I might write ten hours. I can’t really rest until I’ve finished the book. Then, I might take a few weeks, or a few months break, depending on what else is going on in my life at the time.

Who is your favorite character?
I have two favorite characters. One is Scratchoff McLean, a homeless man with a big heart who is obsessed with scratch-off lottery tickets. He appears in two of my novels, Somebody in the Neighborhood and my new cozy mystery A Book Signing To Die For. The other is 11-year-old Lily, a manic matchmaker in my Christmas novella Airport Christmas. I truly love oddball characters and try to include at least one in every book I write.

8125h6jH90L.SR160,240_BG243,243,243   Somebody in the Neighborhood 

I hope you have enjoying meeting Judy. She’s a wonderful person as well as a excellent writer. I’m lucky to have her as a friend.  In my next post, look for an sneak-peek at my newest Book Mist Across The Waves, launching on June 3rd. Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend. And say a pray of thanks for all who have given something precious for our freedoms.

 

Some hashtags aren’t true.

By now, most of us know what a # (hashtag) is for, and I would hazard a guess that a good percentage of us have used a # (hashtag) or two.

There’s one # (hashtag) that I’ve seen, and I have to admit I’ve even used it. But I just can’t wrap my head around its use, because it certainly isn’t true, at least for me.

That hashtag is #WritingWithCats.

Now, I don’t know about you but writing with cats is impossible. You either write around a cat, in spite of a cat or trick a cat. But in my opinion, there is no way that you can compose a complete sentence with a cat around. And anyone who has tried knows what I mean.
Writing with a dog is a lot easier. They obey you, they don’t blatantly move things around, and a dog would hardly ever sit on your keyboard. The old saying of “give a dog a bone” works perfectly here. A couple pats on the head, a treat, and a kind word and your dog is perfectly content to curl up at your feet and let you do your work.


But not the cat. At least not my cats. I sit down to my desk and it’s like a signal goes out. They could be sound asleep in a closet with the door closed, but somehow they know I’m getting ready to sit down and try and do some work. The next thing I know they’re crawling all over my desk. Miss Marble sits on my hands if I ignore her for too long, waiting for attention. Fletch isn’t so subtle, if I ignore her for too long, she will start knocking things off my desk. Then it becomes a game, and the harder you try to work the more persistent they become.

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Finally, just when you’re ready to give up and walk away, my kitties will settle down in a nice sunny spot, stretch out, and take up as much of the desk area as they possibly can. Even if it means sitting on your paperwork, you’re outline or your research. They’ll be content for ten or fifteen minutes, but if you move the wrong way or do something that’s not in sync with what they have been listening to, then look-out. They’re wide awake again, ready to inspect and put their stamp of approval on what you’re doing. Then the process begins all over.

But I’m persistent, and I don’t give up easily. I’ve even found a “babysitter” to keep them occupied while I work. I put Alexa on the job, asking her to find cat videos to play on a small screen that sits on my desk. My girls will sit there, entranced, watching the birds occasionally growling at the chattering birds. And if a squirrel happens come in on the screen, their haunches are up, their ears are back and they’re ready for action. Occasionally one of them will tap at the screen, then look at me, confused as to why they can’t grab hold of that pesky squirrel. I know it’s a little devious, but you gotta do what you gotta do when work needs to be done.

And when you and when you finally finished your goal for this writing session, you reach for the cat, pet and scratch her behind her ears while picking her up for a cuddle. And that’s when she jumps down, no longer interested in what’s going on on the desk, or you for that matter. Now Miss Marple and Fletch will find a quiet place to curl up and take a nap. I sit in my chair with empty arms and watch my two cats walk away, their tails swishing. They know perfectly well what they’ve done and I can only shake my head. There’s no sense getting upset with them because I love them. Besides, a cat is a cat, and they live by their own rules!

Victoria LK Williams

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Cozy Mysteries with a Tropical Twist!

Killer Focus ( A Mrs. Avery’s Adventure, #1)

The first book in my new series will be available on 6/27/19!

Mrs. Avery’s Adventures
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A pink slip, a birthday card, new neighbors…Piper Avery thought her week was bad-then she found the body on the beach!

Preorder your copy and save!

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Below is a review from the blog the Owl’s Book Nest

via Killer Focus ( A Mrs. Avery’s Adventure, #1)

It is also available in both Print and Large Print

Victoria LK Williams

Move the furniture!

Have you ever noticed how some things in your life are so every day that you don’t even think about it? Until something changes.
And I can prove it. Do you remember the opening to the old Dick VanDyke show? Without telling anyone, the characters moved a footstool, and the results are seen again and again in each show opening.

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Now you try it, move that piece of furniture and watch what happens. Some people are going to trip over it, others will walk into it while other people may automatically walk around it without registering what they’re doing. Until they look around trying to figure out what’s different.
I’m a little bit sneaky. I used to wait until my husband was out of town, or late at night when he wouldn’t notice, and that’s when I would rearrange the furniture. The hubby is pretty observant, and within five or six minutes he always seems to catch on to what was happening. But once in a while, I can catch him. Want to really find out what happens? Wait until your kids go away to college and rearrange the room. Then watch their expression when they come home and go to throw their backpack on the bed- and it’s on the other side of the room.
Yes, we form habits in our daily life; the way we walk around furniture, the way you move around your house, and for us writers the way we write. But don’t you want to shake things up once in a while and move a piece of furniture? Or for writers- change things up in the way you write.
Make your characters a little crazy, instead of straightlaced and deadpan. Murder a likable character instead of the villain, give your protagonist unusual traits that you wouldn’t expect. These are a few ways to shake up your writing. It might feel uncomfortable to you as a writer, but the readers will love it. And if you’re honest, you know there are times when you need to shake things up. Who wants to keep reading the same mundane book over and over again. Some tropes are becoming worn out, and that’s why when a writer changes things up just a little bit it catches the reader’s attention. This will help sales and gives you the incentive to write the next book.
So go ahead and move that piece of furniture. Put it right in the way where someone’s going to trip over it and grab their attention. Of course, I’m talking about the metaphoric furniture in your book; we don’t want to do any physical harm to our friends and family.
As a reader, has something caught your attention that a writer has included in the book that you were expecting?

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As a writer, what can you do to change things up, keeping your writing fresh and your readers interested?
If you’ve had experience as a writer or a reader when a store has caught you by surprise, feel free to share!
Happy Writing!

Victoria LK Williams

The Writing Lull

Yup, that’s where I am. The lull before the storm.
The writing storm that is.
I don’t know if other writers go through this or not, but when I finish a book, I always seem to be hesitant to start the next one.
It’s not for lack of ideas or enthusiasm.

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No, it’s that blank page syndrome.
I spent a week getting the outline done, figuring out just to my characters are and developing great settings to continue the series. Technically everything is in place, I’m ready to go, but I just can’t put the words down on the paper. Maybe it’s because I know once I start there’s no stopping, I’ll want to be consumed by the story.
So in the meantime, we have a clean house, I made some cookies, cleaned my office, organized my desk, caught up on all my emails and arranged the folders on my computer. I spent some time on Facebook, got some reading done and explored some research ideas.
In other words, I mastered the art procrastination once again.

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Maybe part of it is because it’s so busy at work with spring, approaching. And the weather has been absolutely perfect down here in Florida, making it hard to stay inside.
So my dilemma is, do I hold off in writing this book and use it as my Camp NaNo challenge? I have the outlines for a couple of novellas done too, so that might be another option.
But I think the realization is that regardless of what I write, I need to be writing. When you take the long gaps away from your desk and that creative juice begins to dry up becomes harder and harder to sit down in front of the computer and commit to your story. Because let’s be honest, there’s always something else could be done, and if you’re not in the right mindset, you’re going to be easily distracted.

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What about you? Do you jump right in and start the next story? Or do you take a break? Maybe you jump right into the editing phase or start promoting your work.
Each writer is different and there is no right answer–except to always keep plotting and writing at your own pace.

VictoriaLKWilliams

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