Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

The POW’s Legacy

Trisha Faye

Florence Kain did not want those German POWs on their land. Germans had shot down her sister Mary’s husband, a British fighter pilot and she wasn’t feeling kindly towards them. Even if the POWs stationed near their home at Camp Algona were most likely not the ones personally responsible for her brother-in-law’s death. Florence’s husband, Dick, continued his campaign. He needed help getting the corn in. At eighty cents per man for a day’s work, having a crew helping him would be a huge blessing.

She final gave in. “Okay, but I’m not feeding them.”

“You have to feed them. If they’re here working, we have to give them a mid-day meal.”

“All right – but I’m not using my good dishes!”

Seventy-five years later, when I heard this story from Florence’s niece, you know I had to use it in The POW’s Legacy. Florence Kain isn’t around anymore…

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Ellen Brock

I created a flow chart to diagnose bad scenes. The chart will help you to identify the problems with your scenes and provide possible solutions. This is perfect for when you know something is wrong with a scene in your novel but you’re not sure exactly what’s going wrong or how to fix it.

Download the Flow Chart by right clicking and choosing “Save image as…”

Video Explanation:


01:23 Does the scene move the plot forward?

02:37 Does the reader need to see the scene happen?

04:18 Is there a conflict?

05:44 Is it obvious to the reader that the scene pushes the plot forward?

06:56 Does the character experience an emotional shift?

08:16 Is the scene still not working?

10:57 Does the scene contain vital information?

11:35 Do you like and want to keep the scene?

12:23 Does the part you like require an entire scene?

13:53 Does…

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All about historical fiction

Sarah Johnson is a long time blogger and book reviewer at Reading the Past. Her blog was chosen as one of the favourite historical fiction blogs. In 2012, I asked Sarah if she would help me get the word out about a reader survey designed to understand why people read historical fiction. We’ve been friends ever since.

Sarah has graciously agreed to give us an update on trends in historical fiction.


Thanks to M. K. (Mary) Tod for giving me the opportunity to revisit the topic of current trends in historical fiction.  It’s amusing to read the answer I provided to her interview question back in 2012, when the Tudors’ popularity was fading, Titanic fiction was hot, and World War II was the newest big thing. 

As fans of the genre know, WWII settings and themes are still very much with us. For some readers, the timeframe…

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How to make blogging for fun part of your usual blogging routine. Effective ways to change blog format with links to examples. The post Blogging for Fun: How to Make Blogging Exciting in 2021, 7 Ways appeared first on Mostly Blogging.

Blogging for Fun: How to Make Blogging Exciting in 2021, 7 Ways — Mostly Blogging

Some of my fondest childhood memories involve swimming. The daycare taking us all to Muir beach. A car full of neighborhood kids headed to the big public pool a few towns over. Daily swimming lessons with neighborhood friends in the summers. Slowly climbing the “big diving board,” staring down at the water as everyone behind […]

Five Reasons to Write Every Day — Janet Mary Cobb

TouchPoint Press

“They will haunt you no matter where you run to. It will never let you go. They will never let you.”

M.T. Maliha’s Waverly Estate series continues on October 23 with the release of Waverly Estate: The Murmur. The first book in the series, Waverly Estate: Ghost Dance will be $0.99 for a limited time leading up to the new release – making now the perfect time to catch up with the series!

M.T. Maliha goes back to the true origins of the series and reflects on the crumbling, abandoned mansion on the Hudson River that inspired her.

Wyndclyffe by M.T. Maliha

They tell me she’s worthless, nothing more than a magnet for the curious who scale barbed wire or crawl beneath rusty gates to get a better look at her decaying bones. I wonder how many of the inquisitive, drawn to her austere spine and crumbling spires, can…

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Hello Rebels, welcome to episode 61 of The Rebel Author Podcast. This week I’m talking to Honorée Corder. We’ll be discussing tips and tricks to help you write your book in 15 minute time blocks. In this episode we cover:  How to use 15 minute time blocks to write Common mistakes when trying to use…

061 How to Write a Book in 15 Minutes with Honorée Corder — SACHA BLACK

Writing is a viable source of income. In the modern day and age, you don’t just have to knock out a book and hope it reaches a bestseller list – there are multiple types of businesses you can put together to make use of your writing talents. And it’s that freedom that’s got you thinking… […]

What Writers Need To Know About Going Full Time — SpookyMrsGreen

Laurence MacNaughton

Is there a simple way to make the plot of your story irresistible, so that your readers keep turning pages, desperate to find out what happens next?

Yes. Every irresistible plot contains seven key elements that help catch the reader’s attention and hold it to the very last page.

These keys are so universal that you’ve seen them hundreds of times before, even if you didn’t recognize them. In fact, you’ll actually find these plot keys hidden in the spelling of the word FICTION.

F is for Flaw

In a well-crafted story, something is already wrong even before page one. It could be a dysfunctional relationship, an unhealthy situation, or an unresolved trauma haunting the viewpoint character. Or all three at the same time.

Creating a character who is perfectly fine at the start of the story robs you of opportunities to put your character in deeper and more complex…

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Five Ways to Support Author Friends

by Melissa Face

I was chatting with a fellow writer and friend the other day about how my book collection has grown throughout recent years to include the works of many friends. I now have a whole section on my bookshelf I can point to and say things like, “I know her! We work together! She is my friend!”

Even though she shared my enthusiasm, my friend said, “But one of the tough things about having a lot of writer friends is that you often feel obligated to buy a lot of books.”

She’s right. Writers are usually not raking in the dough from our first (and sometimes second and third) published works, yet we are often the ones supporting one another, attending events, buying each other’s books, and generally being good literary citizens.

Even though all authors will agree that yes, we want you to buy our books, that is only one way to support your author friends. Here are a few more:

  1. Buy the Book – There’s no need to sugar coat it. We definitely want you to buy our book. And if our book isn’t your favorite genre but you still want to be supportive, buy it and save it for someone who will love it. Books make great gifts.
  2. Write a Review – If you read our book and have something nice to say, take a moment to write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Positive reviews help with visibility and book sales, and they provide a little encouragement to the writer.
  3. Attend an Event – There are many ways to be supportive of someone, and showing up in person (or online) is huge. If it’s an in-person event, go and take a friend with you. Book events are typically festive and lively these days, and many are held in less conventional locations like coffee shops and breweries. Presently, many events are being held via Facebook or Instagram live. So even if you have a conflict, share the event link on your platform. Authors appreciate likes and shares so much!
  4. Share on Social Media – In addition to sharing events, take a moment to share your author friends’ social media posts. Tell your online friends what you liked about something, comment on a book photo, or share an article your friend wrote. In addition to writing, we often serve as our own marketing reps and publicists, so anything our friends can do is helpful. Plus, sharing a post is completely free.
  5. Talk About the Book – Word of mouth is still very influential when it comes to book sales. If you enjoyed a book, tell your church friends, Woman’s Club, Rotary Club, and by all means, your book club members. I have heard many stories about small conversations leading to larger speaking engagements. It happens, and it’s because of people like you!

As an author, I have found my network of friends to be invaluable.I am grateful to everyone who has shown up and said kind things about my work, both in person and online. If you have another idea for supporting friends in the literary world, type it in the comments section. I’d love to read it!


Melissa Face is the author of I Love You More Than Coffee, an essay collection for parents who love coffee a lot and their kids…a little more. Her essays and articles have appeared in Richmond Family Magazine, ScaryMommy, and twenty-one volumes of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Read more at melissaface.com.

i love you more than coffee


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