Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Brainstorming a Novel Outline with Lea Schizas - The Writing Jungle

Registration ends tomorrow evening. Last chance to sign up for my Brainstorming a Novel Outline Workshop.


Brainstorming a Novel Outline with Lea Schizas - The Writing Jungle

Monday, May 7, 2018

Update on Muse Online Writers Conference

This is a post I added to the Muse Online Writers Blog, and since many of you have been attendees in the past, thought it necessary to add it here as well.


Morning everyone. Hope you have an awesome weekend. I'm coming in very quickly before power goes off again (severe winds had us in the dark since last night.) to give you a quick update.

I'm in the process right now of getting us a spanking new forum for the Muse Conference. Difference is this is now the Muse Online Year Round Workshop with free and some paid workshops with professionals to guide you. The forum isn't set up but I wanted you to please go to this link:


and sign up for my newsletter to have up-to-date info about upcoming workshops and forum news straight in your e-box in case you miss info here. The subscription box is to the right on homepage. 

The newsletter subscription is a 2 part process. Once you sign up you will get a confirmation email you must click on before the Thank You post comes your way. Please make sure to check your spam folders. Thanks.

Also, as a back-up, you can bookmark my The Writing Jungle site and go to the top menu and click on MUSE ONLINE WORKSHOPS where I'll be posting titles, presenters, times, and other info directly in there. It's blank right now so have patience. :)

Please feel free to share this with other writers so they're in the know, as well. Thank you.

Just letting you know this blog (meaning the Muse Online Writers Conference blog, not the publishing house blog) will be deleted end of May and all info about the Muse Online Workshops will be posted from now on directly in The Writing Jungle site and newsletter. No use duplicating in several areas. 

Thank you and looking forward to meeting everyone once again in our new forum.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Interview with J.D. Waye

We're thrilled to have with us today the author of The Shadow People series, talking about her third book in the series, Dark Ambitions. Thank you for your time, JD.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are too many to mention, but the authors that influenced this book the most are GRR Martin, Anne Rice, Frank Hebert, Mary Shelley, JRR Tolkien, Oscar Wilde, and Diana Gabaldon.

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?
I’ve always been a writer. It’s kind of like breathing. You have to do it to exist.
When not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy spending time with my family; reading fiction and history; watching the magic of ideas being transformed into movies. And cooking. Everybody enjoys good food.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember my older sister reading The Hobbit to me, opening a door into that alternate world, and never wanting to close it again.

Describe your desk.
Well-lit, tidy, cosy, comfortable, with a few treasures.

Who is the main character in Dark Ambitions?
Chago Cordaro

What’s his story?
He’s a young man whose mind is filled with morals and ideals, having a hard time implementing them in the chaos of his life.

Where/when does the story take place?

1890’s Spain, France, and Andorra

How did the story come to you?
Sometimes a story emerges from a single image that starts it all:

Two shadows moving over tiled rooftops against a star-lit sky backdrop. One was chasing the other. Catching the criminal became an important goal. And I asked myself, who are these people?

Who is your target audience?
The epic fiction reader, paranormal/supernatural fan, historical fantasy reader, anyone struggling with the impact of emotional turmoil.

What makes your book different from other similar ones?
The struggles are all too human, but it’s a unique world.

What do your fans mean to you?
It is absolutely amazing when a reader connects to the imaginary world I’ve created. When they choose to invest their time and emotional energy.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?
Inspiration comes from the whole world around me – trees in the fog, coins in a jar, wind turbines on a hilltop, a blood-red full moon. They create a mood. And that mood generates a scene. Linked scenes generate a story. Everybody loves a good story.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?
Start with writing about what you know, where your passion lives. Learn the craft behind making a story appear effortless, while engaging its audience. And most important: never give up.

Dark Ambitions
Paranormal Historical Fantasy

A new recruit’s monster-hunting job threatens not only his life and sanity, but the lives of everyone he loves. 
Available at

Friday, February 16, 2018

Meet the Creator of Mucus Phlegmball

   I have always loved to read and discovered a love for writing at the age of twelve. When I had my own children, I read to them from the day they were born. Once they reached elementary school, Captain Underpants was very popular and became their favorite series so I imagined writing something kids would love just as much, but with a more complex story line.
   One day while watching football with my family someone noticed a player with an unusual last name. This prompted my husband and sons to start making up other funny names. When one of them said Mucus Phlegmball it immediately struck me as a great name to build a superhero series around.  After all, if kids enjoyed an underwear-wearing principal, why wouldn't they love a young boy who could blow radioactive snot?
   It was shortly after this I decided to seriously pursue my dream of writing. Thankfully, my sons were full of silliness and creativity and proved to be an excellent resource for me. In addition to weaving in animals (llamas, wereducks, platypus, etc) and other unusual topics of interest to them, I also used some of their personality traits in my characters. Being able to observe my sons with their friends was a tremendous help when it came to writing realistic dialogue. Although my sons were well into high school by the time I finished the series, I could still turn to them when I needed help with the plot or was struggling to remember how an 11-year old may react to a certain situation.
   My hope is that my series will spark a love of reading, especially in those reluctant readers who struggle to find material that interests them. By making my characters relatable, I also believe my readers can learn and grow along with Marcus and Chunk as they struggle with such wide-ranging issues as feelings of inadequacy, racial tension, friendship, trouble in school, bullying and even crushes.

Discover Kerry Crowley's entire series...read excerpts.
Series is available on Amazon, B&N, Ibooks, Kobo, and more.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Meet Anne and Kenneth Hicks

We're thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview these two amazing authors. 
Thank you, Anne and Ken, for your time.

Who are some of your favorite authors?          

Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, A.A. Milne, E.B. White.

What motivated you to become a writer and at what age?

We both loved to read as children, and still love to read. 
Writing was a natural outgrowth of that.
Lea: I can relate to that. It seems most writers loved to read as children.

What 3 words describe you as a person?

Hopeful, idealistic, detail minded.

What 3 words describe you as a writer?

Same as above.

When not writing, how do you spend your time? Hobbies?

We love to walk, read, travel, and play ping-pong.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

Five Children and It.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.

They captured our imagination and stayed with us all of our lives.

Describe your desk.

Ken is very messy. Anne is very neat.

 Lea: Have to admit I giggled with this response. :)

Who is the main character?


What's her story?

Alice lives in New York City and shares time with her two parents, who were getting divorced in STONE FACES. She is athletic and loves to play. She can get very involved with things, and her imagination leads her to places where adventures occur.

Where/when does the story take place?

SPLOTCH takes place in New York City and in the imagination of Alice and her friends.

Lea: I truly loved the concept behind this book.
How did the story come to you?

One day, we were walking in New York City and saw some paint spilled on the sidewalk that had the shape of a dog. We wondered what would happen if a splotch of paint like that would somehow come to life. The story evolved from there.

Who is your target audience?

Children in grades 3 through 6, and parents who enjoy a laugh.

Lea: Well, I certainly giggled and I'm way over grade 6.

What makes your book different from other similar ones?

Alice has an attitude that can get her into trouble. Her thoughts are sometimes slightly rude and the predicaments are exciting and fun.

What do your fans mean to you?

We love when people read and enjoy our books. It means everything to us.

Where do you get the inspirations for your book(s)?

From everyday objects we see while on our walks. STONE FACES came from a stone we found on the beach. BROWNSTONE FACES is derived from some stone carvings we saw in New York City. SPLOTCH started as an actual paint splatter on the sidewalk.

Any advice for new writers just beginning this trek down the wonderful world of publishing?

Always write about what interests you. Then what you write will be interesting to others. Also, re-write, re-write, and re-write some more.

For information on Anne and Ken's books, please visit here.