Friday, 26 April 2013

The Magnetism of Arthurian Legend

It is with great pleasure I introduce my guest

Cheryl Carpinello
who is fascinated by the Legends of King Arthur and his Knights. So much so, Cheryl adds to them with wonderful award winning legends of her own. 

Cheryl, I loved your book, The King's Ransom. I know it was written for children, but adults will enjoy reading it too, especially if they are drawn to King Arthur and his knights...and who isn't :) What piqued your interest in this era?

            The beginning of my fascination with Arthurian Legend started when I took an English literature class in college and read Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Surprising since my family traces their roots back to England and Wales on both sides of my family.

            However, I fell in love with Arthurian Legend when I read T. H. White’s The Once and Future King and included it in my high school English curriculum. Sharing with my students the pageantry of the tournaments and the gallantry of the knights from Malory excited a spark in my students.

            The fast moving adventure story of Wart, the young King Arthur of White’s creation, pulled us all into the romantic and gallant story White weaves. It is a story steeped in all things Arthurian: the exploits of the knights of the Round Table, heroes like King Arthur and Lancelot, and magic and Merlin. 

            King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table has never lost its appeal to readers. Today when I talk about the Medieval Times with kids and adults, the talk centers around the exploits of the knights of the Round Table, heroes like King Arthur and Lancelot, and magic and Merlin. The stories of the knights with their quests, their jousts, their rescuing of the damsels in distress, and their fighting for the underdog dominate the conversation. Never mind that in real life, knights weren’t always so gallant, and frequently only defended the underdog if he belong to the same or a higher social class.

            The King Arthur legend has outgrown and overshadowed any historical truth. A remarkable feat considering that in today’s fast-paced, information-on-the-run world, a legend reaching as far back as 1136 about a mythical king back in the 5th or 6th century shows no signs of abating. Packed into the Arthurian stories of quests, jousts, tournaments, and battles are the cornerstones of Honor, Loyalty, and Friendship that continue to speak to the world and particularly the young.
Cover Designer: Kaytalin Platt

  These qualities were consciously incorporated in Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom. The Young Knights have become friends via their friendship with a beggar/vagabond called the Wild Man. Without the Wild Man, it is likely that they wouldn’t have met and become friends because they are from very different backgrounds. Eleven-year-old Gavin is the youngest prince of Pembroke Castle in southern Wales. Fifteen-year-old Bryan has been sent to Pembroke by his parents to learn to be a blacksmith. Thirteen-year-old Philip is an orphan who wandered into Pembroke village and lives and works at the church.

 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.'
Pembroke Castle, Wales

           In the story, someone breaks into the king’s (Gavin’s father) treasury in Pembroke Castle and not only steals the medallion The King’s Ransom, but also kills the king’s advisor. The Wild Man is captured and charged with the crime. Belief in their friend’s innocence spurs the trio to swear a knight’s oath of loyalty to the Wild Man and embark upon a quest to save him. Their individual quests test their limits and force each to confront and conquer their fears or face humiliation and/or even death. Honor. Loyalty, Friendship.

  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.'
Cardigan Bay, Wales

  I am a twice-retired high school English teacher. I’m afraid I’m one of those people who do not do retirement well. Working with kids is a passion I have never lost. I regularly conduct Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and for the Colorado Girl Scouts. We explore writing and reading, and it is fulfilling to see young students excited about writing and reading. It seems I'm not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns, and knights.

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom

2012 Silver Award recipient for YA Fiction from Children’s Literary Classics

2012 Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval

2012 USA Best Book Awards Finalist for E-Book Children


In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder.

Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.

Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble

 Author Links:


Monday, 22 April 2013



Author Penny Lockwood introduces her newly released picture book for children aged 18 months to 7 years.


Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house. Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home. When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

Talking Points for parents include:

·Taking care of a pet
·Dangers of a busy street
·Listening to parents
·Safe places vs. unsafe places

Day One
Wendy welcomes Penny Lockwood on the first day of her tour.
I've read this beautiful book and placed a 5 star review (by Calamity) on Amazon. Congratulations Penny. Over to you.

Hi Wendy, thank you for offering to host me on your blog today.

Although I’ve been writing stories for adults and older children since 1993, this is my first foray into picture book writing. It was definitely a challenge. It’s so easy to look at a picture book and think, as a writer, “Oh, that must be easy to write.” In reality, a picture book takes a lot of thought and effort.

Like any other book, when Boo was finished, I asked for first readers to give me feedback. I was fortunate to find several young mothers with toddlers willing to give it a try. The hard part, though, was there were no illustrations, so it was difficult for the little people to grasp this was to be a picture book. Still I did get positive responses and set about locating a publisher.

For several years, I have participated in the Muse Online Writer’s Conference where I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with publishers from several houses. One of the women I met was Vivian Zabel who is one of the owners of 4RV Publishing. I liked what I heard about 4RV and Vivian from other authors who have published books with her. They are a small house and only publish a few books every year. I was very fortunate that the acquisitions staff liked Boo’s Bad Day when I submitted it a few years ago. Vivian asked for a few changes, which I was happy to make, and I was rewarded with a contract.

I’m not sure how other houses handle authors and illustrators, but 4RV Publishing uses their own stable of illustrators. It’s my understanding this is common practice with picture book publishers. One of 4RV house rules is that authors and illustrators have no correspondence, so I had no contact whatsoever with Deborah C. Johnson, the talented illustrator who worked on Boo. She was given the manuscript and created the pictures, which in my mind are perfect. She captured the spirit of not only the book but Boo the cat as well, without any input from me.

Was it a nail-biting experience? Not really. At the same time the illustrator was working on Boo (unknown to me), I had been working on edits for my MG novels, Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch, also scheduled for release from 4RV Publishing. I wasn’t even thinking about Boo when I received the galley proof to review! When I saw the illustrations Deborah did, I couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t see a need to change anything.

Deborah was able to bring Boo to life on the page. The expressions she uses for the different experiences Boo has are just delightful. I think she was able to make Boo come alive for the children who will read the story and added to the experience kids from around eighteen months to seven years will have when either the story is read to them, or they can read it themselves.

Authors interested in writing a picture book should explore sites on the Internet devoted to children’s writing such as the Children’s Book Insider Clubhouse. There are a lot of great articles available to the public even if you’re not a member. Writing World has an entire section devoted to children’s writing, including an article by me, “Eight Things Picture Book Editors Don’t Want.”

 Penny, it's fascinating to hear of your experience towards publishing your picture book. I've always imagined finding a publisher and an illustrator would be an impossible task. Thank you, too, for sharing the sites above which will be enormously helpful for writers who wish to follow in your footsteps and get their picture books out to the mums and bubs.

Boo's Bad Day is available from the publisher
Find Penny at her website 

Day 2
Tomorrow April 23rd Penny is on  Terri Forehand's Blog       
where she'll tell us more about Boo's Bad Day.

Wendy, thanks again for hosting me. At the end of the tour, I will pick out one commenter’s name and send an autographed copy of Boo’s Bad Day to a United States address only. If the name I pick is someone who lives outside the U.S., I will send a PDF copy of the book. So remember, readers, be sure to leave contact information when you comment!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A Touch of History and the Paranormal

I'm thrilled to be chatting with a paranormal author today. Or should that be 'with an author of paranormal stories'?



Welcome to my blog, Lynne. 

Thanks Wendy, it’s really nice to be here.

I enjoyed A Hallowe'en Tale. This is a very entertaining short story with which teens will identify. In fact, your story revived a particular childhood memory for me. I relived the night a friend and I crept out of bed to peer through the window of a deserted house a few streets away. Jumping at shadows, we scared ourselves silly and didn't achieve our objective. Your teenagers did, however, and what a tale they have to tell!

Glad you liked it and that’s wonderful it stimulated you to remember something supernatural from your own past.


I had the impression that Olivia's mother wanted Olivia to get a glimpse of her history, and that's why she warned her not to go to the party via the old lane, knowing Olivia would disobey.  Am I right?


Oh yes. How many kids do you know that when you tell them not to do something they immediately do it. Yes, Cantare knew her daughter well and in telling her what not to do, she pretty much guaranteed the outcome.


How much of your inner child is in Olivia? Were you headstrong and stubborn?

Yup, I think I was a real pain in the butt for my mom. I was unbelievably stubborn and headstrong, but hey, if your kids aren’t, they end up getting bullied and other things, so I think there is something to be said for these characteristics.
My dad used to tell us almost everyday that ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are sheep, and he’d say, “Where do you fit in? What are you going to be?”
Made me think and that was probably one of the reasons why I did what I believed in and questioned things. That is what Olivia is doing in the story. She’s stepping up to the challenge, facing her fears and finding out the truth. Just think what the world would be like if we all did those things.
However, it is also nice when children obey their parents and listen to them. Parents have more of life under their belt and kids usually don’t really understand that until they, too, are grown up.


Was there 'an old lane leading through the back fields' in your youth?


Actually, I lived right across the street from a forest and when I was young, the fields to the north were totally wild and free, as well. There were partridges running around and we played games trying to touch their tails before they took off. I don’t remember anyone actually achieving that goal. I spent much of my youth running in the woods and knew every turn and nook and cranny of the forest. There are spooky things in there that sometimes jar you a little. But I survived. LOL.

We had to drive to get to the more historic things, but my parents were big history fans and so they took us to old buildings and museums and any archaeological sites that were around. I had my share of adventures. The Royal Ontario Museum was in Toronto, an hour away, and they had a huge Egyptian section with mummies and all sorts of cool things. Very stimulating for a young mind.


The mother's rocking and humming unnerved me. It served as a good means to build tension and suspense. The mother held all of the story elements together. Was this your intention?


Oh yeah. I’m glad it was effective. You never know unless someone else tells you. Cantare is a special person who can call in the supernatural world to help her. Sound is the means of creation for all beings, both in the heavenlies and on earth. Most people just don’t realize it. Cantare was creating the scenario for her daughter so that she would understand the seriousness of what had happened in the past and forget about the idea of the celebrity of it all.


The description of the fancy dress costumes seemed too real to have come from your imagination alone, in particular the one Giles designed for Jared. Without giving too much away, can you tell us if this was a costume you were familiar with in real life?


Actually almost all of it came out of my mind. I envisioned the headless horseman in Johnny Depp’s movie—which is still a favourite—to give Jared something really funky. And of course the modern teen would wear a black T shirt with a skull on it, what else? With Giles, I was thinking period costume with a little bit of English riding habit thrown in. Very noble. Perhaps the prince in Sleeping Beauty was coming through.


I particularly liked Olivia's costume. What a wonderful idea. It warmed my heart.

Did this have some basis in truth?


The outfit that Olivia wore was something I would wear, especially the turban. I love  turbans, as you can tell by my author’s picture. I love pink peonies and shawls and moccasins—I spent years wearing only moccasins—so, she was definitely in the costume I would have worn.


In one five star review, the reviewer commented that A Hallowe'en Tale 'contains far more than meets the eye'. Can you explain this multi layering? Would you say a teenage reader would pick this up or be satisfied with the adventure in the story?


Yes, there are quite a few layers to the tale. We have the simple Hallowe’en Party and friends going out for fun. We have a teenage girl who is trying to make herself feel a little more important by making sure her friends know that her family had a link to the place where they were going. We have a history lesson about something that happened in our past.

Artist F.T. Merrill 1886

This illustration depicts the execution of Ann Hibbins on Boston Common in 1656.

There were real people hurt in the witch trials that occurred all over the world for varying reasons. In the Wiccan world those events are referred to as the Women’s Holocaust, even though many men were killed as well. Then finally we have a paranormal event which leaves everyone thinking and scratching their heads.

To answer the second part of the question: I think most teens would get the layers, not necessarily consciously unless they were pointed out.


Do you call on your own memory when writing stories, or are they mainly pure fiction?

They are always a mix of fiction and reality. They say the best way to write convincing fiction is to pull it out of your own life and make it unrecognizable. I like to come up with characters who have connections to my world, whether past or present, plus I like to create people and scenarios that I wish were real.

I think that’s how the future sometimes comes about. If we look at some of the great sci-fi authors we see our present in their writings from the past. So who’s to say what a writer can do if they are convincing enough.

That is also a reason why all writer’s need to be cautious with their tales. What we write as thrilling or scary or a perfect murder, can be fuel for someone else’s actions. I was involved with Law Enforcement years ago, and you see scenarios acted out daily which have come directly from fictional sources or the publication of real events that are often horrific. When the abnormal mind gets stimulated by these kinds of things, it can get pretty hair-raising, so we as writers have an obligation to censor ourselves sometimes for the good of the general population.

I’m probably in the minority with that belief. Most people think they should tell all and the public has a right to know, but I taught kids for almost thirty years and most kids and adults, can’t handle the truth. It can be quite traumatizing. If I had seen what the teens in my story saw, I would have been terrified and there is no way I would have done what Olivia did. I would have turned the other way and said, “See you.” Maybe later I might have wished I’d checked it out, but I am not traditionally one of those people who goes into a dark alley without lots of back-up. LOL


You say form and punctuation are just other ways to make words sing. How do you bring out the music in your writing?

It’s the way you put it on the page. Every punctuation mark has a sound with it. If you put in a comma, you hesitate slightly but the pitch stays at the same level. If you put in a period, you stop, but your voice falls. A question mark makes you raise your voice and an em dash also makes your voice go up but in a different way. There is a hesitation that lifts and then makes you fall into the next word, like you just came over the other side of a hill and you are now on the way down. Italics on a single word add emphasis so you automatically say the word a little louder.

Separating a single sentence or a couple of words into a paragraph all by themselves, really makes you stop. It headlines the presentation. So format can be intrinsic to your scenario as well.

I always read everything out loud, both my own writing and the manuscripts that I get to edit. There is a certain rhythm that needs to be in a sentence. And when you end a work, it is really important that the music of the words also brings you to a close. Writing an ending of a story is like writing the end of a sermon. If the preacher doesn’t get it right, everyone just sits there and looks around the room like they’re saying, “Hmmm, what do we do now?”

A good ending will bring you to your feet with cheers, or make you cry, or at least stop and stare off into space. All that is done with the sound of the words and how they are connected or brought to a close.

 Important editorial tips here, Lynne. Thank you.

As an editor with MuseItUp publishing, you must read many stories with your editorial eye. Do you have trouble turning off your inner editor when writing your own first drafts?

Yes, and thank God for that. The last thing I want to do is turn it off in that situation. It makes me constantly check myself so my own editor doesn’t want to kill me.

Where the desire to edit drives me nuts the most, is when I am reading a newspaper or watching a movie or TV with the captions on. Then I am in real trouble because I see every error and can’t concentrate on the task at hand. I try to remember that most captions are probably done with Dragon Speaking Naturally and so that is why they sometimes look like a foreign language.


Would you like to add anything else?

Well, just that I appreciate the chance to come aboard and chat. It’s been fun. Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk more about the story, certainly the historical aspect of it.

There’s an amazing series of three films that the National Film Board of Canada made on this topic. One is called The Burning Times. You can watch it for free on the site. Just google it. It is really amazing and enlightening. You will be shocked and saddened by what you see.

 It's been a lovely chat, Lynne, I wish you much success with this thought provoking short story A Hallowe'en Tale. I enjoyed it very much.

 You'll find VL Murray here

 V.L. Murray web page




A Hallowe'en Tale is available from  

MuseItUp Book page.    Read the back of book BLURB and a STORY EXCERPT here.



Monday, 8 April 2013

Introducing Gordon Rothwell -author

Introducing the author of The Seventh Bull, a dark short story dripping in glamour and gore. Spellbinding.

Cover Designer: Charlotte Volnek

Gordon Rothwell

As an advertising copywriter—one of the original Mad Men— Gordon wrote material for over 100 major firms in California, including PR for the Apollo lunar space program. He received numerous awards including a CLIO (the Oscar of advertising).

He’s a sportswriter and screenwriter. Many of his screenplays have won and been finalists in the Motion Picture Academy's Nicholl, Acclaim, Chesterfield, Hollywood Symposium, and FADE IN competitions. He’s published articles and stories in numerous men's magazines as well as youth-oriented publications like BOY’S LIFE
He enjoys the fanciful and macabre on screen and in books. Gordon now lives in the shadow of Mt. Shasta, surrounded by a loving family and one sweet pit bull named “Dreamer.”

Gordon, when did you realize you were more inclined to writing than to anything else? Did something happen at an early age, or did someone say something to open your eyes.

I grew up in Seattle, Washington in the 1930’s and ‘40’s.  I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid.  But I did love radio dramas like Escape, Suspense, Lights Out, The Shadow and I Love A Mystery.  And movies were dirt cheap.

I’d go off on the trolley to downtown every weekend and see swashbuckling epics and spooky thrillers at a variety of movie houses.
It wasn’t until I entered the University of Washington, and attended the School of Journalism, that I started writing seriously.  I was encouraged by a professor, Bob Mansfield, who had carved out a career early in his life in the young adult field.


 Mansfield’s wife, Katherine, had established a record of sales at The Saturday Evening Post with 13 stories published in a single year.  They helped me to find my voice.

For a moment I thought you were referring to the great NZ short story writer Katherine Mansfield, but I checked. Mansfield was her maiden name. It wouldn't have surprised me, though.

Who was the biggest influence in your life?  Why?

 I suppose it was my mother, Mary.  She always had her nose in a book. My father never read a book in his life.  Mom liked to tell me stories of her young life in Pennsylvania and talk about books she was reading.  We had radio and listened to shows together. This was long before TV robbed us of our imagination.  When I became an editor and humor writer for school publications at the U. of Washington, Mom was thrilled.

 Is writing ever a chore?

 I’m a real lazybones.  I love doing research and plotting out stories.  I can really get into developing the characters, hearing the dialogue passages inside my head, and figuring out all the scenes and plot twists and surprises.

 I know exactly how this is. We should be more diligent because we are depriving the reading public of some exquisite work. are, for sure.

But when I have to sit on a chair day after day writing it, I balk.  I’ll try to think up any excuse so I don’t have to write that day.  And I often engage in the real no-no.  I stop in the middle of the writing and don’t go back to it for a long time.  I lose my momentum, my feeling for where I was and where I was going.

 That’s probably why I never sold much in my life.  I didn’t fill the pipeline all the time with new work.  But I’m not a one of those talking writers. I hate writing classes and seminars where group members never really turn in assignments when it’s their turn.  They just want to hang out, gabbing with other would-be writers

 Yes this is true, 'Talk writing!'  I say. Chit chat is for the phone or over lunch. But we want to read more of your work, Gordon. An internet writers group is the way to go, if you want a writers' group, that is.

Is there anything about the writing process that you find surprising?

 I’m surprised that as much as I try to stop doing it, it won’t let me.  I think writers are born with something in their gut, or their head.  If I deny it and stop, even for years, something will trigger a memory or a feeling. And I’ll go around the house looking for a pen and a writing pad, so I can get that thought down before I forget it.

When I was an advertising copywriter, I used to keep a pencil and pad by my bed and in the bathroom.  I got my best ideas for headlines when the hot water from the shower head blasted the back of my neck.  Go figure!

  haha. You caught the bug early.

What prompted this story?  Why the fascination with bullfighting, and did you attend one for the purpose of research?


I suppose my fascination with bullfighting began back in the 1940’s when I was a boy sitting in a darkened movie theatre watching Tyrone Power in a spangle-covered suit of lights facing a raging bull in an arena full of cheering aficionados.  The 20th Century Fox film was Blood and Sand, featuring Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth and Anthony Quinn.


Great cast for a classic movie. And what a coincidence, Tyronne Power influenced my novel too (I'll Never Forget You - 1951 with Ann Blyth)

That led me to reading books and stories about bullfighting by Hemingway and others. I developed a lifelong interest in the sport, and collected boxes full of magazines, tear sheets, and paperbacks.  I attended bullfights in person in both Spain and in Mexico. And even wrote two unproduced screenplays with bullfighting as a background.

 There's nothing like first hand experience to enrich a story and make it authentic.

How much of you and your experiences are in this story?

The story mostly came from my experiences one weekend in the 1960’s in Tijuana,  Mexico.  A bunch of us went down to see the Number One Matador in all  the world, Antonio Ordoñez, making his first appearance outside of Spain. He’d been featured in a three-part article in LIFE magazine written by Ernest Hemingway.  The article told of a historic mano-a-mano duel between Ordoñez and Luis Dominguin, a darling of the press and Ava Gardner’s beau.

That whole bullfight scene was surreal, especially the partying at the Sierra Motel after the corrida, where a strolling mariachi band trumpeted out hot songs and equally hot senoritas in tight leather pants and flat-brimmed sombreros  clapped their hands and wriggled their butts to the delight of a raucous audience of movie stars and starlets.  Much of that found its way into The Seventh Bull.

This real life excitement is sure to come through in the pages of your story.

Name the last two books you read.  Are they from the genre you write in? 

 THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins.  And LEGEND by Marie Lu.  I thought both were well written and exciting concepts.  I hope to get around to reading the other books in each series when I can block out some time.  Or I might just have to catch them when they come out as movies at my local cinema.  Now, when I go to my local bookstore, the Young Adult section seems to be growing and growing. I suppose the Twilight Series, True Blood and The Walking Dead are fueling much of it. YA is not my genre at the moment, but I think perhaps it should be.

Do you have a pet?  Would you allow it near your desk while you work?  Has it ever made an appearance in your stories?

 Up until recently I had two dogs that I had raised since they were puppies. They were totally opposite in temperament.

One dog, Aspen, was a tan, longhaired Australian cattle dog. Sad to say she is dead.  She was a real live wire---barking all the time at everything, leaping, running, watching, patrolling the fence around our yard.  She was the dog you see in movies herding sheep down under, or driving them to their deaths over a cliff in that Far From The Madding Crowd film.  She used to sit close by my side, never taking her eyes off me. 

 Aspen was misunderstood by the entire family because she could look very menacing when you entered our premises.  Once she got to know you, she was fine.  But she liked to buffalo people with her hostile demeanor.  She was only eight years old when she somehow jumped up on one of our beds, flipped over, and fell onto the floor and hurt her spine.  She lost the use of her back legs and was in excruciating pain. We had to put her down.  That pretty much broke my heart!

 Aspen sounds like a wonderful dog. I'm sorry for your loss. Australian cattle dogs can scare you. She'd make a irresistible character in a story.

My remaining dog is Dreamer. She is a loving, sweet and quiet black and white pit bull who’d rather sleep on her pillow below the living room TV than go out looking for a neighborhood dogfight.  To say she is mellow is a gross understatement. And a far cry from those angry beasts I see shot by police everyday on the newscasts.

 Dreamer gave me a big scare a short time ago, when she was bitten on the neck and developed a lump there the size of a small bar of soap.  I posted that story on my blog.  She had it drained and is fine now.  

These days when I sit at my computer, my beautiful Dreamer lies on my bed sleeping, or watching and listening.  Hoping I will stop and give her a quick tummy rub.  I haven’t put these animals in a story yet, but I’d like to pay tribute to Aspen one of these days.  She was a dog to remember.

Which author living or dead would you choose to be your mentor?

Stephen King.  Man, he can churn out the work.  Look at all those films, too, made from his books and story collections.  I think he has one of the most fertile minds in the American field of literature today.  He may not appeal to high-brows or critics. But the people love him, and he’s given them a lot of stories to love.

When I was young and full of juice I sold a couple stories to some men’s magazines.  There was a higher level magazine, Cavalier, that seemed to be buying just the kind of stories I liked.  I had one I thought was right for them and sent it off. After a few weeks, it came back, not with a standard rejection slip, but a handwritten note.  The editor said they were torn between buying my story or another by a young and unknown writer.  And after deliberation, they’d decided to go with the other writer.  I was devastated.  I had come so close to finally crawling out of the slush pile and onto to fame and fortune.

When I went to my neighborhood drugstore later and picked up a copy of Cavalier, I opened it up to see there was one short story featured by this new writer.  It was entitled: The Boogeyman, and the author was Stephen King.  Who knows what might have happened in my literary career if they had only chosen me?

 Wow! That must have given you goose bumps.  You were so close. Timing is so important in Destiny, isn't it. If only Stephen King hadn't contributed at that time.  If only the editor had bought both short stories at the time.  Thank goodness you didn't give up!

Apart from “never give up” what advice would you give to new writers. 

Follow your passion.  Write what excites and fascinate you. If you do that, your readers will get it.  And you will develop a lifelong army of fans and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Meet Gordon at MuseItUp Publishing
Gordon's blog.
Twitter, and Facebook

The Seventh Bull is a short story available from:-
MuseItUp Bookstore   where you can read an excerpt from The Seventh Bull and Wendy's review.

also   Amazon
Smashwords and from all online bookstores

It's been a pleasure to have you here today, Gordon, and I really enjoyed reading The Seventh Bull.

Gordon Rothwell answers more questions and there's a GiveAway at  Ramblings from Lady Rosalie. Pop over and have a look.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Don't you just love talking about yourself!

Marion Sipe interviews me today. Her questions loosened my tongue, ie fingers.  It's great to visit her lovely blog.
We are dining with  5 of my mentors. I wonder if you know them. Probably. Would they be welcome at your diner table?

I do hope you can drop by for desert and possibly win a copy of my short story A Summer Squall with that lovely cover by Marion herself. We are feasting at