Veronica's #WritersDiary, #Post of #Christmas Past...
This week and next, I want to share with you once again one of my favorite things to do as a #reader and fellow #writer--highlight some exceptionally, talented people whose written works excelled beyond the norm, IMO. I take my #reading responsibility very seriously as each week I read and review a new work from writers I follow on Twitter and Facebook. It's a personal goal I've set for myself and my small way of giving back to a community of people I admire very much.
Last year I took a big leap and announced in my #Christmas week post the Top 3 Books I read in 2019. It's an extremely hard task to choose just 3--I read loads of good books each year. My final picks are books that captured something unique for me---characters, narrative style, plot--key, little somethings that make a story resonate in your mind.
Authors Bibiana Krall from the U.S., Margaret 'Lindsay' Holton from Canada and D.B. Carter from the U.K. made my final cut last year for their exceptional works: The Boathouse, a mystery-suspense novel manuscript that will be queried in 2021; Trillium, an epic novel of three families spanning 250 years; and The Cherries, a bittersweet tale of relationships and personal life changes that will tug at your heartstrings.
Next week I will announce my Top 3 Books for 2020 and let you get to know those fine authors. Before then, I thought it would be fun to catch up with last year's #writer picks to see what they've been up to in this #crown spinner of a year and what their plans are for 2021. If you'd like to read last year's interview first, you may do so here⏬:
And now, let's see what Bibiana, Lindsay and D.B. have been up to, in their words:
Author Bibiana Krall
Even with the extreme changes in the world, this past year has been a whirlwind of creative activity for me. I published three, brand-new book titles and an audio book: THE RAGE OF DANU (Book #3 Irish Phantom Series,) VOLGA BLACK, a collaboration with Veronica Cline Barton called HEARTH FIRES and an audio version of my debut ESCAPE INTO THE BLUE, narrated by the talented voice actress and singer, Megan Meyer.
I co-created a weekly YouTube channel in May during the worldwide lockdown called #BOOKEM. ‘One channel, three authors’ along with Veronica Cline Barton and Amy Reade.
We trade off and individually host the show every third week with the occasional Zoom guest, which is always fun. I am one of the three hosts and the executive producer on the technical side. #BOOKEM is a vlog that focuses on the power of story to escape, writer’s life, marketing and so much more. It’s equally geared towards readers and the writing community. We are grateful for your support and empowered by what we’re building together as women and full-time writers.
There were a few times during the pandemic that I found it difficult to draft new stories. Everyone was at home and my private time went down to zero.
I shifted gears and created cinematic book trailers for clients, built a beautiful, custom web site and completed quite a few paid commissions for video and audio marketing clips via my side hustle, Compass Bespoke Creative.
The moneymaking gigs gave me the freedom to re-invest in myself by purchasing timesaving software and a new laptop with the power and storage that I need.
Next year, I look forward to attending Bouchercon in NOLA and meeting great mystery writers, agents and publishers. If you plan to be there too, please reach out. Let’s connect on social. @Bibiana1Krall /Twitter @bibianakrall /Instagram
MONT PELIER, book #4 in the Irish Phantom Series is with the editor and scheduled to arrive in the next few months. Two Celtic gods battle for the balance of power over the world…what could possibly go wrong?
My number one goal for #2021 is to sell my manuscript, THE BOATHOUSE to the highest bidder. It’s a fantastic mystery set in coastal Maine with complex characters that activate a reader’s emotions. It would also make an unforgettable feature film.
Think BLACK RABBIT HALL hosts characters from THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES.
Fear is where my artistic growth is. The Boathouse was recently submitted in a contest hosted by a company on my A-list of publishers. I’m querying the project as well, and still searching for the right fit. I’m ready meet my future literary agent.
Veronica, your respect and friendship has made this bleak and terrifying year bearable. I adore your wild and wacky “news updates.” Thank you for highlighting my novel THE BOATHOUSE. Appreciation to all who spend their precious time reading, reviewing and helping my books be seen.
I am ever thankful for my family, friends, readers and inner-circle of creatives. It means so much to be here with you. Wishing a happy, healthy and bountiful new year to all reading this post.
My very best-Bibiana Krall https://www.bibianakrall.com
Author Margaret 'Lindsay' Holton
Since February, I've been working hard with the talented voice actor, Jens Hansen, to turn her award-winning historical fiction, TRILLIUM, into an engaging #audiobook in order to reach a wider audience. Narrator Jens, a well-travelled Anglophone with an astute ear for accents and nuance, brings all the boiling drama and bubbling comedy of TRILLIUM to life, in an outstanding performance that lasts 14.5 hours! TRILLIUM remains available on Amazon as an ebook, paperback while the audiobook is available on Audible. It will be coming to iTunes too, soon.
Link for ebook & paperback:
I also released my award-winning novel of 1999, The Gilded Beaver, as an e-book and paperback in the summer of 2020. In it, an intense relationship between an imperious client and ambitious fine furniture designer comes to a head through an extraordinary design commission. Initially released ‘by Anonymous’, readers will discover in this second edition why Holton has been quiet for so long about this scintillating ‘true story’ … LINK: The Gilded Beaver (Second Edition) USA - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089T7QJ5B/
I have been mulling over several other Works in Progress: a collection of short stories, personal essays and poetic bon mots that will be representative of my 40 odd years of writing prose and poetry. And, a revamping of an older ‘murder’ story set in Barbados continues to smolder …. I’m still learning the ropes on Amazon and may stall release until 2022. We’ll see... 😊
Thank you so much Veronica for your continued support and encouragement. It is very much appreciated. Happy Holidays!
Author D.B. Carter
I think 2020 has been one of the strangest years of my life. After publishing two novels, “The Cherries” and “The Wild Roses” in 2019 and being a contributor to collection of spooky tales called “Winter Chills”, I had high hopes for the new year.
It started off well and I published a new romantic novella, “Ups and Downs”, in February just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s the story of Carol, a successful business owner who hates her life. When some vital equipment for her company breaks down, it turns out the only person who might be able to help is the man she wronged years ago when they were young.
When the covid-19 pandemic broke out, my day-to-day life didn’t change much. I love being at home with my wife and surrounded by our book collection. She is a French, German and Latin tutor and switched to teaching via Skype, so it’s been lovely having her around while I’m ensconced in my den writing away. But I think lockdown took a toll on us all, and not being able to see my two eldest children, who both live some way away, was very hard – thank heavens for Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp. I have heard from many other writers who say their creative spark was diminished over this time, and I have to say mine was too. Combined with some eye problems, it meant I haven’t been as productive as I’d like.
I am very blessed to live in a gorgeous area of rural Devon, in the UK, with lovely walks on my doorstep and the seaside just a short drive away. This has helped me jumpstart my writing again, as I draw much inspiration from nature.
I have a major new novel well under way, which is a fantasy adventure set in our modern world. The feedback from beta readers has been very positive and I hope it will be published in earlyish 2021.
I have also written some short stories, one of which, “The Sting”, was published as an e-book on Amazon for Halloween. I was also delighted and honoured to contribute some poems and short prose to Tracy Hutchinson’s wonderful collection, “2020 Together”, which raised money to support NHS charities during the covid-19 outbreak.
And now, in December, as 2020 winds to an end, I have published a seasonal novella, “Christmas Yet to Come” which is the story of a teenager and his younger sister coming to discover the true meaning of Christmas in the face of adversity.
I’m not sure what 2021 will hold for me. I shall continue to write, of course, and I have several story ideas bubbling away. I am also working on a new YouTube/podcast project – more details to follow soon, I hope. All I really want from the new year, though, is to once again be able to see friends and hug family.
Thank you to the ever-wonderful Veronica Cline Barton for asking me to contribute this piece. She is not only a wonderful author (I encourage everyone to read “Mistletoe and Mayhem” over the festive season) but she is a fabulous support to her fellow writers.
I wish all who read this a merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years. Let’s hope for good news in 2021.
I find it absolutely amazing that in a year of an unapparelled, global shutdown and uncertainty, the creativity of the mind and spirit prevails! Thank you once again to Bibiana, Lindsay and D.B. for giving us an update as to what's up in their worlds--best of luck and prosperity to all in the new year!
#Pandemic humor this week from the writers of Twitter...
Author Sheila Patel, Aunt Sheila's Pandemic Diary, 5⭐
Laughter is always the best medicine and Author Patel once again shares her humor and wit as the characters we've come to know and share giggles with deal with life in this new world order; masks, disinfectants, a darling goat and voddies included, lol!
Month by month we get the lowdown on what's going on in the world as well as with the local folks in the neighborhood. We experience the emotions of the characters that have tugged at all of us as we witnessed the passage of days, weeks and months in this year like no other. The spirit of laughter prevails, and in the end, connects us all. Well done to the Author, whose wit and humor shows us that even in the craziest of times, there is always something to make us smile.
Next up in the reading queue:
Join us later today for some book chat and fun!
Amy Reade's on deck offering some sage #holiday wisdom today; Time Out For Yourself. After this year of events, I can't think of a better present to give yourself! See you soon!
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. Stay tuned for the Top 3 Books reveal in next week's #Christmas post! You won't want to miss these fine authors and their books! Gemma and Rikkhe approve💖👑