Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Writers Notebook

   I carry around this tiny little pink notebook in my bag everywhere I go. Sure it has the odd phone number or book title in it but it's purpose is to catch random thoughts and ideas that I have during the day when I'm away from my computer. Sometimes I focus and think what could make ________scene stronger? Or how can I raise the stakes for so-and-so? Other times I'm talking about something and think: that was funny, clever, maniacal. . .and it should be in a book someday. Out comes the pink notebook and I jot it down.
   I haven't used every line or plot idea yet and that's the best part. Sometimes when I'm feeling stuck I pluck out the little book and flip through it, I may not use anything but it can get my mind turning and that's sometimes all it takes, other times it takes chocolate. But that's a whole other thing!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nail the Ending

It's Tuesday at Barnes and Noble. You rush to the stacks after work to get your hands on a new book, something that has been written in your calendar for months so you don't miss it's release date. Now imagine you are reading in your favorite spot. Although you have arranged snacks to be nearby, they are ignored because the book has you in it's clutches--the story concept is crisp and fresh. Characters delight, surprise and frustrate you as the scenes haul you through the character's world. The plot moves the story from one delicious tragedy to another.
Yes, but only if the ending satisfies the reader!
What makes a great ending?

•I like a story where every character gets their resolution. The main character provides the action that resolves the main character's problem and the supporting cast gets to solve their issues in the subplots.

•The ending feels like "that really is the only way it could have happened." The author has set me up completely through the character's actions and personality traits to believe the story had to end that way.

•It ends. I know this sounds obvious, but I read a lot of books that are part of a series. The best, the one's that stand out, the ones whose next titles get written in my calendar, are the ones that end, even though there will be another book. The next book in a series is for a loose end or a emerging story question that was left to tantalize me into opening my purse and swiping my debit card again. Don't worry--I'll do that.

•The main character (and hopefully a few others) changes. I don't need them to change all the way through, but at the end there has to be a change of circumstance, attitude, physical/mental/emotional ability--something!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Speakers of the 2013 iWriteNetwork Summer Workshop Announced

Drum roll please.....

We thought we'd introduce a few of the confirmed (more to come) speakers for the 
iWriteNetwork Summer Workshop, July 12-13, 2013

We are wild about the line-up already!

Lisa Mangum 
If you've ever taken a class by editor and author, Lisa Mangum, you know that it is something you not only don't want to miss, but will never forget. She is entertaining and informative. She will be teaching two fabulous classes.

She is the author of four YA books:
The Hour Glass trilogy
After Hello

Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book since 1997. Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville with her husband, Tracy.
Find out more here

Her books:
The Hourglass Door
The Golden Spiral
The Forgotten Locket
After Hello

Greg Park Greg Park - Orem, UT
Learning from Greg Park is something you don't want to miss. He will blow your mind.
Author of 5 amazing fantasy novels
3 in the Earthsoul Prophecy series
Savidious Stark

Greg Park was born in 1967 in Provo, Utah, and spent much of his youth fishing the Provo River and camping and hunting in the Wasatch Mountains with his father and brothers. In 1986, he served a two-year mission in Osaka, Japan, then attended Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor of arts in English and a master of arts in theater and media arts.               
A high school English teacher for many years, Greg is the author of The Earthsoul Prophecies fantasy adventure series and YA science fiction novelSivdious Stark and the Stadium Between Worlds. His novel Veil of Darkness received the USA Book News Best Book Award for fantasy in 2007, and the series has been praised by the Library JournalMidwest Book Review, and the Deseret Morning News.
Still an avid outdoorsman, Greg enjoys fishing, hunting, and camping with his wife and children in Utah’s backcountry.
His books:
Veil of Darkness
Cleansing Hunt
Children of T'shaen
Svidious Stark

Find out more here

RaShelle WorkmanBestselling Author, Disco Dancer, Cupcake Baker

One word describes RaShelle and that is FUN! She is the bestselling author or the Blood and Snow series and tears up the YA adult scene with her fun and interesting characters.

RaShelle Workman is the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series ("Sleeping Roses" is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series. She's sold over two hundred thousand copies of her novels worldwide in the past year, including Japan, Canada, and Europe. You can find RaShelle all over the web, but the best place to start is on her

You know she's awesome if she describes herself like this-


Her Books:

Blood and Snow
Sleeping roses
Rose Undercover
Immortal Essense
Find out more here

Amber Argyle

Amber Argyle, YA author,  loves perfection and you'll see that in everything she touches. She'll make you laugh while you learn.

For the first twelve years of my life, I lived in a two bedroom ranch house at the base of a mountain. Besides my parents, my family consisted of three brothers—the oldest of which enjoyed beating me up. Ironically, the younger two were terrible wimps. I rode horses, moved sprinkler pipe, and mucked out barns (when they could catch me). We didn't have a lot of money, and the part of the ranch we lived on was repossessed by the bank. Subsequently, we had to move to town (I know. I should have written Westerns).
I graduated from Utah State University with a bachelors degree (English and physical education), a husband, and a two-year old. I was a member of the collegiate honor society and graduated cum laude (which basically means I'm an overachiever).
My second son had severe colic, often crying for 16 hours a day. By the time he was four months old, I was in a very dark place. I discovered that I could prop him up between my arms and type for brief periods of time. Creating stories quickly became a cathartic addiction I couldn't function without.
It took four manuscripts and five very long years before my first novel, Witch Song, came out.
I currently live in Northern Utah with my husband and three children. I exercise because I like to eat chocolate and fit in my jeans love (often rotating between Zumba, running, and basketball). I have a thing for vintage inspired clothes and firmly believe that one can never have enough shoes or jewelry. Also, I can't fathom why people eat tootsie rolls.
Her books:
Witch Song Trilogy
Winter Queen Trilogy
Find out more here

Cindy HoganMy Photo

If you've read Cindy's bestselling Watched Series, it's easy to see that she loves to write for and spend time with unpredictable teenagers. If she's forced, she will spend time with adults, but only if they agree to be quite random. After being coerced into speaking at her college graduation at BYU, she decided there was nothing in the world that could be more heart-stopping and refuses to believe that something can't be done. She loves a good scare, but not the gory, bloody type-suspense only, please. And as far as romance goes, make sure it's true romance and not smut. If she could have one thing, it would be to have the ability to freeze her two teenage daughters just how they are and never let them go. She loves to plan parties and be outdoors.

Her books:

The Watched Series- Contemporary YA romantic suspense
Find out more, here

Tristi Pinkston

There isn't a person in the world that will make you feel more accepted and loved than Tristi Pinkston. She is mega talented and an expert in the field of writing. She can teach on subject given her and rock the world.

She is the author of 12 fiction/nonfiction books and a series on writing, the Write It Write Series. You'll want to get your hands on those.

I've been a writer for as long as I can remember. After receiving much parental acclaim for my first masterpiece, titled "Sue the Dog," I tried my hand at poetry. This phase lasted until my early teens, at which point my poems took a decidedly macabre turn and I decided to abandon it in favor of fantasy. That … turned out to be a fantasy.

I was taught at home by my parents. After I graduated from high school, I took two correspondence courses from Brigham Young University in creative writing, and also a course in floral design from International Correspondence Schools. After that, I took a job working at a floral shop, which I loved.

At the tender age of 18, I met then 34-year-old Matt Pinkston of Eugene, Oregon. We were engaged on our tenth date. This consequently sent my parents into shock. After we revived them, we were married in the Salt Lake Temple. I was 19 by that time, which, as we all know is so much older than 18.

We started our family with a baby girl, and then added three boys to the mix.  They're extremely smart, beautiful, talented, spiritual, well-behaved ... well, would you expect anything less of my children?  

When my first son was about 8 months old, I had a strange dream which piqued my interest in World War II. As I hit the Internet and did research at the library, the story of "Nothing to Regret" came to life and was published in 2002.

The week after my fourth child joined our family in 2004, my second book "Strength to Endure" was released, written about World War II from the perspective of a German family. It was quite a kick to have a baby boy and a baby book at the same time.

March of 2008 saw a new addition to our family. No, not a child … a book. "Season of Sacrifice," the true story of my Hole-in-the-Rock ancestors and a labor of love, was printed by Golden Wings. To tell the experiences I had while writing this book would take far too long, but I feel blessed to have been able to help preserve the memory of these remarkable pioneers and to feel of their spirit while I told their story.

With the release of “Agent in Old Lace” in 2009, I headed out into uncharted territory. Well, uncharted for me. I had never envisioned myself writing contemporary novels—I had always pictured myself sticking with historical fiction. But one day, the idea for “Agent in Old Lace” popped into my head, and I wrote it down. It’s undergone many changes since then, and I’m not sure if those who read the first version would even recognize it, but it’s all been for the better. And what a fun ride it has been! I have to admit, I have just the tiniest little crush on Rick Holden.

Most fun of all has been writing "Secret Sisters," published in 2010. My little ladies bring out my whacky sense of humor, and I know for a fact that they talk to me and put words in my head. I look forward to sitting down to write and seeing what they've been up to. The release of "Dearly Departed" in January of 2011 fulfills a dream of mine - having a series published. 

I'm a stay-at-home mom, a home schooler, a media reviewer, an editor, a regular presenter at the LDStorymakers' writers conference, a Cubmaster, and a headless chicken. In addition to the novels I write, I maintain a blog which contains tips for aspiring authors and also my own personal ramblings, which sometimes make sense and sometimes do not. I enjoy reading, watching good movies, and making scrapbooks. I enjoy cooking and consider it a minor miracle when I can get all four children to like the same meal. I also enjoy making shopping lists (which I sometimes actually use), spending time with my kids, and taking Sunday afternoon naps, which are so necessary.

Her books:

My Name is Frankie
Turning Pages
Women of Strength
Target in Ties
Hang 'em High
Bless Your Heart
Dearly Departed
Secret Sisters
Agent in Old Lace
Season of Sacrifice
Strength to Endure
Nothing to Regret
Write It Right Series

Find out more here

Donna K. Weaver

Donna's dry wit and expansive knowledge will give you a run for your money. Her first book, A Change of Plans, is set for publication only one month before our workshop-congratulations.

I'm a Navy brat who joined the Army and has lived in Asia and Europe. Because I sailed the Pacific three times as a child, I love cruising and wish I could accrue enough vacation time to do more of it with my husband. We have six children. Our eight grandchildren live all over the world. At fifty, I decided to study karate and earned my black belt in Shorei Kempo.

 After doing city council minutes for twenty years, I decided to write something a little longer and with a lot more emotion--and kissing. My debut novel, A Change of Plans, is being published by Rhemalda Publishing and comes out in June 2013.

Her book:

A Change of Plans

Find out more here

Canda Mortensen

Can you imagine being taught by someone who teaches teachers how to teach? (boy, that was a mouthful) Canda has been teaching teachers in Alpine district how to teach for many years and she is well known for her ability to teach anything effectively and with pizzazz. She is fun and knows how to engage an audience. She heads up the League of Utah Writers in Utah County and can juggle about a thousand things at once.

She loves to read, write, and teach.

She co-writes YA and chic lit with her daughter Deanna Henderson and they are working on their 6th novel now.

Find out more here


Deanna Henderson

Lover of pinterest, books, and writing, Deanna has a style that begs you to adore her. She'll keep you laughing and having a great time. Deanna Henderson co-authors young adult fiction with her mother, Canda Mortensen, and together they form a dream team of creativity and originality.

I'm a stay at home mom with three kiddos. I love to co-write YA and Chick Lit with my mom. My Hubby and I like to build furniture, go on bike rides, and garden. We are also in doTERRA and love natural medicine. I like simple crafts, home design, and and sharing our crazy life. :)

Find out more here