I Received a Book Excellence Award!

Book-Excellence-Award-Winner-Blog-Feature-Image-1200x630I am incredibly excited to announce that I have been recognized as a Book Excellence Award Winner for my book, STILL SHOT in the Action Category.

To all of you who have offered your congratulations, THANK YOU and I send you a warm Chastity Creek hug!

Out of hundreds of books that were entered into the Book Excellence Awards competition, my book was selected for its high-quality writing, design and overall market appeal.

The book was released in 2016 and is about a Private Investigator and her husband who travel to New Orleans for a family wedding and find themselves up to their armpits in murder, mayhem and a family in deep trouble.  Caught up in a macabre play as fraught with intrigue as Macbeth, the twists and turns will leave you hanging onto your seat!

The book is perfect for action and mystery readers from 17 to 70.

You can get a copy for yourself at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

The next book in the series, GONE IN A FLASH will be released in November 2019. I’ll let you know more about those details as we get closer to the launch date. Thanks always for your support!

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Interview with David Baldacci

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I promised a weekly blog – and I love you all – so I wanted to post something of value. But NaNoWriMo is added to the normal towering pile of things to complete – so I read this awesome interview in my Killer Nashville Magazine and I know you’ll enjoy it! Have a blessed week!

IN THIS KILLER NASHVILLE INTERVIEW, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DAVID BALDACCI GIVES US A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT HOW HE MAKES HIS CHARACTERS AND LOCATIONS COME TO LIFE AND HIGHLIGHTS THE DIFFERENCES IN WRITING A STAND-ALONE NOVEL VERSUS A SERIES.

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NEW BOOK TITLES JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM WC PUBLISHING

THESE BOOKS CAN BE PURCHASED WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD! INDIE BOOKSTORES CAN ORDER FOR YOU OR YOU CAN ORDER ONLINE THROUGH AMAZON, BOOKS-A-MILLION, OR BARNES&NOBLES! Please remember to write and post reviews wherever you can!

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FICTION/MILITARY/LITERARY

Life has a purpose and our hearts can lead the way – if we let them. Cory McGuire

This novel is about being brave enough to risk our hearts in order to care about others, even when we have been hurt too many times.

A young man goes on his journey in search of finding out where his heart truly lies. We are all on that journey to some extent – or have been. It’s a story about heroes and the sacrificial love it takes to be one – on a military mission or in our homes.

ON SALE NOV 11 IN PRINT AND KINDLE FORMATS

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POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY/TRAVEL

Through this beautiful hardcover book, Dr. Goldfarb hopes to inspire readers not only to visit the beautiful cities and countrysides of Japan but to observe their surroundings, no matter where that might be and note their specialness, their uniqueness. Japan Inscape is an emotional response to an entire life of surgery and family, surfaced through poetry and photography. The mood alternates between chaotic city spaces and tranquil countryside, commonplace and monumental. His reflective trip to Japan captured, in photographs and Haiku, both the historic and modern aspects of this island nation.

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 22, 2018; Kindle Pre-Orders Available Now!

 

 

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Stretching Our Comfort Zones

NQ Promo Pic 2018The FWA 2018 Conference offered some neat “extras” this year including an affordable, professional author headshot studio and a recorded video interview session for the Meet the Authors Show with Dr. Philip Levin. Since I’d just had the headshot done at JC Penny not long ago, I decided to invest the small requested fee in doing the interview. (Fees benefited the Florida Writers Foundation to combat illiteracy in Florida.) Dr. Levin made the interview fun and easy, but I was sweating it for two days beforehand. I’m not particularly comfortable in front of a camera lens but I thought I’ve got to stretch this comfort zone some! Take a look at the results of a mobile studio interview with a rookie interviewee and a pro interviewer: NL Quatrano on Meet the Author with Philip Levin

On September 28, I was interviewed on the syndicated radio talk show, BIRDSONG, and I had a blast – but no cameras were involved, so aside from fearing that I’d sound like Minnie Mouse, I wasn’t as nervous. The nice thing about radio is that you can have it playing in the background while doing other things, so listen to the show! https://www.talkzone.com/episodes/LegalChannel/BIRD092818.html) Be prepared to laugh, to ponder, and to be engaged with this show.

What’s the value of all this out-of-the-box activity, you may ask? Well, Leonard and Philip and I are all authors and spending time with one another in these formats helps spread the word for us all. And, media like video and audio help spread the word exponentially compared to print and static web presence, so they are powerful tools for all of our social media like websites, FB pages, Twitter, etc. AND, I learned things, had fun, and grew as a person and an author!

Moral of this story: If it’s not immoral, illegal, or dangerous to you or others, don’t let discomfort keep you from trying new things! Be willing to learn something new every week – it’ll keep your body, mind, and spirit in good shape!

Keep writing and reading!

I WISH TO EXTEND A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO THIS NATION AND OUR FREEDOMS. THE PRICE YOU ALL PAY IS TOO HIGH AND YET IF YOU DID NOT – WERE NOT WILLING TO – THEN WHO WOULD BE GUARDIANS OF THIS UNIQUE AND INCREDIBLE COUNTRY? May God Bless you all today and always. 

Nancy Q. 

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WRITERS AND FRUSTRATION

Orange Juice by Andreus

Orange Juice by Andreus http://www.dreamstime.com

I’ve been in touch with – and made aware of – a lot of writing frustration over the past 4-6 weeks. I’d like to offer some suggestions that may empower you to write anyway.

The most common comments include, “I don’t have any time to write”; “This story just isn’t coming together”; “My publisher is not happy with this latest story”; “Sales really stink” – I can list many more, but in the interest of time for us both, I won’t.

I send us all a hug on this stuff. And hugs sent my way are appreciated. We’re all in the same boat even if not at the same time. And, I think that the bottom line sometimes just needs to be, “So what? This too shall pass.” We’re human. We have things to learn. We get sidetracked. So what?

A healthy quality of life includes the ability to live with joy on a daily basis regardless of the circumstances. It’s the result of a healthy spirit. Of being present to the moment we are currently in. We cannot have healthy spirits without balance. We won’t have balance if everything, every day, is about us or our writing. (We also won’t have friends.) And, it’s easy to get down that rabbit hole without a clear way back – I’ve been there myself a time or ten in the 20+ years I’ve been writing professionally.

We have to make our writing a priority, but it isn’t who we are and it won’t work well to be an obsession. I suggest that it must rank higher than twenty hours of television per week or hours upon hours of video games. I recommend giving up social media except for carefully selected, and disciplined viewing. Set up times per week, or per day if you must, to do your viewing. Then get out and get back to work. This includes research.

We don’t always get what we want and we often don’t get it when we want it. Sorry, these are just facts of life. They apply to me and Bill Gates equally. But, do we have all we need to be at peace, to be safe, to be healthy at this moment

GRATITUDE: Thankful people are happy. Happy writers write more words per year. Balance comes along with being diligent about being grateful. Be constantly thankful for all that you have: safe, clean water, electricity, clean air to breath, funds to pay the bills, food, health, a roof over your head, friends who love you, etc. Be thankful for what you don’t have: a catastrophic illness, the death of a child, the loss of a limb or sense like hearing or sight.

MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS: Let others run their own lives. Running anyone’s life but our own will eat up so much time and energy that there isn’t anything left for our writing – and it will not be successful or productive. Limit your exposure to Facebook, YouTube, and political news if you want your spirit to stay healthy.

HELP OTHERS: Participate in the world around you where you can. What passion lights up your heart? This is a world of many needs. Mentoring a student might be one, or helping the local library be what makes you smile. Maybe you help out at or through your faith community. Hats off! Don’t give it up – we grow by helping others.

ENJOY OTHERS: Don’t ignore your friends and family, but also let them know that you have a writing schedule and we appreciate them helping us stay on it. When they ask what you’re writing, reply, “The Great American Novel” – regardless of what you are really writing. BUT, don’t share your manuscript or ideas with friends and family until you’ve written at least your first draft. The influx of THEIR ideas will create a frustration level that will be hard to get past as you try to please everyone. I can guarantee you won’t be pleased with the result and you may even just quit altogether.

GROW YOUR KNOWLEDGE: Join a professional writer’s organization that can help support your growth in terms of skills, knowledge, and friendships. If your hobby is knitting, then you’ll probably have a blast joining a group that meets a few hours a month to knit projects that help others. Makes sense that you should be spending time with writers – others who understand what it’s like to have characters make you crazy with their insistent plot changes, or an experienced group that can help you learn to market that passionate non-fiction book that is almost finished.

BE KINDER TO YOURSELF: Be sure to schedule time and activities that take care of you. If it’s a spiritual retreat once or twice a year, be sure to do it. Love movies? Get yourself there, with or without your favorite movie-going buddy. Take a walk on the beach or in the woods regularly. Get out there in the fresh air for a round of golf every week with your pals. And I recommend that you write a max of 6 days a week – even God took off one day, remember? And He too was in the business of creating things. We are no good for anything or anyone if we are too tired, too hungry, too lonely, or too angry.

Keep reading and writing – I’m sending you hugs! See you next week.

Nancy Q.

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WRITE YOUR TRUTH

Michael Ray King 300dpiAt the Ancient City Chapter of the Florida Writer’s Association meeting held in St. Augustine yesterday, guest speaker Michael Ray King did a powerful workshop suitable for new writers and those of us with much more experience. Maybe too much experience! 

Mike has become a powerful writing coach and a highly effective speaker. When we first met he was a very talented and powerful writer, learning to be comfortable with coloring outside the lines. His expanded expertise is exciting and energizing to be around. And, he made an impact with the writers at the meeting, for sure. This one included.

In speaking about writing the first draft of anything, Mike encouraged us to JUST WRITE THE *^%$# THING. Don’t censor it, worry about the grammer, anyone’s opinion, or the rules you learned in 7th grade about what makes for “good” writing. Your first draft of anything will be unsuitable for anyone else’s eyes anyway – so just get it written. Enjoy the freedom of NO RULES, NO CENSORS, NO RIGHT OR WRONG! Write your truth with passion and without apology! That enjoyment will carry over into your writing and you’ll find yourself – and your words – energized.

Several of us, who are multi-published, remarked to one another later that we’d once written that way, before we attempted “good” drafts, making deadlines (self-imposed or otherwise) or surviving critique group comments regarding that first draft. Mike’s advice on that? Don’t give it to your critique group before you’ve given it a good edit!

THE DRAFT is your truth. Raw, visceral, necessary – it’s the essential starting place. As Nora Roberts has told thousands of writers at conferences over the years, “You can’t edit a blank page.” And as a professional developmental editor, I can confirm that. But the more powerful the draft, the more powerful the finished product will be. Fiction or non, it makes no difference. People can only be reached through their hearts – and writing your truth will enable you to write with the power and emotion you need to do that.

Mike also pointed out that the road to publication will also include self and professional editing, and a plan for marketing your book. “You won’t sell any book that you aren’t excited about,” he said, mentioning how he’d lost his passion for his first book, FATHERHOOD 101, long before it was released. “It became about the words and the deadline, not the topic, though I never meant that to happen,” he told us. “I never marketed that book because I was sick of it.” If we’re going to be successful in selling our work, speaking to others is essential to that success. If we’re not excited about it, we won’t tell anyone about it all.

So, I’ll share Mike’s message here. Whatever it is that you are writing, PLEASE enjoy the journey and experiences of your first draft. Let the joy, the anger, the excitement, and the disappointments of your topic or plot carry you away and just write it all down. You can fit it into your genre and have it conform to the norms of the publishing world in the editing phases with the help of knowledgeable professionals – not to worry. But if you don’t start with a passionate manuscript, all is lost before you get out of the gate.

Have a terrific week. Enjoy what you read and write and keep going!

Nancy Q.

 

 

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Happy Grandparent’s Day!

Due to major and rather consistent computer connectivity issues the past 8 days, I did not get the interview off to Will as planned, so we’ll have his chat next week. Tonight things seem to be working a bit better and I hope they will continue to improve.

Today is National Grandparent’s Day. Not a widely recognized or celebrated holiday and I think that is a shame. What a wonderful opportunity to share family history with one another! What a terrific chance to let our elders – or in my case – the younger generations, know how precious they are to us. At our local Council on Aging program this past week, we had a cookbook signing for 20 authors! To encourage the seniors to share their love with others, I challenged them to write a book – and promised to help them get it ready for sale. So, recipes, accompanied by a little story about it and a photo of the author, fill the book we named Favorite Recipes. They sold 90 copies in the hour and a half of the event. They treated visitors to a taste of each recipe at the end of the gathering. So now there are 20 more stories in the world that show the history and culture of these families and this rural region. And, there are grandchildren now asking about that meal or story in the book. It’s important stuff!

Author Patricia Charpentier would admonish us to make the most of the days we have together and be sure to capture all the stories we can. She’s a memoir specialist, a vocation she pursued after realizing she couldn’t ask her deceased loved ones her questions. Why hadn’t she asked before they passed? We always think we have more time or that other things are more important.

But our history is important. Our stories are the only way that our future generations will get to know us. I came from a family that was very secretive. I was fortunate to find letters and a worn leather-bound diary in my parent’s home before the bulldozers arrived. It changed me as an adult to learn some of those “secrets” which were not all bad things. My picture of the family matured with what I learned. Would it have helped those relationships to have known things before they’d all passed? I suspect it might have. I was raised not to ask questions (a habit I’ve outgrown, though) so I didn’t. And, much was lost that I cannot share with my children and grandchildren about who they are in history and culture.

So while today is getting very long in the tooth, don’t save your memories and stories for a special day. Instead, I recommend we make every day special and make time to record our special memories and stories. Use a journal or a voice recorder, but don’t let it wait. Once we are gone home to the Lord, we cannot answer the questions our loved ones may have.

And anyone interested in capturing a memoir on a video, which is a lovely way to do it, I know a great couple in St. Augustine who do that work. Drop me an email and I’m glad to share their contact information with you!

Until next Sunday, stay safe, be well, and keep reading and writing!

Nancy Q. 011

 

 

 

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