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Dames of Dialogue Blog
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Dames of Dialogue Moved
Mood:  a-ok

We've moved to

Please join us there!

Posted by damesofdialogue at 9:02 AM EDT
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Monday, 11 May 2009
Now Playing: Christy Tillery French
Topic: Dames Dozen (interviews)
author1-photo1.      Tell us about your latest published book and your current writing project.

 Aging with Gentle Attitude includes humorous, light-hearted comments and opinions on aging and personal views on life’s experiences throughout the years. Articles are interspersed with collected humor and nostalgic tidbits reminiscent of days and times seniors knew, and can relate to, with a tender regard for the past. It stresses a viewpoint that includes acceptance of change and a hopeful attitude toward the future. Aging with Gentle Attitude is an appealing book for seniors and others interested in the many experiences of their parents and grandparents.

2.    Your Jeannie, a Texas Frontier Girl series has been compared by reviewers and readers to the Laura Ingles Wilder Little House on the Prairie series. How do you feel about that? What do you think the two series have in common? What are the differences?

 I am flattered and most pleased to be given that comparison. The two series have in common similar customs, traditions, and values of the frontier in our country in the mid eighteen hundreds. The Jeannie books are set on the Texas frontier, and the Little House books are set in the central part, the frontier prairie states of our country. The Jeannie books are more about ranch life, and the Little House books are more about farm life.

13.    You write fiction and nonfiction. Which do you prefer to write and why?

I enjoy writing in both genres as much depends on the story to be told and the events to be reviewed.

4.    Do you have a specific writing regimen? If so, what is it?

I usually write in the mornings when I feel energetic and fresh.

5.    Do you do anything “outside the box” in regards to promoting?

My main objective now in marketing and promotion is to write letters to libraries, schools and bookstores. I don’t do many booksignings, although I did in the first year of my Jeannie books. I am a senior citizen touching on “eighty young years” and I find I don’t have energy for more activity. I have also decided, at this time, after ten published books, my writing is for family and friends for the most part and those in the media who have previously purchased books, or are interested in a purchase via my promotion letters.

6.    What’s your most favorite thing about writing? What’s your least favorite?

My favorite thing about writing is to be able to communicate in such a way that the reader feels as if he is “in the scene” and is interested in the life of the protagonist, as if he were his friend. My least favorite thing about writing is a lack of personal motivation and a lack of interesting plot development.

7.    Who’s your biggest fan?

My biggest fans are probably my email author friends who have been most supportive of all my books and in writing their great reviews; also, my immediate family, including my helpful editing friend and husband, Elmer McDaniel.

8.    Who are your favorite authors? Have any influenced your writing?

My favorite authors are those who have written quality western fiction and other kinds of fiction that have been made into excellent movies and TV series, specifically, Larry McMurtry. My roots are in Central Texas and McMurtry’s are in the Texas panhandle. We have experienced lifestyles in our early years that are similar.

9.    What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Work hard, study and learn all you can about writing. Edit and revise and send your best effort to the publisher. Don’t give up when rejection slips arrive. I have received many. It isn’t that your work is inferior as much depends on the needs of the publisher. Remember, the more you write, the better your skill. One’s writing can always be improved. It is never a “finished” work. I am continuing to learn. And do remember, money and fame are not the primary concern. Most of us will never get rich from writing. We write to share, to promote our theme, to instruct, to give to others in some worthy way through our writing. We need to write to bring pleasure, to uplift, and to entertain our readers.

10. Tell us something about your part of the country – we love to travel.

Southern California has many sources of interest. I live about sixty miles from San Diego so there are all the tourist attractions available from the Pacific Ocean to Sea World, museums,  theaters, and Old Town.  In Temecula, a city of l00,000, there are many restaurants, a large shopping mall, smaller stores, theaters, and several miles away, a large Indian Casino called Pechanga. The casino attracts large numbers of folks from the Southern California area. Temecula has many beautiful trees, flowers and shrubs growing in landscaped yards of lovely new homes. It is located in a warm valley surrounded by rolling hills. One can drive to nearby Palomar, the Observatory, to Julilan, where apple tree orchards grow, to Beaumont where there are cherry trees, and  take a drive to Palm Springs an hour away, and two hours away are Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains.

11. Chat about your pets – we love them, too.

No pets but prefer small dogs like cocker poos. 

12. What’s your favorite Southern food? 

I like Cracker Barrel for good Southern food. There are no Cracker Barrels in Southern California that I know of.

For more information about Evelyn, go to:

Posted by damesofdialogue at 3:29 PM EDT
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Friday, 1 May 2009
Now Playing: Christy Tillery French
Topic: She does what? (Move)

1. Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue has been rescuing Weimaraners since 1999. Tell us how Wolf Creek got started.


I rescued my first Weim from an Oak Ridge Shelter. At that time, you rarely saw Weims and certainly not very often in shelters. I was able to place this particular Weim, but upon rescuing my second, could not give him up and kept him as my own. From there I began rescuing every now and then when one would come my way. After meeting my friend Laura, we began to see an increase in Weims needing rescue. We housed most of the dogs in our personal residence. This took a toll as the number of dogs taken in increased. I remember the years when there were only a few each year. Once we began to see double-digit numbers, we realized the need to form a nonprofit group to help with funding and the numbers of dogs coming in. Thus, Wolf Creek was officially formed by a small group of adopters and volunteers.


2. Why Weimaraners?


Something about their eyes and sleek noble looks got me interested in the breed. They fit my lifestyle, their personality similar to my own, and they are just a dynamic breed to own if you are a person who loves to have a breed that loves to be with you. They are loyal breed and once attached are your best friends.


3. What is Wolf Creek’s mission?


To seek out and place Weimaraners that need homes and ensure that the people who adopt them understand them and their needs. We also provide temporary shelter to those dogs passing thru our program. Wolf Creek also ensures that each dog’s medical needs and challenges are met.


4. Tell us about Wolf Creek’s Adoption Program.


We require an application be completed. Once we receive it, then we conduct a phone interview  and set up a home visit as well as a vet check. This process goes through several committee members before it gets to final approval and adoption occurs. Only about 40% of the applicants that apply are approved. We are very thorough in our assessments of potential adoptive homes. Not everyone who thinks they want a Weim truly needs one.


5. Tell us about Wolf Creek’s Foster Program.


Our foster families are important as they spend time with the dogs in their home setting and get to know the dogs. This helps us be more accurate in our placements and the needs of each dog. Often dogs we get have issues, some small, some larger scale.  Foster homes provide stability and allow a dog in need to be in a stable environment. This often helps us place them quicker than the dogs in the kennels that must spend their time awaiting their “Forever Home”.


6. As Weim owners know, Weims are special dogs that require special owners. What type of person would be the ideal Weim owner?


Weims need owners that are focused on them and can make sure that they get plenty of exercise and attention. Single, active people who are not family focused are excellent, Couples or singles who enjoy spending time with their dogs and do not have children are best, as well. This is not to say that they don’t do well with children but the majority of our surrenders come from families who have multiple children and decide to get a Weim on top of that or those whose lives have become too busy or their focus is on the kids. 80% of our surrenders are from homes who have 2 or more small children and the dog becomes last on the list. Weim owners must be focused on their dogs and must enjoy having a constant companion, curled up on the couch with them or helping them with everything.


7. Tell us about your pets and do you own Weims?


I have never owned anything but a Weim. 18-years experience with them has given me a wonderful and knowledgeable perspective on them. It has also been 18 years of learning how to outsmart them. I have owned 8 weims - some rescue and some from puppyhood.  Each has a special place in my heart and special memories. I currently have a wonderful little girl who was somewhat handicapped at birth. She has Spinal Dysraphism which is a spinal defect from birth. It is a malformation of the spinal cord which gives the nerves a narrower protective encasing. This causes her gait to be erratic - and is often characterized by “bunny hopping” when she runs. Also, when she scratches her ear with one leg, the other will do the same motion at the same time. She has learned to adapt and is actually quite fast and loves to swim. She is a beautiful girl and Momma definitely loves her. I also am the caretaker of a female who is paralyzed. This particular Weim had a blood clot in her spine which caused her to be paralyzed from the hips down to her toes on the rear end. I have had her in my care for about a year now. She is very sweet and has a will to live and try to be a normal dog. She requires lots of patience and requires that someone be very attuned to her needs and schedules. This means helping her to go potty, making sure she gets exercise in the pool or in her cart. She has 2 cool carts and can run and play almost like a normal dog . We have been doing rehab exercises to help prepare her for the potential to walk again. But I’m not sure she will. This dog has taught me the most about commitment and determination. I am considering adopting another boy dog as I do miss them. Between boys and girls in this breed, the boys are the sweetest.


8. How many volunteers does Wolf Creek have?


We have many people who help or volunteer from time to time. Many folks who adopt from us help as they can. It’s hard to say exactly how many. Most of our adopters come back as volunteers. We have many folks who have been helping us since before we formed the nonprofit entity.


9. Has the economy affected Wolf Creek’s adoptions?


I don’t feel it has, but it has affected the number of dogs being surrendered or showing up in shelters. We have had many adoptions through this downturn of the economy.


10. How many Weims does Wolf Creek rescue in a year?


Most often around 40-60.  We generally have anywhere between 12 and 20 in our program at any given time. To date, Wolf Creek has placed over 300 Weims.


11. What is the most tragic case Wolf Creek has encountered in its rescue efforts?


There have been a few cases that have been so hard to believe and very emotionally draining. I think the one that stands out most is Grayson, who we pulled as a neglect and ignorance case. He was chained to a makeshift box for shelter along with several other breeds. He was a large, handsome boy. He was friendly to most people, but not to other animals. After spending several months in the kennel, I was able to bring him to my home. Once working with him, we began to see signs of aggression and unpredictable behavior.  He did bite Laura and cornered her in the kitchen. The reality of what he had been through set in and we realized we could not save him from the filthy, neglectful life he had lived before. We had to euthanize him as his chances were extremely slim he would be adopted. This is a tragedy, as sometimes in rescue, despite our best attempts, we cannot help them.


12. What is the happiest outcome Wolf Creek has experienced?


We have many success stories. I think Ruby’s story is the most memorable. She had been dumped at the shelter by her owner who just told the shelter that she was sick. He had used her to breed and apparently was through with her. Indeed, she was haggard in appearance. She had the most haunting face when I saw her in the shelter. I still to this day remember that face. Unfortunately, the shelter required that she be spayed before she left the shelter and this caused her great distress, and by the time we got to pick her up, she had gone downhill to a delicate state. I remember spending the Christmas holiday praying she would make it. We had our vet doing home visits with us, medicating and keeping us supplied in IVs and other items that kept her alive. A few days later Ruby, did pull out of it and, after losing an unbelievable amount of weight, began to come around. She continued to do well, and not long afterward, we had folks seeking to adopt her because of her story and her will to live. She lived to a ripe age of 12 and had a wonderful life after being adopted. Something she probably never knew before.


Thanks, Amber. For more information about Wolf Creek, go to:


emma2I’d like to add that my husband and I adopted a Weimaraner from Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue and were impressed with their adoption process and their commitment to ensuring these beautiful dogs find their forever homes. We adopted a beautiful girl who has turned out to be absolutely the best dog we’ve ever had. (That’s Emma to the right.) I’m committed to these dogs and have vowed never to be without one. They are truly special and the best companion dogs (I call them hu-dogs because they at times seem more human than dog).

Posted by damesofdialogue at 11:41 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 May 2009 11:42 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 25 March 2009
The Dames have moved!
Mood:  chatty
Now Playing:

The Dames of Dialogue Blog has a new host and address.  Come join us at

 Stop by and leave a comment.

Posted by damesofdialogue at 5:02 PM EDT
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Evelyn Johnson, Librarian
Mood:  lucky
Now Playing: Maggie Bishop
Topic: Dames Dozen (interviews)

1. What has been the biggest change in the library field in the last five years? The biggest change I have seen in the library field is patrons do not come to the library just to check out a book. Our library is constantly being used for computer use. We have 18 computers for the public to use as well as WiFi. We are always having a wide range of programs for adults and kids. We check out DVD's, Books on CD and a new invention called Playaways. Plaways is like an Ipod with a book instead of music. One sad thing that has changed is I find that we rely on computers moreso now to find reference questions instead of books.

2. How is Watauga County Library, Boone, NC, funded? We are funded by the State, County and Town of Boone and our Friends of the Library

3. How has the current economic slow-down affected the library? We are much busier so it has not slowed down with library use. We will know soon what our budget will be but I am afraid we will have to spend very wisely in the next year or so.

4. What types of books are the most popular with users? Bestsellers, mysteries, local authors and some nonfiction

5. How do you decide which books to buy for the library? I read reviews in library journals and we take patron suggestions

6. What do library volunteers do? They answer the phone, help with programs, shelve and help with different activities that are going on at the present time.

7. What is your earliest memory in a library? I have been at the library 31 years. I was hired to work for a summer and never left. Mary Sue Morgan asked the commissioners for extra funding to hire me so I owe it all to her. There were only 4 of us working at that time compared to 19 now. My earliest memories are going out on the Bookmobile with Mary Brown. We would deliver books throughout the community and had a great time doing it.

8. How did you get started in the library science field? I began taking classes part time at ASU after I began working here although I worked in the library at the high school. I loved to read. I grew up out in the community and there was not a lot to do except read. Again, Mary Sue Morgan was a big help getting me started with my classes. It was a long haul but I finally finished, getting married and two kids later.

9. What do you like to read? I am a mystery reader, yes I like the works of gory James Patterson. I do read a lot of Southern Authors.

10. Tell us about your pets. I am the grandmother of a wonderful Lab named Lucy. Lucy is my son’s dog but they both still live at my house. She is the smartest dog I have ever had and I have always had a dog. We also have a turtle named Raphael. Raphael is about 13 years old and will probably out live us all.

11. What do you like most about living in the North Carolina mountains? I grew up here so I can't compare it to anywhere else but I love the closeness of the community where everyone knows almost everybody. I love helping others and I love my family and church. I love the way we can see the seasons change and I can't think of another place I had rather be.

12. Who is your favorite southern author? Well, my favorite Southern Author is Lee Smith and my favorite book that she wrote is Saving Grace. I love the characters in the Karin Gillespie books as well.

Posted by damesofdialogue at 5:00 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Maggie Bishop Answers the Dames Dozen
Now Playing: Interviewer: Christy French
Topic: Dames Dozen (interviews)

1.Tell us about your writing. I started with romance and have turned to murder in my Appalachian Adventure series. Shortly after moving to the North Carolina mountains, I realized that simply living with this topography was like getting to know a challenging character so I write cozies in which the setting is almost a character. In Murder at Blue Falls, a CSI wannabe leads trail rides. When her horse finds a body, Jemma starts to investigate, Detective Tucker enters and the mystery twists and turns from there. In the sequel, Perfect for Framing, there’s trouble a-brewing at a Property Owners Association and Jemma is once again involved with a mystery. Emeralds in the Snow involves downhill skiing, a treasure hunt and a cold case mystery. Appalachian Paradise is pure romance on a five-day backpacking trek. And there’s my cat book, Meow Means Me! Now!, dictated by my feline in rhyme which takes him from being a kitten to an old guy.

2.Are you a member of any writers’ critique groups? If so, do you think it has benefitted you? I’m a member of High Country Writers, a group in Boone, NC, that I founded in 1995. We have a critique session on the second meeting of the month. By critiquing other manuscripts, I pass forward the help I received when I started out. At this point, I rely on my Editor to critique my work.

3. Tell us about the workshops you’ve put together.

Currently I have designed four workshops to help other writers. On Stage! Book Signings gives the steps needed to set up, attend and follow up book signings. Five Keys to Writing a Mystery, Internet Connections and Begin to Write that Novel/Memoir are designed for a one-hour format. They are all interactive and have handouts.

4. You have written five books. What have you learned about writing that you wish you had known when you started? Has it gotten any easier? Study the craft and try the tips to improve your writing. I just returned from a Break Into Fiction retreat, a workshop on character driven plotting, given by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love and now know that plotting can be easier. Also, don’t talk about your story before and during the first draft. Parts of the soul of the tale leak out when you do that. Your energy for the discovery dissipates. Hold onto that precious part of creating.

5. You write mystery and romance. What do you think the two genres have in common? Both plot lines evolve out of the character’s growth. We feel better when someone becomes a better human being and we, as readers, can feel the change in the character as they learn something about themselves. I write commercial fiction and expect a positive outcome at the end of the story.

6. How did you come up with your Appalachian Adventure series? Experiencing the outdoors by hiking, skiing and horse back riding takes me back to an appreciation of nature and I want to pass on that feeling to readers. I decided to have four male cousins run into adventure, romance and mystery in the mountains. Since I was a ski patroller, I was able to use first-hand background information in Emeralds in the Snow to give authenticity to the novel.

7. What do you think sets this series apart from other mystery series? The setting, the characters and the mysteries are unique to the mountains. I’ve put a fictional dude ranch near Boone, NC, because I think we need one. Jemma Chase’s love of CSI doesn’t interfere with her three jobs – trail-ride leader, carpenter and photographer. In today’s economy and in the service orientated jobs in a tourist area, she resembles the local people. However, she is from off the mountain originally and continues to learn the ways of the proud and crafty Appalachian people.

8. Are you a pantser or outliner? Until recently, I claimed to be a panster, wanting to discover the story as I wrote. The one time I plotted ahead, the story lay on the page. I ended up destroying all evidence of that story. However, now I view the panster-outliner as a continuum and I’m a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 (panster being number one, of course).

9. Do you have any particular writing rituals? The house has to be quiet and I sit on the couch and write the first draft longhand in ink on a tablet. I stop by four and have a glass of champagne.

10. What advice would you offer other writers? Read and write. Ask yourself, if your writing world were perfect, when would you write? How many days a week? Then arrange your schedule to be as close to that as possible and write. Log the hours written onto a calendar in a prominent place. After two months of writing those four or five days a week, give yourself an award. A massage would be good. When writing the first draft, turn off the internal editor. Give yourself permission not to judge.

11. Why did you start writing? One year when my husband and I headed off to a vacation on a dude ranch, someone in the office gave me a contemporary romance to read. That year, I read four hundred books and held down a demanding full time job. I read at traffic lights, during lunch, first thing in the morning and last moments at night. One morning I said "I can do this" and joined Romance Writers of America, took their craft courses and have written ever since.

12. What’s your favorite Southern phrase? Ball hootin’ – that’s when you’re driving down a mountain road with black ice, the back end of the truck starts weaving and you go ball hootin’ down, almost out of control.

Posted by damesofdialogue at 3:50 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 18 March 2009 4:01 PM EDT
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Friday, 13 March 2009
Break Into Fiction by Mary Buckham & Dianna Love
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: review by Maggie Bishop
Topic: She wrote what? (Reviews)

Break Into Fiction by Mary Buckham & Dianna Love

ISBN 1-60550-015-1, Adams Media

Based on their workshop retreats, Mary Buckham and Dianna Love have written a book which helps any author improve character-driven plots.

As a panster with four novels to my credit, I was afraid the techniques presented would spoil the sense of discovery during the process of writing the story. Instead, the templates force hard decisions which result in a rough map pointing the character-driven plot in the right direction. I can still take the Blue Ridge Parkway at 45 mph or Interstate 85 at 70 mph to arrive at the final destination. Room for discovery still abounds.

Break Into Fiction offers templates and examples which speed the writing process by decreasing the amount of rewriting required after the first draft. This process saves precious time for the author which enhances the enjoyment of creating the story. This book is good for those who cannot get to the 2-day retreats and as a refresher for those who have attended.

Release date is June 2009 so order copies from now to reserve yourself a copy.

Posted by damesofdialogue at 11:50 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Christy Tillery French answers the Dames Dozen
Topic: Dames Dozen (interviews)
1.  Give us your "elevator" speech about your latest book, Chasing Secrets.
An ATF agent on the run from a corrupt TV evangelist, crime boss and her own agency. The only thing she can count on: her dog Zeus and just maybe Detective Garrett Somersby.
2.  What brought you to Tennessee?
I was born here and have lived in East Tennessee all my life except for a short stent in LA, where my husband is from. I couldn’t get used to the flat land and brown air and people on top of people. I missed the mountains and lakes so much, I had to come back.
3.  How did Natasha of your Bodyguard series come to you?
I was driving home from a book fair, trying to think of a protagonist for a series, and the idea popped into my head. With a bodyguard character, I have at my disposal a multitude of clients she can protect leading to a plethora of situations she can get into. I wanted her to be Southern, young (so she can mature as the series does) and kick-butt. Hence, Natasha Chamberlain was born.
4.  Tell us what you have in store for Natasha (last time she protected a rock star).
My next book, which is slated for publication this year, she’s guarding a slimy defense attorney who’s been targeted by the head of a criminal organization.
5.  Do you outline and plot ahead?  Why/why not?
I’m what is considered a “pantser”. I never outline or plot ahead. I start writing and let the characters take the story wherever it’s going to go because it’s so much more interesting that way and I’ve learned it works better for me. If I have a mental wrestling match with my protag, trying to go one way when she wants to go the other, she always wins and the only thing I’ve accomplished is loss of time and a flare-up of carpal tunnel. I never write sequentially and many times write the last chapter first and then jump around. My final steps are putting the chapters in order and doing a chapter-by-chapter outline to make sure I have the time frames, scenes, etc. where they need to be and that everything flows. I’ve tried to write chronologically, but every time I do, a wall goes up. I guess I’m not a linear thinker.
6.  What keeps you from giving up writing?
Um, pure idiocy? Kidding. It’s simply the fact that I can’t not write. When an idea starts banging around in my head, the pressure builds until I have to write it or go nuts. This field is so competitive and so tilted toward not being successful, it’s almost impossible not to get discouraged. If I didn’t love writing so much, I’m sure I would have given up a long time ago.
7. You donate proceeds from the sales of your books to a Weimaraner rescue group and offer your books at rescue fund raisers. How did you become involved in Weimaraner rescue? What do you love about this particular breed?
I joined Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue as a volunteer shortly after its inception because they are so committed to saving these special dogs. We’ve seen some tragic cases but it’s a beautiful thing to watch a Weim blossom under Wolf Creek’s care and subsequently be placed in a forever home. Weimaraners rate high in regards to abandonment or neglect, simply because people don’t research them before they purchase them. These are high-energy dogs that require much quality time with their families. The thought of these beautiful dogs – well, any animal – being mistreated or ending up in a kill shelter not only horrifies me but makes me very angry. I became a true dog lover when my husband gave me a Weimaraner pup for my birthday several years ago. I fell for this breed and fell hard. Weims are called Velcro dogs because they attach themselves to their families and are not happy unless they are interacting with that family. They’re affectionate, loyal, protective, and intelligent but very manipulative. We’ve since rescued five other dogs: two more Weims, two black Labs, and an Australian Blue Heeler. I encourage anyone considering adding a pet to their family to think about adopting or rescuing. Help save a life, please.

8. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met at a book signing or event?
I met the original Marlboro Man, William Thourlby, at a book festival and he is still gorgeous! By the way, he told me he was never a smoker. He writes self-help books, and when he found out I write humorous fiction, he encouraged me to continue on that path. He’s a wonderful storyteller, and I enjoyed spending time with him.

9.  Tell us about your favorite southern food.
Oh, shoot, that’s hard. Banana pudding. No, maybe it’s peach cobbler..
10.  Where's the spot in your home or nearby you run to when you want a moment alone?
My office. The door locks.
11.  How did you meet your husband? (We love a romance!)
Okay, this is going to sound weird, but it’s not illegal. Honest! My husband is my stepmother’s nephew, so let me clarify, this is our only familial relationship and we are not related by blood. Steve came to Tennessee from California to visit his aunt (my stepmother), we met, and that was it for me. I was the quintessential goody two-shoes, raised by Southern Baptist parents, and he was the complete opposite, a real wild guy. He sported long hair, tattoos, rode a motorcycle, and smoked more than cigarettes if you get my gist. Needless to say, my mom and dad just about died when I started dating him. Now he’s morphed into a good ole Southern boy and both my parents adore him. Go figure.
12.  What advice do you have for new writers?
Persevere. Never give up. Keep pushing forward, keep learning the craft, keep writing, but most of all, enjoy the journey and have fun.

Posted by damesofdialogue at 6:24 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 March 2009 7:23 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Peter May interviews Maggie Bishop
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Suite 101
Topic: Dames Dozen (interviews)

Peter May interviewed Maggie Bishop on Suite 101.  Read about writing rituals and other tips from the author.


Posted by damesofdialogue at 7:28 AM EDT
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Saturday, 7 March 2009
What's in a name?
Mood:  spacey
Now Playing: Caitlyn Hunter
Topic: What's the problem?

I've been working on the final edits--well, okay, probably not the final,  but I'm getting close!--of Storm Shadows, the second book in my Eternal Shadows series.  This one has been tough to edit because my heroine, Betty Sue, wanted the story told her way and if she couldn't have what she wanted, no way was she going to let me have what I wanted.

Who would've ever thought a character that started out meek and mild would turn into a demanding, um...witch?  I certainly didn't, but I learned quick.  With Betty Sue, it's "my way or the highway", and she wasn't about to let me get my way.   She laid down the law pretty fast and all I could do was follow her lead.  But, I think hope I've finally got her down and now the only thing to do is check to make sure I haven't left any dangling threads or made any huge glaring mistakes.

And as I wind down with Storm, I've been thinking about the next book in the series.  Number three is the story of the third brother, Lucien, and though I have a vague idea of where I want it to go, I haven't really worked out all the kinks yet.  Hopefully, that'll come when I start writing it.  I do have a pretty good idea of the female character I want for Luke's heroine and just an inkling of her personality, but no name yet.

I always struggle with character names but that was one thing I didn't have to worry about with Betty Sue.  Her name was a gift from an unknown woman who lives somewhere here in western North Carolina who just happened to dial my phone number one day when I first started writing Storm.  At that time, I knew who my heroine was, a sort of plain Jane middle school librarian whose grandfather describes her as a "pert-near woman".  You  know the type, never makes waves, doesn't date much, and is, in her words, "as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs," around men.  I knew exactly who I wanted her to be, but I couldn't come up with the perfect name for her.  Then my phone rings out of the blue and when I went to answer it, the name that showed up on the caller ID was Betty Sue Corn.  I didn't answer the phone, I just stood there and stared at that name.  Call it kismet, karma, fate, whatever, that name was, in a word, perfect!

I'm hoping the same thing happens with this new character, but I sort of doubt it will, so I've been thinking, maybe I'll have a "Name The Heroine" contest.  I've seen other authors do that, but I don't know...what if I hated the name the winner picked?  Or if it was completely innappropriate for my heroine?

Nah, I think I'll just go back to running through the lists of baby names on the Internet...and waiting for the phone to ring.

Posted by damesofdialogue at 5:04 PM EST
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