Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Authors: Working Together to Tell a Story


There are many outstanding duos and groups in the writing world and their planning and organization is very important for the success of their novels. There is a lot of teamwork needed to complete a project by co-authors.

I was approached by a group of authors who wanted some help in bringing their novel to market. Of course, I had my own ideas, but I knew the best source for information was from the Spotlight Crew. You know the authors that I have interviewed over the years (10 years, 1300 interviews and book showcases).

Some of the ‘Rules’ I came with:

1.      A good manager/leader is essential to the success.

2.      Member selection is a major part of the process.

3.      Established a strong outline to work from.

4.      Develop powerful characters and story line.

5.      Willing to commit the time and interact with other authors.

This article looks at co-author DUOs, Group projects, Novel series, Booksets and Publisher driven theme series. 


James Patterson is the Master co-authored best-selling novels.

The key to his success is his control of the process.

A strong detailed outline including the plot and the characters is his primary tool. He rewrites the outline until he is satisfied the story is complete. 

He follows his outline completely for his first draft. To him the outline is what makes the book. Editing is a part of his book’s success.

The co-author is given notes and an outline which is very long. The co-author drafts the chapters trying to keep them short, which is Patterson’s style. The co-author sends him pages periodically for feedback.

The product is returned to Patterson who completes the novel.

Patterson has a team of editors and assistants who produce the novel.

Patterson maintains complete control of the process like jacket design and the novel’s release. 

Here is a snapshot the thoughts and ideas the Spotlight Crew came up with.


D. E. Ireland – Co-Author Duo (PEN NAME)

Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta 
An Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery

Partner

Sharon and I have been friends since college and helped critique each other to publication of other books - her in historical British romance, me in American western historical mystery. When I came up with the idea of pairing up Eliza/Higgins as amateur sleuths, I knew Sharon had done far more research and had knowledge about Edwardian England -- and we'd long been seeking an idea to collaborate on, so voila. We both made up a "partnership agreement" to share in everything, the writing, the revisions, the research.

The Outline

Sharon's talent is in coming up with extensive outlines for each book (there are 4 in our series), but I absolutely helped brainstorm the plot points, the characterizations, the setting details, etc. Our outlines sometimes exceeded 20 pages.

Characters and the Story Line

We used George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion book and play (which helped in the making of My Fair Lady), plus his author's notes -- which absolutely set in stone that Eliza and Higgins were NOT romantic at all. Which is why we decided on making them friends and sleuths. As for the story lines, our first book was easiest -- the "hairy Hungarian" and former student of Higgins, Nepommuk, was a blackmailer, so we had to kill him off.

Interaction

We alternated chapters, and then edited each other's work, and then revised again, and again, until it seemed pretty seamless with two co-authors. As for marketing, we wanted a major publisher. Once we had the first book in finished manuscript form, I sent a query to an agent -- who called me back within an hour! With an OFFER of representation!! That was a shock, and he sold the book in two weeks to Minotaur. Of course, that was in 2014. Things are much different now, so many changes over the last seven years, especially with COVID and paper shortages, etc.. We got our rights back and are putting the books out on our own with new covers on Amazon. 


Sparkle Abbey - Co-Author Duo (PEN NAME) 

Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter - The Pampered Pets Mystery Series

Partners

Our author picture is a shot of us with the real Sparkle and the real Abbey. Don't you love the stare down? Our real names are Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. We write the Pampered Pets mystery series together. We're also friends and neighbors so you'll often find us writing at ML's dining room table or at our local Starbucks.

We chose to use Sparkle Abbey as our pen name on this series because we liked the idea of combining the names of our two rescue pets - Sparkle (ML's cat) and Abbey (Anita's dog).

Characters/Story Line

We have a very unique approach in that we take turns with the books. So what that means is that one of us (Mary Lee) writes the odd numbered books, and one of us (Anita) writes the even numbers books. The odd numbered books feature, Caro Lamont, a pet therapist; the even numbered books feature, Melinda Langston, a pet boutique owner. The two protagonists are cousins, so they share background information. And the books share setting, locale (Laguna Beach, CA), and secondary characters.  We create the plots together and work closely on the storylines to keep everything consistent.

Interaction

We live in the Midwest, but if we could write anywhere, you would find us on the beach with our laptops and depending on the time of day either an iced tea or a margarita.

We have had so much fun writing this series and we hope you enjoy Caro and Mel's adventures!

Traci Wilton - Co-Author Duo (PEN NAME) 

Traci Hall and Patrice Wilton - Salem B&B Mystery

Partner

Patrice Wilton and I were critique partners for years before we decided to write a story together—a romance. Then we did the Salem B and B cozy mysteries.  We knew each other’s writing style and thought it would be compatible. We agreed to compromise and be respectful as our friendship would always come first. When one person really thought it should be a certain way, usually the other compromised, or we had a tally of who got to choose for that time, and the other person would get the win the next round. We try to keep the ego out of it lol.

Detail Outline

Yes, we worked off of a synopsis and plot that was approved by our publisher. We used images from the internet so that we had the same visual going into the story. We followed that system for our indie series.

Characters and the Story Line

Our editor had the story idea—he wanted something like the Ghost and Mrs. Muir. We had our own take on it of course and developed the characters together. We used images from the internet to make sure we both saw the same thing. Now, after six books, we both know exactly what Charlene would do, and Jack, and Sam, in a given situation. 

Interaction

Patrice wrote chapter one in the first book, and so I wrote chapter one in the second book, and we alternated for each book after that. If Patrice wrote chapter one, then I would write chapter two, and so forth—we followed our synopsis and plot. We go through many revisions, at least six if not more, and by the end of the book, the story has its own voice that is a blend of both of ours. We have a newsletter and an assistant to help with a review team. For our indie series, Patrice put us on Draft 2 Digital—they have split payments for collaborations.

Paige Terner Group Writing (PEN NAME) 

The DEADLY WATER HAZARD: A Cactus of the Valley Mystery

Lead: Judy A. Knox
Other Authors: Doreen Lechner, Larry Meath, Carol Redmore, Martha Jo Tisdale

Partners

Paige Terner is the pen name for a group of writers who meet weekly in a senior community very similar to Cactus of the Valley via Zoom. Meetings usually consist of writing on an assigned topic, or in response to a challenge. Activities are varied, and the writers’ levels span the gamut from beginners to published authors with a wide range of interests. What they have in common is an interest in writing and the willingness to share their work with the rest of the group.

Outline

One day someone had a brilliant idea for a long-term project: a group written mystery story. Easy, right? Outline a basic plot, insert characters, divide into sections, and assign one to each writer. Voila! In two or three months, put them together and out will pop a story. That’s what we thought! Three years later, it didn't exactly just pop out, but it did materialize as The Deadly Water Hazard, a story to be proud of. Here are our comments on the experience. We had weekly writing assignments.

Characters/Story Line

My first question when someone suggested writing a murder mystery as a class project was, “Where do you start?” One Joy of Writing participant suggested we set the murder in a 55+ adult park, similar to ours.

Never having considered a novel, my first thought was that it would be simply a continuation of any story written for an assignment. I learned quickly that there would be a myriad of pieces that would need to be carefully put into place. Part of the challenge was learning that those various pieces were called “back stories,” “vignettes,” and something called a “denouement.” I learned that writing a murder mystery was far more complicated than I ever imagined. More than just a plot, there are characters to create.

As time went on and various parts of the mystery moved forward, my interest in participating intensified. It was reassuring to see more pieces of the puzzle being put out there to consider. Interestingly enough, the deletion of those extraneous words, which only “take up space,” was of interest to me. I especially like the word “camaraderie” when it applies to the Joy of Writing writers!

~ Martha Jo Tisdale

Interaction

Working with this group of talented, creative writers was a delight. The project was a learning experience for everyone involved. We had fun making up scenes and dialogues and watching our characters come to life. We improved our writing skills. We learned to give and receive constructive criticism as we problem solved together. Above all, the group stayed committed to “getting ‘er done” without forsaking quality or wrecking relationships in the process.

~ Judy A. Knox

Our writing group’s journey has been a wild ride and a wonderful gift. Without the guidance of our fearless leader and dedicated editing team, we would have been adrift. Writing is easy; editing is tough. Our Joy of Writing group members are the best editing team an aspiring writer could have. But I do have to add, arriving at our destination has been a joy.

~ Doreen Lechner

Writing a mystery by committee posed challenges, rewards, and gratitude.  Gratitude goes to Judy for an incredible amount of work just to keep this project going.  At times it seemed a bit like herding cats.  Challenges were embedded in the gratitude.  

Combining a dozen or so writers with varying styles and ideas necessitated a degree of humility, not to mention patience. But in the end I think we all felt rewarded with the product, not to mention our ability to see this through. If we had known from the outset how difficult it would be, I'm not sure we would have started it in the first place.

~ Larry Meath

Working as a team to write The Deadly Water Hazard was invaluable; in addition, it was fun. It was a challenge when some in our group who are snowbirds returned to home states in the summers, making it hard to stay in rhythm. The arrival of Zoom this past year helped greatly, as we juggled characters and time lines and made many changes.

The camaraderie of working toward one goal was a great pleasure, and strong leadership from Judy kept us in line. I learned so much about writing techniques and editing. The experience was a treasure!

~ Carol Redmore

EDITING

Editing group input and participation in the editing sessions was invaluable, adding dimension and clarity to the overall final product.

Group editing is a unique experience. Every person commented on the excerpts. Some positive, some negative, but all beneficial. They received insight to the bigger picture for publishing a novel. 


Danger Cove Series - Publisher driven theme series

Gemma Halliday Publishing 

Author comment: T. Sue VerSteeg

Partner

Gemma Halliday reached out to me. She had already hit the NY Times and USA Today lists and wanted to expand her growing backlist. She chose to co-author with a few fellow writers she trusted. I'd met her on an online chat group, and she'd critiqued a few of my books. It also helped that I wanted to be her when I grew up as a writer. LOL We had such similar styles, so it wasn't too much of a stretch. She led the first book in the Tahoe Tessie Mysteries. As for the Danger Cove Mysteries, the situation is quite different. There are many other authors writing in that fictitious setting. Elizabeth Ashby is also fictitious. Gemma Halliday has creative control over all of the books.

Outline

With the first Tahoe Tessie, Gemma Halliday sent out the outline and a base character sheet. I wrote the book, breathed life into her characters, and fell in love with each and every one of them. She then had creative control to shape it back into her vision. With Danger Cove, each author has to submit an outline for approval. This can go through several edits back and forth before coming to an agreement on something that works for the writer and the publisher. 

Characters and the Story Line

I think I rambled on too much in the last question. LOL With Tahoe Tessie, it was mostly Gemma. She did give me a lot of room to grow the characters, though. I'm forever grateful for her trust in me. In Danger Cove, the main characters are all ours. We do have shared secondaries that the editing team keeps a close eye on. 

Interaction

Interaction is a nice back and forth. I'm truly blessed that Gemma and her team are such wonderful, talented people. With Tahoe Tessie, the creative control is all Gemma's. So, editing and marketing are pretty much at her discretion. With Danger Cove being different, it's more of a hybrid. My questions and concerns are taken into account, and we always go back and forth with ideas on how to make it work for all of us. Marketing is hybrid as well. They do a lot and we kick in as well.

  

Last Chance Beach – Book Series 

Romance Gems - 22 great authors strong - debuted February 1, 2019

Individual novels with the same setting.

LAST CHANCE BEACH is the island paradise where Dreams go to live again and Wishes may come true. It's Summer's End on the island, and the cottages, condos, hotels, and bungalows are filled to capacity.

LAST CHANCE BEACH ROMANCE is a line of single title, full-length romance novels, united by the setting of Last Chance Beach.

Joan Reeves - Deceptively Yours

From an interview

Partners

When I organized Romance Gems, I set it up with an Executive Team and invited my friends to join in. The marvelous Bonnie Edwards, Jan Scarbrough, and Nancy Fraser did so for which I'm eternally grateful. We invite authors to join our group based on their body of work, professionalism, and personality. We read some of the nominated author's work and discuss whether she will be a good fit in the group dynamic. We want not only good writers but also an author who is professional and plays well with others. No drama divas or authors who aren't willing to work for the success of the group and each other. That's basically our mission statement. Support each other, support the group blog, work together, and have fun doing all of that.

Nancy Fraser - Return of the Runaway Bride

From an interview

Partners

The main objective was—obviously—sales. More than that though was to widen our collective audience. Being that all the authors belong to our private group, The Romance Gems, we posted a call for participation and were delighted with the results when over half the group joined in this first joint venture. The actual process of creating the box set fell to the group of fourteen, with volunteers taking up different jobs under the watchful eye of our leader, Joan Reeves. For hovering over thirteen highly talented and opinionated authors, she deserves sainthood.

Interaction

Romance Gems support group. Friendship. The occasional virtual slap upside the head when it’s needed. I think the biggest professional benefit would be the encouragement of 22 like-minded Romance authors who will bend over backward to see their Gems Sisters succeed.

   

A Touch of Passion – Book Bundle

Individual novels under one cover. This bundle is now available by the individual titles only.

Tamara Ferguson - That Unforgettable Kiss

From an interview

Group

The romance bundle for A Touch of Passion is comprised with full-length novels. When my dear friend Uvi Poznansky invited me into the group, I immediately said yes. She is the most amazing organizer I’ve ever met when it comes to putting together an anthology, and setting up promotions and Facebook events, and she’s very talented graphic designer as well. It takes a lot of patience to work in a group; particularly when some members don’t have the ability to contribute as much time as others, because of previous commitments. 

Goal

The goal, of course, is to boost the sales of books for each author in the group. And, if in the process, we take it to the next level and become Amazon bestsellers (which we did), it would assuredly boost our sales even more. 

What many authors don’t realize is the category rankings for anthology sales will also be associated individually with your numbers. 

A bestselling anthology can definitely boost your career as an author, and you should always think carefully before turning an offer down.

 

Spring Into Love Anthology Book Bundle

Individual novels under one cover. This bundle is now available by the individual titles only.

Marcia James - Love Unleashed

From an interview

Group

love participating in romance ebook anthologies (or boxed sets, as many people call them). Not only do I get to work with a great group of authors, but we each get one of our stories in front of the other authors' readers. This can and does lead to an increase in sales of our other books and novellas. So these boxed sets are a way of co-promoting with other authors.

Theme

It's very important to network with other authors. Most of these boxed set opportunities come about when a group of author friends decides to join together to do a boxed set. The group comes up with a theme, like the sports-theme of this summer's Score One For Love. Each author in the group has to write a story (or have one already written) that fits the theme.

Interaction

That saves time and money, since we're splitting the jobs (running a Facebook page, contacting advertisers, coordinating the cover and formatting, etc.) and the cost (paying for advertising, the cover, the formatting, etc.) And the boxed sets are a great deal for readers, too, since most of them include at least ten stories for 99 cents.

I think all boxed sets are a win-win for both the authors and readers.


Danger Cove Mysteries Series - Multi-Author Series

Individual novels with the same setting.

Partners

Gemma Halliday

Gemma Halliday is the #1 Amazon, New York Times, and USA Today bestselling author of several cozy mystery and suspense thriller novels. Gemma's books have received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, two National Reader's Choice awards, a RONE award for best mystery, and three RITA nominations. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her large, loud, and loving family.

​Gemma opened up her own boutique publishing house in 2013. Since then she has published over 200 titles from more than 40 authors and taken almost half of those from debut authors to USA Today bestsellers.

https://www.gemmahalliday.com/

https://www.facebook.com/gemmahallidayauthor


Gemma Halliday Publishing

https://www.gemmahallidaypublishing.com/

https://www.gemmahallidaypublishing.com/multi-author-series

Gemma Halliday Publishing is a small, boutique publisher of quality women's genre fiction who work with a select number of authors per year. We enjoy stories with laughter, heart, and lots of clever plot twists. We don't publish books with graphic gore or sexual content, which makes our books perfect for sharing with your eighteen-year-old daughter or your eighty-year-old grandmother. Our titles are available in most major online retailers and by special request from brick & mortar bookstores and libraries. 

Our multi-author series follow different heroines in our favorite fictional towns where murder mixes with love and a healthy dose of laughter! 

Each series contains sub-series written by one author, focusing on one heroine. Books can be read in any order! 

Aloha Lagoon

Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii's hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere...and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we're certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget!

Danger Cove

Welcome to Danger Cove! We're a sleepy little town in the Pacific Northwest and home to renowned mystery novelist, Elizabeth Ashby. While Elizabeth swears the stories she writes are fiction, you can find the inspiration for her murderous tales all over Danger Cove...from the intriguing cast of local characters to the places to eat, play, and explore in Danger Cove. 

https://www.gemmahallidaypublishing.com/danger-cove-mysteries

Outline

Characters/Story Line

Interaction


Summary 

Problems I saw:

1.      Need for better social media. At times it looks like the authors were hiding from the readers.

2.      Need for an effective Amazon Profile

3.      Weak marketing

4.      Breaking up is hard to do. Conflicts can arise.

Doing this project was a great experience. The consence was that you need the following to be successful co-authoring a project. It sounded like fun was had by all.

1.      Need a strong leader

2.      Need a detailed outline.

3.      Great characters.

4.      Solid Story Line.

5.      Effective Interaction

Contributors Outline


Author: Sparkle Abbey
Author Genre: Mystery, Crime, Humor And Comedy

Website: Sparkle Abbey - pampered pet mysteries
Author's Blog: Sparkle Abbey
Twitter: @sparkleabbey
E-Mail: SparkleAbbey@gmail.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Our author picture is a shot of us with the real Sparkle and the real Abbey. Don't you love the stare down? Our real names are Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. We write the Pampered Pets mystery series together. We're also friends and neighbors so you'll often find us writing at ML's dining room table or at our local Starbucks.

We chose to use Sparkle Abbey as our pen name on this series because we liked the idea of combining the names of our two rescue pets - Sparkle (ML's cat) and Abbey (Anita's dog).

We live in the Midwest, but if we could write anywhere, you would find us on the beach with our laptops and depending on the time of day either an iced tea or a margarita.

We have had so much fun writing this series and we hope you enjoy Caro and Mel's adventures!


Author: Elizabeth Ashby
Author Genre: Mystery, Chick Lit, Romance

Website: Danger Cove Mysteries
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Local resident Elizabeth Ashby was born and raised in Danger Cove and now uses her literary talent to tell stories about the town she knows and loves. Ms. Ashby has penned several Danger Cove Mysteries, which are published by Gemma Halliday Publishing. While she does admit to taking some poetic license in her storytelling, she loves to incorporate the real people and places of her hometown into her stories. She says anyone who visits Danger Cove is fair game for her poisoned pen, so tourists beware! When she's not writing, Ms. Ashby enjoys gardening, taking long walks along the Pacific coastline, and curling up with a hot cup of tea, her cat, Sherlock, and a thrilling novel.


Author: Tamara Ferguson
Author Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

Website: TALES FROM DRAGONFLY
Tales of the Dragonfly homepage
Twitter: @Tammysdragonfly
E-Mail: Tammysdragonfly@gmail.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series, the Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance Series and the Tales From Dragonfly Pointe Short Story Series.

If you don't believe in the power of fate, you shouldn't read her stories, because Tamara always writes a happily-ever-after for her heroines and heroes, since it doesn't always work out that way in real life.

Since 2015, she has earned more than thirty awards, twenty of those for her Two Hearts Wounded Warrior romances, including five Readers' Favorite International Book Awards with Two Hearts In Accord (2019) and Two Hearts Unbroken (2018) earning the BRONZE, Two Hearts Under Fire (2019) and Two Hearts Unspoken (2016) earning the SILVER and Two Hearts Find Christmas earning the GOLD Medal in Military Fiction (2018.) Two Hearts Surrendered was also a New Apple Romance Selection for excellence in Indie Publishing and 2018 Top Shelf Finalist. Two Hearts' Christmas Wish is a 2017 IAN Book of the Year Finalist. And it's the #13 BEST INDIE BOOK of 2017.

Along with the 2015 Romance Reviews Readers' Choice Award Winner That Unforgettable Kiss, Two Hearts Surrendered and Two Hearts Unspoken were also finalists for the 2016 IAN Book of The Year. Tales of the Dragonfly In Tandem was a romance finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards, while Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight was a romance suspense winner at the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.

A member of the RWA, the Authors' Billboard and the Authors' Independent Book Network, her stories have been included in several #1 bestselling anthologies.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son (along with a bunch of adopted pets!), you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she's writing or helping author friends promote their books on twitter.


Author: Nancy Fraser
Author Genre: Romance

Website: Nancy Fraser
Author's Blog: Instagram
Newsletter Sign-Up
Twitter: @nfraserauthor
E-Mail: romwriter96@gmail.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Award-winning author Nancy Fraser has been writing since the early 1990s. Published since 1996, she writes in multiple romance genres. From sweet 1960's vintage romance, to paranormal/time travel, to sizzling erotic romance, she never knows where her muse will take her.

When she's not writing (which is almost never), Nancy loves to travel with Las Vegas being her favored destination. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.


Author: Gemma Halliday
Author Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

Website: Gemma Halliday Author
Author's Blog: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Gemma Halliday Publishing Authors
Twitter: @gemmahallidayca
E-Mail: gemma@gemmahallidaypublishing.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Gemma Halliday is the #1 Amazon, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of several mystery series, suspense novels, and young adult books. Gemma's books have received numerous awards, including a Golden Heart, two National Reader's Choice awards, three RITA nominations, and a RONE award for best mystery. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her large, loud, and loving family.


Author: Dawn Greenfield Ireland
Author Genre: Mystery Thrillers, Fantasy,Professional & Technical

Website: Dawn Ireland Writer
Twitter: @dawnireland
E-Mail: dawn@dawngreenfieldireland.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Dawn Greenfield Ireland is the CEO of Artistic Origins Inc, a writing and editing company that has been doing business since 1995. Her first book, The Puppy Baby Book (hardcover), was a finalist in the IPPY book competition (2001) and has been selling steadily ever since.

Novels include The Alcott Family Adventures cozy mystery series (Hot Chocolate, Bitter Chocolate, and Spicy Chocolate). Science Fiction includes Prophecy of Thol, and The Last Dog (dystopian/futuristic), Forced Dreams, and Gifts from Thol. Steamy shifter romance by DG Ireland includes Bonded and Tothars.

In addition to the novels, Dawn is an award-winning screenwriter with 14 feature film scripts, 2 of which were optioned. She also creates nonfiction/self-help books and products. Writers Preparation Handbook is an online course, eBook and audiobook. What's Breaking Your Budget is currently an eBook and will be available as an audiobook and an online course someday soon.

Originally from Feeding Hills, MA, Dawn migrated to San Antonio in 1968 then moved to Houston where work was more plentiful. She built a 34-year career as a technical writer/editor.

Dawn has been a member and benefactor of Women in Film and Television (Houston) for decades. Her current day job is writing, creating online courses, and editing books and all things written.


Author: Marcia James
Author Genre: Romance

Website: Marcia James Web Site
Author's Blog: James Gang
Twitter: @Marcia_James
E-Mail: Marcia@MarciaJames.net
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Marcia James finaled in eleven Romance Writers of America contests before selling her first contemporary romance. Her releases include Sex & the Single Therapist (the first in a comic romantic mystery series) and the "Klein's K-9s Service Dogs" contemporary romance series. A national and international ebook bestseller, she writes hot, humorous romances featuring heroines you can root for, heroes to die for, and funny dogs.

In her eclectic career, Marcia has shot submarine training videos, organized celebrity-filled nonprofit events and had her wedding covered by People Magazine. After years of dealing with such sexy topics as how to safely install traffic lights, she is enjoying “researching” and plotting her novels' steamy love scenes with her husband and hero of many years.


Author: Judy A. Knox
Author Genre: Christian, Nonfiction, Memoir, Cozy Mystery

Website: Judy A. Knox
Twitter: @JudyAKnox
E-Mail: judy@judyaknox.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Judy Knox, a retired high school teacher, now teaches Christians how to get more from their relationship with God. Judy began writing seriously after the death of her husband in 2012 as a way to inspire and encourage believers to see evidence of God's love and grace in their everyday lives.

She and her husband, Alan, grew up in Iowa, and were married in 1961. They both accepted Christ in 1972 while living in Kansas City. Four years later, due to a job transfer, they moved to the Chicago North Shore area. After Judy retired in 2003, they moved 200 miles west to a smaller town in Illinois to enjoy a more leisurely lifestyle.

After 51 years of marriage, Alan died, and Judy returned to the Chicago North Shore area to live near her son, daughter, and six grandchildren. It was then that writing, which she had always enjoyed but seldom had time for, became a passion. After spending three winters in Arizona, she now resides there permanently. She is the leader of the Joy of Writing Group in Mesa, AZ, and is a member of Christian Writers Critique Group in Mundelein, IL, and American Christian Writers Association. She participated in the Write to Publish Conference in Wheaton, IL in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Judy serves as a volunteer with China Vision, a missionary organization headquartered in Columbia, MO, editing and distributing missionary Pete Snyder's newsletter. In 2014 she edited his book "What's Missing in Missions?" Later that year she appeared on Andrew Wommack's television program "The Gospel Truth," which airs world wide, relating a testimony about prosperity.


Author: Joan Reeves
Author Genre: Romance, Chick Lit, Nonfiction

Website: Joan Reeves
Author's Blog: Joan Reeves - Sling Words
My Newsletter/Mailing List
Twitter: @JoanReeves
E-Mail: Joan@JoanReeves.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Joan Reeves is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance. Her novels--Keeping Romance Alive...One Sexy Book at a Time--have been published in a half dozen languages, and her ebooks are available at most ebook sellers with audio book and print editions also available.

When not writing romance--or nonfiction to share what she has learned in life--Joan divides her time between the hustle and bustle of Houston and a house in the Texas Hill Country. At their country house, Joan and her hero, her husband, sit on the porch at night, look up at the star-studded sky, and listen to the coyotes howl.

Joan lives the philosophy that is the premise of all of her romance novels: "It's never too late to live happily ever after."


Author: T. Sue VerSteeg
Author Genre:

Website: T. Sue VerSteeg
Author's Blog: T. Sue VerSteeg
Twitter: @tsueversteeg
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
USA Today Bestselling Author T. Sue VerSteeg was born and raised in the small town of Grinnell, Iowa. At the age of 21, she moved her family--parents and all--to the beautiful Ozarks region of Missouri where they have lived since. She is blessed with an adoring husband, two wonderful kids, the best sister in the world, and amazing parents. Writing has always been a passion in her life, to which family and friends can attest. From her first attempt at a spin-off of Dick and Jane, to her latest novel, her heart and soul has been poured into each word. Her most sincere wish is that you will find as much enjoyment in reading her stories as she did in their creation.


Author: Patrice Wilton
Author Genre: Romance

Website: Patrice Wilton
Author's Blog: Patrice Wilton
Twitter: @PatriceWilton
E-Mail: patricewilt@yahoo.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

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Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
Patrice Wilton was born in Vancouver, Canada, and knew from the age of twelve that she wanted to be a writer. She became a flight attendant for 17 years, then moved to Australia and England, before settling in Ormond Beach, Florida. She is a NY Times & USA Today best selling author and has written around forty books, mostly romance series. Here are her personal favorites:

The Candy Bar, Paradise Cove, Heavenly Christmas, and The Wounded Warrior series. Now a new exciting adventure has begun. She has joined forces with her good friend, Traci Hall to write a Salem B&B Cozy Mystery series for Kensington under the name of Traci Wilton. They have written 5 books in the Mrs. Morris Bed and Breakfast series, and will be starting book six soon. We are loving it and hope our readers do too!


Author: Traci Hall
Author Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult

Website: Traci Hall
Twitter: @Tracihallauthor
E-Mail: Traci@TraciHall.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile and Book List


Author Description:
From contemporary seaside romances to cozy mysteries, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall writes stories that captivate her readers. As a hybrid author with over fifty published works, Ms. Hall has a favorite story for everyone.

Mystery lovers, be on the lookout for her Salem B&B Mystery series, co-written as Traci Wilton, and her Scottish Shire series, which takes place in the seaside town of Nairn, as Traci Hall. Whether it's her ever popular By the Sea series or a fun who-done-it, Traci finds her inspiration in sunny South Florida, by living right near the ocean.


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Post Created by: James Moushon

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4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much James!!!! Very interesting information.

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  2. Another triumph, James! Solid information that should help an author make an executable plan. Thank you for spotlighting my friends who have worked so hard to find new ways to reach readers, and thank you for including me. I'm honored to be part of this.

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  3. This was great, James! Thank you for putting it together!

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