Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

In an attempt to finish many incomplete projects, I’ve set monthly goals for myself. So, how am I doing on the April and May 2016 goals I set forth on April 1st?

What’s done?

Murder_Cover_CS_front1-Complete my science fiction novelette (such a charming word!) and get it into the hands of my publisher. Done! Murder on Marawa Prime was published by Pole to Pole Publishing in May 2016. If you like science fiction murder mysteries – this one is for you.

2-Finish crocheting an afghan for my granddaughter. Done! And given to her. (pastel colors)

3-Revise and add another story and poem to my fantasy story collection, The Greener Forest, so it can be re-released with a new cover, etc. Done! Now, all that’s left to be done are to get some cover comments from fellow fantasy writers.

4-Finish at least 2 short stories and submit them to publishers. Done! I await the editors’ responses.

5-Finish crocheting an afghan for youngest grandson. Done! (greens, blues, and black) Plus, I finished crocheting an afghan for my oldest grandson, too. (reds, blues, and black) Both were given to the boys earlier in June.

6-Went on a 2 week RV trip to see a niece and her husband in Indiana; visit Lincoln country in Illinois; see Mark Twain sites in Hannibal, Missouri; visit Lewis & Clark sites in St. Louis, Missouri; visit Graceland in Tennessee; visit Shiloh Battlefield in Tenn.; see Ruby Falls & Cave and Look Out Mountain in Tenn.; visit Chickamauga Battlefield in Georgia; visit godmother in Greenville, South Carolina; visit uncle in Sparta, North Carolina, see sister and brother-in-law in Staunton, Virginia; and get back to Maryland in one piece. Done!

So what’s NOT done?

1- I haven’t gotten all the letters home from World War II from a great-uncle typed, or begun research for this nonfiction book.

2- I’m still polishing one story for a publisher, and working hard on another for a science fiction anthology. I’m hoping they’ll both make it to the Table of Contents.

3- The embroidered samplers still await their borders and framing – though I have gotten out the fabric to finish the projects.

4- The black and white drawings await their scanning. Why is this not done? I want to make a few changes in each drawing.

Where do I go from here? Set goals for June and July, of course!

By the end of June, I will:

1- send in a final version of a story I’ve been working on since last June!

2- send in the first draft of a science fiction story to an anthology.

3- type at least 10 more letters from World War II.

4- add borders to and frame one of the samplers.

5- put a border and backing on a vintage redwork quilt top which has suddenly become mine. (More on this unfinished project later).

By the end of July, I will:

1- send a final version of the science fiction story to the anthology.

2- begin reading books to prepare to submit to another anthology.

3- type 10 more letters from WW II.

4- revise my science fiction and fantasy collection, Owl Light, in preparation for re-release.

How about you? Are you trying to finish up unfinished projects, too? Any tips for me?

Now, back to work on an unfinished story! – Vonnie


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David Healey Thanks to historical book author, David Healey, for stopping by and answering a few questions.

VWC: When did you decide you wanted to be an author? What are some of the things you did to reach that goal?

DH: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. That was it. I suppose I’ve been lucky that way. As a kid I was always writing stories and reading, reading, reading. There’s really no better way to become a writer than to be a voracious reader.

VWC: How has your background as a newspaperman helped you with your career as an author?

DH: Working at a newspaper you learn how to write very quickly and can’t afford the luxury of writer’s block. You also learn how to take some criticism and to work in a noisy environment. For a long time, it was a great job and it seemed important.

VWC: How do you find a publisher for your first book?

Sea Lord Chronicles DH: First I found a wonderful agent named Esther Perkins who taught me a lot about the difference between simply writing fiction and writing fiction that might be published. Unfortunately we never landed a book deal together. When Esther retired I found another agent who gave me a whole new crash course in writing fiction. The agents are the ones who find a publisher.

VWC: How do you find a publisher for a book now?

DH:Publishing has changed so much in the last twenty years. You still need an agent to get a book deal with one of the big publishers. You needed a press to print a newspaper. Technology has changed all that.

VWC: Have you ever self-published a book? If yes, what are the greatest challenges for a self-published author?

DH: Self publishing is a great option. Dickens was a self publisher, after all, cranking out serialized stories for magazines that he owned—but he was also a great storyteller. I have self published a book with some success but with a lot of help from paid designers, copy editors and marketers. I would highly recommend hiring a pro to help you publish the best book possible.

VWC: You’ve written thrillers, historical novels, non-fiction, mysteries, and the Sea Lord Chronicles for younger readers (MG or YA?), do you have a favorite genre?

Ghost-Sniper DH: I read all sorts of things, and as a result I’ve written a lot of different kinds of books.

VWC: What book that you’ve written is your favorite and why?

DH: The best book I’ve written is the one I just finished. Somebody else actually said that, not me! My favorites are Sharpshooter, because that was my first novel; and I really take pride in Rebel Train, and not just because it was a Jeopardy! question. I wrote that novel in longhand over several months between the hours of midnight and two a.m. I would come home from the night shift at the newspaper and write, and then, be up first thing in the morning with our daughter so my wife could go to work. That’s how badly I wanted to write.

VWC: In addition to your historical nonfiction books, many of your novels are based in history. Do you enjoy research? Do you visit the places mentioned in your books?

DH: History really comes alive for me when I try to imagine the people who lived through historical events. I love the research and try to visit all the historical locations I can because it helps to get the atmosphere right.

VWC: How have you managed to write and publish 8 books in the last 2 years?

Rebel Train DH: Is it that many? I figure I’m good for about 30 books. That’s my ultimate goal. We’ll see.

VWC: Do you work on more than one book at a time?

DH: Yes, I usually have one almost finished and then one in the outlining stage.

VWC: Do you have any time-management secrets for writers?

DH: An outline is very important. It took me a long time to learn that, so save yourself a lot of grief and spend the weeks you need to write an outline. My outlines are very rough and incorporate character back story and plot points, but by the time I sit down to write most of the story is “there” just waiting to be written. The other factor is time. It does help to have some sort of schedule. I have the luxury now of writing in the morning or right after lunch. For many years I wrote late at night and on weekends to get things done.

VWC: What projects are you working on now?

DH: I’m working on a sequel to my World War II story, Ghost Sniper.

VWC: What advice do you have for writers trying to get a book published?

DH: Read all you can and write all you can. Writing is definitely a craft that you have to work on over time, so it helps to read craft books, attend conferences, or just sit there and ask the age old question, “Is this showing not telling?”

VWC: Who was your favorite author as a child?

DH: The wonderful frontier adventure writer William O. Steele.

Sharp Shooter VWC: Who is your favorite author now?

DH: I would say that I never miss a John Sandford thriller.

VWC: What was the most valuable piece of writing advice given to you?

DH: The game changer for me was going to school at Washington College in Chestertown and discovering this whole community of writers there. Through that I learned that you know what, it’s okay to be a writer.

VWC: And now, the final and most important question: What’s your favorite kind of cookie?

DH: Pepperidge Farm Chesapeakes with a much of tea.

For more information about David Healey and his books, visit his website and blog. And you can find his books on Amazon.

Thanks, David, for stopping by. Watch Whimsical Words for more Guests, Quotable Wednesdays, Writing Tips, Recipes, and lots of other interesting posts. Have a historical Monday! – Vonnie

PS. If you want to show some love, visit my Amazon page and buy one of my books. 😉

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