To Shelve or Not to Shelve, That Is the Question

Good Morning, Folks! I stand (sit) before you (on your monitors) today to ask a question. Or two. About writing. Specifically, when to admit that you are getting nowhere with your latest WIP.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t have the proverbial writer’s block, and I never have had it. Yet. What I have is a bit more insidious in some ways. This is how it’s all been playing out. When I finished the third book in my Wake-Robin Ridge series, I ended on a note that would work if there were no more books forthcoming for Rabbit and his family. I left the ending open so I could write more if I decided to, but I really didn’t plan to. I wrapped things up in a way that gave readers a pretty good idea of what was waiting for the Cole family in the years ahead, then moved on to the 3rd book in my Riverbend series, which I intend to continue for some while, yet.  And following that book, That Darkest Place, I wrote The Emissary, my first novella, as a spinoff of the Riverbend books.

During the interim, I began to get requests for more stories about Rabbit. Lots of them. Okay, then. I figured if that’s what readers wanted, I’d write a 4th book, and I got started on WRR4–about two days before we were slammed by a tornado spawned by Hurricane Irma. Many of you know that normal life around our house came to a screeching halt at that point. We spent more than six months dealing with every headache you can imagine. Weeks of carpenters hammering, electricians cutting the power, and roofers stomping around overhead. And that doesn’t include all the frustrating calls to the insurance company, inspectors, and the like .

tried to keep writing, really I did. But I don’t work well with non-stop interruptions and headaches of every kind for months on end. Suffice it to say that try as I might, I fell farther and farther behind  on my book. I also felt less and less joy in the process of writing, something I’d never had happen before. The end result was that even though I have what I think is a pretty good story to tell, I completely lost my enthusiasm for working on this one. I was plodding through the draft without a shred of joy in my storytelling.

So, I took a few weeks off and reassessed, thinking maybe I should just scrap the whole book and move on with my next Riverbend story. My beta readers (who follow along with my draft, chapter by chapter, and keep me on my toes) weren’t happy with that idea at all. They seem to like what I’ve done so far, so I thought about it some more.

My final decision was to shelve WRR4 for a couple of months and write a second novella in my Emissary spinoff series. The first one was the most fun of anything I’ve written to date and only took me 2 months to go from draft to published. Seemed like a perfect fit, so that’s where I am. I’m starting on The Emissary 2 and after it’s published, will take a look at WRR4 again. Hopefully, taking a break for a couple of months will let me get back to work on it with fresh eyes and a joyful approach to finishing the tale. It has good bones, I think, so that’s what I’d like to do.

My question for you guys (you knew I’d get back to it, didn’t you?) is this: was shelving this book for a couple of months a better plan than just scrapping it? Have you ever come back to a book after taking a break to write something else,  and found you were able to finish it? What about the ones you may have scrapped completely? Do their ghosts haunt you in the dark of night? 

Inquiring minds wanna know. Hope you’ll take a minute and share your thoughts. THANKS!

#ShareAReviewDay #TuesdayBookBlog Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

I’m very happy to welcome Tony Riches to The Write Stuff. Tony is sharing a review of his book Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy, and he and I would both love for everyone to reblog and tweet this out all over the place. It’s a great review, and well worth passing along! Thanks!

Staci of Pursuing Staci posts:
Okay, seriously. If you have spent any amount of time with me at all, be it here on my blog/social media/in real life, you know that I am  obsessed with all things Tudor Era. What you probably don’t know is that my obsession climbed to the “nth” degree when I found out that I am a descendent of Owen Tudor. So, needless to say, when I discovered that Tony Riches (Tony Riches, you guys. *enter unladylike squeal, here*) had written a book about Owen (and Jasper and Henry!) I absolutely had to have it. And as expected, I was not disappointed.

Tony Riches has this incredible way of fleshing out historical characters, bringing them to life and dragging them smack into the present. I didn’t feel like I had to step back into time to get into Owen’s story; the author brought Owen’s life to me. The historical research done was impeccable, allowing me to escape into the story with ease. I could picture the sights and the scenery, the sounds and politics of court life. The plot moved quickly, with plenty of tense moments, character victories and unforeseen events. My favorite part of the book, however, was the character development. Each character was vividly their own person. And Owen! I absolutely loved getting to know him. I found myself in awe of his strength, his integrity, his compassion, his talent for surviving court life. He was intelligent, had hopes and dreams, made mistakes and followed his heart. He was human and flawed and perfect and I couldn’t put the book down.

I am thrilled that this is a series, because I am not ready to say goodbye to this family.

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Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.

England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector.

They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors?

This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great-grandfather of King Henry VIII. Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen’s story deserves to be told.

Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy is a new addition to story of the Tudors in the historical fiction tradition of C J Sansom, Conn Iggulden, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel.

Buy  Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy HERE


Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.

For more information please visit Tony’s website http://www.tonyriches.com and his blog The Writing Desk at http://www.tonyriches.co.uk. He can also be found at Tony Riches Author on Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

#ShareAReviewDay #TuesdayBookBlog Journey to Aviad by Allison D. Reid

Today, I’d like to welcome Allison D. Reid to The Write Stuff. Allison is sharing a review of her book Journey to Aviad, and I know she would be very happy if everyone would pass this along far and wide. The more eyes on our reviews, the better. Thanks!

5.0 out of 5 stars Clean, great, intelligent fantasy for teens to adults!
By Y Henryon March 30, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase 

What a wonderful fantasy book! My teenage daughters and I share a love of fantasy books. It is even better when we can read the same books and share our thoughts about it and our favorite parts, etc. It isn’t easy to find clean fantasy books that are not just silly and juvenile. This is in the same vein as Lord of the Rings. Not as grand as that , but still fairly close. The characters seemed real and not shallow. And the way the author wrote made you feel as though you actually were there experiencing all beauty and emotions of her world.

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Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come. Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master. His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond. Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow. With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator. She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.

Journey to Aviad is Permafree! Download HERE


Allison D. Reid

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Allison D. Reid was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her love for medieval fantasy was sparked by the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, which fed both her imagination and her spiritual development. When at the age of thirteen her family moved to Germany, her passion for medieval history and legend only increased, and she found herself captivated by the ancient towns and castles of Europe.

Allison returned to the United States to study art and writing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She earned her B.A. under the tutelage of the well-renowned and prolific writer Andrew Salkey, a student of her other great inspiration, and the father of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien. After graduating from Hampshire College, Allison moved to Connecticut. There she got the opportunity to attend seminary and further explore her faith before returning to her home state of Ohio.

Allison now lives in the Miami Valley area with her husband and children. She continues to work on her first published series while taking care of her family, editing for other independent writers, and managing a home business.

NOTE: #ShareAReviewDay #MondayBlogs

Last week, I decided to add a new feature on The Write Stuff: Share A Review Day. (See my post HERE). I had originally planned to do this on Wednesday, but after my Senior Moment passed, I realized I’m already committed to a pretty detailed #NotesFromTheRiver post on Wednesdays. 😯 Therefore, I’m going to run our Share A Review Day on Tuesdays, commencing tomorrow.

Those of you who have already submitted your requests will be featured tomorrow, and those of you who plan to post directly may do so on any Tuesday that fits your schedule. The rest of you may email me (contact info in menu above) at any time to request inclusion.

Thanks so much, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what readers have to say about your books! Let’s get those reviews OUT THERE! 😀

The 2018 Author Interview Series Featuring Marcia Meara

I have the great pleasure of being a guest on Don Massenzio’s blog today, and hope you guys will stop by and check out the interview. It was so much fun! Please feel free to share far and wide. Both Don and I will thank you for it! 🙂

Author Don Massenzio

It’s time for the next subject for my 2018 author interview series. Author interviews are posted every Friday throughout the year.

I am honored to continue this series with fellow Florida author and blogger Marcia Meara

You can catch up with all of my past author interviews (nearly 200) on my Author Directory page.

If you’re an author interested in being interviewed in this series, I still have limited spots available for 2018. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Now, please enjoy this interview with Marcia Meara:


626smallsDo you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Honestly, I’ve never thought about it in either of those terms. I just want to tell the stories bouncing around in my head, and do so in a way that will appeal to readers. I spend very little time thinking about current trends or originality, I’m afraid. I…

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#NotesFromTheRiver – The Tiny Terror


Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake
(Sistrurus miliarius barbouri)

It’s Wednesday again, and that means time for my weekly post on the St. Johns River Eco Tours blog. This one finishes off the last of four posts dealing with the only dangerous snakes in central Florida. Hope some of you will enjoy checking  it out and maybe sharing it here and there. Next week’s post will probably involve something of the feathered persuasion. 🙂 In the meantime, here’s the link to this one:

#NotesFromTheRiver – The Tiny Terror

Wednesday is Now #ShareAReviewDay

I think we should add a new feature to TWS, just for fun, and to help us share what readers are saying about our books. With that in mind, I’m creating  #ShareAReviewDay for Wednesdays.  You are hereby invited to choose a favorite review of one of your books, and either a) post it on TWS directly, if you are a contributor, or b) email me to set it up for you. (See Contact above.) Since I’m late getting this off the ground, I’ll run it through tomorrow, too, and next week, I’ll give you heads up the day before, so you can plan to take part. 

I’m going to start the ball rolling by sharing a lovely review I discovered on Amazon this morning. Happily, I have received nothing but good reviews for my 2nd Wake-Robin Ridge book,  A Boy Named Rabbit, and many have been truly beautiful. This is the latest of those. Hope you enjoy it,  and if you haven’t yet read Rabbit’s story, maybe this will encourage you to check it out.

And by all means, please share these reviews throughout your social media sites. Let’s get some new eyes on them.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Rabbit Stole My Heart
By writester on May 15, 2018 

“Every now and then, an author manages to write a character so distinctive and impactful, he becomes difficult to forget. Sometimes it’s someone inherently evil; other times the character is a beacon of good. But seldom does such a character elevate himself past memorable — to do so is to vault over a rather high bar. 

Marcia Meara’s Rabbit is one such character. 

I can tell you she’s written another lovely book with a solid plot. I can tell you her settings are vivid and her villain chilling. All of that is true. Yet none of it matters. 

I recommend this story because of a little boy named Rabbit who climbed down off a mountain and strode right into my heart. 

This is a heart-warming tale of love and family, one that’s sure to tug at any reader’s heartstrings. It’s also a story you don’t want to miss. It’s a must-read.”

Buy 5-Star Rated A Boy Named Rabbit HERE.