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Deltona Regional Library hosts Authors Book Fair

Forty authors will take part in a free book fair Saturday, April 2, at the Deltona Regional Library, 2150 Eustace Ave, Deltona.

The authors represent a wide range of genres including children’s literature, Florida and American history, mysteries, spirituality, memoirs, poetry and outdoor guides.

Authors and potential authors can attend the following half-hour classes:

  • 9:30 a.m.: “Keep the creative juices flowing” with Kimberly Cline, a published author, photographer and owner of Funky Trunk Treasures in DeLand
  • 10 a.m.: “Traditional vs. self-publishing” with Melinda Clayton, who has published numerous books and owns Thomas-Jacob Publishing
  • 10:30 a.m.: “Marketing your book on social media” with Gerri Bauer, an author and member of Romance Writers of America
  • 11 a.m.: “Getting organized to write” with Linda Sacha, a life coach and published author
  • 11:30 a.m.: “Getting your book edited, illustrated and ready to be published” with Kathleen Rasche, a professional writer, published author and owner of Plum Leaf Publishing

The public can meet the authors and buy signed books from 1 to 4 p.m.

The book fair is sponsored by the Friends of Deltona Library. For more information call Christy Jefferson at 386-218-4087.

#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger @ThorneMoore

FFGB Graphic

Known Knowns and Unknown Unknowns

“Write about what you know” is useful advice. I thought it would be very easy to follow, when writing my latest book, The Unravelling, which will be published in July. First of all, I would be looking at the world as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old, in the mid-1960s. She would be living in a town quite similar to Luton, on a council estate that was just beginning to replace the prefabs, which had been thrown up to provide quick emergency housing, after the war.

 I was a ten-year-old in the mid-1960s, living on the edge of a council estate in Luton, and, walking to school, I witnessed the demolition of the prefabs, including the one my grandparents had lived in. Simple.


Post war prefabs

It is remarkably easy to remember every little detail of my world, 50 years ago, from the cotton frocks our mothers made for us, to the pink custard served up at our seriously stodgy school meals. I remember the posters on the classroom walls, the smell of the corridors (a mixture, I suspect, of polish, vomit, urine and very strong disinfectant). I remember the streets, dark lanes and open parks I would walk through on my way, to and from school – a serious walk, but no one would have dreamed of being taken to school by car. I remember the shops, and the sweets they sold – sherbet flying saucers, fruit gums, penny chocolate bars. I remember the kitchen wallpaper my parents put up, as horizons began to expand, covered with exotic vegetables like aubergines (eggplants), courgettes (zucchini), chard and red peppers – vegetables we never saw in the shops, but rumour had it that foreign people ate them and may even had liked them.


The estate where I grew up. I watched the tower blocks go up as I walked to school.

So much for the 1960s. I then had to look at the turn of this century. The Millennium. Equally easy, I thought. Everyone knows some of the events that happened then, and others are easy to check. It was only 15 years ago, and I lived through it as a mature adult. Surely I can remember just how it was. Wrong. It is next to impossible for the memory to keep pace with the technological changes that are sweeping past us, establishing themselves so quickly and firmly that we can’t believe they haven’t been around for at least 30 years.

How did you search for someone, in 2000, as my heroine has to do? You use the internet, of course. Except that, in Britain, broadband connections only began in 2000, and nearly everyone was reliant on impossibly slow dial-up modems, with rocketing phone bills and shouts of fury from other people in the house who wanted to use the phone. Have I really only had proper access to the World Wide Web for 12 years? Then, finding someone today, you might try Facebook. But there was no Facebook. Or you could Google them. But back then, Google was a new boy on the block and everyone used Yahoo, or Alta Vista, and the chances were, you wouldn’t find anyone anyway. People didn’t have an on-line presence. You want to trace a marriage that happened 30 years ago? Today you do it with the click of a mouse. In 2000, you got on a train.

I used my own early researches into family history in my first book, A Time For Silence, in which my heroine tries to track down details of her grandfather and aunt. Now I know that today, you simply go to or FreeBMD, and have it all at your fingertips in minutes. When I first started researching my family history, there was no internet, and searching meant getting on a train to London, to trawl through huge tomes of indexes. Not so bad, when I only lived 30 minutes from London. When I moved to Wales, I found that the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth, had similar records, and I spent many happy hours going blind, trying to decipher blurred microfiche and microfilm records. I gave my heroine the same pleasure.


My eyes hurt, just thinking about it

However much I use my own experiences to write, some research is nearly always needed. In A Time For Silence, I had to write about life in rural Wales in in the 1930s and 40s. Before my time, but there were plenty of people around me who could remember it well enough, and I was able to trawl through local newspapers of the time. That was so absorbing, I couldn’t resist letting my heroine do the same.

But the trick, with research, is to know how much of it not to use. It’s so tempting, when you become immersed in a fascinating topic, to want to filter it all into your story. A Time For Silence features a German prisoner of war, and I wanted to know more about the POW camp, which was set up a few miles from where I now live. I knew, as everyone round here knows, that it began as a camp for Italian prisoners, who decorated one of the Nissan huts as a Catholic Chapel, which had been preserved.

But after the surrender of Italy, the camp was used for German prisoners, many of whom worked on the local farms. I needed some basic facts for my story, such as when exactly the camp closed, and who was kept there, so I finished up appealing for any information about Henllan Camp from the National Archives. What I received was a huge collection of official inspection reports for the War Office, which give a riveting insight into army and bureaucratic behaviour.

The site remained open until the spring of 1947, and many of the German prisoners were rounded up and taken there after the war. The function of the camp was to assess how Nazified they were. They were allowed to apply for repatriation and then they were classified as white, grey and black Nazis. The white were simply Germans caught up in the war, with no ideological commitment, and could be allowed home. The grey were believers who were open to persuasion that they had been deceived, and could go home as soon as they were sufficiently re-educated. The black were committed Nazis, who would never be swayed in their beliefs. They were to be kept.

At regular intervals, the government sent inspectors to report on conditions in the camp, number of prisoners, state of discipline etc. This was obviously a box-ticking exercise. Each inspector reported that the camp was well run by its commander, accounts were properly kept, and order was smoothly maintained by a splendidly efficient sergeant major. Then, just before the camp closed, a new inspector arrived – one who was less of a box-ticking pen-pusher and more of a perceptive psychologist. His report explained that while the commander loftily fulfilled his duties, blithely unaware of any trouble, the sergeant major, who dealt personally with the prisoners, was a rabid German-hater, looking for revenge for his brother, who had been killed in North Africa, and he had been systematically destroying the prisoners’ written requests for repatriation.

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The Italian chapel at Henllan

 This was a great story, that I just had to use – but I didn’t, because it wouldn’t have been relevant to my story. The key to using research is to know which bits of it matter to my characters and to get details right, when they are needed, but to let the bulk of it lie beneath the surface, just out sight. And there’s always the possibility of another book that might put my research to deeper use.

Author Thorne Moore

Thorne Moore was born in Luton, near London and the sludge of the Thames estuary, and now lives in Pembrokeshire on the Atlantic coast, with a lot of hills (small, but we call them mountains), woods (we call them forests) and villages (other people would call them road junctions with a house or two). No cities anywhere near.

She was advised to study law, so she studied history instead, in order to avoid a future career as a lawyer, as she was obviously going to be a writer. Since it took her forty years to get published, she filled in the time working in a library, running a restaurant, teaching family history and making miniature furniture (Pear Tree Miniatures). Her first book, A Time For Silence, was published in 2012. Motherlove followed in 2015, and her third, The Unravelling, will be published July 2016. She lives in a Victorian farmhouse, which occupies the site of a Medieval mansion. Several cats share the house and several woodpeckers share the garden.

Mlcover     Timeforsilence

Motherlove (Amazon UK)
Motherlove (

A Time For Silence (Amazon UK)
A Time For Silence (

Thorne’s Amazon Page
: @ThorneMoore



The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 7 – Robert Leigh @ScreamingMagpie #WeekendBlogShare


Beep-beep. Here comes the #MysteryNovember tour bus, and it’s stopping for author Robert Leigh today. Get to know more about Robert and his books at the link below. And once again, please don’t forget to share far and wide! Thanks, and enjoy reading!

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 7 – Robert Leigh @ScreamingMagpie #WeekendBlogShare


#RomancingSeptember Days 23, 24, 25, and 26

2015 cover

Time for the latest from #RomancingSeptember. Day 23’s featured author is Bethan Darwin, and Day 24’s is Lorraine Jenkin. For Day 25, the featured author is Annie Crux, and Day 26 features Sam Cheever. Do yourself a favor, and check out these great interviews. Then remember to share them on Twitter, Facebook, your own blogs, or wherever you can. Some day it will be your turn, and we’ll do the same for you.

Read the interviews here:

RosieAmber: #RomancingSeptember Day 23 with Bethan Darwin
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 23 with Bethan Darwin

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 24 with Lorraine Jenkin
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 24 with Lorraine Jenkin

Rosie Amber: #RomancingSeptember Day 25 with Annie Crux
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 25 with Annie Crux

Rosie Amber:  #RomancingSeptember Day 26 with Sam Cheever
Stephanie Hurt: #RomancingSeptember Day 26 with Sam Cheever

Have fun!


#RomancingSeptember with Rosie Amber & Stephanie Hurt

2015 cover

Today is September 1, and that means…tada!…#RomancingSeptember has begun. Thirty days, thirty authors featured on two different blogs, answering two different sets of questions. I have been invited to take part, and my post is scheduled for September 30. I hope you’ll all read it, but PLEASE don’t wait for me. There are some wonderful writers being featured (I’m so lucky to be in the mix!) and you’ll want to meet one each day.

I will be posting the links daily to both Rosie Amber’s blog and Stephanie Hurt’s blog, and you can check each of these authors out for yourself. I predict you’ll learn something from each one of them, find some new books to read, and have a lot of fun along the way.  (You’ll also find two new blogs to follow, as well.)

Today’s featured author is Melissa Foster. Here are the links to her posts:

Rosie Amber:  Romancing September Day 1 – Melissa Foster

Stephanie Hurt: Romancing September Across the World Day 1 – Melissa Foster

Hope you enjoy learning about Melissa Foster, and please remember to share these posts everywhere you can. Remember, it’s all about Writers Helping Writers, here.

Have a great day!

It’s Time I Introduced Myself

Having followed this blog for a while now, I know what a great community it is, but for reasons I won’t even attempt to make an excuse for, I haven’t actually posted here yet. So, I thought where better to start than with something of an introduction to my writing, since a mutual love of the written word is what unites us all.

Fiction was my first love but poetry has really captured my attention recently (so much so I plan to release my first collection of poems early next year). I’ve been playing around with haikus in particular recently and just put together this short piece that seems quite appropriate for the season, which I’ve simply entitled Winter.

Crystalline in beauty,
one in a dance of many –
Welcome gentle snowflake

As for my fiction work, I’ve published two books thus far, both of which are thrillers. My debut, The Vessel, is a dystopian tale of a woman’s struggle to expose the truth behind a corrupt government in a desolate world. My newest release, False Awakening, tells of a teenager’s quest to recover her memories and readjust to life after waking in hospital with no recollection of what put her there. Below is a brief visual snippet from each that will hopefully set the tone and give you an idea of the feeling in each story.

False Awakening

False Awakening

The Vessel

The Vessel

If you’re interested, you can find more on my blog, Amazon UK page, Amazon US page, Twitter or Goodreads account. I always love to connect with more readers and writers so by all means come and say hello.

All that’s left for me to say is thank you for having me; thank you for taking the time to read this post, and I hope to see you all around much more in the future.

All the best,

A True NaNoWriMo Story


When I lived in France, November was a special month for me.

November was the literary season with awards and prizes.

November was the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau, a young wine that you don’t keep in your cellar but drink in the weeks that follow.

November was also my birthday month.

When I moved to the United States I adapted and adopted new celebrations and traditions.

I was happy that Thanksgiving happened to be in November.

Many stores now carry also the French Beaujolais Nouveau.

And I could participate to the infamous NaNoWriMo.

I have mixed feelings about this crazy race.

  • Seriously, 50 000 words sound a lot.
  • Honestly, who writes every day?
  • Really, the idea of a new draft is tempting.
  • Definitely, pressure isn’t a bad thing for writers.

So, am I doing NaNoWriMo 2014?

I am and I am not.

I started a new YA story.

I won’t have 50 000 words by the end of the month but I have the beginning and the ending and enough elements to know that it’s a manuscript that I will finish.

How do I know that I can turn this bud of a draft into a completed manuscript?

I have been a NaNoWriMo participant in the past. Three times I have clocked my 50 000 words.

One of the drafts became my recently published Middle Grade novel Chronicles From Château Moines.


One of the reasons I know that I won’t get 50 000 words is also because of this recent publication.

Writing is one thing.

Marketing is another.

So while I would like to Write new Stuff, I’m actually working at promoting a NaNoWriMo baby, while plotting the birth of a new one. Because you just never know where 50 000 words will take you.

Good luck brave NaNoWriMo people!

Release Day for Amy’s Choice!

Strykowski Author PhotoHi fellow readers and writers! I’m so happy to be able to pop on here during my book’s birthday celebration. Amy’s Choice, a coming-of-age tween novel, is the sequel to Call Me Amy, which was selected for Bankstreet College of Education’s list of Best Children’s Books for 2014.

double covers

Amy finds more than an abandoned seal pup in her tiny fishing village on the coast of Maine during 1973. Both of these books are published by Luminis Books and today marks the official release of Amy’s Choice. I’ll be signing hot-off-the-press copies at the Salem, NH Barnes & Noble (2-4) and I’m also giving away prizes today on my own blog:

Meanwhile, I’d love to share this interview Marcia Meara posted on her popular Bookin’ It blog a while back. Here are the first questions followed by a link to the original post:

Wednesday Author Interview: Meet Marcia Strykowski

Bookin’ It is happy to have Childrens/Tween author Marcia Strykowski with us today. Hi, Marcia! Nice name! *grin* Could you tell us a bit about how you became a writer? When did you decide that’s what you wanted to be, and what steps did you take to prepare for a writing career? 

MS: I was always creating storybooks as a kid, so my interest evolved from there. I took an array of classes in writing and illustrating books in college. Eventually I tried expanding one of my shorter manuscripts until it turned into my first tween novel, Call Me Amy. After much reworking, I submitted it to publishers and it was accepted by Luminis Books. My next two novels were a lot easier to write, now that I was familiar with the process. I also joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators) and volunteered at their conferences. Most importantly, I’ve been in several long-term critique groups over the years. 

BI: I love the genre you are aiming for with Call Me Amy. Those “tween” years seem to fall between the cracks, at times, with many books being geared for much younger audiences, or much older, more experienced ones. Were you inspired by any particular authors, past or present, and what is it about their work that impresses you, or moves you? 

MS: I’m inspired by many different authors—there are so many great ones. Novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Anne of Green Gables, where the characters, setting, and storyline stay with you long after the last page, are especially inspirational. A few of the many authors who motivate me include Katherine Paterson, Richard Peck, M. M. Kaye, and Willa Cather. 

BI: Great choices. What genres do you read most often for pleasure…those books you gravitate toward the minute you walk into a bookstore? 

MS: I would probably first check out the YA section and I especially enjoy historical fiction. For example, I recently listened to The Invention of Wingsby Sue Monk Kidd on audio—loved it! 

BI: Haven’t read The Invention of Wings, yet, but I loved The Secret Life of Bees, and The Mermaid’s Chair. I’m making note, here. On to the more physical aspects of your writing. Do you have a dedicated workspace, and are you consistent with the amount of time you spend writing each day? 

To continue reading the rest of this interview, please click here.

To find out more about the ‘Amy’ books (and to win gift cards and books), please follow my website (I’ll look forward to checking out yours in turn). I’m also on Twitter: @MarciaStry

Okay, I’m off to help Amy blow out her birthday candles. Thanks so much for joining us and happy National Author’s Day, too (a nice coincidence)!