#FiveMoreThingsYouMayNotKnow About Author #JoanHall

For any of you who’ve already been a #TenThings guest on TWS, remember you are also invited to join us for another #FiveMoreThings, should you wish to do so.  Joan Hall decided she’d like to do exactly that, so please help me welcome her today. I know you’ll enjoy seeing what Joan has to share this time around, and Joan? That’s your cue to take it away, my friend!

Thanks, Marcia!

  1. I used to think being a storm chaser would be exciting until I got caught on the road during a tornado. One Friday afternoon I came home from work to find we had no electricity. Almost at the same time I tried to call him, my brother called to see if I wanted to go out to eat. We decided to drive to the next town. By this time, the rain was so heavy we could barely see in front of us. The winds were strong, and trees were bending over. My husband, who was at work, called me to say a tornado had been spotted. We kept going until we came to where a large tree had fallen across the road. When we turned back, there were trees blocking the road at places we had just been. After several detours through winding country roads, we finally made it back to town to discover two retail stores demolished, as well as several homes. We later learned the tornado was classified as an EF2 and stayed on the ground for twenty-seven miles. Needless to say, that broke me from wanting to be a storm chaser.

  2. Speaking of storms, my mother was terrified of them. We don’t have basements in Texas, so if a bad storm was forecast, we would go to a neighbor’s storm cellar. Other neighbors came as well, and we’d sit in the cellar with oil lamps or candles and wait out the storm. It was fun, especially because so many good stories were told during those times. My husband has never been inside a storm cellar, and I’ve told him he doesn’t know what he missed! I’m the opposite of Mom. Unless they are too violent, I love a good thunderstorm.

  3. I used to be extremely bashful and wouldn’t talk much. (My husband doesn’t believe it, LOL.) I’m still introverted but can “extrovert” when needed. I love my at home alone time. To this day, when I first meet someone new, I’m a bit quiet until I get a feel of what that person is like. People who are extremely extroverted and those that talk too much and too loud annoy me!

  4. I am a seventh generation American. My fourth great-grandfather, Robert McCorkle came to this country from Scotland (via Ireland). He settled in an area known as the Waxhaws, which is on the North Carolina/Sound Carolina border. His son, my third great-grandfather, fought in the Revolutionary War. Branches of the McCorkle family eventually moved to Texas. My paternal grandfather was the first one of my family born here. Interestingly the McCorkle clan had Scandinavian roots. The surname McCorkle was then known as Thorkle.

  5. I once dreamed of playing keyboards and singing in a rock band. Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac was my inspiration. I could play piano (sort of), but I can’t carry a tune. Not even in a bucket!

Joan & Hubby

You Can Buy Cold Dark Night HERE

Author Joan Hall

Joan Hall has always enjoyed reading or listening to stories about inexplicable events, so it’s not surprising she writes mystery and romantic suspense. A lover of classic rock music, songs often serve as the inspiration for her books.

When she’s not writing, Joan likes to observe the night skies, explore old cemeteries, and learn about legends and folklore. She and her husband live in Texas with their two cats. Learn more about Joan at her website, http://JoanHall.net.

Buy All of Joan’s Books HERE

Reach Joan on Social Media Here:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Bookbub  |  Goodreads  |  Instagram

#GuestDayTuesday – #JoanHall – #Menagerie

Time for another #GuestDayTuesday, and it’s my great pleasure to have author Joan Hall visiting with us today. I know you’ll enjoy her thoughts on Music and Writing, so let’s get right to it. Take it away, Joan! 😀

Music and Writing

Hi Marcia. It’s a pleasure to be here today. I want to thank you for sharing your blog space and allowing me to connect with your readers. Although I’ve been a guest before, I’ll start by telling people a little about me.

From the age of ten, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I would scribble stories on pieces of paper. I’ve always loved wildlife and nature, so writing little vignettes about animals. Around the time I entered high school, I dabbled in poetry, then wrote my first “novel” on notebook paper when I was seventeen.

After graduation, I got busy with life and set aside writing, but the desire never left me. It wasn’t until late 2007 that I decided to do something about it and began taking online writing classes. Another few years passed before I published my first book, a novella titled The Stranger. To date, I’ve published seven books and have stories included in four anthologies. My most recent release is Menagerie. It’s a collection of thirteen mystery, suspense, and contemporary short stories.

Other than writing, music has always been a big part of my life. My mother played a radio in my nursery when I was a baby, so maybe that played a big part shaping my love for music, particularly classic rock from the sixties and seventies.

My brother is twelve years older than me, and he had a collection of ‘45s and albums. While he was at school, I played his records all day long. Before I learned to read the labels, Mom would tell me what each record was, and I would set aside the ones I wanted to hear. I used this real-life event in “Hot August Night,” one of the stories in Menagerie.

In early 1964, I fell in love with four young men from Liverpool, England. For my sixth birthday, my brother gave me a ’45 of “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Almost sixty years later, I’m still a Beatles fan.

I create playlists for all my books and often mention songs in my work. A song by the Eagles served as the inspiration for the opening chapter of Unclear Purposes, the third book of my Driscoll Lake series. I’d written the opening chapter and wasn’t happy with it. One day while listening to the radio, “Lyin’ Eyes” began to play. Immediately, I knew how I’d write the opening.

John Denver’s music is also inspiring. Years ago, I used to write a First Friday Fiction post on my blog. One year I wrote a series with a twenty-seven-year-old main character old who returned to his hometown and discovered a few things about himself. You guessed it. “Rocky Mountain High” was the inspiration.

Elements of another John Denver song can be found in “Lone Wolf,” another story in Menagerie. Those familiar with his music would recognize elements of “I Think I’d Rather Be a Cowboy.”

The first Legends of Madeira book is a dual-timeline story and was inspired by a song. “Long Black Veil” is a country ballad first recorded in 1959 by Lefty Frizzell. The version I like and am most familiar with is by The Band and was on their Music From Big Pink album. The idea that a person who was hanged for a crime he didn’t commit could sing about his lover visiting his grave always intrigued me. I changed things around a bit, but that’s how Cold Dark Night began.

Music is still inspiring me. The morning I wrote this post, a song by the Traveling Wilburys came to mind. I have a feeling “Heading For The Light” will find its way into a story or a playlist.

This is just a few of the songs that have inspired me. I hope to continue listening to music, being inspired, and writing stories for a long time.

You Can Buy Menagerie HERE


King’s. The Tower of London. Glass. What do these have in common?

Each is a famous menagerie.

While this Menagerie doesn’t focus on exotic animals, it does contain a collection of stories that explore various trials people face and how their reactions shape their worlds.

Survivors of a haunted bridge. Women who wait while their husbands fight a war. Former partners reuniting to solve a cold-case murder.

These are just three of the thirteen stories in this compendium, encompassing past and present, natural and supernatural, legend and reality. The genres and timelines are varied, but there’s a little something for everyone who enjoys reading about simpler times and small-town life.


Terrific Selection of Stories!

I don’t often read short story collections, but I’m very glad I decided to give this one a go. Each story was the perfect length to read in one sitting, and each captured (and held) my interest from start to finish.

Social and Website Links:

Website | Blog| Newsletter |Goodreads |BookBub  | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Vocal


#ReblogAlert- #TwoFer #ThisWeekOnStoryEmpire & #SmorgasbordWeeklyRoundUp

In case some of you didn’t get the memo, it’s Sunday again, and that means it’s time for me to share this week’s posts from two of my favorite blogs! Between laying new floors here at home and my Meet the Author Tea at DeBary Hall yesterday, I haven’t even had a chance to read all of these posts yet (though I’ll get to it soon), but I have no problem at all passing them along for you to check out anyway. You know as well as I do that they are always entertaining, enlightening, and informative, so please do take a look. You’ll be glad you did! 

MONDAY: John W. Howell starts the week off with what appears to be a very instructional post entitled Gestures and Dialogue–A Perfect Show Don’t Tell Team. I can’t wait to read the entire post and feel sure I’ll find it helpful! Check out John’s post HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Joan Hall’s mid-week post entitled Plan Ahead to Maximize Time is one I’m eager to read fully. This is something I’m sure all of us struggle with at least now and then, and I know I can use all the tips I can get. Check out Joan’s post HERE.

FRIDAY: Staci Troilo wraps up the week with what I know will be a terrific post, entitled Story Development and Execution Part 4: Dialogue.  Can’t wait to read it, and I’m sure you’ll want to as well. Check out Staci’s post HERE.

And once again, Sally Cronin and crew have outdone themselves with a weekly roundup that is chock full of great things. Animal videos, music, cooking, reviews, new releases, you name it. It’ll be there!

Check out Sally’s Smorgasbord Magazine Weekly RoundUHERE

And there you have it!
Happy Reading Everyone!

#InternationalDayOf Awesomeness – #SallyCronin – #SmorgasbordBlog – #Celebration – #StoryEmpire

A most remarkable thing happened on Thursday.
For those who weren’t aware (like me),
Thursday was the official
International Day of Awesomeness. 

While I may have been oblivious about this day,
the good folks over at Story Empire were not!

Nope. These wonderfully talented and sharing authors decided to celebrate the day in grand style by letting the world know exactly who they thought deserved to be honored in all her awesomeness: 

Sally Cronin

Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I suspect that most of us who spend a lot of time blogging and/or writing are very familiar with Sally and her fabulous Smorgasbord blog, and have probably been the beneficiaries of her support and encouragement many times. I know I certainly have! And if you missed out on all of these great tributes to this lovely lady, I do hope you’ll stop by her blog to read her post about how she spent her Thursday, and what it meant to her. 

You can read Sally’s post (and find links to each Story Empire post) HERE.

Sally, I hope you continue to feel the love for a long, long time. You deserve it my friend! And as always, never forget YOU ROCK!

#ReblogAlert – #Twofer – This Week on #StoryEmpire and #SmorgasbordWeeklyRoundUp

I apologize for missing last week’s round up posts, but I was still running way behind and just couldn’t catch up. I’m happy to say, I’ve been improving a bit more the last few days, and have high hopes I’ll be back to my normal routine (and blogging schedule) before much longer. Let’s start things off right with a recap from last week’s #StoryEmpire and #Smorgasbord posts. Enjoy!

MONDAY:  Joan Hall starts the week off with a very interesting post entitled Would You Buy This Book? She raises some questions about marketing tactics that may or may not be helpful, and could even be a turn-off for some potential buyers. Check out Joan’s post HERE.

WEDNESDAY: A great mid-week post by Staci Troilo entitled Story Development and Execution Part 2: The Story Bible really caught my attention. Whether you are a plotter or a pantser,  I think the tips Staci posted can help you. The sure helped me. Check out Staci’s post HERE. 

FRIDAY: Gwen Plano wraps up the week with a post entitled The Rise of Short Stories, and I think you’ll really enjoy this one. Ever compare yourself to a goldfish before? A bit alarming, I must say, but some super info to consider. Check out Gwen’s post HERE.

And of course, Sally had yet another fabulous week of posts on everything under the sun. Here’s her RoundUp of the week, in case you missed anything. Happy Reading!

Check out this week’s #Smorgasbord WeeklyRoundUp Post HERE

And there you have it, Folks …
Another wonderful week on two of my very favorite blogs.

#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire and Sally Cronin’s #Smorgasbord Weekly RoundUp

Once again, it’s time to share the love! If you haven’t checked out these posts on Story Empire and Sally’s Smorgasbord blogs, you really owe it to yourself to stop by and see what’s up. There’s always something good going on on these two blogs, you know. Stop by and see for yourself! You’ll be glad you did!

MONDAY: Joan Hall starts the week off with a great post entitled Writing Historical Fiction. Check it out HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Staci Troilo’s post entitled Messy Middles and Mystery Boxes is one that I found exceptionally helpful. I think you will, too. Check it out HERE.

FRIDAY: And John W. Howell wraps up the week with Thanksgiving wishes and a gorgeous photo HERE. (Thank you, John, and I hope your Thanksgiving weekend has been great so far!) 

And here are this week’s goodies from Sally’s Smorgasbord blog. Have a look for yourself, and you’ll see why I like to pass this one on, too. You can check everything out HERE.

And there you have it, Folks …
Another wonderful week on two of my very favorite blogs.

#TenThingsYouMayNotKnow – About Joan Hall

So happy it’s Wednesday again, because you know what that means?  Yep! It’s time for another Ten Things list. This week, our guest is my good friend, author Joan Hall, and I know you’ll enjoy reading this one! Take it away, Joan!


Ten Things You May Not Know About Me
by Joan Hall

  1.  I bleed burnt orange. Just kidding, but I’m a diehard Texas Longhorn fan. Burnt orange (and white) are the school colors.
  2.  My all-time favorite movie is Casablanca.
  3.  My maiden name is James and much to my husband’s dismay, I’m not related to the outlaw Jesse. (Hubs thinks that would be so cool!)
  4.  I wrote my first novel on notebook paper when I was seventeen years old, but I threw it away.
  5.  I once killed a four-foot coiled rattlesnake with a garden hoe.
  6.  My earliest memory was when I was eighteen months old. It happened during a visit with friends and relatives near Christmas.
  7.  As much as I love cats, I used to be more of a dog person. We once owned five dogs at the same time—two Dachshunds, a German Shepherd, a Lab-mix, and a Chow-mix. Feeding two cats is much less expensive.
  8.  Speaking of pets, we have a family tradition of naming our dogs after songs or singers. This came about by accident when I decided to name my German Shepherd puppy after George Harrison’s first wife, Pattie Boyd. Since then, we’ve had names such as Dylan, (Bob) Maggie (Maggie May), and Penny (Penny Lane). We don’t follow the same naming convention for our cats, but we once named one after a baseball player.
  9.  One of my pet peeves (of which I have many) is people who can’t park straight or park too close to the line.
  10.  In the early 1970s, my brother and I buried a piece of his pottery on our family property with the hope that some future generation would discover it and wonder about life in twentieth century America.

Joan and Hubby


Author Joan Hall

Joan Hall has always enjoyed reading or listening to stories about inexplicable events, so it’s not surprising she writes mystery and romantic suspense. A lover of classic rock music, songs often serve as the inspiration for her books.

When she’s not writing, Joan likes to observe the night skies, explore old cemeteries, and learn about legends and folklore. She and her husband live in Texas with their two cats. Learn more about Joan at her website, http://JoanHall.net.

Buy All of Joan’s Books HERE

Reach Joan on Social Media Here:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Bookbub  |  Goodreads  |  Instagram

#ReblogAlert! #Twofer #ThisWeekOnStoryEmpire & Sally Cronin’s #SmorgasbordWeeklyRoundUp

This post is going to be what we call a “Twofer,” or two posts for the price of one! Since I’ve made Sunday my regular #ReblogAlert day for both Story Empire and Smorgasbord, I realized I could do them in the same post, rather than one in the morning and one in the afternoon, thus giving each of them all-day long exposure. Great idea, huh? (Yeah, I know. Sometimes I’m slow, but I usually get there eventually! 😀 ) So, here you go!


Another great series of posts from the gang at Story Empire. You’ll definitely want to take a look, if you haven’t already done so.

MONDAY: John W. Howell’s post Indicators During a Writing Session That It Is Not the Best Work is a simple, yet very helpful way to help authors  understand why their work might not be as good as it should be. Check out John’s post HERE.

WEDNESDAY: Joan Hall wraps up her terrific series on developing different types of characters with Character Types: The Helper. You can read Joan’s post HERE.

FRIDAY: Staci Troilo’s post, Do’s and Don’ts of Story Beginningsis another one you won’t want to miss! Learn more on this from Staci HERE.


And for those who may have missed some of this week’s fabulous posts on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord, be sure to check out this link. Loaded with good stuff, including at least one video sure to bring tears to your eyes, and another to make you smile all over, you’ll definitely be glad you did!

Check out Sally’s Weekly RoundUp Post HERE

And there you have our first Reblog Twofer everybody!
Hope you enjoy checking out both sites!


#ReblogAlert – This Week on #StoryEmpire

Been a crazy busy week, complicated by everything from doctor’s appointments to major computer problems, and the difficulty of putting together a PowerPoint program for my Saturday talk amid it all. BUT. Here I am! Still at it, with things looking more hopeful for the week ahead. And I’m very happy to say, I’m able to do both of my weekly roundup posts today. First, here are the links to all three of the terrific posts over on Story Empire. If you missed any of these, do stop by to check them out. Always good stuff going on over there!

MONDAY: Throwing SHADE at Your Sentences is a wonderfully helpful post by Staci Troilo. So much to learn from this one and you can check it out HERE

WEDNESDAY: Five Ways to Know You are Doing Good Work on Each Writing Session by John W. Howell is exactly what it sounds like. A list of ways you can evaluate if your writing session is working as it should. Check it out HERE.

FRIDAY:  Character Types: The Extrovert byJoan Hall. It’s always a good idea to understand the personality type of your characters. Joan has shared some very interesting tips HERE.

Yet another week of wonderful posts on Story Empire. If you’ve missed any of these posts, do yourself a favor and head on over to  see for yourself how much you can learn there!