Our Featured Author for March 2021- Curtis Deeter

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

I’m sure there are a lot of books I read as a kid that I don’t remember, but my first memory crying during a story was in The Road. Now, as a new father, the ending hits especially hard.

2. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Not having enough energy (because, let’s face it, we can always find time somewhere) to write as much as I’d like. I love being a husband and a father, I wouldn’t trade a moment of that, but things like my day job, household choirs, running errands, etc. can be exhausting. I accept them as a necessary part of my life some days, but they take their toll physically and mentally more often than not.

3. Who is one author you are friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Leah McNaughton Lederman. She’s helped (whether she know it or not) keep me motivated when it comes to my local literary and arts magazine, Of Rust and Glass, and seeing her projects motivates me to continue mine.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Finish what you start. I have a hundred different projects I never finished. Then, I sort of gave up for about five years because I was discouraged. Now, I try to finish every project I start (still not all the way there), put it out there, and I’m seeing incredible results. I wonder where I’d be as an author if I started working in earnest right out of college.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

My first novel-length book is through the final editing phases as we speak. The process has helped me see my work as not just mine but part of a bigger portfolio. It’s helped me accept that, eventually, I’ll have to release my story to the world.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

I bought a six pack of beer, Jackie O’s Razz Wheat, with my first royalty check. It was small, somewhere around $10, but it felt great. And Razz Wheat is one of my favorite drinks now. Win-win, yeah?

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

A wolf. My writing is a solo endeavor, and I’m entirely at peace with that. But I also realize I rely on the pack to take my writing from random lines in a notebook to published story. The latter still makes me a little uncomfortable, but I’m getting better at playing my role.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Off the top of my head, I have one complete novel (sequel to my soon to be published piece, Morning Blood in Mio), four that are about halfway there (high fantasy, dark fantasy-horror, comedic supernatural, and a scifi-horror), and a list of follow-ups for most of them. The Morning Blood series has about 10 books planned at this point, for example. I also have a collection of short stories, all with an element of fantasy, I’m currently revising and editing called Catching Lightning. It’s around 60k words, and I plan to self-publish it in the next month or so.

  1. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Wow, great question. And really tough to answer. I’d have to say the first time I read a Sir Terry Pratchett novel my entire perspective on what makes good (fantasy) fiction. My mindset shifted from scene setting and purple prose, to character building, humor, and worldbuilding. There’s something special about a story that is equal parts hilarious and endearing, but also has a depth of worldbuilding that makes you forget you’re reading a novel. I aspire to be half as crafty as authors like STP someday.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

Honest answer? Completely random. When I start a story, I tend to attribute placeholder names to all the characters because I refuse to get bogged down in those details to the point it slows down my writing process. More often than not, the character names stick.

  1. What is your favorite childhood book?

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!! I don’t think it made me cry as a kid, but when my parents gave me a copy for high school graduation, I definitely did. Behind closed doors. Without them knowing, of course. There’s something about Dr. Seuss. No matter how silly, his stories always leave a lasting impression on me.

Updated Book Blurb:

Curtis’ book will come out soon. See his featured work in the featured anthologies. https://www.amazon.com/Curtis-A-Deeter/e/B0849Q5CB5

Morning Blood in Mio

Chase Cross, “detective” ordinaire, rolls into town behind the wheel of an old woody station wagon. When he careens into the Our Lady of the Woods shrine, he grabs Mio, Michigan’s attention, especially that of Sheriff Grace. Luckily, his poor driving retrieves the recently deceased bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Stillman from the apex of the shrine. Chase must help Mio solve the murders and piece itself back together—but first he needs to convince the Sheriff to let him out of jail.

Meanwhile, the Devil and Death arrive for their honeymoon, bringing with them a slew of strange, pseudo-biblical occurrences: water to booze, plagues of amphibians and Ford Focuses, and cupboards filled with rice. Some might call it spontaneous omening; others will simply call it young love.

Even with the cards stacked in his favor—his friend Bob, a cast of statues that animate every night, an angsty Jesus as his guiding light, and God, herself—the blundering “detective” might still manage to muck things up. But he might also manage to drop the quotation marks.

Morning Blood in Mio has been compared to Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and Douglas Adams. It is set to release June 15th, 2021. Follow Curtis A. Deeter for updates, giveaways, sneak peeks, and links to pre-order his debut novel.

In the meantime, check out his Amazon page to find a number of anthologies featuring his short stories. You’ll find a bit of everything, from the high fantasy world of Nabybee to Chuck Palahniuk-esque flash fiction, to keep you busy until his book launch.

Updated Bio: Curtis Deeter

Curtis A. Deeter is an author of fantasy, science fiction, and horror with over a dozen short pieces accepted in various print and electronic formats. He runs a local arts and literary community in Northwest Ohio called Of Rust and Glass. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time with his family and taste-testing craft beer at local breweries.

Me and Chapter Breaks

In my first and second books I wrote in the chapter breaks as I went along giving each chapter a title. In my third book I did not make chapter breaks, so after I wrote it I had to go back in reread it and decide where chapter breaks should go. I also learned that I needed to remove the last few chapters and move them over to book four. I have four books written in the Grey Dawn of Dharaven Series.

I also read about chapter breaks. Here is some of what I learned.

Putting Chapter Breaks into a Book.

Chapter breaks keep your reader interested in reading from one chapter to another. Use a wide variety of chapter breaks to keep your readers guessing. Cliffhangers at the end of chapters can keep readers reading. Chapter breaks set your story’s pacing. They carry the reader along into the next chapter and keep them turning pages. Chapters are good stopping points for your reader. It allows them to take a breath if your book is full of excitement. A lot of writers write their entire piece without chapter breaks, then go back and put the breaks into their piece. Any way that chapter breaks are done they are an important part of the formatting of your book.

A Blast from My Past

This is from a post I did on March 5, 2019. I am doing a review of these priorities. Look for Notes beside each one dated 2021.

2019 Why would I share my priority list as a new writer? I said I would share my journey in this writer’s world and making certain things priorities is important. Some I will do every day and others every other day.

2021 Why update this list? To see my growth as a writer and author, as well as growth as a social media kingdom ruler.

I put it into categories of a writer’s life: learning and studying, writing, reading, and community. This is an ever changing list so it will be updated often.

Learning and Studying

I am learning how to improve my skills as a writer and author. 2021 I doubt this learning will ever stop.

I am also taking online blogging and writing courses.

              Blogging Bootcamp Taken 2019

             Online Genius Academy Taken 2019 Basically an ad for their large course

              Udemy Creative Writing Tips Completed February 2021 Came away with a lot of story ideas

              Udemy Editing Class Completed 20219

2021 Taking an editing your book class online.

Books:

Deep Work Read 2019

The Elements of Style and its Workbook 2021 I have them.

Research archaeology. 2021 finding article, videos and memes about archaeology to share.

Read book on a real archaeology expedition. 2021 Douglas Preston’s Book The Monkey’s Head

Read Alfred Hitchcock stories for your story. Read in 2020

Read Like a Writer 2021 Have not read yet.

Writing

My two blogs require something to be written on them every day or every other day. 2021 Blogs are written on once a week 52 articles a year. I use PLR on my lifenotonthelist site.

2021 Social media sites 2021 Facebook, twitter and Instagram are written on daily.

I am currently 10,000 words into a novel I am writing. 2021: I have completed novels 1-4, working on novel 5 for Grey of Dharaven series. I have a short story for an anthology written and edited. First novel in series is due out in late summer of 2021. Grey Dawn of Dharaven: Katz Island

Murderous Gloves written in Alfred Hitchcock style. 2021 Not written yet.

I also have two more book ideas sitting waiting for me to get to them. 2021: These two stories still wait for me to work on them.

Poetry typed and rewritten. 2021: Poetry has been typed by a PA. I am working on categories to put them in for a chap book.

Contest entries through Submittable and other places. 2021 I have been rejected 27 times on Submittable. I was accepted twice. One piece is a short, short piece of 42 words. The other published work appeared in Carcosa Magazine February 2021 Issue 1. I keep trying with other pieces. I will find my tribe eventually.

Community

word nerd-2021 not there so much anymore. Went an expensive hub.

 writers helping writers.-2021- I am still on this site.

I am an administrator on a forum and Facebook website. Forum must be checked daily. 2021- Forum and website are doing well.

Emails checked for all 3 sites daily. 2021 Email for my own is checked. Have to remember to check them more often.

CONTINUING PRIORITIES 2021

I am learning how to improve my skills as a writer and author.

Research archaeology.

Read book on a real archaeology expedition. 2021 Douglas Preston’s Book The Monkey’s Head

Read Like a Writer

Write blog articles once a week.

Facebook, twitter and Instagram are written on daily.

Murderous Gloves written in Alfred Hitchcock style.

These two stories still wait for me to work on them.

Poetry Chapter Book

Contest entries through Submittable and other places. 2 to 27

Continue admin duties of forums and sites.

Check emails on all three sites at least once a week. Personal each day.

Keep talking to other writers on sites.

6 More Interview Questions Asked of Me

What’s your next writing projects?

I am working on collection of short stories about a team of Do Gooders who fight evil in the American southwest. I am also working on getting my poetry together, finding the best ones, and making a chap book, or poetry pamphlet or both.

Name 5 favorite movies.

Independence Day

Armageddon

Terminator 2

Star Wars- all the movies

Star Trek- all the movies and the series. Currently watching Discovery on DVD.

What’s your favorite love story?

Richard and Kahlan in The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind. They fall in love in the first book in spite of going through hell, and stay together through hell and back several times.

Sword of Truth Series


What’s your favorite line from any movie?

“You tell them I’m coming and Hell’s coming with me.” Tombstone


If we Googled your name what would we see?

https://katherineesoto-author.com/ after all the genealogy ads and people search.


You were just given a yacht. What would you name it?

My yacht would be named Who Gives a Rat’s Ass.

The flag would have a skull with a rat on top of it with its tail running through the skull’s eye.

Who Gives a Rat’s Ass

Editing Takes Time

Editing is the hardest part of writing. Writers groan over editing their longer pieces. Just when you think you have found everything wrong in the manuscript, you find the silliest punctuation mistake or the mistake gets published in the book or newsletter. (If you find an error in this article, email me for a prize. First one that finds one gets it.) How do you edit so you get all of the errors out of a piece of writing? Here is what I have learned.

First: Write the entire piece. I fix the spelling and typos as I go along otherwise my pieces would become unreadable. Get those ideas down. Then leave it alone for awhile.

Second: Do a first edit. This is here you look at the content of your piece. Does it have the content you want it to have? Does your plot make sense? Are there any writing holes you need to fix. I found a timeline problem in one of my pieces and had to change the days around for it to make sense.

Third: Edit your Point of View and Characters. Do you have several points of view, or one point of view? Do your points of view agree with one another? Does your POV character carry each scene? Are you characters making sense? I had to rewrite an entire scene due to my POV not being my main character’s.

Fourth: Edit by chapters, then pages, then paragraphs, then lines, then words. Take your piece through an stringent editing process from chapters to words.

Final edit: Use a speech app to read it to you. There is one in Word. Pay attention and you will catch a lot of little line edits that need to be done. Take your time and your piece will be polished and ready for that publisher.

You can also use an aide such a ProWritingaide or Fictionary to help edit your pieces.

When you write take time to go back and edit each piece with the care it deserves.

February 2021 Featured Author- Greg Marchand

Author Inteview

  • What is the first book that made you cry?

I remember Where the Red Fern Grows being pretty sad when I was young.

  • What is your writing Kryptonite?

Simply not having enough free time has to be the biggest hinderance, I think, for any writer who also works full time. It is for me.

  • Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m not “friends” with my publisher’s head (who is also an author) in the traditional sense, but she provides constant, invaluable pro tips on all things writing, and publishing/marketing as well. I’m a better writer because of her, no question.

  • If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Plot first, use ProWritingAid to stomp out your passive voice, and be proud—you’ll actually be published one day.

  • How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I would say it’s shown me the importance of time management and deadlines, because marketing and promotion are now just as important as the writing itself and require a LOT of time, not just in execution, but learning how to do it.

  • What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

Paying an editor for my first novel. If it’s your first novel, I don’t know how you don’t hire an editor. They provide typo and grammar help, etc., yes, but there are bigger elements to story-telling that an editor will teach you, like character arc and pacing. You’re paying for more than just the correction of your story—you get to learn a hell of a lot.

  • As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I’ll go with a bighorn ram. I do have one tattooed on my chest after all. They’re small, mostly docile, but can hold their own. And for some bizarre reason, they seem to find themselves trying to climb higher and higher, as if bored by the lowlands. Sure, they’ve evolved to climb to avoid predators, but don’t they look like they’re just sort of enjoying themselves up there? That’s me, just trying to avoid disaster in this strange existence, and just trying to get a kick out of it while I’m here.

  • How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

A handful of short, novelette, and novella-sized works await my editing. My third novel is in its very early stages. All of my stories have a strong nature element, usually a creature or two, and supernatural occurrences.

  • Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Jack London’s Call of the Wild. It’s third-person, yet feels like the dog is telling the story. It made me think about the lines we draw between point of view, and appreciate those who can manipulate a story’s narration that way.

  • How do you select the names of your characters?

They are approximately 85% randomly chosen, 15% hidden meaning for myself. I’m not fantastical (is that a word?), so I need ordinary names, but not so ordinary they incite yawning.

  • What is your favorite childhood book?

Where the Redfern Grows. You got me. It’s pretty much the only book I read the first half of my life. I can’t “booknerd-out” with readers and other authors, which is kind of sad. In timed reading sections of elementary school tests, even through high school, I scored really well—on the questions I had time to answer. I was a slow reader, needed to absorb every detail, and I could never finish reading it all in the allotted time. So, at a young age, I assumed I wasn’t a “good reader.” How could I be a good reader if I couldn’t even finish the reading test on time, right? Thus, reading never became a part of my identity. And so, hyperactivity became me, and I went the bicycle, crawdad hunting, football, wrestling, cross-country route.

Author Biography

Greg Marchand

Greg Marchand is a Medical Laboratory Technician, Western Kentucky University Alum, U.S. Army veteran, and former Yellowstone sous chef currently living in the “Crossroads of America” state of Indiana. From writing articles for his high school yearbook, to penning radio scripts on foreign soil for the U.S. military, Greg has always found a passion for writing. The colorful, admirable, and contradictory people he’s met in his lifetime inspire his stories, as do his moments spent among the trees, in the mountains, and under the stars.

When he’s not cursing medical laboratory instruments for a living, Greg is often downstairs hashing out his tilted stories, P90x-ing, and struggling to learn banjo. Occasionally, he emerges from his man cave to cook for his wife and stepson, and to take the dogs down to the river.

Book Blurb

BLURB:

The paths of five strangers cross and their fates intertwine when Yellowstone Lake employee, Kyle Fenn, finds his way into an ancient, sacred cave and gets too close to a buried secret.

Moderators remove an archaeological scholar from a conference stage at Montana State University as he frantically declares that evil always finds a way… After burying her mother, and suffering the apparent loss of her boyfriend, a young Virginian returns to work at Yellowstone, to start again… A Native man leaves his ranch and his father’s crooked patriarchy to work as a Yellowstone ranger where he discovers a darkness now compromises his family’s safety… And, in Gardiner, Montana, outside Yellowstone’s north gate, a hot-headed divorcee gains a special ability after playing pool with a stranger.

Yellowstone Shifters follows Fenn as he finds himself at the epicenter of a paranormal re-awakening, deciphering friend from foe and seeking the origin of this unfathomable evil.

<releases March 2, 2021> https://gregmarchandwrites.com/yellowstone-shifters

LINKS TO BOOK: https://books2read.com/u/mKyVNZ

5 Interview Questions and My Answers

I’m starting to practice answers to interview questions as my book publication gets closer (charges at me like a runaway Rhino.) I thought my readers might be interested to see some answers from me.

Question 1- What’s your next project?

Grey Dawn of Dharaven: Katz Island is Book 1 of a proposed series. I have written books two, three and four. At the present time I am writing Book 5 in the series.

I am also working on an anthology short story piece. I have a romance noel idea I have kicked around for years and a horror novel that has been written to page 36. I have over 350 poems written. They have been typed up and will be easier to access to begin the process of rewriting and choosing poems for a chapbook or pamphlet of poetry.

Questions 2: What are the best choices that have made me into the writer I am today?

First off I realized I had no idea how to write a complete book early on when I began to write. I read Pereira’s DIY/MFA book to learn what is included in a good book. I learned about online resources and books to help me in my writing process. To realize I did not know about something I truly wanted to do, then researching and learning about it made me work hard to accomplish becoming an author.

Question 3 What is my favorite love story?

The relationship that develops between Richard and Kahlan, in the Sword of Truth series written by Terry Goodkind, touched me. I love the way they can support one another as they go through hell and highwater to save the kingdom.

Question 4 List five adjectives to describe yourself.

Stubborn, lovable, smart, creative, and hopeful

Question 5 If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?

If you take it one second, one minute, and one increment of time at a time you can get through anything.

This year’s sentence: I wish love, hope, and peace fill your life with joy.

What am I reading?

I am a writer and I like to help other writers, so I post a lot of things for writers to use on my blog.  I also have readers of my blog, so I must serve then also with things to read about.  I am hoping that my readers are writers, and my writers are readers.

I am a reader, too. Last year I read over 52 books.

What do I read? I read a lot fantasy and science fiction novels.  I will read an occasional romance.  I like the Reader’s Digest for a quick read. I like the San Diego Zoo’s Zoo News. I have a zoo membership, so the magazine comes for free. It hs information about the zoo’s animals and horticulture, plus upcoming events.

What authors do I enjoy reading?

Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors. She has strong female characters in her books. Jolene is her latest. It is a book set in the old coal producing times of Tennessee. The title character is not the main character in the story, but she does cause some trouble for them when she tries to help.

Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern is an excellent set of books to read.  Her son Todd McCaffrey cowrote with her and has written several books in the series himself. Find a timeline on line and read the books in order of the timeline.

Terry Goodkind writes the Sword of Truth Series.  A series of books that takes world building into a new realm. I fell in love with his main characters Richard and Kahlan. Goodkind puts them through hell as they try to save their world several times from villains that either want to take over the world or want everyone dead.  Excellent fantasy adventure reads starting with Wizard’s First Rule.

What I am reading right now?  I finished The Lion of Cairo a few nights ago, then plunged into the military sci fi adventure Death Lands. 

What’s next?

It depends on what I find on my bookshelves. I have two bookshelves I am attempting to empty of the one book authors I have bought. I also have ARCS to read for other authors. I also have books on my Kindle app. I get a lot of free books on it.