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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicalynxo) Welcome to the September 2013 Struggling Writers newsletter! Booksellers, bloggers, and authors in the cyber community are welcome here to scroll through our many social attractions, including new book releases, book ads, events, featured member writing, and much more. Thank you for the people who submitted their works to be hand selected in our e-letters, as well as the grand focus exerted from the moderators of Struggling Writers. Without further ado, please sit back and enjoy our newsletter of the month of September!

There's Still Time to Sign Up for the A-Z Challenge!
Interested in a fun and competitive way to track your books? Look no further and check out the A-Z Challenge! It’s not too late to join the race, and any book you've read since June 1st can count! Currently there are 19 members racing to be the first to read 26 books before December 31st . You say 26 books before December 31st is easy? Well there’s a must read one book with a title that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet.
Interested in joining the race? click here:
For the rules and guidelines, click here:

New Book Releases for September!
Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair\
Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth.
Buy it here:

Never Go Back by Lee Child
Former military cop Jack Reacher makes it all the way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. Reacher is there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to even think about.
Buy it here:

Si-cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty's Favorite Uncle by Si Robertson
You know him from the hit A&E show Duck Dynasty—now you can enjoy Uncle Si’s tall tales, crazy exploits, and quirky one-liners in one raucous collection!
Buy it here:

A New Book Release from Jordan Dunsmore (Struggling Writers Author)
Hey all of you struggling writers, check out fellow struggling writer Jordan Dunsmore's new book, "Ardent's Contract: Volume I". It's available for only $3 on Amazon! He's also looking for reviewers and he's giving out five free copies to the first people who message him.
Here is the link for Jordan's book:

Description of the book:
Emilyn Dahz is a head strong yet underachieving man who lives in a utopia he despises. The metropolis of Vurosis, a seemingly perfect place where all man’s needs are met but nobody contributes. Humans are granted supernatural abilities by using the power of the Contract, their magic granted by a mysterious entity. Not content, Emilyn lashes out against the system he feels imprisons all the others, but his cries for change are always ignored.

Suddenly, the young man’s life changes when his twin brother disappears amidst an attack on the city. Unlike Emilyn, Izhan embraces his society, even willing to fight to protect it. With what starts out as simple, soon turns dangerous as authorities search for someone responsible for the attack. Emilyn quickly discovers the price of paradise, and that the Contract does not always favour all.

Featured Writing by a Struggling Writers Member
"Looking Glass" by Erie

This reflection is only a
form of psyche that is
concealed by the abandonment
often shadowed by all of
this worldly vanity.

you don't see the big
picture of what you look
like when i look at you.

that looking glass is
nothing but a deceiving
piece of glass that only
shows the bitter side of

to me you seem to be
so camouflaged from
the beauty of perfection
as you form a connection
with the misguided role
models out there in
the world,

you go back into your
room as you feel the
surrounding redemption
clouding your judgment
as your face inside the
deceiving glass once again.

and as you broke through
the trivial ecstasies to
see how, we surround the
broken pieces of this looking
glass that lays broken at
your feet before you.

Q&A with S.K.N. Hammerstone
Author S.K.N. Hammerstone offered to sit down and conduct an interview with us about her previous novels, her upcoming novels, and also some tips and tricks as a writer herself.

What was your inspiration for The Deceived?
My inspiration for The Deceived was wanting to write on the "dark side" of YA. So many YA books (and really all books) focus on the hero, and The Deceived is very much about the idea that everyone is really the bad guy.

What tips do you have for authors that are new to the publishing process?
The number one tip would be to not get discouraged if you are getting a lot of rejections/not a lot of activity on your books in the first few weeks. It takes some time for people to notice you.

Why do you think people will enjoy The Deceived?
I think people will (and have) enjoyed The Deceived because it is so different and is so much darker than most YA [novels].

Did you self-publish your story, or was it professionally published?
I self-published on Amazon's KDP and [also] Create Space.

What is some advice that you have for young, aspiring writers?
Don't give up on your writing. Always write and always believe in yourself.

Did you ever picture yourself as a published author?
Not really. Until very recently, I never even let anyone read what I wrote, so I never imagined [that] my writing would be available for everyone in the world to read.

Was writing always your passion, or did you ever have a different career in mind?
I am still not sure what career I have in mind. I know that writing is a passion of mine, but I have other [careers] as well. I am hoping to figure it out soon.

What author/story do you look up to and use for ideas/inspiration?
Definitely Edgar Allan Poe. He is the King of Gothic and horror [genres] and I have read almost all of his works numerous times.

What do you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?
The most difficult part of the writing process is actually finishing the first draft of something. Often times I decide part-way through that I no longer like what I am writing, but I have to keep going and finish it or it will never become anything.

Can we expect some new works from you in the future?
The third and final book in the series [that] I have been working on is coming out (hopefully) in December. So yes, there will be new works from me in the future.

Q&A with Nishith Vasavada
Author Nishith Vasavada also offered to sit down to conduct an interview on his newest novel, Sakoon. (

What was your inspiration for Sakoon?
The one story that stayed with me from early childhood was about my mother and her family during partition of India in 1947. My grandfather decided that staying in Karachi was too dangerous due to their ethnicity. Sakoon is a sincere attempt to explore my late mother's yearning for the Karachi she was forced to leave.

What tips do you have for authors that are new to the publishing process?
We write to be heard, and the digital marketplace is a great equalizer. You can try the traditional agent route, but do not ignore self publishing and self promotion, which is not as hard as writing a book.

Why do you think people will enjoy Sakoon?
Set in Pakistan, Sakoon is the story of one young woman's courage to raise her voice against injustice. The human urge for liberty is a universal theme that should resonate with many readers. The story also has its own share of romance and suspense.

Did you self-publish your story, or was it professionally published?
Sakoon will be self-published by the end of August through

What is some advice that you have for young, aspiring writers?
Stick to your dream. My first novel took six years to complete and turned out to be a practice novel. Sakoon is my second novel, and it took seven years to finish. Assess the quality of your work. Story telling is a craft. Read a wide variety of material to master it.

Did you ever picture yourself as a published author?
I was naive enough to believe I will be a published author and stubborn enough to stay with it.

Was writing always your passion, or did you ever have a different career in mind?
I am an environmental engineer by profession and a writer by passion.

What author/story do you look up to and use for ideas/inspiration?
There are several. Michener, Dickens, Fredrick Forsyth, Barbara Kingsolver, to name just a few.

What do you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?
Rewriting and editing...cutting out what I thought was damn good stuff.

Can we expect some new works from you in the future?
A sequel to Sakoon, of course.

*Special thanks to authors Nishith Vasavada and S.K.N. Hammerstone for allowing us to conduct these interviews. :-)

Monthly Riddle
Q: If it's not the day after Monday or the day before Thursday, and it isn't Sunday tomorrow, and it wasn't Sunday yesterday, and the day after tomorrow isn't Saturday, and the day before yesterday wasn't Wednesday, what day is it?
A: Sunday!

Writing Horoscopes for the Month of September
We're trying something different this time! Instead of posting your writing horoscopes here, you can click this link to find them:

message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicalynxo) Writing Tip of the Month
September Writing Tip: The importance of writing daily and how it can help with writer’s block.

We all know what I’m talking about, those dreaded two words that name the inability to create a whole different world, writer’s block. As old as writing is you would think someone along the way would have developed a tried and true method to get rid of writer’s block, but no such luck in a cure for an ailment that plagues all writers at one time or another.

There are manners of preventative care though, and one of the best is writing daily. Now, I don’t mean good writing, or writing on your current piece, or even a new one for that matter, you just need to write. Three pages (750 words) has been determined the appropriate amount, some of you might know of Morning Pages which uses this idea and is the concept of just writing on nothing in particular every single day in the morning. You don’t have to write in the morning though, or even at the same time every day. The idea is to get your body used to easily producing a free stream of consciousness onto a page and then when you come to the day you get writer’s block you just sit down and start writing about how you hate writer’s block and that you want to write on this piece you have going, excreta. Then, bam! You no longer have writer’s block.
So, now that I’ve said that you’re all like “it seems so easy” and yes it does but you have to write daily for at least a month to really start seeing the benefits. I have adopted this as something I do and yes some days I don’t want to write, but you know what? I write anyways, I write about how much I don’t want to write and how tired I am and what I did today to end up so tired. I think I even have a couple days where it’s totally gibberish about how the font is boring and that my sentences are crappy. However, that is what you want and I tell myself that it is okay to write crap because sometimes that is what comes out of a free-conscious stream, which is really important. You don’t edit these writings and you don’t have to even read them after you have finished. Eventually your writing will improve overall because the words will become easy and you can focus on other things.

I hope you take the self challenge! Just remember only you will see it, it doesn’t matter if it is crap, it doesn’t matter if you feel totally unproductive, it doesn’t matter if you delete it after you are done. The bottom line is that you are getting into a habit that will keep you writing when you hit writer’s block.

Winning August Poem
The winning poem for the August poetry contest is "My Marius" by Arabella!

My Marius by Arabella

An angel, cloaked in the blood
Of her beautiful sacrifice.
He looked at her, laying in his arms,
And realized for the first time how lovely she was.

She must have loved him so.
He replayed the scene in his head.
His stupidity. The enemy climbing the barricade.
The gunshot.

He had braced himself for the pain,
When a figure jumped in front of him,
Then fell back. He caught the person,
And found Eponine Thenardiér.

He looked at her, wide-eyed and terrified,
But all she did was smile.
"It's not so bad," he could almost hear her whisper.
"No as long as you don't let go."

He sank to the ground, clutching Eponine's hand.
He had come here to fight. He had known that he might die.
But at least it would be for something noble,
Something worth dying for.

Looking at the girl in his arms,
He realized that she was dying to save him.
Dying for him.
He was the cause.

At this revelation,
A single tear trekked down his cheek.
She watched it
And slowly, slowly brought a trembling hand up to wipe it away.

Stormclouds gathered,
The day darkened
As he reached to hold her hand to his cheek.
And soon, rain began to pour.

He could only watch as the life slipped from her eyes.
Her beautiful eyes that he had never noticed.
They were filled now with such love.
Nobody had ever looked at him in that way before.

Eponine gasped. He knew her time was almost gone.
She seemed to want him to hold her closer.
He pressed his face against hers,
And he heard the faintest of whispers, uttered from her lips.

"My Marius."

He listened,
Waiting for her to breathe again.
But she was still,
Her eyes frozen on the sky above.

Silent tears seeped out from under his closed lids.
He wanted her to be alive once more, to be Eponine again.
This time he'd notice her.
This time he'd notice her before it was too late.

Reaching up, he closed her eyes and gently picked her up.
Her last words echoed in his mind.
My Marius.
"My Eponine," he murmured, pressing his lips against her forehead.

He knew that a part of her would stay with him forever.

September Writing Contest
Think you've got what it takes? For the month of September, members are asked to submit a short story where a character from a novel of their choice is taken and put into a scene from another book. (Ex: Bella Swan being put into the Dauntless roof-jumping initiation from Divergent.) So, do you think you can give it a go? The winning entry will be posting in the October newsletter! For entering and details, click here:

September Quiz
September's an important month of the year, but do you think you know the answers to the questions on our September quiz? Try them out for yourself here:

The Struggling Writers Book Club--September Reads
Calling all bookworms! The Struggling Writers Book Club is finally back and ready for business! Every month we will announce two books that we will be reading--one YA book and one adult book. The choice of whichever book you want to read is totally up to you! Once you're finished, we'll have quizzes, threads and occasional events that you can participate in. :)

For the month of September, our YA book will be The Scorpio Races and our Adult book will be A Thousand Splendid Suns. :)

Good luck and happy reading! Be sure to check out the Group Reads folder to participate in the book discussions.

Need an Online Writing Class?
For this month only, LE Grabowski-Cotton, published writer and award winning screenwriter is offering a special discount on her online writing class. If you sign up with a friend before September 15th, the class will be half off to both people - $55 each instead of $110 each for a full month of classes. We will study fiction and poetry writing in terms of craft, focusing on plot structure, character development, dialogue, and more. For more information, copy and paste this link into your browser:

Zharmae Publishing--Now Accepting Submissions!
Zharmae Publishing is now excepting un-agented submissions in addition to those with agents. They have recently expanded their Press and added several Imprints so they are seeking submissions pretty aggressively. They are offering 15% royalties for print and 50% royalties for ebooks. You can find their submission guidelines here:

Zharmae Publishing is also looking for bloggers and readers interested in helping them promote upcoming releases through blog tours and reviews, so for those who would like to participate in cover reveals, release blitz', and/or recieve eARC copies for review, they can sign up here:

Special thanks to everyone who helped make this newsletter possible, including and especially your moderators Ingrid, Irene, Jessica, Laura and Tara.

Check back on October 1st for the October newsletter!

message 3: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (directorsherry) | 18 comments Writing tip of the month. I can't agree more! I have done morning pages for 17 years now. When I started there was often a week between entries. Slowly but surely I gained momentum and now, if I go without it, I don't feel centered in my day. Whenever I can I read back 15 years, 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, 6 months, 1 week of the day I am on. One of the cardinal rules of AM pages is you don't read back. That's to keep you writing without judgement, and it's a good thing in the first year of writing. However, now when I go back I find gems that I didn't know I wrote when I wrote them and I have a little book where I capture these gems for future use in my writing.

message 4: by Nishith (new)

Nishith Vasavada (sakoon) | 5 comments Jessica,

Thanks again for publishing my interview. Just to let your readers know, I am promoting Sakoon today for FREE, in conduction with my interview. Go get it today, and let me know what you think.


I have read all author interviews in the past couple of newsletters, and like the fact that you ask the same challenging questions to all of us. It is nice to compare my answers with other's.

message 5: by Irene (new)

Irene (wingdesilverii) | 2500 comments Sherry wrote: "Writing tip of the month. I can't agree more! I have done morning pages for 17 years now. When I started there was often a week between entries. Slowly but surely I gained momentum and now, if ..."

Glad you liked it Sherry! I am new to the idea of morning pages (so yes that makes me biased) but I find my academic writing has greatly improved too.

message 6: by L (new)

L The 'Writing Tip' for this month is extremely useful and true!

I find that keeping to a routine is very important and helps to maintain that momentum, so that 'writers block' doesn't crop up so often.

message 7: by Irene (new)

Irene (wingdesilverii) | 2500 comments Lucinda wrote: "The 'Writing Tip' for this month is extremely useful and true!

I find that keeping to a routine is very important and helps to maintain that momentum, so that 'writers block' doesn't crop up so o..."

Glad you found it helpful Lucinda!

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