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Struggling Writers Newsletter > May 2014 Newsletter

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message 1: by Ingrid, Just another writer. (new)

Ingrid | 927 comments Mod
Post 1

Welcome to the May 2014 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 for May 2014!
New Book Releases for May

"City of Heavenly Fire" by Cassandra Clare

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?
"Life Behind the Wall" by Robert Elmer

Cut off by the Iron Curtain This epic tale extends across generations and unfolds against the backdrop of a dangerous Cold War Berlin. This historically accurate, action-packed, three-books-in-one edition features three generations of resourceful teens living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Titles include: Candy Bombers: In spring 1948, teenage cousins Erich and Katarina are simply trying to survive in war-ravaged Berlin when the Soviets blockade the east side of the city, isolating its citizens---and starving them---behind the Iron Curtain. Beetle Bunker: In August 1961, Sabine discovers a forgotten underground bunker. Though she first uses it to escape her crowded home, she soon realizes her hideout could possibly take her family under the wall to West Berlin and freedom! Smuggler's Treasure: In spring 1989, life is good in West Germany, and even the Cold War seems to be thawing in the warmer weather. But as Liesl works on a class project about the history of the wall, she stumbles onto a startling secret no one will talk about.
"Down London Road" by Samantha Young

Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control....

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets …even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.

New Book Release of a Struggling Writer
Devikumar Ramalingam is a short story author and novelist from Tamil Nadu, India. “The Celestial Hunt” is his debut novel. His works portray his strong attempts to convey powerful messages that can weed out the social evils which are threatening mankind. The book is 50% off with the discount code XS53U. Offer Expires May 28, 2014.


Millions of galaxies, countless stars, numerous planets and infinite asteroids and comets constitute this universe. Its formation is clueless and so is life. Earth, our dear world, which is one among the trillions of the celestial objects in this universe (we are not sure if we have another / many universes), is the only celestial object that can support life. We? Who are we?

Featured Writing
Congratulations to Destiny, our featured writer of the month!
Heart of Glass by Destiny (Elizabeth Grace)

I kneel in the grass
Holding the remains
Of my heart of glass
He shattered it with a few simple words
“I’ve changed my mind,
There’s someone else I prefer”
Now everything’s changed
And everything’s wrong
But I’m still here
Still singing his song
I cant see anything
I cant feel anything
I cant think of anything
But him
He said he loved me
And I believed it
For a minute or two
But now I know
It was never true

-Heart of Glass

Events of Struggling Writers
Elizabeth Bergquist is offer this FF event to other writers! Here is the blurb as well as the details of the event:
In June, you can to share your flash fiction stories on several social media platforms, get feedback, and maybe win a prize... Sound fun?

WHERE: Writer Block (
DISTRIBUTION: WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
CATEGORIES: “clean” Romance, Fantasy, Historical
PRIZES: 3 Amazon gift certificates
JUDGING: Entries posted through the month of June based on order of submission. Judging is based on the total number of Ratings, Likes, Comments, and Shares at Writer Block (found on WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr). Winners will be announced on the blog and via email on July 5th.
SUBMISSIONS: April 28 – May 28. 350 word limit. Maximum two submissions per person. No registration fee.
RULES: Send your email to the address below. Include the submission(s) in the body of the email. Specify the category of each submission. No more two categories per submission.
EMAIL:, with the heading "FF Contest"
L.E. Grabowski-Cotton, a published writer and an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, will be offering an Online Creative Writing Class! The class will begin May 13 so please contact L.E. right away if you are interested. Enrollment is limited. The cost is $50 per 4 weeks.

This is a selective class for advanced writers. We will be focusing on writing novels, short stories, or poems (you choose your own project to work on). If you would like to take this class, you need to submit a chapter of a novel, a poem or a short story. Contact Laura through her websites
LEGRabowskiCotton.Com or LauraWritingCoach.Com.
for more information.

message 2: by Ingrid, Just another writer. (new)

Ingrid | 927 comments Mod
Post 2

Q&A With C.J. Wright

For the month of May, we interviewed author C.J.Wright on what author life is like...and we also asked him a couple of questions about his newest work, The Shadowing Coven!
*What was your inspiration for The Shadowing Coven?

I’ve always had an interest in vampires and vampire mythology, soaking up all the books and movies I could find. So I decided to create my own. The Shadowing Coven is the second part of the Vampire Hunter Trilogy, which started back in 2000 with my first novel, Ritual of Blood.

*Why do you think people will enjoy The Shadowing Coven?

I find this type of question very hard to answer. I just hope they enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

*What tips do you have for authors that are new to the publishing process?

Writing creates the book, but promoting and marketing SELLS the book. If you are lucky enough to have your book produced by a publishing house, do everything they ask you to do to get the word out, and don’t just rely on them to come up with ideas either. The more you do, and the more you get the word out there, the better chance of getting your story into the hands of the readers.
This is even more important if you self (or indie) publish. Doing it on your own can be a daunting prospect; just like writing, you need to work on it every day. Using social media is a lifeline to authors; it gets you noticed straight away. Also it is a great way to keep in contact with fellow authors, find out about their work, and their experiences, picking up vital tips along the way.

*Did you self-publish your story, or was it professionally published?

I self-publish my work. Even though there are a lot of things to do by self-publishing, I find it satisfying knowing that I have control over every aspect of my books. There are no deadlines or pressure to sell ‘X’ amounts of books within a certain amount of time, and personally that helps my creative process.

*What is some advice that you have for young, aspiring writers?

Read a lot, and write a lot.
If you write in a certain genre, read other authors within that genre. See how they do it, what works and what doesn’t work, but you must find your own voice. There are a few books out there that are about the art of writing, one I would always recommend is ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. It not only gives great help with technique, but is also an inspirational autobiography of a man who lives his dream.
Remember that writing is like a muscle, and it needs constant building. The more you write the better you’ll become. One final piece of advice is never let anyone else tell you that you can’t write. If you have a passion for writing, then do it, write for yourself first, and if others read and enjoy your work, all the better.
I met a writer who was a former police officer. He belonged to a writing circle, and used the experiences he had had on the job in his writing. Others in the writing circle that read his stories were turned off by the descriptions of crime scenes, dead bodies, etc, because he made them “too realistic and gruesome”, as he was told. He was disheartened by the responses and lost confidence in himself as a writer. It was a shame because there was nothing wrong with his technique, only his content was not to the taste of a few in the group. You’re not going to please everyone with what you write, that’s a fact, but don’t let it prevent you for writing as there are plenty of readers out there that will enjoy it, and hopefully be ravenous for more of your work.

*Did you ever picture yourself as a published author?

I hoped I would be, and I made sure I kept the dream alive.

*Was writing always your passion, or did you ever have a different career in mind?

I remember the moment I knew that all I wanted to be was a writer. It was on 23rd November 1985, I was eight years old, and I met the late, great Sue Townsend. (Sadly her passing happened only a few days before I write this). She came to my school, it had been her school when she was young, and though I can’t remember what she said, everything touched me like nothing before, and not much has touched me like that since. I didn’t want to do anything else but create stories. I didn’t think of it as being my career, I still don’t; it’s not my job, it’s not my career, it is who I am and what I do.

*What author/story do you look up to and use for ideas/inspiration?

There are a number of authors that I am inspired by; not so much for story ideas as how they developed their desire to write, went through life’s struggles, and created stories that have captivated readers everywhere. Stephen King, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, Sue Townsend, the list could go on and on.

*What do you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?

I find being satisfied with the end result the most difficult part of the writing process. When I re-read my work I can always see places that I think could be written a little better, or I could have used a different word here or there. But once I’ve let it go, and it is published for the world to read, I have to accept that it is done.

*Can we expect some new works from you in the future?

Yes, I have a lot of ideas for books and stories ready to be written. I have the final book in my Vampire Hunter Trilogy to write; and more in my Ramton Gallow Mysteries series for young adults. There are also stand-alone novels and a collection of short stories in the pipeline too.

Q&A With Emily Deloach
We also interviewed female author Emily Deloach this month about her novel, Escaping the Mirror.
*What was your inspiration for Escaping the Mirror?

When I was a teenager, I experienced some traumatic things that left me emotionally devastated. One of the ways I coped with the pain was imagining characters who had also experienced trauma in their lives. This provided me with both an escape and a channel for my emotions. As an adult, the characters never really left me, and I decided their story needed to be told.

*Why do you think people will enjoy Escaping the Mirror?

My goal in writing this was to give my characters a voice by making them, and their lives, as "real" as possible. I think readers will find that this is a very realistic, emotionally compelling story that will keep them turning pages and stay with them long after the novel is finished.

*What tips do you have for authors that are new to the publishing process?

My first suggestion would be to research the options. With the wealth of information we have online, there is so much you can learn. Read as much as possible about publishing, whether you are interested in traditional or self-publishing, connect with others who have been there before, and become thoroughly informed before making any decisions.

*Did you self-publish your story, or was it professionally published?

My novel is self-published.

*What is some advice that you have for young, aspiring writers?

My advice would be to write from the heart, to find what you are passionate about, what stories or characters compel you, and write about those. And read. A lot.

*Did you ever picture yourself as a published author?

Yes, I've pictured myself as a published author many times, since that's been my dream for so long, but until fairly recently, I didn't picture myself as an Indie author.

*Was writing always your passion, or did you ever have a different career in mind?

I would say reading has always been my passion, every since I was a little girl, and that writing followed close behind. Writing--from poems to journals to stories--was a lifeline for me when I was a teenager going through a very difficult depression, and it's been a part of my life almost constantly ever since. However, because I thought it was an unrealistic dream to aspire to be a professional writer, I majored in psychology instead of English in college, and went on to work in a variety of jobs, mostly working with children, which is my other passion. It was only in my late twenties that I truly started to devote myself to writing in a more serious way.

*What author/story do you look up to and use for ideas/inspiration?

I have so many favorite books and authors, it's difficult to single out just one, but I would have to say that for this novel, I found S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders and Melvin Burgess's Junk to be particularly inspiring.

*What do you find to be the most difficult part of the writing process?

The most difficult part, for me, is getting through the dry times, which are an inevitable part of the process. One thing that helps me tremendously with this is being a part of a writing group, where we have submissions and deadlines. This "forces" me to get something written.

*Can we expect some new works from you in the future?

Yes! I am currently working on my second novel. It's still in the early draft stages, but it's coming along nicely.

Monthly Quiz
Here's the May monthly Quiz, everyone!:

Monthly Writing Contest
Happy Mother's Day! In celebration of the holiday, our May writing contest is an essay contest to celebrate our mothers. The person you write about does not have to be your actual mother. The individual simply has to be someone who has acted like a mother to you in a significant way. It could be a grandmother, a sister, a brother, or even your father. And of course, it could be your mother. For more information, visit our page:

message 3: by Ingrid, Just another writer. (new)

Ingrid | 927 comments Mod
Post 3

Writing Tip of the Month
Regardless of the crazy temperatures for those in the States; Spring has sprung for those of us in the Northern hemisphere. With Spring comes Spring cleaning, and this includes not just your physical living space but your writing too. So, embrace the season, get out the red ink, and invite your inner editor over for tea. While we all hear about how to write a perfect critique of someone else’s writing we never seem to hear about how to complete one on our own. Back in December, after National Novel Writing Month, I did a brief bit on how to critique your own works: that really rough, first draft where you just slapped it all down.

The first draft usually has glaring errors in it (at least mine do), and these are pretty easy to catch by using a couple different methods. However, what about the tiny ones that don’t stick out when you read it out loud, or back-wards, or use which ever method normally works? If you are writing something besides a novel or short story just set the work aside and forget about it. However, if you have a novel or some such thing, the best thing you can do is lay out your story on a time line (the major events) then write down the little details in between and specific elements of each. Then, spend some quality time with your characters, fill out character profiles if you want or just make a jot list. If you have anything else that is important, such as you are world building from scratch, make a jot list or something of that nature. Now, set all this away in a safe place and go do something else until you completely forget about your novel.

Once you have forgotten about your pride and joy wait just a little longer and come back to it. Sit down with whatever your favorite editing tools are; I prefer a multitude of colored pens and pencils and a hard copy of the work. Take the time to read through it, I tend to read each page a couple times in succession. The first time I read it out loud and mark anything that sounds wrong, paying special attention to the way it flows and grammatical rules. The second time I usually read it silently and make notations in the margins regarding what is happening, and it is suggested that you also draw conclusions as to what your reader might be thinking. Also, you should note minor details regarding the way your characters are being perceived.

When you finish the manuscript, pull out all your notes that you created before you forgot about your novel and compare them to the notations you have made. This should make what you need to change, refine, expand, etc, very clear. At this point, you may also need to take a break from your novel after looking at it so deeply. Take the break if you need it and then go about revising!

Monthly Horoscopes

Here are the monthly horoscopes for May!:

Monthly Riddle

I’m faithful and steadfast through twist and through turn -
Your friend in the dark without star or sun.
The Earth is my mother; for her I still yearn,
And point to the place where all times are one.

Answer: Compass

Monthly Quote
“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King
Congratulations of the Monthly Winner
Unfortunately, there was no winner and there were no entries! Better luck next time!:)

We'd like to give a special thanks to everyone that helped make this newsletter possible, and we also want to extend a huge thank you to your Struggling Writers Moderators--Ingrid, Irene, Jessica, Laura and Tara! Check back next month for the June newsletter, and have a happy day for all of you!

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicalynxo) This is so awesome! So proud of you guys!

message 5: by L (new)

L I am so excited about the release of "City of Heavenly Fire" by Cassandra Clare!!!

Another fab newsletter & brilliant fun for May :)

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