The Crotchety Old Man

Oct 03, 2014
By Lissa Kasey

A Plague that Reshaped the World

There’s a little bit of madness going on right now in the news. Panic and worry over the outbreak of a plague that has killed millions overseas. It’s an illness that is hard to catch in a world of fanatically clean people who hate having to look up from their phones. Still the worry remains, what if? In the Hidden Gem I began by crafting a world after a plague. World War III brought around heavy chemical warfare and genetic manipulation. Everyone wanted to create the next super human. Instead of using their knowledge and skills to develop cures for cancer or AIDS, science and politicians used experimentation to create a super plague. The plague does one of two things …
Oct 02, 2014
By John Amory

John Amory – “The Bear Fetish”

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of escaping New Jersey’s winter tundra for the sunny streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was attending an academic conference (I won’t bore you with the details of the paper I was presenting, unless you really wanna know) and was thrilled to be in the Southwest for the first time. I immediately fell in love with Albuquerque. As someone who regularly visits both New York City and Philadelphia, Albuquerque still felt like a city but with a small-town mentality. I’ve never met more helpful people, or nicer strangers. Almost every single person I passed on the street during my walk from my hotel to the conference center waved or smiled. Coming to this …
Sep 29, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Taking the Bull by the Horns

Novels are an author’s bread and butter. Yet, for most of this year, I’ve made little to no progress on a trilogy based loosely on certain events from my life. Other commitments have been part of the problem, but the bigger issue has been my inability to separate fact from fiction. Writing pure fiction is a process of adding to a blank slate to define characters, set the scene, and advance the plot. Inspiration may come from many sources, but the events and characters are made up. Add more details, throw in plot twists, rearrange a few things, perhaps cut a bit here and there, and voila, a novel. Basing a story on something that really happened, whether an historical event like the Stonewall Uprising …

Sep 25, 2014
By Jack Byrne

Jack Bryne

Good morning everyone!  I’m delighted to be here, and I’d like to give Michael Rupured a big thank you for hosting this guest post for me. Firstly, I write a LOT.  I write short stories, I’ve written three novellas and five short stories this year, and I’m working on two novels at the moment.  I plot and structure stories, and I mud-wrestle uncooperative muses, and I have to admit I’m better at writing action and hot sex scenes than I am at romance.  So when a friend suggested I write for Dreamspinner last year, I was a bit nonplussed.  If you had told me last year that I’d be working on a full length romance novel at the moment I’d …
Sep 22, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Call Me Transformed

I joined the gym three years ago because it was cheaper than paying by the class for Zumba. My membership included weekly sessions with a personal trainer. He gave me a workout plan, expected me to follow it, and since he was really hot and more than a little intimidating, I tried to obey. In addition to two or three Zumba classes, my weekly exercise plan consisted of a thirty minute training session plus three more trips to the gym to workout on my own. I hated the weightlifting, but kept at it, knowing strength training would boost my metabolism. My prescribed workouts took thirty or forty minutes — tops — which I thought was an awful lot to of time at the gym. Ninety …

Sep 18, 2014
By Megan Linden

Open Endings and Characters in Military

Before I get into it, I’d like to thank Michael for hosting me today! Thanks, Michael! I love well-written characters who are or were in the military. Who doesn’t, huh? There’s just something about them. They represent an idea, they are easily recognized hero-type. Readers may have different opinions about military in real life, but in books? Especially in romance genre, be it gay or straight love story? Most of us LOVE those characters. I am no exception. An author gets brownie points from me every time there’s an interesting military man (it’s usually a man, but I’d love to see more women in uniform, too!). And when I write, nine times out of ten, there will be at least one …
Sep 16, 2014
By Eden Winters

A Matter of When

Good morning! And thanks, Michael, for inviting me on your site today. What kind of heroes do you want in your books? Do you want ripped abs? Perfect cheekbones? A cleft chin? Rescues kittens from trees and is kind to little old ladies? Or do you like… Bad Boys? What is it about the roar of a Harley Davidson that pulls your eyes toward the road in time to witness sleeves tats and long hair on a guy who only shaves on Tuesdays? What? You don’t anyone like that? Allow me to introduce Henri Lafontaine, lead singer for the hard rock band Hookers and Cocaine, and quite possibly the one your mother warned you about. Now, what good is a …
Sep 15, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Ready for Some Strange

Coming up with an idea for my next novel has never been a problem. By the time I finished writing Until Thanksgiving, most of After Christmas Eve had already come together in my head. Once I started writing that story, I knew several of the characters would turn up at the Stonewall Riots for Happy Independence Day. I’ve got ideas for lots more Holiday Tales, but right now, I want to try something different. I love Philip Potter and his friends. But after writing the third novel in the series, I’m ready for some strange. My first thought was a trilogy loosely based on the memoir that prompted me in 2010 to join the Athens Writers Workshop. The memoir, in its current …

Sep 11, 2014
By Kristen Slater

I’m a writer – how did that happen?

Hello everybody, and thanks to Michael for hosting me here today. I decided I’d take this opportunity to talk about how I ended up writing my story Working It Out, which was published this July. I’m also running a giveaway for a $10 gift token for Dreamspinner Press and details of that are at the bottom. Five years ago I wasn’t a writer. I don’t mean I hadn’t published anything, or that I hadn’t finished anything. I mean I didn’t write (other than reports and stuff for work). I hadn’t ever considered it. Yet now I have a published story—and another coming out in December—and I write regularly. So what changed? It was all down to a post in a …
Sep 08, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Losing My Addictions

My weight has varied by less than three pounds for going on two years now. Not gaining is great, but I really want to shed the oldest fat in my body — fat that settled around my waist decades ago and is now firmly entrenched. The weight is less the issue than a desire to end the jiggling. If losing weight was 100 percent about exercise, my old fat would be gone. Resisting temptation isn’t my strong suit, so eating anywhere but home is a potential problem. Receptions and buffets are particularly dangerous. Throw in a tendency to feel entitled — especially on days I workout AND run — and my progress toward svelte hasn’t been what it could be. My food addictions sabotage …

Sep 04, 2014
By Charley Descoteaux

Charlie Descoteaux: The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they let her sleep once in a while. Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear. As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.

Sep 01, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Fabulous Five Blog Hop

My dear friend Charlie Cochet invited me to take part in the Fabulous Five Blog Hop. No big deal. Answer five questions on my blog and I’m done. One of these days, I’ll learn that nothing is ever as easy as I think it will be. After much pondering, knuckle-gnawing, and hair-pulling — a high cost activity at this stage of my life — I finally came up with my answers. Enjoy. What am I working on? At the moment, nothing. I’ve been too busy preparing for last month’s release of Happy Independence Day and A Taste of Honey to write much more than my weekly blog posts. My fourth novel will probably be a departure from the holiday tales, but I …

Aug 28, 2014
By Andrea Speed

Andrea Speed

Andrea wonders if anyone bothers to read these. She’s not sure she does. But if you are, thank you. She’s sorry she’s not more interesting. She continues to await alien abduction, but so far it just ain’t happening.

Aug 25, 2014
By Michael Rupured

Dancing My Ass Off

Best I can remember, weight was never an issue for me growing up. Mom served nutritionally balanced meals and didn’t keep much junk food around. I was active, too. After school, on weekends and during summer breaks, the kids in our neighborhood spent every waking moment outside climbing trees, riding bikes, and playing pickup games of various team sports. Getting a job when I was fourteen changed everything. With my own money and no financial responsibilities, junk food consumed the lion’s share of my meager income. My caloric intake shot through the roof, my activity level plummeted, and I got fat and sassy. Okay. Maybe I’ve always been sassy. <shrugs> The first time I lost a ton of weight was my senior year in high …

Aug 21, 2014
By Charlie Cochrane

Interview with an Ex

One of the key plot points in Second Helpings is the ability (or inability) of Stuart and Paul to move on from their exes. Although in Paul’s case he isn’t even sure if his ex is ex. For Stuart, it’s about finding a second chance after the death of his much loved partner Mark. In the story, we hear a lot about Stuart’s viewpoint on Mark, but what about vice versa? So here’s a posthumously posted ‘interview’ with Mark about the man himself. How did you meet? It was a blind date, although neither of us knew that at the time. Stuart thought he was meeting up with Guy, one of his work colleagues. I think he’d secretly fancied Guy …
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