Attack of the 50-foot Story….

Every month, I try to write at least one short story. Not only is it a way to get more of my stories out there for those of you who are brave enough to read them, but it also allows me to hone my skill in the art of short story writing.

And let me tell you, writing a short story, say under 5,000 words is vastly different than writing longer fiction. In my opinion, it is also much, much harder.

In a novel, you have time. You develop your characters, your plot line, and your atmosphere to slowly draw the readers into the world that you create. They can be enticed with the sights and experiences that you want to show them. A longer piece of fiction allows you to build the reality that you want the readers to see.

While novels and longer fiction allow you to create a new reality over time, a short story, at least a good short story forces you to take all that information that you have in a novel and condense it, prioritize it, and filter it to give the reader a snap shot of the world of your characters. In an instant, a writer of short stories needs to show the reader exactly what he should see to understand what is going on, and to infer, at his leisure any back story that might exist. There isn’t the luxury of drawn out narratives or waxing poetic. No, a short story only offers you the chance to record the vibrant and visceral present, with a few momentary glances into the past if you’re lucky.

Review of The Inadvertent Thief by Leti Del Mar

book coverThe Inadvertent Thief

Author: Leti Del Mar

Availability: Amazon Kindle

Publisher: Self-Published

Author’s Amazon Page:

Author’s Website:

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


This book gives the reader a glimpse into the life of Vivien Flowers, an up and coming security specialist who makes her living making sure the fine art that she is entrusted with stays safe and secure. Everything is routine until one of her clients is robbed, and two valuable paintings- Summer and Fall by David de La Flor are taken from beneath her electronic and security camera nose. She then is forced to deal with the ineptness of the local authorities, and the help of a very handsome insurance investigator to do what she does best to get the paintings back to where they below. It’s a story of deceit, intrigue, and a hint of romance that will keep you guessing until the end.

Overall Impressions

Perhaps the one word that I can use to describe this book is refreshing. For those of you expecting a normal “two opposites thrown together who eventually fall in love despite themselves” kind of story, you’re in for a very pleasant and realistic surprise. While there is an element of romance to this story, what really drives it is the realistic-and I do mean realistic- depiction of relationships and how they progress, and the level of detail put into the story. Leti Del Mar’s obvious research into the realm of security, robbery and fine art certainly would make a person wonder about her previous professions. Thankfully for the fine art world, she has chosen to grace the written page.

A Review of Rosi’s Time by Edward Eaton

rosistime800x1200Rosi’s Time

Author: Edward Eaton

Availability: Paperback and Kindle formats are available at Amazon. E-books are also available for Nook via Smashwords

Publisher: DFP Books

Author’s Amazon Page:

Author’s Website:

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


This is the second installment in the Rosi’s Doors saga, and not surprisingly is the winner of the 2012 Readers Favorite Award in the YA Science Fiction/Fantasy category.

The story finds Rosi Carol trying to balance her life as an apprentice Time Guardian and that of a normal teenage girl with friends, romantic interests, and life in general. However, things get a little more interesting when Kirk, the brother of her beloved Danny, her best friend Angie, and herself gets pulled into the past through an errant time tear. Almost instantly, they realize that they’ve landed just in time to see the start of the American Revolutionary War, and exactly how the sleepy town of New Richmond plays an integral part in the bloodshed to come. Rosi knows that they shouldn’t be there, that the presence of the people from her time will have an undeniable effect on history. And it’s up to her to try and make it right.

Writing, Communication and other Frustrating Activities

What a week. For those who dream of a writer’s life, let me bring you in on a little secret. Yes, it is worth it, but there are times when tearing your hair out do seem like a more enjoyable pastime.

Earlier this week I had the distinct pleasure of talking with a small publisher and distributor in the Chicago region concerning The Spring and Autumn Murders . I met him through a friend, and he was considering helping me out with the distribution of the book by featuring it, possibly in his 2013 catalog.

I was happy and excited to meet with the gentlemen, and of course a bit wary. True, I had done my research and hadn’t discovered anything bad about him or the company he worked for, but still, this book is precious to me. I wanted to both allow it to spread its wings and keep it protected from the predators that might exist. Still, with a mixture of hesitation, trepidation, and a fair amount of excitement I went to the meeting.

Five Question Interview: Jaye Shields

Jaye Author Pic

  1. You have a degree in Anthropology specializing in archeology from San Francisco State University. Was there a particular time period or area of archeological study that held a fascination for you during your study?
    1. Great question. My emphasis was Maya Civ, including Olmec, Zapotec and Aztec peoples. I also took a lot of great classes on Classical Greece, which is where I got a lot of the inspiration for my Immortals in Alameda series.

Telling the Story

Writing has always been a secret love of mine, although are relationship has always been a bit rocky. Academically speaking things such as literature, writing, or studying English has never been my strong point- by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if you were to look at my high school transcripts, you would see that I spectacularly failed English class- that’s right I failed a class in my native tongue. I got a 29% one year. For those of you playing at home, that would be an E minus on just about any scale in the United States Public School system.

I am also not one of those writers in which the words just flow out of her like some. I envy those who can sit down and write for twelve to sixteen hours a day, the words tumbling over themselves to get onto the paper. Personally, if I write for more than four hours in a day on one project I give myself a pat on the back for a job well done. This is especially true if the day did not include the urge to pour a bottle of water over my laptop or feeding my notebook to a shredder.

Five Questions for Adrian Lupsa, author of Necessary Evil

cover_necessary_evilYou’ve written quite a number of short stories in your earlier years. Do you think that writing them helped you prepare for writing Necessary Evil? If so, how?

I started to write in primary school when my compositions (homework) were really appreciated by my teachers. In high school, I continued writing poems and short stories, but I never published them. I believe that all this work was not in vain, and somehow prepared me for writing a novel.

How does being a student at the Faculty of Math and Computer Science at the University of Constantza influence your creative writing? Do you see an influence from those subject areas that people might not expect?

It’s a bit funny, because writing as a hobby has nothing to do with what I study. The good thing is that I can use my computer knowledge to edit my manuscript without problems, create a website and other promotional materials without the necessity to hire someone to do it for me.


I have always believed that there are certain responsibilities that I have as a writer. I consider them my job requirements, and like most requirements, sometimes they are met, and some days they are not. However, I do pride myself on trying each day to keep these responsibilities ever present in my mind and actions.

The first one is the responsibility not to treat readers as idiots. I think, perhaps that sometimes writers, even myself fall into the trap of thinking that everything must be explained, detailed, or the words we use must be small and easily rolled off the tongue. I’ve heard it said that this is done to reach a wider audience, to make sure the work is accessible to more people. Perhaps this is a valid justification for writing an adult novel at the level of an elementary textbook, but I don’t think so.

Think about it. Those who read, and read consistently within the general public have some of the most diverse vocabulary out there. They are articulate, have great reasoning skills, and usually have the knowledge base, and the access to resources needed to get the information they need to make informed decisions about what they read, and what they are reading. In short, they know their stuff, and if they don’t, they know where to get the information they n

Why I Chose the Self-Publishing Route

It started out simply enough really. A short story challenge given to me by a friend had grown. It had grown by about an additional 180 pages to be exact. Writing the great American novel had never really been in my life plans, and yet, here I was, polishing off a short, but respectable novel just shy of 60,000 words.

I enjoyed the process; I relished in the research that I did, became giddy when the plot line took an unexpected turn, and believe it or not, when my long suffering beta readers pointed out the glaring flaws in my plot line, I was grateful. Over the next months, I edited, revised, got it looked at and edited professionally, and did everything I could think of to make sure that it was the best that it could be. While in all honesty I don’t think I will ever be completely satisfied with the work I do, including The Spring and Autumn Murders, it came to the point where I had to let it go and see if it would survive the initial push out of the nest.

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