Posted tagged ‘vlog’

Legacies From The Past

September 27, 2013

A WORD FROM B. J. MYRICK

Have you ever wondered where a writer gets the idea for a particular book and what is involved in the creation of the story that looks so enticing in the book’s description? The idea for my novel was inspired by Mother’s stories about homesteading in No Man’s Land and my great-grandmother’s recipes for herbal cures—she was a medicine woman.

Within the tattered pages of the old Dr. Chase book, published in the 1800’s, were my great-grandmother’s recipes for herbal cures written on blank pages at the end of chapters. They contained weird ingredients such as sugar of lead, chloroform, sarsaparilla, sulphuric ether and acid, iodide of potash, stillingia, poke root, and morphine, to name just a few. Her cures covered diphtheria, blood purifier and liver regulator, piles, worms, and a host of other ailments. With her concoctions, she healed ill and dying patients who had been given up to die by the doctors. Unfortunately, she never passed down the tradition of healing with herbs.

As I considered how I could use the herbal healing in a novel, I remembered all those family stories my mother told me about homesteading in No Man’s Land. As a child, I used to beg her to retell the stories, and she would laugh and say, “Oh, you don’t want to hear that again.” But she always recounted those fascinating tales of digging the dugout, confronting outlaws, digging the well, fighting prairie fires set by the cattlemen to drive out settlers who were a  threat to open range. I never tired of hearing about those frightening experiences of what it was like to homestead in that wild and untamed territory.

The story, Nelly of No Man’s Land takes place in Oklahoma over a two-year period. A pioneer family homesteads in The Strip where they struggle to survive in a lawless territory. Nelly Duncan is a dying woman who battles to regain her health while struggling to resolve the personal pain of her husband’s alcohol addiction and infidelity. Through the help of a medicine man, she regains her health there. Then the past returns to haunt her: the handsome peddler she turned to for comfort during her husband’s unfaithfulness and who fathered a child her husband thinks is his own, reappears in her life.

Take a step back in time and travel with me through the pages of Nelly of No Man’s Land as I share the journey with you. The historical novel is available at amazon.com in both eBook and paperback.

VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER

Read more about B. J. Myrick and her books at amazon.com.

Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for their images.

FLASHBACKS

September 6, 2013

hazel's blog photo


ABOUT THE STORY

Throughout The Survivalist’s Daughter, Kindra has flashbacks to the FBI raid and the killing of her stepmother. The worst of these flashbacks happens during a school lockdown drill when the tinny intercom voice and the loud banging of chair legs on the floor combine to bring the devastating event back to her.

Kindra is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental illness most often associated with soldiers. However, the illness can happen to any person of any age who undergoes a harrowing experience. Read more on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of PTSD on the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in civilians

ABOUT HAZEL HART

hazel cropped copyHazel Hart, a member of Kansas Writers Association and Kansas Authors Club, has won awards for her short fiction, including “Amanda Marie,” published in Kansas Voices, and “Confessions,” published in Words out of the Flatlands.

She has three published suspense novels, The Night before Christmas, Family History, and Possessing Sara and has co-authored two books of short stories, Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Edge of Nowhere, with Bonnie Eaton aka B.J. Myrick, which are also listed on amazon.com.  Visit her amazon author page and preview The Survivalist’s Daughter.

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images

HAZEL’S HAUNTING SECRET

August 23, 2013

hazel blog post copy


THE AUTHOR SPEAKS

Through the generations of my family, there have been several members who have had multiple marriages and divorces, bringing about a number of blended family situations. In my own case, I, like Kindra in The Survivalist’s Daughter, was not told the truth about my family. At the age of ten, I found my birth certificate in a box of old photos and clippings and was shocked to see that the name listed as father was someone I had never heard of. The feelings of confusion and betrayal that I felt in that moment haunted me through the years. I tried several times to write a novel about those feelings but was always stopped after the first chapter. Fifty years later, I finally broke through the writer’s block when I made the novel my NaNoWriMo project. After much rewriting and a couple of title changes, The Survivalist’s Daughter was complete. Visit my Amazon author’s page 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hart-likemotherlikedaughter author2Hazel Hart, a member of Kansas Writers Association and Kansas Authors Club, has won awards for her short fiction, including “Amanda Marie,” published in Kansas Voices, and “Confessions,” published in Words out of the Flatlands.

She has three published suspense novels, The Night before Christmas, Family History, and Possessing Sara and has co-authored two books of short stories, Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Edge of Nowhere, with Bonnie Eaton aka B.J. Myrick, which are also listed on amazon.com.  Visit her amazon author page and preview The Survivalist’s Daughter.

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

PARENTAL KIDNAPPING: THE SURVIVALIST’S DAUGHTER

August 6, 2013

hazel reading copy

 

THE AUTHOR SPEAKS

In The Survivalist’s Daughter, I explore a number of social issues, including parental kidnapping, blended families, gun control, school security and lockdown drills, and social media. A major issue that runs throughout the novel is parental kidnapping and its effects on the main character, Kindra.

Over 203,000 parental kidnappings occur each year. While most children are recovered quickly, a few, like Kindra in The Survivalist’s Daughter, were kidnapped at such a young age and kept so long that they have no memory of the left behind parent. Even if the left behind parent is remembered, the kidnapped child often distrusts that person. For Kindra, that lack of trust is exacerbated by her suspicions that FBI Agent Epperson is using her mother to get information from Kindra about her father’s gun-selling activities.

For more information on parental kidnapping, check these websites:

http://www.stopfamilyabductionsnow.org/parents.html gives the reasons why children are kidnapped, tells who may be at risk, and includes stories of children who have been kidnapped.

http://www.childfindofamerica.org/information.htm  contains facts and statistics about kidnapped children.

This FBI sithttp://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/cac/family-abductionse, Violent Crimes against Children, defines parental kidnapping and lists the options under the law that allow the FBI to become involved.

http://jeannehannah.typepad.com/blog_jeanne_hannah_traver/2011/08/parental-abduction-emotional-social_cost.html focuses on international parental kidnapping, but the emotional effects of parental kidnapping on children are the same, regardless of whether the kidnapper stays in the United States or takes the child abroad.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hart-likemotherlikedaughter author2Hazel Hart, a member of Kansas Writers Association and Kansas Authors Club, has won awards for her short fiction, including “Amanda Marie,” published in Kansas Voices, and “Confessions,” published in Words out of the Flatlands.

She has three published suspense novels, The Night before Christmas, Family History, and Possessing Sara and has co-authored two books of short stories, Dark Side of the Rainbow and The Edge of Nowhere, with Bonnie Eaton aka B.J. Myrick, which are also listed on amazon.com.  Visit her amazon author page and preview The Survivalist’s Daughter.

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

THE END OF THE JOURNEY: Publication and Promotion

April 28, 2013

grant's final promo copy

Grant Overstake: Publication and Promotion

In this third and last segment of  our interview with Grant Overstake, he details the final steps he took to prepare Maggie Vaults Over the Moon for publication and distribution. Listen in as he discusses his experiences with book cover design, editing, Create Space and Amazon, and promoting through social media.

ABOUT THE STORYLINE

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

grant overstakeFormer Miami Herald Sports Writer, Grant Overstake, is a lifelong participant in the sport of track and field who competed in the decathlon for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the author’s premiere work of sports fiction.  Read more about Grant on his website.

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Many thanks to The Inn at Glenstrae for graciously allowing Keyhole Conversation to film the interview with Grant Overstake. Take a tour of this beautiful bed and breakfast inn here.

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maurice FINAL copy

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

FIRST PLACE WINNER OF THE HALLOWEEN BOOK TRAILER CONTEST

October 7, 2012

Congratulations to Gordon Kessler! His book trailer for Jezebel placed first in the Keyhole Conversations Halloween Book Trailer Contest.

The four criteria were the scary factor, plot, graphics, and sound. Jezebel received high marks for all three. Is there anything scarier than a growling dog’s bared teeth? This book trailer, produced by Goddess Fish, clearly depicts the plot through readable text that is enhanced with pictures and sound effects. The music varied with the shifts in mood as the calm of everyday life was shattered and the dogs howl struck fear in the hearts of all. Click on the book trailer below and prepare to be scared.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gordon Kessler is a thriller novelist, living in the Kansas City metro area with his golden retriever, Jazmin (Jazzy Brass). He’s taught novel writing for several community colleges, worked over twenty years for the BNSF Railway, and is a former US Marine Recon Scout, Super Squad team leader, parachutist and troop handler.

His thriller novels Jezebel, Dead Reckoning, and Brainstorm are all in both paper and eBook. His latest men’s action/adventure thriller, Knight’s Ransom, was released early 2012. Four or five more in “The E Z Knight Reports” series are scheduled for release yet this year. These novels are about half the size of his big thrillers and are fast, fun reads.

Along with his fiction, Gordon’s published a book for writers, Novel Writing Made Simple; a great primer for beginners and an excellent refresher for the experienced wordsmith. He’s a founder and past president of the Kansas Writers Association, a sixteen-year-old organization of some very special people. Last year, he started a group to help support independent authors called the Indie Writers Alliance–another group of great people. A second book on writing, EBook Writing Made Simple! focuses on the actual writing of eBook novels, and how they can be crafted more effectively for the eBook novel reader rather than as a work written for the traditional publishing industry.

His books can be found on amazon and smashwords. 

Visit his fan page, view his books and site here.

You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

FIRST PLACE WINNER: JEZEBEL by GORDON KESSLER

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for their images.

CAN WE SCARE YOU?

September 19, 2012

Keyhole Conversations scary Halloween Book Trailer contest closes on September 30, 2012. Be sure to get your entry in. You could be one of the the lucky winners. Not quite sure if your book trailer qualifies? Here is one example of a ‘scary’ book trailer. We’re even offering a special coupon code so you can get the eBook free. And be looking for another special Halloween offer of a free scary eBook next week.

KISS MUMMY GOODNIGHT

A Novella by Hazel Hart 

A young woman inherits a mummy with instructions for activating its powers and making her every wish and dream come true. But then she learns the mummy has wishes of its own in KISS MUMMY GOODNIGHT.

Click here to download your free e-book, then enter the coupon code YD58H.The book will be free if the code is entered prior to completing checkout.

The coupon is good until Oct. 30, 2012.

CONTEST RULES

To be eligible:

Your entry must be in English and five minutes or less in length.

You must have the rights to the images and audio in the trailer with all credits listed at the end.

Your entry must be truly scary with elements of horror or the supernatural. Think Edgar Allan Poe to Mary Shelley to Stephen King.

Your entry must be received by 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2012

To enter:

Upload your book trailer to http://www.youtube.com/

Send e-mails with the YouTube link to both hihart@prodigy.net and to beaton@sktc.net by September 30, 2012.

Book Trailer judging criteria:

The scary factor

The design, including graphics and sound

The plot: a hook, a middle that holds attention, and an effective close

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for their images.

 

THE TEN MINUTE CHALLENGE

August 13, 2012

This video is the second in a new three-part series on pitches that were filmed at the KWA meeting when H. B. Berlow, our president, threw out a spur-of-the-moment challenge for members to pitch their books in one minute.  Authors had ten minutes to prepare their pitch. They then allowed Keyhole Conversations to video their efforts.

Our next two authors pitching their books are Conrad Jestmore and Darin Elliott.

About Conrad Jestmore

Conrad Jestmore has published short stories, poetry and non-fiction in numerous journals and anthologies, and is a Past-President of the Kansas Authors Association. His first novel, River of Murder is available as an e-book from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.Com, and the publisher, Smashwords.com. He has earned gainful employment as a welfare case worker in the mountains of northern California, an elevator operator when elevators still had them, a bartender, a paint warehouse stocker, a USO performer and a high school teacher. He is a Reiki Master and currently teaches Reiki classes and heals both humans and animals in his central Kansas Reiki practice.

About Darin Elliott

Darin Elliott works as a Laboratory Technician for Leading Technology Composites.  Married for the past twelve years to his wife Misti, he is the father of three children and grandfather to one grandson (with another on the way).  Darin writes in the science fiction and horror genres with a style reflective of Clive Barker and Philip K. Dick. Darin is pitching The Seraphim Protocol.

His writing methods can be found at his literary blog Webgoji’s Ramblings.

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A standard pitch includes the book’s title and genre, a hook (point that grabs the audience), a cliff hanger, and an indication of where the book fits with others that have been published. All of this must be presented in one minute or less. Listen for these points as you watch the video.

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

AWARD-WINNING POET REVEALS POETRY WRITING SECRETS

April 6, 2012

April is poetry month, and Keyhole Conversations is proud to present our first guest poet, Diane Wahto, reading her poems.

Keyhole Conversations wishes to express our appreciation to Watermark Books, Wichita, Kansas, for allowing us to video tape this week’s vlog in their bookstore.

Diane Wahto received an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University in 1985. Her poetry has been published in Midwest Quarterly, AID Review, and Coalition Connections: The Feminization of Poverty. Awards include the American Academy of Poets Award, the 2011 Salina Spring Reading Series New Voice Award, and honorable mention in the 2011 KWA contest. She worked as a journalism and English teacher and instructor, finally retiring from Butler Community College in 2009. She lives in Wichita with her husband and three dogs. Diane has this to say.

On Writing

One thing I know about writing—it has to be done every day. I write poetry, but I imagine the same is true of fiction, essay writing, or any other kind of writing people do. When I was getting a degree in creative writing, I read William Stafford’s Writing the Australian Crawl religiously. I also read other poets. Right now, I’m reading a compilation of poetry published by City Lights. Reading Allen Ginsberg is a trip. Such reading sets up a wave-like effect and I am able write. I try to follow Stafford’s advice, which is not to judge as I write. I will perfect the work later. I also belong to a writing group made of women who have a fine critical eye. Being in that group has helped me immensely.

My best poems have come to me fully formed. The poem, “Somebody Is Always Watching,” one of the first poems I wrote, came to me that way. I was reading an article in the WSU Sunflower about a speaker at WSU who was a prototype for the George Smiley character in the John Le Carre novels. Suddenly, this poem formed itself in my head and I started writing. It has won two prizes for me.

The poem, “Fulcrum,” came after the shooting in the Norwegian camp. I heard a young woman being interviewed on the radio. She said she hid under someone else’s body to save herself. Her voice stayed in my head and I wrote that poem.

“The Man Who Never Saw the Light of Day” came to me after a conversation with my dad when we were going for a walk one day.

“What Old Men Do.” I was sitting on the porch writing when my husband came outside and started talking as he worked on the bird feeder he was building. I began to write down what he was saying and that turned into a poem.

“Through the Ages, the Eternal Yes” is a poem I wrote after seeing Warner Herzog’s movie about the cave in France. Don’t ask me the connection. The poem just came to me.

“The Mass Has Ended” won honorable in the KWA contest last year. I wrote that after driving by the cathedral in downtown Wichita as Saturday evening mass let out. The images stuck in my head.

“Marketplace” grew out of long-ago trip with my husband to Mexico.

I make it sound easy. It’s not easy. I have a hundred bad poems for every one I write that I’m happy with. I have no formula for writing except that I try to leave myself open to what is floating by.

My Secrets for Writing Poems

I have no real secrets for writing poetry. I believe writing is organic, no matter what kind of writing a person is doing, so it’s important to let it grow of its own accord. I try to write a poem every day, no matter what else is going on in my life. I read a little bit of William Stafford’s Wriitng the Australian Crawl every day. I notice things, signs, what people do and how they talk, nature, houses, sounds, movies, TV shows (I once wrote a poem called “Cheers”). I listen to people talk. I accept every idea that comes into my head, sorting it all out later after it’s been written down.

Many of my poems have come from my family situation, which was dysfunctional, but not as dysfunctional as some. Today, I’ll read a few poems dealing with my family.

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Special thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.