Saturday, August 23, 2014

Library hosts holiday open house; authors should apply by Oct. 17

Following from Jennifer Compton with St. Charles City-County Library

Dear Local Author:

You are invited to participate in the St. Charles City-County Library District’s Sixth Annual Local Author Open House!

This year’s Open House will be held on Thursday, November 13th, at the Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library, 2750 Highway K, O'Fallon, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Each holiday season, the Library District offers an opportunity for our local authors to connect with our customers. As an author participant, we will be able to provide you with a small "booth" or table. We will offer refreshments and a festive atmosphere and visitors can stroll through, chat, purchase your book and have it signed. We ask that you sell your own books, please. Our goal is to foster connections between the many authors in the area and our many readers. The open house is also a great way to network with other authors.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the growing success of this event (53 authors last year!) and limited floor space in the branch, this year we are are only able to make booths available to authors who have published a book in the past three years or who have not yet had the opportunity to participate in the Local Author Open House.

If you would like to participate, please email us with the following before Friday, October 17th:


Title of your book(s):

Phone Number:

Email address:

Publish Date:

If you are unable to confirm by October 17th we will not be able to guarantee that your name and book title will appear on the promotional material but we may still be able to reserve a booth for you.

If possible, please attach an image of your book cover for publicity purposes.

Please feel free to spread the word to any others who may want to participate, we would love to have them.

Jennifer & Sara

Monday, August 18, 2014

Free writers’ conference Aug. 23 offers tips for kids & adults

If you’ve never been to a writers’ conference, St. Louis Writers Guild’s fifth annual writers’ festival in Kirkwood Park is the perfect way to start. The free mini-conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23, at Lions Amphitheater in Kirkwood Park, 111 S. Geyer Rd. No pre-registration is required.

Created to honor the Guild’s 90th Anniversary, the day includes free workshops led by industry professionals, books from local authors, and food for all to enjoy. 

This year the Guild is proud to present: 
  •       New York Times bestselling author Heather Brewer 
  •       New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox 
  •     Award-winning author Sarah M. Anderson 
  •     STL Books owner Robin Theiss 
  •     Writer, illustrator and cover artist Jennifer Stolzer

Presenters for the Young Writers workshops will be:
  • YA/MG author Margo L Dill—for 4th-8th grade students 
  • YA authors Cole Gibsen and Sarah Bromley--for high school students 
  • Carol McAdams Moore, who writes for tweens and beginning readers, will host a Make-A-Book table
The popular “Buy a book, get a sandwich” promotion will return, featuring sandwiches from 6 North CafĂ©.

Writers in the Park 2014 is sponsored by a generous gift from Commerce Bank. 

In case of extreme heat or rain, the conference will move indoors at the Kirkwood Community Center. Click Here for the Kirkwood Parks website. View the full event schedule on

Saturday, August 2, 2014

An Interview with Linsey A. Daman

One of the great marvels of modern technology is the ability to meet and learn about people you may never have had a chance to. Sometimes they are across the globe. Sometimes they are in your own backyard. I got to meet--online anyway--Linsey A. Daman. She is an entrepreneur, dancer, and fellow writer. I don't know many people who do not overcome obstacles. But, oddly not everyone chases their dreams. Linsey has not allowed her obstacles to stop her from chasing her dreams--something we all should learn to do. 

Writers' Lens: When you started working on Bridging St. Louis: One Cultural Step at a Time St. Louis' Dyslexic Entrepreneur, what was the focus of the book?

Linsey A. Daman: Encouraging all women to achieve their professional objectives and personal aspirations was my prime focus of my first book, Bridging St. Louis.  As a woman entrepreneur, the odds aren’t always in our favor so this book demonstrates several examples of how to turn the tables on gender stereotypes in the workplace, while providing tips on overcoming the “glass ceiling” often placed on women in the office.    

WL: What kind of obstacles did dyslexia throw into your way growing up? How did you overcome them?

LD: Repeating a grade based on my reading scores was threatened; luckily this never came to pass.  A special reading instructor was assigned to me for the year and after proving my capability all moved on without further ado. 

WL: How do you encourage others to overcome the barriers in their lives?

LD: Eventually I could see myself serving on a board for fellow dyslexics but for now hopefully the examples mentioned in Bridging St. Louis would serve as motivation. 

WL: What attracted you to writing?

LD: Enrolled in both French composition and French literature at Webster University, St. Louis is when it became clear that I enjoy composing my own literary work.  I’ve always known I enjoyed creative writing but these two courses solidified my desire to be an author in any language.     

WL: What kind of writing do you like to write?

LD: Poetry would be my favorite being relatively short, crisp and most often directly to the point or alluding to the point.  Prose and short stories would then follow, again being fairly condensed and easy to read when pressed for time management.    

WL: What do you like to read or watch for entertainment?

LD: LOST TV Series is my all-time favorite television show!  Anything island-themed or tropical is fair game in my opinion.  Historical documentaries are also top of my list therefore Channel 9 is often found playing on my set.   

On occasion, I’ll listen to audio books regarding business management, social networking and financial planning.  I’ve also been known to listen to short stories while walking hence two birds, one stone.   

WL: You are a professional dancer? What is your favorite kind of dance? What draws you to dancing and art

LD: Bollywood dancing (Indian-themed dances) is my new favorite form of dance but I also incorporate ballet into my workout as well.  Periodically, I’ll include some Flamenco Spanish dance into my routine, but typically I float between the first two mentioned.  I’ve been dancing before I could practically even walk so clearly dancing is in my blood.  Regarding Bollywood, I’m drawn to the musical, performing and cultural elements that are found in this style.  It is one of the most artistic dances that I’ve seen to date.   

WL: What kind of books are you working on now?

LD: A Belizean-themed action and murder mystery is what is cooking for my next book.  Based loosely on my travels to Altun Ha, the ancient Mayan ruins found just outside of Belize City is the enigmatic setting for my twelfth publication.  

WL: What are your current projects?

LD: Expanding my company to the east coast is my prime objective.  Continuing with higher education is essential for me so this seems like the most logical transition while actively perusing my academic career.  

WL: What is your writing schedule like?

LD: Honestly it’s hit and miss due to being an entrepreneur.  Basically, I try to write when I can which basically goes for all current projects, tasks, etc.    

WL: If you could have coffee with an author from any time period, who would you choose and why?

LD: Canadian Author, Gordon Korman author of “Son of the Mob” written in 2002 would be my first choice for a coffee date.  Residing in New York, he has sold more than 17 million copies of his 85 books in a career spanning three decades.  Clearly he knows a thing or two about book sales!  Perhaps we could discuss over a cup of joe his background and motivation for composing such a story. 

WL: How could my readers learn more about you?

LD: As most entrepreneurs, I have a professional site which can be found at  LinkedIn is another great way to connect with me; feel free to add me to your professional network.   

Personally speaking, I’ve launched a specialized site titled “Single Successful CEO” which doubles as a single’s site.  Accompanied by a blog containing additional photos, interviews, etc.  

Please visit and You can also follow me on twitter @Owlkenpowriter and the Writer’s Lens @TheWritersLens.  You can also find me on Facebook

Also, check out Write Pack Radio at or on Facebook at or on twitter @WritePackRadio. Write Pack Radio brings Pop Culture, Writing, and Publishing together and throws them into a crucible of humor, clarity, and passion.

Fiction is the world where the philosopher is the most free in our society to explore the human condition as he chooses.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Whoa vs Woah

Whoa vs Woah

Is it Whoa, Woah, or Whoah?

They all come from Woa or Whoo.

I have to admit I was unaware of the controversy until recently when someone pointed out that I was spelling Whoa wrong. You can imagine what I said… “Whoa,” or was it Woah?

I’ll admit I’ve used Woah for years. Now before you jump down my throat, I do it because I thought it was a correct spelling. I don’t remember where I first saw Woah but I know I’ve seen it before – and I had. It is misspelled so often that it is now listed as an alternative spelling in many dictionaries. Personally, I like the look of Woah vs. Whoa. I like the H at the end. To me Whoa looks like a misspelled who. I'm not even going to touch Whoah. 

I’m not entirely wrong either. Woah is an acceptable variant in some countries and is preferred in others. Britain is said to use Woah over Whoa. Woah was also used in the past over Whoa, but here in America the acceptable form of the word is Whoa. Even as I type, spell-check flags every Woah and suggests Whoa to replace it.

I never really learned how to spell the sounds, reactions, and vocalizations that we make. As a writer I mostly fall on the books I’ve read, how other authors describe something, but technically that’s how I got stuck on Woah. It’s not like any of my English teachers ever put these words on a test.

Whoa isn’t the only one – which one do you use – Yeah, Yay, or Yah?

There needs to be a book that contains all these strange words – there is it’s called a dictionary plus a metric ton of grammar books – obviously I haven’t read them… yet… but maybe I should.

Does Woah really mean the same thing? Whoa is what a cowboy says to a horse, but is that the same Whoa I say in astonishment? If they’re different then shouldn’t there be a different word? These are the things that keep me up at night.

Besides, if Woah is really Wo-ah then why isn’t Whoa who-a (hoo-ah). It’s enough to make a writer go crazy, and yet, I know the grammar hounds out there have cringed through this whole article.

Can we just start using Wo? I didn’t think so.

Looks like I have hours of Find and Replace ahead. 
Woe is me.

I had fun exploring Whoa.
I wrote this because of how much fun it was (read this aloud and you’ll see what I mean) but in truth write what you want and fix it in revisions.
Know any more crazy sound words? Share them in the comment section.

Brad R. Cook, author, publisher at Blank Slate Press, and President of St. Louis Writers Guild. Please visit or for more information. Hear more on the Write Pack Radio Follow me on Twitter @bradrcook, @blankslatepress, @stlwritersguild, or my tumblr page Thoughts from Midnight

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Guild features Applewhite, Amis & De Voe at Aug. 2 Triple the Mystery workshop

Three mystery writers will share a trio of their best writing tips at the Triple the Mystery workshop from 10 a.m. to noon, Aug. 2, at the Kirkwood Community Center, 111 S. Geyer Rd. in Kirkwood. Free to St. Louis Writers Guild members; $5 for nonmembers.
Authors Claire Applewhite, Fedora Amis and Pam De Voe will also lead writing exercises on suspense, openings, and credibility (with just a small shot of obsessive-compulsive syndrome).

Claire Applewhite, mystery writer and Acquisitions Editor for Smoking Gun Publishing, LLC,  is a graduate of St. Louis University. Her published books include The Wrong Side of Memphis, St. Louis HustleCandy Cadillac, Tennessee Plates, and Crazy For You. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

Fedora Amis won the Mayhaven Fiction Prize for her Victorian whodunit, Jack the Ripper in St. Louis. Away from her computer, she dons corset and hoop skirts to perform as historical figures from the 1800s. She has one son, Skimmer, who partners with Fedora in writing science fiction, fantasy and magical realism.

Pam De Voe is an anthropologist and an incorrigible magpie for collecting seemingly irrelevant information. Last October, her first novel, A Tangled Yarn, was published in a mystery-a-month book club. This year, she has two short stories coming out: one in an e-zine and one in an anthology.

Learn more about the St. Louis Writers Guild at

Friday, July 25, 2014

Becky Lewellen Povich: Writing is like trying to solve math word problems

The Writers' Lens welcomes Becky Lewellen Povich, a fellow writer from the St. Louis Writers Guild!

Becky was born in Illinois and has lived in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Germany, and Washington State, making Missouri her home since the 1970s. She loved reading books from a very young age, and also enjoyed writing letters to pen pals. That was really the beginning of her writing career, although she never looked at it that way. She was almost 50 years old when a family crisis brought out the writer in her and she hasn’t been the same since! Before and during the years she spent writing her memoir, From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More, Becky had stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, other anthologies, newspapers, and journals. She’s presently working on the memoir’s sequel, due out sometime in 2015.

What brings your writing into focus-- the characters, the stories, the love of words? Stories are what brings my writing into focus. MY stories, MY memories, and how I relate them to the reader.

Fill-in the blanks: Writing/Editing books is like trying to solve math word problems. You never know what kind of answer, or how many answers you’ll come up with!

What's your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? That would definitely be in person. I love to talk about my writing journey; how it’s never too late to discover a talent that’s been undetected for so many years. I like to tell the story of how I didn’t even realize I could write until I was 48 years old. I enjoy motivating others to try their hand at something they long to do, whether it’s writing, painting, playing music, etc. Life is way too short to not go for our dreams. I truly believe in Thoreau’s quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagtined


In From Pigtails to Chin Hairs: A Memoir & More, Becky Lewellen Povich takes us from her young Illinois childhood in the 1950s to present day life in St. Peters, Missouri. Each chapter is a scene from everyday life and/or unexpected events written in the way only Povich can, with humor and poignancy woven into them. She relates tales of Christmases, summertime fun, selling homemade potholders, and putting on parades with neighborhood friends. Also her fear of the dentist and her parents’ scheme to help, plus long car rides visiting grandparents in Greenfield, Iowa.

She willingly shares the bittersweet times, too, which include her parents' divorce, major disappointments, preteen and teenage angst, a whack on her head from a falling crowbar, and her ill-fated first marriage, spent mostly in Germany. She also comically writes about her happy second marriage, cell phones, dishwashers, and how she was born with a klutz gene.

Website: (Book can be purchased here via Pay Pal)
Where to buy Becky's memoir:
STL Books & Gifts, 100 W. Jefferson, Kirkwood, Mo 63122
Thistle & Clover, 407 S. Main, St Charles, Mo 63301
Miss Aimee B’s, 837 First Capital Drive, St. Charles, Mo 63301  (Also available for Kindle)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Time's running out! ZERO TIME only 99 cents

Today's the last day to get my debut historical fantasy novel ZERO TIME, at the discounted price of only 99 cents (usually $3.99)!

If you’ve ever yearned to know more about the history and spirituality of the ancient Americans–Inca, Aztec and Maya cultures–join the quest led by Xmucane and the time-traveling feathered serpent, Quetzalcoatl.