Friday, April 18, 2014

Interview with Mom's Choice Award-winning Author Camille Matthews

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I hear the story in my head and write it down as I hear the characters talking. I also envision the place and describe it. Later Michelle Black the illustrator and I plan the illustrations. As a last phase, I do some polishing of the wording.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
At times I have had that happen but not in this book. They were very cooperative.

What is your favourite thing to do when not writing?
I have a small horse farm and an organic vegetable garden. I love to spend time there taking care of the horses and gardening.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am a morning person.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I would love to go to New Zealand. I am huge fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I would love to see where it was filmed. I also understand there are great places to ride.

Do distant places feature in your books?
Geography definitely plays a role in my books. In the previous book in the series, Quincy and his best friend Beau travel across the US on a huge horse van and he learns that “Horses are everywhere.” He also learns that they do different things in different places. Quincy and Buck is set in the desert Southwest which for many kids is a distant place.

Do you listen to music while writing?
No. I love music but not while I am writing.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
It is called Quincy and Buck. It is the third book in the Quincy the Horse series. In this book I tackle the problems of overcoming fear and dealing with a bully. Quincy dreams of trail riding in the desert near his home but he is afraid of meeting wild animals out on the trail. His friend, Beau, an old horse who has done everything, explains to him that he will never become brave if he stays home, so he goes on his first trail ride. He hopes to find a trail buddy who will guide him but the horse he chooses turns out to be a bully. Over the course of the ride, he discovers that he is more confident than he imagined and that Buck is afraid underneath his fa├žade of strength. The story of the day’s ride along with the illustrations takes kids into the desert of the Southwest which has breathtaking scenery. 

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
The hallmark of the 6 years since the first Quincy book was published is that just about everything in publishing and the book trade and the marketing of books has changed. I have also learned a lot about eBooks. I see them as a complementary format now rather than an opposing format so we have released the entire series in eBooks as well as hardcover.

Is there anything you would do differently?
It is tempting to look back with hindsight but no, not really. This has been a journey and I would not change much.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
My horses. Most of the important things I have learned and tried in life have been inspired by them.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Writing is the easy part.

What are three words that describe you?
Creative, passionate, stubborn

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
I love so many books and have old favorites but I just finished a new book, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It was one of the best I have read in a long time.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

Quincy and Buck tackles the topic of bullying and provides a framework for a dialogue between young children and those who want to empower them. When Quincy takes his first trail ride in the desert, the horse he chooses for a trail buddy turns out to be a bully. The detailed and realistic portrayal of the day’s ride will interest and inform K-2 readers and also engage 3rd and 4th graders.

List of previous books if any
Quincy Finds A New Home and Quincy Moves to the Desert

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
Our website is and my blog is We also have a great Facebook community at I can be reached directly through the contact form on our website if anyone has specific questions or requests.

Author short bio

I live in Reading PA along with the real Quincy. I am a clinical social worker and equine assisted growth and learning specialist. The real Quincy, who inspired the Quincy the Horse books when he was 7 is now 24 years old. He is an American quarter horse who was a trail riding horse for many years and is a mainstay of my equine therapy program.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Self-Publishing - The Writing Mama with Host Virginia S Grenier

The Writing Mama show is on every Monday and is hosted by Mom's Choice and Award-winning Author Virginia S Grenier, who is joined weekly by guest authors to talk about the publishing and writing industry. Grenier, with her guests, hope to not only share their love of the written word, but also tips on writing, what makes a good book and much more.

This week Best-selling author of the Hidden Mickey series and Publisher David W. Smith of Synergy-Book Publishing will be joining the show to talk about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. Smith has been a key speaker for writing conferences and universities. Learn more at Synergy-Books Publising

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Guest Post: The Writer’s Life with Joan Heartwell, Author of Hamster Island

I probably don’t take writing as seriously as some people do. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about how good my writing is. Since I write for a living (as well as for pleasure), working for private and corporate clients, I have to be sure my writing is as good as I can get it and that each assignment is completed by the deadline set for it.  Rather, I mean that I don’t think of writing as some incredible blessing bestowed only on the chosen few.

Tom Clancy died recently and the radio station I listen to did a little piece about him. I have to admit I never read any of his books, but I did see the film version of The Hunt for Red October and I do know that the initial manuscript for the book was published by Annapolis’ Naval Institute Press, which had never published a novel before, after all the major publishers turned it down. With a little help from President Ronald Reagan, who hosted Clancy in the White House, the book became a hit and thereafter Clancy was published by traditional publishers. The radio station played a clip of an interview in which Clancy, talking on the subject of writing, said, “You learn to write the same way you learn to play golf. You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot  of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired; it’s hard work.”

Clancy was an insurance agent before he was a full-time writer. He wrote The Hunt for Red October while he was still working at his nine-to-five. His rather pedestrian attitude about writing belies the fact that he was a great storyteller. He had the knack. He learned the craft. When all else failed and he couldn’t get attention from the big boys in the industry, he had the chutzpah to go to the naval academy and get them to publish his book. I don’t know how he got on Reagan’s guest list, but I bet there’s an impressive story behind that too.

The point is Clancy had talent, discipline, balls, and luck. Whether we’ve read him or not, we all know his name. If he had only had talent and discipline, we might not know who he was. He didn’t want to be put on a pedestal because, as he knew, no muse had found him on GoogleMaps and showed up to plant a kiss on his ear. No muse has been to my house either, or at least not that I know of. I have some talent, a lot of discipline, I’m working on chutzpah, and as for luck, I do everything I can to attract it. I’ve had some small successes to date, and I hope to have more in the future. And in the meantime, I keep on writing. Day after day. Without any regrets.

About the Author:

Joan Heartwell makes her living as a pen for hire, writing, editing and ghostwriting for a variety of private and corporate clients. She has had four novels published under another name and has a fifth one due out later in 2014.

Purchase links:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review: Quincy and the Buck by Camille Matthews; Illustrated by Michelle Black

Fears, we all have them it’s how we handle them and learn to overcome these fears that make us strong. People are not the only ones that fall prey to their own fears, bullies and wild animals that scare us. Animals sense danger and might shy away from snakes, alligators or coyotes or even deer. Meet Quincy as beautiful red horse whose coat is the color of a shiny new penny and whose mane and tail were long and shiny. Quincy was a special horse that belonged to Cam who loved riding him. His home was a small barn near a magnificent desert. Just like people have best friends so does Quincy. Quincy’s best horse pal is Beau. Their stalls were next to each other and they were able to share their thoughts with each other. Living near an apple orchard with three apple trees illustrated in the book you can practically smell the apples and yearn for a taste.

Trail riding is something that Quincy never did and hoped to learn really soon. But, he was fearful of what he might find when leaving the comforts of his farm. Next to the barn was a great place for trail riding but although he dreamed and imagined himself on a long dusty trail in the desert, hoping to feel the crunch of sand under his hooves, and the wind blowing on his mane, he was afraid. He thought long and hard about what could go wrong and what might happen when he left the safety of his corral. What would he do if he encountered a deer or even a cougar?

Friends confide in each other and Quincy confided in Beau. Beau is a really great friend and explained to him that he needed to go out and face the surprises or he will never become brave. Staying home would not make him brave and wild animals are often just as afraid of you as you are of them. So, go out and follow a more experienced horse and he should be fine.

Just like a small child or even a teen he asked himself what else could happen if he went out in the desert or even someone going away to school for the first time or taking riding lessons. Quincy had little time to ask more questions when Cam put Beau’s saddle on him and the next thing he knew he and Cathy’s with her horse Buck were on their way to a trail ride.

Quincy is a great horse and even though he was afraid he managed to follow Buck and imitate his movements. But, Buck was mean and when he realized what he was doing you have to see the look he gave him. Well you can when you go to the page opposite the word BULLY and see just what he did to make Quincy even more afraid. But, Cathy would not stand for it and Quincy learned a new word: Bully. Now, he would learn the meaning.

Enter the trail, see the Mushroom People, check out their faces and see how the tower over the desert and then watch Quincy try to walk on rocks trying not to trip or fall. Quincy really wanted to be friends with Buck but Buck would not have it and what he does will let young readers know just what happens when someone wants to be mean and is a real Bully.

Watch what Cathy does and how she tries to teach Buck a lesson and then find out what Cam does when Quincy’s bridle breaks. The magnificent illustrations tell the story in their own way for young readers that cannot read. Cathy made sure that the two horses stayed away from each other but Quincy just wanted to be friends. Friendships are special and Beau and Quincy prove to young readers that friends can help you understand your fears and overcome them. Quincy is anxious to get back out on the trail with Cam: Let’s hope she writes another adventure for him and maybe next time Buck will come along as his friend.

Fran Lewis: reviewer

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Series: Quincy the Horse Books
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Pathfinder Equine Publications (March 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981924042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981924045

Available in Ebook and Hard Cover (only 5 available for review)

The Paranormal Hour with Willow Cross and Tracee Ford

On this week's episode of The Paranormal Hour, hosts Willow Cross and Tracee Ford welcome author, psychic adviser, and paranormal investigator Alicia Sparks. Ms. Sparks hales from Lousianna andis an incredibly gifted psychic.  She will be giving us a live reading as well as sharing her paranormal adventures!  Tune in at 10 PM EST, 9 PM Central, and 8 PM PST.  The phone lines and chat room will be open for your calls and questions!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Join Host Marsha Casper Cook and her co - host Brian Scott Mednick on April 8 at 4 PM EST 3PM CST 2PM MT 1PMPST as they welcome a very specil guest  Rick Friedberg.
Rick Friedberg is an award-winning storyteller. With a background in feature films, episodic television, TV commercials, music videos and documentaries, Rick is comfortable in any medium, directing “real” people and celebrity talent, and supervising live and post-produced visual effects.
It's going to be a great show. Feel free to call in. You can ask questions or go into the chat room and we will be glad to speak with you or answer you in the chat.
Rick Friedberg is an award-winning storyteller. With a background in feature films, episodic television, TV commercials, music videos and documentaries, Rick is comfortable in any medium, directing “real” people and celebrity talent, and supervising live and post-produced visual effects.

Callers are always welcome. Call in number (714) 242-5259                                   

Monday, April 7, 2014

Writing Blind - The Writing Mama Show with Host Virginia S Grenier

The Writing Mama show is on every Monday and is hosted by Mom's Choice and Award-winning Author Virginia S Grenier, who is joined weekly by guest authors to talk about the publishing and writing industry. Grenier, with her guests, hope to not only share their love of the written word, but also tips on writing, what makes a good book and much more.

This week Grenier has invited Romance Author and Writing Blind Blogger Traci McDonald to join her as co-host, along with some amazing authors who are not only talented but also blind. McDonald, a blind author herself has been an inspriation to many, including host Virginia S Grenier. Learn more about Traci McDonald and Writing Blind on her blog!

One of their guests today is Abbie Johnson Taylor, president of Behind Our Eyes and author of a romance novel, "We Shall Overcome" and a poetry collection, "How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver." Her work has appeared in Serendipity Poets Journal, Emerging Voices, and Magnets and Ladders. Her Poetry chapbook, "That’s Life: New and Selected Poems" will be published by Finishing Line Press. Please visit her Website at

Other guest authors include Bruce Atchison, Deon Lyons and Donna Grahmann.

Bruce Atchison is a legally-blind Canadian freelance writer with articles published in a variety of magazines. He has also authored three paperbacks. "When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living with Bunnies" is a memoir of the surprising facts he discovered about house rabbits. "Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School" is his recollection of being sent five hundred miles from home for months at a stretch. "How I was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity" shows how God led Atchison out of a legalistic house church. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter. He also posts regularly on

Native Texans and long time Magnolia residents, Donna Grahmann and her husband, David, share their acreage with a small ark of assorted, four legged critters. Even after Donna’s eye sight began to fail, she continued to be competitive on her bay Quarter Horse, Rebel, as well as in sheepdog trials with her Border Collies, Scotti and Clyde. 

Numerous competitions have lead them to winning the Texas State Championship in pole bending, to a Top Ten placement in stake race at the Quarter Horse World Finals, and then, onto their Top Ten finish in barrels at the Quarter Horse Congress, which boosted the entire Texas team to a sixth place finish. Donna, teamed with each of her dogs, also placed second in the Texas Sheepdog Finals. Never less than an arm’s reach away, her faithful guide dog, Huey, has guided Donna through the crowds of spectators, as she cheers on David and his dogs at sheepdog trials.   
2010 introduced her to the national writing group, Behind Our Eyes Inc, in which Donna has served as Secretary since 2012. Her poems and short stories have appeared in their online magazine,

Magnets and Ladders, as well as in the publication of the 2013 anthology, Behind Our Eyes: A Second Look. Her short story, Dependable Pal, which was included in the 2013 anthology, was also selected as a Top Ten finalist in the Pen 2 Paper writing competition.

Deon Lyons is an aspiring writer who is new to the world of vision loss since the Summer of 2010. He has had his works published in local papers, Online magazines, as well as the Magnets and Ladders online compilations and printed second edition of the Behind Our Eyes writing group's second chapter of their anthology collection series. In the last year Deon has self published his novel entitled, "Sully Street", along with his personal poetry compilation entitled "Ready, Set, Poetry". He is the chief editor of ACB Maine's quarterly newsletter, and continues to add frequent posts to his personal website at ""

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