Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Little Writing Group That Can

There is a correlation between successful authors and good writing groups. For instance, C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien were friends. They even wrote their names the same with two first initials and a last name. They wrote the same type of literature although in different styles. They were both hugely successful and currently have Hollywood making blockbusters out of their works long after they are both gone.

Frankly I would rather Hollywood make blockbusters out of my works while I'm here but then I live in the age of blockbusters and none of their works would have been done justice if it had been made while they were alive.

I am blessed to be in a good writing group.

We are four women. All of us have been published both traditionally and self published. All of us respect each other. All of us write fiction but we have also written articles for other publications. One of us even has an agent - no it's not me.

In fact these women are more successful at their craft than I am and I am honored that they want me there.

When we get together we talk about our lives, our families, our jobs - or joblessness, our hurdles, and we talk about writing. How we write, where we write, what we write, writing retreats and conferences and how we market what we write. We complain about the writing industry and how awful it is and how none of us can imagine not being in it. We are willing to read each others work and offer positive but constructive critiques. We believe in building up, not tearing down.

These women are funny, caring, and supportive.

So I thought I would share the latest from all of these authors including me because it's my blog. I'll do this in alphabetical order like a library. Just so it's fair.

Oh, I guess I come first.

Thimble Fingers (The Orchards of Marina Colleen)             by Anna Maria Junus

When the woman first appears at Thimble Fingers, the needlework shop in The Orchards of Marina Colleen, owner Katherine is eager to aquire a new customer. After all, it's not unusual for women who know nothing about needlework to come in, take a lesson in the fine art of cross stitch, and walk out with a bag load of supplies, a head full of projects too numerous to accomplish, and a free cup of coffee. But as the owner/customer relationship quickly develops into friendship, questions arise. Why is this woman asking about Katherine's past behind her back? What is it about Pilar that makes everyone so suspicious? More importantly to the other store owners, what is Katherine hiding in her past? Could all those sharp scissors and needles be emblems of a darker psychotic history? Whatever it is, everyone is uncomfortable with the covert antics of this mysterious stranger. The answers start a series of events that threaten the peaceful life that Katherine had so carefully built for herself.

Travel to the Orchards, the outdoor mall on Vancouver Island where you'll meet Gary, the sixty something draft dodger hippy who owns the glass blowing shop. He'll most likely be protesting something and this time, he wears nothing but a diaper while doing it. There's Bettina, the quilt shop owner. She always has Katherine's back and will, if she has to, wield a pair of sewing shears to protect her. Chloe, the manager of the frame shop, has her own hidden agenda that hits Katherine in the face - literally. and Tony, the gorgeous owner of Java the Hut, is on a hunt to track down store owners giving away free cups of coffee. And then there's Kelsey who is...well, he's just serendipitous.


The Shore Girl  by Fran Kimmel

Rebee Shore's life is fragmented. She s forever on the move, ricocheting around Alberta, guided less than capably by her dysfunctional mother Elizabeth.

The Shore Girl follows Rebee from her toddler to her teen years as she grapples with her mother s fears and addictions, and her own desire for a normal life. Through a series of narrators family, friends, teachers, strangers, and Rebee herself her family s dark past, and the core of her mother s despair, are slowly revealed.
The Shore Girl is a mosaic of Rebee: of her origins, of her past and present; from darkness and grief, to understanding and hope for a brighter future.


Whiskey and Gumdrops: A Blueberry Springs Romance by Jean Oram

Mandy Mattson has always believed that what you want isn't what you need. But never in her life has she been more wrong.

As a small town waitress, Mandy has never felt as though she deserves the love of her best friend Frankie. But when she sees an ex-lover marry her rival she realizes her life is adding up to a big fat nothing and she needs to make a change. With every path in her new life leading back to Frankie, will she finally be able to reconcile that the one thing she's always wanted is the very thing she needs?

This best friend romance is a companion novel to Champagne and Lemon Drops: A Blueberry Springs Chick lit Contemporary Romance.

The Blueberry Springs series:
Champagne and Lemon Drops (book 1)
Whiskey and Gumdrops (book 2)
Rum and Raindrops (book 3 - coming Spring 2014!)


Love Letters of the Angels of Death by Jennifer Quist

A breathtaking literary debut, Love Letters of the Angels of Death begins as a young couple discover the remains of his mother in her mobile home. The rest of the family fall back, leaving them to reckon with the messy, unexpected death. By the time the burial is over, they understand this will always be their role: to liaise with death on behalf of people they love. They are living angels of death. All the major events in their lives births, medical emergencies, a move to a northern boomtown, the theft of a veteran s headstone are viewed from this ambivalent angle. In this shadowy place, their lives unfold: fleeting moments, ordinary occasions, yet on the brink of otherworldliness. In spare, heart-stopping prose, the transient joys, fears, hopes and heartbreaks of love, marriage, and parenthood are revealed through the lens of the eternal, unfolding within the course of natural life. This is a novel for everyone who has ever been happily married -- and for everyone who would like to be.


So there you have it. The successful little writing group that I belong to. We will all be millionaires. In the meantime we will continue to meet at the local coffee shop and help each other along our rocky roads to fame.


Jean Oram said...

Anna, there is no way I'm more successful that you are! You've been in Chicken Soup For the Soul when I couldn't even think what to write. Had an ongoing article in the paper for years when I could barely even bring mysf to write movie reviews for my university paper once a month and I got free movies. And I love movies!!! And Thimble Fingers has AMAZING reviews...and you should look at my first book's reviews. Lol. That will pick you up.

You are strong and amazing Anna.

I know how you feel though. I feel as though I am the lucky one getting to be in the group!!

Keep writing girl!