Category Archives: writers

The South Jersey Writers at the Collingswood Book Festival

Tomorrow, October 5th, is the 11th Annual Collingswood Book Festival, one of the biggest events for writers and readers in the South Jersey area. You can check the website for the schedule and guests, but I’m here to talk about some specific local guests – the South Jersey Writers’ Group.

The South Jersey Writers will be at Space #52 on Haddon Avenue, from 10 AM to 4 PM, so please stop by, say hi, find out about the group, and maybe buy a book or two. Last year, the group published the anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, which is available in paperback on Amazon, select local coffee shops, other vendors, and at the Collingswood Book Festival tomorrow.

Members of the South Jersey Writers who will be hosting at our table tomorrow include Amy Hollinger, Krista Magrowski, Mieke Zamora-Mackay, Dawn Byrne, Sarah Miduski, Ava Easterby, James Knipp, Krista McKay, John Faquhar, Shelley Szajner, Christine Hardy, Laurie Strucke, Jessica Walsh, and some guy named Glenn Walker. Click on any of the above names to find out more about these great writers and their work.

The South Jersey Writers’ Group, founded in 2006, provides networking and development opportunities for local writers in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. The group meets regularly several times during the month for topic-based discussion about the craft of writing and the publishing industry.

The group has just opened its doors to new members, and welcomes writers of all ages, backgrounds, genres, and experience levels. Among the events offered by the group are Write-Ins, Topic Discussions, Critique Sessions, Book Signings, Author Appearances, and Blogfests. For more information on the group, visit the website, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.

We hope to see you tomorrow!

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The Writer’s Chatroom Presents C. Hope Clark

C. Hope Clark is founder of FundsforWriters, a well-known writer’s reference for grants, contests, markets, publishers and agents for the serious writer. The website and newsletters have existed for fourteen years, and been recognized by Writer’s Digest Magazine in its 101 Best Websites for Writers for thirteen of those years. 42,000 writers receive her newsletters each week.

She’s published in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Market, Guide to Literary Agents, The Writer, as well as multiple trades, glossy mags and numerous Chicken Soup books. She’s been interviewed often by both writing and business websites, and speaks to writing conferences throughout the United States. Her book, The Shy Writer: An Introvert’s Guide to Writing Success, continues to sell steadily.

She is also author of The Carolina Slade Mystery Series. Lowcountry Bribe is the first in the series published by Bell Bridge Books. The mysteries describe federally employed Carolina Slade’s sleuthing abilities throughout rural, rarely seen South Carolina settings, facing crimes not found in your typical mystery. Her follow-up, Tidewater Murder, is now available too, and absolutely rocks. The third book in the series will be released in 2014.

Read more about Hope and Carolina Slade at here website.

I will be interviewing Hope and moderating the chat, as I have for over a decade now, tomorrow night (September 29, 2013) at 7 PM EST. Just go to The Writer’s Chatroom and click on “Enter Chatroom,” no password is needed. Hope to see you all tonight night!

RIP Elmore Leonard

We have lost another living legend, this time a god among writers, award-winning novelist Elmore Leonard has passed away. He’s written over fifty novels, a handful of short stories and screenplays. Movies and television shows have been made for dozens of his works.

Among his writings are some of the subtle masterpieces of our time, including Rum Punch (filmed as Jackie Brown), Gold Coast, The Big Bounce, Get Shorty, Be Cool, the short story 3:10 to Yuma (filmed twice), Out of Sight, 52 Pick-Up, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, Riding the Rap, and more than a few novels that inspire the TV series “Justified.”

When I think of the written western or crime fiction I think of Leonard as the master. When I was in college, and stubbornly insisting I wanted to be a writer, a professor told me, “If you want to write fiction, read Elmore Leonard,” suggesting it was education by example.

I can’t get it together to say much more. We have lost one of the greats. Click here and I’ll share his ten rules of writing, quite possibly the best writing advice ever given. Elmore Leonard was one of the masters, and there’ll never be another like him.

RIP Karen Black

Earlier today I found out that actress Karen Black had passed away via a Tweet from my good friend Andy Burns, also editor-in-chief of Biff Bam Pop!. Another Tweeter’s response was that he had no words. That’s how I feel. We’ve lost one of the good ones, a legend of the genre. Karen Black died yesterday in Los Angeles from ampullary cancer at the age of 74.

When I said genre, I am of course talking about the horror genre. Karen Black probably most remembered film is one where she played a tour de force of four characters in Dan Curtis’ TV movie of the week Trilogy of Terror. It was at the aforementioned Andy Burns’ website, Biff Bam Pop!, that I talked about how that film still scares the crap outta me. You can read that here.

While it’s true she made her share of horror films, notably Trilogy, and Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses among others, it’s a fact she never stopped making movies. But of all the films Ms. Black has made, it is the movies of the 1970s that defne her. Hell, one could even say that Karen Black defined film in the 1970s. She changed the way women and sexuality were portrayed on the big screen.

Among her films are some of the best or at least most memorable of the decade, including Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Great Gatsby, Capricorn One, In Praise of Older Women, Hitchcock’s last movie Family Plot, and Robert Altman’s Nashville. She also starred on stage and on television as well as film. She was a composer, screenwriter, producer, and author of children’s books.

I met her once a few years back, at a Chiller convention near the Meadowlands. We were about to leave and I saw this seemingly crazy woman screaming at people to get her something or other. The men surrounding her scrambled. I realized it was Karen Black. She was holding court in the lobby of the hotel.

I was either brave or stupid, so I approached her and told her she was great in Easy Rider and Nashville, and that I loved her in Trilogy, even though she scared me to death in it. She was kind, and soft spoken, and thanked me, even shook my hand. Moments later she was barking at underlings again, but to me, and other fans who approached her she was an angel.

That’s how I will remember Karen Black – a kind loving woman who adored her fans. Not the psychopath possessed by a Zuni fetish doll. And that’s probably for the best. We’ve lost one of Hollywood’s great actresses, and she will be missed.

The Robin Renee Blog Tour – Wrap-Up

Wrapping things up here on the Robin Renee Blog Tour, and I want to thank everyone involved. Special thanks goes out to all the folks who participated and helped with to tour, including, and not limited to, Shelley Szajner, Marie Gilbert, Becca Butcher, Patti O’Brien, Fran Metzman, Ray Cornwall, Andy Burns, the South Jersey Writers, the GAR! Podcast, Biff Bam Pop!, and especially to Robin Renee herself. You all rock, very hard! Thank you!

Here is a breakdown of the stops on the Blog Tour.

Robin Renee is interviewed by Shelley Szajner here about inspiration, Kirtan, and This..

Marie Gilbert runs down some of the places where Robin can be found on the internet here.

Becca Butcher gives her thoughts on the This. release here.

Here, I give a song by song review of This., along with Robin adding her thoughts and observations as well.

Patti O’Brien talks about Robin’s music, and then interviews her about her travels here.

We return to Welcome to Hell, where guest blogger Fran Metzman interviews Robin about her influences, inspirations, and creative process. See it here.

Over on the South Jersey Writers blog, Marie Gilbert returns to interview Robin about encouragement, inspiration, and the ups and downs of a music career.

Robin was a guest on The GAR! Podcast where discussion included DEVO, David Bowie, Saturday Night Live music moments, and the creative process. You can listen to the episode here.

And finally, you can go here for the Biff Bam Pop! interview with Robin Renee, with a few edits for space considerations showing up here.

Robin can be found at her website, and on her blog, and check out her music at CD Baby, and at iTunes. Follow her on Twitter here, and Like her Facebook page here.

And don’t forget about Robin’s terrific new single “All I Am,” now available at CD Baby, with 20% of the proceeds going to the You Will Rise Project.

Thank you, everyone!

The Robin Renee Blog Tour, Stop Eight and Beyond

Just a reminder, today’s stop on the Robin Renee Blog Tour is at the South Jersey Writers blog, Tall Tales and Short Stories, you can check out regular site blogger Marie Gilbert‘s interview with Robin there.

Probably as you read this tonight, my partner Ray Cornwall and I will be interviewing Robin on The GAR! Podcast, and that will be posted tomorrow morning as Stop Nine on the Tour.

On Friday, be sure to check out the Robin Renee interview at Biff Bam Pop!, then come back here on Saturday for the close of the tour.

Robin can be found at her website, on her blog, at CD Baby, and at iTunes. Follow her on Twitter here, and Like her Facebook page here.

Richard Matheson 1926-2013

We have truly lost one of the legends of the writing game. Celebrated multiple award-winning author Richard Matheson passed away this weekend, surrounded by family and friends. He was 87.

Even if you didn’t know his name (shame on you!), you know his work. Here is just a sampler – the following movies are all based on his work – The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, What Dreams May Come, Real Steel, Trilogy of Terror, The Box, Loose Cannons, The Legend of Hell House Burn Witch Burn, Jaws 3-D (hey, a paycheck is a paycheck), and the these last three, all based on the same novel, The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, and I Am Legend.

That’s not all, all of the good “Twilight Zone” episodes that weren’t written by Rod Serling, they’re all Matheson too. He wrote hundreds of short stories and books, and countless hours of television in many different genres, including episodes for “Star Trek,” “Combat!,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Thriller,” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.” Other than “The Twilight Zone,” possibly his two greatest contributions to television were the Steven Spielberg-directed Duel and The Night Stalker, which became a fondly remembered cult TV series.

We have lost another legend.

The South Jersey Writers’ Group 2014 Anthology

Welcome to the South Jersey Writers’ Group!

About the Group

The South Jersey Writers’ Group, founded in 2006, provides networking and development opportunities for local writers in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. The group meets regularly several times during the month for topic-based discussion about the craft of writing and the publishing industry.

The group welcomes writers of all ages, backgrounds, genres, and experience levels. Among the events offered by the group are Write-Ins, Topic Discussions, Critique Sessions, Book Signings, Author Appearances, and Blogfests. For more information on the group, visit the website, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.

The Next Big Adventure

In December 2012, the group published their first short story anthology, Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, which is available in paperback on Amazon, select local coffee shops, and other vendors. The book was a labor of love, but it’s highly entertaining and showcases the diversity of our writers. It turned out to be a neat little book, and for being such a hyper-local focus, sales are still going really well, and it has generated a lot of interest in the literary community of South Jersey.

Now we’re planning the next one, taking the lessons learned and building on success. The 2014 Anthology will feature longer, more intricate stories, aligned along a theme or within a genre. With the support of our backers, we’ll be able to pay the authors and designers for their talents and skills.

We are doing this through Kickstarter, a terrific way to raise money for creative projects and also offer great incentives to those who donate. We are trying to raise $3000 by June 23. The details are here, along with the many incentives available depending on the amount of your donation.

Upcoming Book Signings

  • July 13 at Book Asylum in Blackwood NJ, 12-3 PM
  • September 14 at Authors on the Greene in Smithville NJ 11 AM – 5 PM
  • October 5 at the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood, look for our table.
  • November 2 at Bogart’s Books & Cafe in Millville NJ 10:30 AM – 2 PM
  • Please see our schedule for added events and details.

    Now Accepting New Members

    The South Jersey Writers’ Group is accepting new members through the end of June. The special discounted fee for half-year membership is $15, and then will be closed until October. Act now!

    Contact Info

  • Amy Hollinger
  • Marie Gilbert
  • southjerseywriters@gmail.com
  • www.southjerseywriters.com
  • The South Jersey Writers Present Nicole Wolverton

    The South Jersey Writers’ Group brings debut novelist, Nicole Wolverton, to the William G. Rohrer memorial Library in Haddon Township, NJ.

    On June 4, 2013, Tuesday, at 7:00 pm, the South Jersey Writers’ Group will present Nicole Wolverton, for a special discussion about her acclaimed debut novel, The Trajectory of Dreams, and her journey to publication. Learn more about her writing process and a secret or two about managing on-going projects and the writing life. Ms. Wolverton and the South Jersey Writers Group will be at the William G. Rohrer Memorial Library, 15 MacArthur Boulevard, Haddon Township, NJ for this special event.

    The Trajectory of Dreams, a psychological thriller about the downward spiral of Lela White, a sleep lab technician who believes she is on a secret mission to save the revitalized U. S. space program from fatal accidents. The Trajectory of Dreams addresses the themes of family dysfunction and mental illness, sparks serious questions about how much anyone can know about the interior life of coworkers, friends, and significant others. Told from the point of view of Lela, who suffers from insomnia and delusions, it is impossible to tell what is real and what is not.

    Publisher’s Weekly calls it “a skillful mainstream examination of a psychotic woman’s final descent into insanity.”

    The Trajectory of Dreams is available in paperback and e-book versions on Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, and local independent bookstores. Published by Bitingduck Press, LLC in March 2013.

    Nicole’s short stories and flash fiction have appeared in Black Heart Magazine, The Molotov Cocktail, and Penduline, among others. In addition to writing fiction, she is founder and managing editor of Farm to Philly, a website devoted to locally grown foods and sustainable living. She resides in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area with her husband and small cadre of pets. For more information on The Trajectory of Dreams and Ms. Wolverton, visit her website.

    The South Jersey Writers’ Group, founded in 2007 provides networking and development opportunities for local writers. The group meets regularly during the month for topic-based discussion about the craft of writing and the publishing industry. The group welcomes writers of all ages, background, genre, and experience level. For more information on the group and when the next membership enrollment will be, visit their website or follow them on Twitter.

    In December 2012, the group published their first short story anthology, Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, which is available in paperback on Amazon, select local coffee shops, and other vendors.

    Press release written by Mieke Zamora-Mackay, please check out her blog here.

    And be sure to check out the Kickstart for the next South Jersey Writers’ anthology here.

    A Film with Me in It

    A Film with Me in It ~ I discovered this flick quite by accident. I was surfing through the channels one afternoon and saw Dylan Moran. I love Dylan Moran. He’s the best part of Shaun of the Dead, and “Black Books” is one of my favorite Britcoms of all time. The film was just at the beginning, so I settled (watched what little I missed in a later viewing) in for what was sure to be entertaining. I was hooked immediately by this dark dark comedy.

    Mark, played by this film’s screenwriter Mark Doherty, who lives with his girlfriend and handicapped brother in a flat he’s having trouble keeping. Pierce, his ne’er-do-well friend played by Moran, is a wannabe screenwriter with whom they are trying to write a movie. When Mark’s life begins to unravel, a series of accidents kill several people in his flat in quick succession. As Pierce struggles to ‘fix’ things, very dark hilarity ensues.

    High tension, high comedy, dialogue perfect for Moran, direction by Ian Fitzgibbon that apes Hitchcock slyly, this is a fun, but very dark flick. I loved it. This may not be for everyone, but I thought it was great.