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Author Blog Challenge – Day 3 Recap

Here’s a recap of the posts for the third day of the Author Blog Challenge. If you missed them on our Facebook group page, here are my favorite vignettes from a few of the posts for Day 3 of the Author Blog Challenge.

Many folks used the prompt we provided about writers they admire and writing mentors, but a fair number went their own directions. Still wowed as I read the incredible blog entries from our amazing participants! Please click the names to read the full posts…

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TYLER HURST. My absolute #1 favorite author (whose books I’ve never read, but articles I have), and the only mentor I’ve ever had, is none other than my Highline Community College professor Dr. T.M. Sell. T.M., whose real name is T.M. — for the love of all you hold dear, do not call him Tim or Terry — was/is a political science and journalism professor at my very first choice of colleges. While I didn’t take a class from him — class is a loose term here, as I was enrolled in Journalism 101 but experience enabled me to jump straight to staff — on writing, he taught a few fundamentals that I still hold dear to this day.

  • Don’t use more words when less will do.
  • Say the most important things first.
  • Leave your bias out of it; it usually sounds better anyway.
  • Know why you’re writing before you know what you’re writing.

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BETH KOZAN. When I was employed in the ‘world of work’ I mostly read non-fiction. Then, as I was preparing for retirement, I was invited to join a book club made up of employees and former employees of our local Catholic Charities, where I spent the last almost 15 years of my career as an adoption worker.  We now call ourselves The Traveling Book Club, because now that we are mostly retired, we plan an annual short trip to a city.  So far we’ve been to:  Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, and Santa Fe.  We’re thinking of going to Canada next year, perhaps Vancouver, Toronto or Ontario.

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TIA BACH. Speaking of dialogue, I want it to sound like two people talking. Good dialogue should read fast and true. It shouldn’t read like prose. And rules that apply to good writing, do not apply to good dialogue. People speak with words writers are told to avoid: just, that, very. Even irregardless. Furthermore, if you craft a teenager, don’t have them speaking like an adult.

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KATHI LAUGHMAN. As a wonderful storyteller and best-selling author, it would be easy to overlook how [Dick Francis] came to that place in his journey. I met him as a young single Mom that loved a great story and he certainly delivered. He wrote over 40 books and I own them all, including those that he began co-authoring with his son, Felix before his death.  His stories were full of rich characters, intriguing plots and at times, breath-taking endings. They were all meticulously researched by he and his wife, Mary. You felt as if you were being taken on a private journey with him through every story. What is interesting is that this was in fact his second career. His first was as a horseman. A renowned and gifted jockey, he was lauded in those circles for many years.

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CRYSTAL LEE. I adire any author that takes a chance and risks writing about touchy topics. Even if their writing style is considered rough (Stephenie Meyer gets criticized about that all of the time) as long as there is an element of truth to what they say. Stephenie Meyer’s gave me courage to write. I figured if she could do it, I could do it too, so in a way, she’s kind of a mentor? In real life though, my writing mentors are my family and friends: my sister, my mom, my friends Heather, Sam and Kyla, and now Jo Michaels.

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T.L. BODINE. I think every book you read has an effect on you.  The best books are the ones that change the way you feel about yourself and your world.  They teach you how to be human.  Here are 10 authors who changed my life and had an undeniable effect on the writer (and person) I grew up to be.  In roughly chronological order… (1) R.L. Stine, (2) K.A. Applegate, (3) Madeline L’Engle, (4) Richard Peck, (5) William Golding, (6) Robert Cormier (7) Stephen King, (8) Neil Gaiman, (9) J.K. Rowling, and (10) Barbara Gowdy.

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JEN CHATFIELD. As for favorite characters, my number one is Jay Gatsby from, you guessed it, The Great Gatsby.  I’d probably lump all of the major characters in this novel on my list though.  He’s hot, self-made, tragic, and so stylish.  In other words, he’s perfect.  My favorite heroes always need rescuing.  I have no idea why.  I have literally never in real life been with a man like this.  Maybe that’s the issue.  Plus, the novel takes place in the twenties, my all-time favorite decade.  In a time full of excess, debauchery, and innovation, romance and tragedy are bound to come head-to-head.

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DANIELLE PEDERSON. And finally last, but certainly not least I must mention the books I go to all the time. When I want funny I read scenes with Fred and George, or Dumbledore. When I want bravery I read scenes where Harry stands up for what he believes in. When I want to read about great, although certainly flawed female characters I settle in with Hermione or Ginny. How can I not mention?
My true and best inspiration: J. K. Rowling. Harry, you’re not just awesome, you’re downright life-altering.

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JACKIE BLEDSOE. I consider myself someone who encourages people. I actually believe that is one of the gifts God has given me…the gift of encouragement. I had an incident last week, with my daughter, in which I was far from encouraging. After it happened, I realized that I need some encouragement with my gift of encouragement. That is my focus this week. Being encouraging so I don’t repeat what happened last week.

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SONJA HALLER. I start to get nervous when I haven’t been inspired in a while. I worry it won’t ever strike again. Then I remember that while it’s great when inspiration shows up like an uninvited guest, sometimes inspiration just wants an invitation. So to invite inspiration, I… Read a favorite author or blogger. Start writing. Create space. Play. Fresh air. Give the inspiration some attention.

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MATTHEW MORAN. I was at the park the other day doing some pull-ups. There were a few people there – some with kids. I always ask if they mind if I jump onto the monkey bars for a moment. I don’t want to scare kids or parents. On this day, a man was there with his son. He was, sadly, sitting on the bench while he had his son play. He had a noticeable beer belly… well… belly. I don’t really know the cause. His kid asked him to play a few times. Then his son saw me and said, “Dad, can you do that?”

“Well, back when I was his age,” was his reply.

His son said, “How old are you Dad?”

“41”

Er… I’m older than that.

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ALANA MAUTONE. Isaac Asimov and I also share some similarities in family history.  His parents immigrated from the Soviet Union, as did my paternal grandparents. (One disclaimer-the U.S.S.R. did not exist when my family came to the U.S. but their home area did become part of that country.)  Both his father and my grandfather owned candy stores in Brooklyn, and both Mr. Asimov and my father had to work in the family business.  So in a way, I identify with Mr. Asimov in a way far beyond that of the normal reader/writer relationship.

Thanks to all who posted!

Laura & Marcie

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The Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great info about low- to no-cost methods of marketing for self-publishing authors.

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