Speaker: Krista Cantrell

Friday Night Writes at the Dog-Eared Pages bookstore had another great guest speaker on Friday. Krista Cantrell, M.A., works with dogs, cats and horses as a cognitive

behaviorist, healer, and nationally published author. Her books include Tao of Puppies: How To Raise a Good Dog Without Really Trying,

Catch Your Dog Doing Something Right: How To Train Any Dog In Five Minutes A Day,and Housetrain Your Dog Now.scan0009_crop

You can learn more about Krista and order her books here.

That said, I wish every one of my readers could have heard Krista’s talk. She had us envisioning other worlds and taking

the time to ask questions about Everything. She stresses that we use power words – words that have an impact on the

story. To always have surprises. When she reads a line she starts asking questions. What did the hand look like? What type of

fabric was used? What was behind the curtain? Why were the fingertips purple? Why? What? Who? Where? The questions went on and on.

I can’t even begin to explain the energy and ideas she shared with all of us.

I forgot to take my camera so instead of a photo of Krista I’m introducing you and her to my own magnificent dog: Maggie. She is a rescue

that the Humane Society thought was an Australian Cattle Dog. However, Maggie kept growing and at about 8 years old weighs around 70

pounds. We’ve decided she is actually a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, at least in part. I love to tell people we have a catahoula. They

always say, “A cata what?” Now why is that? How did Maggie end up on the streets of south Phoenix lost, dehydrated and covered in ticks? How does she feel about

dressing up in costume and visiting Tombstone, Arizona? What is she thinking?

All the questions.

Thank you, Krista, for opening my writing to so many more possibilities.





Speaker: Megan D. Scott

Megan D. Scott is an entertainment lawyer who’s goals are to help writers and others in the entertainment field to protect themselves. You can learn more about her practice here.

Megan is out to change the public’s view of lawyers and her bubbly personality is a great start. One thing she repeated over-and-over was, “Plan for the highest level of success.” You could be the next J. K. Rowling and you want to have yourself and your work covered correctly from the beginning.

She discussed contracts, copyrights and what to do to protect your work. She also stressed that even though some sites on the internet offer free artwork or photography it may not really be copyright free. The best way to be safe is to do it yourself. Good faith isn’t good enough in the legal world.

The best part of hearing a speaker like this is it makes one aware of the possibilities. You might not ever be in need of the protection or reach a level where others will be out to get you but it is always best to be aware.

A selfie with Megan and the listeners. 


Speaker: Kris Tualla


Romance writer, Kris Tualla, paid another visit to the Dog-Eared Pages bookstore last week.  This time she spoke about adding humor to your novel.

She said that throwing in something funny can wake up a scene and the reader. If a moment is becoming too tense and full of anger a bit of humor can lighten the mood, just like in real life.

It can also be used to bring down a character that is a little too full of him or her self. Even heroes and heroins can appear more human with a bit of humor. Kris read several examples from her own work and had the group laughing and sharing some of their own hilarious stories.

Kris also announced that the conferences she is involved in will be five days next year. Buildin’ the Dream: Authors Helping Authors and Arizona Dreamin': A Romance Reader Event were well attended this year and I’ve heard nothing but good reports. For more information visit: TheDreamsConvention.com.



Speaker: Shelley Gillespie

Shelley Gillespie who spoke at Dog-Eared Pages last week is full of energy and inspiration. She has developed all of that into her business as a Book Writing Coach.

Shelley writes for the Arizona Republic newspaper and recently wrote a fantastic article about Diana Gabaldon.

To develop your writing skills and actually get things done use your imagination, visualization and set up a schedule. Write Every Day!

Have a fun, catchy title. Take the time to jot down what you want to write and go from there.

Keep the writing alive. Every once in awhile throw in a short punchy sentence to  keep yourself, your characters and the reader awake. Use “Scan – Find” to check your manuscript for the overuse of certain words.

Some of the the books on her reference shelf are: Warriner’s English Grammar, Roget’s Thesaurus, On Writing by Stephen King, Strunk’s Elements of Style, Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss,  The AP Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style.

Shelley has two books about getting off the couch and hiking, even in the Arizona desert. The first one was geared to adults but another version for kids soon evolved.  Hiking: For the Couch Potato can be found at her web site and at hiking.forthecouchpotato.com.

Visit Shelley’s web page to learn more about her books and services and to sign up for a free e-book on publishing: 10 Steps to Book Writing Success.

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Speaker: Arabella Thorne

Another in the series of speakers at Dog-Eared Pages Bookstore in north Phoenix.

Arabella Thorne is a down-to-earth speaker and writer.  She worked for the Los Angeles Times for 19 years and now lives in the Arizona desert. She has been a photographer and done freelance writing. She also writes fan fiction for The Lord of the Rings. She started with fan faction at the age of 12 with The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

She has two books available which you can learn more about on her website. They are The Elf Lord’s Revenge and a novella; I Swear My Roommate is a Vampire.

To make it from idea to published she says to write all the time and to have deadlines – even if they are “fake.” It is important to finish what you start (something I really need to work on.) She also stresses the importance of keeping your name out there with novellas, short stories and other publishing options.

She loves the history of California and her first book is set in Alta Vista before the Gold Rush. She did a lot of research and then added a bit of fantasy with an elf family.

She suggests writing against the type. That’s one reason she put elves in California. The vampire in her novella isn’t the usual alpha male but based on a favorite teacher she once had.

I got the impression that not only does she write the unusual but her view on life is full of humor and an ingrained wit.

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Speaker: Bill Lamperes

I’ve fallen behind on introducing you to the speakers I’ve been meeting. These were all at the Friday Night Writes group at Dog-Eared Pages bookstore. These are short, informal meetings full of energy and great information.

First of all is Bill Lamperes who used to live in the Phoenix area but now resides in Colorado. Bill has eight books covering as many genres and sees himself as a storyteller. His website is a joy to read; just as listening to him speak is like a spark to the imagination. 

I could tell right away that I wanted to read something by him and settled on Voices because it is set in the Phoenix area, is a mystery, has ghosts and is about a writer. How much more perfect (for me) can you get? The description is: 

Jack Weston, a writer for Western Trails magazine, wallows in the agony of his wife’s unresolved hit-and-run death.  He attempts to drown his sorrow in alcohol until his editor, Phil Slocum, arrives to pull him back from the abyss. Phil’s intervention saves Jack’s life, but cannot restore the writer’s emotional balance or creative style.

Phil attempts to help Jack deal with his writer’s block by sending him on assignment to record ghost stories from haunted hotels in the southwest. The distraction provides Jack with an opportunity to escape confining memories and focus on his craft.

At every hotel, the unexplained voices of ghosts invade Jack’s dreams and offer clues to find his wife’s killer.  A mysterious hitchhiker appears throughout his travels and urges him to interpret the discordant messages.

Jack overhears a human voice admit running over a woman.  The chilling words send him on a three-state manhunt to find the killer. He connects the voice to a suspect and faces the problem of turning paranormal clues into credible evidence, but how? With the help of a quirky detective and a woman he befriends, the three pursue justice, only to realize their lives are also in danger.

The book met all my expectations and I’m looking forward to reading more.

A couple of the things I noted down during Bill’s talk was to spread out the descriptions of people and places instead of putting them all in one paragraph. Also, when using dialect use just a few words in the beginning and then write normally.

Bill said he will be back in the Valley in the fall and I hope to get to hear him again. PWC (11)





Writer’s Blog Hop

Writers are wonderful. I love meeting them, talking to them, learning from them, and writing about them. This blog was started to share many of those meetings and some of the things I have learned about writing. It doesn’t do any good if the word doesn’t get out. Writers are also good at supporting each other and this blog hop is one way of doing that. I hope you will follow the trail of blogs forward and backward and make new friends along the way.

I’ve been tagged by one of my favorite writers. I have followed C. B. Wentworth’s blog for a very long time. We spend time together talking about writing and just writing. She is a great inspiration and if you haven’t visited her blog please go spend some time there. She does photography, writes poetry, travels, knits and keeps me inspired.

Thank you C. B. Wentworth for all your help and support.

Here are the questions I’ve been asked:

What am I working on?

I have an endless list of projects but the biggest one right now is rewriting my book O. K. Corral Postscript: The Death of Ike Clanton. It has been out of print for awhile so I’m looking forward to making it available again; with some updates. I’m also continuing with my Old West history articles and some fiction. I’ve been dabbling in some poetry. I have two blogs that also keep me busy.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s a tough one to answer for western history. I write broader and also I look for the unusual. I like to take small stories of everyday life and put them in perspective. Since I do a lot of writing on Tombstone, Arizona I’m looking for the people and stories that haven’t been done to death.

Why do I write what I do?

I’ve had a lifelong interest in the Old West and kind of fell into researching and writing about it through a twist of fate and my long-time interest in genealogical research. Researching my family taught me a lot of things that has helped in finding the little stories of the Old West. I’ve thought, often, about writing more fiction and would like to write a cozy mystery or ghost stories but right now the Old West is holding me in its ropes.

How does my writing process work?

I scan old newspapers until something strikes my fancy. Sometimes I happen on something while researching something else. I always make a note or a copy of anything that catches my eye. I also read a lot of journals and books about Arizona history in particular.

Once I find enough information on the current subject and the basic information is in my head I sit down with a fountain pen and spiral notebook and start writing the story. I don’t worry about the details at this point. I just keep the pen moving and get the skeleton of the story down. This is a process I use for all my writing. I belong to a writer’s group where we are given a prompt and then write a page or so just completely stream-of-consciousness. No worries about grammar or spelling or even the plot. Just get something down. That seems to be the only way I work well. I have a hard time composing on the keyboard.

Once I have a draft I start entering the article into a document on the computer and add the details from my research. Sometimes questions come up and I go back and do more research but at that point I have the article pretty well written.

I let that sit for a day or so and then go back and reread and edit.

I have a number of journals going with ideas, short stories, poetry and anything else that comes to mind. I don’t want to lose those thoughts.

The final thing I am to do is introduce you to three other writers who I admire:

I’ve only known Anna Questerly a few months but she is full of inspiration and that ever present energy. Besides being a children’s writer Anna owns a bookshop and is a wealth of information a variety of books. She is also involved in many community writing events so her blog is always fun to read. You can visit her here.

Last, but not least, is a newer acquaintance who I think will become another long-term friend, Barbara Hinske. I met Barbara about a month ago when she gave a talk at the Desert Foothills Library and liked what she had to say and was enthralled with the idea of her mystery novels. I’ve read the first one, Coming to Rosemont and look forward to her latest release. It was funny that the day I met her another friend brought in an article about Barbara’s mini-book exchange “house” in her front yard. I wish I could do that here. You can learn more about Barbara Hinske at her blog here.

My other choice is out of town and not able to do it and since my fourth choice was already tagged I’m only doing two. Not worth stressing over. Right?

Now go join the blog hop and meet some great people.




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