Tag Archives: storytelling

Clara54’s Author Spotlight…


In 2011, I received a Christian Romance Novel for review by Yvonne Randle of http://www.lovingrelationships.biz. The book was enjoyable, informative and a supportive resource for victims of relationship abuse and domestic violence. Yvonne and I reconnected recently and were in talks about her reasons for penning “Loving Relationships” from a Christian perspective as opposed to other genres.

Truth be told, I am a believer in God, a participant in daily prayer and a faith follower – all connected to living right. But, I’ve read only a handful of books in the Christian genre. It will be a pleasure to have Yvonne Randle join us on Friday as she talks about her latest works in the Christian romance.

In other news, you guys know by now that I operate 3 blogs, as well as work on projects that will supplement my retirement income:) My business brand, Authentic Woman Networks is making great efforts and strides in bringing women together worldwide and readership has increased to over 1000 pageviews/day…I am truly blessed! Recently, I opened an empowerment apparel shop for women to purchase empowerment t-shirts in solidarity of women stepping out in voice and in ownership of their power, all over the world. Please take a moment to show your support for women to use their voice and make a difference.

Visit the shop and purchase an authentic woman tee shirt for yourself and for the strong women in your life at http://www.cafepress.com/AuthenticWomanApparel for a great cause.

Also: Short Story contests are trending. If you’re stuck writing your novel (like me) why not enter a few short stories and keep writing, until you get the ‘feel’ for your book? Here are some contests to consider.

Writing Tomorrow Magazine
Flavorwire Magazine
Kenyon Review
Women Who Write 2013 International Poetry & Short Prose Contest.

What are you guys working on? See you on Friday!

Interview With Zoe Forward

Happy Friday, readers & writers! A few weeks ago, I told you about Dawn Of A Dark Knight, a great Paranormal romance novel by Zoe Forward. Today, I ask you to join me in welcoming Zoe to Clara54’s writers blog.


Dawn of a Dark Knight is a spellbinding read! Is writing your passion?

Writing is simply wonderful, but I came to it well after I had an established career as a veterinarian. I recall reading a dreadfully written paranormal with a rather blasé plot. Annoyed, I determined that the characters bumping around in my brain would be vastly more interesting to read about. So, I released them onto paper. And what an exhilarating experience. I’ve got many more characters and stories. So, I’d keep writing even if I never publish another novel (although Forgotten in Darkness, Scimitar Magi series novel #2 is on the way), I’ll keep on writing.

Your book is in the paranormal realm. What led you to write for this genre?

I’ve been a paranormal romance and mainstream fiction addict for decades. I’m not sure there was much of a choice not to write paranormal for me having grown up loving Ann Rice and movies like Indiana Jones. For Dawn of a Dark Knight everything came together at the right creative moment — my thoughts on Egyptian mythology, my interest in archaeology, my ideas about a new type of paranormal hero and more. It all just gelled.

What sort of research, if any lends itself to such interesting characters in Dawn of a Dark Knight?

This book required researching Egyptian mythology, which I discovered is complex and there is not always consensus between references on much of anything (from the names of gods to what exactly they did or represented). I spoke with people well versed in weapons to learn about knives and guns, as well as what makes sense during fight scenes.

The odd mixture of characters just seems to work for this book! Were you concerned that readers might not care about such an integral part of fiction writing?

Characters are the key to driving the story. If we’re not interested in who is in the story, then it’s probably not a book that the reader is going to finish. I never thought about readers being concerned about introducing so many different characters. I was careful to differentiate the characters so they each have a unique voice and unique personality quirks.

Tell us how you approach a writing process…do you use an outline, notepad or just hit the blank page with fingers to the keyboard?

I’m not a plotter and outlines don’t work for me. I rarely use actual physical writing…too slow. It’s just me and my laptop. And I just go for it. I have a rough idea in my head of where I want to go, and the story arc. I create my characters and then throw them together. They usually drive the story. On occasions when I have a strong idea of where and what I want them to do and I try to push them into doing it, the character has rebelled. I had a few fights with my characters while writing, and ultimately the character won.

I’m paraphrasing a bit, but, some great author/writer shared that a writer who haven’t written about sex in their stories, essentially does not a writer make, although, that’s not the case here. Care to comment?

When I first started writing romance, I found love scenes tough. But now I don’t fight it. I just let them flow as any other scene would. I don’t let the subject matter hinder me. My job as a writer is to put what’s in my head on the page as faithfully as I can. That includes the love scenes.

What’s next for Zoe Forward?

Dawn of a Dark Knight is the first in the Magi series. In the second novel, Forgotten in Darkness, there is a new magus who just got released from an unjustified stint in purgatory. Long ago, a dark-magik sorcerer cursed him and the woman he loves to murder each other within days of meeting in each new lifetime. Being back means this cycle will start again. He’s attempted countless curse-reversal rituals over the centuries, and all failed. Now, he may have discovered a way to break their vicious cycle. But it requires he kill her before she strikes her deathblow, something he’s never done in the past.

Where can readers pick up their copy of Dawn of a Dark Knight?


I’d like to thank my readers for picking up my book and taking that chance. There are so many options out there. I’m honored when you put my book on your shelf. I love to hear from readers whether it is via email, facebook or twitter. So, don’t be shy.

Website: http://www.zoeforward.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorzoe.forward
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6591244.Zoe_Forward

Buy links:
Wild Rose Press: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=195&products_id=5122

NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dawn-of-a-dark-knight-zoe-forward/1114807621?ean=2940016381633

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Dark-Knight-ebook/dp/B00ADAD9AU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354129181&sr=8-1&keywords=dawn+of+a+dark+knight

Zoe Forward writes action-adventure paranormal romances. Although a deep part of her wishes she had pursued a career that would have her at a dig site in a hot, sandy country, she’s a small animal veterinarian, caring for everything from chinchillas to dogs…and even one hermit crab in there. When she’s not being a vet, a mom, or sneaking out to a movie with her husband, she’s at her laptop writing.

Zoe is the creator of the brand new Scimitar Magi series. The first book in the series, DAWN OF A DARK KNIGHT was released by Wild Rose Press on March 1, 2013.

Having read Zoe’s interview, would any of you tackle this genre? If you already write paranormal, please share your thoughts.

Learning To Fly In Story…


I wanted to wish those of you who are mothers, a Happy Mother’s Day! Those who are not moms, but, still have their moms in their lives-give praise to God while you are make a loving mother-daughter connection. May is also Short Story Month.

I recently reviewed Learning To Fly, a coming of age love story by Audrey Chen for Amazon.com. You can see the review here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RBCPN8Z4U7JC , but this isn’t a review. It’s more about the art of “persuasion” in storytelling. Audrey Chen have mastered that art in her book!
It pulls the reader in with such subtle nuances and wham! you’ll soon find yourself wondering where the heck that emotion came from.

quill pen

That is what we all strive for in our work as storytellers. Over the course of 2 months, I’ve read 6 powerful author voices in fiction and nonfiction, who left me in awe of their craftsmanship through the lens of their storytelling techniques. I’m learning as I read, review and host these wonderful, brave, esteemed folks who have kindly stepped onto the pages of clara54’s writers blog. My doors are opened to your creativity.

For those who are writing short stories or considering stories for competition ( I’ve completed 2 shorts for this month) here are a few sites to jump-start your creative juices…

Short Story Competition- Words Unlimited

Saturday Evening Post- Great American Fiction Contest

Mississippi Review

real fiction

When writing your stories, remember it’s our duty to please ourselves first, but, our readers have to care…

Happy Writing!

The Memoir & Personal Story Surge…


Happy Friday, readers and writers. The thing I’ve noticed over the span of the last 6 years, is how much we’ve come to share our love for “Story.” When I first started writing online (reluctantly gave up my Smith Corona) it was all about ‘blogging’ and getting to a place of PROMINENCE by blogging with the “big dogs”, of which there are many well-known accomplished folks. Here I was, blogging from a “writer’s” perspective; wondering if I might not ever grace the table among the bigwigs. Consistency in my love for story keeps me afloat in this writing arena and this is where I’m supposed to be.

Well, wonders never cease. These days, nearly everybody is turning a keen eye to writing and sharing their personal stories. When James Frye came under fire from Oprah and other critics for lying about his personal story in A Million Little Pieces, I was attempting to write my own truths… After losing the first 40,000 words of the work to computer virus and no back up files, I became disillusioned and put the idea aside. Needless to say, like a lot of writers, struggling to return to story, I welcomed sage advice of authors who had traveled the publishing path.

Where bloggers and blogging became the new ‘Black’, seemingly, story has become ‘Evergreen.’ April is National Poetry Month ( my beginnings) but, we’re going to spend the weeks ahead discussing the Memoir. I’m reading Home Sweet Hardwood, an inspiring book by one of the first women to play in the sport of women’s basketball back when it was deemed “taboo.”


I’m so enjoying Pat Mckinzie’s amazing memoir. Naturally, I’ll be having a conversation with several memoirists who have agreed to share their expertise with you guys. I cannot wait to welcome them to the forum:)

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a personal essay, short story or working on your novel…you’ll want to be right here this month for insights, introductions and community discussions on writing the memoir. Meanwhile, I’ve included some other great reads in this genre you might want to check out. My essay, Second Time Around, appears in When One Door Closes; the first book in the Reflections on Life’s Turning Points series by Terri Spahr Nelson.


The moment

Have any of you guys started or completed your memoir? Care to share your writing experience in this genre? Anyhew, STORY is the thing, and it’s high time writer, you began to share your awesomeness with the world.

Happy writing!