Category: Writing (page 1 of 5)

Neighbourhood Cast List

A few readers said they had some trouble keeping such a large cast of characters straight while reading the original NEIGHBOURS Series. To help alleviate that issue, I have added a ‘cast list’ to the second series at the back of each volume. I want to thank Violet, one of my beta readers, for making this suggestion. Here is what it looks like:

Cast List From the Neighbourhood

The Malloys:

Jed Malloy: 32 – back woods boy from Newfoundland is the head of the ‘clan’.

Zeb Malloy: 30 – rough around the edges; likes to party, and likes his ‘freedom’.

Bo Malloy: 27 – quiet and more sensible than the rest. Works at the Urban Cowboy.

Will Malloy: 26 – into sports, the outdoors, and anything fun!

Reba Malloy: 24 – fiery redhead with a stubborn streak.

Pip (Steve) Malloy: 22 – the ‘baby’ of the family and a bit of a ‘ladies’ man’.

The Rest:

Andrea Carravagio: identical twin to Angela. Owns Gemini’s Beauty Salon.

Angela Carravagio: identical twin to Andrea. The ‘wild one’ of the two.

Jacques Marcett: manager of the Urban Cowboy, originally from Quebec.

Lester Tibbett: former cowboy and Jed’s friend.

Patsi Tibbett: Lester’s younger sister back from the country.

Brett McMillan: Patsi’s former boyfriend and one of the ‘elite’.

Marigold Reynolds: artist and environmentalist. Her parents own a campground.

Ophelia Stanfield: rich California girl visiting her relatives, the McMillans.

Cory Roberts: owns the Urban Cowboy; likes dreadlocks and DJing.

Viann-Patrice Marcett: Jacques’s step-sister from Montreal.

Sherri Chan: college professor who goes with Lester Tibbett.

Tiffany Yuen: Martial arts instructor visiting from Toronto.

Lily Chan: Sherri Chan’s cousin who also works at the family restaurant.

Some Minor Players:

Tamara Spence: owner of the Brew café where Patsi works.

Carmen Lamont: owner of the Brew café where Patsi works.

Sherman Chan: Architect. Sherri’s brother. Goes with Carmen Lamont.

Rocky Carravagio: Scary looking brother of Andrea and Angela.

Jeremiah Reynolds: Will’s boss. Owns a campground.

Maizy Reynolds: Jeremiah’s wife.

Buck Stone: First Nations man who works at Jeremiah’s camp with Will.

Tad Roberts: Cory’s father and financier of the Urban Cowboy.

Dr. Lawler: has a brief relationship with Viann.

Crystal: waitress at the Urban Cowboy.

Millicent Peacock: nosy neighbour who lives in the apartment building.

Ma and Pops Malloy: The parents who started it all.

   (The three sisters still in Newfoundland):

Fanny: 33  – married to Joe with 3 kids

Mary: 29 – married to ‘Dr.’ Trent with two kids

Sissy: 28 – married to Hank with four kids

Characters from Neighbours Series I referenced in Series II:

Megan McMillan: Patsi’s friend and sister to Brett.

Emmanuel Fernandez: Megan’s boyfriend whom she eventually marries.

Elaine and Bruce McMillan: Brett’s lawyer parents involved in a scandal.

Steve Russell: Newspaper columnist who dates Tamara Spence.

Matonabee Spence: Tamara’s young son.

Goldie Harper: Lives in the apartment and goes with Tad Roberts.

Jason Harper: Goldie’s son.

Vinny Kirkpatrick: retired newspaper reporter.

Renee Tucker: Carmen Lamont’s niece, who used to date Cory Roberts.

Pre-sales of Volume 2 – NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH – BO are on now! 

Accountability Progress Report

If I was in business, I would say that the first quarter of 2017 has come and gone. In fact, we’re two weeks into the second quarter. But wait… I AM in business. I’m a writer, and I set some pretty lofty goals for myself at the beginning of this year. In fact, my ‘word’ for 2017 is ACCOUNTABILITY, so this post is one way of maintaining that focus one quarter in.

While I’m not one hundred percent up to the mark with all of my writing and publishing goals, I feel like I am making very good progress. In fact, you may already know that Volume 1 in the NEIGHBOURS sequel released on Saturday.

NEIGHBOURHOOD TANGLE – Volume 1 – JED is now available on Amazon. It is the first novella length instalment in the continuing series. (There are seven in all) I shared the blurb in a previous post 

Here is how the rest of the series is shaping up:

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH – Volume 2 – BO – release date April 30

NEIGHBOURHOOD REBEL – Volume 3 – REBA – release date  May 15

NEIGHBOURHOOD UPSTART – Volume 4 – PIP  – release date May 30

NEIGHBOURHOOD FREEDOM – Volume 5 – WILL – release date June 15

NEIGHBOURHOOD CUPID – Volume 6 – ZEB – release date June 30

NEIGHBOURHOOD WRAP  – Volume 7 – FINALE – July 15

KEEPING UP WITH THE NEIGHBOURS COMPLETE SERIES 2 – release date July 30 (paperback and ebook)

Please stay tuned for more details on the final launch. I am releasing each novella separately, but hope to make the final book launch of the complete series a bit more ‘splashy’.

 

NEIGHBOURHOOD TANGLE – JED

This short volume – the first in a seven part series that follows the Malloy family, whom we met in NEIGHBOURS Series 1, is set to release on April 15.

Keeping Up With the Neighbours: 

Volume 1 – Neighbourhood Tangle – JED

Look out! The Malloy family are taking over the neighbourhood! Jed – a ‘down-home’ boy from Newfoundland who’s a bit rough around the edges – moved ‘out west’ several years ago, but now his raucous family are joining him, one by one. A confirmed bachelor, Jed finds himself attracted to a hairdresser who he mistakes for her identical twin sister. Just when Jed thinks he’s ready for love, he finds out that their moral standards don’t align. In anguish he turns to alcohol – the one true friend that has never let him down.

 

 

 

Note to readers: This series, although labelled ‘Christian’, contains elements that may be disturbing to some readers, such as the use of alcohol and pre-marital sexual encounters. (The latter take place ‘off camera’.) There is, however, a faith based element throughout with a strong redemptive message at the end of the series.

PRE-ORDER DETAILS!

 

How I Spent My Spring Break – WorDshops!

Steinbach

It was a whirlwind WorDshop tour this past few weeks, with three stops on my schedule. First up, the Steinbach, MB event where I was hosted by the wonderful Barbara Ann Derksen – an amazing mystery writer in her own right. I was the keynote presenter with two sessions on the ‘Call to Authenticity’. I also did a workshop on a marketing model I’ve put together which I call ‘Get Your Platform Moving’ and author Celesta Theissen did a session called “How to Overcome ‘I Can’t'”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regina

The next weekend I attended the Regina, SK WorDshop and did some ‘light duties’ as Inscribe’s VP. I also sat on a panel about ‘Time Management’. There were several awesome sessions by Janice Dick, Sharon Plumb, Alison Lohans, and Sally Meadows.

 

Fast forward another week and it was off to Blackfalds, AB to another WorDshop event with organizer Marcia Laycock who gave some profound keynote addresses along  with poet Susan Plett, who led us in some free writing. It was a deep day with lots to reflect on later… (And I had the privilege of teaching a session on blogging.)

it was a fantastic two weeks of learning,  sharing and re-connecting with other writers. But alas… it is back to reality today and my ‘day job’ teaching – which isn’t so bad since I like what I do!

Plus, I’m looking forward to one more WorDshop in May in Fort St. John, BC.

How To Overcome ‘I Can’t’

Celesta Thiessen

I attended a workshop recently by author Celesta Thiessen with this very title. It was a very practical and worthwhile session, dealing with overcoming the obstacles that many authors feel when it comes to their writing. One of the things I appreciated about the session was how she focused first on the spiritual aspect of things before moving into the more ‘practical’ applications.

She talked about the need to deal with three spiritual areas in our life: unforgiveness, sin , and lies – and even allowed quiet time for reflection to let God speak to each one about what things we might need to ask forgiveness for, confess as sin, or identify as ‘lies’ from the devil. (Example: Your writing is no good; no one will ever want to read what you’ve written; you’re not really a writer etc…) As she so correctly pointed out, these spiritual areas can have a negative affect on our ability to carry out the calling to write.

Then she moved on to some practical  ways writers can gain encouragement, such as finding and connecting with writer friends –  both local and online – and participating in writing challenges like nanowrimo.

I especially liked her list of practical tips for success:

  1. Figure out what time of day is your best for writing and then try to write during that time.
  2. Find out what length of time is optimal for you and add that to your routine.
  3. Be intentional about your writing environment. Some people write in a specific location, have certain inspirational quotes etc. around, or what have you…
  4. Develop a routine and stick to it! Routines become habits and this takes away much of the resistance to write.
  5. Look after yourself – rest, nutrition, and other healthy habits are part of writing success. She talked about using light therapy for depression or getting whatever other kind of help you might need.
  6. Using external deadlines can be a huge motivator for indie authors. Some great examples are: setting up an Amazon ‘pre-order’ – if you don’t get the final copy uploaded by the date, those who pre-ordered will get the rough draft! Another great idea is organizing a book launch date in advance, which forces you to finish it by that date. Another (which I will probably never try!) is ‘Write or Die’ – an app which starts erasing your words if you aren’t meeting your own preset goals.

In all, this was a wonderfully practical workshop. Thank you to Celesta for sharing this valuable information with us at the Steinbach WorDshop.

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