Nancy Weston

With books running from mysteries to memoir, Nancy notes: “As I have matured, met people, had encounters, failures and triumphs and learned about life, I have filed away hundreds of interesting characters, events, encounters and sights. Now my mind fills with stories to share and my challenge is to select the one that is right to tell right now.”

Her works include:

  • Digger’s Izzy
  • Valley of Shadows
  • Ice in the Guise of Fire (published August 2022)
  • The Cruelty of Swallows (to be published later in 2022)

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

Not really.  I have a list of stories in my mind that I want to tell.  Once I find the one that inspires me at the moment, I pretty much devote myself to getting the outline, then a rough draft of the story.  Then I may set it aside and work on something else or do something entirely different than writing.  Once I come back to it, my mind is fresh and I read it again.  This helps a lot!  Once I get a complete story arc that I like, I get an edited copy for my beta readers.  While they read the manuscript, I take another break.  Once I get their feedback, I may mull over their commentary or not, but I don’t rush into the next draft.  Time is my best friend in the process.  Once I start work again, it is to complete a final draft of the work, although that may be many revisions later.  When I have a complete final draft, I send it to be edited again. 

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

Only that I like background noise, music or even the television in the background.  I prefer to be alone, but it’s not necessary so long as there isn’t conversation in the room where I am working. 

Who do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

Write.  I find that there is always something to write about – even if it is what if feels like to hit a wall.  Is it frightening?  Is it frustrating?  Am I blank or is it that there are too many competing thoughts.  Whatever, it is a story to tell and it is movement in the process. 

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between?

I start with a preliminary outline, very loose, but especially character development; who is the cast of this story?  That is typically where the flow of the story begins.  I might also list locations, sometimes a preliminary timeline.  I might take a moment and put down very two dimensionally what I want the story to say.  Once I start writing, it goes where it goes.  And sometimes I get surprised where the story leads.  That’s the fun and the creative part of the process.

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

Maybe Circe by Madelaine Miller.  I like Greek mythology and I loved the female take on the stories I have read and heard about all my life.  Before that definitely Hunger Games!  For some reason, I couldn’t put that one down.  Not a great book but a compellingly fascinating story idea.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

I rarely recommend books unless I get an idea of what a person might like.  I have a fairly eclectic appetite – which is why I belong to a book club so I get exposed to books I wouldn’t just pick up and read.  Some I like and others not so much.  I am always surprised at the fact that books I like, others don’t and vice versa.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

Right now I am doing a lot of research for a story idea so mostly non-fiction like The Dawn of Everything (Graeber and Wenbrow).  I like Dan Brown and I’d love to fall in love with an author.  Hasn’t happened for a while.  I was in love with James Michener, James Clavell, Agatha Christy, Michael Crichton, John Grisham and others.  No one lately.  Maybe I am just overwhelmed by the sheer volume of good work out there to be read right now.

Find Nancy Weston online

Genalea Barker

Genalea has an Associate’s Degree in English Literature and a deep-seated passion for stories which highlight mental health and body positivity. Her short fiction has been recognized by Idaho Creative Authors Network, Idaho Writers Guild, and Women on Writing. Select works have been published with Bookends Review, Grande Dame Literary, Gemini Magazine, and Writers in the Attic: Rupture.

Watch for these Young Adult Contemporaries:

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I’m a busy mom to four young children, so my “routine” is mainly to write whenever I have both the time and brain power to do so. Usually late at night after everyone is in bed, and occasionally during the school day when I only have my toddler at home with me. 

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

Not particularly, though I do like to have something caffeinated nearby, especially if I’m on a tight deadline, or working on tedious edits. Chocolate helps, too. 😉

What do you do when you hit a wall with your writing?

Typically, take some time off to read during what would normally be my “writing time.” Often times immersing myself in someone else’s words will help my boggled brain relax and find the right words again. Other times, I’ll change gears, so to speak. If I hit a wall with a full-length manuscript, I might take time out to write a short story, personally essay, or blog post. 

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between?

Though I fall somewhere between being a “plotter” and a “pantser”, I do lean a little more toward figuring it out as I go. I always reach a point with my plotting where I can’t do it anymore and I just need to see where my characters take me. 

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

I often find myself recommending Kelly deVos, a Young Adult author. Her books feature a lot of body positivity, which I think is very important for readers of all ages, but especially young readers. 

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

Currently: We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz, The Secret Cure by JD Spero, and about ten others. 

What advice do you have for readers?

Only read the books you want to. It’s okay to not finish a book you really hoped you would like. Always, always, always leave a review, especially if you finish a book by an indie author, and NEVER return an eBook after you read it. 

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

Laurie Halse Anderson. Her books were some of the first that truly burrowed into my soul and made me realize I wanted to be an author one day. I’d love to talk process and inspiration with her, sure, but mostly I’d just love to thank her. 

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

When I was in first grade, my parents brought home our first computer. One of the first things I learned to do was create “books” using the Paint program. The “illustrations” were truly terrible, but it didn’t stop me from printing those “books” out and reading them to my entire class at school. I’m so grateful to those teachers who indulged me. 

What books and/or authors have most influenced you as an author?

Laurie Halse Anderson, Kathleen Glasgow, Kelly deVos, Ashley Woodfolk

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do you least enjoy about being a writer?

I love the catharsis of being able to give a character exactly what they deserve. I least enjoy that place about 2/3 of the way through a manuscript where I know what I want to happen and how it will influence the final outcome of the book, but I don’t quite now how to make it happen. 

What would you tell a new writer?

Find good writer friends and critique partners, and don’t be afraid to share your work and accept feedback. It’s how you’ll grow. 

Find Genalea Barker online:

Ellis “Skip” Knox

Ellis L. (Skip) Knox is a writer, medieval historian, and the creator of the fantasy world called Altearth, a place where magic is real, monsters roam the land, and the Roman Empire never fell.

His work includes several short stories published in online magazines as well as these intriguingly titled novels:

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I have a study with my books, computer, and table. I write four days a week (I’m retired), usually for two to four hours.

Do you have any patterns or rituals associated with your writing time?

Not really. I’m organized, but I ain’t that organized!

What do you do when you hit a wall with. your writing?

I declare it isn’t a wall, and keep writing. That is, I’ll do research, make notes, write fragments of scenes, anything to keep going.

Do you plan your book in advance (plotting and outlining) or are you a “discovery writer” (AKA “writing into the dark”)? Or are you somewhere in between?

Definitely in between. I’ve always planned, though the book goes off on tangents almost from the start. I used to worry about this, but now I don’t. 

What’s the last book you read that made you go “wow!”?

Probably the first couple of volumes of Josiah Bancroft’s Books of Babel series.

What book or author do you find yourself recommending and why?

Joseph Conrad for descriptions, Raymond Chandler for dialog, Ray Bradbury for poetic prose just this side of purple, Robert Howard for the purple stuff, Leo Tolstoy for pure story telling. Patrick O’Brian for all things naval, plus how to write good historical dialog.

What’s on your To Be Read pile?

A tower so packed and tall I’m hard-pressed to even describe it.

What advice do you have for readers?

Slow down. Especially if it’s a book with good prose. Give the author an even break.

What author, past or present, would you wish to have a long conversation with? Why?

Two, Joseph Conrad and Jack London. Both for the same reason: to hear them tell the story of their life.

Do you have early memories of reading or writing you’d like to share?

I’ve always read. The first time I remember a book grabbing me was A Tale of Two Cities, which I read in 7th grade. The first that entranced me was Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. I fell in love with the prose so hard, I actually typed (on a manual typewriter) entire chapters, just so I could chew the words. And, of course, my first read of Lord of the Rings, which I encountered in 1966. My first fantasy story (well, I did read The Hobbit immediately prior, in the same year).

What books and/or authors have lost influenced you as an author?

The ones I’ve already mentioned. Tolstoy, Conrad, Chandler and Hammett, Bradbury, plus Asimov, … oh, too many to recall.

What do you most enjoy about being a writer? What do you least enjoy about being a writer?

Writing. And writing. It’s the old line: I hate writing, but I love having written.

What would you tell a new writer?

Just write. Ideas aren’t stories. Finish: an incomplete story is not a story at all; only finished counts. Best advice: be prepared to ignore any and all advice.

Find him online at:

Christi Nogle

Horror. Dark science fiction. Weird fiction. Literary realism. These are the realms author Christi Nogle travels. She’s published one novel, Beulah — set in a fictional small town in Idaho, loosely based on Buhl and Emmett.

Her short stories have appeared in over fifty publications including PseudoPod, Escape Pod, Vastarien, Nightscript, and Dark Matter Magazine

Beginning in early 2023, she’ll have three short story collections released: The Best of Our Past, the Worst of Our Future (horror), Promise (dark science fiction and futuristic fantasy), and One Eye Opened in That Other Place (weird fantasy).

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I like to write in the evenings, usually in the living room with my dogs resting beside me. If it’s nice out, I also like to write on the patio with the dogs playing in the yard. There are a lot of writing-related tasks like submissions, editing, working on critiques for writers, and I usually do these in the morning in my home office.

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E. G. Moore

A vibrant and engaged author of YA and middle grade books from northern Idaho, E. G. has published two books, both middle grade novels:

  • Rowdy Days of Dom Sanders, a historical murder mystery
  • Moon Daughter Rising, a Native American mythology fantasy

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I have seasons of writing routines, mostly dictated by my roles as mother, wife, and worker. I often spend a lot of time developing bits and bobbles of the story mentally before I sit down to write it. Usually I write late at night in spurts, tucked away either in my office or my bedroom with a hot tea and chocolate. I also try to have at least two writing retreats per year. The pandemic put a damper on that, but when I do those, I write like crazy to finish a draft usually. It’s hard to get a lot of work done in one setting at home with three kiddos who need me, so this is a golden opportunity to feel like I really accomplished something.

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Judith Keim

“Stories with heart” is how you’d describe Judith’s books. A USA Today Bestselling Author, she writes women’s fiction with a touch of romance, featuring strong women facing challenges and finding love along the way.

She is a prolific author and has over thirty-five books either published or available for pre-order.

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I’m lucky enough to have an office to write in and I write every day. The early hours are spent taking care of social media, administrative things — and then I tell myself I must write 1,000 words per day. I usually do.

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Glida Bothwell

Most recently capturing 19th century America’s struggles in the time-travel historical fiction story Abbey’s Journey: A Long Trail Home, Glida has written screenplays, short stories, flash fiction (including participating in Fiction 101), and memoirs.

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

No routine, but I like to write in the morning. I write whenever I have an idea that needs to be put on the page, or when I can motivate myself to start. I write in my “office” — a space in our sunroom. But with my laptop, I can write anywhere. Sometimes I like to write in longhand as it helps me with the flow.

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Michael Corrigan

Michael Corrigan was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He holds an MA in English from San Francisco State and attended the American Film Institute to study screenwriting. He was nominated for a Pushcart prize for the short story, “Free Fall.” He often draws upon his Irish heritage in his works, which include:

  • Mulligan: A Celtic Romance
  • In the River Bottoms
  • Brewer’s Odyssey
  • A Year and a Day
  • Confessions of a Shanty Irishman
  • Down the Highway
  • These Precious Hours

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I usually write in the morning at a quiet computer lab at the university. I like having that silent space to write, which includes articles for the local paper.

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Margo Kelly

Looking for a gripping YA thriller delving into the tricky area of trust? Margo Kelly has you covered with her books:

  • Who R U Really?
  • Unlocked

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I typically do freelance editing in the morning, then my own writing and revising in the afternoon. My favorite place to write is in my office next to my window, which looks out into my garden full of berries: raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries.

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Bonnie Dodge

Author of several novels, a book of essays, co-author of two anthologies and a children’s book, Bonnie’s titles include:

  • Goldie’s Daughter
  • Waiting
  • Hauntings from the Snake River Plain (written with Patricia Santos Marcantonio)

Do you have a writing routine? Where and when do you write?

I have a corner office in my home and write there but I have a laptop computer so I can write anywhere and have often. I don’t have a set schedule any more, I used to, but now I write whenever I can get a chance to sit down. I try to write something every day.

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