Spotlight on J.R.Nichols and her book ‘Second Chance’

My good friend, and a member of the writing group I belong to, J.R. Nichols (Jamie), has just published her very first book on Amazon.

Moriah Walker is struggling to cope with the death of her son Joshua. Her life consists of nothing but working and visiting his grave.

So when a mysterious gentleman appears and offers Moriah the one thing she wants more than anything – the chance to see her beloved boy again – she is convinced that he is a product of her grief-stricken imagination.

 But Moriah cannot explain away the series of events that follow.

 Second Chance is the first story in TheSummervilles Saga, which chronicles the efforts of three alien races to survive invasion and unrest, and the first contact between them and the citizens of each of Earth’s Summervilles.

I am so excited for her, and I couldn’t wait to tell you all about Jamie and her book, so I had a chat with her and asked her a few questions:

Q1: What does it mean to you to have your first book for sale on Amazon?

A1: To have my first book for sale on Amazon means reaching a goal I have had for several years. 

Q2:  Tell us a little bit about your journey, how you arrived at this awesome milestone.

A2: I write short fiction and never thought I could find a market for my work due to my failure to find publication through the traditional route. The idea of self-publishing seemed daunting – there was (and still is!) a steep learning curve. When the time came to “pull the trigger” and publish, I had to face and overcome my fears of failure and rejection. However, I now understand that I have “won” already, just by crossing the “finish line.” But the ladies from my writing group encouraged me. One of the gals offered to let me borrow a book on publishing short stories. Just one little paragraph from that book, mentioning that there was a market online for short work, inspired and encouraged me to publish now, even if I *don’t* have a novel-length work.
Q3: What’s next for you? What can your readers look forward to?
A3: I have another book in the Summervilles Saga in the editing process now. My target release date is June 15th. After that, I intend to edit and release a gumshoe detective series I wrote for NaNoWriMo over the course of three years. Meanwhile, my readers can read free short stories on my website. I plan to put up one or two new stories per month.
Q4. Do you have any advice that you would give to other aspiring authors out there?
A4: My advice to new writers is two-fold. First, acknowledge and make peace with the fact that you cannot make someone buy a book. You can only put out a quality product and market within your knowledge and abilities. Do your part and leave the rest up to God. The second point goes hand in hand with the first. Make a plan, then keep your head down and work your plan. If you look up, you will find people prematurely suggesting you take a different approach, or you will hear horror stories that make you question your plan. Stay focused, and do what you believe will work. Do not let random advice or naysayers take you off course. Save the experimentation for your next project plan. Get to the “finish line” before you try “tweaks” or “tricks.”
Thank you so much, Jamie, for taking the time to answer these questions. You are an inspiration to me, and I am sure, many others.
 This is an exciting day for Jamie! A day many of us dream of and look forward to. Jamie gives us hope that we too can make it to this day!
Congratulations Jamie!


To visit J.R. Nichols website just click this link.

To buy her book from Amazon click here.

Am I a Poet?

The other day I was listening to this Writing Excuses Podcast. It featured a guest speaker named Linda Addison, who is a famous writer and poet. At the end of the podcast she challenged us to write what she called a “life poem” using the line. “Driving through the tears”. Let’s just say I was inspired. A poem immediately just seemed to pop into my mind. So I tweeted it. Mentioning Linda in the tweet.

Here is my poem:

Driving through the tears

pulling strength from deep within

Biting back bitter words

Head held high, I walk away

I must admit it was pretty exciting when Linda followed me, favorited my tweet,and even commented on it. Does that give me bragging rights? I don’t know, one poem?

What was REALLY exciting though, was how listening to that podcast, thinking about poetry in a different way, and even writing that poem affected me. Suddenly I see poetry everywhere!

One example was a funeral that my husband officiated on Tuesday. The Pastor always follows the lead car and leads the hearse. My husband has an eye condition that makes driving slowly behind another car difficult, so I usually play chauffeur in these instances. As I was sitting in the car, looking out over the cemetery, this poem came to me.

Cemeteries are lonely places

People huddle with their grief in the spaces between stones

Time moves on

So do the people; but the stones remain

Is it good enough to publish. I don’t know. But it is another way for me to use my words, and it makes me feel something I can’t explain. I kinda like this new way of looking at life.

If I write any more poems I’ll be sure to share them with you.

Subscribe if you don’t want to miss them.

Share if you think it deserves it.

I’d love to hear your comments and read any poems you’ve written in the comments.


The Post Where I Describe a Parking Garage

For Christmas this year I decided to buy myself the ‘James Patterson Masters Class’. I had decided that if I was going to be a writer it was time to stop playing at it and get serious; treat writing like it’s my job. So not only did I buy the Masters Class for myself, I have also started applying for freelance writing jobs that might actually provide some income. I’ll keep you posted.

So, in this Masters Class, in lesson 5, the assignment was to describe a parking garage. Seems easy enough. Part of the lesson though included James Patterson critiquing some former students descriptions, and I realized I needed to change what I originally thought about how to do it. In a nutshell he said “Cut the fluffy writing”, after all, it’s just a parking garage. So here is my attempt to describe a parking garage. I had to cut out quite a bit to get to this pared down version, but I think I did it. Feel free to tell me what you think, or better yet, add your own description of a parking garage in the comments below.

My Description:

The slapping of my sneakers echoed off the cement walls as I fled down the parking garage ramp. The fluorescent lights flickered and buzzed above me. I slid and fell to one knee as I hit the turn. I dared to look up from where I had come from and saw the spots of light on the wall getting bigger as a car approached. Its tires screeched as it turned.  I leapt to my feet and sprinted down the next ramp toward the exit sign.

Life’s Journeys

I have often heard the saying ‘Life is a Journey” but I think Life is a series of Journey’s. Sometimes one journey ends and then another begins. However, more often there are several journeys going on at once in our lives. That is where my life is right now. There is the journey of writing my first novel and learning all the things that go along with that. My son and I are also on a journey of Homeschooling. This is our third year of Homeschooling and so far we are loving this journey. I am also on a spiritual journey. This has been a lifetime journey that has taken me through many lessons and times of growth, joy, grief and any other emotion you can think of. There is also the journey of our family. Marriage, children growing up, parents getting older and all those moments that happen in families. I’m sure if I thought long and hard enough I could come up with others, and I believe all of us are on many different journeys at any given time and that is just how life is.

In the journey of writing my first novel that I plan to try to get published, I have made the decision to resurrect this blog that has been lying dormant for almost 6 years. I will be sharing with all of you that writing journey but I may also write about all those other journeys also. Because that is life, complicated and interwoven. One journey affects all the others and vice versa.

So I invite you to follow me on my journeys and yell at me if it’s been too long since I shared.