Author Archive

happyhalloweenWe have a full slate this weekend for our annual Halloween celebration.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25th, ALL DAY

* We’ll be reading stories for a variety of ages between 11am and 3pm.

* Poet, songwriter and storyteller Linda McCarthy will perform from 3pm to 4pm.

* Our “Ghost of Honour” Basil Rathbone will read tales from Edgar Allan Poe from 4pm to 5pm.

* Author of crime fiction and dark fantasy Dave Zeltserman will sign his newest book THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS from 5pm to 6:30pm.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26TH, ALL DAY

Three authors in the genre of pet noir will be reading, speaking and signing.

* 12noon-2pm – Liz Mugavero and her canine friend Shaggy

* 2pm-4pm – Barbara Stretton presents “Tea with Tori Trotter”

* 4pm-6pm – Clea Simon

We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Gelth_ZombieIt’s the spookiest time of year, and here at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, located at 65 James Street,  we’re celebrating Halloween with items from the world’s longest-running science fiction serial DOCTOR WHO and America’s very first supernatural soap opera  DARK SHADOWS.

* Bring home some creepy creatures appropriate to the season.  We have action figures of some of DOCTOR WHO’s haunting and otherworldly antagonists… the Gelth Zombie… the Smiler… Francesco the Vampire… Dalek Sec in his hybridized humanoid form… and many more!

DWM479_COVER* The newest monthly issue of DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE has arrived, with the scary cover caption “HEAVEN OR HELL?” Articles in DWM #479 include a preview of the Series 8 finale and the challenges faced by Peter Capaldi as he wraps up his first season as The Twelfth Doctor, interviews with actors Paul McGann [the Eighth Doctor] and Samuel Anderson [Danny Pink], writer Peter Harness and producer Derrick Sherwin, and more!

* The Big Finish audio productions of new and ongoing stories from the world of DARK SHADOWS make delightfully frightening listening at this time of year.  We carry the full line of audiobook readings and full-cast dramas, featuring David Selby (Quentin Collins), Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), John Karlen (Willie Loomis), Robert RodanLysette Anthony, Alec Newman, Lizzie Hopley, Jerry Lacy, and David Warner.

Come and scare yourself with toys, audios, magazines and more at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester!

Not Over You - Amanda Torrey 600x900This week’s Friday Author Spotlight shines on Amanda Torrey, author of a YA paranormal series and a contemporary romance series, both set in New England towns. Amanda was also the other half of our fun Journey Into An Author’s Imagination panel back in September.

Thank you so much for joining us, Amanda. Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing?

I’m a homeschooling mom of three of the world’s most amazing teenagers. I’m also a part-time preschool teacher, and I own a small business (Stuffing Station- a make-your-own-stuffed-animal business.) I am currently working on a small town, contemporary romance series set in a fictional New Hampshire town. Book three was recently released. Next year I plan to return to the Teen Fury universe-my young adult paranormal series.

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from your newest release?

I write young adult paranormal and adult contemporary romance, all set in small New England towns. The common factor, I think, is that all of my books feature characters you can relate to. Even if the teenager has snakes coming out of her head, she’s relatable on multiple levels. I’m also a huge fan of well-earned happily-ever-afters.

My most recent release is the third book in my Healing Springs contemporary romance series.

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

I rent an office away from my house—otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done. (Too many distractions, interruptions, and ways to procrastinate!) I like to write at a desk, which is fully stocked with whichever candy I’m addicted to at the moment (for my most recent work, my “muse candy” was peanut M&Ms!) I decorated my space with inspirational posters, I have a white board with motivational quotes and my weekly goals, and I have a futon with comfy pillows and blankets for when I want to stretch out with my laptop. I also have a shelf with my writing reference books.

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

I need silence. I got used to writing amidst the chaos of a busy family life, but I have a much easier time if I’m away from it all. I can’t have music or TV in the background. The only kind of music I can have is instrumental, and my preference is to not have that, either. I can write in a public place (Panera Bread is one of my favorite spots), but if anyone is conversing around me, I’m easily pulled out (writers are notoriously nosy!)

Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?

I can’t write with my dogs around—they are worse than having toddlers! Constant need for Amanda Torrey_Headshotattention, treats, walks, etc. I can’t ignore them—they’re too adorable! (And if I ignore them, they’ll pee on the floor.) I have two Jack Russell Terriers (or Jack Russell Terrorists, as a friend calls them), and a dachshund/toy poodle mix. She’s the easy one. The JRTs are the trouble makers!

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

I think the most challenging part is to not give up. It’s easy to think about writing a book. It’s easy to come up with ideas. It’s even easy to get a few pages written. But making the commitment to write an entire novel, to work out any problems you encounter, and to complete the project can sometimes feel insurmountable. I’m at a point now where I understand my process, so working through the problems is easier. It hasn’t always been that way, though! Now that I think of writing as a career rather than a hobby, I don’t allow myself the luxury of “waiting for the Muse” or of stopping in the middle of a tough project.

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

I absolutely recommend checking with ABSW first! My books are also available at all of the online ebook retailers. (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google Play, etc.)

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

I love to be non-creepily stalked! You can sign up for my newsletter on my website (www.amandatorrey.com) You can also find links to all of my social media profiles on there. I’m most active on Facebook.

Thank you, again, Amanda for being on our Friday Author Spotlight blog!

Hapennycvr-withawardHappy Halfway-to-Halloween!

Also—Halfway to NaNoWriMo! That’s National Novel Writing Month, where one tries to complete a 50,000-word work in thirty days, for those of you who may not be familiar with this annual event. Therefore this week’s Events Buzz Monday is of special interest to those of you interested in writing!

(For those of you not aspiring to be writers, don’t worry—there’s plenty going on for everyone!)

For writers, we have a special All-Day Writers Workshop on November 8 by award-winning authors and publicist, Jennifer Carson, Trisha J. Wooldridge, and Jennifer Allis Provost. The workshop will run from 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM and will cover The Craft of Writing and Editing, the Many Paths to Publication, and Promoting and Marketing Your Work. Participants can also submit the first five pages of their work, their submission packet (query letter and synopsis), or a marketing proposal for critique. Participants MUST pre-register; registration of $40 includes lunch and the workshop, $50 includes lunch, critique, and the workshop. Suitable for adults and teens. Register in-person or over the phone at ABSW or with one of the instructors. For more details, check out our event listing on Facebook!

For writers taking part in NaNoWriMo—or who just want a quiet place among books to work on their fabulous manuscripts—ABSW will have “Come Write In” places set up for writers throughout the month of November. Space and tables will be available on Tuesdays 11AM-7PM, Fridays 11AM-8PM (with the exception of 11/28, when it will be 11AM-5PM), and Sundays 11AM-4PM. Coffee, water, and light snacks will also be available for a small donation.

Of course, many of our events feature local authors and writers, who can also share tips about the writing process and their roads to publication. Here’s a look at who else is coming out to the store!

October 18, Saturday, 12-2 PM – Da Tech Guy – POSTPONED, new date to be announced

October 25, Saturday, SPOOOOOKY STORYTIME – All Day!

ABSW hosts their annual Halloween party for all ages!

* 11am-2pm: Read-aloud for kids aged 3 and up, performed by staff and ABSW friends

* 2pm-3pm; A creepy story for ages 10 and up, performed by our intern Zachary P.

* 3pm to 4pm: A spooky tale-and-sing-along session with local storyteller Linda McCarthy [RSVP recommeded due to limited space]

* 4pm-5pm: Our “Ghost of Honour” Basil Rathbone returns from beyond the grave and reads several tales by Edgar Allan Poe

* 5pm to 6:30pm: Boston author Dave Zeltserman signs his newest book THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS

* 7pm to 8:30pm: Members of Broad Universe read some of their works fit for an autumn evening.

October 26, Sunday, 12-6PM

Are you a cat or animal lover? What about a cat mystery lover? Feline Forensics! Join us for three events in one day with cat mystery authors. 12-2 PM will feature Liz Mugavero and her canine companion, Shaggy, to discuss the intricacies of feline and canine forensics; 2-4 PM will feature Barbara Stretton and “Time with Tori” Trotter; and 4-6 PM will feature Clea Simon discussing how writers from Shakespeare on steal tails-er-tales.

NEW LISTING: November 15, Saturday, 2-4PM

Michael Dobbs will be signing his new book, Fifteen Minutes With: Forty Years of Interviews, which presents many of the celebrity interviews he has conducted as a journalist. Dobbs also discusses the mechanics of interviewing someone, especially within the limited time frame usually granted to local reporters.

NEW LISTING: November 22, Saturday, 3-5PM

Howard Odentz, author of Dead (a Lot!) will be celebrating the release of his latest novel, Bloody, Bloody Apple with a reading and event at ABSW!

November 29, Saturday, ALL DAY

Want to support local businesses and authors this holiday season? Do you have readers on your list who like a little scare now and then? Stop by our special Small Business Saturday! “Put All Your Fears in One Basket!” event. Just because holiday shopping isn’t scary enough, The New England Horror Writers will descend on ABSW with readings from fourteen different authors to entertain you and awesome books to buy for your holiday shopping needs.

And don’t forget our regular events!!

Spinning Yarns – Spinning Yarns happens on Mondays at 7PM. Join us for a crafty evening with audiobooks and more!

Literary Genre Trivia Night – Literary Genre Trivia Night will be happening on the second Wednesday of every month. Our next Trivia Night will be on November 12, from 7-8, we’ll be quizzing folks on Romantic Suspense.

Literary Genre Trivia Reprise – For those who can’t make the Wednesday night Literary Genre Trivia night, we’ll be holding a reprise of it on the third Sunday of the month from 3-5 PM—for the previous month. So, for Sunday, October 19, we will bring back “Strictly Science Fiction!” and Sunday, November 16th, we’ll bring back “Heeere’s Horror!”

Worcester Storytellers – Worcester Storytellers regularly meets on the fourth Friday of every month from 7-8:30 PM for an Open Mic and featured reader. The next event is Friday, October 24, featuring Jennifer Freed.

We hope all of our friends and patrons are having a wonderful autumn, and may your world be filled with wonderful words!

10062014 Talisman TehutiAnnie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to host Claudia R. Dillaire in our Author Spotlight blog. Claudia will be visiting the store with her latest novel, The Talisman of Tehuti, this Friday at 7 PM. She is a passionate researcher of ancient civilizations and their religious practices. Using her twenty plus years of material, she has written three books on Egyptian magic and two historical mysteries set under the reign of Ramesses III.

Thank you so much for joining us, Claudia! I know you do a lot of research for all your books, so can you share with us a little bit more about it? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

My research is as varied as the kings of Egypt. I mix scholarly texts with juvenile titles – each one has a wealth of information which can be woven into a novel. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned the ancient Egyptians had a criminal justice system quite similar to our own; twelve magistrates, from all occupations, sat in judgment of the accused. There were no jails, punishment was swift, often involving servitude of some sort. Some cool facts involve the occupations women had – they could even be magistrates. And, some of the stuff I found out I cannot reveal, since I’m saving those choice bits for later books in the series.

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

I have always been a fan of the mystery/detective genre. I read Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, Earle Stanley Gardner, and Jim Thompson. Raymond Chandler is also a favourite. Plus, I am fascinated with how the criminal mind works. Historical mystery is fabulous for an author. I can take real historical characters, invent additional characters, and use actual events to create crimes. However, there are difficulties – crime solving techniques were basic. And, I must always be aware of patterns of speech and how long it took for news to travel. I think readers enjoy being transported to another place and time, especially readers today. They are savvy enough to spot inconsistencies, so historical accuracy is tantamount.

10102014 - Dillaire Photo

What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

My favourite part of being a writer is the creation of character and story. I have planned a twelve-novel series in the Qaa Mysteries. And, I get to work with some of the most incredibly knowledgeable people at Pendraig Publishing. I have been very fortunate with all the publishers with whom I have worked. Each has been respectful of my opinion and my input into my vision for my books. I love the challenge of a blank screen and letting the words flow – the editing is where I find the errors in judgment, or the phrases that just don’t work. My greatest lesson is that nothing is impossible. I have received my fair share of rejection letters, but each one only made me want to write better.

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Don’t be afraid. I have contacted famous people out of the blue, even before the publication of my first book. The worst thing you can hear is “no.” Another good piece of advice is to reach out to other writers, either online, or by finding a local writers’ group. The process of writing is a solitary occupation – interaction with like-minded people who can critique, but not criticize, can only make you a better writer.

What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?

This question goes hand-in-hand with another, “What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?” I work hard to balance my writing life and my non-writing life. I belong to the Rising Tide Writers in Harwich, MA, which meets one morning a week. I play Mah Jongg at least once a week. I have been a philatelist for more years than I care to disclose (LOL). I am addicted to Sudoku, Wordoku, cryptograms, and Jumbles. I also love to do counted cross stitch and have a passion for languages. I have so many hobbies and interests it’s hard to cram them all into a week. Some of them are waiting patiently for the day I can retire and spend more time in leisure pursuits, along with my structured writing schedule.

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW, of course.)

My work is available on amazon.com and several of the titles are ebooks.

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

You can follow me on Facebook…

https://www.facebook.com/Claudia.R.Dillaire?ref=bookmarks

https://www.facebook.com/Claudia.Dillaire

…and I am planning to start a blog soon on WordPress.com.

Thank you, again, Claudia, for the lovely interview! We look forward to your visit this Friday!

10062014 Talisman TehutiHappy October to all our friends at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester! For many of us, this is our favorite time of year. We love the spooky, the odd, the unusual, and the cute! So, we’re celebrating all month long, and we’re planning well into November now, too!

Look what we’ve got coming up:

THIS FRIDAY!! October 10, Friday, 7-9 PM

Like magick? Like Ancient Egypt? Claudia Dillaire will return to celebrate her latest novel, The Talisman of Tehuti, and discuss her research in Egyptian Magick.

October 13, Monday, 2-5 PM

Into crafts or cute and cunning foxes? Want something to do with the kids on their day off? Hafta Craft: Fall Foxes are Fantastic! Be prepared to make fox puppets, masks, and other foxy favorites. All ages invited; adults encouraged!

NEW LISTING: October 18, Saturday, 12-2 PM

Da Tech Guy, political persona and huge Doctor Who fan from the Money Matters radio network, will be broadcasting live from ABSW! You can hear his show on local channels WBNW 1120 AM, WPLM 1390 AM, and WESO 970 AM.

October 25, Saturday, ALL DAY

ABSW has their annual Halloween party for all ages! Spoooooky Storytime: Read-aloud for kids in the morning; spooky sing-alongs in the afternoon; and grown-up scares from local authors in the evening!

October 26, Sunday, 12-6PM

Are you a cat or animal lover? What about a cat mystery lover? Feline Forensics! Join us for three events in one day with cat mystery authors. 12-2 PM will feature Liz Mugavero and her canine companion, Shaggy, to discuss the intricacies of feline and canine forensics; 2-4 PM will feature Barbara Stretton and “Time with Tori” Trotter; and 4-6 PM will feature Clea Simon discussing how writers from Shakespeare on steal tails-er-tales.

November 8, Saturday, 10:30 AM – 4 PM

Are you looking to break into publishing? Are you a writer looking to take your craft to a new level? Sign up for our Writer’s Workshop: From writing to publishing and get advice from award-winning authors, editors, and publicists Trisha Wooldridge, Jennifer Carson, and Jennifer Allis Provost on writing craft and self-editing, presenting and selling a manuscript, and marketing your book once it’s published. Participants can also request critiques of writing, query package, or marketing plan. (Pre-registration is mandatory. Cost: $40 for attendance, $50 with critique.)

November 29, Saturday, ALL DAY

Want to support local businesses and authors this holiday season? Do you have readers on your list who like a little scare now and then? Stop by our special Small Business Saturday! “Put All Your Fears in One Basket!” event. Just because holiday shopping isn’t scary enough, The New England Horror Writers will descend on ABSW with readings from fourteen different authors to entertain you and awesome books to buy for your holiday shopping needs.

And don’t forget our regular events!!

Spinning Yarns – Spinning Yarns happens on Mondays at 7PM. Join us for a crafty evening with audiobooks and more!

Literary Genre Trivia Night – Literary Genre Trivia Night will be happening on the second Wednesday of every month—so, THIS WEDNESDAY is our “Heeere’s Horror!” Genre Trivia Night for October. Join us on October 8th, from 7-8PM. The best score of the night wins a $10 gift certificate. Then, on November 12, from 7-8, we’ll be quizzing folks on Romantic Suspense.

NEW Literary Genre Trivia Reprise – For those who can’t make the Wednesday night Literary Genre Trivia night, we’ll be holding a reprise of it on the third Sunday of the month from 3-5 PM—for the previous month. So, for Sunday, October 19, we will bring back “Strictly Science Fiction!” and Sunday, November 16th, we’ll bring back “Heeere’s Horror!”

Worcester Storytellers – Worcester Storytellers regularly meets on the fourth Friday of every month from 7-8:30 PM for an Open Mic and featured reader. The next event is Friday, October 24, featuring Jennifer Freed.

Happy October to everyone—whether you’re Halloween fans or not. As always, may your world be filled with wonderful words!

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today ebook coverThis week the ABSW Friday Author Spotlight blog is happy to host Stacy Juba, one of our authors who presented at our Journey Into An Author’s Imagination panel. She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers.

Thank you very much for joining us, Stacy! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today?

Regardless of the genre and age group, all of my books feature characters at a crossroads. The characters are at a fork in the road where they can either continue down the same unfulfilling path or take a risk. In Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, my character Kris Langley is an obit writer who feels guilty about a childhood prank that led to tragedy. She discovers a 25-year-old unsolved murder on the microfilm and becomes obsessed with solving it as a way of redeeming herself from her past mistakes. As she ventures on this journey, Kris discovers that she has a knack for journalism and she finds unexpected romance, but before she can truly commit to these new paths, she needs to forgive herself. The book is a whodunit, but it also explores the character growth that Kris undergoes as a result of her decision to investigate this murder. 

What was the inspiration for Twenty-Five Years Ago Today? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

Several years ago, I worked as an obit writer and editorial assistant for a local newspaper, and later I became a reporter. One of my early tasks as the editorial assistant was using the microfilm to research the 25 and 50 Years Ago Today column. One day I had an idea: what if an editorial assistant stumbles across a cold case while flipping through the microfilm? The storyline and characters came to me almost immediately. I did some research for my Greek mythology subplot and I also interviewed a local police officer to find out how police detectives approach cold cases and what kind of penalty the killer would face 25 years later. I went through a lot of drafts and rewriting, but I am proud of this finished product.

How important has the New England setting been to your writing?

All of my books so far have had a New England setting. Living in a small New England town is what I know so writing about these settings comes naturally to me. I also use the seasons as a way to evoke mood. For example, my young adult thriller Dark Before Dawn is set in a Maine beach town during the fall, when all the tourists are gone. Twenty-Five Years Ago Today takes place in a Massachusetts town during the winter, and my reality TV-themed mystery beach read Sink or Swim is set in a Massachusetts town during the summer. My upcoming book Fooling Around With Cinderella isn’t set in New England, but it takes place in the Catskills. I’ve been there a couple times and have been to the White Mountains in New Hampshire loads of times, so I drew upon those experiences to describe a small Northeastern town in the mountains.  

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?Butch Adams

My home office used to be disorganized but this year I found that I had so many projects in the works, including starting a freelance editing business, that my office needed a makeover. I hung up two dry erase boards: one is a monthly calendar where I write all my writing goals, appointments, blog posts and guest blogs, and family events, and the other is a weekly calendar where I write my daily goals. I have hanging filing pockets on my wall with folders for projects such as my book-in-progress, backlist marketing plans, marketing ideas for the Cinderella book, my editing clients, and tasks and handouts for my high school intern who helps me with social networking and various promotion projects. My desk has a shelf on the side with my favorite writing books and I have a thick binder with notes and research for my Storybook Valley series. I have motivational posters and pictures on the walls, such as a big mountain range that says Perseverance underneath it. I need to have my plot outline around me while I’m writing and notes for the scene I’m writing. For example, if I’m working on a scene at a bridal shop I’ll have a list in front of me with several description details that I want to weave into the scene.

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

My upcoming release is a romantic comedy called Fooling Around With Cinderella, about a marketing coordinator who gets stuck dressing up as Cinderella for the summer at a children’s fairy tale theme park. This will be the first in my new Storybook Valley series. Each book will feature different lead characters, but readers will revisit with familiar recurring characters in the same theme park setting.

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

My books are all available on Amazon, Barnes& Noble.com, Kobo, the iBookstore, and Smashwords. They are available in print as well as in e-book and Audible audiobook formats.

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

Be sure to visit me on my website and blog: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/ Also check out my free downloads on this page of my site: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/short-stories/ and sign up for my newsletter: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/newsletter-subscription/

You can also follow me on:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stacy-Juba/100155471301

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacyjuba

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2988212.Stacy_Juba

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/stacyjuba/

Thank you so much for joining us, Stacy!!