Friday, February 28, 2020

The Inspiration Behind Britfield & The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart @britfieldworld #fiction #writing

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The Inspiration Behind Britfield & The Lost Crown
By C.R. Stewart
First, a little about myself. I am originally from Newport Beach, California, and I have always been creative. I loved reading, movies and storytelling as a child, so all these areas had a huge influence on my life. Some of my favorite books growing up were The Mouse and the Motorcycle, by Beverly Cleary; James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl; and the Hardy Boys series. 

As I grew older, I enjoyed Charles Dickens and his ability to take a Shakespearean cast of characters and seamlessly weave them through his stories (Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations). I was heavily influenced by C. S. Lewis, his amazing depth and creativity as an author. Jane Austen captured the aristocracy, the intrigue, the forced etiquette and the psychological games and hypocrisies of the upper classes. The Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, wrote mysterious, romantic gothic novels that are powerful, moving and deep, such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Thomas Hardy took simple characters living in a rural setting and created complex, multilayered stories. And Daphne du Maurier, such as her epic novel Rebecca. I have visited most of the places these stories took place or were based on.

The Writing Assignment
My first real writing assignment, the one that I remember and that impacted me, was to write a book for sixth grade (around 30 pages). What a wonderful teacher and an amazing class. Can you imagine an assignment like that, where do you start? Well, you write about what you know and what you love. I loved the James Bond movies, so I wrote James Bond Eat Your Heart Out. I was a secret government agent working for the British government and had an assignment to track down a notorious villain. My partner was Jaclyn Smith (that should date me). We traveled all around Europe tracking down the villain and were involved in high-speed chases and plenty of combat. I had so much fun writing this and the experience never left me. I still have this book, wrapped in a leather binder with embossed lettering. This was when I knew I wanted to be a writer, it just took a long time to get there.

By eighteen, I was attending script classes and started writing feature-length films, which I worked on for the next 20 years in my free time (great training for a writer). I shifted to non-fiction and was eventually published for a non-fiction series I was writing, but felt I was getting away from my creative background of writing something fun, exciting and adventurous. Fast-forward to 2010 . . . 

Britfield & the Lost Crown
This is an interesting 2-part story. About 13 years ago I was traveling through Eastern Europe. I was in a local shop in Bratislava, Slovakia when I saw this wonderful ceramic balloon hanging from the ceiling. It was a round balloon with three ropes attached to a basket that had a boy and a girl. I can still see the image. I purchased the ceramic for my sister and her children, thinking nothing more about it. 

Three years later, I was working at an investment bank in Boston and was at a boring weekend seminar in Providence, RI. I started to drift so I began to doodle. I simply drew an image of a circle (balloon), three lines, and a basket with a boy and a girl. The idea for Britfield suddenly hit me—two orphans living at a horrible orphanage (Weatherly) in Yorkshire, England escape the awful conditions, commandeer a hot air balloon and head towards London. However, they are relentlessly chased by the illustrious Detective Gowerstone, who is renowned for finding missing children and runaway orphans. 

Four years and 2,500 hours later Britfield & the Lost Crown was completed. From conception to finally launching the first in the 7-book series (15 August 2019), it took ten dedicated years of patience and discipline. Since our launch, it has been amazing. As part of our 2019/20 Britfield School Tour, I have traveled 7,500 miles, through 15 states, and presented at 125 schools to 20,000+ students. Our 2020 Spring Tour will be 27 states, 150+ schools, and over 30,000 students. Our European/Eastern European Tour hopefully begins in Summer/Fall 2020.

As an author, I was previously published by Pelican. The process is long and difficult. Everything from finding a proper literary agent, to finally getting a publisher. The little secret that no one tells you is that publishers do relatively nothing to help authors sell their book (it’s all up to you), an archaic publishing model fast becoming extinct. It becomes a full-time job if you want success, such as marketing, media, book signings and events. 

I knew for the launch of the Britfield series (7-books) that we would need complete creative freedom and build a team to support the marketing, nationally and globally. This is why I founded Devonfield Publishing: we have built a national infrastructure, marketing company, and work with over 50 independent contractors, everything from graphic design, editing and printing to advertising, and media.

Advice for aspiring writers
I have heard three important things about writing: Write about what you know, write about what you love, and Write! I believe that for every final, published page, it will take an author around 4-5 hours to complete. Which means a 100 page book will take between 400-500 hours to complete. Also, writing is 10% writing and 90% rewriting (editing). If you asked most writers what is the one thing that they most need, it’s uninterrupted time. 

Story is everything. It can be simple or complex, but it must be interesting and well told. Find a unique story and start writing. First create your structure: beginning, middle and end. It’s easier when you think about the story in chapters: where’s the book going, what happens next and how will it end? Develop your characters and know them well—give them depth and obstacles that they must overcome. Do your research and master the subject you’re writing about. Also, read. Enjoy reading and understand what’s out in the market. Find writers you like and learn from them: how they tell a story, the way they structure or pace their narrative, how they describe things. Analyze these books and figure out what makes them interesting or compelling—why they’re successful or why they work as a novel. 

You never want to copy a style or another writer, but it’s essential to study the literary world you want to enter. If I were a painter, I would study other painters. If I were a composer, I would study other composers. It’s very important to develop your own style and what makes you unique, but this will come with time and experience.

Remember, nothing happens overnight. It takes commitment, discipline and endurance to produce an engaging and inspiring novel. To write and finish a book, you must first begin and spend time with it. Don’t worry about your first draft; just get your ideas and words onto paper (or the computer). Challenge yourself each day to produce a certain amount, perhaps two or three new pages. If you’re stuck on the next chapter, but you know what happens in another section, then jump to that scene. Just keep writing. If you can’t think of anything new, then start editing what you’ve already written, but just keep writing. 

This is the discipline and commitment needed to finish a book. However, it’s one thing to create your story, structure, characters and a compelling narrative; it’s another to edit. The more you edit, the better your story becomes; the more you edit, the more polished your writing becomes. Nevertheless, there is a time when you must finish and let it go, so you can move onto your next story. Most importantly, have fun. Write because you enjoy it.

Originally from Newport Beach, California, C. R. Stewart has twenty years of experience writing fiction, nonfiction, and movie screenplays. His areas of expertise also includes film and media production, global strategy, and international marketing.

Britfield & The Lost Crown was conceived as an idea over 10 years ago while I was enduring a boring finance seminar. It started as a sketch of a hot air balloon with a young boy and girl trapped inside. From this simple drawing sprang the entire concept and story for Britfield.”

C.R. Stewart received a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature and European History from Brown University; did post- graduate work at Harvard University; earned an MBA from Boston College; and is pursuing a Master of Science in Advanced Management and a PhD in Strategy.

Now based in San Diego, C.R. Stewart is a strong supporter of education and the arts. He enjoys world travel, reading, riding, swimming, sailing, tennis, and is currently on a National School Book Tour with Britfield & The Lost Crown speaking to students on the importance of creativity!


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Enter the World of Britfield: Adventure, Intrigue, Conspiracy, Mystery, and Suspense!

Tom has spent the majority of his life locked behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, but when he learns that his parents might actually be alive, Tom is determined to find them. Together, with his best friend Sarah and armed with only the word “Britfield” as a clue to Tom’s mysterious past, the two make a daring escape. Now, they are on the run from a famous Scotland Yard detective and what appears to be half of the police officers in England! The hunt is on, but will Tom and Sarah be able to evade capture long enough to solve an even bigger conspiracy that could tear apart the country?

Multiple Award-Winning Britfield & the Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart, is the first book in a thrilling seven-part series based on family, friendship, loyalty, and courage that is written for pre-teens, Y/A, and readers of all ages. Britfield and its heroes, Tom and Sarah, take readers on an epic adventure as they travel across England. With its stimulating language and stunning historical and geographical asides, Britfield engages the reader from the very first pages and doesn’t let go until it reaches its exciting conclusion!


“A perfect mixture of fast-paced excitement, heart-stopping surprises, fascinating history, and endearing characters with historical references scattered along the way. Tom and Sarah’s devotion to each other provides an excellent backdrop to the many mishaps and dangers in which they find themselves. I could see this book being used in a classroom setting both as a
literature piece and as a geographical and historical resource. Stewart’s clever narrative draws you in and doesn’t let you go till the end!”
– Dawn Weaver, Reader’s Favorite Book Reviews5 Stars!
“Tom just barely escapes the evil orphanage with his friend Sara to follow the clues that his long-lost parents may still be alive! Could Tom really be the heir to the British throne? Such a thrilling book filled with so much awesome history about England, crazy mysteries, and truly amazing characters. It had me hooked every second of reading it! I can’t wait for the sequel.”
– Hannah, Age 13, Kids’ Book Buzz5 Stars!
“An intriguing first-in-series read that is sure to capture the attention of the middle grade and young adult crowds. Readers journey through English cities and countryside beautifully rendered in the narrative. The book also includes maps and intelligent background information about the setting and history with access to online illustrations and commentaries. Britfield weaves plot, texture, storytelling, and fascinating characters into a winning combination and enriching experience.”
Chanticleer Book Review5 Stars!
“As a middle school English teacher of 28 years and a multiple bestselling author for middle grade books, I can honestly say Britfield and the Lost Crown has all the right stuff. Intriguing characters, foreshadowing, and suspense will draw readers in deep and have them gasping for breath for the next chapter and the next.”
– Wayne Thomas Batson, bestselling author of The Door Within Trilogy

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Monday, February 10, 2020

Knock, knock. Don’t be scared, it’s me, your writing process by Eva Mackenzie @evamackenzie #fiction #writing #zombies #scifi

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Knock, knock. Don’t be scared, it’s me, your writing process.

By Eva Mackenzie

When I began writing, I did not understand what I was getting myself into. I just assumed that because I liked to tell stories it was enough. That passion would carry me through all the ups and downs of the process. Believe me, I’m not downplaying passion for writing. I’m saying you're going to need a lot to keep up with the rigors of storytelling. The process is long and arduous. It also takes skill, learned and practiced by telling the stories you have.

So, here is a list (not exhaustive) of what I do each time I have a new story.

First, it always begins with the seed of the story. The idea. This can be something as small as ‘why would this person do–this thing?’ Once the seed is planted, I use outlining to bring my story idea into a coherent line of ideas that will be my story plot and character arcs. You need both. I am a hard-core plotter and will write out detailed scene cards for each chapter. The more information the better. Sometimes what I think will happen doesn’t, but the last thing I want to be is a ship at sea with a million different ways to travel, but no clear direction. This happened with my first novel and it took over ten years to finish.

Once I have a working outline, I write the first draft. This is the proverbial sand pile that will later be built into a beautiful castle. But if I don’t outline, I might miss something that will make my story great, so I am all about throwing as much sand (ideas) into the box before I build it up. I cannot edit as I write for this very reason. I would be perpetually improving something that may get thrown out later.

Once I have the story, I like to put it away for a few days/weeks if my schedule allows it. Ideally a month, but with publication deadlines and having all the balls in the air at one time, this is not always possible.

Next I read the story. I try not to make any changes at this stage, of course I always break this rule. Especially because I am reading the first draft on my computer, making small changes is so easy to do. One day I will stop this, but not now.

After my read through, I do rewrites. This is big picture things that brings my story into the second draft phase.
If I use a developmental editor, it will be after the second draft is complete. I will send it off and get a lovely letter back, stating what worked and what didn’t. This is very helpful for me as I write plot driven novels with a treasure map template. So, I need to provide the map to the readers, at the same time not giving everything away. You don’t want your readers scratching their heads at the end saying that made no sense. Yikes.

Then, once I have all my rewrites done in accordance with my editors’ recommendations, I will reread it. I lost track of how many times that’s been, but there are a few more to go. Yes, you will read your own novel a lot!

Then I will polish with line/copy edits. Oh boy, it’s all starting to come together and I am not hunched over my books so no one can accidently reads it…
This is what I label as the third draft. This is my work as pretty as I can get it myself and it takes combing over a ton to get to this point.

Next, I reread, then off to my copy editor.

Once I get the angry red track-changes document, back, I get very excited. I will accept or reject these suggestions and again, reread. Once I am entirely happy with what I have, I send for my proofreads.

I get the proofs back and I reread it. Then I send to my formatter who sends me back a copy, and I reread for the last time… Wow.

This process can be tedious and sometimes I wanted to skim the rereads, but to get your book the best it might be, put the work in.

Thank you for hosting me and happy writing everyone. 

Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade. Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.
She is a wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.
Her latest book is BURIED IN MY PAST.


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She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Character Interview: Amiranda: Princess Amiranda and the Tale of the Deciduous Forest's Amiranda @#characterinterview

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We are really excited to have Amiranda here with us today at Blogging Authors! Amiranda comes from the inside pages of John P. Adamao's new book, Princess Amiranda and the Tale of the Deciduous Forest. Take it away, Amiranda!

What is your name?

   My name is Amiranda, and although I feel like an ordinary girl, I am actually the Princess of my home village, Luxing.  My mom and dad are the King and Queen of Luxing and I am an only child. 

What do you look like?

    I have long, brown hair and my nose has a bit of a ski-slope to it, just a tiny bit.   

Where are you today and what are you doing?

     I am at my father’s castle… he always has me preparing for life as a noble.  I have my own butler named Jove and my own chef named Kistoffe.  Jove makes sure I practice piano, get dressed in the morning, and do all my studying, and Kistoffe cooks my meals for me.  He is a wonderful chef, but I wish he would learn to create some new recipes… nothing extravagant… just different.  Everyday is more of the same thing I guess…   

You come face to face with your worse enemy. How do you react?

     I don’t know… I don’t really have enemies.  I tend to treat people how I like to be treated, so I guess I would be nice to them?  I guess it all depends how mean they are… but I would try to be nice.

How would your parents describe you?

     I don’t really see my parents all too much… my dad is busy running things at the castle and my mom and I aren’t really close.  My caretaker, “Nana,” she is the one that takes care of me mostly and we have a close connection.  I think she would describe me as kind, and inquisitive… definitely inquisitive. 😊

Who is your best friend?

     That’s an easy one… my dog “Peatie.”  He is always at my side, tripping over my toes.  He is still a puppy and goes nowhere without me.  Whenever he can, he licks the tip of my nose.  It tingles when he does. 

Are you faith-oriented?

      I believe there is good in all of us, and I strive to be good.  With my strict-upbringing, my parent’s always stress how important it is to do the right thing… for the good of the whole town of Luxing.  After all, it is a big responsibility.  However, I often wonder… how do I rule over all these people when I don’t really know to much about them?  I guess my father knows what’s best and I have to trust him. 

Are you married or in a relationship?

      No, I am only a teenager.  I am always in the castle so I don’t really meet anyone my own age… although I do see kids playing in the distance sometimes from my castle window.  I often wonder what it would be like to meet them, and play would them… and if they would like me.  They play in the fields, and sometimes they get their hands or clothes dirty… something I would never be allowed to. 

Do you have children?

      No but perhaps one day I will.  And if I do, I would teach them everything they would need to know about being a normal kid… that is, if I were able to.  Fact is, I never really had a real childhood, but I would love to let my children live a normal life, if given the choice.      

An instant classic tale portraying the life of “Amiranda,”an innocent and brave princess, who unwittingly sets out on a quest that will ultimately determine the fate of her entire kingdom.
From her castle window, Amiranda would gaze at the beautiful countryside below-always watching carefully, always observing everything. Gradually the princess realizes that she knows very little of the small kingdom over which she would one day reign. Nevertheless, Amiranda would never disobey her father’s wishes, especially the one to never enter the mysterious dark forest, which borders their kingdom. That is, until one day when she would have no other choice.

Amiranda will take a journey that will lead her on a wild adventure, where the decisions she makes will determine the fate of many lives-the lives of her animal friends, her family members, those who dwell in her kingdom, and her very own life as well. Travel along on this trip where Princess Amiranda hopes to find the missing piece in her existence and ends up trying to achieve the impossible….

John Adamo is a Long Island-based author and songwriter who has copyrighted more than four hundred poems and has both written and composed numerous songs and short stories. Music has always been an integral part of John’s life, as he has performed at different venues all across Long Island—both as a professional pianist since the age of seventeen (one year after his father passed away) and also as a disc jockey / emcee for various private parties and public events.

This is John’s first formal work, which was originally written as a screenplay and copyrighted in 1998. John has always had the visualization that an animated movie would one day be made from his work. The author wanted to put together a story unlike any other, and one that could be enjoyed by people of all ages … both young and old alike. A story that reinforced good values, covered common ethics, and taught morals as John feels those important criteria are so often left out in today’s modern fairy tales.

After having the screenplay sit on his shelf for nearly fifteen years, John felt that it was finally time to let the world know the life and world of Amiranda—a Cinderella-type princess who has everything in the world that a princess could possibly ask for, but is still missing something more in her life. With your help, John hopes that he can help fulfill Amiranda’s aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Last but not least, John hopes you like Amiranda’s story just as much as he enjoyed writing it … Enjoy!


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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

WEEKS: A Book by Jasyn T. Turley #fiction #writing #zombies #scifi

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By Jasyn Turley

WEEKS was for me growing up, a game played between my cousins, brother and myself and had no real storyline to it. First we were just playing around with multiple sub-genre themes of Science Fiction, including some horror aspects. Eventually, me and my family moved to Independence, Missouri where our friend Katie joined us and the theme became rooted in our adventures of a zombie apocalypse. At first, our characters didn’t even have steady names. But in the end, we came down to just calling ourselves: Phil, Tim, and Dakota, the names of my three main protagonists’.
Years rolled by and we continued with our game, until the summer of 2009, where I decided it would be fun to write out our adventures into a book. Thus our little game had evolved into a novel which I would continue to revise, rewrite and expand upon for the next 10+ years. Oh did I expand on it. Eventually, my three protagonists mentioned above became wholly different than the versions of them we had played as. A fine line developed between game and book, and after this writing became an obsession for me.
Now, WEEKS is its original piece and in 2016 I decided that the newly revised Rough draft I had written was going to be its final makeover. So over the next 3+ years, I worked tirelessly to self-edit, critique and research to make my final rough draft as good as I could make it. Over the years I’ve developed drafts and ideas for more stories and have worked on them on the side, but WEEKS Book One is my firstborn, and seeing how it was the first book I had sat down and written out it must be my first book published and sold.
The Characters Phil, Tim, and Dakota share a bond that I find mystically enthralling. That bond between brother & brother and brother & sister is so beautiful and the closeness a person can develop with their siblings (being blood related or surrogate) is something I treasure and hold dear. Thus Phil, Tim, and Dakota exhibit a bond that cannot be compromised with; their unity and love will drive each one of them to the point of risking certain death for each other and it was a primary goal of mine to implement this in their chemistry. Not to mention I enjoy watching people come to a close intimate relationship with each one another, but intimate doesn’t necessitate romance. Siblings can be intimate with one another in close fellowship to the point that there exist very few walls and barriers between them.
Another element of WEEKS that took a primary concern for me was the use of more monsters other than just zombies. It’s something I note in a lot of zombie-themed projects that mostly there are just zombies and nothing more. And well there’s nothing wrong with that formula, I find that creative endeavors involving zombies can sometimes use a little extra spice, and therefore I decided to add that spice without saying too much!
I can spend all day talking about WEEKS, but in the end, it’s just a unique experience I was blessed with growing up. The fact that I discovered my God-given passion for writing and can use this talent for not just self-satisfaction and to share it with the world, but to, and I believe, advance his kingdom at the same time. Well, I love it and I hope everyone, secular and non-secular, will find enjoyment in reading about Phil, Tim and Dakota’s adventures.

Jasyn T. Turley was born in Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas; and lives in Independence, Missouri. He is an independent author and full-time custodian. He holds an Associates in Arts degree from MCC KC Community College. He started WEEKS Book One back in the summer of 2009 and has been continuously working on it, and its sequels, since then. He has more science fiction and fantasy books in the works that he plans on releasing in the future. You can learn more about Jasyn, WEEKS Book One, and future projects at



Phil, Tim, and Dakota are three survivors taking refuge in Atlanta, Georgia. The year is 2027, ten years after a nuclear fallout decimated the known world and left it in shambles. With hordes of the undead flooding their once safe home and a city now depleted of all resources and supplies the three must make a daring gamble. To trek across the States and Canada, looking for a new place to call home; safe from the monsters that plague the lands.

In their daring gamble this trio encounters more than just zombies. They are relentlessly pursued and hunted by both an old and new nemesis’. Trying to survive and stick together, no matter the odds, they must rely on their faith, bond, and past experiences to live through their tribulations. In this world, a fool's chance is usually their only chance.


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Writing: The Story Behind Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash @michaelpcash #writing #pokergeist

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Writing: The Story Behind Pokergeist

By Michael Phillip Cash 
My uncle Kevin is obsessed with poker. One day, he called me up, as both talk about gambling and poker quite frequently, and he said he had a great idea for book. Being he isn’t a writer, he wanted me to have the idea. What would you do if you had a ghost telling you what all the other player’s cards are. I was floored, and I piped the title Poker…geist. He began cracking up and I knew this was my next story.  I began write the story arc of Clutch and Telly that night.  Days later I had the entire story beat out.  Three weeks later I had one of the best scripts ever written. Four weeks after that Pokergeist the novel was born.


Michael Phillip Cash is an award winning screenwriter and novelist. He’s written many books and screenplays in the horror, suspense, thriller and fantasy genres. He resides on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.



Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Publisher: Chelshire, Inc.
Pages: 265
Genre: Humorous Fantasy

Sometimes life, as well as death, is about second chances. Luckless Telly Martin doesn’t have a clue. An awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, he becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch…Clutch is a ghost. Telly and Clutch must navigate the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered personal relationships and find redemption in this life and the hereafter.

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