Wyan 1

Florence, Kentucky, UNITED STATES

Joined December 19th 2010

Number of Posts:

Number of Comments:


I have a BA in English & Comparative Literature. I write fiction and nonfiction.


Wyan 1's Blogs

8809 Vote(s)
389 Comment(s)
119 Post(s)

Blogs I Follow


I have no friends :(

Recent Posts

Literary agent Laurie McLean, formerly with the Larsen Pomada Agency, has joined with several other agents to form a brand new literary agency called Foreword Literary. This new agency handles a variety of genres including romance, sci fi and fantasy, middle grade and YA fiction, and more. For more details, click here to visit the agency's website. Some of their current clients include romance author Lisa Kessler, thriller writer Ransom Stephens, and YA writer Julie Kagawa.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, new agencies or new agents at more established agencies represent a great opportunity for writers because they are looking for new clients. Laurie McLean made many sales while at her former agency and helped launch Julie Kagaway's career. If you have a completed manuscript in one of the genres Laurie or one of her fellow agents at Foreword handles, consider querying them.

Follow me on Twitter @Storyista.

Today we have as our blog guest mystery and non-fiction writer, Linda Swink, to talk about her book Life on a $5 Bet. To learn more about this talented writer and her work, visit her web site here.

1) What inspired you to write Life on a $5 Bet?
It wasn’t so much an inspiration as it was a desire to tell the story of a remarkable man.

2) What one thing would you like readers to know about you?

Be careful; be very careful around me. What you say and do could one day end up in one of my books. That aside, I hold a degree in journalism and began my writing career as a contributor to military newspapers, and later to consumer and trade magazines. I am passionate about writing and writing daily.

3) What one thing would you like readers to know about Life on a $5 Bet?

Life on a $5 Bet is about Major General Edward Mechenbier who went from being a high-spirited fighter pilot full of hopes and dreams to a prisoner of war, held in the infamous Hanoi Hilton for nearly six years. He lived through hell at the merciless hands of prison guards and tortuous interrogators, but never lost his sense of humor or duty to his country. The story is an inspiration to all.

4) What is the most enjoyable aspect of writing for you?

I enjoy research, but the downside is I sometimes get lost in it. I’m often amazed when I look up to discover hours have passed.

5) What is the most difficult aspect of writing for you?

With so many distractions such as housework, family, and obligations it is sometimes difficult to stay focused. Other than that, I enjoy all aspects of the craft, even the most difficult such as writing a synopsis.

6) Who or what has most influenced you as a writer?

I was fortunate to have a wonderful teacher in college who encouraged me to write.

7) What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

Follow your own voice. Don’t try to write like someone else. Attend writing conferences and workshops. Learn not only how to craft a story but the business of writing. Learn what is happening in the industry, what editors want and don’t want. Call yourself a writer - believe deep down that you are a writer above all else. If you are truly a writer and not just a “wannabe” you will have the passion and drive to write above all else.

8) What upcoming projects are you working on?

I currently have three novels in the works. One, Grave Secrets, a historical mystery, is at the publisher awaiting publication. Another, Deadly Promise, is in the editing stage, and the last, Ribbon Rapist, is being revised. I would like to write another non-fiction book.


Mystery Author Jim Jackson
Mystery Author Jim Jackson

Today we welcome Jim Jackson as our featured author interview on Wordophilia. His mystery novel Bad Policy will be released by Barking Rain Press on March 5, 2013. This story won the Evan Marshall Fiction Makeover Contest and features protagonist Seamus McCree, a private financial investigator.

What inspired you to write Bad Policy?

I have always enjoyed mysteries in the broadest sense of the word. In the narrow sense, I read all of the Hardy Boys books until I outgrew them and started reading my father’s favorites, which included Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books and JJ Marric’s Gideon series. In a broader sense, I’ve always been interested in learning answers to my questions, “why?” My flights of fancy often start with what if…

Through my adult reading, I became engaged with continuing characters. These crime novels provided an interesting framework to follow the characters’ lives, to learn how each one responds to changes in their world.

I became interested in understanding how a good man—father to his son and son to his mother; a civil man who would prefer to think rather than fight his way out of any problem—would act when faced with violence. What if I set him down in a situation where all he holds dear is at risk? Would he retain his core beliefs? Compromise them at the edges? Or crush them to dust when his family is threatened?

What one thing would you like readers to know about you?

I would have made an excellent criminal except for one minor little problem: I was afraid of the consequences of being caught. It certainly isn’t a virtue that would make my mother proud when I admit that in dealing with any financial transaction my brain “automatically” (surely, I’m not to blame) starts to consider ways to scam the system.

For thirty years I worked in the financial industry as a consultant and thought about ways the unscrupulous could commit their crimes. Now as a mystery writer I get to flesh out some of those scams, but also make sure the good guys win and justice is more or less served in the end.

What one thing would you like readers to know about Bad Policy?

It’s a medium-boiled mystery—not a cozy, but not hard-boiled either. The good guys do win in the end.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of writing for you?

This may sound absolutely crazy, but I love the self-editing process after the first draft. My first draft is a slog. I wonder if the story can find its way out. I know my writing is garbage. Then I finish the first draft and know that buried within 90,000 words are the bones of a great story, well told.

In self-editing I can carve away fat, strengthen the muscle and hone the language until it fits the story. Several drafts later, I have something ready to present to beta readers to find out what I did well and what still needs work. I love getting the feedback because beta readers always point out ways to make my writing stronger.

What is the most difficult aspect of writing for you?

Marketing. I was taught early and often by my parents that self-promotion was not a positive attribute. Yet if you don’t believe in yourself, why expect anyone else to believe in you?

Who or what has most influenced you as a writer?

Living life has most influenced me. Had I been writing forty years ago, I would be an entirely different writer. When I was young I was very sure of things. Blacks and whites are great in theory, but life is lived in the intermediate greys—that’s the area that’s interesting to read about and write about.

My writing style is sparse. I’m willing to let the reader imagine much of a scene. I try to employ Elmore Leonard’s advice to “…leave out the parts that people skip.”

What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

Today’s boom in self-publication reflects not only the shortcomings of traditional publishing companies, but a need by many for immediate gratification. If you’ve polished your manuscript until it shines and want to self-publish, go for it. If you prefer a traditional publisher, my best advice after creating a great manuscript is to give agents/publishers exactly what they ask. If you do that you’ll leap ahead of 70-75% of your peers.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

The sequel to Bad Policy, provisionally called Cabin Fever, follows Seamus to a winter retreat in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A nearly frozen woman suffering from Legionnaire’s disease wanders into his retreat and sparks a series of events that pits Seamus against the local head of the Michigan Militia. While he struggles to thwart the Militia’s plans he also needs to tend to a bruised heart.

I’m currently writing the first draft of the third book in the series with a working title, Doubtful Relations. Seamus’s ex-wife’s husband has gone missing. Everyone other than his ex- believes he’s done a Mark Sanford and is off with a floozy somewhere. She convinces Seamus to uncover the truth.

To find out more about the talented and witty Jim Jackson and his work, visit Jim's website by clicking here.

Special preview and coupon: To read a 4-chapter preview and get a 35% off coupon for purchasing Jim's debut mystery novel, click here to visit Barking Rain Press's website.


The Cindi Myers Market News blog reports that Prime Books is launching a new digital imprint called Masque Books. This imprint launches in July 2013 and will feature Science Fiction and Fantasy and Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance. While books will be published in digital format at first, they may be issued as print books at a later date. Masque pays a small advance against royalties of 50% net for digital editions.

Length: Novellas from 30,000 to 50,000 word and novels of 50,000 to 120,000 words

[ Click here to read more ]

Today, we're pleased to have as our blog guest Rose Vanden Eynden, author of Merlyn's Raven, a fantasy romance set in 5th Century Wales. The novel chronicles the love of young Gwendydd for the druid apprentice who becomes the great Merlin of Arthurian legend. If you enjoy Arthurian tales and historical tales, you will enjoy this book about the young Merlin and his relationship with Gwendydd.

[ Click here to read more ]

New literary agents and agents who have recently moved from one agency to another offer good opportunities for writers since they tend to be looking for manuscripts. Publisher’s Lunch, which offers both a free version and a more deluxe paid version, is a good source of information about agent and editor movements as well as other industry news. Recent issues of Publisher’s Lunch report that agent John Cusick is moving to the Greenhouse Literary Agency where he will focus on children’s and young adult books. In addition, David Haviland has joined the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency and will be handling fiction.

Publisher’s Lunch also reports that Kate Dresser has been named associate editor at Harlequin's HQN and Luna imprints. Ms. Dresser worked as an assistant editor at the Gallery Publishing Group prior to joining Harlequin. To subscribe to Publisher's Lunch, go here
[ Click here to read more ]

Today we're privileged to have as our blog guest crime fiction author, Joe Damato, to talk about his novel Seeds of the Lemon Grove. If you enjoy stories about organized crime, you'll enjoy this story. To learn more about Joe and Sicily, click here to check out his blog.

Joe had a dramatic scene from his book filmed and posted on YouTube. To view this video, click here. To purchase Joe's book click here
[ Click here to read more ]

New Fiction Markets for a New Year

December 30th 2012 04:54
Smart writers are always on the lookout for new markets. Old markets can shut down or hire new editors who don’t like your work like your old editor did, and diversification can bring a writer multiple streams of income. Sometimes, though, a writer just needs to stretch his or her creative muscles by trying something new. If you need a new market for your fiction, consider the 3 markets below. Between them, there’s a market for just about every genre.

Ellora’s Cave
[ Click here to read more ]

Author Catherine E. McLean
Today we're privileged to have as our guest fantasy author Catherine E. McLean. Her latest novel, Jewels of the Sky, has just been released.

[ Click here to read more ]

Online pitch opportunities can help writers gain the attention of an agent or editor just like a face-to-face pitching opportunity at a writer’s conference. Online pitches, though, save the writer the fee of conference registration and conference-related travel and lodging expenses. I’ve posted previously about some online pitching opportunities you can read about here, but recently I found another one, the monthly Agent/Editor Shop at Musetracks.

The Musetracks web site offers an open day of pitching once each month to that month’s guest editor or agent. Upcoming editors and agents include

[ Click here to read more ]


Recent Comments

Comment by Wyan 1
on BIRD NEWS:153

October 1st 2013 15:58
What lovely photos. Thanks for sharing. The lake near my home is visited by Canadian geese similar to the ones in your photos plus we occasionally glimpse a blue heron there.

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1

November 18th 2012 14:42
I, too, wanted to compliment your videos. Great imagery showing the birds in great detail.

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on What Makes You Buy a Book?

June 10th 2012 01:26
Thanks for the 2 examples of successful writers, Chris. Even though an author's bio won't make me buy a book, I do like to hear about writer success stories!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on 40 Degrees South: you’re welcome

June 3rd 2012 18:05
Hi, Chris.
This is such an exciting venture! It's so wonderful to hear that you found a publishing company with an open door for writers and that you bought it and want to continue their writer-friendly tradition! Any particular genres you want to see or don't want to see?

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on Pitch Your Book Online

June 3rd 2012 17:59
Thanks for stopping by, Chris. What fantastic news! Congratulations on the purchase of your new publishing company and your move to Tazmania. May you find many, many great manuscripts that will bring you and your authors much prosperity!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on No, You Didn't Graduate College

June 25th 2011 15:26
Another great post, Dan! You have a gift for explaining complicated grammar and English usage topics in easy to understand ways.

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on Good Writing is Worth More than 0.04c per Word

June 25th 2011 15:20
Low paying freelance jobs is one of my pet peeves. It's absolutely ridiculous what some people expect from a writer for pennies or, more accurately at times, fractions of pennies!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on Funds for Writers Seeks Articles on the Writing Biz

April 26th 2011 01:07
Thanks for posting this, Jeanne. I subscribe to two of Hope Clark's e-mail newsletters, Funds for Writers and Small Markets. Both are wonderful resources. Good luck to everyone who submits to FFW.


Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on Paranormal Communications?

April 26th 2011 00:51
While I agree that not all EVPs recorded are necessarily paranormal, some I've heard are pretty intriguing. When the person holding the recorder asks a specific question and the voice on the EVP answers that specific question, it can be fascinating, not to mention startling!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]

Comment by Wyan 1
on Remember books?

April 24th 2011 13:48
It's a sad fact of life that fewer people read books for pleasure these days. Many other forms of entertainment vie for the public's money and attention. One of my children, a teacher, has been appalled at the reading levels of his students. They can't read or spell well, and their vocabularies are miniscule, but they know every video game or pop song.

I think parents need to encourage reading more in their homes and that they should read more themselves to set an example for their children. I try to encourage reading by participating in book discussion clubs at my local library with other readers, volunteering as a literacy tutor, and telling people I know whenever I've read a book I particularly enjoyed and think they might enjoy, too. If a book I've read is made into a movie, I will discuss the book with others and encourage them to read it. Reading is fun. Let's spread the word!

Delete ] [ Ignore ]