Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wednesday Writer ~ ANWA Writer's Conference

If you are ready to take your writing serious, you won't want to miss the ANWA Writer's Conference. It is one of the best in the west, with some very big names in the business and the cost is about a third of most other writer's conferences.

"Start Write Now"
Open to all writers on this or any other planet.

The 2010 ANWA Writers Conference
Saturday, February 27, 2010
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Dobson Ranch Inn,
1666 South Dobson Road
Mesa, Arizona 85202-5699

Discounted Hotel reservations available on the above registration site or by calling Dobson Inn Ranch Directly at 480-831-7000 or 1-800-528-1356

Keynote Speaker
 J. Scott Savage
Author of the "Farworld" Series

Aprilynne Pike
New York Times best-selling Author of “Wings”

Doug Johnston
Publicist Extraordinaire


Nancy E. Turner
Author of “These is My Words”

Dr. Pamela Goodfellow
Writing Coach, Editor and Owner of Goodfellow Publishing Services

Sara Fujimura
Author and Magazine Writer

Helen Bair
Counselor and Author of “Finding the Healer in Me”

Marsha Ward
Author of the “Owen Family” Series

Book signings at end of conference

Early Registration 
General Public:  $75 before February 7, 2010
ANWA Members $60
After Feb. 7 add $5

Cost includes Catered Lunch

For questions contact, the ANWA 2010 Conference Chair Person, Cindy R. Williams at or Conference Registrar, Krista Darrach at

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Writer ~ Liz Adair

Liz Adair, Author of "Counting the Cost"

Though Liz Adair lives in the Pacific Northwest, she has desert in her DNA. Born in New Mexico, she graduated from high school and college in Arizona before heading north to moister climes. Liz began writing seriously when most of her seven children were grown. She has published six books and is currently working on a screenplay of her latest novel, Counting the Cost.

CRW: Welcome Liz to Writers Mirror. It is really great to interview you today.

Liz: It’s nice to be interviewed. I’ve been in awe of your energy and outreach ever since we met at a writers retreat three years ago.

CRW: Thanks Liz. I remember meeting you too, and how I was in awe at how well you had it all together. Okay, now some questions so all can get to know you better. What inspires you to write?

Liz: It’s just something I gotta do. You know, fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly.

CRW: Liz has got to write. Do you try to write daily, and if so, do you set a goal of a certain number of words?

Liz: If I’m in the middle of a project I try to write at least five days a week. The only goal I set is to get the dang thing done.

CRW: What gets in your way of writing?

Liz: Family, work, inertia, life. There’s lots to get in the way, but people in my life are really supportive. They always ask if I’m busy before breaking into my day.

CRW: Wow, I'm impressed. People still think I am just playing.  How do you get past it?

Liz: I don’t. I embrace it. So it might take a few extra months to get something written. The things that get in the way are important, too.

CRW: Well said. What makes you CRAZY about writing?

Liz: Missing obvious mistakes in something I’ve proofread a hundred times.

CRW: Where is the weirdest place you have worked on a writing project?

Liz: Sitting alongside a sewage lagoon in Chewelah, Washington. I wrote After Goliath while my husband was managing a job building a wastewater treatment plant. I worked with him, part time, and the rest of the time I sat in the job shack and pounded out the manuscript.

CRW: How long does it take you to complete a book?

Liz: The quickest I have written a book was four months, but I was able to work that one it full time. Since I still am employed, a more comfortable length of time is nine months.

CRW: Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Liz: Everywhere. From family history, from the newspaper, from standing in line at the post office, from the things that get in the way of my writing.

CRW: The line at the Post Office. Good idea. Where do you get your character’s names?

Liz: I take a lot of my surnames from family history. If I hear a name I particularly like, I file it away—which does no good, because I can’t remember where I filed it. When it finally surfaces, I can’t remember the reason I kept it, but, hey, it’s a pretty good name, I’ll stick it on this current hero.

CRW: What is your favorite writing food?

Liz: Diet Pepsi with fresh lime.

CRW: Liz, Please tell us about your book “Counting the Cost.”

Liz: This story arc is taken from family history—a family secret, really, that my mother told me just before she died. This book is different from the other books I’ve written in a couple ways: First, my other books are lite fare. Both the mysteries and the romance are nice little puzzles, mini-vacations. They’re fluff. Counting the Cost has more substance to it. Secondly, my other books were all carefully plotted, outlined, written. Counting the Cost just welled up inside of me and poured out my fingers.

Oh, did I mention that Counting the Cost was an award finalist in USA Book News’ “National Best Books 2009” award?

CRW: Congratulations!  I also saw it listed in a contest for book trailers. If any of you readers would like to vote, go to  Good luck with that. Who is your publisher?

Liz: Inglestone Publishing. Cecily Markland’s company.

CRW: I have to tell you a quick story about Cecily. At our ANWA (American Night Writers Association) meeting in December, we drew numbers for white elephant gifts, and I drew the gift Cecily brought. It was a 1900? Olympia manual typwrite in it's orinal case. It's in perfect condition with a working ribbon and all. I am absolutely tickled! My children are fascinated by it. Cecily gave the ultimate cool gift for a writer!

Back to your book Liz, please give us your best “Elevator Pitch” for the book.

Liz: Set in Depression-era New Mexico, Counting the Cost is the story of a cowboy and a socialite from back east who defy convention and run away together. Though they love one another desperately, she isn’t bred to be a cowhand’s wife, and he can’t leave the range. It is only when disaster strikes that each learns what is really important.

CRW: I read the book, and also bought one for my Mom. We both enjoyed it. Where can Writers Mirror Readers purchase it?

Liz: Counting the Cost can be bought from Inglestone Publishing. Here’s a link:

or from Link:

You can see the trailer for Counting the Cost at:

CRW: I left the email links with all the info on them instead of imbedding them. Sometimes a reader's computer will not pull up the link, so this way, if you are interested, you have it all. What other books do you have available?

Liz: The three Spider Latham Mysteries are out of print, but you can buy them at the Inglestone web site book store.

The Mist of Quarry Harbor is available at Deseret Book. Link:

Lucy Shook’s Letters from Afghanistan is available at One hundred per cent of sales of that book go to fund humanitarian outreach.

CRW: Who do you hope reads your work?

Liz: The person sitting beside me on the plane the next time I fly somewhere. That’s my fantasy, to get on the plane and see someone reading a book I’ve written.

CRW:  That would be incredible.  What would be the best complement you could receive from a fan?

Liz: “I loved your book.” It’s trite, but it sounds new each time I hear it.

CRW: Where can we read more about you or contact you, such as website or blog sites?

Liz: My website is

My blog is

My email address is

CRW: Thank you for sharing this with us on Wednesday Writers.

Liz: Thank you for asking me. It’s been fun.
I repeat. Thank you for asking me!

CRW:  My pleasure!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Writer ~ Tina Scott

Tina Scott

Tina Scott, an award winning writer and artist gets her inspiration from life, but her tales gain a creative edge after taking a spin through her imagination. With seven kids and a handfull of grandkids, she has plenty of inspiration to keep her imagination alive.

CRW: Welcome, Tina, to Writers Mirror. It is really great to interview you today.

Tina: It's fun to have an interview, Cindy. Thanks.

CRW: No, thank you!  Okay Tina, tell us what inspires you to write?

Tina: Life--writing has always been a part of me.

CRW: Do you try to write daily, and if so, do you set a goal of a certain number of words?

Tina: I do like to write daily. I'm not good at setting word-count goals though--I spend all of my time checking to see how many words I've written.

CRW: What gets in your way of writing?

Tina: My family--but that's a good thing. If it weren't for them I'd probably stay sequestered in my writing room and never see the light of day.

CRW: How do you get past, through or around it and still make your writing happen?

Tina: When I don't have time to sit down to write, such as during the holidays, I am still thinking of my current WIP. I stop and make notes of ideas that come to me so that when I do have time, I have more to go from.

CRW: What makes you CRAZY about writing?

Tina: Trying to get published. I've been trying to get an agent for a year now.

CRW: Where is the weirdest place you have worked on a writing project?

Tina: From bed. I keep a notebook, a pen, and a flashlight by my bed. On a good night I have to force myself to sleep.

CRW: How long does it take you to complete a book?

Tina: I wrote the rough draft for my 230 page fairy novel in four months. My main character had a lot to say and I had to work hard to keep up with her.

CRW: By the way, Tina placed in a First Chapter Contest with this very fairy novel. I love fairies Tina, so am looking forward to you publishing this book. I always love when an author listens to the character.  Others probably think we are crazy, but they really do talk.

CRW: Where do you get your character’s names?

Tina: All over. When I wrote my fairy novel--she told me her name.

CRW: There's that talking character again. What is your favorite writing food?

Tina: I don't generally eat while writing--it takes my consentration away from my goal.

CRW: Good habit. Chocolate tends to inspire me.  Tina, please tell us about your book(s).”

Tina: I have self-published a children's picture book. It's a tale about a coyote who has a dream--how he saves the day and also makes his dream come true. My sister-in-law, an accomplished artist, did the illustrations.

CRW: Who did you use to publish it?

Tina: I self published through

CRW: Please give us your best “Elevator Pitch” for the book.

Tina: Coyote dreams of flying, but in real life his efforts are disastrous. Through hard work and imagination, Coyote learns how to make his dream come true.

CRW: Where can Writers Mirror Readers purchase it?

Tina: Through my blog, or on my website.

CRW:  Tina's website and blog are listed at the end of the interview.
CRW: What other books do you have available?

Tina: I recently published another children's picture book called When I Grow Up. It's a short, rhyming story that empowers children to make right choices and let them know that their options are limitless.

CRW: Sounds like a good book for all. Okay, here is the deep question. Why are you a writer?

Tina: I've wanted to be a writer since first grade. After my youngest child started school, so did I. It was through my college English class that this dream re-surfaced. Shortly after that, I found ANWA through a newspaper ad. It really is a part of me.

CRW:  For readers unfamiliar with ANWA, it is the national writing group called American Night Writers Association. I currently serve as the General Treasurer, and will take this opportunity now to blatantly invite everyone reading this and interested in writing to come to the wonderful ANWA Writers Conference on Saturday, February 27th, 2010. To learn more or to register, Google ANWA.

CRW: Okay Tina, my commercial for ANWA is over.  Please tell us you who do you hope reads your work?

Tina: I hope to eventually find publishers for my novels so that everyone who wants can read them. My children's picture books were published with my children and grandchildren in mind.

CRW: What would be the best complement you could receive from a fan?

Tina: I've had several people who purchased copies of my Coyote tale tell me that their children want them to read it over and over again. That brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction.

CRW: Good for you Tina.  Time to list your contact info.
Tina: and my web site,

CRW: Tina, we thank you for sharing some of your writing thoughts with us on Wednesday Writers.

Tina: It's been a lot of fun. Thanks for inviting me here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wednesday Writer ~ Valerie Steimle

Valerie Steimle

Valerie J. Steimle is not your average person. She was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints when she was nine. She graduated from Ricks College in '79 and then attended Brigham Young University. She then went on to marry Robert Steimle at 21 and then had nine children. She has homeschooled all of her children with Robert during sometime in their life and also started writing for newspapers about family issues. She became a widow in 2006 as Robert passed away suddenly in his sleep after being married for 25 years.

CRW:  Welcome, Valerie, to Writers Wednesday on Writers Mirror.

Valerie:  Thank you so much for interviewing me. I love talking about my books.

CRW:  Let’s start with your book called "Of One Heart: Being Single in the LDS World." When will it be available?

Valerie:   It is available now on

CRW:  Who’s your publisher?

Valerie:  They are called It is a self-publishing company put out and run by

CRW:  Please give us your best “Elevator Pitch” for the book.

Valerie:  Being single in a predominately married LDS world has great challenges. My book will help anyone who is single or knows a single friend to overcome these challenges.

CRW:  How do we find your  book on

Valerie:  Type my name Valerie J. Steimle on and three books will come up. You can also go to my website,

CRW:  Excellent.  What are the titles of your other two books?
Valerie:  "Home Is Where the Heart Is" and "Home Is Where the Learning Is.: Homeschool Lifestyles from Homeschool Moms."
CRW:  What inspires you to write?
Valerie:  I started writing when there was an injustice occuring where I was living in San Diego. I see injustices all the time in family and social issues in our culture all the time, so I feel compelled to write about them. It's very theraputic.

CRW:  Do you try to write daily, and if so, do you set a goal of a certain number of words?

Valerie:  Yes, I do try to write daily but I don't set a word goal. I work on different manuscripts and ideas I have for several hours a day. Word counts can put too much pressure on me and I get writer's block so I set my writing time to 2 to 3 hours a day.

CRW:  What gets in your way of writing?

Valerie:  That's a good question. Life itself. Children, new husband, my responsibilities at church and homeschooling. There is a lot going on.

CRW:  How do you get past it?

Valerie:  I take my down time at the computer. I finally have an office in my home so I can close the door and write for a while.

CRW:  What makes you CRAZY about writing?

Valerie:  I love, love, love the publishing world. It is fascinating to me. I love that people will read my books and tell me it helped them in some way or they enjoyed what I had to say. It is so satisfying.

CRW:  So this is crazy good then, not crazy bad.  Where is the weirdest place you have worked on a writing project?

Valerie:  When I have to watch soccer games, wait at the doctor's office, or wait to pick up children, I always have a pad of paper to write down or work on a project. I do love watching my boys play soccer but there is a lot of in between time that I sit pondering so I write.

CRW:  How long does it take you to complete a book?

Valerie:  Usually about a year. I have one just coming out in a few weeks as well called "Dogs, Blogs, and Hobbits: Writings from a Widow's Perspective" also on Amazon.

CRW:  Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Valerie:  Living life. So much can be written about the experiences we have living in a family. I also write about what happens in our country politically and how it affects families.

CRW:  What is your favorite writing food?

Valerie:  Ooooo. Something crunchy ususally. I'm a health nut so I get wheat crackers or something nutritional. I have also been known to sometimes hide a bag of cheese doodles in my desk drawer.

CRW:  Why are you a writer?

Valerie:  It is the best way for me to express myself. It is just something within me that I have to do. I think other writers can understand this.

CRW:  Who do you hope reads your work?

Valerie:  Everyone!!!! My books are for everyone and I hope it will help them in some way. I feel close to becoming a best seller author!!!!

CRW:  What would be the best complement you could receive from a fan?

Valerie:  I get emails from fans and I never get tired of hearing how my books have helped them in some way. It is very rewarding. My homeschool book probably gets me the most complements.

CRW:  Where can we read more about you or contact you, such as website or blog sites?

Valerie:  My website is and you can email me at Once again, my website is My website also has a link to my blog.

CRW:  Thank you for sharing with us on Wednesday Writers.

Valerie:  Thank you for inviting me to talk about what I love. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wednesdays Writer ~ Tanya Parker Mills

Tanya Parker Mills

Tanya Parker Mills grew up overseas, and the stories she writes inevitably reflect the clashes of culture, religion, and values that her LDS family witnessed, first-hand. Her first novel, "The Reckoning," (set in Baghdad, Iraq, where she lived for five years as a child) was a 2008 Whitney Finalist in two categories and won the Indie Book Award for Multicultural Fiction. She lives and writes in Richland, Washington, sustained by her husband, two children, two cats, and a continual supply of M&M's.

CRW:  Writers Mirror welcomes Tanya Parker Mills as our special guest on  Wednesday's Writer.

Tanya:  Hi Cindy.

CRW:  Hi Tanya, I know you have an interesting and vairied background that gives you much to draw from for your writing. Please tell us about it so we can begin to get to know you.

Tanya:  Shortly after my parents got married, my Dad had a choice: go to work for this new broadcasting company called NBC...or work for the government's newest agency--the CIA. Guess which acronym he went for? Of course, I didn't find out about his undercover work 'till I was getting ready to go off to BYU. It certainly lent a new perspective to our years abroad in Greece, Turkey, and Iraq! (By the time we went to Lebanon, where I finished high school, he had left the agency and gone "legitimate," as they say.)

CRW:  Wow!  What stories your Dad could tell, that is if he was allowed to tell them. No wonder you have so much to write about. What inspires you to write?

Tanya:  Knowledge. Ever since I was a kid, I loved reading encyclopedias and you can get a ton of ideas for stories simply by reading history and biography. I find that when I come across an interesting fact or piece of history, I simply have to start writing about it in some way, in order to better understand and remember it. (It was also my best method for studying in school.)

CRW:  You must have been a great student with such interesting study methods.  Do you try to write daily, and if so, do you set a goal of a certain number of words?

Tanya:  Yes, except on Sundays...but even on Sundays, I try to post to my blog. I try and write from 9 am to 11 am (except on Wednesdays when we go to the temple...then I write from 11 am to noon), when my mind is freshest. I shoot for 3-5 pages, but don't always make it.

CRW:  What gets in your way of writing?

Tanya:  Not my husband. He knows not to bother me during those hours. Now our cat, Peach, is a different matter (He's high maintenance, unlike our other cat, Anastasia). I'll be in the middle of a really good scene and he'll come and jump up and park himself right in front of the monitor.

CRW:  Looks like Peach got caught here in this picture, but that he really doesn't care.  So much like all the cats I know. So what do you do with the feline situtation?

Tanya:  I have to call out to Michael to come and take Peach away.

CRW:  What makes you CRAZY about writing, other than Peach?

Tanya:  I can't turn the story off in my head sometimes. Today, for example, I was sitting reverently in the temple and suddenly I found myself second guessing the way I'd written a particular scene in my current story. Bad girl!!! I had to really double down to refocus on the session.

CRW:  How long does it take you to complete a book?

Tanya:  Too long! I hear about all these other authors who put out a book every year. "The Reckoning" really took me four years. And I've been working on this second one now for three years (though I really stopped working on it for a year or more, so I'm not sure that should count). Barbara Kingsolver is my hero...she takes her time with her books, too. (Of course, she's famous and can afford to!)

CRW:  You have already told us about your rich background, but where else do you get your ideas for your books?

Tanya:  Things that have happened to me...things I read about. "The Reckoning" is somewhat autobiographical in that I spent part of my childhood in Baghdad and some of Theresa's memories were mine (some, not all!)...also, I have temporal lobe epilepsy like Theresa and something similar to the opening chapter occurred to me.
          Now, the idea for my current novel, "Laps" came during a walk past all the homes with pools in our previous neighborhood in Southern California. I got another idea for an historical novel from listening to an NPR broadcast.

CRW:  Where do you get your character’s names?

Tanya:  I need to improve in this area. For my first novel, I picked names that seemed to fit my characters, but they're not very memorable names (at least not the American or Canadian ones). I gave it a little more thought for "Laps," particularly with regard to surnames, striving for some symbolism.

CRW:  What is your favorite writing food?

Tanya:  M&M's, hands down. I couldn't have finished the first two drafts of "The Reckoning" in 3 months without huge bags of M&M's. (I dieted later.)

CRW:  I love it. Chocolate seems to be the number one writing food!  But, some of us don't bother with the diet afterwords, 'cause there is no afterwords. Why are you a writer?

Tanya:  Because I think best and communicate best through my fingers.

CRW:  This gives an extra meaning to the sense of touch. Who do you hope reads your work?

Tanya:  Everyone! But if you mean a particular person or group of people, then I'd have to say all Americans who have never lived abroad. I'm not aiming my work at the LDS market, though I'd love to have LDS readers, because I want to help bridge the gap between LDS and non-LDS, and I think I can do that best by writing for the mainstream in a way that hopefully reflects my values.

CRW:  I love your philosophy. We need to reach out with good works. What would be the best complement you could receive from a fan?

Tanya:  "Your book really taught me something about _______ that I didn't know before.

CRW:  That would be nice.  What is the topic of the project you are now writing?

Tanya:  Asperger's Syndrome.

CRW:  Please tell us more about it.

Tanya:  I have a son diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and so I wanted to write a story about an undiagnosed adult who comes to better understand herself when she crosses paths with such a child.

CRW:  That sounds like a very much needed book and tough to write sinse it is so close to the heart. Good luck with it.  Please tell us about the current book you are actively marketing.

Tanya:  Even though "The Reckoning" was published last year, I'm still marketing this story of an American journalist who gets imprisoned in Iraq before the U.S. invasion. While in prison, she gradually comes to realize that one of her captors is connected to the death of her father years before in a Baghdad prison. It's a real page-turner and I'm hoping to put together a good book trailer for it in the next couple of months that will help garner attention on YouTube.

CRW:  Please give us your elevator pitch.

Tanya:  An American journalist sneaks over the border into northern Iraq with her cameraman to get a story before the U.S. invasion, but they get captured and turned over to Iraq's secret police. Denied her epilepsy medication, she begins to have vision flashbacks of events from her expatriate childhood there and, gradually, she comes to realize one of her captors is connected with the death of her father years ago in a Baghdad prison. Will she get to the bottom of the mystery and somehow escape before the bombing begins? "The Reckoning" is a tale of love, betrayal, and redemption so full of twists and turns that you won't want to put it down.

CRW:  Where can our readers go to buy your book?

Tanya: for now. "The Reckoning" is also available on Kindle.

CRW:  Thank you for sharing with us on Wednesday Writers. For more information about Tanya Parker Mills see the sites below.

Tanya's website:
Tanya's blog: