author

My Desk

A short, true story, by author Helen Pugsley.

 

I had the stupendous and rare fortune of purchasing my mentor’s home, The Nest, as she named it. June Wilson Read and I shared the only town I want to live in all through my childhood. She has helped me in all things writing since I began. Being in her 80’s she wanted to move closer to family. With her home came her desk. A door laid across two wooden filing cabinets.

“I’m so happy you’re the one getting my house!” she said, “And my writing desk!”

I grinned through that last part. I was and am madly in love with the sun-drenched cottage but as soon as a replacement could be found I had every intention of throwing the door down a ditch and stacking the filing cabinets on top of each other to save on floor space. I could use one of the nice metal desks my family keeps in the garage until I got the guts and finances to purchase an antique roll-top!

But winter came…

First, my mother said, “You’re going to trade wood and good memories for cold steel?!”

Being porous, wood absorbs a lot of things. That’s why I won’t use wooden cutting boards. As well as beef blood I hope wood sops up talent! “Ack! Fine. I don’t feel like moving the heavy summagun anyway,” I reasoned to her.

Next, there was going to be a washer dryer set there, right in my dining room.

“But Dad! Actually having a desk will keep me from writing in bed!” A terrible habit. Guess where I penned this?

“You should really quit doing that! But find somewhere else. The washer and dryer will go here.” You can’t argue too much when someone is financing the labor and the appliances.

However, the contractor inadvertently took my side. “A water line on an exterior wall? Are you crazy?!” The huge, rectangular window is amazing for gleaning enough natural light to write by until twilight. It is not so great for keeping water lines above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A stackable apartment sized washer/dryer will now set next to my oven.

When she left she handed me a pile of pelts. June was truly a Wyoming woman. Not knowing what else to do with them, I set them in one corner of the desk in a neat pile with an axe. Later, the axe got moved to my bedside.

A short while ago a neighbor of mine wanted some kittens. In a week she discovered she was horribly allergic. So now Iris and Wilhelm live with me. When they’re not in their heated bed they like to sleep in the pelt pile on my desk. I like to think of it as the kitten annex.

Even newer than the kittens is a kitchen chair I picked up at a second-hand shop for under $10. The silk seat is perfect for resting my feet on when I’m feeling rebellious. I sit with my tooshy on the desk and a notebook in my lap.

One day my mother and I got to looking at the door-desk very carefully and realized it’s probably my closet door. It is literally a part of my home. I can’t just throw it down a ditch! Not when the empty door knob socket is perfect for stringing a laptop cord through! And how could I when that desk is where June Wilson Read penned most of her book, Frontier Madam?! Maybe parts of Whistle Creek and Other Wyoming Tales. Also a score of unpublished works she tells me she keeps in a trunk. How could I throw it down a ditch?! That’s my desk!

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

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Book Signing At Niobrara County Library for War & Chess

If you are in the area of Niobrara County Library in Lusk, Wyoming, then make sure to stop by and meet Helen M. Pugsley and grab a copy of her debut novel War & Chess! She’ll even sign it for you. Helen will be at the library on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm!

“Come see me on your way to the county fair!” Helen said.

For more information, check out the event page on Facebook here, or you can check out the library’s webpage. Helen hopes to see you there!

Niobrara County Library
425 S Main St, Lusk, Wyoming 82225

Author Interview with Ashley Townsend

Ink Smith: Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

Ashley: I typically write in my room, surrounded by fluffy pillows and the sound of my writing playlist. But I’m trying not to be such a hermit when I’m in the zone, and so I’ve branched out to coffee shops, Barnes and Noble, and the outdoors to get some fresh air while I create. And what do these places have in common? Coffee goes great with them! I’m good to go as long as I have my music, notes, and coffee—or the “life blood” of champions, as I call it. ^_~

 

Ink Smith: How did you come up with the idea of Chasing Shadows? How long did it take you to write?

Ashley: This has been about a ten-year process that started back in middle school, and Sarah’s story has evolved dramatically since then. It was just a little 8-page creative project I cooked up, and then I added to it over the years as new influences took over and fresh story ideas interested me; I wanted to challenge myself and play around with the gang in Serimone—see how hard I could push them if certain obstacles got in their way—and I am so pleased with the place they took their stories to!

 

Ink Smith: Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Ashley: The saddest question any bibliophile must answer, especially since I can’t list my own books or characters, even though I love them so much. *sighs dramatically* Okay, here goes nothing:

Anything that Ally Carter touches, and I mean anything, especially her Heist Society trilogy and The Gallagher Girls. This lady has an incredible knack for writing the most hilarious and creative tales imaginable, and I always look forward to her new releases. Follow her on Twitter; she’s a riot!

A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes. The author is a good friend of mine (and the best dancer I know!), and her Out of Time series is so packed full of emotion, depth, and understanding of the human condition that it is difficult to put down.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. One word: Arin *sighs*

The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh. I fell in love with this Arabian Nights retelling instantly and then had the pleasure of meeting the author at Comic-Con last year. She is not only incredibly intelligent, but also hilarious and sweet.

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. This book, and the entire trilogy, is just—wow. A dark gothic and emotional retelling of several of my favorite classic tales (like Frankenstein), and she has such a knack for drawing you into Juliet’s story and the world she created. This series is a must if you enjoy any gothic literature.

 

Meet the Author

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogyDefying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016. Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

Meet Ashley Townsend

Ashley TownsendAshley Townsend, author of Chasing Shadows, is a young twenty-something who has been spinning tales since she discovered that her wild imagination and love of storytelling could make a career. Reading and writing are her way of experiencing grand adventures from home, and she hopes that others will join in her fantastical escapades! She is a native to bookstores, coffee shops, the kitchen, and Southern California. She also has an unexplainable aversion to clowns and describes outlines as a “proverbial noose.” The final book in the Rising Shadows trilogy, Defying Shadows, will release in spring of 2016.

Make sure to connect with Ashley at www.ashley-townsend.com!

 

You can also find Ashley on other social media platforms:
Goodreads: Ashley Townsend
Twitter: @TownsendTales
Facebook: Ashley Townsend Author
Pinterest: TownsendTales

Author Interview with Grant Elliot Smith

Where do you do most of your writing? What is your process like?

I like to write at night when the house is quiet either at my desk or in bed.

My writing process is old school pen and paper. After a writing session, I sit down at my computer to type it out. This gives me another chance to revise as I transition the words to the computer.

 

How did you come up with the idea of this book? How long did it take you to write?

Rathen: The Legend of Ghrakus Castle is a story that has been in my head from when I was about thirteen. I revised it to make it a deeper story and created the characters that would go on the adventure. I would say when I was younger I had a strong imagination.

Writing the book took about three years and another year to revise it the way I wanted it.

 

Who are your favorite authors/books? Why?

Piers Anthony is an author that caught my interest from an early age. From thirteen I read many of the books from his XANTH series. I enjoyed the fantasy aspect and Mr. Anthony’s great imagination.

H.P. Lovecraft is another author who captured my imagination with his style, story, and world creation.

 

Have other questions for our authors? Let us know!

 

Meet the Author

Grant Elliot SmithOriginally from the Midwest, Grant Elliot Smith loved to read from an early age. Saving up his allowance, he spent it all at the local bookstore buying up as much as he could from the fantasy section. His first interest was poetry, which he wrote voraciously; and some of his early work, from as far back as the 1980s, can be found in various poetry anthologies.

Completing four university degrees, including a Masters in Sociology from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, Smith has lived and worked around the world, spending a number of years in Japan. The sights and sounds from the various cultures he has seen helps to fuel his imagination for writing.

Meet Grant Elliot Smith

Grant Elliot Smith

Originally from the Midwest, Grant Elliot Smith loved to read from an early age. Saving up his allowance, he spent it all at the local bookstore buying up as much as he could from the fantasy section. Writing has always been a passion of his.

His first interest was poetry, which he wrote voraciously. Some of his early work, from as far back as the 1980s, can be found in various poetry anthologies.

Completing four university degrees, including a Masters in Sociology from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, Smith has lived and worked around the world, spending a number of years in Japan. The sights and sounds from the various cultures he has seen helps to fuel his imagination for writing.

His most recent work, Rathen: The Legend of Ghrakus Castle is a fantasy novel about Rathen, a former Captain in King Delvant’s army. Rathen has retired to a quiet backwater town after the Kingdom’s forces were dissolved following the King’s sudden death. After being recruited to lead a band of fighters, healers and mages to dispel brigands from his lands Rathen, and his ex-gladiator best friend Bulo, begin to hear stories of magical creatures and numerous dead in the land they are tasked with cleansing. Despite these stories, they head for Ghrakus Castle, learning of its dark history on the way.

When they finally arrive, the full horror of their task becomes clear—with their chances of returning home dwindling, the threat of betrayal awaits.

Submissions Start February 1st!

We are pleased to announce that we will be open for submissions once more! Our submission reading period will start February 1st 2015 and run until July 2015. Any submission submitted before or after these dates will be read during the next submission reading period.

Please review our guidelines before submitting as they have changed.

If you are interested in submitting fiction:

http://ink-smith.com

If you are interested in submitting non-fiction or children’s stories:

http://nativeinkpress.com

Rachel Walter – Guest Author Interview

Rachel Walter

Website: http://rachelwalterauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/rachelwalterauthor
Twitter: http;//twitter.com/rachelw_auth
Book Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Walter/e/B00DX77Q1I
Publisher: Rachel Walter

Question: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Aside from preparing a novel for my editor, I’m working on a Young Adult Contemporary. It’s called Pucked and the story follows two teenagers through their chaotic journey to adulthood. It touches on several real issues that some teens are subjected to, such as Parental Alienation.

Question: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

“You are not alone and you are loved.
That’s a big theme in most of my work.”

Question: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Madeline Sheehan is one of my favorite authors. She doesn’t write the hearts and flowers of life, she writes the raw, gritty romances that hang out in my head like they’re renting space. They’re powerful stories, deeper than I thought they’d be but amazing just the same. I never expected to like the Undeniable Series, it’s not my normal go to genre, and frankly I was afraid of Undeniable just from the blurb. But then she posted the beginning of Unbeautifully, and I knew I had no other choice but to read book one. Because of that, I’m positive I’ll read anything and everything that amazing woman puts out for us.

Question: Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice is simple. Go with your gut, but always, always, always find an editor you can trust.

Questions: What are your current projects?

Soul Promise is my number one focus at the moment. It’s book two in my YA series, The Soul Mate Series. Once I send the file to my editor, I’ll be refocusing on my YA Contemporary, Pucked. And because I can’t work on one thing at a time, I have two works on the back burner. One is a romance and the other is a young adult paranormal.

Rick DeStefanis – Guest Author Interview

Rick DeStefanis
Website:http://rickdestefanis.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rickdestefanisphoto
Book Page:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5009527.Rick_DeStefanis
Publisher: Amazon/Create Space

 

Question: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 

I believe I would not have used the sub-title, “A Vietnam Sniper’s Story.” Although it is a large part of The Gomorrah Principle, it is not THE story, nor is it the only story. I’ve actually been fortunate to receive a great many positive reviews from female readers who have discovered the deeper aspects of mystery and romance this novel contains. The flip-side of course is the number of strong reviews I am receiving from veterans. And their comments pertain more to the realistic portrayals of characters and events than they do to the inevitable battle scenes. If The Gomorrah Principle were accurately described, I suppose it might read something like,”A historical fiction, espionage thriller with elements of romance and mystery.”

Question: Do you have a specific writing style?

I like to write what I like to read–if that makes sense. In other words, I can spend four pages describing a summertime hillside in Vietnam, and lose my reader after a couple or three paragraphs, or I can blend that description with a ratcheting tension, my character’s inner thoughts and a variety of other literary techniques. I can put my reader in a scene and describe it such that the reader’s own imagination does the rest of the work. Pages 76 to 79 of The Gomorrah Principle are a good example of this. There are several very successful authors who drag their readers through the minutiae of multi-page descriptions of simple objects, and I truly believe they are exercises that demonstrate more of the writer’s ego than his or her skill with engaging readers. 

Question: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Naming single favorites of anything from food to authors is just something that doesn’t fit my way of thinking. I might want fresh buttered popcorn today, charcoal broiled porterhouse tomorrow and a pecan loaded chocolate brownie the next. Authors are the same, and my writing tends to reflect certain aspects of many different ones. I like the simplicity of prose used by certain twentieth century writers like Steinbeck and Hemingway. I like tension woven effectively like so many of our thriller authors do today. I especially like to set a scene with vivid, but simple descriptions, and I do have a particular author I believe does that well. James Lee Burke writes what I call “detective novels” that take place in southern Louisiana. I don’t particularly care for the subject matter, but I read and re-read his novels to study his style. He’s a master of the craft.    

Question: What are your current projects?

I have never been a fan of sequels or prequels, but I am presently working on a prequel to The Gomorrah Principle. Some reader friends have all but demanded it. This will be mostly Duff’s story. I am up to Chapter 16 right now, but finding it difficult to keep the tension and mystery with what be the inevitable ending. And the answer is “no, there will be no sequel.” I have another project I want to start, but that’s a discussion for another time. Right now, I’ve got to finish this one, and I need a title. Any suggestions?

Question: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes. If you’ve read The Gomorrah Principle share your thoughts with me on Facebook, and right a review of the book on Amazon or Goodreads. There is no better advertisement than word of mouth, and these are the best ways to get the word out to other readers.

What’s Up At Ink Smith Publishing

You can find our books online at major retailers both in the U.S. and internationally. Our books have also been found in stores such as Barnes and Noble and BJ’s Warehouse. You can of course purchase the books both paperback and ebook off of our website. www.ink-smith.com

We have been around since 2012, and while the first few books were very daunting, we now have an understanding of this industry and where it is heading. It’s not easy being an indie author or publisher for that matter. It’s not a matter of printing out a few books and becoming famous anymore. Its working together to develop a relationship with readers through the publisher and the writer. 

What do we look for in an author? We look for marketability. 

What does this mean? You should be developed online meaning social media( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress..etc) 

It also means that your story has to stick out among the rest. If your story does not catch my eye then how can it appeal to readers? This can be a simple answer of making your query letter interesting. Query Letter/ Cover Letter/ Synopsis. All three things sell to different people. The query and cover letter sell the book to the agent or editor. The synopsis sells the book to the reader (and the editor of course). With the disappearance of book stores, readers will be going off how the synopsis. 

Anyways. 

Ink Smith Publishing is currently accepting submissions. We have a 4-5% acceptance rate, which allows us to keep our submission window open for the time being. We do not want to read the manuscripts right away. So please be sure to read the submission guidelines, but they are simple. You can find them here: www.ink-smith.com/submissions We emphasize the guidelines at both Ink Smith and Native Ink Press. Not following the guidelines can result in a rejection.

You will always get a response back from us, letting you know our decision either way. 

If we like what we read, I will request the manuscript. If we really like what we see after that, we will send you a contract. 

We ask nothing of our authors but to do their own marketing. Of course we don’t just put them out side with books in their hands going, “Here you go now market”. We work along side you with our marketing plans as well. 

We do book fairs, local events, online and social media marketing. 

We handle everything, but we allow for creative freedom. If the author wants to do their own cover they can, or I can work with the author and we can create a simple cover. 

We don’t offer advances, but we do offer some of the highest royalties around. They start at 13% of the retail price of the book and go up from there. 

We are also a close family of authors. What do I mean by that? Well, we are connected online by Facebook where my authors work together, support each other and feed off each other with marketing and sales ideas. I can’t really put into words how neat it is to work on a personal yet professional level with our authors. Instead of cold emails and feeling forgotten about, we are always there giving you updates, ideas and new information. Of course we send out monthly newsletters and my authors are notified of events in the area by email. This is what makes us unique.

If you like what you see, send us a submission! 

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