With Love: An Interview with Genilee and Sharon

With Love: An Interview with Genilee and Sharon

by Judy Spring Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up to the authors of Twist of Fate, F. Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope Parente. This mother-daughter writing duo has offered insight into their lives, collaborative process, and a bit about the upcoming sequel in their Sam Osborne Detective Series, Wretched Fate. Sharon and her husband Robert live in Woodbridge, Virginia, while Genilee lives a little ways down the road in Dumfries with her husband Ray and daughter Christina. Although Sharon has had dogs most of her life, she currently doesn’t have any pets. Genilee’s household is shared with a mom cat and two kittens, and a dog that would like to make friends with the feline crew, but hasn’t yet succeeded. Music is a must in this family, and Genilee thanks her ma and pa for the introduction to swing music from the wonderful 40s, as well as a shared love of classical music. In addition to listening to acoustical folk music, country, and Irish music, Genilee offers an extended thanks to her daughter for sharing the popular genre, and also to her talented brother for a love of instrumental. In down time, Sharon relaxes by playing games of any kind: card games, mahjong, and computer games are a mentionable few. Genilee, however, relaxes by “doing ANYthing but play games. Mom did not pass down the competitive gene. I read, write, and watch movies.” Each of these ladies had a favorite quote to share. Sharon believes in fairness and hard work, citing two quotes that demonstrate these qualities to her: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and, “God helps those who help themselves.” Genilee shared the quote: “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” She says that this quote has been overused in recent years, but she has a copy of it on her refrigerator. She applies this quote to her craft with these words, “Writing is about focusing on those moments.” When asked what advice they would give to their younger selves, they offered a ponderable thought. Sharon shared this piece of heart, “Don’t wait so long to pursue your dreams.” This is a powerful observation by one who is respectably pursuing and achieving her dream. It’s no wonder her daughter Genilee offered the same words of wisdom following it with, “But never give up on them, as they can happen at any age.” Below are a few detailed questions, followed with replies from both of the authors, and we hope you enjoy. Who is your favorite author? Sharon:  Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsay, and Mary Higgins Clark. Genilee:  Mary Higgins Clark,...

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Will Wretched Fate’s Characters Find the Change They Crave?

Will Wretched Fate’s Characters Find the Change They Crave?

by Joy Shearer Wretched Fate is the second novel in the Detective Sam Osborne series by mother-daughter authors Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope-Parente. The crime/romance novel is, in part, a story of metamorphosis. Each of the main characters must leave their past behind, if they can, to build a better life. Will they be able to achieve their dreams? Rosalie struggles with her weight, self-confidence, and her relationship with her mother.  She doesn’t look like the women in magazines and her mother is no help in her attempts to lose weight. She cooks for Rosalie and serves her fatty foods in heaping helpings. Rosalie puts much effort into accepting herself while aiming to get healthier. Will she find a way to accept who she is now and make the changes she wants? Jacob strives to leave behind his troubled childhood. His parents had an odd relationship that left him leading an isolated life. He hardly ever leaves his mansion where he writes best-selling romance novels even though he has no real experience with romantic relationships. He doesn’t like others to disturb his schedule, so he’s hired a groundskeeper who very rarely enters the house. He has a cook who lives in a cottage on the property and only comes to the mansion briefly to drop off his meals. Can he learn to connect with outside world? Wretched dreams of having a real family and normal childhood, but can’t see how. He only has vague memories of a woman holding him close. Now, still a child, he is living a nightmare. He is in bleak circumstances and sees no way he’ll ever have a life like the kids he observes at a carnival. Can he escape his condition? Wretched Fate’s main characters all want to change their lives, but are unsure if transformation is even possible. Read the intriguing novel to find out what happens to Rosalie, Jacob, and Wretched.   Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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A Query Letter Begins With Research

A Query Letter Begins With Research

by Judy Spring Query letters… Dun-dun-duuuuuun. (silence) All serious authors face crafting a query letter at some point in their career, and many come to it with dread and apprehension. Most stress and agonize about summarizing their manuscript succinctly so that it invites a publisher to continue on, reading the first few chapters once the letter is complete. It’s nerve-wracking! We are constantly told, “Be yourself, but in a standard way that sticks out.” It is possible that these conflicting messages meshed together are what cause confusion and anxiety when contemplating query letters. The goal of this article is to alleviate that stress by offering some resources and tips about crafting what could be the most important letter of your career. The first step: research. Everywhere you look, that’s the first suggestion you will find. Nichole Canniff, the Chief Operation Officer here at Spectacle Publishing Media Group, LLC has offered this tidbit of her experience: “One thing I cannot stand is when a query letter comes in that isn’t complete per our directions on the website. I might make an exception for a manuscript that is really good; however, when a publisher asks for the first three chapters, a bio, chapter summary and a synopsis—send them all per their instructions. If you do not know what they require, find out. It is unprofessional to submit a query that is incomplete. Most publishers will reject the query right away.” In other words, make sure to read submission guidelines for the publisher before sending in your query. This can be easily accomplished by doing a search on the Internet with the keywords of the company name followed by ‘submission guidelines.’ For your convenience, here is the link to SPMG’s submissions page: http://www.spectaclepmg.com/submissions/. (We are currently not processing any queries until November 3rd, which gives you just enough time to really polish your manuscript and query letter!) Next, make sure to read different ways to approach writing query letters so you can present your genre, your voice, and your story in the best light it deserves while still following the specific guidelines. Canniff warns, “There are a lot of examples of good query letters on the Internet: the format, what to include in the letter itself, etc. Research it, but at the same time, make sure you are putting your own spin to the letter. If you submit a cookie-cutter query letter that all authors are submitting to publishers, you will be no more impressionable than another author.” Websites and blogs all over the Internet warn of this mistake, and a querying author would be very wise to heed the warning. It is possible to find a balance between the standard requirements...

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Why SPMG?

Why SPMG?

by Joy Anne Shearer   Looking for a publisher? Spectacle could be the answer. The following are advantages to working with this dynamic and personalized publishing group. At SPMG, the author and their work come first. One of the biggest indicators of this is that no agent is necessary. You can request assistance in putting together your query and you will be apprised of every move along the way. From access to staff by phone or email any time you might have a question, to workshops for your piece when it needs a few improvements to be the best it can be, Spectacle will walk you through the publishing process. We’re writers too, so not only do we understand where you’re coming from, we’ll help you take advantage of each step so that your work will be given the attention it deserves. SPMG is experienced in and prepared to assist you with what’s new, including eBooks and audio books. The number of readers on digital devices increases all the time—readers who the people at SPMG want to help you reach. Traditional book printing is also available. Before your book ever hits the stands, our Public Relations and Marketing Department will work with you to develop your brand and get your name out there. All in all, at SPMG we truly support what writers are doing and want to promote your art. You can find more information at http://spectaclepmg.com. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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The Darkest Age

The Darkest Age

by Joy Anne Shearer Spectacle Publishing Media Group is publishing a new game developed by seasoned game designers Mark Nelson and Rob Gee, along with Eric Staggs and Julia Gengenbach. The Darkest Age is a thrilling take on the classic d20 RPG for ages 14+ and player groups of more than three, with five players being ideal. The Darkest Age takes place in Bubonic Plague-ridden Europe. This is intriguing in itself, but the game takes us even deeper, into a dark world where the victims of the Plague rise from their deaths to feast upon the living. There are more than ten character classes, including the two new classes, among others, of Skald and Midwife. The classes of this game are part of the construction to better include and display the powers of female characters, a feature mostly unseen in other RPGs. The illustrations in the book are stunning. They are true to the horrific nature of the story and displays figures both dead and alive twisted in the effort to defeat enemies. Cover art is by Jeff Dewitt and interior art is by Rob Gee and Mark Nelson. Visit http://thedarkest-age.com/ to find out more about the game, read an extensive article on the egalitarian nature of this unique game, and learn how to order your copy. Darkest Age will be available in both print and eBook formats soon. Check back often for updates and more! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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