Authors

Writing Retreats

Inspire your writing in romantic France, Italy or the Outer Banks

Writeaways founder John Yewell tells about the writer’s retreats he and business partner Mimi Herman provide in France, Italy and the Outer Banks and how they inspire writers to find their muse.

By John Yewell

Mimi & John in Paris

Mimi & John in Paris

Go to our Writeaways web site, with its pictures of a centuries-old French chateau and an Italian villa, and your initial reaction is likely to be: What a great vacation! And it is, of a sort. But it is so much more than that.

We created our writing getaways in exotic places to get you as far from your daily life as possible, to set you free from care while giving you the guidance you need to unlock, or unblock, the writer within. We welcome writers of all levels and genres, and now have programs in the Loire Valley, Tuscany, and North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

“I didn’t know until I got busy how essential to the process being removed from my regular life would be. John and Mimi took care of all the necessities, creating a space for us to write and indulging us along the way. The food was amazing!” – Charity, North Carolina

 

We take care of everything. Each morning in France, you are greeted with a complete breakfast, including fresh croissants purchased before sunrise at the local boulangerie. In Italy, our hosts Patrizia and Paolo serve you continental style.

Afterwards, we engage in our specially designed workshop and private consultations for two hours. Whatever your level of experience, you’ll find the constructive help you need to produce your best work in a cooperative, but rigorous, atmosphere.

“I first met Mimi and John at their writing retreat at Chateau du Pin. While I had a very interesting story I’d thought about writing for years, I did not think of myself as a writer. Thanks to their thoughtful guidance, I finally began writing that story–and I’m still at it. John and Mimi made me believe I could do it, and gave me the tools I needed. I can’t thank them enough.” – Regina, North Carolina

 

After lunch – buffet-style in France, Tuscan-style in Italy – you are free to write or explore. In France, the chateau is surrounded by 300 acres of topiary, rose gardens, meadows and vineyards. In Italy, you can wander in the olive orchards, sit by the pool, or explore Tuscany as widely as you like. In both locales, we offer tours of the surrounding region, including tastings at local wineries. All of this is included in the program.

In the evening we reconvene for cocktails and wine, then sit down to a spectacular dinner prepared by professional chefs. Afterwards, relax with a digestif or cocktail of your choice in relaxed reflection, surrounded by five-hundred year old walls.

Writers enjoying a great meal during a writeaway.

Writers enjoying a great meal during a writeaway.

Our program in Southern Shores, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, is a weekend intensive class designed to jumpstart a dormant writing project or launch a new one.

After people began coming to us and asking if they could put together their own groups of friends and families, we began organizing self-organized getaways. We expect to make the first such trips a reality in France and Italy in the spring of 2015.

We are also developing a Master Class intensive program, which would be limited to two students for a week in Beaufort, NC.

Writeaways is based in Durham, North Carolina, although our students have come from all over: Texas, Wyoming, Virginia, Canada. Our long-term plan is to create writing getaways in the kinds of places people dream about going, so that we can pair that dream with their own desire to become better writers.

Mimi and I are both writing professionals with complementary backgrounds. Mimi Herman has taught over 20,000 students to fall in love with writing, especially their own. A Warren Wilson MFA graduate, her teaching style captures students’ imagination and creates a supportive learning environment. As one student said of her time with Mimi, “It is an experience that I will hold with me throughout my whole life.”

I am a writer and editor with an MFA in fiction from San Francisco State University and twenty years of experience in journalism. I teach a memoir class in Durham and consult as a private editor and writing coach.

For more information, please go to www.writeaways.com, or write to us at writeawaysinfo@gmail.com.

Do you believe in Ghosts? OBXPG Author Scott Fields does!

Hauntings at the Ohio State Reformatory

OSR-cropped“You might ask what is my association with the place, and I will tell you that there were two men who killed six people in a two week period back in 1948 and they met each other while serving sentences there. Their names were Robert Daniels and John West, and that two week rampage is the subject of my book, The Mansfield Killings.

 

And if you happen to be in the Mansfield area on Aug. 30-31,  meander over to OSR to meet Scott during a book signing  and maybe, just maybe, you may see a ghost.


By Scott Fields

The Ohio State Reformatory (OSR) has been a landmark in this part of Ohio for over a century.
Located about an hour’s drive north of Columbus, the reformatory boasts two features that make it famous throughout the United States. The first claim to fame is the number of movies shot within its walls which include The Shawshank Redemption and Air Force One among others. The second feature of the Ohio State Reformatory that has made it famous is that it is quite simply haunted.

OSR is considered by many to be in the top ten of the most haunted places in America.  Not only has the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures visited the reformatory; it has been explored twice by Syfy channel’s Ghost Hunters show. It has also been featured on Fox Family Channel’s Real Scary Stories, Scariest Places on Earth, and Most Terrifying Places in America.

The prison opened its doors in 1896 to its first 150 young offenders. The doors to the prison closed in 1990 after housing over 155,000 men. Since then it has remained intact by the help of donations and volunteers by the hundreds. Guided tours are conducted throughout the summer months but come to an end in September due to the fact there is no heat in the building.

Scott-4

Author Scott Fields

I have conducted many book signings in my life. Some were good and some not so good, but I never experienced anything like the signings that I have done at the OSR.

I had heard about the eerie things that people had experienced. I believed some but dismissed most of the stories. But that all changed when I sat there and listened to actual witnesses to such events. Even my own daughter had two experiences and she has only visited it a few times.

I think the most astounding story that I have ever heard was told to me by an older man while I was conducting a signing. He pulled out a photograph that he had taken of his brother standing in the aisle next to the empty prison cells. Standing directly behind him was the image of a much bigger man. The man, or ghost or whatever you want to call him, was posing for the picture and standing so close it looked as if he was touching the man. You can clearly see him.

spirit

Ghostly image captured at OSR

Once a month, about a hundred people are allowed to spend a night in the place. They can come and go as they please looking for ghosts. A friend of mine said that he and his wife decided to spend the night sitting quietly at a table and wait for something to happen. Suddenly a figure poked its head around the corner of a window. They spoke to it and it pulled its head back. It soon reappeared then disappeared. This went on for quite some time until my friend had had enough. He walked over to the window and stuck his head outside to find no ledge, no floor, nothing to stand on.

I was next to my daughter when she took a picture of a window from the outside of the building. It was a part of the building where nobody is allowed. When we looked at the photo, there was a figure standing in the window, and I know for a fact that it was not there when she snapped the picture. She also took a picture of a cell and caught a large pink circle on the wall. We were both staring at that wall and did not see it. She immediately snapped another picture to find nothing there.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Even the Ghost Hunters from the SciFi network have been there several times.

Do you believe in ghosts? I do.

The Mansfield Killings Cover II

 

 

 

 

 

Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Outer Banks Publishing Group (October 24, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982993137
ISBN-13: 978-0982993132
Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and fine bookstores everywhere. And now the ebook is $.99

I always have three of four ideas for books I want to write, says OBXPG author Scott Fields

Outer Banks Publishing Group Author Scott Fields shared this recent newspaper article with us on the release of his newest book, The Geezer Bench.

Reprinted with permission from John Jarvis and The Marion Star

By John Jarvis
The Marion Star, Marion, Ohio

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 6.27.45 PM

The Geezer Bench

Scott Fields had written more than a half dozen books when a friend sat with him at his house to share his idea for another.

“I even have a title, The Geezer Bench,” Fields said, recalling the conversation. “Well, with just the title he got my attention.”

The novel tells the story of four friends who share their thoughts of the day as they sit on a public bench before returning to and from their private lives of mixed sorrow and happiness.

According to Fields, the book has been getting attention, “doing real well,” which pleases him for himself and for his hometown of LaRue, where he set the story in his eighth book.

“It’s not quite the same as it was back in the ’50s,” Fields, now a Mansfield resident, said. “In the ’50s it was your Norman Rockwell kind of setting: three or four grocery stores, five gas stations. You didn’t have to worry about taking your keys out of your car. … I’d go down to the Scioto River and go fishing and swimming.”

His previous book, “The Mansfield Killings,” based on a murder spree in 1948 in the Richland County city, has been his best-seller, he said. It also represented a departure from the type of writing he prefers: “I like for people to have a good feeling when they get done reading a book of mine, to see there’s a bright side at the end. That’s what life really is. That’s what I try to put in my books.”

Ironically, he’s writing another book about Robert Dale Henderson, a serial killer who claimed victims in southern Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida. He learned of the murders at a book-signing for “The Mansfield Killings” in Delaware, where he met a woman who said her aunt had been married to Henderson.

“I’ve got to write something I can’t imagine,” he said, referring to the violence at the center of the story.

Retired from retail management of Kmart and Pep Boys stores, the 65-year-old Fields in his youth was a talented pitcher for Elgin High School, having been drafted 34th in the 1966 Major League Baseball Amateur Baseball Draft by the Detroit Tigers, after future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and before stars such as Steve Garvey and Bernie Williams. He chose instead to go to Ohio University “to learn about writing.”

Scott Fields, sitting, at one of his recent book signings.

“My grandson still does not forgive me for that,” he said. “I played baseball. My dad worked with me all those years. (But) I really didn’t like baseball. I loved to pitch. … It’s something I’ve got to live with the rest of my life. You’re 18. You don’t know much about the world. I decided I’d go to college to learn about writing.”

He said the college instruction helped, but decided a person either has the skill to write or doesn’t. “You just need to practice,” he said.

Professional writing for Fields began about 20 years ago with short stories. “I got a few published, and someone said, ‘Why don’t you write a novel?’ So I did.”

He then started looking for an agent to help him market his books. The process took about 10 years, he said, remarking, “It’s harder to get an agent than to get a book published.”

The effort has been worth it, he said, sharing that with his agent’s help he likely will have two more books published this year.

He’s been around writing his entire life.

“My mother was a writer,” he said. “She never got published, but she was a very talented writer. From the time I can remember, probably since I was 5 years old, I had the idea of a story I always wanted to write. The pressure of family and making a living kind of put it on the back (burner).”

He said in his retirement he always has three of four ideas for books he wants to write. His son, Michael Scott Fields, also recently had a book, “Spirits of the Darkness,” published.

He said he “absolutely loved writing” his latest novel, adding that typically he doesn’t read a book after he writes it, but did read The Geezer Bench and found tears running down his face. “And I wrote it. It has some real touching things in it.”

LaRue has been the setting for some of his other books, as well, but not always without constructive criticism from local residents. He said none of “The Geezer Bench” arises from his own life, adding that he won’t even claim any allusion to places and things in the story to be entirely accurate.

“Even the stuff I put in as fact like the bench in front of the dry good store is up for debate,” he said, good-naturedly.

He said although they are not yet scheduled, he plans to do two book-signing events in Marion County.

jjarvis@marionstar.com
740-375-5154
Twitter: @jmwjarvis

Who by Fire wins Notable Indie Award by Shelf Unbound Magazine

 

Mary L. Tabor
Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor’s literary novel, Who by Fire, won the Notable Indie award for best books in 2013 by online magazine Shelf Unbound.

 

(Read Mary’s interview with Shelf Unbound in the February-March issue, Pages 14-15 for more about Who by Fire.)

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 12.09.15 PM

Mary L. Tabor’s interview with
Shelf Unbound magazine

Shelf Unbound’s second annual writing competition had over 1,000 entries with 100 titles chosen as winners, according to Shelf Unbound’s publisher, Margaret Brown.

Mary’s book was featured in the December-January 2014 special edition of Shelf Unbound magazine (Page 35).

“Thanks to the Internet, artists can be discovered by a global audience-and in some cases even be funded by philanthropic strangers. The challenge, of course, is the discovery part-how do the indie artist and the indie audience find each other? That’s what this special issue of Shelf Unbound-honoring the winner, finalists, and notable entries in our second writing competition for best indie book-is all about,” wrote Ms. Brown.

Congratulations to Mary for her notable achievement!

Notable

 

 

 

Last Bluegrass Drama Released Today, Nov. 1

Ron Rhody’s last novel in the THEO Trilogy,
When THEO Came Home, now available


FRANKFORT, KY – Kentucky’s Capital City is reeling as a new Governor’s actions play havoc with the town, a perfect murder is still unsolved; there is a suicide, a showdown, and a long-ago love rekindling—that’s what he had to deal with When Theo Came Home, the concluding novel in Ron Rhody’s Theo Trilogy.

When Theo CamAuthor Ron Rhodye Home was released at the Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort on Saturday, November 16, but Outer Banks Publishing Group is offering a special pre-launch price of $12.99 .

The Kentucky Book Fair is the state’s largest. It is co-sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Libraries & Archives, the University Press of Kentucky, and The State Journal, the capital city’s daily newspaper. Held at the Frankfort Convention Center, the Fair attracts over 150 authors and averages over 4,000 attendees. All proceeds go to support public schools and libraries throughout the Commonwealth.

The three books in the Theo Trilogy are set in the Commonwealth’s fabled Bluegrass region and the Capital City of Frankfort and cover a time span ranging from the early 1950s to the first few years of the 1980s.

Rhody grew up in the town he writes about and began his career there. He’s been a reporter, a sportswriter, a broadcast newsman, and covered the Kentucky legislature before moving on to a career as a corporate public relations executive in New York and San Francisco. Both cities figure in this story, too, and the mountains of the Southern Appalachians where snake-handling cults still thrive.

The two other books that make up the Theo Trilogy are Theo’s Story, published in 2010, and Theo & The Mouthful of Ashes, published in 2011.

Order your copy at a special pre-launch price of $12.99, list $15.99.

“The characters are richly drawn. The action runs at a riveting pace. What happened When THEO Came Home is a helluva read and a fine, fine story.” – Ian Kellogg

When THEO Came Home is the concluding novel in the THEO Trilogy. The other books in the series are: THEO’s Story and THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes, both available on Amazon in print and ebook format and in fine bookstores everywhere.

_____________________________

When THEO Came HomeLast novel in the THEO Trilogy
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
360 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993101
ISBN-10: 0982993102
BISAC: Fiction / Suspense

JCC Clip from Mary Tabor on Vimeo.

Listen to the podcast by Mary L. Tabor with Richard Kramer, TV producer of Thirtysomething

 

Mary L. TaborHere’s what Richard Kramer, writer and producer of the TV show Thirtysomething, among others, and author of These Things Happen, a novel he wrote and has adapted for an HBO series produced by Oprah Winfrey wrote about Mary L. Tabor’s  sensual, sensitive novel, WHO BY FIRE.

 

“This brief, elegant, passionate novel accumulates and gathers force like a poem, in which language is compressed and edited and somehow bursts its bounds as it goes along. It made me want to write a book just like it, although I don’t have Mary Tabor’s wisdom and insight and willingness to stay so intently focused. Maybe someday … Until then, I can heartily recommend this, maybe especially to people who haven’t written a novel but who want to, because WHO BY FIRE can show you what a novel can be.”

Mary L. Tabor with Richard Kramer 08/07 by rarebirdradio | Books Podcasts.

Who by Fire by Mary L Tabor

New cloud radio interviews Mary L. Tabor

Listen to Mixcloud’s interview with Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor. She discusses her newest novel, Who by Fire, where one of the main characters who died, lives throughout the story.

The interview starts at 50:26 into the broadcast.

Mary L Tabor 03-14-13 by Total Education Network on Mixcloud

Mixcloud connects radio content to listeners more effectively. Mixcloud is re-thinking radio by joining the dots between radio shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. We refer to them as Cloudcasts – audio shows that are stored in the “cloud” and available to be streamed on-demand.

Meet Mary L. Tabor and her groundbreaking novel, Who by Fire

If you haven’t read the latest review by Small Press Reviews of Outer Banks Publishing Group’s Who by Fire by Mary L. Tabor, view the video and discover some significant revelations why people love, cheat and later regret what they did to a loved one.

Mary Tabor “Who By Fire” Reading from William Holloway on Vimeo.

Neil Gaiman – on everything creative, but more importantly be yourself

 
For anyone who is creative, you must watch this video of Neil Gaiman’s address to the 2012 graduating class of the University of Arts in Philadelphia.

From the zenpencil.com blog:

“Neil Gaiman (1960-) is one of the best fiction writers in the world in my opinion. His work covers novels, short-stories, children’s books, comics, film, television – pretty much the whole pop-culture gamut.

This quote is taken from Gaiman’s commencement address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, which was all over the internet last week. In an absolutely beautiful and inspiring speech, Gaiman shares the best tips that he wished he knew when he was first starting his writing career. It’s required listening for anyone passionate about the arts and I’ve bookmarked it so I can watch it whenever I lose my direction. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and click here.”
 

Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012 from The University of the Arts (Phl) on Vimeo.

Can geckos write books?

 

Well, yes, because the lovable, popular Geico Gecko has written and illustrated a book called You’re Only Human: A Guide To Life, released today by Workman Publishing for $11.95.

Gecko's book

Courtesy of Workman Publishing

Bloomberg Businessweek online quoted Workman saying the Gecko “has spent the last few years traveling across America, like a modern-day de Tocqueville.” What’s more, it adds:

“He’s a philosopher, an aphorist, a humorist, an artist, a warm companion, a natural storyteller—and, in a grand tradition, a keenly observant and wise outsider who in the course of living and traveling among us has discovered quite a lot about the things that make us human.

“He makes curious and interesting observations on everything from dreams to job interviews to adversity, Twitter to the Golden Rule (it’s not what you think it is) to talking animals: I’m really not sure what all the fuss is about. Lots of animals talk, including humans. The bigger question is, what do you have to say worth listening to?

See the trailer on YouTube.

Available at bookstores everywhere.

________________________________

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761174826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761174820
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches

 

 

 

If you liked ARGO, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is for you

 

If you liked ARGO, you will love The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, a similar story based on true events.

Order your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $12.99, list is $15.99.

Just click on our Bookstore tab and then click on Fiction.

We decided to reprint this interview with Douglas Roberts about what inspired him to write such a book. The interview was  originally published June 19, 2011.

_______________________________________

Cover for The Man Who Fooled SAVAKWhen Doug Roberts approached us with his manuscript, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK, it was one of those stories that completely engrossed you where you couldn’t put it down until it was finished.

Inspired by true events in the early 1970s, The Man Who Fooled SAVAK captures what it is like to live in a dictatorship with secret police monitoring your every move – an atmosphere of fear that still pervades today in many countries in the Middle East.

What makes Doug’s book so appealing is that what he wrote today about events 40 years ago is still going on today in many parts of the Middle East. And all of these events are carefully woven into a love story that will make you fall in love all over again.

Q. The release of your book coincides rather well with Arab Spring.   When did you start writing it?

A. In the summer of 2008. A woman I’d met on line named Erica Murray was interested in Iran so I started writing to her about it.   I started doing some very preliminary research into the history and politics of Iran in 1971 in order to refresh my memory of things I had experienced when I was in Iran during that time.   The book was completely finished several months before the uprising in Tunisia.

Q. Even though that was 40 years ago, there are many common elements with what is happening across the Arab world.

A. Yes, especially the fear people experience when living under an autocratic regime is something I hope I have captured, and as the book proceeds, the breaking out of that fear.  Perhaps it will give people hope.  Just like in my book, the methods used by various dictatorial regimes to maintain control seem to be taken from a common playbook:  trample a free and independent press, keep the people fooled, use an iron fist to silence dissent, eliminate fair trials, use torture to extract confessions – the list goes on and on.

Q. But when you wrote the book, you weren’t thinking about that.

A. (laughs) True! I don’t have a crystal ball and the Arab Spring was as big a surprise to me as the rest of the world.

Q. Can I ask you about one of the characters in your book?  Was there really a Junior?

A. Yes there was.  I think Junior made the story possible to write.  We really did sell our liquor and cigarette rations to him.   I recently learned from a fellow who served in ARMISH/MAAG just before I arrived that Junior mostly dealt with the domestic workers, the Iranian nationals who worked at the bachelor quarters where we lived.

Q. I’d like to ask you about another character, Mihan Jazani.  She is a historical figure, the wife of the Bijan Jazani who founded one of Iran’s guerilla movements.   It appears that she’s a friend of yours on Facebook.

A. (Blushes)  Um, well yes…so it would appear.   (laughs)  Actually, Mihan Jazani doesn’t like Facebook and never uses it.  The Facebook account was set up for Mihan by her granddaughter, Aida.  Aida and I exchange messages occasionally.

Q. How were you able to remember so much about what happened then?  It was 40 years ago after all.

A. I was assisted in several ways.   I had some writings I had done about Iran when I was in journalism school at Kent State in 1972.  I had a large number of slides that I’d taken when I was there.  Those were crucial in reviving old memories.  A huge help was finding a 1977 map of Tehran on the (now defunct) Tehran American School website.  I was able to use the exact names of places, even street names.  The fellow I’d mentioned earlier who told me about Junior had sent me a copy of the ARMISH/MAAG directory, which was very useful.  Finally, talking to people I worked with at that time was extremely important, namely Heidi Eftekhar and Barry Silver, who are characters in the story.  I obviously couldn’t remember all events specifically, but I found I could generate them as needed by being very specific in my language.  I would take seeds of ideas and extrapolate and grow them into full blown events.   For example, a certain lecherous officer really did say to Heidi, “I think you’re a woman who needs a lot of loving.”   I took that and ran with it.  Last, but also important, the Internet was a valuable tool in researching the historical incidents in the book.

Q. So, where does the novel part come in?

A. Some of the human rights related events are novelized, but they’re very accurate in their portrayal of the times.  I’ll leave historians to figure all that out.   They will have their work cut out for them because I’ve spent a lot of effort weaving the story line into the history of those days.

Q. How close is your character Doug Roberts to the way you actually are?

A. That’s a really good question. (laughs) I had originally intended that Doug the character would be an extreme version of myself.   But after having read my book now over and over, I’ve come to see that what’s extreme are the circumstances he’s in.   Doug the character is a lot like I was back then: ok in the smarts department, and a little too cocky sometimes.  He’s not very romantic or knowledgeable about women, but does all right in spite of himself. (laughs)  There’s an element of male fantasy in the book I suppose. In the story, I have two charming female lunch companions in addition to Fari my Iranian girlfriend/fiancée.

Q. But you really were friends with Heidi Eftekhar your co-worker in the story.

A. I still am.  Heidi and I communicate regularly by email and her input on the book was immensely helpful.  Miss Farou is the fantasy.  She actually didn’t like me all that much. (laughs).

Q. I get the impression you had a lot of fun writing your book.

A. It was pretty trippy for me at times.  I would totally submerse myself in it.  For example, I had written the scene describing how I spent New Year’s Eve in Iran just a couple of weeks after New Year’s Eve in real life.  When someone asked me about how I’d spent my New Years, it shocked me as to how much effort I had to put into pulling up what I’d actually done versus what I’d just written.  That was a little scary.

Q. What do you think people will get out of your book?

A. I’m sure everyone will get a little something different, but what I’d like for people to take from it is that, like in the story, life may present you with some extreme circumstances.  When that happens, keep a level head and your wits about you.  Try to see beyond what appears to be happening on the surface.  There will always be some good things happening at any given moment. Try to focus on that.  To get through your ordeal it’s a good idea to engage all your friends to help you and your faith if you have that.  Most important of all:  never give up.

The Man Who Fooled SAVAK is available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle and in various ereader formats from Smashwords.com

Available in print Feb 2013

Preorder your copy at a special publisher’s discount price of $10.99 plus 4.99 shipping & handling – $15.98 or $5 off list price.
Send an email to info@outerbankspublishing.com with your name, address, phone number and email address.
List Price: $15.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
376 pages

Outer Banks Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 978-0982993125
ISBN-10: 0982993129
BISAC: Fiction / Espionage

Renowned Shelf Unbound Magazine interviews Mary L. Tabor

 

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Mary L. Tabor was interviewed by Shelf Unbound, the literary magazine for small press and independent books.

This is probably the most enlightening interview I have ever read on why writer’s write. A must read on Page 12.Mary L. Tabor interview with Shelf Unbound m

Here is an excerpt from the interview – Mary explains how the main character, Robert narrates and invents the story as it is told.

“As Robert and I invented the story he didn’t know, my own memories invaded as they inevitably will for the writer of any story. Memory is by its very nature is flawed, but the need to revisit memory over and over again is part and parcel of being human and alive. Revisiting memory is the way we search for meaning in our lives, for the narrative of who we are and who we might become. In some sense, we’re inventing. But in fact we’re searching for emotional truth.”

You can find Who by Fire on Amazon in print or as an ebook and in bookstores and retailers everywhere.

 

 

 

Mansfield Killings Novel comes to life for Author

 
It was the worst two-week killing spree in Ohio’s history. On the night of July 21, 1948, Robert Daniels and John West entered John and Nolena Niebel’s house in Mansfield, Ohio with loaded guns. They forced the family including the Niebel’s 21-year-old daughter, Phyllis, into their car and drove them to a cornfield just off Fleming Falls Road in Mansfield. The two men instructed the Niebels to remove all of their clothing, and then Robert Daniels shot each of them in the head.

Scott Fields of Mansfield, Ohio was so intrigued by this true story that he turned the horrific events into a page-burning novel that you cannot put down until you turn the last page. During a recent book signing in his hometown of Mansfield, Scott was approached by a man he had never seen before. The man introduced himself and Scott’s jaw dropped.

By Scott Fields
Author of The Mansfield Killings

I had just begun a book signing when a dignified, older man walked through the door. He stood in the back of the room as I finished with the person in front of me. He then approached me and shook my hand introducing himself as Roger Winger. I had no clue as to who he was in spite of his obvious pause as he waited for me to take heed of his presence.

Roger Winger

Roger Winger and Scott Fields

“You don’t know who I am, do you?” he asked.

“No, I don’t,” I said. “Sorry.”

“In July of 1948, I saw the dead bodies of the Neibel family lying in a cornfield off of Flemming Falls Road.”

For several seconds I stood there with mouth open trying to comprehend what he had just told me. “What did you just say?”

“I actually saw the dead bodies.”

I grabbed him by the arm and led him into another room. “How could you have seen such a thing?”

“I was six years old at the time. I lived next to the cornfield where the Niebels were found. That day was like any other summer day. I had seen the group of boy scouts marching down Flemming Falls Road earlier in the day. I hardly gave notice because boy scouts on that road was a common sight to see. Later that day, I stepped outside my house to see find police cars, ambulances and even fire engines all up and down the road. Out of curiosity, I walked down to the cornfield. There were men rushing back and forth but seemed to be concentrating on a spot about 50 feet into the field. I cautiously walked through the corn stalks until I was within a foot or so from the spot where the three people had been shot.”

“Did you see the bodies?” I asked.

“Yes, I did. Their bodies had turned white and were extremely bloated.”

“Was there signs of blood?”

“No. I don’t remember seeing any blood.”

“That’s a bit surprising,” I said. “Considering thThe Mansfield Killings Cover IIat they were shot in the head. What happened next?”

“One of the policemen saw me and yelled at me to get the hell out of here. I took off running thinking they were chasing me.”

“Daniels declared that they did not rape twenty year old Phyllis, and yet the bodies were found completely nude. The first coroner stated that there was no evidence of rape and yet the coroner at Daniel’s trial stated that she had been raped. Why do you think Daniels would admit to everything but deny raping Phyllis?”

“I’m not sure,” said Roger. “I personally think he did it. Back in those days, murder was one thing. Rape was another.”

Small talk followed, and soon we said our goodbyes. I did manage to get his phone number and address, because I have many more questions for him.

_______________________________________

The Mansfield Killings now at this special publisher’s discount price of $12.99 (List $14.99).

Publication Date: December 3, 2012

Discount Price: $12.99
5.5″ x 8.5″
Black & White on Cream paper
280 pages

ISBN 10 – 0982993137
ISBN 13 – 978-0-9829931-3-2

Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Language: English

Review: Who by Fire, a dissection of the turmoil and pleasures of straying couples

Reprinted with permission from Michael Johnson

By MICHAEL JOHNSON

Novels about love affairs outside of marriage are a genre unto themselves and I try my best to avoid them. John Updike made a career of these stories anyway, so what’s left to say? Yet once in a while a new writer emerges with such sharp sensibilities, such descriptive powers, and such a rich story that I am forced to reconsider.Who by Fire by Mary L. Tabor

Mary L. Tabor is such a writer, and her new book, “Who By Fire” (Outer Banks, $17.95), launched a few weeks ago to a full house in a Washington, D.C. bookshop, kept me turning pages to enjoy the careful prose, the fascinating digressions and most of all the unspooling of the story.

To my mind, the story is the fire in the relationships. The ice is Ms. Tabor’s masterly control of the complex plot. The reader begins to suspect what is to come as hints are dropped along the path toward the climax. This book is hard to put down.

“Who By Fire” is a near-surgical dissection of the turmoil and pleasures that straying couples experience – and the effect on the betrayed.

Ms. Tabor takes the time to develop characters so that you care about what they are going through. She finally kills off Lena, the woman who succumbed to her lover’s charms, and she does it abruptly after setting the scene: “And then she died.”

Who by Fire by Mary L TaborMary Tabor is a writer who likes to say it is never too late. She started publishing her prose at age 60 and already has to her credit a frank memoir of her life and marriage entitled “(Re)Making Love: A Memoir.” Her best short stories are collected in “The Woman Who Never Cooked.”

She takes stunning risks in her new novel, the most impressive being her decision to write from the perspective of Lena’s husband, Robert, the man who suffers as his emotions of widowhood and awareness of his dead wife’s affair mingle in his thoughts.

Jay McInerney tried the gender-swap in “The Story of My Life” but he never let you forget he was trying to sound like a girl. Ms. Tabor glides into the male perspective effortlessly and stays there.

As the narrator “Robert” reconstructs the story of his life, Ms. Tabor makes him recall what he had failed to see before his wife’s death:

“If I’d seen them on the street, I’d have known because they would have done the sorts of things that reveal: They would have passed between them a bottle of water, their hips would touch, as if by accident, when they walked; they wouldn’t touch with their hands the way safe lovers do, but an observant eye could catch both the intimacy and the caution—and know. It was when she was dying that I knew. It was the way he touched her head before he left her bedside. What I thought was an obligatory visit from a colleague changed with one gesture.”

I was propelled through this book most of all by the taut language, the dialogue and the perfect sentences, honed in the author’s years as a teacher of creative writing at George Washington University, Ohio State and University of Missouri, among others. From the outset, you are in the thrall of a confident storyteller.

Her digressions take the reader into worlds she clearly knows — the detail of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the art world, the finer points of classical music, quantum physics and the business of psychology. She has her psychologist character Evan say at one point:

“I’m beginning to think I give more comfort than cure. Not such a bad thing but not what I expected. I feel like an old broom—cleaning up, moving around the messes in people’s heads, never sure if that’s all I’m doing.”

She will throw odd words at you and expect you to understand. The apple trees are espaliered. The plants are pleached.

I was drawn into the suspense when the lovers realize that the betrayed wife is returning home early. With cinematic realism, the lovers find themselves about to be discovered when they hear the key in the lock:

“A familiar sound, merely a click, but they thought, almost as if their minds were one, that they heard the separate mechanisms of the lock moving, tumbling like thunder.”

This reader quickly turned the page to watch them awkwardly lie their way out of trouble.

Mary L. Tabor tells me she is at work on a new novel. Somehow she finds time to do a weekly internet interview about writing, broadcast on Rarebirdradio.

It is never too late, as she would be the first to tell you.

Potter author’s first grown-up novel ‘best I can do’

LONDON (AFP) Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:07:54 PM

A member of staff fills a display with copies of 'The Casual Vacancy', the new novel by British author J K Rowling, in a bookshop in London on September 27, 2012, as it goes on sale for the first time.A member of staff fills a display with copies of ‘The Casual Vacancy’, the new novel by British author J K Rowling, in a bookshop in London on September 27, 2012, as it goes on sale for the first time.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling spent the day “trying to avoid newspapers” as her first novel for grown-ups hit the bookshops, but she is confident the book is “the best I can do”, she told fans.

“The book is what I wanted it to be,” she told about 900 fans at London’s Southbank Centre on Thursday night after “The Casual Vacancy”, a black comedy of village life, was published — having already sold one million advance copies.

Kept closely under wraps until publication day, the book is a gritty tale involving sex and drug addiction that is widely expected to be Britain’s best-selling fiction title this year. It is already topping the Amazon charts.

Set in the fictional village of Pagford in southwest England, it tells the story of the fight to fill a slot on the parish council after the incumbent’s sudden death, and hinges on the fate of a squalid housing estate.

It took Rowling, 47, five years to complete and required another half-written children’s novel to be put on the back burner, she told her audience.

But writing it was “a lovely place to be — there was so much pressure for the Potter books”.

File photo of Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, who spent the day her first novel for grown-ups hit the bookshops

File photo of Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, who spent the day her first novel for grown-ups hit the bookshops “trying to avoid newspapers”. Kept closely under wraps until publication day, the book is a gritty tale involving sex and drug addiction that is widely expected to be Britain’s best-selling fiction title this year.

“I kept telling myself ‘you don’t have to publish this,'” Rowling said.

She spent Thursday watching “Men in Black 3″ with her children in an effort to avoid reviews, she said — and the book has met with a mixed reception from critics.

Several found it dull in parts despite scenes of sex and drugs, and that Rowling’s most vivid writing was on the familiar ground of children pitted against the power of adults.

Famously tough critic Michiko Kakutani wrote in the New York Times that “there is no magic in this book — in terms of wizarding or in terms of narrative sorcery.

“Instead, this novel for adults is filled with a variety of people like Harry’s aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley: self-absorbed, small-minded, snobbish and judgmental folks, whose stories neither engage nor transport us.”

But in Britain, Allison Pearson wrote in the Daily Telegraph that “The Casual Vacancy” was “sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed, and full of cruelty and despair”.

And Boyd Tonkin in the Independent called it a “song of freedom” as Rowling was able to abandon the constraints of children’s writing following her seven books about the boy wizard.

Rowling revealed Thursday that her favourite characters in her own books were Fats — a foul-mouthed schoolboy in the new novel — and Dumbledore, the bearded wizard, wise but troubled, who is headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry books.

She said that she would change “quite a few things” about the Potter novels, and that the actors who played Harry and his magical friends Ron and Hermione in the blockbuster films were “all too good-looking”.

Rowling has previously said she left “the door ajar” for a return to the world of Harry Potter, although she said she was not intending to write any more books about the young wizard.

Asked about the constant spectre of death in the new novel, Rowling described herself as “death obsessed”.

“Why does it obsess me? I don’t know. The easy answer is my mother died when I was 25 — she was only 45. That was clearly a formative experience.”

Writing about death had made her “less afraid of it”, she said, but she was still “frightened of leaving my children”.

Danielle Salvatore, 19, a student from North Carolina, had paid £200 ($325, 250 euros) for a resold ticket to the event.

“It’s worth it because JK Rowling inspired a lifetime of magic for me,” she said.

Rowling told fans she “hated” the intense secrecy which has surrounded each of her books before publication day, but said the risk of online leaks had forced her publisher’s hand.

In advice for budding writers, she said they should “get an agent!” and not always expect to feel inspired.

“Inspiration is clearly necessary, but then comes the long and hard work of writing,” she said. “I definitely don’t wake up and ask myself, ‘Am I inspired today?'”

Photos by Carl Court/AFP/File

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Kentucky Author Ron Rhody to announce next THEO novel at A Gathering of Authors

 

Outer Banks Publishing Group Author Ron Rhody will be one of the guest authors at The Paul Sawyier Public Library at its fifth A Gathering of Authors on Saturday, August 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Ron Rhody

Ron Rhody

Ron will introduce his next THEO novel, the third in a series, at the library.

The Gathering is a celebration of the rich tradition of literature in Kentucky.

This event features gifted writers who play an integral role in the library’s service to readers throughout Frankfort, KY and the Commonwealth.

Authors from across the Bluegrass come to sell and sign their works as well as carry on a dialogue with attendees about their craft. The Gathering is an excellent opportunity to meet some of your favorite authors in a casual atmosphere. Stop by and chat with the participants, and be sure to pick up their newest releases!

This event is free to the public and open to all ages.  For more information, please contact Diane Dehoney at (502)352-2665×108 or Mark Kinnaird at mark@pspl.org.

New Author is Never without an Idea for his Next Book

 

Newly-published author, Scott Fields talks openly about his writing, how he does it and his newest book, Summer Heat.

Here is the synopsis:

When she was 17, there wasn’t a man alive she would let get near her, and when she was 18, there wasn’t a man she would keep away.

She stood five feet seven inches tall, weighed one hundred twenty pounds, her green eyes sparkled like brilliant cut emeralds, her inviting full lips always ruby red and moist.

Women universally hated her, men continued to hold doors for her long after she passed by – just to watch her walk away. To imply that Jessie exuded sex would be an understatement, akin to inferring that water was wet.

Ninety-nine point nine percent of the men in Steam Corners wanted her, but she only wanted one man, Spencer Deacon. He was everything that she was not, even-tempered, amicable, well respected and kind. The one thing that Spencer didn’t want was Jessie, and his firm and undeniable rejections infuriated her.

What followed was a series of sordid events involving murder, deceit, betrayal and the conviction of an innocent man.

_______________________

Publisher: I couldn’t help but notice that your latest novel, Summer Heat, is quite diverse from some of your earlier novels which were small town, nostalgic works. Why is this book different?

S. Fields: All my life I’ve had this obsession with ideas for stories. I never know when one of these germs is going to somehow penetrate my head. I certainly have no control of it. It just happens. I’ve written 12 novels, 8 screenplays and 13 short stories, and each one of them was inspired by one of those germs that was implanted in my head. I’m always writing something, and all the while I have four or five story ideas buzzing in my head.

Publisher: Bestselling author James Patterson has the same problem. Maybe you could give us a little history of your writing career.

S Fields: All my life I’ve always wanted to write. I didn’t really get started until I went to college. Believe it or not, I turned down a contract from the Detroit Tigers, so that I could go to college and learn to write, a decision I’ve questioned more than once. The sad part is that I learned that nobody can teach you to write. The only way to learn is by simply writing, and I mean writing everyday. To hone the craft to an art form, one must be dedicated to the point of obsession. After college, I continued writing short stories and was lucky enough to have four of them published. Later, I began to write novels and now my fifth one has been launched by Outer Banks Publishing.

Publisher: So you actually turned down a chance to be a professional baseball player. That must have been a difficult decision.

S Fields: You have no idea. I was drafted in 1966 after graduating from high school. There were over 700 young men in that draft, and I was the 34th pick. You better believe that was a tough decision.

Publisher: How long does it take you to write a novel?

S Fields: Up until a year ago, I was working a full time job, and most of my books would take about a year to write.

Publisher: Where did you get the idea for this one? Was it another one of those germs from out of nowhere?

S Fields: I was driving along the highway. My wife was asleep, and my mind was in neutral thinking about what I was going to do when I got home. The next thing I know I get this idea about a young, sleazy woman who loves to party married to an older, serious-minded farmer. Every man in town wants her, but she wants a young, Afro-American man. To her frustration, this young man wants nothing to do with her sexually.

Publisher: I’m a bit surprised that someone who writes warm and fuzzy stories could write such a book.

S Fields: Most authors have a certain genre that is their expertise. It is a genre in which they excel. Stephen King is famous for his books of horror, and Danielle Steele writes women’s fiction. I write whatever excites me at the time. I have no niche or particular genre to call home. I even wrote a book about two men who went on a killing spree back in 1948. In a two week period, they murdered 6 people in Ohio. Even after all these years, it still remains the worst killing spree in Ohio’s history. On the other end of the spectrum, I wrote a religious book called Just Believe. Actually, I hope I never settle for one particular genre. I think I would get bored.

Publisher: Where are all of these projects that you have written? You’ve only had four novels published.

S Fields: They are buried somewhere in my computer. Generally, when I finish a project, I’m aching to get started on a new one. Many of my projects were written years ago and have been forgotten.

Publisher: Have you ever dreamed of becoming a nationally-known author?

S Fields: I’m sure every writer has a one time or another dreamed of seeing his books in stores across the nation. I like to keep things in perspective. I consider writing as my hobby, then I’m never disappointed.

 Publisher: Do you think Summer Heat will be successful?

S Fields: Not to appear immodest, but, yes, I do. Women’s fiction in 2004 represented 55 per cent of all book sales. Today’s trend is thrillers, but women’s fiction is still right up there.

Publisher: Well, we believe Summer Heat is a hit.

S Fields: Thank you very much.

Photo of Scott during a recent book signing at the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library in his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio.

___________________

About Scott

In 1996 with a lifelong dream of being a writer, Scott Fields started writing short stories. Within the next two years, he had four stories published. Since then, his first novel, All Those Years Ago, was published, and in the fall of 2004, his second novel, A Summer Harvest, was released. His third novel, The Road Back Home, was published in the fall of 2007 by Charles River Press, and his fourth novel, Last Days of Summer, was released by Whiskey Creek Press.

He was born and raised in La Rue, Ohio, a small village nestled in the farmlands of mid-Ohio. It was there that he learned to appreciate small town life and country living, which he incorporates into his novels. He graduated from Ohio University in 1970 with a degree in English Literature.

Scott and his wife, Deb, now live in Mansfield, Ohio. Their children, Sara, Angela, Michael, and Matt live in the Detroit area.

_______________

Summer Heat is available in print from The Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore at a special discount of $9.99 and on Amazon, the Kindle, and bookstores everywhere.

Paperback: 212 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982993110
ISBN-13: 978-0982993118
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces

So you want to be social and accepted?


There is no better time than now
. Social Media is exploding as the new paradigm for the 21st century as the new way to communicate, connect and be accepted.

It is as revolutionary as the iPhone and ironically it is the iPhone and other smart phones that are driving this life-altering movement.

Take the explosive Arab Spring that toppled regimes – it was spawned and grown by social media. Without Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Skype and other social media it may never have happened.

No other time in the history of mankind has so many people on the planet communicated in mass, instantly with a deeper, richer form of communication combining audio, photography and video in a single message.

Now there is Instagram and Pinterest where people post photos of their life or other people’s lives that inspire them. You can see a collage of a person’s personality and maybe a glimpse of their soul on a single web page in the form of photographs. It’s like walking into a person’s home – you immediately get a closer look of that person by the smells, the choice of their furniture style, the colors of the walls, the knickknacks on the shelves and animals that run about your feet.

And because of this transparent and brutal honest by most people in their quest to be liked, accepted and one of the gang, savvy business people are finding this is the platinum age of marketing and advertising.

Social media reveals what’s in the hearts and souls of potential customers.

Go back 50 to 100 years to small town America. Everyone knew everyone and what they liked. So when a local resident went to the local grocery store, the grocer knew exactly what that resident wanted and what they liked. He or she may have put aside certain items knowing that particular customer always shopped on a specific day. Social media is the revival of the small town, but on a global scale.

Businesses can customize their products and services to what people say they like or love on social media. Every business owner, marketer or product manager is now like that small town grocer – they know what people are saying and can orient their wares to appeal to those people with precision accuracy. This is marketing nirvana.

And the staunch, slow-to-adapt Fortune 500 companies are also noticing and beginning to tap this global market on social media.

So you want to be social? Now is the time.

________________________________

A good place to start is by reading Social Media for Business by Martin Brossman and Anora McGaha. Thoroughly researched, written and compiled by two Raleigh residents, Social Media for Business, is filled with articles by experienced social media professionals who live and work in the Raleigh area.

It has hands-on useful advice for the beginner and advanced user of social media focused on promoting your business with social media.

Author revives 60-year-old Murder Mystery in his Newest Novel

Outer Banks Publishing Group author Ron Rhody ventured back to his hometown, Frankfort, KY recently to speak before the Frankfort Women’s Club about his new upcoming murder mystery novel based on true events, THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes. Kay Harrod of The State Journal in Frankfort covered the event. Here is her story.

By Kay Harrod of The State Journal, Frankfort, KY
October 16, 2011

It may be Frankfort’s oldest unsolved murder. Few remember it, but author Ron Rhody does.

Rhody, a Frankfort native and 1950 graduate of Frankfort High School, remembers it so vividly that he focuses his latest work of fiction on the story to be released at the Kentucky Book Fair, Saturday, Nov. 12.

Rhody’s latest work is a prequel to “Theo’s Story,” a Frankfort-based novel of political intrigue and murder written in 2009.

“Theo and the Mouthful of Ashes” examines the protagonist’s younger days as a reporter at The State Journal when it was on West Main Street.

The book sets it sights on a murder in Frankfort more than 60 years ago. A woman was discovered at the bottom of a flight of stairs, her head bashed in and her throat stuffed with ashes.

The impetus for the story comes from Rhody’s recollection of Frankfort as a young man. Read the rest of the story here.>

Photo by  Tricia Spaulding

__________________________________

THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes is available at special pre-launch discount until Nov. 12 at the Outer Banks Publishing Group Bookstore.

Order yours now at this special pre-launch discount price.

Publication Date: January 2012THEO & The Mouthful of Ashes

Prelaunch Price: $12.99
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
274 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9829-9316-3
ISBN EL: 978-1-4524-0970-2

Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Language: English