How to Write After Facing Rejection from a Publishing Company

Writers can face many rejections through their careers, such as rejection from a publishing company, a book not selling as well as an author thought it would, or even disapproval from friends and family. Sometimes writers may get discouraged from these rejections, but none of these should stir that writer away from writing what they have to write. It’s fine to get discouraged, but perseverance is key. But how does a writer do that when they’re told by a publishing company, “We just didn’t connect with the material?” Let me break that down for you.

J.K. Rowling is by far one of the most prolific writers who ever lived. Harry Potter is beloved by millions and has garnered billions of dollars in revenue not only for her, but for her publisher as well. However, Rowling was rejected 12 times before she finally found a publisher who would take a chance on her, an unpublished author at the time. And even though she was broke, that didn’t stop her. She had the passion to continue her project that they thought was nothing more than a joke. The publishers didn’t think that a young boy with a wand and a fat man with long hair and a beard could succeed in a book. And with her endless perseverance, all it took was one yes. Afterwards, Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling became household names. She faced the pain and didn’t let it stop her, just as your pain and failures shouldn’t stop you.

Publishing companies are shrewd. There are only so many books that they can accept, and that number is no where near the amount of submissions they receive. That shouldn’t discourage you as there are alternative routes that writers can take, such as self-publishing. Maybe this route won’t give you the millions you dream of making, but if it gets your work of art in front of a reader, it is a success. I have been an Independent writer for most of my writing career, and I have faced criticism from those who have read my books. That it is a part of writing. I heard somewhere before, whether they criticize you or compliment you, you are doing something right. It means they are giving your work attention. 

The most important thing is to not let rejection stop you. Write anyway. Use the frustration and let it fuel your writing. Instead of feeling down and depressed that your work hasn’t been accepted, keep writing anyway. All it takes is one ‘yes.’ And if not, self-publish. For more tips on writing, check out my audiobook, Your Writing: Tips on Making Your Amazon Kindle Book Great, narrated by Chiquito Joaquim Crasto.  It is a short audiobook on the process of making a Kindle book, which is a good start in writing an independent book.

Don’t get discouraged by a publishing rejection; writers have many options besides big publishers. And remember that the most successful writers never walked away from their passion, no matter how hard life got for them.

How to Get Comfortable Writing in an Uncomfortable Place

You have only a short time to write. You’re far from home so you can’t go to your usual Starbucks. And unfortunately, you have to write today, because the rest of your week is taken up by family plans, work-related things, and a doctors appointment. There’s a coffee shop around the corner that you’ve never been to before. You feel a flash of anxiety at the thought of writing in a new place. How do you calm yourself down to write when, by the time you get settled in, it will be time to go?

Something I’ve learned in the past few years is how to overcome negative feelings and writing when it was uncomfortable to write. Sometimes dealing with the crowd and the noise of a new place can distract you from your goal. So, how do you settle down to write with all these anxieties?

Breathing Exercises

When you feel anxious, trying focus on your breathing. Certain breathing exercises can help center yourself and help you not to feel as anxious. That feeling of centeredness can help you to focus your emotions, and as a result, your writing. 

Listen to Relaxing Music

They say music soothes the savage beast, and often listening to music can help your writing mood. As a bonus, it can also spark the muse and improve your writing. Some relaxing music can settle your mind, allowing you to block out the distractions around you, and let you concentrate on your writing.

Don’t Force Yourself

In other words, relax. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially in a particularly strong bout of anxiety. But when we relax, our flow state comes much more naturally, and the stress just melts away.

If you’re unable to relax, then maybe it’s just your body telling you it doesn’t want to write right now. Maybe now is a good time to journal. Use that chance to get your emotions out onto paper instead of letting them eat away in your head. Who knows, maybe it will create a brainstorm for your next project.

When you are stressed out in an uncomfortable place you may not write well.  That’s no reason to panic! If you get stressed, try talking it out.  There are plenty of people in your life you can open up to about your problems; even some of the folks at Joe’s Writers’ Club would be happy to lend an ear.  Come check it out! We share some information that may help you feel relaxed and overcome your writing fears. It is up to you to do it and follow through. Joe’s Writers’ Club has been very supportive of my writing and has helped me gain my confidence. They will be supportive of your endeavors, too.

Bottom line, writing is not supposed to be stressful. However, sometimes it can be. So the best thing to do is take it easy and relax. Using some of these skills will help you ease into writing. 

Paragraphic Rift: Have you imposed narrative Temporality?

7: Have you imposed narrative Temporality? 

What is narrative Temporality? 

Temporality and impermanence go together, for such is measured by the ticking clock, the circling shadow, the palpitating heart, or a single tear streaking down a lovelorn face. Sometimes a single moment can weigh more than the world. 

Into everyone’s life, a little rain must fall, yet rain is also needed in order to preserve life. Vitality spills from the elements and is tried by them, and then passes back into them, energy dancing in and out of existence’s frame. A mere blink and being comes and goes, with each unit following the prefabricated biological action. Such is maturation, it happens to everything before entropy hastens decline. This universal occurrence defines matter, but spirit is external, invisible, and marks the transitions as they click by. Like a cosmic hologram playing out timelessly again and again. 

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

“The Hologram” 

Wise old timers see a rhythm or pattern in the lives they learn about so that at the end many say that life feels like a story, with chapters, dramatic themes, ups and downs, twists, and a hero’s journey in it for the bargain. Certain days meet certain nights, in an age of development, in a generation of particular bliss or tribulation, and the many are changed by another season turning in an uncertain world. Generation gap (external trial) or generational crisis (internal trial) bring hive-minded conformers or nonconformists who think free of the mind cage

Individualism is the prize of freedom, justice, and prosperity, and yet some people or concepts go far to set themselves apart from the many, under any circumstances or trials. These are influential characters: protagonists, antagonists, hero, antihero, villain, thrall, etc. 

Photo by Mak on Unsplash

Seasons in life: 

1st model: 
  • Birth / Life / Death = existence 

  • Beginning / Middle / End = a story 

2nd model: 
  • Nut, germination, sprout, sapling, tree, nut = a forest 

  • Information, Transformation, Replication, Termination = life cycle 

A tree bears fruit of its own kind, and by such is it known. The soil in which its seed was planted suffered it’s germination, but how spitefully? How rich is the soil? How much rain found it? What of storms, frosts, fires, or plucking fingers? These factors shape the hologram of any growing thing, evidencing the holographic all. Adversity challenges through extremes and is marked by a seasonal yield. Crops are generations, and a generational account is a harvest tally. 

Seasonal Development of a subject 
  • Outer / Calendrical Time: important dates / durations 

  • Inner / Emotional Time: important moments / events 

Seasons of development illustrate generational/narrative Temporality, that which marks any progress of forms and or character/style. These things may offer generational bridges to be crossed, and on the echoing green there are no gaps or delineations. 

And so it is important to take youths and elders back to moments of temporal shift, so that generations have a common reference point, and a character may be humanized and relatable. A first drive/ride, a walk under summer’s moonlight, the heart shape encased initials carved into trees by youthful kissers, the field where a boy saw his first dead body, where a girl found her maidenhood, where the orphan childhood ended, or the dawning of war. 

That where is a when, and can be flashed back to or dreamscaped into developmental seasons/episodes whereby characters or concepts may be continually shaped. A scar. A favor. A smile. A good beating. How the growth weathers it’s environment reveals much about it’s nature/character. 

Development is disposition. Are they weathered, delicate, perfect, deficient? This suffering or treatment of growth and developmental concepts visits the heart space the way that timelessness does, but instead of coming from out of cosmic nowhere these factors are the product of a systemic wheel of seasons, and that difference is as important as it is opposite to Temporality. 

Natural themes predominate temporal matters, as opposed to supernatural or ethereal influences. We must simulate life experiences and so social development (or lack thereof) in our characters and or world, so that a sense of narrative progress and evolution may be shared with the reader. This is how living things in the text come to life, and how that character’s life is touched by temporality. 

Paragraphic Rift: Have You Polished Your Text?

4: What is Creative Polish?

Creative Polish is an analysis of one’s literary voice for optimization. Not for grammar as much as for poetic elevations and mythic tone. This radical method suggests that one should overwrite, to go beyond systemized reductionism in order to transcend the language of the day. Editors trim for clarity or to emphasize proper grammar, which is their job, but some would delete glory because to them, it’s all been done before. Might as well tell the sun not to rise while we’re at it… 

A good creative polish seeks to challenge the readership rather than bring everything down to the fourth-grade level. It’s more for creative obsessors than hobbyists. Having read much and been greatly inspired, and having a regular muse flash leading unto creative obsession, you will want to obsess over the words already written. 

So… Having written in bliss from out of a bright muse flash nagging you sweetly all day, you return to the text the next chance you get to creatively polish the work. 

Creative Polish Guidelines: 

1: remember the chapter (section) you are polishing, because themes and scenarios should shape language and Inspire voice. (action pace, creepy pace, dialogue, etc) 

2: when you read any sentence, look for the poem that could be there. No matter what the subject, no matter what the demographic, just remember eternity and forget now. Write to be rediscovered on post-apocalyptic bookshelves centuries from now after WW7, fearing no contemporary naysay or caution. 

3: when you encounter the turning of a phrase, take care not to disturb its textual ecstasy. Butterflies are better with wings ON them… 

4: vocabulary must challenge in order to compliment the reader’s intelligence. Be courageous with both existing terms and fictitious wordsmithing, from which all linguistic enchantment derives its fantastical delirium. Example: time machine 
Photo by Josh Redd on Unsplash

Let your obsession reach for perfection, but don’t embrace perfectionism. 

Believe in what the muse brought to mind. 

It is necessary to self-edit, self workshop, self-optimize. 
It is unnecessary to be your own worst critic. 

Some words will stay, some shall be rewritten, others deleted. The ones that remain from out of the original muse flash must quiver with mythic resonance, each sentence a poem, each phrase a mystery. Even if you were writing about mundane concepts, your voice should still be beaming bright so that the muse may be honored. 

Adore the process, love the satisfaction, seek more from the muse, give praise to what you revere. You know what you like and dislike, and this polarity helps focus your voice. Your voice is emergent from creative obsession, is harmonized into oneness by reading well and writing lots, and so is both consciousness and unconscious in nature. Unconsciousness is limitless, and the words of muse and voice can transcend amazing thresholds of beauty and ugliness, profoundly touching both heart and soul. 
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Well, creative obsessors, we are back at the halfway point. 5: Creative Workshopping. 

Some people start from the beginning, 1: What Is Your Inspiration; some from the middle, 5: Creative Workshopping; and some from the end, 10: Adaptive Bookcraft. No matter what stage you are in or what direction the development takes, JWC Paragraphic Rift has a way for you to dial in and access the creative edit. 

Let’s see if we can learn from each other’s dreams and grow as writers together.

Pass It On: Some Positive Quotes for Writers

Writing is an intense and rewarding solo effort, as much as musical composition or painting is. There are no partners or helpers in any of these arts, nor can there ever be. The creation of music, painting or a story can only come from a single hand.

Just as Gershwin could only create the magnificence that is Rhapsody In Blue, so it is that a writer has to tap into their own mind, experiences and talent to craft something that they can only hope someone will want to read.

Writing can be a lonely, frustrating business, but don’t get me wrong. Some writers need that. Others need a more positive mindset. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of quotes from and by authors about their craft. It is my hope that you will find them inspiring to your inner genius.

What Inspires You?
Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”John Green

I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.”Isaac Asimov

Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” – Lisa See

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” – Terry Pratchett

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” – Octavia E. Butler

You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” – Stephen King

Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” – Ray Bradbury

There is only one plot – things are not what they seem.” – Jim Thompson

Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”Stephen King

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” – W.H. Auden

Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”William Faulkner

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”Edgar Rice Burroughs

Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.”Ralph Keyes

The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”Neil Gaiman

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”Stephen King

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov

I’ve always been into ‘fast-paced, don’t bore ’em, keep it moving along, stick with the story.’ You know: tell a story the way I want to hear a story.”James Patterson

When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”  Stephen King

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott Card

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”Ray Bradbury

If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb

Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”Ray Bradbury

I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” – William Carlos Williams

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” – Chinua Achebe

Do you have a favorite writer’s quote? Share it with us on our Facebook page or over on Twitter!

Pen and Scalpel: Don’t Limit Yourself to What You Know

Ever since I began to write seriously, just about every writer gave the same advice. “Write what you know.” It seemed to make sense at the time. I figured that if I stick to writing what I know, it will be more believable. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Denizen of Oz
If you accept the advice to stick with what you know, we would never have had Middle Earth, Oz, or the Lost World. These places, and many more, were created out of the imaginations of their authors. Did Tolkien visit The Shire? Had L. Frank Baum found something at the end of a rainbow one day? What about those dinosaurs in South America? I happen to know that Arthur Conan Doyle never set foot in South America. How could he then have written about that plateau filled with dinosaurs and those Cave Men?

The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The real answer is, of course, that these writers had incredible imaginations. Their minds operated on a much different plain than those around them. They could walk along the foggy moors of western England and come up with the Hound of the Baskervilles. They see a piece of amber with a mosquito inside it and conjure up the technology and architecture of Jurassic Park. They take Wagon Train, a classic television western, and morph it into an equally famous show set 300 years from now, Star Trek.
Hound of the Baskervilles
The ability to look at an ordinary object or person and extrapolate them into something completely different is something authors do every day. A great author can take a dictator from Romania Transylvania and transform him into Dracula. Bram Stoker had never met a vampire. His job as a secretary for an actor gave him no time to travel to Transylvania. What did Stoker do? He researched the area where Castle Dracula lived. His knowledge of the various locations in and around London and southeastern England is all that he needed to create Dracula. By the way, the book has never gone out of print since 1897.
Castle Dracula
You do not have to write about what you know. You only need to write about something you are interested in. If you aren’t interested or obsessed with, the subject of your writing will be flat and uninteresting. I have an interest in ghosts, and could probably craft an exciting ghost story. I do not know anything about hunting. If I wanted to write a story that had a hunt in it, I needed to do much research if I wish for my forest scenes to have any believability.
Passion makes all of the difference. Without this love, the foods we eat in restaurants would be bland and unattractive. Every book would be 215 pages and have the same characters living another day in their dull, uneventful lives. Every television show would use the same color scheme, lighting, and set designer and be about nothing each week. Do you have some idea now how passion makes the difference in everything?
Here’s an exercise for you to do. Try it once, and if it works, do it as often as you’d like.
Take a setting you haven’t written about yet.
Create three people and give them first names. Don’t do anything else with them.
Throw something unexpected at them that is outrageous. It could be a situation, an outside force, an animal, another person intent on doing them harm or something really crazy like something falling out of the sky.
Give your three main characters last names. What are they doing together? Why have they been there? Are they friends, relatives, or strangers to each other?
Have your three main characters deal with these events. They are in the center of it all.
Three Random Characters
Go crazy with this exercise. Don’t worry about how insane it gets. Focus on your people. How do they get out of the circumstances alive and unharmed? Do they get out of it unscathed? That’s up to you.
The point is to care about these main characters. Breath life into them, and feel what they feel, hear what they hear, and cry when they lose someone. Out of this will pour passion for them. You need to get very creative about keeping these three people breathing until the last sentence. The more you do this exercise; the better and more detailed the finished product will be. Make it as outrageous as you can think of. This chaos will force your brain to become inventive. 
After you do this several times, change it up. Put yourself and two of your family members through the same exercise. Now you’re dealing with real emotions as you do anything to keep the family safe and unharmed. You’ll find yourself getting much more emotional now because you care about these individuals. Soon you will be able to write about characters you invented as much as your family. That’s because the main characters of your story are your family now. You gave birth to them, and you need to nurture them.
You didn’t know them before you invented them. But you know these people now. And that’s the point.

Pen and Scalpel: How I Create My Characters.

I sometimes look at my mind as a warehouse that has been passed through a blender. Can you picture that? Neither can I, but that’s what I see. I have seen so many films and television shows and have read so many books that my mind has split into two distinct warehouses. The first one is filled with filing cabinets. Each cabinet is a genre or a movie franchise. All of the ideas inside any particular cabinet are kept organized in neat folders. The second one is a vortex of swirling data. Nothing is in place, and ideas smash into other ideas.

My Mind Is A Blender
This second warehouse is where the ideas come from. It could be Jurassic Park‘s velociraptors hitting the Martian War Machines from The War of the Worlds. Out of that comes an idea of a squadron of WWII fighter planes “manned” by trained raptors. Weird, yes, but that’s how the process works. Not all of the ideas work well at all, but enough do to keep the vortex at high velocity.
When it comes to creating characters, I take a great deal more care with them than I do a story idea. Stories are made up of characters who are in situations they must get out of somehow. Without characters, you only have situations and challenges without someone to grapple with them. For me, characters come in different layers. Each layer is important, and they are all tied together. One cannot be separated from any of the others.

Each Layer Is Important To The Others
Here are some of the layers I use to create a character. Put as many of these things into your story and give your people’s existence some reality.
  • Prior Life. Their Back Story in other words.
  • Friends, Enemies and Relatives.
  • Eccentricities, Habits and Nits.
  • Real Life Dialogue, Idioms and Catch Phrases.
  • Believability, Honor and A Sense Of Humor.
  • Fears, Beliefs and Superstitions.
  • Speech Patterns, Tics and Accents.
  • Goals, Dreams and Ambitions.
  • Curiosity, Interests and Dislikes.
John Pentgram. He started as a college assignment. I had to write a short story for my Creative Writing Final. The class received the assignment on Day Two of the class. I began to write down ideas, and found they were all terrible.

Then, one evening, I saw an old episode of Get Smart. In it, Maxwell Smart discovered that the enemy spy he had been chasing could not be caught because he’s a vampire. That created a spark in my mind. What if I created a detective who has been bitten by a werewolf? Better yet what if he could control his werewolf urges and use his gift to solve crimes?

The result became Nigh Of Fate, the story all of the other Pentgram stories revolved around. I now have a set of stories that take place before he gets bitten by the werewolf, and a set of stories taking place after he’s been bitten.

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?
Surela of Valtoor. My friend Michael ran a D & D campaign for many years. I couldn’t play but I helped him come up with traps, creatures and impossible situations for his characters. One day, I came up with a character who had influence over cats and gravity. Michael thought I had the potential for a new set of gods and influences they give to mortals.
The next morning, I woke up with an idea about a female thief on a mission to steal a treasure that had never been stolen from an empty town that would not let you leave. I sat down and wrote the name Surela on the paper. Where the name came from I still have no idea. Writing their name down gave me the entire story, including her 5 inch tall, friend Lim and her Entallic horse.

Surela’s entire world revealed itself in the next two stories. With the details of the God Shards clarified, the rest of the world and its history unfolded in the next six months. I wrote with a speed I had never experienced before or since. As a result, I had over 100 pages of background material, from coinage to religions to maps.

The Land Of Variema
Franklin Adams. Suppose the Frankenstein’s monster survived his arctic adventure? Suppose he went west and wound up in Canada? Suppose he became a fur trapper and saved all of his money until he could move to the U.S.? Suppose his scars faded until they were gone, yet he remained un-aging?
Cut to the present day. Adams is a private detective living in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. With over 200 years of knowledge and wisdom, he is used by the Police to help solve crimes they deem unsolvable. No one knows who he really is, until 12-year-old Rochelle Horowitz put the dozens of stray pieces of Adams’ life together. She becomes one of his apprentices and the only one who knows his secret.
Ryan Dacalos. In the year 2227, Ryan is hired to steal the Khurlu, the largest diamond ever found. It is in a secure box on Mars, which is forbidden to any visitors by the Uni-World Council. The money he is offered is too good to pass up and Ryan takes the job. He is immediately set upon by someone who doesn’t want him to get the diamond.

The Khurlu Of Mars
This story all stems from an off-hand remark from my friend Michael. One day, he happened to be talking about the planet Mars. In the middle of the conversation, he said something about the “Great Martian Terra-Form Disaster.” The story instantly hit me.

What if there was a disaster directly caused by efforts to terra-form Mars? What if the governments of the solar system decreed that Mars was now off-limits due to the anticipated destruction of the Martian Eco-system? What if the colonies already established on Mars were given 24 hours to evacuate forever, and some important things were left behind?

All of these details hit me at once, including the character who became Ryan Dacalos, psychic thief and obtainer of lost objects. His friends, Burke and Astra, came later in the day as I wrote down the details as they hit me. These people and the various settings were all in place within the week.

I chose to write the book in the First Person, something I had never done before. That new aspect of writing proved to be no problem for me. I wrote Ryan as if he were actually living the adventure as I wrote it. This gave the story a real immediacy that I liked.

People are just people, and these individuals you have been introduced to are members of their community. They just have jobs that are a lot different than yours or mine.

Meet the Authors

Richard Andrew Olkusz

Richard Andrew Olkusz, “Ricky” to his friends and family, is on a life mission – to perfect his words and bring poetic dimension to a secondary world. The diverse experiences that accompanied his eighteen-year surveying career profoundly shaped his life. The daily measuring of real estate and construction properties fueled his love of poetic description, humorous anecdotes, spiritualism, and paranormal investigation. Ricky and his business partner, Dave, ran Olkwood publishing since 2007, where they developed rules for a tabletop R.P.G. and created Afternity. Ricky works from home drafting maps using AutoCAD, he continues to write novels, poetry, and short stories, which have yielded nearly a million words of fiction overall. Ricky supports the pursuit of creative obsessions by hosting Joe’s Writers Club Podcast, an affiliation of Joe’s Writers Club, LLC, and by contributing his fictional works to its Corporate Gothic anthology, a selection of short stories set in haunted work spaces.

Julie Jirout

As a 15-year veteran English teacher, Julie Jirout’s fiction often features the promotion of literacy and the theme of justice. As Julie completed a Master’s Degree in English Education, she took linguistics classes that inspired a love of editing. When she isn’t experimenting with new recipes, reading, or watching PBS documentaries, she’s exploring the first-person voice in a new character or discussing fiction and language in her blog. With a focus on the clarity of English expression, Julie’s Blue Water Writing features bi-weekly posts. As Editor and participant, Julie provides feedback and support for its weekly podcasts and video recordings. For Joe’s Writers’ Club Corporate Gothic anthology, Julie submitted two short stories. Recently, Julie published her first Kindle Short Read, “There’s a War on Here”.

Twitter | Kindle

B. Lawrence

B. Lawrence began writing at his elementary school desk and finished his first short story during high school.  As an adult, B. improved his skill set and expanded his literary influences. Most satisfied creating worlds for his characters, B. followed up his first action novel in 2008 with a full-length spy novel. As a die-hard sports fan, it is not surprising that B.’s third novel features baseball players in peril with a playoff berth on the line. B.’s interest in sports goes beyond writing and extends to the playing field where he coaches youth basketball and football.  A music lover and a movie buff, B.’s fiction often showcases movie and music references.  As the Social Media Representative for Joe’s Writers Club and as an active member and contributor, B. recently completed and shared two short stories.


Tom Tiernan

From an early age, Tom had an attraction to the fantastic. His love of movies began at an early age when he saw Disney’s 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea. Captain Nemo opened an entire world for Tom. He was thrilled to discover that it was a book. Nemo is Tom’s favorite fictional character, empathizing with the captain as he wages war on War itself. Tom has written a Star Trek novel in which the Enterprise discovers Nemo and his crew living in a terraformed solar system hidden within a nebula.

In the 4th grade, Tom read Flying Saucers: Serious Business by Frank Edwards. This had an enormous impact on Tom’s world view, for the Universe held infinite wonders. In short order, his research included Bigfoot, UFOs, Cryptozoology and Ancient Astronauts.

Tom has read as many SF, Fantasy and Horror stories as he could get his hands on. Among his favorites are H. P. Lovecraft, H. G. Wells and Richard Matheson. Sherlock Holmes introduced Tom to a series with a continuing character. From there, he found series with Spenser, Parker, Dortmunder, Conan, Gandalf and even Dracula. The possibilities for a series had great impact on Tom’s future writing.

In college, Tom wrote his first serious short story. Night of Fate concerned John Pentgram, an Anomalist who gets bitten by a werewolf. It has become the pivotal story in Pentgram’s life, with dozens of stories taking place both before and after the werewolf attack. This allows Tom to explore two different sides of a complex character.

Tom was introduced to War Games by his best friend, Pete, while in college. The two men have been inseparable since then, with each of them being the Best Man at the other’s wedding. Gaming is their shared obsession. Tom designed his first game in 1977, making a game based on the Death Star trench scene from Star Wars. In 2014, Tom helped design and publish Secrets of the Lost Tomb, a board game filled with details from all the things Tom has loved all his life.

Marriage to Tracy and the birth of their daughter Ariel added more perspective to Tom’s life. At the time of Ariel’s birth, Tom had written about 80% of War of the God Shards, a fantasy epic. He put aside this work for 27 years as he focused on raising his family. Recently, he has begun to revise this work with eyes on completing it finally.

Music also plays an important part in Tom’s life. He is immune to Top 40s radio and has discovered what he likes on his own. This has given him a very diverse musical appreciation. His favorite pieces are: “The Planets” by Gustav Holst, “Rhapsody in Blue” by Gershwin and “We Must Believe in Magic” by Crystal Gayle. His great music love is film music. A love for film music has gone with his love films. Tom has seen over 14,000 films. His favorite film is The Thing from Another World. It has been his favorite since Tom was ten years old.

On a more personal side, Tom and Ariel are avid bowlers. Their goal is to one day crack the 250-game barrier. Tom and his family live with three cats. Two of them are Rag Doll/Maine Coon mixed brothers named Thor and Loki. Their third cat is a polydactyl female named Gypsy.

Michael Gary Wirth

Hailing from central New Jersey, Michael Gary Wirth has always had a penchant for the film industry. From a young age, he devoured any movie he could, from Citizen Kane to Ghostbusters. When asked in high school to choose a major, Michael settled on Electronic Filmmaking at New Jersey’s Fairleigh Dickinson University.

In pursuit of financial stability, Michael received a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications. With the realization that his passion didn’t lie in graphic arts but in writing instead, Michael set out to write his first full-length novel, The Non-Linear Flow of the Universal Tides. After finishing its sequel, The Relentless Pursuit of the Cosmic Awareness, Michael followed up with the techno-detective-noir mystery Imperfect Recall.

With three full-length novels completed, Michael returned to his original passion: movies and filmmaking and collaborated with director Louie Cortes to co-write a short film, “Eve.” Currently being solicited to film festivals, a teaser trailer for “Eve” is available on Vimeo.

Michael dabbled in online journalism, writing for outlets like and In his articles, Michael wrote reviews for movies, books and comic books as well as tidbits of breaking news for the discerning geek.

When he isn’t searching for a new plot, navigating bowling-alley-dimensions or helping to solve the mystery of a billionaire-tech-genius’ death, Michael enjoys travelling with his beautiful wife, Lauren. The countries they’ve visited and the exciting adventures they’ve shared have expanded his mind and enriched his writing.

He also has a cat.

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