Dana Rodgers

Unwind…

Image How can it possibly be August already? Vacations are winding down, and before we know it the kidlets will be back in school. Orientations, school supply shopping, and Back to School nights are right around the corner. As well as soccer/ football/ cheerleading/ field hockey practice/ symphony rehearsals/ robotics and homework. But this year my children aren’t the only ones preparing for a change in schedule and workload… Due to furloughs and the skyrocketing costs of college (I have two teenage daughters) I will be returning to work full time in the very near future. In addition to writing, this summer I have been taking online classes to increase my marketablility in preparation for this eventuality. I don’t mind returning to the workforce. In fact, most writers have a “day job.” But this summer, between the kids, the online classes and certifications, preparing and shopping my resume and trying to…
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Writing the Synopsis with Diana Cosby

Dana MermaidNot so long ago, I was certain that no one on the planet despised writing a synopsis as much as me. I would rather have put my beautiful, complete manuscript in a drawer, and moved on to write another entire book than to condense a 100k story into the 3-5 pages necessary to submit my work to an editor or agent. I always found it difficult to know what to put in and what to leave out, or how to convey the ever-important backstory that makes the hero and heroine who they are, without overshadowing the story actually being told. And then, I was fortunate enough to win a synopsis and three chapter review from the fabulous Diana Cosby, an international bestselling author who also happens to teach a class on writing the synopsis. Besides being one of the nicest people on the planet, she did such a wonderful job of helping me to understand and conquer my fear of the…
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Avery Flynn Climbs the Vine to Tell Us About Jax and the Beanstalk Zombies

AFlynnHeadshot2Mermaids, friends, and romance readers galore… I have convinced the fabulous Avery Flynn to tell us a little about herself and dish on her latest release, Jax and the Beanstalk Zombies, a zombie-apocalyptic romance published by Lyrical Press.

Don’t forget, Avery is doing a Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate the release of Jax and the Beanstalk Zombies, so read on for the details on how to enter to win those great prizes are below.

Hello, lagoon! 🙂

Welcome Avery! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

Let’s see … I drink a lot of coffee. I have an unfortunate addiction to Oreo cookies. I’m a bit of a loud mouth. Stop laughing, there are people in the world who talk more than me. … There just aren’t many of them.

When you were five years old what did you want to be when you grew up?

I have never wanted to…
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Writing Healthy

Dana MermaidI’m a writer and let me be the first to say I have a ton of horrible habits. I sit for hours, hunched over my laptop, drinking way too much diet coke and not getting nearly enough exercise. As a result of all my bad habits and years of abusing my body I currently have a love-hate relationship with my massage therapist.

Rachel’s great. She’s wonderful. She’s one of the nicest people on the planet… until she gets me on her massage table. And then she turns into a demon hell bent on making me cry. (Generally, because I ask her to).

The first time I ever stepped into her studio she keyed in on all of the things I do wrong, saying things like, “You sit with your leg tucked under you, don’t you?”  Or, “Is there any way you can raise the height of you computer monitor? All of that looking down has abnormally lengthened the muscles at the…
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The Waiting Game

I’m frustrated. There it is, I’ve said it.

At the beginning of March my thirteen-year-old daughter, Brenna, was one of the lucky few selected to audition to sing the National Anthem before one of the Washington National’s baseball games this season. Let me tell you, auditioning is not a walk in the park. First, we got the e-mail on a Wednesday afternoon that she was one of fifty people who would be auditioning that Saturday morning. After chanting, “Oh crap, oh crap. Yay, this is so exciting! Oh crap, oh crap,” a few hundred times I rearranged everyone’s Saturday schedule so my husband and I could take Brenna to her audition. Brenna was incredibly excited and spent the next couple of days practicing with the Nationals audition guidelines in mind… You must perform a cappella and you only have ninety seconds, which is not a lot of time for that song.

We arrived bright and early at National Stadium on Saturday morning where we stood in line, freezing our butts off,…
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Anita Clenney Visits The Lagoon

Today we welcome New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Anita Clenney to the Waterworld Mermaid lagoon. Anita writes mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil, and Destined Love. Before giving herself over to the writing bug, she worked in a pickle factory, a preschool, booked shows for Aztec Fire Dancers, and has been a secretary, executive assistant, and a real estate agent. She lives with her husband and two children in suburban Virginia.

Please tell us a little about yourself, Anita. I’m a romance junkie. And a shopaholic. And obsessed with something at any given moment.

How long have you been writing and do you recall what originally sparked your interest? I love to read, and one day about six years ago I decided I wanted to write the perfect book for me, one that had everything I liked to read. Of course I had no idea what I was getting…
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The Art of Dialogue

Courtesy of Netflix, and my teenage daughters, I have been sucked into the television series “Supernatural.” After a “Supernatural” marathon on Sunday afternoon—when I should have been writing—I had a moment of clarity.

It all comes down to dialogue.

I know, what the heck is she talking about? Well, as we watched episode after episode I was enjoying the action and adventure, great music and witty dialogue, and then in a particularly sentimental scene where the brothers, Dean and Sam, are having somewhat of a heart to heart, talking about their feelings and how much they care about each other my husband turns to me and says, “Jesus, are all the writers for this show a bunch of women?”

You have to understand that my husband is the original alpha male. He is six foot six and a retired Marine so he knows a little something about how men interact. But his comment made me realize that he was right….
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Kieran Kramer Interview

Today we are joined by the fabulous, Kieran Kramer. Kieran is a double RITA finalist and a USA Today Best-selling author of light-hearted Regency Historical Romance for St. Martin’s Press. In addition to writing wonderful, fun, engaging stories with memorable characters, Kieran is a former CIA employee, a journalist and an English teacher who enjoys karaoke and has appeared on multiple game shows.

Kieran is well known for her Impossible Bachelor Series and will be releasing Loving Lady Marcia, the first book in the House of Brady Series on August 28th.

I hope everyone enjoys the video interview. Kieran and I had a blast making it despite a few technical glitches – all my fault, of course. To make it easier to view, I’ve divided it up into 6 to 14 minute segments you can see by following the links. Enjoy!

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Guy Day — International Style

As a writer it is always important to tell a good story, but a large part of that is world building. If you do not portray a believable backdrop, accurately reflecting the place and culture your characters live in, then it doesn’t matter how great your plot is or how dynamic your characters are… your story will fall flat.

Today is guy day and in honor of all the sexy, diverse men of the world I thought we’d give it a more international twist. I have called on friends throughout the world and they’ve agreed to help by answering a few probing questions about the culture they live in, their daily routines and their views on marriage and family. So let’s give these brave men a round of applause for being so forthright with their answers and see what they have to say.

1.  What would you typically have for breakfast in…
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Show vs. Tell

Have you ever been told that you are telling rather than showing in your writing?

I think most of us have at one time or another.When someone first pointed this out in my own writing I had no idea what the person was talking about. Today I’m going to try to enlighten anyone not already familiar with this concept.

Basically, think of showing vs. telling as living the experience vs. someone telling you about it. It’s always going to be more powerful if you  give your reader sights, sounds, smells, etc. and really let them know what the experience is like. While I have never been shot at, I can easily imagine it is a lot different to have someone actually shoot at you than to have someone tell you about it. Or, imagine being home alone in the middle of the night and hearing someone break in. If someone tells you about the experience it doesn’t have the same visceral reaction…
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