Tag Archives: Nancy A. Niles

Novel Writing Tips and Techniques From Authors of Second Wind Publishing — Excerpt: Foreshadowing

Novel Writing Tips and Techniques from Authors of Second Wind Publishing is the 100th book published by Second Wind.  The book is dedicated to everyone who made this accomplishment possible: our authors, our readers, our friends, and our followers. Thank you!



Nancy A. Niles
Author of:

Vendetta: A Deadly Win

Foreshadowing is one of those techniques that seem to come naturally and effortlessly to most writers. It is something that happens often in real, everyday life and can be blatantly obvious or so subtle that it can easily be overlooked.

Foreshadowing has been described as being hints of what’s to come. These hints can be delivered by the author through narrative. They can be spoken by the characters. They can take the form of thoughts in the POV character’s mind. They can be symbolic. They can come through the sense of smell, the sense of sight and hearing. Usually a writer’s imagination is the limit when it comes to foreshadowing.

Verbal Foreshadowing is when the hint is said through dialogue such as one character asking the other if so and so still carries a gun, or as subtle as asking if so and so is still taking medication. These examples leave the reader wondering if that character is going to shoot someone or wondering what would happen if he/she stopped taking the medication, or if the medication could somehow make her/him change in some way, maybe become violent, or at the very least, unpredictable. The reader then expects something to happen from this foreshadowing and it cranks up the suspense. These gems can be interspersed throughout the novel to bring interest and a bit of intrigue to the story.

Foreshadowing Through Inappropriate Responses. This is done through having one or more characters react to stimuli in an inappropriate manner, such as, in a fearful situation, the character, instead of showing fear shows amusement. What is going on? Has the character set up the other character for a downfall? Has the character been scared into insanity? This type of foreshadowing tells the reader that more is going on and prepares them for the unexpected.

Foreshadowing Through Thoughts in the main character’s mind can give hints of what may be coming. Such as, “I wondered where he had been. Some said he’d been away on a vacation. But I could never find out where exactly he’d gone. Camp Fed? Or the Good Shepherd Home For The Silly? Wherever he’d gone he seemed to have gotten a new lease on life. He seemed more determined, more purposeful, as though he had plans. But for what? Revenge? Did he have murder on his mind or was my imagination working overtime?” Well, you get the point. The main  character can lead the reader anywhere through her thoughts and a little paranoia is always called for especially in the PI genre.

Foreshadowing Through a Character’s Fears is closely related to foreshadowing through the character’s thoughts. However, the fear factor makes the foreshadowing more ominous. And again, in the PI genre the detective is usually cynical and expecting the worst, not believing anyone or anything.

Symbolic or Paranormal Foreshadowing can be something that the main character brings to the reader’s attention. In the horror genre I’ve noticed many times the author will tell the reader of legends surrounding certain animals. Such as, crows are the harbinger of death. They supposedly carry the dead person’s spirit to the other side. And then lo and behold a flock of crows appears just as the main character is setting out on her journey. Or make it one crow who is hunched on a fence post, its beady obsidian eyes tracking the main character. In that instance, less is definitely more. Actually, the author can make up their own legends and feed them into the story. Or the more subtle approach could be an icy touch of wind on the back of the main character’s neck when they look into the eyes of the antagonist.

Which leads me to another type of foreshadowing: Bodily Reactions in Foreshadowing. Who hasn’t read a book where a chill goes down the spine of the main character, or the main character experiences a shortness of breath at the mention of a name? It is both a subtle type of foreshadowing and also rather obvious. It tells the reader to be warned, something is not quite right, and who among us has never felt a chill at certain times that turned out to be a warning?

Foreshadowing Through Smell, Sight and Hearing. This is also called setting the stage, or using setting as character. In the PI genre the setting is usually as haunting as the haunted main character. The PI is in the streets that teem with the smell of fear, violence and decay. You just know the main character is in an unsafe place and violence is expected. Sounds of people fighting, guns going off, etc., also foreshadow danger. Smell can let the reader know someone is smoking marijuana, or the stink of whisky, or even the copper smell of blood can lead the reader to expect certain things to come.

This is a great way to foreshadow. Especially with the sense of smell since smell is so closely connected to memory. The author can have the main character smell bodies being burned and then find out that it isn’t bodies, but it’s the Fourth of July and there are barbecues happening. The main character interpreted the smell from a memory that still haunts him of the Vietnam War and witnessing people being burned alive. This type of foreshadowing gives the reader a window into the main character’s mind and past experiences. It can foreshadow a tenuous grip on reality and make the reader nervous for the main character.

Foreshadowing Using the Weather and Dreams, Or Through Finding Something Out Of Place. An impending storm or natural disaster is a good way to foreshadow a possible upcoming suspenseful event. Dreams can warn the main character and the reader of something coming and finding an article out of place can foreshadow mischief. And who among us hasn’t seen that solitary shoe out of place on the highway and wondered what happened to the owner?

I’m sure there are many more ways to foreshadow. In my novel Vendetta: A Deadly Win I used foreshadowing throughout the book.


Novel Writing Tips and Techniques is available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon (Print & Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), Smashwords (all ebook formats including palm devices)

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Happiness As A Process

The last couple of years have been difficult not only for me but for many of the Second Wind authors and I notice some of the posts are now turning toward a desire to move away from the pain and embrace the joy that’s in our lives.
I have been experimenting with the idea that happiness is a process. Much like anything else, it needs to be nurtured and worked at.
One of the first things I decided was that I would not spend time with super negative people. When friends get negative I tell them it isn’t allowed. We are starting to have some good laughs about silly things. It is as though all of sudden we’re seeing the humor that was always there.
A friend of mine purchased a very beautiful, expensive dress for a special occasion. She told me that she would probably only wear it that one time to which I replied that the dress was so beautiful she could wear it anywhere. Why not even wear it to the supermarket? She could if she wanted, instead of letting it hang unseen and unworn in her closet.
I too, have a very lovely dress I bought fairly recently to wear to a special occasion. I have not worn it since and it looks so forlorn in my closet that I decided to take my own advice.
It is a bright red dress with long sleeves and a draped front with a black belt. It is a stunning dress and with black nylons and high heels I feel very dressed up and elegant. Not exactly super market attire, but so what? Wearing the dress makes me happy and I feel pretty in it.
I anticipated stares and even smirks and whispers behind my back as I prepared for a trip to the local Smith’s dressed to the nines in my special dress. Did I have the strength within myself to endure ridicule, comments and who knows what?
This was a bit of a challenge as I am usually the one who fades into the background. I do not go out of my way to be noticed. I just know that I feel happy dressing up and going out.
I grabbed my list and coupons and went to the supermarket.
No one gave me a second look as I walked down the produce aisle, my high heels clacking on the concrete floor. Then I noticed a lady who I’d seen at the market before. She was always dressed up and today was no different. She smiled at me and told me I looked nice. We began to talk and she said it just makes her feel good to get all dolled up and go about her errands, even if it’s only to McDonald’s, the library, or the supermarket.
“You know,” she said. “Your attitude and willingness to do the unexpected could make a big difference in how you feel.”
I agreed and knew that I was onto something important and perhaps even life changing.
Have you defied convention and either dressed or acted in an unexpected way? What did you do? How did it affect your mood and attitude?
Nancy A. Niles is the author of: Vendetta: A Deadly Win, published by Second Wind Publishing Co.


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Interview with Nancy A Niles, Author of “Vendetta”

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I first came up with the idea for the novel about eight years ago. I wrote numerous drafts and with each one I came to know my protagonist a little better. The plot never really changed that much with the rewrites, but the main character and her back story were in a constant state of flux until she became very real to me about three years ago.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

Having been born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada I wanted to show the beauty of the city through my protagonist’s eyes and the devastation that the city has wreaked upon many people who have lived here, or who only have visited here. The city is a paradox.

Who is the most unusual/most likeable character?

My main characters assistant, Megan is the most unusual, likeable character. She is from New Orleans and experienced the hurricane Katrina. She is also familiar with the ancient art of Santoria and worships Damballah the Snake God. Megan has definite opinions and puts a different slant on most things.

How has your background influenced your writing? How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Having grown up in Vegas I’ve met many gangster and wanna-be gangster types. I based the gangster character, Vic Costello on someone I knew very well for many years. My main character’s boss, Bernie was loosely based on a very outgoing, funny character who had been well known around town for years. Vegas is a Mecca for offbeat, outgoing, fun loving people. I think being brought up in a gambling town has caused me to realize how dangerous gambling can be and I’ve seen how it can affect people and families. I’ve also seen how people change when they come to this city and become so different from whom they’ve always appeared to be.

What do you like to read?

I love PI fiction, police procedurals, mysteries, suspense and even some romances. I will read anything and find some enjoyment in every genre.

What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?

I know I’ve become much more observant of people and more aware of life changing situations that are going on around us all the time. I hear life changing stories from the news, from strangers and from friends. I also have developed a habit of asking myself how different personalities would have reacted to the same problem or event. In fact, I think I am probably constantly writing in my head and developing characters now that I am a published author. I have gained more confidence in my writing. I find that I want to write more and I feel as though something is missing if I miss a day of writing.

What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?

It always surprises me when the words come – because many times I have no idea what the story is going to be about, or who the characters are. I find that if I just relax and begin to type the characters will surface and pretty much tell me the story. It is awesome and I love the process.

Do you have a saying or motto for your life and/or as a writer?

A quote from Maya Angelou and I try to remember this every day:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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July 27th is Opening Day for the Summer Olympics. Celebrate by Opening a Book from Second Wind Publishing!

July 27th is the Opening Day Ceremony for the Summer Olympics. Opening a mystery from Second Wind Publishing is cause for celebration, too!


Vendetta by Nancy A Niles

When Private Investigator, Tina Munroe agrees to help out an old friend little does she know the danger she’s put herself and her loved ones in. Have Tina’s actions to save one friend caused another friend to die? Can she stop the killer in time? Could the killer be someone she knows and trusts?


Ghost Mountain by Nichole R Bennett

Cerri Baker moves with her family to the Black Hills of South Dakota where she begins seeing things—things like murder. As she struggles with her own spiritual destiny, she must also convince the authorities her intimate knowledge of the murder comes from the dead victim. Will they believe she is not the murderer?


Carpet Ride by Norm Brown

At the end of driving their RV through the Oregon mountains, newlyweds Sam and Lynn almost hit a rug and nearly crash. The chain of events after discovering what’s in the rug make the adventures of their recent honeymoon pale in comparison.


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The Moth

While surfing the web the other day I came across best-selling author, George Dawes Green’s website and learned about The Moth.
He is the founder of The Moth. It is an event where people get on stage and share unscripted stories. He’s being hailed as doing his part in preserving the tradition of story-telling in the digital age.
I listened to some of these stories and found them to be inspirational, humorous, interesting and a lot of fun. I like this idea of spontaneously getting in front of a group of people and telling a story, whether that story is something that actually happened in your life, or just a story that’s been bumping around in your head.
Would you share stories of your past, or of your dreams, or of something that caught your attention and just won’t let go? Would you find the experience to be freeing and inspirational? I think this would be a great thing to do in writer’s groups, or in interviews with authors.
The stories we carry are the stories of our lives and of who we are. As a story teller this idea intrigues me. What about you? What stories would you share in front of an audience?

Nancy A. Niles is the author of: Vendetta: A Deadly Win

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            The other day I decided to look through some of my older novels on writing and an article on tapping your inner child caught my attention.  There were some exercises to do, such as remembering a fun time when you were very young and grasping onto those emotions of happiness and re-discovering the ability to play without censorship.

            The article went on to say that the internal critic is what stops the creative, inner child and brings forth an adapted child who is well behaved and not given to spontaneous flights of fancy or off the wall behavior. 

            Years ago I made the decision to stop worrying about whether a publisher would like my work, or whether anyone would want to read it.  I gave myself permission to write and to enjoy the act of writing and of exercising my imagination. 

            That decision gave me freedom and I found my writing sessions became longer and longer and much more enjoyable.  To my surprise after a year or so I had written a novel that held together from beginning, middle and end.  I realized that I had written something that very well could be published someday.

            By silencing that internal critic – that boss that I felt I needed to keep things together, by letting go and just writing – I’d been able to make some real progress as an author.  Was it the muse that took over and directed the chapters and the story?  I think it was and I think we all have that muse and that it’s a very useful and real tool. 

            Silencing the inner critic takes a lot of practice and I find myself noticing that critic spilling over in other areas of my life.  Most times I simply tell that critic:  “Thanks for sharing, now f*** off!”

            Hey, it works and I am a much calmer, happier and more creative person without that constant editor buzzing in my ear.  How about you?  Who talks to you the most, your inner child or the killer critic?

Nancy A. Niles is the auhor of: Vendetta: A Deadly Win


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    Since we’re coming up on a holiday of thanks, sharing with friends and family and good food, I wanted to share some of my Good Food Memories.

    I have heard that scent is very important to memory, but I find that food also is helpful in recalling things of the past.  For instance, I cannot eat a corn dog without recalling a memory from a carnival years ago.  And those big black and white cookies?  Fuggidabout it!  I will always remember my first trip to a real New York Deli!

     The smell of popcorn takes me back to the Saturday morning movie matinees where I think every kid in town went.  I have great memories of seeing all the Edgar Allan Poe movies with my brother and cousins and a theatre full of screaming kids.  And there are some shocking food memories, too.  Such as the time my cousin was eating a Bid Daddy candy bar.  You remember those hard caramel candy bars on a stick that you’d bite into and it felt as though it was going to pull the fillings right out of your teeth?  Anyway, he bit into the candy bar and pulled it away from his mouth to find his front tooth sticking out of the top of the bar.

      At one point in my life I got very much into baking and very much into baking sourdough bread.  I had my sourdough starter which I mixed with water and flour, put in a Styrofoam cooler with a small light and a thermometer to keep it at the perfect temperature and I grew my sourdough starter.  The bread was great and it was really fun getting that starter up and running.  Then there was noodle making, and clay pot cooking and fun with filo and wonton wrappers.

     I remember all those endeavors with great fondness and there was great fun involved with my family, friends and loved ones.  What fun food memories do you have? 

      I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and hope you make some new fun food memories this holiday.

Nancy A. Niles is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Win and Lethal Echoes.

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I find many ideas in the non-fiction world that seem to naturally blossom into ideas for fiction novels. I am currently working on one such novel. It was an experience I had after a huge upheaval occurred in my life. The scenes have been dramatized in keeping with a suspenseful fiction novel. However, at the time the events were very dramatic to me because they were really happening.
My quandary was how much more dramatic to make the scenes and by adding more drama was I making them unbelievable? I toned things down a bit and finally came to the conclusion that the main character’s thoughts and reactions were just as important as the events which she had no control over. And her thoughts and reactions went straight to who her character is.
Now, I am finding that a couple of different stories could spin off from this main idea using other characters with diverse perspectives on the same events. It is a type of mind game I play with myself sometimes and one of the joys of writing fiction. I have had stories become something completely different than what they started out to be, even though they grew from a very specific idea.
I’ve read novels that seemed to be going in a certain predictable direction and suddenly take a turn that astounded me. The Juror, by George Dawes Green is one such novel. He seems to have found a balance between the character driving the story and the events ratcheting up with every change the MC experiences.
In The Juror the antagonist also changed as the story progressed and took the action to new areas and it was not a story that I found to be at all predictable. That is good writing.
Are there any stories or books you’ve read that seemed predictable but kept taking not only detours but kept shifting the power between the main players, and also had many changes in events and within the antagonist and protagonist?
Nancy A. Niles is the author of Vendetta: A Deadly Win and Lethal Echoes.


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Introducing the Authors of Second Wind Publishing

I thought a fun way to introduce the authors of Second Wind Publishing, LLC (or at least the ones who wanted to be introduced) would be to have them answer three simple questions so you can see how different authors perceive themselves and their writing. The questions:

1. What is writing like for you?
2. What is the most thrilling thing about getting published?
3. What is the most humbling thing about getting published?

Nancy A. Niles, author of Vendetta:

1. Writing is something that I can’t not do. It’s my best friend, sometimes a pain in the neck, but most times just something that I need to do for my own peace of mind.

2. The most thrilling thing about getting published is the encouragement it has given me to keep writing and keep allowing myself to express more freely and deeper. I think all those rejection slips had an effect on me and now being published is having a strengthening and very positive effect on my writing.

3. The most humbling thing about getting published is knowing that for a few hours the people who read my novel will be taken away from their problems and be in my world. It humbles me to know that for just a short time I can give them a little escape from their troubles. It is quite a blessing.

Laura S. Wharton, author of The Pirate’s Bastard:

1. Writing is like exercise. Sometimes, it’s really hard to get up at 4:00 in the morning to begin writing…the warm covers are oh so snuggly. Other times, the adrenalin rush about an aspect of the story-in-process surging through me has me up at 3:00, sitting still for three hours, and then reluctantly stopping so I can prepare myself and family for the work/school day ahead. Like exercise, it has to be done nearly every day to accomplish anything close to completion.

2. The most thrilling thing about getting published is reading reviews from unknown readers – and seeing that they really loved my story.

3. The most humbling thing about getting published is seeing typos after publication of what I thought was an error-free book.

Nichole R. Bennett, author of Ghost Mountain:

1. Writing is in my blood. I don’t mean that I come from a long line of authors, because I don’t. But I have to write. I have to get those words out of my body and onto paper. Some days those words flow and there is no stopping them. Other days I struggle over each and every letter. Either way, writing is something I have to do. Just like eating or breathing.

2. The most thrilling thing is knowing that I am living my dream. Yes, it can be hard, but this is what I want to do and I’m doing it. How many people can truly say they get to live their dream?
3. I’m not sure there’s a humbling moment for me. I knew going in that writing would take some thick skin and hard work. I knew not everyone would like my work or appreciate the time and energy that it took to get where I am. That’s okay. I’m just grateful for the opportunities I have had and that there are people who do like it!

J. Conrad Guest, author of Backstop: A Baseball Love Story in Nine Innings and One Hot January:

1. I haven’t found anything that provides the level of satisfaction writing provides me—the highs of crafting a perfect sentence, of self-discovery and exploring the universal themes of love and loss, dying and death, salvation, redemption, and keeping my parents alive and making them proud.

2. As writers, I think we all believe our work is the greatest since Hemingway, and seeing our work in print is affirmation, a thrill, that our work has merit—even if it isn’t really as good as Hemingway.

3. I find nothing humbling about getting published (I write with publication in mind), save for the process. By the time I receive my first proof copy, I’ve gone over my manuscript a dozen times or more and have probably a half-dozen drafts. An editor has gone over it, found several typos I’ve missed, and made suggestions for changes—some with which I agree, but most I discard. So I find it maddening and, yes, humbling, when I start reading my proof copy and find ways to improve the narrative, to rewrite a passage and, worst of all, I find a typo! I’m a perfectionist, so, yes, it’s humbling to learn I still can improve upon the process.

Eric Beetner, co-author of One Too Many Blows to the Head and Borrowed Trouble

1. Writing is lonely and tiring. Even writing as a part of a team like I do with Jennifer is still lonesome. We live on opposite coasts and only communicate through email. I never show anything to anyone for critique. Never let early drafts out to the public. So having her around is also an act of real trust. We show each other our naked first drafts and still expect that we’ll respect each other in the morning.

2. I find that it is too easy to only hear from a friendly audience of family and friends so the biggest thrill for me is when a total stranger says or writes something good about my writing. I know it is genuine. Being published lets that person have exposure to my work and find something in it that resonates or entertains. That’s why we’re here, right?

3. Oh, brother, what hasn’t been? I’ve had signings at book stores I respect (and where I shop) I’ve been in panel discussions alongside authors I admire. I’ve met writers as an equal – a fellow published author, not just a fan. All that has made me feel grateful beyond words.

DCP_0851-136x150Lazarus Barnhill, author of The Medicine People and Lacey Took a Holiday:

1. A few years ago I came back to writing fiction after a self-imposed twelve-year period during which I did not write, and found about twenty ideas of books rattling around in my head. My first official act was to get a notebook and list the novels, outlining them to the degree they had “marinated” in my imagination. For me, writing is getting out of the way and allowing those stories that germinated so long ago to take root, flower and bear fruit.

2. The thrill comes from somebody you don’t personally know buying a book, or seeking you out intentionally at a book signing. It’s also thrilling when someone asks you a question about your story in such a way that you know they have read it with comprehension.

3. A couple things strike me right away. First is the praise I often get from my colleagues. When another writer whose work I admire compliments my work in a way that reveals I’ve accomplished precisely what I set out to do in the story—that is humble. The second thing is when people I know hunt me down and pester me until I get them a copy of one of my books. And sign it to them personally. I’m not accustomed to adulation.

lucy_balch-113x151Lucy Balch, author of Love Trumps Logic:

1. Writing is like I’m in a time machine. I can work for hours on a story and it always feels like much less time.

2. The most thrilling thing about getting published is the knowledge that, finally, I’ll have something to show for the five years I’ve put into this obsession. Maybe I haven’t been selfishly squandering huge amounts of time?!

3.The most humbling thing about getting published is the realization that so many good writers have not yet been given the opportunity to publish. Is my book worthy of the privilege? As an unpublished author, I can always tell myself that my book will be well received when given the chance. The reality might be different. I hope not, but it’s a possibility, and once a book bombs there is no going back to the fantasy of it doing well.

jwcomputercatmail2-133x157Juliet Waldron, author of Hand-Me-Down Bride:

1. I write historicals, so writing for me is like entering a time portal—or, sometimes, like stepping out of Dr. Who’s callbox after accidentally pushing the wrong button. I have an idea of what may be there when I first look around, but I often find the world I’ve entered to be surprisingly different from my preconceptions.

2. The most thrilling thing about getting/being published is having someone you don’t know leave a message or write a review that totally “gets” the book. Shows I wasn’t as off-base as I sometimes—in those dark 3 a.m. moments—imagined.

3) The most humbling thing about getting/being published is that we have so much competition, and that there is a great deal of good writing out there. After publication there is the (IMO) far less agreeable marketing to do. The playful creation is now complete.

TracyB_3-134x150Claire Collins, author of Images of Betrayal and Fate and Destiny:

1. For me, writing is a journey. I don’t always know the final destination until I start traveling, but it’s always a rewarding trip.

2. The most thrilling thing about being published is when people read what I’ve written and they like it. I write for myself because writing is almost a compulsion for me. Readers enjoying my writing is a bonus.

3. The most humbling thing? All of the work it takes to get the books out and maintain a normal life while still trying to write. I realized pretty quick that I wasn’t superwoman. I’m still trying, but someone keeps standing on my cape.

mickeypic_1_-124x149Mickey Hoffman, author of School of Lies:

1. For me, writing is like being in that space just after you woke up from a dream but you only remember half of the dream and you spend all your waking moments trying to flesh it out.

2. I had some stories to tell and now I feel like they’ll be heard. And it really is thrilling. I feel like I’m white water rafting and I don’t need a boat!

3. I’ll be awed that anyone would take the time to read what I’ve written when they could be doing something more valuable with their time.

Deborah_J_Ledford-114x160Deborah J Ledford, author of Staccato and Snare:

1. I am an entertainer. I don’t write for a cause or to pose my own thoughts or impressions on issues. My only function is to provide a suspense-filled, exciting ride the reader won’t want to stop until they reach the very last word.

2. The most thrilling thing about being published is seeing the words I’ve worked so diligently to craft actually in print. If what I present happens to be worthy enough for readers to tell others about Staccato, that’s all I could ask for.

3. Everything about being published is humbling to me. That readers would seek out Staccato, then take the time to escape from their lives for a while, makes me more grateful than anyone could possibly know.

Sherrie_-_book_2-120x154Sherrie Hansen Decker, author of Night and Day, Stormy Weather, and Water Lily:

1. For me, writing is like a dream vacation – a chance to escape the realities of my everyday life and travel to some faraway world where I can see the sights and meet new people.

2. For years, I wrote and wrote, wondering if anyone would ever read my words. What a wonderful feeling to be writing for readers who are eagerly awaiting my next release!

3. Every time I think I have a perfect draft, I find more errors glaring out from the pages of my proof. Very humbling . . .

Norm2-140x151Norm Brown, author of The Carpet Ride:

1. As a retired computer programmer, I see a lot of similarities between writing a novel and creating a complex software program. Both processes require an enormous attention to detail. All the little parts have to tie together in a logical way and a good flow is critical. And it’s hard work to get all the “bugs” out of a book, too.

2. The most thrilling thing for me was pulling the first copy of my book out of the box and holding it in my hands. It was exciting to see something that I actually created.

3. The most humbling thing for me about being published was discovering how much I have to learn about promoting my book. I’m still learning.

biopicsmall-136x139Jerrica Knight-Catania, author of A Gentleman Never Tells:

1. Writing for me depends on the day. Some days it’s the most wonderful romp through my dream land and other days it’s like getting a root canal.

2. Knowing that someone else believes in your work enough to put it in print is just about the most thrilling feeling. It’s great to hear friends and family say how much they enjoyed my work, but to have it validated by professionals is a whole ‘nother ball game!

3. I’m not sure I’ve been humbled at all! Haha! But I’ve never really had unrealistic expectations of myself or my work. . . . I’m prepared to correct mistakes and make cuts/edits as needed. I’m just grateful every day for the opportunities I’ve been given.

Lindlae_Parish_photo-129x151Dellani Oakes, Author of Indian Summer and Lone Wolf:

1. Writing is like a discovery process. I start with a beginning line, an idea or even just a character’s name and watch as the characters lead me where they want me to go.

2. I loved the fact that I finally was validated. Someone did think I was worth publishing and I wasn’t just “Wasting time with all that writing.”

3. Humbling? Wow, I think the most humbling – perhaps humiliating – step in the publishing process is all the rejection you get until someone finally says “Yes, we want you!”

Margay_touch_up-129x150Margay Leah Justice, author of Nora’s Soul:

1. For me, writing is like creating a baby. There is the conception (what a wonderful idea!), the writing/rewriting period (gestation, anyone?) and the birth (I can’t believe it’s finally here!). And then you nurture it for the next couple of years as you slowly introduce it to the public – and hope they don’t think it’s an ugly baby.

2. The most thrilling thing about getting published is the sense of accomplishment when you see it in print for the first time and you discover that people actually like it!

3. The most humbling thing about getting published is seeing the book in print for the first time and realizing that all of those years of struggling, writing, rewriting, submitting – all boil down to this one little book that you can hold in the palm of your hand.

Chris2-132x150Christine Husom, author of Murder in Winnebago County, Buried in Wolf Lake, and An Altar by the River:

1. Writing is multi-faceted for me. It is a joy, but also pretty hard work at times. I do much of my writing in my mind and when I finally sit down to get it on paper, it often comes out differently. I spend more time mentally forming plots and picturing scenes than I do writing them. I love having a whole day here and there to sit at my computer and concentrate on writing. If I have problems with a scene, I skip ahead to the next one so I don’t get frustrated.

2. The most thrilling thing about being published is getting my books out of my house and into readers’ hands–hoping people get some enjoyment reading them.

3. The most humbling thing about getting published is seeing mistakes and typos in what I thought was an error-free manuscript!

Amy_12_1-113x151Amy De Trempe, author of Loving Lydia and Pure is the Heart:

1. Writing for me is like unmapped journey, I never know what turns, obstacles or excitement is about to unfold.

2. The most thrilling thing about getting published is seeing my name on a book cover.

3. The most humbling thing about getting published is finding out how supportive and happy my friends and family really are for me.

maggiemed-138x150Mairead Walpole, author of A Love Out of Time:

1. In some ways, writing is a form of therapy. Not from a “work out my issues” standpoint, but rather it allows me to escape from the day to day stresses of the world. I can let the creative, sometimes a little off-beat, imaginative part of my soul off the leash and let it run. Some of my very early writing did dip into the realm of “working out my issues” and those stories will never see the light of day!

2. Can I channel my inner Sallie Fields and run around saying, “They liked it, they really liked it…”? No? Darn. Seriously, I think it is the whole – I did this – aspect. Someone read the book and thought it was worth publishing. That is pretty cool no matter how you cut it.

3. Opening yourself up to criticism, being vulnerable. Sure, you know that not everyone is going to love your book, and intellectually you know that some people will hate it and think you are a hack, but when someone actually expresses that to you it is a whole new experience. It can be very humbling.

IMG_4132-use-115x154Suzette Vaughn, author of Badeaux Knights, Mortals, Gods, and a Muse, and Finding Madelyn:

1. I’m like a humming bird on too much caffine. I write in waves. When the wave hits I can put out several thousand words in an unbelievably small amount of time. Then when I’m not in humming bird mode I edit.

2. The most thrilling is probably the fact that there are people out there that I don’t know that have read my book and liked it. I had the pleasure a few times of meeting them and there is some twinkle in their eye that is amazing.

3. My son is always humbling. I recieved my proofs in the mail and my then seven year old son didn’t fully understand what it meant that I’d written a book. He flips through the pages looking for hand-writting. “I get in trouble when I write in books.”

jjdare-139x150JJ Dare, author of False Positive and False World:

1. Writing is like being in a triathlon for me. I power write for days or weeks at a time, then crash for awhile with the help of Tylenol and chocolate. Writing is a scary, exciting roller-coaster. It is exhilarating and draining, and Iwouldn’t do it any other way.

2. The most thrilling thing about getting published is the very act of being published! Something I wrote is out there, available for anyone to read. Holding the hard copy of my book in my hands gives me the good shivers. The other thrill is the pride in my family’s voices when they introduce me as “The Writer.”

3. The most humbling thing is feeling responsible for the places I take my readers. During the time they’re walking with and living the lives of the characters in my book, my readers are taking the same roller-coaster ride I took to write the

pat-135x150Pat Bertram, author of More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I:

1. For me, writing is like the world’s longest crossword puzzle, one that takes a year to complete. I like playing with words, finding their rhythm, and getting them to behave the way I want. I like being able to take those words and create ideas, characters, and emotions.

2. Someday perhaps, I will find the thrill of being published, but to be honest it was anti-climatic. I am more thrilled at the thought of what the future might bring now that my books have been published.

3. I had no intention of answering these questions. After all, I was the one who collated all these mini interviews, but a fellow author said, “This is your party, too. People will tune in because of you. They want to know more about YOU. Don’t cheat your fans and followers.” Now that’s humbling.

Click here to read the first chapters of all Second Wind novels: The Exciting Worlds of Second Wind Books

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Vendetta! The Puzzle, the Contest, the Mystery

We are please to announce that Vendetta by Nancy A. Niles has been released! Help us celebrate with puzzles and a contest. Let’s have fun!

The easy puzzle (click on the image to play):


The Hard Puzzle (click on the image to play):

The Contest:

Vendetta by Nancy A. Niles is set in Las Vegas. That city is a tourist attraction where lives have literally been changed by a visit. Have you ever taken a vacation (anywhere) that changed your life or changed your thinking in a significant way? Write a short story (300 to 500 words) about that vacation and post it here or send it to secondwindpublishing@gmail.com . The author of the most intriguing story, as determined by Nancy Niles, will win an autographed copy of Vendetta.

The story should be between 300 to 500 words. The contest ends January 31.

The Mystery: 

When Private Investigator, Tina Munroe agrees to help out an old friend little does she know the danger she’s put herself and her loved ones in.  Billy Hutchins is being stalked by a killer who has a bead on him and Tina’s desire to protect Billy places her squarely in the stalker’s sights.  Time is running out when her friend and assistant, Megan is kidnapped.  Have Tina’s actions to save one friend caused another friend to die?  Can she stop the killer in time?  Could the killer be someone she knows and trusts?

Click here to buy: Vendetta

Click here to read the first chapter: Vendetta 

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