Wednesday, April 07, 2021

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, QuaranCon, and The PRO Act

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s optional question: Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction and in four different genres, but I wouldn’t call that taking a risk. I also tend to keep my fiction fairly clean and don’t add controversial topics to the mix. Some authors are bigger risk takers, so I’m curious to see how others answer this question today.

As a publisher, I do notice when a story submission takes a bit of a risk, perhaps taking a genre or trope and turning it on its head. Big Red was that kind of story – Nazis on Mars? But it worked so well! Bloodwalker also had a unique storyline with a killer in a European circus. There is the chance that taking a risk means the story just doesn’t work or seem plausible, but sometimes it does work.

* * *

Dancing Lemur Press will be on a panel for Quarancon on April 10 at 12 pm EST.

The panel is Indie Flavours – Find Your Publishing Path: A panel talking about the pros and cons of starting out as a writer and the different incarnations of indie publishing. From small presses to imprints to going solo, what are the options for authors who want something different to the Big 5?

I'm also doing a reading prior to the panel at 11:30 am EST. 
DLP’s author Damien Larkin is on the panel immediately following ours – Writing Fight Scenes.
So is one of our IWSG anthology authors, Tyrean Martinson - she’s on a panel about disabilities in SF/F at 10am on April 11.

The con is April 8-12 and free to all – please join us!

* * *

And if you are a self-publisher, a book formatter, an illustrator, a freelance editor, etc. – this affects YOU! The PRO Act bill that Dems and Biden are pushing would eliminate the freelance position, making it a W-2 employee situation instead. This would affect millions of workers across America who rely on freelance work to pay the bills.

It wouldn’t impact Dancing Lemur Press, but it would impact me personally as I do freelance formatting, consulting, and speaking. And since many of those come from self-publishing authors, they are not about to mess with W-2 forms – which means a large chunk of my income is gone.

This will affect many of you, too. I hope you let your congressman/representative know that this bill is NOT acceptable in its current state.

Are you a risk-taker when writing?
Tuning in to QuaranCon?
And will you be affected by the PRO Act if it passes? 
Please note, this week is IBPA's Publishing University and since it is virtual, I am finally able to attend - but it kicks off Wednesday with a heavy schedule Thurs-Fri, so I might not be responding here those days.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group and What Genres Do You Read?

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s optional question: Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

Can I count the submissions I read? Those are sci-fi, fantasy, MG, YA, non-fiction, Christian, and some mystery/paranormal.

My writing genres haven’t matched up really well with my reading genres. I wrote a 5-books series that was YA at the time before NA came out and containing a bit of romance and sport. Those were not genres of choice to read at all. My current work is paranormal with also a hint of romance, and I have read just a little bit of that. However, my two non-fiction books, one of book publishing/promoting and one on motivation, most certainly line up with what I read – tons of publishing and self-help books.

However, I’ve learned from all the stories I’ve read through DLP that a good story is simply a good story.

A book about a ten year old set in 1969? Not my first choice, but Corners is one of the best books DLP has ever put out. (And I challenge any of you to pick it up – it never found its niche but it’s absolutely excellent and with an amazing voice.)

A YA story about a teen and the moon maidens he meets? What? But My Magic Summer comes out next February from DLP and I promise you will be charmed by the character, the setting of 1994, and the strong voice.

Now, I do like sci-fi, more along the lines of what Anne McCaffrey created, which was a blend of fantasy and light sci-fi. However, looking at the choices I’ve made over the years in sci-fi, most have been more military sci-fi: CassaStar and the series, Big Red, Revolution 2050… Had those stories not crossed my desk, I never would’ve discovered how much I liked military sci-fi.

So, take a chance on a new genre, new author, new book. You just never know.

And I am looking for tour hosts for two books - Dark Matter: Artificial, due out May 4 and Blood Red Sand, due out July 6. Please let me know if you can host the authors.

What do you like to read? Are you willing to take a chance on something new?

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

The Window, The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, and Jo Wake’s Blogfest

First, Dancing Lemur Press is proud to present its latest release, a chilling paranormal that’s perfect for teen boys:

The Window
By Dave Cole

A dark window to the future…

Everything changed the day Brian Bingham looked out the attic window and saw something that wouldn't happen for another week. Through a mysterious window no one else can see, Brian gains a portal into the future. But the future is not always something he wants to see.

Brian has enough troubles in the present without worrying about the future. His parents are constantly fighting, his grades are plummeting, and his new relationship with Charlotte, a girl way out of his league, is in jeopardy.

When the window reveals his best friend's brutal death, Brian’s world is turned upside down. He must find a way to change the future…or die trying.

Release date – February 2, 2021
$13.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 170 pages
Print ISBN 9781939844767 / EBook ISBN 9781939844774
Young Adult – Paranormal / Contemporary Fantasy / Horror

Dave is from St. Louis and has a degree in Computer Science. He is the author of The Math Kids series for middle grade readers. When he is not designing data center management software, he is usually reading, writing, or coaching elementary school math teams. He loves writing and his wife loves that he has found a hobby that doesn't cost money!

Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo /Goodreads / Dancing Lemur Press

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today’s optional question:
Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?

I began blogging in 2005 and while the first year or two were a bit of a lonely venture, eventually bloggers began to connect. Since then, I’ve made a lot of friends here, many who have transferred to other social media sites. I’ve done book formatting for quite a few and several have become Dancing Lemur Press authors. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting at least a dozen blog friends at book events, such as Sheri Ellis, Elizabeth S. Craig, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Toi Thomas, Alex Cavanaugh, and Jo Wake.

And speaking of media sites, I dumped my Twitter account last week. Their selective censoring policies and infringements on free speech were too much. If you were following me there, you can still follow DLP’s Twitter or me on any of the other platforms listed to the left.

Jo Wake Blogfest

On February 3, we would like all who want to participate to share a recipe that brings warm memories of friendship and love in honor of our blogger friend, Josephine “Jo” Wake, who passed away December 16, 2020. She was a dear friend, full of spunk and I’m fortunate I got to meet her and Matt when they visited N. Carolina about ten years ago.

Jo liked her bananas and ate at least one a day. In her honor, I’d like to share the recipe for the banana bread I bake every Christmas for nearby family and friends. I don’t give out Christmas cards – I give out banana bread cards. Which, I’ve been told, is much better! Everyone looks forward to their annual loaf of banana bread and I thoroughly enjoy making them for my friends.

Diane’s Banana Bread

1 ½ cups white flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cups Splenda
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1-1 ½ Tbsp cinnamon
2-3 mashed bananas
1/3 cup applesauce
2 Tbsp almond milk
2 eggs/egg replacer

Mix 1 cup of the flour and ingredients down through the cinnamon. Add bananas, applesauce, and milk. Blend together with mixer for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour and eggs. Pour into greased loaf pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.

Do you have some special blogger friends or a special recipe?

If you’re looking for a spooky paranormal read, please consider picking up The Window.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Creating a Series and a Giveaway

L. Diane Asked: How did you come up with the Disaster Crimes series?


Chrys Fey’s Answer: It wasn’t intentional. I had only wanted to write Hurricane Crimes after reading a book set during a blizzard that made me go, “Hmm…I’ve read many books set during blizzards but never weather I know…Florida weather…a category five hurricane.” So, I set out to right that one story, as a way to break in to publishing. It was supposed to end with the insta-love ending.

Afterward, it wasn’t until I read a couple of reviews that expressed interest in wanting to know what happened with Donovan before the opening of Hurricane Crimes and wondering about what’ll happen next when I realized a bad guy was still at large. And how the heck could I leave things like that? I couldn’t. While thinking of a sequel, my first and only thought was that I needed to continue the disaster and criminal themes. Immediately, I was like, “A series that does that would be awesome!” I wanted to write that series, following one couple, from disaster to disaster. I jotted down the disasters that I could do for the next few books—earthquake, tsunami, wildfire. A blizzard wasn’t a disaster I was planning in the beginning of this series’ creation because of that thought I’d had, “I’ve read many books set during blizzards.”

The Disaster Crimes series unfolded from there.


Pages: 154

Genre: Romantic-Suspense

Heat Rating: Hot



*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*

Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he's worried the truth will frighten her away.

And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.

Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?


Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes



Amanda looked up from the current list of up-to-date payments for classes. A movement outside the glass storefront caught her eye. She tilted her head to see a man coming up the sidewalk from the side where the picnic bench sat. Through the vertical blinds, she glimpsed a square face—a short, rugged beard and long, dark hair pulled into a man bun. Her breath fled from her lungs. Her body went from icy cold to flaming hot in the span of a millisecond. She dropped to the floor and slid under the counter, beneath the ledge where they put their purses and cell phones.

“What—” Beth peeked at the windows. Then she snapped her fingers at April and pointed at the stools.

April jumped into action. She pushed the stools in so they blocked Amanda. The bell attached to the door jingled as April removed the jacket she wore and draped it across the stools, creating a curtain to shield Amanda.

From a crack, Amanda watched Beth move to stand in front of the twins, who were in their walkers playing peacefully. “I’m sorry, but we’re going to be closing.”

“I don’t give a shit. I’m here for Amanda.”

The sound of Damon’s voice had her heart beating even harder. That voice had haunted her nightmares, had come back to life in her memories.

Beth cocked her head to the side. “Who? There’s no one by that name here.”

“Don’t bullshit me. I know she works here.”

His voice was closer now.





Book Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iTunes

Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*


The Disaster Crimes Series:

*The Crime Before the Storm (prequel)

Hurricane Crimes (novella, #1)

Seismic Crimes (#2)

Lightning Crimes (free short, #2.5)

Tsunami Crimes (#3)

Flaming Crimes (#4)

Frozen Crimes (#5)

A Fighting Chance (spin-off, #6)

The Disaster Curse (short story, #7)

*Free exclusive story to newsletter subscribers.


***LAUNCHING A WEBSITE*** is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.




Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle




Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

 Newsletter / Website / Facebook Group /Blog / BookBub

Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon