Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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March 2, 2022

WITS Event: Double The Love + New Website

Since the beginning here at Writers in the Storm, we've been all about spreading the love. And every so often, we throw the doors open for some shameless self-promotion opportunities for our readers. Our only requirement for those glorious days -- formerly called "Pimp & Promote" -- is that they double the love and promote someone else's work alongside their own.

How DO you "Double the Love?"

For many in the States, school is back in session. In that same spirit, let's get out our pom-poms and cheer for ourselves and other writers! Down in the comments section, we ask that you:

  • Heap love on somebody else’s work – a favorite author, blogger, post or book you’ve read, a wonderful teacher or just someone who had profound influence on you as a writer or a person. Please limit your comments to one work.
  • Promote one of your projects that you’re excited about – a hobby, a blog, a book, or a new direction your writing is taking you. You decide. Just tell us about it in the comments! (Please restrain your enthusiasm to just one of your WIPs.)

The rest of us will shake those pom-poms and cheer you on down in the comments section.

We'll lead off the love fest with some of the WITS Team!

Ellen Buikema

New Love:

Warm, funny, and endearing, Sudha Balagopal’s Things I Can’t Tell Amma is a brilliant novella-in-flash.

There are many things that 22-year-old Deepa can’t tell her mother back in India now that she’s studying in Arizona. There are things she can’t tell the unfriendly librarian, or her shady professor, or her Indian would-be suitor, or the typist who sells her a typewriter, or prospective employers, but she’d like to tell her neighbor Theo how she feels about him. You’ll fall in love with Deepa as her story unfolds in these fifteen finely wrought flash.


If you are looking for a young readers chapter book series, take a look at The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon. I wrote these stories to help encourage empathy and cultivate insight into children’s lives.

These multicultural stories cover situations children typically encounter like getting lost, moving, starting a new school, making friends, family vacations, working in a team, and dealing with bullies using positive methods. Each chapter ends with one or more activities for children and parents or teachers to do together, related to the actions in the stories. These books are filled with humor to make the stories more engaging for children (and more fun for parents to read to their kids).

The first three chapter books in The Adventures of Charlie Chameleon Series are New BeginningsSchool Days, and Summertime.

Lisa Norman

Lisa Norman

New Love:

I've been working recently with a traditional writer making the conversion to indie. I met her in a class at Lawson Writer's Academy and I've been delighted with how hard she's worked to make her indie titles beautiful. I'd like to share the love with Sylvie Kurtz. And if you are hungry, check out her recipe box. Yum!

Self Love:

I'm hard at work on the sequels to Dominion of Darkness. You can follow my progress on World Anvil. Nothing to see yet, but if you follow me, that may be just the motivation I need to make some of the project public!

Jenny Hansen

New Love:

If you've been around WITS for a while, you've seen the gorgeous posts by Margie Lawson, founder of Lawson Writers Academy. I just finished two of her classes - and Advanced Advanced Immersion Master Class and another course on "endings."

Both of those made me think and stretch and become a better writer. I highly recommend anything she teaches, including those classes taught by her other (amazing) instructors.

Coming up later this month is one of her monthly webinars, Getting Strategic with Style and Structure. At only $35, it's a steal.

Also, in my Immersion, we started talking about character emotion cheat sheets and this Emotion Wheel came up. Would you look at this (utterly magical) thing??

I love it!


Writers in the Storm has a new look. Our own Lisa Norman has been gussying up the place. We're not done by a long shot, so expect to see more changes in the coming weeks.

And I have a question for YOU. Are there features you'd love to see at WITS? A better way of organizing posts perhaps, or a more up-to-date resource page? Perhaps discount affiliate links for favorite writing tools like ProWritingAid or Evernote? Your suggestions are 100% welcome!

Okay, now it's your turn!

* * * * * *

Spread the love all around the comment section y'all, and we'll chime in and cheer you on! Also, please let us know what you think of the new website we're building (thanks to the awesome Lisa Norman).

Top Photo by Frantisek Duris on Unsplash

40 comments on “WITS Event: Double The Love + New Website”

  1. New Love: Liz Roadifer writes in a few different genres. I loved reading This Time Justice in her Oracle Suspense Series. Very fast-paced! She's such a good storyteller.

    Self-love: My second book, Shadows of Doubt, in the Crawford Mysteries, came out this past fall. It's a murder mystery mixed with legal suspense, that takes place in Wyoming, involving a court stenographer working for her ex-husband, the new judge.

    I love the new colors of your site. And I enjoy reading everyone's blog here! Thank you all for sharing your experiences in the craft of writing!

    1. Merissa, you have a great title. Shadows of Doubt sounds like an interesting read! I've never been to Wyoming and reading this would be a fun way to travel there.

    1. Hi Ellen, I read Dan's piece on the editor's suggestions. Wow. Just like taking coarse sandpaper to fine wood. To me it was eye-opening and a bit cringe worthy.

      I love your blog!

  2. You said "Double the love", so I am going to share two new loves. No, three. Or four. First, Nathan Van Coops. Inventive, addictive time travel. Second, Chuck Wendig. Irreverent, occasionally (but not often) irrelevant, but his blog is always interesting. Third, podcaster Melvyn Braggs, whose podcast on BBC4 is wide-ranging, academic and fascinating. Fourth, Gabriella Periera, whose DIY-MFA is a godsend.

    As for me, I am revising my 92K novel, "Somewhen", about a young woman who single-mindedly seeks money and the power it brings until she falls in love with an 18th. Century harpist who insists that he has loved her many times before and will love her forever.

    1. Hi Sara,
      I, too, have taken some of Gabriela's classes. I happened to stumble upon her street team for her DIY MFA book years ago - so much info there (and on her website, too!)

  3. New (well, actually, continuing) love--Neal Stephenson. His latest book Termination Shock is a big door stopper but hands down the best dang clifi, post-Covid book I've ever read. Not only did I find it entertaining and engaging, but I ended up learning a little bit about geoengineering concepts. It's not exactly a thriller because of the pacing, but I'd say that for the kind of book it is, the pacing's about right. And the little touches of worldbuilding that we all want to see show up smoothly and unobtrusively.

    I checked it out of the library but am contemplating buying it because it's one I may want to reread just to study smooth, near-future worldbuilding technique. It's also very accessible to non SF readers, in my opinion.

    Self-love--I am publishing pretty close to a book a month right now, because of a combination of getting some half-finished short work off of my hard drive and reissuing my first series, the Netwalk Sequence. NS really needs the revisions because...well, no consistent cover image, continuity is all over the place, and the interiors are SO 2011. Additionally, I'm including worldbuilding short stories in the books in the proper order, so that by the time the last book comes out in August, it will be possible to easily read the whole thing without fussing. The first book, Life in the Shadows, a collection of early NS stories ranging from vignettes to novellas, will be almost twice the length of the original version.

    While Life in the Shadows is currently scheduled for release on March 25, progress is moving right along on editing and production, so it may be out by March 15-20, somewhere in there. No preorders since they don't seem to work for me. But if you keep an eye on my Amazon Central page, or follow my Substack
    Speculations from the Wide Open Spaces, you'll know when it drops. https://joycereynoldsward.substack.com/

    1. Thank you, Joyce, for the cli-fi suggestion. Termination Shock sounds very interesting as I write speculative fiction. (But I would have to buy his book because he tends to write very lengthy ones!)

      Your shorter books sound like fun pieces for your audience - I'm currently working on building a series from novellas right now, too. A book a month is impressive - how do you do it? 🙂

      1. Well, these books are short. January was 60k, and had been serialized on Kindle Vella--a rewrite of a previous book. February was 28k. March is a reissue from my first series. April is a Kindle Vella book, 95k and the next book in the rerelease. May is the third book in the reissue, plus a book I need to outline and finish...and so on. Most of these books are things that are short novels or rereleases, and are already partially written. I just need to get the last episode written for the dang current Vella....

        1. That makes sense. I never like ro leave a good story hanging - just because it is not 80k.

          I'm curious about your experience with Vella. It seems that you are getting engagement and it's going well for you - especially if you are keeping up with it.

          When it came out, I preloaded a bunch of episodes (sci-fi, adventure), but it just never reached an audience. It wasn't worth it for me. If you like if - that's amazing.

          1. I made the mistake of preloading episodes as well. Crickets chirping, and I missed out on two months of bonuses. But I've made up for that since then, and collected three months' worth--the bonuses are supposed to end in March. But in hanging out in a Vella writers' Discord, I've learned a bit about writing for serial apps, and have some ideas about where I do and don't want to go if I want to keep up with the serials.

            Serial writing is its own thing, as I'm discovering. Short episodes are best (1k-2k words). But right now, the knowledge that I need to get them written and up in order to earn the bonuses is keeping me chugging along in turning out the work. And the bonus for one of my works means it has earned more before its formal release than any of my other books....

            1. Intriguing! I'm glad you are able to get bonuses - it sounds like a valuable pursuit.

              Discourse - it is a way to hang out and get the real scoop. My daughter has one for her school. They have so much fun and get projects completed.

              Hey, Joyce, I'm not the person to ask, but I bet if you pitched an article about making Vella profitable or on improving your serial fiction, it could have a home (maybe at WITS?) Other writers wanted to know how this platform worked for them and how to write for Vella.

              Thanks for sharing. I totally gave up on the Vella platform but now know that there are more ways to approach the beast. 🙂

  4. I've been meaning to tell you that I love the new colors and look of the site, and this post seems like a great place to do it. Looking forward to seeing what other things you have in store. Love to all of you guys, and your hard work! <3

    1. I'm also loving the new look, Angela. It reminds me of a storm breaking into sunshine.

    2. Hi Angela!
      I love it when I see your work at WITS. And I use One Stop for Writers to build up my plots and characters. It definitely makes writing the first draft easier!

    3. Thanks, Angela! Isn't it sooooo pretty? Lisa did a bang up job bringing the vision forward into reality. There is still a lot to do, but I love seeing peaceful happy storms here in the background at WITS.

  5. New love: Gail Carriger's "Heroine's Journey" was amazingly enlightening. No wonder I couldn't figure out where my beats REALLY fit in the Hero's Journey---I write in the Heroine's Journey! And now that I know what I'm doing, I can do it consciously and ever so much better.

    Self-love: My retold fairy tales set in my own fantasy world are up for preorder. You think you know the stories… 12 Dancing Princesses, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, The Frog, The Stonecutter, and more…
    But what if they didn’t happen that way? What if they really occurred on another world and the truth was lost in the mists of time? From the world of Unexpected Heroes, read the true Legends of Kaiatan. (Sometimes I tease with "What if the girl in Red Riding Hood WAS the wolf? What if a mere kiss wasn't enough to turn a frog back into a man? What if the twelve princesses (okay, I may have tweaked that a little, too) were trapped in an underwater cave---but that part is okay because they're mermaids?")

    1. Hi Marty!
      Isn't it awesome when a resource clarifies an aspect of craft? I felt that way recently taking a Margie Lawson class.

      Congratulations on the pre-sale. Fractured fairytale stories are the best!

  6. For the memoir-lovers in the crowd, I'll give some new love to "This Boy We Made" by Taylor Harris https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091PHPSMB/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1. From Amazon: "A Black mother bumps up against the limits of everything she thought she believed—about science and medicine, about motherhood, and about her faith—in search of the truth about her son." The writing is beautiful, the story engaging. Also, lots of new love to the new site!!

    As for self-love, I received an offer of publication for my memoir from a small press! Mums the word for now since I haven't signed the contract yet, but it's really looking like it's going to be a reality!

  7. New Love: I discovered C.S. Harris's Sebastian St. Cyr series and I am hopelessly hooked. This is a mystery series set in England's Regency period and while it has its share of aristocrats, it also shows the seamier side of life experienced by the other 90 per cent. Good characters, clever plots, and solid history.

  8. Beautiful site! Congratulations. And here are my picks:

    New Love: Song of Curses is book 3 in the Siren's Call series by Kris Faryn. I loved books 1 and 2, but OH MY, this one was a new level of excellence. I probably shouldn't overpromise, just in case, so just imagine you might like this YA mythology-based series and give it a shot. Read through 1 & 2 quickly to get to book 3: https://www.amazon.com/Song-Curses-Young-Fantasy-Sirens-ebook/dp/B09QLDGYY4

    Self-Love: I finally released the fifth of my five YA paranormal shorts. I had to pretty much rewrite this one, and it was touch-and-go at moments, but I'm so pleased with the result. If you want a short, fun read, check out My Neighbor's Shapeshifter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09TNDCQN1/

  9. New Love: Libby Waterford's Can't Hurry Love 4th in the series. Hot, steamy, swoony. I'm going to cheat and add Grace Burrowes, kinda anything. Totally an antidote to the world right now.

    Self love: WIP book 4 of the Marriage Survivors' Club. Waiting until I get all 6 done to release. Boy! Does that take fortitude! Thanks

  10. New: Lisa Norman's classes in the wonderful Margie Lawson's Writers' Academy on setting up a website are incredible. She is incredibly patient, unfailingly cheerful, and ever-encouraging, and her results are golden.
    SELF: I'm excited about my third short story, Christmas Wedding Cookies, coming in November or December in the Wild Rose Press' Christmas Cookies series.

    1. Hi Jeanne,

      Yeah for Lisa! I agree she is very patient and a well of writer knowledge. She is helping me set up a store in my website and it has been fun and supportive venture.

      Christmas Cookies -is this a sweet romance? It sounds like I could share with my Hallmark Christmas movie gal-pals. 🙂

      1. Christmas Cookies is a series (darn, it's hard to write " cookies is") put out in Nov. and Dec. of short romances--including paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, etc.--by Wild Rose Press. Available only en E versions, they range from novellas to short stories. Lots of fun light and happy seasonal stories, each involving a specific Christmas cookie (and often a recipe). Great for short reads between all that Christmas prep.

          1. Kris, if you search Amazon's Kindle Store for Wild Rose Press Christmas Cookies, they come up. You have your choice of maybe 50--all nifty little nibbles.

  11. Hi Ellen! I love Jenny's color emotions wheel. What a fun post. And I like the new look. You, Lisa, Jenny, and all the gang are doing a great job. I know you all work very hard to be the best and most helpful writers' site. I love WITS! You all are my favorite blog! That's one new Love! You guys rock!

    Also, I just discovered a new author, Joyce Harmon. I'm reading Mary Bennet and the Bingley Codex and thoroughly enjoying it.

    Self Love, well...
    I'm delighted to have finished a lecture packet for Margie Lawson's Writers Academy. My Scene & Sequel Super-powered Writing Tool is up there now. I've analyzed Dwight Swain's amazing concept and made it understandable and easy to apply. Scene & Sequel was a game-changer for me. I love it and now I hope it helps other writers.

    1. Thanks so much, Kathleen! It's always lovely to feel appreciated, isn't it? And part of why we can do what we do is because of contributors like you and Angela Ackerman and Julie Glover (all hanging out in the comments here!).

      Speaking of appreciation, I WANT THAT LECTURE PACKET. I'm zooming over for that because I have Dwight Swain's book but it intimidates me. I love the general concept though, so a simplified primer would rock my world. 🙂

  12. New love: Slay the Dragon by William McGinnis. This thriller novel is set in present day US and China. Thought provoking ideas are presented about how little Americans appreciate their democratic freedoms. The suggestion that those critics are really funded by Chinese revolutionaries desiring to cripple the American life style. While this is fiction the author does make you think twice about the motivation of those challenging the American life style.

    Self-love: Nobody wants to face the possibility that their death is just around the corner, but that is what 12 teen age boys must face when the garage in which they are partying in drops into a sink hole.

    1. Hi Ken! This is good stuff! I hadn't heard of William McGinnis, so this is much appreciated. I certainly agree about the underappreciated freedoms we enjoy here in America. Thanks for spreading the love here at WITS. 🙂

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