Room for all -- all readers, all writers, all genres

During an anthology panel at the 2015 Virginia Writers Club Annual Symposium, writer and publisher Austin Camacho likened the plethora of fiction genres and writers to the array of restaurants people choose from and frequent. That's not Austin in the picture -- I chose that image to represent the "room for all" theme. I’ve lost Austin's exact comments, but I absorbed then an “ah-ha!” moment that released me from my biases about which genres and authors were good, worthy, superior, etc. I’ve always been that type of person who understands the world by categorizing and comparing. I now recognize my ranking of books and authors as reader “snobbery,” and I feel freed to have curtailed, if not en

50 Shades of Cabernet: A Mysterious Anthology

Praise for 50 Shades of Cabernet: “A comfortable armchair, a glass of Cabernet, and this sparkling collection of mystery short stories from a group of talented writers . . . total bliss!” --Ellen Crosby, author of The Champagne Conspiracy “Ah, Cabernet Sauvignon! Each bottle tells a story, much like those fermented by the authors in 50 Shades of Cabernet. Pleasing all palates, this collection has a wide range of 'tasting notes, ' from light bodied and easy on the palate, to heavily oaked and aged; from fruit forward and jammy, to essences of earth, pepper, and spice. “ -- Cathy and Arthur Allen, Owners, Artisans Wine & Homebrew, Midlothian, Virginia, “A beautiful blend of wine and mysteries,

When "What's Your Name?" does not bring an automatic answer

Readers are often surprised to learn that authors don’t choose the titles or covers of their books. Sometimes, if they are lucky, their publisher will ask for input or listen to their suggestions, but in the end, these decisions belong to the publisher. And here’s an even more startling fact—the author’s name isn’t always his or her choice either. In most cases, when a writer switches genres—for example, he normally writes science fiction but has started writing mysteries—the publisher wants a new name. Why? It protects readers from disappointment when they pick up another book by a favorite author without realizing the genre has changed. This way, publishers reason, the reader won’t be surp

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