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Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

Interviews with members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and those involved in RMFW conferences, workshops and other writing-related events. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to supporting, encouraging, and educating writers seeking publication in commercial fiction.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 31, 2017

Jennifer Rose might have just what you need as you begin to ponder your writing goals and plans for 2018.

On Saturday, Jan. 6 Jennifer is presenting RMFW’s free monthly workshop at the Sam Gary Branch library in Denver.

It’s called "Level Up Your Mindset and Productivity."

Jennifer is here on the podcast with a preview of some of the tools and tips she’ll be discussing.

But, wait, there's more. There's also Jennifer's fairly unusual combination of interests – both martial arts and opera – and the publication earlier this year of her first novel, The Book Of Keys. The book is the first in the Twins of Orion series and it's already drawn rave reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.

Jennifer Rose's website

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Dec 17, 2017

Denitta Ward will tell you that she did it all backwards.

But she got on the path to publication earlier this year when took RMFW’s online course about self-publishing, taught by Lisa Price Manifold.

The result? The publication of her first novel, Somewhere Still, in November.

Denitta is a member of the Women's Fiction Writers Association, the Historical Novel Society, and (of course) Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is delighted to be the 100th member of IPAL.

After decades of writing legal briefs and contracts, Denitta picked up her pen and decided she'd write the stories she really wanted to tell - about young women discovering their own resilience in times of societal transition.

In fact, Somewhere Still is set in the Roaring Twenties era in Kansas City and the follow-up jumps ahead three decades to Cuba.

In both cases, however, Denitta is exploring a topic that remains relevant today about the — the “power dynamic” between men and women. Who is writing that paycheck and what are women willing to do for that money?

Denitta Ward's website

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Dec 5, 2017

Pat Stoltey’s fourth novel comes out in just a few short weeks (Dec.20) and it’s been quite a ride.

Revised and revised some more, Pat says that one point she realized she had written the life out of her characters.

So she backed up and started over again until she got it right.

Wishing Caswell Dead is set in the early 1800's in a village on the Illinois frontier. It’s a historical mystery about the evil that hides within a village, one girl who is determined to save herself and her child, and a violent murder no one wants to solve.

Pat Stoltey grew up in east central Illinois so it's not unexpected she would use that part of the country as the setting for her historical mystery, Wishing Caswell Dead.

The Village of Sangamon is not a real place, but Pat says it has become so real to her she's now writing a follow-on story using the same setting. Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, a Scottish Terrier named Sassy, and a bossy brown Tabby known as Katie Cat.

Pat's website

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Nov 26, 2017

This time, a story of going with the flow.

After writing for more than a decade, Kevin Wolf won a major award in a writing contest and the prize included a contract with none other than St. Martin’s Press.

Last month, Kevin Wolf published his second novel, Brokeheart, and he’s with a whole new publisher.

Both books are set in Colorado and both were inspired by locations in the state that stem from Kevin’s own family history, but one story is set in the present and the new one takes us back to the late 19th century with some paranormal elements, but whether with a big house or not-so-big house Kevin is here to tell us what he’s learned along the way.

Brokeheart features frontier newspaper man Kepler arriving in the Colorado mining town in hopes of making a fresh start. As he begins to report the goings on of Brokeheart and the conditions at the mine, he attracts attention from all quarters, from the mysterious European aristocrat who hires him to oversee the construction of a hunting lodge to the unsavory foreman of the Brokeheart mine.

Kevin's website

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Nov 17, 2017

Are you comfortable writing short stories? Have you thought about it, but don’t know how or where to begin?

Saytchyn Maddux-Creech is here to help.

Saytchyn is teaching a 15-day online class called, Write An Amazing Short Story in Two Weeks. The course is being offered online through RMFW-U beginning Dec. 2.

On the podcast, Saytchyn gives a sneak peek at her approach to writing short stories—she’s published about 20—and touches on some of the key ideas she’ll cover in the course. Even if you only have a "crumb" of an idea, she says, you should try the course and give it a go.

Saytchyn Maddux-Creech survived the MFA program at Colorado State University with her love of all things creepy intact. She writes horror, fantasy, and mystery with a literary accent. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary and genre magazines under her own name and the name Sandra Maddux-Creech. You can find her most recent work in Petrichor Machine, Typehouse Literary Review, and Menacing Hedge, as well as in the award-winning RMFW anthology, Found.

Follow Saytchyn Maddux-Creech on Facebook

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Nov 13, 2017

Emily Littlejohn says luck may have played a small role in getting her first novel published, but so did hard work and listening to feedback from experts. As Emily puts it, books are not written in a vacuum.

Inherit the Bones, published at this time last year, was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award. This week, A Season To Lie releases and it also features police detective Gemma Monroe solving murders in the fictional Colorado mountain town of Cedar Valley.

Emily Littlejohn is a former librarian who has been obsessed with mystery and horror novels since she was a child. When she’s not placing her heroine in precarious situations, Littlejohn can be found enjoying the beautiful Colorado mountains with her husband and growing family.

A Season to Lie releases on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Emily Littlejohn's website.

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Oct 31, 2017

Jayme H. Mansfield found fiction in her own family history.

Rush, her second novel, launches Nov. 1 and it's based on the life of Jayme’s great-great grandmother and the details of her involvement in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893.

Using original letters from the era and her own research in Oklahoma, Jayme found out that “tall tales” about her ancestor weren’t so tall—and would make for a good novel.

Jayme H. Mansfield is an author, artist, and educator—and feels a bit incomplete when she’s not juggling all three balls. Her award-winning debut novel, Chasing the Butterfly, is a book club favorite and Amazon bestseller.

Jayme lives in Lakewood, Colorado, where she and her husband have survived raising three hungry, hockey-playing sons. When Jayme isn’t writing, she teaches art to children and adults at her long-time art studio, Piggy Toes.

Jayme's website 

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Oct 17, 2017

Jennifer Kincheloe is back on the podcast and she’s got a brand new historical mystery coming out in just a few short weeks.

The first book, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, was a finalist for a slew of awards and also was winner of the Mystery & Mayhem Award for Historical Mystery. Earlier, it also won the Colorado Gold contest.

So there’s lots of anticipation for book two, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, debuting in mid-November from Seventh Street Books.

We caught up with Jennifer last week in Toronto where she was attending Bouchercon, the annual mystery conference for writers and readers.

As you will see, writing historical fiction sometimes opens your eyes to things going on in our world today.

Jennifer Kincheloe's website

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Oct 10, 2017

After listening to this episode with historical fiction writer Aimie K. Runyan, you might want to think about keeping an idea file.

When things went flat with her first publisher, Aimie needed a Plan B and she was ready, dipping into a list of concepts she wanted to take from idea stage to full length novel.  

Now, 18 months after her first novel was published, Aimie is less than three months from the launch of book number three, Daughters of the Night Sky. Her readiness, and flexibility, played a major role in keeping her writing career going.

 

Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She is the author of two previous historical novels: Promised to the Crown, and Duty to the Crown from Kensington Publishing. Her upcoming novels Daughters of the Night Sky and Girls on the Line will release from Lake Union Publishing in January and November of 2018.

Aimie is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. She lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband and two (usually) adorable children.

Aimie K. Runyan's website

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Sep 27, 2017

Shawn Harper calls it "the good kind of hurt."

That’s the hurt from hearing a comment at your critique group that means there’s work to be done, that your work in progress is not quite ready for prime time.

On Oct. 7, Shawn is one of four panelists leading RMFW'ss free monthly workshop called Getting the Most Out of Your Critique Group.

On the podcast, Shawn passes along a few pointers and suggestions if you’re thinking of diving into the critique group scene.

And Shawn would tell you it’s a good idea. As he puts it, the process “helps you ways you don’t anticipate.”

Thanks to Shawn’s own critique group, a would-be short story morphed into Shawn’s first novella, Matryoshka Blues, the first in the Average Joe Mysteries. That book is now being expanded into a full-length novel and there’s a second title in the works.

In fact, the title of that book leads to a question about whether a writer needs permission to use a song lyric as a title and stay tuned after the recording for a few thoughts on this topic from an RMFW expert.

In addition to the chat with Shawn, we’ve got a new installment of Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha is here with some cautionary thoughts about the temptation to summarize conversations.

Follow Shawn on Twitter

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Sep 19, 2017

Episode #100 of the Rocky Mountain Writer podcast comes down to three things: insects, noir and a preview of the upcoming workshop this weekend on bone forensics.

The guest is  writer Jeff Lockwood, who earned a doctorate in entomology and who has worked for 15 years as an insect ecologist at the University of Wyoming.

But Jeff is also a writer of fiction and last year published his first crime novel, Poisoned Justice, featuring ex-cop turned pest exterminator C.V. Riley, who plies his trade in the very noir streets of 1970’s San Francisco.

Jeff has found a way to merge his work in science with his work in humanities. His second novel, Murder on the Fly, comes out later this year.

Jeff is one of two presenters, along with Dr. George Gill, at the upcoming workshop this weekend in Denver regarding bone forensics that is being co-sponsored by RMFW and Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. Dr. Gill has studied bones and crime scenes, both new and old, around the world for many years.

Jeffrey Lockwood's website

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Sep 12, 2017

We last checked in with Kerry Schafer way back in February of 2016 and she was on the phone from her home in Washington State.

This time, we’ve got her for in-person chat, recorded last week at Colorado Gold, RMFW’s big annual three-day writing conference in Denver.

We’re more than 18 months down the road since the last intervew, but Kerry Schafer is as busy as she was back then, with two new titles – World Tree Girl by Kerry Schafer and I Wish You Happy by her alter-ego Kerry Anne King.

Kerry has also started working as a creativity coach and she is here to pass along a few tips, particularly around the attitude with which you approach your work.

Kerry Schafer holds a BA in English from York University and a master degree in counseling psychology from Washington State University. Kerry spends her days working as an RN in a clinic, spinning her tales early in the morning and in the evenings after work.

In addition to the chat with Kerry, we’ve got a new installment of Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha is here to encourage you to break out your “inner sadist” and try being a bit meaner to your main characters.

Kerry Schafer's website

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Aug 31, 2017

The guest on the podcast this time is the only person in Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers with the title of “dean.”

Peggy Waide is the dean of RMFW University, an online learning program that is offering an increasingly rich series of classes.

In fact, there’s a class coming up in mid-September with Sharon Mignery titled The Art and Craft of Building Great Conflict.

Classes this year have already covered writing the dreaded synopsis, one on writing effective flashbacks, one on writing winning contest entries, and one on turning your novel into a screenplay, among others.

A long-time member of RMFW, Peggy Waide entered her first Regency romance in the Colorado Gold Contest and the judging editor offered her a contract. Peggy published four titles with Leisure Books and is today shopping an amateur sleuth mystery and she’s wrapping up a contemporary romance.

She has served as Vice-President, Pal Rep, Colorado Gold Conference Chair as well as presented workshops at conference and Romance Writers of America.

RMFW-U Online Classes

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Aug 26, 2017

Okay, friends, we did this in 2015 and 2016 and here it is again—the live taping from the panel at the Tattered Cover with the Writer of the Year and the Independent Writer of the Year finalists.


This event was taped on Wednesday, August 23 at the Tattered Cover on East Colfax.

The moderators are 2016 Writer of the Year Mark Stevens and 2016 Independent Writer of the Year Lisa Manifold.

The panelists are Wendy Terrien, 2017 Independent Writer of the Year; Shannon Baker, 2017 Writer of the Year; IWOTY finalists Bernadette Marie and Stephanie Reisner; and WOTY finalist Colleen Oakes. Writer of the Year finalist Robin Owens was unable to participate on this particular evening.

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Aug 23, 2017


When she finished writing her novel Transference, Kate Jonuska came to a fork in a road and, as Yogi Berra once said, she took it.

The question was how to publish? Traditional? Or independent?

Kate was surprised that her views on the choice had changed and it was a choice she said was informed by her time in RMFW.

A Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers member since 2014, Kate Jonuska is a writer and author based in Boulder, Colorado.

Kate has a decade of experience writing features for top-notch regional publications, including the Denver Post, the Boulder Daily Camera, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette and Boulder Magazine. Kate's short fiction was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize.

Transference is Kate’s first published novel. It features a professionally ruined and morally bankrupt psychiatrist named Derek Verbenk and a superpowered new patient who turns his life upside down—and his soul inside out.

Romping through Denver, breaking through barriers of privacy, social isolation and even politics, Transference is an odd-couple quest toward redemption full of wicked humor and radical honesty.

Kate Jonuska's website

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Aug 18, 2017

Two years ago, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers started a new tradition of recognizing Honored Guiding Members, those individuals who have significantly contributed to the success of the organization over the years. Honorees are selected for their talent and abilities, as well as the leadership they've shown.

This year, it’s Alice Kober.

Alice Kober has been a member of RMFW for over 20 years.

She has volunteered for numerous jobs, including Conference Chair and RMFW President. She was given the Jasmine Award in 2005 to honor the long-term service of individuals to the organization.

On the podcast, Alice reflects on her early years with RMFW and also give us a sneak peek about the workshop she’ll be giving at this year’s conference, about the importance of book covers.

Alice should know. She currently works for the Arapahoe Library District, where she buys both print and e-book fiction for one of the best library districts around.

Local writers please note – Alice particularly loves buying books by Colorado authors.

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Aug 14, 2017

The first million words are practice, right?

Many times on the podcast we’ve had examples of patience and dedication and hard work, and this chat with Curtis Craddock is proof again of the notion that you just need to keep writing and keep getting better.

It also doesn't hurt to attend Colorado Gold.

We’ve had stories in the past about chance meetings at the conference and again a very random encounter put Curtis Craddock together with the right editor and that informal meeting led to the publication, later this month, of Curtis’s first book, An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors, the first book in a series.

Kirkus has already raved and the Washington Post picked Curtis’s debut as one of the top three science fiction and fantasy books of the month.

Curtis Craddock was born in the wrong century and quite possibly on the wrong planet. He should have been born in a world where gallant heroes regularly vanquish dire and despicable foes, where friendship, romance, wit, and courage are the foundations of culture and civilization, and where adventure beckons from every shadow.

Instead, he was born on Earth and lives in a world bounded by bureaucracy, hemmed in by cynicism, and governed by the dull necessity of earning a wage. An exile in this world, he is a biographer of friends he’s never met, a chronicler of events that never happened, and a cartographer of places that never were.

Given that the mundane world supplies a dearth of oddly progressive kingdoms to be saved, he spends his time saving cats, dogs, and the occasional bird of prey. By day, he teaches Computer Information Systems classes to offenders at a correctional facility. By night, he puts on his writer’s cap, the broad-brimmed one with a feather, and, into the prison walls of reality, etches defiant words of legend.

Curtis Craddock's website

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Aug 5, 2017

The interview with Fleur Bradley, a.k.a. F.T. Bradley, was recorded one day before the news circulated that all spots at RMFW's Colorado Gold Conference in September are now taken.

If you’re going to the conference, this chat with Fleur will give a taste of the three workshops she is presenting—one on marketing, one that provides an overview of the children’s fiction market, and one about the advantages of using plot points as you write.

And if you’re not going to the conference, Fleur also chats about her Double Vision trilogy, a middle-grade spy adventure that Library Journal calls “"a must-read for mystery fans, including reluctant readers.”

Fleur Bradley is the author of numerous short crime stories, and she manages a freelance writing career along with various other writing projects in the works.

She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters, and entirely too many cats.

Fleur Bradley's website

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Jul 23, 2017

"Deep Revision - Making the Good Even Better" is the title of a master class being taught by Heather Webb at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's Colorado Gold conference in September.

On the podcast, Heather talks about the topics she’ll cover in those four hours of in-depth learning.

Heather also gives us a peek at books she has coming out later this year and early next.

The first is an epistolary love story she co-wrote with Hazel Gaynor called Last Christmas in Paris. The second is a re-telling of The Phantom of the Opera called The Phantom’s Apprentice.

Heather Webb is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin’s Lover, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more.

Rodin’s Lover was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. To date, Heather’s novels have sold in ten countries. She is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend.

Heather's website.

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Jul 12, 2017

Corinne O’Flynn is the unflappable conference chair for RMFW’s big three day conference, Colorado Gold, coming up in early September.

But of course, she is also a writer of fantasy and mystery.

So this time on the podcast it's a dual-purpose interview, to catch up with Corinne’s writing and find out about the new features and some of the guests arriving from all over the country and, in fact, world for Colorado Gold.

Corinne O’Flynn is the author of The Expatriates fantasy-adventure series, Witches of Tower Hill paranormal suspense series featuring the award-winning Ghosts of Witches Past, the Aumahnee Prophecy urban fantasy series, which she co-writes with Lisa Manifold, and the Half Moon Girls murder-mystery series.

Corinne O'Flynn is also a publisher with Wicked Ink Books, whose titles include the award-winning TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time and their latest release, OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song.

Corinne is a native New Yorker living in Colorado. She is a self-proclaimed scone aficionado, a professional napper, and she has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea.

When not writing, she can be found hanging with her husband and their four kids, playing board games, knitting, reading, or binge watching some fabulous shows (while sipping tea)

Corinne's website.

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Jul 8, 2017

Writer Mario Acevedo has written what he considers to be his favorite book.

It’s called University of Doom and it’s a young-adult thriller from Hex Publishers.

On the podcast, Mario talks about the fairly wild premise of University of Doom, featuring thirteen-year-old Alfonso Frankenstein and his father Eugino. Mario also fills us in on what he calls a re-boot of the Felix Gomez series, and all of his other editing, writing and other artistic endeavors, too, including painting.

Mario’s latest Felix Gomez vampire-detective novel is Rescue From Planet Pleasure. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies including Nightmares Unhinged and CyberWorld. Mario's novel Good Money Gone, co-authored with Richard Kilborn, won a best novel 2014 International Latino Book Award.

Mario edited the 2016 RMFW short story anthology, Found, which went on to win a Colorado Book Award.

Mario serves on the writing faculty of Regis University and Lighthouse Writers Workshops.

Mario's website.

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Jun 29, 2017

Peter Eichstaedt has written non-fiction books based on his reporting all over the world, from Kosovo to Armenia, Afghanistan and Uganda (among other stops).

He also published a book called The Dangerous Divide: Peril and Promise on the US-Mexico Border and that title won the 2015 International Latino Book Award for Best in Current Affairs.

It might not come as much of a surprise, then, that Peter’s first novel is a thriller called Borderland and it’s set on the US-Mexico Border, among other locations.

Borderland, published in March by Wild Blue Press, features reporter Kyle Dawson and this time on the podcast Peter is here to tell us about his first novel and about making the switch from covering stories to making them up.

Peter Eichstaedt's website.

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Jun 22, 2017

An interview with award-winning Denise Vega, who writes for teens and toddlers.

Denise talks about what inspired to write for young adults, how she keeps current with the world of teenagers, and how she draws from her own high school experience for the right emotional connections.

Denise is the award-winning author of seven books including Click Here, Access Denied, Fact of Life #31, and Rock On. Her picture books include her latest: If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed.

Denise is a former Co-Regional Advisor of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI and she’s on the faculty at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She is also a Young Adult Faculty Mentor for the Regis University MFA Creative Writing program.

Denise Vega's website.

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Jun 17, 2017

This time on the podcast we check back in with Laurence MacNaughton, whose new urban fantasy A Kiss Before Doomsday is set to launch in a few short weeks, one year after he debuted his new series with It Happened One Doomsday.

We are back with Dru Jasper and her crystal shop and her magical powers and sorcerers and major problems trying to stop, yes, another impending apocalypse.

Laurence MacNaughton grew up in Connecticut and sold his first magazine story at age 19. Over the years, he’s been a bookseller, typesetter, printer, copywriter and a prototype vehicle test driver.

Following the Q & A, Laurence reads the opening scene from A Kiss Before Doomsday.

Laurence MacNaughton's website.

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May 28, 2017

What makes a story horror?

If you ask Shannon Lawrence that basic question, be prepared for some thoughtful analysis.

The genre, she will tell you, extends beyond jump scares and slashers.

Shannon recaps the recent free workshop she gave for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in Denver and explores one her favorite topics – the world of writing horror. Spoiler alert—it doesn’t always or necessarily involve gore or extreme violence.

Shannon also offers some tips about finding short story markets and how to keep track of where your stories you have submitted.

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy.

Her stories can be found in anthologies and magazines, including Once Upon a Scream, Dark Moon Digest, and The Deep Dark Woods.

When she's not writing, she's hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there's always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.

Find Shannon Lawrence at her website.

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