September has been turning out to be a crazy month with no stopping in sight.  I’ve been everywhere and done everything but so far it’s all been fun.  This past weekend I attended PBWW.  PBWW stands for the Permain Basin Writer’s Workshop.  First ever workshop I’ve been too and it happened to be local which was icing on a very lovely cake.  I loved the flow and information here.

We had five presenters/amazing authors:

Sarah Cortez

Kay Ellington & Barbara Brannon

Seth Fishman

Stephen Graham Jones

I do recommend clinking on the links each to read more about them.  I appreciate each and every one for taking the time out to host some session for fellow writers.  Having a Writer’s Workshop locally was a dream come true 🙂

So I’m giving myself a limit on five sentences or three things I liked with each session I went to, just to keep this blog short and to the point because I can certainly go on and on.

The ABC’s of Writing Imaginary Critters taught by Sarah Cortez:

This was of course on Fantasy writing which was right up my alley.  I love Sarah Cortez’s voice and how she teaches.  This session taught me how to used my imagination to create my own creatures.  It also taught me to implement my senses other than sight to build a stronger scene for the reader.  I loved everything about this session.

What’s your Editor’s Looking For, and Not taught by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon:

I loved the way the authors played out the roles of both an author and editor.  It taught me the do’s and don’ts with communicating with an editor.  I learned what to look for in an editor and to be selective when choosing.  They also gave me resources on where to find good editors and a price ranges to look at.  I know going forward that I’m going to need an amazing editor/teammate.

What Happens Between Now and Publication by Seth Fishman:

Even though I was focusing on my novel and creating it and not near publishing, I was still interested in the publishing part of it.  l was surprised with what I learned from literary agent and author, Seth Fishman.  First thing I was surprised to learn was auction part of it where (if you’re so lucky) different publishers bet to see who will get to publish your book.  Also surprising is the length of drafting, negotiating, and revising contracts and getting it approved by everyone takes a couple of months. There’s a lot of stuff that as an author, don’t ever cross your mind that goes on behind the scenes.  It’s a lot of stuff but it’s all to help you out which is what I appreciate.

Metadata Madness by Kay and Barbara:

This was focused on the self publishing side in getting your novel discovered in the mass of others selling on Amazon and other self publishing sites.  They talked about how to pick your category and to reach for the very specific one so that your book can be ranked accordingly.  Also they touched based on creating your author page on Amazon and what to put on there so it’ll look and feel more professional.

Circles of Desire by Kay and Barbara:

This session was what I really really needed.  It awakened the edit’s I’m going to have to make in The Foretold.  Like serious edits.  I loved the way they both taught this and got us thinking in direction of what does the character want and who or what is standing in the way.  Also realized that there are layers of wants on top of wants and how the ‘villain’ may not be directly being malicious, he or she might think they’re doing something for goodness’s sake.


I didn’t get to go to a session taught by Stephen Graham Jones (which I regret because I heard great things) but I did meet him afterwards and got to look into some of his books. His book Not For Nothing my next book I’ll be reading.  I love that it’s in the “you” format and can’t wait to immerse myself inside.  I also started The Well’s End by Seth Fishman and I have been hooked.

Cold Blue Steel by Sarah Cortez is a poetry book I’d like to read as a book to open my eyes to the other side of the police force.  A welcome peek into an officer’s psyche.

I had made a decision with myself to start to read more romance novels just to confront that sensitive side of mine and Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon’s book The Paragraph Ranch is a book I’m going to put on my To-Be-Read list.

All in all, I got a lot of great, great information and inspiration to keep me going.  I came out hopeful about my future as an author and ready to get down to business.  I met some extremely cool writers to connect with.


As we wrap September up, I want to wrap up any blog posts needed to be posted before October hits.  Expect them to be posted before October 1st.  Prepare for October, prepare for the Madness!!


Quanisha A. McGruder

Author Interview


I had the pleasure of doing my very first author interview with a good friend of mine. It was a lot of fun to do and I might make it a new feature on my blog. I love getting into the minds of authors to see what makes them click.

My first interview goes to Sci-fi author M. Sydnor Jr. who has multiple books published that tempts you to expand your mind to this new world he has built. Let’s get into it.

Author Interview

earth legend

Tell me about your current book?

Earth Legend is a book about soul-searching. William’s journey to the truth behind his newfound supernatural abilities while still searching for a purpose to his everyday life. The power he receives ultimately affects those around him; friends, family, bullies at school and really expands the story from his point of view to his friends and family. It’s full of action, adventure, drama, even romance with some history added in. The setting is in Los Leyendas, Ca (fictional city), a young city on the rise.

Did you know before writing this series, that is was to be in the Sci-Fi genre?

Most definitely, it is my favorite genre to read in books and watch on tv/in movies… I’ve always been told I had a weird and wild imagination… I wanted to put that to the test with Earth Legend.

 What makes this genre so special to you?

There is so much freedom with this genre (Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy). I believe it is the only genre that can remain loyal to its category with the addition of Drama or Romance or Horror. With this genre, you can create and write about anything and everything with no limits.

How long does it take for you write a book?

The outline, the writing, the editing — Earth Legend took about 18 months. Other projects – after the outline, before the writing begins, I usually give myself a deadline between 14 – 24 months.

What was your favorite chapter or scene to write in Earth Legend Series?

I had a lot of fun writing the Jerry and Missy scenes. There isn’t one particular scene with the two of them that stand out; all of them were great fun. Their relationship is extremely complex and from book one to book two, the intensity and tension increases.

Who is your favorite character, and why?

William is my favorite character. There is a lot of me in William; shy, quiet, laid back, corny, tall, athletic, he is a dreamer and is the heart of the Earth Legend Series. Without him, there is no story, there is no Earth Legend. He is the obvious choice, of course. Missy, the smart-mouthed red head, is a close second. Her tongue is super wicked and backs down from no one, not even her parents.

Describe the world you created in your book, using only five words?

An unpredictable world of chaos.

What is the most exciting part about writing the Earth Legend series?

The action scenes mentally drain me, because I put my all into the distinct powers and abilities that I give my characters. I try to impress myself and do things no one else has ever done. I get a lot of excitement from that. I have a bunch of cool superpower ideas up my sleeve.

What would you like the readers feel when they finish reading?

When they finish reading Earth Legend, I want them to crave for Earth Legend Red and so on from there. I want them to feel anger, sadness, happiness, excitement, fear. I want to stress the hell out of my readers after each chapter. I want them to be emotionally drained after each book.


Speed Round:

Pantser (no preplanning) or Plotter (outliner)?


Longhand or Shorthand writing?


E-book or Print?


Action or Romance?


Adult or Young Adult novels?

Young Adult

Second Favorite Genre?


Favorite Author?

M. Sydnor Jr. & Stephen King

Advice to new writers?

Write to please yourself and not others.


Thank you for taking time out to answer some questions!


Where can you reach him?