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Video Interview with Multi-talented Author Thomas Ryerson Part 2

This week in part two of my interview with Tom Ryerson our discussion centers on marketing our books, our blogs and webpages, a writer’s much-needed self-discipline, and font size, of all things!

Last week Tom talked about his education in film making, his great-grandfather who survived the Titanic and whose life forms the nucleus of one of his books, and of every author’s nightmare–finding new information after the book is published.

 We hope Part 2 of the interview is instructive for both writers and readers. Enjoy!

Thomas Ryerson’s books are available on Amazon here. Click back to last Wednesday’s blog post for the first part of our writers’ chat.

How About an Authors and History Cruise? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

***Need more information? We’re doing a webinar! Click for details.***

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

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Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Authors, Publishing, Videos

 

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Video Interview with Multi-talented Author Thomas Ryerson

One very exciting and extremely rewarding part of being a writer is getting to speak with others who are following the same road as I. Last week I sat down with Canadian author, Thomas Ryerson, for a conversation about writing and some of the ups and downs writers experience. Tom talks about his education in film making, his great grandfather who survived the Titanic and whose life forms the nucleus of one of Tom’s books, and of every author’s nightmare–finding new information after the book is published.

This is Part 1 of the interview. Part 2 will be aired next week. Enjoy!

Thomas Ryerson’s books are available on Amazon here. Come visit next Wednesday for the conclusion of our writers’ chat.

 

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Authors, Videos

 

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Mother’s Day in Fact and Fiction

Ben2_edited

From the time I knew to wear a colored flower to church on Mother’s Day, through becoming a mother myself, to losing my mother and switching to a white flower, I have celebrated this day with my ever-growing family. It’s a good day. Meals out in a restaurant, breakfast in bed made by our young children, and family visits have always filled up my day and my heart with love.

What about mothers in fiction? Of course Mother’s Day did not always exist; it may have started in the late 1800’s. My novels set in the American Revolutionary War are long before this day. I got thinking about Lucy’s role as a mother and thought I’d lift a section out of The Loyalist’s Wife, the first book in my Loyalist trilogy. Perhaps this is why mothers have their own special day here in Canada and elsewhere.

Lucy is by herself in their cabin for months while John is off to fight for the British in the Revolutionary War. She is ten miles from their nearest neighbor and in the cold December night she starts to have contractions.

THE FIRST SHARDS OF DAYLIGHT were long past and the winter sun lit the farmyard outside. The rooster had long since crowed and the chickens scratched fruitlessly in the dirt of the barn floor. The oxen stood by their empty manger and watched a tiny mouse flit back and forth, all of them following the call within. They were hungry.

Lucy had no thought for them, nor was she hungry. Her work was before her and her body knew its job, rhythmically pushing, relaxing, pushing, pushing, relaxing, and again pushing the baby along its way. She worked when necessary and rested for scant seconds between the contractions.

Soon she had no time to rest and the pain rose and rose and rose and never stopped, taking Lucy with it, up and over the mountain, searing her whole body with need. Need to be done, to birth this baby, to win this war, right here, right now.

The screams became endless grunts and groans. Her eyes felt like they might pop out of her head and her sweat smelled sweet and musty. She fell back, spent. Her eyes closed. Relief. Blood seeped back into her brain. “Baby…” She struggled up on her elbows to look. “My wee child.” She saw the still, bluish object between her legs and struggled to reach it. She hardly knew what

she was doing as she stuck her finger in the mouth and pulled out wet slime. She held the baby by its feet and slapped its backside. And waited, terrified, sobbing. “Oh, baby, my baby. Breathe. Breathe.” There was nothing. She jerked the baby to her bosom and held on tight, squashing it to her, crying and crying.

And then she wasn’t crying alone. She heard the sweet howl at the same time as she felt the baby’s chest move against hers.“You’re alive.Oh, honey, you’re alive.” She lay back down and rocked the newborn against her. What would John say when he knew he had a… son or daughter? She held the baby away from her and laughed. They had a son. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t even noticed before, or thought to look.

Now pictures flooded her mind, of John and their baby, of John and their little boy, of herself teaching him his letters, of John teaching him to ride, to shoot, to hunt, to do everything. Their whole future was spread out before her in her mind’s eye and her smile came unbidden as she lay the wee babe down.

The cord pulsed big and blue out of her child’s belly. As the blood flow slowed and stopped she knew she must cut the cord. The knife lay beside her, ready. She had to slice through the line connecting her and her son. Her hand was wet with sweat. She reached for the knife.

And dropped it. She began to cry. The baby wailed with her. She took a deep breath, looped the slimy cord over her hand, and sliced it through. Through her tears she saw that her boy was safe, his color was good and his lips moved. He was hungry. She gave him her breast. He seemed to know just what to do with it. 

-from The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler.

This Mother’s Day give a moment to thinking of all the mothers you know and to the fathers, too, who find that selfless part of themselves and willingly submit to it for their children.

I’ve heard it said by many a writer that writing a book is like birthing a baby so add writers to your positive and thankful thoughts. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Two Precious Mothers with Their Precious Kids

Ben3_edited

My awesome daughter-in-law and my oh so special grandson.

 

 

IMG_1034

My lovely and loving daughter and my cute and funny granddaughter.

 

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More Steps Along This Writer’s Road

the hollies

The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother HD HD-Mix by: I.T. (su24000) “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” is a popular music ballad written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell.

Writing a novel is like performing a song for a huge audience. Knowing you can never take it back. Once it’s out there, it’s out there, and no matter what you wish you could change, you can’t.

Here’s a group called The Hollies a few years ago performing a song they’d sung in 1967. It was one of my favorites back then as my younger brother had fallen about 50 feet from the top of our silo to the cement floor and whenever I played and sang this song I sang of him. Thankfully he recovered after being unconscious for almost a week and has lived a pretty interesting life which includes two degrees, the last in music therapy, a field that capitalizes on all his talents.

The song is He’s Not Heavy He’s My Brother. (click here.)

Listen and watch before I connect this to my world today. Or read through the lyrics through the link below.

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where

But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

Read more: Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Now think of switching out the person here for something you love to do but find very hard. It may even take a lot of dedication, courage or perseverance. Oh, it has its joys, but the road is long and, yes, it’s winding up and down, even round in circles sometimes.

I carry on. Do you?

Have you thought of something that relates to your own life? Dealing with teenage children? A pesky co-worker or worse, boss?

Is the burden your writing? For me that’s the load but it’s also the absolute joyous wonder. And I’ve realized I am strong enough to carry on. The load isn’t too heavy just as, back in the day,  my brother was not. Here’s to shouldering the load so regularly that it becomes lighter and lighter as your novel gets done and published. And then the load won’t weigh you down either.

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Authors, Writing Journey

 

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Thomas Ingersoll, Greeter at Ingersoll Public Library, and Me

Last night I just felt so supported! No, I’m not talking about my–ahem–clothing. I’m talking about my overwhelming pleasure at the support I receive from readers.

When I got to Ingersoll Public Library for my author talk last night, I wasn’t sure how many to expect. This is not my community even though long ago I skated at the arena one Saturday night. Seven years old, I heard my name boomed out over the loudspeaker, “Come off the ice!” I made my way along the boards, big boys whizzing by me so close I was afraid they’d trip my feet right out from under me, to my tall and smiling daddy standing at the propped open door. (He was afraid for my safety!) I felt safe then and I felt safe last night in that same nearby community.

Statue by Neil Cox in the Ingersoll Public Library foyer.

Statue by Neil Cox in the Ingersoll Public Library foyer.

It’s a beautiful library as you’ll see by clicking the link and its designers obviously treasure their past. Right in the spacious foyer stands a life-size statue of Thomas Ingersoll for whom the town is named. He received a grant of 67000 acres of land from the famed Governor Simcoe back in the 1700’s; hence, the town’s name. At today’s prices of $20,000 an acre, that’s some pretty awesome grant! My accountant husband busily did the math and told me it’s in the billions.

Back to the supporters. A number of familiar faces formed part of my small audience but at least half of the group were new to me. I was delighted to see all of them because as any author knows drawing a crowd is not easy. Thoughtful questions and generous comments came from this group who were excited about both my books and the Author Cruise I’m featured on in the fall.

Two people had their cell phones out taking pictures and tweeting about the event. Wow! That’s the first time I’ve been the lucky recipient of that! Their posts awaited me as I checked my own phone once I got home. I went to sleep thinking how great it is to be a published author.

Please share your own happy experiences along this journey or in any way you felt supported. And check out the cruise!

How About an Authors and History Tour? Click here for details of this amazing cruise. Come join us!

For All Lovers of Historical Fiction!

Book Two in The Loyalist Trilogy!

Purchase The Loyalist’s Luck Here.

The Loyalist’s Luck_cover_apr1.indd
John and Lucy escape the Revolutionary War to the unsettled British territory across the Niagara River with almost nothing. In the untamed wilderness they must fight to survive, he, off on a secret mission for Colonel Butler and she, left behind with their young son and pregnant once again. In the camp full of distrust, hunger, and poverty, word has seeped out that John has gone over to the American side and only two people will associate with Lucy–her friend, Nellie, who delights in telling her all the current gossip, and Sergeant Crawford, who refuses to set the record straight and clear John’s name. To make matters worse, the sergeant has made improper advances toward Lucy. With John’s reputation besmirched, she must walk a thin line depending as she does on the British army, and Sergeant Crawford, for her family’s very survival.

The Loyalist’s Wife, Book One in The Loyalist Trilogy!

by Elaine Cougler, winner of the WCDR 2014 Pay It Forward Scholarship

Short-listed for Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair’s Canada Self-Published Book Awards

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

Purchase The Loyalist’s Wife here.

 

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Running For the Finish Line

Kevin and Elaine at Terry Fox exhibit

Kevin and Elaine in front of Terry Fox on the poster.

A couple of weeks ago my son, Kevin, and I were lucky enough to attend the opening of the Terry Fox exhibit at the prestigious Canadian Museum of History just across the river from Ottawa. What a fantastic night!

I well remember Terry’s run which he started in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and wanted to end in British Columbia. Though he didn’t make the whole distance he did raise the one dollar for every Canadian citizen which was his goal, albeit after the run stalled in Northern Ontario. Terry’s cancer had returned.

Imagine that. He did not finish his stated goal to run across Canada but his courage and absolute determination electrified first the country he loved and then the wider world. Terry’s name is an international symbol and his story just doesn’t quit; the money just keeps pouring in.

The exhibit (there until next winter) features many artifacts on loan from the Fox family and as you walk through you see notations from Terry’s log as well as oversize representations of his encouraging sayings. Kevin and I were happy to stand beneath these words:

“Today is the day it all begins.”

I feel that way about my writing. Each day when I sit down at my computer and move my current work-in-progress a little farther ahead, it’s like a new beginning. I have another chance to tell the story of fictional characters who represent those unnamed real people who lived, struggled, and strove to build my country. I get to show the actual history of real people and events and, while I revel in that journey, it can be intimidating.

If we as writers can just have that attitude (Today is the day it all begins.), though, we will maybe do what Terry did. We’ll build a story that, whether it becomes widely known or not, will be an accomplishment for us as individuals and something to leave behind as a lasting remembrance. In that way, today is the first day of the rest of our lives. How will we use it?

I have three pages that are calling to be written. How about you?

 
 

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What is Your Potential for Greatness?

necklacePotential for Greatness

The oak tree is an emblem of strength,

endurance and prosperity. The acorn

signifies potential, power and luck.

 As a writer and as a person I count myself lucky because of the solid support I get from those near and dear to me, both literally and figuratively. Today’s post came to mind because of the necklace I chose to wear this morning. Given to me by my daughter as a support for me as I struggled to go the last months before publishing The Loyalist’s Wife, I wear it whenever I can and I take special pride in the fact that she wears an identical one.

Again today I took out the card which came with this gift and reread the poignant words printed above. What a fitting epithet to give to a writer!

We certainly need strength, both physical and mental, to do the daily pages so that, one day, the book will be done. Not for us the short task, done in an hour. My first book took me over six years, the second almost two, and the third will be about that length of time as well. I have learned that those two pages I wrote today, if repeated often enough, become a first draft which then becomes a work in revision which then becomes a work for beta readers which then becomes another revision in my hands and my editors’ hands until finally it satisfies. Endurance, for certain.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Authors, General, Writing Tips

 

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