Read or Write Anywhere


 read or write black

Summer is about to begin! 

But just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we should stop reading and writing. I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!

You can also take part in…


I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Predator.JBashman_M9B_Predator_REV2_-Final-Cover-for-web

And there’s more! Every author participating in this campaign is giving away books, critiques, swag and/or Skype visits.

So are you ready?

Drum roll….



 Can you guess where I am? (Hint: It’s a city in the United States)

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Here are five clues:

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Once you’ve figured out where I’m writing, head over to the YA Chicks site and:

  • Officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win.
  • For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).

group picsFor writer prize packs:

  • Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. Then follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it.
  • For even more chances, gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). And hey, since you’re already together, why not host a write-a-thon?

For teacher prize packs:

  • Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag).
  • Then let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments–we won’t open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.”
  • You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site.

Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!


The Things You Learn Doing Research

Guest Blogger: DP Lyle

DPLHeadshot2 Writers are constantly doing research to make the story at hand more realistic, or at least more believable. That “willing suspension of disbelief” thing. One false move can yank the reader right out of the story and that’s never good. The reader loses confidence in the author and the connection to the story becomes frayed, or worse.

So research is critical.

The thing about on line research is that you can literally stumble on the most amazing stuff. Sometimes it’s what you were looking for but not necessarily what you expected, at other times it’s far afield.

OS 533x800For my latest Samantha Cody thriller ORIGINAL SIN I needed to research snake-handling preachers. I grew up in the South so such sects were not necessarily foreign to me—-though I’ve never visited such a church. Snakes? Not my thing.

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Get Mind Blown

Guest Blogger: Donna Galanti

Galanti,Donna 2014In my paranormal suspense novel, A HUMAN ELEMENT, book 1 in the Element Trilogy, Laura Armstrong can perform telekinesis.

What exactly is telekinesis? It’s the action of mind on matter, in which objects are caused to move as a result of mental concentration upon them. Is it science or fraud? Akin to seeing spirits or not? And if one believes in ghosts are they inclined to believe in other paranormal phenomenon too, like telekinesis?

Another term grew from telekinesis: psychokinesis. PK, as it’s known, encompasses a wider group of mental force phenomena that telekinesis now falls under. PK Parties were a cultural fad in the 1980s where groups of people were guided through rituals and chants to awaken metal-bending powers. Or perhaps it was just another excuse for a party! Either way, you can read about it from PK party founder, Jack Houck. Real or fake? You decide.

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Guest Blogger: Eric Van Lustbader

I wrote THE NINJA in 1980 and it became an immediate worldwide sensation, ultimately spending twenty-four weeks on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list. The book was picked up by 20th Century Fox to be made into a film. Five more novels featuring the protagonist, Nicholas Linnear, followed.  But then something odd happened. Japan, which had been so much in the news during those years that elements of the federal government approached me to write what amounted to a propaganda novel about the dangers of the Japanese, fell into a three decade economic slump.  And on the film front, though mine was never made – for a variety of reasons – many very poor ninja films came and went, cheapening the genre.
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Creativity Conflicted

Guest Blogger: Rita Ashley

Copy of rita blows nyThere is an unrestful silence now. The reception for my exhibit of my first art photos was yesterday; a day for meeting fellow artists and many visitors to the obscure gallery in Ashland, OR. The unrest? My reaction to much praise, no purchase.

It seems, for me, the whole process of creativity is complicated not with the vain notion of recognition, but with the practical notion of sales.
A very wise artist reminded me, yesterday, that while she really loves my work, she could not live with it every day. I was startled by her reality, but realize, she is spot on. Sometimes, what I create is genuinely remarkable, but for that very reason, not commercial. I am not soothed by comments like, “It takes a special buyer.”

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The Magic Pencil

When I was young, I’d look at a pencil and think it was magical. I imagined all the words the pencil could write, all the stories it could create. Then I thought of all the magic pencils out in the world and all the books they had written. I wanted a magic pencil of my own so I could create that magic. Of course, I  realized the magic wasn’t in the pencil, but I never imagined I could posses that magic. I had always thought it belonged to others.

When I was giving a talk the other night at a local university, I was asked the question: “How do you keep on writing when it is such a difficult business?”

My response was simple: I told my story about the magic pencil. Then I said something along the lines of  “If you hold onto that pencil and the magic you feel when writing, you will always find inspiration and a desire to continue creating stories.”

So, hold onto your pencil, or whatever inspires you, and keep on writing.


Image courtesy of digitalart /


3 Writing Truths

There are no hard and fast rules in writing, but here are three principles I adhere to:

1. Write with your heart.

2. Edit with your head.

3. Tell the truth of the story.




Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/


What’s on Your Self-Editing List?

I’m over at The Blood-Red Pencil Blog discussing what’s on my Fiction Search and Destroy List.

Humans, by nature, gravitate toward patterns, so when we write we often make the same mistakes. Of course, these errors are only mistakes if we don’t correct them in the final draft. My Fiction Search and Destroy list contains the items I look to fix in my work when self-editing.  I expect others might make some of the same mistakes, so use the list as you see fit, add your own points, and delete those you don’t need. Happy editing.


5 Things to Inspire Creativity

There are so many things that inspire me. Some inspire me to work harder, others to play more, and some to be a better person. Inspiration comes in so many forms. Here are five things that inspire me and that can inspire you too:

1. Looking at Photographs — Whenever I look at photographs of people or places I’m unfamiliar with, my creative juices get flowing . Just today, I read this article about National Geographic photo archivist Bill Bonner, saw the first photo, and imagined an entire life for the people captured within it. Then I clicked on the National Geographic Found Tumblr link at the bottom of the article and discovered a ton of  fascinating photos which inspired new story ideas.

2. Great Books and Great Readers — This video of Neil Gaiman’s wonderful reading of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham inspired me. It made me see the book in a new way and hear the words differently than I’ve ever heard them.  His reading reminded me of innocence and fun and hope and excitement, of childhood, and of all the wonder that goes into creating. It inspired me to open my mind to look at my own words (and the words written by others) in new ways.

3. Nature — If I take the time to look around me at the beauty that is outside, I am inspired. The birds taking a bath in a puddle, the bark patterns on trees, the crisp winter air swirling the snow, the sun creating harsh shadows across the sidewalk, the squirrels chasing each other — they all make me stop and look at things differently. One of my greatest experiences was my trip to the Galapagos Islands several years ago– it’s an environment relatively untouched my humans. I saw the wonder of  sea lions giving birth and Frigate birds swooping down and eating newly-hatched turtles. I saw crabs scurrying across sand and rock, and I played in the water with sea lions. I saw magnificent sunrises from atop volcanoes and colorful sunsets from the beach. I hiked through fields and discovered Galapagos tortoises eating grass in their natural environment. From inside lava tubes, I saw the beauty of lava formations. I could go on and on. Nature inspires me to seek new ways of looking at things and to find the excitement in all that is around me.

4. Risk — People who live life to the fullest by going after their dreams and taking the risks needed to get there are an inspiration. It’s my friend’s son who is teaching in another country and who loves to travel and experience all the world has to offer. It’s another friend who worked for years on her debut novel before getting it published and then performed a celebratory dance (with teenagers from a school of performing arts) in front of more than one hundred people at her book launch party (the book takes place in the dance world and is already going into its second printing several weeks after release). It’s the people who every day dare to dream. They are my inspiration to live bigger and to live greater. If we look around and find those who inspire us, it will help us take more risks in our lives, and in our writing.

5. Music — Music creates a world of feeling and wonder. It evokes mood and awakens our senses. If we truly listen to music, it forces us to live in the moment, to experience that time and place for all that it is, and all that it can be. Although I can’t write while listening to music because it distracts me too much, listening to music before I write excites me and helps me immerse myself deeper into the moments of the story.

We all find inspiration in different places. What are some things that inspire you?


5 Reasons Why I Love Libraries

1. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is of going to the library on Saturday mornings, checking out a huge stack of books, coming home and spreading them across the floor, deciding what order to read them, and then digging in to those pages that magically transformed me to another world.

2. Libraries are staffed by librarians dedicated to their jobs, their patrons, and their communities. These hard-working people are innovative with their programming and services and continually come up with new ways to engage patrons and the community. This is no easy feat, especially in an ever-changing world filled with technology.

3. Libraries are open to everyone and give millions of people access to books, movies, magazines, and newspapers. That’s free knowledge and entertainment for all—you can’t beat that.

4. Every time I walk into a library I’m excited by something new. I discover newly-published books, pick up older books I didn’t know existed, or page through magazines I might not have read otherwise.

5. Libraries inspire people. They foster creativity, a love of words, a love of learning, a love of exploration, and a sense of community.

 “A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessities of life…”

Henry Ward Beecher