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Marcia Gloster: Not Quite Benign

It seems simplistic in light of what has been transpiring since last fall (Harvey Weinstein et al, #metoo #timesup etc.), but a couple of years ago, when I was writing I Love You Today – my novel of New York in the 1960’s – a stunning article about women in advertising appeared in the New York Times. It was an interview with five women who, after years of silence, finally had the nerve to speak out; to relate how they had been harassed, discriminated against, and generally demeaned, not to mention being paid less than their male counterparts and passed over for promotions. Red-faced, the agencies cited, as well as several others, immediately announced they had set out to establish “new” guid

Molly D. Campbell: What If?

Every novel has a premise. They start with just a whim or an idea in the author’s head. What if this happened? My novel Keep the Ends Loose started this way. I was in my car, listening to a podcast about life-altering events. Each story started with something somebody did that turned their world upside down. One decision. One thought. One move. As I drove along, I wondered how somebody’s decision to change one little thing might affect the rest of their life. What would happen to a family if one member decided to do something, not even realizing the ramifications? I thought about the advice that many give to folks tempted to have affairs: don’t think you can get away with this. People will g

Lynn Voedisch: Twin Souls

My first Story Plant novel, The God’s Wife, came about for the oddest of reasons. The book, a historical fiction/fantasy, basically follows the induction of a 16-year-old girl into the role of God’s Wife of Amun, a real position in ancient Egypt. However, the book was first sparked by a movie I saw years before I wrote one word of The God’s Wife. I had seen a movie called The Double Life of Veronique, a French/Polish film by Krzysztof Kieslowski, at an art film venue. Double Life, starring Irene Jacob (who won The Best Actress Award for her role at the Cannes Film Festival), is about two women, one French (Veronique) and the other Polish (Weronica). Both look alike, are involved in music, ha

Emily Sue Harvey: Twilight

“Truth is stranger than fiction,” has always been an intriguing concept to the writer in me. Most of my books start out based on true life stories that captivate me. Twilight Time was no exception. It is one of the most dramatic ones in my nine-book Story Plant repertoire. Irony is that I didn’t, at first, think I could write about this harrowing personal experience. Revisiting it caused real physical and emotional meltdowns. I told Lou Aronica that I probably would not record the trauma. Ever. I wouldn’t allow my husband to discuss the life/death experience around me for weeks. It is, like my others, a set-in-fiction story that is partly based on true life. It is one that changed my course

Cara Sue Achterberg: We're All Just Practicing Normal

I live on a rural street. My neighbors are measured by miles, not feet. We have plenty of “head cases” (my husband’s term) out here. Paranoia, gun ownership, and chicken-keeping run high. There have been lots of times when my children have said, “I wish we lived in a real neighborhood,” especially when they can find no one to play with beyond their siblings on a snow day. When they lament the lack of neighbors, I try to assure them they aren’t missing anything. And we have woods and streams and horses and fresh tomatoes! Despite all those benefits, I have wondered how our lives would be different if we lived in a traditional neighborhood; I’ve indulged plenty of ‘what-if’ scenarios about lif

Steven Manchester: Inspiration

In 2014, I wrote a stage play entitled, Three Shoeboxes. I wanted to create a story where the main character (Mac) held life in the palm of his hand—a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home and successful career. And then I wanted to yank Mac to his knees, creating a situation where he would need to summon every ounce of his strength, faith and courage to get back on his feet. I chose an invisible enemy, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.), a struggle that has proven very real for me. But instead of using a military experience as the trigger, I went with an auto accident—hedging my bets that this would be more relatable to the audience. Once I had those story compone

Steven Manchester: Inspiration

In 2014, I wrote a stage play entitled, Three Shoeboxes. I wanted to create a story where the main character (Mac) held life in the palm of his hand—a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home and successful career. And then I wanted to yank Mac to his knees, creating a situation where he would need to summon every ounce of his strength, faith and courage to get back on his feet. I chose an invisible enemy, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.), a struggle that has proven very real for me. But instead of using a military experience as the trigger, I went with an auto accident—hedging my bets that this would be more relatable to the audience. Once I had those story compone

Emily Sue Harvey: Twilight

“Truth is stranger than fiction,” has always been an intriguing concept to the writer in me. Most of my books start out based on true life stories that captivate me. Twilight Time was no exception. It is one of the most dramatic ones in my nine-book Story Plant repertoire. Irony is that I didn’t, at first, think I could write about this harrowing personal experience. Revisiting it caused real physical and emotional meltdowns. I told Lou Aronica that I probably would not record the trauma. Ever. I wouldn’t allow my husband to discuss the life/death experience around me for weeks. It is, like my others, a set-in-fiction story that is partly based on true life. It is one that changed my course

Ken Goldstein: It's a Hard Rock Life

From Nothing, my third and most personal novel, has moved from my ownership to yours. I hope it will mean something to you. It certainly has been an odyssey for me. The book is rock and roll, the process of performing it no less so. As I write these words, I am preparing a number of public book talks, thinking about what I want to say about this story beyond letting it speak for itself. That’s always hard, and particularly difficult this time because I did choose each word in the book carefully. My dear editor and publisher at The Story Plant might say I deliberated on them too carefully, which is why this one took so long, but hey, that’s who I am. Spontaneity for me is a highly composed or

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