Fantastic Fictioneer!

New Survey for 2015

I am busily collecting info to determine what changes and improvements I need to make to the podcast and blog.
In this ever changing world of writing and self publishing there always seems to be more more more to share. I hope I have given you at least a little value over the last couple of years!

If you will participate in my little survey below, in order to get things beefed up around here, I will be happy to gift a copy of my latest book, The Dread Room, to a random winner. Be sure to leave your email address at the bottom of the survey to get in the drawing.

Based on the info you provide me, I will be able to decide if there is enough interest on the site for more stuf, like an online workshop for writers, and educational materials for self publishing.

The deadline to complete the survey is next Wednesday, October 7.

Thank you so much for your time! I appreciate each and every one of my fans and followers of this site. If you are looking for a taste of what a podcast is check out the latest offering of Writer Groupie Podcast.

Create your own user feedback survey

Writer Groupie Episode 36 Writing Historical Thrillers with Jeanne Lyet Gassman


WG podcast logo
Hey, WG fans! This episode sort of kicks off new and great things for the podcast. In this episode (AUDIO ONLY!) I actually have an introduction to the show, information for writers, what’s coming next from me, and so on. I think you will be greatly informed, and entertained, so be sure to listen to the AUDIO ONLY version for the latest and greatest. (it was too much editing to do another video with me chatting about upcoming stuff so it will always be on the AUDIO ONLY version of the show. See the audio link below.

This show also kicks off the rest of the year for Writer Groupie Podcast. I will have a guest EVERY WEEK! You can see the upcoming list on the WG page here and I hope you enjoy each episode!

Now off we go, and on with the show!


Award-winning author JEANNE LYET GASSMAN lives in Arizona where the desert landscape inspires much of her fiction. She holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has received fellowships from Ragdale and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her debut historical novel, BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) received a Bronze 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award in the national category of religious fiction. Her work has appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Red Savina Review, The Museum of Americana, Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts & Letters, Switchback, Literary Mama, and Barrelhouse, among many others. In addition to writing, Jeanne also teaches creative writing workshops for libraries and community groups.

She is full of great information and inspiration for authors, so I am excited to have her on Writer Groupie Podcast.

In this episode, we discuss her journey as an author of historical (biblical) fiction for this recent release.


In this episode, we learn about:

  • Jeanne’s writing journey with Blood of a Stone, her first novel, and how she obtained her MFA in creative writing and how that influenced her journey.
  • How entering a contest ultimately led to a publishing contract
  • The genre placement of her novel, Blood of a Stone, into the historical thriller category
  • How her publisher, Tuscany Press, provided her with a historical researcher (Sean Burrows)r for the details in her book, and how working with him helped to shape Blood of a Stone.
  • We discuss haruspication and what it is pertaining to biblical times. Believe me, this became my new word of the day. I totally intend on using it in a book at some point.
  • Jeanne talks about her work with a publisher/editor and how it helped her create a better book. Erik Rikstad, her editor, has some literary work out there of his own.
  • Insight on who Jeanne would cast in the movie of Blood of a Stone – Go here to see the actor she would cast as Demetrios
  • Inspiration from Jeanne for an aspiring author, including tips from her MFA program.
  • Insider info on Jeanne’s life as a violinist.
  • Details about what’s coming next for Jeanne, the writer, a novel titled Double Sun, and how the title came to be (hint: it’s based on real history!)
  • BONUS! At the end of the video, Jeanne gives us information about the cover art, the artist, and the dagger on the front of Blood of a Stone and its history.

    Jeanne Lyet Gassman
    Find Jeanne Lyet Gassman at her site at

    Her blog (which is a great resource for writers!) : Jeanne’s writing desk
    and on social media, Twitter – @jlyetgassman
    Facebook –

    And the book, Blood of a Stone, can be found on Amazon, Barnes Noble, and Indiebound.


    You can also subscribe to this podcast in iTunes HERE


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    THE DREAD ROOM a Warped Mind Collection cover reveal and blurb

    Hello readers and fans! Today is the day you have been waiting for! It’s cover reveal and book blurb day! Yes, at last you are going to get something NEW from me for the horrorific Halloween season. IT IS NOW ON PREORDER THROUGH OCTOBER 1 — get it HERE . Please share this info so everyone can get this one!

    Introducing THE DREAD ROOM by Kim Smith – a Warped Mind Collection
    the dread room a warped mind collection by kim smith


    A shocking collection of the most imaginative and weird stories written in a long while. See inside the strange inner workings of this popular author’s mind. Kim Smith has crafted a tasty tidbit for your weirdest reading desires.

    A few of the offerings in THE DREAD ROOM by Kim Smith are:

    THE GLASSES, Smith’s bizarre, imaginative, and wildly terrifying short horror story about what happens when we hitchhike with someone wearing shades.

    ANENOME HANKS, the tale of three women seeking a young acquaintance who has been accepted into college, which only mimics normalcy. A tale of the fantastic and bizarro inspired by Eudora Welty.

    MIND TRAVELER, one man’s journey on a mind-bending bus ride filled with memories of his life and ultimately, death.

    And nine more stories that evoke the deliciously wickedness of the human spirit, perfect for the aficionado of scary stories. THE DREAD ROOM by Kim Smith is indeed a collection of stories from her warped mind.

    Writing down thoughts can lead to weird and wonderful things

    Well, it’s almost October, y’all. Sheesh, wasn’t it just December a few weeks ago? I think this summer passed me by, and I didn’t really get the full effect. I didn’t go out on water not ONCE, no lake visit, no sailboating, no boating of any kind. I didn’t go to a pool, not ONCE. It just hasn’t been in the schedule.

    But starting with this year’s autumn, I will be back on track with my writing, so that is saying something. I believe that writing and publishing has been more in the forefront lately, and that is certainly what I intend to focus on in 2016 – so I might not get many chances to be a water-sprite until next year…but that’s okay!

    So, for your Halloween pleasure, I am bringing you the Warped Mind Collection of flash fiction and short stories that are totally bizarro, surrealistic, and strange. I have been writing this stuff for years and felt like it should be in a collection instead of hanging out on my hard drive.

    I hope you enjoy these stories. I call them a warped mind collection because they are really things that came to me, and I wrote most of them freestyle. Totally a mind dump. Sometimes an author just has to get all that stuff out of their heads!

    Next week, I will post a cover reveal and a blurb. Likely on Monday because Tuesday is my awesome interview with Jeanne Lyet Gassman, historical Christian fiction author.

    Guess I better get busy writing that book blurb, huh?


    Spreadsheets are a writer’s best friend


    So. Spreadsheets. Many of you are probably groaning. I know I did when the idea first struck me. But what better way to keep up with your progress as an author-prenuer as some call it? I tell you, I am hooked. Excel spreadsheets are YOUR friend, people!!

    Here is how it broke down:
    I went to Amazon and looked at the reports for downloads(ebooks only). I saw their spreadsheets with all the numbers of units posted PER MONTH and the dollar amounts PER MONTH and on what books PER MONTH.

    But they didn’t have a figure of accumulated numbers – which is what I wanted.

    So, I created a spreadsheet to capture 1. my books 2. my sales numbers in volume 3. my sales dollars per month at a glance with totals at the end of the year.

    So far? I am doing WAYYYY better than I thought I was. Can you say, it’s a numbers game??? Well, it is. If you have heard others in the industry say that you need to write more books and release them more often, well, that is totally true. I can prove that with my own books and short stories.

    And holidays? OH BOY. Be SURE to publish something for Christmas and for Valentines Day, and for Halloween, and so on…because these times are heavy duty for book purchases and downloads.

    I did the best out of the year so far in February with the release of Love Inn and Valentines day. Romance in February is truly something to behold. God bless spreadsheets.

    I will update you on the end of the year figures when I have them, but I am just gonna say, 2015 has (so far) been a very good year.

    If you know how to work excel, or google spreadsheets, you totally need to do that. It is well worth the time to set up. And really? Who DOESN’T want to know what the $$ rolling in looks like?