Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Author. [More info]

Photo by Jill Wellington

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
I’m sentimental, I’m a homebody, I’m a follower of Christ, and I love my family. That sums up where my heart is, and my writing comes from my heart. My work is character-driven, and a most of it is about the internal emotional struggles we all face. I like to get right down into the nitty gritty–into the raw, real places where we find our biggest challenges–but I always balance everything with hope; the hope of redemption, of change, of better possibilities, of new beginnings.
I love anything unconventional, quirky, offbeat, unexpected. I love characters who are realistic, layered, and a little unpredictable. I love approaching old stories and topics from new angles and new perspectives, and challenging myself to find the most interesting way to telling any given story. And I think, most of all, I like to inject a sense of humor into everything, no matter how dramatic or serious. Life is so full of fun absurdities, and people are so amazingly peculiar. Someone has to document it all for posterity!
I often say that I live in a sitcom family. I have five quirky kids, weirdo cats, an oddball husband, and a huge extended family that gives me enough inspiration for a lifetime. Writing fiction is my way to document my life–not the exact details, but the spirit, the truths, the emotion, and the heart behind everything I’ve uncovered and experienced, and all the many unanswered questions I still have. Hopefully, my work will inspire people, give them hope, and make them think. But if all they’re looking for is a good story, they’ll find that, too.
Feel free to follow me on my FB page at to get the latest on what I’m up to next!

Scott R. Rezer ~ 
From my WIP…
“So are you drawn more to the characters or the plot?”
“Oh, definitely the characters. They are so richly drawn. Without them, the plot would suffer most terribly.”
Caroline laughed and leaned toward her. “Such bold words to speak to an author.” She held up her hand to Josefa when she realized her criticism. “But perhaps, true. I’m a firm believer that characters help drive a plot.” She touched Josefa’s arm again. “What character, might I ask, do you find yourself drawn toward more?”
My name is Scott and I am an historical fiction writer. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery—not that I’ll recover from my love of writing, no matter how much I admit it. The best way to describe my writing is… character-driven stories that bring history to life. I write stories ranging from ancient Biblical history to the Civil War, as well as an historical fantasy series about the Crusades. My Civil War series is actually based on my ancestors who fought in died in the war on both sides. My current WIP, THE HABERDASHER’S WIFE, is also about an ancestress in Germany. Part of the passion I have rediscovered the past several years for my craft is writing about people whose lives impacted my own. I believe we are products of our past—not that I won’t write about other things. I have more ideas for stories than I’ll probably ever be able to write! After all, I have a problem and the best way to recover is to push through the treatment—commit to write just one more book each time I finish the last. Next up in my treatment, the final book in my Crusades fantasy series.

~ Laurean Brooks ~
When Earl asked us to post an author bio, the first thought I had was, BOR-ING. But, as I continued to dwell on it, maybe it isn’t so boring to those who have lived similar lives, or who would have loved to have lived on a farm.
I was the fourth-born child to a family of seven kids. Our dad worked on a riverboat out of Memphis, four weeks on and three weeks off. Mama ran the show like a drill sergeant while he was away. She had to be tough, especially to keep my brothers in line.
We planted, hoed, picked and canned vegetables from three gardens, chopped grass in 4 acres of corn, fed the farm animals, cut firewood, but still found time to have fun. How many of you have crawled inside a 50-gallon metal barrel at the top of a hill, braced your arms and legs, then let your brother shove the barrel down the hill? Who needed a roller coaster when you could get the same effect from a trundling, rocky, barrel ride?
My imagination caught the attention of a fifth-grade teacher. I believed I had been given poetic license (Not so), when she announced to the class, “Laurie will someday become and author.”
The next essay Miss Mary assigned was an essay on Columbus’s discovery of the West Indies islands. When I finished reading it, the entire class was in hysterics. Everyone except my the teacher, who cleared her throat and said, “Laurie, I want you to rewrite this essay to make it more realistic.”
My 10-year-old imagination had Columbus captured by the natives, almost burned at the stake, but at the last minute, stuffed in a cannon and shot back across the ocean. What’s wrong with that picture?
Everything. Miss Mary didn’t want extreme creativity—she wanted facts. Well…as close to factual incidents as possible. Anyway, I rewrote it, and re-read it. Not one person laughed. Bummer! The teacher who encouraged me to write had squashed my imagination—temporarily.
Four years later, during my freshman year, it burst fort again in a story titled, “The Escape of an Oscar Mayer Weiner.” The English/lit teacher loved it. She laughed as hard as my classmates did.
It would be decades later before I realized my dream of becoming a writer. After years in a factory that was closed by NAFTA in the mid-90s, I enrolled in college. Two years after graduation, I decided the legal assistant career was not working for me. Since I had taken classes that utilized Microsoft Word, nothing prevented me from pursuing my dream of writing.
My first book “Journey To Forgiveness” was published in 2009. I write sweet romance—both contemporary and historical, with twisting plots. The stories are loaded with humor and quirky characters including, perky (sometimes sassy) heroines, and chivalrous (ofttimes aggravating) heroes.
Mrs. James wiped her mouth. “Thank you. That hit the spot.”
She picked up a copy of Wuthering Heights from her bedside table. “Em’ly, will you read to me? I started this book and got halfway through before I got sick. I marked the place.”
Emily accepted the book and slid her chair closer to the bed. She opened to the book mark and started to read. Engrossed in the intense plot by author Emily Bronte, she didn’t notice Mrs. James had fallen asleep until soft snores alerted her.
Replacing the marker, Emily rose. She would love to continue reading, but it was time to relieve Alissia. The girl had too much responsibility for a fifteen-year-old.
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