Thursday, March 29, 2018



By: Christina Weigand

For the last couple of years, I have been writing a series of Middle Grade books. It was an interesting adventure since up until that point I had been writing Young Adult. There were so many lessons I learned while on the journey. One of the lessons I learned is that moving from YA to MG is not as easy as it sounds and even though I managed to write six MG books it is not where my heart lies. But this lesson is a story for another day. The one I want to talk about today is “Inspiration.”

I think I mentioned in one of the comments to one of the posts on this blog, is that I struggle to find my inspiration. Writers use anything from music to photos to nature and the list goes on. For me, like I said, I don’t know what lights that spark that becomes a finished novel someday.

 So, what do the MG books have to do with this. When I agreed to take on the job of writing the series, a gentleman, the creator, supplied me with a list of plots, a group of characters and a script for the first book in the series. It was up to me to take these things that had been the spark for a children’s series and age the stories up to middle grade. For me even though I had the basic bones still proved to be a daunting task. One thing I learned very quickly was that working with someone else’s ideas and characters is not something I do well. I felt fenced in.

This led me to create a character for the stories that was my own, adding him to the already existing framework. Once Sir E. Robert Smythe was created and approved then I was able to move onto the list of plots. They were all simple since they were geared toward a younger audience than I was now writing for. This is where the inspiration comes in. With each book I would take the simple plot and see what other things would come to mind supporting and expand that plot.
The first book I wrote “Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully” didn’t go much beyond bullying, which in and of itself is a serious subject. The main characters that were being bullied chose to try and discover the reason behind the bullying and then try to befriend the bully.

The second book “Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective” was a little more fun. We started out with teaching kids about listening to your parents. After some discussion we decided to explore homelessness so one of the characters was a homeless. We also dealt with death, summer reading clubs and had a dog that was training to be a rescue dog.

The third book was about back to school shopping. “Sir E. Robert Smythe Goes Back to School Shopping” had one rich girl with self esteem issues, a middle-class girl with a little bit of a weight problem and the third girl was an orphan with no money to speak of. All three girls were friends and navigated the world of back-to-school shopping. I explored upcycling and dealing with friendship and parent issues.
In “Sir E. Robert Smythe Goes Back to School explored the effects on kids after their best friend commits suicide. There were some foreign students who moved into the neighborhood and some video game writing by a younger brother.
The fifth book “Sir E. Robert Smythe is a Good Sport” started out being a story about winning and losing at sports. I decided to take it a step further and explore the gulf between sports and the arts in schools.
The final book in the series “Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Substitute Teacher” explored a student with ADHD and how she reacted when a well-loved teacher was replaced by a less than understanding teacher. When the town is hit with a hurricane and an aftermath of flooding the teacher and the student had to learn to work together before they both lost their lives. While researching ADHD I found an interesting therapy involving horses that I was able to weave into the story.
A little seed of an idea can turn into a full-blown tree. A little inspiration turns into a remarkable story. It reminds me of a puzzle, you have many small pieces that when put together properly turn into a beautiful picture.
So even if you’re like me and not sure about where your inspiration comes from, just know that it is in you and with a little prodding it erupts.

Sir E. Robert Smythe and the School Bully

Nathan and Paul have a bully problem. Billy, the school bully, has chosen them to be the target of his aggression. Paul, along with Sir E. Robert Smythe of the Galactic Safety Council, discovers the root of Billy’s issues and strives to convince the bully to change his ways.

When Billy runs away from home, Paul goes after him. Billy’s dad, the cause of Billy’s anger, finds the boys and threatens them. They are rescued but not before each are injured and Billy’s dad escapes.
During their recovery they learn more about each other and face Billy’s dad once again. Can they overcome their differences and confront the bullying going on in their school before someone gets seriously hurt?
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Sir E. Robert Smythe and the Lost Detective
During summer vacation, while Anna and her brother Ben along with Bridget and her brother, Sam are participating in the Summer Reading Adventure at the local library the town council announces that they are building low income housing for the homeless. While the housing is being constructed a tent community has been established on an old soccer field on the other side of a haunted swamp. Sam is upset by this turn of events, but his anger is only beginning.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to them, the girls befriend Zoe, one of the homeless people living in the tents. The girls spend time together tracking down clues supplied by the books they are borrowing from the library that will eventually lead to a prize at the end of the Summer Reading Adventure.
When Bridget and Sam’s grandfather dies in a tragic car accident Sam’s anger increases it is discovered that Zoe’s father was the drunk driver in the truck that crashed into grandfather’s car. The family lawyer reveals in the will that the farm and house have been left to the community to build low income housing for the homeless.
Sam’s anger reaches a boiling point and he directs it at Zoe and hatches a plan to get back at the people he thinks are taking away everything he holds dear.
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A woman, Author Erika M. Szabo, had a vision. That vision turned into a group of like-minded authors who wanted to make a positive difference in the literary world. We share life stories, our thoughts, our books, and what makes us tick.

And you, dear readers and followers, have made it possible for our milestone...we've officially hit 100,000 blog visits. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts!

I became an avid reader at a very early age, thanks to my dad who introduced me to many great books. I write alternate history, romantic fantasy, magical realism novels as well as fun, educational, and bilingual books for children ages 4-12 about acceptance, friendship, family, and moral values such as accepting people with disabilities, dealing with bullies, and not judging others before getting to know them. I also like to encourage children to use their imagination and daydream about fantasy worlds. You can
learn more about Erika and her books on her page.

Hello out there in cyberspace! I write Heroic Fantasy, Space Opera, Sword & Planet Sci-Fi, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy, Children's Books, and I also dabble a bit in Horror stories.

Here's a little bit more about me and my books. You can find out more about Joe and his books on his page.

Mary Anne Yarde is an award winning author of the International Best Selling Series — The Du Lac Chronicles. Set a generation after the fall of King Arthur, The Du Lac Chronicles takes you on a journey through Dark Age Briton and Brittany, where you will meet new friends and terrifying foes. Based on legends and historical fact, the Du Lac Chronicles is a series not to be missed.

Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury--the fabled Isle of Avalon--was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood. You can learn more about Mary Anne and her books on her page.

Nicola McDonagh is known for her unique writing style and is the author of the unconventional sci-fi/dystopian Song of Forgetfulness action adventure series. She loves to play around with the written word and the visual image and has been a photographer, actor, director, scriptwriter and other less exciting things, (worst ever job – dishwasher in a trendy bar in Liverpool) before settling in Suffolk with her musician husband, plethora of rescued cats and chickens. You can find out more about Nicola and her books on her page.

Rich Feitelberg is a poet and novelist, author of the fantasy series, the Aglaril Cycle. He also has four short story collections and a collection of poetry available at fine booksellers everywhere.

Rich is an avid map collector, and student of popular culture. Growing up on a steady diet of comic books, science fiction, and fairy tales of all kinds, Rich soon began weaving his own tales at a young age. These activities continue to this day, as Rich is working on the next installment of the Aglaril Cycle, and writing more poems and short stories for your enjoyment. You can learn more about Rich Feitelberg and his books on his page.

Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a teenage daughter. She is also Nana to four granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Pennsylvania after a short sabbatical in the lovely state of Washington.

She received her BS in Interior Design in 1995, but after a few years of working in the industry God redirected her path with the addition of a fourth child to the family. So she returned to being a stay at home mom, but having been out in the world of school and work she realized she needed a little more, so she took several writing courses and started her second career as an author.  She is looking forward to this next phase of her life as she continues with her two passions, writing and assisting children in developing their God-given gifts of writing skills. You can learn more about Christina and her books on her page.

Hi there, Toi here. I’m the self-published author of 10 books and counting. I’m also a blogger and vlogger who loves to interview other creatives. A geek girl at heart, I’m also a bit of a techie and foodie, I was born in Texas but consider Virginia to be my home. I enjoy reading, cooking, painting, geek culture, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with my family.

I also work as a special education teacher’s assistant and find comfort and peace of mind in chocolate, green tea, and naps. My husband and I have been married for twelve years and share our home with a tortoise named Betty and a Redbone Coonhound named Margie, who’s totally taken over the house. You can find out more about Toi and her books on her page.

Rebecca is an award-winning author, blogger, and book reviewer. While fantasy tends to be her primary genre she also dabbles in paranormal romance, and sci-fi. When not writing Rebecca is a full-time pharmacist, wife, and mom. She has two rambunctious girls at home that keep her busy when she isn't working or writing. When she has free time Rebecca likes combing antique shops and flea markets for unique teapots to add to her collection. She also enjoys sewing and quilting. You can learn more about Rebecca and her books on her page.

I originally studied fine and commercial art, way back when dinosaurs walked the earth and eBooks weren't even a gleam in Amazon's eye. I started my career as a graphic artist as the sign maker at the old Nut Tree in Vacaville, California. After a stint at a print shop (ouch), I began working as a book designer for Bill Yenne at American Graphic Systems. While working for Bill, I wrote my first two books, "Ghost Towns" and "100 Medical Milestones That Shaped World History."

After the book market tanked in the mid-90s, I went on to a government job where I wrote, designed and produced newsletters for in-house and clients, annual reports, and materials for special projects, including the North Bay Stand Down for homeless and at-risk Veterans.

Through the years, I've written numerous how-to, informational and news brief-type articles for websites such as SFGate, AZ Central, DailyPuppy, LiveStrong, PawNation, eHow and more. You can learn more about Ruth and her books on her page.

My fascination with the written and spoken word began as a 6th grader. I was like a sponge. I couldn’t get enough spelling, sentence diagramming, and literature. This passion followed me through junior high and high school and into adulthood.

I’m a Jill of most trades: co-owned a weekly newspaper, administrative office work, kitchen design, custom jewelry creation, wedding planning, floral design, preaching sermons, public relations and marketing, designing social media promotions, copy and manuscript editing, and now add the title author to this mix.

I write romance--contemporary, for the over 50 group, paranormal, Christian suspense--as well as poetry and self-help.. I’m originally from Northern Montana, currently live in Iowa, have 2 adult sons and a beautiful torbie cat named Bou, who is Princess of the Manor. You can find out more about Grace and her books on her page.