Monday, November 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Candles on the Spinnet

Good morning, everyone! This week, I'm doing something a bit different (as in I'm posting on a Monday! LOL). I am participating in The Next Big Thing chain, where writers talk about their next book/story. So, without further ado, here is my next big thing...

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?
Currently, it’s titled Candles on the Spinet. I have reasons to change that title and reasons to keep it, so we shall see what it really ends up as! :)

Where did the idea come from for the book?
An old, dilapidated piano I found in the basement of our new home. It was built in 1907. It spoke to me the first moment I saw it, and it continues to do so. It’s a magnificent piece and I hope to do justice by it with this book.

What genre does your book fall under?
Hmmm…Paranormal, mostly. There are elements of self-discovery, romance and good old contemporary fiction as well.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
For Corinne, our heroine, a British actress named Charity Wakefield would be perfect. I’d like Olympia Dukakis to play Margaret and Vanessa Redgrave to play Agnes. They’re all beautiful, talented women who could really help these characters come to life.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A new home for Corinne while her husband is deployed changes her life - and her perspective - in more than one way!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will submit it to my publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing, and see what happens.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’m still working on it. It’s only been a couple of months, and I’m really taking my time with it. I feel the need to be patient and specific with this one, so I’m not rushing it! :)

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Eeek! I don’t know. This is my first paranormal story, but it’s not strictly paranormal. I think it’s safe to say that the story line is akin to If These Walls Could Talk 2 as far as a house and a piano that spans decades and the connection between the generations.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Again, that piano in the basement just spoke to me as soon as I saw it. The more I thought of it, the more I saw there was a story to be written there. So I did! :)

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There is so much to this story. It is a love story, a story of self-discovery, an historical fiction piece AND a paranormal story. There is depth, fear, emotion – this story has something for every reader!

I hope that you will all read it when it comes out. No worries as I will keep you posted on my progress! :)

Happy reading! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Writing Chores

Happy Thursday morning, gang!

Today, I want to talk about chores.

We all hate them. BUT, they are a necessary part of our lives.

What happens when chores become a necessary part of our careers as well?

What am I talking about? I'm talking about writing what you don't really want to write. Most college students would say, that's their 10 page paper that's due tomorrow. For a writer, though, there are writing chores. There are things we don't necessarily want to do, but we do them in the hopes of advancing our careers.

To some extent, these chores separate the men from the boys. With self-publishing and e-books, anyone can call themselves a writer. As I posted in my last blog, I've been seeing a lot of that lately, even from people who I thought were actual writers. Unfortunately for me and their readers, that is not the case. HOWEVER, when I see a writer pursuing articles and venues of all sorts, my hopes are lifted. A real writer will write. That's what we want to do. Just like there may be some parts of your job that you don't like, we writers will write things we don't necessarily want to write. We write what we can when we can so that when the opportunity to write what we want to write comes, we can savor every minute.

Recently, I was asked to watch a movie and review it for a local LGBT newspaper. I did. I had never reviewed a movie and I had no real interest in movie reviews, but I loved the opportunity for exposure. I hated the movie and I struggled in writing a gentle review. I got through it. It's another writing accomplishment for me. It pushed and challenged me. It has given me the opportunity to expand as a writer as we ll as broaden my reader base. And sitting through one crappy movie to do one review takes me one step closer to my dream of being a full time writer and writing what I want to all the time.

Writing chores like ay chores are no fun. We don't like them as much as we don't like cleaning a nasty toilet. But it has to be done. And the rewards, just like a clean, shiny toilet, are well worth it! :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Grammar Nazi Rants

I am a self-proclaimed grammar nazi. I know it, I admit, I own it. It's just a part of who I am.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a fellow writer (NOT with VHP). It was an announcement for her newest book release. Like most authors, she's throwing an on-line bash to celebrate. There was a problem, though. What was it? The second line read, "and your invited..."

I shook my head in dismay. Really?! I'm friendly with this gal. I'll admit that I haven't read her work yet, but I'm happy she has a new release. But come on! YOUR invited?! If she genuinely does not understand the difference, I have to question her abilities as a writer.

That's the problem with e-books and self-publishing. I'm not directing this solely at her. There are a TON of people out there who think they can write. They want to write the great American novel. I get that and I respect that dream. I dream of being an amazing artist. However, I don't paint and then sell you something claiming it to be a masterpiece. At the risk of sounding harsh, people need to know their limitations.

What kills me is that things like this are so commonplace now. Music lyrics boast terrible grammar. Text messages have created an entirely new form of shorthand. People will tell you frankly that they don't care about proper grammar. Their, there and they're are all completely interchangeable. You HAVE to use an apostrophe in order to make a word plural (i.e., horse's versus horses).

What's happening? Our language is one of the most difficult to learn. We're actually making it harder. We're also making ourselves look absolutely foolish on the global stage. Other countries are producing wonderful works of literature. Business people don't perform transactions internationally using text shorthand. To others, we appear as uneducated, inarticulate fools. Personally, that offends me. I am anything but. I hate the fact that my country appears as such to others. We're better than that. We need to show everyone that we are.

Call me crazy, but I genuinely believe that true mastery of our language can and will lead to better things for all of us: both indivdiually and as a nation. Let's get back to speaking and writing the English language as it was intended. You never know what could come of it! :)

Happy reading!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wendy Ely

Happy FRIDAY morning, gang! Today, I want to talk to you about a fellow author. She is sweet as pie and deserves your attention.

Her name is Wendy Ely.

Wendy is a romance writer. She says about herself, "Wendy has always been fascinated by romance. She began her first romance novel when she was just thirteen-years-old. It certainly wasn't anything great but sparked the passion for writing romance novels. When she’s not writing, she's usually busy taking care of her two children in Phoenix, Arizona. Wendy keeps busy with her small business and going to college. During her free time, Wendy enjoys traveling and being outdoors."

She is a fun person who is very adventerous and brings that life and adventure to her books!

She has several titles out, including:
Cross the Line


Midnight Secrets

Dreaming of Him

Jesse's Brother

She can be found on Blogger



And Facebook

She is definitely worth checking out! :)

Happy reading!!! :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Blank Page

Hello, dear readers!

I apologize again for my absence. Yet again, my job has gotten the best of me, though things ae improving.

So anyway, at my Artist's Way meeting last night we were discussing a blank canvas.

One the ladies said a quote about blank canvases. It has been said that a blank canvas holds infinite possibilities. The moment you draw your first line, you are telling the canvas all the things it is not or cannot be.

I'm a writer, not a painter. So for me, I think of a blank page.

I have heard so many writers talk about the fear of a blank page.

I was never afraid of a blank page. They always excited me because I knew there was no limit to them. I was excited at all of the prospects that page could be.

Hearing that quote last night really put things in perspective for me. Never before had I thought that I was telling the page that this was what it wasn't or it couldn't be that because I was making it this instead.

Should I be afraid of the first stroke of my pen or the first key I type?

The optimist in me says no. I understand the fear that other writers and artists are talking about now. I think it is a good fear, a healthy fear. I think that all artists should approach a blank with this fear and with respect. But we need not be petrified. Rather, use that fear to choose our words or pictures carefully. To limit the canvas in the best way possible - by making the limits beautiful. Once a word is written or a line is drawn, it cannot be undone. So let us handle our craft with the utmost care and caution. Let us not be frivilous.

So now, my approach to any creative endeavor will be different. I have always taken my work seriously. Now I shall do so, but again with a new perspective.

I encourage artists of all types to share this perspective with me. I think it is the best way for each and everyone of us to create our very best.

And with that, I wish you happy reading! :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Writer Must Write

Hi everyone!

I apologize profusely for my absence. My day job has taken over my life. I've worked more hours & more days than I can count.

My September column entry for Gay Life Newsletter addresses this.

I just took on a volunteer writing position with a local gay newspaper. Yes, it's voluntary, but it's a way to get my foot in the door.

I need to write. I need to be working on my stories, blogging, writing for my websites and now a newspaper. I just need to write.

I am at that time in my life where as much as I love my day job, it's time for some things to change. My focus needs to be on my writing as that has always been my childhood dream.

I cannot promise you guys perfection, but I will do the best that I can as I try to sort things out.

Thanks so much & happy reading! :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Work in Progress

Hi all!

I apologize for not being as consistent as I'd like to be. My day job has literally been running me ragged. I've averaged 55 hours a week for the past 3-4 weeks. I'm pretty wiped out.

On the writing front, some other artists and I have created our own group to go through The Artist's Way. It's a lot of work, but it is very much worth it. To anyone and everyone with any kind of artistic inclination, I highly recommend it! :)

I have also begun working on a new piece! It is not yet titled, but I have 1107 words so far, and that's only after a few days. It's been a lot of fun thus far and I am looking forward to seeing where this piece will go! :) Not sure if it will be a short story or a novel. I'm letting it play itself out. :)

So, oddly enough, I have to go get ready for work. LOL. Hope you are all well. Hopefully soon I can be working at a better pace with my writing. :)

Thanks an happy reading!!!! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

One Day Give Away!!!!

Good Thursday morning, readers! :)

Today's blog is a simple one. Today, and for today only, I am giving away a FREE copy of Trajectory (another one of my short stories) to one deserving reader!

So, what do you have to do to be considered for this awesome prize?

All I need from you is a comment on this blog post stating why you deserve to win the copy. I will read all the comments that are posted and will choose a winner who will be announced tomorrow.

So go ahead & get crackin'! :)

A Short Story by L.E. Harvey

Joe Davis has spent the last four years of his life behind a
turrent scope as a sniper for the Detroit PD's SWAT Team.

A fateful call sends Joe and his team deep into the Detroit
Ghetto; and reminds him that there is more to life than what's on the
other end of his gun.

Albeit short, this story is chock full of details and insights
into the life of a police SWAT officer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What If...?

Earlier this week, I gave away a free copy of my latest short story, Amnesie.

Didn't you hear about it? No?! Aren't you my friend on Facebook? You're ont? Oh, that's why! Just become my friend on Facebook and you will hear about future contests & give-aways! ;)

Anyhoo, my whole week has been very focused on Amnesie and the story behind it. That got me thinking, "what if...?" What if I was in that situation?

As a newly wed, I will tell you that I would do anything and everything to keep my marriage strong and to take care of my wife. But, what if things changed and we ended up like Maryanne and Elfriede?

What if I was Marryanne?

Would I think like she did? I have to say yes. Not that that's a good thing, it's just my human side. If put in her shoes, I could easily relate to her thoughts & emotions.

What if I was Elfie?

Would I have the patience she has? Would I be able to handle the situation with the same strength and grace? I'd love to think so, but there is an uncanny courage to her that I can only aspire to.

What about you? What if you were in that situation? Could you relate to Maryanne's emotions? What about Elfie's resiliency?

Wanna know more? Want to understand their exact situation? Want to see if you can reate to either of them? Then check out, Amnesie!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

50 Shades of...

I'm back! Been happily married for 19 days now.

Life is getting back to normal, so it's back to work I go!

Today, I want to discuss the latest rage in books, the 50 Shades series.

I will openly admit I have not read any of them, nor do I have a desire to. Thankfully, my co-workers have been keeping me in the loop.

Here is my first gripe with this latest craze. From what I heard, the writer was a "bored, stay-at-home mom." Ok first off, I have never met a stay-at-home mom who was bored, but ok.

Second, if you're bored, it's great that you're doing something productive, but where is the art and even the legitimacy of your work?

I know people who work and struggle for years. Writers who have degrees and experiences, who write because they cannot exist without writing and they don't get this kind of fame.

The writers at Vanilla Heart Publishing are prime examples of such. We have an incredible poet, former journalists, teachers, writers - REAL writers. These people with whom I fortunate to have my books published - people I admire and aspire to become like - have worked so hard to be where they are, and they continue to work diligently.

How is it that someone with no literary passion can usurp some of the best modern writers I have read?

My second gripe comes to me by word of mouth. My co-workers know that I am a grammar nazi and that eloquence, articulation and verbage are important to me. One co-worker has been simply fantastic on telling me just how horrifically repetitive and redundant her writing is (yes, I did that on purpose, folks). You know the writing has to be poor when a non-writer complains about how everyone's expression is the same, there are no changes in adjectives, that she simply repeats herself endlessly in each book.

Again, I can't help but be aggravated. There are true artists out there - people who paint with words. Writers who use creativity and language. They understand that repitition is a bad thing in the literary world. They take their craft very seriously, and their time, dedication and attention to detail shows in their work. You don't find that in 50 Shades.

Yes, there is a place for erotica in literature. However, I don't think these books even crassify as erotica. They definitely do not classify as true literature.

So, if you're looking to download a new e-book or pick up a great new paperback, please help support the real artists of the writing community, don't just follow the latest craze.

Thank you & happy reading! :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guest Blog Author K'Anne Meinel

Good Thursday morning, everyone! Today, we have a guest blogger! :)

Please help me welcome author K'Anne Meinel as she talks about her book, Sapphic Surfer! :)

Welcome, K'Anne!

Why don't you tell us a little about your book, Sapphic Surfer? :)

Ashley is a Midwestern girl who is enjoying the life in Southern California. She learns to surf, a lifelong dream that wasn’t possible in Illinois. Now she meets professional surfer Willow Samuels who becomes a good friend to her. How good isn’t really apparent until she realizes there is a mutual attraction. Can a virgin such as Ashley cope with the feelings that are building inside her for the famous surfer? Can a Midwestern girl with all the morals and hang-ups ingrained in her overcome them to actually enter into a Sapphic romance with this woman?

Ashley is conflicted when she realizes she is having feelings for her famous friend Willow. When Willow makes a pass at her she realizes that her friend is gay and attracted to her, how can she overcome a lifetime of ethics and values that just might destroy the happiness that Willow offers her?

Sounds very interesting! What was the inspiration for a story like that?

When I began to write SAPPHIC SURFER I wanted to create a story that told of first times. First time love, first time sex, first time feelings, a lot of firsts. The characters are young and have their whole lives before them. Ashley has to deal with an attraction to her good friend that is something that would not be acceptable in the atmosphere she was raised in the Midwest. I myself have had to deal with that.

I also wanted to show California in the 80’s when I lived there. I used the area of Huntington Beach and the townhome complex because I actually lived there for over a decade. I in fact bought a townhome three miles from the beach at 19 while working at The Federated Group; it was a crazy and exciting time. Using personal experience makes a story such as this more personal, believable, and touching. Fans frequently write me because they have been to these places, have had similar experiences, I’ve even been known to accidentally write their life stories.

Struggling with your morals and ethics when you are brought up in a strict Midwestern family can be difficult but the attraction you feel for someone makes you question those things. Not that they are wrong but neither are the things you are feeling that makes you take a step back and think about what you actually believe and want out of life. Essentially these morals and ethics never go away, they are an intrinsic part of you, instead the experiences of meeting someone that challenges them makes you a different person, hopefully for the better.

Someday I might continue on the story of SAPPHIC SURFER but I want to travel to the locations myself…a good excuse anyway to visit the exotic locations I mentioned in the story for future reference and great ideas! ;-)~

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing that with us! :)

Lastly, K'Anne, where can readers find outr more about you and your book?

Sapphic Surfer:

To see my books and biography:

and on Amazon:

Like me on Facebook to keep up on my books and stories:!/pages/KAnne-Meinel-Fan-Page/162171377151506

Thanks so much for joining us today, K'Anne!

Happy Thursday and happy reading to everyone! :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

On Resolutions

I am not your typical thirty-something-year-old. I grew up watching classic TV shows like I love Lucy, Make Room for Daddy, Mr. Ed, and the like. One of the greatest facets to shows like these were the simplicity of their problems and the always perfect and happy resolutions that came within a half an hour.

There is one I Love Lucy episode where both couples (Lucy & Ricky, Ethel & Fred) are dealing with marital issues. At the end of thirty minutes, both couples are embracing. The women tell their husbands that they would much rather be in a rut with them than on a date with anyone else. How sweet! How romantic! How sadly untrue of real life!

Real life is dirty, grungy, raw, and anything but simple or perfect.

I live in reality, but I am a hopeless romantic. I want my life to have perfect resolutions like that I Love Lucy episode, but most of the time, it sadly hasn't. I'm not bitter, though. Still optimistic that each problem will resolve itself quickly and easily and the scene will end with everyone involved laughing (and maybe we'll even hear appaluse).

As a writer, I need to find a balance between that hopeless romanticism and reality. I hope that my books do just that.

Loving Her demonstrates the ugliness of today's world. Yet, we have couples that are truly dedicated to each other. Couples that truly stay by each other's side in sickness and health, in wealth and poverty, in joy and sorrow. They deal with death, illness, change. They deal with life and live in love.

Unbreakable Hostage deals with a dark reality, but ends in a way that we all hope our traumas will end: with tremendous hope.

Imperfect and Impeccable ride the emotional roller coaster that is life. They show us what true love and dedication are all about. Though the ending may not bring the resolution we had all hoped for, it does still bring us a peace and resolution that we can gladly accept. A resolution that brings us some peace.

My two short stories, Trajectory and Amnesie show us that even in our dark and imperfect world, love is the one thing that brings us comfort and hope.

As much as we want things to always end up rosey,we know that they may not. That doesn't mean that life doesn't have any rosey moments at all. Rather, life is a balance between the good and the bad; between the happiness and sadness. My reality is that balance. I have good days and bad days. I have joyful moments as well as sorrowful ones. As a writer, I use that balance and create new stories reflecting that balance.

So with that, I wish you Happy Reading!!!! ;)