Meet the Author: Linda Prather

Author Linda Prather

Author Linda Prather says her early style was compared to Mary Higgins Clark, and recently to Tony Hillerman. “I think my basic style changes with my mood. It ranges from simplistic to literary. I love character driven fiction, and it isn’t unusual for my characters to take over the story and move it in directions I never expected it to take.”

She says she loves complicated stories with unique plots and sub-plots, creating characters that readers can love or hate, evoking emotion and painting pictures with words.

A single word can kick start her imagination and from there a book will flow. “I love dreaming scenes and will often go to bed and concentrate on a specific character or chapter to wake in the morning with fresh ideas and at times new characters,” she says. Continue reading “Meet the Author: Linda Prather”

Hi, I’m Ed, and I have touched a Pulitzer

Author M. Edward McNally

Hello, all.  I’m M. Edward McNally, but typically go by “Ed” online as I am an extremely lazy typist, which is an admirable quality as a writer.  I’m the newbie on the IU staff, which means I get fed last in the mess hall.

Let’s see, a little about me.  Well, I guess I can write a sort of “writer’s bio,” which will pretty much be my regular bio, but with less police involvement.  Somewhat less.

I moved around a lot growing up, North Carolina to Chicago to California to Chicago (again) to Kansas to Iowa to Minnesota, and I always read quite a bit, as books were good friends I could take with me. Around third grade, in Kansas, a teacher sent a poem I’d written in class to the Kansas City Star, and the paper ran it. I believe it was about a garter snake.  Anyway, seeing my name in print was it for me, and a realization that there were actually people somewhere behind all those books I loved. I was hooked on the idea of being a writer early on, at least for a while. Continue reading “Hi, I’m Ed, and I have touched a Pulitzer”

Workshop Your Writing by Patricia Valdata

Author Patricia Valdata
Author Patricia Valdata

Should I Attend a Writing Workshop?

Workshops have gotten some bad press lately. Some writers claim that workshops associated with formal study programs result in cookie-cutter “workshop poems” or “New Yorker” stories. I’ve also heard horror stories about workshops where the critiques can be brutal. That’s not my idea of a productive workshop! A good workshop can help a writer generate new work, get useful feedback on a current project, and even serve as a stepping-stone to larger projects. I know one writer who took two online fiction workshops, and the stories she produced there helped her get into a top-rated low-residency MFA program.

I’ve been writing for more than 20 years, but if I hear about a writing workshop in my area, I sign up for it. I love the challenge of writing to a prompt, the fun of meeting other writers, and the pleasure of hearing or reading someone’s work-in-progress. I value getting comments about my own work-in-progress, and getting tips from more experienced writers. I’ve been going to Peter Murphy’s Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway almost every January since 1997, and more than a dozen of my published poems got their start there. When I was writing my second novel, I workshopped chapters at a local writer’s group. Finding out what worked and what didn’t work for the group members helped me shape that manuscript, which was published in 2008 as The Other Sister. Continue reading “Workshop Your Writing by Patricia Valdata”



Jealousy is a terrible thing.  And I was guilty of it for a long, long time.  Of course, I still have my moments, but not like before.  I have never been jealous with women.  I have never wanted someone else’s car, motorcycle, or fishing rod.  My problem was being jealous of other people’s successes.  I’m not proud to admit it.  I’ve had friends get raises, and I really wanted to be happy for them.  I’ve watched bands I played with become international superstars…I really, really wanted to just feel glad.  Too often, I didn’t.  I could care less if someone drives a better car than I do, but when someone succeeds in a professional/creative field I take pride in…man, that ugly green-eyed bastard just shows up.  I used to open my New Yorker with trepidation because I knew if anyone I knew got published, I would have to kill myself.  The green bastard was in control.  Or he used to be.  I changed things up on him.

Continue reading “Jealousy”