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Day: December 2, 2015

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Heather Rigney #riauthors

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nov-27-heatherrigney

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Heather Rigney

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.
Thanks for inviting me, Martha! It’s delightful to be on your blog during Black Friday! Hopefully, your readers are enjoying their turkey hangovers while shopping online in their warm jammies. Welcome, readers! Give Target a break and spend some time with me for a moment. If you were just out shopping for someone special, perhaps an individual who enjoys a good book, let me introduce myself and present my work. Maybe, together, we can help one another other, and make someone’s holiday extra special!
My name is Heather Rigney and I am native Rhode Islander, former graphic designer, former public school teacher, and a mother to one amazing child. Over the last few years, I have written two books in my series, THE MERROW TRILOGY. These books are based in Pawtuxet Village, Narragansett Bay, Ireland, Cape Cod, as well as continental Europe. Labeled as a dark historical fantasy novels, both Book 1: Waking the Merrow and Book 2: Hunting the Merrow take my readers on a journey through pre-Revolutionary War Rhode Island, then jump to present day, where my narrator, Evie McFagan, the local, drunk funeral director, has just encountered a centuries-old mermaid posing as a playground mom.
In Book 1, I explore mermaid-ish beings found in Irish folklore, known as merrow, a Gaelic term. One of these creatures, Nomia, is not pleasant at all, and has made it her mission to turn Evie’s life upside down. As Evie struggles to keep her family safe from Nomia, Evie learns that her husband’s Irish roots might have some aquatic history of their own.
The second novel, Hunting the Merrow, will be available December 1, 2015. Picking up where Book 1 ends, Hunting further explores the strange history of both Evie, the unlikely hero, and Nomia, the evil mermaid who might have a good reason for being so nasty. Hunting explores a variety of mermaid legends found in historic folklore throughout Europe, as both Evie and Nomia race to find their missing siblings.
Sounds interesting? Don’t just take my word for it. Waking the Merrow was featured as Rhode Island’s Motif Magazine’s 2015 Summer Reading Guide to Classics and Local Soon-To-Be-Classics. To quote the article: Rigney’s Waking the Merrow … was the best book that I read last year. It’s a fantastic tale of anti-hero Evie McFagan who learns that there is a somewhat dark family history that she married into, all while being chased and harassed by mermaids. This work is funny and terrifying, with picturesque descriptions of Pawtuxet Village. I’m eagerly awaiting the next two books in the trilogy.
Or, perhaps this Barnes & Noble blog article will help: “You know what’s great about Rigney’s horror-ific (that’s horror-filled and terrific), hysterical debut novel? Besides the bloodthirsty merfolk, our antihero protagonist is an overweight, drunk, sub-par mother who also happens to be a funeral director. I can’t even describe the premise of this book without getting giddy, because how many times does a plot involve both vicious mermaids and Rhode Island colonists?” —Nicole Hill
Heather Rigney’s books can be found online and at the following local bookstores: Twice Told Tales,  Symposium BooksWakefield Books, and Curiosities & Mischief.

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – JL Metcalf #riauthors

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Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – JL Metcalf

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.
Becoming A Writer
Write what you know. Don’t write what you know. Write about things that scare you. Don’t write about anything that you don’t fully understand, do lots of research. Don’t do research, be inventive, be creative. Writing’s not that hard. Anybody can do it. That’s not a real profession.
I’ve heard all of these various opinions and pieces of advice over my 30+ years on the planet. Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I kept my dream to be a writer silent for so long. The idea of hearing one more person tell me that “writing isn’t hard” made me want to scream and I’m a nice person, I don’t want to scream in someone’s face but I will if provoked.
I’ll turn 37 this year and for the past year I have finally allowed myself to call myself a writer. It took me years to realize that yep, I love writing. I love it so much that sometimes I get lost in my head thinking about what I want to write about next. That is how I am now. How I used to be a little over a year ago was much different.
What changed? I lost my lousy office job. I was upset and scared and then my boyfriend, a freelance artist and illustrator for over 20 years, looked at me and said, “Now’s your time to finally do what you love, you need to take this chance. Everything else will fall into place.”
He was right. I finished the book I had started seven years earlier and researched options for self-publishing. I created a website for myself. I began to do all the things I needed to do to create the business that was going to be me.
It was everything you imagine it would be. It was terrifying. It was also the best thing I’d ever done for myself. All those years of doubting my ability, my talent, all those years of tamping down my creativity because I was told it would never make any money, it all began to disappear from my mind. I began to see that yes, I can write, yes I can make money from it and most importantly, it is the most fun I’ve ever had working. A year later and I am happy and doing what I love every single day.
Are there scary days where I’m afraid the rent won’t be paid? Sure. Of course there are. I’m not making Stephen King kind of money, but it all works out in the end. I have support from my family, my friends and most of all my partner. Together we do the work we were meant to do.
I have now self-published three books, The Last Daughter of LilithComing Undone: Musings on Life,Love & Hobbits, and Menagerie of the Weird. All are available on Amazon and all are my precious babies. I hope to publish at least two more books in 2016 and you know what the future holds? For me, it holds a lot of writing and a lot happiness.
Find out everything you want to know about author JL Metcalf  at her website
email: jessicaleemet@gmail.com

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Laura Crisafulli Kennedy #riauthors

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Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Laura Crisafulli Kennedy

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write a children’s book. As a child, among many other things, I was an avid reader. My choices of books were and still are varied, covering many genres and writing styles. I love the mystery, the adventure, the joy of flipping to the next page. I admired those who could take seemingly random words and string them together to elicit such feeling and response. I still do.
When I arrived at the University of Vermont, I found a card from my parents tucked away in a suitcase. “I can’t wait to read your children’s book” were words that inspired and encouraged me forward, reminding me often of my very important dream. A few years later, I took a course at New York University on children’s literature and how to write and publish children’s books. After that course, the task seemed daunting and overwhelming. But, all things in due time.
Moving forward a few (well, more than a few) years to motherhood and another dream achieved. What better time to write for children?! Crazed by the thought of what to write about and how, and possibly even my timing, I asked myself, “What is it I want to teach my children so they can best face challenges and difficulties and believe in themselves?” It is amazing how an idea grows, develops, and takes a journey, so far different from how it started. What a fascinating challenge to envision and write a sentence that says exactly what you want it to say, expressing the sentiment you feel, while touching the hearts and imagination of others.
Moving forward yet again, ten-plus years, when the timing and a series of circumstances were just right for achieving a dream. What a wave of excitement, sense of accomplishment, and a sigh of relief when I held that proof in my hands the very first time!
I strongly believe in the power of “positivity.” I believe positive words can spark positive thoughts, helping create a positive attitude and positive actions, and the circle perpetuates. I strive for this cycle and for balance. To help inspire and empower another individual is an awesome and gratifying feeling. Equally gratifying is the feeling of being inspired and empowered. To teach a child to be strong and brave, confident and independent, is well worth the challenge, hard work, and effort. My children constantly amaze and inspire me, reminding me of what is important and good.
As I get older, the importance of finding and maintaining a sense of humor as life’s challenges and adventures occur has not escaped me. My book is a reminder for me to embrace the important moments, knowing that this amazing journey is evolving and continuing…
Laura Crisafulli Kennedy is the author of Lolly’s Picnic and is currently working on two other children’s books. For more information, please visit Laura’s website or contact Laura at info@LauraKennedy.info