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Category: Writing

[Author Interview] Tabitha Lord

Tabitha Lord’s HORIZON series has won seven independent book awards. In addition to writing novels and short fiction, Tabitha is managing editor for the Inkitt Writer’s Blog, a partner and senior writer for Book Club Babble and Vice Present of the Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA).

You can follow Tabitha on her social channels & website:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Website

1. Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I once did a ‘five things about me’ type interview, focusing on fun, interesting personal facts different from the stuff listed in my bio, so I’ll share the answers with you here.

When a book is too suspenseful, I get stressed out and read the ending first. I always go back and read it through, but this takes the edge off so I can relax and enjoy the story without worrying about the end. I know it’s cheating!

I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for my 40th birthday. It was very, very hard. Not Everest hard, but still a huge physical and mental challenge.

Tattoos are awesome and I have a few. I love really artistic ink.

I’m a medical school dropout. Med school with small children was, for me, an impossible task. I always thought I’d return when the kids were older, but it never seemed to be the right time. It wasn’t until I started writing that I was able to let that particular aspiration go.

I taught middle school Latin for over a decade. I know, I’m a dinosaur!

As far as what inspired me to write, it was really a who! For years, my husband encouraged me. His encouragement sounded something like, “Honey, write a book already!” I’d think about it and answer that I just didn’t have an entire story in my head. So much of my energy was taken up raising my kids, working, and running a household, there just wasn’t much left over for creativity. I am not implying you can’t have young children and write. I know people who do it very successfully, but after my workday, their activities, homework, laundry, cooking, etc. I really wasn’t interested. It was all I could do to string a sentence together.

Then my children got older and started moving out. When the dynamics in my family shifted, I started to think about what could be next for me professionally. I took on a yearlong writing project at work thinking it would give me the change of pace I needed. Turns out, it also gave me the kick I needed to write fiction. Since I was in the habit of writing every day for work, I challenged myself to write creatively every night. Lo and behold, when the report was finished a year later, so was my first manuscript.

2. Describe your desk / writing space.

I don’t have one particular place I write. Sometimes, I’m camped out at the kitchen table if the house is quiet. If the weather cooperates, I love to work outside on my porch. I do have an office, and I suppose I will spend more time there when I can’t sit outside during the New England winter!

3. Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

My routine varies week to week, depending on what I’m working on, but I’m just a little bit obsessive-compulsive around scheduling my work week. I’ll sit down on Sunday and look at the upcoming week to plan. In addition to my electronic calendar, I have notebooks with to-do lists for every project I’m working on.

Generally, I’m drafting one manuscript, editing another, reviewing books and interviewing authors, and I’m the managing editor of the Inkitt Writer’s Blog. It’s not a good idea to blow a deadline for projects other people pay me to do, so my routine of the week is partially driven by those projects.

If we’re talking specifically about writing my own books, I can’t wait for the muse to strike or I’d never finish! Even if I don’t add much to the word count on a particular day, I’ll at least open the document and re-read the previous pages. I need to keep my fingers in a new manuscript or I tend to lose my momentum.

4. How do you come up with the title to your books?

All the titles in the Horizon series are named after ships. When I began writing the first book, I knew a good portion of it was going to take place on a spaceship called Horizon. After that, there always seemed to be another important ship featured in each book, so it made sense to continue the trend.

5. What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

No particular scene stands out as the hardest one to write but, in general, slow scenes are hard for me to write. A well-paced novel has to have some down time in the action, if only so the readers can breathe. Not every scene should be super-high intensity, but even those ‘quiet’ moments have to be relevant and move the story forward. I can get bogged down and feel a little uninspired when writing this stuff, so sometimes I’ll skip ahead and write a fun scene.

Needless to say, highly intense or highly emotional scenes are my favorite to write. I see them almost like movie clips. There’s one scene in Equinox that looks a lot like a WWII dogfight, but of course takes place in space! That one was fun to research and fun to write.

6. What inspired your book/series?

I’ve always been a big sci-fi fan, so when I finally started writing fiction, I knew I’d start with sci-fi. For the first book, Horizon, I had two distinct parts of a story floating in my head. The first was a crash sequence. It was pretty basic at the time of its inception – just a young man who crash-lands on a planet, and a young woman, in some kind of trouble, who saves his life.

The second part was more complex. I was playing with the idea of what would happen if one segment of an already small, isolated population evolved differently from the other. What if they were empathic and could sense each other’s emotions and thoughts? What if some of them could heal with their mind? How would the unchanged people feel about their neighbors? It created such an interesting premise I knew I had to find a way to make it into a story. When I combined those two pieces, the seed for the series was born.

7. What are you working on next?

I recently finished the draft of an urban-fantasy. It’s a rather dark story about a lady assassin who kills people in their dreams. She’s a Jessica Jones meets Dexter vigilante type character, and she only goes after men who’ve gotten away with terrible crimes. In the opening scene, she’s on a job but realizes the person she’s been hired to kill is actually an undercover FBI agent. His criminal history is a cover. She finds him in the waking world, and they attempt to discover who wants him dead. I’m working through the edits now with my agent.

8. What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Honestly, too many to count! I’ve always been an avid reader, and now, I have the pleasure of reading and reviewing some really good books for Book Club Babble, a blog site I own with a couple of writer pals. I feel like I learn something new about good story-telling from every book I love as a reader.

9. If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Yavin’s 4th moon.

10. What is your favorite meal?

A few years ago, I would have said eggplant parmesan, but since my husband started doing the cooking, I’m absolutely nuts over his chicken marsala.

11. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Both coffee and tea. I drink one cup of coffee in the morning and then switch to herbal tea during the day. I prefer wine, but I love testing out different beers at local breweries, especially in the fall.

12. Describe yourself in three words.

Energetic. Organized. Kind.


[Plotting About] August News

Welcome to August!

Photo taken by Mary Robinette Kowal of myself and Lauren Harris.

Ebook Box Set News

On August 10, there is a ebook box set coming out that includes myself and five other ARIA authors.

Three of these authors should look vaguely familiar since I’ve been interviewing them for my newsletter.

A boxed set of firsts!

The Association of Rhode Island Authors proudly presents their first ebook box set! Each author has contributed the first book of an ongoing series. From the sandy wastelands of far-off world filled with magic, machines, and men to war torn edge of space to aliens invading Earth. There’s a little something for everyone. We hope you enjoy sit back and enjoy the ride.

This boxed set includes:

R. K. Bentley – Where Weavers Daire

A. Keith Carreiro – The Penitent, Part One

Tabitha Lord – Horizon

Paul Magnan – Kyu, The Coming of Dis

Christopher Paniccia – Heaven’s Gate

Debra Zannelli – Sisterworld

The ebook box set is available everywhere on 8/10/22.

RKB’s Picks

Jungle Cruise is available on Disney+ as well as the your movie theater. From the trailers you may have gotten a Mummy or Pirates vibe and that’s not wrong. The movie does harken back to the sword and sandal antics of the Mummy. The copy and paste CGI legion of mummies isn’t used, thankfully. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt star in this lovely swashbuckling tale.

If you can make it out to the theater then I would recommend seeing it there instead of paying the $29.99 on Disney+. Or invite friends over and make it a family movie night.

Fear Street Trilogy on Netflix, I was late to watching this and came away very impressed. I’m not really a horror buff but occasionally like a good scary movie and found this one to be rather enjoyable. The trilogy of movies is not family friendly and is Rated R for good reason.

Book 2

Book 2 continues to move along and it was my hope it was going to be out next week but alas that isn’t the case.

It has become painfully clear, pandemic or not, I’m not an author that can push out a book a year and back in December 2020 when I gave myself until August 2021 to publish book 2 it was wishful thinking until work went to 5 days a week instead of the 4 days we’d been having. The credit card bills are happy along with my credit score. My creativity isn’t even if I am making progress it’s not just the fast progress I expected.

For those not signed up for my mailing list you can read the first three chapters of When Riders Crosleigh over here on Wattpad.

I’m posting scenes in chronological order once a month via the mailing list and will upload each new chapter to Wattpad once it’s completed.

I will recommend getting the ebook box set above, the other five books are well worth your time.

eBook Giveaways!

An awesome collection of sci-fi eBooks are available in the month of August!

Novel Spotlight

If there are any authors that wish to have their novel in the spotlight or are part of free book giveaway, it’s best to go through StoryOrigin and I’ll get it into the next email that goes out September 1.

[Author Interview] Debra Zannille

Welcome to R. K. Bentley’s Author Interviews!

This month’s interview is with Debra R. Zannelli.







Author Bio

Debra Zannelli is a retired teacher assistant and a graduate of Mitchell College. She was raised in Cumberland, Rhode Island. For eighteen years she lived in Salem, Connecticut and worked in Norwich at the Chelsea Groton Savings Bank. She enjoys hiking and sings in the local community chorus.

She has two books coming out soon: Darkness and Light, The Hunter and Darkness and Light, Vampires.

  1. Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I’ve always loved words and the stories my mother read to my sister and I every night I was a lonely, quiet child and books were my best friends, the place I would go to get away

  1. Describe your desk / writing space.

My son moved out, so I’ve taken over the study section his bedroom. It has a tabletop desk and good-sized entertainment section, now filled with books. I have a quiet nook for reading.

  1. Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

I sit at my desk from Monday through Friday as close to 1pm as possible, Saturdays and Sundays whenever I can. If inspired, I write on anything available

  1. How do you come up with the title to your books?

My titles come from the meanings I’m trying to convey and the character of my characters, as their life progresses.

  1. What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

The hardest scene for me to write is the last paragraph of my soon to be published book, Darkness and Light, Vampires. The easiest paragraph was in my first novel. When Marcus, the main character, is trying to convey how much he hates what he has become.

  1. What inspired your book/series?

Marcus, the main character in the Darkness and Light series needed to have his long and often painful journey explained in a manner expressing many of his and my deepest feelings.

  1. What are you working on next?

Once the final Darkness and Light book is published I will begin writing the third book in the Sister World Trilogy; Sister World, Back to Terah

  1. What authors or books have influenced your writing?

Charles Dickens, Stephen King and M.M.Kay

  1. If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

Here. I love to travel, but no matter where I go, it’s beauty, history and delights, I’m always happy to come home.

  1. What is your favorite meal?

Fried Scallops

  1. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee, wine

  1. Describe yourself in three words.

Passionate, meticulous, and imaginative.

[Author Interview] Christopher Paniccia

Welcome to RKB Writes Author Interviews!

This month’s interview is with Christopher Paniccia.

Author Bio

Christopher R. Paniccia was born and raised in Southern New England.After serving as active duty Para-Rescue in the United States Air Force during Desert Storm he finished his teaching and art degrees. He has been teaching both Elementary as well as College students for over twenty years.

As an indie author, Christopher writes and publishes his own books. He hopes to inspire others to put their ideas into print as his students inspired him to do.

His newest book, Dark Kingdom, book three of the Haven Series came out last month. It introduces the realm of Dark Elves into this epic fantasy.

You can follow Christopher through his social links:

Facebook | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | Website

  1. Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I have always been a writer. As a young man I would often write comic stories in journals and follow that by putting the story into a complete comic book. Over the years I saved the journals and have an unlimited amount of stories from which to choose to turn them into novels. What really inspired me to take the leap into novel writing can be summed up easily, my students. I have taught both college and elementary students for the past 25 years. My elementary students would comment on my various stories over the years and one group in particular really motivated me to put the stories into words. The floodgates opened.

  1. Describe your desk / writing space.

My writing space can be described as controlled chaos. Is it possible to be neat but yet cluttered, well that is me. A mixture of writing materials, illustrations, and cups fill my desk.

  1. Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

My writing routine changes based on the seasons. While school is in session my writing takes place in the evening. During the summer month’s I write full-time during the day. I have my notes and outline in front of me and a large glass of water. Ear pods have a special place in my routine as the rock and roll is cranked up and keeps the ideas flowing.

  1. How do you come up with the title to your books?

Many times, the title of the books comes after the story has begun to be written and as it takes shape the title comes to mind.

  1. What was the hardest scene for you to write?

Which scene was your favorite to write? The hardest scene for me to write would have to be in Book One of the Haven Series, Heaven’s Gate where Peter Sullivan finally makes it to the gate of the ancient alien realm where he unlocks the gate only to have that moment of extreme high become one of devastation as he and his friends immediately become prisoners.

My favorite scene would have to be in the Gridiron Conspiracy where Dr. Henry Chase introduces Chris Strong and company to his long dead brother at an off the grid cabin in the woods. The doctor leaves a digital trail of breadcrumbs for the companions to follow and has a lot of explaining to do.


  1. What inspired your book/series?

My current series, The Haven Series, is inspired by true events. My grandfather was a naval officer during WWII and left me his footlocker when he passed. In the footlocker were various military items including an old leather journal. The journal was written in German and upon translation I discovered the journal contained Nazi details about an expedition to Antarctica in search of Rainbow City, an ancient alien civilization. It seemed the perfect way to begin a fantasy story with magic, aliens, and long-lost realms.

  1. What are you working on next?

I am in the process of working on a spin off Gridiron Conspiracy series focusing on Dr. Henry Chase, the enigma in the trilogy. He has become a beloved character and is definitely worthy of his own legacy.

  1. What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I have been influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s world building, Terry Brooks’ characters, and Terry Goodkind’s storylines.

  1. If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

I would love to live near the ocean and be able to hear the sound of wind, sea, and animal life.

  1. What is your favorite meal?

A favorite meal of mine would be the next one! In all seriousness though a great lasagna and cheesecake would hit the spot.

  1. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Having spent a good amount of time in England I would have to say Tea.

  1. Describe yourself in three words.

Steadfast, Loyal, and Relentless.

[Author Interview] M. A. Guglielmo

Welcome to the first of many author interviews.

M. A. Guglielmo is this month’s author. She is member of the Association of Rhode Island Authors. Her third book in the From Smokeless Fire Trilogy, Price to Pay is available for pre-order and arrives on 6/17.

You can follow Maria through her social links:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | BookBubWebsite

Author Bio

M.A. Guglielmo is a neurosurgeon, mother of two awesome daughters, and a lifelong fan of speculative fiction. Her Italian grandmother may or may not have been able to cast the evil eye on difficult neighbors, and she loves telling a good story, especially if magical curses and witty villains are involved.
  1. Tell me about yourself. What inspired you to write?

I live in Rhode Island, the US state voted most likely to be used as a unit of measurement, with my two awesome daughters, and a dog and cat who I swear have watched too many Tom and Jerry cartoons. In my day job, I’m a neurosurgeon. So I can say with some authority that writing fiction isn’t brain surgery. Some days it feels harder, though!

  1. How did you get into writing?

I started writing seriously about seven years ago, after I finished reading out loud a middle grade fantasy to my daughters and started to make up a new version of the plot. It was so much fun I decided to start sketching out the story. After writing a fifty-page outline and the tossing it aside when the actual writing began, I learned my first writing term—pantser.

  1. Describe your desk / writing space.

I usually write on my couch, trying to hold onto my laptop with my dog on one side of me and my cat on the other. There’s also a lot of hot tea.

  1. Do you have a writing routine, or do you write when inspired?

I’ve recently adopted a strategy of ‘touching’ my work every day. I open up my Scrivener file of my current work in progress and do something, even if it’s only rereading and lightly editing my last session. It’s worked surprisingly well.

  1. How do you come up with the title to your books?

I have a (usually terrible) working title before I begin writing. My published books have all had their titles changed by the editor and marketing team, so I try not to get too attached to my working title.

  1. What was the hardest scene for you to write? Which scene was your favorite to write?

The heroine of my From Smokeless Fire, Zahara, is a demonic jinni more interested in shopping and sweets than haunting. In Price to Pay, the last novel in the trilogy, Zahara has to overcome her party girl of the paranormal persona and become the reluctant heroine of the story. I was surprised how bittersweet her difficult decisions were in the novel, and how strong a character she shows herself to be. Those were more difficult scenes to write.

My favorite scenes to write were when Clifford, a flying cyborg Great White, made an appearance.

  1. What inspired your book/series?

The mythology behind the novel is the story of Harut and Marut, two overly proud angels—or jinn in some versions—who are sent down to earth to show humans how to resist temptation. They fail, in rather spectacular fashion, and are punished by being hung by the feet until the end of the world. According to some sources, the two gave the gift—or curse—of magical knowledge to humanity.

  1. What are you working on next?

I’m starting a new project set in a fantasy version of ancient régime France, with a sexy necromancer hero who has to work with two of his worst enemies to save a princess who’s not what she seems to be.

  1. What authors or books have influenced your writing?

I love the writing styles of more literary authors like Neil Gaiman and N.K. Jemisin, and the storytelling power of writers like S. A. Chakraborty and Martha Wells.

  1. If you could live anywhere, in this world or fantasy, where would you live?

The best fantasy worlds are way too dangerous for my taste! I’d love to have a second home in Morocco and a jinn muse for my writing, though.

  1. What is your favorite meal?


  1. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Green tea and red wine.

  1. Describe yourself in three words.

Curious, creative, and overbooked!


[NEWS] April News

April News

Convention News:

I’ve never been one for April Fool’s Jokes so no big surprise awaits for you.

It looks like between the last newsletter and now, Necronomicon 2021 and RI Summer Comic Con in Rhode Island has been canceled. I think it’s all for the best. Even with the vaccines rolling out it’s going to be a while before the convention scene is back on its feet and most of the conventions are still going the virtual route.

I’m going to assume WorldCon DC isn’t going to happen even if they’re still looking at hotels since the one they were supposed to have it in has filed for bankruptcy.

Now, as for why San Diego Comic Con decided to say: Let’s throw a con on Thanksgiving weekend, I haven’t the faintest idea why.

When Riders Crosleigh Update

The When Riders Crosleigh K BAR count: 36008, goal is 120000.

While book 2 is plugging along and the price of the ebook version book 1 is $0.99 on every electronic platform.

I was playing around with a boxed set template for eBooks 1,2+3. I realize I haven’t even finished book 2 but it’s fun to play around in Photoshop.

Music News:

If you haven’t seen Dark on Netflix and are looking for a Stranger Things fix, then go watch Dark. If you liked Dark and enjoyed the music by Ben Frost, seasons 1+2 are up on iTunes and make for great ambience music if you’re looking for something spooky.RKB’s Picks

RKB’s Picks


The Irregulars on Netflix bears a striking resemblance to The Nevers that will be appearing on HBO/Max shortly. Both series take place in London and involve supernatural events going on. The Irregulars has two things going for it: 1. It takes place in the Sherlock Holmes-universe and 2. Joss Whedon isn’t involved with it. I’m two episodes into it and enjoying it, sure some of the plot lines are clunkers, the wide-eyed Prince being the primary culprit but no show is ever perfect right out of the gate.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are two episodes into their six episode run and the banter we got during Civil War between the two actors is back. Yay! The great thing about this series is that it’s not trying to copy what WandaVision did. While WandaVision covered what happened after the death of Vision in Infinity War, this series covers what happens after Captain America needs to be replaced since the events of End Game. It also takes a couple of deep cuts into the super soldier serum when Captain America was on ice. And as always: the animated credits that started in Captain America The First Avenger and continued through Winter Soldier and Civil War are worth watching.

eBook Giveaways!

An awesome collection of sci-fi eBooks are available in the month of April!
A collection of discounted sci-fi eBooks are available in the month of April!

Novel Spotlight!

If there are any authors wish to have their novel in the spotlight or are part of free book giveaway, it’s best to go through StoryOrigin and I’ll get it into the next email that goes out May 1st.

[NEWS] February 2021 Updates

February 2021 News

One of my resolutions is to post more here. The advent of Twitter, Facebook and the rest has made posting easier and easier.

Convention News:

Since Boskone 2021 is going to virtual this year, I’ll be in the virtual dealers room selling copies of Weaver along with my eBay auctions.

They’re going to have three days worth of panels and with no airline or hotel fees to worry about I’d recommend checking out the schedule.

I hope things start to look up towards the end of the year.

Rhode Island Comic Con is still scheduled for November and Emerald City Comic Con scheduled for December.

Association of RI Authors will an isle at RICC like we usually do. So long as I can get the time off from work, I’ll be at RICC. Any updates on RICC will be appear here, on my twitter feed, blog and FB page.

I would love to go to ECCC as a vendor but I think I’ll wait off until I have three books.

I’m trying to be optimistic about 2021 and in person events…

Book 2 News

The prologue and chapter 1 for book #2 has been posted to Wattpad.

I should note, these previews I’ve been posting haven’t been edited so there are most assuredly spelling and grammar errors.

I will be having the book edited prior to release.

eBook Giveaways!

Novel Spotlight!

[Plotting About] When Riders Crosleigh – A Plodding Prologue

Welcome to September 2020.

For those who signed up for my mailing list I’ve been posting a few pages a month of the first chapter of the next book in the Stuk on the Hollow Series, When Riders Crosleigh.

The recent September mailer we came to an end of the prologue.

I decided to post it up on Wattpad in its entirety.

The cover is temporary and it has not been professionally edited.

The novel is a prequel so it takes place before, during and after Where Weavers Daire.

Hope you enjoy.

[News] July Update

Welcome to summer 2020.

Are we having fun yet?

I haven’t posted in a bit because, well, there has’t been much to talk about that isn’t depressing as all get out. From the covid cases, the BLM movement to the assault on women going through the author community and the gestapo pulling people off the streets of Portland.

My apocalypse bingo card doesn’t need more squares.

The states are re-opening and the covid cases are going up. Masks aren’t political. They’ll save your lives. Period. Darwin is rolling in his grave right now.

The conventions are canceling and 2020 has become the shelter in place year. If anyone was writing a post-apocalyptic or virus novel than you’ve got some great story fodder to play with.

Any of the conventions I may have appeared at have either canceled or gone virtual this includes the Rhode Island Author Expo for which I’m on the committee.

But there’s hope! Expo like the rest will be going virtual so when I know more so will you.

To that end, since I’m not going to conventions this year that doesn’t mean you can’t get Where Weavers Daire my awesome sci-fi novel.

It is still available through every ebook dealer and the paperback is available through local stores, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

If you are local fan and haven’t gotten the book then please support local shops first then Amazon/B&N. Check out this post to find the books locally.

If you’re looking to get free ebooks check out these giveaways: