Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Another Side of Southern Writers, Part One
by Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine
In each issue of Southern Writers, we proudly present interviews and instructional articles by the cream of the publishing crop. Having featured over 900 outstanding authors in our four years of publication, I thought we'd turn the tables today and throw the spotlight on the unsung heroes who help make each issue possible: our staffers and regular contributors. It won't surprise you that most of them are authors in their own right.
Susan Reichert, our Editor-in-Chief, somehow manages to orchestrate a magazine, a publishing company, a writers group, author seminars, and a dizzying bevy of other projects, while I have yet to see her lose her equilibrium or her cool. Everyone on staff has been inspired by her ability to stay focused, sometimes in the midst of chaos. What are the secrets of staying balanced? Susan's latest work, Storms in Life: Overcoming–Surviving–Living offers advice for everyone from busy executives to families in crisis. You'll find her encouragement to be the calm after the storm.
Her blog, "Authors Visits", features interviews above and beyond the magazine at http://authorsvisits.com
Writer-at-large Chris Pepple is also a speaker and a freelance writer with two books of encouragement and a novel in the works. Look to See Me, her collection of "slice of life" short stories, delivers a glimpse into the lives of ordinary women who possess extraordinary determination. Each woman in these stories walks through life with a unique blend of faith, courage and love. Chris introduces the reader to women whose voices should be heard and whose stories should be told.
Jessica Ferguson is an award-winning author heavily involved in writers associations. She not only writes a great interview, she tells a riveting story. Mystery and romance go hand in hand in her latest novel, The Last Daughter, in which a woman with too many questions about her past seeks the answers that lead to an emotional journey into danger.
Jessica is currently working on a friendship series—four girls, four stories—for release in 2016. Check out her blog at http://jessyferguson.blogspot.com
Londa Hayden heads up writers groups and conferences, and has created an instant classic for the holiday season. Candy Moon inspires the Christmas spirit in a charming tale that follows a family on their way to help others less fortunate. In a world where traditional values are challenged, Candy Moon is a well-timed children's book that is long overdue, with colorful illustrations by Nick Nixon.
The sequel, Candy Moon Choo Choo, is due out this fall, as is Where Two Rivers Meet, the first fiction novel in the Washington's Woods series. Both are available for preorder at http://londahayden.com.
W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and a former literary agent. A popular conference speaker, his "Book Proposal Boot Camp" column appears in each issue of Southern Writers. Among his helpful writings for aspiring and experienced authors, Terry's Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams is a must-read that covers the essential skills for every writer to get published. For practical advice from a pro, this is the place to go.
Terry also offers answers to proposal questions at http://www.AskAboutProposals.com
Poet and educator Sara M. Robinson graces each issue of Southern Writers with her column "Poetry Matters." Her latest book of poetry, Stones for Words, takes the reader through five distinct levels of an evolutionary journey of her writing and philosophy of life. Her personal development is likened to layers of hard and soft rock, which she must mine for definition and clarity. With characteristic candor, Sara is not reluctant to involve the reader in the intimacy of her thought process and writing revelations.
Her next poetry book, Sometimes the Little Town, will be released in early 2016. It is poetry based on the photo books of well-known regional photography of Hobby Robinson. The people and setting around small town Elkton, VA, are the focus. www.saramrobinson.com
There are more fine authors who appear in each issue, and they are the subject of my Tuesday, July 28th blog post.
If you enjoy what these wordsmiths do in Southern Writers, I encourage you to check out their own masterpieces. You'll experience firsthand how their talents help make a magnificent mag.