Monthly Online eZine  
News And Views For Working Writers

 INside Scoop
 IN Her Own Write
 Pen IN Hand
 Write On!
 Screen & Stage
 Top 10 Resources
 Book Reviews
 Items Of INterest
 Global Offerings
 INside Services
 Bill The Bard
 The Writer At Work
 Games & Puzzles
 Classic eTexts
 Free Software
 IN Banners
 Who's IN
 What's IN
 Editorial Calendar
 Join IN's Team
 Contacting IN

IN Front Cover


Learn To Be A Better Journalist

Buy Classic Literature Collections

Acclaimed Screenplay Writing Software

Books On How To Write Fiction

Become A Well Paid Travel Writer

Vote daily and raise our ranking!

INside AUTHORS January, 2008

IN Advertising

INtroducing . . .
Michael Hunt and Marta Stephens
By  Penelope Jensen

Every issue, IN presents INside Authors, a look at authors from around the world who have significantly caught our attention and deserve a little space and recognition. The following two authors are this month's choices, based on the heat arising from their corners. Our hope is to provide a glimpse, a snapshot, an overview of some of the finest writers of our time making waves both tidal and ripple.

Michael Hunt, Historical Fiction

Background INfo: I was born in England although I lived in Central Africa – Malawi (was Nyasaland) – for many years. I was a tobacco planter, a reserve police officer, a rifleman in an infantry regiment in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and a banker for a British/South African bank. I have always been interested in sport (rugby, squash, cricket) and mountain climbing. I was a committee member of the Mlanje Mountain Club (Mlanje is the highest mountain in the region) and I also climbed Kilimanjaro. After returning to England I became a probation officer and I retired last year and took up full-time writing and editing.

I became a writer after I had a serious illness – Guillain Barre Syndrome (Joseph Heller also had the misfortune to suffer the same), which results in total paralysis. Because recovery left me with damaged peripheral nerves I had to give up active sport. I completed a year's creative writing course and discovered a great interest in long-distance writing; similarly, I also discovered that I could run; I am still a long-distance runner and have taken part in numerous competitive runs, including the New York Marathon. I am Chairman of our local writer's group and of an annual Literary Festival.

INfluences: My next-door neighbour ran the creative writing course, and she encouraged me to try novel writing. I have also met a number of very experienced writers, including Martin Cruz Smith and Paul Theroux, who had lived in Malawi when I was there, and Marina Lewycka (A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian). I think I learned from them and other writing friends that writing can be a wonderful way of life, and that if worked at diligently, can be immensely rewarding. However, it is my wife – who kept our home and four children fully serviced during my frequent absences at my desk – to whom I owe a great deal of my modest success.

Advice: 1) Attend a creative writing course at the highest level you can find. 2) Join a writers' group. 3) Try other forms of writing before deciding what suits you best. 4) Start writing novels, if that is your main interest, only after you've tried poetry and short story writing. The two latter forms are a perfect springboard into novel writing – particular poetry, which gives you an idea of the importance of writing accurately with the minimum of words. 5) Learn as much as you can from other writers. 6) Don't be put off by periods when you feel that you can't write a word. We've all been there. Have faith that what is in you will come out eventually. 7) Don't get upset about criticism. In fact insist on receiving the truth about your writing from people who you trust. 8) Consider yourself to be your own manager and insist on seeing work of the finest quality. 9) You must edit your work to the nth degree, so buy the best editing book ever written – Self-Editing For Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King (HarperPerrenial) – and then read and digest it. 10) If you find that you are not enjoying writing, give it up and do something else with your valuable time.

Order this book from Amazon!
Internet Presence: I have been so lucky to have a publisher (BeWrite Books) who publishes on the Internet in both printed book form and electronically. I have an Internet page as an Editor ( which carries my books. I don't have a personal website, mainly because I haven't felt the need. But if your livelihood depends on having one, get the best you can possibly afford.

The Future: My third book – Two Days In Tehran – will be published by BeWrite before the end of December, 2007. This is about a party of American and British travellers caught up in the Ayatollah's Revolution in Iran in 1978/9. I am now writing a fourth – The Tea Time War – about the South African War in 1899.


Matabele Gold, BeWrite Books, 2003
The African Journals of Petros Amm, BeWrite Books, 2004

Marta Stephens Fiction

Background INfo: I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 15, 1954. My parents, four older siblings, and I moved to Indiana, USA, when I was four. Although I lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years in the mid-1970’s, the American Midwest is where my husband, two grown children, and I have called home all our lives. I am employed at a local university and recently celebrated my 28th year with the institution. I plan to remain employed for a few more years. I am a member of Sisters in Crime and the Midwest Writer's Workshop.

I completed my degree in journalism/public relations from Ball State University in 2001. My writing career began in the winter of 2003 while in the process of researching information about an event that happened during WWII. It sparked the idea for my first novel – a spy murder mystery which is still in its first draft. That was it; the writing bug bit hard and hasn’t let go. The experience quickly evolved into a life-changing passion that has led to the birth of my Sam Harper Crime Mysteries and my debut novel, Silenced Cry. I also have a few short shorts to my credit.

INfluences: The person who most influenced me to pursue my writing, was one of my college English professors that I met in 1993. She was the first professional to admire my writing; something that took me quite by surprise. Prior to that, I never considered writing as a path in life. Her encouragement was instrumental in leading me to decide on journalism as a major course of study.

I grew up enjoying the works of Agatha Christie and the complexity of Charles Dickens' plots. A few of my favourite contemporary authors include: Patricia Cornwell, Thomas H. Cook, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King.

Order this book from Amazon!
Advice: Make a conscious commitment to the craft and never be afraid of change.

Internet Presence: The Internet is the powerhouse to my success. I can say without hesitation that I would not be a published author today without it. I met my publisher, BeWrite Books, in 2004 when I joined their authors’ forum. Since then, I’ve joined numerous other groups and have met many amazingly talented people who have helped me along the way. I also belong to an online critique group that is dedicated to critiquing full novels. Without the valuable critiques I received from members of this group, I seriously doubt that my debut novel, Silenced Cry, would have been whipped into shape as quickly as it was.

I do a great deal of research for each of my books. With the Internet, answers are only a click away. The Internet has also been critical to the promotion of my work. Not only has it facilitated a way to promote my work through posts in the author forums and blogs, but it has been a way to immediately communicate with the media, bookstores, reviewers, my publisher and editor, and other authors. Days after launching my website, I received hits from people in over fourteen countries. We live in a global environment which means we can look beyond the corner bookstore to a world-wide market.

The Future: Silenced Cry is the first in a series of Sam Harper Crime Mysteries. I am currently working on the second book, The Black Pearl. Books three and four in the series are in the first-draft stage. Earlier, I mentioned a research project that led to a spy murder mystery. That novel is not part of the Sam Harper series, but it is a book I would very much like to revisit one of these days.


Silenced Cry, BeWrite Books, 2007
Mr. Moody’s Frugal Revenge, BeWrite Books, 2004
A Fool No More, BeWrite Books, 2004
Only You, BeWrite Books, 2004

IN Icon

Penelope Jensen considers herself a citizen of the world, aligning herself at this moment with the purposes of IN, where you'll find her writing articles and interviewing authors, among other things. You can reach Penny at:

Sign Up and Use Our New Forums! Voice Your Opinion! Discuss Our Content! Ask for Writing Assistance. Post Your Successes, Queries or Information Requests. Collaborate with Other Writers.

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .
INtroducing . . .

Support IN
Receive Free Gifts
$20.00 Voluntary Contribution
$35.00 Voluntary Contribution
$50.00 Voluntary Contribution

New Novelist Software

Effectively Manage Your List

Writers Digest 101 Site Award

Your Ad Here

Traffic Swarm For Writers

Hottest Books This Month!

Whose Books Are Turning Into Movies?
Bald Ego
Mouse Over To Pause

Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

Our Own Banner Rotator System
Any banner seen below is either our own or one of our members.
Support the cause - click a banner.

Want Your 468x60 Banner Above? It's FREE For Newly Published Books

© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049
All Rights Reserved. Copying in any way strictly forbidden.
Our Disclaimer Is Based Upon McIntyre's First Law: "Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you may be wrong."