Book Launch: The Curate’s Brother

The Curate s Brother Book Cover


The Curate’s Brother is a Jane Austen Variation of “Persuasion” by Wendy Van Camp. This short story can work as a prequel to Austen’s famous novel or as a prequel to my upcoming Austen Variation novel next summer: Letters From The Sea.


Edward Wentworth lives a quiet, structured life as a curate in the village of Monkford. He spends his days ministering to the sick and downhearted, which for him is a blessing. Edward is a true man of the cloth and considers his work his life’s calling. His comfortable life is shaken when his elder brother, arrives on his doorstep for a visit during his shore leave. At first Edward is glad to see his brother, they have not seen each other since Frederick was a young boy and shipped out to the Navy as a “young gentleman”. However, as the weeks progress, Frederick’s “salty” ways and bold manners begin to annoy the shy curate. When Frederick flirts with a girl that Edward is fond of, the curate’s world tips. Can Edward find the courage to win the girl he is growing to love, or will he lose her to his more colorful and handsome brother?

Commander Frederick Wentworth has sailed home to England commanding his first prize ship. As he awaits new orders, he decides to spend time with his younger brother Edward. Frederick is used to command as an officer in the Royal Navy and tries to help his shy brother overcome his limitations. In Monkford, everyone wants to hear of the battle of San Domingo, where Frederick was awarded a commendation and accounted a hero, but all this sailor wants to do is flirt and dance with the women. Then he spots the delicate and quiet Anne Elliot, a wallflower that he takes on as a personal challenge to wile away his time, but all too soon he is captivated by her intelligence and hidden beauty. Frederick can use his boldness to win the lady’s heart, but can he overcome the common roots of his birth when pursuing the daughter of a baronet?

The Curate’s Brother is told via the eyes of Edward Wentworth as he experiences love for the first time and watches on as his brother romances a woman above his station. As the brothers get to know one another, each brings his own view of the world into their sibling rivalry.


Wendy Van Camp is the writer behind the blog No Wasted Ink. She has published memoir shorts in literary magazines, writes non-fiction articles for various art and literature magazines and is a volunteer coordinator for Nanowrimo. Wendy is also working on a long Steampunk Science Fiction trilogy that will hopefully debut next year. Her latest series features a variation on Jane Austen’s Persuasion and will be composed of two volumes: The Curate’s Brother and Letters From The Sea.

Wendy makes her home in Southern California with her husband and australian shepard. Wendy enjoys travel, bicycling, gourmet cooking and gemology.

Author Interview: Diane M. Robinson

Diane may be a self-proclaimed delusional fantasy writer, but she takes the craft of writing well seriously. Her goal is to leave something original and fun in the minds of her readers. I think she has hit that goal out of the ballpark with this interview. I’m pleased to welcome Diane to No Wasted Ink.

Author Diane M. RobinsonHello Wendy and readers of No Wasted Ink. My name is Diane Mae Robinson; I am a children’s fantasy/adventure chapter book author who lives in an out-of-the way magical forest in central Alberta, Canada. Yep, magical forest: gnomes, elves, dragons, castles, all of it. People who know me say I am somewhat delusional—ummm, aren’t all fantasy writers?

Besides being a writer I have other jobs, which pay for the upkeep of the magical forest: dental office manager, art teacher, and writing instructor. In this magical forest, I live in a small castle-type house, which my husband and I designed and built by ourselves several years ago. The forest is also home to my five horses and four dogs. Through the years living here, I have worked on building many wonderful medieval-type flower gardens and stone pathways, filled with sculptures of magical creatures that I have made. These gardens surrounded by the forest is where I get my inspiration for writing fantasy.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing around the age of eight–well after I had learned to read and, by then, had read every children’s book in the small town library—when I decided to make up plays and perform them for the neighborhood kids. The only other volunteer in my plays was my younger sister, which was good and bad—the themes of the plays were medieval; my sister would not act the part of the prince unless she was allowed to wear her cowboy duds. So, as I was the princess being rescued by my handsome prince (aka cowboy), the plays were performed to a live audience of five until a particular day when chaos struck. My prince had a simple task—jump from the roof of the house and rescue me where I was tied to a tree by the evil villain. The prince (aka cowboy) jumped, broke her arm, my mom heard the racket, I was untied by mom, sister went to hospital, sister got home from hospital, I asked her: “Why didn’t you just use your cape?” Mom banned me from ever making up plays again. When sister forgave me, I wrote more plays that she agreed to be the prince (aka cowboy) in. So, what else to do but bring my merry band of play watchers deeper into the forest and out of prying eyes.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have considered myself a writer ever since I started writing plays at age eight: I write, I create, I am a writer.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

I am currently working on book three of my fantasy/adventure series, Sir Princess Petra’s Mission–The Pen Pieyu Adventures. Book one, Sir Princess Petra,—The Pen Pieyu Adventures, was published in 2012 and has since won three major book awards. Book two, Sir Princess Petra’s Talent—The Pen Pieyu Adventures, was released in Sept. 2013. I am also working on a grammar book for elementary grades; this book has a medieval theme and the characters from my series are in this book also.

What inspired you to write this book?

I’ve always preferred fantasy stories and movies over all other genres. So, once the characters of this series started invading my head several years ago, they became so real to me that I had no choice but to write about their adventures. Often, I just feel like the writer while they tell me what is going to happen.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I am definitely a character-driven writer over a plot-driven writer. Plot is very important in children’s books, but if kids can feel and see the adventures through my characters. to me, all is won. I have an out-of-the box sense of humor and this comes out in my characters and their situations.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

The characters woke me up in the middle of the night, dictated their names, told me the places, declared their situations, and yes, even forced me on the titles of the books. Does this ever happen to other writers? Just curious.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The main character of this series, Sir Princess Petra, is a princess whose greatest accomplishment is becoming a knight. She accomplishes this through kindness, understanding, and acceptance of others; all to the dismay of her father, the king, who thinks knights have to be big and mean and nasty.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All my characters and situations in the stories are purely fictional—made up in my delusional (or so I’m told) mind.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I’ve been reading C.S. Lewis for years. His stories influence me by the way the reader can totally get lost in his fantasy world. Lemony Snicket influences me with his sharp wit and humor, and the bizarre situations of his stories. Both of these writers inspire me to write engaging stories for children that leave a mark, have good values, and are fun to read.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

I think anybody that writes a great story is a mentor because they instill in us, other writers, the need to write well.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

The cover designer and illustrator, Samantha Kickingbird, was selected by the publisher as she works there. I had no choice in the matter and didn’t see the first illustrations until well into the set-up stages of the books. I couldn’t have asked for a better illustrator for this series.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

As I tell my writing students: If you love to write, learn to write well. Don’t be in a hurry to publish. Re-write and edit, and then do it again and again until you have nearly created perfection before submitting your manuscript to publishers. My first book was rejected 27 times over a 9 year period before I finally received a traditional publishing contract. And my 2nd book was well on it’s way to receiving numerous 5 star reviews before I acquired a literary agent. It takes patience, perseverance, and the art of writing well before you have a book that you can be proud of.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Write from your heart, with passion and imagination, and you will breath life into your stories.

Sir Princess Petra's Talent Book CoverDiane Mae Robinson
From a magical forest, near St. Paul, Alberta, Canada


Cover Artist: Samantha Kickingbird
Publisher: Tate Publishing, LLC




No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

writers-linksMarketing your books is one of the important aspects of being an author that is new to the field. No longer do we as writers depend on a publishing house to sell our books for us. We have to do the marketing ourselves. This week No Wasted Ink features several articles on this topic for your edification.

Take Charge of Your Author Business: 5 Aspects to Consider

Stop Using ‘Poet Voice’

Beth Bernobich: Writing Advice, the Meta Post


14 Never-Fail Tricks Every Writer Needs to Know


Publishing is a Business…Why I Don’t Give my Book Away for Free

Which 5 Book Genres Make The Most Money?


7 Top eBook Blog Tour Sites

Writing Spaces: Art Deco Style Home Office

Art Deco Style Home Office

The writing space was taken from This Old House Magazine, the Desk Set, April 2006

There is much to love about this open and cheerful writing space. The golden walls contrast the white built-in shelving and desk to create a cozy, yet open feel. There is plenty of room for your books, art and a couple of friends. The art deco style windows bring in lots of light in a stylish manner that sets the mood for the room. The old-fashioned Persian rug softens the hardwood flooring. About the only thing that I don’t like about the room are the chairs. I’d prefer a comfortable leather roller chair to work in. All in all, there is plenty of inspiration to this home office.

Book Review: Hyperion

Book Name: Hyperion
Author: Dan Simmons
First Published: 1989
Hugo Award for Best Novel 1990
Locus Award Winner 1990

Dan Simmons was born on April 4, 1948 in Peoria, Illinois. He received his B.A in English from Wabash College in 1970 and his Masters in Education from Washington University the following year. He became an elementary school teacher for the next 18 years.

Simmons writing career took off in 1982, when he released his short story The River Styx Runs Upstream with Harlan Ellison’s help. It won first prize in a Twilight Zone Magazine story contest and was published in 1982, the day Simmons’ daughter Jane Kathryn was born. He considers the coincidence useful to “keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life.”

Song of Kali, Simmons’ first novel, was then published in 1985. Simmons gained popularity in 1989 when he released Hyperion, a science fiction novel that won the Hugo and Locus Awards. The novel’s structure was inspired by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Boccaccio’s Decameron.

Simmons grew up in several places in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which served as the inspiration for the fictional town of Elm Haven in his stories Summer of Night and A Winter Haunting. He has been writing full-time since 1987. He and his wife Karen live in Colorado and he sometimes writes at Windwalker, their high-altitude cabin near the Rocky Mountain National Park. A sculpture of the Shrike — the demon-god in Hyperion — made by his friend and former student Clee Richeson stands near the cabin.

Simmons has successfully written books in different genres: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, and suspense. His books have been published in the USA and Canada, as well as 27 other countries. Many of his novels have been optioned for film, such as Song of Kali, Drood, and The Crook Factory. The Hyperion books, meanwhile, have been bought by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films and are in pre-production.

“It occurs to me that our survival may depend upon our talking to one another.” – Dan Simmons, Hyperion

It is the 28th century and Earth has long been destroyed. Humans colonize the galaxy via “Hawking drive” ships that carry portal machines to new worlds known as “Farcasters”. These portals permit nearly instantaneous travel no matter how far apart the two portal gates are. The farcaster network is the basis of the Hegemony of Man and determines the entire culture and society of humans. Running all this technology is a vast agglomeration of AIs known as the “TechnoCore”.

The Hegemony is a decadent society, ruled by a human executive advised by the TechnoCore advisory council, that relies on its military to protect and defend the Hegemony from attacks by the “Ousters”. They are considered interstellar barbarians who live beyond the dictates of the Hegemony and shun anything to do with the TechnoCore AI machines.

The advice and predictions by the ‘Core are confounded by mysterious structures of the Time Tombs on the remote colony world of Hyperion. The aggressive Ousters are obsessed with the planet and their planned invasion to take Hyperion is imminent.

The Shrike, a very powerful but mysterious being, guards the Time Tombs of Hyperion, a remote colony that the Ousters want to invade. According to legend, when pilgrims visit the Time Tombs, the Shrike will kill all but one of them then grant the survivor his wish.

This time, seven pilgrims make the voyage. They meet each other after coming out of a cryogenic state and each one tells his story during the long trip, in a manner that is reminiscent of the classic Canterbury Tales.

Het Masteen is a Templar who captains the treeship that the pilgrims are riding to Hyperion.

Father Lenar Hoyt is a Roman Catholic priest who once accompanied another priest to Hyperion. There, he got infected with cruciforms, parasites that rebuild and reincarnate dead bodies. The cruciforms cause him excruciating pain and he has built a tolerance for painkillers over time. He is going back to Hyperion to find out what will happen to him.

Colonel Fedmahn Kassad has discovered that his previous lover Moneta has been working with the Shrike to use him to start an interstellar war that will kill billions. He is on the pilgrimage to kill her and the Shrike.

Martin Silenus is an old poet who is working on his greatest poem: Hyperion Cantos. He once lived on Hyperion in an attempt to find his lost muse but the Shrike began murdering the people he lived with. During that time, his muse returned, which convinced him that the Shrike was his muse. Silenus eventually left the colony but has been waiting for centuries to return to finish his poem.

Sol Weintraub‘s daughter Rachel was an archaeologist who contracted the Merlin disease while she was exploring Hyperion. The disease makes her age backwards. She is now an infant and may become nonexistent in her upcoming birthday. Sol is on the pilgrimage to ask the Shrike to cure his daughter.

Brawne Lamia is a private investigator whose client Johnny, a John Keats clone with AI-controlled electronic implants, wanted her to investigate his murder. The assault on Johnny left him with a limited amnesia that Lamia discovered to be connected to his knowledge about Hyperion. Lamia joins the pilgrimage pregnant with Johnny’s child.

The Consul tells a story about his grandparents, Merin Aspic and Siri of the ocean-planet Maui-Covenant. Merin was on a long-term contract to build a farcaster portal to connect Maui-Covenant to the Hegemony. He falls in love with a native girl. They reunite only seven times, with the time dilation causing Merin to barely age as Siri follows time naturally and dies of old age. At this time the farcaster is about to be activated. Merin chooses to sabotage the portal, starting “Siri’s War”, in order to prevent the Hegemony tourists from ruining the ecology of the world and destroying the human and dolphin inhabitants.

The Consul was forbidden by Merin to join in the war and instead he bides his time in the Hegemony diplomatic corps, waiting for a moment to betray the government and obtain his revenge. The consul is instrumental in an Ouster plot to release the Shrike from the Time Tombs where it would have a chance to enter the datastream “WorldWeb” of the Hegemony.

As a former secondary school teacher myself, how can I resist a science fiction novel that is structured like the Canterbury Tales of old? Simmons uses the pilgrimage as a tool to bring together a diverse group of characters who do not have much in common, but soon all share the same goal. Each story has a different feel and the pulls from classic literature transformed into science fiction is well done. Be warned: the book does have a cliff-hanger ending. You will need to read The Fall of Hyperion to find out what happens next.

Hyperion Book CoverHyperion Cantos:

Hyperion (1989)
The Fall of Hyperion (1990)
Endymion (1995)
The Rise of Endymion (1997)

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays on Writing * Writer's Links

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