All posts by Wendy Van Camp

Writer. Artisan Jeweler.

No Wasted Ink Writers Links


Happy Monday!  It is time for another round of writer’s links from No Wasted Ink.  In addition to general writing tips, there are a couple of articles in the fantasy and science fiction genre that are sure to interest you.  Enjoy!

The Heart to Start Your Creative Journey

The Cost of Changing an Entire Country’s Alphabet

Neopronouns in Speculative Fiction: A Workshop
The Economics of Science Fiction

How to Publish Regularly, Even If You Lack Writing Confidence


What Makes the Monstrous

I Hope That Steven Moffat’s The Time Traveler’s Wife is LessDoctor Who and More Coupling

Practical Tips for Finding New Opportunities in Your Dusty Old Manuscripts

From My Bookshelf: Early Writing Lessons

Book Business: A Bookseller Interview

Author Interview: J Carrell Jones

Author J Carrell Jones writes science fiction and fantasy dealing with existentialism. His main protagonists typically have a strong sense of duty, integrity, and character. His writing has been described as telling a story first and entertaining second.

Author J Carroll JonesGreetings all. My name is J Carrell Jones. I am a writer. And because I am a writer, I am mentally unstable, and I lie. How else could I describe myself? I hallucinate often, I hear strange sounds, and unseen people talk to me – awake or sleeping. I have a strong urge to write down what I see and hear in my head. My mind’s eye is overly active, and I fib a lot. The stories I tell never happened, but I write them as if they had, or will happen. It is something I do. I am a writer.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started out writing Star Trek fanfiction back in the mid-80s. My alter-ego was a Vulcan male raised by a human martial arts specialist. Chiita Scar’an was the Chief Security Officer on board the USS Shadowstar. The ship, commanded by Captain Sandor Kaos – a werewolf/human hybrid, was a Star Trek: TOS period vessel. The Captain/President, Lee Birdine, of the club wrote the main storyline. Club members wrote satellite stories. I made my first attempt at being a serious writer by self-publishing an Action-Adventure novel. That was 1988. It took me another 23 years to publish my second book.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It was 1988. I realized writing stories using someone else’s Intellectual Property was not helping me. I was contributing to someone else’s world and I thought that was silly. If I was going to bleed, sweat, and cry over a story it had better be mine.

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

Enemy Me is about the co-founder of a big Pharma company risking his life, multiple times, to stop the company from realizing a drug that was certain to doom humankind. Pete Walker, the co-founder, created clones to help fight the Pharma juggernaut, Forever Life, Inc. The book begins with Pete 6 waking up after Pete Five sneaks into the building and blows himself, some scientist and vital equipment up. Pete 6 realizes suicide missions was not the way to go. Interestingly, he was the last of the Pete Walker lookalike clones.

What inspired you to write this book?

It was a Star Trek: TOS episode titled, “A Piece of the Action”. Kirk and Spock were lead into one of the Big Boss’ office. The large desk the Boss was sitting behind started the journey. I kept thinking, suppose a scientist was cheated out of money. He knew that it would be near impossible to get revenge without help. He created clones to continue his fight in the event he was killed.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style is straightforward. I like to drive the story using dialog and action. I give enough description to help with the scene, but I focus mainly on what the characters say and do.

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

Who was Pete fighting? Strangely enough, himself. I toyed with the words: enemy, self, and fight. After a few days of hard thinking Enemy Me jumped out.

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

The purpose we think and feel for ourselves may not be what eventually is our destiny. Individualism and recognition of self must be embraced if we are to fulfill existing and future goals. Success is subjective.

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

Heinlein, Asimov, Gerrold, Brin, Moon, Cherryh, Van Lustbader, King, Clarke, Hubbard, Foster, Zahn, and McIntrye. I’m inspired by how they built their worlds. They all have their own style but knew how to build worlds that were as real as the world we live in. That’s talent and confidence.

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

Robert A Heinlein. When I was trying to find my voice, I emulated his style. His books Time Enough for Love, Tunnel In The Sky, Space Cadet, Citizen of the Galaxy, Friday, The Man Who Sold the Moon, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and The Number of the Beast talked to me. Heinlein had a way that impressed me to the point that I really wanted to be a writer.

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

I do my own cover design. One reason I decided to do my own book cover is that I had faith in my “artistic” ability. I’m no artist but I am a Graphic Designer.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you are writing fanfiction, stop. Stop immediately. You’re adding to someone else’s IP. They are profiting, you are not. I’ve heard the excuses, “but I am honing my skills,” “I like the author’s world and characters,” “My stuff is not good enough yet.” First, hone your skills on your own IP. It’s your world with your characters. You’ll never write your stories by writing someone else’s. Second, great, you like the Author’s world and characters. Who’ll discover your world and characters if you never work on your original stories? And lastly, your stuff will never get any better if you never work on it.

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

Continue to read and support authors. We write to tell stories, but if no one reads them, what good are the stories. As writers, we do a lot of eventing – as defined by Native Americans. We spend many hours crafting, building, and shaping our worlds. Without readers, ultimately, the journey is for naught.

Enemy Me Book CoverJ Carrell Jones
Inglewood, California.




Enemy Me

Publisher: Mythical Legends Publishing, LLC








No Wasted Ink Writers Links


Monday is the time for No Wasted Ink’s Writers links.  This week is a good grab bag of interesting articles for your perusal.   There are writing tips, science data to inspire your sci-fi stories, a little poetry, and a nice article about beta readers.  Enjoy!

4 Steps for How to Turn an Idea Into a Story That Rocks

Can Creativity Pass Through Generations via DNA?

Targeting Readers: Audiences Have Evolved & So Should Marketing

Tools for the Visual-Spatial Writer (and the Rest of Us)

Build a World, Hook a Reader

Why I Write Poetry: Sarah Richards

Why You Need Beta Readers

Why You Should Write Your Memoir — Even If You Don’t Plan to Publish

6 Steps to Achieving Zen-Like Writer Efficiency

How to Skillfully Use Subplots in Your Novel

Podcasts For Writers by Wendy Van Camp

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

Convention season is upon us and like many authors, I’m scheduled to appear at several conventions and conferences during the summer and fall of this year. One of the items I pack when I travel is a DAP, a Digital Audio Player. I like to keep my music and podcasts separate from my phone so that I don’t drain my phone battery and gain a better quality of sound. I don’t upload audio books, although that certainly is an option, I tend to prefer books on my ereader when traveling. If there is one constant of being on the road, there are always plenty of wait times involved. Waiting for a flight, long hours of driving on the road, standing in line to listen to a favorite author read, or just something to be mellow within the hotel room are all times when a DAP makes life more comfortable.

This year, I’m trying out a Hidizs AP60 player. Not only does it have a decent quality of sound, but it has Bluetooth capabilities that allow me to patch into my car stereo. I prefer it to my old Apple iPod Touch both in sound quality and size. I also love not having to deal with iTunes. I pair it up with Media Monkey to organize my music library and Stitcher to keep me up to date with podcasts. The unit has a comfortable weight, a sturdy casing, and an easy to read display.

I have discovered several new podcasts to listen to this fall and I thought that I’d share them with you. Some of them are craft related, some are about marketing tips, and others are author interviews that touch on the writer’s inspiration. All are free to download and in my opinion, of excellent production values.

Grammar Girl
“Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer’s Digest’s 101 best websites for writers multiple times. She is also an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame.

Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Covering the grammar rules and word choice guidelines that can confound even the best writers, Grammar Girl makes complex grammar questions simple with memory tricks to help you recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules.”

Creative Writing Career
“Turn writing into more than a hobby, make it your career. Stephan Bugaj (Pixar’s Brave, Wall-E, The Incredibles), Justin Sloan (Telltale’s Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and Minecraft: Story Mode), and Kevin Tumlinson (Citadel, Lucid, The 30-Day Author) give you their advice on writing for books, movies, video games and more, and occasionally try to sound smarter by having on amazing guests.”

Reading And Writing Podcast
This is a podcast featuring interviews with authors from many different genres. At a glance, I noted several authors that I would love to listen to in my own genre, so I have cherry picked this one for the authors that interest me. On the website, the podcaster has listed all the interviews by genre, so it is easy to find authors in the genre you love to read.

Write Now With Sarah Werner
I am fascinated by Sarah Werner as a podcaster, she has quite a strong work ethic! Werner records two regular podcast series, the “Write Now” and one called “Coffee Break”. Both are well produced and feature both writing topics and interviews with authors. She has a third audio project called “Girl In Space” which is a science fiction serial. All three projects can be found at the same URL and all are free to download.

Very Serious Writing Show
“Writing advice from people who know and people who don’t. Practical skills meet ridiculousness as I talk with some of the best writers who are willing to actually be on this show with me, and get their input on how to live the writer life.”

I am intrigued by this podcast with a humorous bent, but I believe it may not be producing new episodes at this time. The last time stamp I saw was from last year. Still, the samples I listened to are good. I’m willing to listen to the back catalog for now. Maybe they will return!