Wednesday, May 17, 2017


PnPAuthor Magizine
July issue, 2017


Owners of PnPAuthor Magazine; Peter & Pattimari Cacciolfi


Joyce’s Corner


I love attending writer’s conferences and learning new things about the craft I have devoted so much time to in the last few years. I recently attended the Dallas DFW Conference where I met different agents, listened to agent panels and successful writers from all over the United States. I went into talk which was titled “Put Your Readers on an Emotional Roller Coaster.”
Emotions are powerful. They can make people do or not do almost anything at any given moment. I can get so wrapped up in what is happening on the page that I find myself crying out of grief or sadness or my heart pumping because I’m so mad. I couldn’t stop typing if I wanted to. I may have made up this character on the page but she is making me FEEL what is happening to her.
The session was presented by Kelsey Macke, and she was a superb speaker as well as a talented, successful writer. She suggested that we take a piece of paper and think about our Work In Progress. She wanted us to imagine the main Protagonist only. Next we were to imagine putting her on the edge of a cliff. She or he is holding a box. Anything or anyone can be inside the box.
Then we think of five incidents for our protagonist and the box on the edge of a cliff.  Remember what is inside the box. What does she feel about what is inside—hate, love, protection. Any emotion. Anything can be inside the box. Let your imagination take hold.
We have exactly two minutes to write whatever we want to fit. I suggest that you try these exercises. You’ll be surprised what insights you can gain. Of course, she timed us, but you’ll have to set your kitchen timer or microwave—anything that will make you stick to the two minutes.
Don’t overthink the situation. The exercise is to express the emotions that your character is feeling at the time. Will she jump? Be pushed over? Throw the box over? Whatever your intention is in order for your character to feel what is happening to her, Make her FEEL HER CIRCUMSTANCES. Maybe she will react physically or not, but she has to FEEL something while she is doing it. Maybe it is her feelings that make her do what she does. She doesn’t have to do anything with the box or she can. She’s under your control but her emotions are her own.
Have your piece of paper and pencil ready. They are:
1.      Someone or something is running hard toward you. It’s going to hit you. What does she feel? How will she react?
2.      Your character is facing her most horrific moment with the antagonist. What is it? How does she feel about what is happening?
3.      Something is falling from the sky. What is it? What does it have to do with her? How will she feel?
4.      Someone is running toward her. Who is it? What does she feel?
5.      The box is beginning to open. What is in it? What does she feel? What does she feel?
You want your reader to be every bit as invested in your characters as you are. If you think about all of your favorite books, you realize that each one tore at your heart in different ways. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is one of my favorite books. Every time I read it, I get angry, become saddened, feel protective, and frustrated. Those are just some of the things I feel, but whatever you do, make your readers fall in love with your characters so much that they feel sad when they come to the end of the book. What a ride you gave them!


Where Ideas Come From -Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey – Western stories for young readers

I’m frequently asked where I get the ideas for the books I write, particularly because I write in several different genres. Outlaw Publishing, an indie publishing imprint from Texas, recently published my book, Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey, the story of a ten-year-old boy’s wagon train trip to Oregon with his family.

Before the inevitable questions fly, I thought I’d outline the genesis of this book, which I sincerely hope will morph into a series.

The first germ of the idea came during a conversation with my daughter, Denise, when we were discussing what writing projects I might want to look at for the future. At the time, we were talking about the western/historical novels I’d written; the Buffalo Soldier series, Frontier Justice: Bass Reeves-Deputy U.S. Marshal, The Last Gunfighters, and Mountain Man. She was impressed that, in addition to telling good stories, I did extensive research to make sure the novels were historically correct, and suggested that historically-correct western stories for young readers would be a good idea. As I always do when an idea comes to mind, or is given to me, I made some notes in the journal I always carry.

For more than a year, though, I didn’t carry it any further. Then, a few months ago, I was contacted by J.C. Hulsey, president of Outlaw Publishing and host of ‘The Wild West Showdown,’ an Internet radio show. He wanted to interview me about Frontier Justice. At the end of the interview, we talked about the western genre, and he mentioned that he’d like to publish some westerns that would attract a new generation of readers. I brought up the idea of western for young readers, and he asked if I’d be interested in writing one for Outlaw Publishing. It sounded like a good idea, so I said yes. A month later, I sent him a novella, Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey, a story about ten-year-old Daniel Waterford’s wagon train trip to Oregon from his home in Iowa. A month after that it was available for sale on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, and hopefully will become a series following Daniel as he grows up on the western frontier.

Writing a western for young readers (and I’m hoping it will appeal to all ages) requires a bit more care than those just for adults. For one thing, profanity, violence, and sexual situations have to be handled with a lot of finesse. In order to be historically accurate, at least some violence is unavoidable, and without at least one gunfight, readers would probably not believe it. As much as possible, though, I wanted a book that parents could feel comfortable letting their pre-teens read. So, here’s how I do it.

There is in Daniel’s Journey, a couple of violent scenes; Daniel’s encounter with a pack of coyotes, and the confrontation when bandits attack the wagon train and are captured by the cavalry. I don’t go into great detail in either, just enough to let the readers know what’s going on, and then their minds can fill in the blanks. I’m not so na├»ve that I don’t know that most kids have been exposed to a lot of graphic violence on TV and through video games, so I know they know what’s going on. I never mention sex at all in the first story. I’m working on the second one now, and do mention the dance hall women, but don’t get any more specific than that. As for profanity, an occasional ‘dang’ is as far as I go. Even in my mysteries, I keep the cursing to a minimum, and then only if it seems really, really appropriate for the scene.

The main thing I focus on is historical accuracy. It’s fiction, but the things that happen, the things people wear and use, and the places are based on exhaustive research.

It’s too early to tell if these stories will catch on. One can only hope. In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing, but now you know, at least, where the idea for one of my books came from.

Dr. White's Religious Corner

Peter's Column

Vinita's Column

Suzanne's Column

Carro's Beauty Tips

Pattimari's Thoughts

Vee Bee's SAY



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PnPAuthor Magizine July issue, 2017 ______________________________________________________ Owners of PnPAuthor Magazine; Peter ...