Category Archives: Successes

Writing for Magazines and Newspapers

AntiquesThe place of my day job interviewed several candidates to assist with marketing a retail antique store and restaurant. After floating through a few self-proclaimed gurus with no real results we became frustrated. Then someone pointed out that Jace was a writer. I hadn’t considered writing in that fashion and at that time knew very little about antiques, but why not give it a go? I liked being referred to as a writer and wanted to prove that I deserved the title, so I wrote a piece and submitted it to a local paper.

Let me pause here to emphasize an important observation. While the piece was well written and fairly entertaining, the paper was overly excited to have content. I’ve noticed that time and time again magazines, periodicals, and papers are looking for content to legitimize their advertising space.

That local paper liked the article so much that they asked if they could run it in their national paper. Now antiques are a bit of a niche, I’ll admit, but still there are enough readers to support a national distribution. Within a month I had received versions of these papers from as far away as Rhode Island and Canada all featuring my article.

So I did it again. This time I was let in on a little secret. This national paper only had a handful of contributors and they were extremely grateful for another. The articles allowed me to mention our store, and have helped with some free press.

I wasn’t compensated for these articles from the papers but the free advertising we received was worth thousands. And because I wasn’t compensated there weren’t any contracts or rights or terms. So I turned around a couple months later and submitted that same first article to several other papers. Now I’ve submitted articles all over. I’ve ran the same article in multiple papers at the same time. In fact, each time I’ve submitted an article to a paper I’ve been thanked and the article has ran in the next installment.

This goes back to my earlier observation: papers are looking for content.

There’s a lot of blogging going on these days, but print articles are still in demand (especially free articles). There are nationalized papers, journals, periodicals that are specific to niches like antiques. Most (I assume all) of these papers maintain their existence through advertising, but they all need someone’s words to print, stories to share. Larry Correia gains continual attention when he writes nonfiction about things like gun control.

It has been good for me in my writing career. Not financially per se but it has given me deadlines to meet, word counts to maintain, and it has gotten my name in front of tens of thousands.

Tracy Hickman once asked me why I write. He answered for me while I was thinking on the question, “To inspire,” he said. Whether fiction or non, contract or free, I write to inspire. Antiquing has become a fun niche where I can do just that.


jace 1I live in Arizona with my family, wife and five kids and a little dog. I write fiction, thrillers and soft sci-fi with a little short horror on the side. I’ve got an MBA and work in finance for a biotechnology firm.

I volunteer with the Boy Scouts, play and write music, and enjoy everything outdoors. I’m also a novice photographer.

You can visit my author website at, and you can read some of my works by visiting my Wattpad page.


Post 1000: How on Earth Did We Get Here?

The Westin with arrowAs near as I can recall, the Fictorian blog was birthed—at least in idea form—on March 20, 2010 in the lounge of the Westin Hotel in Pasadena. (See photo to pinpoint more or less the exact spot.) A group of writers had assembled for the first annual Superstars Writing Seminar to learn about the ins and outs of the publishing business. We were a big group of strangers with a whole lot of high-flying ideals.

I’d like to think those ideals haven’t gone anywhere, but that big group of strangers doesn’t exist anymore. Alas, we are currently a big group of friends and trusted colleagues.

Of course, none of us went home from that seminar ready to start blogging. It took just over a year to get organized. Our first blog post, “The Benefits of Holding Hands,” went live on March 30, 2011—and it goes like this, courtesy of Fictorian alumnus Nancy DiMauro:

Writers help you stay motivated and hold you accountable. It’s like having an exercise or diet buddy. After all, who can understand the ups and downs of writing better? Writers need to network, commiserate and, well, get honest feedback about what they write from others who are wrestling with the same questions…

I don’t know if Nancy set out to write a mission statement, but this one would certainly do the trick. Four and a half years later, and one thousand posts, it still holds true. The Fictorians is about writers holding other writers accountable, keeping them motivated during the many and varied troughs of the writing life, and helping them to network.

All of these years later, the names and faces have changed, but none of the original Fictorians are at the same place in their writing careers than when they started. Without question, this blog has helped us to grow and stay connected with our tribe.

So, one thousand posts. Four digits. A really big part of me can’t believe we’re here. I’ve read somewhere that the average blog lasts two years or less. If that’s true, we’re beating the odds—and that’s largely due to the fact that we’re doing it together. Holding hands, so to speak. It’s not easy to keep an online presence going day after grueling day. With the Fictorians, it’s pretty effortless. When everyone makes a small commitment (one post month, loosely), it’s not hard to fill up the calendar with great content.

Well, perhaps you’ve noticed that we’re really very extremely excited about our 1000th post. It’s a big deal, a big milestone, so we figured, why not throw a little party? That’s why we’ve been giving away books all month. Seven last week, seven this week (it’s actually thirteen, since one of the prizes this week is a seven-book bundle), and fourteen more as the month rolls on. These are books we’ve written, books that our friends and guest bloggers have written, and even books that our mentors have written. There’s a lot of good stuff. For more details, click here, or simply log in to the Rafflecopter interface to your right.

Our celebration isn’t all about the giveaways, though. For over a year, we’ve been working behind the scenes to bring you this upgraded site interface. It was ready just in time for this month, the most pivotal of months. We hope you’re enjoying it so far!

If you’re a writer and you’re looking for a tribe, consider us in your corner. Read and comment on our articles. Get in touch with us. And if you’re really serious about doubling down on your writing career (and we’re all hoping the answer is yes), then consider signing up for the Superstars Writing Seminar. That’s right; the Fictorians are still around, and so is Superstars, going strong into its sixth year. There’s no better place to fulfill the above mission statement.

Evan BraunEvan Braun is an author and editor who has been writing books for more than ten years. He is the author of The Watchers Chronicle, whose third volume, The Law of Radiance, has just been released. He specializes in both hard and soft science fiction and lives in the vicinity of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I Will Always Keep Writing

A Guest Post by Amanda Faith

When I was really young, apparently my favorite thing was to “write” with pen and paper.  Granted, no one but maybe an alien could have read it, but at least I committed something to paper.

I was fortunate in the fact that my sixth grade English teacher, Mrs. Clay, was my biggest inspiration as a child. It was my first year in a new school, and she took me under her wing. I think she saw a terrified child with a lot of potential. With her encouragement and guidance, I entered my first writing contest. It turned out to be a lot of fun. I had to write a short story, illustrate it, and create a cover to make it like a real book. I didn’t win, but it was so much fun. It was also comforting to get recognized for something I had created. It’s amazing that after all this time I still remember it. That story, and that teacher, meant so much to me.

My grandfather was another major inspiration in my life. He was a musician. He sang and yodeled, played the guitar and harmonica, worked in the music industry, and was a fantastic songwriter. He was also a ghostwriter for some of the major country performers in Nashville back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He taught me how to play the guitar and how to use my story ideas to create songs. He was so much fun. Even as sad as a lot of my stories were as a child, he would help me put such a twist on them that the good guy always won in the end.

There were times in my life I almost gave up writing completely. As a teenager, I lived with an extremely abusive father. Kids were never his idea of an accomplishment. But since I was the product of the pill not working and my mother ran away when I was eight, he was stuck with me. He would make sure I knew weekly how much of a loser I was, how I was never wanted, how he wished I would go away, how worthless I was, etc. There was the physical abuse, too. If I wrote anything, he would tear it up in my face and tell me how horrible it was and that I would never amount to anything. I would hide my writing, not wanting to give him more ammo for his rages. I still had to write. It was cathartic; having to pour out emotions that I couldn’t do otherwise. I couldn’t show anyone. I never thought they were good enough or that people would laugh at me. After a particularly terrifying incident, I left home at fifteen and never went back. I don’t have any of those stories. The day after I left, my father burned anything I had left behind, trying to blot out my memory.

After graduating high school at sixteen, I didn’t write a lot. What I did write was more along the lines of a thought or two here and there. I was too scared and too beaten down to try anything creative. I had to survive. But in time, I began to write again. At first, it was smaller projects. Poetry came first. I could pour out a lot of emotion in poetry. There was so much hurt and grief. It was a cleansing, of sorts. This cleansing took about ten years, but at least I was able to become strong enough to know I wanted to write. I did just that. I had some of my poetry published in anthologies.

I always loved reading. I would devour books. Going to the library was a weekly adventure to see what new book or what new author I would discover next. I was always drawn to science fiction and fantasy. It was my escape, my dream world. My first short story publication was in 1995 called “Dream Trap.” It was my first published step into science fiction as a writer.

2012-10-04 10.09.35My love for science fiction and fantasy has not wavered. My first book, Strength of Spirit, is an urban fantasy. It came out in 2012 with MuseItUp Publishing. In 2014, it won the 2014 Gold Global eBook Award for Paranormal Mystery. I was so thrilled. Not only is this book my first professional publication, it won an award.

I have come a long way. There is still so much to learn and so much to do in life. There is an adventure around the corner. Even though I look back and still see that scared, beaten child, I know I am so much more than that. My writing is a testament that I overcame great distress and agony to write and to be published. I still polish my craft and still want to learn from others. It empowers me and sparks my creativity. I don’t believe a writer can ever know “enough” or even know what enough is. Writing is an ever-growing process, one that flows and should not become stagnate.



About the Author:Author
Award-winning author Amanda Faith may have been raised in Dayton, but her heart and home is in the South. With a lifelong love of teaching and writing, she had plenty of encouragement from teachers and friends along the way.

Teaching English and doing paranormal investigations doesn’t slow her down from having a great time with a plethora of hobbies. Her published credits include short stories, poetry, several journal articles, her doctoral dissertation, and her award-winning book Strength of Spirit. She is a staff writer for The Daily Dragon at Dragon Con and an intern for Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta at WordFire Press. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Masters in Education-English, and a Doctorate in Education-Teacher Leadership. Check out her website at


Turning Experiences into Method Acting

A Guest Post from Emily Godhand

Back in February of this year I was able to attend to Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta’s “SuperStars Writing Seminar” on a scholarship from Wattpad. This was a seminar to “teach you the business of being a writer” and boasted many instructors well known in the industry. I was given the opportunity to learn from individuals such as Jody Lynn Nye, Todd McCaffrey, James A. Owen, and Kevin and Rebecca themselves. And those are just the people I had the great fortune of meeting!

When I first learned I was picked for the scholarship, I was beyond excited to the point of being in actual disbelief. I felt like I had been eating a chocolate bar named Wattpad and was enjoying something pleasant and made me happy, and then suddenly I was holding a shiny golden ticket in my hand. But as happy as I was, I was so nervous I thought maybe it was a set up to a middle school joke come back to haunt me. You know the kind where someone said something positive and then laughed at you for actually believing it? That can’t just have been me, right?

Sometimes I can turn pretense into an art form and act full of grace and charm, when internally I’m screaming and shivering like a naked chihuahua about to piss itself. Factor in that crowds and hotels greatly trigger my PTSD, and I was ready to curl up in the corner, hug my knees, and rock back and forth until the world made sense again.

Within this internal cesspool of doubt and insecurity, and amidst schoolyard worries of “Will the other kids like me?” and “What if I’m not prepared enough? or worse, “What if they don’t like my story?!”, I did have those sickly feelings of hope and anticipation that this was going to be something wonderful at best, and at worst, great fodder for your writing.


Because new experiences can be a writer’s bread and butter.

And yet, writers have a certain reputation for being reclusive and introverted, withdrawn into a world of our own making where reality is just a thing for those without imagination. It’s true, writing is hard work that takes focus and some of us need our solitude to do that. The long nights fueled by IV drip caffeine. The sweat forming at your brow from the intensity of your thinking.  Putting ass-in-chair for hours to finish that latest chapter. The incredible amount of work we put into our writing to the point that we should probably eat something. Preferably every day. And maybe even two or three times if we can afford to be away from your keyboard that long. I’m sure for some of us (…me) our core muscles are neglected to the point we’ve melted into hunched monstrosities with T-rex arms, and we haven’t seen the blessed light of day such that we shriek and cower when some well-intentioned soul opens the curtain. ((…just me?))

When I sat down to write, and I would have trouble describing something, or conveying an emotion, I was always given the advice “write what you know”. Then felt frustrated because I didn’t think I knew anything except maybe what it’s like to hide within the tiny walls of my office with just the rats and ennui for company. …And maybe also some random, dated pop-culture references. If I needed to write about characters that were self-absorbed recluses with awkward social skills and crippling self-doubt I had that down. Because that’s all I’d ever know unless I faced my anxiety as much as was healthy and explored the world around me.  By not seeking out new experiences, especially challenging ones, I was limiting what I knew, and therefore limiting what I could write about.

I figured, I spend countless hours pretending to be individuals who face their fears and the unknown, so surely, truly, I could learn a little from method acting and borrow some of the character’s strength to be able to go to this seminar. And if I couldn’t and ended up numb and dumb with fear and anxiety? I write thrillers and horror stories. I could certainly make use of those feelings in my work.

I was fooling myself if I ever thought I could glean the secrets of the universe to translate onto pages by doing the same routine every day. I’m a human being first, and human beings tend to crave variety and novelty. Writing is hard enough, but it’s hard to write believably about things you haven’t seen or experienced.

When I needed to describe 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver, I put on some pants, left the house, and went to downtown Denver. I needed to know more than what it looked like, and I had the opportunity to learn. The pictures I found online were stunning, but photographers are known for getting the best shots of a place. It’d be the difference between your wedding photos and waking up to your partner in the morning. There’s a different type of beauty in authenticity.

2006-07-14-Denver_Skyline_MidnightWhat, it doesn’t always look like this?

The staged photos in the best light may not convey the actual feeling of being there: the noises, the smells, the weather, the conversations, the dress, the atmosphere. When I did go downtown, I witnessed a dirgesinger get heckled by buskers who broke into Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”. I got to speak to the buskers about their experiences and see how many artists were on the street. I couldn’t have done any of that from my house, and while it may not have made a significant difference in the overall plot of my story, those tiny details weren’t unnoticed by my readers, and contributed to their immersion in the story.

In that particular chapter there were several twists and turns and horror elements, but the realistic description of downtown Denver was what really hooked my readers. They also had comments on something else they liked, sure, but nearly every single person commented on the description of downtown Denver.

* The way you discuss Denver, it really comes to life and makes elements like the “prophet” even creepier.

* I love the way you describe Denver. You completely capture that downtown urban feel. The characters you create are all rich and vivid.

* I’ve never been to Denver. 16th Street sounds amazing.

* Sounds like a really neat downtown area, very artistically stimulating.

* Gotta say I loved the downtown scene, with the preacher and the singers. It kind of eased off the tension for a moment and painted a vivid picture of things that make the city unique.


Still, it’s one thing to do something as simple as go downtown in my own city and simply report what I found there. It’s another to use my own experiences and feelings to empathize with my character and convey what they are feeling, especially if they are painful or negative.

When I had to do this with my main character’s recovery from her trauma and the first month of her PTSD, it was like finding that mental storage closet where you had shoved all your memories. And as your hand hovers over the knob, you’re not sure if some musty linens are going to fall on your head, or if they’re going to have every crawling, putrid thing topple down with them.

It was probably the hardest thing I ever had to write because it felt like tearing open an infected wound to clean it. Yet I would say it is also probably the truest expression of my own voice since for the most part I just told how I felt and my own experiences, and put those words in my character’s mouth.

This particular scene received the most praise out of all 60+ chapters (as of this writing).

* I can feel Annie’s sense of desperation to understand what happened, and her frustration at the world for wanting her to figure it out too fast.

*  I can really feel Annie’s confusion, distress, her anger and frustration. My favourite part by far was her speech to the psychiatrist. Although I really hated him, he was written well.

* The psychology of grief and trauma came across as very genuine. The feeling of loss over someone’s death rarely manifests itself directly, at least not until years after the event.

* I think anyone who reads this is going to be able to feel the pain Annie is going through right now, and the way you’ve described her trying to cope is heartbreaking. I think this is probably one of your best chapters as far as the use of language goes, and I feel bad for Annie’s mom too… Just trying to help but she has no idea how. 🙁

So, how did things go at the Superstars Writing Seminar? Next time you read a piece by me about a character finding acceptance and understanding with a group when she was afraid of rejection, you’ll know.

About the Author:Author
Emily Godhand is a paranormal thriller author who lives in a book fort in Denver, CO, with seven rats who revere her as their Queen.

As former psychiatric technician, she draws her inspirations from her work and the constant nightmares she’s had for 13 years. As such, her works tend to focus on an exploration of trauma, immortality, and human consciousness.

Read her latest work on Wattpad, where she is an Ambassador.