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Daily Archives: March 10, 2012

Author Spotlight no.66 – Sylvia Ramsay

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the sixty-sixth, is of writer Sylvia L Ramsay.

Sylvia L. Ramsey lives in Georgia, USA but grew up in a very rural area in Southeast Missouri.  When writing or blogging, she works full-time at a two-year liberal arts college.  A communications professor and the coordinator for the Academic Resource Center / Library, as well as the advisor for our campuses newspaper, the GMC Journal, she is the Vice President of the American Bladder Cancer Society, and a seventeen-year survivor myself.

A mother of two before marrying her husband Tom, she has now gained five more.  Therefore, she is a mother of seven, grandmother of twenty-seven, and a great-grandmother of six.

Hobbies include painting and sculpting and she has some examples of her work on her current book’s webpage http://love-faith-and-guts.blogspot.com. Her poetry has been published in over one hundred literary magazines, and short stories in several more as well as in academic journals.

She is currently working on marketing her new book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts and interacts with her peers on LinkedIn in various author and publishing groups, Facebook and Twitter.

And now from the author herself:

Writing has always been a passion of mine. I began writing news and feature articles for a small town newspaper in Southeast Missouri at the age of nine. Because of the nurturing and encouragement by the news editor, I developed a love and a need to write.

By the time I was working on my graduate degree, several of my poems, short stories and feature articles had been published. Since that time, over one hundred of my short stories and poems have found their way into literary magazines. I have been a featured poet in several literary journals over the years.

It was only natural that my love of writing took on another purpose after I had been diagnosed with Stage T3 bladder cancer. I suddenly realized that there was a big void in information, awareness and support. Somehow, I had to do my share to change this situation because it is ranked as the 5th most prevalent, ranked 4th in men, and as prevalent in women as cervical cancer, but deadlier.

Thank you, Sylvia. You can find more about Sylvia and her writing via…her websites: www.sylvialramsey.com, www.sylviaramseyauthor.com and http://love-faith-and-guts.blogspot.comThoughtful Reflections BlogFacebook PageAuthors’ Den PageAmazon.com Author’s Page and Barnes and Noble.com. This spotlight is also mentioned on Sylvia’s book blog. 🙂

    

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with article writer and philosophical travel adventure novelist Anthony Karakai – the three hundred and fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can read / download my eBooks from Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo.  My eBooks are now on Amazon, with more to follow, and I also have a quirky second-person viewpoint story in charity anthology Telling Tales.

I have a new forum and you can follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for my Post-weekend Poetry page.

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Short Story Saturday Review 005: ‘Mercy’ by Sean Durity

Welcome to the new Short Story Saturday review slot and the fifth review in this new series. This week’s review is of 1,076-worder ‘Mercy?’ by Sean Durity.

As a story should, this starts with a short, sharp hook that grabs your attention, before filling you in on the backstory. In just the first few words we have timing (current), dilemma (wife murdered), tense (past) and viewpoint (third person).

I’m a fan of dialogue and there isn’t much here but it’s not that kind of story. It features our protagonist, Todd, on a mission to confront his wife’s killer, with other characters mentioned within that rather than being present themselves. What dialogue we have is charming and certainly makes you warm to the characters, my favourite being Jessica’s grandmother (an “ahh” moment for me) and it’s evident that Sean is strong on characterisation.

I’m a big fan of inanimate objects having a ‘life’ so emotions refusing to be ordered made me smile. There were numerous gems dotted around this story, signified by red pen ticks on my page, including some great (and not clichéd) metaphors and similes. I’m not sure if this was intentional but I liked the comparison with the printer having life / falling silent to what had happened to his wife. And another of my favourite lines was ‘Todd could calculate the volume of air in the building, but not the pain’.

Moving on to the old ‘show don’t tell’, we have lots of great show but there was one ‘tell’ that leapt out at me near the end. Having just been ‘shown’ who the killer was, we’re then ‘told’ who it is and these five words, for me, detracted the quality of the writing leading up to this point, but it’s easily done.

Most importantly, I did guess half-way who the killer was, mainly because he or she (no plot spoilers) was just listed as ‘the killer’ until the very end. It would be hard to write it any other way but I do think this is something that Sean needs to look at, as the story is pivotal to the reader not knowing until the reveal. Good luck with that, Sean! 🙂

With a few tweaks this could certainly be entered into a competition (although having it on the internet does count as being published) and if this piece is indicative of Sean’s writing then I look forward to seeing more.

Thank you, Sean, for letting me read your story… and pull it apart. I hope I wasn’t too brutal.

Sean writes to inspire, encourage, and challenge. His educational background includes a B.S. in Decision Science from Berry College and a Masters of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Vocationally, Sean has worked in restaurants, ministry, and IT. He writes about topics ranging from his daughter’s mitochondrial disease to Bible to the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. His article “Dying Woman Receives a Picture from her Dead Husband” was selected as Content of the Year in 2011. Currently, he is experimenting with short fiction. He can be found on Yahoo.com and followed on Twitter, and ‘Mercy?’ can be read in full here.

If you’d like to submit your story (50 to 2,500 words) or short collection of stories for review take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with article writer and philosophical travel adventure novelist Anthony Karakai – the three hundred and fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at Smashwords, Sony Reader Store, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Bookstore and Kobo. And I have a new forum at http://morgenbailey.freeforums.org.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in short stories, writing

 

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