Christina Weaver

vanishingFB_IMG_1457222870744Christina Weaver wrote stories for her family. After a news article captured her interest, she wrote her first full length work, but upon reviewing it, she wasn’t satisfied. Accepting that she needed to perfect her style, Christina joined an online writing group. There she took classes and honed her craft. Over the next few years she completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge three times. After five of her short stories were published and she won a few writing contests, she encountered something that prompted her to once again try her hand at writing a novel. After years of training and practice she felt confident enough to approach a publisher. The result is the book that inspired her.

At this time Christina is working several novels and short stories as she continues her work as a published author.

 

Kellie Doherty releases “Finding Hecate”

FINDING HEKATE COVER WEB VIEW 72dpiPortland 9 Bridges member Kellie Doherty’s debut science fiction novel, Finding Hekate, was published by Desert Palm Press on April 8, 2016.

 

About “Finding Hecate”

Mia Foley is running away from the attack that changed her life. She’s captain of a new spaceship when the Acedians find her and try blasting her peaceful crew from the black. She must sever her bonds in order to run, again. But she’s grown fond of this crew, particularly Cassidy Gates. Staying with them will jeopardize their safety, and they have much closer fears than the Acedian hunters. Mia’s time is running out. She’s becoming one of them.

 

About Kellie

Kellie Doherty is a PSU graduate student studying book publishing, aiming to complete her masters this spring. She also has a freelance editing company called Edit Revise Perfect and takes jobs whenever they come her way. When not doing homework, work-work, and trying not to stress out about all the graduation prep, Kellie likes to write and go for walks. Find more information on her website: http://kelliedoherty.com/.

9 Questions with… Kellie Doherty

FINDING HEKATE COVER WEB VIEW 72dpiKellie Doherty is a PSU graduate student studying book publishing, aiming to complete her masters this spring. She also has a freelance editing company called Edit Revise Perfect and takes jobs whenever they come her way. When not doing homework, work-work, and trying not to stress out about all the graduation prep, Kellie likes to write and go for walks. Her debut science fiction novel Finding Hekate was published by Desert Palm Press on April 8, 2016. Find more information on her website: http://kelliedoherty.com/.

 

9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?

Kellie Doherty: It really depends on which character I’m writing at the moment. If I’m working on a particularly mischievous villain I feel like it could be demons lashing out to get it out of my system. I can go to a pretty dark place to get the characters right. But with the other characters, it tends to be easier, lighter, eased out by muses even. I used to joke around about how all my muse needed was a good sprig of rosemary to get her going. (It usually doesn’t take much to make me write.)

9B: If you were alone on a desert isle with no tinder for a fire handy what book would you most want to have with you and why would you chose that book to burn?

KD: I would burn Fifty Shades of Grey. Sorry, James, I respect the time and effort it took to transform the once-Twilight fanfiction into a book, but I honestly can’t stand it. The representation of the BDSM community alone is cringe worthy. Plus, with all the sex scenes, don’t you think Fifty Shades would burn just a bit hotter than anything else?

9B:What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?

KD: The best advice I’ve both received and given is this: Keep writing. Even if it’s crappy. Even if you don’t like it. Even if you think you’ll never use it in a million years, write it out. Who knows, there might be some gold in all that muck.

9B: What tools do you use when you write?

KD: Can my cats be tools? Seriously, my cats sit on me whenever I write so they might as well be instrumental. I generally write in Word on my computer. I also have a separate doc open for consistency checks (with character traits, world building stuff, odd names, etc.). I keep a pen and notebook handy wherever I go in case the inspiration strikes—because really, do we ever honestly stop writing?—and I keep some paper by my bedside, too. (Just last night I had a dream about a father/daughter/old lady team in a post apocalyptic world that I might turn into a short story!) I have The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi close by in case I get stuck on how to portray certain emotions via actions. (It’s an awesome resource. I highly recommend it.) I also listen to Disney or classical music, depending on what I’m actually writing. I also like to have water or tea nearby.

9B: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

KD: Character creation! I love creating characters. It was my favorite part when I was a kid, and it’s still my favorite now. Generating a whole backstory for them, weaving them into a current plotline, inventing a special tick or trait (like the scar from Finding Hekate) that defines them in some way is the best part for me.

9B: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution?

KD: My solution to writers block is threefold: 1) have a cup of black tea with milk and honey, 2) take a walk, and 3) write at least 500 words per day until that block breaks.

9B: Most writers I have talked to have at least one story about a loony teacher they knew who somehow inspired them. What is yours?

KD: Hmm, I’d have to tell a story about Prof. Clay Nunnally. He taught a bunch of my college-level classes at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He wasn’t loony by any means, but he would recite poetry from memory, my favorite being My Last Duchess by Browning. He would do voices and act it out even. The class would fall silent listening to him. His recitations made me appreciate the power and charm of words and inspired me to write better because of it.

9B: How has 9 Bridges supported you in your writing journey?

KD: Out of all the wonderful opportunities the 9 Bridges offers, I’d say their write-ins have supported me the most. Writing is usually seen as a solitary act—and for me it is, more often than not—but their format of writing for a certain amount of time and then chatting about it is quite helpful. It gets me out of that solitary moment for a little while.

9B: Rock, Paper or Scissors?

KD: Paper, definitely.

Happy Birthday, 9 Bridges!

March 30 marks the first anniversary of our 9 Bridges writing community. I would just like to thank every single member of 9 Bridges, as it is all of you who have made it all possible.

One year ago Vargus Pike, Mark Harrington and I made the bittersweet decision to leave CHWG and branch out on our own as 9 Bridges. It was a difficult choice, as it meant broken friendships, long hours and a lot of hard work for us. At the same time, we felt a responsibility to the writing communities we had started in Portland, Missoula and Phoenix. There was a fair amount of uncertainty in the beginning and one or two days when we asked ourselves, “What were we thinking?” The reality was that it would have been far easier for us to step away, let the chapters die, and go back to the far less stressful pastime of solitary writing.

However, the overwhelming support we received – not only from our chapters, but also from the writing community as a whole – put our fears to rest and we knew we had made the right decision. In the past year we’ve doubled our size, attracting the attention and support of writing organizations in Portland and other areas. All of our wonderful chapter leaders and event hosts have stayed with us and we’ve even started a successful fourth chapter in Pasadena.

We have a great deal to celebrate on our first anniversary. We have some real achievements under our belt as well as exciting things coming up in the not-too-distant future. We have a brand new Board of Directors, whose members add a wealth of knowledge and diverse experiences, ranging from HR to fundraising. But while these are exciting, they pale beside the real success: helping authors. Many of our authors credit 9 Bridges as contributing in some small way to their own success.

I’ll admit, last year I didn’t get to do as much creative writing as I wanted, and running this organization was one of the big reasons. However, every time someone reaches out and tells me how much this group has helped them, it makes every minute I’ve spent on 9 Bridges worth it. I’ll gladly trade a couple of hours of my own writing time to provide a homeless author with a supportive community at a critique group, encourage a writer with social anxiety to read out loud, connect a children’s author to a children’s book publisher or any of the many other contributions I’ve been able to make to support 9 Bridges Writers this year. I’m excited to see how many more authors we can reach this year through building bridges.

Keep Writing!

Elizabyth Harrington,
Executive Director, 9 Bridges

The Solitary Writer

by Vargus Pike

Occasionally when I hear someone say that writing is a lonely business, this picture forms in my head of a writer in some distant white field with a flock of words. Shepherding them into patterns while they keep the wolves of self-doubt at bay. Or I imagine the writer stranded in a desert isle with plenty of food and water but without pen or paper as they struggle to commit to memory the story they must tell to native publishers to appease them and survive. A lonely business indeed.

But is it lonely for everyone?

True when I write I spend much of my time sitting by myself in a room, but am I lonely? A continual barrage of characters seems to constantly leak from my psyche like so many ants. They crawl around my head searching for release until they find their way to my fingers and emerge onto the pages. There is the old fishmonger – his third leg his cane. Each step he takes in his shop a labor, a struggle to survive as he puts his fish out in the morning and then throws them away in the evening unsold because no one ever comes into the store. The mother bereft; her children stolen by a reclusive neighbor who plans to sell them to a rich childless woman in a compound in Idaho, until his truck breaks down near a wildlife refuge in Oregon and things go horribly awry. Wrong place, wrong time. The couple in love who travel down the coast collecting memories in a bag on their honeymoon, then on their fiftieth wedding anniversary in the Kansas nursing home, they live they open the bag and are magically transported into their past. Their attendants find them dead in their room the next morning with water in their lungs, sun burnt, hand in hand – their slippers filled with sand. Writing may be solitary but for me lonely never.

The scary thing is I have absolutely no Idea where the ideas come from. Lacking a better explanation the Greeks placed the blame firmly in the hands of the 9 Muses, Daughters of Zeus. Lacking a better explanation I tend to agree with them and why not? Stranger things happen in the minds of writers and leak out onto the page every day. So the next time you feel lonely while writing a horror story alone in a dimly lit rented cabin in the middle of nowhere and you hear a floorboard creek behind you relax. Chances are it is one of the Muses looking over your shoulder helping you flesh out the story.

There Are No Rules for Writing

by Heather Curry Self

I enjoy reading how other authors write–and what they enjoy about their writing process. What works for them. But that’s the key thing: What they enjoy writing about their writing process. How they get the story down is how they get the story down.

James Patterson says outlining your story before you do anything is key; Stephen King says outlining doesn’t work for him because he doesn’t exactly know where the story is going to go, so don’t bother. James Ellroy writes everything down by hand with a pen on yellow, legal-sized notepads first and then copies them into a computer. Woody Allen writes all of his scripts on an old, manual typewriter and then has an assistant transcribe them into a computer.

With both novels I’ve written (Coming Home and Backbeat), I didn’t use an outline as I fall into the camp King’s way of thinking. But I have another story that’s so complex I’m going to have to outline—at least loosely—key points I need to connect. I did a lot of notepad writing with Backbeat, but never did with Coming Home.

Once, during a conversation with a woman it came up that she was an “established” author—whatever that meant; when I asked her if she was published as I’d love to read something she evaded the question. I then mentioned I’d published one book and was now woking on another.

She asked me what my process was. Did I outline? Did I set a specific time? No, I replied, I didn’t outline. I generally set a specific time on weekdays as I worked full-time, but sometimes on weekends the time varied. Some days I didn’t write at all as I needed a break.

What followed was her telling me what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. She outlined how she wrote and then went on to say I should use her writing process because it worked for her, and I shouldn’t follow mine because it didn’t work for her. She then went on to say she knew better than I did about how to write—why I should follow her process.

Yes—she actually said that she knew better than I did about how to write and continued to push me to agree to follow her method. When I thanked her and said I’d certainly keep her suggestions in mind, but, for right now my process was working splendidly, she got quite upset.

Your writing process is your writing process. Which means there is no “wrong” one to follow. (I’d be willing to bet that the authors I mentioned above would agree.)

If you’re just stepping into the realm of authorship and aren’t sure where or how to begin, maybe try the process of an author you admire. Then discard what doesn’t feel right to you and try something else. If you find you work best with an organ grinder and a monkey dancing next to you—great. I’d find it distracting, but I’m not you.

Writing can be grueling and frustrating at times. Sometimes it feels like you’re trying to push an adult giraffe through a door made for a small dog—but there should still be an overall feeling of enjoyment. And that starts with your personal writing process and rituals—not mine, not King’s, not Patterson’s or Ellroy’s, not Allen’s—unless of course you find that their process (or a combination of them) works for you.

That’s perhaps the only “rule” I might suggest you follow.

9 Bridges to Host NW Book Festival

PORTLAND, OREGON – August 29, 2015 – Today 9 Bridges assumed ownership of the NW Book Festival from the Northwest Writers and Publishers Association (NWPA). The event, which happens annually in Pioneer Square in downtown Portland, Ore, attracts independent authors and publishers from all over the country. Held on the last Saturday in July, it has become a summer tradition in Portland for the last seven years.

NWPA President Veronica Esagui has entrusted 9 Bridges to carry on her tradition with the Northwest Book Festival. “There was no question in my mind when I decided to find a group to carry on the tradition,” she said. “The organizers of 9 Bridges have impressed me with their passion and dedication to the writing community from the first time I met them. Their heart is really in the right place when it comes to supporting authors. I am very pleased that 9 Bridges will continue the tradition of providing self-published authors a platform to share their work through the NW Book Festival.”

9 Bridges Chairman of the Board, Vargus Pike, agreed. “We are here to help writers. The NW Book Festival is one of the few affordable venues for self-published authors to promote themselves. It’s a perfect alignment of our two visions.”

Information about signing up for the festival will be available in the following weeks on 9bridges.org. Space is extremely limited and will be reserved on a first come – first served basis. For more information, please contact 9 Bridges at NWBookFest@9bridges.org or visit our site atthe Northwest Book Festival.

 

About 9 Bridges Writers Guild: 9bridges.org is dedicated to supporting writers in all stages of their journey to pursue their craft. In addition to providing peer review and support in the form of critique groups, 9 Bridges gives writers access to a wide community through workshops, write-ins, events, online forums and the promotion of events that are interesting and benefit our members.

Contact:
Elizabyth Harrington
9 Bridges Writers Guild
Elizabyth.harrington@9bridges.org

9 Questions with… Roma Gray

Roma Gray lives in Oregon with her three furry friends, Nicky, Cricket, and Roanoke.
She has an MBA in Technology Management and a Masters in Project Management.
Her book, Gray Shadows Under a Harvest Moon, an anthology of six trick-or-treat thrillers, is available at Amazon and most other book sellers for the introductory sale price of $1.99. She is currently working on her first novel, The Hunted Tribe, which is due out this September.

For information on Roma Gray and her upcoming projects, please visit Trick-or-Treat Thrillers.com at http://trickortreatthrillers.com/. On this site you will also see jokes and interviews with other writers, so please check it out.

9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?
Roma Gray: By a muse. I write what makes me happy. Demons sneak into my work on occasion, but the muse always wins with me. Writing has to be fun or I couldn’t spend so much time on it.

9B: If you were alone on a desert isle with plenty of tinder for a fire handy what book would you want most to have with you and why?
RG: Relic. I LOVE that book! It has the perfect writing style (for the subject matter), the perfect pacing, the perfect subject matter. When I read that book I literally felt like I had been looking for that book my whole life. I read that book on average six times a year.

9B: True or not it is often said that there is nothing truly original. With that in mind who did you borrow from when developing your style?
RG:  Relic. See earlier answer.

9B: What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?
RG:To be successful, you only need to capture the interest of 1% of the reading market in the U.S. It occurred to me that meant 99% could hate my book and all would still be well with the universe. Since none of my friends or family would even read my stuff because they hated sci-fi and horror, it suddenly made everything feel ok.

9B: What tools do you use when you write?
RG: Writer’s log, excel word count sheet and Microsoft word. The first one acts as therapy and the second one keeps me on track. The last one, well, it is what it is.
9B: What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
RG: Editing. Very long and scary process. I’m getting better at it, though.

9B: What is your favorite part of the writing process
RG: Zero draft! This is when I just sit down and write and don’t correct stuff or look back. Fun, fun, fun! Even I don’t know where the story will go at that point.

9B: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution?
RG: I haven’t had writers block for years. Probably at least a decade. Seriously. That’s kind of weird, now that I think about it. So what is it exactly that I do? Hmmm. Well, just recently I had to come up with a dinosaur story. I just mentally threw out there the most obvious (and unintentionally stupid) example I could come up with. Then I thought, “What do I like and not like about this?” In the end I came up with five different ideas and the last one finally worked for me.

9B: Rock, Paper or Scissors?
RG: Paper (without paper, there never would have been books. Seriously, there’s really only one right answer here)