Blog Post Contributed by Tony Lee Moral

by Lindsay 8/20/2016 11:45:00 AM

My Young Adult novel, Ghost Maven, published in October, was written in Monterey Bay, California, where I was working for two years for National Geographic Television.


In the novel, 16 year-old Alice Parker moves to Pacific Grove, California, with her father and little sister after her mother dies. Whilst kayaking in the bay, she paddles towards a mysterious island in the bay, but capsizes and is drowning when a young man, Henry Raphael, magically appears, delivering her safely to the beach. Against all rules they see each other.


While working in Monterey, I was inspired by the natural beauty of the Bay area. The fog would inexplicably roll in, making it perpetually cloudy, whereas if you drove just five minutes inland, the sun would shine. The unpredictable weather was all part of the shrouded secrecy and charm of the region, with its rich folklore in the supernatural.


Writing the story became incredibly personal to me. I walked the coastal paths Alice travelled, I kayaked over the kelp forests of Monterey Bay, marvelled at the diaphanous moon jellies in the Monterey Aquarium, and inhaled the salty sea breeze during long sunset walks along Carmel’s sandy beach. The past is evoked everywhere on the peninsula, especially in the old canneries, cypress forests and hidden cabins which form the backdrop of the novel.


Living those two years in Monterey was an incredibly productive time for me; I wrote my book on the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie; I fashioned a screenplay which I later turned into my first novel Playing Mrs. Kingston, and I wrote the outline for Ghost Maven, which I then developed into a novel.

I often wondered why I felt so creative while living in Monterey. Indeed, I now envy the creative thought processes and insights I had at the time. Maybe it was the fresh sea breeze, the stretch of the Pacific, and the cool forests to hike in, all of which supplied a rush of oxygen to my head?


Recently I was researching another science television programme for the Discovery Channel about genius and creativity, which helped shed light on my supercharged bursts of activity. I was fortunate to be able to interview John Kounios of Drexel University, Philadelphia who wrote The Eureka Factor. He shared some very useful tips on creativity, which I can apply to my writing process, and help me become more insightful.


Outdoors colours like blue and green have been shown to enhance insight. Not surprisingly this is where the phrase ‘Blue sky’ thinking may have originated. Certainly the possibilities seem endless, when I stand at the end of Lover’s Point and look out at the vast Pacific stretching in front of me. Big open spaces can enhance creativity and broaden your visual attention, which is why Monterey and the Big Sur became a tonic and a mecca for many artists and writers, from John Steinbeck to Jack Kerouac.


It’s also well known that sleep can enhance creativity and insight. I try to have eight hours sleep every day, and adhere to a regular sleep pattern, waking up without the aid of an alarm clock. I’m not one of those writers who rises at the crack of dawn, nor burns the midnight oil (unless I have a deadline). Speaking of which, deadlines have been shown to supress insights, so if you want to be creative you’re unlikely to do it under pressure. Insights are more likely to arrive during one’s off peak hours. If you’re a night owl, you will likely to be more creative in the morning. If you are a morning person, your evenings should be more creative.


But what is less well known is that while small spaces may enhance analytical thought, they also supress creativity. So while some writers like to hole themselves up in a small room or study to get the work done, it may not be conducive for those creative or eureka moments. Better to take a strolling walk or a run, which the Japanese author Haruki Murakami favours in his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.


A positive mood facilitates insight, while anxiety suppresses it. Even a little alcohol can facilitate insight, as it did for those seasoned drinkers Ernest Hemmingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald. That’s worth remembering the next time you order a long drink and watch the sun set over the Pacific.


Tony Lee Moral will be signing copies of his Young Adult novel at Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler Street, Monterey, California on Saturday 3rd September at 2pm.  And check out his new website for the series at



Book Trailer Demo

by Lindsay 4/24/2014 3:38:00 PM

Watch a demo of book trailer made using Chromapose. This is done using only the chroma key piece of the app. Notice how easy!!! The video is dark, but that is because I filmed it at 10pm in a room with only an overhead light. I did this to show you that you can get a perfect result in almost any environment. Let me know if you have any questions!  Watch The Demo Now!


Make Your Own Book Trailers

by Lindsay 4/21/2014 3:28:00 PM

How many of you wish that you could film your own amazing book trailer from the comforts of your home? How about one of those fabulous "green screen" videos where you appear in front of your book covers or other images that help tell your story? Chromapose will make this happen, but we need your help! Please help support our Kickstarter campaign and in a few months you will be making book trailers from your home. Our supporters will have the opportunity to beta test our software at a drastically reduced price, plus other great rewards!!! Thank you in advance for your time and suppor! Check out our: Kickstarter Campaign


The Davenport Ten Minute Play Contest, cash prize $500

by Lindsay 4/30/2012 7:58:00 PM
Davenport Theatrical announces:

Broadway and Off-Broadway producer Ken Davenport (author of the popular blog, The Producer's Perspective) announces The Davenport Ten Minute Play Contest! 10 ten minute plays or musicals will be selected from submissions to be featured in a presentation evening and vie for the title of ‘Best Play’ as chosen by a panel of industry professionals. Finalists will receive a cash prize of $50 and the grand prize winner will receive $500.
Entry rules are as follows:

● $10 entry fee
● Authors may submit multiple plays, but each play submitted must be accompanied by the submission of an entry fee. Only one entry per playwright will be chosen as a finalist.
● Title page must include the playwright’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
● The play, exclusive of title and cast pages, should be around 10 pages in length.
● There may be no more than 5 characters
● Finalists are responsible for all aspects and costs of their presentation, including travel to New York City for the presentation (if not NY residents).
● Only original plays or musicals, never before produced, are eligible.

For complete rules and to register and submit your script please visit our website:

Submission deadline is May 18th and winners announced June 1st!

The Davenport Ten Minute Play Contest presentations will take place on Thursday June 28th at The Davenport Studios (250 West 49th Street, Suite 304) at 7:00pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance or at the door. More details to follow.

Ken Davenport: Broadway: Godspell, Chinglish, Oleanna, Speed-the-Plow, Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America (Tony Nomination), Blithe Spirit, 13. Off-Broadway: Altar Boyz (Outer Critics Circle Award), Awesome 80s Prom, My First Time, Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating, & Marriage. Seen on a national iPhone commercial and named one of Crain’s “40 Under Forty,” Ken is the writer of the popular Broadway blog, which has been featured in Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, and more. Ken also created and developed the Broadway board game Be A Broadway Star, the smartphone app AT THE BOOTH™ (Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List”), and websites,, and Ken recently released his first film, These Magnificent Miles. He speaks and consults about theater and marketing for organizations around the world. Upcoming: A Few Good Men, Somewhere in Time. For more, visit his blog or



STRONG JUSTICE: The Riveting New Book By Jon Land -- Available in Stores Now!

by Lindsay 6/23/2010 12:49:00 PM





Last year, bestselling author Jon Land introduced 5th generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong in Strong Enough to Die (now available in mass market paperback from Forge)—and filled a void in the male-dominated thriller genre.  The fact that Land created a genuine female action star who can hold her own in a world that is normally suffused with testosterone proves once again that he is a versatile writer who isn’t afraid to tackle new challenges in his writing.

Critics certainly agree.  Strong Enough to Die received high praise for its authenticity (both in his portrayal of a woman and his intriguing anecdotes about the famous Texas Rangers), its hot-button issue storyline, and its snappy, true-to-life dialogue.   In fact, Caitlin Strong and Strong Enough to Die received so much attention that they caught the eye of Hollywood, and Land is currently working on the screenplay for director Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress) and producer Michel Shane.

Still recovering from her escapade in which she took on the Mexican mafia and a corporation that threatened the security of the United States, Caitlin Strong now finds herself drawn into a new case—investigating a series of missing Mexican girls who are being brought across the border to be sold as sex slaves. 

Just another day in the life of a Texas Ranger?  Definitely not.  Caitlin is also trying to come to terms with her relationship with her sometime lover, Cort Wesley Masters, a former convict…and her former rival.  She’s drawn to him, but she’s having a hard time committing herself and her heart.  But one thing is for sure—she’s formed a strong bond with his two sons, Dylan, 15, and Luke, 9, whom she saved when their mother was gunned down before their very eyes.

So it’s no surprise that when Dylan is arrested on trumped-up drug charges, Caitlin rushes to his defense.  In reality, he’s come to the rescue of a young Mexican girl who has escaped from the latest caravan of kidnapped girls.  Her name is Maria, and she was abducted six months ago on her way home from school.  She fears for her life, and is especially terrified of a wrangler named Macerio, who the captive girls call Demonio.

And Maria has reason to be afraid.  In the past thirteen years, the bodies of over four hundred Mexican women, many of them unidentified, have been found along the Mexico and Texas border, beginning in the area between Juarez and El Paso. There has been virtually no progress on either side. Until now.  It seems Maria just may have evidence against the worst serial killer in history and a sex slavery ring that has ruined countless lives.

But little does Caitlin know, she’s heading straight toward a confrontation that surpasses anything she’s ever faced.  For Macerio is the brother of a former Mexican guerilla with plans to launch a series of attacks against major American cities.  And what he needs to do so lies deep beneath the ground in a small border town in Texas.  When Caitlin and Cort Wesley discover what it is, they must race to Juarez—the very same place where Caitlin’s grandfather, Earl Strong, faced his own showdown over 100 years before—to stop an all-out war from beginning.

Up-to-the-minute and absolutely riveting, STRONG JUSTICE once again marks Jon Land as one of today’s hottest thriller writers.



Final Contest Winners...

by Lindsay 11/15/2009 11:50:00 AM

The September '08 - September '09 poetry and short story contest has come to an end.


We are pleased to announce the final winners:


The first place winner in the September '09 poetry contest is, George McKim.  He won for his poem, Unfathomable.  The runner-up is Wanda Lea Brayton for her poem, Procession.


The first place winner in the September '09 short sotry contest is Mary Rainey for her story, Trick or Treat.  The runner-up is Shirley Scurlock for her story, The Littlest Knight.


Congratulations to all of the monthly winners.  We will be announcing the first place winner for the yearly poetry and short story contest January 2010.  Best of luck to all!

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Check Out Our New Facebook Application!

by Lindsay 11/12/2009 10:38:00 AM

Try our  Campfire Story App on Facebook!

It works just like the Campfire Stories here at  You can either kick off a story with your own opening or add to an ongoing story.   Either way, it's a great way to sharpen your writing skills and to get over that pesky writers block.  It is also a lot of fun and a great way to meet other writers.


Invite your Facebook friends to join in as well. The more the merrier! 


See you at Campfire Stories on Facebook!




We Changed the Comment System Again...

by Lindsay 11/5/2009 10:21:00 AM

A few weeks ago we decided to change the comment system.  We were having some trouble with some crazy spammers and made it that you had to be a friend to leave a comment.  Many of you voiced your opinion that you did not like this tweak (and we do listen to you) so we have changed the comment system again.


You will once again be able to leave comments on the writings of public profiles without being the persons friend.  We hope that everyone likes this system better.


We apologize for the switching back and forth!  Please feel free to let us know what you think.


Of Madmen and Silent Voices

by Lindsay 10/20/2009 6:54:00 PM

Christopher Higgins writes about the silent voices in our world; voices that have been ignored for years--made to feel as if they have nothing to offer and left wondering whether or not they are heard.  

WritingRoom’s newly Discovered Author, Christopher Higgins, debut collection of poems, OF MADMEN AND SILENT VOICES, shares stories from his life; from his humble beginnings as a child in Jamaica, his relationship with his father and the powers that have run this world for a long time-- Christopher does not hold back. Having moved to the U.S. at age fourteen, Christopher started writing in high school and had a number of his works published in magazines and college newspapers.  Christopher has been teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) for the last 15 years in New York City and now in his current state of residence, Georgia.

Christopher is very excited about the release of his first book. “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to write something that others would enjoy reading.  I want my poetry to be so powerful that it awakes the spirit of some of the great writers I have long admired.”  Higgins has done just as he desired with this moving and memorable book of poetry.

“WritingRoom has been a blessing to me.  It has given me the opportunity to showcase my work and expose me to other talented authors who provided me with the inspiration to always do my best.  WritingRoom has been a wonderful experience.  I also want to extend my appreciation to Nathan Brown of, who made sure I always understood what was going on in the publishing process.”  

OF MADMEN AND SILENT VOICES is published by OF MADMEN AND SILENT VOICES will be available in the bookstore and online at Amazon and BN October 2009.


If you are interested in becoming our next Discovered Author, please email us at


Spam caused a change...

by Lindsay 10/3/2009 6:13:00 PM

It has recently been reported to us that there has been an issue with spam on the site.  It is unfortunate that along with a messaging system comes spam.   We are working diligently to resolve these types of issues. We have recently made it so that you now have to be a friend to comment or send a message.  This should eliminate a great deal of the spam.  


Please continue to let us know about any spam or fraudulent activities on the site.  Remember, never give anyone your personal information.


Thank you everyone who took the time to make me aware of the situation-- it is greatly appreciated!

Happy writing!


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