Caylee Anthony

Caylee Anthony

Friday, December 22, 2017

Be A Better Writer Writing Prompt

Her heart raced as she approached her front door. Trembling, she looked out the peephole and saw the face of the man who had been stalking her. He had haunted her relentlessly for the past few months. Weren't stalkers supposed to keep themselves hidden? Not him, the man loved making her know he was always there. The police had said they couldn't do anything unless he tried to physically hurt her. That was ridiculous. Weren't those letters enough? What about the little presents he kept leaving on her doorstep? Every package contained something even weirder than the last. Would her nightmare ever end?

Monday, December 18, 2017

Writing Goals for 2018

Hi ya'll! Today I want to talk about my writing goals for the new year. I suppose every writer needs goals to help them stay focused, I know I certainly do. Writing goals are great for helping us accomplish the things we never thought possible. What are some of the ways you keep track of your writing goals? Do you make a list and check off what's completed? Maybe you keep a bullet journal for your writing goals. However you do it, don't let them stress you out. Honestly, what doesn't get accomplished can always come first on your list in the following year.

So, what are my writing goals for 2018, you ask? Unfortunately there aren't too many. Then again, maybe I will be able to accomplish them all!!! * winks at all the people reading this* So here goes nothing:

In 2018 I plan to:

Have my first novel published
Get my author website done
Submit to more anthologies and poetry magazines
Find a physical writing group to join

And there you have it. Those are my goals for the new year. Until next time... LATER DAYS and HAPPY WRITING!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Busy Week of A Writer

Hi ya'll!! I know, I know, I have been falling behind on blog posts once again. Life and several writing projects have gotten in the way. Now I am trying to squeeze in a new post real quick before writing some more of a short story I'm working on.
What has made my week so busy you ask???? First of all I am waiting to hear back from the betas about The Hunt For Amanda and making changes that need to be made to it. Then comes the reread by the betas and edits.
Keeping Mykinze Safe made it to the 50K mark during NaNoWriMo, but it's still an ongoing WIP. I have done so much research for this novel and am still doing my research.
I also wrote my very first children's book and had some betas read it. So that is another WIP added to my already overflowing plate. Not too mention submitting my poetry to different places.
I am also working on two short stories that I'm planning to submit to anthologies. Besides all that writing I have been reading several books to write reviews for and my book for this month's book discussion group. I am hoping to catch a break soon and post the rest of the stuff I learned at the writing workshop in October. But for now... time to write!!

Later Days and Happy Writing!!!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Author Interview: Mayra Calvani

Hi ya'll! Today on the blog we will be featuring my interview with author Mayra Calvani. Enjoy and check out Mama Graciela's Secret.

Mamá Graciela’s Secret
Publication date: October 10, 2017
Written by Mayra Calvani
Illustrated by Sheila Fein
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing
36 pages, 3-7 year olds
Reading guide at:

Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town...
Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.


About the author:
Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her children's picture book, Frederico the Mouse Violinist was a finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards; her anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses was a First Place winner at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; her nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a Foreword Best Book of the Year winner. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 30+ years, two wonderful kids, and her three beloved pets. When she's not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

About the illustrator:
Born in Queens, New York and living in Los Angeles since 1987, Sheila Fein has always been inspired by the changing world around her. Earning her BA in Design from Buffalo State College of New York, her concentration was on drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Sheila's education as an artist has taken her everywhere from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia to Bath University in England. Today, Sheila Fein runs two figurative workshops, Imaginings Sketch in LA and People Sketchers in Thousand Oaks. She has been featured in numerous collections, magazines, books, solo and group exhibitions. Her paintings and drawings reside in public and private collections. Sheila loves to make the imagination of others a reality and has done so through her commissioned Fein Fantasy Portraits and Interactive Paintings. In addition to being a fine artist Sheila works as an illustrator. She just completed the book "Mama Graciela's Secret" for Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing.

Book info:
ISBN:HC 978-1-365-86153-6
SC 978-1-365-86155-0
ISBN Dyslexic Font Version:
DY HC 978-1-365-86154-3 DY SC 978-1-365-86156-7
**This book also has version printed in the Dyslexic font, the typeface for people with dyslexia. Go to to find out more about the typeface.
Suggested Retail Price - 17.99 Hardcover & 13.99 Softcover 40 % Discounted Price – 10.80 Hardcover & 8.40 Softcover
Available through - Ingram - Discount 40% Returnable – Yes
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing – Discount 40% - Returnable – Yes
Publishing company Contact Info: MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 1024 Iron Point Rd 100-1478 Folsom CA 95630
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 620 Buchanan Way, Folsom, CA 95630 916-897-1670

And now for my interview with the amazing Mayra Calvani:

Cassandra's Writing World: What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Mayra Calvani: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt comes to mind. It did win a Pulitzer Prize and received a lot of hype, probably because Tartt comes up with a book every ten years, but a study revealed that the majority of people who bought the book never actually finished reading it.
CWW: What’s the best way to market your books?
MC: Start with the right mindset, one of success. Setup a mailing list early on, even before your book is published. Likewise, start recruiting reviewers and form a street team at an early stage. This can be time consuming, but there are companies who can do it for you. Don’t be all over social media. Choose one platform and commit to it. Be genuine in your posts. Your best marketing tool is actually your next book, especially if you self-publish.
CWW: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
MC: Naturally, this depends on the book. For my YA Egyptian mythological fantasy series, which I write under a pen name, I did and I’m still doing tons of research online and at the library. I even took a 50-lecture course online about ancient Egypt.
CWW: How many hours a day do you write?
MC: At the moment I’m writing one and a half hours a day, Monday through Friday, but I’m working towards increasing this to at least three hours.
CWW: How do you select the names of your characters?
MC: Sometimes they just come to me. Other times I search online for names that will fit with the character’s ethnic background.
CWW: What is your favorite childhood book?
MC: I don’t have only one favorite, but I remember that I loved fairytales of all kinds, as well as Disney stories.
CWW: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
MC: Depends on its length. A first draft for a picture book might take me only one day, but of course editing and polishing may take weeks or even months. For a long young adult novel of 90,000 words it has taken me up to two years to complete it. A 25,000-word novella may take me a couple of weeks to write and several more weeks or months to revise. One of my primary goals at the moment is to increase my writing stamina so I may complete projects at a much faster rate.
CWW: What books have most influenced your life?
MC: In terms of my writing, the authors who first influenced me the most were Agatha Christie, Stephen King and Anne Rice. I read them at a young, impressionable age and they sparked in me a love for mystery and the supernatural. In the last couple of years, I’ve become a great fan of Donna Tartt and Joyce Carol Oates. I see Oates as a mentor and role model, and Tartt is such a master writer at the level of sentence and characterization that I always learn from her. A pity that she publishes a book every ten years!
CWW: How do you develop your plots and characters?
MC: It’s slightly different for each book, but usually I’ll have an idea that simmers in my mind for months, sometimes years. When this idea feels ready to be born into a book I start brainstorming, then creating a very lose, very flexible outline. I’m what they call a plotser, a combination of a plotter and a panster. I usually have a good idea of the beginning and the end, but not exactly what happens in between except for some pivotal moments in the story. Once I have this outline, I may still do a chapter by chapter description of what happens or I may start writing right away. It depends. During the actual writing I may discover things that steer me away from my initial outline. For the most part, this is perfectly ok and organic. For my main characters I sometimes do character sheets, though I have to admit I don’t enjoy doing these so much. I prefer to open a file in Word and simply have the character talk to me in a stream-of-consciousness way. This can be surprising and many times great ideas will arise from this method. I also may use this method to plot the story in the brainstorming stage.
CWW: What are your future project(s)?
MC: My agent is shopping around another picture book of mine. I’m also working on book 2 of my YA Egyptian mythological fantasy series that I write under my pen name Zoe Kalo ( and which I hope will be released next spring. Besides these main ones, I always have various projects in different types of development going on, as well as ideas for other books simmering in my mind. People often ask authors how they get their ideas, but the question should be how they handle all the ideas they get. One of my fears is that I won’t have the time to write them all.
CWW: Do you have any advice for someone trying to get published?
MC: Read as much as possible, especially in your genre. Write the best book you can possibly write. Don’t settle for “good enough.” Don’t give it to your mom or husband to edit unless they know how to edit a novel. Hire a professional editor. If your aim is to go the traditional route, you’ll have to query agents. is a great resource. The current publishing market is tough and even if your book is great you may not find a publisher, but a lot has changed and indie publishing is always a possibility. Whatever the case, stay true to your vision and don’t let anyone steer you away from your dream. 

Thank you Mayra Calvani for joining us and thank you to the readers. Happy Writing and Later days ya'll!!!

My favorite books

  • Rebels At The Gate
  • The Father Factor
  • Jacob's Girls
  • James Patterson's Books
  • A Seperate Peace
  • The Pearl
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Hunt For Hawke's Daughter
  • Charlotte's Web
  • A Child Called "IT"
  • Sugar Baby

My Favorite Authors

  • Janie King Crouch
  • Elizabeth Heiter
  • Lynn Rush
  • Kelly Hashway
  • Langston Hughes
  • John Knowles
  • John Stienbeck
  • Charles Dickens
  • Max Lucado
  • James Patterson
  • Jean Barrett
  • Karen Young

My Favorite Movies

  • Kickin It Old Skool
  • Meet The Robinsons
  • My Girl
  • 30 Days of Night
  • Free Willy
  • Beauty and the Beast