Meet the Members: Joy Don Baker and Terri Goodman

“For our readers we want to share enjoyment, writing, and learning through meaningful stories about diverse nursing characters.”

— Joy Don Baker

Members of the Writers’ League since 2017, Joy Don and Terri live in the DFW area.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Joy Don Baker & Terri Goodman: We write women’s fiction and nonfiction. We have recently written nonfiction on the “A, B, & Cs of Author Partnering.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

JDB: Penny C. Sansevieri. I’d ask: What are the top three marketing strategies you recommend to authors?
TG: I would have a drink with Anne Rivers Siddons. I would ask: What’s your secret for engaging your readers?

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

JDB: Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way.
TG: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

JDB: There are wonderful speakers and often I can take advantage of the online opportunities.
TG: Through [WLT’s] resources, we’ve both improved our craft.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

JDB: For our readers we want to share enjoyment, writing, and learning through meaningful stories about diverse nursing characters.
TG: I want us to develop a community of readers interested in the lives of our characters.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

JDB: K. Wendt’s Emma’s Journey. An intriguing romance that is kicked off by the death of her friend and mentor.
TG: N. Brown’s The Arrival. A turn of the century historical fiction taking place in Galveston, TX.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

 

JDB & TG: Joy Don Baker and Terri Goodman were nursing students in the ’70s like the characters in their books. They are both published authors in professional nursing literature. They met in the ’80s and have remained friends for years. Both authors reside in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex where Baker is a Clinical Professor in the graduate nursing program at The University of Texas in Arlington, and Goodman is self-employed as an Approved Provider of continuing nursing education.

Frannie, Robin, Katie, and Leslie represent the rich diversity found among nurses. Follow the Nurseketeers as they move through nursing school and into their careers. Check out our website at https://www.bakergoodman.com/

Thank you, Joy Don and Terri!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

 

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Meet the Members: Amy Brazda

“I have been a member [of WLT] for just a few days, but I know I will be given many opportunities to learn, grow, and share as a writer, and I very much look forward to all three!”

— Amy Brazda

A member of the Writers’ League since June 2019, Amy lives in Houston, TX.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Amy Brazda: I write books for kids, aged 3-9.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

AB: I would like to have a drink with Wes Moore, and I would ask him how he felt about another man bearing his identical name, yet having the experience of a life totally different from his. The Other Wes Moore is a fantastic read, and I could not put it down. I have wanted to meet him since I saw him give an emotional and sincere presentation to high schoolers here in Houston.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

AB: If I was stranded I would seek humor so I would want my fave all-time book of poetry by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends, to help me survive.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

AB: I have been a member for just a few days, but I know I will be given many opportunities to learn, grow, and share as a writer, and I very much look forward to all three! I am a “people” person, so I hope to make many new friends who share my same love of writing and allowing readers of our books much happiness, whichever genre they write!

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

AB: I am looking forward to doing my own kind of marketing! I love getting out into the community, not sharing this book in big stores or social media, but meeting people, especially kids! (I don’t even want to do large-scale PowerPoint presentations.) For school visits I will get down in reading circles with small classes and read so I can connect with the kids! Since the book is about my puppy, I have already met the nicest pet store, groomers, and pet store owners who love dogs and want me to share my book in their small business stores, which I want to promote! I hope the poetry I wrote as the text of the book inspires others to write poetry, which I have always loved.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

AB: It did not come out in the last year, but in light of his passing I loved, loved the book George Bush wrote — All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings. It shows the power of the written word, especially in our electronic world!

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

AB: I have two amazing kids in college who have taken on writing as journalists! They were taught by me at very early ages, and I am thrilled they have chosen to be writers so they can get out and meet a diversity of people, have great adventures, travel, and enjoy their lives! I was a competitive junior tennis player and my kids took up tennis, so I have loved being a “tennis mom,” I love to cook, and I absolutely love being a one-on-one tutor/business owner of my own tutoring company so I can help kids learn and grow as students and make an impact in these families’ lives.

Thank you, Amy!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Laura Bray

” I haven’t been [a member of WLT for] long, but hope to learn a lot and meet a lot of folks at the upcoming Agents and Editors Conference.”

— Laura Bray

laura headshot

A member of the Writers’ League since March 2019, Laura lives in Boerne, TX.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Laura Bray: Historical fiction, freelance nonfiction articles (travel, food/wine, community interest, business).

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

LB: Elizabeth Gilbert: “What is your strategy for putting your rear in the chair and words on the page every day?”

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

LB: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

LB: I haven’t been here long, but hope to learn a lot and meet a lot of folks at the upcoming Agents and Editors Conference.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

LB: Once I finish my current book (see below), I have three or four more ideas kicking around in my head. It will be fun to figure out which one to start on next.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

LB: Ticker by Mimi Swartz (also….cannot wait for Stephen Harrigan’s Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas).

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

 

LB: I’ve recently completed work on my new author platform (www.laurabray.net), which includes a blog (“Write Before Ready”), Facebook page, and Twitter feed (@LauraBrayAuthor). My goal is to build an audience for my in-progress historical fiction novel Springs from Winter Rise.

Thank you, Laura!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

 

Meet the Members: Samantha M. Clark

“The WLT conferences and webinars (which I also really LOVE) have taught me about craft, persevering, and the business of publishing, as well as continue to inspire me.”

— Samantha M Clark

A member of the Writers’ League since 2012, Samantha lives in Cedar Park, TX.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Samantha M. Clark: My middle-grade novel The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast which came out from Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster in 2018, is contemporary fantasy, and nearly all my stories come to me with some kind of fantastical element, whether fantasy or sci-fi. I also write young adult novels and recently have been playing with picture books and chapter books, and I have an unpublished novella for adult readers that I love and ideas for more of them. I basically love to read and write stories for all ages and in many genres, as long as they stretch my imagination, make me think, and dig into my heart.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

SMC: Hmmm. I don’t do well narrowing down my choices with questions like this. There are so many! I’d love to have a drink with Shakespeare and ask him — or her — who really wrote those plays and sonnets? But seriously, I’d love to learn how Shakespeare and other poets like Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou translated their worlds into words, whether their amazing use of symbolism just came to them or took a lot of brainstorming. I’m hoping the latter, since that’s what I have to do.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

SMC: Could I have a Kindle stuffed with books? In that case, I’d have the whole Harry Potter series, Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Cosmic, Ready Player One, the Narnia books, the Lord of the Rings books, The Hunger Games series, all of Linda Sue Park’s books, all of Laurie Halse Anderson’s books… If it has to be one print book, I’d want a notebook with lots of blank pages. I’ll find something to write with…

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

SMC: So much! Early on in my membership, I attended a class by the amazing author Liz Garton Scanlon on writing poetry. I left feeling, for the first time, that while I don’t consider myself a poet in any way, I could perhaps write like a poet. Years later, I put those lessons to use while I was revising The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast before it sold. I’ve also learned a lot at the WLT conferences over the years. Agent Sarah Davies did a fantastic session on writing thrillers a few years ago, which was so informative. The WLT conferences and webinars (which I also really LOVE) have taught me about craft, persevering, and the business of publishing, as well as continue to inspire me.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

SMC: I’ve always hoped for a career in fiction, just the chance to tell stories full-time. I had a career in nonfiction, as a journalist and editor, before I started to focus on fiction. But having a sustainable career in fiction has many more challenges. For a long time, I didn’t believe it would happen. I queried four novels and had more than 100 rejections before I signed with my agent. And when we went on submission with The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast, I got around 14 rejections and had to do another big revision before it sold. After it sold, I kept expecting an email saying they’d made a mistake and had meant to acquire another book about a boy who wakes on a mysterious beach with no memory. It wasn’t until I got printed advanced reader copies that I thought, “They’re probably not going to back out now.” Now the book is in bookstores and libraries, the hardcover has gone into a second printing, and foreign rights have sold in three languages. Of course, one book doesn’t make a career, but I just finished another middle-grade that’s with my editor now, and I have a young adult that will be going on submission soon. I’m working on other books and have folders full of ideas that I want to tackle in the future. There’s no guarantee that any of these will sell, but having gone through it once, I have more hope, primarily because I now know what it takes: Hard work and never giving up. I did that for The Boy, The Boat, and the Beast. It was the third novel I wrote, but by the time it sold, I had written three more novels and a novella, learned from them and used what I’d learned to revise. My plan now is to keep on doing that. Write, revise, submit, repeat. Perhaps not every book I’ll write will sell, but if I keep working hard and never give up, hopefully this first novel can build into a career.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

SMC: I loved Sean Easley’s The Hotel Between, which was also published by Simon & Schuster last year. It’s a middle-grade fantasy about a hotel that magically connects all these different places all over the world, and the protagonist discovers the hotel through its Dallas door. It’s such a fun adventure. Check it out! And if you’re older than 12 and saying to yourself that middle-grade is too young for you, I challenge you to change that thinking. No book should have a maximum age. So dig into those younger books too. You’ll be surprised what you find.

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

SMC: Well, not so much about me, but… Keep writing. Keep believing. Keep reading! Oh, and if you’re looking for books to read, The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast comes out in paperback on June 25!

Thank you, Samantha!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Nancy Hudgins

“Writers are awesome, wonderful people, willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others — especially newbies.”

— Nancy Hudgins

A member of the Writers’ League since February 2015, Nancy lives in Gilmer, TX.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Nancy Hudgins: Contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and western historical fiction.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

NH: Linda Howard and/or Sandra Brown. I would ask: What’s your secret for making characters come alive on the page?

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

NH: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

NH: Writers are awesome, wonderful people, willing to share their knowledge and expertise with others — especially newbies. There are so many opportunities for [writers] to hone our skills. It’s an awesome organization.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

NH: I love it when someone says they were moved by something I wrote. As long as I am able to do that, I will be a happy camper. I simply love to write.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

NH: Goodness, there are so many wonderful Texas authors. The last one I read was by a new author, Michael Scott Clifton. His book The Janus Witch was recommended to me. It’s not a genre I normally read but I was intrigued by the fact that it involved so many different elements. Witches, time travel, romance, modern day. It had some dark places in it, but man was it a good read!

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

NH: I have a new release coming out soon. A contemporary romance entitled Chasing Hope, which is set in a small town in East Texas. A wounded warrior with a solitary past, a single mom with lonely present. Can a precocious child be the catalyst to heal wounds that can’t be seen and offer hope for a brighter future?

Thank you, Nancy!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Ray Spitzenberger

“I am looking forward to doing more of what I love to do most, writing — especially poetry and essays.”

— Ray Spitzenberger

A member of the Writers’ League since February 2019, Ray lives in East Bernard, TX.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Ray Spitzenberger: I write poetry and nonfiction — nonfiction including magazine articles, newspaper columns, Christian inspirational articles, essays, and a book of memories about the 1930’s and 1940’s. As a poet, I write free verse — Haiku and Tanka.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

RS: I would like to have a drink (cup of coffee) with Billy Collins, and I would ask him how he came to be a well known contemporary American poet, considering America’s waning interest in poetry.

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

RS: This is a very difficult question to answer, because if I were stranded on a deserted island, I would want a whole stack of books to read.  However, to answer the question, I would choose Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, because it’s a great book which I could reread many times and which contains reproductions of Van Gogh’s greatest paintings.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

RS: What I have learned from my very short association with the Writers’ League is that I have desperately needed to be a part of a support system like this.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

RS: At age 84, I can’t look too many years to the future, but, after retiring from two careers, I am looking forward to doing more of what I love to do most, writing — especially poetry and essays. I also plan to publish what I write.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

RS: The Texas-related book I’ve read during this past year that I couldn’t put down was Austin, Texas, a collection of poems by my friend, Dave Oliphant.  I think Dave’s book was re-published this year, because he appeared at a special celebration in Austin where he lives honoring him and the book. I love the city of Austin and Dave’s book!

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

RS: I love this last question about “blatant self-promotion”! So here goes! I live with my beautiful wife, Peggy, and our cantankerous old cat Gatsby in the rural town of East Bernard, Texas, 50 miles west of Houston. I am a retired college English teacher with a Doctor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan. I am also a retired Lutheran pastor with an Ordination by Colloquy from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. In spite of those facts, I was born and reared in Dime Box, Texas, and have lived in Texas most of my life. My parents and both sets of my grandparents were born and reared in Texas; all of my great grandparents were born in Germany, but lived most of their lives in Texas. I love Texas passionately!

My self-published book, It Must Be the Noodles, a joyful and humorous recollection of growing up Wendish in Dime Box, Texas in the 1930’s and 1940’s, is on sale at Amazon for $12.99 (paperback) and $8.99 (eBook).  My daughter, Rae Spitzenberger, a New York book designer, designed the book for me.

Thank you, Ray!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!

Meet the Members: Nancy G. West

“A writer must always keep learning and stretching one’s skills.”

— Nancy G. West

A member of the Writers’ League for ten years, Nancy lives in San Antonio, TX.

Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?

Nancy G. West: I write mystery/suspense. To date: one suspense novel, four Aggie Mundeen cozy mysteries, and a spin-off from the Aggie series, The Plunge: Aggie Mundeen Lake Mystery #1, a short novel of mystery, suspense and disaster.

I’m also working on a stand-alone novel, completely different from the Aggie Mundeen mysteries, in the vein of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. The book centers a risk-averse sixteen-year-old boy trying to protect his newly-divorced mother from a suspicious stranger, while discovering secrets about his family and himself.

Scribe: What author would you most like to have a drink with, and what’s the first question you would ask them?

NW: William Kent Krueger or Alan Eskin. What’s your greatest challenge in blending empathetic characters and family dynamics with mystery and suspense?

Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?

NW: The Bible.

Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?

NW: That there are a lot of fine writers and teachers associated with WLT, and that a writer must always keep learning and stretching one’s skills.

Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?

NW: Toward writing novels with deeper stories and more lyrical language with a goal towards literary mystery/suspense fiction. And also publishing some good short stories.

Scribe: Here at the Writers’ League, we love sharing book recommendations. What’s one Texas-related book that has come out within the past year that you couldn’t put down?

NW: Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird (I adored A Love Letter to Texas Women, her 2016 book.)

Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion! 

NW: I’m an ardent supporter of WLT and honored to be interviewed by Scribe!

My website is here: http://www.nancygwest.com

My Amazon author page is here: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Glass-West/e/B001KIYL1A

Visit me on Facebook:  http://on.fb.me/215ZtvV

And if you’d like to know how Aggie Mundeen views the steps and missteps of her author (me), check out Aggie Blogs: https://nancygwest.com/aggies-blog/
To sample my newsletter, sign up at any link above or email me at ngwest@sbcglobal.net. I LOVE hearing from writers and readers.

Thank you, Nancy!

If you’re a Writers’ League member and you’d be interested in being interviewed for our Meet the Members feature, email us at member@writersleague.org for more information. It’s a great way for other members to get to know you and for you to share a bit about what you’re working on!