Meet the Members: Joanne Easley

“I have attended several Texas Writes sessions and each time have come away feeling inspired and ready to write. “

— Joanne Easley  

A member of the Writers’ League since January, Joanne currently lives in Medina. 

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

Joanne Easley: Accessible Literary Fiction. 

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

JE: Stephen King. I’d ask him about his nightmares. 

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

JEThe Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving.

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

JE: I have attended several Texas Writes sessions and each time have come away feeling inspired and ready to write.

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

JE: I’ve written fiction off and on for years. Now it’s my full-time job. In addition to my upcoming novel, I have two others in first draft and am jump-starting a third with NANOWRIMO. 

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?

JE: Yonderings by Ben H. English, a personal account of the life and people of the Big Bend.

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

JE: My debut novel, Sweet Jane, is set for release on March 19, 2020 from Black Rose Writing.  My book was a 2019 Faulkner/Wisdom Writing Competition Finalist. A brief synopsis: By age six, Jane, a lonely and precocious child, knows vodka makes Mama mean. After years of dodging her drunken mama, Jane runs away at sixteen—during the Summer of Love. Despite seventeen years of keeping secrets while searching for love in dysfunctional relationships, Jane looks good on paper: married, graduate school, coin-carrying member of AA. But her carefully constructed life is crumbling. Returning for Mama’s funeral catapults her back to the events that made her the woman she is.

Sweet Jane is now available for pre-order here. Use the promo code PREORDER2019 to receive a 15% discount.

Thank you, Joanne!

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: Ed Fischer

“The WLT has great online classes, informative newsletters and support/coaching for new writers.”

— Ed Fischer 

A member of the Writers’ League since October, Ed has lived most of his life in the state of confusion. He currently lives in Dallas. 

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

Ed Fischer: I’m new to creative writing. I’m writing creative non-fiction/memoir now. 

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

EF: I’m not sure what they drink in South Africa but I’d love to have a drink with Nelson Mandela. WLT can bring him back, right! 

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

EF: Either an Idiot’s Guide to Climbing Palm Trees or The Book of Joy by Douglas Abrams with the Dalai Lama and Bishop Tutu.

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

EF: The WLT has great online classes, informative newsletters and support/coaching for new writers, even folks from the state of confusion.

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

EF: No Joke. I think it will get me killed. I actually hope it will…just not too soon… since it will mean I’m having a positive impact.

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?

EF: I’m a fan of Longmire and Ain’t Nobody, Nobody by Heather Harper Ellett more than matches Longmire.

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

EF: I want to use my first book (working title: Walking for Water, Fleeing for Our Lives) as a platform to help impoverished Guatemalans in Guatemala as well as the refugees coming to the US. I expect to continue writing about Guatemalans telling their stories and pushing for policy changes with a heart and sense of responsibility for what “we” have created. My character arc shows a crazy Eddie Fischer chasing attention and adrenaline rushes before and after turning my life around.  Instead of bar room brawls and one nighters; I lived among the poor in a shantytown and then the Mayan highlands, walked from Guatemala to Philadelphia raising $350,000 for water systems, was chased through the streets of Guatemala at gun point, landed on a death squad hit list, was taken out to an isolated spot on the Mexican airport to be executed, studied to be a Catholic priest and continue to stand up to injustices and rigged economic and political systems. Oh, yes. I made a whole slew on dumb decisions too.

Thank you, Ed!

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: C.M. Mayo

“It’s very encouraging that there are so many writers in Texas, and so many opportunities to learn from one another.”

— C.M. Mayo

A member of the Writers’ League since September, C.M. is between a lot of places right now but her forwarding service is in Wichita Falls, TX.

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

C.M. Mayo: Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 

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

CMM: Edith Wharton. I’d ask her about her dogs. 

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

CMM: Tolstoy’s War and Peace. That would do for about a month. That’s my max for deserted islands.

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

CMM: That I wish I lived in Austin! But seriously, it’s very encouraging that there are so many writers in Texas, and so many opportunities to learn from one another.

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

CMM: I’m going deep into questions about Texas in the book I’ve been working on for a while, tentatively titled World Waiting for a Dream: A Turn in Far West Texas. I see myself finishing it, then moving on to complete a collection of essays, many of them about Mexico and the US-Mexico borderlands–– a part of the world that has absorbed me for many years, in fact, most of my books to date. For me, writing is at once a journey towards understanding and play, pure play. Any day I can get some writing done is a very good day. 

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?

CMM: I found Ty Cashion’s Lone Star Mind: Reimagining Texas History, at once fascinating, thought-provoking, and mega-crunchy––and by the way, it combines well, like a good wine with a good cheese, with Lawrence Wright’s God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State.

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

CMM: My latest book, Meteor, won the Gival Press Award for Poetry. My blog, Madam Mayo, www.madam-mayo.com posts every Monday, the second Monday of every month being dedicated to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. And I invite you to listen in anytime at www.cmmayo.com/marfa to the Marfa Mondays Podcasting Project, with 20 of 24 projected podcasts to date.

Thank you, C.M.!

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: George Arnold

“[I’ve learned] there exists a small universe of wacky, driven, and skilled individuals who, against all odds, manage to write books and get them published.”

— George Arnold 

A member of the Writers’ League for 17 years, George lives in Garland, TX.

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

George Arnold: My 25 published books include five genres: Detective mysteries (10), semi-bilingual international adventures for YA (11), non-fiction humor (2), how-to for writers wanting to be published (1), and historical fiction (1). 

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

GA: Winston Churchill, one of the best craft-persons of the English language ever. What do you think would have happened if you had been Prime Minister in 1938 instead of Neville Chamberlain? 

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

GA: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

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

GA: I’m not the only one. There exists a small universe of wacky, driven, and skilled individuals who, against all odds, manage to write books and get them published.

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

GA: I set out to write 25 books. I’ve accomplished that. I may concentrate on marketing these books and writing short stories, a form that has fascinated me. 

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?

GA: Not sure of publication years, but any of the Hackberry Holland books by James Lee Burke are worth reading, if for no other reason than the brilliant use of descriptive language.

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

GA: I sold the manuscript of my first book to the first publisher I approached. Didn’t know it’s supposed to be hard. Never had a rejection. Borders Books asked me to write a how-to book on that subject. The result is BestSeller: Must-Read Authors’ Guide to Successfully Selling Your Book. I have conducted free 90-minute workshops, principally, in Barnes & Noble stores, to help writes get started in the right direction. Available to conduct workshops if anybody’s interested.

Thank you, George!

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: Cliff Hamrick

“One of the things I would like to do is help writers with conceptualizing their characters, particularly those with mental health issues, in a way that is realistic.”

— Cliff Hamrick 

A member of the Writers’ League since September, Cliff lives in Austin, TX.

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

Cliff Hamrick: I have written a self-help book and a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy novel, which I will develop into a series.

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

CH: I would like to have a drink with Robert E Howard just to learn how a boy from central Texas wrote such a vibrant and realistic world.

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

CH: The Ninth Configuration by William Peter Blatty. It’s funny, spiritual, and has enough layers to re-read multiple times.

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

CH: I have learned that there is quite a variety of writers from all over the state.

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

CH: My plan is to become more of a writer than a counselor.  I think my perfect balance would be to spend just a couple of days seeing clients and the rest of the week writing.

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?

CH: It hasn’t come out in the past year, but Edible Wild Plants of Texas by Mark Suter is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning about useful plants in the state.

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

CH: I am just starting out writing, but I have been a licensed professional counselor in private practice since 2011. One of the things I would like to do is help writers with conceptualizing their characters, particularly those with mental health issues, in a way that is realistic.

I like hiking and camping and study survivalism and primitive skills as a way to stay connected to nature. I’ve been doing yoga regularly for over a year, but I still can’t touch my toes.

Thank you, Cliff!

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: Rob Witherspoon

“There are many authors striving toward the goal of publication, and WLT offers support, guidance and information to help us achieve that goal.”

— Rob Witherspoon 

A member of the Writers’ League since 2015, Rob lives in Graham, TX.

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

Rob Witherspoon: Humor applied to any genre that fits the story. The first book I wrote satirized conspiracy/international thriller. My WIP is a science fiction satirical treatment of religion and afterlife.

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

RW: Christopher Moore. I’d like to sit down over a plate of waffles with him and ask, ‘How can absurd, humorous fiction compete with absurd, not always humorous reality?’

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

RW: It’s too late for keeping me sane, but I’d want Slaughterhouse Five to keep it in perspective.

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

RW: I’ve attended the conference 3 times and sat through dozens of presentations. There are many authors striving toward the goal of publication, and WLT offers support, guidance and information to help us achieve that goal.

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

RW: I’m just along for the ride, as far as writing takes me. I have ideas for a series featuring the characters I’ve created: QED Morningwood and Cotton Widdershins.

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?

RW: Jackrabbit Smile by Joe Lansdale is what I’m reading now and waiting for the release of his next book.

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

RW: The Square Root of Texas is available. Deus Tex Machina is going to the editors at the end of September. Visit www.robwitherspoon.com.

Thank you, Rob!

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: Christa Allan

“[I’m] amazed at the extensive network of writers, lessons, conference and overall support for writers [from WLT].”

— Christa Allan

A member of the Writers’ League since April 2017, Christa lives in Spring, TX.

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

Christa Allan: Women’s Fiction.

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

CA: How to Survive on a Deserted Island. Otherwise, The Complete Works of Shakespeare.

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

CA: Amazed at the extensive network of writers, lessons, conference and overall support for writers, writing and literacy.

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

CA: Actually, I hope it can take my entire family on a vacation to thank them for their consistent support and encouragement as I hunkered down to write. 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?

CA: Oh, I’m mortified…I’ve not read any published in the last year that are Texas related. I’ll definitely work on that!

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

CA: I can be found on Facebook and Instagram (@christaallan.author). My last novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, has been an Amazon best seller. I’m presently shopping my next novel which I completed a few weeks ago! Thanks for this opportunity to meet the members!

Thank you, Christa!

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!