Friday, March 15, 2019

Mysteries, Histories - and Pure Fiction! A Guest Post by Heather Graham

This month, Fabulous Florida Writers is pleased to welcome  guest blogger Heather Graham. Graham is the USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author of more than 100 novels. Her latest, A Lethal Legacy, part of her New York Confidential series, was released on March 12. She was our featured writer on May 5, 2015.

There are certain peoples and eras in history that tend to fascinate us—and we naturally do a bit of white-washing along the way. 

 What kid hasn’t played pirate at some point or another?

I mean, you have the Dread Pirate Robert from The Princess Bride, long ago, you had Errol Flynn, and then there’s Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. 

 Even in fact, you had Jean Lafitte—a hero at the battle of New Orleans!

Let’s face it, they were probably mostly a bit—or more than a bit--stinky, and while ransom was the word of the day, some were brutal murderers as well. 

And Vikings! Incredible seafarers—yes, they invaded! They robbed and pillaged and those in their path prayed for salvation.

But, hey—you have Thor. Chris is doing a darned good job as that Norse god!

I always loved the history, especially because my mom was born in Dublin and had all kinds of history books about her native city when she came to the states. Several were on the Viking founding of Dublin. Olaf the White did enter into a pact with the Ard Ri or high kind of the Irish, and Dublin was a product. Long, long ago, I wrote one of my first books on (Golden Surrender) on the subject.

My dad’s family came over from Stirling, Scotland, and while the northern Scots often did well against invaders because they were so far north and considered to be rather wild themselves, they often escaped attack. 

But the Vikings were seafarers—and North was just fine with them. 

This made my children convinced that they were half Viking as they grew up. Then, they joked—the boys all had red in their beards when they grew. Surely, that was Viking!

The history of so much is so intriguing—and when theories combine many of points of peoples and places, it’s lots of fun. 

 A Lethal Legacy, just now out on shelves, combines pirates, Vikings, and the Arc of the Covenant. And a private island off NYC. The problem in writing it was basically that concept of, “Squirrel!” I’d research one point—and find myself going from book to book or site to site and at the end of the day convincing myself I’d worked all day—when I really kept finding more and more that was fascinating. 

A murder has just happened—it involves one of Craig Frazier’s cousins, a cousin he loves. Some are claiming it was an accident—a fall from high, windy bluffs. But a bank robber had died just so years before—and then, of course, the island was known to be cursed, Native Americans had perished there, pirates had made it a base—and before that, possibly, the Vikings had come, no longer to invade—but to trade. 

I think my mom would be happy—while this isn’t about the founding of Dublin, my mom was the first to tell me tales about the Irish and the Vikings. And, of course, for my dad, there is the Scottish connection—an involvement with Knights Templar as they fled persecution—is in there, too. 

All theory, conjecture, maybe far-fetched—and yet possible.

And all for St. Patrick’s Day. Oh, and my birthday. (I’ve tried to finagle time so that I only have to have one every three or four years now, but the universe just isn’t listening!)

If you happen to pick up A Lethal Legacy, I hope you’ll enjoy my trek into history—and the what may or may not have been! 

For more information, visit Graham's website at 

Monday, March 4, 2019

The Art of Pitching (And No, Not a Tent or a Baseball!) - A Guest Post by Dana Brown

This month, Fabulous Florida Writers is pleased to welcome guest blogger Dana Brown.Brown is the award-winning author of the AMI (Anna Maria Island) series. Her latest book, The Greysons, is scheduled for release in the spring.  Brown was our featured writer on September 1, 2018.
When I worked for First Merchants one of the benefits they offered was continuous training, but I never expected to actually use it once I left banking. But here I am, thankful for our trainer, Jeff Curts, and what he taught us about the art of pitching because I now have an opportunity to pitch my book series to producers and publishers, and boy will that training come in handy!

A couple of weeks ago I was cleaning out my office and came across Winners Dream, the last book Jeff trained on before I retired. I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, but it’s not in my DNA to get rid of a book, so I started looking through it and guess what I found? Not only good information from the book’s author, Bill McDermott, but lots of notes and material on an elevator pitch, the exact thing I needed for my upcoming Writers’s Cruise.

One line from Winners Dream that really stood out for me was “It’s all about execution”. All of the notes I made centered around making my dream a reality, and if the AMI Series never makes it to the big screen or TV, my dream came true the minute I held the first copy of Lottie Loser in my hands. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t enlarge my dream, it just means I need to look for other avenues of execution.

Which brings us to the elevator pitch. We had to write one for Jeff, using our own dream as the theme, so of course, mine was on writing. I had an idea in my head about an article titled “When Grandma is a CEO…Chief Everything Officer”, and I wanted to pitch it to O Magazine. I felt like there were other women in my age group who had a demanding career, but also kids and grandkids, vying for her time and attention.

Jeff was the “make believe” editor from O, whom I met on an elevator, and this was my pitch to him.

Mr. Curts, my name is Dana Brown, and my dream is to be a published author. I’m a banker, a wife, a mother and a grandmother who struggles to find time for myself while staying involved in the lives of my family. I’ve written an article titled “When Grandma is CEO” and I think it’s something your readers can relate to. If you will agree to reading this draft, and sharing your insight, you’ll help me be one step closer to realizing my dream. I appreciate your time.

Well, what do you think? I’d like to say that my pitches are stronger now, but I guess time will tell. I’m not sharing the pitch I have for the Writer’s Cruise, because I want it to be fresh when I present it, and you never know who might read this blog!

Is there a moral to this story? Of course there is! The first is to never discount what you’re being taught as something irrelevant, or not important to your life, and the second is to never get rid of a book! There is a wealth of information in each and everyone, and you never know when you’re going to need it.

For more information visit the author's website at

Friday, March 1, 2019

Sad News

I'm sad to report that Florida has lost one of its Fabulous Writers - H. Terrell (Terry) Griffin. Terry was the award-winning author of the Matt Royal mystery series. Aside from being an incredibly talented writer, Terry was a gentleman and an all-around good guy. He was our featured writer on August 15, 2014.
Terry will be sorely missed.