Sunday, May 29, 2011

Red River Writers Live & Robin Falls Kids Schedule


  1. Tony Angelo – The Dreams of Our Children – Every other month

    Peggy Grenne – Chirp with Peggy – 6 times a year

  2. Dellani Oakes – Dellani's Tea Time 4:00 PM Eastern

  3. Virginia S. Grenier – Stories for Children

Barbara Hodges – Let's Talk

  1. Dr. Thomas A Gavin

    Wade Zahares, Rose Cooper, Carolyn Watson Dubisch

Marsha Casper Cook – A Good Story is a Good Story – 8:00 PM Eastern – Every week.

5. Lakisha Spletzer – Tell Me a Story


Every Tuesday – Peter J. Dawson – Speak Out America Now, a current events show


  1. Mike Marcellino – Notebookwriter – 8:00 PM Eastern

  2. Men Read – Lt. Col. Karl Lenker, George Scott – 8:00 PM Eastern

  3. Fran Lewis – Book Discussion – 1:00 PM Eastern

  4. Dellani Oakes – What's Write for Me – 1:00 PM Eastern

  5. Anne-Louise Sterry – Art of Storytelling


  1. Debra Simpson – Savvy Designs – 1:00 PM Eastern

    Shani Fenderson – The Christian Cafe – every other month

  2. Barbara Hodges – No Limits

  3. Linda Kozar, Sharon Leaf, Kelly Boyer Sagert – Gate Beautiful – Every other month

  4. Barbara Ehrentreau – Tales from the Pages – 4:00 PM Eastern

  5. John T. Willis – Black History is American History


  1. Michelle Debenport & Jo Brielyn – Will Blog For Kids

  2. Suzanne Alicie, Amy Browne, Rose Kitchen – Freelance Connection

    R. Jeffreys – The Write Step – every other month

  3. Meg Collins & Nancy Denofeo – Page Turners

  4. Melea Brock – Story Tellers – 4 times a year

  5. MJ Gillot – Fine Lines – every month with five Fridays


  1. Kimberly Moore & Dara DiGiovanni – Romance Connection 4 times a year

  2. MJ Goodnow & April Robins – 15 Minutes with Robins and Goodnow

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Getting to Know Sue O'Shields!

Sue is a wonderful author, though she's not yet published her novels. I'm thrilled and honored that she agreed to participate in her very first interview! ~ Dellani

When did you start writing?

Well, when it comes to story-telling, I think I became interested in writing when I got such positive response to a story I wrote in First Grade. Positive for me, anyway; it created a lot of laughter, and people were paying attention to me. The story went: "This summer for summer vacaton we went to Wiscon. Then we came home. My dog ran away and got hit by a car. The End." Everyone thought it was uproarious. Go figure.

By the way, the dog was fine. He got tapped by the car and in turn tried to bite it.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

Gee, do I want to answer this? Okay, okay, it was fan fiction about my favorite rock star. Back when I was thirteen, ALL the girls were writing about how they would meet Rod Stewart or the Bay City Roller of choice, so I wrote about how George Harrison and I would meet, fall in love and get married. By then, Beatlemania was far out of fashion, and most of my peers at my new school never heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. It was somewhat awkward until I met another Beatles fan who was somewhat cooler than me. We formed a friendship which led to other friendships and all these people wanted to read what I wrote. Talk about positive reinforcement!

Oh! Were you talking 'as a professional'? My personal hero is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and I love Civil War history.

What genre do you write?

Well, for years I wrote fan fiction! haha! Currently? Paranormal romance. Before that, I wrote an American Civil War epic romance called Destiny of Honor that I'm trying to split into two books because it's a whopping 226,000 words. As an aside, I must say that it's a strange thing to have one of your beta readers say to you, after reading the even bigger version (237K), "I was so sad to see the book end! I wanted to know what happened to Chamby and Ophelia and Jacob and..." I'm thinking "Ooo! Sequel!"

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

Oooh! A kitty!... I'm sorry...what?

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?

I used to be single project fixated. Right now I have several going: the Civil War epic that needs work, the straight-forward paranormal The High Bridge manuscript, and my work in progress called "Grave Message", a paranormal romance/women's issues (involving Postpartum Depression and how it affects a marriage). I'm most definitely floundering with all of these. I think I need to go back to single project fixation, pick one of the above and then move on it.

What is your writing process?

Well...I drink lots of coffee to start... Seriously, I'm a combination of color-coded index cards and seat-of-the-pants-grab-that-muse-before-he-gets-away-dammit kind of writer. It's a controlled chaos, if such a thing exists. I start out so absorbed with keeping things orderly, I've been known to match my colored paperclips to the color of my index cards (blue for scene info, yellow of interesting dialogue, red for conflict building ideas, green for character's info). Once I get to writing, I'm a Pantser, occasionally going back to the cards when I need a jolt of inspiration. My Muse is a drunken lush and those cards are Mead for the Muse, so back he staggers.

What is the theme of your novel?

The theme of the Civil War novel is how terrible injustice inspires change, growth of personal nobility and ultimately great love. The theme of The High Bridge is how terrible injustice inspires change, growth of personal nobil--- hey!

Do you consciously use symbolism in your book?

Yes, especially in "Destiny of Honor." The Victorians LOVED symbolism and I use that. In "The High Bridge," white wild doves figure prominently in a "Oh, thank God they're free!" moment. I also tend to put a few "inside jokes" and "if you knew me, you'd know what that means" situations. For example, in "High Bridge", my female main character is at a Bed & Breakfast in the town of Thomas, which is loosely based on the real Colorado town of Fraser. I grew up in Chicago, and anyone who grew up in Chicago will know of a grandfatherly television personality from the 60's and 70's named Fraser Thomas. Also, my character Sandra is having breakfast with some of the guests, two of whom are a motorcycling couple who are trying to ride as close to the Continental Divide as possible as a wedding anniversary trip. Well, my husband and I spend our wedding anniversaries on motorcycle road trips, staying in B&B's along the way.

What is your latest release?

I’m working on that, actually… Know any good publishers?

What other books do you have published?

Er… some of my caving trip reports are in the Library of Congress. Does that count?

Where are your books available?

Review two questions up, please.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wednesday's Show

Due to the fact I had surgery last Monday, I've decided NOT to have my show on Wednesday May 25th. I thought I could handle it, but I'm still very tired & run down. Also, my other half is putting his medical foot down. My guests WILL BE on another show and I will keep you updated. ~ Dellani

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chatting with Barbara Ehrentreu

Barbara is an amazing lady who keeps an even busier schedule than I do. She took time out to answer some questions for me to share with all of you. Please welcome Barbra Ehrentreu!

When did you start writing?

My first published poem was when I was in third grade. Then after college I started writing poetry and when I was teaching in Buffalo another poem of mine was published in the Buffalo Schools Bulletin. It wasn’t until I enrolled in a graduate program at Manhattanville that I took my first writing workshop and started to write seriously. I attended Manhattanville’s Writer’s Week and when my memoir was picked by my group and I read it to the entire audience several authors came to me and praised it. That was when I decided I was a writer, because I felt so comfortable with all of the authors. The following summer I joined a children’s writing workshop during Writer’s Week and began my first novel now being published.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

I enrolled in a children’s writing workshop headed by Paula Danziger and she required us all to write an excerpt to get into the workshop. When Paula saw it she thought it had some merit and she worked with me to revise it. Paula was a big support to me and her inspiration spurred me to finish my novel. I am sad she never got to see it finished.

The idea came from my own daughter’s trials with feelings about her body and a short experience with bulimia. I wanted to write something that would show the feelings of both situations and I was tired of reading YA’s with dead parents and rapes, etc.

What genre do you write?

Actually, I let the story decide for me. So I have written in several genres. My very first novel, which I also tried to publish, was an MG fantasy with talking animals. My most recent novel for last year’s NaNo was a romance/suspense/adventure. I have a story published on that is about an older woman with angst. I also have a picture book for ages 3-6 I am thinking of getting published. As I said, it all depends on the story.

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

When I am in the middle of writing something I can be focused anywhere. This is especially true when I’m writing poetry. However, when I’m starting to write I like to have the place to myself. As an editor, I can edit anywhere, but I prefer to do it alone. The TV usually doesn’t bother me.

What inspires you?

My inspiration is my family. Their experiences have pushed me to write. My first novel was inspired by my daughter. My second novel’s inspiration was my husband’s heart attack and by pass surgery. My other books have parts of my family in them.
Also beauty in nature, political events, my own crazy life are inspirations for poetry.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects?

It depends on the project. When I got blocked on my first novel I wrote my stories and both were published. I was quick with my novel’s edits and when I’m editing something I like to concentrate on it and finish it. Unfortunately, with life today, things pile up so occasionally I’m working on two things at once. I think it depends on the length of the piece and how much time I have to do it.

What is your writing process?

I’m a pantser. When I get an idea I write the first sentence and then continue either until the piece is finished, for a short story or usually until I get 2000 words. I don’t consciously strive for that amount, but that is where I usually stop. When I’m writing a novel I’ll start writing the story and then go back and flesh out the characters. I think it’s very important to know what each of your characters wants. When I was very blocked, because I didn’t have an ending for my novel, I went to a Children’s Writers Bootcamp and it helped very much.

What is the theme of your novel?

Carolyn Samuels’ freshman year becomes a series of lies to cover Jennifer Taylor’s terrible secret in return for popularity.

Do you consciously use symbolism in your book? No.

What is your latest release?
If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor

What other books do you have published?

This is my first published book. I have two stories published online:
“The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and “Out on a Ledge”.

Where are your books available?

My novel will not be available until September. However, you can find out more about it and me here:

Monday, May 09, 2011

My May Shows

I’ve got a show today at 4:00 PM Eastern that I meant to announce earlier and forgot. My guests will be Dr. Barbara Becker-Holstein, Christine Fonseca, Deon Davis and (possibly) Anna Fowler–provided her weather & internet cooperate. Please listen in!–dellanis-tea-time

My second show in May is slated for Wednesday, May 25th at 1:00 PM Eastern. My guests will be Michael Murphy, Dara England, Sue O’Shields & Anna K. Edwards. Be sure to tune in!–whats-write-for-me

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Speaking of Fran Lewis....

Fran Lewis is an amazingly talented, creative, inspiring and thought provoking author. She's also one of the busiest people I know. She writes books & articles, reads constantly, writes book reviews, hosts shows on Blog Talk Radio and still has time to answer questions for my interview. I'm greatly honored and blessed to have such a wonderful friend.

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I was about 4. I do not remember a time when I was not writing stories, poems or passing notes to my sister under the blanket at night. My mom would say lights out but never knew we had flashlights under our blankets and note pads so that we could send each other messages whenever we wanted. Writing short stories, poems for cards and longer stories was always something that I loved doing. Writing my first children’s book was my Aunt Tova’s idea. She made me promise her before she passed away that I would do something with my writing skills other than write lesson plans and help some of the teachers in my schools with their observation lessons. She encouraged me to write short stories, articles and post them on which I did and then my first book. Little did I ever know that I would be writing book reviews, online interviews, blogs, endorsements, intros to books and much more.

What gave you the idea for your first book?

My nephew Jake was laughing at the way I was sitting in a restaurant. I was pouting because I had just started my diet. My sister looked at me and said that I reminded her of my grandma Bertha who sat the same way. I told her she reminded me of my spoiled Aunt Tillie. My nephew Jake cracked up and just started to chant: You are Bertha and she is Tillie and that would be great as the characters in a book. Thinking about some of the wild things my sister and I did as kids I decided to write my first book which were 6 short stories. Each story is another real life and true adventure that my sister and I had growing up.

What genre do you write?:
children’s books, non-fiction/self-help And hopefully a murder/mystery

What do you do to keep yourself focused?

My sense of responsibility to the promises that I make to myself and others. When I promise an author to complete a review I tend to make sure it is done way before they expect it. My mom would always make sure that homework was done the very minute we walked through the door even on Fridays. I enjoy reviewing books, and working with authors and I think since I have had so much sadness in my life working and helping others keeps me focused and centered and allows me to put the sadness aside.

What inspires you?

It is not what but who that inspires me. My sister was my biggest fan and she kept me motivated, on task and was always there to present and give her constructive criticism to my stories, reviews and more. I really miss her. She really thought that what I am doing was great and enjoyed being part of it especially at signings, readings and other events.

Do you stay with one project or do you work on multiple projects? I can focus on at least three or four projects at once.

What is your writing process?

I never really think about a process I just write. What comes to mind and what I feel like writing about is what comes out on my computer. One day it could be a review the next a short story. I tend to write down all of the my projects on a notepad and prioritize them and go from there.

What is the theme of your novel?

If and when I decide to write one it will be a murder based on a true story.

What is your latest release?

Because We Care: Coming out this month

What other books do you have published?
My Name is Bertha
Bertha Speaks Out
Bertha Fights Back
Memories are Precious
Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain?

Where are your books available?

Old Time Religion ~ A Love in the City Romance by Dellani Oakes – Part 5

"This is Ms. Whitley. Her mother's a parishioner at St. Blase. I'm filling in for Father Charlie today." "Yeah, I h...