How one writer discovered a writer’s group and never looked back.

 Christine Powell Gomez

I started my writing journey about a year ago.  I just woke up one morning and said “I’m
going to write a book.”  No—really, I
did.  Of course my husband just laughed
and responded, “Yeah…right.”  I can’t
say that I blame him for his lack of support. 
Honestly, it is something you get used to after a while.  You eventually learn that your family and
friends could care less about your next chapter or what your characters are
I didn’t give much thought about how to write.  I just opened a new word document and started
typing…Not exactly the best way for a novice writer to begin their
journey.   But, no one has ever accused
me of doing anything with caution; I prefer to jump in feet first before testing
the waters.  After a few weeks it dawned
on me, I really have no idea what I’m doing. 
Not that I was going to let that stop me!  It was time to do a little research.  I needed to know how other authors take their
ideas and make real.  That is when I
found the most important tool for success—A great supportive writing group.  I had no idea that other writers could be
such a big source of knowledge, and that they were willing to share that with
you.  Anytime I had a question, someone
was always there with an answer.  I wish
I would have started my journey here; it would have made things a lot easier.
It took 3 months for me to complete my book.  It was like a weight lifting from my
shoulder…That is until I realized it was just the beginning.  I thought writing it would be the hardest
part, but I was wrong.  I now entered the
realm of need-to-find-an-editor, formatting-is-not-my-friend,
I-hate-my-cover-but-can’t-afford-anything-else, and my favorite
It wasn’t until latter that I learn about building a
brand and networking—two things that are essential to becoming a successful
writer.  But, every step of the way was
made easier by those in my writing group that had been there before and was
willing to share their journey.
The moral to this story—even if you don’t know where
to start or what to do next, you can still accomplish your dream if you put
your mind to it.  Everyone has a
different journey…So, embrace your journey, join a writing group, write your
little heart out and most important—never be afraid to ask.  There will always be other writers willing to
lend an ear and give advice.

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Broken relationships were a constant in Mae’s life,
causing her to swear off men forever. Unwittingly lured to Ireland, Mae finds
herself knee-deep in a hidden world she never knew existed and head over heels
for the very man that tricked her to coming there. His deception is complicated
by his own feelings for the one person that holds the key to merging the
ancient races that once ruled the ancient word.

Mae finds herself in an underground world of witches, and vampires, which are half-breeds of aliens long gone. She learns about her own unique parentage and powers, which she must study in order to control, before they consume her.

Beck and Helen’s love for one another spans across a millennium, her human soul reincarnated to match Beck’s own immortality. This time however the body she occupies is of a being that cannot be eclipsed by her return. After waiting two hundred years, Beck finds himself tormented by Helen’s inability to return and his growing love for her new host.

Some of the underworld creatures welcome her with open arms as a savior, while others seek to destroy the abomination they believe her to be. Will the knowledge of her existence cause a race war when the true power of her blood is discovered? Or will love become her ultimate downfall?

As a teen C.G. Powell was selected as a member of her school’s newspaper staff. After her first article the editor decided the darkroom was a more suitable place for her skills…or lack of. Since then, she has traveled everywhere—thanks to her innate curiosity about the world and the Navy. 

In her life time, she has learned: aviation electronics, CCNA networking, Gemology and how to get bloodstains out of the carpet (you never know when you might need that). But her latest, all-consuming, endeavor is storytelling. 

When asked why, her response was “I live to challenge myself; I like to be pushed outside of my comfort zone and writing is one of those things that pushes my boundaries. Besides it was the only way to share all of the crap bouncing around in my head!” 

C.G. Powell lives in Virginia with her husband and children. When she is not writing, you might find her watching hot guys jog past her front window, ordering the cabana boy to fix her another drink or abusing the local authorities…but that’s just hearsay.

I am still dying here from laughter, love the chia pet part of
the story. I must add the running through the castle halls butt naked was a
laughing treat as well 😀 This story is packed with hiding secrets, unknown
events and much more. If your into hot vampires and warlocks this is your kind
of story. They have so a wonderful sense of humor and enjoy using it every
chance they get. Some parts may make you tear up 😦 I know I did, but the story
is so wonderfully put together. Get ready for unexpected events, amazing action
and wild romance. Grab this one now because I can promise you there is going to
be a part 2, and hun I sure hope to be one of your reviewers for that 😀 woot
haha chia pet, haha naked and getting his ass handed to him by his sexy mate
lmao. Ok, ok I’m done now, no I’m not, lmao, lmfao, omg so love it. 🙂

I enjoyed the new take on some of the mythological creatures I
find in books so often. It is quite clear that Ms. Powell has an analytical
mind and it was easy to see from the get go that she had every little bit of
the supernatural completely planned out and understood. She wove the mythical
history that we study nowadays with her own interpretation, and created an
interesting new world.

I was a little put off with Mae at times. She was hard to relate to, because I
never got a good feel of her character. The supporting cast really made this
book interesting, and I am hoping Mae will step up a little more once she
understands herself better. I do look forward to finding out what happens in
the next installment. I think it is going to be even more interesting

Spell Checked is one of the most original
Paranormal Romances that I’ve read in a long time. Forget what you ever thought
about the stereotypical Immortals, this book has you seeing Vampires and
Witches in a whole new light. Truly spell binding, funny and romantic. CG
Powell’s characters are likable and sexy, they will leave you wanting more.
It’s hard to believe this is CG’s first book, I’m anxiously awaiting book 2 to
see what she has in store for us next.

Why are Writing Groups Crap?

by Louise Wise

You get all sorts in writing groups, the Ain’t I Brilliant writers who read aloud from pretentious manuscripts as the other Ain’t I Brilliant writers nod thoughtfully while waiting their turn to be pretentious. These aren’t brilliant at all, they just think they are. People like this will belittle anyone who threatens their Ain’t I Brilliant group, and are recongisable by their scruffy business suits, complete with sweat-marks.

Then you have the There for the Coffee Only writers who are mainly women (I’m allowed to be sexist because I’m a woman!), and whose children are probably stinking of poo in a pushchair somewhere in the corner of the room. These read aloud their work only to be interrupted by someone saying, “Oh, our Rosie Petal managed to stay dry all night.” Or. “I like your shoes. Where’d you buy them?”

Can’t forget the Retired Gentleman. He’s always in a group and ready to dismiss anyone under 30 as having no life experience and couldn’t possibly have anything worth writing about. He’ll read his work out so sllllooooowly, and insist to the person taking the minutes that he only has “two sentences left” but then takes up another five minutes reading his work. Oh, and it’ll always be about the war.

Students: Ugh! The cocky, “I’ve a degree and better than you” twenty-somethings who’re quick to point out the holes in your plot using humongous words. These are Ain’t I Brilliant in the making!

They sit thumbing their mobiles, looking petulant and bored until it’s their turn to speak. 

The Minute Taker is needed to stop people taking up someone else’s reading time, but these are usually so fierce I’m sure their day job is a bouncer outside some vomit-encrusted-nightclub. 

You’ve finally plucked up courage to read and when you do she or he is standing with a stop watch yelling, “five minutes to go, four minutes and 58 seconds, four minutes and 57 seconds,” and so on.

They scare the heebie-jeebies out me!’s had someone in their group like the people described above. Patti Hultstrand, author of Time Conquers All, Rescue in Time and Battle for Time has met all of the above at her writing group, and shares some words of wisdom:

As an author, we learn more with each completed book under our belts. Each book gets easier to write and edit because you learn the lessons from the previous works. Unfortunately, with this gradual learning, we find that we need a writing group that is closer to equal, if not even more knowledgeable than we are, or else we no longer grow or learn from others. I am reminded that one best selling author once mentioned this when talking about her current success with her writing group. She only worked in a writing group that included published authors. They were closer to equals and had already experienced the wounds of severe editing.

There is also this additional problem when dealing with newbie writers and that is, they have not built up a tougher skin in regards to critiquing their work. When I try out a new group, I do not hit them with all the corrections and suggestions I could make, but I find myself toning down their critique. Unfortunately, it is usually the group leader who takes a dislike to me because I dared critique them at all, when all the others in the group held them up on some pedestal.

These experiences have left me without a writing group home. This made me wonder if I should start a new group for mid-list authors who want to deal with like-minded writers who want to boost their skills by working their books, not just catering to each other’s egos. This does not allow for growth as a potentially successful author. Thomson author of Bullying: A Parent’s Guide and Caring for Your Dog had a mixure of Minute Taker and There for the Coffee writers. She says: The one and only writers group I ever went to, had this man in it. He cycled there and had a pair of shorts on and every time he leant forward we could see everything! Another member of the group had chronic fatigue syndrome and when she missed the next meeting the woman who’s house the group was in, accused her of being lazy. I stopped going after that.

Col Bury says: I prefer to use an online writers group. I’ve not looked back since I joined Writers News Talkback forum.
Ann Swinfen met the Retired Gentleman group: I joined a writers’ group at a time when I’d published one academic book and lots of journalism, but no fiction. At my third session we were all asked if we had any news . . . it went round the circle . . . one person had a small item in the (very) local weekly newspaper. Loud applause . . .when it came to me I said I’d just signed a two-book contract with Random House. Total silence. Evil looks. At the coffee break the only published writer (crime, with Hodder) came over and said how pleased he was. He’s remained a good friend. I stuck with the group for a year but found it of little use. A few years later I was asked to give them a talk. The attitude was a bit different! Batten agrees: I have to say, I find writers groups full of puffed up people who frighten me. Rather like those who presume to lecture at Adult Ed. Think I’d rather stick with peer-review groups or pay money to an editorial agency for no-holds barred comments.

Who have you met at your writing group? Some of the above or different ones? Maybe you’re lucky and have the perfect group. Please share, we’re jealous.