Archive for May, 2013



Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Stephen Tremp, blogger extraordinaire at  and author of the suspense thriller REAKTHROUGH.

Welcome, Stephen!


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

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Author Stephen Tremp

I was in banking and finance (recreation business; boats and RVs) for many years. I managed various departments, was Keeper of the Documents for a $7 billion portfolio, and was involved with various projects including conversion and deconversion projects that came with mergers and acquisitions, and compliance projects like Sarbanes-Oxley.

Then came the financial collapse and I took a voluntary layoff. I took the time off to write some books and never looked back. I still do part-time work in the travel industry to help keep the lights on and the water running. I love the travel industry as people are generally in vacation ode and in good moods.



On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I lost my manly-man space last year to my kids as we walled off the loft and gave it to them and I moved into a spare bedroom. Then, just last month, I lost that as the kids now need their own separate bedrooms. Sigh. So I now use my laptop to write wherever the house is quietest.


2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

Staples for $99.00. I laugh as a kid I thought I would have this huge office with mahogany walls and a fireplace with books lining the walls.

Now, I’m temporarily in the kitchen (thanks kids!!!). But it throws off how a kitchen should look and wife is not happy. I’ll lose the desk in a couple weeks and use my laptop to write on the kitchen table, couch, Starbucks, or wherever. My PC is pretty much obsolete now.

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3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

Stuff my kids made for me. Like a LEGO man sitting at a desk typing away. Classic!

4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

Workspace? What workspace? Offices and desks … who needs them? Just give me a comfy place to sit, a cup of coffee or wine (depending on the time of day), and my laptop.


Three things on my desk:

Daughter number one made me out of Lego pieces sitting at my PC.

Daughter number two bought me the buck.

Wifey gave me Father of the Year trophy.

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5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

See above comment.

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Stephen’s favorite coffee cup, Stitch from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch.


On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

I was inspired to write a book as soon as I finished Relic from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Dean Koonz is also an inspiration. I met him at a book signing and shook his hand and took a pic with him. He’s a very affable guy. But overall, I glean inspiration from a wide range of authors.


2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

I like to write in my sweats, PJs, something loose, soft, and comfortable. In the hot summer months it’s my boxer shorts. TMI, I know.


3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

I don’t write every day. I take breaks. But when I do write, I make up for lost time. I just sit down and rock and roll regardless if it’s quiet or noisy and knock out massive amounts of a WIP.


4. Why do you write?

Writing is my passion. It’s what I love doing and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Except marketing and promoting, which I really like to do too!


5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

I can write ten pages a day easily. The fewer the revisions the better. Stephen King claims to make fewer than five revisions per novel in his book Am Writing and that’s what I’m working toward.

I’d like to write one book every six months and with Stephen King’s advice and my editor’s help, I can do it!




Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Stephen!

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.




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3rd Blogaversary Giveaway

The Writing Nut is 3 years old today!

That’s right, it’s my blogaversary.


blogaversary giveaway


Time does fly. I’m glad I made the decision to start blogging three years ago. I’ve certainly learned a lot of things about blogging, writing and social media in general. Most importantly, I’ve met so many amazing people on the blogosphere and made such awesome friends. (Yes, I’m talking about you)

To celebrate this unbelievable (as in I can’t believe I’ve been blogging this long) milestone, I’ve decided to host another wonderful giveaway (on top of my already fabulous Shadow & Bone Giveaway).

I’m giving away SIGNED copies of the following fantasy books:

TROUBLETWISTERS by Garth Nix & Sean Williams

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Michael Scott’s THE ENCHANTRESS, Book 6 of  The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel Series

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And finally, a SIGNED FIRST EDITION of Cassandra Clare’s CLOCKWORK PRINCESS, Book Three of the Infernal Devices Series.

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This contest will run until May 29, 2013.  

To join, simply fill out the rafflecopter form below. 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This week, the Spotlight was on LEIGH BARDUGO and her awesome Tsarpunk, Fantasy Series SHADOW & BONE

Curious to know more? Check out my review of the book.

And if you missed it, here’s the link to my interview with Leigh Bardugo.

It’s the end of another Spotlight Week, which means it’s time for another awesome giveaway.

Today, I’m giving away a SIGNED COPY of SHADOW & BONE, Book One of the Grisha Trilogy!


shadow and bone


To win, just Leave a comment below and tell me why you’d like a copy of the book.

I’ll put all your names in my magical drawing box and pick the winner.

I love encouraging people to unleash their imaginative and creative sides, so the more creative your answers are, the more chances you have of winning. If your comment/answer tickles my fancy, I’ll add another slip of paper (or two) with your name on it to my drawing box.

Also, if you tweet about this giveaway, or share it on Facebook, I’ll add more slips of papers with your name on it.

Contest will run until May 22, 2013.

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Spotlight Week: Author Interview with Leigh Bardugo

I’m so pleased to introduce to you all Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow & Bone.

I bump into Leigh at various SCBWI schmoozes and events. I’ve always been a fan of her quick wit and sense of humor, and now I’m a big fan of her book.

Last June, 2012, I was lucky enough to be at her book launch for SHADOW & BONE. I enjoyed listening to Leigh talk about her journey to publication and how she had started writing when she was nine.

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At Author Leigh Bardugo’s Book launch in Hollywood, CA

Leigh has many talents. She’s a make-up artists whose skills can make any beautiful model look like the scariest ghoul. She also has a wonderful voice, and when she has time, she rocks out with her Captain Automatic bandmates.

Among other things, Leigh is a great teacher and she graced my group, CBW-LA,  with her awesome teaching skills. Along with fellow author Jennifer Bosworth, Leigh taught a workshop on Avoiding Publishing Pitfalls: From Draft to Deal.

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Authors Leigh Bardugo and Jennifer Bosworth with CBW-LA officers.

I’m lucky to even live in the same county as this amazing and talented author!


Author’s Bio from Her website:

Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives in Hollywood, where she indulges her fondness for glamour, ghouls, and costuming in her other life as makeup artist L.B. Benson. Occasionally, she can be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic.

Her debut novel, Shadow & Bone (Holt Children’s/ Macmillan), is a New York Times Best Seller and the first book in the Grisha Trilogy. Book 2, Siege and Storm, will be published in 2013. She is represented by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf.

Leigh’s Social Media Sites:





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The Talented Leigh Bardugo

1. Tell us three random, unique, or weird facts about yourself.

I’ve never had a cavity.

My last name means “executioner” in Spanish.

I can recite Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29.


2. What’s the most unusual job you had before you became a full time writer?

I spent a summer as a beer girl. I’d applied for a sales and marketing internship, but I ended up lugging bottles of microbrew around Manhattan in 100 degree heat, trying to get delis and bars to stock it. It didn’t help that the beer was terrible.


3. What prompted you to take your writing seriously?

Such a tough question. I think I always took my writing seriously. The real trick was ditching my self-doubt and perfectionism and just committing to finishing a first draft. As messy as that draft was, it had a beginning, a middle, and an end. That gave me confidence.

4. What inspired you to write Shadow & Bone?

In fantasy, darkness usually operates as a metaphor. I wanted to see what would happen if I gave it real physical form. That idea became the Shadow Fold and every other part of the story arose from it.

5. Tell us about your path to publication. What is the coolest thing about being a published author?

My path to publication has been obscenely fortunate. I queried my agent, Joanna Volpe, at the end of October 2010 and signed with her in November. We went to auction later that month, and shortly after that, the trilogy sold to Holt Children’s/Macmillan. I’m proud of Shadow and Bone, but I also know that I got very lucky. I happened to query the right person at the right time in the right market. If you’re out there querying or on submission and it doesn’t happen over night, don’t lose faith. It’s not about the quick deal or the big deal. It’s about finding good people to work with and the right home for your book.

 For me, the best thing about being an author is definitely hearing from readers—whether it’s fan art or email or someone coming out to an event. Seriously, there’s nothing better.

6. What’s your typical day as a writer like? Do you have any writing-related rituals or quirks?

When I’m drafting, I do a pretty good imitation of a normal person. I work in cafes and coffee shops and I like to have writing dates with friends so we can keep each other honest. But when it’s time to turn that rough draft into a book, I disappear into my house and I don’t come out for months. I think my only writerly quirk is that I eat the same thing for breakfast every morning when I’m on deadline. Erm… and I occasionally sing while editing.

7.  What advice would you like to give to writers on the road to publication?

Find readers that you trust and listen to their feedback with an open mind. Write. Revise. Do it again. Then be kind to yourself. So much of this business is about luck and timing. If you put your work out into the world and you don’t get the response you hoped for, don’t give up. Have a good cry or a cocktail or break a vase. Then dust yourself off and keep making art.



Thanks Leigh, for that wonderful interview!

Tune in again on Friday. I’ll be giving away a SIGNED copy of Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW & BONE!

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