Archive for January, 2014

Story Sprouts Blog Tour: Visiting Page Cravings


Hello friends! I’m over at the awesome book review site Page Cravings, along with other Story Sprouts authors.

Visit and check out our author interview.

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Story Sprouts Blog Tour: Visiting Medeia Sharif


Hello friends! I’m over at YA Author Medeia Sharif’s blog.

Visit Medeia’s blog and check out my post on The Benefits of Free Writing.

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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 Christine Hurst, children’s book writer and author of Symphony Smythe.

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 Welcome, Christine!


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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 Children’s author Christine Hurst

 I’m a children’s writer living in beautiful New Zealand down at the bottom of the globe. I wish I could say I’m a fulltime writer but alas, reality is still a problem for me and I have to earn a living as a librarian in a family history research centre. But I am working towards setting up my own indie publishing company, and my goal is to be working at writing full time within eighteen months. I love all ages and genres of children’s books, and I have had a picture book published which is sadly now out of print. I have also written an educational non-fiction book about what happens when a band goes on tour. (No, not that side of touring – you know, how sound works in a stadium and how speakers work).

I love to dabble in art but it’s not a strength. Hidden talents? Why would anyone want to hide their talents? Seriously though, there are no hidden talents but I do have a super sense of smell which is both a curse and a blessing depending on whether there’s fresh coffee or dog poop.

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Christine’s arty craft wall


On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

All over the place. I have a desk, which has a dock for my laptop, so sometimes I write at my desk, sometimes I take my laptop to bed, or on the couch and sometimes I scribble with a pen (gasp) on a pad. I recently got an (old) iPhone for Christmas – which I love – and I often use the voice recording function when I’m driving or out somewhere to make sure I don’t forget all the gems I come up with. Guaranteed my best lines or titles appear when I have no paper or pen!

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Christine’s Workspace


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

The desk is just a cheapy from some bulk discount store, but it has served me well for about 15 years now.


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

My wrist rest is probably the most important thing on my desk besides the keyboard. Not only is it ergonomically vital to good wrist health, its squishy and fun to caress!


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

I love that it’s in the house, and I can wander into it in my PJs and slippers. My most favourite thing on my desk, are my two computer screens. Until my current employment, I’d never even heard of using two screens. They’re useful for those times when you are writing and need to open a web browser to research at the same time. I will never go back to a solo screen.


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

After giving up coffee 12 years ago (because I thought it gave me headaches) I’ve just returned to the brew. Turns out I still got headaches without coffee – it only took me 12 years to figure that out. I always have a water bottle with me, but love nothing more than a nice cup’o’java!

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Christine at her book launch

On Writing

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

I’m a big fan of crime/mystery/horror so I love Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Anne Perry, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Some of my favourite children’s authors are Philip Ardagh, Joseph Delaney and Andy Stanton.  I’ve been a voracious reader my whole life and while there was no one author who inspired me to write, I just wondered if I’d be any good at it. Once I had my son, I started reading children’s books again, after many, many years. I realized quickly that children’s literature was my true passion.


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

On days when I do get to actually write for any length of time, I like to write before doing anything else. Sometimes I won’t even get dressed until I have written for an hour or two (otherwise it’s too easy to get distracted).


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 everyday but I’d like to and I am trying to rearrange my life so that I can write daily. Over a week I probably write a total of about ten hours. Not nearly enough! Some of my worse distractions are reading blogs. I then click on a link that takes me to another blog with a link and so on. I keep telling myself its research. My dogs are another distraction. I have a pretty daft Boxer called major, and a greedy miniature schnauzer called Peedy. I call them collectively ‘my posse’, because they follow me everywhere! They’re waiting for the tiny chance that I might suddenly break out the doggie treats, or the leashes.


4. Why do you write?

To empty my head of the stories that fill it daily!


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

There’s a lot of advice out there on the best way to write but my best piece of advice is to find what works for you and do more of it! I’ve heard it said that some people like to plan heavily before they write and other write by the seat of their pants. I use both methods on different occasions. The only advice I have is to write everything down (or record it). Ideas can come from the simplest of ideas such as names, sights you see, people you meet, things you hear.

My favourite quote at the moment demonstrates that the more things change, the more things stay the same:

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents and everyone is writing a book.

Cicero, circa 43 BC





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

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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Story Sprouts Blog Tour: Visiting Moody Writing


Hello friends! I’m over at Mooderino’s Moody Writing.

Visit Moody’s blog and check out my post on Choosing Titles for Your Fiction and Nonfiction Books.

The Story Sprouts Blog Tour continues with co-editor Alana Garrigues’s articles. She’ll be visiting the following blogs this coming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!

January 7, 2014, Tuesday – Theresa Milstein

The Writer’s Workshop – From Blank Page to Published in Six Hours

January 8, 2014, Wednesday – Jemi Fraser

Story Sprouts and the Beauty of a Moment

January 9, 2014, Thursday – Cherie Reich

Vampires, Fairies and Dragons, Oh My!

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Story Sprouts Blog Tour: Visiting In Time


Hello friends! I’m over at Michael di Gesu’s In Time.

Visit Michael’s blog and check out my post on The Many Roles of an Indie Author.

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Hello friends! I’m over at Karen Strong’s Musings of a Novelista.

Visit Karen’s blog and check out my post on Finding Inspiration Through Quotes.

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Announcing the Story Sprouts Blog Tour

2013 was a wonderful year for me and I can only hope 2014 will be just as good, if not better. Last year, I had my very first taste of publication through CBW-LA, the nonprofit writing group I founded. This year, one of my goals is to start spreading the word about STORY SPROUTS, the anthology we published.

This January, I and my co-editor Alana Garrigues (and author of the fabulous blog writercize) will be visiting other blogs to promote STORY SPROUTS: CBW-LA WRITING DAY EXERCISES & ANTHOLOGY.

50% of our book sales from November 2013 to the end of January 2014 will be donated to the ongoing Philippine typhoon relief efforts, so we’re hoping you all can help us spread the word.

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I’ll be continuing with my usual Wednesday Writer’s Workspace, of course, but for the rest of the month, Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays will be allotted to the blog tour.

We’ll be writing tons of informative and entertaining posts and sharing them on the following blogs, so please be sure to check us out on the following dates:


With Co-Editors Alana Garrigues &  Nutschell Anne Windsor






Wednesday Introduction – Nutschell


Thursday Introduction – Alana


Friday Karen Strong


Saturday Michael Di Gesu


Monday mooderino


Tuesday Theresa Milstein


Wednesday Jemi Fraser


Thursday Cherie Reich


Friday Medeia Sharif


Saturday Lena Cox


Monday Julie Flanders


Monday Natalie Aguirre


Tuesday Nas


Wednesday Alex Cavanaugh


Thursday Shelly


Friday Arlee Bird


Saturday Becca Puglisi


Monday J.L. Campbell


Tuesday Christine Rains


Wednesday Annalisa Crawford


Thursday Lisa Gail Green


Friday MJ Fifield


Saturday PK Hrezo


Monday Stephen Tremp


Tuesday Emily Ann Girdner


Wednesday Lynda R Young


Thursday L. Diane Wolfe


Friday Milo James Fowler


I’d like to shout out a very special thanks to all these wonderful bloggy friends who’ve agreed to host us!

And now the tour begins! See you in cyberspace!


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