Saturday, 21 May 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Stefanie Nici of New York, NY.


Hey there Readers & Visitors? Welcome back!

Meet Author Stefanie Nici of New York, NY.

An Author of three novels and a book especially for authors filled with marketing tips. (So if you’re an author – check it out).

We met on Twitter and her tweets are always thought provoking and informative.

She is also a generous sharer and supporter of other authors.

Let’s welcome Stefanie and read about the Story Behind the Story.

Stefanie Nici is an only child who grew up in a remote area. For entertainment, she watched a lot of television and used dolls to act out the stories she created in her own mind. Stefanie feels watching others’ work play out on the screen taught her the importance of dialogue, and pacing, which also sparked her interest in storytelling.

Working Title: The title of my new release is The Wishing Stone.

Synopsis: After a breakup, Tess heads to Montauk N.Y. taking her dog Cooper and precious wishing stone with her instead. Once there, Cooper has an encounter with another dog which leads to a chase down the beach. That’s when Tess meets Kai, the frisky dog’s owner. All is well until Tess learns she may have lost something during the chase and holds Kai responsible. During her stay, he tries to make things right, but Tess has a lot on her mind and isn’t interested. Little does she know the two have more in common than she could ever imagine.

The Story Behind the Story: Like the main character Tess, many people carry an item with them for luck or positive energy. I wanted to tell the story of how that item can hold such significance in one’s life, even possessing the power to change it sometimes. Also, I love the beach and I love romance. I put them all together in hopes the reader will be taken on an emotionally satisfying journey. One that leaves them with a good feeling that they can carry with them for a long time.


A question for you before you go, Stefanie:

What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?

Stefanie: What I love most about writing is the magic of storytelling and character development which eventually take on a life of their own. When we the writer are no longer telling the story, but the characters are.

What do I like the least? Time goes so fast when I write and can leave me feeling like I didn’t write enough.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Stefanie. Wishing you continued success on your writing journey.


And another thank you to YOU - our readers & visitors. Appreciate you taking the time to stop by. Feel free to leave a comment.

Coming soon - June/2022. Shattered Dreams. The third novella in the Shattered Series. Follow this link and read Chapter 0ne.

South Branch Scribbler: Shattered Dreams - A Jo Naylor Adventure - Book 3. (

Saturday, 14 May 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Jeremy McLean of Fredericton, NB, Canada.


Let’s welcome Jeremy McLean to the Scribbler.

I met Jeremy through our WFNB membership when I needed formatting done for my stories. His work is excellent and he is always there if any changes need to be made.

This is his first visit as a guest and I hope you’ll enjoy the Story Behind the Story.




Jeremy: I live in New Brunswick, Canada, with my wife, Heather, and our two cats, Navi and Thor. I started writing over ten years ago with my first novel, Blackbeard's Freedom, and have been working on the series and other side projects since. I enjoy sci-fi and fantasy books and playing video games in my spare time.


Working Title: Blackbeard's Family (The Voyages of Queen Anne's Revenge Book 4)



Synopsis: Blackbeard and Herbert leave the crew behind on a mission: Kill Calico Jack.

When Edward takes advantage of an opportunity to assassinate Calico Jack, they get far more than they bargained for in a revelation that sends waves of doubt through the young pirates.

Herbert leaves to finish off Calico Jack on his own, but Edward follows, and the two find themselves in the lion's den. Stuck on an enemy ship, surrounded by battle-hardened men and a fiery female captain loyal to Calico Jack, a single misstep lies between them and a watery grave.

Can Edward and Herbert keep their identities secret long enough to kill Calico Jack?

See Blackbeard behind enemy lines in Blackbeard's Family, book 4 of the historical fantasy adventure series The Voyages of Queen Anne's Revenge!



The Story Behind the Story: This book is the fourth in the historical fiction/fantasy series I've been working on, The Voyages of Queen Anne's Revenge. Writing this story was interesting for a few reasons, with the main reason being that it was initially meant to be two books.

Anyone who's written or listened to writers knows they're often classified into planners or pantsers, gardeners or architects, etc. One is a person who plans everything out, and the other writes and lets things happen. I fall into the gardener category because I have a plan for the beginning, sometimes the middle, and the end of the story and future books in the series, but I don't have plans on how each chapter will go. I like to let things happen naturally between big moments because it leads to a more exciting story when even I can be surprised by something.

When I was trying to write Book 4, I had an overall plan for it and Book 5, but I struggled to think of what I would do to fill the gaps in either story. I decided to try and push forward and write Book 4, but each time I started the first chapter, it felt forced and uninteresting. I kept re-writing and tried to think of an engaging hook that would grab the reader's attention, but it just wasn't working.

Somewhere along the way, I had an epiphany to combine the ideas from Books 4 & 5 into one to solve the issues I had with them. The hook I had in mind for Book 5 now served as the hook for Book 4 and was a great catalyst which would lead the characters down separate paths where I could go back and forth between the two stories.

As any writer will tell you, they try to make their newest work better than the last, and I feel I get better with each book I write. Blackbeard's Family is the best writing I've done so far, and I hope others agree.




A question for you, Jeremy,  before you go:


What is your favorite part of writing and the part you enjoy the least?


My favourite part of writing is creating something that I enjoy reading myself. If I feel I've done that, I'm confident others will enjoy it.

My least favourite part is getting past the first hump of the story and into the meat. Establishing the setup to make it interesting for the reader is challenging and always takes me the longest, but once I get past that, I get into the flow it becomes a lot easier to write.


Thank you for being our guest this week, Jeremy. Wishing you all the best on your writing journey.


And thanks to our readers and visitors. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Angella Cormier of Moncton, NB, Canada.


It’s a pleasure to have Angella back on the Scribbler. It’s been way too long since she was our guest. If you missed her previous visit, take a peek HERE.


This week she is sharing the Story Behind the Story of her forthcoming novel – Equilibria- and it sounds wonderful.


Meet Angella, read her stories and tell everybody about them.





Angella Cormier grew up in Saint Antoine, NB, Canada, where her love of reading and writing was born. Her curious nature about everything mysterious and paranormal helped carve the inspiration for her current passion of writing horror and mystery stories. She is also a published poet, balancing out her writing to express herself in these two very opposing genres. Angella has been a multimedia/graphic design freelancer for 24 years.

Previous titles include:

Oakwood Island – The Awakening (volume 2)

Oakwood Island

A Maiden's Perspective: A collection of thoughts, reflections and poetry

Dark Tales for Dark Nights (written under Angella Jacob)

Working Title:         Equilibria


Synopsis: Isabella LeCree is a young woman on the cusp of adulthood seeking the truth about a past she has been sheltered from all her life. She struggles with the lack of transparency and details that have surrounded her mother’s death during childbirth. Needing answers, she steps out of her father’s shadows to lift the veil on her true origins.

Sebastian LeCree, her millionaire father, a powerful businessman and scientific innovator, strives to protect his daughter from the truth and his dark past; a past full of secrets and powerful enemies that could destroy the only family he has left.

Ancient bloodlines struggle for a power which will provide them with the ultimate rewards, tipping the balance of mankind’s vital control over the other.

Past and future collide in this thrilling supernatural novel.


The Story Behind the Story: The basis for this book’s plot came about when I had a vivid dream one night over ten years ago. As soon as I woke up, I wrote as many details down as I could remember. In 2017, I wrote the first draft in thirteen days as part of the NaNoWriMo online challenge. This was the only book that I had not outlined in its entirety before writing it. I always work with a full and complete outline before even attempting to start writing. That said, this was truly a challenge, but one that I enjoyed thoroughly.

Since then, I have worked on other books and stories, leaving aside this WIP. The story has always kept the core plot line from my dream, however, certain elements and details have transformed as the years have gone by. I work on the story bit by bit, in between projects and other writing. When I get a new idea for this book, I make sure to include it. Taking my time with this and letting it come to me organically has allowed it to morph into a much stronger and detailed tale. It is my goal to have this novel published by 2023.




A question before you go, Angella:

What have been the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable aspects about writing this book?


Angella: The most enjoyable part of writing Equilibria has been to take my time and not rush through the process. By it being the only book that I have never outlined, I want to make sure it is well developed and carefully crafted in the editing stage. I have been working on adding new chapters which will only create a better narrative to the book.

The least enjoyable and most challenging part of writing Equilibria has been to re-focus and re-center myself in the whole of the tale when I work on it. Certain elements can be forgotten after time has passed, and so I must ensure to have completely acknowledged the details and familiarize myself every time I sit down to work on it. That being said it usually does not take me long to remember why I love writing this story and for the messages it holds.


Angella has also been a gracious participant and contributor to the recent anthology - Autumn Paths. You might want to check it out. For more info, please go HERE.


Thank you, Angella, for being our guest this week. Your new novel sounds compelling and I’m looking forward to reading it. Wishing you continued success with your writing.


Thank you, Dear Readers & Visitors, for stopping by. Please feel free to leave  comment or question for Angella.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

The Story behind the Story by Allan Hudson of Dieppe, Canada.


I am so excited to share my own Story Behind the Story this week.

Shattered Dreams is with the editor as I post this. I’m aiming for a publishing date of June 30th, or earlier.

For those are new to the site or the series, Shattered Dreams is the third book in the Jo Naylor series.

Once a Detective – Now a Fugitive. What happened?


Book One – Shattered Figurine.

Book Two – Shattered Lives.

To read more about these novellas, please go HERE.


Watch for details or you can check out these spots:

FaceBook Author Page –  Allan Hudson Author | Facebook

Twitter -  Allan Hudson (@hudson_allan) / Twitter



Working Title: Shattered Dreams


Synopsis: Jo Naylor has to leave the sunny skies and beaches of Thailand. It’s too dangerous for her to remain. A return home to Canada isn't an option. Stepping off the plane in Paris, she’s greeted by freezing rain and a new adventure.  Befriended by an older man, Jo is introduced to the glamorous city and unforgettable characters. Brandy Williams is an Australian expat who dreams of reporting for Le Figaro, one of Paris’ leading dailies. The lead she uncovers of forced prostitution may be her last.

When Brandy disappears, Jo is not one to turn away from trouble. She wonders who she can trust with her own secret. She doesn’t know the city well enough to search on her own. Bertrand Poitras, a small-time bookie and man about town offers to help. Having been a cop for so many years has made Jo leery of his type. Handsome, tough and with the right connections, she decides to give him a chance.


The Story Behind the Story: What started out as a short story a few years ago, Shattered Figurine evolved into a novella and the beginning of this series.

Jo Naylor is a detective. She and her partner, Adam Thorne, are investigating a case in which all clues lead to the trail of a serial killer. Her hunt for the killer gets too close to home. Naylor has suspicions of who the perpetrator may be, and she prays she’s wrong.

I published the short story in my collection titled A Box of Memories which contains twenty intriguing stories.

I always wondered what would happen to a detective if the person they were searching for, the person who commits heinous crimes, was a relative. How would they react? How would I react?

Thus, Shattered Figurine was born. Shattered Lives followed and now I am happy to bring my readers the third Book in the Series – Shattered Dreams.

There are two more novellas planned for this series. Book Four is being outlined and I hope to introduce my favorite character – Drake Alexander – to Jo and together they can solve a crime… or get in trouble.

If you happen to read the series, you will discover Jo Naylor cannot return to her home in Canada. Will she ever be able to?

You’ll have to wait and see.


I hope you’ll stay connected and watch for Shattered Dreams.


Thank you for visiting. Thank you for your support.

Don’t be shy – leave a comment if you have time.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Ellen Khodakivska of Poland.


Hey there Scribbler fans.

This week you will meet Ellen Khodakivska.


We met on Twitter and it was the ingenious cover on her novel which intrigued me. I’ve since read her novel and enjoyed it tremendously.

She joins us all the way from Poland to share the Story Behind the Story.


Let’s meet Ellen.





Writing is my life, and despite all the challenges, obstacles, and storms, I’ll keep on writing even if there is only one person left who anticipates reading my next book.

      I’m a loving wife, mom of little Nik, an avid reader, animal lover, traveler, and tea drinker. I’m an author who loves my life and shares its milestones with the people I love the most!




Working Title: “The Watchmaker: A Clock Can Talk”



Synopsis: Time is tricky, unstoppable, and mysterial. It is pointless to argue with Time. All attempts to tame it are also hopeless. For some fathomless reason, truth is always on the side of Time. Meanwhile, Time loves to be appreciated. If you respect Time, it respects you back, revealing you some of its secrets.
Once a mysterious old woman offers Dominic Donelli’s great grandfather – an ordinary watchmaker – to possess a gift that will allow him to help people to manage Time wisely. He takes a risk and gives his consent. The watchmaker can’t even imagine a scale of the effect of his decision for him and his next generations.


The Story Behind the Story: “The Watchmaker: A Clock Can Talk” is based on a true story full of love stories and tragic losses, grief and blessing, mystic and mystery, gift and curse. Well, that’s how everything started.

Once upon a Time, I stuck at one of the numerous antique shops in Gjirokaster, Albania. I balanced on buying an old typewriter. Moreover, I was singing along to a tune that sounded from an old radio nearby. It was one of Toto Cutugno, an Italian singer who stole my heart a long Time ago.

Suddenly I felt someone observing me. I turned around and noticed an old man in a sky blue sweater. It was summer, and the sun was relentless. The man probably noticed that I was surprised by his outfit.

Then he stepped closer and said: “Buongiorno signorina! I bet that your heart belongs to Italy. And you’re also curious about my sweater”.

I just smiled, looking at the weird old man, whose green eyes looked much younger than his age.

Meanwhile, he talked: “Let’s make a deal! I’ll tell you about a sweater, and you’ll let me know about your wristwatch. I guess it’s a gift from your parents on your 16th or 18th anniversary. Don’t look at me like that! I’m old, but not naive! I know that one story about a sweater is not enough for a book! I’ll tell you a bit more. You’re a writer, aren’t you?”

I stood with my jaw half dropped.

He smiled kindly, winked at me, and added:

-      Sorry, I forgot my manners! My name is Dominic Donelli (that’s his name in the book)! I came from a family of watchmakers. And you have been peering at this typewriter for ages! Well, agree?

We found out that we had much in common during our long, fateful talk: we both love Italy, we both are strongly connected to Gift and Curse, and we both know for sure that ‘A Clock Can Talk.’ 





A question for you Ellen:


Please tell my readers about your podcast or your blog, what inspires it and how can we can find it.


Ellen: I don’t have any podcasts, but I have a blog where I share my musings, bookish preferences, and everything that inspires me with readers and fellow writers. Here is a link:




Thank you, Ellen, for your entertaining story and for sharing the Story Behind the Story. Wishing you continued success with your writing.



And a big thanks to you – our readers and visitors.

Don’t be shy – leave a comment before you go. Would love to hear from you.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Cheryl Taragin of Baltimore, Maryland.


Another new Author to the Scribbler.

I admire authors who can write for and entertain children.

Cheryl shares the news about her first picture book and the Story Behind the Story.

Let’s welcome Cheryl!




Cheryl Taragin holds a B.A. in Behavioral and Social Sciences from the University of Maryland at College Park and a J.D., cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a retired bankruptcy lawyer, storyteller, and writer, as well as the mother of three adult children and two young grandchildren. “That’s Ridiculous, Said Nicholas” is her first picture book for children. She is in the process of publishing a second children’s picture book about friendship and adventure and has a book deal to write her first young adult novel.



Title: “That’s Ridiculous, Said Nicholas”


Synopsis: Nicholas Jon Paul Martin William Annabelle Tydings is an energetic young daredevil who walks to the beat of his own drum. He wants to be treated like a sensible child, but people often tell him things that he knows cannot be true, like don't make faces, your face will freeze like that, or you broke this mirror, it will bring seven years of bad luck. Then he always said, “That's ridiculous.” With the help of his parents, Nicholas learns to be kind and that he can do anything if he puts his mind to it. This book is about how to handle those kids who are strong-minded and a little outspoken and how we can direct them onto the right path so they will be more focused and productive. Perfect for ages 3+.



The Story Behind the Story: Cheryl’s love of storytelling began at a very young age. As a child, she would write and illustrate her own stories, stapling the pages together like a book binding. The idea for her picture book came out of the blue while she was exercising. She realized that the name “Nicholas” rhymed with “ridiculous,” and wouldn’t it be funny if there was a difficult child who would speak his own mind whenever people said things that sounded ridiculous? As the parent of an out-spoken and strong-minded child, Cheryl wanted to create a story showing the effect of positive parenting on such a child. She hopes “That’s Ridiculous, Said Nicholas” will inspire children to speak out while remaining humble and inspire parents to realize that children respond better to praise than to criticism.




A question for you Cheryl, before you go:

What inspired you to write children’s stories and how rewarding has the journey been?

Cheryl: Although I’m a grandmother, on the inside, I never grew up. In my mind, I’m still that little girl creating stories. I love writing for children. Their little minds are so fresh and open to anything. That gives a writer a lot of leeway. The journey has been exceedingly rewarding. I’m very glad I finally decided to pursue my dream of becoming a published author. I am learning so much along the way and meeting great people. 


Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share my story with your readers.


You are most welcome, Cheryl. It’s a treat to have you as a guest. Wishing you continued success on your writing journey.


And thank you, Dear Readers & Visitors. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Heather McBriarty of Saint John, NB.


The Scribbler is so HAPPY to have Heather back for this week’s Story Behind the Story for her latest novel. She has been our guest before and if you missed her interview where we discussed her debut novel – Somewhere in Flanders – Letters From the Front - please go HERE.   

The novel we are discussing today is an exceptional story. I had the opportunity to read it and Wow!  Read on and you will discover a story not to be missed.


Heather McBriarty is an author, lecturer and Medical Radiation Technologist based in Saint John, NB. Her love of reading and books began early in life, as did her love of writing, but it was the discovery of old family correspondence that led to her first non-fiction book, Somewhere in Flanders: Letters from the Front, and a passion for the First World War. She has delivered lectures on the war to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, NB Genealogy Society, Western Front Association (Central Ontario Branch), and other community groups.


Working Title: Amid the Splintered Trees



Synopsis: August 1914—Emma has dreamed of becoming a doctor all her life, not an easy task for a woman. Will wants Emma as his wife, but she is worth waiting for. They both imagine a life together, a family and a future of happiness—someday.
But suddenly the conflict in Europe erupts into war, and they are asked to sacrifice everything. Nothing could have prepared Will for the death and devastation he faces in the muddy trenches of the Western Front. As his losses mount, he struggles to remain the man Emma knows and loves. Emma is forced to tackle her own obstacles as a woman in a man’s world of medicine, without his support. From her patients to her classmates, it seems no one truly believes her capable. Just when she thinks things cannot get worse, a devastating explosion levels her city and Emma is called to her own front line.

From the blood-soaked ground of Ypres, the Somme and Vimy to the 1917 Halifax explosion, each of them is tested in ways they never could have imagined. Wounded in body and soul, can they find a way back to each other or will their future also be sacrificed to the Great War?


The Story Behind the Story: My grandmother lived through the First World War, seeing her young man go off to fight and losing him to this conflict. I discovered this sad story when I was given the collection of letters which he wrote to her from the trenches.  I curated these letters into a non-fiction book, the story of one Canadian man’s war.

I often thought about this small human tragedy: lovers and families separated, going through life trying to survive and keep their spirits and hopes up; of men leaving it all behind and being thrust into a violent, deadly world beyond any of their experiences to that point. I wondered how they thought and felt on a deeply personal level. At the same time, I thought about my grandfather who was a medical student in Halifax, who had a female classmate at Dalhousie Medical School and who was placed in his own traumatic situation when recruited to treat the injured in the days following the 1917 Halifax explosion.

In researching for Somewhere in Flanders, I was struck by the stories of the real Canadians and the incredible job they accomplished at the Front in 1914-1918. I was fascinated by the work going on at home, and by how very much they were just like us while coping with the unimaginable. It was a face of the war far removed from the somewhat dry list of battles that we’re taught… if we’re taught anything about this war. And thus, bubbled up the idea to bring that world back to life through fictional characters.

This story came together quite quickly in my head: young lovers divided by a war; a young woman defying gender norms and enrolling in medical school, trying to reconcile having a career and a family; a young man who dreams of a wife and children and a happy life but is faced with the mental and physical traumas of war, the loss of friends - a gentle man forced to kill. But I wanted a happier ending than what happened in real life for my grandmother - her young man lies buried in Flanders, killed at age 22 – but it could not be too easy for either of my main characters.  Sometimes I felt like I was torturing these two lovely young people but that only makes for a better ending, right? This isn’t really a “love story”, although it has plenty of love; nor is it strictly a war story, which is well represented too. It’s a story of two people in love, facing four horrific years and triumphing in the end.





A question before you go, Heather:

What’s the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable about your writing journey?

Most enjoyable: getting into the heads of these two characters, of seeing them come to life on the page and coming to care for them as deeply as if they truly existed. In some ways they really did, as they are the representation of many real Canadians. When one beta reader said they fell in love with one of my main characters, it was a pinnacle moment.

As well, I felt I challenged myself as a writer and learned so much about writing. I have always loved books and stories, so to craft my own contribution to this art form was a massive personal accomplishment.

Least enjoyable: The editing! Oh, the editing… it feels like 90% of writing a book and in many ways is the least satisfying part of it. At times, I got heartily sick of my own words. But the polishing that results from editing makes the diamond shine. 


 Special Note: Heather will be sharing one of her short stories on our popular SHORTS page – Stories from Around the World – on May 18th. Mark it on your calendar.

Thank you for being our guest this week, Heather, and thank you for the incredible stories. Wishing you continued success.

A special thank you to my dear readers and visitors. Don’t be shy. Feel free to leave a comment below