Sunday 29 May 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Connie Cook of Ontario, Canada.


Let’s welcome Connie back to the Scribbler.

On her last visit she shared a delightful short story – Fish Girl – and if you missed it, please go HERE.


I met Connie quite a few years ago when I discovered her clever short stories on She has been a guest several times since then and it is a real treat to have her back for the Story Behind the Story.


Please make note that Connie will be sharing more of her short stories in the very near future in our SHORTS page


Tell us about you novel, Connie.



Connie Cook is a Retired Registered Nurse. As background research for the novel, she completed an online course to become a private investigator. Connie enrolled in writing classes and has been writing ever since. Her short stories have been published by Chicken Soup for the Soul, Pacific Magazine, CommuterLit and Feminine Collective.


Working Title: Follow the Money, a Diana Darling Private Investigator Novel



Synopsis: Look out, there’s a new private investigator on the scene and her name is Diana Darling. In her forties and unsatisfied with her life as a number cruncher, Diana takes the plunge and completes an online course to become a private investigator. The ink is still wet on her certificate and her business, The Diana Darling Private Investigator Agency has just opened, but she has already landed her very first client.

While on her first case investigating an extramarital affair, Diana collides with bona fide Detective James Woods. As it turns out, James and Diana are on the same case-just from different sides. The ongoing investigation intertwines their lives as James and Diana go undercover at a couples retreat, witness a church shooting, visit a strip club frequented by seniors and bikers, and eventually Follow the Money to the Cayman Islands.

But along the way, there’s another conflict brewing: Diana falls for James. They try to remain professional, but the romantic feelings for one another are palpable. Soon Diana discovers that it’s never too late to fall in love and it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

The Story Behind the Story: I’ve always been a longtime reader. Favorite author is Janet Evanovich and I’m a huge fan of her Stephanie Plum series. I love her style and the voice in her writing. Part way through my career as a Registered Nurse, I felt the need for a break. Found an ad in the local newspaper for an investigator at a place called the Darling Detective Agency. All they required was a background check. That was completed and in fact they did hire me. But when I found out it only paid minimum wage and my first job would finding shop lifters at a mall in a ‘not so great area’, I chose to stick with nursing. Glad I did! But the idea never left me. One day on the way to a writing class, I drove by a store called “The Spy Store.” Stopped on the way home and picked up a spy pen. The rest is kind of history. Started the novel and never quit. I just wanted it to be a romantic comedy and hoped it would give readers a laugh or two. To date I’ve sold approximately 300 copies.






A question for you Connie:

Do you hear from your readers? What do they say? 


I do hear from them. Most common comment is that they were laughing after the first chapter. Another lady said she read it in two days and loaned it to her son. The rest of the comments are similar. Many from fellow writers in my writing group, and trust me they can be a critical group. I take the comments to heart and I’m happy to have made people have a giggle.




Thank you for being our guest this week, Connie. Happy to have you back. Wishing you all the best in your writing journey.



And a special thank you to you, our visitors and readers. You make it all worthwhile.

Please leave a comment if you like.

We’d like to hear from you and please tell us who your favorite  author is or your favourite book.

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.