Historical novels and Alternative History novels

Join us next Wednesday, July 15th, at 8 pm, when our Zoom Chat guest will be Walter Hunt to discuss the research and work that goes into writing historical novels (and alternate history novels, which can be just as demanding). Bring your questions! (Click here for details on how to join the Zoom Chat).

WHWalter H. Hunt is a science fiction and historical fiction writer. He has been a professional since 2001, and has had eleven novels and ten short stories published. His Dark Wing universe series (The Dark Wing, The Dark Path, The Dark Ascent, and The Dark Crusade) were released by Tor Books between 2001 and 2005, and are now part of the Baen e-library. His historical novels A Song In Stone, Elements of Mind, Harmony In Light and, most recently, City By the Bay, were a departure from the science fiction genre and were critically praised. He has two novels and two short stories in the Ring of Fire / 1632 universe, most recently 1636: The Atlantic Encounter, which has just been published.

He lives in Massachusetts with his long-time wife, who is in the dedication of each of his novels. He is the librarian at the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, and is an active Freemason and baseball fan.

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Inserting romance into your fiction

How do you write a romance novel? How can you incorporate romance into your novel believably?

Our two guests for the July 1st Zoom Chat have done both and will answer all your questions!

Wednesday, July 1st, 8pm EST. Click here for details on how to join the chat.


L. Penelope is the award-winning author of the Earthsinger Chronicles. The first book in the series, Song of Blood & Stone, was chosen as one of TIME Magazine’s top fantasy books of 2018. Equally left and right-brained, she studied filmmaking and computer science in college and sometimes dreams in HTML. She lives in Maryland with her husband and furry dependents. Visit her at http://www.lpenelope.com.

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Visit her at https://ascendantkingdoms.com/


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Writing the Young Adult Novel

Next week’s Zoom Chat guest is Jon McGoran, to discuss writing a Young Adult novel.

Jon McGoran is the award-winning author of ten novels for adults and young adults including the YA science fiction thrillers Spliced, Splintered and Spiked, (Holiday House Books) as well as the acclaimed ecological thrillers DriftDeadout, and Dust Up (Tor/Forge). unnamed (2)Spliced was named to the American Library Association’s Excellence in Children’s and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable List and the American Bookseller’s Association’s 2017 ABC Best Books for Young Readers. Spliced is also on the shortlist for South Carolina’s Young Adult Book of the Year. McGoran’s other books include the D. H. Dublin forensic thrillers Body TraceBlood Poison, and Freezer Burn (Berkley/Penguin) and The Dead Ring (Titan Books), based on the TV show, The Blacklist. He has published numerous short stories, including “Bad Debt,” which won an honorable mention in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, and “Drive Time,” which was published in the X-files anthology The Truth Is Out There and was nominated for a Scribe Award. He also works as a freelance writer, developmental editor and writing coach, and is cohost of The Liars Club Oddcast, a podcast about writing and creativity.

To join the chat (held every Wednesday at 8 pm EST) click here, where you can also watch videos of previous chats.

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Dealing with independent publishers

Our topic for next week’s Zoom Chat is about independent publishers and the way they have to deal with the current market (along with how authors can work with them). Bring your questions!  Details on how to join are at the link to the right.

DREAPHOTOARTISTRY-0147DREAPhotoArtist ProfileOur guest John G. Hartness is an author, publisher, and podcaster from Charlotte, NC. He is the author of multiple novel series, including the award-winning Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter series. In 2016, John teamed up with several other publishing industry professionals to create Falstaff Books, a small press dedicated to publishing the best of genre fiction’s “misfit toys.” Falstaff Books has since published over 200 titles with authors ranging from first-timers to NY Times bestsellers, with no signs of slowing down any time soon. 2019 saw the launch of Book Babble, a YouTube show where John and Falstaff Books Associate Publisher Melissa McArthur interview professional writers about the books they love.

Find him online at www.johnhartness.com, www.falstaffbooks.com, and on Twitter @johnhartness

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Writing for Graphic Novels

Next week’s guests for our Zoom Chat are two of the biggest names in the world of comic books and graphic novels. They’ll discuss the differences and problems in writing for a visual medium and writing for novels and short stories.

WaidOver the past 33 years, Mark Waid has written a wider variety of well-known characters than any other American author, from Superman to the Justice League to Spider-Man to Archie and hundreds of others. His award-winning graphic novel with artist Alex Ross, KINGDOM COME, is one of the best-selling comics of all time.

peter davidPeter David’s notable comic book work includes an award-winning 12-year run on The Incredible Hulk, as well as runs on Aquaman, Supergirl, Spider-Man and X-Factor. His Star Trek work includes comic books, novels such as IMZADI, and co-creation of the New Frontier series. His television work includes series such as Babylon 5Young JusticeBen 10: Alien Force and Nickelodeon’s Space Cases, which he co-created with Bill Mumy. David has earned multiple awards for his work, including a 1992 Eisner Award, a 1993 Wizard Fan Award, a 1996 Haxtur Award, a 2007 Julie Award and a 2011 GLAAD Media Award.

Click here to get details on how to join the chat.

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So You Want to Self-Publish?

Our next weekly Zoom Chat (May 27) will be on the topic “So You Want to Self Publish?” with authors and publishers Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail . (For details on how to join the Zoom Chat, click here).

Danielle Ackley-McPhailAward-winning author, editor, and publisher Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books (www.especbooks.com). Her published works include six novels, Yesterday’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Memories, Today’s Promise, The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, and Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.

MikeMcPhail-ArtistAuthor and editor Mike McPhail is the co-owner of eSpec Books LLC, Electronic Speculative Fiction Publishing (since 2014). Although involved in numerous projects, he is best known as the creator and series editor of the award-winning Defending The Future series of military science fiction anthologies—now in its second decade of publication.
As a former Airman, he is member of the Military Writers Society of America, and is dedicated to helping his fellow service members.

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Inserting Social Issues into your Fiction: Zoom chat May 20

Our next weekly Zoom Chat will feature two guests who will discuss inserting social issues into your fiction. (For details on how to join the Zoom Chat, click here).

Hildy Silverman_croppedHildy Silverman was the publisher of Space and Time Magazine for 12 years. She is a short fiction author whose recent publications include, “My Dear Wa’ats” (2018, Baker Street Irregulars II: The Game’s Afoot, Ventrella & Maberry, eds.), “The Lady of the Lakes” (2018, Camelot 13, French and Thomas, eds.), “Sidekicked” (2019, Release the Virgins, Ventrella, ed.), and “Divided We Fell” (2020, The Dystopian States of America, Bechtel, ed.). Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous legal and medical professional journals and blogs.

MackieMegan Mackie is a writer, actor, and playwright. She has published four novels: The Finder of the Lucky Devil, The Saint of Liars, Death and the Crone, and Saint Code: The Lost through eSpec Books. She is also a contributing writer in the role-playing game Legendlore soon to be published by Onyx Path Publishing.


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Jonathan Maberry’s zoom chat: May 13

Next week’s Zoom Chat guest is Jonathan Maberry. jonathan_maberry

Jonathan is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator, and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

His best-known series include the “Joe Ledger” thrillers, The YA adventure series “Rot and Ruin” and “V-Wars” which was made into a recent Netflix series.

For more on Jonathan, check his website here.

Jonathan knows the business of publishing better than almost anyone, so bring your questions.

For details on how to join the chat, click the link to the right.

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Announcing the weekly zoom conference

OK Zoomer.

After last week’s successful zoom meeting, we plan on spending every Wednesday from 8 till 9 or so discussing issues important to writers.

Next week, May 6th, the topic will be “What Editors Want” hosted by Pocono Liars Club founder and editor Michael A. Ventrella, joined with two guests familiar to Pocono Liars:

6Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator, and anthologist from Brooklyn, NY. Over 100 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Analog, Strange Horizons, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and was a two-time finalist for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction (2015 and 2017). He is the editor of Future Science Fiction Digest and the curator of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous SF/F. His latest collection, The Golem of Deneb Seven and Other Stories, was published in 2018. His website is www.alexshvartsman.com.

ianIan Randal Strock is the owner and publisher of Gray Rabbit Publications / Fantastic Books. He previously worked for Baen Books, freelance edited manuscripts that were later published by Alyson, Doubleday, and Padwolf, and has extensive magazine publishing and editing experience (including stints at Artemis, Analog, Asimov’s, Absolute Magnitude, Science Fiction Chronicle, KISS, The Daily Free Press, and more). As a writer, his books have been published by Random House and Carrel Books, while his short fiction has appeared in Analog and Nature. Full details on Ian can be found on www.IanRandalStrock.com.


(1) How to connect:

The easiest way to connect is through the following URL:

Alternatively, you can use the following information to connect manually:
Meeting ID: 879 9294 1771
Password: 742930

If You wish to connect by phone:
One tap mobile
+19294362866,,87992941771#,,1#,742930# US (New York)
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Dial by your location
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+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 879 9294 1771
Password: 742930
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kLiKeYn6v

(2) This is a webinar.  To keep the screen uncluttered and to facilitate the panel discussion, attendees can see and hear and chat, but will not directly be able to speak to the panelists.

(3) Please use the Q&A feature to ask questions.

(4) For more information, please check:

(5) To automagically add all of this information to your calendar, please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

(6) Finally, if you have any problems, feel free to shoot an email to Chris Weuve, who is helping on the technical end of things.  He can be reached at “caw@kentaurus.com.”  Please include “POCONO ZOOM” in the subject line.

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Liars Club Zoom Conference

Since we can’t get together to talk about writing in person, and since our annual conference has been cancelled, we’re now making plans to bring the conference to you!

Next Wednesday, April 29th, at 8:00 p.m., we will start what we hope will be a weekly Zoom conference where guest authors, editors, and agents can discuss various topics and answer your questions.

This first week will just be an introductory conference where you can ask anything you wish of our panelists. Future weeks will have specific topics. Please go to our Facebook page and make suggestions as to topics you’d like to see our future panelists discuss, or if you have any other ideas.

On the Facebook page, we’ll provide the number you’ll need to access the chat room. As we want to prevent a bunch of people talking at once, the audience will be muted. You can use the “chat” function to post your questions.

This is being cosponsored by ConTinual – the Con That Never Ends. It will be recorded and placed on a YouTube page in case you miss it.

Pocono Liars Founder Michael A. Ventrella will host, and Christopher Weuve is handling the technical end of things.

April 29th’s guests will be:

DeCandidoKEITH R.A. DECANDIDO: Keith has published over 50 books, including tie-in novels for Star Trek, Sleepy Hollow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and many more. His web page is www.DeCandido.net

0061-eWomenNetworkGAIL Z. MARTIN: Gail writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane, Badlands, and Treasure Tail.

20180407 - WOTF - DAY 5JODY LYNN NYE: Jody is the author of more than fifty books and 165 short stories. She has collaborated with many SF/fantasy greats including Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, and Robert Asprin, with whom she wrote eight books, and took over the Myth-Adventures and Dragons series after his passing. Her own books are mostly of a humorous bent, such as the Imperium series (Baen). Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and her website, http://jodynye.net/

Start thinking about what questions you may want to ask for the program now.


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 876 7355 2417
Password: 742930
One tap mobile
+19294362866,,87673552417#,,#,742930# US (New York)
+13126266799,,87673552417#,,#,742930# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 876 7355 2417
Password: 742930
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbSHtMKjtn

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