Tag Archive: writing


The Dent Sisters had the great pleasure of appearing in the same anthology of “Murder Ink, Thirteen Tales of New England, Newsroom Crime,  Vol 1” as O. Lucio d’Arc, edited by the world traveler and delightful Dan Szczesny, and published by Plaidswede Publishing.

We first met Oreste at “Murder Ink’s” book launch, held at the New England Newspaper Convention (NENPA) in Boston, February 2016. His short story in that volume, “One Way Dead End” is a noir gem. During the year, we joined him at several other book readings in the New England area and wanted to share what we discovered about this fascinating writer. Continue reading

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The Dent Sisters recently spent a glorious afternoon with two Writers’ Groups from different locations in New Hampshire. We came together for a ‘gathering.’ Twenty-eight people brought no more than 1000 words (4 pages) of whatever they wanted to read. This included finished shorts, drafts, poems, or something they wanted to showcase in front of an audience. Fiction writers, screenplay authors, poets and word smiths gathered in one place to share. It was awesome.

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We met at Sake, a Chinese restaurant in Milford, New Hampshire, organized by the fabulous Gregory Norris. We did the same thing last year at an Inn and were incredibly inspired, went home and wrote for several hours. The inspiration and warm memories lasted for several days.

What makes this one day event so special was the enhanced feeling of connectedness with so many other writers. As you all know, sharing your writing and listening to others adds to the depth and texture of what you create. The readings ranged from mystery, horror, to sci-fi and poetry.

Yes, you say, but I attend a weekly or monthly critique or support group. The difference lies in being able to gather together with a large group of people you haven’t seen in months or maybe only on Facebook, or at conferences. It only lasts a few hours but it’s a fun event.

The best part – It can be done anywhere, but our favorite hook up is a private room in an accommodating restaurant where the smell of delicious food and relaxed atmosphere adds to the ambiance. The difference between a Sunday Soiree and a Play Date is the number of people who attend and share their writing, news and laughter. And think “No mess, no fuss, no cleaning or cooking.” This kind of event doesn’t happen weekly or monthly but on those rare occasions when writers crave a play date.

As usual, we all went home stuffed, itching to get back to our short stories or opus, reconnected with old friends and made a few new ones. If you haven’t tried it, do. You won’t regret it.

Hi All ~ Waylaid by the holidays we are just now catching up on some of our news.

The Nashua Public Library held a Local Author’s Night December 4th from 7-8:30 p.m. Fifty authors were invited to set up tables, sell, sign books and meet the public. We got a chance, along with other authors, to meet new writers and say hello to old friends we hadn’t seen in a while.

The place was packed. Since we signed up as ‘The Sisters Dent’ we were assigned a table together allowing one of us to mingle while the other manned the table. Thus we both got a wonderful chance to talk to other writers, exchange e-mails, FB and website info.

The public who showed up were a warm and interested group and the Nashua Library held a “raffle” which was a brilliant idea. Visitors went from table to table, talked to the authors and then had their ‘raffle’ ticket signed. The one with the most signatures was the winner. Fantastic idea to motivate open discussion between a reader and a writer. No pressure to purchase a book, but a great opportunity to get someone interested in your writing. Most writers had some sort of ‘swag’ to hand out to the public – magnets, bookmarks etc. allowing a person visiting their table to remember their name and check out their books if interested.

We found the one thing in common throughout the night, was the overwhelming ‘love for and enthusiasm of writing, from horror to YA. The relaxed atmosphere and experience enriched us both and we look forward to attending other writing events.

When it was over, we joined friends, Tony Trembly, Bracken MacLeod, John McIlveen, Trish Wooldridge, Pam Marin Kingsley and Scott Goudsward for a nightcap at a local pub.

Libraries are a definite resource for writers in so many ways. And remember, if you have a book that’s been published, please introduce yourself and donate a copy to your Library

Interesting Facts: Did you know the earliest known libraries consisted of clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in Sumer dating back approximately 2600 BC?

Greece, Rome, the Christian church, Islamic dar al-‘ilm or Halls of Science, the Library of China during the Imperial Zhao dynasty, and all the great civilizations that followed, had libraries. Of course, those who had access to them and what they consisted of evolved over the years.

Today, libraries offer not just books, but specialty items: CD’s, DVD’s, cassettes, microfilm, periodicals, newspapers, income tax forms, manuscripts, Blue-ray Discs, e-books, audio books and databases. You will also see a room with computers, meeting rooms, upcoming book signings and a children’s section. Their staff are there to help you find what you’re looking for, whether you know the author’s last name or just the plot and setting.

Libraries rock! Visit one near you and see for yourself.

In keeping with our plan to post a monthly blog (or more if inspired), keep tuned. Till then!

As we prepare for our reading at Books and Boos April 6th (514 Westchester Road, Colchester, CT) we’ve had an enormous show of support and love.  And it occurred to us that we could return the favor.

Posting a review on one of the major sites is not the only way to show support. With the advent of Facebook, Blogs and Twitter people can get information out in a myriad of ways. And we’re fortunate to be surrounded by an enormous pool of talented people with interests and abilities in many areas.  Just in our writing group alone, almost every person has more than one talent, such as:

  • One writes great sci-fi but also invented a writing program to help with the agony of organizing their fellow-writers works.
  • We have non-fiction writers who take amazing photographs that could be just the thing you’re looking for.
  • Another teaches classes in Word and Excel which will improve your knowledge of the computer, making your writing life that much easier.
  • Plus we also have several members who pitch and sell ideas for new anthologies to established houses.

Along with their writing, other creative projects can be promoted as well by: Reviews, Inteviews, Articles, Facebook/Blog/Twitter mentions, word of mouth — and it only takes a few moments to do.

So The Sisters Dent will list ONE: Book, Article, Short Story, New Program Feature or Submission Alert at the end of each blog for you to “CHECK THEM OUT”.

Enuf about that, What About US?

Roxanne put the final polish on “The Janus Demon,” and “The Poison Pen Murders,” and is in the process of mailing letters to agents.  She is currently working on “Beyond the Iberian Sea,” Book Two of “The Janus Demon,” wrapping up “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a novella Regency and is working on a new short YA fantasy, “The Boy in the Green High Tops.”

Karen has completed her first novel, the paranormal noir “A Case to KILL For” and has begun editing as we post this. She’s completed another short horror, “The Cursed Box” and has begun a loose outline for a Steampunk short with Zombies.

Until our next post …

CHECK THEM OUT:

 S.D. Grady’s newest book, “Heart of the Dragon” is available at www.amazon.com.  Sonya is a writer of erotica, romance, historical fiction and believe it or not, articles on NASCAR.  Her website is www.queensdomain.blogspot.com

Whether it’s in the area of creative arts or business, be open to serendipitous opportunities that DON’T have anything to do with having all the ‘necessary things in place or following the rules.

Enthusiasm, excitement and expectations are like magnets. They draw to us or repel opportunities for success. Intuition and listening to your inner voice plays a BIG part in success. This could be a joyful conversation with someone while you wait on line at Starbucks that leads to an introduction or a phone number, or moving forward with sending out a query to that Agent in spite of your inner fear.

Writers, Actors, Artists, Sculptors – are constantly bombarded with rules that box them into believing they must attend conventions/market themselves/blog their asses off/network or get the best headshots/acting classes/skinny down-Botox up in order to make it. This just undermines joy and shrivels belief in talent. It plops you down into an environment of ‘not gonna happen unless you…’ and we believe it, blocking the unexpected, the serendipitous, the once in a lifetime opportunity.

That is not to say rules are worthless. Going out and meeting people in the industry will most likely help your career. And yes, blogging is a great way to market yourself. But it shouldn’t stop you from ‘making’ it.

My sister and I have known a number of ‘Innocents’ – those to whom the RULES were not yet set in stone. We’ve seen beginning writers through excitement and a belief in their abilities get an agent and sign with mainstream publishers. Struggling actors have snagged a National Commercial or a speaking role in a soap or a sitcom. . But as time wore on, and the buzzing around them seeped in, focusing on what they didn’t have and how they weren’t following the rules, the jobs dried up, and they slowly became part of the disappointed, disillusioned and frustrated mass of unemployed.

We have written this blog because we and so many of our talented friends have fallen victim to undermining ourselves. We want to remind you to make your Creative Spirit trust itself, to stop you from feeling helpless, your work’s not good enough, the odds aren’t in your favor, or any other negative emotion that pops up and tears down your confidence — and that includes a pass from an agent or publisher. Agents and publishers often say their pass has nothing to do with your talent. It’s true. The passes are all about finding the right home for your baby. So keep sending it out. Yes, the personal approach works, and yes, as a writer if an Agent is interested in your letter they WILL look at your website/blog, so it would helpful if you had one and if it was good. Hey, times change and marketing yourself today is HUGE … but it’s not everything.

Write what you love with joy and abandon and believe that the world is big enough, quirky and mischievous enough to embrace you even without all the trappings of the Rules.

Love you, keep the faith – The Sisters Dent

Whatever you choose to hook up with, a Support or Critique Group, your participation in a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meeting of the minds can be extremely beneficial.  We belong to the Essex Artists and Writers Guild (EWAG) which is strictly a Support Group that works for us. There are plenty of critique groups who will offer advice and criticism should you need it.   We find that a support group encourages the flow of creativiity and your writing improves.

Belonging to any group, opens you up to other styles of writing, story presentations and that wonderfully exciting, jazzy blinding power of Inspiration.

Joining a group, brings you into contact with other writers who have information to share, just like you. People who might know more about something than you do and are willing to help you out (like show you how to start your blog)or share books about 19th Century goo-gaws that will help enormously with your current steam punk story.

Writers everywhere are out there hunting down markets to sell to, and if you join up with a good group – they’ll share their information, and you can share right back. The feeling you get from sharing information with other like minded people is a rush — and everybody wins.

A group of writers can organize Writers Weekend Retreats, Sunday Soiree’s –things that bring you together and encourage you to do what you love to do –write. This past weekend, EWAG rented a house on the beach up in Maine from Fri-Sunday. Cost for the house was $100/pp for the entire weekend – and we wrote our brains out amd probably put on twenty pounds as everyone chipped in with their favorite dishes and of course junk food.  . In preparation for NanoWrimo, some of us actually achieved 10K that weekend. The camaraderie and knowledge that you were there for one thing – writing. with no distractions, except for short walks on the beach, led to writing mania and enormous accomplishments.

We can’t express enough how much we love the idea and practice of sharing. It makes you stronger, it creates family and bonds that go deeper than you’d ever imagine.

Last year we attended our very first ‘con’ — Anthocon in Portsmouth NH. Because it was within driving distance, we drove to and from the hotel each of the three days. We had a ball and determined to attend more conferences.

This year we’ve reserved a room so we can eliminate the driving and attend more of the social events without worrying about getting home. We’ve also reserved a table with another group we belong to, NEHW (New England Horror Writers) so we can display our books, meet and greet. Roxanne is particularly excited because she has a story in Anthocon’s first print anthology. We always come away with fabulous ideas for new stories and meet interesting people from all over the country. It’s a blast and well worth attending, especially when you share.

We will be taking pictures and posting our experiences on next weeks blog – Hope to see you then!

Dent Sisters at Work

Dent Sisters at Work

Whether you are drawn to mind numbing horror, Regency romances, Victorian  mysteries, Zombie Apocalypse, twisted fairy tales or YA stories, between the both of us, we’ve written them all.  You can double your exposure by doing what we did.

Sharing a blog and combining our talents made us realize how important and worthwhile it is to share your creative life with at least one other person. Sharing can boost your visability by at least 50%, enhance productivity, cut costs in half — AND having four eyes and two minds to look over your work before sending it out — priceless.

We think this is an incredible way to help writers achieve their dreams with the simplicity of sharing.  We’d like to share what we’ve learned over the years and give you the hard reasons why sharing is a no-brainer for success.

Next weeks blog — breaking down the specific ways and reasons this can work for you, and no – you don’t have to be siblings.

Dent Sisters at Work

Dent Sisters at Work