September 14, 2021

“Camp Detroit,” Yong Takahashi’s Upcoming Book

“Camp Detroit,” Yong Takahashi’s Upcoming Book

Yong Takahashi’s dystopian young adult novel about family, friendship, and finding one’s inner strength will be published by Inkwell Publishing in 2022. https://inkwellpublishers.com Justin Grant is fourteen, living in the aftermath of a bankrupt Detroit, Michigan. Labeled as slow and a trouble-maker, he is given a government-sponsored intelligence test to determine if they can legally expel him from school. The results are not what anyone, including Justin and his mother, expect. Yong Takahashi is the author of Rising and The Escape to Candyland. She was a finalist in The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Southern Fried Karma Novel Contest, Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest, and Georgia Writers Association Flash Fiction Contest. She was awarded Best Pitch at the Atlanta Writers Club Conference.  To read Yong’s other works, please visit: https://linktr.ee/yctwriter *** Yong Takahashi is the…

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August 12, 2021

Interview with Author Abigail George

Interview with Author Abigail George

Editor’s Note: I had a chance to chat with one of our Featured Writers from 2020, Abigail George, about why she began writing and her writing life right now. She’s recently published a book about Emily Dickinson, available on Amazon. —Mike The Fictional Café: What made you choose to be an author? Abigail George: I didn’t grow up wanting to be an author. Life happened, took me down the road less travelled and kind of anchored me in a dysfunctional family life. Now I write all the time. I am inspired by many, many things. Mostly poets. Other writers. Nature, competition, psychology, science, the facts of life fascinate me endlessly so how I can ever run out of things to say, become bored or suffer from writer’s block? These days I have turned back the…

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June 27, 2021

June Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

June Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

Jason’s Notes From the Lab… My YouTube channel has been growing, but I wanted to supercharge it with a promotions company. I tried two of them: Sprizzy and Social Growth Engine. They both work the same way. I give them money and a video. They promote the video. My channel gets views, which bumps things up in the algorithms and makes it perform better overall. Here’s my experience and opinion with them.  Sprizzy incorporates your video into ads they run on YouTube (and I think some other platforms), getting it in front of many eyes that are at least marginally interested in your content. You get to set your budget for each video, with a minimum effective spend of $40. Social Growth Engine has an army of minions. You give them a link, they tell their minions to go…

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June 15, 2021

“Books for Writers,” An Editorial by Lorraine Martindale

“Books for Writers,” An Editorial by Lorraine Martindale

Books for Writers Though writing is solitary art, it’s also communal, and we all have favorite authors that teach and inspire us. Here’s a list of books I read often to gain deeper understanding how to write and edit my work. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard What is this writing life? Annie Dillard asks. “You climb a long ladder until you can see over the roof, or over the clouds. You are writing a book. You watch your shod feet step on each round rung, one at a time; you do not hurry and do not rest. Your feet feel the steep ladder’s balance; the long muscles in your thighs check its sway. You climb steadily, doing your job in the dark.” Like her celebrated work, Dillard illuminates the writing life with intelligence, humility,…

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May 30, 2021

May Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

May Edition of “The Break from HOKAIC”

Jason’s Notes From the Lab …So, I started Instagram.  Long-time readers of my work know that I recommend choosing two social media platforms and owning them (as opposed to spreading yourself thin across all the platforms available). For the longest time, for me that was Facebook and Google+. But then Google+ stopped operating. Which left me looking for a second home. I kept trying Twitter and LinkedIn, but honestly kept sucking at both of them. I have not yet figured them out. But I seem to be getting some solid traction with Instagram. For better or worse, here’s five things I’ve learned so far.  Use Video. My videos are performing 2 to 3 times as well as my images alone. Whether that’s a posted video, something on my story, a Reel, or IGTV. In June I’m…

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