Thursday, August 7, 2014

Using a Pen Name - by Tia Dani

As promised we are giving our friends and readers a chance to get to know us a little better. The second question that pops up after why write as a team is "Why write under a pen name?"

Using a Pen/ Pseudonym is a personal decision. There are many reasons to use one. For us the decision was made because at the time we still had plans to publish stories on our own and when we did we would use our real names. Plus the first story we published was erotic and we were a bit self-conscious about how our families might react when they found out.

After our second book was contracted and became successful, we made the decision to put all our future work fully under Tia Dani. We registered the trade name and formed a partnership.  From that time on we looked at our writing as a business and Tia Dani was our business name.

How we came up with the name Tia Dani is interesting as well. We thought long and hard on a name to use and first, Bev came up with the suggestion to put our 'middle' names together. That didn't work because Christine doesn't have a middle name. However Christine really liked the name KrisTia. She used it for a while but eventually shortened it to Tia.

Bev's middle name is Ann. Tia Ann didn't quite have the ring we wanted. So we decided to go to the mall, walk around, and brainstorm.  While running through a few names to go with Tia (not to mention trying on so many pairs of shoes our feet hurt, spraying ourselves with various types of perfume making us smell like a bordello, and…of course…sampling assorted chocolates and caramel corn) the name Dani was thrown in the mix. We both loved it. Bev likes being called Dani. It fits her. So Tia Dani was created. It was later we realized that Tia Dani in Spanish means Aunt Dani. But we don't care, it's a pretty name and seems to be well liked. So far, no one has asked whose aunt we are.

As most of you know writers are generally a shy group. This is why a pen name has worked well for us. Not that we are shy in front of others but using our pen name makes it easier and a little more fun. It's kinda like acting. When we give a workshop as Tia Dani, we like to role play. It takes away the Christine and Bev thinks, to Tia Dani says…

Anyway, that's our pen name story and we're sticking with it.

A second thing we thought about is several of our friends use a pen name to keep their writing identity secret from employers of their day jobs. It might work but it's not that easy to remain anonymous. Publishers are required to report to the IRS (via Form 1099) of payments made to writers, which means they need your real name along with your social security number.

Well…that was fun reliving our beginnings, but now we need to get back to work. We are wrapping up our next story, a paranormal set in the northern part of AZ. We have shape-shifters, ancient legends, apache warriors, magic, and reincarnation. And always a little romance. We hope reading Call down the Darkness will bring you as much joy as we have had in writing it.

See you next month,

Tia Dani
Authors of, Time's Enduring Love.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Action Heroes of My Past by Jamie Hill

Last month I talked about how Channing Tatum would make a good hero in my cop novel, Family Secrets. The post had me remembering who I was fond of in the past. Yes, you will see a Teen Beat Magazine image below. No, it is not from my personal Teen Beat collection. (I got rid of that a couple years ago. heh heh heh)

Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky movie sent me to the theater for more than one showing. I had certainly never seen abs like that before. 

In the photo below, he looks like he'd make a good cop. I have a thing for writing about cops, in case you aren't familiar with my work.


Sam Elliott in Lifeguard sent me to the theater even more than Sly. That was an amazing movie, which I'm sure has not withstood the test of time. LOL


Sam Elliott in Mask is also a sight to behold. That movie has stood up to time. I loved Cher's performance and will still watch that show every now and then.


Beau Bridges was a hottie back in the day, I can't name you one movie he was in except The Other Side of the Mountain (he died, I cried).

And if we're talking TV shows, Paul Michael Glaser, er, I mean, Starsky and Hutch was one of my all time favorites. I even wrote an episode script for them in high school, and another for S.W.A.T., co-starring Mark Shera.

Gosh, I guess my love for hot cops started early!

Don't even get me started on musicians. Bobby Sherman had me wishing my name was Julie for about a year. And then there was Mickey Dolenz, and the Bay City Rollers, and....I'm suddenly off topic here and can't even remember what the topic was.

I hope my memories have brought a smile to your face. I'll leave you with an old scratchy photo of me back in the day with my aunt's dog Tuffy, my vacation playmate since I had no cousins my own age. You can tell by the long-suffering expression on his face that I enjoyed our play dates more than he did. And by the way, my grandma was a great card player though I always teased her that she cheated.

You can find my collection of hot cops and other stories here:

Until next month, keep cool! ~ Jamie Hill

Sunday, August 3, 2014


by Diane Bator

I spent a few days away at a friend's cottage this week with my kids. I labeled it a "vacation," but is any writer every truly on vacation? Unlike some people, a writer's brain has no off switch. We tend to think of everything as a prompt, the start of a plot outline or a great hook. For example:

          Feeding the chipmunks led to thoughts of a children's book.
          Paddling on Lake Huron on a piece of fiberglass-covered Styrofoam gave me ideas toward a Young                      Adult book I've been battling with for years.
         Walking on the beach watching the waves rush to my feet, sent my mind reeling with thoughts of                              messages in bottles and bodies washing ashore.
          Building sandcastles...see above.

So after a few wonderous days of swimming and miniature golf, I find my hands busy with laundry and cleaning and my brain buzzing with ideas. Apparently, "vacation" time away from a keyboard to try new things can do a writer a little good!

Stop by and visit me at my website:

Ghosts and memories—Tricia McGill

Check out my Books We Love author page for information on all my books.  This little story I wrote years ago is one of my favorites, fo...