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Star* Publish Times

Vol. 2, Ed. 16


Authors are often called on to speak to various civic groups, classes, libraries, etc. One of the most frequent questions they are asked is "Why do you write?" We thought it might be interesting to find out why a few of your favorite Star* authors started writing in the first place.
For some, writing comes almost as an inspiration. They are overcome with the sincere, burning desire to put things into words that they hope will inspire their readers. Such is the case with Joyce Anthony, author of Storm. She says, "I have written for as long as I can remember because that was my way of expressing myself.  Nearly seven years ago, I finally confided in a friend that my dream was to publish--and for the first time I got the encouragement to do so--then I shared some work with another friend--and the encouragement was enough for me to put my whole heart into making my dream a goal."
For some, it is a matter of necessity. Kristie Leigh Maguire was living with her husband Stan in Japan when she became frustrated because the only thing she could find to read in English was the back of the cereal boxes from the grocery store. "There weren't even that many different kinds of cereal available," Kristie quips. So, to try to find something worth reading, she resorted to writing her own books. She now has two books published as trade paperbacks--Affairs of the Heart and From the Far Side of the Sun. She also has a hilarious e-book, No Lady and Her Tramp, available from Star* Publish LLC.
For Star* Author Janie Lancaster, author of children's book Julie and the Lost Fairy Tale, it was a way to deal with skeletons in her closet, as well as a means of therapy. She explains it this way.

"I was innately a writer at a tender age. I wrote poetry, songs and made up stories as soon as I could hold a pencil in my hand. By the age of eight, due to cumulative trauma and child abuse, my brain had shifted to the left side. I became analytic in nature and skilled at adapting to my environment in order to keep myself safe.

I wasn’t until my early fifties that again traumatic events led to another brain shift. But this time my brain shifted to the right side. It was this right-brain awakening that led me to become a prolific writer. An avalanche of words filled journal after journal and caused me to write book after book. It was time to put back together the Humpty Dumpty little girl that was pushed off the wall so long ago––time to reclaim my true self. So you might say that now I am a Rip Van Winkle of sorts. I have become a writer who innately writes with a purpose––I now write to give voice to a 'Silenced Child.'"


Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't, who appears to be one of the more serious Star* authors, admits to being "called" to writing for romantic reasons. "I probably first started writing seriously when I realized all the cutest boys at my high school were on the newspaper staff. I was a high school sophomore.  It worked, too. I am still friends with one of them. His name is Jim Ure and he is author of Leaving the Fold. He even occasionally recommends a client to me. 

It also lead me to a job on a metropolitan daily newspapers, one on a national magazine, and my first job as a publicist. AND my time as a staff writer for a newspaper led me to my husband who was working in advertising dispatch." 
Epstien LaRue admits that it was romance that first led her to put pen to paper--or fingers to the computer--but that eventually turned to a more serious literary experience with her Highway Hypodermics books. The second edition, Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2007 was released on Jan. 1, 2007. Here is the information in Epi's own words.
"I started writing romance novels in 2001, related to the fact that finding true love online in 1996 was very much out of the ordinary!  It was against all the odds that we would make it, being that we met online, were 1000 miles apart and 24 years apart.  That was 10 years ago, and I'm still dragging him all over the country.  My job is the reaon that I keep on writing.  Travel nursing has been around for quite a while, but there weren't any books out there that I could find when I started.  Later on there was one that was written, but since then, Highway Hypodermics has become the industry standard."
Now you know the story behind some of the stories that you can find as Star* books. For the complete listing of Star* books, click here.  
And to find out how to learn more about the story behind the story, check out the Star* Times new section here.

Click on cover to order NOW1

It is hard--perhaps nearly impossible--for a fiction book to fit in with the late-breaking news of the day. But once in awhile fate steps in and gives the author and the book a head start. Such is the case with Janet Elaine Smith's latest Star* book, Bank Roll: A Max Stryker Mystery. The following is the article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"May 8, 2007 7:19 am US/Central Star Tribune To Cut 145 Positions, 50 In Newsroom(WCCO)Minneapolis Facing revenue and circulation declines, the Star Tribune said Monday it would eliminate 145 positions, or about 7 percent of its work force.

The cuts will include about 50 positions in the newsroom, the paper said, and a voluntary buyout program has been proposed to the Newspaper Guild, which represents newsroom workers."

For the rest of the article, go to


And now, to skip ahead to popular author Janet Elaine Smith's newest novel, Bank Roll: A Max Stryker Mystery, which was released just one day before the above article appeared as an AP release all aross the nation, May 7, from Star Publish LLC. Smith's author copies were shipped May 7.


Janet was just finishing the final edit a little over a year ago, the day before the news broke that Knight Ridder was selling many of their newspapers, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Poor Max Stryker! She could have gone to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but they were already overloaded with applications from her fellow writers at the Pioneer Press who were hoping to snatch a job without having to relocate.


The following is the back cover blurb from Bank Roll: A Max Stryker Mystery.

 "It started out like any other day for Max (Maxine, but only to her mother) Stryker, a crime reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Then the news broke. She was listening to the morning news on WCCO-TV as she rushed to get to work when they announced that the Knight Ridder chain of newspapers had been sold. When she arrived at the office, the buzz was that their newspaper was going to go on the auction block, and a lot of the workers would be getting pink slips within days, maybe even hours. With her notice in front of her, Max called her mother and told her that she was going to be forced to do what she had vowed would never happen: she was going home! Home to Willow Creek, Minnesota, where nothing exciting ever happened--until Max hit town again, just in time to hear that the bank president had been kidnapped!" 

Now, the opposing ne wspaper--in real life--has announced they are cutting 145 jobs. It's sure a lucky break for Max that she headed back to Willow Creek. If she hadn't, she might well be waiting for that second pink slip. Lucky for Max, too, that she is just a creation of author Janet Elaine Smith's mind. Nobody should have to go through this, certainly not twice.


So truth is indeed stranger than fiction! Max Stryker is living proof, even though she is a fictional character. But what are the odds of the timing on this one--not once, but twice? Does Max Stryker know something more than most sleuths? To find out, click on the cover of the book above to order it from  Meanwhile, if you want to read an excerpt of Max Stryker, please visit .

You will note a couple of new items in this issue.

First, the addition of the "Behind the Scenes with the Authors" page, where you will find links to more information about your favorite Star* authors. This list will have new names added frequently, so don't forget to check back. It contains the authors' websites, blogs, book sites, video trailers and more.
Second, on each book that is featured anywhere on the front page of the paper, the cover will serve as a direct link to a place where you can order the book, usually, to make it easier for the reader to make the purchase they might otherwise ignore if they continue reading the rest of the Times. 



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