Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, September 2021 Movie Preview, #IWSGPit, Defining Success, and New Book Releases


It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!

September 1 question - How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

Success to me was just having a book published. Holding it in my hands and watching people read and enjoy it was success.
Since that first book, there have been several others (and audio books), some hitting the top of the charts on Amazon, and providing royalty checks that did indeed pay the mortgage. Plus the reviews and readers reaching out for more. Opportunities to be in multiple anthologies. Not to mention being able to start the IWSG!
But it all comes back to that first book. That was success. All else has been bonus!


Today is the deadline for the IWSG Anthology Contest! Sweet romance – first love. Get your entries in by midnight EST tonight!


The next #IWSGPit Twitter pitch event is January 26, 2022!
See the IWSG site for details, hashtags, and more.



New Releases!


Small Forgotten Moments by Annalisa Crawford

Is Zenna a muse, a sleep-deprived apparition, or something much more sinister?
Suffering long-term amnesia, artist Jo Mckye is ready to start a fresh, new project after the success of her debut exhibition. But the fictional subject of the collection, Zenna, won’t let go so easily. Infiltrating Jo’s dreams—and increasingly, her waking hours—Zenna is fast becoming a dangerous obsession.
Jo is confident the answers lie at her childhood home, an idyllic Cornish village on the south-east coast; she just doesn’t know why. Only when she walks into the sea and almost drowns does the past start to unravel.

Universal purchase links HERE


One Year On Broadway: Finding Ourselves Between the Sand and the Sea by Kathryn McKendry

A true story of forbidden love, adventure, and letting go
How do you know when it’s time to close one chapter of your life and begin a new one? To let go of the past, open your heart, and trust in a new beginning?
At first we said, “no.” We knew it was ridiculous.
And yet something in our hearts led us back to the Island.
Having no idea where it would lead, my husband and I took a leap of faith and became co-producers of the Broadway Revival of Once On This Island, the musical that had given us so much.
Even if it failed, we would have a great story to tell.
We ended up with so much more.

Find it on Amazon


The Cure by Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne

Every human in the world becomes a zombie when they die. But Erin refuses to accept the world as it is now. She’s heard about a cure locked away in a lab in Upper Michigan, and she plans on retrieving it. To do so, she needs a zombie. Not just any zombie, though.
Zee is Erin’s link to the lab. His connection to the living world is her bargaining chip. But only if she can teach him to control his mindless impulses.
Can a zombie be trained? Or will Erin be Zee’s next meal and become a zombie herself? The fate of humanity rests in her hands.

Universal purchase link HERE 
Add on Goodreads


Fractured Princess by Debra Renee Byrd

Jonnie is the last princess of the Crystal Bearers, once a powerful people. When she was a baby, the metal army destroyed what was left of them, and now it is hunting her. Her watchmen keep her just out of the metal army’s reach, but she has spent her seventeen years running and hiding. Instead of standing by while her watchmen keep risking their lives for her, she decides to learn how to fight alongside them.
On the journey to hone her skills, long hidden secrets about her people reveal a connection between the Crystal Bearers and the metal army that only fuels Jonnie's will to defeat it. But the more she learns about her own powers, the more she realizes she may be responsible for the metal army – and the destruction of her people.

Find it on Amazon


September Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for September. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.


3 –


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang-Chi, the master of unarmed weaponry based Kung Fu, is forced to confront his past after being drawn into the Ten Rings organization.
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Stars: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Michelle Yeoh
When One Ring isn’t enough to rule them all...


17 –


Cry Macho
A one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder takes a job to bring a man's young son home and away from his alcoholic mom. On their journey, the horseman finds redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam, Fernanda Urrejola, Brytnee Ratledge
Finally - a movie where Eastwood teaches Millennials how to be men…




What is success to you as a writer? Will you have something ready for #IWSGPit? Picking up more books? Either movie catch your eye? Don’t forget – last day to enter the IWSG Anthology Contest!
Next Monday is Labor Day and I will be offline. Come back the following Monday for a slew of movie reviews and more!

93 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

An excellent post Alex, yes, getting that first book published is and was a wonderful feeling. Great reviews as always.
Have a good September,
Yvonne.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Great definition of success. Pretty close to my own.
Good book choices, I'm reading one of them now.
Not sure about the movies this time. But it's been hard on Hollywood to get movies out with the pandemic.

Elephant's Child said...

I am so very glad of your success.

Annalisa Crawford said...

My definition of success is closely aligned with yours. I haven't been able to pay the mortgage with my royalties yet, but I'm hoping.

Thanks for featuring my new book today, and congrats to all the other authors with new releases too.

Deniz Bevan said...

Love your answer, Alex! I have to say, it was reeeeally exciting to open up the box of books for the last IWSG anthology :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex – I can see your definition rings true – having that first book published … and fabulous to know you’ve achieved so much, yet are here for others.
I’ve just won Annalisa’s ‘Small Forgotten Moments’ – so am going to enjoy reading her stories …
Cry Macho entices me … and I like your summary … so that’s one for me.
Enjoy the Labor Day weekend – all the best Hilary

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Yes! Holding a book or reading your own published work in a publication is the best. You're a great writer of great books to read. Thank you for starting the IWSG. I told myself this morning as I read writer blogs, "These are my people." The IWSG is so helpful in connecting with others.

I still haven't been to a movie since 2019. :( One of these days, I be back in the madness of regular life.

Teresa

G. B. Miller said...

I think success for me was seeing myself published for the first time. I had a short story published in an e-zine way back in the early 2000s, so that was my defining moment. Everyone else from that time period going forward has been simply icing on the cake.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That first book is special! Hope you have a good Labor Day weekend, Alex!

Kalpana said...

I liked your definition of success. Thanks for the reviews of the movies and the books. I may get Patricia's Zombie book. Happy IWSG day!!

Cathrina Constantine said...

That first book is amazing!! Congrats to all the new releases!

Liza said...

Someone said success is when you can deliver a positive impact to others. You are way at the top there, Alex! Oh, yeah, and that book thing? That's pretty darn successful, too!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

J, they've delayed most of the good movies.

Annalisa, you're welcome!

Deniz, that's great!

Teresa, thanks - that is why I began the IWSG!

GB, exactly!

Thanks, Cathrina!

Liza, I really appreciate that.

Pat Garcia said...

Hi Alex,
I agree that the first book is special. It is kind of like the first baby.
For me, the first book was the culmination of a dream deferred.
Shalom aleichem

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that you achieved your goal of getting one book published and can see so many other successes come after that. Even just the IWSG that you've founded is a huge success because it helps so many writers.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for another great hope. Hope you guys get some great submissions for the anthology. I enjoyed the Cure and may check out some of the other titles. I'm looking forward to Shan-chi.

Joanne said...

Success is getting some acceptance, some acknowledgment that you touched a soul. After that, getting paid is a plus too.
Congrats on new book folks - very excited for Annalisa - such a great writer.
Movies - I feel Marvel Universe overkill - kinda tired of super hero stuff. We'll see if I go to the theater.
Happy September!

Jemi Fraser said...

I like your definition better than mine! My first success was getting Until Release published in Tick Tock! Everything else is bonus as well!
I hope lots of great authors get their first (or next) success in the next anthology!

kjmckendry said...

Yup, totally agree, holding my book for the first time was amazing!
Thanks so much for featuring One Year on Broadway!
And congratulations to Annalisa, Patricia, and Debra!! Way to go ladies!!

Jennifer Lane said...

I want to change my answer to paying the mortgage from your writing! That is truly awesome.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Good morning, Alex!

Looking forward to Shang-Chi!!!

Heather

Nancy Gideon said...

Great post, Alex! That first book says "You can do it! . . . Now do more!"

Jennifer Hawes said...

So glad you started this group! There's nothing quite like holding your first book in your hands.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I haven't heard of Cry Macho. Making a note - sounds interesting!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You are indeed successful.

Clint Eastwood is 91 and still going. So amazing.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, here is to more books, more bonuses, more success and more reader love :)

Nick Wilford said...

After that first taste of success, you just want more. Some great books being released - I'm cheering for all these authors.

Unknown said...

It is good to be back on your blog after two months of online hiatus, Alex. So many new books--and some by authors I know! Off to check them out.


Damyanti Biswas

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great title on the Eastwood film! Cut to the chase, tell it like it is! The book about producing the Broadway musical sounds fascinating.
Thanks, again, for IWSG. (currently working on my post)

Diane Burton said...

Nothing beats that 1st book. So happy your books are successful. I think your greatest accomplishment is starting IWSG. thanks.

Emma L Gill said...

Thank you for starting the IWSG - I do so love joining in each month, and I think it's been a year now! Your success sounds like the kind of success I dream about... One day! :) The Clint Eastwood movie is one I hadn't heard of, so thanks for that recommendation. Happy IWSG Day :)

Bish Denham said...

That you were able to pay your mortgage with the royalties of your book is a wonderful sign of success! May there be many more.

Yolanda Renée said...

Sounds like some great books and a few good movies are ready for the masses. More people should be reading due to the pandemic. Wonder if that's true? :)

cleemckenzie said...

Great success tale, Alex. And congrats to the authors with new books coming out.

Jacqui Murray said...

Chock full as usual, Alex. I like your final reason--that first book, "That was success". I agree. If you felt like me, it was the completion of something you never thought you'd do.

Keep those movies comin'. I rely on you as I watch more movies from home. There are a lot of bad ones out there!

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I'd love to be able to pay a mortgage with money from my books.
Thanks for the shout-out of The Cure. ^_^

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joanne, it's getting good reviews and being touted as a unique entry.

Jemi, exactly!

Kathryn, you're welcome!

Damy, good to hear from you!

Jacqui, definitely check out the reviews on my next post so you can avoid some bad ones.

Patricia, you're welcome!

Thanks, everyone.

Carrie Ann said...

Wow, love your success story! I have had several short stories and poems published - hoping to have a book published one day. But success for me is simply writing meaningful stories that impact lives. :)

C. D. Gallant-King said...

Marvel has a pretty good track record so I will check out Shang-Chi, but I have to admit my overall enthusiasm for their new movies has waned significantly. Not as much as it has for Clint Eastwood mind you, but they're not as exciting to me anymore.

talklady said...

Thanks, as always for the movie recommendation. My husband and I watched 'The Mule' during COVID, in which Clint's character gained redemption, so we'd been eager to see 'Cry Macho."

I'm elated to be among your legions - you mentor as well as Clint.

Fundy Blue said...

You deserve a "You Rock"Award, Alex, because you rock! Not only are you a successful author, you're someone who has done so much to support and encourage others in reaching their dreams. Thanks for all you do!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Good for you, Alex, for all your publishing success. Bravo! And I agree, the sweetest success is to see or hear someone enjoying your book.

The new titles sound intriguing. I'll need to check them out. I've heard about the Clint Eastwood movie. Hmm...I'm not a movie goer. My kids are. But this one sounds good. All best to you, sir!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great post, Alex! Yes, holding my first book in my hand was wonderful! I actually think the first time I had a poem published, I was almost as excited. I think each publication is a success, but each time I write something and finish it, it's a success.
Thank you for doing all you do to support and encourage authors!
As for the movies, I plan to see Shang-Chi this weekend with friends. :)

Gwen Gardner said...

First book in your hand (and every one after that too) is quite a success! And just being part of it all is thrilling :)

Liesbet said...

You have phrased your answer to this month's question beautifully and perfectly, Alex. It does, indeed, all start with the first book. I'm so happy for you that you have reached moderate success with your series - so much so that it actually earned money for "real things" like a mortgage. Congratulations!

Lots of new book releases and another anthology deadline reached. People have been busy!

Aha, a new Clint Eastwood film. It's bound to be good, especially based on the snark. :-)

Lee Lowery said...

You're one of those multi-layered successes. I suspect you've given back as much, or more, to the writing community as you've received. What a treat to learn that it all came from that first book!

Oh yeah. Clint Eastwood has had a thing or two to teach us about life. That is definitely on my watch list.

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

I love everything about this post! All the books and movies - I plan on seeing Cry Macho - and especially your take on what constitutes success: "All else has been bonus!"
Have a wonderful September!

Olga Godim said...

Yes, holding your first book in your hands is intoxicating. I have forgotten.

Stephen Tremp said...

Yes I still have the original first copies for all four books. Safe and sound in a box in the garage.

J.Q. Rose said...

Clint Eastwood movie sounds like a winner. I am in on this one! We share the same feeling of success with our books. And you thought you were done once upon a time! ha.

Botanist said...

Initially, success for me meant holding a physical copy of my own book with my own artwork on the cover. More recently, an unlooked-for sense of success comes from people I know asking when the next one is being published. It's a small number, to be sure, but those are the ones I'm writing for now.

Carol Kilgore said...

Congrats to everyone with new releases! Thanks for all you do, Alex. Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

Liz A. said...

Initially, I read Cry Macho as Cry Machine...

Leigh Caron said...

I like your idea of success. And it sounds like Clint's still got it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

CD, reviews say this one is really different.

PJ, thank you!

Louise, thanks.

Tyrean, we are going to see it Friday!

Lee, thanks. I have tried.

Stephen! That's cool.

JQ, I did think I was done. Twice!

Liz, whoa!

Sadira Stone said...

I get a thrill of success every time some perfect, non-author stranger buys one of my books and cares enough to leave a review! It kinda blows my mind.
Just listened to an NPR interview of the male lead in Shang-Chi. Definitely looking forward to that one. As always, thanks for all you do for all of us!

Rhonda Albom said...

Look at all those exciting new releases. I loved reading your books Alex, glad I can be part of your success.

SpacerGuy said...

Its not easy starting from scratch but looking at these sensational reads I have reached an internal tranquillity with these subjects, so much excellent work inspires me. Well done on CassaDark!

Melissa said...

You are a huge success. Your books, your blog, IWSG - be proud!

Sandra Cox said...

You most definitely are a success as a writer. And your fans are gonna love CassaDark:)

Denise Covey said...

I'm sure getting that first book published was a blast. Hopefully your successive books were easier. Here's to the success of your next release!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

You've done a lot over the years and seen LOTS of success.

I hope Shang-Chi is a good movie.

Jenni said...

You have had a lot of success and look at what you've built with ISWG. You've encouraged so many writers and helped provide a place for us to support each other.
Cry Macho sounds intriguing, even though I'm usually not a western fan.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love your snarky movie predictions. I haven't been to a theater for probably two years.

Congrats on the success of your entire Cassa-series. The books deserve their reknown.

Stacy McKitrick said...

How do I define success as a writer? Being able to write another book after finishing the last one. I think when I can no longer write a book, then I'm no longer successful.

kimlajevardi.com said...

I'm working toward that first book. The gravy will be good as well, but I can't wait to hold that first book.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great answer, Alex! It truly all begins with the first book published! Look at how far you have come with such a humble and rewarding beginning! I am LOOKING FORWARD to my success story someday when I get my first novel published. I will not give up until I do. LOL

Definitely entering the pitch... It will be my third I believe and I did have minor luck of at least having a few agents ask for fulls. You never know next year I may hit it right! It is all about timing.


Shannon Lawrence said...

Congratulations to all four authors on their new releases! Not really interested in either of those movies.

Birgit said...

I’m so glad for your success as a writer. I can think of nothing better that starting and finishing a book. What a great way to showcase all the new books coming out..congrats to them! I want to see the Eastwood film for sure but I keep reading “Nacho” instead of “macho”. The other film looks good to but not sure it will be great.

Christine Rains said...

That's awesome about your success! My definition keeps changing, as well I think it should. You literally made me guffaw loudly at the comment on Shang-Chi about the rings! Hehehe. I watched Independence Day and Tremors with my son this weekend, and he liked them both. Then, the cherry on top, he said they needed to be riffed. :D Have a great long weekend!

Lynn La Vita said...

Hi Alex,
Your definition of success for you is inspiring and so individual. Thanks for your reviews, they offer nice entertainment during the long labor day weekend.
BTW, I posted my comment early Wednesday morning. I just checked and it disappeared.
Thanks again for your creating IWSG.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sadira, that is mind-blowing.

Rhonda, thanks!

Michael, glad you will try #IWSGPit again.

Birgit, Cry Nacho is Taco Bell's new slogan!

Christine, I know they riffed Independence Day.

Thanks, everyone!

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I'm definitely going to see Shang Chi; I've read several issues of the Master of King Fu comics he was in and they had some really good stories. That first and third book in the book release section sound interesting. Publishing your first book is definitely a success. I know it was for me.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I love your definition of success, Alex. Seems like your first book definitely opened doors for you, and I'm so glad you started the IWSG.

For me, it's being able to write full time again, and not having to do anything else on the side (not including the marketing that is part of the author life--I actually enjoy that). An ocean view would be a great bonus.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Seeing my book in print is awesome. And watching a child or teen reading my book and enjoying it makes me so happy and want to write more.

Chemist Ken said...

Your success meant that all of us in the IWSG also benefitted. Thanks so much, Alex!

Weaver said...

For me, it's been when I get feedback from readers about something I've written that's touched them. <3

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Oh wow. Thank you!

Sarah Brentyn said...

Yeah, just publishing a book is, in itself, a success. To me, success is kind of an off-putting word as it's constantly changing and being redefined by...everyone. My "success" as a writer is quality over quantity--publishing something of quality that I'm proud of. (Looking forward to Shang-Chi!)

Shadow said...

Jeez, hell yeah!!! having a book published is major success, i would never stop grinning hee heee heee
And as I am finishing a Dean Koontz, along comes Annalisa Crawford, sounds interesting, I shall investigate.....
Enjoy your long weekend, see ay on the flip side.....

newsstand pilgrim said...

Paying the mortgage with book proceeds? Yes, that's what I'd like to do when I grow up. For now, I'll tick off today's writing goal and make plans to see Clint in the theater.

Thanks for the tip!

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thanks Alex for your unwavering support, your news, your reviews and for doing a great job keeping IWSG alive and kicking back to all those who try to downplay us. Wishing you a fruitful autumn . Congrats again on your new book in the CassaDark series.

Mary Kirkland said...

Not sure I'll be watching either of those movies but I did finally get around to watching Suicide Squad and Godzilla vs Kong. I liked both of those.

Azka Kamil said...

I'm sure getting that first book published was a blast.

Tara Tyler said...

yay for the releases!!

love: one ring isn’t enough to bind them all - hahaha

Clint Eastwood? wow, but it sounds excellent!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You are also a huge model and a mentor for so many writers. Inspiring others is a noble skill, indeed. Good to know you.

Truedessa said...

Happy Labor Day! I hope you have nice day off. I am glad you wrote that first one and kept writing. Who knows, our paths may have never crossed at the intersections of Dragon of the Stars and somewhere beyond dreams

H.R. Sinclair said...

I completely forgot it was Labor Day today. As to success, it comes in levels. Immediate is publishing. But a more complete success is when someone purchase it and lets me know they liked it. It's that little pat on the back that makes it worth it.

mail4rosey said...

That's wonderful that you have found success with something you enjoy. And you seem very humble and kind too. I know a lot of people look up to you here in the Internet world!

Sandra Cox said...

Did you have a great extended weekend?

Loni Townsend said...

I'm finally getting around to returning visits! I like your definition of success and that you've found it with your books. That's awesome!

I'm actually looking forward to Shang-Chi, though I don't know when I'll get to go see it.

Cherie Colyer said...

I love your definition of success. It's so true, having a book published is a success. It's an amazing feeling just knowing that readers anywhere in the world can read the stories I worked so hard on.

Congrats to everyone with new books!

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