THE STONE ARCH SECRET – A New Novel

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K.D. Dowdall’s new novel, The Stone Arch Secret, will be out soon!

K. D. Dowdall

My new novel, The Stone Arch Secret, a romantic mystery, is to be published November 1st on Amazon! Next week I will publish Chapter One, here on WordPress, please let me know what you think!  My Beta Readers have given The Stone Arch Secreta thumbs up and I am so excited.

Anyone who has written a novel knows how very complicated building a story can be, let alone development of believable characters.  Mysteries have their unique challenges too, for someone like me who is a fantasy writer.  Another challenge, and a very important one, is choosing a title and cover that works for the story content. For me, developing a title is agonizing!  I probably had five or six different titles until this one and this one fit perfectly.

Deciding on a cover that reflects what the story is, is more than challenging, it is exhausting, especially for…

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Castle Rapture~

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These are beautiful photographs!


Near Haut-Koenigsbourg in France is a castle called Kintzheim that houses only raptors.

These are bateleur eagles that I photographed in the wild in Africa and never expected to see again in France!

Of course you recognize these beauties, who I also never expected to see in France.

The castle runs a program called “La Volerie des Aigles,” which is dedicated to breeding, conserving and educating the public about vulnerable raptors. Birds are flown daily, and are an unusual sight soaring over the old towns and orderly fields of France. The castle has bred many endangered raptor species including Andean condors, and stellar, imperial and white-tailed eagles, and many other species, including vultures.

The white-headed vulture is endemic to Africa. Populations have been declining steeply in recent years due to habitat degradation and poisoning. Our planet needs vultures, they are designed to keep our world clean.

The cinereous vulture has…

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Quotations From Writers From Earlier Times

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I thought I would share these quotations again.

charles french words reading and writing

Today I will offer a few quotations from writers from earlier eras about creativity, learning, and teaching.

Geoffrey_Chaucer_-_Illustration_from_Cassell's_History_of_England_-_Century_Edition_-_published_circa_1902

(illustration from Cassell’s History Of England – Century Edition – published circa 1902)

“And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche”

“And gladly would he learn, and gladly teach.”

These are the Middle English and the Modern English versions of this quotation from “The General Prologue” of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. This idea is of enormous importance to me, because I am both a teacher and a life-long student.  All people should try to continue to learn throughout their lives and to teach someone else the wisdom they have amassed.

shakespeare

(Portrait of William Shakespeare, attributed to John Taylor
NPG London)

“Suit the action to the word, the

word to the action, with this special observance, that you

o’erstep not the modesty of of nature. For anything so over-

done is…

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Stephen King on Revision

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Stephen_King,_Comicon

(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“To write is human, to edit is divine.”

“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”

 

“Your job during or just after the first draft is to decide what something or somethings yours is about. Your job in the second draft— one of them, anyway—is to make that something even more clear. This may necessitate some big changes and revisions. The benefits to you and your reader will be clearer focus and a more unified story. It hardly ever fails.”

 

All quotations are from

Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft

 

 

Back From the Writers Digest Conference!

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(https://pixabay.com)

I have not posted anything in the last few days because I have been busy at the 2017 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was a great time! If you are a writer, and you want to learn more about the world of publishing and to have an opportunity to pitch to agents, then I recommend this conference to you.

I attended many sessions with publishing professionals and writers, and I learned something useful at each session, including about writing, marketing, and various other aspects of the world of publishing.  I met and networked with other writers, and that was also extremely important and valuable. To those I met, it was delightful, and I hope we keep in contact.

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Perhaps the most exciting event was the Agent Pitch Slam, which is essentially like speed dating, with a strictly enforced 3 minute maximum with each agent, and then the writers move on. If a writer does well in pitching his/her book, then they might see 6-8 agents. I was able to pitch to 7, and one requested my entire manuscript–my YA novel The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge by Charles F. French! Now, I know that is not a guarantee, but it is a major step forward, and I am excited about it.

I also want to say thank you very much to my in-laws, who very graciously opened their home to me while I attended the conference. They are wonderful people, and I love them.   Again, thank you!

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(https://pixabay.com)