Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Suicide Is Not Painless

My husband and I recently rediscovered M*A*S*H on Netflix. It's our go-to for a short evening laugh. But the theme song haunts me.
Suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please. 
…and you can do the same thing if you please.*

Suicide is not painless. It is a national tragedy. Suicide is the tenth highest cause of death in America; the third  highest among youth. Every 12.8 minutes someone takes their own life in the United States; more than 41,000 deaths annually.

Maybe I’m morbid, but these statistics catch my attention. They make me wonder about the society we live in, the values we hold. Suicide seems a silent shameful epidemic we prefer to keep in the shadows.

But then maybe not so shadowed. The Robert Altman film, M*A*S*H*, was released in 1970. The spin off television show was on the air from 1972 to 1983. Altman’s 14-year-old son, Michael B. Altman, wrote the lyrics for the theme song. 

Suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
So this is all I have to say.*

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, but no one prevented my colleague's act of desperation  two weeks ago.

I didn't know. I didn't recognize the signs. I saw a cheerful, irreverent colleague who was deeply engaged with his students, who always had a smart-ass comment, who spent breaks between classes smoking, chatting, and laughing with other smokers - students, faculty, staff. The camaraderie of smokers could almost entice me to take up the vice once again, but unlike my colleague, I want to live.

Fall quarter begins without my colleague's laughter, his pat on the back, his encouragement, and another song loops through my mind.

Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my sadness hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room I cry
the tears of a clown
When there's no one around**

To learn more about suicide and suicide prevention, please visit:

Music Sources:
*Suicide is Painless: YouTube and lyrics
**The Tears of a Clown: YouTube and lyrics  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Are You Working On … A.M. Willard?

For something different, today we're going for a bit of romance from author, A.M. Willard.
A.M. Willard is a true believer of soul mates, and happy ever afters. She enjoys reading, sailing, and of course writing contemporary romance with some saucy scenes. Releasing her first novella of the One Night Series on April 12, 2014 has sent her on a new journey in life. A.M.’s passion for writing started at a young age, but with the love and support from her husband of eighteen years pushed her to follow her dreams. Once she hit that first publish button, she hasn’t looked back.

Publications available from A.M. Willard include the Chances Series, Love on the Screen, and everyone’s favorite, the One Night Series. She’s also had an article published in the Writer’s Monthly Review Magazine and was just accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.

A.M. Willard was born and raised in the Panhandle of Florida, but resides in Savannah, GA with her husband, son, two cats, one rotten dog, and her six chickens. Yes, we said chickens…

You can connect with A.M. Willard on her website at 
www.amwillard.com or subscribe to her newsletter for the latest releases, teasers, and sale alerts: http://eepurl.com/bb-Cd1


What am I working on? That seems to be a loaded question these days as I just released Fading Memories and am gearing up for my next series. Once I finished Fading Memories, I was ready to dive into the third installment of The Chances Series. The funny thing was as soon as I opened up the manuscript, Frosted Sweets won the battle. In the end my focus shifted towards the new series, A Taste of Love. Soon we will have Frosted Sweets volume one of A Taste of Love Series.

In this series, I went a little nontraditional. What’s that mean? It means this. Readers are used to having a series that can either leave you with a cliffhanger, or each book can be read as a standalone. That’s not the case with Frosted Sweets. I wanted to produce a series that takes you on a journey of love, friendship, and all the beautiful things that happen in life. That could be marriage, babies, heartache, career changes, and much more. I thought long and hard about how I was going to produce these, and, of course, the first battle of will from those characters won. 

I’m pretty excited to produce this as the first installment is set to release in early December. It’s going to be a twist of contemporary romance vs. chick lit. Oh and let’s not forget about a nice dose of comedy.

After writing Fading Memories, which released back on the 12th of September, I needed something lighthearted, and fun to separate the inspirational romance. The fun fact of this is that I love being able to cross into the different genres of romance. It’s a balance of desires. One moment you can finish a heartwarming romance about grief, then bounce back to the fun-loving characters full of laughter and love. 

Stay tuned for more on what’s to come in A Taste of Love Series, and always you can you follow me on my blog for the latest in all things A.M.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Magical World of Writing

When I entered the world of writing 13 magical years ago, I figured writers were fairly creative folks - I mean, they sort of have to be, right? What I didn't realize was how generous, thoughtful and supportive they are. I am grateful for the encouragement and camaraderie of many fellow writers, both in person and on line. One of these special people is author and illustrator, Jennifer L. Hotes. I feel fortunate to have met her through our shared publisher, Booktrope.

Jennifer is currently running a blog series spotlighting the work of fellow authors. She's encouraging her readers to take advantage of the fall weather to read more now that the busy months of summer are coming to an end. In her own words, posted September 4th: 

As the leaves outside tinge with reds and yellows, life slows down a tad and I find time again to read.  In that spirit, I hope the books and authors I share with you this month will coax you to do the same.

Yesterday Jennifer graciously shared these words about my own work:

On a personal note, if I had one literary wish to grant, it would be to see New York Times Book Review pay attention to Williams' work. She handles complicated, tumultuous and diverse subject matters with literary grace and expertise. She deserves national attention.

I am touched. Thank you, Jennifer!

You can read more of her post or follow as she spotlights other authors HERE. And while you're visiting, you might want to check out Jennifer's Stone Witch series.