R.I.P. Meat Loaf

I was in the music business in the dark recesses of time, and one of my bands opened for Meatloaf when he played in a San Francisco night spot. Rest in power.


Well, that inappropriately hilarious headline had to happen sometime, and if it sounds like Hazel burnt the dinner, the fault lies with the high school football coach of Dallas native Marvin Lee Aday (b. 1947), who gave him that nickname. (He was born “Marvin” though he later changed it legally to “Michael”. I guess he found “Marvin” embarrassing, though that reservation surely didn’t deter him from employing a professional name even more calculated to draw ridicule, as of course it did. Especially among the older generation back in the ’70s).

I didn’t spend hours listening to Meat Loaf records, although I liked his singles and loved his image. My main interest in him lies in the fact that he lived in the nexus between rock and theatre/film. Most of the eulogies today seem to be dwelling on his recording career, which is natural, but my focus will be a little…

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Where to Start with Historical Fiction – DIY MFA Blog – Pamela Taylor

The cliché advice to anyone wanting to write is “write what you know.” There’s nothing wrong with that advice, but, in my opinion, it doesn’t go far enough. You may know an incredible amount about the Vietnam War, but if you have a particular aversion to that period of American history, trying to write about it may quickly begin to feel like drudgery. It’s unlikely you’ll tell a very good story if you don’t enjoy what you’re writing about.

So think about what speaks to your heart. Are you intrigued by the dangers faced by the resistance movements in Europe during World War II? Find a historical figure—or create your own character—and plunge into the story.

Are you fascinated by women who’ve played remarkable roles in the distant past? These weren’t always political figures. They might have been in science or medicine or the arts. Go looking for some of the lesser-known ones and spin their tale.

Do you think it might have been fun to have lived during the Renaissance in the orbit of someone like Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo? Why not create a character who was an apprentice or assistant to the great master? Or, perhaps even more intriguing still, a character who fancied themselves as a rival to the great one?

Do you love music? Choose a composer—perhaps a less well-known one—and tell their story. Perhaps tell it from the point of view of someone in their household? Or maybe tell the tale of the creation of one of your favorite masterworks.

Where to Start with Historical Fiction – DIY MFA Blog – Pamela Taylor

Winter Promotion: After-Action Report

Hi, everyone. Well, here we are on the second day of 2022 — which also happens to be my birthday.

As I always do after a promotion, I thought I would share some statistics. I made all of my short fiction available free of charge during the holiday period. I’ll have the “sales” numbers as usual, but I did something different this time: I tallied where the sales took place.

So, first things first. Seventy-three selections were made all together. Clytie’s Caller was, as it has been since I released it, far and away the most popular download. It’s a sweet Regency romance novella, and that genre is perennially popular. Here’s how it all fell out, with numbers:

Clytie’s Caller – 21
Flowers of Europe – 7
A Light Across the Lake – 7
Through the Opera Glass – 6
His Beloved Infidel – 5
It Happened in Memphis – 5
Down on the Corner of Love – 4
Hard-Boiled Blues – 4
Last Stop: Storyville – 4
Two Days in June – 4
Yellowjack and the River Man – 4
The Rock Star in the Mirror (Or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) – 2

Here’s the geographic breakdown:

United States: 41
Country not listed – 11
Ethiopia – 11
Germany – 8
Canada – 4
Malaysia – 2
United Kingdom – 2
India – 1
Philippines – 1
Spain – 1

I have to say, Ethiopia gave me food for thought. The average income in Ethiopia works out to about $170 USD/year. That means there is not a lot of money for books. That a reader there would take the time to select 11 of my titles was huge.

If you selected one of my books this time, I do hope you will enjoy it and leave a positive review at your site of choice. Thank you, as always, for being such great readers and friends.

Year-End Gift For You: All of My Short Fiction is Free!

Hi, everyone. Once again, I’m participating in Smashwords’ Year-End Sale. I’ve made all of my short fiction free as a gift to you, including the entire Pocketful of Stories series. Here are the links, blurbs, etc.

atw80pAround the World in 80 Pages: Ten short stories of various genres, each taking place in a different location. With subject matter ranging from paranormal to historical fiction, urban fantasy to literary fiction, there is something in this sampler for everyone. 

rockstarThe Rock Star in the Mirror  (Or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life): Joe is a small-town Oregon guy. He’s madly in love with Lynnie … who has a huge crush on David Bowie. Joe will do almost anything to get Lynnie’s attention, but there are always consequences.

ttogThrough the Opera Glass: Author Sharon E. Cathcart took up a challenge in 2012: to write flash fiction and full length short stories based on various prompts. Each story features one or more characters from In The Eye of The Beholder: A Novel of the Phantom of the Opera or its sequel, In The Eye of The Storm. Brimming with historical detail, the stories in this collection range in place and time from 19th Century Persia to post-World War II San Francisco.

infidelHis Beloved Infidel: Farukh and Catherine are colleagues at Paris’ World Language Institute. He is Persian; she is American. Can their newly-discovered love survive the strain of Iran’s Islamic Revolution? Set against the backdrop of real-world events, this inter-ethnic romance tells the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events.

clytieClytie’s Caller:  Bath, 1816. Clytemnestra Preston has become so terrified of life that she refuses to leave her room. Not even her family can convince her to take her place in Society again. Doctor Samuel Whittington, late of His Majesty’s Army, may be her only chance for a cure … and romance. Can Sam convince Clytie to open the door, and her heart? 



Last Stop: Storyville: Riding a New Orleans streetcar is an everyday occurrence for Tulane freshman Jimmy Arceneaux (Bayou Fire). But one evening, things are different.

Yellowjack and the Riverman: Yellow fever. Voodoo queen Marie Laveau. A long-lost relative’s homecoming. The Underground Railroad. All of them are part of Alcide Devereaux’s (Bayou Fire) continuing story.

A Light Across the Lake: Return to Paris’ glamorous Opera Garnier, and the world of the award-winning Seen Through the Phantom’s Eyes series! A Light Across the Lake is the tale of apprentice set builder Lucien Dubois, who is determined to see what lies in the fifth cellar. Will his exploration raise the ire of the infamous Opera Ghost?

Down on the Corner of Love: Being a civil rights activist isn’t easy in rural Louisiana. Raine’s found herself ostracized and alone because she’s a woman who speaks her mind. Fed up, she leaves her country world behind for beautiful San Francisco. There, Raine meets a new best friend, Jo, who is free-spirited and living life to the fullest. But Jo’s in more danger than Raine realizes.

Two Days in June: Starvation. Fear. Fighting in the streets. It’s June 1832, and Paris is once again at war. The students of the Sorbonne rise up against those in power, believing that right and the people are on their side. But King Louis-Philippe has other plans.

Flowers of Europe: Thaddeus Flowers, American inventor and charming rake, is chasing adventure and romance across Europe. English scientist Arabella Abingdon is always one step ahead of him. Join the excitement in these steampunk-tinged historical tales that take you from Hyde Park to the Place des Vosges. 

It Happened in Memphis: Evie Boudreaux has a knack for seeing history in action. Why? Because she sees ghosts. Come along on a visit to Tupelo and Memphis, and see the earliest days of rock music through Evie’s eyes! 

Hard-Boiled Blues:  Two dead bodies. Two policemen, one in New Orleans and one in Memphis. Not all crimes have easy solutions in the Jim Crow South.  It’s enough to make you sing the blues.

The promotion runs through January 1, 2022, and you’ll find formats for any eReader. Happy holidays to you!