Thursday, November 15, 2012


Here is a list of times, dates and places where I will be signing copies of my Christmas booklet, Christmas in Bliss and the multi-authored book, Christmas Spirit, a collection of true Christmas stories.

Fort Union Deseret Book Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 10:30 AM – 12:30

Redwood Road Seagull Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 11:00 AM – 1:00

Draper Deseret Book Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 11:00 AM - 1:00
American Fork Seagull Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 2:00 PM – 3:15

Taylorsville Seagull Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 11:00 AM – 12:15
W. Jordan Seagull Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 12:30 PM – 1:30

Bountiful Deseret Book Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 11:00 AM – 12:30
Centerville Seagull Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 12:45 PM – 2:00

I hope to see you there. As always, I will have CHOCOLATE!!!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 5, 2012


I'm so excited to announce that I have two new Christmas books out, available now, just in time for your Christmas shopping.

First is the booklet, Christmas in Bliss
It's Christmas Eve, and Nikki Michaels is on the last leg of her drive to celebrate the holidays at home. Though Christmas doesn't quite hold the same magic it did when she was younger, Nikki's idea of a merry Christmas is sharing in the festivities with her family in Salt Lake City—so when blizzard conditions force her off the snowpacked freeway in a middle-of-nowhere Idaho town called Bliss, she finds her situation anything but blissful. Snowed in at a rest stop with a small band of strangers, Nikki finds kinship in a fellow traveler who helps her find the magic of Christmas again and spread the spirit of the season to other stranded travelers. Christmas in Bliss is a heartwarming holiday tale that is sure to inspire readers with the hope and happiness found in the true meaning of Christmas.

Next is a collection of great Christmas stories by various LDS authors called, Christmas Spirit

You can find these and my others books at:
Deseret Book
Seagull Book

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New release, The Guardians of Elijah's Fire, by Frank L. Cole, author of Hashbrown series

I'm excited to feature author, Frank L. Cole, on my blog and tell you about some of the books he's written and about his most recent book release.

First, here is a little about the author.

Frank was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Sadly, he misplaced the manuscript and has since forgotten what he wrote. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted.

Frank is the author of the highly successful Hashbrown series. He has written an exciting adventure series for youth (adults will enjoy this book as well) and the second book in the series was recently released. The first book in the series is, The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter;

Amber never dreamed her archaeology class would turn into a top secret mission that would take her across the globe, but when her teacher goes missing, Amber realizes it's up to her to protect the Hidden Scepter or risk unleashing an ancient power too terrifying to imagine. This guaranteed page-turner from the bestselling author of the Hashbrown Winters series is perfect for the adventurer in your family.
and the second book, recently released is, The Guardians of Elijah's Fire.

Just when she thought she was safe, Amber learns she's become a target and it seems even her closest allies can t be trusted. Now Amber, Trendon, and the whole gang are facing their most terrifying enemy yet. This thrilling tale ups the action and doubles the danger! Bestselling author, Frank L. Cole delivers an engrossing tale for adventurers of all ages.

If you like suspenseful and exciting adventure books, you will love this series. I thought both stories were extremely well written and paint a vivid picture for any reader's imagination.

I asked Frank to tell me a little about himself.

I have lived in such exotic places as the Philippines and Kentucky, and currently live with my wife and three children out west. While I strived for years to earn my publishing credits, I consider sharing my message of “Exercising Your Imagination” to over 30,000 kids across the country as my greatest accomplishment. The Guardians of Elijah’s Fire is my 5th published book.

Here is my interview with Frank:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Frank: I suppose a lot of authors say this, but I’ve loved writing since I was a child. I can remember being in elementary school and having a collection of my stories I would share to anyone willing to listen.

M.B.: What is your writing and educational background?

Frank: I really don’t have much of a writing background. I graduated from Weber State in Communications, which has helped me immensely with marketing my book and speaking at assemblies.

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Frank: Long, hard, and very painful. I began the publishing journey about 11 years ago with my first novel (a very poorly written middle grade fantasy.) Over the next few years I saw probably more than 125 rejection letters. I don’t know how many times I considered hanging it up, but something kept me going. I received a contract for my first book, The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters, in December of 2008. That was about seven years after the journey began.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Frank: I still feel discouraged because as every author realizes or eventually will realize, rejection never ends. I deal with it by screaming a lot. ☺ Seriously, I would wallow in self-pity for a while after a particularly painful rejection, but then I would go back to work. I had to remember my roots and realize I didn’t start writing as a child because I wanted to be published. I started because I truly enjoyed it.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Frank: Sporadic. If I’ve caught the writing fever I’ll write for hours every night. If I’m in between projects, it can be weeks before I smack the keyboard. I try to at least set aside a few hours each week to focus intently on a story, but with life, my job, and my family, it can be difficult.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is
good enough to write a book about it?

Frank: I have a fairly unique background. I was born in Kentucky and my dad told me stories of his upbringing in Brooklyn, NY. I usually pull from my own experiences and memories to begin a story. I’m also a horrible sleepwalker and talker. My mind is constantly going in a million different directions. It can be tricky finding the right idea to focus my energy. If it wakes me up in the middle of the night or if I suddenly can’t think of anything else but the idea than I usually know I have something. I’ll also try it out on my wife and family to see their reaction.

M.B.: When did the idea for this book first come to you?

Frank: I woke up one night and scribbled down a few notes in my notebook I keep by the bed. I had this dream of these kids studying archaeology and I got excited about it. I’m a huge Goonies fan and I love a good adventure tale.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Frank: Absolute quiet and the only light I use comes from the computer screen. Plus I need warm socks. Weird. I know.

M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Frank: They all have a special place in my heart, but I think I love my newest novel, The Guardians of Elijah’s Fire. It is the sequel to my novel, The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter, which came out last March. I really did a ton of research on it and I just love the creepy stories found in the Old Testament, which seriously reads like the greatest fantasy novel. Plus, when I read those stories and realize they actually happened, it makes the world a more mysterious place. I love that. My Guardians series follows Amber and Trendon as they search for dangerous artifacts capable of Biblical destruction. I incorporate a ton of action, frightening sequences, and of course, humor. I have to make it funny.

M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?

Frank: I’m still scared to walk up my stairs at night. I take them two at a time and try not to look back. If someone or something grabbed my leg I would scream like a banshee. Honest truth.

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Frank: Don’t give up. Keep writing, polishing, and thinking up new ideas. You’ll eventually find somewhere your books belong and you’ll be happy you stuck with it.

M.B.: What are you working on now?

Frank: I’m finishing up the 4th Adventure in my Hashbrown series, which will come out in April of 2013. Right after that I’ll start immediately on the final book of my Guardians trilogy. I also just finished a new novel called, The Summoner’s Handbook, which I’m polishing in my free time.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Frank: Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book, Amazon. You can read more about my books at

You can also befriend Frank on Facebook.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Review of The Kindling, by Braden Bell

Homework? Of course. Crushes? Sure. But who knew seventh grade included superpowers?

From the back cover:

Loud shrieks sliced the air, followed by the smell of burning cloth. Conner looked over in time to see Geoffrey jumping up and down, yelling and shrieking. Smoke poured from the seat of his shorts while blue and yellow sparks snap-crackle-and-popped all around the heater.
All thirteen-year-old Conner Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens. He didn’t mean to set anyone’s gym shorts on fire or make school lunches explode. But now that the strange powers inside him have been ignited, Conner’s normal teenage life is about to go up in flames!

The Kindling, by author Braden Bell is a page-turning adventure filled with excitement, suspense, humor, magic, and fun, perfect for middle-grade readers and adults alike. Bell’s writing is filled with vivid images, wonderful characters and plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader completely entranced from start to finish.

From the first page, the excitement and intrigue begin. A series of strange events start happening to Conner Dell, his sister Lexa and her friend Melanie and suddenly their whole world turns upside down. Not only are kids starting on fire but a creepy guy keeps following them, and no one else can see him! Even the teachers at school are acting weird.

Not sure who they an trust or where to turn for help, the children soon find themselves in a battle of good and evil, a fight of light against darkness.

Author, Braden Bell, also a middle school drama teacher, definitely knows his audience and his writing reflects that. The dialogue is witty and fun, the characters are relatable and quirky and the plot clips along at a breathtaking pace.

The story also reflects deeper themes of family, loyalty and the hope that good will triumph over evil.

With all the books available for youth that don’t bother providing anything edifying, I was pleased to read a book that not only kept me entertained but left me feeling uplifted.

The Kindling is a great book for youth and the first in the series. Let’s hope the next one hits the shelves soon!

To go to Braden's web-site click HERE and to purchase the book on Amazon click HERE

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Most often asked question - "When is your next book coming out?" Want the answer?

I've been asked a lot lately when my next book is coming out. I need to answer that with a somewhat lengthy explanation. There has been a lot going on with our family. And when I say a lot, I don't mean a lot, I mean A LOT!!!!!! I don't mean to sound a like a drama queen, but our family has been slammed with stuff, both fabulous and heart wrenching. I realize that you, as my friends and family and fans, deserve an answer to the oft-asked question. So, here is my attempt to answer the question. I'll start with my son and what's been going on in his life. My son, Wes, is 28 years old, 6'5", good-looking, athletic, smart, and funny, and my oldest child. He is married to a gorgeous, awesome, amazing woman and has two of THE CUTEST, smartest, sweetest little girls in the world! On March 1st he was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. Our world flipped upside down and we are still hanging on by our fingernails. How did this happen to my son? Why did this happen to my son? When you think of Laman and Lemuel, ya, that was me for a while. I did my fair share of murmuring and rebelling. I have since repented and am back on the straight and narrow path, I think. He had to have his entire colon removed and part of his rectum. He is now in chemo and will have 12 rounds of it which will consume the next 6 months of his life, our's too. We're all in this together and we will fight like dogs to beat this. As a young boy Wes loved superheroes. I never thought he would one day actually become one. But he has. He is my Superhero!
Here is my son after surgery, getting some sunshine and fresh air. After losing 45 pounds in a month, he has really been through heck, but he's doing much better and one day we'll look back and say, "What the crap?" Sorry, this is a PG-13 blog entry, shoulda warned you earlier. This alone would be sufficient reason I haven't been blogging. But nooooooooo, we're throwing in some super-excitement to make it nice and crazy and totally off-the-hook! My daughter was crowned Miss Utah USA in October. She is now, right now, at this very minute, in Las Vegas, competing in the Miss USA pageant. It has been quite a journey as she's prepared for this "dream-come-true" "once-in-a-lifetime" moment. She has worked hard. She has sacrificed much. She is going to be amazing! You can watch her compete on NBC, June 3rd. BUT you can VOTE right now for her to be a finalist that night by going to HERE PLEASE take some time to vote for her. You can vote 10 times from one email, every day! I want her to know how proud I am of her. She has proven that dreams really can come true!
Next, is my amazing daughter, Andi. She has spent the last three years at the School of American Ballet in NYC, working her tail off. She recently signed with Los Angeles Ballet and will be moving to Santa Monica. I am so freaking excited for her I can hardly stand it. Things were intense as this audition/decision process was going on but LAB gave her an offer she could't refuse and now I can go watch her dance!!! She's close enough I can actually drive there. In fact, friends and family can go visit her more often and come with me. Road trip!!! Congratulations to my sweetie pie, Andi. I am so excited for her and what the future holds.
I have another daughter and right now all I can say is that she is like sunshine to my soul every day. I've never seen anyone wake up as happy as she does. I love how goofy and upbeat and extremely funny she is. How grateful I am for her.
With the support of incredibly wonderful family and friends, and an extremely amazing husband who keeps us all afloat, somehow all of this is working. But, I realize I still haven't answered the question. The answer is . . . I don't know. Pathetic, huh? I am actually making revisions on a manuscript and hope to have it sent in to my publisher in the next few weeks (ROFL - if you knew how many times I've said that). No, I mean it this time. So I ask you, my fans, to not give up on me. Great things are coming. If you knew what I had in the works it would blow your minds. And I promise to blog more and up date often to let you know of the the progress. Writing is a joy and therapy I have missed and I'm ready to hit it hard again. Thanks for listening. If you think about it, send a prayer heavenward for us. I know they are helping. I have felt the prayers of many. I have the best fans in the world and I love you all!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Josi S. Kilpack, Banana Split: A Culinary Mystery

From the back cover of the book:
Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live.

Her determination to stay out of danger and to focus on overcoming her anxieties soon takes a backseat when she meets eleven-year-old Charlie, the son of the woman whose body she discovered near Anahola Beach. Charlies has some questions of his own about what happened to his mother, and he is convinced that only Sadie can help him. If only Sadie were as confident in her abilities as Charlie is.

With the help of her best friend and a local social worker, Sadie dives into another mystery with the hope that, at the end, she'll be able to find the peace and closure that has eluded her.

Beloved author, Josi Kilpack, has done it again! Her stories and characters are unforgettable, keeping readers on the edge of their seats and staying up till all hours of the night until they reach the last page, finally able to breath again. I highly recommend this book! Fans who already love this series won't be disappointed and those who haven't yet read Josi's books will be thrilled to add another author to their "favorites" list.

Follow Josi on Facebook and Twitter. Here are some purchase links as well.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Paul Rimmasch, author of "The Lost Stones"

Paul Rimmasch was born and raised in the Salt Lake Valley. He graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminalistics and a minor in Photography. Paul has spent the last fourteen years working as a Crime Scene Investigator for Weber-Metro CSI and is active in Forensic Science education and Law Enforcement training. He lives in Ogden, Utah, with his wife and three children and is an avid hiker and gardener.
Paul had parlayed a life long interest in Book of Mormon Archaeology and LDS Church History into this, his first novel.

In a recent press release about the book author, Paul Rimmasch, says this about the story;

“The Lost Stones is a story about Ammon Rogers, an Iraqi war veteran who is trying to rediscover his faith after returning from his military service. Ammon is struggling in this process, however, due to the gulf that he perceives to exists between science and religion.”

When Ammon is introduced to a self-styled “forbidden archaeologist” and his daughter, he is plunged into an adventure where he learns that the rift between what he learned in school and what he learned in church is not as wide as he once thought.

“The spiritual and emotional journey Ammon undergoes as the story unfolds mirrors my own,” Rimmasch continues. “As a young person, I had faith and science neatly compartmentalized in separate regions of my intellect. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that there was a whole world of archaeological, anthropological and other evidence that lends credence to matters spiritual. It is a whole world of evidence that mainstream academics in the best case casually dismiss, and in the worst case downright suppress.”

“The Lost Stones is the product of extensive research and contains copious footnotes and an extensive bibliography,” Rimmasch said of his work. “While I definitely want those who read my book to enjoy the adventure and romance of the story, I also want to enlighten and educate the reader.”

The themes of The Lost Stones are extremely relevant today, in a day and age where the drum beat of science seeks to drown out all things divine. “Every person who is conscientiously trying to come to grips with the faith vs. science debate must go through virtually the same process Ammon does in the pages of this book,” argues Rimmasch.

Although written from an LDS (Mormon) perspective, the messages of faith, friendship, and personal discovery will resonate with readers of all faiths.

Interesting Facts:

1600s Mexico- The Aztec Prince Ixtililxochitl writes that the first people to inhabit his land came from the Tower of Babel at the dividing of tongues…Scholars dismiss his writings as myth.
1800s Mid Western United States- Settlers dig into ancient burial mounds and discover thousands of slate tablets covered with a strange hieroglyphic writing and drawings depicting Jesus Christ…these artifacts are denounced as a hoax.
1909 Arizona-a newspaper runs a story describing how a cave containing metal artifacts and Egyptian-type hieroglyphics was discovered in the Grand Canyon by a group of Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute…the Smithsonian categorically denies the account.

About the book:
The world of forbidden Book of Mormon archaeology is a world BYU student and Iraqi War veteran Ammon Rogers never knew existed. He is thrust headlong into this world when he asks the enigmatic adventurer John Byrd a simple question. When John is kidnapped in Mexico, Ammon joins forces with John’s beautiful daughter in a desperate attempt to not only save John, but to find his answer…an answer that will change the world…an answer one sinister foe will do anything to suppress.

I found this book exciting and interesting from the very first page. I love the whole premise of the story and appreciated the depth of research that went into Rimmasch's book. The story is a great blend of fact and fiction and kept me entertained the entire time. Great characters, plot twists and turns, and vivid descriptions will make this story come alive. I'm thrilled to know it's the first in a trilogy and can't wait for more!

I was fortunate to be able to interview Paul and find out more about his writing and some background on the book.

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Paul: I’m embarrassed to say that being an author was something to which I never aspired. Writing The Lost Stones was a form of catharsis. The story and characters so preoccupied my thoughts that writing it down was the only way to find peace.

M.B.: What is your writing and educational background?

Paul: I have a bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science from Weber State University and work as a Crime Scene Investigator. The only writing I did before The Lost Stones was crime scene reports. I know that sounds terrible.

M.B.: What makes you passionate about writing?

Paul: I love doing the research. That is the most enjoyable part for me. I also love taking someone to a place they’ve never been before. It is very gratifying when someone comes up to me and says, “Is the stuff you wrote about in chapter twelve real? I’ve never heard of that before.”

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Paul: When I finished the manuscript for The Lost Stones I was pretty pleased with how it had turned out. Ignoring the advice of some friends, who thought I should wait and clean it up first, I submitted it to a publishing company. They turned it down so I sent it off to Cedar Fort. They accepted it and the rest is history. Knowing what I know now about how hard it is to get published I think it was rather naïve of me to send out my first draft like that. But it all worked out.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Paul: Oh yes! That first rejection letter really stung. It made me definitely question whether I was wasting my time or not. But I got over it. I had a good feeling about my story so I kept on going.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Paul: I squeeze writing in when I can. When I’m in the thick of a project I don’t watch much TV. It’s typical for me to come home from work and write a little bit before dinner. Then I write some more before having to rush off somewhere like the store or to pick up a child from some activity. I’m usually anxious the whole time because I want to finish some scene before I forget something I had in mind. Then I come home and stay up later than I should. That’s the way it goes most of the time.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is
good enough to write a book about it?

Paul: Most of my ideas for The Lost Stones came from a nationally syndicated overnight radio program called “Coast to Coast AM.” That show has gotten me through many a long night shift. What makes it so wonderful is its eclectic subject matter. They talk about UFOs, ghosts, lost civilizations, ESP, conspiracy theories, alternate energy, astronomy, religion and everything in between. That show is very fertile ground for ideas. A month before my book came out I scored a two-hour interview on that show. It was a great experience.

M.B.: When did the idea for this book first come to you?

Paul: I can’t really say. The story just crystallized over the course of several years.

M.B.: What do you hope readers will get from this book?

Paul: I went for the trifecta. I hope people are entertained, educated and uplifted. The ending of the book was written to foster hope and faith.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

Paul: The story was pretty much outlined in my head before I started. I did write down certain “vignettes” that I didn’t want to lose and had a general event chart but I didn’t have an extensive outline.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Paul: Yes, of course. I have great difficulty writing descriptive sequences. I do much better with dialogue. There are times when I just can’t figure out how to describe a room or a building or whatever. I get through it by trying and re-trying. I’m surprised the “delete” key on my laptop still works. I also tend to get bogged down in the middle of the story. I’m excited to start and to finish but the middle is a slog.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Paul: I don’t actually need quiet. As a father of three active children, I’m not even sure what that word means. I do listen to music at times. In fact, there are certain scenes that have certain songs associated with them in my mind. Listening to that song gets me in the right frame of mind to write that particular scene. The only thing I can’t listen to and write at the same time is someone else reading aloud, like when my wife is reading to the kids. I think it throws the “voice” of my own characters off-kilter.

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Paul: So far I have had a concept of what “factual” things I want to cover in my “fictional” work. Doing research into these areas has never let me down. Main plot points have always presented themselves.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Paul: That is a hard question. The love and support of family and friends has certainly given me the strength to go on when I wondered what I was doing. Style-wise, Michael Crichton and Dan Brown have had the greatest influence on me.

M.B.: What’s your secret to making the characters in your books come to life?

Paul: I tried to avoid clichés and stereotypes. I realize that is almost impossible to do completely, but I tried. I am, by no means, a strong writer. My wife was my main reality check. She would “screen” the actions and words of my characters. I relied on her opinion a lot. If Sariah Byrd is a pleasing character to female readers, you can thank my wife.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Paul: I haven’t so far. When I wrote The Lost Stones I was so new to the game that I didn’t even know such things existed.

M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?

Paul: I’m addicted to raw sunflower seeds.

M.B.: What is your favorite snack to have while you are writing?

Paul: I have a small fridge full of Dr. Pepper right next to my writing desk.

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Paul: Believe in yourself. Don’t let people talk you out of chasing your dream.

M.B.: What are you working on now?

Paul: The manuscript for the sequel to The Lost Stones is finished. I’m currently in the research phase for the third book in that series.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share?

Paul: I have noticed that there are many people who are in love with the “idea” of writing a book but never do it because they are not in love with the hard work and sacrifice that it takes to actually do it. If writing a book is your dream, learn to love the work. Only then will you reach your goal.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Paul: The Lost Stones is at both Deseret Book and Seagull Book, as well as online at and Barnes &


For more information on The Lost Stones visit

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bippity Boppity Boo! Creating Magic aka Writing a Novel

As a published author I am often requested to speak to various groups. In those presentations I find myself attempting to explain how I'm constantly amazed at the creative process and how magical it can be at times.

I find it completely fascinating that a fiction writer can conjure up in their imagination; characters, worlds, dialogue and emotions and then write a story that somehow, at least for me, is as vivid as a movie that plays out in their mind. Then, this story is published and a reader picks up that book and the connection is made and they have their own experience as they are transported to possibly another place and time, even to another world, and they are pulled in and held captive by the magic of the story. In fact, many readers tell me that as they read they too can see a movie playing through their minds.

What is that??? It's magic. Call it imagination, call it synergy, call it crazy if you want, but when that connection is made; from writer's mind to reader's mind, it's pure magic.

I just finished a project and am ready to start on my next one. I have two completely different stories in mind, two completely different genres even. I am not sure which one I want to write first. Again, I have to defer to the magic factor. I've decided to start writing both, and wait for the magic to happen, wait for that moment when my passion for the story and the character's ignites and I can't not write the story.

Many people ask me at the writing/book presentations, "How do you know an idea is good enough to write?"

For me, it's about the passion. If I feel passionate about the story, the story writes itself. If I feel that strongly about the story, chances are, the reader is also going to feel those same emotions. I thought it might be interesting to see what other people said about the "magic formula" for write a best-selling novel. The comments are varied, but all of them, I think, are true.

Here are some of the thoughts I found:

There's no "magic formula," unless you consider writing a great novel with an interesting plot and engaging characters a "magic formula." One of the best pieces of advice I could give a new writer (other than to read, read, read) would be to internalize all the mechanics of plotting, pacing, dialog, etc., and then to turn off the little inner editor and Write, Write, Write.

The only formulaic part of successful writing is as follows: there must be a beginning, middle and end, in which there is a conflict, a resolution, and an emotional payout for the reader.

There is a formula, but it's different for every writer and every book. You have to figure out you own.

There is not one magic formula. Instead there are thousands of them. Maybe hundreds of thousands or even more... because there is one inside the head of every agent and editor and it changes every day as they learn new things and add new variables to it. It also changes based on uncontrollable factors - how tired is the agent/editor when they read it? How annoyed are they? Have they just read an article saying that X concept which is just what you have written is really big right now? Have they read an article which says X is really not selling at the moment? Is the sun on their screen when they read your work?

There are a few things that you can do that will make your novel stand out, and one of the most important is to give the readers something that they haven't seen before - something that is a different than most of the stories that you've heard before.

What are your thoughts? Have you found a tried and true formula that works for you? Do you agree with some of these statements? None of them?

Do you believe in magic?