Frank Talaber
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The Joining
Frank Talaber


When Writers “Get Social”

When Writers “Get Social”


Steve Cliffe, a great friend and fellow writer, had never attend a writer’s festival and confessed he didn't think much of the idea. “So, what, we just get together over a coffee and read each other’s books or something?” “Oh, it’s way more than that,” I answered, and so I dragged him off to the Creative Ink Writers’ Festival to show him what he was missing.  He soon learned the benefit that a festival or conference can bring. It’s mainly hearing other, usually well-established writers, talk. Not only about how they got there, but how they write, ideas on building stronger characters, how they promote themselves, and anything else they feel can assist you. There are many novelists that speak so you also learn certain aspects of writing pertaining to many different genres. Usually there is a question and answer session, and more than once a question has been asked and an answer given that made me say to myself, "wow never thought of that."


Most writers are an introverted lot that sit in a darkened room and pound out their muse’s inspiration. So being in a crowd might seem like a daunting task, but when the crowd has a mutual interest, it becomes a whole different matter. There are panels from experienced lawyers talking legal issues, police talking about how they operate, ballistics experts explaining usage and handling of the weapon and also the effect firing the gun has on a bullet, and paramedics passing on their expertise. It helps us immensely, even if it’s only because it makes us realize how little we know and how much research we need to do. Nothing is worse than publishing a novel and have someone email you. "I'm a “blah blah” and there is no way what you did in that scene would be allowed or would work."


One of my biggest learnings was during the Elevator Pitch Panel. For those wondering what an elevator pitch is, well, it’s just that. You are on an elevator and before you reach the very next floor you have about two sentences to pitch your book to the lone agent standing beside you. Here's what I came up with for my new novel, The Joining:


Slam Ghostbusters into a large cooking pot, use a classy hotel as the base, toss in a female Mickey Spillane and Edgar Cayce, stir in a herbal mix of the mob, add a couple of abductions, season generously with ghosts and serve garnished with a sprig of TinkerBell.


Most of all, I left inspired to pound away at the keyboards again.


On top of all of that there were panels on ways to promote yourself, because most publishing houses these days don't have budgets to do that for you. One of the biggest things I learned is that being a published author is indeed a full-time job, as a podcast Steve and I put together shows. We will both publish and share this on our sites. So, enjoy. And if you really enjoy it, subscribe to his YouTube channel. His style of wit and humor is very addictive!


Steve Cliffe’s YouTube Channel


See you next month!



Frank Talaber


Frank Talaber

Writer by Soul.

A natural storyteller, whose compelling thoughts are freed from the depths of the heart and the subconscious before being poured onto the page.

Literature written beyond the realms of genre he is known to grab readers; kicking, screaming, laughing or crying and drag them into his novels. 

Enter the literary world of Frank Talaber.





My webpage


My novels and reviews are on Amazon are at:


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Twitter: @FrankTalaber


Care For Some Ghosts and Scones?

Care For Some Ghosts and Scones?


Walking into the stunning lobby of the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC, Canada, with its amazing multi-faceted crystal chandelier, you'd never know that, among the thousands of tourists, walk several ghosts.

Its designer, Francis Rattenbury, who died a very lonely death in England after being bludgeoned to death by the very young lover of his second wife.

Margaret from Calgary, an elegantly dressed older woman, taking afternoon tea, always on the outlook for the man that admired her large-brimmed hats. She passed away in her room, having lived there for months on end, always searching for her would-be beau.

Working on the redesign of the hotel, two construction workers quit when they spotted a man hanging from the rafters. In fact, a man did hang himself in that room decades earlier.

There are reports of maids being spotted long after their deaths, still servicing the rooms. A woman who knocks on the suites' doors trying to find her room. Guests who try to help her are surprized when she leads them to the elevators and vanishes.

Bastion Square, in central Victoria. The site of the original cemetery, it was covered over and built on. None of the nearly thirteen hundred bodies moved. "You left the bodies and you only moved the headstones". Okay, I pinched that from a very famous movie. Wonder if things fly about in nearby buildings! Perhaps that, and the fact that ley lines are reported to cross the area, is the reason that Victoria is the most haunted city in North America.

The weirdest story is courtesy of the doorman of the Empress. While waiting for the valet to return my vehicle, I struck up a conversation (as I usually do) and asked if he'd any ghost stories to help me with my novel. Apparently one couple, looking very ashen, told him that they returned to their locked room only to discover the wife's luggage had been taken out of her suitcase and "ghost clothing" put in. "Ghost clothing?" I asked. "Very old clothes," he said.

As a writer, the question I always ask myself is; what if? What if there's a ghost walking about on his tourist travels, dressed like us. I think after that sobering thought something stronger than the great tea they serve there is required.

See you next month!