Author photos taken by Robert Abrams in Paris, France.

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Rebecca Buckley's Blog
Welcome to my blog. Here I'll talk about almost anything. Depends on the mood of the day. I'll also talk about publishing, writing techniques, and editing ... subjects close to my heart. So today, anytime you feel like it, feel free to jump in ... click on the COMMENTS link at the end of a post and give your opinion. If you sign in "anonymous" to comment, it's easier, just be sure you say who you are in the content of your comment.

Sunday, April 27, 2014



One hundred sixty five pounds!!!!!!  Yes, I got down to 165 by eliminating all dairy (including cheese) and sugar, and no bread – decided against gluten-free, why have bread at all?
I had a Magic Bullet drink of three veggies and three fruits every morning, a salad with protein at noon, veggies with protein for dinner, occasional glass of red wine before bed. And I stuck with it and was doing fine, lost twelve more pounds!
Then my oldest son had a fatal heart attack, he was 52 years old. Of course my system went into a tail-spin, no rhyme or reason for what I ate or drank after that.  No thoughts at all on eating correctly or weight loss crossed my mind. It just didn’t matter, unimportant for weeks.  So I gained five pounds back of the fifteen I lost.  But I’m at 170 now, still better than I was at 180, so there is something to be grateful for, right?  You’re damn right there is. Life keeps rolling on, regardless.

So, I’ve had my Magic Bullet drink this morning, this makes two servings:

1 beet
1 banana
1 green apple
1 handful of kale
½ big carrot
1 handful frozen blueberries

TODAY, three months after my son died, I vow to diligently begin the loss of the remaining 30 pounds I need to lose.

Last night I watched an HBO docu-series about obesity in America. There are four segments, I watched the first two and learned some startling facts, enough to get me thinking again.
And if for no other reason and a reminder, in memory of my son, it is up to me to make sure a heart attack doesn’t take me too, neither a stroke.  Especially if it can be avoided by what I eat and drink and by doing exercise.

Count me in, not out!  

Just a footnote:  In addition to the basic daily plan above, I might also have another portion of the drink later in the day, as long as it's on an empty stomach, not within 2 hours after a meal.   And I will drink teas as more antioxidants, coffee as stimulants (keeps my brain working) and I will eat all the veggies I want, par-cooked or raw.  It worked before, and I'll do it again this time. 

I see some good things on the horizon for me, I really do ... stay tuned!  

Thursday, April 24, 2014


That's a very good question.  I doubt that it can be answered in a way that will make anybody a best-selling author right off the bat. There's more to it than meets the eye, or eyes as is the case.

Oh, there are many books out there on the subject that give tips on writing a bestseller ... do an Internet search and you'll see what I'm talking about.  I have quite a few of those books myself, and I do read them and I do absorb them.  I even apply some of the tips to my own writing.

But as I've said before and I'll say it again, first off, you must be a reader, you must be an avid reader to even begin to write a novel. You must learn how to write smoothly and succinctly and the best way to do that is by reading successful writers in the genre of your choice.  You'll learn the rhythm and the pattern of using short and long sentences, how dialogue is written.  You'll learn when an author uses too much description or not enough to make your readers feel, hear, see, and smell what's on the written page. Pay attention, it's all there for you to grasp when you read other authors. Read authors who aren't quite as accomplished, too.  You'll notice the difference in the writing. So yes, the best way to learn to write is to read.

The second best is attending writers conference workshops, writing classes in your community colleges, online classes, all of it adds to what you're going to need in your writer's toolbox.   Reading how-to books, grammar books, punctuation books ... there are some really interesting ones out there that make it not so text-bookish, you might even enjoy the challenge.  I dreaded my English and writing classes in high school, I didn't like them at all. So boring to me they were, and I only skimmed the books just enough to write the assigned book reports. I was a terrible English student. But now, I'm over the top about it, about reading and writing. I'm captive of English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and so forth. It's become my life as a matter of fact.  Amazing that it's turned out this way.

So ... while you're doing all this study and self-educating, start writing your novel.  Don't wait. You don't have to have it all laid out, or outlined, or perfect, just start writing.  You do need to know who your main character is, however, and what his/her backstory is: parents, upbringing, beliefs, personality type, dreams ... you might even write your main character's bio on a couple sheets of paper to have handy as you write, to keep you on track as your character weaves through the plot. That's what I do, as well as a list of the other characters as they appear and are developed.

But how do you know that what you're going to write will sell?  You don't, unless you're Nora Roberts or Tom Clancy or Ken Follett and the list goes on.  How do you write a novel that sells?

Well, you don't want to be a copy-cat, but you know whose stories you like the best and if you say you want to write like that particular author, terrific! You've found your genre. Write the genre you love to read. If you've read enough of your favorite author's books it will automatically rub off on you and become second nature as you write.  The patterns of speech, the rhythm, etc. So that's good.  And if you read several authors, you will have a combination from each of them in your head. But you need to cultivate your own voice, your own stories now. That will come, the more you write.

In classes and how-to reference books you're taught the tricks of the trade, how to hone your story, create your characters and plots, all to help make your first novel a page-turner and one that everybody will want to read.  Next comes the publisher.

After you hire a professional editor to help you polish your work, you can either go the route of self-publishing or submit to an agent who will pitch it to a publisher.

So, if you've done your homework and your characters and plot bring something new and interesting to the mix, if you have writing talent and you know you've done your best, and your manuscript is polished and professional ... that's all you can do at that point. You've done your job for now. The agent and publisher will take it from there, they will decide if they want to take a chance on it, and whether or not it will sell.

So in the meantime, start writing your next novel. Whatever happens, keep writing.

AND ... keep reading.

Good luck in selling your first novel!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Appearing today on her book tour is MARILYN MEREDITH  . . . author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series as well as the Rocky Bluff P.D. series
One of the first authors to embrace e-publishing, she has several books that are available in both e-format and trade paperback, among them, the award winning mystery “Guilt by Association.”
Also a writing teacher, Marilyn has been a featured speaker at many writers' conferences and book festivals. She is a member of Mystery Writers of AmericaSisters in CrimeEPIC, and the Public Safety Writers Association.
Our featured writer today is editor of the California Residential Services Association monthly newsletter (Association for Administrators of State-Licensed Residential Care Facilities for Youth, Adults and the Elderly), and for twelve years she’s been a free-lance writer for the Tule River Times, Springville CA.
A busy lady as you can see, but somehow she has managed to write over thirty-five novels and travels to conferences, book festivals, and booksignings all over the country. 
Ms. Meredith says she enjoys writing about police officers and their families and how the job affects the family and vice versa. Having several members of her own family involved in law enforcement, as well as many friends, she’s witnessed some of the drama and trauma first-hand.
So here she is ... my fellow readers and writers … Marilyn Meredith … aka F.M. Meredith!!!!

Introducing Marilyn Meredith speaking on: 


I first met Rebecca in Visalia CA in a coffee shop, along with another writer. We had a great time talking writing. We met once again at a restaurant. Then when Rebecca put on a writing conference in Florida, she invited me to come and be a presenter. Of course I did and had a great time.
When she moved to Arizona she put on another conference and I was invited to present again. Of course, I obliged. I love talking and teaching about writing. But even more, I wanted to see Rebecca again. And, we had a chance to visit and catch up.
One of the best things about being a writer is making friends along the way—writing friends and readers too.
Writers are amazingly supportive of other writers. Not only do they help with the writing process, they also tell others about your books and let you know about new ways to promote your books.
Yes, there are a few stinkers out there, but on the whole, writers are wonderful people who make wonderful friends—friends who last over the years.
This is one of the reasons I love Facebook, I can “see” Rebecca nearly every day and follow what she’s doing.  Of course this goes for my other friends, writers and others.
Though we’ve followed different paths with our writing, we still have much in common.
If she and I were sitting in the same room, I know I’d ask her what she’s working on right now and she’d ask me the same thing.


BLURB:  The body that washes up on the beach leads Detectives Milligan and Zachary on a murder investigation that includes the victim’s family members, his housekeeper, three long-time friends, and a mystery woman.
CONTEST:  Once again Marilyn is offering the opportunity to have your name used for a character in one of her books if you comment on the MOST blogs during this tour for Murder in the Worst Degree.


THANK YOU SO MUCH, MARILYN!  So glad to have you as a guest today.  I am following you on your tour too, as I would think many readers and writers are ...  by the way, take a listen to the interview I did with Marilyn three years ago ... upper left ... Ciao for now ....

Friday, April 4, 2014


I LOVE SPRINGTIME!   All the flowers are in bloom, the weather is perfect - at least it is here in Arizona, and life feels pretty darn good!  I've just returned from a much needed holiday to England and France, and although it was what the higher power ordered after the loss of my dear son Barry - my oldest, I feel so good to be home again. Lots to look forward to in the coming months ... plans being made: seeking an author's agent, taking another trip in September - this time to Seville, Spain ... and tons of writing projects on my desk waiting for my attention. Revamping of my goals and future are eminent ... YEP! Changes in the wind.

Also this month begins my participation in joining blog tours presenting other authors, so if you're interested in being featured, please let me know. Kicking off the Month of April is Marilyn Meredith ... author of the award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series and the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, as well as other novels. I have met Marilyn and have attended same writers conferences and book fests as she, all over the country. Quite the lady and a superb writer, she'll be featured on this blog April 15 ... income tax day!!!   Easy date to remember. Come back and see what she has to say ...

Marilyn Meredith

AND ... I'm busy publishing FOR THE SAKE OF A CHILD by Tom Onstott ... his third novel published by R. J. Buckley Publishing, and this one is a super-terrific thriller!  You've got to read this chilling novel by Tom. Sad to say, it's published posthumously with permission of his family . . . Tom passed away in July 2013. You can read about this and his other novels at .  After publishing this novel, I'll be taking a hiatus from R. J. Buckley Publishing, will be putting all my energies into my own writing.

Speaking of . . . my own next novel is Midnight in Vegas ... at least that's the working title for now. I'm going out on a limb this time, am braving it, and will submit my sixth novel to a major publisher.  In a big way it's exciting, but scary at the same time. A new experience for me. My own publishing company, R.J. Buckley Publishing, is an independent, and is limited in what it can do for its authors. We're small and can do only so much. So, I feel it's time that I, as an author, need to move on. So this is it! My sixth novel, people! (Eleventh book.)

Have a wonderful day!