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New stories about local writers

Jan McCanless, author of the Beryl’s Cove Mysteries, was featured in the July/August Southern Writers magazine.

McCanless, a freelance writer, has written columns for the Salisbury Post and contributes to Senior Savvy.

In the interview, she tells writers to believe in themselves and their work: “If you can’t believe in your writing, how can you possibly expect anyone else to believe in it?”

She encourages writers to put energy into selling their books, as well as researching and writing them.

McCanless’ foray into fiction came with an idea that kept popping into her head. She’s now on book 14, the ninth in the mystery series.

She emphasizes the need for writers to do thorough research to get the details right, especially when adding facts to fiction.

She sets her stories in a fictional place on the Outer Banks, but she has to know about that area for the details to ring true.

She also told Southern Writers that characters must have a flaw to make them believable. They must be vulnerable to keep the readers interested.

McCanless is working on her next book, “Murder for the Prophet,” which should be out in 2017. Meanwhile, she teaches writing seminars and continues to contribute to magazines and newspapers.

Her final advice, “Know your subject, do your research and write it well.”

Salisbury native and author Kristy Woodson Harvey was recently featured in the North State Journal, a new newspaper based in Raleigh.

The story talks about how Harvey finds inspiration from family and place in her two novels, “Dear Carolina” and “Lies and Other Acts of Love.”

She tells reporter Laura Ashley Lamm that being and only child made her close to her family, and how she has been analyzing relationships between siblings and parents and children.

Harvey is quoted: You always bring yourself into your characters, even secondary characters, but every character has a little bit of you in them because you are bringing them to life on the page.”

Harvey is working on her third book, “Slightly South of Simple,” which is the first of a three-book series that tells the stories of three sisters and their relationships with one another.

“Dear Carolina” has been optioned for a film by Jaime Pressly.

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