robin woods blog

Author Interview with Danielle Cotton

Welcome to my blog interview with children’s author, Danielle Cotton, author of Tajja and the Legend of the Queens. I’ve been friends with this wonderful woman for a decade and am always amazed at her strength and passion. She’s written a delightful book with a poignant message about embracing your heritage and taking responsibility.

Danielle Cotton is a children’s author, history teacher, and proud mother of two high-energy girls, Sofia and Zoe. She writes to create books that celebrate their black beauty and the legacies of strong black women in history. When she isn’t on an epic adventure with her daughters, she’s trying to find a sunny spot in which to write or read.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

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Writing Resource: Superpowers & Abilities

Writing Resource: Superpowers & Abilities by Robin Woods #superheroabilities

I was contemplating superpowers the other day. Yeah, those are the types of things I ponder in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. I still can’t decide what superpower I would choose, probably telekinesis because looking into someone’s mind would be icky and I would trip if I had super speed.

Then, I had the terrifying thought–what would actual superpowers do to a human body? I found it rather creepy that a Ted Talk on “If Superpowers Were Real: Super Speed” popped up in my feed that morning.

Uhhh. Thought Police anyone?

Well, I posted the Ted Talk videos below, but I have a little more for you. Writing Marvelous Superheroes, here we go…

Super-powered Basics

The thing that separates heroes from villains is what they choose to do with their powers and this all comes out in the origin story.

Once they choose, those superheroes generally fall into three archetypes:

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Light & Shadow

Well, it’s official. I’ve been working hard to finally finish Light & Shadow: The Watcher Series Shorts and Extras. And, dum duh du dah, here is the cover. See? It’s really happening!

And some lucky fans can have a scene written to answer their burning questions. See how below.

Through the years, some fan questions have inspired short stories and extra scenes. I’ve been compiling those, along with other short scenes I’ve written to figure out what other characters are thinking.

Here are some samples of the fan questions I have answered:

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Prompt Me Wins!

Prompt Me made it on the Best Writing Books of All Time List

I’m happy to announce that my book, Prompt Me: Creative Writing Journal & Workbook, made it to BookAuthority’s Best Writing Books of All Time.

BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor to get this kind of recognition.

Thank you for all your support!
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.

What is BookAuthority?

BookAuthority is the world’s leading website for nonfiction book recommendations, helping people find the best books on any topic.

It covers topics that range from startups, marketing and finance, through javascript, artificial intelligence and bitcoin, to fitness, history and personal development.

BookAuthority serves millions of book recommendations every month, was ranked #1 on ProductHunt, and has been featured on CNNForbes and Inc.

How are books ranked?

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Allure is FREE Today & Tomorrow

Allure: The Watcher Series Prequel is FREE on Kindle all day today and tomorrow (Dec. 29/30). (And you don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can read on any smart phone, iPad, or computer.)

The Kindle version is newly revised. Woo hoo!

There’s a description below, but it’s free, so why not take a risk on something new? Meet your next book boyfriend (or girlfriend). Allure has both simmering and flirty.

Click here to go to Amazon now. (And downloads help me).

There’s no looking back when you’re on the run.

As America tries to forget the horrors of the Great War by embracing jazz, flappers, and the speakeasy, the Watchers remain vigilant by protecting the innocent and maintaining order among the Immortals—including a powerful line of Seers who are all but extinct. But the real horror is just beginning.

When George Yates is ordered to escort the beautiful Rosemond Le Clair to safety, he finds himself in the middle of an ancient feud that demands her blood. Without the Watchers’ help, he must struggle to protect the last remaining daughter of the Le Clair family from these dark powers, even as he defies fate itself.

Allure can be read as a stand-alone single or as part of the series (it can be read at any point).

My Recommended Reading Order:
The Unintended (Book 1)
The Nexus (Book 2)
>>> Allure (The Prequel)
The Sacrifice (Book 3)
The Fallen Part 1 (Book 4)
The Fallen Part 2 (Book 5)

See the whole series on Amazon here.

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Free for the First Time–Today Only

If you have been curious about my novels, today is your lucky day. The Unintended: The Watcher Series Book One is FREE on Kindle all day today. Woot! (And you don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can read on any smart phone, iPad, or computer.)

I promise an update soon, I’ve been on the move since September–and I mean that quite literally. I’ve dragged my family all the way across the Northern United States, into Canada, and down the East Coast in search of adventure and stories. We are hunkered in the Carolinas for the holiday and will continue the adventure soon. If you would like to see a few pictures, you can see them here on Instagram.

Anyway…back to the free book.

There’s a description below, but it’s free, so why not take a risk on something new? Click here to go to Amazon now.

Missing Twilight but want more than a love story? This simple beginning evolves into an epic journey through the shadow world of vampires, fallen angels, and the watchers.

This series is great for anyone who loves the romance of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, the world building of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments Series, and the high stakes of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games. When you get to book two, fasten your seatbelt, each book is faster, darker, and sexier.

And that’s not all! The Nexus: Book Two will be on sale starting tomorrow (and for four days) for the bargain price of 99 cents! It’s like Black Friday all over again. Incredibly priced books AND new book boyfriends! What? I know!

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Prompt Me Horror & Thriller

This past March I attended my first convention as a vendor and asked for suggestions as to what my next topic should be—the winner? Horror. This book is packed full of a large variety of styles of prompts, not just traditional story starters.

I have included one of the story helping generators I created for the workbook below (and a photo prompt). So dive in and have some fun writing some creepy stories just in time for Halloween!

PROMPT ME HORROR & THRILLER by Robin Woods #creativewriting #writingprompts #amwriting https://amzn.to/30kdEWY

Are you a budding Stephen King or want to be? Whether you are an adult or teen, this book is for you. It has hundreds of prompts and a healthy amount of charts and references to help ignite your creativity.

PROMPT ME HORROR & THRILLER by Robin Woods #creativewriting #writingprompts #amwriting https://amzn.to/30kdEWY

Buy on Amazon
Add to GoodReads

This workbook is great for:

  • Writers who need to banish writer’s block 
    Teachers who need bell activities
  • Someone who wants daily writing prompts
  • Homeschool parents who want fun curriculum
  • Screenwriters who want inspiration for scripts
  • People who need a gift for a writer or English teacher
  • Anyone who wants to ignite creativity and improve writing
  • This workbook is clean enough for teens and sophisticated for seasoned writers.

Here is a sample page. What is your nightmare?

Nightmare Generator from PROMPT ME HORROR & THRILLER by Robin Woods #writingprompts #creativewriting

Need some inspiration? Check out the rest of the Prompt Me Series
Photo prompts, story starters, master lists, and more.

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New Release: Prompt Me Reading Log & Analysis

This last school year I took on a new endeavor: homeschooling two elementary kids. Overall, it went really well, but there was one area of frustration. My kids hated answering lists of questions and didn’t always want to discuss the chapters they’d read. My solution? I wrote a book.

Prompt Me Reading Log & Analysis by Robin Woods

Drawing on my two and a half decades of classroom experience teaching literature–I came up with several prototypes using my kiddos for guinea pigs. Don’t worry no harm came to any children. ;o)

My kids both love making lists and drawing pictures. So, I incorporated what not only my children like, but also what worked in my high school classroom.

There’s room to log 10 books chapter-by-chapter. And, you never have to chase a bunch of papers around! All their notes stay in this easy to use workbook.

Prompt Me Reading Log & Analysis by Robin Woods | Sample pages
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New Author Checklist: 10 Things to Do

So, you published your book? That is amazing! You should take a minute to revel in the accomplishment. Really. You did something a lot of people dream of doing but never do.

Now, I would take a second to bookmark this page. I’ll wait. Done? Great.

First of all, you don’t need to do everything on this checklist today. I would advise doing one item a day for the next several days.

This is pretty much the list of what I wish I’d known when I started back in 2010. I had to “just figure it out.” There are so many more resources out there now–and so many more doors are open to indie and small pub writers.

So, here we go!

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Increase IQ with Creative Writing

Increase Your IQ with Creative Writing | Article on www.RobinWoodsFiction.com

The fact is, that most everyone wants to be smarter. If you are a life-long learner, like me, then it is fun to find new ways to stretch yourself.

But can you actually increase your intelligence? The answer — YES!
And you can do it through creative writing.

Here are some facts about intelligence to help you understand (from American Scientific Magazine my inspiration for this post).

Facts About Fluid Intelligence

  1. Fluid intelligence is trainable.
  2. The more you challenge yourself, the better your brain will work.
  3. Anyone can increase their intelligence. Yes, everyone.
  4. Exercises don’t need to be traditional.

So, how does this apply to you? According to American Scientific, you can do five things to train your brain.

Amazon Bestselling Prompt Me by Robin Woods | www.RobinWoodsFiction.com

Application Through Creative Writing

1. Seek Novelty

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