3 Questions Wednesday with Maria Bostian

Maria Bostian Full Resolution13Good morning! It is my pleasure to welcome author Maria Bostian to the Inspired Prompt.  Maria is a 15+ year veteran of the fire service and a Fire and Life Safety Educator with a passion for all things safety related.  This passion has helped her write two fire safety picture books with the hopes of many more books to come.

Good morning, Maria.

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Maria:  Friendly, Outgoing, and Loyal

Wonderful characteristics 🙂

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Maria: Back to Puerto Rico because I visited there right before Hurricane Maria and was amazed at how friendly and full-of-life the people were.

I’d love to revisit and find inspiration for a few “gems” (story ideas) and just start writing. I can see it now: I’m sitting in a comfy lounge chair on a quiet beach (with sunscreen, sunglasses, and floppy hat for sun protection), under a palm tree that is stretched out trying to touch the surface of the water and the [good] ideas are flowing like melting ice cream in the afternoon heat!

Sounds wonderful! Next…

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song? 

MariaOh, it’s too hard to pick just one. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Randy Newman, or my older sister’s would say, “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?” by Richard Rodgers.

How funny! And love the song choices 🙂 Now just one more…

Tell us a little about the work you do with fire safety and how our children can be safer when they trick or treat.

MariaI have the very best job in the fire service (or so I think). I work for a municipal fire department as their Fire & Life Safety Educator teaching injury prevention to preschool and elementary students, conducting safety programs for adults, and assisting with safety device installations such as working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.


Brady’s just batty over the new chapter book series. 

I’m in the process of writing my 3rd injury prevention-related chapter book which contains Halloween safety information (Folks, be on the lookout for the Fraidy Brady series with Ambassador International.) but, I’ll be glad to share my three most important Halloween safety tips with your audience.


  1. Children, Don’t ever, ever, ever, ever go Trick-or-Treating alone. Go with family members or a small group of friends and ALWAYS make sure that an adult is near-by. You just don’t ever know what can happen and it’s best to have the adult close-by if needed.
  2. Wear a costume that is made of flame-retardant materials and avoid contact with candles or other open flames. [If you are decorating for Halloween, use battery operated candles instead of open flame. This will keep you and your Trick-or-Treaters safer.]
  3. If you are going to be out at dusk or after dark, make sure that you are highly visible (carry a flashlight, have reflective material on your costume or shoes, walk in well-lit areas, etc.) and ONLY cross the street at crosswalks or other designated areas.

Thanks for sharing these tips, and for letting us interview you today.


Click to tweet:   An interview with author Maria Bostian at the Inspired Prompt blog.  Stay safe tips for Halloween.  #safey #amreading #halloweentips

Readers, Maria will give away a signed copy of  both of her books, and also a pig hand puppet. Just send us a picture of your cat or dog dressed for Halloweewith a clever caption to be entered into a drawing.


FFBDFirefighters’ Busy Day

Firefighters are busy! They have many tasks to do each day including washing, waxing, shining the truck, cleaning the gear, getting rid of the muck. In Firefighters Busy Day!, children can see the jobs firefighters do before, during, and after a fire call. Through the use of movement written into the text, they can even help firefighters get their jobs done.
Young children can pretend to be busy firefighters, too, by trying some of the exciting fire safety activities included such as a fire truck parade or a firefighter-themed meal. These activities are sure to turn everyday learning into firefighter fun. Grab your gear, jump on the truck, and ride along with firefighters helping in the community

Maria Bostian Full Resolution13

Maria Bostian is a 15+ year veteran of the fire service and a Fire and Life Safety Educator with a passion for all things safety related! This passion has helped her write two fire safety picture books with the hopes of many more books to come.

Maria’s debut picture book, What Should Daisy Do?, was released with Ambassador International in 2014 and her second book, Firefighters’ Busy Day, followed in 2016.

Earlier this year, Bostian began a series of injury prevention-related early chapter books with her beloved kitten, Fraidy Brady. The series will be published by Ambassador International and will begin in 2019.

When Maria has a little free time and she isn’t teaching others how to be safe, she can be found writing under a pecan tree, walking with the world’s sweetest mutts, or cruising around town in search of the next great picture book idea.

What do you like to do in your free time? Catch up with Bostian on social and let her know. She may incorporate it into an upcoming story!

Want ideas for safety lessons, crafts, school projects, and holidays? Then you’ll want to follow her safety-related Pinterest.

Blog     Facebook    Twitter.

Freelance at a Glance

What a great month we’ve had, discussing the many styles and facets of freelance writing. Why? To inspire and promptto lead you down the write road. (Sneaky reference to our tagline). 🙂

Is there something you’d like to explore in more depth? Many of our articles included links to follow for more information.

I’ve summarized the month to make it easy for you to check them out.

Now, if this isn’t enough to keep you researching and studying and goal-setting for a while, just wait until November gets started with devotional writing. I hope you’ll stop back in often to see what’s happening.

We’re always up to something on the Inspired Prompt blog. [click-to-tweet]

And speaking of prompts, here’s a fun one—what do you see in this photo, beyond the obvious? Let your imagination run free, and start a story…

imagination, voyage

Freelance Writing: The Pros and Cons

By Jennifer Hallmark

So, you’re writing the Next Great American Novel but want to make extra money in the meantime. Many opportunities abound in the world today: Writing for magazines, e-zines, newspapers, blogs, copywriting, and technical writing to name a few.

Take time to study the market versus your skills and then choose a direction and stick with it. If one type of writing doesn’t work out, try something that might suit you better. You can start penning words for free sites and building a resume which in turn could land you paying jobs.

What are the pros and cons of freelance writing?

The Pros include:

·         You can make your own schedule. This works great especially if you have another job or young children at home.

·         After you are established, you can choose the work you want.

·         You can write on a plethora of topics: the variety is endless.

·         Freelance writing can provide a good resume if you are trying to sign an agent or impress a publisher.

The Cons include:

·        Variety of payment amounts and sporadic time between payments.

·        Working at home can be distracting with chores and other family members close at hand.

·        Difficulty in finding the type of work that fits you best.

·        Burning out when writing novels and freelance.

The most important point is to weigh the money you’d like to make against whether you can work hard enough and write consistently enough to earn what you’d like to make. You might find a part-time job away from home that will meet your needs in a better way. If you’re still unsure, put aside a month and research the market, then send out a few queries to see if you can find interest in your ideas.

And don’t give up your novel writing. We can’t wait to read it…

Click to tweet: Freelance Writing: The Pros and Cons. #freelance #amwriting

Writing Prompt: Nancy circled the ad in the newspaper. Copywriters wanted. She wanted to prove to everyone that she could do this. But what if…

The Write Course: 3 Minute Tips for the Beginning Writer Episode 8

Jennifer Hallmark here. Welcome to my You Tube series called “The Write Course: 3 Minute Tips for the Beginning Writer.”

The second segment of this part of the journey answers the road trip question, How long will I stay?  Moving to the Caribbean Islands. Is your writing career a permanent home? Andy Griffith helps answer this question. Join me in the discussion.

Episode 8: Today’s topic is Launch into the Adventure: How long will I stay? Moving to the Caribbean Islands.

Click to tweet: The YouTube series for the beginning writer. Catch Episode 8 on the Inspired Prompt blog: Writing: How long will I stay? Moving to the Caribbean Islands. #amwriting #WritersLife #AndyGriffithShow

3 Questions Wednesday with Melanie Dickerson

Happy Wednesday! Today the Inspired Prompt welcomes my friend, The New York Times bestselling author, Melanie Dickerson. We’re so happy you could join us. First question:

Can you describe yourself in three words?

Melanie: Loving, romantic, hopeful. 🙂

The three perfect ingredients for a romance writer. 

Someone offers you a fully-paid writing research trip to any place you desire to go. Where would it be and why?

Melanie:  I’d go to Germany and visit all the castles I could. It’s the country I’ve been setting most of my Medieval fairy tale retellings, and I absolutely adore castles. And Germany has a lot of them! If a person can be in love with a building, I’m in love with several German castles.

I love them too. I have a castle Pinterest board. Now about travel…

If someone made a movie of your life, what would be the theme song?

Melanie:  This is a dangerous question at this point in my life! Hard to explain. At this particular moment it might be “Haters Gonna Hate” by Taylor Swift. Or “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash. Or one of my faves, “I Am No Victim” by Kristene Dimarco.

Great choices. And I love  the Kristene Dimarco’s song. Thanks so much for dropping by!

Click to tweet: The New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson talks about romance, German castles, and a giveaway. #romance #amwriting

Melanie would love to give away a digital copy of Magnolia Summer. Please leave a comment to be entered.

  Magnolia Summer

Truett Beverly returned to Bethel Springs, Alabama, after finishing medical school. Fighting a secret war with a corrupt lawman wasn’t in his plans, but when Sheriff Suggs threatens his childhood friend, Truett dons a cape and hood and becomes the Hooded Horseman, placing him squarely in the sheriff’s crosshairs. 

Celia Wilcox arrives in Bethel Springs in June of 1880. She’s come from Nashville to help her sister care for their younger siblings. She hopes only to be on the small farm for the summer, just until her mother recovers from the shock of Celia’s father’s death. She must return to Nashville in order to fulfill her dream of opening her own dress shop. 

Celia catches Truett’s eye from the moment she steps off the train. He finds himself wanting to impress her, but she flatly refuses to flirt with him or to fall for his—if he does say so himself—considerable charm. Truth is, Celia’s attraction to Dr. Truett Beverly terrifies her. What will happen when Sheriff Suggs discovers Truett is the Hooded Horseman? Will Celia’s greatest fears come true? Or will she be able to prevent the sheriff from carrying out one last lynching?

Melanie Dickerson is The New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for all things Medieval with her love of romance and fairy tales. She also loves Regency Romance and has drawn on her Southern heritage to write a romance set in the late 1800s called Magnolia Summer.

Her books have won the Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in America, Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.