Matthew Arnold Stern Matthew Arnold Stern
Words that inform and inspire
Matthew Arnold Stern's November 2023 newsletter

In this issue, I talk about my upcoming events, interview two authors, and share featured posts for Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?

November 23 is Thanksgiving in the United States. It's usually overshadowed by Black Friday and Christmas shopping. But I've always believed it is important to express gratitude for what we have, even in difficult times.


I write a Thanksgiving post on my website every year. This year's post is Be thankful when times are good.


Also check out these other posts about Thanksgiving:


Be thankful for the bad stuff: In this award-winning post, I write about how gratitude can help us through difficult times.


Appreciating the gray: Why getting older is something to be grateful for.


Gratitude for the chance to do more: The best way to show gratitude is by helping others. 


Upcoming events in Southern California

I recently moderated four panel discussions at Indie Author Day in Anaheim. I wrote about the experience in my post, Authors and the power of community.


I will be appearing at these events in Southern California:

  • Saturday, November 18, 1:00 pm–4:00 pm:
    Local Author Day, Fullerton Public Library. 
    I will do readings from my novels and have books for sale. Get full details from the event's website.
  • Saturday and Sunday, November 25–26:
    Loscon 49, LAX Marriott.
    I will participate in and moderate panel discussions about writing. Get full details from the Loscon website.
  • Saturday, January 27, 1:00–4:00 pm: Book signing at The Open Book, Woodland Hills.
    I return to the San Fernando Valley to do book signings and readings from my novels with settings in Reseda, Amiga and The Remainders. Information coming soon at The Open Book website.

Look for more events coming soon.

My featured book: The Remainders
Information about The Remainders

A homeless son and troubled father must reconnect in a novel called a "powerful page-turner" and "a fascinating story about real next-door people." Get The Remainders now on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and in paperback wherever books are sold.

Elsewhere on social media: Motivation for NaNoWriMo

We're almost at the end of NaNoWriMo. If you're looking for additional motivation to get you through, check out my TikTok video about what you can accomplish by participating.


For more of my Booktok content, follow me at TikTok @maswriter.

This month's author interviews

This month, I have interviews with two indie authors, T.C. Correy and Yvonne deSousa.


If you're an author who wants to be interviewed, send me an email to with the following information:

  • Your name.
  • A brief bio (100 words or less).
  • Your books.
  • What you would like to talk about in your interview.
T.C. Correy
T.C. Correy (photo provided by author)

T.C. Correy is the author of the thriller If Only He Never, which is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon and many other places.


Tell us about yourself

I'm originally from Switzerland, but I moved to Australia nearly 20 years ago even though there's no family history here. You’ll find a few "I don’t know whys" in this interview. That's one of them. But it's where I always wanted to be.


How did you get started in writing?

Well, I've always been a huge movie buff. This might sound a little funny, but back in the day—and they might still exist—I used to buy screenplay books. Not the novels adapted into movies. I still have one for Gladiator. So, when I couldn't find such a book for certain movies, I decided on writing them myself. An Officer and a Gentleman and Footloose are a couple of examples. That's how I got hooked on writing. I began with my own version of Footloose and wrote some short stories in German. I also wrote a novel based in Australia, but when I moved down under (Australia), life got in the way. The voices, however, were always with me and grew louder when I left my husband. I picked up the pen again and haven’t stopped writing since. 


What inspired you to write If Only He Never?

To be honest, I don’t know where that book came from. I'd planned a break from writing after completing a thriller trilogy within 2 years. I was still trying to wrap my head around the whole query process, competitions, and so forth. Let alone English. But my brain had other plans.


The entire concept of If Only He Never started with a man being called to a condo by a woman he’d only just met, only to discover a dead woman he didn’t know. I had the first 10K words within days. But I’m a total pantser, and the puzzle started because I honestly didn’t know who this dead woman was. Then I had scenes I wrote and didn’t know how to weave them into the story. What's more, my creative journey led me to explore subjects like cancer, DNA, science, and conspiracy. It was the research that truly captivated me, especially when I discovered how much is concealed from us and what we're not supposed to know. I enjoy delving into that kind of information. And trust me, I had to dig deep to find certain things. I think I got a little off track here, but in short, there was no inspiration as such. The story found me, if that makes sense. And it took me over one year to complete If Only He Never because of all the research involved.


What has been your most rewarding experience in writing?

Every five-star review is a confirmation that I am succeeding is one of them. But what I love most about writing is that I can dive into a different world and forget anything around me. 


What advice would you give to new writers?

When trying to get traditionally published, follow the submission guidelines. If you don't, you're not only wasting their time. You are wasting yours too because chances of succeeding are very low if you don’t. And this also might sound very harsh, but they are not waiting for you. A truth I had to learn first, too. But again, follow the rules. Don’t just send the entire manuscript because you think the book is sooooo great. If they ask for five pages, you send five pages. Not ten, not twenty. If they say don’t attach them, but include them in the email, then you do so. It's a long, long road. Trust me. Many give up. But most of all, don't give up. Especially in the query circus.


Where can readers learn more about you?

My website is You can sign up for the newsletter I’m planning on starting hopefully by December or January at the latest. 


I’m mainly on Facebook in regards to active social media ( has all my links (

Yvonne deSousa
Yvonne deSousa (photo provided by author)
Yvonne deSousa was born and raised in Provincetown and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1991. She worked as an advocate for crime victims outside of Boston before returning to the Cape to work as an office assistant and began writing in her spare time.
She is the author of Shelter of the Monument: A Provincetown Love Story and MS Madness! and her work has appeared in two editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Yvonne is available for readings, book signings and presentations of her work and of how she uses humor to survive difficult circumstances.
How did you get started in writing?
I was that kid who loved to read. Every Christmas in the late 1970s and early 1980s, my wish list included a ton of books that I couldn’t wait to read and then put on my bookshelf. No new, fancy tech gadgets for me—bound paper with interesting words works just fine, thank you. Judy Blume was an early favorite. Then, as I got into my preteens, I got edgier. The suspense of Lois Duncan novels became my real passion.
I thought I might become an author and so I went to Emerson College and majored in creative writing. It was there that I learned that writing is hard! You have to come up with great ideas and put them together in a cohesive and interesting way. I thought great authors just came by their craft naturally. Who knew?? 
I transferred from Emerson to UMass/Boston, switched my major to English, graduated, moved home, decided I wanted to work in the criminal justice system, and I got a job back in Boston. That was where I planned to stay. Then 9/11 happened, and it made me realize how much I missed Cape Cod.
I came back home, took the first job that came my way and planned on that being my life plan. Then I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Don’t be fooled, MS sucks. My first neurologist even told me so. I was supposed to be angry at the diagnosis, but what I felt most was frustration. And frustration does me in! I started to write down the things that frustrated me:
  • One of the most painful MS symptoms is called a hug?
  • I have to start giving myself shots made from Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells?
  • How am I supposed to eat healthy to fight MS related fatigue when I am too freaking tired to prepare healthy foods? (There is a reason that Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream comes with an easy open pop top.)
Before I knew it, I was writing. And it turns out, I could write funny. So I wrote a funny book about a serious illness which eventually led to my writing this serious book about a funny person. Go figure.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in writing this book?
There were so many challenges with this one, the book I call the story of my heart, that it is hard to narrow down. This is my story—who else would care? Isn't it dated? We have learned so much about addiction since 1991—wouldn't it be hard to relate? Are my memories even accurate? What is the point of telling this story?
Ultimately, I think my biggest challenge was worrying about privacy issues. Not my own. If I can write about bladder control annoyances in my first book and the boob cake my friend made me when I received my breast cancer diagnosis in one of my blogs, my own privacy issues have long since dissolved. But what about other people in the story? This book was a catharsis for me, but it doesn’t mean that everyone will welcome the portrayal of my first love, the many mistakes we both made, and the people on the periphery of those mistakes.
Eventually, I decided that I needed to tell this story as a tribute to Richard, my first love. I needed to share how important he was to me and hope that by doing so, others in his life will recognize the man that the addiction took from them.
What would you like readers to feel, learn or experience by reading your book?
I would like it if people smiled at their own memories of first love, even if it didn't have the ending they hoped. That would be the experience I would treasure people having upon reading my story. The magic of that time, those strong, confusing emotions, the joy and even the pain. If my memoir takes people back to their own first love, I think that would be a poignant thing. If readers don't already know this, I would like my story to remind them that addicts can be more than their addictions. Maybe not always, maybe not without a lot of pain, but they can still have something important to offer.  And finally, I would like readers to feel comfort in the knowledge that not all happy endings look the same. And that is OK.
What advice would you give to new writers?
I have two pieces of advice I like to give new writers. First, listen to everyone. Second, don't listen to anyone. 
What I mean by this is that if you are in a writing group or are putting your story out to beta readers and five of them come back to you with the same comment, they may be onto something. Listen to them. What is the point of being in a writer's group or seeking beta readers if you don't value their opinion as potential readers? That said, it is your story. And you know it best. So if you don't feel like a critique is accurate, after you have opened your mind, listened and evaluated it, then in the final analysis, you have to go with your gut. But just please, please, please listen first.  
Where can readers learn more about you?
The best place for readers to reach me is either my website   ( where I list all the goings on there and on social media. I'm on Facebook (, the platform formerly known as Twitter (@YvonnedeSousa), and Instagram (yvonnemdesousa786).
Thank you for your time and attention

I hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. If you have any comments and suggestions, feel free to email me at


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I'll be back next month with more news and content.

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Copyright 2023, Matthew Arnold Stern. All rights reserved.