Beware the Research Rabbit Hole

If you’ve signed up for my newsletter (hint, hint), you’ll know that I have a Sydney Brennan novella in the edits stage now. Yay, beta readers! I started working on the second full-length novel this week, gathering notes and bits I’d written previously into a Scrivener file and getting grounded. I’ve also been using Scapple. Not to be confused with a nasty southern meat product made up leftover butchered bits, Scapple is a software program by the Scrivener people that I’m finding really useful for mapping out the story, seeing connections, and keeping track of timelines. (I wish I could Read more…


Stories I Love: The Nero Wolfe Edition

Everyone is familiar with the magic of comfort food. Over the weekend, my husband and I felt the need for comfort entertainment, which of course made me think of another installment of Stories I Love. This time, the Nero Wolfe edition. If you read my blog regularly, you’re probably not surprised by the choice. A while back I wrote a post about Book Chi, the idea that years of reader experiences can attach to the physical books you find in libraries and used book stores. The book that prompted this was a library copy of Rex Stout’s, “Please Pass the Read more…


The Black Hole that Ate My Week (or How I’m Learning to Stop Kicking Myself for Not Writing)

Much writing advice can be boiled down to, “Write every day.” There may or may not be word counts attached, but in essence it’s that simple. Create a little something every day, and you’ll see multiple benefits. Keep at it, and with a page a day you’ve got the rough draft of a novel in a year. You also make changes in your mind, training yourself to produce words by habit the way you would learn a fancy toss-the-ball-in-the-air tennis serve day by day. (If the preponderance of hyphens make you think said tossed ball would likely land back on Read more…


Where do you Get Your Ideas? The Inspiration for Back to Lazarus

I’m just starting to feel my way around Goodreads Author Land. They have an “Ask the Author” section where readers can submit specific questions to authors, but there’s also a rotation of commonly asked questions. One of these caught  my eye and my imagination more than I would have expected, so I thought I would share it here as well. Where did you get the idea for your most recent book? The seeds of Back to Lazarus were planted so long ago that I’d forgotten them, until I read this question and started digging in my brain and my notebooks. (My first hand-written Read more…


That’s Why You Hire the Professionals, People! (Cover Design and Author Swag Edition)

Between my husband and me, there’s not a whole lot we won’t try to do ourselves. We’re (slowly) building our own house, so he’s done electrical and framing (a friend who shall remain nameless once framed himself into our house while working on a flare-topped ladder) and everything in between, with limited tools and limited electricity. I don’t think I’ve broken anything with a hammer or sliced anything unintended with a saw, and I’ve done a fair amount of sheetrock fairly poorly (my corners aren’t too bad but all of our walls have a lump in the middle). I’ve also Read more…