YWS: The Importance of Knowing Your Characters

Characters are an exceptionally important part of any story. Their actions and reactions to the circumstances in which they find themselves is what drives the story forward. Some authors write detailed character profiles to help them get to know the character better. Others might “sit down” with the character and conduct an interview. I tend to do a lot of … Read More

Speak No Evil: The Red-Tail Hawk

When I see a hawk soaring in the sky, a wistful feeling washes over me as I think about how free it looks gliding overhead. Free from Earthly obligations, charting its own course, with the appearance of no worries. How wonderful would it be to soar like a hawk? Except all of that freedom I imbue to the hawk may … Read More

The Face of Rape Culture

I am incensed and saddened by the news about Shane Piche, who pled guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl. My heart is shredded and crying on behalf of the girl. Her life has been turned upside down by this man who will not see one day of jail time. Maybe if I knew all the facts, I’d have another perspective, … Read More

The Journal of Angela Ashby: The Malachite Skull

When Angela and her best friend, Mallory, visit the fortune-teller tent, Madame Vadoma gives each of them a gift. While Angela receives the journal, Mallory is given a malachite skull. In the first draft of The Journal of Angela Ashby the malachite skull was simply referred to as a crystal. And as the book went through the revision process, the … Read More

Along Comes the Nautilus

Yesterday, while sitting in a chemo chair having an IVIG treatment*, my agent, Italia Gandolfo, chatted me and asked whether I could talk. I gave her my usual smart aleck response that I could talk, as long as she does most of the talking and doesn’t mind monosyllabic responses from me … or in another words a fairly normal conversation … Read More

Does Nessie Have An Irish Cousin?

Just in case you think that Scotland, with the Loch Ness, has a lock on aquatic monster sightings, it simply isn’t so. Ireland boasts its share of sightings as well. One of the earliest sightings, dubbed the mystery of County Clare, occurred in 1850 where the beast was described as “sunning itself near the Clare coast off Kilkee.” Does a … Read More

It’s The Simple Little Things

I have a friend who used to say all the time that he was just a simple man. What he meant was his needs were simple, but at the same time, he was rarely happy and content with life. Conversely, I am not a simple person, and if I were to even suggest it, I’d be shouted down. Yet, for … Read More

Jar Full of Smiles: The Lost Smile

As much as we might wish it never to be so, into each life a little rain must fall … at least that is how I think about the negative/bad experiences in life. We have all have them. And for me the rain falling is usually referring to the tears running down my face. Those who know me well will … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: Bats

Bats usually get a bad rap. They are linked to vampire lore and are accused of sucking blood. Even vampire bats don’t suck the blood … they lick it. While licking blood is still creepy, it lacks the horror of sucking. They tend to go after cows rather than humans anyway. 🙂 And contrary to popular belief, they don’t want … Read More

Speak No Evil Launch Date

I am dancing around because I can finally share the release date for my upcoming Young Adult novel, Speak No Evil. This novel has had a very special place in my heart from the moment it hit me like a lightning bolt several years ago. It has been my biggest writing challenge to date, and yet I enjoyed every minute … Read More

The Journal of Angela Ashby: Glimrick, the Gnome

As a writer, I am always being surprised by my characters. They never conform completely to any outline I put down. When I wrote The Journal of Angela Ashby I broke from my normal writing routine and didn’t use an outline, so when the gnome first showed up and went away again, I thought he was gone forever from the … Read More