Category Archives: Facebook

So, I was tagged in Facebook

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Peggy Henderson, a fellow writer of Yellowstone, tagged me to talk about seven things in my writing life. That’s going to take some thinking.

1.  I’ve been writing a good chunk of my life. I started keeping my first journal on a trip to Alaska when I was fourteen, and I wrote my first fiction — an extremely bad case of Mary Sued fanfic of the shortlived 70s TV series Apple’s Way — not long after that. I kept voluminous journals (no longer in my possession, alas) in high school and college, wrote a lot of really bad poetry during the same time frame, and was only stopped dead in my tracks by the creative writing teacher from hell when I was twenty-one. I didn’t start writing again until my thirties, but have been ever since.

2.  It took me twelve years, off and on, from the time I first came up with the idea for Repeating History, until I actually had a published book in my hands. I wrote at least three other books (none of which have seen, or are likely to see, the light of day) during that time, too, though. And wasted a lot of time receiving rejection letters from tradpub and agents that said, in essence, “I really like this, but I can’t sell it,” during that time, too, before self-pubbing became a viable option.

3.  I’ve built two iterations of my own website, the first one hand-coded using Notepad and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Website (I still own my dogeared copy), and the second one using self-hosted WordPress, which was both orders of magnitude easier and much more professional-looking. I’m rather proud of that, and of the fact that I do all my own graphics work, too. That was a steep learning curve for me.

4.  I vastly prefer writing about fictional versions of real places, and preferably real places I have visited, or, in one case, lived in briefly. I also vastly prefer to write about ordinary people dumped into supernatural circumstances than to write about people who are supernatural themselves. I firmly believe there’s magic in the world, even if the only place we can write about it is in fiction.

5.  I use the “event horizon” method of plotting, as once described by Lois McMaster Bujold. While I do usually have a last line or scene that I’m aiming for, what I do is plot until I hit the event horizon (the point where I can’t figure out what happens next), then write up to that point, then plot to the next event horizon, and so forth and so on, till I get to the end.

6.  NOT a fan of marketing my books. I worked in advertising in a past life, and so have an extreme allergy to being marketed to, which means I don’t want to inflict that on anyone else. This makes life difficult. Also, unlike writing books, marketing them does not have a clear beginning, middle, and end. That’s very frustrating.

7.  Most of my book ideas come from odd things I find, or from historical events, or from natural disasters, of all things.

I hope you enjoyed this little venture into sharing my writing life with you.  If you have any questions, please be sure to ask!

Snippet Sunday — from my short story Homesick

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The theme for this week’s snippets is autumn, given that the equinox is tomorrow.  My short story Homesick takes place at this time of year, so I thought it might be appropriate.

I just hope it’s not too confusing out of context!

Karin had fallen in love that day, for the second time in mere months.  The first, Will thought with satisfaction even after all these years, had been with him.  And that, he’d discovered soon after, was that.  Will found himself taken in by the darkhaired young scoundrel Jem, and party to Karin’s adoption of him as their own almost before he knew what happened.

And now here was Jem’s son, another five-year-old miscreant who had them wrapped around his little fingers.  At least Will’s father had never claimed the namesake he’d predicted Jem’s wife would bear was a time traveler.

My first Sunday Snippet

Welcome!  My first Sunday snippet is from my contemporary small-town romance homage to Shakespeare, entitled Much Ado in Montana.  If you would like to read the first chapter, click on the cover.

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Anyway, enjoy!

Just as he was about pick her up, open the door, and carry her inside, even if it would have been the most idiotic thing he’d ever done, the inevitable happened. Tara saved him from his own stupidity by breaking the kiss. She lifted her hand from its warm clasp of his nape and stepped back out of his embrace. Tim braced himself, ready to withstand anything from tears to a slap.

He didn’t think he could be shocked any more than he had been in the last five minutes, but then she grinned sloppily at him and glanced down at the keys in his hand.

“What do you know? There’s my car keys. Silly me.” She turned to open the door. Reached out and hooked the keys from his limp hand with a finger. “‘Night.”

She vanished into the house, leaving Tim standing dumbfounded on the doorstep.