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6 YouTube channels to improve your writing craft

A couple weeks ago, I compiled a list of 10 resources for building a medieval fantasy world. I’ve also been watching a bunch of YouTube videos on the craft of writing, and this week I’d like to share those with you.

  • DC Ferguson: dozens of very good videos on all aspects of craft. If you don’t click on any other links, make sure you click on this one and then watch everything!!
  • Hello Future Me: focuses on fantasy but has lots of videos on worldbuilding and craft, with detailed examples from movies and books.
  • Just Write: different aspects of the writing craft, illustrated by movies.
  • Lessons from the Screenplay: similar content to Just Write.
  • Lindsay Ellis: videos on the theory of storytelling.
  • Overly Sarcastic Productions: entertaining videos on tropes as well as history.

There are a few more channels that I watch occasionally, but not enough to subscribe to them or recommend them in this list.

If you’re a writer, what YouTube channels have you found useful? Please share in the comments!

Spring 2019 goal review

Going In Circles EbookHow is it April already??

Every 3 months, I review my annual goals. Here’s my progress so far this year.

  1. Publish to Medium at least weekly and Patreon monthly.
    So far I should be at 13 or Medium stories, and 4 Patreon stories. I’m at 5 Medium stories and 0 Patreon stories. Although to be fair, I currently have 0 patrons, so I’m not really that motivated to post any stories there. No excuse though for Medium.
  2. Finish my novella series.
    I’m in the final revision stages of book 1, Captive and the Cursed, and have book 2, Sleeping Shamans, about half written. If I can keep up the pace of writing a book every couple months, I’ll be on track to have this done in a year or so. We know I won’t stay on track, but it’s nice to currently be on schedule.
  3. Increase my networking.
    I’ve been reading and clapping for about 20-30 Medium stories a week and commenting on quite a few of the blogs I follow as they write new posts. Most of my comments have been on fellow writers’ blogs, so I need to expand to industry people too.
  4. Read 100 books.
    I’m at 27 right now, which is 2 ahead of schedule. I haven’t read much nonfiction yet, but I have been trying to read more than just US/Western authors.
  5. Keep going with my trauma-informed care/school social work writing.
    This has not happened. At all.
  6. Have more adventures.
    This has also not really happened, sadly. My son and I went to Detroit for a few days, but I wouldn’t really call that an adventure, even though I could probably spin it that way if I mention, completely without context, that he held a human brain and we dug around in a cemetery. I’d planned to go to Florida or Carhenge over spring break but my car needs a new radiator and I decided to be responsible and fix it rather than go on a trip. I probably won’t have time for an adventure until this summer, when hopefully I’ll have an epic one.

Mostly I’m not meeting my goals right now because I have too much free time, and I tend to waste it on YouTube videos or just not being productive since I think I have all the time in the world. Fortunately my writing group is keeping me focused and accountable, at least for my series!

Not on my goals this year but something I DID accomplish – a new short story collection! Going in Circles: Vol 1 contains 10 connected very short stories that were originally published on Medium. If you’re not a member of that site, you can pick up a copy of the collection at Amazon.

If you’ve set goals for yourself, what are they? How are you doing with them?

Blogger Recognition Award

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Image by Mimzy from Pixabay

Fellow writer Raven Black has tagged me for the blogger recognition award! Raven is a great inspiration for networking (which I generally suck at), so I appreciate her tagging me for this!

Why I started this blog

I’ve been blogging and running websites off and on for 20+ years, starting way back with Livejournal and Geocities. So when I got serious about writing and getting published, I created a website as a home base and included a blog. It’s a way to update readers on what I’m writing, pass along writing and publishing information and advice, and share whatever random stuff happens to pop into my head.

Over the years, it’s become more organized regarding the content I post. I always say I’m going to post more often, but of course that never happens.

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers

The first piece of advice I’d give to new bloggers is to only blog if you enjoy it. When I started this site eight years ago, the consensus in the writing community was that everyone had to have a website, and one of the components of that website was a blog. Don’t get me wrong; I agree that having a website as a home base, with at least contact info (including social media) and links to your works is important. But so many writers threw on a blog that they promptly abandoned, so that when people went to their site it appeared abandoned.

(Part of this was probably the website host itself; if you use the free Blogspot or WordPress.com, it defaults to having a blog as the main landing page. You can change this, of course, or disable the blog entirely, but not all writers are savvy enough to know to do this.)

So what’s the big deal about not updating your blog? The content’s still there, right? Yes, but you’re not going to attract new followers without new content. And as for your current followers, maybe they’ll check back periodically, or maybe they use a site like G2 Reader (which is what I use) to bookmark your blog and get updates when you have new posts, but chances are they’ll probably just move on and never come back. Building up views for your blog is tough; maintaining views without new content is damn near impossible.

So, if you’re going to have a blog on your site, make sure you’ll want to update it at least weekly or monthly. If you don’t think you’ll do that, then it’s probably best to skip the blog altogether.

The second piece of advice I’d give to new bloggers is to be consistent with your post topics. Before you start your blog, think of its purpose and who’ll be reading it. My blog, for example, is for my author persona. While I do share some personal stuff, it’s not a journal for me to pour out my heart and soul into. I knew a guy who was a city bus driver, and he told me he was “personable, but not personal,” and I this is how I try to be as well. I also share book reviews, author interviews, writing tips, and book updates because I want my blog readers to be book readers and authors. If someone isn’t interested in books, then my site probably won’t interest them – which is fine, because obviously as a writer I want to attract readers.

I’ve found that keeping to a certain schedule helps me stay on topic.

  • Media Monday: book review paired with a song
  • Tuesday Tournament: poll about a topic
  • Tuesday Travels: essay about somewhere I’ve gone
  • Whatever Wednesday: things that don’t fit other days, like this post, goal updates, new release announcements, etc
  • Thursday Thing: the inspiration behind one of my stories or expanding on a detail (place, history, etc) from one of my stories
  • Friday Five: interview with an author
  • Sunday’s Weekend Writing Warrior: 8-10 sentence excerpt from one of my works as part of a blog hop

Not only does this help me stay focused, but it lets my readers know what to expect.

Bloggers I nominate

These bloggers are a mix of writers I know, blogs I follow, and people I think need to update their blogs more often.

For the record, I follow about 60 writer/blogger people, but only about a dozen are updated on anything resembling a regular basis. Many haven’t been updated for over a year. New bloggers: this is NOT how you get new readers!!

Rules For The Blogger Recognition Award

  1. Thank the blogger for nominating you and give the link to their blog
  2. Write a blog post on your website showing the award
  3. Describe the story of why you started your blog
  4. Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers
  5. Nominate 15 more bloggers
  6. Notify each of your nominees that you have nominated them

If you’re reading this and have a blog, please share a link in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for new people to follow.

10 resources for building a medieval fantasy world

The series I’m currently working on – fairy tales with Vikings! – is best described as historical fantasy. It’s set in a version of medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, although I don’t call the places by their current names. I want the stories to seem accurate for the time period, but I also don’t want to be constricted by actual historical events.

Fortunately, there are a ton of great resources for building an authentic medieval world. Here are some of my favorites.

Historical figures and campaigns

  • History Time: Really detailed videos on Viking exploration and military campaigns of the Middle Ages, focusing on Britain, Viking kings, and the Mediterranean, as well as ancient Rome and Greece.
  • History With Hilbert: Short-ish, in-depth videos on specific northern Europe historical figures, wars, languages, and general Viking and British stuff.
  • VC3 Productions: Overviews of the history of European countries and historical figures and events.

Daily life

  • Modern History TV: The best channel on YouTube for all aspects of daily life of knights in medieval Britain, from horse care to meals to weaponry.

Random details

  • Invicta: Details on military life and logistics in the Middle Ages and ancient Rome.
  • Metatron: All things military in medieval Europe, from weapons to fighting techniques to battle offense and defense, as well as videos about daily Medieval life.
  • Scholagladiatoria: Another channel on medieval warfare, focusing on weapons, armor, and fighting techniques.
  • Shadiversity: The go-to source for information on all aspects of medieval castles, including how and why they were built.

General fantasy worldbuilding

  • James Tullos: Reviews of fictional worlds in books and movies, as well as discussions on how to build fantasy worlds.
  • Stoneworks World Building: In-depth discussions on accurately naming your worlds and characters and adapting real-world settings and scenarios to your fantasy world.

If you’re creating or have created a fantasy world, what resources did you use? Please share in the comments!

Media Monday: The book equivalent of CSI: SVU

Media MondayThe books: The Collector series by Dot Hutchison

The music: “My Muse” by Red Sun Rising

(Okay, so disclaimer: there might actually by a book equivalent of CSI: SVU.)

Last week, blogger and fellow author Corinne Morier reviewed The Butterfly Garden on her blog. I was home with the flu and couldn’t get out of bed, so I bought it on Amazon (just $1.99) and read it. And then Amazon told me it was a series, so I bought and read the next two as well.

The first book, The Butterfly Garden, tells the story of Maya, a teenage girl kidnapped by a sadistic man known only as the Gardener. He collects girls, tattoos butterfly wings on their backs, and forces them to live as part of his harem in his backyard botanical garden, until they turn 21 and he kills them, preserving their bodies in resin. The story alternates between an FBI agent, Vic, listening to Maya tell her story, and the story itself. Although the premise is beyond horrific, the abuse isn’t very graphic, and the book instead focuses on what makes Maya such a survivor.

The second book, The Roses of May, switches from Agent Vic and Maya to Agent Edderson, his partner, who’s working another serial killer case. This time, someone is killing a girl every spring and leaving her body in a church. He suspects that this time the victim will be Priya, a teenage girl whose sister was murdered by the serial killer five years ago. Again, the book isn’t so much about the horrific details, as it is Priya’s story about surviving trauma.

The third book, The Summer Children, again switches from Agent Edderson to his partner, Agent Ramirez. Someone is killing abusive parents and leaving the unharmed children on Ramirez’s porch. Throughout this book, the focus is again on overcoming trauma – in this case, Ramirez’s recollections of her own childhood abuse.

I can’t speak to the accuracy of the FBI agents’ methods in each case; I get most of my criminal investigation knowledge from the crime dramas I watch with my dad. But I can comment on the response to the trauma that Maya, Priya, and Ramirez endured, and it’s pretty accurate.

First, the Butterflies as a whole. More than a few people remarked in their reviews that, “If I were in their situation, I would just escape. Twenty-two girls against one man – how hard could it be?” But most people, when thinking about a threat, inaccurately think of just two responses: fight or flight. Either the girls gang up on the Gardener (fight) or they run away as soon as they have the chance (flight). There’s actually a third response, which is the most common response when people encounter trauma, especially when it’s ongoing: freeze. Think of it as learned helplessness, and not necessarily learned directly. This guy has been taking girls for twenty-plus years, and all their bodies are on display. The Butterflies know that if they try to fight back, there’s a good chance they’ll be killed. Die immediately, or die eventually? So, they freeze.

(Relatedly, many women freeze when sexually assaulted. Their assailants, and a lot of the community as a whole, take this for consent since they don’t try to fight back or escape. This leads to horrible victim-blaming, especially of the women towards themselves.)

But what happens when you’ve escaped or been rescued or otherwise survived? That brings us to the themes explored in books 2 and 3, which include survivor’s guilt. Everyone expresses it differently: Priya binges, her mom is a workaholic, her dad kills himself, and Ramirez becomes an agent investigating the types of crimes that were once committed against her. Is any method more effective than another (except suicide, obviously)? Sometimes it changes from day to day, experience to experience.

Overall, I highly recommend this series. They’re each only $1.99, so really, there’s no reason not to check them out.

The song is one of my favorites by Red Sun Rising. Maybe it’s about relationships, but I think in a broader sense it’s about not moving on from a bad situation, even though you know you should, and how the people we surround ourselves with can make it easier or harder to move on.

If you’ve read these books, please share your thoughts. And share your thoughts on the song as well!

Friday Five: Nillu Nasser

friday fiveToday’s Friday Five focus is Nillu Nasser, author of literary fiction and women’s fiction short stories, novels, and poetry.

She is a writer of literary fiction novels. Her books include: All the Tomorrows (2017) and Hidden Colours (2018). An Ocean of Masks is due to be released in 2019. Nillu has a BA in English and German Literature, and an MA in European Politics. After graduating she worked in national and regional politics, but eventually reverted to her first love: writing. She lives in London with her husband and three children.

Each evening, nestled in Berlin’s Treptower Park, the immigrant circus comes to life. When Yusuf fled Syria, he lost everything. Now the circus is the only home he knows. When public opinion swells against it, he risks upheaval and grief all over again.

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Nillu Nasser1. What genre do you currently read most and why?

The book on my bedside table is currently Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time. On my Kindle is a bundle of ebooks about book marketing, because the launch of Hidden Colours is a few weeks away and I need to refresh my skill set. On the whole though, it’s literary fiction, magical realism and fantasy I gravitate towards, in that order. They help me understand the world, fire my imagination, keep me aware of the trends in the market, and help me escape reality. There really is nothing better than a good book and a cup of tea in hand. I’ve got a whole pile of Murakami books waiting for me, because he really is an author I’d love to explore more.

2. What do you want your readers to take away from your works?

I’d like them to have found themselves thinking from the perspective they might not have considered before, be it the hero or villain. All of us have good and bad in us. What I love about fiction is that is makes us feel deeply, and realise life is messy and complicated, but still hopeful.

3. What are some of your favorite words and why?

I like this passage from my new book Hidden Colours, because it flowed onto the page without thought and it feels truthful to me when I read it over again: “He’d met men like Silberling before. Hadn’t his father been such a man, before it all came crashing down? Can’t they be found on every street, in every country, there where the wine flows, backs are patted and decisions are made? Some wore suits, others wore kurta, some carried guns, and some a briefcase, but the undercurrent of energy remained the same, and the hunger in the eyes.”

4. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever researched for your works or biggest/most out-of-the-ordinary thing you’ve done while researching?

Oh my goodness, I shudder to think what lists I am on for the things I type into the Google search box. For All the Tomorrows, the strangest bit of research was how long before a body decomposes to work out the timing of a funeral in India, and for Hidden Colours it was details on clown routines. Any investigator looking at my search history would be very confused if they didn’t know my profession!

5. Why should people read YOUR stuff? Who’s your target audience and why?

My writing is aimed at adults over 25. My stories often take place in rich settings and explore the search for identity from an outsider’s perspective. They delve deep into characterisation, and what brings humans to breaking point. They are not afraid to be dark, but there is always hope.

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All the Tomorrows and Hidden Colours are both currently available at Amazon.

Become a Friday Five author or read previous author interviews.

Friday Five: David Hagerty @DHagertyAuthor

friday fiveToday’s Friday Five focus is David Hagerty, author of political murder mystery short stories and novels.

Stories about crimes have always resonated with David, whether it was Crime and Punishment or The Quiet American. Maybe it’s because he started his career as a police reporter, or because he worked for a time as a teacher in the county jail.

More than a decade ago, when he decided to finally get serious about writing, he started with short stories based on real misdeeds he’d witnessed, including one about his next door neighbor who’d been murdered by a friend, another about an ambitious bike racer who decides to take out the competition, and a bunch of others based on characters from the jail.

Over time these got picked up by various magazines online and in print. More than a dozen now exist, with most of the latest in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Big Pulp.

For his debut novel, They Tell Me You Are Wicked, David drew inspiration from the most infamous event in the history of his hometown: the real life killing of a political candidate’s daughter (though he made up all the details).

Book two in the series, They Tell Me You Are Crooked, is set two years later, after the hero, Duncan Cochrane, has become governor. He’s haunted by the family secret that got him elected and fighting a sniper who’s targeting children in Chicago.

In the latest book, They Tell Me You Are Brutal, Gov. Cochrane searches for a saboteur who is poisoning pain medications, all while trying to protect his family from personal and political ruin.

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David Hagerty1. Why do you write political murder mysteries?

As a young man growing up in a wealthy suburb, I thought that crime happened to other people. Even as a young adult, writing the police beat for a local newspaper, crime felt distant from me. Then my next door neighbor was murdered, and I realized it affects us all.

Now I write about infamous crimes from my childhood, seeking connections to those who, like me, feel immune to its effects.

2. What was your attitude towards reading when you were a kid?

Loved it. Books were my best friends.

3. Thinking about the stuff you’ve written, who’s your favorite character and why?

I have a columnist who appears in all four of my books named Mark Rica. He’s inspired by the famous Chicago scribe Mike Royko, who commented on all the political shenanigans of the city. I find writing in his voice freeing, and his cynicism feels somehow rewarding.

4. What literary character are you most like and why?

No one writes books about people like me. Who wants to read about a guy who spends his free time daydreaming at a keyboard?

5. What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that you think they need to know?

That mysteries can be more than whodunnits. A good mystery will show you something about the time and place in which it’s set, not just the characters, but the culture as well.

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They Tell Me You Are Wicked, They Tell Me You Are Crooked, and They Tell Me You Are Brutal are all currently available at Amazon.

Become a Friday Five author or read previous author interviews.

Media Monday: Portraying Roma people in literature and art

Media MondayThe book: Snow Gypsy by Lyndsay Jayne Ashford

The music: Carmen by Bizet

My January choice for Amazon’s free prime book was Snow Gypsy, a story set in 1940’s Spain. I love For Whom the Bell Tolls, so I went with a book heavily influenced by the Spanish Civil War. Snow Gypsy tells the story of two women: Rose, a veterinarian who’s searching for her soldier brother who went missing in Spain during the war, and Lola, a Roma whose family was murdered during the war.

Rose travels to the annual Roma pow-wow in Stes.-Marie-Sur-la-Mer, in the Camargue of southern France, to try to find someone who might be able to lead her to where her brother fought, because only Roma can do that? Also, she’s kind of obsessed with Roma culture because they’re all carefree and herby, and she uses their knowledge to write a book on natural cures.

Lola is a dancer, because of course she is. She adopted a baby whose mother was killed alongside Lola’s family, and she’s dedicated to providing a good life for her daughter. She loves her culture but wants more from life, and she doesn’t want to be tied down to a husband.

Rose and Lola travel to Lola’s home in Granada, and before Lola or anyone can take Rose to the village her brother was last at, Lola is imprisoned. Fearing her daughter will be taken away from her and given to white people, Lola sends Rose and the kid to where she grew up. Rose settles into village life pretty well and even falls in love with a guy, before the gripping climax wraps everything up.

Carmen is the story of a Roma woman, Carmen. Duh. Carmen is self-assured and sexy, so all the women hate her and all the guys want her. All, that is, except Don Jose, a soldier who’s in love with his adopted sister, Micaëla. So when Carmen knifes a coworker in the face and his brought to the jail with Don Jose, she seduces him into letting her go. He forgets all about Micaëla and goes to prison for awhile. Meanwhile, Carmen’s living up the smuggler’s life prés les ramparts de Seville, chez son ami Lillas Pastia (in her friend’s tavern in Seville). Don Jose gets out of jail and comes looking for her. Conveniently, she and her smuggler friends need more laborers in their band, so she seduces him again and he’s out after curfew and ends up pulling a gun on his lieutenant. Oops. He has no choice but to join them, but he hates it and starts to hate Carmen. Carmen, of course, no longer has a use for him and moves on, but Don Jose is really jealous so he tells her they’ll only be apart in death. Micaëla shows up and tells Don Jose that his mom’s dying. He leaves but vows it’s not over. Carmen hooks up with Escamillo, a famous toreador, and tells Don Jose to f off, so he kills her. The end.

Although the two stories are very distinct, they share a common thread, and that is romanticizing the Roma culture. For Snow Gypsy, although it does show the prejudice against them, it still paints them as noble savages. And for Carmen (which was written in the 1880s, I think), Roma people are seen as violent, as lawbreakers, as unwilling to do honest work.

This year, I’d like to try to not only read books about different cultures and places, but read them by authors from those cultures. For example, I’ve started reading through all the books I picked up last year when I was in India. Even though I’ve been to the country three times, it’s still eye-opening to read books by people from that country. Even when I’ve been to the places they talk about, they have a completely different perspective than mine, and it’s a pleasant change of pace.

It makes me wonder what Carmen would be like if it had been written by a Roma person in the 1880s, or how they’d write it today. Same with Snow Gypsy; how different would it be if it were written by someone who’s Roma or even just Spanish?

Especially for my own writing, I need to sometimes take a step back and remember that even though I’m writing about a culture or place to the best of my ability, I still don’t have that insider perspective.

This is from the Metropolitan’s 2010 production of Carmen, with Elīna Garanča as Carmen. She is the best Carmen, hands down.

Thursday Things: Life on the western high plains

thursday thingsI love to travel, and one of my favorite places is western North America. Stretching from Alberta and the western Dakotas to the eastern edge of the Rockies, the sweeping plains and buttes are, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. I lived in Bismarck, North Dakota, for a year, and while the eastern half of the state is in the Midwest, the western half has a different feel to it. You’ve left behind the corn and soy fields and the gently rolling hills, trading them for dry grass and scrub and herds of grazing cattle. There’s no line to mark the Midwest from the West, but you’ll know it when you see it.

Glacier National Park

near Glacier National Park, Montana

In the summer of 2017, my dad, son, and I vacationed in that direction. We drove west from Illinois, across Nebraska to Denver, then up to Portland and Seattle, Banff, back down to Glacier National Park, then Winnipeg (my favorite Canadian city) before returning home. 4500 miles in two weeks, camping the whole way? Yes, please!

Summer 2017 map

Even though it seems there are houses and towns everywhere you look, there’s still a sense of wilderness and isolation. Maybe it’s the big open sky, so different somehow from even the Midwest’s prairies. The wide open spaces, the dryness of the landscape. I don’t know.

Glacier National Park

near Glacier National Park, Montana

I used this isolation in my latest short story, “Empty,” which is set in southern Idaho (not on the eastern edge of the Rockies, I know, but it has similar landscape). It’s part of my short story collection After All, a bunch of stories about the apocalypse and its aftermath. This story is about Jess, a rancher, and her new hired hand, Clive, who’s more than he seems. When disaster strikes, they learn to set aside their mutual distrust and work together in order to survive.

Yellowstone

Near Yellowstone National Park, Montana

I imagine the story taking place on a homestead like the ones above: a small house, a dirt road leading to a small town, and no one close enough to save you when the end times come.

You can get this story tomorrow if you support me on Patreon; at the lowest level, Flash Fiction, which is just $1/month, you’ll get access to a new short story every month. If you’re not a supporter, you’ll be able to read “Empty” when the collection comes out, hopefully some time late this year.

If you’ve traveled in the US and Canada, where are your favorite spots? Any thoughts on Montana and the West?

Friday Five: YA sci-fi author Adelaide Thorne

Today’s Friday Five focus is Adelaide Thorne, author of YA sci-fi novels.

After her stick figure comic series “The Adventures of The Unstoppable” failed to garner any fans, Adelaide Thorne accepted that drawing would never be her superpower. She also accepted that she was not, after all, The Unstoppable. Twelve-year-old Adelaide never forgot the thrill of adventure, however, and the mystery of heroes, powers, and a bad guy who maybe is only bad because he feels stuck. Or maybe he’s just bad, and that’s interesting, too.

Adelaide’s writing has taken her around the worlds of her brain, and also around a lot of restaurants. After years of being the pickiest eater in the south, she somehow got a stint as a city blogger and food columnist, which taught her that people are too obsessed with queso and not excited enough about chicken noodle soup. She’s since said goodbye to journalistic writing and hello to creative writing, which is, after all, what she’s always done.

She currently lives in Florida, where she complains about the humidity but never makes any plans to move. Adelaide and her husband have two cats (only two), who are excellent sounding boards for ideas.

The Trace, the first book in her sci-fi, young adult Whitewashed trilogy, follows Ella Kepler, a nascent metahuman whose strength and speed is matched only by the enemies set against her. The Integer, the second book of the series, follows Ella as she unravels the truth about the Metahuman Training Academy and what binds her to it.

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Adelaide Thorne1. Where do your inspiration and ideas for your stories come from?

My head. :) I do daydream a lot. For instance, today I was thinking about what it would be like to find out that your real father was a serial killer. Creepy, eh? Sometimes, my ideas come from the bits of dream I remember, but often times they’re spontaneously generated.

2. What do you want your tombstone to say?

Sheesh, hadn’t ever thought about that. Probably “Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt” which translates to “I am all yours, and all I have is yours.” That’ll be beneath “Wife & Mother.” I’m pretty boring. :)

3. What’s your current writing project and what are your writing plans for the near future?

I’m currently wrapping up my Whitewashed trilogy – or trying to! After I finish this trilogy, I have a few other bookish ideas. One delves into fantasy, which I’m excited to try out!

4. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

You have no idea how often I think about this. It’d likely be flying. I’m kinda scared of heights, but I’d love to float above the earth and see things I’ve never seen before. Plus, it’d make traveling much more enjoyable.

5. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? How do you deal with this?

I’m not great at fighting scenes, because I like to be very specific and detailed, yet it’s really boring to read “He lifted his left hand thirty degrees, formed a fist, and knocked that fist directly into the right side of his opponent’s jaw…” My solution, odd as it may seem, is to act the scenes out with my husband (I promise no one gets hurt!). He’s trained in Wing Chun and always brings me back down to earth – ’cause I like to imagine the craziest, most unrealistic fighting scenes.

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The Trace and The Integer are both currently available at Amazon.

Become a Friday Five author or read previous author interviews.

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