Saturday, February 6, 2021

Periphery in Sight!

Small celebration today!

I just finished the draft of Periphery, my next young adult novel, which is a fantasy adventure. The tree in the photo at the right was the inspiration. I will read it through once more before it is sent off to my team of Beta readers. If I can get it to them within the next month, I will be able to begin work on the sequel, tentatively titled The Amaranth. Depending on the efficiency of my Beta readers, Periphery could see publication within the year. That would be exciting! Summer could entail work on both projects to make sure they flow together. Now if we could get the Covid pandemic under control and author visits would start up again, the world would be a wonderful place! I miss talking with young readers, but with another novel on the near horizon, we’ll have a lot to talk about when the time comes!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Today is a good reason to start blogging again.

Today most people celebrate and remember Martin Luther King and his efforts as a civil rights activist, and rightly so. But spend some time today reading some of his speeches and essays. His famous I Have a Dream speech is the one most people know, or at least know parts of. My favorite line? “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." It is such a well-crafted piece of writing that it is often cited as the best speech ever given.

I urge you to read it again and look at how his word choice and rhetorical devices deliver his message. His repetitive metaphorical references to a bad check – something his audience was well aware of – is masterful. “It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’” Every word was not just plucked out of the air, but carefully chosen to deliver his message in a way that spoke to his audience.

Read some of his other works today. Some are longer than others. A Testament of Hope and Letter from a Birmingham Jail are two that I’d recommend. His extended metaphors and Biblical allusions hold me in awe.

And celebrating King today in particular – two days before our country’s tradition of a peaceful transition of power – is important. King believed in peaceful protest and education as a means to rise above poverty. Almost 53 years ago, King’s words were so feared that an assassin tried to squelch them by killing him. But his message – his words – live on. King’s words truly are proof that “the pen is mightier than the sword.”

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Meeting Fellow Authors

Good time at the Local Author Fair this afternoon at the Audubon Library in Amherst, NY. There was a great group of local authors present, and I had the chance to chat with many of them. I also had the pleasure of sharing a table with another Young Adult author, Sandi Van, whose debut novel Second in Command came out in February of this year. It’s written entirely in verse, and I can hardly wait to read it. Check it out on Amazon.

In between browsing customers, many of the authors circulated, and we talked about marketing, publishing, illustrations and covers, and writer’s groups. Many echoed my feelings that belonging to a writer’s group is one of the most vital parts of a writer’s life. So much valuable feedback can be gotten if an author has trusted fellow writers they can depend on.

I hope to make this fair an annual event on my calendar!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Book Signing

This weekend I will be signing books and talking to readers about my craft at the Audubon Library in Amherst, NY. It will be my first book signing for Eye of the Peacock, which is really exciting.

Audubon is a fabulous public library with an extensive book collection. I think it is great that they are opening their doors to local writers as a venue to sell their books. What a marvelous chance it will be to catch some great new reads.

Take advantage of the opportunity – Sunday, Nov. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. Come out and see me as well as the other authors who will be on site!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Local Author Fair

Image result for audubon libraryI’m very excited to announce that I will be offering signed copies of both Eye of the Peacock and Relic at the Local Author Fair. I will be joining authors from around the area from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 17, at the Audubon Library on John James Audubon Parkway in Amherst, NY.

A major thank you to my neighbor Martin for slipping the announcement for the event in my mailbox! I love events like this. One of the best parts of writing is meeting people who are eager to read your work.

I mean, really, ultimately, it’s why we should be writing – to share our work. Otherwise, writing is a terribly lonely endeavor. So put it on your calendars! Come out and chat with me on the 17th!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Traveling Characters

Image result for man on a walk
Getting characters from place to place in your story is a tricky thing. Like dialog, description must move the plot, or it risks dragging your readers along in the dust. So, as a writer, you must constantly ask yourself, is describing this trek from point A to point B worth it to my reader? Does something happen along the way to create tension, add to the conflict, or show a character’s evolving nature? If not, then just say it happened. “After four day’s travel, the group arrived” and so on. There is nothing worse than dawn to dusk story telling. Very young writers will do this. It’s called bed-to-bed writing and starts with getting up in the morning, documenting every detail of the day, and ending when they turn in at night. Readers don’t need to know every detail. They are smart enough to assume certain things happen. What they want to know is how is this story moving along? They want to know the key events that will add up to be important in the end. If, in your first draft, you’re not sure yourself – which sometimes happens – remember, it is a draft. You can always go back and eliminate things and add things.

Friday, August 2, 2019

New Release!

Please join me in celebrating the release of my next novel – Eye of the Peacock!

What is it about? Well, it’s about a teenager, Aubrey Harrington, who just wants to get the community service hours she needs to graduate from high school. She never thought that taking the volunteer tour guide job at the local mansion would change her life forever. When she falls – or is pushed – down a flight of stairs, Maeve Somerton gives her a hand up, but the help comes with a price. Maeve thinks she was murdered, and now Aubrey must help her.

Spiraling back in time, Aubrey feigns being Maeve’s school chum to try to solve a mystery among strangers. Meanwhile, Aubrey also lays comatose in a hospital, and as her condition worsens, her family and friends wonder if she will ever come back to them. Caught in a twist of time and existence, Aubrey finds herself more ghost than alive in a world in which she was never meant to be.

Will Aubrey be able to solve the mystery of Maeve’s death? And even if she does, will she be able to find her way back home?

So what is the genre? Once again, there’s a lot going on. A little supernatural, a little time travel, a little historical fiction, but it combines for a fun read! Click on the image in the right column to order!