Where Can You Find Me in 2017?

I’ll be attending a few events next year. Can’t wait to meet some new readers and fellow writers!

Angels and Sirens

March 4, 2017

Pittsburgh, PA

Ignite Your Soul Author Event

September 30, 2017

London, Ontario

Arch City Author Event

October 14, 2017

Columbus, Ohio

Glass City Author Event

October 28, 2017

Toledo, Ohio

 

How a writer’s mind works

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I’m not sure how others write, but curiosity is a large part of my creativity. Even with random questions like: Why are butterflies called butterflies? Do you know? Apparently one of the first species to come out in the spring are the yellow brimstone, and the yellow color resembles the hue of butter. I also like the alternative folklore explanation that butterflies were witches who stole butter and milk.

Setting of Better Than the Best

While the lake I describe in Better Than the Best is a fictional body of water, the inspiration for the scene comes from local inspiration. I have many memories of one of my favorite places in Northwest Ohio, Maumee Bay State Park. While the water conditions of Lake Erie are untrustworthy for swimming (or drinking, depending on the infamous algal blooms), I’ve spent much time on this beach, whether it be running, reading, taking pictures, or walking my dogs.

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To speak, or not to speak

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For the past couple months, two things have happened. I’ve been off work from my much-loathed job on a maternity leave, and I’ve increased the amount of freelance editing that I perform on the side.

I can’t stress how often this grammar and writing mistake crops up. We’ve all done it. It’s easy to not even realize we’ve done it. But it’s peeving nonetheless.

Dialog tags are mechanisms of speech. Period. Dialog tags convey to the reader exactly how a character enunciates dialog. I’m not sure about you, but it is hard to imagine how a person can growl, hiss, or purr a sentence. Much less, how can a speaking human hiss an entire word? Or growl vowels?

Consider these examples:

When I learned that Donald Trump is running for President, I mumbled, “Oh jeez.”

When my husband turns on the tv, I whisper, “If you wake up the baby, you put her back to sleep.”

“Don’t put that in your mouth,” I yelled at my toddler when she discovered an interesting foreign object on the floor.

Can you picture me saying all those things? Now consider these examples:

“Kiss me,” the woman purred.

“Don’t even think about it,” the man growled.

Really? The woman purred those words? Like a cat makes an animalistic sound from her vocal cords? And a man can threaten someone while he is mimicking the noises of a pitbull or deranged poodle? I can’t see it.

Besides the silliness of “fancy” dialog tags, it is telling. Show, not tell. We know it’s the number one rule in composition. Read my three examples again. Even if I replace “mumbled”, “whisper”, and “yelled”, with the preferred dialog tag of “said”, I bet you can picture me with annoyance, warning, and discipline. Let the dialog be strong enough to show the emotion, and omit the silly or fancy tags.

The Science of Spreading Word

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As I embrace the excitement of releasing my debut novel, Better Than the Best, I feel both amused and determined at the prospect of spreading the word of my fictional contribution to society. Blogs, book reviews, ratings, FB mentions, Twitter posts, etc. They all come to mind for the never-ending cyber push to inform readers of books to check out.

Yes, fellow writers, books don’t sell themselves. But I have to be honest. If I see one more person referring to the phenomenon of “pimping” a book, I’ll never get this image out of my mind.

What are your resorts?

We all have books we can call our favorites. But what are the ones you can reread, over and over again, picking up on any page?

Many?

None?

Two are my most reliable escapes. They never fail. Can You Keep A Secret, by Sophie Kinsella, and Pride and Prejudice, by none other than the great Jane Austen.

What I’m Reading

I’ll go easy on myself. Since March is almost done,  this will be my reading list for April… when I’m allowed a break from reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear ten times over.

Zoo by James Patterson

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

Clarity by Loretta Lost

Close to Home by Lisa Jackson

River Road by Jane Ann Krentz