The Things You Learn When Researching For A Story…

Part of the writer’s life includes researching all kinds of things for stories, from whether or not something besides a carbon-based life form could potentially exist on other worlds to zoning ordinances in Peoria, Illinois.  (Now if only I could figure out a way to combine BOTH of those things in one story, I’d really be onto something….)

Well, for Playing Cupid–the third Heavenly Bites novella–one of my characters is a history professor with a deep love for that particular subject matter, so I did a little research to see what kind of historical figures he might find particularly interesting or inspiring.  And that’s when I stumbled onto a man named Witold Pilecki.

I had never heard of him before, and maybe you haven’t either.  If you haven’t, he is apparently the only known person to voluntarily enter Auschwitz during World War II.  He was a Polish army captain who suspected something awful was happening inside the camp–at the time people believed it was just a POW camp–and he decided to get himself arrested and thrown into the camp in order to smuggle out intelligence.  For two and a half years, that’s exactly what he did, opening the eyes of outsiders to the real horrors going on inside of Auschwitz.  He even hoped to organize a mass escape but was unable to get the support he needed, and then finally–suspecting his death was imminent–he was forced to make his escape.

I’m sure he had his flaws like the rest of us, but I was floored by his story.  And then I read further and discovered the sad reason why I, and probably many others, had never heard of him.  There are several articles about him online, and if you’d like to read a little more about him, here’s a link to an article on called Meet The Man Who Sneaked Into Auschwitz.

Kind of makes me wonder how many other incredible real-life stories are out there that few people–if any–know about…

Royalties & Kodak Moments

Some people say you can officially call yourself an author when you first put words down on paper.  Others say it’s not official until you actually get published.  And still others insist it’s not something you are allowed to officially announce until you earn money from it.  Well, all I can say is…

It’s official!  On ALL counts.  Woo hoo!  Got my first royalty statement today from Crimson Romance!  I is a real writer!

I’m not saying I can afford to retire now or anything, and I won’t be buying myself a new car unless it’s of the Tonka variety, but still–it’s pretty dang exciting.  My first book, Coming Home, has earned me my first royalties.


I will probably frame the royalty statement and hang it on my wall.  Where’s my camera?  I need to get my hubby to take a picture of me holding the royalty statement up while I grin from ear to ear.  I CAN afford a picture frame, at least.  And perhaps even a celebratory pack of gum.

Now excuse me while I go change out of my pajamas for my photo shoot…


Fantasy Vs. Reality (or, Inside A Writer’s Head)

Sometimes the inside of a writer’s head is a scary place.  Well, mildly disturbing at least.  And that’s not just because there may be several characters living in her head at once which may result in repeating dialogue aloud or even laughing out of the blue at an idea for  scene–both of which can lead to very funny looks from people nearby.

There’s also a phenomenon that occurs with writers–at least it does with me–in which said writer pounds out a thousand words or so with great delight at the result only to go back and reread them the next day and wonder if perhaps she was under the influence of medication at the time she wrote them.  That happens with me a lot.  The doubts, I mean, not the medication…

Do you know what I mean?

It’s like creating a beautiful landscape in your backyard, and when you plan it out in your head it looks like this:


And yet somehow the reality turns out more like this:


Sigh.  Ah, well.  That’s what editing is for, right?  Here’s hoping the writing goes better than the gardening!  🙂

Cover Art For The Bargain

Crimson Romance just sent me the finalized cover art for my second book, The Bargain, so I thought I’d share it with you here.  Without further ado, I give you:


Hee!  Did you notice the part where it says my name and then right under it adds “author of Coming Home”?  I can’t seem to stop looking at that part.  Author.  I’ve been saying things like “I like to write” or just “I write” but I haven’t actually called myself a writer yet, and I’ve never applied the word author to myself, either.  But maybe I should start, because it’s really starting to grow on me…

Pardon me while I do a happy dance.  🙂

On the Joys of Creating a Website

Nowadays as a writer it seems like it’s generally agreed upon that you’re supposed to have your own website.  And blog, and Facebook account, and Twitter account, and probably your own personal stylist, too…  I didn’t realize any of that until recently, and if you’re technophobic—like me—that kind of news tends to fill you with panic.  (Perhaps I can tweet about it, once I figure out Twitter.)

But I love writing, so once I uncurled from the fetal position, I decided to dive in…

All the experts seemed to say the same thing:  start with a website first.  So I did.  It took two weeks’ worth of weekends and evenings.  Two weeks of stress, tears, and a fervent wish that my mother hadn’t raised me not to cuss.  I think I may have even bargained with God a little.  I certainly spent a lot of time emailing and calling various tech support folks.   But I finally got it up and running.


Then I started reading up on WordPress and blogging, and I threw everything out and started from scratch.  Oh, well.  I’m sure it builds character.  🙂

But—fingers crossed—we’re up and running now, so welcome to…