Showing posts from June, 2011

The Independent Voice Celebrates Jane George

Jane George lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family and is a life-long appreciator of the sublime and the absurd. Jane also has a BFA in illustration and has received honors from the Society of Illustrators in New York and from San Francisco Society of Illustrators. Tell us 5 Random Things about you the person, not the author: 1) I like tapioca even though it feels like swallowing slimy little eyeballs. 2) I lived in the East Village when I was twenty, twenty-one. 3) I didn't particularly like circuses until I started writing about one. 4) Most of my story ideas come in the form of dreams. 5) I finally made it to college at the age of thirty-two. Favorite Authors:  Jane Austen, Dick Francis, Annie Proulx  Where people can find you on the web: Twitter Facebook Blog Address   Website   Goodreads   Tell us about your book: Name : The Mumbo Jumbo Circus Genre: : Young Adult Fantasy Length: : 336 pages Formats Available: : Print, Kindle, Nook Book  Book Blurb: When the

Love is a Many Splendid Thing

So in trying to decide which human emotion I was going to focus on this week, I thought maybe I'd switch things up a little and go with something more positive. Love has the ability to overlook wrongdoings, and grant forgiveness.  Love helps us to watch out for those we care for when we see them heading for trouble.  Love allows us to be patient with others when normally we'd lose control.  Love doesn't seek our own interest, but that of other people.  Love allows us to endure even if we're being treated unfairly. Love makes it possible to endure because we combine it with empathy to sympathize with what another person is going through. For example, when people lose someone dear to them, it can make them miserable, and on edge.  If we demonstrate love towards those who are grieving, we wouldn't allow an outlash from them or a "short fuse" to make us reply in kind.  We would acknowledge what they're going through, and respond accordingly. How can

The Weekend's Over

Yep, it's another work week, but after having another awesome weekend I can handle it!  Top it off to say I only have a 4 day work week too because of the holiday on Friday.  And the following week well we have it off work! Anyway, this weekend the hubby and I did something different.  We were given VIP admission to an airshow.  I've never been to one, but I've been into trying new things lately, and it was free - why not?  Well here's why not - because now I'm addicted!  I loved it!  The roar of the jets as they flew past!  How the jet would pass with the thunderous sound trailing behind it! Here's some cool pics we got (we took about 190).  I just had to share a few.  And who knows maybe they'll inspire a story?

The Indie Spotlight Shines on Beth Elisa Harris

Today I welcome Beth Elisa Harris to my blog as she talks about her book Vision. ___ Post written by Beth Elisa Harris Vision has been a concept for quite some time, since learning years ago about my ancestors from the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland. Those with vivid imaginations can concoct all sorts of drama when your father tells you, “We are descendents of the MacPhie clan, who were ostracized from the island by the MacDonald’s.” Regardless of the details, I had a springboard for a story. Now where, when, how to begin? I often say I did not arrive at this place by walking a straight line. On the contrary, I have only recently returned to a less complicated frame of mind when dreams were as simple as one wanted them to be.  I arrived on planet earth as a writer.  That remained the purest of intentions until my warped perception of being a responsible adult slowly chiseled away pieces of my imagination. Before I knew what happened, I was writing business-ie things for others, such a

Simple Dialogue Says A Lot

When I was at a wedding recently, my husband and I didn't know anyone there except for the bride (a friend of mine) and the groom who we met once.  We were seated at a table of strangers.  At least there was wine lol But, as you do as a writer, you observe and take mental notes as to characteristics, personalities, and interactions.  After all, you never know when these things will come in handy.  Anyway, we were seated at a table with three other couples who had been married a while like us, but the thing is they knew each other.  As the one was discussing her mother's living arrangement and how they weren't married, another man at the table chimes in and adds one word: "Committed." That one word told me a lot about this guy.  The wedding was religious, and the man who said this is an elder in their church, but I didn't find this out until later on.  But his saying that one word was basically to clarify for the "outsiders" that they weren'

Turning a New Leaf

Are there times when you're not sure what to write next?  Maybe you have so many ideas it's hard to pick just one.  Or maybe your mind can't focus on writing a new work, even though an inner compulsion is telling you it's time to start one. I've found myself in both of these places before, and honestly find myself at this point right now.  While I want to write a new book, at this point the amount of mental dedication it takes is just enough to stress me out.  This stress has compressed the voices of new characters into a mumbled cacophony. So, why does this happen?  In my opinion, the mind can only handle so much.  With that being said, between life responsibilities and the dedication to other aspects of our writing whether this be editing, querying (for some), or marketing, there's only so much mental capacity. Anyway, I'm trying to pull from a time I felt "stumped" by a character who wasn't fully cooperating.  I had the concept for the

The Independent Voice Celebrates Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc was born in Canada and has lived in England, British Columbia, Ontario, and Scotland. Her first novel, Instructions for an Inexperienced Lover, was shortlisted for the 2008 UK Daily Mail First Novel Award. She has published articles across Canada, the US, and the UK, was shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Awards, and was First Runner Up in PRISM International's 2008 Short Fiction Contest. Currently, Amanda makes her home in rural southern Ontario, where she is at work on her next novel. Tell us 5 Random Things about you the person, not the author: 1. I have an abnormal fear of stairs, and an equally abnormal fear of turtles. 2. The new Britney Spears single, "Til the World Ends", is secretly one of my most favourite songs ever ... oops! 3. I couldn't spit if my life depended on it. 4. I love dogs, and good photos, and also good photos of dogs! 5. At some point in the last five years I turned into a runner. I have no idea how that happened. Favorite


Maybe you haven't felt jealousy in a long time, or maybe you don't even want to admit to experiencing this human emotion, but I believe at different points in our life, we all succumb to it.  Of course, the amount we allow jealousy to affect is up to us. You've no doubt heard it said, you can only be offended by someone if you allow yourself to be .  That sentiment holds a lot of merit.  It's up to us how we take things internally as they are inflicted upon us externally . Same with jealousy.  We can allow it to fuel us to reach higher goals than we would have normally set for ourselves, or we can allow it to trip us flat-faced into the pavement.  Jealousy can also motivate us in another direction - retaliation, gossip or slander.  It can transform us into a type of wild animal, out only for our preservation without regard to anyone else's well being.  All we see is what we want, and go for it at all costs, even smearing those we are jealous of along the wa

Ties that Bind in Paperback

My first order of paperbacks came in the end of last week which means I have a lot signing to do.  I can't express how exciting it is to see a table-full of my novel, and know that people are excited to read it!

Sample Sunday

Today's Sample Sunday is an Excerpt from Chapter 5 of TIES THAT BIND : The call came when they got back to the car.   “So what have you got for me Knight?” She could envision the Sergeant glancing impatiently at his watch.   Sometimes she regretted turning down promotions.   She could be a Sergeant herself had she been thinking straight.   But no, she claimed to be happy where she was positioned in life. “We’re leaning towards Laura Saunders’ murder being an isolated incident.   We have a reason to feel the ex-boyfriend is involved.” “So that’s your final answer to this?   In less than four hours you’re positive the rest of the city sleeps safe tonight?” What did this man want from her - a caped crusader?   No one could guarantee that.   It was always black and white with him.   She needed to operate within the shades of grey.   “Evidence seems to be pointing us in that direction.” “I want this wrapped up Knight, sooner than later.   Keep me informed.” He never spoke the words bu

How to Support Our Fellow Writers*

When I started this blog, it was with the purpose of reaching out to, and meeting writers like myself.  Since so much of our time is spent alone with our thoughts and the characters we create, when we emerge from those worlds, we need others who can relate to us. Some of us are fortunate enough to have terrific support in the form of a spouse, significant other, or friends.  But the truth is, no matter how much they are there for us, a person who is not a writer cannot fully understand the struggles we go through. They don't know what it is like to experience the highs and lows that come with writing.  They don't know the importance of a crisp first five to get an agent's attention, the importance of show don't tell.  They don't know the work that goes into creating the perfect query, or synopsis.  And in truth,  being a writer can bring a lot of negativity. We're always reminded of how perfect our character development and prose needs to be if we want to sel

It's Friday!

Is it only me that is so elated by the fact it's the last day of the workweek, they could dance like it was 1999?  Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but pretty much.  It's been a long week, and this weekend will be a busy one too. A good friend (she's in the acknowledgments section of "Ties that Bind") is getting married tomorrow!  The wedding and reception I'm sure will be a blast, but weddings always mean dress shopping - one thing I haven't done yet.  I know *gasp* it's tomorrow, but I've convinced myself I still have time.  So anyway, that's what I'm up tonight - dress shopping.  But, here's the thing, I'm not really a dress girl, I'm more like the fancy pant suit type.  Anyway, I will get all gussied up :D Today, I should get in the rest of my paperback shipment, which was split up for some reason, and that means I have a lot of autographing to do this weekend as well.  And that is NOT a complaint!  There's somethi

Calling all Indies...

As writers, most of us are readers, and as such we love to support other authors we may have come to develop relationships with over social media such as Twitter, Facebook, other writing forums, or blogs like this one. Having recently self-published myself, I'm thankful for such a supportive network of people, some who offer their blog or website to interview me and allow me to introduce my book to their audience.  Others go even farther and offer book reviews and author spotlights.  It is in honor of all self-published authors that I would like to make an addition to my blog. Introducing " Independent Voice - Celebrating the Self-Published Author ".  It will be a weekly post on Thursdays where I will highlight one author and their book.  Unfortunately, I cannot read and review all the books that will be highlighted.  The post will be a simple list of interview questions that allow us to get to know the author behind the cover.  How long this continues depends upon yo


As people we all have pride.  We have it in ourselves for our accomplishments.  We have pride in other people for whom we're happy for.  Pride is what helps us to stand up for ourselves, and have self-confidence.  But pride can also be a tricky backstabber if we're not careful. Pride can tear existing relationships apart, and prevent new ones from beginning.  Pride can make us do something contrary to an action we'd normally take just to "save face".  Pride can make us lie about our true feelings because we don't want other people to witness any vulnerabilities. So, how can we use this in our writing? For our characters to be fleshed out, they would exhibit pride throughout our novel.  It could be they're adamantly insisting they're right even when they might not be.  It could be in the case of a romantic relationship - one character loves another but is too proud to admit it. Have a character who refuses to apologize. Have a romantic relatio

Sample Sunday

This is my first time taking part in #SampleSunday.  I hope you enjoy. The following is an excerpt from my recently published police procedural mystery  TIES THAT BIND . Chapter 3 H e sat there, in his 1995 Honda Civic, sweating profusely.   Its air conditioner hadn’t worked for years.   A real piece of shit actually but perfect for the crappy life he had going.   He combed his fingers through his hair and caught his reflection in the rearview mirror.   Last night had changed him - whether for the good or for the bad remained to be seen.   All he knew was his eyes had changed, revealing the darker side of his character.   He rolled his shoulders forward in an effort to dislodge the growing tension and took a cleansing breath that brought with it a waft of the cigarette that burned in the car’s ashtray.   He had parked down the street close enough to observe the activity at thirty-six Bay Street yet far enough away to be left alone.   At least he had hoped so.   Cruise

My Website is Up!

I'm pleased to announce my author website is now up.  To find out more information about upcoming books, their slated release dates and where you can buy, visit me here: Of course, I won't be leaving you behind as I'll continue to keep this blog refreshed and current. Thank you to all for your support and encouragement.

When Expectations Fall Short

Anyone who is driven has expectations.  As writers, I suspect we all are driven, or we would lack the discipline to "sit butt in chair" to write, to finish a first draft, to persevere through edits, keep up with the querying of agents, or commit to book formatting should we choose to self-publish.  But with that drive, and igniting of passion for the craft, we have expectations.  Examples of this can be goals that we set for ourselves.  We might give ourselves a target word count, a completion goal date.  Now, these are things we can control, but what about things we can't? For example, you want to land an agent by a certain date, you want to have your book picked up by a publishing house by a certain date, you have a sales target in mind where you'd like to see your books by a certain time.  But here's a question for you:  how do you handle it when your expectations fall short? Honestly, we are in control when it comes to our writing.  That all rests with us

Ties That Bind Available in Paperback!

Words cannot express how satisfying it is to know that my readers can now purchase my novel, TIES THAT BIND , and hold it in their hands! You buy now on its Createspace space here . $11.99 USD (beautiful 6" x 9" paperback format) It will be up on in 5-7 days. Special note:  The paperback version includes an excerpt from JUSTIFIED , the next in the Madison Knight series. Thank you to everyone for your support, and encouragement along the way.  If you purchase TIES THAT BIND, my sincerest desire is that you enjoy it :D

What Time is it?

I'm not sure any of us like it when our alarm goes off Time is essential for guiding our lives.  It gives us deadlines, provides a gauge to celebrate occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays to mention a few.  The clock tells us when we should be somewhere.  It is a barometer for setting goals, and assessing whether we've reached them. There are people who are on time for everything.  Then of course, there's always the bunch that can't allow themselves to be governed by a clock. (Personally, I'd rather move at my own pace...I'll get there when I get there...) But, honestly it doesn't matter how much we respect time, we are all forced to acknowledge it.  As the saying goes time waits for no man . And with time being so relative there's moments we wish it to move faster, wish it to slow down.  Not sure if you're like myself and my co-workers, but Monday through Friday, we are always saying are we there yet .  Of course there  ref