As an author of historical fiction, I try to infuse realism and possibility into my characters, settings and plots. I dare not leave it all to the imagination. I am driven to discover and write about life in this country before I was cognizant enough to know or care about more than the clothes on my back and the food in my belly. Enumerable true and untold stories pepper our past. How did my ancestors survive and thrive through slavery, the Civil War and its aftermath, the backlash of Jim Crow, segregation and institutionalized discrimination? To satisfy my curiosity, I browse bookstores, libraries, and onlineRead More →

Over the years I have collected a number of reference books. As my reference shelves expanded, so did my craft. I studied, I wrote, I attended conferences, I met with other writers and exchanged feedback. As time passed, I grew more confident in my pursuits. My writer’s network has grown from local to international and is almost exclusively online, but I still love a good reference. Beyond the typical thesaurus, dictionary and style books are books detailing a period in time, psychology books, historical perspectives on real people and events, atlases, compilations of newsprint and a vintage Sear’s Catalogue. There is no definitive reference. What’sRead More →

We spend so much time glorifying the past, talking about the good old days, wanting to be great again, but we have selective memory. This is but one of several disturbing videos I have viewed lately depicting man’s propensity for injustices and atrocities. Slavery, Colonialism, Standing Rock, Aleppo. We don’t seem to learn from our past, but rather keep repeating it, while deliberately and deftly removing the worst of it from the official record. If my writing is too stark, then it is a mirror of humanity, capable of love and hate, tenderness and violence, reason and irrationality. The story of us.Read More →

Writing a book takes time and grit. Publishing a book takes courage and money. Marketing a book takes all four. If you don’t want to waste your time, your grit, your courage and your money, then put forth the best product you can. Edit. Great stories exist in both traditional and indie works. A good blurb and a few pages are enough to capture my attention, but dialogue that is difficult to follow, poor grammar and typographical errors detract from the overall reading experience. Too often, I have been disappointed to find poor editing in both traditional and independently published works. While I may haveRead More →

I was reminded this week why I wrote Sedahlia. More than a story, it is a call to examine our actions versus our beliefs. Do they line up? We are quick to look at others, but how often do we look at ourselves. As you read Sedahlia, ask some probing questions. It is easy to look back at history and think that was them, that was then, but if we are honest, we have our own issues, moral dilemmas and personal biases. Look at the past as a mirror to the present. What do you see?Read More →

As an author, I strive to create good story and characters that resonate truth. I can read lots of things in context if they make sense to the characters and the story. I approach my writing from the same mindset. My characters have diverse backgrounds, personalities, morals and motives. I try very hard to balance tastefulness with truth. The story and the characters are an organic undertaking. Each novel starts as a seed that germinates – takes root and with lots of patience and nurturing sprouts and takes shape. The Masters and Lindseys was just such a seed. Sedahlia is quite simply their story, aRead More →

Naming characters is no small task and writers are always on the lookout for inspiration. For Sedahlia, I didn’t have to look far. John Masters is my great-great grandfather’s name. Jessie is my beloved great grandmother’s name. While Sedahlia’s Jessie always seemed on the verge of wanting to slap somebody, the real Granny Jessie was the most peaceful woman I knew. Her favorite place was her rocking chair and when she took a quiet moment to sit there, she always had a Bible in her hand. That just goes to show there is more to character development than a name. Description, costume, dialogue, body language,Read More →

I have tried to capitalize on social media with my latest release. The jury is still out on what is and is not working for me. If you write Christian fiction or non-fiction I suggest you try the Book Club Network (TBCN). TBCN is a readers club that offers many outlets for authors to connect with readers.They have really trained their members to give fair reviews and to post them on several sites. I also tried a Goodreads giveaway. Again the goal was to get reviews. I offered two different novels on Goodreads. Goodreads readers tended to rate the book without posting a review. Most of my reviewsRead More →

Writing is the easiest thing I do as an author. Marketing is the hardest. Every time I ask someone to buy my book, read my book and/or hopefully review my book, I am asking for judgement. When its good, its very good. When its bad, it stings. I try not to take it personally. I try to find value in the feedback I am receiving, both good and bad. I am determined to stay true to myself, the characters and their story. That means sometimes, I offend some people. I don’t set out to offend anyone, but I have to tell it like it is. IRead More →

The fourth and final installment is here. Check out my last article for Book Fun Magazine (for now). I must admit I enjoyed the challenge of writing a regular article. It’s a bit hard for this introvert to get personal and open up about myself, but I did it 4 months in a row. Enjoy! Eggnog and LaughterRead More →