Recent Books

Sometimes the journey is only the beginning . . .
Michael Archer might not have been able to save Ben Carstairs, but he vowed to carry out Ben’s dying wish...
In the 1870s American West, Michael Archer, wracked by guilt over having killed once again, embarks on a mission to clear the name of a man wrongly executed for murder...
The past has a way of catching up with you... Michael and Rachel have everything to look forward to and no reason to look back, or so they thought. In the midst of the newlyweds' trials and triumphs...

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Recent Blog Posts

Researching a Novel

Doing research on a novel is one of the most crucial aspects of creating a winning story. If we don’t get our information right, we damage, if not destroy, our credibility. For pantsers like myself, research can be a huge interrupter of the process if not handled right. When I …

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5 Questions to Telling a Story

There are 5 questions to telling a story. Applying them to fiction will help us write amazing stories. I first heard them in college as they applied to journalism. The 5 questions or signposts or guides to writing great stories are: Who? Where? When? What? Why? WHO? These are our …

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Life’s Inconveniences

Life does have a way of throwing inconveniences at us. Some call them Fate. Others call them acts of God (insurance companies seem to like this one—like it’s their get out of jail free card). Some people see them as attempts by the devil to throw us off track. Still …

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Thank you

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your loyalty and patience. Many of you may have noticed there was no blog last week and this week’s is very late. The last month has presented some very powerful health challenges, like my heart stopping three times in …

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6 Steps for Dealing with Writer’s Block

If we hang around writers very long we’ll hear the phrase, “Writer’s Block.” If you’re a writer, you’ve probably experienced it in one form or another. The late Terry Pratchett is quoted as saying, “There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t …

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What Makes a Good Villain?

Creating a good villain really means to create a character who is nuanced and complex. Our villains can’t be black and white, two-dimensional stick figures. In my writing, I’ve discovered a couple of keys to making a good villain. One, they must have goals. Think of Michael Corleone in the …

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Why Is This Character in the Book?

This is a question I ask myself quite often. As a pantser, I tend to introduce characters as I write along in the story. Sometimes they ‘re minor characters who are only in for one scene to provide info, add some comic relief, or increase tension and conflict. Or a …

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Building Exciting Characters

One comment I hear frequently from readers is how much they like my characters, especially my secondary characters. I’m often asked how I find them and develop them or what techniques do I use to create them. In my first Riverbend novel, Journey to Riverbend, readers expressed a genuine liking …

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Why Do We Do What We Do?

  A recent blog by Andrea Merrill got me thinking about this. She raises the question of what is the true motivation for why I write. Am I an approval addict? Do I write looking for approval? I think this is more real than I’d like to admit. I think …

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The Habit of Professionalism, Part 2

Some more thoughts on the writing habit of professionalism. A professional writer seeks input and feedback from others. Continuing with our sports analogy, the professional athlete works with coaches and personal trainers to improve their skills. Pitchers will work with a pitching coaching or guru for weeks to develop a …

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