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

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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The Habit of Professionalism

Another habit of effective writers is professionalism. In other words, take your writing seriously. If you don’t, who will? Are you one of those who keep saying you’re going to write a book? And years go by without a word appearing on paper or screen. It’s like the kid who …

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Writing Habits – Our Writing Place

Another habit to develop is identifying a favorite writing place, one that allows us to achieve the utmost productivity. And that can be anywhere. It is unique to each one of us. Many writers seem to enjoy writing at their neighborhood Starbucks. This doesn’t work for me. There are too …

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Self-Editing: Effective Writing Habit 2

The second habit a writer needs to develop is self-editing. Whether we traditionally publish, but especially if we self publish, we need to produce a manuscript as clean and professional as we possibly can. The first step to getting our foot in the door in either realm is to be …

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The Write Habits

If we’re going to be successful writers, we need to develop habits to bring us closer to that goal, however we define it. For some of us, it may be finishing the first draft of the novel we’ve been thinking about and fiddling with for years. For others, it’s seeing …

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The Who of Your Story World

In the previous two blogs on story world (The Where of Your Story and The When of Your Story) we discussed the where and when of our story world. The where and when of our story is information we need to know before we write, “It was a dark and …

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