Monday, July 25, 2011

Writing the man of her dreams

When I set out to write Storm Surge, I knew I wanted my main character, Jonie, to have a love interest. Romance can be fun – and, for Jonie, humiliating and infuriating, which I suppose heightens the comedy for readers and for me as the writer.

Recently, a friend asked if I’d modeled Daniel, Jonie's love interest, after my real-life love (my husband, not chocolate or wine as you may have guessed). I honestly did not imagine Daniel to be like my husband, though both have straight noses and are strong Christians. (Daniel wears a cross on a necklace; my husband doesn't own jewelry, save for his watch and wedding band – not even cuff links!)

I wanted Jonie's love interest to be someone strong and trustworthy, attractive but not perfect. Daniel exhibits his strength (some in description, hopefully more through action in the novel), and he proves himself trustworthy through some – but perhaps not all – of his actions. Daniel is a bit too stubborn (like my husband and, if I’m being honest, like myself) and tries to be too controlling at times. He also has a past he will not share with Jonie, at least not in novel one (what is in that box on his mantle?).

As a police officer, he is perfectly situated to frequently run into Jonie, especially as the series unfolds.
But there's another contender for Jonie's heart. And he’s also a police officer, and perhaps even more trustworthy, and also more playful. Patrick shows up again in the second novel, and I'm finding he's willing to help Jonie by bending ethics in ways Daniel will not. And let's not forget Jonie's past love, Jason, who knows Jonie better than both Daniel and Patrick together!

Which is the man of Jonie's dreams? I've had moments when I'm unsure as I'm writing!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jogging in the rain on the beach

This was the third jog on my beach vacation and the same out-and-back route: two miles on the flat, crowded Cherry Grove beach to the pier and back again. About a hundred early-bird tourists, most walking and collecting shells, avoided eye contact as I passed. At my back, the rising sun rose bright white, casting the ocean blazing silver. But up ahead, heavy clouds streaked rain lines to the sand. 

I jogged forward, against the wind, quickening my rendezvous with the storm front. Even before I reached the pier, the cold rain pelted down, soaking my shirt, dripping off my ball cap. Beachcombers retreated like roaches scampering… most of them. The few that remained were, like me, jogging, stubborn enough not to let the rain alter our plans. We’d glance at each other, smiling wildly, sharing something almost intimate in the seconds as we passed. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Amazon author page

If you’re an author and your book is for sale on Amazon, you need to have an Amazon author page.

Why? It’s free, and it helps you, as the Amazon site says, share information about yourself with readers. While you can add static information about yourself (photo, bio), you can also a link to a blog and your Twitter account, so it’s not like once you’ve joined you have to keep checking in to keep content fresh (because hopefully you’re keeping your blog and Twitter fresh). Also available on your author page, you can add photos, video and tour events. Really, why wouldn’t you create a page?

How to get one? So glad you asked. Go to and join! Plan on spending about 10 minutes setting up your page. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Young imagination

Perhaps it’s because I write fiction: I’m so interested in my children’s imaginations. Or maybe it’s just a mom thing. I enjoyed a great laugh recently while at the beach. My two-year-old stood on a dock and thunder from a distant storm sounded. The boy wasn’t frightened – oh no, not him. He decided to address the rumbling directly.

“Thunder, go away!” he said, and then he puffed out a breath as if he could blow away the storm itself.

How’s that for self-confidence? Or does he have a complex? Perhaps it’s not imagination that caused my son to speak to the storm, but what wild ideas his actions spawned in my own imagination! That’s one aspect of motherhood I immensely enjoy: continuously being surprised and inspired by what the kids think up next.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review from The Hidden Sun

J Lloyd Morgan, author of The Hidden Sun, reviewed Storm Surge. Check out the review and his blog at:

The Hidden Sun is a great blog that's made me laugh out loud (at a different blog entry - not at my review, thankfully), and Morgan is a writer who captures your attention by translating his fantastic imagination into words and creating characters that grab your heart. Please consider joining his blog and reading his books.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Country fried computer

I had plans for a fantastic blog entry this week. I'd just returned from the beach and possessed the kind of energy that can keep my fingers tapping enough for three people at once.


Yes, but. My laptop completely died today. And not even my handy husband with his screwdrivers and admirable know-how can resurrect it or the files saved on it. So that short short story I'd polished to perfection? Toast. My spreadsheets tracking the various things I track? Gone. The brainstorming of blog ideas I'd saved? Blip! That great entry about a few of my favorite blogs, the one I was going to post today? Bye-bye.

But it was one of those days for me, the kind where everything I touch crumbles. Some lady beeped her horn five times at me because I wasn't psychic and couldn't tell that the red light would turn to a green turn arrow. A lady begging for money screamed at me, freaking out my kids. I called my grandma; she hung up in tears. The computer seems to be the most expensive of the various aspects of my day that crashed.

But can't circumstances always be worse? Yes, indeed. That laptop lasted me five wonderful years of very heavy usage. It was toted to nearly 120 council meetings (some of which lasted four hours), survived countless rewrites of my first novel, Storm Surge, and even endured the completion of the first few drafts of my second novel. Looking at the sunny side, I practically memorized the short story I lost. I can recreate spreadsheets. I remember my favorite blogs and can type them up into a nifty blog entry later. And I'm picking up a (faster, better endowed, prettier) replacement laptop tomorrow (which is exciting, though the built-in web cam frightens me). And tomorrow is a new day.