Monday, September 21, 2015


My current book Case of the Missing Look-Alikes has found a home. I will say more in a few days. Aren't teasers fun :) The following title Case of the Mouse Trap Legend is going to the same home, along with the subsequent title Case of the Misplaced Art.

More to come!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Call me crazy, but I refuse to quit this thing I've dubbed the, "query hamster wheel." I'm either insane, or a glutton for punishment. It's entirely possible that there's a third choice, and I believe in my writing. If it's the latter that's driving me, then, one day, I shall have a phenomenal agent representing me who will sell my book.

Writing is my identity. It's in the air I breathe. If I don't believe, then who will.

It will happen.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Long Shot

I read someone's blog a bit earlier regarding the lousy stats regarding writers landing agents, a subject I've thought long and hard about the last few months. Why, you ask? Because, this fellow writer has some excellent points, many of which I've mulled over, wrestled with, and finally come to grips with, that's why. The road to publishing is not an easy one, and anyone who believes otherwise is fooling themselves, or knows nothing of the publishing world. Even the best of the best have struggled to find an agent, and I'm speaking of JK Rowling and many others. Yes, even the likes of her were turned down by a few agents prior to landing one. All you need is one agent, and if you read the submission page on many agent web sites, there's the caveat that if you've been self published, they don't want you. Therein lies the one and only reason I've not gone that route and I'm continuing down the agent hunting path.

I'm gutting it out folks. I believe in my currently completed novel as well as the one that's underway, even if the odds are not in my favor.  Without sounding arrogant, my talent is in my favor. 

If I don't believe in myself, no agent or publisher will. It has to begin with me and my beta readers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Muse is Always Right

It's always good to check and see who's friends with whom when developing plot twists, right? Right. As in North Korea being friends with Russia.  Strange bedfellows, once upon a time, but no more. My Muse was going in one direction, and per usual, decided to tack on something additional.  Being the perfectionist I am, naturally I had to check it out, even though I already knew the answer. I'm also a political fiend. I could hear my Muse laughing. How gauche! The Muse can be tough to work with, at times, but I couldn't do without her. Or, is it him? I honestly don't know.

I do know the Muse is always correct.

Trust the Muse.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Agent Quest Rolls On!

The quest for an agent continues, in a relentless manner.  It's not in my genes to quit, nor should it be in anyone's, if you believe in your story. Therein lies the key: If you believe. And believe you must, as this is not an easy business.  If it were, we'd all be published.  Granted, not everyone is a talented writer, and no, I'm not by any means tooting my own horn.  I'm going by what I've been told by my beta readers.  Unless every single one of them is a liar! No, I didn't pay them to read! And, yes they made suggestions, which I took.  I also worked with an editor, who, by the way doesn't particularly care for mysteries.  I did that, purposely, because if I could capture their interest, then I could draw in that audience. As it turned out, they not only liked the book, but it gave them a more objective view of the setting and the characters, something I hadn't considered.

I'm also going by the rejection letters that I'm receiving, and they're positive.  Not one of them has said to quit writing. Quite the opposite.  They've all said to continue on the path of searching for an agent, that I will find one.  And, yes, they've been personalized.  I find that to be highly encouraging, and discouraging at the same time.  It's tough, but I intend to keep going, since it tells me that I will find someone who is the right fit for me. That's what I want, an agent that's in like with this novel and the next as much as I am.

Stay on the query hamster wheel, people! It's worth it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beta Readers are Golden

Beta readers are my most valued resource from the beginning of writing my novel, straight through to the end.  I suppose each and every writer has found the best method for themselves, but I've no idea where I'd be without this golden crew of varying opinions.

The first order of business I had to learn, was accepting criticism in the spirit in which it was given. If I was going to grow as a writer, I needed input, and it couldn't come from between my ears.  Granted, my muse is the finest in the world, however, there are checks and balances.  Hence, my beloved beta readers!

For example, as I'm underway with the second in my detective series, I'm finding an interesting situation-that of the re-introduction of my characters from the first novel.  I had one reader go through the first chapter, and he had no problem with it.  Of course, he'd read the first book. So, I had someone else read it, and she said she wanted to know a bit more about the characters.  We both simultaneously said, "Read the first book!" 

It was a great point which led to an interesting discussion of how readers select books, either online or in bookstores.  The gist of one may not interest the reader, whereas the other might, but the reader needs to know about the characters without boring other readers who are following the series. The job of us writers is to keep the introduction, or re-introduction of characters as interesting as we possibly can.  A challenging task.  I like challenges.

Thank goodness for my beta readers!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Query Hamster Wheel

Apparently, I've coined a new phrase-query hamster wheel!  It sounds much better than query hell, imho, anyway.  Besides, even with as cold as it is, hell is exceptionally hot.  And during the summer, who in their right mind wants to be there?  Wouldn't you much rather be on a wheel, spinning around, and essentially getting nowhere fast?

I knew you'd agree with me :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

ReadyPac-watch out!

ReadyPac, a lousy lettuce company, based in CA got me extremely ill, last summer. So sick in fact that I had to cancel my trip to CA and spent nearly 2 months in bed both prior to and following my diagnosis, which was duodenitis. This was found by both a colonoscopy and endoscopy performed at Bridgeport Hospital, and was cured by a most boring diet that I remained on steadfastly for 2 months while under the care of several doctors including my primary, an allergist as well as my gastroenterologist. 

Once I finally healed, and my strength came back, I pursued getting the out of pocket money back, mind you, only my co-pay monies.  Yes, I lost some money on the vacation that was postponed, but that was negligible. There were punitive damages, to be sure, and more than enough suffering as duodenitis is incredibly painful, but it was caught in time and I'm not left w/ anything permanent.  I'm not the litigious type; I wasn't raised in that manner.  The co-pay amounted to $678., so I figured Trader Joe's insurance company would work w/ me.  Boy was I wrong!

The name of their company is Bassett Gallagher and they're next to impossible to deal w/.  They never return phone calls and they lie when they say they're going to call the hospital in order to keep them from calling to collect.  I keep impeccable records, you see, of who called and when.  Of when I signed for records release, etc. The individuals from Bridgeport couldn't have been nicer and more understanding, and when it came down to it, they actually gave me a break on the bill.  I paid all of the bills in their entirety, but absolutely no one from the insurance company phoned them on my behalf.  If you say you're going to do something, fine, but please don't lie about it.

The woman who never returned one of my calls finally called to inform me that my claim had been denied.  Gee, thanks. Such a small amount for them, too.  I called ReadyPac to inform them of the decision and then called Trader Joe's headquarters.  Trader Joe's was very disappointed w/ the decision and discussed it w/ ReadyPac who reviewed it, several weeks ago.  In the interim, I reminded them that I would not go after them, legally, but I would use every aspect of social media available to me if they didn't reimburse me my money. I would never complain about this, but when you've three doctors who concur on the diagnosis, and you've two tests to back it up, something is most definitely wrong w/ ReadyPac's decision to not stand behind their product that made me ill. Not only that, they've a history, a rather lengthy one at that of their packaged lettuce causing illnesses nationwide. E-coli being number one on the hit parade, and now duodenitis. Fortunately for me, it was a curable situation, but only b/c I've great doctors who were on top of it immediately.  If not, it can be an illness that you're stuck w/, and if that's the case, it's incredibly debilitating as I can attest to having had it for two months.

What I find totally irresponsible is ReadyPac not standing up and doing the right thing, reimbursing me the monies.  It's a drop in the bucket for them, but not for me.  Part of it went on my credit card and the rest did not.
I hope you share this w/ as many as possible, for several reasons: ReadyPac did not do the right thing, imo, but most importantly, stay away from all kinds of packaged lettuce!
Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Characters in My Head

Query, write, query, write, and keep on doing it until something breaks.  Sometimes, I feel as if I'm climbing uphill with no end in sight, as in the summit cannot be seen.  But many climbers before me have reached it, so I must keep going.  Right?  Right.  And of course, write. Because without writing, who am I? It's my very life-blood, the air I breathe. It's what keeps me going and it's what gets me up in the morning.  It's all I think about.  Okay, maybe not all.  However, my mind does drift an awful lot, and when it does, it's mostly conjuring up plots with my current set of characters, or introducing new ones, if necessary. 

My characters are always in my head, aren't yours?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I'm in love with my new novel! Seriously, I am. The best part is, I get to do research! Yay! I adore research. You might wonder why. Simple, aside from reading and writing, learning is another passion of mine.

Ever since I was a kid, I've been drawn to books that taught me something.  I'm not necessarily talking about societal lessons, but things of an historical nature.  Mind you, I don't want to be bogged down by facts that I couldn't understand, either, but I most definitely am fascinated by technical things my characters can teach me, things that are woven into their lives, that interest them, that enlivened them.  Or, simply brought the story to life on the pages and remained with me for days afterwards.  In some cases, for years.

In my first novel, I found myself doing a tremendous amount of research, sometimes for a sentence or two, or several paragraphs, but it was so rewarding.  I'm finding myself in a similar situation with the new one and am so excited! It entails interviewing, too!  What's better than that.

In my book, nothing.