Latest Posts


Identifying What I Write

When I first decided to write a mystery, I thought I would attempt a themed cozy series–something with a lovable heroine and a world that was stylized, cute and fun. My intent was to put my writing skills to work in a genre that I was familiar with and enjoyed. It didn’t hurt that cozies were growing in popularity, and a reasonably well-crafted series might even bring in much-needed income. My research turned up a pattern among the better-known ones: their authors had more than one series going, the books tended to be in the 60,000-word range, and many of them had recipes or some […]


An Uncollected Death Reaches the Top in Free Cozy and Women Sleuths

Something must have worked–it’s halfway through the weekend promotion, and at this writing, An Uncollected Death is #34 in the entire Free Kindle Store rankings, #1 in Free Cozy Mystery, and #2 in Free Women Sleuths! Thanks so much to everyone who picked up a copy. It was nice to get a boost like this in the middle of writing the third book of the series, knowing that thousands of new readers now have a chance to get to know Charlotte and the gang. Hugs 🙂


Get An Uncollected Death for Free April 18-19

Spring fever has struck Northwest Indiana! On Friday, April 18th, and Saturday, April 19th, I’m offering the Kindle edition of my first Charlotte Anthony Mystery, An Uncollected Death, for free on Amazon. So take advantage of this to get yourself a copy, or grab it for gift-giving and share the love. Speaking of sharing the love–if you haven’t already, do leave reviews of my novels on Amazon and Goodreads, and give ’em a mention on your favorite reading groups and social media. Let the word spread like cheerful dandelions 🙂 Hugs!


Words From Others that Keep Me Going

Just read a post at Kirsten Lamb’s blog that made my day, made me stand a little taller and feel a little less crazy to be pursuing a living as a novelist: Against All Odds—What’s Our REAL Chance of Becoming a Successful Author?


The Writer vs the Author

In an oft-used distinction, a writer writes and an author has written. The writer creates and the author’s job is to secure readers. I like the writing part WAY better, which is almost universally true of authors. In an ideal world, our books would suddenly materialize in the hands of our ideal audience, who wouldn’t find a single thing wrong with them and be willing to throw lavish amounts of money and praise our way. (Yes, that’s the stuff dreams are made of, which is our specialty, and thus should come as no surprise.) I admit to having felt overwhelmed […]


An Unexamined Wife is Now Available in Print

Once again, I got a big kick out of seeing my novel in print, this time the second Charlotte Anthony mystery, An Unexamined Wife. The Kindle edition was published right before Christmas, and many other things required our attention around here before we could set aside the time to do another edit, a layout, and then a proofread of the layout. I love the cover, the font, the off-white paper, just everything. It takes Amazon a while to synchronize the print and Kindle editions, so if you go to the book’s Kindle page, it doesn’t yet show anywhere to click […]


Using Astrology as a Character Generator

While developing my sleuth Charlotte’s romantic life, I noticed that she had a history of getting together with men who were not truly suitable for her. There was, somewhere in her makeup, a conflict between her outer life and her inner self, or perhaps a fear of being true to herself, since she chose relationships that she thought she ought to have instead of what she really wanted. Facing this fact and going for what she really wanted was the main subplot of An Unexamined Wife. So I asked myself, what are Charlotte’s strongest characteristics? Maternal and domestic, for certain. Easily […]


An Unexamined Wife–The 2nd Charlotte Anthony Mystery

An Unexamined Wife is finished and available on Amazon.com! It’s also FREE ON CHRISTMAS DAY AND BOXING DAY, so I hope you’ll take advantage of this holiday present. It’s also a good way to get a review copy that is also an Authorized Purchase, and I’d be tickled pink if you left a review. What a ride it’s been to write this book. An Uncollected Death took me sixteen months to write, as I learned the craft. This new book took just over eight months. I’m hoping the next one will take just six months, so that I can have a publishing rate of […]


Shifting Gears at the Midpoint of the Novel

Strictly speaking, I’m supposed to be working on Act III, but I’ve been spending a lot of time on the two-chapter spread that makes up the midpoint of the novel, the middle of Act II. For me, this is a danger area, because it’s the point where the protagonist is supposed to become fully committed to solving the problem in the novel, after something happens which clarifies the course of action that she must take. It’s often something that has to do with the subplot. My characters have gone and pulled a fast one on me. A major character […]


Learning to Write More Than One Thing at a Time

Last month’s project of creating thirty-one writing prompts was a terrific learning exercise for me. I’m not the fastest writer in the world, but in these days of writers having to do our own marketing and outreach, it’s so useful to be able to quickly turn out a few hundred words on various topics several times per month, if not per week. I’m in awe of anyone who does this well. In order to write frequently and quickly, a sort of nimbleness is needed to not get in the way of one’s own gift of writerly gab. Posting an average of […]