Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Writer Wednesday: Stephen Black

Why I Write

Air Supply are a couple of Australian men who have written some very popular songs. On youtube they smile and/or look forlorn as they sing about being “all out of love.” For their “Making love out of nothing at all” music video they show us a painful romantic breakup, windblown 70's hair and a private jet!

The logo of Air Supply looks like Coke's.

I never drink Coke.

Air Supply is being displayed on the mobile phone on the table in front of me. The table is covered with roasted beans, Thai food and Tiger beer bottles. Buckley is using Bluetooth to wirelessly transfer Air Supply songs to another guy’s phone. This makes me smile.

I'm smiling because Buckley's job is building underwater oil rigs. His life depends on long hoses filled with gases. Buckley’s air supply is a collection of pumps, canisters and gauges, all banged up and in the hands of recently hired strangers who try to communicate in English. Buckley and his team work in storms and they work when it’s dark. A good day is when the hoses don’t tangle, the jellyfish stay away, the current's weak, the pumps work and the waves are predictable. A good day is like winning the lottery.

Buckley sees me looking at the two words glowing on his phone. He breaks into a big smile.

“You like Air Supply! Great! Karaoke! Let's go sing Air Supply!”

Buckley stands up on his stool and starts singing “Lonely is the Night.”

These “Air Supply Moments” might be the reason I write.

A pudgy diver in an orange jumpsuit terribly crooning Air Supply songs in a crowded Singaporean food court on a Saturday night- I need to record this. I cannot be Spinoza, Paul Aster, Mishima, Henry Miller nor Margaret Atwood. But I can use words to freeze the flow of life around me.

I melt these frozen stacks of words, then freeze them again. Stack them again, melt them again. Stack, melt, freeze, stack, melt, freeze.


Hopeless, as I wait for a drop of knowledge. I'm beyond hopeless as a previsioned frail stream of story ideas disappears, leaving only the sights and sounds of this room.

A man is being given a tour of writers' hell. Everywhere,writers are suffering in the great heat. Some pound their heads in frustration,some stare at blank pieces of paper. They look at their words as though they are reading their own death sentences. They are together, yet the writers are all alone. They do not speak, but the room is filled with screams of Agony.
The man is next taken to writers' heaven. He thinks a mistake has been made, for he sees nearly the same tortuous scenario that he saw in writers' hell. He questions his guide. “No sir, this is definitely writers' heaven,” the guide explains, “but these writers get published.”

So, why do I write?

One reason may be to 'make conceptual, postmodern text-based art' of the very small intersections that exist between 'words' ,what 'words' actually are, and what 'words' represent. Another reason could be that I am simply “too lazy to work, too chicken to steal.”

My father was a book salesman and this could be another reason. But I really don't think that I am writing to please him. If I wanted to please my family- and other people, I would think of a better way of earning money.

The truth is I write without thinking about why I write.

Writing happens to me.

If I were a clever, well-educated writer, I would now conclude with some sort of witty wordplay (possibly Shakespearean) comparing my need to write with a diver's need of an air supply.

But I am not a clever writer. I'm just a guy who fails to understand life. I spend days and nights rearranging words to disguise this tragedy, suffocating as I try to make it pretty to read.

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Thank you Stephen for being my guest this week and thanks to all of you who have taken time out of your day to stop by my blog. You can also find Stephen on line at the following places...

-on Facebook: stephen black/blacksteps
-on twitter: mrblacksteps
-Book Merah ( a division of Blacksteps) has a number of publications on scribd and (soon to be updated)
-history/photo samples at

If you would like more info about this series, or would like to be a guest please follow this link Writer Wednesdays: The Intro .

Kristin : )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Writer Wednesday: Mike Jensen

Sixty Minute Writer

“It’s almost 5:30; must hurry!” Talking to myself, I dry off from the shower, get dressed as if going to work, including socks but minus shoes. “This is just as important as your real job.”

I choke down a piece of toast, maybe a bowl of cereal. Only 5 minutes left.
Firing up the laptop, I take my position on the couch: the far right side, turned sideways back leaned against the side arm, legs stretched out across the cushions and crossed at the ankles. The laptop lies across my lap.

“Hey it really is a laptop!” I occasionally muse. With one of the throw pillows propped underneath the lower edge, the laptop becomes properly leveled. “I would hate to put too much slant in my writing too early in my writing career.” I make that joke to myself way too many times.

5:30 arrives and the fingers begin to find their way to the keys in a flurry of hunt and peck motions that would awe many if ever seen. I become a writer for the next hour. Nearly everyday, for a few years now, this morning hour has become my world of fantasy and I disappear into it. It is a world where I get to dictate whether it rains or shines, who gets to say what to whom, and, sometimes even who lives and dies. It is mine.

All others in the household sleep and leave me to my solitary hour. Occasionally someone will get up and make the mistake of trying to keep me company in my office that for the other twenty-three hours serves as a living room for our family of seven, but they are usually rebuked. Not verbally, but visually and ignoringly.

That hour, that room, that couch, and that ritual are how I maintain sanity with all the ideas and voices and stories and characters that roam inside my head. I reflect on aspects of them all the time but that hour is the only time they are allowed to gain their corporal form within the words upon a screen. At the stroke of 6:30, the real world of job, kids’ school and bus schedules will again take center stage and the writer and his stories must go dormant once again.

In my efforts of sixty minutes a day, I have completed two works. One, the first, is too big and yucky for anyone to seriously be able to publish. Not even self-publish, (that was a joke). My second attempt might be something. It’s on a sub-mission, as I call it, right now. With luck, it’ll return with some good news soon.

Why do I do this? Because I want to. No other real reason. Do I hope one day that a story sells so much I can do this for more than an hour? Sure. I would love to eventually not go to a day job. But who doesn’t? I also, however, don’t know what “more” means. Two hours a day? Four hours? Sixteen hours? I might have to get a more comfortable couch.

I admit that wafting within the keystrokes and misspelled words with their cute red swigglies underneath them; I do find slivers of time to wonder if one day I will actually be a sixty-minute author. I like to think one day I will. Maybe I can get a desk. Maybe a home office. Maybe… Until that problem arises, I’ll just worry about my world as it is.

If not. It’s OK. I’ll still be on the couch the next morning. Awake, showered, dressed for work and plugging away at a new story. It’s what I do. It’s has become an important facet to who I am. It is now something I would miss if I stopped. I mean, what else would I do with that hour? Sleep? Sleep is for wimps.
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Thanks Mike for sharing your morning ritual and sense of humor with us. Thanks to all of you for stopping by today. You can find more about Mike through his blog Miked Up! and follow him on Twitter @mmj5170 .

If you would like more info about this series, or would like to be a guest please follow this link Writer Wednesdays: The Intro .

Kristin : )

Monday, May 17, 2010

Memoir Monday: Mini Memoir of Scotty the Man Hater

For this week's Memoir Monday I am trying something different. I will be sharing a personal story, kind of like a mini memoir of my own. This is one of those stories our kids ask to hear every few years and it still makes me laugh. I hope you enjoy.

In the early years of our marriage my husband wanted to get a bird, not just any bird, he wanted a cockatiel or a parrot. He was convinced it would be easier to care for and more entertaining than a dog or cat. We looked into buying a baby cockatiel or parrot. They were very expensive. The idea was put on the back burner when we found out I was expecting our second child. A few months later I ran into a friend from school. She invited me and my son to her daughter's 1st birthday at her parent's home. Turns out her parents had a cockatiel and they were looking for a good home for it because they were moving to Florida and couldn't take it with them. They wanted very little money, as they were more concerned about the bird living out his last few years in a good home. Scotty was his name, and according to my friend's parents, he was already 12 years old.

Looking back I should have known something was up when they led me down a dark hallway to a large cage covered in a sheet. Beneath it you could hear strange grumbling sounds and hissing. The sheet was lifted only enough for me to be sure it was actually a bird in the cage and not a snake, or some horrible mutant animal. They were quick to explain that Scotty didn't like crowds. We would have to keep him covered when we had a lot of company or he would become too stressed. Ok, I thought, we could do that.

I left for home that day with a cockatiel, a beautiful big cage, and two separate raised platforms that looked like mini playgrounds. I was told how much he loved to be out of his cage, although they didn't dare remove the bread ties that held the cage doors shut.

My son and I arrive home to surprise my husband with Scotty. He happily helped make room for the huge cage in the living room and then we set up the bird playgrounds on opposite ends of the the first floor of our apartment. One by the front window and the other beside the sliding glass doors. Scotty loved the sit and look out the window, we were told. When everything was set up, and the last swinging bell hung, we untied the cage door to let Scotty out in his new home.

He didn't move. My husband reached in to help his bird out. Scotty squawked, bit his finger, and shrank back into the corner of the cage hissing. We assumed he was scared and left him alone for a while. My son, not yet 2 stayed at the cage. I was afraid the bird would bite, but it calmed right down. Before we knew it Scotty was making soft whistling sounds and saying, "Pretty Bird." My son was giggling, all was good.

A few days later we try again. I open the cage and this time Scotty hops right on my hand. My husband turns to say something from the kitchen, Scotty's feathers bunch up on the back of his neck like a cat ready to fight, he suddenly flies straight for my husband. He ducks, I scream, my son is giggling, and Scotty is flying around in a complete panic. With visions of Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds in my head I run to protect my son's eyes. Scotty takes another swoop at my husband, squawks, and crashes into the sliding glass door. He falls to the floor. The apartment is silent. I'm still holding my hands over my son's eyes and my husband and I can only look at each other in utter shock over what had just happened.

My son breaks us from our trance with a one word query, "birdie?" I give a look to my husband that sends him to investigate. He looks back at us and says, "he's moving." My son and I go closer as my husband bends down to pick up Scotty. The bird hops to his feet and starts hissing, angrily, and running at my husband in some crazy bird warrior pose.

We finally did get Scotty back into his cage and, after similar scenes played out over the next few months, we called the previous owners. They admitted that he had not actually been out of his cage for a long time. They also admitted that Scotty, the bird I got FOR my husband, might have some slight issues with men. The irony of this still makes me laugh. We were told to give him time, he would get used to my husband.

Over the years my husband was diligent with Scotty. He kept his cage clean, fed him, and changed his drinking and his bath water daily, but Scotty remained staunch with his dislike of him. He hissed and spit every time my husband got within a foot of the cage. And if my husband were so bold as to lie on the floor with me or my son to watch television, Scotty would open the cage, drop silently to the floor, and sneak up like a bird ninja to my husband's feet and snip at a toe. Or sometimes he would sneak up and just hiss at his feet, which I found hilarious because my husband would just about hit the ceiling every time. Imagine looking down as the feathery head dress pokes over the top of my husband's foot and beedy little accusing eyes stare at us.

It became clear that my friend's parents were less than honest on a few things. They never did move to Florida, Scotty never came around to like my husband, and he lived much longer than anyone ever expected. When we got him he was around 12 years old, he lived another 12 years. Also, there was nothing slight about his issues. He may have been suffering from a bird form of schizophrenia. Turns out cockatiels are very intellectual birds and can suffer from depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia.

Scotty is still missed by us all, even my husband. Thankfully, he kept his hatred focused only on him. My three boys, he would sing to and talk sweetly. He even learned how to say my oldest son's name. To my daughter and I, he was always a gentleman/bird. He would whistle when ever we walked by, the sexy whistle, and say' "Hello." To my husband, he remained a full blown man hater until the sad day his angry little claws pointed toward the sky.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our almost fond memories with Scotty.

Kristin : )

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Review: Ways To Live Forever by Sally Nicholls

I came across this novel, or I should say, I was intrigued by the summary my 12 year old son gave about it. He was doing a report for school and was explaining Sam's story. Later that night, after the report was finished and my kids had gone to sleep, I picked up the book. I knew it was sad and I honestly had no intentions of reading it. I was just kind of curious.

First page starts with Sam's list about himself.

1. My name is Sam.
2. I am eleven years old.
3. I collect stories and fantastic facts.
4. I have leukemia.
5. By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.

I did not put the book down until 1:00 AM, and only did then because I had finished it. This book moved me, it made me smile at times, and cry at many other times. I knew I had to do a review, both to share this story with others and to put words to all of the emotions it touched in me.

Ways To Live Forever is written from Sam's point of view. This also makes it all the more heartbreaking. He knows what his fate is, as do his parents, but the way we know this is through his observations. His father trying to avoid all talk and act like everything will be OK. His mother, nervous and overwhelmed with it all. His little sister tormenting one second and clinging to him the next. The time frame is just a few months, but the writing allows you see glimpses into their past and future of this family. You forget they're fictional.

What I liked:

The story was told by Sam, a child. It's done so well that we know and can feel what almost everyone around him was thinking and feeling just by the ways they acted around him.

What I disliked:

The one character that I wanted to know more about was Sam's tutor, Mrs. Willis. I thought she was one of most important characters. Without her Sam would not have started his book and his family would have slowly died along with him, all stuck in their solitary ways of dealing or avoiding his illness. She allowed him to ask anything and then, instead of answering, prompted him to find the answers for himself.

Some other reviews of Ways To Live Forever:

Ways To Live Forever by Sally Nicholls was published in September 2008 by Authur A. Levine Books. It is listed for readers ages 9 - 12, although I think older kids would get a lot out of this story also.

Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear your opinions on this book.

Kristin : )

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blog News

Yesterday was a busy blog day. As you know I had the talented duo, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, as my Writer Wednesday guests. If you haven't read how they have written 7 books together and remained best friends, you should. Scroll down, check it out. While they were awing everyone with their writing process I was a guest on Jamie Debree's blog. She's got this great series called, Everyday Romance.

Stop over to see my idea of Everyday Romance. After writing it I realized what a cheap date I am :)

Hope you enjoy and please share what your idea of romance is.

Kristin : )

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Writer Wednesday: Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

How We Do It

When it comes to writing, the question we are asked more than any other is "How in the world do two people write a book together?" Although we’ve been at this gig for twenty years, and the “how” of this process seems hardly noteworthy to us, it remains the thing people are most curious about. In the beginning, we were really surprised by the question—we hadn’t thought about the “how,” and were completely unprepared with an answer. For us, writing in tandem evolved in the same completely organic, and equally inexplicable way as our friendship had—so it seemed perfectly natural.

Although we met in a profession where we should have been rivals (We were both plus-size models—the only two blacks in our NYC agency and therefore direct competition.) but we realized quickly that we had a lot in common—including a love of books, and we cracked each other up. We cooked up a number of projects together (a fashion newsletter and a short-lived magazine) before we got around to writing Tryin' to sleep in the Bed You made, and discovered that we work seamlessly, almost like we shared halves of the same brain. When the magazine folded without any notice, (and we got over our pity party) we knew that we had to keep working together.

Months and dozens of ideas later, we found ourselves back at the beginning--something we each had fallen in love with as children--fiction. We had both been English majors in college, but more than that, after years of gobbling books like popcorn, we each had strong feelings about what made a good story—and what didn’t. And for reasons we still can’t quite figure out, we decided to attempt writing a novel together. Who had the idea first? Your guess is as good as ours. But no tried to talk us out of it, we talked ourselves into it.

Now seven co-written novels later, before we begin a book, we do the same thing---get together and talk--something we do endlessly anyway. Our conversations lead to a plot, and characters we end up knowing as well as we know each other and eventually an outline. And no--our stories are not autobiographical although we use our own emotions and experience to give the characters reactions that feel real.

In order to make the process work we have to be in the same place. That's how the vibe happens. Sometimes we're side by side at the desktop PC, sharing the keyboard---passing it off to whoever has the hot hand. Other times one is at the laptop and the other at the desk and we're both writing the same section. We come together, read each other's material and weave them together, a sentence or two at a time. We can also write within the same chapter, one going from the beginning to the middle the other from the middle to the end. Then, we exchange sections, add at least two cents to what the other has done, and finally join them. The crazy part is we never know how it will progress each day—we sometimes use all of these methods in a single session. Our aim is for the book to have one, coherent voice. People are often sure they will be able to detect a change in style, or guess who wrote a particular part, but so far, nobody has, not even our editor.

Both our personal friendship and our professional relationship hinge on caring, trust and respect. When we write, our egos are checked at the door. We shed our selves and move into the plot, characters and language of the story. The work is never about us, it's about crafting a story word by word, sentence by sentence, that makes the reader care, maybe even makes them angry with a character. And based on the thousands of letters and emails we have received we know how strongly readers relate to the struggles, life lessons and thick-and-thin relationships we give our characters. That means we’re doing our job. We know that each of us could write a book on her own, but it's a special gift to be able to do it together and we hope we’ll be tag team storytelling for a long time.
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Thanks Virginia and Donna for taking time out of your busy schedules to be this week's Writer Wednesday guests. I think it is amazing how well you both write together. After reading Uptown and then your writing process I was even more amazed. There is no point where I could detect a change in style or perspective.

More information about Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant:

Thanks also to all of you who took time out of your day to stop by. Your support is always appreciated.

If you would like more info about this series, please see Writer Wednesday: The Intro

Kristin : )

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Review: Hailey Twitch is Not a Snitch by Lauren Barnholdt

Hailey Twitch is the typical second grader. She likes the friends she has and doesn't want any more. So when her teacher pairs her up with Addie Jokobeck she is not happy. For one thing, she wanted to be partners with Antonio or Russ. For another, Addie Jokobeck was a lover of rules and Hailey didn't think that loving and following all rules sounded very fun. To make her day even worse, Antonio was paired up with Natalie, the meanest girl in school. She was going to loose her friend to Natalie and be stuck making boring old french fries and following all the rules with Addie. Hailey was having a bad day.

Sitting in her room, trying hard not to stomp or yell about her bad day, Hailey hears something in her toy castle. What could it be? It's a tiny sprite named Maybelle. She was banished to live in Hailey's castle until someone made a wish for fun, which Hailey did. The problem is, Maybelle was banished because she didn't know how to be fun. She would be stuck living in the toy castle forever if she didn't find a way to help Hailey have fun.

This is a cute story about how children can be short sighted when it comes to friends sometimes. She thinks that the only way to be a friend is to boss them around. She quickly finds out that doesn't work. She also thinks friends don't tell on each other, so when Maybelle starts causing trouble, thinking it will be fun, Hailey takes the blame. Hailey has a lot to learn and gets in a lot of trouble before she learns it.

What I liked:

Hailey is spunky and makes mistakes, like most 2nd graders, but she also learns important lessons about friendship, sharing, and doing things for others.

What I disliked:

The ending was abrupt. It left us wondering what happened with Maybelle. Maybe we will need to get the sequel to find out? My daughter has already said yes to that possibility.

A few other reviews of Hailey Twitch is Not a Twitch:

Keep Reading to Your Child

Cindy's Love of Books

Hailey Twitch is Not a Snitch by Lauren Barnholdt and illustrated by Suzanne Beaky was published on May 1, 2010 by Sourcebooks. It is listed as chapter book for children 9 - 12 years old. I think some younger readers would love this story too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Kristin : )

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Review: Uptown by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

Avery Lyons leads an exciting life of world travel. She has learned to live simply so that she could uproot and move on at a moments notice. A phone call from home brings her back to Harlem, New York, and closer to the family and issues that fueled her far away journeys.

Her mother, Forestina was in a serious accident. Avery assumed she could breeze in, make her expected appearance and be gone before any of her long buried past could be brought back to life. She was wrong. Her mother did not recover from her injuries and she had to find out from the last person she wanted to see, her cousin Dwight.

Avery should have known it would not be easy to avoid Dwight and all of the past they shared. It wasn't just the close proximity of their houses growing up, or the fact that their mothers were both sisters, that connected them. They were as close as siblings, friends even, until Dwight went to college. Something happened then that ripped a hole between them that would last for 20 years. Avery must find a way to come to terms with her past, but she has to learn how to stay still long enough. This means coming to terms with all that has been accepted and rejected by her and others in her family.

Uptown is a powerful drama that pits politics, wealth, and greed against loyalty, family, and pride.

What I liked:

Avery was a strong, independent woman, but still able to eventually look deeper at herself. She took responsibility for her own mistakes and accepted some blame for the way things turned out. Dwight, on the other hand, seemed strong, but was actually weak. As much as I wanted to hate him the authors did a good job of making him human enough for me to read on. In a strange way, the whole Dominatrix thing did that the best. He could live with the things he was doing because he was already punishing himself.

What I disliked:

There were scenes that dragged a bit for me. Admittedly, the high stakes real estate world is so far from the life I live or usually read about. My own inexperience in this field kept me from connecting with the story during those points. But the strength of Avery's character and the desire to find out what happens to her and the family pulled me back.

Uptown by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant was published in March of 2010 by Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster.

A few different reviews* of Uptown:

*This is something new I'm trying in reviews. I will offer a few other links to reviews of the same book. Since reading and reviewing are so heavily swayed by our own opinions, why not offer a few more. I'd love to know if you think this helps you in your decision to read a book or if it does not.


Kristin : )

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Writer Wednesday: Nancy Lynn Jarvis

I’ve been a Realtor for the past twenty years in Santa Cruz, California; I still own a small real estate company with my husband, Craig, although we haven’t been actively working for the past couple of years. Before that, my career was checkered. After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, I worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News, as a librarian, and later as the business manager of Shakespeare/Santa Cruz. My work history reflects my philosophy: people should try something radically different every once in a while. That said, before 2007 it never occurred to me to try my hand at writing, especially not a book.

You know what happened to real estate in 2007: it began an unprecedented decline. Even in modest downturns the market becomes a cruel, painful and frustrating place for sellers and for buyers; I didn’t want to work through a collapse because like my protagonist, Realtor Regan McHenry, I tend to become emotionally involved with most of my clients and I knew I would be as unhappy as they were. I decided to take a time-out.

Within a week I got bored with my elected break. I was doing Sudoku and watching Friday night mysteries on PBS — maybe that’s where the idea came from — but somehow the thought crept into my head that it would be an entertaining puzzle solving exercise to see if I could write a mystery.

I had just finished reading all of Tony Hillerman’s books and loved that he let the reader explore a real location, the Big Reservation, and learn about a culture through the eyes of his protagonists, Leaphorn and Chee, two Navajo policemen. I decided to set my book in Santa Cruz, a location I knew well after living there for forty years, and make the protagonist a real estate agent because the world of real estate certainly is its own culture and most people don’t know much about it. Also, I had a stockpile of funny, interesting, unusual, and odd things that had happened during my twenty year career to use as background material.

I had a Realtor friend whose family had originally come to America from Iran after the Shah fell in 1979. He told me he once had a seller client who disappeared two weeks before escrow was to close and was never heard from again. For me, that was all I needed. I decided to put my friend and his background in a story and use my imagination to figure out what happened to his vanished seller. The result was The Death Contingency.

Writing a mystery turned out to be more fun than anything I had ever done before — so much fun that I immediately started on a second book, Backyard Bones. But writing, you’ll remember, was a game for me. I never intended to do anything with what I wrote.
That changed when a friend who always wanted to see her name in print was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Possibly because my husband and I had a long history of being small business owners, we decided to set up a micro publishing company, dedicate The Death Contingency to her, and get some copies of out so she could have her wish fulfilled before she died.

We know a woman who was an editor in a former life; we got her to edit the book. We designed a cover and found elements for it that were either free or very low cost. Craig is a computer whiz; he formatted the PDF’s necessary for copy and cover. We bought a bank of ISBN numbers, trademarked everything, and went with a bare-bones POD printer who only charged for printing. Our first run was 100 books, about ninety more than I thought we would ever need. Charlotte had a book in hand and saw her name in print before she died three months after her diagnosis.

And I was hooked on all aspects of being a writer. The actual getting a story I want to tell on paper is unbelievably fun, but so is cover designing, getting publicity, and talking at book signings. The fact that I enjoy speaking at book signings and on the radio is a real surprise to me because when I don’t have a book in my hand, I’d rather die than open my mouth in public.
It’s because of surprises like that and all the other marvelous surprises I’ve had along the way that I’ve made my time – out permanent. What are some of the surprises I’ve had? The hundred books sold in a day. Every bookstore owner I’ve met is nice. If you do goofy things it’s possible to get on the Toilet Paper Entrepreneurs website. Costco Magazine will do an article about you but not allow your books in their stores. (Go figure.) People will buy your books when they are on Amazon! Strangers will send you email and say nice things about how much they enjoyed reading the story you wrote. You will become friends with people you would never have met if you didn’t write.

The biggest surprise I’ve had and one of the most entertaining things I’ve experienced during this adventure is that sometimes the characters I make up take control of the story I’m writing. In Backyard Bones for example, it turns out the character I thought was the killer wasn’t. The real killer had been giving me clues to his identity throughout the book, but just like my protagonist, I missed them for a time. What a kick.

But then, you write; you know what I’m talking about don’t you? Aren’t we lucky to be writers?

Read the first chapters of The Death Contingency and Backyard Bones at

Buying Murder, the third Regan McHenry mystery will be out later this year — the first chapter will be available for you to read soon. Just for fun, while you are at the website you may want to pick up a free recipe for “Mysterious Chocolate Chip Cookies.” Regan is a Realtor… Realtors are known to bake cookies at open houses. ..and so it goes.

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Thank you Nancy for being this week's Writer Wednesday guest and sharing your journey and your sweet recipe. Thanks to all who stopped by today. If you would like more info about this series, please see Writer Wednesday: The Intro

Kristin : )

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Some Book News

Just a quick post today. I wanted to share an article about one of my favorite funny authors, Dave Berry. He has a new book coming out on Tuesday too, I'll Mature When I'm Dead.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. I'm heading back to the porch with my cup of coffee and my book. Just about finished reading Uptown by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant. It has taken me a while, but only because I've been juggling a few books. Sometimes it's necessary, but does slow down my progress.

Kristin : )