2019 was a year of drastic change for me and my family. Long story short, we moved from Orange County to the So Cal wine country. I finished the fourth Dori O. paranormal mystery, narrated Lost in Whispers, and started a cozy mystery inspired by some of you who asked if I’d ever go back to writing romantic comedies. Now I just have to polish ’em up and publish! (Trust me, I’m working on it.)
Also, a new career has opened up to me as an audiobook narrator and producer and voice artist. With very little formal training and a day before the deadline, I auditioned for and finaled in the SOVAS Audition Spotlight. A month later, my fellow authors Louella Nelson and Deb McCaskey commissioned me to produce and narrate their Audible titles! As soon as they are available, I’ll let you know.
To celebrate, I’m taking part in an Audible Subscription Giveaway. If you’re new to audiobooks and want to try them, enter the giveaway for a three-month subscription to Audible. I’ve been an Audible subscriber for five years and I listen to my favorite authors and narrators while knitting, walking, gardening, cleaning, driving or savoring a hot coffee in my back patio.
I’ll be announcing the release of my new projects. You can update your newsletter subscription to receive all the news, only releases or if you prefer, you can follow me on the socials (as my 14-year-old son says).
Slow down this holiday season with a soul-filling, stocking-stuffing afternoon at W.D. Dickinson. A pop-up holiday market rooted in the tactile richness of handmade goods, music and connection with the makers.
• 15 local artists and makers
• High-quality handmade goods
• Learn as you shop with in-booth classes
• Music and lounge areas
At first I had a tough time getting behind this 1920s-era amateur sleuth. She’s motivated by financial gain to solve the suicide or murder of a suffragette. The more she understands the plight of the woman on the front lines to secure the 19th Amendment, the more she realizes that without her privilege, she is just as vulnerable as the next woman.
I’m putting together a Dori O. Read Along and a Beta Reader & Listener Tribe.
If you’re like to do a read along of the Dori O. series, please sign up here and we’ll coordinate dates and times and places and all that stuff to make it fun!
If you love getting first, never-before-seen copies of my new books and/or audiobooks, please sign up for my Beta Tribe. (We need to come up with a better name but we’ll get to that later!) As a beta reader/listener, you’ll help me out by leaving reviews, taking some cool Facebook and/or Bookstagram pics and sharing with the world why you love the books.
Thanks for making it all happen! Without readers, these books would just linger in the ether. And that’s not very fun!
This is my very first Wonder Con signing and if you’re planning to be there, come say hi!
I’ll be in the Broad Universe Booth #902 signing at 10 a.m. on Saturday March 30th. If you’re not an early riser, I’ll be there all day Saturday and Sunday managing the booth. I can’t wait to chat with you and sign special edition print copies of Lost in Whispers + Girl in the Mist and Lost in Whispers.
Here’s our booth line-up so you can stock up your TBR pile!
D.D. Croix writes YA fantasy set in Queen Victoria’s court about a misfit maid with a magical pet dragonfly. Sort of HARRY POTTER x DOWNTON ABBEY
Angela Shelley writes middle-grade fantasy featuring a necromancer girl sent on a quest by an artifact-hunting wizard where she must learn magic to battle an undead sorcerer, monsters, pirates, massive storms, and zombie chickens.
Jennifer Lynn Wines wrote a young adult paranormal mystery feature a teenage girl who must solve a century old murder.
Paranormal romance author and self-proclaimed “Smut Mongering Minx” Cynthia Diamond offers stories full of humor and adventure featuring strong women, passionate men, and worlds where consent is always sexy.
Join paranormal and sci-fi romance author Tessa McFionn and discover worlds where heroes do exist, heroines are quite capable of rescuing themselves, and where love truly conquers all. Time to believe in magic.
Eddie Louise writes Steampunk mad science. Think Frankenstein meets Quantum Leap.
Zenobia Neil writes about the mythic past and Greek and Roman gods having too much fun.
Lost in the Lightis a finalist in the Mystery category for the 2018 ABR Audiobook Listeners Choice Awards!
This is such an incredible moment. I started from scratch not knowing if I had the chops to narrate an entire audiobook or figure out how to produce it. But thanks to all of the tools provided by ACX, my podcast listeners as well as my background in high school theatre, I pulled it off!
Seriously, to be included in the finalist category is an honor.
Thank you and congratulations to my fellow nominees.
Thanks to Alexandra Amor for interviewing me on her podcast, It’s a Mystery! I share Dori’s origins, my odd approach to writing as well as my obsession with the paranormal. And of course, drink lots of tea.
I should’ve added, “How to Make Your Goal Without Losing Your Mind.”
So this is by no means the absolute, fool-proof, 100% guaranteed list of how to achieve your NaNoWriMo goals. It is what works for me and I share this with the goal that it might stimulate you to come up with ways that will work for you.
Here we go:
Understand how you write. I’ve been doing this writing thing since 1994. One would think I had it figured out. But life changes. The demands on your attention and energy change. You develop back problems and the old eyes stop working the way they used to. I was trying to do the same old routine: sit my behind down for an hour and write without a break. I can tell you what that accomplished: a page or two of work and way too much Facebook scrolling, sharing, liking and commenting. I read and practiced The Chunky Method and it changed my writing life for the better. I learned that I have an optimal 15 minute attention span. So I set my stopwatch and within an hour I work in 15 minute segments. And guess what? I write like the damn house was on fire in those 15 minute sessions! Do I say and not as I once did: rather than write the way you think you should write, embrace your work style and make it work for you!
Give yourself a break. Oh I just heard that groan. I’m a mama so I also caught that eyeroll with the eyes on the backof my head, too! But seriously, give yourself a break. Even if it’s just to stand up, do some wrist circles or scream into a pillow, moving re-energizes the body and mind. My personal favorite is to do the dishes. Maybe it’s the flow of the water but it just gives my mind a release and then those characters start up again and I’m ready for my next 15 minute session.
There will be days you can’t work and that’s okay. This is a judgment-free zone. Life happens. Kids get sick. You get sick. Someone at work gets sick and you have to pick up the ball. On days when I can’t write (and boy do I get a grumpy!), I remind myself that the world is always there. Because really, where the hell is it going to go? What will the characters do without you? I find that the simple statement, “The world is always there,” lifts the stress off my shoulders and prepares me to jump in mess up my characters’ lives even more.
Meditate. Dude, this changed my life. I’m telling you the truth. A short prayer followed by a ten-minute session of quiet gets me in the world and ready to go. I’ve now started meditating after my writing session to transition into family time or work. I highly recommend davidji‘s Sweetspot Online Community for free meditations. He brings ancient meditation techniques to the modern world and he’s a funny guy. Plus Rocky the pug may have a crush on Peaches the Buddha Princess.
Turn off social media. In fact as soon as finish reading this, do yourself a favor and turn off your browser. Set your mobile to Airplane mode, throw the wireless thing-of-boob out the window and get writing!
The hardest part of a story to write is the first line. Speaking from my experience as a reader (e.g. what pulls me into a story) and a writer (what has sold my work), a character has to make an entrance. Or, if told in the first person, a statement. I don’t mean just having someone walk through a door, or wake up in bed and most definitely not stare at herself in the mirror over the bathroom sink. Characters arrive. They have a presence that makes you turn to the next page and the next until the end when you (hopefully) wish the book hadn’t ended so soon.
When I think of great entrances, I remember the night I watched The Seven Year Itch on the big screen in downtown LA. When Marilyn’s fan cord stuck in the doorway, three hundred of us gasped in the dark. We held our breath at the palpable energy that radiated from her 50 years after she’d shot that scene.
Right now, or rather right before I began this blog, I arrived at the phase of my WIP when it’s time to write the first line. Some lines appear just like that. Some take a few drafts or they hide from me until I realize that the first 20 pages I wrote don’t belong in the book. The only way I know that I have the first line is when (a) it no longer bugs me in the middle of the night, and (b) when it makes me sit up and shout, “Whoa!”
So here I go into territory unknown and still no first line in sight. But I figure it’ll show up sooner or later.