Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008


Hey, officially RUNNING SCARED is available, although I don't have my author copies yet. Thanks to a glitch at the printers, it's a bit delayed. But reviewers are getting their copies, and the reviews have been very favorable!

(You can read the quotes on the Reviews page of my website)

Anyway, thanks to all of you for your support and interest in my books.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Paying it Forward

So many writers have mentored me along my path to publication. I still have much room for improvement and a long way to go, but this past week I discovered something. I also have something to offer! Now it's my turn to guide and inspire beginning writers.

I had the privilege of working with 21 brave souls who'd submitted manuscripts for intense critiquing at the Southeastern Writers Conference (an event I strongly recommend to all writers of all genres). It takes courage to expose your writing to a stranger, especially an author further along in her career. But these talented writers soaked up every word of instruction, some even going so far as to revise and apply our suggestions during the week, offering us a second pass at their work.

These writers will succeed. I have no doubt. Two or three should already be published and will be soon, I predict. Many had farther to travel on their road to success. All humbled me with their raw talent. I returned to my own writing with renewed enthusiasm for my chosen profession. You see, in giving back I got much in return.

To all you great authors who helped me, thanks again. To all who asked for my help, thanks to you, too. This is one of the few careers in which people so eagerly train their competitors. Fortunately!


Photos of the conference site: Epworth by the Sea

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I've been following this plagiarism business a while now. Today it was announced that Cassie Edwards and her publisher have parted ways over the allegations. Obviously, they are of a different mind regarding fair use. It's brought up the question for us writers: What constitutes plagiarism? A court in England found Dan Brown not guilty in the case of The Davinci Code; and as far as I can tell, these two cases differ only in the fact that Cassie Edwards didn't include a bibliography giving credit for her nonfiction references.

I read everything written by the late Eugenia Price, and she went into exhausting detail in her afterwords about the sources of her material. Sometimes she included entire texts of actual letters in her novels. I certainly didn't think of Eugenia Price as a plagiarist, just a historical writer thorough in her research.

Cassie Edwards, whom I've never met and don't know, has written lots of books depicting the native American people in a sympathetic and realistic light. I suspect she sincerely thought she could use the research materials in her fiction. I hate that her writing is now tainted by this charge of plagiarism. I guess the lesson here is to cite all your sources. Then be sure your publisher includes your remarks in the finished product.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A sweet Valentine Day's post

I am irritated with the press right now. Don't they know the harm they do when they quote sensational headlines without giving us the whole story? This week's misleading news story is "Artificial sweeteners may make you gain weight."

I say they're confused. Fooling your body with a zero calorie sweetener is not the problem. I drank tons of diet sodas when I weighed 120, so don't tell me they made me eat more! The problem is artificial sweeteners that are not recognized by your body that do have calories, i.e. high fructose corn syrup, which is an engineered sweetener that has tons of calories. It's in everything because it's cheaper than granulated sugar.

Here's the problem the media have now created: Woman stops drinking diet sodas because she hears on the news they will lead to weight gain. Woman loves sodas, so she drinks regular Pepsi, Coke, Dr. Pepper, whatever--all of which are loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Woman has same problem as before except now she gains weight from the added calories. Plus, her dentist notices she has developed dental decay.

I caution you to avoid HFCS. It's artificial, it's sweet, and it's high calorie--not to be confused with calorie-free artificial sweeteners (i.e. Splenda®).

Have a sweet day!