Rekindling the Fire

People need to eat. Authors need to breathe fire. The creative element needs to burn brightly. The muse blazes until finally it flickers in a hypnotic dance as the words flood onto the page. But once in a while, the author needs to refuel. One way we do that is by gathering together and feeding off each others’ flames.

This year I have fed twice at the font of the muses. Calliope, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, & Erato circled the poets while Melpomene and Thalia focused on the screenwriters and playwrights. Clio wandered between the non-fiction and fiction authors alike. Terpsichore and Urania sprinkled their inspiration around the group when movement or stars caught the authors’ fancy.

The first encounter was in Omaha at the Nebraska Writer’s Guild Spring Conference. It was delightful seeing friends that I had left behind when I moved to Wyoming. Feeling their spirit and listening to the classes and speakers helped rekindle the smoldering coals of my imagination. One of my best experiences was meeting Deidre Knight, agent extraordinaire. Owner of the Knight Agency, Deidre is an absolute delight. Of special interest to me was that she was heading to Italy for the summer. Having lived there, Italy holds a VERY special place in my heart. I will be sending Deidre a few chapters after they come back from the editor. Keeps fingers and arms crossed!

The second was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What a fabulous conference! The only problem was that it is so expensive there, you better not forget to bring your lunch. 🙂

We were treated to the most marvelous classes, speakers, and meeting with agents and writers. I had private meetings with three different published writers and one agent. Their feedback was helpful and got my fire burning at a much higher level. I discovered my book was actually two books. I have now divided the books and rewritten parts of the first book to complete it. This was an amazing experience. Everything suddenly made sense. The agent I met with told me that the book was ready for an editor. What a rush!

I finally had to do something. I had to have faith. It was time to move forward and quit waiting. So with full fire burning, I marched forward into the future, rekindled by the fire.


The Book is Finished.

Your lifeblood bleeds onto the paper. The words flow and it is perfect. Then you start rereading. Version two. Version three. Sometimes you are correct grammar. Version five. Sometimes voice. Version seven. One time I was trying to get rid of all the passives that come from my speaking two foreign languages. I never realized how much they affect my thought pattern.

Ten times. I have written and rewritten this book ten times. Finally, it is ready for an editor. I have awaken with my character telling me, “You forgot! That would give me a headache. Write that down. Headache.”

I owe so much to my writing group. I left them behind in Omaha but they are with me in my heart. “Show, not tell.” I ripped out so much narration and made my character interact. They were lazy and now they live.

The journey isn’t over. It is really just beginning. Now, it is moving forward.

I am a writer. And, by the way, you want to read this book.

Tanya Huff Interview – “Not in My City”

The interview is UP! And considering the barrage on my website today, none to soon. Tanya Huff is one popular author. A few even got a surprise peak because bots found the unlinked page and gave it away. Thanks to all and enjoy. Please leave comments to let Tanya know how loyal her fans are.

Click here for the direct link to the page but be sure to enjoy the whole website.

NWG 2015 Spring Writer’s Conference

Had a fantastic time attending this year’s conference. I had the great pleasure of a short meeting with Deidre Knight from the Knight Agency. She was an absolute delight and answered the burning question for me… what is my genre. *drum rolls please* We shall call it Urban Fantasy. And it was so.

The  good news is that I am beginning work on the second book in the series. Onward!

We had a wonderful speaker on the Author’s Platform. It really helped clarify a great deal and hopefully lit a fire underneath me. I’ve been working over my site and there is a fun new material here so check it out. My home page has several links that are worth visiting and there is also a form where you can sign up to follow the site.

How Can I have Fans When I Haven’t Published Yet?

Authors speak a foreign language. I am still not sure what it is, but I am sure it is foreign. Oh, the words are English, to be sure, but the “Ancient Ones” hid the meanings from the novice. There they sit,  just waiting for you to find the right mentor or to have the stroke that will finally create the necessary brain lesion to clear the path to your Rosetta stone.

When I was in the Air Force, USAFSS assigned me to RAF Chicksands in England, which was cool because I already spoke English. On my first Sunday there, I found my way to church and sat in the congregation. As the meeting opened, I listened in horror as I realized something terrible had gone wrong and I was anywhere but England. I understood not one word issuing forth from the mouth of the man in front of me. As it turned out, no one else did either. Or maybe they were just humoring me. The man was from Newcastle upon Tyne. The region was apparently notorious for being difficult to understand. Still it took me awhile to be comfortable understanding English as spoken in England.

That is a little like authorspeak. The words are the same but the meaning – not so much. Like the time I was teaching a candy making class in England and told them to add a little paraffin to the chocolate to keep it from melting in your hand. Would anyone from England like to explain the problem to the rest of my readers? If no one comments within a week, I’ll tell you why my class thought I was trying to poison them. Mwhahahaha.

However, back to authorspeak. I was recently at a writer’s conference in Nebraska. One of the things I learned is that I needed an “author’s platform” now.
Okay. Where do I get the wood? Where do I build it? Why? Oh, you mean what do I stand for? No. Ummm… what are my politics? Why would that matter?

Somebody give me a hint!

Do you have any idea how many times I heard things like: “Do you have you author’s platform yet?” or “How are you doing your author’s platform?”

Aaargh. One problem is that I am intelligent – just enough that I do not want to look like an idiot by not knowing what an “author’s platform” is.

I used to tell my college students that the only stupid question was the one not asked. I finally listened to myself. My hand rose skyward and the question erupted from my lips, never to return to the void of silence.

“Just what do you mean by an author’s platform?”

I wonder if anyone else there said a silent prayer of gratitude. I would like to think so. The answer opened up more frustration for me but at least I was no longer ignorant. I had stepped within the circle of knowledge.

THIS is my platform – or at least the beginning of it. It is how the author presents herself (or himself of course) to the world. It is the gift of chapters from my books or my plays or short snippets. It is my interviews with authors and actors. It is my research into Lilith mythologies and vampires in general. It is my book reviews and art collection. It is and it is growing slowly each day.

So, what is the frustration I speak of: simply that you are supposed to start this before you publish, before people know if they are going to love or hate your work. As the agent there told us, I am an author – not yet published. Going through the painful steps of rewrites and editors, I work toward the best book I can give you. My readership is growing and I hope it will continue to grow through you. Pass along links. Let people know I am here. Leave comments. Communicate. Suggest books. Review books. Get involved. Then realize my biggest frustration is that I don’t have twice as many hours in the day to do this website which I have come to love AND my writing which I ADORE!

Christopher Farnsworth Interview and Audio Posted

The Interview and Audio from Christopher Farnsworth’s Interview have both been posted. Thanks for the patience and understanding while I was sick. The interview is really interesting. Chris is a fascinating and intelligent individual. Be sure and turn in to find out what is behind Nathaniel Cade and to get some gets tips for authors.

Christopher Farnsworth Interview available

My interview with Christopher Farnsworth is available in audio now. The transcript will be available by Saturday evening. The wait is worth it. We had a great interview both for vampire fans and for writers. He had great insight and advice for new writers as well as fascinating insight into the world of Nathaniel Cade – The President’s Vampire. So go on and hear what he has to say. And be sure to pick up his books. Cause we tried REALLY hard to leave out the spoilers.

Do You See What I See?


An author is far more than someone who writes out a plot on a piece of paper. Sometimes that is the problem with self-editing and self-publishing. That is why you need someone to tear you apart. An author is a thick-skinned storyteller. Homer didn’t just tell a story – he painted it, infused it with smells, wrapped it in memories, and walked it from village to village singing it forth with a voice trained to heighten every emotion he could illicit from his listeners. That is what too many people don’t understand. An author doesn’t crank out a story – she breathes life into it. There is a section in my book where Lilith shares with Cainan the nightmare she went through after the flood. Her emotions explode and comes in waves as she paints pictures of the horror. As I was writing my original draft, I would speak this out loud into a recorder to my invisible Cainan. I would literally break down in tears as I worked through her history here. I would work on it at night in bed or when I was alone driving. It was emotionally heartbreaking as the word came to me. Each time I worked on it, I made changes as I understood Lilith’s pain more. Ancient storytellers would change the story as they told it until it became the epic that has lasted until our day. The modern author works on it – crafts it – loves it – until it goes to print. Sometimes it is hard to say “It is ready.”

One of the important things I have learned as an author is that you have to create the world around your character. If you can’t see it, your reader can’t see it. Sometimes it is possible to go overboard in the creation process but usually the author errs by not creating enough of a vivid world for the reader. As I began working with my writer’s group, one of the things I learned was that, although I create a lush world, it isn’t always specific enough. So I’ve rewritten and rewritten, trying to create the best work I can deliver – the one that will last several generations.


Christopher Farnsworth

Mr. Farnsworth’s interview is set for July 26th. Questions for Mr. Farnsworth should be submitted by July 24th. His books are a great read so take the opportunity now and get your questions ready. Warning notice: Red, White and Blood has a lot of profanity and sex. I have lots of questions for Mr. Farnsworth. I’m sure you will too.