Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday's Wanderings --- Locations from Surrender the Wind

Along the Coast of Cornwall

A little something to add. Cokesbury Bookstore is offering 'Surrender the Wind' at an incredible discount this month. 71% off the cover price of $13.99. It's on sale for only $4.00!
With Mother's Day approaching, a novel that sweeps readers away to another time and place is an ideal gift. If you purchase a copy, let me know. I'll be happy to mail you and your mom a few goodies.
Some of my readers have been asking me how the book series is going. Very well. Book 1, Before the Scarlet Dawn, is with my editor. She is sending me the micro edits very soon. I'm hoping and praying the manuscript doesn't come back to me dripping in red. Book 2, Beside Two Rivers is progressing with lots of twists and turns. The first draft is only 20-25,000 words away from being complete.

Why do I bore you so with these details about my writing journey? To let you know that if I can do it, you can do it. Writing takes an awful lot of patience and discipline. If you have those two things, which I believe you do, otherwise you would not have the desire to be a storyteller, keep at it despite a rejection.

Do you have the desire to write?
Does it burn in you when you think of your story?
What kind of reaction do you get from family and friends when you tell them you want to be an author?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Edwardian Lily Elsie


She is perfect for a new heroine I am dreaming up for a new book series. I have yet to write a proposal but have titles and a series title.

To quote Lily: 
The only way to succeed is to peg away. Work as hard as possible, and never appear to find things a trouble.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Painting of the Week That Inspires Writing

Dear Writers, 
In an exercise to get the creative energy flowing, write a brief description of the above painting in one or two sentences. Let your readers see, hear, taste, and touch, what this painting presents. The lady is your heroine...and a talented one at that, from an upper class family in 1787.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Ripple Effect

Spring is almost here. My husband is gearing up for a season of fly fishing, which makes me think of this analogy.

Toss a stone in a pond and you will get a ripple effect. Perfect circles will fan out from the center and, depending on the force of the throw and the weight of the stone, the ripples will reach as far to the shoreline as possible.

When it comes to marketing a novel, the ripple effect is how I think of it. The center can be thought of in different ways. Your hometown. Your target audience. Your workplace, school, or any club or organization you belong to. Each can be a focus of marketing.

What marketing techniques have you used to promote your book that have translated into book sales?


Do you get weary with the formal names of colors, while reading or while writing? Do you wish you could find a more descriptive word for red, blue, yellow, green, without the word being too flowery or too big? You can use words that describe colors that give the reader a double doze of visual imagery.

Your heroine is wearing a red gown to the ball. Instead you could say her gown was scarlet. See how much stronger that word is?
Your hero is wearing a black suit. Instead you could say his suit is ebony. Ebony is more than just black. It is a deep, resplendent black.

Here are a few sentences taken from my historical romance 'Surrender the Wind', where I do not use the formal color word.

His waistcoat and linen shirt were blotched with crimson, the right sleeve torn at the seam.

Instead of saying his clothing was blotched with blood or using the word red, the use of 'crimson' gives the reader a word that paints the picture in the reader's mind of a wound, of both the noun and a word describing it. Crimson is a deeper red, dark and adds an ominous feel to the narrative.

At an hour when the light of day painted the sky magenta, a man on horseback rode through the gates of Ten Width.

Some writers might not use a color word in this sentence at all. But you ask the question how did the light of day paint the sky? The word 'magenta' presents the image of a sunrise. Magenta is a soothing color, a rich purplish red. And if you want your scene to express that kind of mood the use of this color fits it.

Liquid gold edged the clouds.

The writer could say 'yellow edged the clouds', and that is fine. But think for a moment what a cloud looks like when the sun is behind it and has either a gold or silver lining. Beautiful, right? So why not paint that same image in your reader's mind? Gold is a warm or hot color.

Here is a simple color list that might help.

RED - Burgundy, Rouge, Magenta, Maroon, Scarlet, Garnet, Crimson, Claret, Vermilion, Wine, Ruby, Fuchsia.

WHITE - Eggshell, Ivory, Alabaster, Pearl.

YELLOW - Topaz, Canary, Honey, Maize, Amber, Gold.

BEIGE - Bisque, Taupe, Sand, Shell, Fawn, Buff.

BLACK: Onyx, Jet, Charcoal , Ebony, Raven.

BLUE - Navy, Cobalt, Sapphire, Slate, Teal, Turquoise, Aqua.

BROWN - Copper, Bronze, Burnt umber, Nutmeg, Cocoa, Chocolate, Chestnut.

GRAY: Charcoal, Slate, Ash, Smoke, Pewter.

GREEN - Jade, Chartreuse, Olive, Shamrock, Emerald, Moss.

PURPLE - Lavender, Amethyst, Violet, Plum, Mulberry.

ORANGE - Coral, Salmon, Copper, Melon.

In the comment section, tell us what colors you would use to describe the following gowns.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Small Words

Short words are as good as long ones, and short, old words - like sun and grass and home - are best of all. More small words than you might think can meet your needs with a strength, grace and charm that large words don't have.

Big words can bog down: one may have to read them three or four times to make out what they mean. Small words we seem to have known from the time we were born, like the hearth firer that warms the home.

Short words are bright like sparks that glow in the night, moist like the sear that laps the shore, sharp like the blade of a knife, hot like salt tears that scald the cheek, quick like moths that flit from flame to flame, and terse like the dart and sting of a bee.

Richard Lederer from Writer’s Digest, May 1989.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Edifying and Inspiring Readers

From the 'The Calling of Christian Writers' by Richard Doster

'“Christian fiction”—the books we find in the back of the bookstore—often edify and inspire us. And just as we need composers to create hymns, the church needs writers—novelists and theologians alike—to build up the body, to enhance our worship, to delight us with stories that exemplify the truths of the Christian faith. Still—it may be time to confess that we’ve left literature in the hands of those who have no hope to offer. It might be time to reconsider our neighbors and their need to make sense of the world; their need for books, poems, and short stories that probe life’s mystery, that offer hope without flinching from the Fall’s consequences, that don’t—by their sentimentality—mock our true state, or the price that was paid for the world’s redemption.'

To read the full article go to