#WritingRambles #amwriting – Writing “What You Know?”

Good Morning, Folks!

It’s a lovely, sunny Sunday in central Florida, after a drizzly, gray Saturday. Happily, yesterday’s weather didn’t stop anyone from attending my talk on Owls at the gorgeous DeBary Hall Historic Mansion.

In fact, we had four extras show up, but had plenty of open space at the back of the room to accommodate them at a safe distance from everyone else. And as you can see from this week’s header image above, I’m still in an owlish kinda mood. (This is a barred owl, btw, my favorite of all.) And talking about these wonderful birds yesterday, gave me the idea for this post today. 

We’re often encouraged or advised to “write what we know,” and in general, I tend to do that, as all of my books are set in the southern part of the United States (just as *I* am), and feature the kinds of people I’ve known all my life. (Except for the serial killer in Swamp Ghosts. I confess, I’ve known some unpleasant folks over the years, but none that I know of have ever gone so far as to kill people and feed ’em to the local alligators! 😉 )

But, in general, I do write people I understand and who speak in a manner I’m familiar with. I also go a step farther by including habitats and wildlife I’m familiar with, too. I like to set up a scene so that readers will feel like they’re “there” along with the characters. For me, this can include describing a canoe trip on the St. John’s river, or a walk through a Florida wetlands area, or a slippery climb down a rock face beside a North Carolina waterfall. I think many of us do this when setting up a scene, and if done well, I believe (hope!) it makes it all more real to readers. But I want to take it a step farther today.

Here’s my question for you: do you ever include things from your real life that only your friends or family would likely recognize? Maybe as a private joke, or maybe simply because whatever it is happens to fit well with what you’re writing? I do, even though I don’t set out with that in mind. It’s just that as I’m typing along, I think of a familiar item or happening, or even a line of dialogue, that is part of my life in one way or another, and find myself including it.

For example, in Swamp Ghosts, one of my secondary (but pretty important) characters is Lester Purvis who drives an ancient, primer red and gray, 1967 VW bus. I’m very familiar with this bus, as is everyone who knows Mark and I, because it’s parked in our garage. My husband has had it since the early 80s, and, like Lester, has always planned to restore it to its former glory. (He drives it for short errands on the weekends, and can’t stop at a traffic light without someone pulling up beside it and yelling out to ask if it’s for sale.) You would be staggered to know how much he’s been offered for it, even with all the body work it needs. Apparently, being the last year they made VWs with the split windshield gives it some serious collectability. 


(Taken many years ago. Nothing much has changed.)

The VW is one of the more obvious personal tidbits I’ve tucked into my books, just for fun, but I find myself drawing on small events and funny moments from my own life fairly often. I’ve also mentioned a real person now and then, like my friend Bev who owns the DeBary Nursery, where my character Willow Greene likes to buy plants for her herb garden. Heck, even the barred owl that greets Sarah on her arrival at Wake-Robin Ridge is taken from my life. Everything is fair game, I figure, as long as it doesn’t violate anyone’s privacy, and it actually fits into the moment I’m writing about. (Bev was thrilled, btw. She sells my books at her shop and one of her customers who’d bought a copy of Finding Hunter from her returned to get Bev’s autograph after reading the scene! 😀 )

So, your turn now. Have you ever included something of this nature in your own books? Maybe as a little nod to a friend or family member? Or just to make yourself smile as you’re writing? Tell us about it in the comments below, since, as always, inquiring minds wanna know. Especially if you’ve ever included any private jokes or situations that only some would recognize. 

Thanks! And have a beautiful, peaceful, productive day! 🙂

Catching Up – #amwriting #MondayBlogs

 

HELP! Where Did All My Writing Time Go?

Happy Moon’s Day, Folks! I hope this Monday morning finds you in good health and good spirits. Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that my blog posts may be spotty for a bit. I have finally come to the conclusion that I am never going to get caught up again in this lifetime, but I can’t keep floundering in a sea of To Do Items and ignoring my writing. Sad but true, the time comes in life when we no longer have quite the energy or stamina we once did, and we have to slow the pace a bit. 

As a result of the above-mentioned (and truly annoying) energy decrease, I haven’t written a word in months, and it’s making me very unhappy. Therefore, I’ve decided I’m  going to take some time to write each day (at least until I get my 4th Riverbend novel completed) even if it has an impact on my blog posts and my blog visits. I’ll do the very best I can to keep up with both, but if I miss some of my regular features or a stop or two at my favorite blogs, please forgive me. And don’t be alarmed. It just means I’m working on my book.

 I know most of you will understand how frustrating it is to want to write but not have time to do so. (And the pandemic isolation, oddly enough, was not at all conducive to the process for many of us, either.) The good news is, I started said book Friday and managed to get the short prologue and the first two scenes of Chapter 1 written. Words cannot express what a difference even that little bit has made in my overall mood. Stress levels are definitely lower, and I’m actually smiling again. 

I have #GuestDayTuesday posts scheduled for several more weeks, and will definitely be reblogging Bad Moon Rising posts through the month’s end, and Story Empire posts always, so it won’t be completely empty here. I plan to touch base at least weekly, and I’ll try to find time for other goodies here and there, too, though I’m not going to promise when or how often. Once I’ve made substantial progress on this story, I’m sure things will starting heading back to normal, but until then, I hope you’ll all understand if you see less of me online for a few weeks. 

Thanks so much, and now, the Painter Brothers are demanding my attention. They have some interesting things happening in their lives, and some new characters coming into play. Must. Go. Write. 


Yes I know these three guys are really actors, but in MY world,
they are Hunter, Forrest, and Jackson Painter, and I’ve 
truly missed them! 🙂 ❤

#TwoferTuesday No. 2 – #BookSale – ALL My Novels!

Just want to let the Immediate World know all of my full-length novels are on sale from now until April 30! Yep! ALL. Of them. 🙂 Here’s the breakdown:

Book 1 of each of my series is always priced lower than the rest of the series, but now through April 30, both Wake-Robin Ridge and Swamp Ghosts can be downloaded for just $1.99! Here’s your chance to start a new series at a bargain price, if you haven’t already read these.

 

Buy Wake-Robin Ridge HERE

Buy Swamp Ghosts HERE

The rest of my novels will be on sale for $2.99 through April 30, too. So if you try Book 1 in the Wake-Robin Ridge series and enjoy it, you can download the other books in the series and save $2.00 on each one.  Included in this bargain price are  A Boy Named Rabbit, Harbinger, and The Light.

Buy A Boy Named Rabbit HERE

Buy Harbinger HERE

Buy The Light HERE

And if you checked out Swamp Ghosts, Riverbend Book 1, and enjoyed it, you can also pick up Finding Hunter and That Darkest Place for the bargain low price of $2.99! 

Buy Finding Hunter HERE

Buy That Darkest Place HERE

Such a deal, right? 😀 Offer good for a limited time only, as they say, so I hope you’ll take advantage while you can. And I also hope you’ll share the news of this sale far and wide. I don’t do this very often, but I thought it might be helpful to lots of folks trying to stave off boredom during their enforced vacations at home. I know I’ve been taking advantage of sales everywhere, and not just on books. It’s one bright spot in this Hot Mess we are all trying to survive.

Thanks, and if you do check any of these out, I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts. 

#SpringSale One Week ONLY! All SIX #WakeRobinRidge and #Riverbend Books Just $.99

Starting Today!

All six of my novels are on sale for the crazy low price of $.99, today through next Sunday, April 14!

Yep, now’s the time to grab any of these books you’ve missed out on, in either series. Find out what’s hidden in the kudzu behind Sarah Gray’s cabin. Meet Rabbit, the little boy who changes the world for everyone around him. See why a huge Viking of a man like Gunnar Wolfe is afraid of falling into the dark St. Johns River. And exactly what kind of deadly secrets does the Painter family farmhouse hide? 

Inquiring minds want to know!

And now, the answers to these questions–and so many more–are available for a mere pittance. You’ll save between $2.00 and $4.00 per book while the sale lasts! 

Don’t miss out! Download your copies today!

All of my books can be downloaded HERE

#ChristmasSale Extended Thru End of Year – All My #Kindle Books Just $.99

Ho, ho, ho, folks! Decided to extend the $.99 Christmas Sale price for ALL of my Kindle books through the end of the year. Take advantage of the fact that I’ll be too busy over the holidays to reset prices, and download your copies before Jan 1. (Preferably today!) 😀 And thanks for helping me get the word out!

You can access all of my books from my Author’s Page HERE.

Or individual books below:
Wake-Robin Ridge Series:
Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit
Harbinger
Riverbend Series:
Swamp Ghosts
Finding Hunter
That Darkest Place
Emissary Novellas:
The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody
Poetry:
Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas, and I’m Having a #Sale

Yep, you read right. Every one of my ebooks will be a mere $.99 from tomorrow (December 16) through Christmas Eve, so if you’ve been considering reading either series, now’s your chance to get these books at a bargain price! Six full-length novels and two novellas! Hope you’ll check them out and will share the news around social media. THANKS!

You can access all of my books from my Author’s Page HERE.

Or individual books below:
Wake-Robin Ridge Series:
Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit
Harbinger
Riverbend Series:
Swamp Ghosts
Finding Hunter
That Darkest Place
Emissary Novellas:
The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff
The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody
Poetry:
Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

 

#MegaSale – $.99 “The Kids Are Back in School” Sale!

If you’ve been thinking about checking out any of my books, now’s your chance to save a bundle! All eight of my eBooks are on sale from today until next Saturday, for the low, low price (yes, I actually said that!) of $.99 each. Heck, that means you can download my entire 3-book (so far) Riverbend series for a mere $2.97! The Emissary and Summer Magic are available for the same price, as well. 

The kids are back in school and fall is upon us. Time to sit back and relax with a cup of tea (or whatever it is the rest of you drink) and find out what’s happening in the spooky hills of North Carolina, or the sleepy little town of Riverbend, Florida.  Hope you’ll help me spread the word, too. Thanks!

Find my books on Amazon HERE