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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Cover Story--Part II

Just a little over a year ago, I wrote a post here about the evolution of my books' covers aptly titled Cover Story. Well, lately I've been thinking it might be time to evolve a bit further. That's the beauty of this self-publishing gig--want to make a change? Just do it, upload it to KDP and viola--out with the old and in with the new!
My son, who doubles as my cover designer, is here for a visit / reno blitz. What better time to con him into doing a little light cover work as well? So in between pulling down plaster ceilings and refinishing hardwood floors, we brainstormed on how to make the covers more. I love the images of the existing covers, but I felt they could use a little more. You know-- punch, pop, style. MORE!
After hours of give and take, with me doing the giving, you understand, my brilliant offspring came up with what I think is a definite improvement. We did have to sacrifice the background for Book Three, Heart of My Own Heart, but I found something I really love to replace it.
So, without further ado--introducing the new and MORE versions of all four of the MIRACLE AT VALLEY RISE covers.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Violin--Really?

One man, one woman, one story. So many possibilities. What do they look like? Where have they come from? Where are they going? What do they do? Parents? Siblings? Friends? Enemies? How do I decide? Honestly, I don't.
Now before you decide I'm just saying that to protect the mystical sources leaving messages on my computer, or emmitting subliminal impulses only I can hear, let me assure you it's much simpler than that. I just listen to my characters.
Oh, I  have a clue as to where things need to go. I have parameters in place, lines I won't cross, subjects I'm not qualified to write about. But I admit it, I'm a "pantser." I don't outline. I write a brief synopsis which I refer to as I'm writing, but it's definitely subject to change as the story progresses, or rather, as the characters tell their story. 
Case in point, when I started my first novel, HEARTS UNFOLD, I knew the protagonist, Stani Moss was famous. He could have been a rock star, an actor, even the CEO of a major corporation or royalty, but he had the audacity to tell me he was a musical prodigy, the premier talent of his generation, a violinist. Period. No room for negotiation. Okaaaaay, the violin? Well, it's easier to carry around than a piano. You can whip it out and play a little tune (or major concerto) at the drop of a hat. Its reputation and repertoire are by and large romantic, and who can resist a man in white tie and tails? Certainly not the soon-to-be love of his life, farm girl Emily Haynes.
Once Stani informed me of his claim to fame and fortune, it led to a tie-in with Emily's background, the conflicts between their very different worlds, and all kinds of potential plot lines. Soon other details piled on. Hair color (Red? Really?). Height (Only 5'7? Not your typical tall, dark and handsome!). And background--Stani is British, raised by a Hungarian couple, befriended by a British policeman-turned-bodyguard, and a New York socialite. And on and on. That's the way the story unfolds for me. Character breeds plot. At the heart of Stani's character lies his phenomenal gift, and that gift dictates his career and his lifestyle. Thus, it's fair to say the violin is the driving force behind what has become a four-volume series.
In case you'd like to know more, here's your chance. You can download a FREE copy of HEARTS UNFOLD--Miracle at Valley Rise Book 1  May 11-15. Get to know my little red-haired violinist, meet Emily, the earthy and ethereal farm girl who wins his heart, and join their merry band of cohorts as they travel the world.