How to remember character details without losing your mind

Many of the reviews of the books in my Alpine Grove series mention how much they enjoy reading about the town itself. One reviewer said that he felt like he could draw a map based on the books and several folks want to move there. Just as in real small towns, in the fictional town […]

Fun and a Whole Lot of Fur

As a writer, some of my favorite reviews are when readers say they literally laughed out loud at one of the scenes in my books. For example, a number of readers have commented on the scene in my first novel Chez Stinky where the main character, Kat struggles to get her cat into a kitty […]

What Is a Beta Reader?

In the acknowledgements at the back of my Alpine Grove novels, I always include a thank you to beta readers. Not too long ago, someone asked me what a beta reader is. The definition of “beta reader” depends upon the author and the author’s process to some degree. Here’s how beta readers fit into my […]

How One Naked Idea Became Fuzzy Logic

People often ask how authors come up with ideas for their books. In the case of my first novel, Chez Stinky, my sister originally came up with the title years ago and the premise that the house was stinky because of the presence of many animals. The story evolved (drastically) from there. But that’s what […]

Creating Animal Characters

In reviews, many readers comment that the animals in my books are characters along with the human ones. Although I don’t make the animals in my books “talk” because I loathe that concept in other books, I do make the animals behave in significantly different ways. Anyone who as ever owned a dog or a […]

Creating Characters People Love

In reviews of both my first and second novels, readers often comment on how much they love the characters I create. Jan, the main character in my second book, Fuzzy Logic is not like any character I’ve read about in the past. She was a lot of fun to write because she is a librarian […]

Geeks and Nerds in Romance

You don’t find many geeks in most romance and chick lit books. In fact, lately there have been a slew of billionaire romances on the market. Maybe it’s the “50 Shades” effect. But realistically, how many of us have even met a millionaire or billionaire, much less dated one? For my first novel, I wanted […]

When Dreams Become Books

A long time ago, I read that a popular novelist wrote down her dreams and turned them into books. Back then, I was a technical writer, and the concept seemed so far away from my writing reality, I couldn’t imagine it ever happening to me. However now many years later, it turns out it has. […]

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Mark Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.” Like most people, I tend to remember things that strike me as funny or interesting. A few elements in my novel Chez Stinky are based on places that exist or real experiences I’ve […]

Writing Dogs in Fiction

Because my Alpine Grove romantic comedy novels feature animals, particularly dogs, the editor of the Small Publishers Artists and Writers Network (SPAWN) newsletter, Sandy Murphy, asked me to write about the topic recently. Because her questions were great, I suggested we do a Q&A. So here are my answers to her questions. Are the dogs […]