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Round Robin Blog Fest November 18, 2017

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It's been a very busy Fall for me so I apologize for not keeping up with the blog! Between work and finishing my latest novel, there hasn't been much time for sanity, but I'm back for another Round Robin Blog Fest.          This month's topic is: What stories have your written or read where a holiday takes place. To what purpose was the inclusion of the holiday? How do you celebrate holidays or events? Does this ever make it into one of your stories?
Definitely! Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and my novel The Bakery Lady takes place during the Christmas season. I included the holiday for a few reason:

to use a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas where someone showers my leading lady Christina Davidson with giftsto magnify the family issues Christina facesto include her frustration with building a gingerbread houseto show a small town type of Christmas that I've come to love including a gigantic Christmas tree at town hall, hot chocolate from local vendo…

Round Robin Blog Post Sept 23 2017

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Hi ho! Welcome back to another Round Robin Blog Fest! This month's topic:

This month's topic: What characters in other author's books have not left your mind? Have written a character who wouldn't leave you?Why do you think this happens?

Earlier this year I was introduced to a novel called "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. A bizarre book that takes a reader on several different story line all in one compact 705 page novel. Of all the characters in that book one has haunted me for months afterward. The character of Johnny Tremaine. While the structure of the book is unconventional, there are varying fonts, page layouts, and images, it is the footnotes of the book that unravel Johnny's story. An apprentice in a tattoo shop, he starts off a relatable, just another kid with problems. He goes from an everyday assuming punk kid who follows a descent to madness.

Of my own characters, Leo Blue is the one who hangs around the most. He started off as a sid…

August Round Robin Blogfest

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Today's topic is NOT for the faint of heart! Reader be warned.

When you are stumped on moving a plot line forward, what do you do to reinvigorate your imagination and get your characters moving?
The term Writer's Block gets tossed around a lot. I find that by writing every day and keeping my characters in the back of my mind, my stories and plot usually move along well.
Usually.
When I'm stumped one of the first things I need to do to get my characters and story moving, is to get myself moving. I take a walk or weed the garden. Clear my head and either mull over the story or just set it aside and watch the birds fly and the grass sway. Seriously. Sometimes procrastination can help. So can a piece of chocolate or a cup of coffee.
Inspiration can strike in the oddest of ways:  meeting someone on the street who says something I can work with or just having a sudden "lightening strike" aha moment. Actually, I had one of those today while surfing the Internet trying t…

Full Speed Ahead!

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I had a great phone call today. This Saturday, I'm going in to a local radio station to be interviewed for a segment for a weekly show dedicated to local authors. Phil Taylor actually approached our lovely little writing group. What a boost to be able to tell people about my books and about me. You can check the station out at www.erinradio.org and also take a listen to my wonderful friend Harry Posner's interview. He's a true star!!

Exciting. Scary. Nerve-wracking. You get the picture!
Once the interview is posted on the Erin Radio website, I'll be sure to post the link here.

What else is happening in my little world?

Lots that I don't want to jinx just yet, but one cool thing is that my agent moved up my deadline for All That Sparkles. EEP! Yup. Moved it up by a month so here I am doing a blog and procrastinating and also doing a blog for Saturday about Writer's Block. (See a trend here?) Here's a sneak preview of my upcoming blog for the weekend:



Have t…

May 2017 Round Robin Blog Fest

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Welcome back to the Round Robin Blog Fest!
After a brief hiatus for some family events and crazy work schedule, I'm back and ready to blog!

This month's topic is:

How do you go about developing your characters for a story?
How much time do you spend or does it just happen in the writing process?
What inspires it?

I'm a pantser. For the uninitiated, I write from the top of my head, flying by the seat of my pants so to speak. My words and my characters flow from my head and heart through my hand and pen.

Aside from the romanticism of creating my own characters, I observe people. I glean mannerisms from customers I serve, people I know, and from people watching in general. Once I have a basic character, I begin to work on backstory and finer details. For the most part, all of the bits and pieces fall into place during the writing process.

Anything can inspire a new character - a dream, someone on television, a voice on the radio, even just a "what if."  What if a woma…

Happy Father's Day!

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Happy Father's Day! To celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday this fall, one of my wonderful cousins decided to open up a Facebook page where family members could share photos and memories that we may not have all had access to before. What a gift! The one thing this page has done is bring us all together. My dad's siblings are all in Western Canada, but the rest of us are scattered all over. At last count, my grandparents have: 17 children 44 grandchildren 56 great grandchildren 7 great-grandchildren
If my grandpa could see this bunch now! Unfortunately, we lost him to a heart attack when I was just a kid. My dad broke the news to us the next morning by telling us "you have no more Grandpa Rondeau." That's the way serious matters were treated in my house. Nonchalance.
 My dad and I were close while I was growing up. He'd work away from home all week and come home on weekends. I was devastated when he'd leave, but a happy camper once he'd come home …

March Round Robin

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Top o' the mornin' to ye!
Welcome to a wee bit of the blarney post-Irish Whiskey, to be sure.
Pour a cup of Irish Breakfast and put your feet up for a wee bit of readin'....

Today's topic was suggested by gent named Dr. Bob who knows a lovely lass named Anna Jacobs, a bestselling author who has 77 books to her credit! She was complainin' of being emotionally drained by writing a scene and asked him, "Are you sure our characters aren't real?"

That leads us to today's topic:  Are you ever a wee bit drained writin' certain scenes and how real are your characters to you?

I have always been told I have an overactive imagination. Storytelling and writing have always come as naturally to me as breathing and my characters have always been my constant companions. In fact, the more I write, the more real my characters feel to me. I described it to someone lately like having a song in your head that just won't leave. For me, a lot of the time, it's a…

Three Steps Forward

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A few weeks ago I did something I'd always wanted to do, but kept putting off. I got a tattoo. Sounds normal enough, right? Considering I've written about a tattoo artist in The Mystery Lady as well as The Bakery Lady, you'd think this would be something I'd done before. By the way, there is also a tattoo artist in Life is Better Brunette. Nope. Okay, so here was my design that I doodled and toyed with for a long time...

I kept it in my desk drawer, on my bulletin board, wherever. I just kept putting off actually getting inked. Chicken? Maybe. Selective about who I let stick needles in my ankle? Kind of. Anyway, I ended up with an appointment at a local shop called Citrus City with some guy named Matt. I went for the consultation, which was a bit of a blur since he was very busy at the time. No problem.
When I returned that Thursday, Matt (still one very busy guy!) whipped up this amazing sketch and turned out to be fun to hang out with for the next hour. In the en…

Round Robin Blog Fest Membership Restored

I belong to a local writing group in order to better my work as well as support fellow authors.
That was the same reason I had for joining the Round Robin Blog Fest. Recently I had read a comment on my blog that I thought was way out of line. It wasn't worded the way the writer intended and I took it to heart that she thought my writing was awful.

She didn't mean it that way.
I took it wrong and we have since made amends.
I'm glad to say, I will once more be a part of the blog fest and look forward to hanging out with them in the months to come.

My sincerest apologies for overreacting!


February 2016 Round Robin Blog Fest

Welcome back, Round Robin Readers!

Today's topic for discussion is:  Description. What is your saturation point? What is not enough? How do you decide what to include and when to hold back to allow the reader to fill in the blanks? Do you ever skim description when reading a book? If so, what description are you likely to skip?

Wow. That's a lot of questions.

Let me start off by saying I'm NOT a fan of the whole Fifty Shades style of books. As a writer, I'm more uncomfortable reading bad writing than over-descriptive writing, but that's a whole other topic.

I write cozy mystery with a little romance so I like to rein in the description and let the reader's imaginations take them to where they want to go. Romance scenes for me call for a steamy kiss or two then...as they say in Mama Mia: dot, dot, dot. I don't include a lot of graphic violence, gore, or steamy sex scenes because that's not the nature of the genre.

What I do include is just enough titil…

Starting Over

One of the themes that appears in a lot of my books is the notion of starting over. Katie started over in The Bookstore Lady when she left Newville and ended up in the little town of Packham. While her new life there took some time to settle, it didn't take long for her to become part of local lore.

I guess part of that whole concept comes from my own life after my we moved our family from Alberta to Southern Ontario. It's not easy picking up and leaving everyone you have ever known, your family and friends, to move to a small town where you don't know anyone, have no idea where you're going, and are so lonely you're willing to talk to total strangers on the street just to have a conversation!

Flash forward 12 years and we have become a part of the local landscape. Well, I have anyway. My kids grew up here, studied karate and all became black belts, and I gave birth to several novels. Now I am a part of the local theatre scene as well as our amazing little writing…

How to write a book

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Happy 2017!
I've been off the grid for a while, but I'm back and have rejoined the Round Robin Blog Fest for the New Year! This month's theme is: Everybody wants to write a book, but most do not. Writing is hard work. What gets you started and what helps you get through a complete story?
While I was tossing around how to answer this, I found a great Stephen King line in his book "On Writing":  "My earliest memory is of imagining I was someone else." I grew up on an acreage in rural Alberta, Canada. I biked, I hiked, I picked berries. I was an introvert with little else to do but read and daydream. In those daydreams, I was a detective, a movie star, a princess, but most of the time I was a singer. More precisely, a rock star.
Forty some years later, I've written about rock stars (in a book never published) and about detectives in my Wild Blue Mystery series. I've lived my life vicariously through various characters. I've even published several…