Finally after some time I am ready to introduce to you my newest novel.
I am beyond thrilled to have this out in two weeks. I believe that my readers will once again fall in love with another set of characters. This story, although entirely different from the first two, takes you through an emotional journey. It definitely took me on one.
I am always amazed at how each one of my stories unfold. My initial objective is somewhat defined as I write and although I’m focused on my storyline, other layers always surface and make themselves known. I honestly believe that I never know how a book will turn out until I’m done. I am discovering new things about my characters as I am writing and it’s almost as if they are writing themselves. At least that’s how I have always felt.
This story began about a couple in crisis. (Don’t worry, no spoiler alert needed). But as the crisis was happening another layer of a storyline grew and I had a subplot. For those of you that are not writers, you are probably thinking “boy she’s nuts!” Maybe so, but aren’t all writers, and artists nuts?
In this book you will meet Nicholas and Hope Garrett who live in Bucks County, Pa most of the year and summer in Cape May, NJ. Now it’s not a secret that that’s where I live and what I do. Truth be told, most of what writers write, parallel their own lives. I love where I live and feel so blessed to call both places home so why wouldn’t I write about them. Elin Hilderbrand writes about Nantucket, Nicholas sparks writes about North Carolina. It’s all relative.
Both Nick and Hope are very strong characters that are relatable and identifiable as well. At least I hope they are. I hope they are to you.
Well, I am excited to hear from you and find out how much you love the new characters and the story. Always love to hear from you and if you see me on the beach please say hi.
Happy Summer everyone!
A New Cover
Hi everyone. I’ve been away for awhile working on my third book, Holding On to Hope which will be out in June. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am about it and how I can’t wait until it’s available so that you can meet my latest characters.
With a new publisher, I decided to do a new reprint of my first novel The Shoebox because it was basically out of print. I had to create a new cover for the new publisher and I am very pleased. Let’s just say this is Peter Michael’s in his forties which is most of the story. For those of you who have never read it, well you’re in for a treat. My readers have all fallen in love with the story and the characters and I am so pleased at how the book has done.
I will tell you that an incredible director and producer is interested in The Shoebox. Only time will tell what becomes of it all but for now I am flattered and humbled at the support and love that this book has received. That is primarily the reason why I chose to do a reprint so that it can continue to be readily available for my readers.
I ask that when you do order it, make sure the cover has young Peter on it and not older man Peter. You want to have the newest version available.
Thank you again to all of you and I will be posting about the new book with the dates of it’s release only a few weeks away.
Until the next one . . . More to come. . .
Hi Everyone, Hope all are well on this wonderful Valentine’s and Ash Wednesday. Just wanted to keep you in the loop. I just started working with my dear and most amazing editor and friend Victoria Mixon. http://www.victoriamixon.com.
That can only mean one thing. . . My third book is coming soon. Woohooo! So excited to be working with her again. So for you writers out there that follow me and might need to find a wonderful editor please visit Victoria’s website.
Also these books are a wonderful source of reference.
Stay tuned my dear followers for my third book coming this Spring. Holding on to Hope.
Happy New Year everyone. I hope and pray you all have been well and have enjoyed the Holidays with family and friends. I had shoulder surgery on Dec 5th, been a bit slow but finally getting back on track with my writing. Took a break from the third book right before Thanksgiving. I was consumed as I usually am with Christmas decorating, hosting parties and being with family and friends. I can happily say I am ready to write again.
So just a little background info on the third book. The title is Holding on to Hope. I am in the final stages and will be working with my editor in a few weeks to get it done and ready for publication.
I know my fans will not be disappointed. Once again my characters amaze me. Each book I write I become enamored with my characters and story line. My fans have always written to tell me that they have fallen in love as well. This book will do the same I believe.
So stay tuned for my next book and getting ready to fall in love with Nicolas and Hope Garrett.
It’s been awhile since I’ve connected. It’s now Fall and I’m working on my third novel. Above is a possible cover idea. I’m so excited and wanted to share it. This is also a psychological trick so that I can get off my a . . . . hmmm you get it and get this book ready to be published. I’m setting a goal for myself to have it ready by this Thanksgiving. So that only gives me a few weeks. After that it will be in my publishers hands. So if all goes well it could be out by Christmas. That’s my hope. (no pun intended!)
So once I’m done I will post a quick synopsis to entice you. I promise you will be. Thanks for all your support and following. Enjoy this Harvest time with your family and friends. God bless and stay tuned.
HI everyone, I wanted to post about my friend Scott Ryan.
Scott is a writer, director, composer, singer, editor, father, husband and the list goes on. He has recently written a book about my favorite show of all time, thirtysomething. It’s called “thirtysomething at 30” an oral history filled with interviews, behind the scene photographs, detailed conversations about the plot lines, characters, writers and directors. For all of you thirtysomething fans, it is a must have. The book comes out in June and you can actually purchase a signed copy from Scott himself on his website. Along with his book purchasing information, Scott is doing posts about the experience and continues to create podcasts for the 30th anniversary of the show. He has interviewed most of the writers, actors and even the creators of the show. So please explore his website and see all the other things he is involved with.
Here is Scott’s website. Just click on home below and you will automatically be directed.
I’ve always been facinated with roads, in photos, in paintings and in life. There is something haunting, compelling and strangely empowering about them. When the weather permits, one of my favorite things to do is to go on a hike. My favorite walk is near my home. I am lucky enough to live near areas that have still been untouched. Areas I walk that allow me to feel at peace with nature and that has always been important to me. This is a photo of one of them. It is not only beautiful, but hilly and filled with unexpected wilderness friends. I do most of my best thinking, meditating, praying and contemplating on this path. It is something I do to feel energize and also to feel motivated.
Winter’s are hard for me. Once December is over and done I am looking towards the Spring. I am a mother of two sons. My oldest is married and has a daughter of his own and my youngest is in his third year of college away ten hours from me. As I try to reinvent myself each day I think of the road I have traveled. All my decisions, all my turns have brought me to where I am today. Every detour, every turn is a step, a decision one makes that changes and has an impact on the next step or turn.
I post this because I have been immersed in writing my new book. As I write I realize that each chapter, each conflict or resolution is an outcome from a decision or choice I made early on. Just like my walks and hikes, just like the roads I travel and the choices I make, I make turns and take steps up and down hill with my plots and characters. The major difference is that as a writer, I do have some kind of control and the unseen down the road is something I can create. In life we don’t have that luxury. We either take the next step with fear or jolt into the unknown with hope that our expectations will be met and our dreams reached when we get to the end of the road.
I want to encourage all of you out there who have stories in your head and are filled with wonder if they should ever be written down. Yes they should! Write them. Write them for yourself, write them with hopes to perfect them. The more you write the more you will loose the fear of writing and gain an appreciation and a confidence to do so. Even if you begin with timelines for your stories. You might not know how to write your story, but you know what you might want to happen with your characters. Set markers in the time line about different points in the characters lives or moments that are important in his/her evolution as a character in your novel. Before you know it, you will have a sort of map showing you what will happen and how and when it will take place.
Then take each moment in time and give it life. Fill out the blanks. Give color to your canvases. Make goals for yourself and keep them when it comes to writing. Say I will finish writing this specific scene by the end of the week, etc.
Make time to write. Take that step up that hill and around the bend and see what you might find. You might surprise yourself. Many times my characters have felt like they have taken over where my story is going. I become so involved with them that they become a powerful force to the point where when I’m writing and I have one of them do something that in actuality they would not do, I find myself saying things like, “wait, he would never do that. Re write this.”
It’s an advernture. LIke my walks and hikes. I don’t know who I might meet along the way, nor will the hills feel steeper or the terrain rougher, but I do it because it allows me to strengthen and grow and relax. Write each day so that you may strengthen, grow and relax. Enjoy.
Nicholas Garrett calls Cape May, New Jersey his home, a lovely town with gorgeous beaches and rich in architecture and history. The story begins with Nicholas along side his wife’s hospital bed three weeks after the birth of their twins. During the natural birth of the twins, Hope, Nicholas’s wife of two years, experiences complications that create a code blue scenario complete with seizures and thus resulting in a comatose state. Twins are delivered healthy and safely as Nick waits frantically a few doors down. Hours after the delivery, Hope’s condition is still the same. As the days pass and the waiting room rotates family and friends, Nick seeks solace in his time alone with his thoughts. As he waits, longing for answers, he refuses to meet his children without his wife by his side. In the hopes that he can see them together he completely ignores the advice of doctors and the nurses to be with his twins even after two and a half weeks of being in the same hospital and only a few doors away.
It is the week before Christmas and Nicholas is second-guessing everything he has ever done looking for someone to blame. Raised by his jewish mother and left by his catholic father, NIcholas has had a life long struggle with his faith and what to believe. Marrying Hope had always been somewhat of a challenge when it came to his faith. Hope was always sure of her christian upbringing and where she stood. So while he is at a crossroads with the question of having faith at all, his family and friends all return hesitantly to resume their lives while Nicholas continues to hold his daily vigil in the same chair in the hospital visitor’s room. There is where he meets an older woman whose husband is in a failing state. She befriends him and helps him put his feelings in order by coaxing him to tell her his story.
It is during that week that he is utterly convinced that he has made all the right decisions and taken all the precise paths to lead him to where he is. In the waiting period he is strengthened and reaffirmed that he is where he should be and that all the roads throughout his life have all pointed and intersected to this moment in time.
With a heartbreaking decision to make and pressure from the doctors he continues to hold on to hope. Only the next few days will tell and while carolers sing, and menorahs are lit, Nicholas waits for a miracle.
One of the toughest challenges for a writer in my opinion has to do with creating characters that are unique, different and that will resonate with the reader.
I have completed two novels and I’m proud to say that my characters are all individually unique and equally compelling. I wish I could say that I have a system but I really don’t. For me the characters kind of evolve when I think of the idea for a new book. When I was working on The Shoebox, Peter and Maddy always existed in a way. However in The Eighth Summer the ensemble evolved over time. Now I have read many books and have been introduced to many characters but in all honesty, not all have been memorable. Not every character you find resonates or becomes alive in your mind. Some times I find a great character and then just when they are growing and changing, it all suddenly stops and becomes dull.
How can you keep that from happening?
Well for me, and that’s the only way I can answer is to keep them as real as they can be. Remember, you are creating a visual, unless you have a picture book, the reader has to build the person you are giving them. They will need all the right ingredients to create and give life to their character. You are God in the writing world. We are, lets face it. I know I am a bit of a control freak. Maybe all writers in a way are. I want to control my story because I’m the creator of it. So I am going to give as many hints, clues, descriptions, and emotions for each so that when my reader is sitting in their comfy chair with a cup of coffee or tea ready to be snatched inside my story, I need them to see a tangible character.
So lets say your starting. You have a plot line and a basic idea of what you want to write about but you just have a faceless character. Someone without a soul. That’s where you are about to breathe in life into this fictitious creation.
The way I begin is by asking a few questions that help me form my character. Here are a few questions that you can use to help you create a memorable character that your reader will be able to see, feel and hear.
l. After you have determined the sex of your character, think age? For this activity lets make it a woman. How old is she?
2. Height and weight and skin color, eye color, hair color . Be specific if there are any scars or identifiable markings or characteristics. Does she have an accent?
3. Where was she born?
4. Who were her parents?
5. Where does she currently live?
6. What is her favorite movie and book?
7. What does her voice sound like?
8. What is her deepest fear? Pet peeve?
9. What are some of her favorite things? To eat, do, go?
10. Married/single/ mother?
11. What is her motivation?
12. What is her inner conflict?
You get the idea?
By the time you have answered most of these questions in detail please, you will have a pretty good idea of who this woman is. Then you can add the character fill ins I like to call them.
Does she smoke?
Does she drink?
Does she say a particular word in a strange way? Like when I say TV I always for some reason stress the T before the V. When I sneeze I tend to actually say the word achoooo! I know, but that’s what happens. Ha ha. I was once in radio city music hall at a concert and in a moment of silence I sneezed. There were friends in the audience not sitting anywhere near me and knew immediately that I had been the one that had sneezed.
Think of things like that. Characteristics that make your character unique and familiar to your reader.
In my first novel, The Shoebox, my main character had a few things he would do when he was stressed or nervous. I added them to so many parts of my story in the beginning that once the reader is in the middle of the book and is reading any section where Peter is running his hands through his hair or pulling on his shirt collar they immediately know without even having to read further that our character is in a stressful situation. These mannerisms are key flags that allow your reader to identify and see the character more clearly. The goal is to create someone that is so visible in your writing that they then become a tangible person to your audience.
Try this exercise the next time your working on a new character. I promise it will help.
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