Won’t You Join My Tribe?

Did you know I have a super-secret email newsletter? No? Well, let me tell you about it. Actually, it’s only super-secret because I never mention it and haven’t sent one out since this time last year. For a while, I even removed the sign-up link from the sidebar. But it’s back now. And I invite you to take advantage of it. The newsletter is free, and I promise not to sell your info or flood your inbox.

breakingIf you follow this blog, you know I’ve been working on three books this year. Over the next several months, I’ll be calling for beta readers and sending out ARCs for each book. I could ask for help in choosing a book title or cover or maybe I’ll even name a character after you. I might even share a bit of personal news that will never appear on my blog. Also, you’ll get advance notice of publication, contests, and promotional sales.

Word of mouth is still the best way to publicize a book. Indie authors in particular need a “tribe” behind them—a support team of fans of their work who want to help the author get out the word to readers everywhere. Won’t you please join my tribe by signing up to receive my newsletter?



Editing, My Books, Writing

Oh my, how you’ve grown!

That post title refers to the length of my novel An Illusion of Trust. My target goal of 80,000 words may seem conservative to some of you, but at the time I set it, I’d struggled to get the first 60,000 down. But after I got feedback from my alpha reader, the words started flowing. With additional input from beta readers the book grew more. The manuscript that’s with my copy editor now stands at almost 92,000 words, which is 4,000 more than its prequel, The Brevity of Roses.

paperwhiteSpeaking of editing, I’ve mentioned before that one of the ways I edit is by reading my manuscript on my Kindle. But because I had the old-style button keyboard model I didn’t actually do mark-up on the Kindle. Not so this time around. One of the Christmas presents my family gave me this year was a Kindle Paperwhite, which has a touchscreen that makes highlighting and notation much easier.

I hope I’m not the only writer who gets a little sick of reading their book by the time it’s ready to publish. I struggle with impatience, and it doesn’t help that the question of what I’ll write next starts nagging me long before I finish with the work at hand. Yes, I get distracted by that next shiny thing. In this case, it’s two shiny things, so I’ll have to decide which should come first.

Anyway, I apologize for being so terrible at estimating the time I need to finish something. I thought I’d have An Illusion of Trust polished before Christmas, and then I thought surely by the end of January. Now we’re almost a week into February and it still doesn’t have that final gleaming coat. But it’s close—oh, so close.

May I suggest you subscribe to my newsletter so you’ll get first look at the cover and learn about special promotions and giveaways?


Author, Blog Stuff, Family, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Publish, Real Life, Writing


Every Wednesday, throughout the school year, I spend an hour hurtling forward encased in a metal and fiberglass box with a flammable fuel powered engine. In other words, I take the freeway across town and back.

I’m rewarded for this two ways. First, I get to spend time with my granddaughter, Emily. And second, I get to see a postcard-perfect view of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Both rewards remind me there’s life outside of writing. It’s not a life I’ve spent much time in during the last three months.

If I’d truly believed the warnings about how much work was ahead of me, I don’t know if I would have embarked on the self-publishing journey, at least not now when my funds are too low to hire out some of the grunt work. But I’m nearly done. When my last proofreader sends me her notes, I’ll make any changes needed. Next I’ll format files for Kindle and Nook, then submit the print version and order a proof copy.

It’s getting very close to the day The Brevity of Roses is available to the public. As you might expect, my emotions are mixed. I doubt I’m prepared for the next stage as much as I think I am. I don’t know if any debut author can be fully prepared. But I know I will be rewarded … in one way or another.

BTW: I sent out the first edition of The Brevity Insider Newsletter today. If you’re on the mailing list, but did not receive it, let me know. If you’d like to be on the mailing list, sign-up here.

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Blog Stuff, Books, Excerpt, Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Promotion, Read, Writing

A taste of Brevity

The Margaret Merrill rose appears both literally and figuratively in my novel, The Brevity of Roses.

When we had a Costco membership, my husband loved to shop there on the days they gave out free samples in the grocery aisles. Sometimes he took samples of things he doubted he would like because “Hey, it’s free.” Well, today I don’t have any food, but I do have a free sample of The Brevity of Roses for you.

But first, some other business:

If you read my last post, you might have expected a new look to my blog today. It’s coming, but real life intervened and I wasn’t able to finish my new blog header, so stay tuned for the redecorating.

I’m going to tell you why you might want to sign-up for my newsletter. I won’t flood your inbox with chain spam, or get-rich-quick schemes, or sell your email address to marketers. In fact, I won’t flood you with anything, but I will tell you first about upcoming contests or other promotions, and keep you in the loop about my scheduled interviews or guest blog appearances. You’ll also learn how you might get a free copy of Brevity. So read the sample first, and then, if you think you’d like to be a Brevity insider, please sign-up on the Contact page.

Now, for that taste of Brevity. I hope you’ll enjoy Chapter One. (Warning: a sprinkling of strong language.)

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