Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Big Bad Wolf?

I'm not afraid of the big bad wolf...we don't have too much of a wolf problem in the suburbs of Chicago...but there are some other things that freak me no particular order:

Birds: They're messy, annoying, have sharp beaks and feet, and it's totally disgusting when they push newborns from the nest to splat on the sidewalk.

Clowns: Whoever thought dressing up in make-up and colorful clothes would be funny was crazy.

Driving at Night in the Rain: Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. I am white-knuckled the whole time.

Losing Someone I Love: This one doesn't really need any other explanation.

Dogs: Formerly, I just didn't like them much (I'm not an animal person.) but last weekend I got bit while I was on a walk and now whenever I hear one bark I kind of panic, but I'm hoping this will pass...

Going Somewhere I've Never Been for the First Time: This might be more of an out-of-my-comfort-zone kind of thing, but there it is.

Going to Sleep When My Hubby's Not Home: It's just a little spooky.

Blood: The sight (and sometimes just the thought of it) makes me want to pass out. Which is ironic, because I love vampires!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Paula's Panics

1. Wasps- hate them! Actually I hate any flying ‘thing’ that comes anywhere near my face, but wasps are vicious little beasts. The ‘don’t move and it’ll go away’ is a complete fallacy. I’ve only been stung twice – once was in a dentist’s waiting room (now that’s unfair!) when I felt a sudden sting on my finger and realised a wasp had landed there and attacked me. The other time I was sitting in my garden reading a newspaper when a wasp landed on my arm and immediately stung me. So the ‘don’t move’ advice is a load of rubbish! Wasps are simply evil vindictive little creatures IMO. I blame Noah for taking two of them on his Ark.

2. Losing my walking cane because without it I can’t walk very far (due to arthritis). That’s why I keep THREE canes in my car, just in case.

3. Falling – again this is linked to the arthritis in my hip. My balance is not good because my right leg is about 2 inches shorter than the left, and the prospect of falling strikes real fear into me. It’s the reason I stay indoors if there any snow or ice on the ground.

4. Having no car or not being able to drive – again, because I can’t walk very far. My car is my lifeline; without it, I would lose my independence (and that’s another fear!)

5. Heights – I don’t mind them if I’m in an enclosed area like the top of the Eiffel Tower or the Empire State Building, but there’s no way I could stand on the edge of a cliff. Even the thought of it makes me shudder and get vertigo. Having said that, I did make it across the Capilano Suspension Bridge near Vancouver. It’s 450 feet long, and 230 feet high across a gorge, and it shakes like mad with everyone walking across it. But I was determined to do it, and I did (both there AND back), even though I was also shaking like mad the whole way.

6. Flying – I must have flown dozens of times, both short-haul and long-haul, but I hate it. Correction, that’s not completely true. I don’t mind the actual flying, it’s the going up and coming down that scares me. One time, back in the 70’s, we’d been circling for ages over an airport in Romania and then, when we were coming in for the final landing, the flight attendant sat down and crossed herself. That did absolutely nothing for my fears!

7. Lorries on motorways – or as you’d say in America, trucks on highways! This stems from an experience about 12 years ago when a lorry coming onto the motorway clipped the back corner of the car, which spun until the whole side of the car hit the front of the lorry. We were then pushed several yards along the road until the lorry stopped. Fortunately the traffic was only moving slowly, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. We escaped with no injuries although the side of the car was severely dented! But now, every time I see a lorry coming up a sliproad towards where I’m driving, I can still feel my nerves tightening up.

8. Having no ideas for a new story. Not a problem at the moment, as I have several ideas, but, having gone through that kind of ‘emptiness’ for about 15 years, I know it can happen.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jennifer’s Fears

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.—Buddha

Yeah, well, if that’s true, then I’ve got a long way to go! Until then, here are the eight things I fear most: 

1.   Bugs: I try to hide it from my kids—I have two girls and we have enough drama in my house already—but really, they freak me out.
2.     Bats: When I was a kid, there were bats in my neighbor’s attic and they came out and swooped around me. And then, at summer camp, they infested our dorms and we’d walk in the halls with them hanging from the curtains. Ugh, ugh, ugh!
3.     Balls: I’m horrible at ball sports—I still can’t figure out why I’d willingly let someone throw something at my head.
4.     Wind: Hah! Bet you thought it’s be another “B” word. I love storms, but I hate wind, especially listening to it howling outside. We have a lot of trees in our yard and I’m afraid they’ll fall on our house.
5.     Something happening to my family: Enough said.
6.     Speaking in public: I have to do a lot of public speaking at my temple and I joke with the Rabbi that he needs to take Dramamine when I get up on the pulpit because I shake so much. I shake and hyperventilate and everything (but I still do it).
7.     Failure: Especially now that so many people know I write, I’m afraid of never writing another publishable book again.
8.     Driving in NYC: I learned how to do it specifically because I was afraid of it, but it still bothers me.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tremble and Quake

No, not an earthquake. It's my knees when I have to:
1. Act onstage.
2. Sing.
3. Enter a room full of strangers.
4. Listen to a recording of my voice.
5. Make a marketing cold call.
6. Start a lawnmower.
7. Go shopping for dresses.
8. Wait for an agent or publisher to respond.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Friend - Erin O'Quinn

Please welcome today's Friday Friend, Erin O’Quinn.

Erin began to write only about 14 months ago, when her muse began to batter on her heart and soul and she began to type more than a million words onto a new iMac keyboard.

She credits her husband, a Fantasy follower and a student of military history/martial arts/small arms. He one day wondered aloud why St. Patrick had not appeared in any of the Fantasy literature he was reading. That thought began an idea that has grown into an inferno. Erin has had six Romance novels contracted by SirenBookStrand, and two of the Dawn of Ireland trilogy are now published. Four others will follow from June through early September. All these books are set in the Ireland of St. Patrick in a two-year time span, roughly 432-433 AD.

She earned a BA (English) and an MA (Comparative Lit.) from the University of Southern California. The reader will find a reflection of her literary interests--ancient/medieval language, literature, mythology and folklore--in all her books.

The Trap of the Too-beautiful Character

We all want to create a main character who is memorable. And yet even the best of writers seem to fall into the trap of creating an inflatable doll, one whom we pop into various books with only a change of hair color or other outer characteristics. When we do, we run the risk of being boring.

In my own experience, the best way to be a Pygmalion is to start with the crude stone, as he did, and begin to carve out a form, a mind, an attitude, that belongs to that character alone.

For this discussion, I’ll talk about the female character. Let’s start with the outer form. Is she (sigh) beautiful? Or is she rather too tall? Too short? Is her complexion a bit flawed? Does she fret about breasts that will never form a cleavage except in wire bras? Yes, all those characteristics sound more compelling than “beautiful.” I don’t want my heroine to be beautiful. Or if she is, I don’t want her to know it!

Now let’s carve some of the unusual traits. Is she quirky? Anti-social? Bellicose? Spoiled? Too often, we want to have a lovable person, and so we automatically smooth out any wrinkles that may set that character off as odd or “eccentric.” But what’s wrong with that?

After the rest of the figure is blocked out, we’re faced with her mind, her attitude, her philosophy of life. Maybe she’s an altruist, one who sees good in everyone and a person who believes that “you betcha, life will turn out great no matter what.” Or perhaps she’s distrustful and slow to make friends. Or she has never had many close friends and therefore surrounds herself with dozens of people.

As a made-up-on-the-spot example, I’ll pick up my stone chisel and begin to carve the figure of Polly. Polly is rather shorter than average. Mmmm--that’s a sore spot with her and a trait that makes her cranky when she sees willowy women sail by on the sidewalk. Her hair, while not mousy, is nevertheless a kind of “dirty blonde” that needs to be augmented by means of a color creme. And Polly is just a teensy bit nearsighted, so she needs to wear glasses in situations--like romantic encounters--when glasses are decidedly a turn-off.

Polly was not blessed with a great name. Polly sounds like a parrot--or worse, a Raggedy-Ann kind of children’s character. Even though her real name is Pauline, and she tries to implant that name in the mind of her family and friends, she let too many years go by without being adamant about being Pauline. Now nothing short of a legal name change will make her into a person with a cool name.

So our character enters the book as a little bit squinty, more than a little insecure about her height, her figure, her very persona. She is not really comfortable at parties. It’s a beginning. And in my mind, it’s a lot more interesting than “Pauline strolled into the room, enjoying the envious glances of the cocktail crowd, knowing her tan was glowing in the tea-lights.”

What I’m trying to do here, I think, is to create an anti-heroine--a character for whom I can imagine a complex backstory and make sure parts of the story show through, like knees and elbows on an adolescent in too-small clothes. That’s the kind of character I like, and one I think I’ll have a chance to keep carving more and more finely until, like Pygmalion, I fall in love even with a flawed character.

I cannot help thinking here of my own character Caylith. That young lady has a long history. She has a real aversion to schools and to learning. In fact, she thinks of scholars as “squinty people.” She measures everyone in terms of how much taller they are than she. She is so self-absorbed as to totally shut out people who do not further her immediate ends. Caylith has long red hair--but it is a tangle of impossible locks, a mop that approaches dreadlocks, hair that needs to be severely braided so that people can see that she has rather a nice heart-shaped face.

Caylith decidedly thinks of herself as not-beautiful. Many of her actions can be seen in that light, and it is an important part of her psyche. Her short stature, too, explains much about her drive to excel at stick and bata fighting, her willingness to undergo harsh training under a pitiless armsman.

Her low self esteem leads eventually to her opening herself to two men who are not her husband. It is not a sexual surrender--but it might as well be, for the damage that she causes.

All these facets of Caylith do not show up in the first book. Rather, they are revealed as the series goes on. But each facet of her personality has been set years ago, and she is true to her own flawed nature. Yet she does grow and mature.

Caylith is my kind of heroine. Neither beautiful nor superbly intelligent, she is nevertheless wonderfully human.

I invite you to cast a critical eye on your own heroine (or hero). Is she perhaps a mite too pretty, too smart? Or does she have a few unusual characteristics that lift her above the conventional? If your perfect character is too perfect, maybe there’s still time to mess up her hair a little. What do you think? Does any of this apply to your own writing . . . and, if not, would you be willing to change for the sake of creating an unforgettable character?

Read about the Ireland of St. Patrick, the druids, high kings, cattle rustlers, free-booting slavers and much more . . .
. . .and watch for the trilogy-ending Captive Heart on June 12.

You can find Erin at
OQ blog:
on Facebook:
on SirenBookStrand:  (buy link)  (buy link)

Thank you so much for being our Friday Friend today, Erin. We wish you lots of success with your books and your writing career.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How Do I Love Thee?

Here are my nine loves for the week:

Family. My side of the family is pretty small. It's just Mom, Dad, sister, my hubby and me. But my hubby's side of the family totals 17 when we all get together...and it's always a blast. Both sides of the family get along incredibly well. In fact, my hubby and I take a long weekend summer vacation trip with his parents and my parents every year. When I tell people, many cringe, but for the six of us, it's one of the best things about summer.

Friends. I am so blessed to have so many good friends who share my faith and my life. Thirteen of us just got back from an 'adventure' weekend in Wisconsin and it was a blast. We went ziplining, white water rafting, and kyaking. We all stayed in a cozy house and had the best time hanging out with each other.

Books. I love books. I have a personal library with over 1,000 books in it and I keep collecting more.

Summer Vacation. It's coming soon and I cannot wait. And I get to drive my convertible every day.

My Front Porch. It's the coziest place ever for curling up with a good book, writing on my laptop, listening to music, or simply rocking in one of the chairs and waving to folks as they go by. It's also the perfect place to sit and watch/listen to a thunderstorm as it rolls on by.

My House. My hubby and I converted, renovated, and restored a 1920s two flat. It was a labor of love, which also involved a lot of blood, sweat, and tears...but we can definitely say we've made the house our own. (We still have one or two projects left which will be even more fun!)

Toddlers in Overalls. There's just nothing cuter.

Movie Nights with My Hubby. We love settling in on the couch and watching a DVD from our collection.

Country Music. It's just so real and there's a story in every song. No matter how crabby I am, music will always pick me up.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nine Things Paula Loves

1. Daffodils – my favourite flowers, because they’re a sign that winter is over and spring is here.

2. The sound of water – whether it’s waves lapping on a beach, breakers crashing against cliffs, or a mountain stream bubbling over rocks and stones.

3. Sunsets – the more fiery, the better.

4. Going out for pub lunches with a small group of friends, where we have a good laugh and quite often put the world to rights!

5. My computer, through which I’ve made so many friends in different parts of the world, people I would never have ‘met’ without the internet.

6. The smell of fresh sheets when I get into bed after the sheets have been washed and dried out on the line outside (instead of in the dryer).

7. Stationery shops and stores – I love the colours of folders, pens, notebooks and paper, as well as all the small items like paper fasteners, tags, and clips.

8. Fish and chips with mushy peas – which, for the benefit of my American friends, means white fish (cod or haddock) fried in batter and real potato chips (not French fries). Mushy peas are not simply ordinary peas which have been mushed; they’re dried marrowfat peas which are soaked overnight and then simmered until they form – well, a mush!

9. Getting to the end of the first draft of a novel. The storyline is complete, no more agonising over what happens next, but time now to go back and revise, edit and polish, which is the part I enjoy most!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Love Potion #9, AKA Nine Things Jennifer Loves

My family and friends: They’re supportive, funny, exasperating and I wouldn’t change anything about them. I love them to pieces.

Goat cheese: If it’s on it, I’ll eat it.

Chocolate: See above (I know it’s cliché for a romance writer, but I can’t help it, it’s in my DNA)

Diet coke: It’s pretty much the only reason I eat lunch.

The way light filters through trees: We had beautiful trees behind our house and I loved sitting in my family room and looking out the window. Then my neighbor cut them down and built an ugly shed. Sigh.

Reese’s Peanut Butter cups: The minis have the perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter. Yum!

Jane Eyre: My favorite book of all time. I fell in love with Mr. Rochester!

The Dictionary, Thesaurus and Bartlett’s Quotations: I love sifting through these finding new words or quotes. Yes, I was the dorky girl in the classroom who loved taking vocabulary tests. I set the curve too. I know, you hate me. J

Dirty Dancing: My favorite movie of all time. I saw it about 13 times. And then I got it out of my system. I’m not sure when I want to watch it again. And so, the DVD my husband bought me sits unopened in the box and shrink wrap. A fact about which he periodically reminds me. Oops.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Nine True confessions

I wish I could tell you I've had nine lovers, but I married young and have been admirably faithful.
So here are nine other things I love:

My children. Two daughters and a son, all above average.
My grandchildren. Three girls and a boy due to arrive in less than a month.
Baking. I make a dynamite cheesecake, but cookies don't always turn out.
Cooking. Feeding people good food.
CSA gardening. Feeding people good food.
A pantry full of canned goods and a freezer full of veggies.
White Collar (but the new season better have good plots.)
Old episodes of Dr. Who.
Romance movies and books.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Answering Questions about Writing

More answers today to your questions about writing in general.  Enjoy!

From Gilli Allan: I'd like to ask a more general question about you. I read in an earlier piece that you wrote in the 60s & 70s and then taught for 25 years, before resuming the writing. It's those 25 years I'm interested in. Were you frustrated during those years? Was your head full of stories trying to get out, or were you able to switch focus (and back again) easily?
There’s a dual answer to this, Gilli. The first is that for a lot of the time I was too busy to be frustrated. I was a head of faculty at a High School, had two teenage daughters, ran a Girl Guide unit, and directed 2 shows a year with the Junior Section of our local Musical Theatre Group. However, that didn’t completely stop me from writing. In the 90’s, I did try another novel (which was rejected – my hero wasn’t sufficiently ‘alpha’ for the climate at that time) but had a few short stories published in the ‘True Romance’ type of magazines. I also wrote articles for the Girl Guiding magazine (activity ideas for leaders to use with their units) and had my own ‘page’ in the magazine for about 5 years.

When I took early retirement from teaching in 1997, however, I didn’t immediately return to writing because I wasn’t sure that the kind of romances I wanted to write were the kind that publishers wanted. It wasn’t until 2006 that I started to write again, beginning with fan-fiction, until I realised (to my surprise) that my muse seemed to have returned. I also discovered that Mills and Boon/Harlequin were not the only publishers of romance!

From Debra St. John: Your writing career has spanned decades. Aside from the obvious (electronic publishing, small presses, etc.) what do you feel has changed most about the romance genre in that time? (content more than product)
How does your new release fit into these 'new' parameters?
This is your third release in just a couple of years. Did your process change from the first of these recent releases to this one?

I can answer these all with one word, Debra. Sex!

In the 60’s and early 70’s, M&B/Harlequin and other smaller romance publishers didn’t just keep the bedroom door closed. As far as they were concerned, there wasn’t even a bedroom! That all changed in the mid 70’s; also there was a new emphasis at that time on the rich, arrogant, domineering alpha-hero, plus what has been called the ‘rape her until she loves you’ syndrome. Fortunately that has now broadened so that today ‘romance’ can cover everything from sweet to erotic. In addition, today’s heroes don’t have to be so macho or heroines so submissive.

I hope my new release reflects the ‘middle-ground’ with a hero and heroine who have both carved out their own successful careers and who come together as equals. Sexual attraction simmers between them but I do try to make my ‘sex scenes’ sensual rather than overtly ‘erotic’.

Lastly, yes, my process has changed, mainly in the sense that I am more aware of the need for my hero and heroine to ‘grow’ in the course of the story, as they find out more about themselves and each other, as well as trying to deal with their own flaws and failings.

From Brenda Moguez: When you're working on a new book, do you outline ahead of time, or write as you go along?
It varies, Brenda. I never plot in detail, but sometimes I have what a call a ‘fluid outline’ in my mind. Other times I have a start and a few vague ideas about what might happen, and I just let them roll. That can backfire on me, when it doesn’t come together as I write, and I have to go back and sort it out. Quite often, I let my characters show me the way as I get to know them better. Sometimes I have to haul them back, but they do seem to lead me on to things I hadn’t thought about originally which are often better than my original ideas.

Glynis Smy: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Good question, Glynis – where does any writer get inspiration from? My first novel ‘His Leading Lady’ arose from my love of musical theatre. ‘Fragrance of Violets’ came from my love of the English Lake District and one of the villages there. ‘Changing the Future’ grew from a story I originally wrote about 30 years ago which, in turn, was partly based on a story I wrote in my teens. And my next book’ Her Only Option’ (to be released next November) was inspired by a Nile cruise I did 18 months ago. Inspiration can come from so many different sources.

From Jennifer Wilck: Why do you write contemporary romance versus other types of romance, and would you consider expanding into other areas?
I’ve written contemporary romance since I was in my teens, and my early published romances were all contemp. romances. It’s my ‘natural’ form of writing, I guess! I’ve no interest at all in paranormal, fantasy or that kind of romance. I’m sometimes asked why I don’t write historical romances since I’m an historian by profession but, maybe because it was my profession, I appreciate all too well amount of research I would have to do to write an accurate historical novel (and not just a modern story in fancy dress!).

Who do you create first, your hero or heroine, and why?
The heroine comes first. I wrote my early novels at the time when they had to be written completely from the heroine’s point of view. So she comes first together with her emotional state at the basic ‘starting’ scenario where she meets the hero (or he reappears in her life). Then I have to think about ‘him’ and where he is emotionally at that point when they meet.

From Ana Morgan: You are a natural dialogue writer. What's your secret?
Thanks, Ana – and I think the  only ‘secret’ is that I hear the voices in my head! My characters talk and I write down what they say! I’ve also discovered (fairly recently actually) that reading my work out loud can highlight areas where the characters might sound stilted or unnatural.

From Jo Heroux: You already know that I love your writing. You already know that I am a personal fan, as well. So my obvious question is the book is finished, well, you think it is. How do you begin to 'shop' your work? Is an agent necessary? Is there a way to get a publisher to WANT your book?
And then, do you write to the publishers requests or do you write and then find a publisher that publishes your style and subject?
Thanks for your kind words, Jo, I really appreciate your support. I’ll answer your last question first: I write the stories I want to write! Then I search for a publisher who I think (hope!) might be interested in them. Back in the 60’s, when I first started writing, there weren’t a lot a romance publishers; today there are dozens, if not hundreds. Many of these accept unagented submissions. I joined romance authors’ loops and found out from these about various publishers. I looked at the submission guidelines, studied the different genres they published (and the heat levels), and downloaded and read some of their books, in order to get the feel of what they wanted and then compared them with my own stories. I also asked some author friends I made via these loops about their experiences with different publishers.
I think the only way to get a publisher to ‘want’ your book is to present the submissions editor with a ‘blurb’ and ‘synopsis’ which interests them and then with a well-written book that meets their requirements.

From Daphne Romero: Hi Paula, I would like to know how you got started, once you completed your first story... to have a book published... how did you know who to contact... how'd you get your foot in the door, in the world of published books... ??

Daphne, I was incredibly lucky with the first novel I wrote back in the 60’s. I knew of only 3 romance publishers at the time, so sent my ms. off to one of them, fully expecting it to come back by return of post with a rejection, but it was accepted. When I started writing fiction again 4 years ago, and submitting my stories, I did have the advantage of being able to list my 4 early books on my resume. But, as I’ve said to Jo in my answer above, now it’s a case of researching publishers and also reading the kind of books they publish to see if yours is anything like their usual kind of book.

From Jenn Duffy-Pearson: Which part of the writing process do you find most difficult? Which do you find the easiest?

The first draft is by far the hardest. As Gilli once said, it’s like carving granite with a teaspoon! Once I’ve finished that, it starts to get easier. First, detailed revision, adding layers to characters and scenes, and sometimes ruthless deleting (ouch! But it has to be done). Then the ‘technical’ editing – searching for clichés, ‘ly’ words, overused words – all the things we’re advised to avoid. My final edit is polishing i.e. reading aloud which helps me to spot words and phrases which don’t sound right I won’t say this is the easiest part, but it’s the part I enjoy the most.

Advice for some of us still putting our first work together? Read the genre you want to write, simply to get a feel for it. Then join a writers’ group or find a couple of critique partners (preferably those who write the same genre as you). Not friends or relatives but someone who will give you an unbiased opinion and help you to see where your work can be improved. It may take some time to find critique partner(s) you can work with and trust, but, believe me, once you’ve found them, they’re worth their weight in gold!
And finally, persevere! Don’t be put off by any rejections. Pick yourself up, and work hard at improving your writing and your stories. If you want to do it enough, you’ll keep at it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Questions - and Answers

Following my request last week for questions about my latest release and /or about writing generally, I was delighted at all the interesting questions you sent. As there are so many, today I’m answering the ones specifically about my latest release ‘Changing the Future’, and tomorrow I’ll answer the more general ones about writing.

Lisa Marshall is stunned when celebrated volcanologist Paul Hamilton comes back into her life at the college where she now teaches. Despite their acrimonious break-up several years earlier, they soon realise the magnetic attraction between them is stronger than ever. However, the past is still part of the present, not least when Paul discovers Lisa has a young son. They can’t change that past, but will it take a volcanic eruption to help them change the future?  (Available from Amazon)

From Erin O’Quinn: The volcano itself is a powerful image. Can you give us a few hints of how you used the symbol throughout your new book ‘Changing the Future’?
This question made me think, Erin! I don’t think I consciously used it as a symbol but, in fact, the analogy is there throughout the book! Maybe my subconscious was at work?
(a) Volcanoes are usually found where tectronic plates are converging or diverging. In this case, the two lead characters are ‘converging’ after several years apart.
(b) The early signs of possible volcanic eruptions are (amongst other things) increased seismic activity and/or gas emissions; this could represent the words and actions of Lisa and Paul that gradually become more intense.
(c) Of course, not even the best experts can predict the exact moment when a volcano will erupt. They can monitor the changes and may know from these that an eruption is imminent, even inevitable. In the same way, I think my readers will recognise the ‘signs’ of an inevitable eruption in Lisa and Paul’s relationship, but even my two characters were taken by surprise about how and when it actually happened.

From Lindsay Townsend: How did you research what volcanologists do? And do such experts share certain characteristics which you could show in your novel?
I won’t pretend I’m an expert on volcanoes, Lindsay, although I did do a mass of research, 99% of which I didn’t use, but still needed to do to ensure the other 1% was reasonably accurate. In particular, apart from the ‘theoretical’ information about volcanic activity, I read a lot of first-hand accounts about eruptions and also watched dozens of videos!
As far as volcano experts are concerned, I got the impression that they work closely together and respect each other’s expertise. Thus I had Paul in close contact with the head of the Iceland Volcano Research Centre, and with other geologists.

From Jennifer Wilck: What first attracted you to the idea of making your hero a volcanologist?
Would you believe he started out as a High School geography teacher? That was back in the 70’s when I first wrote this story. When I dug the ms. out of a box into which I’d dumped my stories, I decided I needed to ‘upgrade’ him to the top of his profession. I’m not really sure how or why I decided he was a volcano expert. Maybe it was a kind of progression from geography to geology to a specialist who might also be a television ‘celebrity’. The Iceland volcanic ash cloud a couple of years ago played a part in this decision too.

From Elizabeth Rodriguez: In your latest book, one of the main characters is a volcanologist! That is a bit off the beaten path - how did you come up with it? Did you research volcanoes? Did you find out anything interesting?
Elizabeth, you’ll see part of my answer to you in the above answer to Jennifer. When I decided that was my hero’s job, I then had to do a huge amount of research. I admit I didn’t understand some of it! But I still found it fascinating. I think the most interesting was all the information about the eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980, and also the reasons why the Icelandic ash cloud caused such problems a couple of years ago when other eruptions in Iceland don’t have the same effect.

From Linda Swift: Paula, this is more than one question but all related. Where is the setting of this story? Did the plot involving volcanoes require a lot of research? Are you setting us up with the foreshadowing that the heroine's son may belong to the hero or just being upfront about it from the get-go? Now I HAVE to read the story and find the answers!
Linda, the first part of the story is set in an imaginary college on the edge of the Lake District which, as you already know, is my favourite part of England. I could have located the collage anywhere really, so why not the Lake District? It’s easier for me to write about places I know personally. I did take the hero and heroine to New York for a short time, but again, I’ve been there several times, so I’m reasonably familiar with it. The scenes set in Iceland presented a different problem, as I have never been there, so had to rely on maps, photos, and videos to give me an idea of the landscape etc. As I explained in my previous answers, I did a lot of research and made pages of notes about volcanoes, the ongoing monitoring even of dormant volcanoes, and the causes/signs of volcanic activity and eruptions. And I’m totally upfront in the story about the child being the hero’s. For the rest, yes, you’ll have to read it!

From Nancy Jardine: So, what would make him doubt the boy is his?
Without giving a real spoiler, I can’t answer this one, Nancy! Maybe it’s enough to say he hasn’t seen the heroine for over 5 years, when they split up because... no, can't say any more.

From Betty Alark: Is Lisa's son Paul's? Is Lisa presently in a relationship with someone that is the child's father and if so what future can Lisa and Paul have without affecting the lives of the people that she presently has a life with?
You’re asking me to give away the whole story here, Betty! I can tell you that yes, Lisa’s son is Paul’s. That information is revealed on page 3, so I’m not giving too much away there. Regarding any other relationship, my lips are sealed! You’ll have to read the book!

From Carol: Will there be a prequel to explain how they got together originally?
Carol, I hope there is enough in the story to give the reader a pretty good idea of how they first got together and why they broke up.

From Ana: What was the hardest part of writing ‘Changing the Future’, and what was the easiest?
I think the hardest part was deciding which scenes from the original to retain and which to ditch! I had no problem abandoning the ‘flashback’ scenes, but then had to find some way of incorporating enough about their earlier relationship for the reader to get an idea of the love they’d once shared. Easiest part? Difficult to say! Sometimes the tricky scenes flow, and the easy scenes become the hardest to write. Probably the easiest part to write was when Lisa finds out the volcano has erupted, because I was living through her panic and dread all the time I was writing about this.

Please come back tomorrow to look at the questions about writing in general, and see my answers!
Tomorrow’s questions are from Gilli Allan, Debra St John, Brenda Moguez, Glynis Smy, Jennifer Wilck, Jo Heroux, Daphne Romero and Ana Morgan.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Did You Know?!

I graduated college in three and half years because I took more-than-the-limit of credit hours each semester my freshman, sophomore, and junior years.

I never call my husband by his real name. I call him "Bubba" and that nickname has stuck. All of our Goddaughters call him that, too. (If I call him "John", it's really, really weird.)

I met my husband at a bar.

I met a friend at that same bar who hooked me up with my local RWA chapter and got me on the road to being a "real" writer. (Golly I miss that bar...a lot of good things happened there.)

I live in a house that's almost 100 years old.

I live in one of the towns I briefly lived in with my parents while growing up. (We moved around a lot.)

I wanted to date, then marry a rock star when I was in high school. (Not a specific one, just any guy with long hair who sang.)

I still read Nancy Drew books.

I am a huge Star Wars geek. (I mean HUGE.) But Luke Skywalker annoys me. I am all about Han Solo. Although I do love Anakin, too.

I am also a big fan of Mickey Mouse.

There you have it. Ten 'secrets' about me!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Paula's 10 'Secrets'

A real mixed bag here, as I thought of different things – not exactly secrets, but things you might not know about me! So, as they say, not in any particular order …

The drunken sea-captain or
the Methodist minister? Guess!
1. One of my great-great-grandfathers was fired from his job as a Captain with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for being drunk in charge of his ship. To counterbalance this, another of my g-g-grandfathers was a minister in the Primitive Methodist Church and, presumably, a strict teetotaller! The photo is the oldest family photo I have - not sure of the year, but my grandfather said it was his grandfather.

2. I’ve been going ten-pin bowling regularly for about ten years – and am still useless! Any (occasional) good score I get is pure luck!

3. I hate spiders, wasps, and daddy-long-legs.

4. I’m addicted to diet cola – no, not Coca-Cola, I mean the cheap supermarket cola.

5. My first published book was ‘due out’ on the same day (May 1st, 1968) as my second daughter. Daughter arrived 10 days early, on April 21st, and I got the print (hardback!) copies of my books 10 days late, on May 10th.

6. I score quite highly in trivia quizzes (having a squirrel-type mind for useless trivia) but often can’t remember what someone said to me yesterday or what I did last week.

7. My very first celebrity crush was Pat Boone – I had pictures of him all over my bedroom wall when I was about 12. And I can still remember all my other teenage crushes!

8. I’ve never been able to eat ‘raw’ cheese, but can eat it cooked e.g. on pizza, lasagne etc - not sure why!

9. And now a couple of ‘confessions’: I sneaked a camera in my bag at a B...ham Palace Garden Party (no cameras allowed!) and took a photo of the side and back of the palace (which is actually the front, but we won’t go into that). Didn’t dare take a photo of the Queen though!

10. Another one: There was standing room only in the 2nd class area of a train from Nice to Marseilles, so I found a seat in an almost-empty first class compartment, and then pretended I didn’t understand the train conductor when he told me I was in the wrong place and would have to pay a large surcharge. He eventually gave up (with a stereotypical French shrug) and so I kept my seat all the way to Marseilles!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 Secrets About Jennifer

A man's true secrets are more secret to himself than they are to others.--Paul Valery

This week, we decided that our posts would include 10 secrets about ourselves or our characters. Oy. I hate secrets. Or, should I say, I’m not good at revealing things about myself. In fact, I’m so good at keeping things to myself, that I’m the one most people tell their secrets to! Luckily for them, I won’t be revealing them here. Instead, I’m supposed to reveal my own. Well, I don’t guarantee that they’re anything salacious, but here goes:

1)      You know that joint at the base of your thumb that enables you to touch your pinky? Well, mine don’t bend. When I was in school, I remember my art teacher talking about how opposable thumbs separate humans from apes and thinking that I was less evolved than the rest of my class (and hiding my hands under the table). The first thing I did when my children were born was to check to make sure their thumbs bend (they do).

2)      I hate all forms of public speaking. I’m required to do it quite frequently, but it doesn’t get any easier.

3)      My hair started turning grey in college. I’ve been coloring it for years. I’d like to be one of those women with beautiful grey hair, but I doubt I will be.

4)      My grandmother died of a horrible disease when I was six. When I got older and missed her, I used to pretend she was a secret spy somewhere. I still miss her.

5)      I believe in ghosts.

6)      I am very gullible.

7)      I have a lot more confidence inside my head than I do in reality.

8)      My least favorite question is “How are you?” I never know if I should answer truthfully or not, so I always just say “Fine.” Even when I’m not.

9)      I still remember every embarrassing thing I’ve ever done, even though I know most of them aren’t that embarrassing (nope, not telling what they are here—sorry! J).

10)   My mother was right a lot more often than I admitted. Still not telling her that, though. J

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day on a farm

Today is Mother's Day, but on a farm in springtime, it's almost like any other day.
Here's what I did today:
1. Water flats of plants too tender to transplant into the garden.
2. Water plants already set in because it's forgotten to rain.
3. Carry 5-gallon buckets of water to the calves tied to tractor tires grazing the front yard.
4. Bake a Honey Bee coffee cake to bring to work tomorrow. It's yummy. Recipe below.
5. Grind coffee beans to go with said cake.
6. Finish washing pots and utensils used in yesterday's craft show.
7. Fold tablecloths and aprons used in yesterday's craft show.
8. Organize packets of veggie seeds to plant tomorrow.
9. Talk to daughters and granddaughter wishing me a happy day!
10. Call my mom!

Quick Honey Bee Coffee Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Stir together:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut in:
1/2 cup butter

Break into a measuring cup:
1 egg
Fill with milk enough to make 1 cup.

Beat and add to dry ingredient with:
1 teaspoon vanilla.

Pour batter into a greased 9x13 inch pan and cover with:

Honey Bee Glaze:
Stir and bring to the boiling point over low heat:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Bake coffee cake until done, about 25 minutes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Friend - Glynis Smy

Glynis Smy was born in England, in the coastal town of Dovercourt, near Harwich. Essex. She left town to nurse in London, and lived there for the first few months of her marriage. The newlyweds moved to Lavenham in Suffolk, and started their family. Three children, two pharmacies, a nursing career later, Glynis is now free to write. Emigrating to Cyprus with her husband in 2005 enabled her to concentrate on writing poetry, little did she know where it would lead.

How do I describe how I went from nursing to writing novels?

Having always kept my poems in a drawer, I decided to celebrate my fiftieth birthday by publishing them in a book. My birthday gift to me. This was followed by a second. I received an email from a writer who told me how much she enjoyed reading my work and had purchased both books. An on-line friendship formed, and for three years, five months, Jan Harper and I communicated every day. And I mean, every day. She encouraged me to write articles and advertisements for various sites, but each day she asked for a poem.

One day I surprised her and wrote a short story. In a flurry of excitement in a typo ridden email, Jan exclaimed it would be better as a novel, and if I ever mentioned her typos to our online writing group, she would delete my email address. I rose to her challenge - and kept her secret. In true Jan style, she encouraged me every step of the way. When I hadn’t heard from my friend for five days, I was concerned, I sent email after email. At the end of the week Jan’s family contacted me. They told me she was in the hospice, and she asked them to let me know time was not on her side, she had hidden her cancer from us all. Sadly I lost my friend, and ironically it was the day I wrote The End on the novel.

Slowly the writing world rallied around me, and drew me into the community. With the support of  author, Talli Roland,  a new writing friend at the time, I found my genre. I love the Victorian era, and get carried away with researching for my novels, often procrastinating for hours on an attractive website or two.

My first novel is now making its debut appearance, and is called, Ripper, My Love. It is an historical romance suspense. It can be purchase on and co. uk. in paperback and Kindle version. Barnes and Noble, Book and UK.  The Kindle version is on a special low price for a month: 99c/77p, to celebrate the book launch. It is dedicated to Jan, and her family are still in touch.

I was inspired by Jack the Ripper, and the fact no one to this day knows who he was. 2013 marks 125 years since the notorious murderer made history.

Growing up in late nineteenth century East London, Kitty Harper’s life is filled with danger and death – from her mother, her beloved neighbour and the working women of the streets.
With her ever-watchful father and living surrogate family though, Kitty feels protected from harm. In fact, she feels so safe that while Whitechapel cowers under the cloud of a fearsome murderer, she strikes out on her own, moving into new premises to accommodate her sewing business.
But danger is closer than she thinks. In truth, it has burrowed itself right into her heart in the form of a handsome yet troubled bachelor, threatening everything she holds dear. Will Kitty fall prey to lust – and death – herself, or can she find the strength inside to fight for her business, sanity and her future? And who is the man terrifying the streets of East London?
The book is not written about Jack the Ripper as history portrays him, it shares a personality formed purely from the my imagination. Nor is Jack the lead character. Kitty Harper (note she borrowed my friend’s surname), developed into a determined young woman and pushed her way to the forefront of the story becoming the main character. This feminine, gullible, young woman with the ability to overcome, has now become the style of woman I write about in my novels. My second novel, an historical romance; Maggie’s Child, will be published at Christmas. Novel three, another historical romance; The Man in Room Eighteen, takes me back to  my roots and is based in my UK, hometown.
You can find more about Glynis here:
I run a blog in the memory of my friend. We set it up to help authors showcase their books. New Book Blogger accepts all genres and will accept books published for many years, not just new.
My personal author blog is www. glynissmy. com and I can be found on Twitter at times, and Facebook (author timeline where I play with friends, communicate with writers), Facebook author page. I enjoy Goodreads as another place to pass the time with readers and writers.
When not writing, I create greetings cards to raise funds for a tiny hospice in Paphos. I also enjoy cross stitch and roaming the vineyards with our four dogs. Another favourite pastime is to sit on the back porch under the Cyprus sky with a glass (or two), of village wine, counting my blessings.

Thank you so much for being our Friday Friend, Glynis. We wish you every success in your writing career!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Z is for Zach

Zach Rawlings is one of my favorite heroes.

Okay. True. I say that about all of my heroes at some point in time. What can I say? I'm fickle, but also hopelessly devoted to each and every one of them.

Zach first appeared in my debut book This Time for Always as a secondary character. I always knew he needed a story of his own, but I honestly intended to write another character's story before his and save Zach for the last book of the trilogy. But it didn't happen that way. Zach had other ideas.

It started when I found the ideal setting for a book. A friend invited us to her uncle's cabin in the Missouri Ozarks. As soon as I saw the place, I knew I had to use it as the setting for a book. On the way home in the car, I even visualized several scenes in my head. Now mind you, I didn't have any characters or any ideas for a story at that point, but hey, you've got to start somewhere...why not with the setting? As I pondered this for several months...okay, okay...years, I also would ponder Zach's story from time to time. Like I said, I knew he needed a story, I just wasn't sure what it was. But I would think about it on occassion. Although, honestly, I was going to start with my bull rider and then figure out what to do with Zach.

Then one day it hit me. Zach's story would be set at the cabin. Once I'd made the connection, the story came to life. And got written before the bull rider's. Which I'm still working on revising. But I digress...that's the topic for another post.

It was fun to have Zach and Jessica explore real places that I visit each year. I even crafted scenes around various locations.

And Zach got his story. Before Jake. But that's okay...Jake didn't mind.

At a writers' conference I attended a couple weeks ago I picked up some Romance Trading Cards. Kind of like baseball cards, but featuring romance characters. Just another fun promotional tool. So I decided to play around and see what Zach's would look like.

Now, it's only a rough, thrown together draft, but here's what I came up with:

Obviously I need to do some tweaking with margins and things, but I was pretty pleased with my first attempt. (I know it's a little tricky to read in this post.) The front would feature the cover of the book.

The ones I picked up were professionally done of course, and I thought they were a cute idea and a twist on the standard bookmark. So maybe something to consider in the future. It might be fun to make sets of them for books or series and include the heroes and heroines, and even secondary characters even if they don't have or won't get their own stories. Little packages would make nice bling for conference goodie bags.

For now, Zach has his story and a mocked up trading card. What more could a hero ask for?!

Until next time,

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The dictionary defines zest (in addition to the outermost part of orange and lemon ring) as ‘keen, hearty pleasure’ or ‘excitement and enjoyment.’
By rights, I should be feeling extremely ‘zestful;’ right now. My new novel, ‘Changing the Future’ comes out next week, and my first published excerpt earlier this week (on Six Sentence Sunday) got some ‘rave’comments.

So why I am feeling decidedly ‘un’-zestful?

Is it because by the time you get to the publication of your third novel (or seventh, if I count my novels in the 60’s and 70’s) the excitement has worn off? No, not really, because you can still be thrilled at having a new book published, however many have gone before. In this case, it’s a story with which I struggled long and hard. I wrote the original story many years ago and it was the first one I ‘resurrected’ about four years ago when I decided to try my hand at romance novels again. Since then, it’s gone through several re-writes, not least the transfer of the story setting from the original UK setting to America and then back to the UK again, before I was happy with it! So I’m well pleased that I finally got it to publishable standard.

Having said that, by the time you are having your third novel published, your family and 'real-life' friends simply take it for granted. No longer an enthusiastic ‘Wow, that’s fantastic’; instead, a somewhat muted ‘Oh, another novel. Well done.’ So there won’t be any of the ‘whoop-de-whoop’ which greeted my first novel last year. Release day will probably mean nothing to anyone except myself and some of my online friends.

Are you starting to understand my reason for lack of zest?

Then there’s the promotion aspect. I have worked hard during the last couple of years to network and establish an online ‘presence’. I’ve spent hours (hundreds of hours!) on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and in the yahoo loops, networking and getting to know/supporting other people in addition to promoting myself. I’ve lost count of how many guest posts and interviews I’ve done on other people’s blogs over the last two years. I appreciate the opportunity to do this, of course, and I’ve made a lot of very good online friends as a result.

But how many people buy my books because of my blogs, etc? Maybe a dozen or so, if I’m lucky! A couple of months ago, I wrote a post on my blog about an author who has 3 books on Amazon (published between April 2011 and Jan 2012. She says she doesn’t spend much time on promotion, apart from writing a few blogs or guest blogs. However, in the first half of March, she sold 8686 books! If I could sell half that number in half a month, I’d be ecstatic!

With another book coming out, I have to jump on the merry-go-round again and start another round of promotion, while asking myself whether it really has any effect on book sales. And we won’t even mention the even harder job of getting reviews on Amazon or Goodreads!

I guess I’ll just have to zap up my zest level and zoom into the promo zone!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Z is for Zander (or What's In A Name?)

My maiden name is Zander. Growing up, I hated being at the end of the alphabet because school classes were always set up alphabetically, students were lined up alphabetically and teams were often chosen the same way. I was always last, or close to it. Luckily, when I was in elementary school, my principal, whose last name began with a W, used to use reverse ABC order whenever he chose people for anything.

At my wedding, my dad’s toast to my husband and me included “disappointment” that I’d only managed to move up a few places in the alphabet.

When I started writing, one of the things I had to consider was what name to use as my author name. Since my name is Wilck, the difference alphabetically isn’t huge. It used to be that you wanted an author name that worked well on the shelves in the bookstore. Ideally, you wanted to be at eye level. With the advent of electronic publishing, I wonder how important an author’s actual name is.

I’d contemplated using my middle name and going by “Jennifer Alison,” but that seemed too contrived to me. I thought of just using my maiden name, “Jennifer Zander,” but that seemed to discount everything I’ve become. Ultimately, I decided on using “Jennifer Wilck.” I don’t want to forget where I came from, but I do want to acknowledge who I am now. And you never know; being a few shelves higher than the ground in a bricks and mortar bookstore might help!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Zounds, Batman!

We did not have a television when I was young. "Go read a  book," my dad said.
I wasn't so strict with my kids. On Saturday mornings, we hung out watching cartoons. One of my favorites was the Batman series with real actors. I loved how the screen would flash with word-sounds during the ridiculous "fight" scenes. And Robin's dialogue.
Zowie. Zap. Zip. Zoom. Zilch. Zing. Zip. Zonk. Zounds. Gad Zooks.   Z-words are fun to say.

What's even more fun is that most of these words are in the dictionary!
Zounds: used to express anger, surprise, or indignation.
Zoom: making a loud low-pitched buzzing or humming sound.
Zonk: to stupefy or stun.
Zilch: something that amounts to nothing.
Zap: to strike, stun, or propel suddenly and forcefully.

Whoosh. Writers need more words that describe sounds.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Friend - Rosemary Gemmell and Tween Fiction

A warm welcome to today's Friday Friend, Rosemary Gemmell, who tells us about writing for the tween market:

Many thanks to Paula for inviting me onto the lovely Heroines with Hearts blog and allowing me to talk about tween fiction.

Considering I’ve written short stories and articles for the women’s magazine and general market, and my first published novel last year, Dangerous Deceit, was a historical set during the Regency era, writing for tweens might seem a surprising departure. But my recently published short novel, Summer of the Eagles, is aimed at the 10-14 age group.

I was asked about the difference in writing for younger people and suddenly realised I’ve often used younger characters in my stories. One short story awaiting publication in the woman’s magazine, My Weekly, is told from the viewpoint of the 14 year old protagonist, while another story that won a major Writing Magazine competition some years ago was told in the first person voice of the 16 year old heroine. Then three stories aimed at the 8-10 age group were published in three different anthologies from Bridge House Publishing.

I reached the conclusion that I write for whatever age group suits the story I want to tell. Summer of the Eagles was always going to be a full length story about the 13 year old heroine, Stevie. Although I partly wrote it for the teen still in me, I aimed it at young people on that cusp of puberty between carefree childhood and teenage angst, but made it even worse by making Stevie an orphan. My own father died when I was twelve, and it affected my eleven year old brother even more deeply.

But I’m not a big fan of purely issue-led children’s novels, unless they contain some added adventure, mystery or fantasy. I know there are two trains of thought on this, but personally I think young people have enough real-life traumas these days, in their own lives or experienced through television, film and media, and I particularly enjoy some kind of escapism in my own reading. Since I also love wildlife (like many young people), I added a bird sanctuary and danger from poachers, which allowed Stevie to develop an interest outside of her own grief.

My main interest, however, is the fantasy/allegorical character of Karig, the strange boy in the hills with his closeness to the eagles. Stevie is a young girl coping with loss, physical hurt, and the trauma of being sent to an island and aunt she hardly knows. We all need someone in whom to confide and Stevie finds it in Karig. As well as my own fascination with eagles and their symbolism, I hoped this would be an added interest for young readers. The story seems to be appealing to older female readers too - perhaps a hint of nostalgia for their own youth.

Although I make a conscious effort to write in a slightly snappier way for younger readers, it’s best not to use current slang that might date too quickly. I think it’s more about trying to understand their interests and outlook while telling a pacy enough story. Since Summer of the Eagles is published by a Canadian company (with an American editor), and is largely for the transatlantic market, that was an added consideration. A steep learning curve in some ways as our expressions and formality are so different at times. While allowed to keep UK spelling and Scottish expressions where appropriate, I did have to change my usual style a little. I truly appreciated making my writing more active and immediate, while getting rid of certain unnecessary repetitions, and it’s something I’m taking into all my writing. Summer of the Eagles is a long way from the more formal writing style of my historical - but in exactly the same way, it’s all about finding the right balance for the target reader.

Although I’ve had some lovely reviews from adult readers, I’m hoping to get some feedback soon from a couple of younger readers. And that’s a more scary thought!

Blurb: Summer of the Eagles

Thirteen year old Stephanie (Stevie) loses her parents in a terrible accident, leaving her lame. Stevie’s dreams of running for Scotland are over. No longer able to cope with Stevie’s moods, Gran sends her to an aunt on a Scottish island.
Although Stevie gradually makes new friends and discovers an interest in the bird sanctuary, she soon falls into danger from two bird poachers intent on harming the eagles.
Karig, a strange boy in the hills, helps Stevie to heal. Does he have anything to do with the eagles or the painted rocks and legends of the island?’

Summer of the Eagles is available from MuseItUp Publishing
Amazon UK 
Amazon US

Rosemary Gemmell is a prize-winning freelance writer of short stories and articles in national magazines, the US and online. Three children’s stories are published in different anthologies. Now writing full-length fiction, her first historical novel, Dangerous Deceit, was published by Champagne Books in May 2011 (as Romy). Her first tween novel, Summer of the Eagles, is published by MuseItUp Publishing (as Ros). She is a member of her local writing group and the Scottish Association of Writers, the Society of Authors, the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Scottish Fellowship of Christian Writers. She is married with two grown-up children and loves to dance!
Flights of Imagination - (children’s writing)
Reading and Writing – (main blog)
Romancing History – (historical)
Twitter: @rosemarygemmell

Thank you so much for being with us here today, Rosemary, and for sharing the background of Summer of the Eagles with us. We wish you every success with it, and with your future writing career.