Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

It's the last day of 2010. Where has the decade gone? My husband and I have never been ones to go out on New Year's Eve and tonight will be no different. In fact, I'll probably be fast asleep when the clock hits midnight. I did stop by the store yesterday planning on buying a bottle of champagne for tonight, but I've never liked champagne. Instead, I purchased my favorite bottle of wine, French Lick Red, made at a local winery.

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions, I never stick to them. I would rather call this my "To Do" list for 2011.

1. Lose weight (again)
2. Complete at least one new book and maybe two
3. Find a new day job (this one is leaving me no extra time)
4. Clean off our bookshelves and donate our old books to the local book swap
5. Fill up said bookshelf with new books
6. Go somewhere on vacation instead of just staying home for a week
7. Attend one or two writers' conferences
8. Try my hand at writing a couple short stories

I know that's not a very big list, but as things change in my life goals are completed and new ones added. That why I don't make resolutions, a To Do list can be changed, Resolutions aren't suppose to change.

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Goodbye 2010 and on to a New Year and a New Book

Wow, where has the year gone? It really seems like 2010 flew by. Below, I have tried to recap my years.

January: I started marketing my newly released novel and it was a learn as you go process. If I had only known more about marketing when the book came out, it might have done even better than it did. I had one online interview in this month.

February: After taking a month off from writing while doing the marketing of Love, Lies & Deceit, I started back to working on a manuscript that I had started in November 2009 for NaNo. This was also a big month for me because I did my first live interview on BlogTalkRadio.

March: This month, I only had one interview on Roseanne Dowell's Author Blog and I continued working on my current manuscript. I bought a laptop computer this month. I'd wanted one forever and finally saved enough money to make the purchase.

April: This was an interesting month for me as I was transferred to a new job at work. It wasn't one that I would have chosen, but I needed a job and had to do it.

May: Starting that new job meant a lot of time on the road during the day and only time to write in the evening or on weekends. No more writing over lunch. Thank goodness the days were getting longer. My daughter and her husband came to visit over Mother's Day weekend. They live out of state and we only get to see them a few times a year.

June: I'm not a fan of summer and this one was a hot one. The air conditioner went out in my car and I was pretty drained after a day of driving to destinations for work. My writing time was now limited to weekends.

July: I had hoped to attend the Romance Writers of America national convention at the end of this month. It was being held in Nashville, Tennessee, which was within driving distance of where I live. That meant I wouldn't have to pay for a flight and only had to come up with the money for the hotel and registration. That trip went down the drain (no pun intended) when the Opryland Hotel flooded and shut down through October. The convention was moved to Orlando, Florida. So much for that trip.

August: I desperately wanted to attend a writer's conference this year and when I found out that the Magna cum Murder mystery writer's conference was being held in October in Muncie, Indiana, I had to try and attend. I scheduled my vacation at work to coincide with the conference and started saving my travel reimbursement checks from work for the trip. I also finished the manuscript this month that I had been working on. The editing began.

September: I put my mind to marketing my book again this month and was able to be interviewed on four blogs this month, while also editing my recently completed manuscript.

October: This was a big month for me. In keeping up with my marketing plan, I had two blog interviews this month and was also the subject of a college project by a friend's daughter who attends Purdue University and is majoring in Professional Writing. We did several interviews via email about my career as a writer. For a short period of time, I thought I wasn't going to be able to attend the Magna cum Murder conference, but my friend and fellow author, Marian Allen came to the rescue. I was able to attend and even rode up and roomed with Marian and another author, T. Lee Harris. We had a great time and I met some wonderful authors at the conference.

November: This was NaNoWriMo month. The book I chose to write this month was a sequel to the one I started working on last November. I wanted to try my hand at writing a contemporary mystery. I didn't make it to the goal of 50,000 words, but I did get almost five chapters written and was very pleased with my final word count.

December: The college project I was the subject of was finished and Abbey received a grade of A on it. Congrats to her. I always take December off from writing as a little break after participating NaNo in November. So, no writing this month, but that doesn't mean that I didn't keep my mind on goals for the new year.

So, here I am in the last week of 2010 working on my goals for 2011. I have a few partially completed manuscripts and need to decide which one I want to work on next. Do I want to continue with writing romantic suspense, or do I want to switch to straight contemporary mystery? I also plan on getting the last four chapters of my completed manuscript edited and the dreaded synopsis written, hopefully by the end of January. Then, in February I can start sending it out to publishers. A new day job would also be nice, one where I don't have to work in a different office almost every day. I also have a short story, the only short story I have ever written, that I want to try and put up as a Kindle download. Wish me luck on that. Beyond that, I have no idea where 2011 is going to take me. Hopefully, another book contract lays ahead. Stay tuned and see what happens.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish a very Merry Christmas to you and your families. I'll be spending my Christmas with my family today. My husband gave me a Kindle a few months ago as my main Christmas present, but he also gave me a couple DVD's and a bag of my favorite bite-size candy bars last night.

We received a couple inches of snowfall on the ground overnight. First white Christmas in a while. I made sure I filled our birdfeeder yesterday, so they are taken care of today. My cat is lazily sleeping upstairs on my bed after feasting on a can of special cat food. He only gets canned food at Christmas and I'll be going out in a few minutes to feed my dog his can of food. Then, I'll be putting the finishing touches on a cauliflower and broccoli salad that I'll be taking to my mom's later. The rest of the day may be spent napping.

Enjoy your day and hug your love ones.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Final Word Count

NaNo is finally over and I finished with 14,018 words. As the comments from my last post came in, I was a little puzzled. Why were people trying to reassure me that I was doing good with my NaNo word count? Then, I reread my post. I guess it did sound like I was a bit discouraged with my progress. Actually, that was the complete opposite. I'm extremely proud that I finished with the number I did. My accomplishments for the month:

1. I wrote for 21 out of the 30 days in November,
2. I started the second book in a series, with the first one being my NaNo book last year,
3. I completed 5 chapters of my novel,
4. I figured out a great writing schedule that I can hopefully keep up with, and
5. I developed some phenomenal characters.

So you see, you don't have to complete the 50,000 words in NaNo to consider yourself a winner.

What's next? I'm taking the rest of this week off from writing and then start back on the novel that I was editing before NaNo started. I really hope to get it submitted by the end of the month. I've also entered a contest where the grand prize is representation by a literary agent. Again, I don't expect to be the winner, but I'll go into more detail in a later post about that after the winner is announced. Finally, I would like to get my short story, the only short story I have ever written, published as a Kindle Single. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Congratulations to all of the NaNo'ers who did complete the 50,000 words, especially Marian Allen and T. Lee Harris. I'm proud of you, ladies. Also, congrats to everyone else that busted their butts and wrote however words you could. You are all winners to me.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Final NaNo Countdown

There's five days left until NaNo ends and my word count is at 12,074. Not my best, but definitely not my worst. It's been difficult finding time to write during the past week. A trip to the ER with a family member last Sunday and followup doctor visits this week has really slowed my writing. I had intended on writing a message here about how to manage finding time to write during Thanksgiving week, but since I wasn't able to do that myself, I figured it wouldn't hold much validity. I know I won't make the 50, 000 words again this year, but I am not giving up and am going to try and at least write something every day until the end of the month.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Meeting new frinds

I was thrilled today to get to meet fellow author Molly Daniels at a Vendor Bender Festival in Davies County, Indiana. Molly had set up a table to sell her books and I appreciate that she always has my cookbook and my cards for Love, Lies & Deceit on display, too.

We had a wonder time talking about writing and family. I'm hoping to get to see her again in a few weeks at The Mockingbird Emporium bookstore. Always looking for a sale, Molly noticed the lady at the booth next to her reading a Kindle. She immediately said, "She's reading a Kindle" and jumped up to take her one of her bookmarks. I joined in, just happening to also have my own bookmarks. Poor lady, I'm sure she thought we were crazy. But, she was nice about it and we had a good discussion about Kindles and Sony e-readers. She was also nice enough to take the picture above of Molly and myself.

My visit with Molly was cut way too short because I had to rush off to the Dubois County (Indiana) Public Library to participate in a NaNoWriMo Write-in. I had a really good time meeting new writers and am planning on attending the event with them again next week. I had hoped to write 1000 words while there and, thanks to my miscalculation, thought I had made it when I left. Once I got home and actually figured it out, I had only written about 700 words. Hopefully, I can write those last 300+ words tonight.

All and all, it was a really great day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

NaNo Week Two coming to an end

One of these days I'm going to reach retirement age and actually have time to do things. Today isn't going to be one of those days, in fact tomorrow isn't either. My NaNo words have reached 5,000 and I'm happy with that, although again, I'm way behind schedule.

I'm afraid I may not get many words in today. In about an hour, I'm off to the Ophthalmologist for my final follow-up exam for a study I took part in when I had my cataract surgery about six months ago. He will be dilating my eyes, which means everything will be a blur until later tonight. I'm hoping to get a few words in before I leave and again tonight once I can see clearly again. I know they say no editing with NaNo, but seriously my Word program would explode trying to figure out what I typed, if I did so while dilated.

Tomorrow, I'm off to a festival to meet fellow romance author, Molly Daniels. I'm really looking forward to meeting Molly in person. We live only a few hours from each other, but something has always happened when I have tried to arrange something for us. Tomorrow may finally be the day. On the way home, I will be stopping by the Dubois County (Indiana) Public Library for a NaNo Write-in, where I'll meet other crazies like me who are trying to write a book in 30 days. I can't wait.

As for my NaNo book, the detective has just received confirmation of the identification of the murder victim, but now has to go interview her parents. Here's the blurb for my book:

When a millionaire's daughter is found hanging from a tree in the Mystic, Massachusetts cemetery, witchcraft is suspected. Police Detective Nathan Perry is assigned to the case and works closely with a pretty female P.I. hired by the victim's father to find who murdered his daughter.

I normally write romantic suspense, but this book is going to be a contemporary mystery and the second in a series I am working on featuring Police Detective Nathan Perry. It will have a few romantic elements in it, but will be classified as a police procedural mystery.

Check back again for more updates.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NaNo Week One

This hasn't been my worst start for a NaNo month, but it's close. My previous post listed some of my excuses, so I won't go into any more this time. I've been bad about my organization for my NaNo this year. For those of you that know me, know that is not like me at all. I am an extremely organized person. Each year, I always download a Word Count Chart to keep track of my words. I had not done that until today. At a glance, I can see how good, or bad I am doing. I also haven't set up my three-ring binder for my research as I usually do. Instead, I am using the binder for last year's NaNo book because the one I am writing this year is a sequel. So, at least I have some of my character charts already filled in.

I won't say the Word Count Chart is the miracle cure, but I'm hoping it will help a little. This week, my day job has me working in my regular office all week, which means being able to eat lunch at my own desk instead of working in a field office and eating lunch at a fast food restaurant. I think I do some of my best writing at my own desk over lunch. Thursday and Friday I am off work. I'm hoping to play a little catch up on Thursday, but I have an eye exam on Friday and won't be able to do much writing with dilated eyes.

Oh, my word count? I'm embarrassed to say that as of last night it was only at 2371, so far behind what it should be. As soon as I get both of my blogs updated today, I'll be planting myself on the couch with my laptop and a glass of iced tea and write. Good luck to all my NaNo friends, keep up the good work.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nano Day one

For those that don't know, NaNo is National Novel Writing Month and this will be my eighth year as a participant. The concept is to write at least a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. Yesterday was day one and I pretty much blew it. I have several excuses. I just got home from a weekend away and had laundry to do, but honestly that is not a good excuse because my weekend was at a writers' conference and that motivated me to write.

I have spent the last two months working on my plot and characters but then on Saturday, I changed the whole idea of the book that I was going to write. Not exactly starting from scratch, but almost. I'm writing a sequel to the mystery that I started last year in NaNo month. At least the main character charts are usable from last year.

My daughter and her husband came home for a visit from Mississippi, but again that can't be used as an excuse because they are staying at his parents home and they were only here for about an hour before going there to sleep. They had driven all night to get home.

So, you see I have excuses, but not valid ones. Today, well I'm writing my blog instead of writing on my book, excuse #1. I'm taking my mom to a doctor appointment and then to the hospital for blood work, but I think I will be taking my Alphasmart with me so I can type while waiting.

So, check back here during the month and see my progress, or lack there of.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Magna cum Murder

Hello from Muncie, Indiana where I am attending the Magna cum Murder Writing Festival. In the picture on the left from L-R are myself, T. Lee Harris, and Marian Allen, my "partners in crime." We are having a great time and meeting so many wonderful authors and readers, both at the convention and at the hotel. We had breakfast with one of the guests of honor this morning, Caroline Todd.

If any of you are familiar with the "Voices in Mystery" PBS show in Indiana hosted by Nancy Carlson, it is taped at this conference. I met Ms. Carlson and she was so nice, but I forgot to tell her that someday I would be one of the authors that she will be interviewing on her show.

I've attended several sessions so far, but my favorite had to be Broken Bones, Ballistics, and Backdraft. It was hosted by author John Gilstrap. He was not only informative, but so entertaining. We saw a video of how different caliber ammo can do different levels of damage to the human body. He also showed a couple videos of snipers shooting someone from a mile away. I love guns and shooting, so this was right up my alley.

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to the session on technology in publishing. Then, we head home. It's been a great weekend and I am already looking forward to attending next year.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Author interview

This week, I am featured on the Greater Fort Worth Writers' blog. I really liked this interview because they came up with some different questions than my other interviews. Please stop by and say hi.


Friday, October 15, 2010

New author interview

My interview on The Embraced: Scribal Love blog is up today. If you have a moment, please stop by and take a look. Thanks.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ahhh, country living

My husband and I live in the country. We have neighbors, but can't see their houses from our house. On a clear night with a full moon, we usually hear the coyotes howling on the edge of our woods. We've lost more than one of our dogs to them in the past. Even though we have our problems with country living, I love it and wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

What problems, you ask? Well, let's see. During the wind storm we had several years ago, actually Hurricane Ike, but we don't have hurricanes in Indiana, so many trees fell in our yard, we had to put my truck in 4-wheel drive and drive it over our elevated sidewalk and through the yard around all the downed trees in order to get out. We came home from vacation once and found that a neighbor's horse had eaten every stalk of corn in our garden.

In the winter, our roads are the last to get the snow cleared off of them by the county highway department. Usually, the neighbors get their tractors out and clear the snow first. The water pipes in our house tend to freeze when the temps get down in to the single digits. But, what I think is the worst is when our spring stops running and we have no water. That's the problem right now. We're in such a drought that our spring has stopped producing water. When that happens, we have to have a load of water hauled in. Sometimes it takes a few days for our delivery to get here. When we are out of water, we cannot flush the toilet. All I can say is thank goodness the previous owners had the sense to put an outhouse out back. Ours is not the traditional wooden outhouse with the moon cut in the door. Ours is a little more substantial. Hidden in the pine trees behind our house is actually a port-a-potty that is permanently set over a concrete hole in the ground.

When we moved in here, it wasn't my first experience with an outhouse. My father used to own an old gas station that was built before indoor plumbing was popular. It was also my mom and dad's home before I was born. They lived on one side of the building while the gas station/grocery store was on the other. The only bathroom was an outhouse behind the building.

That outhouse was a "two-holer," like the the photo above. I'm not sure why there were two holes. Would you really want to sit next to someone in the outhouse like that?

So, we'll be using our outhouse until our load of water shows up. It's totally private back there, well until the neighbors drive by on their driveway next to the pine trees, or until the dog sniffs his way out there and pokes his nose in through the door that won't close all of the way.

Ah yes, I still love country living. Really, I do.


Saturday, October 2, 2010


Yes, I am doing it again. I'm a pure sucker for punishment, but I am going to participate in the NaNoWriMo again. I really must be crazy because with my new job, I don't even have time to write over lunch anymore, so I will be altering my writing schedule for at least a month and see what happens. At least this year, I have a laptop and that will help.

For those that don't know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it runs throughout the whole month of November. Sign-ups start this month on the web site link above.

The concept is that you do your best to write the first draft of a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. This will be my sixth consecutive years as a participant. I'm sad to say that I have never completed the 50,000 word mark, but that's okay, I've been close. I use NaNoWriMo as a jump start to a new novel. My Love, Lies & Deceit novel that was published was my NaNoWriMo project for 2005, and the manuscript that I just finished writing was my project novel from 2006.

There's not many rules for NaNo. The main one is no writing on the manuscript before November 1. You can do all the plotting and character development you want, as long as you haven't started writing and that's what I have been doing for the past several weeks. I have my character charts filled out and have at least the first three to four chapters plotted. Once I start typing, it may or may not follow the plot I have outlined, but that's okay.

What happens when you make it to the 50,000 words? Well, you win! Not any money, or a prize, or a publishing contract, but you win the satisfaction of knowing that you did it. Then, the real work starts in December. You need to start editing that rough draft so you can get that book published.

Good luck to all of my NaNo buddies and for anyone that wants to add me as your buddy on there, I'm langleylady.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

My tools of writing

On a recent blog interview, I was asked what tools writers need. I went with the normal answers, Internet access, pens, pencils, paper. However, I personally need a few things in additions to those I mentioned.

Coffee, I have to have coffee if it is a cool day. For instance, right now it's about 60 degrees outside and inside our house, I'm cold. We live in a log home and heat with wood and it's not nearly cold enough to build a fire in the stove. We also have electric heaters, but I don't want to run up the electric bill yet either. Besides, I love the cooler weather and a hot cup of coffee was the perfect thing this morning when I sat down to work on some edits. Normally, I drink it with just a little sugar, but this morning I added some French Vanilla Creamer. Oh my gosh, it was so good and really hit the spot.

I enjoy a good cup of hot tea, also. That's usually my choice for nighttime writing. Peppermint or chamomile are then my favorites. With tea, I have a tendency to drink it fast, too fast and then I have to stop writing to make another cup.

Music, it's not always a necessity, but I cannot write in total silence. I have to have some sort of noise in the room, so if I am writing at a coffee shop or the library, I'll make sure I've brought my MP3 player. Now, you would think the perfect music to write by would be something classical. I do have a couple CD's with soft music and either rain showers or thundershowers in the background, but I haven't put them on my MP3 player yet. Even though I do like some good orchestra music from time to time, but my choice for writing music is usually the Eagles, Boston, or Queen. Yep, classic rock is my favorite.

Finally, location, location, location. Some authors can write anywhere. I'm usually one of them, but I have a couple places that are my favorite spots. First would be my couch. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But, my husband works on weekends and I'm home alone. My back won't let me sit at a desk typing all day after doing that every day of the regular work week, so I do the majority of my writing on my couch. Some writers have to be at a desk, some outside, and some at a coffee shop. My dream is to have a small office built out in our side yard with a window in front of my desk, where I can sit and watch the deer that come into our yard to eat the persimmons, the turkeys that crisscross our yard to go to and from the woods, and my cat on the prowl to catch a mouse before it finds its way into our house.

So, now you know what keeps me writing, oh and I understand that Starbucks is now serving their Pumpkin Spice cappuccino for the season. It's probably a good thing that the nearest one is an hour drive away, or I would never get any writing done.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two New Author Interviews

Hey everyone, I have two new author interviews up on a couple of blogs. One was posted on Sunday and the other one today. You can find them at:

You Gotta Read Guest Blog at

and on

Authors Talk to Linda Sole Blog,


Sunday, September 19, 2010

My visit to the bookstore

My mom, my brother, and I made a trip to a Barnes & Noble bookstore yesterday. I think this was my first visit to this particular store, although my mom swears we had been there before. The store is in a town that is about a 90 minute drive from my house, so it's not a drive we make very often. The bookstore I normally frequent is Borders and a little closer drive. I know where everything is in that store, which is probably why I didn't really like the B&N store.

First, it was huge, two floors and we couldn't find the books we were looking for. After asking someone for help, we finally figured out most of the fiction books were on the second floor, and non-fiction on the first floor, except for the bargain books that were on tables on the first floor. I love bargain books.

The other thing I didn't like about the store is the smell of coffee throughout the whole store. No, not a bad smell. It was wonderful, kind of like right now because I have a pot brewing in the kitchen. I would have loved to have sat in their cafe, drink some coffee, and just absorb the ambiance. But, we were planning on having lunch, so we bought our books and headed out. I did get a Nevada Barr book and a James Patterson book.

Next time, I hope my mom gets a Borders gift card for her birthday.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Same inteview, different blog

Along with Megan Rose's Blog listed below, you can also find the same interview on her other blog, The Rambling Rose. Thanks.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Blog Interview

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day for me, so I wanted to post about my blog interview tonight. I am scheduled to be interviewed on Megan Rose's blog tomorrow, September 14, 2010 about my writing. Please stop by and say hi.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Upcoming Blog Interview

I will be featured in an interview on Megan Rose's Blog on September 14, 2010. I'll send another reminder again later.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Being Organized

I'm speaking later this week at my writers group meeting about being an organized writer. I'm an organizational freak, possibly bordering on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder about it. Actually, you probably wouldn't believe that looking at the picture to the left. That is one of my work spaces and I admit it's cluttered. You should see the space directly to the right of the desk. Oh my.

Well, like I said, it's just one of my work spaces. I also work at on our desktop computer downstairs and my favorite place to work is sitting on our couch. Anyway, back to the topic. I suppose I am more obsessive about having my writing organized. When I started writing novels, I kept all my notes in a vinyl folder. I laughed at other writers when they talked about using a binder for their notes. Then, one day when I was giving this presentation to another writers group, I put my notes in a binder with divided sections to show the group and I was impressed with how I liked it. I have used a binder for all the notes, research, and outlines for all of my manuscripts ever since.

I also am a stickler for keeping my online research organized. I have folders set up on my computer to save links for web sites that I will use. Each folder corresponds to the manuscript I am writing. If it's information that I will be constantly referring to, such as a map, I will print it off, punch holes in it and put it in the binder in the Research section.

Other things I do to organized my writing is use a micro-recorder. If I am on a long drive, which happens often with my day job, and an idea pops in my head, I can grab the recorder and save my idea for later. If you have a cell phone, you can save short notes in it, if you find yourself without pen and paper.

There are so many other ways I cut corners with proper organization, too many to go into here. Perhaps, I can expand on that on another day here. Wish me luck on my presentation this week.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Productive Day

Sunday's are usually pretty good days for me to get some work done. Not just my writing, but housework, too. My husband works most Sunday's and that leaves me home by myself to get things done. Today, I was able to get three chapters edited. I'm so impressed with myself. I did loads of dishes and I don't mean in the dishwasher either because it's broken. I did these by hand. I'm so impressed with myself. I also researched publishers that I want to submit this manuscript to. I found at least four and will need to decide in what order to query them. Again, I am so impressed with myself.

What I didn't get done was vacuuming the carpet and cleaning the bathtub. The bathtub I can hide, but we have company coming tomorrow and I can't hide the carpet. So, my last task to complete today will be to get that carpet finished and if I can get another chapter edited, well all the better.

I'm still hoping to be able to make it to the Magna Cum Murder writing convention in October. I already have the days off from work and my hotel reservations, but then there that money thing. I'm car shopping right now and have a feeling all the money I have saved will be going toward a new used car, which I will have to have in order to drive that far to the convention. I'm still hoping and I won't cancel those hotel reservations until I have to. I might still win the lottery, you know.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm a boring person....

....well, at least I think so. I read a lot of blogs and am fascinated by the goings-on of people. I wish I could write about my life like that. I go to work, I come home tired, and I go to bed. Okay, maybe I'm not that bad, but close. I'd love to write about my job, but I work in social services and pretty much everything I do is covered by the HIPPA law and is confidential. Besides, I'd be terribly afraid some of the clients might discover my blog and know I am writing about them. I couldn't do that to them.

I like letting everyone know about my writing, but I mostly only write on the weekends and there's really not much to tell about my writing. I know everyone gets tired of hearing about how much, or little, editing I get finished.

I thought about hobbies, but I really don't have any. But, then I remembered a hobby I used to do. Before postage became to too high, I used to collect autographs. It was really a fun hobby and the postmaster at my post office loved it when I had to go to the window to get a large envelope containing an autographed photo. She insisted I open it right then so she could see who I had gotten that day.

I did get a new autograph the other day. I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago and Karl Rove, from the George W. Bush administration, was telling how to get an autographed bookplate for his recent book. I sent a SASE and received the autograph this week. In addition to the bookplate, he also included a signed postcard.

I probably have well over 100 autographs in my collection. Most I got through the mail, but many were in person. The collection includes actors, singers, politicians, journalists, athletes, military personnel, and astronauts. If you notice, I left off authors. That's mainly because when I collected, I wasn't writing and didn't think about authors. I have since collected a handful of author autographs. Most of them are friends that I got in person, or they sent me one of their bookmarks. (Marian, I don't think I have your autograph yet.)

I'm always asked what my favorite autograph is. I have several favorites. I always wrote a letter requesting the autograph and made it a personal letter. A few times, along with the signed photo I received a personal letter from them. Those are definitely special. One time I wrote to an astronaut for an autograph and after about six months I gave up on getting anything from him. Then one day, I got a large envelope in the mail postmarked from Houston. It contained a signed photo and a letter from him explaining that my letter to him had gotten mixed in with some other stuff on his desk and he had just found it. As a way of saying sorry, he also included about six authentic NASA shuttle mission patches. How cool was that?

But, my absolute favorite autograph is from then Senator John Glenn of Ohio. When I wrote to Senator Glenn, I explained how much I liked and supported the space program. To my surprise, I did not get the signed senatorial portrait photo that he normally sent out. He sent me a photo of him in his space suit after a mission and even signed it personally to me.

I had hoped to scan a few of the autographs from my collection, but my scanner isn't working right now. If I ever get it fixed, I'll have to post a few.

Do any of you have any autographs that you cherish?


Sunday, August 22, 2010

I've been lazy

My intentions were good for today. I wanted to get two or three chapters of "Saved by the Sheriff" edited today. I really did want to do it, but things just got in the way. Laundry, for instance. I did a load of laundry first thing this morning, then there were some really good western movies on television. I love good westerns, so I couldn't pass that up.

Okay, so that took care of the morning. I finally sat down at the computer around 1:00 pm and got one chapter edited. That wasn't so bad. I checked my e-mail and did a little marketing for my e-book that is out. Oh, but then my husband gets off work at three, so I had to start thinking about dinner. Then, I had to cook dinner. So there you have it, my lazy day at home for Sunday.

Tomorrow, I go back to work at my day job, which leaves the evenings. I will try to be more disciplined about getting my writing work done. My goal will be one chapter per night and a couple of them on the weekend. That should get me almost done with the editing. Somewhere in there I will need to work on a letter to the publisher trying to sell my book to them and also a synopsis. Publishers always seem to want to see a synopsis of a book.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have a writer's group meeting one night this week, that always gets my creative juices flowing. I might just edit two chapters that night.


Sunday, August 15, 2010


Today, I typed THE END on my current manuscript. It is definitely a good feeling to finish a project like that. I'll take a few days off and then the second phase begins. I will start at the beginning and edit the manuscript, while also working on the synopsis. I'll be working on a query letter to pitch my book to some publishers.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Progress update

Stand by for breaking news.... I will be finishing my current Work in Progress this weekend. I wasn't near a keyboard yesterday, so I wrote in longhand and got everything finished except the last paragraph. Drat, I ran out of time. Can you believe it? I usually spend Saturday's doing something with my mom, but when I get home I plan to start typing. Update to come....


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hot Temps

I took a sick day from my day job due to having an eye exam scheduled. I have laser surgery in my future to correct my eyesight in one eye, but that's not what I am writing about today. My appointment was very early this morning and since I took the whole day off, I figured when I got home it would be a good use of my time to write. I'm so close to finishing my manuscript, I really want to get it done and off to a publisher.

However, it is so hot today, even in the house with the air conditioner on. We were under an Excessive Heat Warning today with the heat index around 110° f. I like to write in longhand, which means moist skin against the notepaper. Not a good combination. So, I thought I would try working on my laptop. That didn't work either. It's just too darn hot to even concentrate on my plot.

I'll be back at my day job tomorrow, but only have a little to do. I might just be able to squeeze in a few pages. The temperature is only supposed to be in the mid 90's then.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Accuracy in Fiction

Accuracy and fiction? That's kind of an opposite concept, but it's something that novel writers need to think about. For the most part, I think writers try to be as accurate as possible in their facts when writing a novel.

My husband and I had a conversation about this just the other night. We both love to read mysteries. I tend to lean toward the romantic suspense mysteries and he wouldn't be caught dead reading a romance. We have often talked about wrong facts in books we read. He hates reading about how someone puts bullets into their gun. A bullet is the part of the ammunition that comes out of the gun when it is fired. The ammunition that you put into a gun is called a round. Such as, Jack put a round into the chamber of his gun.

I, on the other hand, pay attention to locations and time in a book. When a book mentions that the sun had set, I make a point to note the time and place and try to figure out if the sun would have set during that part of the year so early, or late. When I write, I have a web page that I use to check sunset and sunrise times for the particular month I am writing about.

Recently, I read a book that took place in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. I was impressed by the accuracy the author had of the area, especially in the town of Cherokee, NC. I've been to Cherokee many, many times and knew exactly where she was talking about in town by her description. Of course, I found out after reading her bio at the end of the book that the author is from North Carolina, which made that easier for her to write about.

So, for you writers out there, the readers are paying attention to the details of our books, so we need to make it right for them.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Back up your files and write down those ideas

We are reminded time and time again to back up our computer files. How many times do we forget? I forgot once and lost two chapters of a manuscript I was working on. It took my husband hours to retrieve it and I still lost several paragraphs that I had to rewrite. Now, I save and back up my writing every time I write something. I probably go to the extreme because I have one main copy and two back-ups, one of which I carry with me everywhere I go. Yes, I am paranoid that something will happen at home and want to make sure I have a copy elsewhere. So, here is your friendly reminder to back up your work now.

My other advice is to write your ideas down immediately. I have a bounded book of blank pages, a writer's journal of sorts, that I keep by the bed. This is for those ideas that I get when I'm in bed watching television, trying to go to sleep, or that pop into my head in the middle of the night.

A few weeks ago, I came up with an idea for the manuscript that I want to work on during NaNoWriMo. I wrote that idea down in that journal. Last night, I was in bed on the verge of falling asleep when I came up with the back cover blurb for that manuscript, along with a working title, and names of characters. I was awake enough to think to myself that I needed to turn the light on and get that information down in the journal. But, I was sleepy enough to tell myself that I would remember it in the morning. Not only did I not remember it this morning, I didn't remember about it until just a few minutes ago and guess what, I don't remember the blurb, the working title, or the character names.

Hopefully, tonight when I lay down to go to sleep, those ideas will pop back into my head again. My advice is no matter how sleepy you are, write those ideas down now or regret it later.


Monday, July 12, 2010


Since I was home alone most of yesterday afternoon, I was able to work on my WIP. I'm proud to say I got 7 pages written yesterday!


Sunday, July 11, 2010


If you don't know, NaNoWriMo stand for National Novel Writing Month and that month would be each November. The goal is to write at 50,000 words in the month on a novel and I have participated in NaNoWriMo since 2004. In order to make it to the 50,000 word mark, you should write at 1,666+ words a day. You wouldn't think that sounds like many, but with working full time, it's hard to get it in.

My personal goal each November is to use NaNoWriMo to give me a jump start on a new manuscript. I have never made it to the 50,000 word mark in the month, but I have been able to complete two manuscripts that I started. My novel, "Love, Lies & Deceit" was my NaNo novel from 2004 and it was published in 2009. My current manuscript, which should be finished by the end of this month was my NaNo novel from 2006. I'm hoping to start pitching it around to publishers next month.

I didn't think I would participate this year because I had not come up with an idea for a new book. However, ideas seem to come up when you least expect them. Last week, I was watching television when an idea just popped in my head. When you get an idea like that, you must write it down immediately, which is what I did. It was a good thing too, because an hour later, I had forgotten much of the idea.

Now, that I have an idea so far in advance, I can start working on characters, location, plot, and an outline. All that pre-work is allowable in NaNoWriMo. As long as you don't actually start writing, you can do all the advanced work that you want. It really helps to have so much of that done by November, so then all you have to concentrate on is writing.


Friday, July 9, 2010

A new cell phone for me

It's time I upgraded my cell phone. It's not that I am on it all the time, because I'm not, but my phone is falling apart. I think I've dropped it one too many times. It's a flip-phone and the hinge is barely hanging on. When I open it, I have to snap the top part back into place every time.

So, the search is on to pick what kind of new phone I want to get. I want one where I can manage my social network sites when not at home and also can check my email during the day, both work and personal mail. My family also likes to text message and I want a QWERTY keyboard to make answering much easier and faster. I've always wanted a Blackberry, but am considering an iPhone, too. Then, there's a Samsung that I kind of like and it would be much cheaper on the monthly bill, a very important point.

No matter which I choose, I'm sure afterward, I will wish I had chosen the other. It's only human nature. Of course, I want a reliable phone more than anything, after all who wants to miss that all important call from the publisher that wants to publish my next book.

I'll report back, if I ever make a decision.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Research Links

What the doctor said would last for 24-48 hours actually lasted 10 days. But, I'm better now and ready to get back to regular posting.

Links of the Week

This week I have several links that may be of interest to writers. I hope you can use them in your research. If not, well they're interesting to check out anyway.

Fun Tourist Attractions

List of Occupations

Resources for Mystery Writers

Good luck,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sick time

I know I post often, so I figure no one really missed me, but I have been so sick this week with Gastroenteritis. I'm finally on the mend, but I'm so closed to finishing my current manuscript and I wasn't able to get anything written this week. I came down with it on Tuesday morning. Hopefully, I can get caught up once I am feeling back to normal.

I missed doing an interview on a blog, so hopefully they'll invite me back again. I missed my local writers meeting this week and I love going to those. I guess even writer's get to take some sick days every once in a while.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Links of the Week, Chocolate, Coffee & Tea

Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea. Three of my "must-haves" when I write. Not only are these three things a necessity for a writer, but you can also incorporate them in your writing. In Love, Lies & Deceit, I had the CIA officers drinking a lot of coffee. My editor hated it, but that's what law enforcement people do. Below are three links to learn more about chocolate, coffee, and tea.

Understanding Chocolate

Coffee Research

Tea Laden

Friday, June 18, 2010

Slow progress

Things have slowed down in my world and my writing has suffered. I blame it on the heat. We've had heat indexes of over 100° f. here lately. When it's hot, even in with the air conditioner, I slow down and my motivation is practically nil. I was able to finish writing chapter 12 on my current manuscript, but that was several days ago and I haven't picked it back up yet. Hopefully, today over my lunch hour at work, I can motivate myself to start writing my last chapter.

Finally, please take a moment and visit some of my fellow author's blogs listed on the right side of my page. They do a wonderful job and are definitely worth the read.

I'll be back this weekend with my Link of the Week.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

FBI Surveillance Tricks and more

Welcome to my Link of the Week. Again, I have two to share today. The first one is a NPR article from July 5, 2008 and it's titled:

FBI Surveillance Team Reveals Tricks Of the Trade

The second link is a blog by Lee Lofland, a veteran police officer and author. He blogs about anything that has to do with police work.

The Graveyard Shift

Today, I am still working on that same manuscript. Chapter 12 is outlined and almost finished. I should have only one chapter left after this and my goal is to get this manuscript finished before the end of this month. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Research Link of the Week

Actually, it's two links for this week. I use both of these when I am stumped for a character name.

Behind the Name

Seventh Sanctum

Good luck with your writing,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm on a roll...

I wrote about five pages today and can see the light at the end of the long tunnel. I can almost see the words The End forming. I can't wait.

I'm going to try something new on here for my writer friends. Each weekend, if I don't forget, I will post the url for a web site that I use for research in my writing. I'm looking forward to sharing sites that I have found with fellow writers and most are sites that a reader of romance might find interesting, too.

I've also added several links to blogs and web sites of writers that I find interesting to read. Please take a few moments and visit them.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Marketing and an Award

In the ten years that I have been writing seriously, the one thing that I never expected was marketing. When I started, the only thing I thought about was writing the best manuscript that I could. It took me nine years to get a book published and I thought, "Wow, I did it. Now what?"

I learned quickly that the easy part was done, now the real work was to begin. I had to actually sell my book, as in advertise and market that darn thing. That has become a very eye opening experience. You'd think with the internet that advertising would be easy, but I have found that it could be a full time job if you let it.

So, how do I market my novel? I started off with the simple things: bookmarks, business cards, and a web site. Then, I found that I needed to do much more. I belong to several email lists of writers and readers of romance. Most of those lists set aside a day each week for posting promo emails for your books. I try not to miss a day for those special promotions on those lists. I know for one particular week, I worked every night online promoting my book and it worked. I saw my book move up to #6 on my publishers' Romantic Suspense Best Sellers List for that week.

My next step in promotion was to search out blogs that offered author interviews and I found several. They sent me questions and I submitted my answers, along with the offer of a free book for anyone that posted a comment. Then, I was able to do a BlogTalkRadio interview. That was a very nervous experience for me because it was live, but I survived. Finally, I started this blog. It's in the early stages, but I am noticing more hits each week. My other blog, Carols Food Bites started out slowly, but after a couple years the readership has really grown. I plan to repay those who helped me with their blog interviews and hope to have a few interviews on here soon. If you would like to read any of my interviews, you can visit my web site at

The thing to remember is that marketing is a never ending task. My novel has been out for months, but I still post every week on those lists and I'm always hunting out new blogs I can be on. In the meantime, I have to make time to work on my next manuscript. Like I said, it's a never ending task. Stay turned here for updates on any new interviews.

Now, for my award announcement. One of the email lists that I am on hold annual awards to list members to celebrate the anniversary of the list's existence. I am very pleased and proud to announce that this year my fellow list members voted me two awards: The Indy 500 Award, for the list member that has come the farthest in their writing career since joining the list; and the Share the Wealth Award, for the writer who so generously shares their wealth of experience to other list members. I want to say thank you to those members of the list that voted for me. I am humbled by the awards.

Thank you,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I nailed it today and wrote 5 1/2 pages on my manuscript. Yeah for me!!!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lost my Muse

I don't think I have written word on my manuscript so far this month. My full time job is making me so tired that I don't feel like writing by the time I get home. A few things will be changing this week, so hopefully I can start writing again over lunch. I also have a writers group meeting later this month. I'm sure that will help greatly. I missed the meetings for the last two months and am really looking forward to going this month.

Today, I am home alone and have everything laid out on the couch that I need to work on my manuscript this morning. I'm so close to finishing it that I really need to get with it. So, as soon as get finished here, I will start a pot of tea brewing, transfer the laundry from the washer to the dryer, start a new load in the washer, and sit on the couch and WRITE.

No more excuses, no more procrastinating, I will write today.

Wish me luck,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Future Books (hopefully)

If you notice on the right side of this blog, you will see my two books that I have written. One is my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking. The other is my novel, Love, Lies & Deceit. Both of them represent two things I love in life, romantic suspense and cooking. I try to include food as part of each book I write, although it drives my editor crazy.

The manuscript I am working on right now is another romantic suspense with a working title of Saved by the Sheriff.

New York City magazine writer, Jaime Wilson wants the Assistant Editor job at Real Mystery Magazine. In order to get it, she has to write a kick-ass story, and what could be better that a 30 year old unsolved murder in a small town.

When Jaime visits Royal, Indiana to investigate, she soon find that someone in the town doesn't want the mystery solved. After she becomes the next target, handsome Sheriff Ben Hunter comes to her rescue. She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe.

I have about 3 chapters left until it's finished and then it's off to an editor to see if I can sell it. Wish me luck.

Oh yeah, I was talking about food, wasn't I? I have four chapters finished on the next manuscript after Sheriff. That working title is A Kitchen Affair. I haven't written a blurb about it yet, but it's about a girl who is putting herself through culinary school while working at the town bakery. She meets the most eligible millionaire bachelor in town and when things heat up in the kitchen, it looks like their diverse backgrounds will come between them.

I actually can't wait to finish Sheriff so I can start working on Kitchen.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coffee Time Romance chat

I will be participating with other Red Rose Publishing authors in an all day chat on May 1, 2010 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in the Coffee Time Romance Latte Lounge. I will probably be in the chat room later in the evening. Hope to see you there.


If you have a moment, please visit my author page. Thanks.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Publisher's Best Seller List

This week my book, "Love, Lies & Deceit" made it to #6 on my Publisher's Best Sellers List for romantic mystery/suspense. I am very proud of this since it was released back on December 17, 2009. I'm hoping this proves that it has some long-lasting selling power. The first week it was released it made it to #10 on the Publisher's Best Seller list for all books that week.

Wish me luck in keeping it up. You can purchase my book at Red Rose Publishing.

I also had a wonderful week for writing. On Friday, I managed to get out about 5 pages on my current project and it felt so good. I'm hoping for more tomorrow, but I have to clean the house and do the laundry first.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm a Laptop onwer

I did it, I bought a laptop last week. It wasn't the one I wanted. The store didn't have that one, but I'm happy with what I did buy. I've been spending the week getting it set up with all the things I want on it and adding to my favorites list. I have decided to upgrade to a newer version of Microsoft Word and will have to wait until next payday to afford that.

Now, if I can just find time to sit down and do some writing. My new day job has been keeping me so busy that when I finally get home from work, I just crash and am too tired to do anything. I haven't written a word in over two weeks. I am going to have to kick myself in the rear and make myself write. The good thing is that I have been making mental notes of edits I want to make on my WIP (work-in-progress) manuscript.

I had to miss my local writers' group meeting last month due to a doctor's appointment and guess what, I'm going to have to miss this month's for the same reason. I can't win.

Enjoy your spring,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Buying a laptop

The day has finally arrived. Our tax check came in and I'm off today to buy a laptop. Until now, I have doing most of my writing on an old AlphaSmart.

I liked typing on this because it was light and convenient. You could only see 4 lines at a time, so I did more typing and edited it when I uploaded to my desktop computer. But, now I need a laptop for so many reasons. My day job recently changed and I will be doing more traveling, so laptop will keep me in touch with home more easily and I can edit my finished manuscripts on it, something I could not do with the AlphaSmart.

Next time, I'll report back with what kind of laptop I got.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Great Computer Wait is on

Yep, that's right. I am waiting for a new computer. Well, not exactly a computer, but our tax refund so I can buy a new computer; a laptop to be exact. I've wanted one forever, but with our budget being tight, like everyone else, it just wasn't in the cards. So, after getting our taxes finished, I told my husband that I would like to use part of it to get a laptop and he agreed. The rest? Well, I'm still paying on some medical bills, so I suppose that would be a good thing to use the rest for. Now, if we would only get that tax check. I'll keep you updated.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bookmarks available

I finally have bookmarks available for my novel, "Love, Lies & Deceit." If you'd like a bookmark, please send a self-addressed, stamped business size envelope to me at:

Carol Preflatish
P.O. Box 8
English, Indiana 47118

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Thank you for visiting my web site and blog. I lead a rather boring life, at least I think so, but I'll try to post as often as I can think of something to write about, or have some news to share.

Today, I am excited to announce that both my cookbook, "Masters and Disasters of Cooking" and my novel, "Love, Lies & Deceit" are available on The cookbook is available in print edition and my novel is a Kindle download. To find either book, just enter my name in the search box for books on the amazon site.

As always, "Love, Lies & Deceit" can be purchased at Red Rose Publishing.

Since my blog is so new, I have a lot of housekeeping to do. I'll be adding links to my favorite blogs, authors, and web site. I hope you will visit often for updates on me and my writing.


A Wonderful Day of Booksigning

My Derby Rotten Scoundrel sisters, Patience Martin, holding Max, Jeanette Pope, Elaine Munsch, and myself had a wonderful time at From the G...