Thursday, May 31, 2007


Yesterday, I visited several bookstores to sign my brand-new release, AT THE EDGE. This is always a challenge. We call them drive-bys, that he as we go into the bookstore, chat a while, sign our new books or whatever they have in stock, and leave bookmarks. When a book first comes out, not all stores have their deliveries, so this means you have to come back at a later date. I did sign a number of copies of AT THE EDGE.

But on the way to sign books and do a lot of business things, having a "town day," I stopped in the light rain to take some photographs. The "teardrop" shaped camper in this photograph has an interesting history, and is what my hero, Neil Olafson, does for a living, creates these campers. Their origins date back to the 1930s (Neil constructs new ones, however. His are handcrafted and have many custom-made features.). These campers are light, the smallest weighing about 600 pounds. They can come in several different widths and sizes, one small enough to be towed behind a motorcycle. Today, these are still beloved by campers who "rendezvous" together. The alterations to these are so diverse, and plans can be purchased for a build your own. My sister is a "Snowbird," and had a lot of information on RVing.

So Neil, the hero of AT THE EDGE, creates custom-made "teardrop" campers; that left the occupation of the heroine, Claire Brown, an empath who needs quiet and has settled in rural Montana. Claire is also a handcrafter, the designer and creator of high and one-of-a-kind handbags. These handbags also prove to be interesting research, and one of the books I used was BAGS WITH STYLE by Stephanie Kimura.

I used to sew my daughters' clothing, my own, coats, drapes, Barbie clothes, whatever. But I doubt that I will ever sew a handbag. They come all in different sizes with different names, and that allowed a lot of latitude in preparing for something a psychic might touch or see and receive images. I even got to use the word "Matador." To choose the names for the handbags that Claire might create in her brand name, "Claire's Bags," was so much fun. One of the bags is called "Date Night."

So you see the conflict. Neil is going to build a shop in rural Montana to create his "teardrop" campers. Unfortunately for Claire, Neil's shop is going to be located next to her previously very quiet home/studio.

As for the setting, rural Montana, I've driven across long stretches of wheat land in rural Montana, and had some of the feeling of that country. However, this concrete really set up quickly in cold weather? For small questions like that, I called good friends Bill and Doris. I do a lot of interviews like this with all my every book, though I have been to the setting of every one of my stories. There are just things that need to be double checked.

Another element in this trilogy was the psychic link between the triplets, and their mother. Generally, psychic ability is transferred down through a family, and the Aisling triplets' came from an ancient Celtic seer, named Aisling. I was also able to use research of my personal interests, the Vikings.

As for the story, which begins the trilogy of psychic triplets, I interviewed several psychics, plus read an enormous amount of articles. I've come to the conclusion, that psychic ability can morph in all different directions, and some of it can be misleading. However, I am not an expert.

AT THE EDGE is Claire's (the youngest) story, A STRANGERS TOUCH is an April 2008 book, Tempest, the middle-born triplet in the starring role. And I have just finished Leona's story, which ends the trilogy.

Why did I write about three sisters? Because I am the mother of three daughters born three years apart. The Aisling triplets were born three minutes apart, but I had some idea of the interaction of sisters and their birth order. The Aislings' names were chosen with care, to reflect their personality, and their family heritage which would be Celtic and Viking.

The composite of all above makes for a layered story. Each book stands alone, but winds into the other. I hope you'll like the Aislings, and for more on them please visit my website,

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Writing the End

Writing the end.

It is Sunday, and I am preparing to write I'm the end of the third book of a trilogy. That is I'm mentally preparing to write the climax scene, the come-down scene, and the epilogue. All the details in the previous two books must be coordinated and wrapped up in this final manuscript. Claire's book, At the Edge, will be on the stands make 29th. So far Claire has gotten tremendous reviews. I hope you'll drop by my website to read them.

While the previous two books were complete in themselves, they lead to answers needed in a third book. Threads begun with the first book, traveled through the second, and are finalized in the third. A trilogy is a big gamble for a writer. If the first book does not "hit" well, it colors the other two, perhaps not the best light. I debated about this whole project, prior to taking it. (The concept was mine and my editor was really enthused and excited over the project.)

Woven into the stories are details of the Aisling family, psychic triplets, concern what happened to them as children and as adults, prior to meeting that special man. Each woman is now 32 years old, has had life experiences, and each is very different from her sisters. Born three minutes apart, each woman reflects her birth position in the family. The triplets' extrasensory gifts are very unique and trace back to an ancient Celtic seer.

The emotions that come with writing the end of the stories, all of the stories, are mind boggling. Each book is very difficult to wrap up, and let go emotionally. At the end of Claire's story, I cried. The tension that is involved in the creative process is immense, and it is difficult, just as it is difficult with the child, to let your love, a story that has consumed the you, change into somebody else's hands. That would be the editor. Next would come to readers.

I've already written Tempest's story, and it has a tentative title of A Stranger’s Touch. I am waiting for editorial feedback. We are also looking at cover treatments. My writing style is difficult to capture and graphics, but my publisher is open to suggestions. There are so many elements in this unique family that can be applied to a cover.

Today, I'm setting up to refresh myself on Claire's story and Tempest's, getting ready to write full blast through the end, to the very last page, and then began a massive edit that will occur several times. Each timeline is very short, and the trilogy falls within a few months. However, the background of each woman, their relationships, influences the direction of this third book, Leona's story.

I chose each name, Claire, Tempest, and Leona very carefully for the part they would play with in this trilogy. While working on Leona story, and she has emerged even more from Claire's story, at the beginning, I see that her name suits her perfectly, fierce as a lioness, the eldest and most complex of the triplets, she is ready to take her position in the final story of the Aislings.

It's pretty exciting to see/feel Leona get ready to finalize this third book in the Aislings psychic triplets trilogy. During this final creative process in which the book comes to its very end, the writer -- that's me -- usually goes into seclusion as much is possible. This keeps the story warm and flowing until the end of the book. A writer will often say, "my story won't let me rest." That means the writer is keeping their story close to them, it is in their minds as they stare out the window. Details. Timeline. Threads. What doesn't work. And in a romance, the balance of all the characters, especially the male and female protagonist is absolutely essential. While editing, the protagonists need to be balanced, but also the antagonist -- if it is a romantic suspense or has tension at all -- must also be balanced against the protagonists. Two weak, too strong, sensitive, all these elements must be balanced.

Then does the story run quickly, is the pacing right? If it is running too slow, or it will not fit within the prescribed number of publisher’s word-length limits, then it's time for cuts. If the cuts contain essential material, that has to be made up somehow. Do the chapters and on the right note, leading the reader on? (In writing Leona's story, I felt I really had a grab on ending scenes and chapters:))

I'll be writing and editing for many hours before I send Leona’s story, the last in the trilogy, to my editor.

But I'm already brewing more stories. :)