Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No Tricks just Treats

I love Halloween. It is one of the oldest holidays with origins going back thousands of years. And in its honor I will be giving away a print copy (U.S. only) of my scariest mystery, No Accident (see excerpt below). So anyone who posts a comment between now and next Monday on any of our posts is eligible. Winner will be announced next Tuesday. And next week we have a new contest and an interview with Jeannine Van Eperen, author of 15 books and a FAR award winner.

David Forjane threw his briefcase in the back seat of his new red Saturn. It was a sporty enough car, but did not quite make the statement he desired. He was two years away from the blue BMW. Life was always a waiting game.

He peeled out of the garage anxious to get a mile away from the concrete fortress that was the Rayex Chemical Company. Something about the building affected radio reception, and he was now ready to hear the silky-voiced Samantha of WKAC. Always his companion for the commute home, she spun records for the heartsick and lovesick. He enjoyed their dim patter. Yesterday he heard his girlfriend call in and request a tune for David; a song called Gone. He could not quite believe it. It was his Peggy, of the repetitive conversation and robotic sex, doing something interesting and original. When Marta Johns serenaded him with, I’m beginning to see you’re growing bored with me, David answered, “Oh Peggy, I’ve been bored with you for a long time.”

He looked into the rear view mirror and was surprised to see the departmental loaner car barreling up behind. He thought he recognized the driver, but not the passenger. The twosome was going like hell and about to pass on the left. David reached down to turn on the radio.

A single bullet slammed through his brain before his hand reached the dial.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

GHOST STORY...or not

Since Halloween is here I thought I'd share a story about the strange happenings in the last house my hubby and I lived in. Now, I'm a firm believer that there are UFOs, people with ESP, and the souls of the dead who haven't gone into the light because they might have unfinished business here on earth. I don't obsess about it, I just have an open mind that these things could be real.

Almost immediately upon moving into the house I began to experience weird things. Nothing alarming. However, added together I guess they would unnerve the bravest soul. The picture of my hubby and me turned over in the bedroom, the light over the bed going on by itself in the middle of the night, the bathroom door in our bedroom opening by itself. And there were the shadows, always out of the corner of my eyes or moving past my bedroom doorway.

I didn't mention these strange occurrences because they didn't bother me and I just brushed them off. But what I didn't know was that my hubby was also noticing things out of the ordinary. Only he didn't say anything because he isn't the kind of man who believes in that kind of stuff. He just thought he was imagining things. Then one day out of the blue he started telling me about the voices, unexplained noises in the middle of the night and the feeling that someone was behind him. I just stared at him, and then told him my experiences. We both knew at that point that it wasn't our imagination. Something was going on.

Never once did I get scared, unless I was in the house alone at night. When hubby went on trips my daughter would come and stay with me. After a while she wouldn't come because it freaked her out. Then I was left alone with Henry...the, ah, ghost. I had to give him a name and I was certain it was a man because I saw him one night.

The strangest thing that happened to me was one night while I was sleeping. I felt the bed go down. You know, like when someone gets into bed beside you, the bed dips and you roll toward them? I actually reached over thinking, hubby must be coming to bed, but there was nothing there! Get a chill yet? I certainly did.

Not long after that I woke in the middle of the night, for some strange reason, and saw the outline of a man leaning over me. I remember thinking it was my hubby but I could see right through him. But there was definitely the white outline of a man. Not very tall, kind of stocky. I blinked and he was gone. I never saw him again.

We learned to live with the strange occurrences and when we decided to sell, we didn't say a word.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Feeling Fall-ish

The northeast has a special kind of beauty in the fall. The sound of crunching underfoot, blindingly clear blue skies and the faint scent of woodsmoke wafting in the air. As trees find brilliant burst of color and leaves rain to the ground the world seems magical, as if it knows a secret it's yet to reveal. And with spooky ghosts tumbling from trees and scarecrows on every corner, I feel the lure of the unknown beckoning me. Pumpkins gain personalities all their own and even the most ordinary winter squash looks festive when propped beside a bundle of cornstalks. Yes, I love fall.

But hey, I'm a sucker for any season! It's true. I love 'em all. Each one brings a different slant to my writer's mind. Each season encourages its own sort of story.

Winter makes me want to write cozy, snuggle-in-and-hibernate, contemplative stories. Spring, of course, brings tales of renewal. Maybe an adventure, or even two, with optimistic, outgoing characters. Summer? Hot, romantic love stories come to mind, and my fingers itch to create characters who live in the warm, passionate moment. And then there's fall...

Mysterious and alluring, fall naturally encourages me to write stories magic, the unknown, ghosts, goblins and things that go bump in the night. Too, I yearn to write about endings, followed by beginnings. Doesn't seem logical, does it? Most people think the end follows the beginning, but I feel it's the other way around. Why? Because although the last leaf is about to drop, the first snowflake is waiting to flutter to earth. A new beginning, seamlessly following the last ending.

I've got to admit, my writing is greatly influenced by the seasons. I'm beginning to flesh out the plot of a new novel in these fabulous fall days. It is a tale of murder and intrigue, one whose last chapters will be more about what's found rather than what's been lost. An opening of sorts, at the close.

I just hope those last few leaves hold to the maple branches outside my window long enough for me to become engrossed in writing this one. If not, I may end up with a novel whose ending is somewhat wintery!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Moving Genre

How many writers, I was wondering, swap genre? Do romantic novelists long to write gruesome crime novels? Do the writers of mayhem long to write a love story? If they do, would we know?

I know quite a lot of writers who have different names for different genre. I used to have a different name for romance and historical. (Ellen Noone was my alto-ego for my first romance novels). Many of the writers that I know move between sagas, romantic novels and historical romance, but I don't know anyone who goes from really dramatic blood and guts to romance and vice-versa.

If writers don't move between the two, why not? Is it that the mind that can conceive of the gruesome cannot conceive of the gentle. Having just had a suspense novel accepted, it made me pose this question. I have now moved three times - historical - romance and now suspense. But are my novels that different? Sure there will be some murder and mayhem in my suspense, but there is also a love interest. I know I could not see myself writing a book that did not have "some" romance. Is that because I am essentially a romance writer?

It would be wonderful if other writers who do switch genre got in touch and let us now. Surely, it is not a question of "never the twain shall meet" That would pretty sad, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What's in a Name?

What pet name does a modern politically correct male use for his special lady? I’m struggling in my current novel to get this right.

Shall I use the ubiquitous ‘baby?’ When Ranger whispers ‘baby’ to Stephanie Plum in Janet Evanovich novels it sounds great. But Ranger lives in a cave and does solo commando-type work. My hero works in a more coed environment.

‘Hot Mama’ sounds good coming out of Trace Adkins' lips. But when anyone else uses that term it sounds kind of menopausal.

I studied Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. A ‘good profiler’ was the sweetest endearment the work-obsessed Harry ever used when referring to a female.

And let’s face it sweetie pie only sounds sexy when sung by Frank Sinatra.

So what else is there? I turned home for inspiration. My husband calls me Kathleen. Family and friends call me Kate, Katie, or Kathy and I like that just fine but when my husband uses the elongated version of my name it makes me feel cherished.

So maybe my hero will just call his woman by her name – her full name. How cool is that?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hubby's Little Quirks

I smile as I write this blog today. I love my hubby dearly but he has quirks that drive me insane. Like for instance, when I want to hang a picture. I learned a long time ago to wait until he's not home and then hang it myself. I have a good eye and all I need is a nail and a hammer.

The last time we hung a picture together you would have thought we were going to do brain surgery or something! He laid out a rag and on top of that a level, tape measure, kit of different size nails, hammer, and pliers. Have no idea what those were for. He measured the wall all different kinds of ways to make sure the picture was exactly in the middle. What would have taken me two minutes turned into a 20 minute job.

Then there's when I come home from working a ten hour shift to find he's taken the dishes that were left to dry in the dish drain the night before, and laid them out on the counter beneath the cupboard doors. I asked him once, why don't you just put them away? His reply...I don't know where they go. Yet he manages to put them directly beneath the cupboard door where they belong. He doesn't realize I would much rather come home to them in the dish drainer than spread out everywhere. He leaves the clean pots on the stove top:)

The most frustrating thing he does? Leave the cheese package open in the fridge so that by the time I reach for a slice it's as hard as a rock. I think that's a man thing anyway. They can't figure out how to close the package once they rip into it:)

I think about what life would be without him. Boring, lonely and yes, frightening because he's my rock. And besies, I'm sure I have little quirks he has to put up with...but darned if I can think of any now:)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"I'm still waiting for an autographed copy"

I want to add to what Margaret said when she blogged this past Thursday. I work for a large company, have many friends and family. And with the exception of a few, most of them are waiting for an autographed copy of my books. But do they go out and purchase my books for me to autograph? Rarely. They want me to give them one. If I had a friend who was published I'd be the first one to buy their book, even if it wasn't something I particularly cared to read.

I get tired of hearing, "I'm still waiting for an autographed copy." Another good one is, "oh, it's an ebook"...what, is it poison? LOL Then I have one dear friend who did purchase a couple of my books but then said when number three came out, "Your books are a little too spicy for me." I guess that was her way of letting me know she wouldn't be buying any more.

It's a good thing I write for the love of writing. I write for me and I do love sharing my stories to anyone who wants to read one. So, are we rich? Not all of us. But we do enjoy what we do and we do it for all the right reasons.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mona Lisa's ... brows?

Hey, what about the smile? Isn't that what we're all supposed to be obsessed with?

Ah, I see... It's time to focus on a different part of the lady's face. *sigh* Isn't that typical? Just when interest over one body part settles down, a new issue comes under scrutiny? Who can tell how long it's going to take before we all stop staring at her eyebrows? The smile thing took five hundred years so two brows and two sets of lashes? That could take forever.

Yesterday's revelation by a French engineer, Pascal Cotte, that Leonardo da Vinci originally painted his masterpiece with brows and lashes was well received. A collective sigh of relief, one heard round the world, followed. Apparently many have speculated about the elusive brows for some time, spawning as many theories about her lack of facial hair as there are stars in the sky. Who knew? I have to admit I've never given them a single, solitary thought. Never. Sorry, Mona. My apologies, Leonardo.

And while I find this interest in art and the beautiful lady heartwarming, I still wonder about that enigmatic smile she wears. I can't help myself. I see the set of her lips, the way her cheeks have a faint blush and the knowing stare she fixes on me and my pulse quickens. My mind races. So many questions unanswered...possibilities to be explored...scenarios that may explain her smile. Has she witnessed a crime? Scorned a rival? Sought satisfaction for an ancient vendetta? Made love with the most wonderful man?

Let others focus on Mona Lisa's brows. Let's face it; I'm just not ready to get past the smile.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Church Mice?

People always assume, when I say I am a novelist, that I must be rich. Writers equal money in people's imaginations. When I have to confess to the fact that I, like many, many writers, am not rich, they cannot understand why I even bother doing what I do.

Some writers are rich, millionaires even, think J K Rowling - Dan Brown must be worth a pretty penny too - but what about the majority? Are they poor as church mice and if they are, why do they do it?

Well speaking for me, I do it because I have to. I have all these people living in my head, they have lives, they have experiences to, well, to experience. They need to travel. I tell you they're there hammering like the devil to get out. What am I going to do about them? Can I turn them off? No, they are not a radio, can I block them out? Well I guess I can try.

Now suppose I am on a solitary walk, no distractions, no worries about what to get for dinner because I am not in a supermarket, I can't pretend to do anything but put one foot in front of the other. That's when they get really anxious to get out. They start up telling me what they are doing, where they are going - heavens above they even give themselves names! If I did not go home, sit down at my computer and start to type, these characters would drive me to drink, or even worse. I have to do it. I have no option to quit.

If that sounds grim, well it isn't, it is such fun. I can live life vicariously through their adventures, and I don't even have to leave home to do it. Sure I do it because they keep coming into my head but what came first - the cart or the horse? Who put them there originally? Some unseen source? I don't think so, I started it all off. I had to have said one day. "I am going to write," and low and behold it happened.

Of course that isn't to say there is no such thing as writer's bloc, that there is no desperate search for a plot. I mean, everyone has to have heard the joke about the writer who, having died, was being lowered into his grace. He sighed happily. "Ah, a plot at last!"

We all suffer the slings and arrows of being unable to create but thankfully it passes. Sooner or later the characters come back - the plot might be more difficult, but hey if I can start with a character I can get around that. Somehow.

No, writers on the whole do not write because they want to earn money, they write because they have to...at least that is my story.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

National Novel Writing Month

It’s time to load up on cartridges for the computer because November is coming. In just two weeks it will be Halloween and for writers it’s the eve of National Novel Writing Month.

If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo go to http://www.nanowrimo.org/ and get the details.

Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

As the site says, “Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.”

By defeating procrastination and perfectionism, you can outwit that internal censor that constantly spewing negativity and as Sarita advised ‘write from the heart.’

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reference Books for Writers

Recently I attended a writer's conference in Tampa and one of the attendees kindly shared his list of his favorite books for writers. It's a pretty comprehensive list though it doesn't include my favorite, Elizabeth George's Write Away. Any others I should add?

1. Make Your Words Work, by Gary Provost. (Excellent for fiction and non-fiction)
2. Stein on Writing, by Sol Stein
3. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, by Renni Browne and Dave King
4. Write in Style, by Bobbie Christmas
5. How to Grow a Novel, by Sol Stein
6. The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman
7. Stephen King on Writing
8. Elements of Fiction Writing/ Characters and Viewpoint, by Orson Scott Card
9. Elements of Fiction Writing//Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
10. Elements of Fiction Writing/ Dialog by Gloria Kempton
11. The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White, fourth edition
12. The Complete Guide to Editing Your Fiction, by Michael Seidman
13. The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, Writer's Digest Books 2002
14. The Handbook of Good English, by Edward D. Jonhson (grammer)
15. How I Write by Janet Evanovich
16. The Chicago Manuel of Style, 15th edition, University of Chicago Press
17. Writer's Market, Writer's Digest Books
18. Harbrace College Handbook (mine is 3rd edition, 1951)
19. Printice-Hall Handbook for Writers Leggett/ Mead
20. Elements of Writing, Complete Course by Kinneavy and Warriner

Monday, October 15, 2007

We have a new baby...

No, it's not the hunky stud muffin sleeping with his mouth ajar. It's Gin Gin, our 10 week old calico. Isn't she cute? She's the reason I'm late blogging this morning. Had to get up early and get her to the vet. She's been sick the last couple of days and we were very worried about her. Turns out she has a cold. The vet said it could be caused by stress at being taken away from her mother, being spayed, and brought into a new home. So, we loaded up with antibiotics, worming medicine, nose drops and saline solution for her eyes and came home.

I took this picture a couple days ago. Caught my hubby, who doesn't really care for cats or so he says, and Gin Gin taking a snooze. Hubby wasn't too pleased as he has a reputation to uphold. You know, the big tough he-man syndrome. They've already formed a strong bond and it's cute watching how he looks over her like a mother hen.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Life is good...

I got my monthly pedicure, haircut, it's sci-fi Saturday and I get to babysit my little granddaughter tonight. My cup is full, what more could I want?

Friday, October 12, 2007

What do you know?

There is a ton of advice available to beginning writers. We've all heard it before...show don't tell, keep active rather than passive and on and on. There's really no end to the pearls of wisdom to be had when it comes to writing. But you know, I think there may be too much advice given. Really, I do.

Why not simply write from the heart, without paying overmuch attention to the mechanics of it all? Oh, I can hear teeth gnashing, hands wringing and gasps of outrage at the thought! Writing might be much more satisfying without worries about correlating advice tidbit #16 with # 64, meshing items 32, 96 and 113 with #s 44, 28 and ... you get the idea.

My advice? Just let it happen. The rest will fall into place eventually.

When I began writing for publication I was in high school, and taking advice was the furthest thing from my mind. I wanted to write, period. So I did. Unconsciously, though, I took in what may have been the most important piece of writing advice I have ever gotten. It's one that everyone has been given.

Write what you know.

Simple, isn't it? At first, most people think But I don't know anything anyone would be interested in reading. But that's not true. We're all fascinated by other people's lives, thoughts, ideas, experiences. And most people know more than they think they do!

I write mysteries because I love to solve puzzles. I write romance because that's a subject I know first hand, thanks to my wonderful husband. My curiousity about history leads me to write historical romance. My characters often have interests that I have. They garden, watch old films, spend time on the water and at the beach. They talk about seashells, in other languages and opera. See? They know some neat stuff just because I write what I know.

What do you know? I bet it's more than enough to feed a writing bug!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Whether the weather?

Bob Hope used to say "England has four seasons - all of them in one day!" It had me thinking about the weather - and how this affects writers. It certainly is used by film makers. Think of the film Body Heat and imagine it set anywhere else but steamy Florida. Just would not work.

The glorious romantic novel Wuthering Heights could not be set anywhere else but the wilds of the Yorkshire Moors. That damp, wind swept, empty landscape lends itself to this passionate romance. The Yorkshire Moors is a place of dramatic weather.

Tuesday here in England, it was pouring with rain - yesterday the sun came out and it was blissfully warm. I was walking in the hills beyond the coastal strip of Morecambe Bay - a place of dangerous tides and shifting sands and magnificent views. You would write a different scene if it were a stormy day, yesterday the area looked quite benign and a gentle scene would be easy to put together.

Thomas Hardy, the great English novelist, uses the weather and the seasons effectively. Think Tess of the D'Urbavilles. When (I always think) the drippy Angel Clair sees her for the first time, she is dancing in a sun speckled meadow - so different from her in hard times, digging for turnips in a cold, frosty field in mid-winter. Gone is the happy carefree milkmaid.

I like to set books in warm climes when I can - I love the heat myself and feel happy then. But the winter storms can be very useful for scenes that require mystery, tension and suspense. There is something frightening about that bare tree tap tapping on the window pane. The wind whistling under the door...bound to have the reader asking. "What is going to happen?"

How boring it would be, I think to have no changing seasons at all - to have summer all year round, no rain - no glorious pictures of frost sparkling on the evergreen, what would film makers do? What would writers do?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Short Story Markets

I love short stories. My favorite is "For Esmé with Love and Squalor" by J. D. Salinger. Originally published in The New Yorker on April 8, 1950, it’s the kind of tale that lives on in your heart long after you’ve read it.

That was a golden time for short stories. I’ve been writing short stories for thirty years and have to admit the markets aren’t as lucrative as they used to be. But they are out there. A good link for researching where to submit is http://www.duotrope.com/

I write inspirational, literary, mystery and romance stories and have been excited to see some new markets. Last year I had stories in some brand new mystery magazines: Mouth Full of Bullets and The Great Mystery and Suspense Magazine. What a great experience! A new market for romance stories is The Wild Rose Press and both Sarita and I have published with them. Last year Whiskey Creek Press put out an anthology called Hope that was just chock full of inspirational stories. And new literary magazines are constantly appearing.

So if you write short stories, be persistent, study magazines, and submit. You just may be the next J.D.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday thoughts

Just a few writing-related quotes for a rainy Tuesday. Yes, it's raining in NY.

"Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living." — Gustave Flaubert

"Half of my life is an act of revision." — John Irving

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." — Peter De Vries

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." — Richard Bach

Monday, October 8, 2007

Meet the men in my life...

Today I thought I'd introduce you to the men in my life. But just so you know, I'm a one woman man! LOL

Marshall - a sexy detective who isn't afraid to break the rules to protect the woman he loves. And he knows "ALL THE RIGHT MOVES" to make her happy!

Clint - a take charge ex-navy seal mercenary who rushes in to rescue a damsel in distress and ends up needing rescuing himself, from her sassy tongue and Dolly Parton curves. "AGAINST THE ODDS" they find love at the end of their journey.

Luke - a quiet mountain man with a tortured soul, who literally has an angel of salvation dumped into his lap, in "SOMEONE TO LOVE ME".

Brent - a body guard turned kidnapper, who learns soon enough that the "THE SENATOR'S DAUGHTER" he's abducted is more trouble than he can handle.

Mike - a small town detective raising a teenager on his own, trying to ignore a pretty divorcee "CUPID'S ARROW" keeps shooting in his way.

These men all have something in common. They're the perfect, take charge alpha males every woman dreams about. They're tough and go after what they want, but able to show a tender side when it comes to their women. And when they love, they love fiercely and forever.

In January you'll be able to meet Logan:)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Congratulations, Amy!

AmyC won a copy of Overdue For Love from The Wild Rose Press

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Another reason I’m a Lark is because my husband and I adopted a dog this year. We went to the shelter looking for a sedate poodle, but a frisky Jack Russell Terrier charmed his way into our hearts and our car. We named him Spencer Tracy and isn’t the resemblance amazing?

Adopting an older dog requires lots of patience, consistency and love but is immensely rewarding. Everyday we get lots of hugs and wet doggy kisses.

In Spencer Tracy’s honor there will be a weekend contest. Anyone who offers a comment to any of the weekend posts is eligible to win a prize. Winner will be announced Sunday night.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Friday Lark

Hi Sarita, Interesting blog - can't wait for further revelations!

Margaret Blake

Bringing up the rear

Ah, the first full week of blogging here at The Lark Journals is coming to a close. I hope we have many, many more weeks of sharing...with each other and with you, our readers. I've had fun peeking in each day to see what Debbie, Kathleen and Margaret had to say. I know I'll learn so much about and from them by sharing this experience.

Early last week I chose a topic for today's blog. I mulled it over, smiled, decided it was certainly the perfect topic for my first Lark post. Absolutely the best choice. Yep, it was the one. No doubt. The first thing I had to share with all of you. Uh huh.

By this past Wednesday I'd begun to wonder if I'd made the right decision. After all, there will be many weeks when I can talk about that, but only one first week post. Right? I knew you'd agree. So I took out my mental pencil and scratched this morning's scene. Didn't erase it, merely filed it for future use. Then I decided on this morning's topic. And what, you ask, would that be?

Me. You see, this is my chance to introduce myself to you.

I won't bore you with the dull stuff. Let's just say I was born, I grew up and here I am. I've been married to the same wonderful man for years. I can honestly say he is the inspiration for every hero I write, the happily ever after to each tale I tell. Without him I'd be lost. With him I can't stop smiling. :) We live in a rural part of New York, surrounded by hills and trees. Among other things, I like to garden, paint, sew and take photographs. In the summer we hike, row and watch the stars above our hills. During the long, snowy winter months we snowshoe, cross-country ski and watch those same stars twinkle above us. And in between, I write.

Some of my earliest memories involve reading and writing. It's no surprise that I'd write mystery and romance. I was a curious kid. I liked puzzles, solving riddles and my idol was Harriet the Spy. So mystery writing? No shock, that one. And romance...well, who doesn't adore love? I know I do. I love everything about love! Writing about it is a pleasure, and a passion.

So there you have it, a little about me. Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us!

Pardon? Oh, the topic that I've filed for future sharing? What was it, you ask?

Hmm...I suppose you'll have to stop by again if you want the answer to that one! A lady's got to have some secrets, doesn't she?!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Early Morning Lark

I'm the earliest lark of all - I am up and about and at my computer while my fellow larks are cuddled up in their nests. The reason is simple I am on UK time which is five hours in front of those on USA eastern time. It makes for some confusion sometimes.

I find the worst thing about the time difference is coming back from the USA. That is really difficult. It takes me days to get over the jet lag - anyone have any tips how to do this?

Romance paints life in pink and pink is my favourite colour. I enjoy romance because I can lose myself in a world where there are no money worries, love always triumphs and the men are gorgeous hunks. Ah, if only real life were like that. I never write a sequel to my romances, I think that is because if I did, then the reality would have to hit - and who wants reality. Box of chocolates, nice cup of coffee, snuggle down in a favourite arm chair and be transported. I transport myself so I hope I do the same for my readers.

Romance is my favourite genre because it is so pleasurable. What's not to be pleasurable about finding Mr Right and falling in love? Of couse you have to have conflict on the way; he doesn't understand her and vice-versa. Someone wants to make trouble for them - but it is love that triumphs in the end. This is what makes the world go around afer all. Besides that I get to visit exciting places, some that I have never been to. The funniest thing is writing about a place, then going later and finding it is not as romantic as you envisaged. That happened to me once, so I wont be going there again! But generally you can find the romance in a place if you look hard enough. Now take Paris, big, bustling beautiful city. There are loads of people there, but as you walk around, check out to see how many are holding hands, or staring into one another's eyes. You will be surprised! But then, Paris is the city of lovers, or so the Parisians like to say.

Well this is my first blog - hey I am a virgin blogger, hope you enjoyed it.

If you have nothing better to do check me out at www.romancejunkies.com. I am in their author spotlight, and my interview with the ovely Holly Hewson at wwww.theromancestudio.com You will find it excerpts from my latest novel Beloved Deceiver...

Happy Reading, Margaret Blake.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hello From Kathleen

Wow it’s Wednesday! I’m thrilled to be the middle-of- the- week blogger and I’m also thrilled to be with kindred spirits – my three fellow Whiskey Creek Press authors.

We are all morning writers (Larks). Though what is morning for me is afternoon for Margaret Blake in England. We just call her Super Lark. Like Debbie, I also live in Florida – near Tampa. And like Sarita I write both short stories and novels.

I’m still amazed – even after ten years – to be a mystery novelist. I studied and got an M.F.A in creative writing at the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop a while back (quite a while) and fully intended to write literary novels.

Until my twenties it never occurred to me that a mystery novel could be literature. I remembered the stack of whodunits my aunt kept by her bed when I was a kid. The lurid covers always contained a well-dressed dead young woman lying in a poll of burgundy-colored blood. I assumed all mysteries were scary and second rate.

As fate would have it, my first boss was a mystery addict who introduced me to his favorite writers – Sharon McCrumb, Elizabeth George and Martha Grimes.

These women were graceful, elegant writers and mystery writers. I found Anne Perry on my own and was wowed. Like Dickens, her writing gives you a vivid sense of Victorian England—the sooty skyline, the pervasive poverty and the wealth and power of the upper class.

She made me want to write a police procedural. And so I did and then I wrote another. Now I’m hard at work on a third. I’ve never regretted the path I took because it was what I was meant to do.