Video Traveling

I love setting my Bodies of Art books in European places I’ve visited. I love going back and looking at the pictures I took, restudying the maps to remind myself of the route we chose. Reading notes I made when I ran across something interesting or heard a lovely accent or terrific turn of phrase. All that “reviewing time” not only helps me write the books, but helps me relive the whole experience. Still, no matter how well written my notes, or how sharply focused the photos, there are things I’m always going to forget until something comes along to jog my memory. One way I do this is to watch YouTube videos of the area I’m writing about. Often the videos show things I saw from a different perspective, too, which broadens my own understanding of the area and culture. But other times I watch YouTube videos that come Read more…

The Soundtrack of My Working Life

One thing that keeps me energized as an author is playing music as I write. My daughter used to always say she could tell which writing project I was currently working on based on what music came out of my home office. Her favorite was when I worked on a suspense/thriller with a particularly no-nonsense reporter as the protagonist, because I played Sheryl Crow all day. I’m not sure why, but the music perfectly fit that particular character. Right now, I’m on deadline for the next book in my Bodies of Art Mysteries series, and beyond watching YouTube videos of Barcelona and Switzerland (that’s all the clues I’m giving, no spoilers) I added new music to my “escape in Europe” repetoire. Have been writing to the soundtracks of the Oceans movies, thanks to a tip from terrific author Ellie Ashe. But a couple of weeks ago I saw the new The Man Read more…

Picture Me Organized

I never imagined when I penned my first story that I would eventually have to balance my writing work with such daily tasks as comb research sites and flag them for later use, file tax records, discover marketing options, network with advertisers, find fabulous clothes for my characters to wear, locate spy and tech stuff for my characters to use, figure out group activities for my characters’ children…and still find a way to write and have some fun in the middle of this publishing circus. One social media invention that helps me keep on top of all my treasured data is Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest. I know, a lot of people say it’s a time waster, but for me the site is an organizing sensation. Here’s why– Since I write two mystery series, I can have multiple boards about the endless number of things that relate to each series. I have fabulous Read more…

We’re Going Into the Home Stretch…

Do you know how writer’s whine? Well, let me tell you I’ve been happily whining up a storm lately because I’m having such a difficult time staying focused. But all the promos are starting on Marked Masters, the second book in my Bodies of Art Mysteries, and that makes me think of Florida and Florence, Italy–the two places Laurel & Jack focus their own attention in the book. The picture at the right shows the Duomo complex in Florence (you can see a hint of the exquisite dome on the far right edge) and the Giotto Bell Tower in the background plays a key role in the book. So… I’m having some difficulty staying in one point of view each day, and my cozy deadline is looming, and I have to keep reminding myself to get out of Laurel’s smart mouth POV and back into Kate’s much nicer and more dedicated one. Read more…

Holiday Tips in My Newsletters

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Hope your holiday is stress free and full of all the people and events that make you happy and healthy. Many of you already subscribe to my newsletter, but for the ones who don’t I not only give news of my books and events, but I let my fictional characters pop by to offer tips to keep the holidays–and just life in general–moving more smoothly. So, if you like organizational, efficiency, and/or entertainment tips to help keep things humming during seasonal occasions, you might want to read my two November newsletters. I’ll have more tips in my December newsletter, and plan to post a few here as well. Seasons greetings everyone, and enjoy every moment 🙂 Early-November 2014 newsletter Late-November 2014 newsletter