Accentuate the Positive

From time to time we’ve discussed the types of “cookies” readers expect in various genres, but today I want to talk about some reader cookies that are – for me, at least – universal across genres. It all started with the current selection for my book club, Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals. It’s not badly written, but... Continue Reading →

Brain fog

It could be due to a string of minor physical ailments - blurred vision, poor sleep, lots of coughing and sniffling, leaving me tired all the time. Or the stress of making the final decisions about where and how to downsize and where we'll live as we seem likely to need more and more support... Continue Reading →

Worldbuilding and genre

Karen's post yesterday inspired me to do some serious thinking about how I'm handling worldbuilding in the WIP. (Note: this is not the same as seriously inspired thinking. Alas.) It's another Regency fantasy set in the imaginary world of Din Eidyn, which I think of as what Edinburgh would have been like at the time... Continue Reading →

It’s Live!

Shadow of the Crescent is available as a Kindle ebook now. (Paperback version to follow in a few days. It always takes longer.) Twenty-seven years after the fall of Constantinople… Caterina, Countess of San Florian, keeps a book of important things she’s learned, from poison antidotes to cosmetic recipes, from charms for toothache to ways... Continue Reading →

Research: down in the weeds

Since I’ve just finished a historical fantasy novel (the one I’ve been calling Book of Secrets, but now it’s Shadow of the Crescent) set in Italy and Constantinople in 1480-81, I enjoyed the recent column here on historical fiction and had so many thoughts that I decided to save them for a separate post instead... Continue Reading →

Switching gears

So, with a reasonably clean first draft of Book of Secrets sent out to the generous souls who volunteered to be beta readers, naturally I needed to start another project - if only to keep me from chewing my nails down to the knuckles while waiting for responses. And very fortunately, one floated into my... Continue Reading →


I don't want to stomp on Dave's post, but it's two weeks until my next scheduled post, and I. Can't. Wait. On Saturday I wrote the last scene of the last chapter of Book of Secrets. I'd estimated it would run to 100,000 words and the first-draft word count was 100,646 words. Am I brilliant... Continue Reading →

Getting back on the bicycle

Over this summer, in between the unavoidable interruptions of Real Life, I had begun to wonder if I was really going to write this book or if I would simply spend the rest of my life taking notes about Renaissance Italy and the Turkey of Mehmed II. Then things began to fall into place. The... Continue Reading →

Thank you, Frau Lindemann

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize a blessing. In fact, sometimes it takes 60 years to realize the full extent of it. Look, I already knew my high school German teacher was a blessing, even if she disapproved of me personally. Without Frau Lindemann the school wouldn't have offered German at all, and without... Continue Reading →

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