Point of View – Who’s is it?

Embarrassed EmoticonI was lying in bed this morning reading an older Nora Roberts book. It was one of her earlier titles, and I have to say I was a little surprised by the Point of View switches from character to character in the same scene. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE Nora Roberts fan. Always have been, always will be. But, I did want to point this particular fact out because as a reader, I found it confusing and difficult to follow ,and I wouldn’t want any other writer to make the same mistake.

I’m not sure if editing has changed that much on POV over the years…I have noticed Nora doesn’t do this as much in her recent books…or if POV has become a more controversial topic, but I’d like to give you a quick example of what threw me in the book.

“…Calculating her weaknesses, he pressed his advantage. It was the perfect way to keep her close, keep her busy. ‘I’d rather no take the time to start advertising and interview secretaries right now. If you could help me out, a few hours a day, I’d really appreciate it’.

She thought of his office, decided it didn’t need a secretary so much as a bulldozer. Well, perhaps she could be of some use after all…”

The two paragraphs above were in the same scene on the same page. In the first paragraph we are in the male character’s POV. He’s thinking about her weaknesses. In the second paragraph, we jump to her POV and she’s thinking about his office and how badly he needs a secretary.

I call that head hopping. In this particular scene, it isn’t all that confusing, but when you move into scenes that are more internal than external, i.e. bedroom scenes, you can see where the reader could get lost as to whom is thinking about whom.

In my experience, I’ve found it is best to stay in one POV per scene. Preferably within the same chapter, as I’m not a real fan of scene breaks either, but definitely within in the same scene. Just keeps your writing tighter, crisper, and easier for your reader to follow.

Perhaps Nora is of the fame that it doesn’t really matter, but from my experience with modern day editing, it’s better to keep your scenes to one character’s POV and your entire book to a limited number of characters’ POV’s.

Now go get some writing done today.


Posted in Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Free Book!

Finally! After months of trying the first book in my paranormal shifter series Guardians of Spirit Rock, is now FREE on Amazon! Grab your copy of Secrets of a Wolf today and begin a journey introducing you to the sexy hot Gray Brothers.


A tragic event ruins Daphne Valentine’s career as a K-9 cop and department veterinarian in Seattle. Devastated, she escapes to Spirit Rock, South Dakota, to start over as the vet for an animal wildlife rescue park. When she arrives, nothing goes quite as planned—especially when she meets her new boss for the first time and she’s almost stark naked. Not the greatest first impression…or is it?

A confirmed bachelor, Cameron Gray is shocked at his instant attraction to his new employee. He soon learns she carries quite a bit of extra baggage, but even so, his desire to possess the sexy vet ignites him with a need he and his wolf can’t ignore. But all is not what it seems…. What exactly drove Daphne to leave her successful career and move to Seattle?

When dangerous poachers bring the two together in the line of duty, Daphne discovers Cameron’s secret, forcing her to question every decision she’s made since arriving in Spirit Rock. Will the tender new love they’ve found be enough to hold them together or drive them apart forever?

Join the Gray brothers in Spirit Rock, South Dakota. Gifted with the power to shift into their own unique spirit animal, they have been bestowed with the enormous responsibility of watching over their ancestral canyon. Their strength and conviction will be tested…as will the depth and breadth of their heart and soul.

Download Yours NOW!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Positioning Your Book

I finally got time to sit down and catch up on some of my industry reading early this morning before the birds were even up. Yes, author insomnia isn’t pleasant, but the muse wants what the muse wants, right?

Anyway, I came across this article in a Publisher’s Weekly Newsletter that I receive and thought it was worth sharing. It doesn’t give a great deal of detail on what to do in regard to positioning your book, but it will give you some great insight into what to think about. I’ll be looking around for some helpful sources that I will post later.

For Indie Authors, Positioning is Key

Enjoy. If you have any additional information, please feel free to comment and share.


Posted in Self-Publishing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Choosing a Graphic Designer

screaming guyYou’ve heard those commercials that start out with the deep voice stating, “In a world…”. That’s what I thought of as I write this blog post this morning.  So here goes…

In a world of confounding confusion for an indie author, how do you ever choose the right cover artist who will understand and feel the same passion for your book as you do? If you’re an Indie Author I’m sure you’ve asked that question, and many of you have been quite successful discovering  that valuable gem of a cover artist. For those still in the weeds, I offer some tips on how to find the right cover artist for your book.

  1. Make certain they can do covers in your genre. Most can, but there are some who tend to stick to only one genre
  2. Ask for recommendations – a sure way of finding one that is successful working with authors
  3. Preview their website for eye catching designs – would you click on that book or pull it off the shelf if you saw that design
  4. Don’t let price be your main driver – a good designer is worth their weight in silver, a great one, in gold
  5. Have a few conversations or exchange a few emails before you hire them. Make sure they can understand the vision you have for your book, but don’t try to take over the design process. They are pros and know what they’re doing
  6. Ask about deadlines. If they aren’t able to meet your deadline you’re wasting time and money.
  7. Be open to their suggestions. They may surprise you.
  8. Negotiate price up front and find out how many revisions they are willing to do for the price.
  9. Ask about your rights to the design. Do they maintain the rights and only give you permission to use the design as they dictate or do they release the rights to you.
  10. If you have multiple books in a series ask if they are willing to offer package deals

These are but a few tips that may help you choose the right designer for you. What works for one author may not work for all, so find an artist you can feel comfortable working with. Try more than one. You may want to keep your options open.

Best of luck to you on your journey to bring your passion to life.


Posted in Self-Publishing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sittin’ On The Porch With Kelly – Author Judy Snider – Where Story Ideas Come From

Holy Mackerel, it’s hot this summer! But it’s nice and early this morning and Author Judy Snider and I are sitting’ on the porch with a pitcher of sweet tea a piece. It’s not too steamy out here yet, so we’re enjoying some author time together. Judy is telling me where her story ideas come from. It’s pretty interesting…Let’s listen…

One of the questions I often get from readers is how do I come up with an idea for a book? I remember the words of an author I heard at a conference who said when he dropped off his manuscript in a mailbox, and started pondering what to write next, he suddenly heard a title  whispered in his ear. He said he was startled, spun around, yet there was no one there. He said he heard the name loud and clear, and went on to write the book and use that title. 

Since I love suspense, the normal every day work I do, places I go, walks I take, all provide many opportunities for story lines. One day I went to open the blinds of my back door. Just as I opened the blinds, there was a face pressed up against the other side of the window. Well, it is a good thing my heart was in good condition then, because it nearly came out of my chest as I yelled, “What do you want?” while stepping away from the door.

The man heard nothing I said, as he had earphones in his ears, and he was putting flyers inside our storm door.  He sauntered down the steps never having seen me. So, now writing my third novel, (Each takes me about 8-10 months to write) I am using the same scene in the story. Only he’s not just placing flyers in the storm door.

Now, I wouldn’t want you to get into a scary situation for a story or title, but you probably have suddenly seen or done something and said, “Wow, that would make a good story.”

Sometimes I want to turn off the list in my head of good story ideas, as they all plague me to have their turn to be written. If you’re an author, you’ll know exactly what I mean.  So watch, listen and observe. Who knows, you just might hear your muse whisper a title in your ear too. And if it does,  maybe you should listen.

Wow, thanks Judy. A man in the window, huh? Sheesh. I’d have fainted on the spot. Thanks for sitting’ on the porch with me today. Find out more about Judy, her books and her songs, on my Porch Guests page.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Research Fun

Have you ever worked on a story and gotten into a process or procedure that your character is partaking in and realized, I don’t know jack-diddly about that. I found myself in that predicament while working on my most recent short story, Monster in the Woods.

In this story, the main character, Graham Sawyer, is an atypical seventeen year old. He has goals to become a survivalist and appear on one of the multiple reality shows that are so popular these days. Graham is not a fan of guns, although he was trained by his boss, Neal, an ex-marine, on how to use one.  Instead he enjoys doing things that are more challenging. Neal also taught him how to shoot a bow, fish without fishing line, discover what he can eat in the wild, how to obtain safe drinking water…you get the idea.

What Graham runs into in this story is a different kind of predator, and that’s all I have to say about that. You will need to read it to see. BUT what I had no clue about, other than rapt attention paid to the Hunger Games movies, was how to shoot a bow. So, I googled it. Not enough information. I needed to get hands on.

One afternoon I dragged my son to a local archery shop in Tampa. I found a very nice helpful young woman who had been shooting for over seven years. She took the time to explain the differences in types of bows, the arrows, and we even spoke about the process. But that still didn’t give me all I needed to know. Yep, you guessed it. I registered for a class. In the photo below is my target. I think I like this sport.


Other than the fact that I used muscles I didn’t even know I had, it was a fun evening and I’ve got plans to return. I’ll hang out with the novices for a while. Believe me, a trip to the regular range informed me on how much I really had to learn. Those men and women were amazing.

I did, however, gain enough hands on knowledge in order the make my character believable. Or if I didn’t, you can be sure to tell me so.

A Monster in the Woods releases in October 2017 as part of a thriller anthology. Be on the look out for more information. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover and blurb.

Deep dark woods with fog at night on Halloween
Seventeen year old Graham Sawyer finds solace in the woods of the Appalachian Mountains. Left alone for far too many nights by a mother who has more interest in a bottle of booze and her current boyfriend of the month, Graham fancies himself the next great survivalist. He could even show the local hunting guides a trick or two.

Gifted with a brilliant sense of direction and an uncanny ability to communicate with the energy of animals around him, there isn’t much he fears. What he can’t handle with his wits, he trusts to his bow and arrows. When he finds the abandoned hunting cabin, nothing could prepare him for what’s inside. Entering to find shelter from a wicked summer lightning storm, he finds the woman, staked to the floor, battered and bloody. His first instinct is to back out the way he came, forgetting he ever found the place, then he makes eye contact.

For days, maybe weeks, she’d lost track of time, Ann prayed for escape from her living nightmare. When the young man burst through the cabin door, dripping wet, wearing a bow and a quiver of arrows, she thought him a vision in her own mind. A savior she’d conjured to save her from the monster in the woods. Unable to speak from the multiple fractures in her face, she focuses on his gaze, pleading for assistance.

Graham decides to help, all the while dealing with the anger at her inhumane treatment. Their struggling to escape, but he’s faced with her injuries the storm and the returning captor. When Graham discovers this monster’s identity, the tables suddenly turn, heightening Graham’s survival instinct. He cannot allow this man to survive. The hunted becomes the hunter. Who’s the monster now?

I’m excited to be a part of this upcoming anthology. Stay tuned for updates.  Not a part of my mailing list? Visit the About Page to sign up and get a free read for your trouble.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Am I Right For This Story?

I was fooling around on Facebook this morning and saw a post by an author friend of mine. She asked the question, and I’m not quoting, so I may take it a little out of context, “Ever have the feeling you’re not the right author for the story you want to write?”

Several authors commented behind her that they had all felt that way. So have I. I’m writing an historical adventure right now that is so totally out of the genres I normally write that I’m feeling quite squeamish. I’ve asked myself the following questions:

  1. Do I know all I need to know about this genre?
  2. Is my research accurate enough?
  3. Are my characters portraying the time period correctly?
  4. How’s my dialogue between the characters? Does it fit the time period?
  5. Are my descriptions accurate?

I could go on and on. So much so that I completely talk myself out of writing the dang thing. But you know what? I’m not going to do that. I’m going to flex my writing muscle and exercise my mind and skill at writing an historical adventure. I’ve done a ton of research. I’m sure I have my historical facts straight, and the rest I will leave to my muse.

If you ever find yourself feeling this way, keep writing. Push through it. Do your research on the genre, era, or whatever is making you squeamish. You will come out the other side a much more powerful writer for having done the exercise.  Before you submit it or publish it, find a good editor with a solid reputation in that genre. That’s what I plan to do. So if you know anyone who edits Historical Adventure, point them my way.

I still have apprehension, but I have faith in my skill as a writer, and I know writing this book will only strengthen my craft. If you want to follow along the journey check out http://www.thegamblenovel.com.

Write on my friends…Write on!


Posted in My Personal Journey, Put On Your Online Suit, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment