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Blogging at Soul Mate Publishing About Building a Novel

Click on over to Soul Mate Publishing and check out my post about how to write a novel using, what I call, The Building method.  This technique builds inspiration upon inspiration, like a house, from the ground up.

 Below is the example of how I used the technique for one of my young adult novels, Silverweed: A supernatural fairy tale.

 Foundation: Little Red Riding Hood/werewolves/superstitions

Framing: Silverweed Muffins: Short Story

Exterior: I did something both fun and challenging for the outline. I condensed the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood down to 20 sentences. These 20 sentences became my chapter titles. So when I began to write, these were also my inspiration for the story. Below are the first ten chapter titles:

Chapter 1: Once Upon A Time

Chapter 2: There Was A Dear Little Girl

Chapter 3: Take These Goodies To Your Grandmother

Chapter 4: I Will Be Careful

Chapter 5: Half A League From The Village

Chapter 6: “Good Day,” Said The Wolf

Chapter 7: I Must Act Craftily So I Can Catch Both

Chapter 8: Little Red Drifted From The Path

Chapter 9: The Wolf Knocked At The Door

Chapter 10: He Devoured Her


Interior and Final Walkthrough : Silverweed a Supernatural Fairy Tale

Love and Laughter,


Transforming a Villainess into a Heroine

Brenda FisherI’m working on edits for my second book in my Trouble with Men Series The Trouble with Scarecrows. And one of the biggest challenges I’ve had with this book is my female protagonist, Brenda Fisher. If you’ve read Book 1, The Trouble with Snowmen, then you know she is the antagonist in that story. So I’ve been working with this character since early 2012.

I’ve created some pretty mean, selfish, female characters over the years, but Brenda started out as one of the most self-centered personalities I’ve ever imagined. Which made her tons of fun to write! When I started writing Book 2, I thought I had to stick to her true nasty nature in the beginning and then give her a fabulous massive character arc – like in the story, A Christmas Carol, she would be my Scrooge!

But as Book 2 progressed (I finished the rough draft February 2013) and critique partners started reading and commenting, I found I had a major problem. Brenda made people angry – they hated her. Lol. Not good for the heroine. Even if she does redeem herself by the end of the book, it was too late.

Since then, Brenda has gone through a lot of changes. She still has an edge, but I feel she also has heart. And although she has been through the ringer (My editor read Book 2 first and said I’d better make some changes in Book 1 if she was going to become a heroine – so I even had to make changes for her there.) it molded her into a dynamic woman with many layers. And after everything, I can easily say that Brenda Fisher (Fishlips) is my favorite character I have ever created.

Love and Laughter,


The Trouble with Snowmen (Book 1 Trouble with Men) Available now in eBook – Print coming soon.

The Trouble with Scarecrows (Book 2 Trouble with Men) April 2016

True Story – October’s Book and Movie Get-together

true story book imageTrue Story

Novel: (2006) Written by Michael Finkel

Movie: (2015) Directed by Rupert Goold Screenplay by Rupert Goold and David Kajganich

The set up:

Five of us (women ages 22-48) pick a book that has been made into a movie. We read the book and then get together for thematic food, to discuss the book, and then to watch the movie.

On the menu:

Each of us are to bring either a drink, dessert and/or appetizer and it is fun to use the story for inspiration. Below is what we ended up with this month.

Appetizers: Hummus, Tzatziki sauce, and a Cheese bake dip with assorted crackers and chipsfood for true story

Drinks: Red wine, White wine, and Flip Flop wine

Dessert: Chocolate brownies  

Quick Book/Movie Summary (From Amazon):

In February 2002, New York Times Magazine writer Michael Finkel received a startling piece of news: a young man named Christian Longo, wanted for killing his entire family, had been captured in Mexico, where he’d taken on a new identity: Michael Finkel of the New York Times.

Thoughts about the Book:

I really don’t like to read books where something bad happens to children, and I wouldn’t have read this nonfiction book if it hadn’t been picked for our group. But I think Michael Finkel is a good storyteller, even though it was an awful story.

It was somewhat interesting but slow at times – then right when I was about to give up (How can there be any more to this book) a new question would arrive.

There was a half and half split in our group as to if this book was just plain boring or if it was a well-written boring book.

Thoughts about the Movie:

Boring, quiet, disturbing at times. It was unanimous – the movie was a yawner with disturbing scenes. A couple of us were okay not to even finish it – but we did. The acting (Jonah Hill and James Franco) was good but with people mostly just talking to one another, there wasn’t much to it. We all thought that we would probably be lost if we had not read the book first. There were a lot of differences between the two – like the girlfriend played a much bigger role in the movie than the book – however, without her, Jonah Hill’s character, Michael Finkel, would have had to talk to himself a lot or in his head a lot, which would probably had us all snoring.

Interesting Discoveries:

We all agreed that the book (not the movie) had a similarity to Gone Girl by Gillian in that neither person was 100% creditable. And so we thought the title was perfect.

Here’s an interesting interview with Finkel right before the movie was released.

The Girly Discussions:

The main reason why this book/movie probably got picked in the first place is because the movie had James Franco … We also talked about the pretty scenery: the church in the beginning was beautiful, and then near the end of the movie there was a wide view of a parking lot after a rain shower and it was next to the ocean. I also thought the actress who played Jill (Felicity Jones) had an interesting face.

My rating:

Book: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Movie: 1 out of 5 stars

The bottom line:

If you like true crime stories and aren’t easily upset, then the book is well written and interesting enough to read – but skip movie.

Next month’s Book and Movie:

Z for Zachariah

Love and Laughter,


The Trouble with Snowmen is on Tour!

trouble-with-snowmen-tour-bannerClick on the banner to check out the reviews.

Love and Laughter,


Click Here to purchase >> The Trouble with Snowmen -eBook- ( Amazon for $2.99)

Snowmen drift into your life like they were sent from above. The relationship is great, rolls right along, and builds. Everything seems perfect … until a little heat is introduced. Then they melt, leaving only their hat, their scarf, something to remind their victims of what they’d lost.

Urban cowgirl Haley Monroe is told that the fabulously hot guy who just dumped her was a snowman. Her friend Maximilian convinces her that the only way she’ll ever stop being played by snowmen is to become one. It takes a lot of drinks to work up the nerve, but Haley gets her sexy on and goes on the prowl.

Famous horror author Larry White drops everything to attend a midnight séance at Maximilian’s apartment where he meets Haley. By the way she’s dressed—and just propositioned him—he assumes she’s a hooker. Larry can’t pass up the chance to get inside her head, especially since prostitution is the character’s occupation in his next book.

After spending the weekend together, unexpected sparks surprise both Haley and Larry. The trouble is Haley is dead-set on snowmanning the unkempt “starving artist” she met at the séance, and Larry doesn’t think he could have a real relationship with a woman with a past, so they go their separate ways.

The real fun begins when they meet again and find out neither one of them were who they thought they were. Can they reignite the flame? Or will they have a snowman’s chance in hell?


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