My BS and Words Podcast is Coming Together #Mondayblogs

Weeks into the process of developing my first podcast, Blood, Sweat and Words, I’ve come up for air. I can see launch day approaching and my initial fear is morphing into a giddy-excitement.

The turning point came in Costco. I know great epiphanies are supposed to take place on top of mountains or on deserted beaches, but mine came in a big-box store. I was standing in line for a cheap latte, craving caffeine to fuel my frantic state, or whatever you want to call the buzz that takes over your body when you are about to take a creative leap, and the woman in front of me turned and said, “You realize your shirt’s on inside out.”

Everyone turned and looked my way. I laughed, excused myself and fixed my darn shirt. Once again the universe reminded me to not take myself too seriously, and to get things straight.

“One episode at a time,” I tell myself.

To bring  you up to date: I’ve made a home for my new baby, scheduled everything but my breathing and covered the walls of my office in sticky notes. For me, these are good signs. The love and support of fellow authors has been tremendous, and I can’t thank everyone enough. Writing buddies, near and far, rock. I’ve also had a lot of support from the Podcast Paradisers.

This is my schedule for the first two months. Have a look and see what you think.

Tuesday September 4th – Launch!!!

I’m launching with 2 episodes: All About Jo-Ann Carson, and The Digital Revolution (or, A Virgin at an Orgy and a Really Big Fish) a monologue by me.

Then, the interviews begin:


Tuesday Sept. 11th – Stephanie Spicer, A Voice Actor Talks About Audiobooks

Tuesday Sept. 18th – J.C. McKenzie, Science Geek Turns Author

Tuesday Sept. 25th – Abigail Owen, An Author Helping Authors

Tuesday Oct. 2        – Suzan Tisdale, #GetLoud #StayLoud

Tuesday Oct. 9        – C.J. Hunt, In the Business of Helping Authors

Tuesday Oct. 16      –  Bonnie Edwards, Sex on the Page

Tuesday Oct. 23      – Willie Nikkel, Why We Need Thrillers

Tuesday Oct. 30     – Eileen Cook, A Writer’s Coach

Blood, Sweat and Words is about writing today. I want to create a community where we discuss the ups, downs and “crazies” of the publishing environment we work in. The podcast will be weekly and can be downloaded from Apple, Google, Stitcher… all the regular pod spots as well as from the website,  You can subscribe to it from any of those places as well.

In addition, it has it’s own weekly newsletter that offers writing tips and information on upcoming episodes.

My latest audiobook release!!!

Narrated by Stephanie Spicer, who adds her own special magic to the story.

It’s available on ACX, Audible and Amazon.

Or … I have a deal for you …

I’ll send you a free copy in exchange for an honest review (but you have to be a member of (the U.S. one) for the code to work). Contact me at

Blurb:As the janitor in a haunted house, single mom Abby Jenkins has many contacts with the living and the dead in the small Pacific Northwest town of Sunset Cove, which puts her in a perfect position to solve local mysteries. Or so she thinks. Hired to find diamonds hidden in a haunted manor she gets help from a Viking ghost with existential issues. Will she survive? This book contains bad-boy ghosts, mischievous magic, and a woman who knows what she wants in a Viking hayloft.


6 Lessons I Learned from the RWA

I joined the RWA (Romance Writers of America) a year ago, and if I had to compress my experience into one phrase or face vampires, or some other gruesome variety of death it would be: I fell through a portal and was immersed in a writer’s world, full of  engaging storytellers spinning tales and teaching craft. It’s been an amazing year.

It began when I wandered into a local chapter meeting (i.e., VIC – Vancouver Island Chapter). It was August  so the attendance was low, but the panel discussion given by two writers was so  phenomenal it pulled the earth beneath my feet from under me. Really.

First, Lee McKenzie (multi-published author with Harlequin) spoke about developing characters using archetypes. Then, Bonnie Edwards (multi-published, Hqn Blaze and others) explained  the craft of developing “scene and sequel” in a story. They talked about other things too, but I was so blown away with these two topics that I didn’t get it all. I left with pages of notes, a decision to join the RWA , and an aching desire to write.

…and the learning didn’t stop there. I’ve attended at least one workshop a month with our local chapter, taken on-line courses and traveled to Vancouver for a workshop. I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the information I’ve been given, but I can see it slowly taking root in my writing and I’m thrilled. I entered an in-house contest and four of our chapter published authors spent hours reviewing my work and commenting. I reworked my wip and sent it out…and so far its finalled in two contests: the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and the Golden Claddagh Contest. It’s been a heady adventure and I can’t wait to see where my writing will take me next year.

As I’m coming up to a one year anniversary for me and the RWA, I decided to reflect on the first six lessons I learned:

One – POV (Point of View)

I like to get into all my character’s heads, and I’m learning to stick to one POV at a time. No more head hopping.

Two – Active Verbs

If I had a dime for ever time I’ve edited passive verbs out of my wips I’d be rich. I seem to get particularly stuck on “had”. She had seen that, rather than She saw that.

Three – Character Development

I start writing a story by developing two strong characters and then work out their conflicts. (References: Lee McKenzie’s workshop and The Complete Writer’s Guide To Heroes and Heroines by Tami D. Coiwden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders)

Four – Scene and Sequel

This refers to the craft of developing a scene (action) followed by a sequel (reflection and decision to move on to the next action/scene). It may sound simple, but when done well it makes the plot crystal clear. (Reference: Bonnie Edwards on-line workshop)

Five – Nixing Dialogue Tags

Instead of adding dailogue tags like, “‘What’s going on,’ he said,” I’m working on having dialogue stand alone beside action. For example: “He slammed the door. ‘What’s going on.'”

Six – GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict)

When developing my story I constantly keep in mind my character’s goals, motivation and conflicts. (References: Debra Dixon GMC, and Nancy Warren’s DOG plotting process)

And then…there’s the camaraderie, the critique sessions and the on-going support… It’s been a great year.

For anyone out there interested in writing (in any genre) I highly recommend joining the RWA to learn writing craft, meet writers and move forward. I can’t wait to see what my top 6 lessons in my second year will be.

Sexy in the Scene or Sequel?

Yesterday, I finished an eye-opening, course on Scene and Sequel, given by multi-published author, Bonnie Edwards, through Savvy Authors.  The SCENE is the part in the story where all the action takes place, and the SEQUEL is the emotional fall-out from that action. The characters emotions lead  her to make a plan of action. That plan leads to the next scene, and so the plot unfolds; scene -sequel to scene- sequel… and so on.

I’d never thought about plot development in this way, but it makes sense. Both the scene and the sequel have essential components that make them work. Well written they improve not only the clarity of the story, but the pacing as well. It was an excellent course, and I highly recommend it.

You guessed it: I tend to leave out a few of those essential ingredients. My writing, at times, is like scrambled eggs without salt. My challenge now is to digest the theory that I’ve learned and let it flow into my work. But you may have noticed that I’m writing a post and not my manuscript at the moment:)

Sooo…is he sexy in the scene or the sequel? I would say he needs to be extremely sexy in the scene, but I want his memory to be equally sexy in the sequel.

Or more!