Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fun, fun, fun...and research

Sometimes you just have to have a lot of fun. Last night was one of those nights. I was invited to go to Norfolk to visit a book club there. I generally have a good time when I meet new people, but I didn't expect to have THAT MUCH FUN! Everyone who came was wonderful and made me feel so welcome.

This picture was sent to me by LeAnn, but more pictures are up on Deborah Henseley's blog here.

My hosts, Hap and Vicki Cluff, had me over for dinner before the book club which was wonderful, complete with my absolute favorite vegetable...asparagus. I know some people aren't big on asparagus, my mother-in-law included, but I love the stuff and don't get to eat it nearly as often as I would like.

After dinner, about a dozen people arrived and I had a great time answering questions and finding out more about them. Among the attendees was another author (Greg West) who will be visiting the group next month.
One of the fun things about the trip was the fact that the book I'm currently working on has some scenes in Norfolk. In a way, I guess my trip served a dual purpose...having fun and doing research.

As for the members of the book club, what great people! We talked, we laughed, we ate crepes. The crepes were a spur of the moment thing, at least on my part. The ladies in attendance had made plans to kidnap another friend and take her out for her birthday. I was lucky enough to get invited along and everyone had a great time. Yes, we were sometimes a bit loud as we talked and laughed together, and we were all a bit overdosed on chocolate by the time the evening was over. I decided not to think about the number of calories I consumed...especially since our waitress insisted that all of the desserts were zero calories. Instead, I considered dessert just one part of an incredible evening, one with great food, fun conversation and the best of company.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life is why is everyone else falling apart???

Everything has been going great for me lately. I have a new book out that's doing well, another finished and submitted, and yet another one in progress. My family is healthy and happy (most of the time) and my oldest daughter is FINALLY at college where she is happiest.

So how can my life be so great when everyone around me is going through such huge trials? I'm not talking about the little bumps in the road either. One of my closest friends is facing stage 4 cancer, again. Another is dealing with a child's serious illness, one that has the child in a top hospital located almost two hours away. Several other friends are facing serious financial difficulties.

Seeing my friends' struggles, I desperately want us all to be on the same plane of happiness...MINE! I keep hoping and praying that they will all get their miracles. I want the sick to be healed, the weary to find strength, and the distressed to find hope. That isn't too much to ask, is it? Oh, yeah. And I want my life to stay great!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


unread e-mails. This is what I found when I booted up my computer after being away for several days. While on my trip to Utah and Idaho last week, my internet access was limited to what I could accomplish on my cell phone. I thought I was being so clever to check my e-mails every day to make sure there wasn't anything critical that I needed to take care of. I just never realized exactly how many I was skipping over.

So yesterday I opened up my inbox and was stunned at the number of unread e-mails in my inbox. I mean, I know I get a lot of e-mails, but normally I check it a couple of times a day and clean everything out as the day goes on.

I started reading e-mails at 10AM yesterday...and finished cleaning out the new ones around 5PM. Yes, I did have a few I needed to respond to, and I admit I did delete many without reading them. I think the next time I travel, I'll figure out where the delete button is on my cell phone BEFORE I leave town!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Whitney voting

The Whitney Award voting is coming to a close. The Whitney Committee, comprised of various authors, reviewers and bookstore owners and managers have all been frantically trying to read the last of the finalists, hoping to find a clear favorite in each category by the end of this week.

As for me, I had to pick and choose which categories to vote in. Living in Virginia where I don't have easy access to LDS books, I was faced with a choice. Buy the majority of the books on the finalist list (except for the mainstream ones that are available in my library) and stop writing for two months so I would have time to read them all, or I could keep writing and read what I could. I chose the second option.

Last year I tried the first. The result was no new novel written by me last year. Lockdown, which came out this month, was written in the spring of 2007. My previous three novels (The Deep End, Freefall, and Royal Target) were written in the spring of 2006. In the spring of 2008 I didn't write. I read.

I don't know what it is about springtime that gets the creative juices flowing for me, but I've decided not to fight it...or postpone it...this year. I'm excited to have finished a rough draft of my next novel and have started on another one that I hope to have drafted by the end of April. If all goes well, I will have something to submit to my publisher within a few weeks as I edit the first.

In the middle of this productive time for me though, I am waiting anxiously to know who will win this year's Whitney awards. I am realistic enough to know that even though I wrote two of the five finalists in the suspense category, I am expecting to lose. Really. Even if I win, I lose. So, knowing that the honor really is in being nominated, and even more so being selected as a finalist, I have to wonder: If the choice was only between my two books, which would win? Royal Target or Freefall? Opinions anyone?