Category Archives: Writing

A Writer’s Desk

on November 15, 2021

If you’ve made it here from the SHINE Facebook Group, WELCOME!

You not only get a view of my desk (actually a dining table from Pottery Barn), but you get to see my late, great, beloved Belgian Sheepdog Traveller. He was not always an under-the-table kind of dog, but as he got older, he liked to be as near to me as he could.

This view of my desk is very dog and cat treat-focused, but I promise you that lots of work is done here also!

1919 Lingerie, Anyone?

on November 2, 2021

Not for nothing (another way of saying “My Work-in-Progress takes place in 1919 San Francisco”, I’ve done a lot of research about WWI-ish American women’s lingerie.

To keep my research together, I’m collecting together some of these newspaper advertisements today.

First, I like to know how much everything costs. Don’t you?


And then, I like to know the fabric my heroine is wearing under her clothes. I can tell you right now that in this story, my heroine’s skin is being caressed by that silky, sexy, and definitely superior, Crepe de Chine.

And I like to make sure that my heroine has some variety. Because she’s not going to be in her step-ins all day.





Coroner vs. Medical Examiner

on October 26, 2021

Coroner or Medical Examiner, do you know which “death professional” your city has?

It’s a big thing, when you’re writing crime fiction, to make sure that you have the facts straight: does your story setting have a Coroner or a Medical Examiner? Because they do different things, these guys.

It’s also important to know when you’re writing historical crime fiction. So for my 1919 WIP, I went to the April 12, 1919 San Francisco Examiner for the straight scoop.

And here you are: In 1919, the City of San Francisco had a Coroner (Dr. T. B. W. Leland), and when Dr. Leland joined the U.S. Navy during WWI, Dr. John Gallagher took over the job.

You’re welcome.

But more importantly, now I will know where I “archived” this specific piece of information.

If the cover of your already-published novel fails you, should you change it?

on June 20, 2021

Join me on Paper Lantern Writers for my latest blog post New Cover, Same Old Fanny. Not surprisingly, it’s about how I changed the cover of my novel FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER.

But just because we’re all pretty busy these days, I’ll cut to the happy ending (and answer the title question above) here:

“So, if you’re an author and your existing cover or covers aren’t making you happy,

aren’t making you feel proud,

don’t make you go yummmmm,

make you feel like a failure, and

don’t compliment the other covers in your genre,

it’s probably time to redo your cover.

It’s worth the time, it’s worth the money, it’s worth the rethinking of how you want your novel to be known.”


If you do have time, come on over!

Sixty Sensational Online Historical Archives

on June 11, 2021

From Gertrude Käsebier to Buffalo Bill to African Americans in WWII to Abigail Adams’ letters to John, there’s something fascinating for everyone in my Sixty Sensational Online Historical Archives on today’s Paper Lantern Writers’ blog.
Come on by for Postcards of Peoria, Heart Mountain Relocation Center Records, King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani photos,  first-person narratives of the American South, and much, much more!

It’s time to SHINE with Paper Lantern Writers

on April 24, 2021

As a founding member of the Paper Lantern Writers Historical Fiction Author Collective (whew! what a long title!) I’m excited to invite you to join SHINE, our new Facebook Group.

SHINE is for readers and writers, editors and researchers, and anyone else who loves to talk about books, especially our favorite historical fiction.

Here’s the official story:

“We are a group of historical fiction readers and writers who love to talk about historical fiction!

We’d love to find out what you are reading and writing, but please limit self-promo to Fridays.

Other recommendations are welcome any time!”

SHINE with Paper Lantern Writers FACEBOOK GROUP!