Being “Liked”

Everyone wants to be loved, admired, and yes liked, but in this day an age, as a author, I have come to realize that there is liked and “liked”. I want people who read my books to like them and want to keep buying my new releases. On a personal level, there is a great deal of validation that comes from a 3-4-5 star review–someone out there likes what I created and that makes me feel good about myself and my efforts. By the same token, 1-2 reviews disappoint me, but I do realize that reading is a personal choice, and not everyone  who reads my books will like them. I’ve read many books over the years, far more than I can count, and I never took the time to write reviews–something I will definitely do from now on. Will I write reviews for books I don’t like? Probably not! My ego is too fragile to set myself up for criticism like that–besides, I want to be liked, right?

This week, I’ve learned about a whole new “like” scenario thanks to my creating an author page. Now, complete strangers can not only like what I post, they can like me as an author. In a week, I’ve managed to get almost 100 likes, and that means more people will learn about me and my writing. I may not be famous yet, but if enough people like me, I just might be some day.

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Second Book Cover makes It All real!

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In Plain Sight will be available as e-pub on August 12, 2013

When I got the cover image for Fire Angel, I was amazed at the artist’s ability to create such a vivid image of what I saw in my mind. Well, they’ve done it again. The cover for In Plain Sight, is everything I could have hoped for and more. The artist captured Misty and Nick beautifully. I may have written the story, but the artist brought it to life. Thank you!

The Challenge of a New Idea

I never thought I’d start as sentence like this, but here goes. As an author, I’m constantly looking for new ideas and plot possibilities. What used to be a simple shopping trip has turned into a people watching activity. Have you ever actually looked at people’s faces? Examined the way they walked? Considered their body language? Some are bored, others have a dreamy look on their faces, and every now and then, you come across someone for whom the adage “if looks could kill” works. These are the people who interest me the most. Why are they so angry? Who is the target of their anger? Will they give in to their anger, or will they bottle it up inside? Villains are born from those faces.

Every good story needs a strong plot, but it also needs characters the reader can identify with, and a theme that is universal. I recently read a manuscript for one of Front Porch Romance’s authors that dealt with philosophical and metaphysical questions–not the usual fare for a romance novel, but in Rendezvous with Hymera, Melinda De Ross  made it work. The questions were woven through what, at first, appeared to be a ghost story. Everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, has questions about the afterlife–do any of us truly want to believe that this is all there is to our existence? Posing the questions and answering them in a way that you don’t offend someone’s belief system is truly a gift.

My novels don’t touch on such deep issues, but each of them is based on a common theme–the need for truth and trust in relationships. In each of my novels, the main characters have problems because of dishonesty and distrust. There can be no long lasting love without faith, and jealousy and possessiveness are signs of obsession not love.

As I begin to write a new suspense story, I see these same common themes arising. You’ll have to wait to hear more about LIE DOWN WITH DOGS. I’m just starting the novel, and my muse has provided many ideas — I wonder which ones will make the book? Will it be the crabby lady I saw at the grocery store, the tattooed boy who clung to the girl as if he was afraid and didn’t dare let go of her hand, or will it be the young pregnant woman shopping for baby clothes? You’ll just have to wait and see.

 

 

Saying Good-bye

This week, I will say good-bye to my Uncle Sam. His real name was Ovila Samson, but to me, he was always Uncle Sam. What I remember most about him was his smile, probably the most genuine, happy smile I’ve ever seen, and the way his eyes would light up when he saw me. I remember thinking that Santa Claus must have had eyes just like Uncle Sam’s.

He always had a kind word for you, and even when you dropped in unexpectedly, the welcome you received was genuine. There was no question that he was happy to see you and truly wanted you to sit and chat a while. Of course, Aunt Verna, undoubtedly the world’s best cook in my opinion, would insist on giving you something to eat–her desserts were the best part of a visit.

I never saw Uncle Sam angry, although I’m sure with three boys in the family, he must have lost his patience at some time, but to me, he was the nicest, happiest man ever. He didn’t even get mad when he found Gerard, David, Mark, and my sister, Michele  and I jumping on the beds upstairs, an action that would have brought down the wrath of God had my mother found us!

Unfortunately, mine is not what you would call a close family. We meet at weddings, anniversaries, and funerals, and the days for weddings are long past. I wish I could turn back the time and visit more, but such is life that as we grow older ourselves, time has a way of moving strangely. ‘I’ll visit next week’ we say, but next week never comes, and suddenly, it’s too late, the decision has been taken out of our hands.

Uncle Sam worked as letter carrier back in the day when we called them mailmen. He had the downtown route, so if I were out shopping, I’d often run into him delivering his mail. He always had time to stop and say hello. When my husband and I returned to Cornwall after living in Ottawa for more than ten years, Uncle Sam was still delivering the mail, and my husband’s office was on his route. Since he was getting on in years, the long flight of stairs became harder on his knees, but he never complained.

I was lucky enough to see him just a couple of years ago at a family event. His dark hair was white, he was shorter and far more frail than I remembered, but his eyes still twinkled. Today, I’ll say good-bye to one of my favorite people. There are few members of my father’s family left, just as there are few left on my mother’s side. We need to remember to treasure the memories of our family members– those who have gone ahead of us have made us who we are today. Thank you, Uncle Sam, for serving in the second world war, preserving the freedom Canada enjoys, and for being part of my life. You will be missed.