Statement of intent 2018

Posted by on Jan 27, 2018 in Blog, Inspiration, Writing | 0 comments

Sorry (not sorry) that I’ve been gone so long guys. Where have I been? It’s not where so much as what I’ve been doing. I gave birth to my son in November and decided to concentrate my efforts on him. My beautiful boy.

But as I start to get into a rhythm (of being a writer and a mom), I need to plan a goal for 2018. Even if it’s likely that I won’t be able to accomplish much while caring for an infant, I have to try. The desire to write is still strong in me. It can’t be stopped!

So here’s what I’m hoping to tackle:

  1. Finish my Final Girl series — the first three books are available for Kindle and through other online ebook sellers. Books four and five are written and partly edited, and will hopefully be in your hot little hands by the end of the year.
  2. Write a short story biweekly — this was a huge writing challenge trend in 2017. Inspired by Ray Bradbury (“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”), writers attempted to hit this ambitious, but totally doable goal throughout the year. I’d love to hear from someone who accomplished this. One story every week is a lot for a new mom/writer to tackle, so I’m scaling back to one every two weeks (should be 26 short stories by the time I’m done—not too shabby).

I’ll keep you posted about how I do. First I have to get my thoughts together. Perhaps I’ll share what I’m working on via Instagram.

Excerpt: Final Girl Part III

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017 in Blog, Fiction, Fun, Publishing | 0 comments

Final Girl Part III launches October 3 for your early Halloween seasonal reading. Get it now—or check out this excerpt. (more…)

What scares me

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Blog, Writing | 0 comments

As a horror fan and writer of horror, I’m often trying to drill into what could scare my readers. But the deep, dark secret of writing horror is tapping into what scares ME and then writing about it, and maybe, if I’ve done my job well, what scares me will resonate with readers.

On Tuesday, a 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico City. I’m all the way up in Edmonton, Canada, and if you know your geography, you know there’s no way in hell, I felt it the tremors. But I did feel absolute terror for about 24 hours because my dad was in Mexico City that very day on a business trip.

I had no idea where he was or how to reach him, or if he was safe, and as the body count went up as city officials surveyed the destruction, I feared my dad was among them.

For almost a day, I puttered in my anxiety wondering if he was okay. Thousands of miles away, countries apart, and seven months pregnant, I’ve never felt more helpless. How could I help my dad when I didn’t know where to start?
I could tell you stories about waking up in the night and hearing creaky sounds, or thinking I’ve heard voices outside my window. I could tell you about being alone in the house with my imagination (my best friend and worst enemy). I could paint you pictures of gory and twisted scenarios sure to scare the average person. But the scariest thing for me is losing a loved one and not being able to do a damn thing.

Once I’m able to tap into that fear, I’ll become a much stronger horror writer.

And in case you’re wondering, my dad is just fine, and he’s going to get the biggest hug when he gets home.

Your first page is boring—here’s how to fix it

Posted by on Sep 1, 2017 in Blog, Writing | 0 comments

I won’t link to it, but I just read a blog post out on the interwebs about writing your novel’s first page. The advice was the standard stuff, so I won’t repeat it here.

But it was the comment section that made me roll my eyes. A few folks shared what their first page was about, and not to judge, but one person said that their story started with their young protagonist dreaming of an adventure to escape their boring life.


To me, this author has just described every lame first page ever. Sure, your protag is relatable. Who hasn’t been a bored teenager dreaming of excitement? The problem is I don’t care. Other readers don’t care. Because now, on this first page, you have to set up why his life is boring, and we don’t want to read that. We’ve LIVED that.

So how about this? Throw the protag into the middle of the action! Backtrack as he lays out the current scenario:

Hanging over the bubbling volcano, I remembered that I still have that term paper due tomorrow…

As the sword blade cut a chunk of hair off Donna’s head, she realized this was way scarier than spilling all her feelings to her crush back home.

Hint at the ho-hum elements of the protag’s previous life, but show us what’s exciting now and why we should care NOW.

Your first pages will be better for it.

Recommended read: Riley Sager wants you to “write what you feel”

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Blog, Inspiration | 0 comments

Aspiring writers hear this “gem” all the damn time. Write what you know. Well, if we all followed this advice, we wouldn’t have Lord of the Rings (I’m sure Tolkien knows nothing about being a dwarf or hobbit), Star Wars (space cowboys, really), or any horror/fantasy/sci fi and most detective/lawyer dramas/mysteries. So it was refreshing to read Riley Sagar’s thoughts on this topic.

Sagar’s Final Girls is the next book on my TBR pile. (Not to be confused with my own series, Final Girl.)