Friday, February 29, 2008


This is about beginnings as in writing and came about when I was talking to my friend and co-author of Becoming Your Own Critique Partner published by Zumaya Press. I had just finished reading her novel Nightingale Man which I enjoyed very much, We talked about the beginning part which I wasn't sure she needed. She agreed with me. We talked about starting in the middle of the action a good rule in general. Sometimes this can become a very confusing opening if there is too much action or too many people. The trick then is to begin a moment before the action or a moment following the action.
Sometimes writers think a cute or exciting first sentence or paragraph is what will catch the reader's attention. It will but only if the action continues or the cleverness follows along.
I often start a book more than once until I find the right opening scene. A cast in point is my current project, The Dragons of Fyre. My first attempt began with the hero escaping from slavery and traveling through a mountain tunnel to reach his home. A sort of exciting moment, but then nothing was to happen for a year. I could have used this as a prologue but I sort of don't like prologues. I think I've written maybe one or two in the nearly thirty books I've written. So I began again, this time with the heroine. That read well until my critique group thought the villain was the hero. Not a good idea. So once again, I tore up the pages and began for a third time. This was from the hero's viewpoint. A better start but I got involved in the writer's need to know cycle and threw in too much backstory. I tore up the first three pages of the scene and wrote them over and with some tweaking, the beginning works and reads the way I wanted.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I've seen things on other lists about dragons and how they're depicted. I happen to like dragons but until recently I haven't written about them. I've begun a new book called The Dragons of Fyre. Here, the dragons are of three types, red, blue and green. As the green ages, he becomes yellow. At this point these dragons speak to people who are called speakers. These communications are mental. Those speakers who do not need a tea made from fyrethorn berries can speak to any and all dragons. Those who must take the tea can only speak to one dragon. So far, the main speakers are the Old One, a yellow and Verde, a green. The hero Drakon and the heroine, Arana have both been slaves and have escaped. But back to the dragons. The yellow because of his age speaks more adult like and so does Verde, except when he's excited.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Crossword puzzles

I must confess I'm addicted to crossword puzzles. Every Sunday morning my husband and I do the NY Times one. I'd like to say we complete it every time but there are a few times when we haven't. But I've learned a number of things from these puzzles that have been of use in my writing. The villain's name in The Henge Betrayed -- Flight was found in a puzzle. I also learned a word I adapted for a male harem used in The Temple of Fyre. The puzzles also keep my mind active and I learn new meanings for old words.

Friday, February 22, 2008


No astrology today. I've been enjoying the snow. We're had more snow today than we've had for the test of the winter. The world always seems quieter when there's snow on the ground.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Astrological characters

While wondering what happens when Astrological opposites meet, I developed three books using this idea. On Opposites Sites pits Jenessa against Eric. She is an Aries signfied by someone who charges in sword in hand. He is a Libra, a man who weighs everything and looks at both sides of a situation. She is union and he is management, but in the end they find a fight they can both take on. In A Minor Opposition, Laurel is a Taurus. She wants a home and a family. Alex is a Scorpio. Family is important to him. He has been divorced but his wife is now dead. She was wealthy and spoiled and Alex has problems with people who have money. Laurel does and she is nothing like Alex believes she has. Through Alex's son, they make a connection. In A Double Opposition, Liz is a Gemini. She has twin sons and is a widow. Jeff is a Sagittarius and often puts his foot in his mouth. He is a widower who had a perfect marriage and isn't looking for another wife. Sparks fly between he and Liz and her runaway sons bring them together. All three books are available from New Concepts Publishing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Astrology and Characters

In my latest release The Henge Betrayed -- Flight, the characters are based in Astrology and my grandchildren. Each of the children belongs to one of the four elements. Fire, Earth, Water and Air. Instead of giving them a moon and ascendant different from their Sun Signs, these characters are tripled. Ashlea is Air and has an affinity for all things pertaining to Air. She plays a flute that allows her to use her affinity. Brandien, her twin, is Water. His affinity allows him to hone in on the emotions of others. He bears a scrying bowl. Kylandra is Fire. She carries a sword that can produce flame to aid her. Jaydren is Earth and has a staff of living wood. He can use all products of the earth. These four must flee their home and find a safe place, hiding from Dom Senet. an evil man who desires to use the four to gain power over the land. During their flight, they meet with Alizand, the son of the prince of Wesran. Like the four, he is a half-breed and he fears the dom, too. They reach what should have been a safe place in Cedris only to find this place isn't safe. This book is available from Mundania Press.

Monday, February 18, 2008


As promised, I'm back to speak about characters. When creating characters, I often use Astrology, assigning the character a Sun sign, a Moon sign and an Ascendant. This gives me many characteristics to determine what the character desires, what drives them to seek their desires and what traits could prevent their obtaining their goals. Then I do one more thing. I run that character through myself. I wonder how many writers put a bit of themselves in their characters. Of the characters I've created, Katherine Miller, heroine of Murder and Mint Tea, Requiem Murder and The Midas Murders is closest to being me, except she's a fabulous cook, and a former church organist. Her stories are available from New Concepts Publishing, one of my many publishers.
I'll talk about some of my other characters on other days. If anyone chooses to talk about how and why they create their characters or comment on the characters of mine they know, feel free, but no bashing. Janet

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Newly established

I have just begun this and will return later to say more. I am a writer of fiction with a number of books available at the present time with more being created every day. I will begin talking about my books, the books of my friends and inviting them to join me here.