Tag Archive | editing

A New Writing Tips Book for Authors

52weeksYou know that saying “You can never stop learning?” It’s true. I always feel like I have something to improve upon. I love writing, but I’m privy to committing a lot of cardinal sins. It’s one of the reasons I desperately need an editor (and she points out every single one of those little buggers to me, too!)

I’ll be honest here – I’ve never been one to read long books about the craft of writing. Maybe it’s my attention span, maybe it’s my fantastical imagination, but I can never get into them. For me, the best way to learn the craft is in pieces at a time. That’s where author Bob Nailor comes in. He has been writing a special blog, featuring author writing tips, every week for over a year. He tackles one subject at a time, in small, manageable segments that are filled with examples and easy, understandable solutions to the problem he is discussing. It’s been an absolute perfect fit for me.

So, when I heard he was putting all of them together (a year’s worth of tips) into an “author tip book,” I was very excited. In this new book “52 Weeks of Writing Tips,” there are quick chapters dedicated to a host of topics ranging from character development and plotting, to building a press kit to dialog.

This tip book is all of 99 cents. Even if you just occasionally take a peek at it, the information and ideas you’ll gain will be well worth it. I would say I learned something from most of the articles – something that I could actionably take away with me to help me with my writing. Here’s the link to purchase on Amazon:

US: http://amzn.to/1pIanrD
UK: http://amzn.to/1fRtaap

I thought it would be fun to do a little interview with the author to get some insight…

SO BOB: Why did you decide to take your writing tips and make them into a book?

BOB: To be quite honest, I was minding my own business, doing my weekly writing tip when a very dear friend suggested I put them together into a book. My first thought was ‘Why?’ then quickly realized that I would love to have some of these tips at my fingertips as a quick reference. I attempted to decide which was the most viable tips but couldn’t decide which was more important. It was then I decided to just do 52 tips – like a year’s collection – and offer it to the public for a very nominal price with the lowest price available at Amazon being $0.99. I want to share what I’ve learned, to give back to the community. Why charge? We all know that if it is free, some won’t consider it worth anything. Why so cheap – uh, inexpensive? So everyone can afford a copy. I really do believe in these tips and feel they are a great tool for any writer – both novice and the well-published.

SO BOB: Do you follow your own advice?

BOB: I’ve always been a firm believer in “Do what I say, not what I do.” Especially with my children when they were growing up. BUT, I really do attempt to follow my own advice regarding these writing tips. I truly feel these tips have improved my writing skills and writing quality over the years.

SO BOB: Where do you find your insight to write these tips?

BOB: Some are just that – insights. Most of them are tidbits picked up via different writing conferences, writing groups, friends, and even agents. Of course, some tips I’ve been lucky enough to glean out of rejects from editors, agents and publishers. My editor has brought several writing errors to my attention. She attempts to point out the repetitive errors and correct them early so I don’t become so entrenched in doing it incorrectly. My current agent has also shown me tricks to make my writing and stories better.

SO BOB: Which tip spoke to you most personally?

BOB: You want me to pick just one!? How about two? I’m a notoriously passive writer. “By Zombies” was probably the best lesson I ever learned. It helped me to quickly define whether or not the sentence was Active or Passive and allowed me to correct it, when wrong. When I mentioned it to my local writing group, at first, they just laughed, but as I showed them how it worked, even the non-fiction newspaper reporter saw how it could improve her articles. Of course, “That As●Ing●Ly – Editing Tricks” is another favorite that I use constantly when I finish a work. I immediately review my raw product to see where I can fix those four issues. In doing so, I decrease bad writing, increase word count AND make my writing better and tighter. Is it too late to add more favorite tips? I really like them all!

Thanks so much for letting me promote this Bob – I really believe in so many of these and I’ve found them incredibly helpful. Again, here is the link… just 99 cents!

US: http://amzn.to/1pIanrD
UK: http://amzn.to/1fRtaap

Happy Reading!

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No, I’m not Just Typing… I’m Writing.

closedDo any of you have this issue? You go to your bedroom, den, small corner of the house to write and mere minutes later someone is next to you pulling on your leg, asking you to help them with something, or simply standing there to randomly chat about something mundane? This is my writing life. I have done nothing the past month but beg and plead with my family for personal space and I simply can not get it. And frankly, I don’t think it’s fair that the only way for me to get it, is to leave the house.

The usual intrusion is when I am in my bedroom with the door shut and the family knows just fifteen minutes before I went inside to write. It is usually at this point someone walks into my room “to get something in a drawer” or “just use the bathroom” (uh, there are two others in the house) or “just to ask a quick question” that they already know the answer to. And then, they have the gall to get mad at me when I get mad at them for intruding. They really think “it’s no big deal – come on, you can just start again when I leave!”

I won’t lie – I’m starting to go postal when this happens. I get this intense frustration that no one respects what I’m doing in the least. The fact is, maybe they really don’t get it. Is what we’re doing just too intangible for them to comprehend? Do they think all we do is sit at a computer and make up stuff? Do they think it’s not hard? I’ve tried to explain that every single time I’m interrupted, for whatever reason, I’ve irrevocably lost that particular train of thought that I was striving for. I tried to explain it this way:

Let’s say you’re watching a football game for two hours straight and I walk in front of the television screen RIGHT at the crucial moment the field goal kicker, with zero seconds left to the game, is attempting to make the final winning kick. I blocked your view and you completely missed the kick and what happened. That adrenaline rush you had is GONE. Does that mean you can’t rewind the tape/moment and watch it again? Of course it does, but that feeling you had has disappeared, never to be recovered.

It’s like that for authors, but worse. We are not just typing, we are writing and it’s absolutely destructive to us when you interrupt. The “infinite” number of outcomes that could have happened, had we not been interrupted, is GONE. NEVER, EVER, EVER to be reclaimed the same way again. The difference between us and a taped sports game though is this: That game, no matter how many times you rewind and replay the tape, that game will ALWAYS have the same ending. BUT, when you interrupt a writer, that outcome becomes an impossibility. You will never have the same outcome you would have had moments before.

One of my very good author friends said it this way: “We have to enter something called ‘headspace.’ We have to call up our fictional worlds and enter them. That’s not a trivial task. It takes effort, and time, and when the process is interrupted, it must be restarted.” Not to mention coming down from the sheer frustration and anger we have to then calm down enough to start writing again.

My husband came in yesterday with a sign he purchased from a store. One of those big, red, restaurant/store signs that say “Come in, we’re open” on one side and “Sorry, we’re closed” on the other. He wants me to tape it to the door every time I’m writing so they physically know to stay away.

I guess a verbal declaration and a closed door is not enough – we need a sign, too. But hey, I’ll give it a try. Oh, it’s been fifteen minutes… is that a knock on the door?

Can You Make Up Words in Your Novel? Yes… and No.

gobbleyI’m deep in the edits of THE HUNT FOR XANADU. My action adventure thriller about a girl on a mission to avenge her parent’s murder… and I’m finding that I’ve taken quite a bit of literary license with the English language that my editor is “calling me out on.”

What do I mean? Well, one of my characters has a cute affectation. His mouth quirks up at the corner so I made a comment that “his mouth is quirking.” In the edits my editor, Denise Vitola, replied “that’s not a word, delete.” I asked “why?” Her response? “Quirk–a person is quirky or he has quirks. Quirking is not a word and quirk doesn’t have anything to do with expressions unless you say, “He had a quirky expression.” Although, that doesn’t tell the reader anything so I wouldn’t use it.” (twerking is also not a word, by the way! 😉 )

Another time I had my character “scootching” up next to a boy. To “scootch” is a word I’ve used nearly forever in my family – it means to “sidle up next to someone.” Again, I was told: “scootching is not a word, delete.” Apparently “connectiveness” is not a word either (what am I thinking and where did I learn to speak?)

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t make up words in your stories. In fantasy, every other description seems to be a fantastical word. In my dark fantasy series I use the word “Semptor” for Wizards, “Manogs” for these wild dog-like beasts, etc… you get the idea. In XANADU I also have fantastical animals and had named all of them. My editor balked at this. “Why do you need a name for every single animal and insect? Just describe it.” I couldn’t understand why naming this one cute little creature a Timblit was a problem… but it actually was. I’m asking my readers to remember all these crazy names that might only be mentioned one time in the book. My editor said, “Describe the “cute little ferret-like creature with eight legs” rather than just give it a fantasy name.” She’s right – the reader will remember this description a lot better than a throw-a-way name.

So back to making up words. As writers, we need to be buttoned up. We need to use correct English. It’s one thing to talk about a vicuña coat (like my favorite authors have done) and not know what this is and need to look it up and discover “vicuña is a relative of a llama.” It’s another to make up words that are slang in the first place and will confuse our readers if they don’t understand what we’re trying to say. It’s all about credibility.

My two cents for the day.

Choosing the Right Cover Blurb – no stress, it can only make or break your book…

Ha! I thought I was done with all that “summation” stuff when I decided to self publish mythe world of karov Aa Children of Demilee series. But, that was far from the truth. Okay, so I don’t need to write a one pg, three pg and five pg synopsis for an agent, or do an outline, but I still need to develop teasers and those difficult cover blurbs. You know, sum up the entire book to entice a reader to purchase it in just 100 or so words. Yeah, how hard can that be?

Book #1 in my series is called THE WORLD OF KAROV. It’s been out in market for a year and is about twins, magical worlds and a pervading evil spreading through the universe. It’s a very dark tale, pitting good against evil and brother against brother… and only one will win. Book #2 is called THE RUBY AMULET and continues the series four hundred years later. My beta readers have assured me it’s a good tale and people will be quite happy and mollifed with this novel after reading Book #1 (and I can be assured my aunt won’t call me up at work and yell at me about the ending for ten minutes this time). These books will appeal to a wide range of readers from YA to adults.

So, which teaser do you like better for THE RUBY AMULET and which Cover Blurb feels better to you? I’ll continue to edit them all, but would love your “interpretations.” Thanks so much for helping – you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

Teaser #1: A ruby with powers to travel between the dimensions…
Teaser #2: Some say legends are just legends… and those people would be wrong.

Cover Blurb #1: When Joshua found the ruby amulet, his life changed forever. A jewel with the power to transport him to the World of Karov; a war-torn land whose inhabitants have been kept prisoners for over four hundred years. The Karovites are desperate, because their treacherous King is searching for a fabled four pound ruby of myth. It is said this gem was hidden centuries ago by The Ancients, a mysterious race of children, in their desperate attempt to conceal its location from a pervading evil spreading throughout the dimensions. The King is closing in on Joshua and the gem. He and his friend Sean must help the Karovites win the war against the kingdom-and against time. For if the king finds this ruby before they do, he will become the most powerful being in the universe, and the great evil will have won… for eternity.

Cover Blurb #2: A ruby discovered in a mountain stream transports Joshua, and his best friend Sean, to the war-torn world of Karov. They are immediately caught up in a violent struggle between the enslaved people and their treacherous King, who is determined to find a legendary four pound ruby hidden deep in the emerald caverns. But time is running out. The King is closing in on Joshua and the gem, and the boys must help the Karovites find it before the King does. For if the King gets to it first, he will become the most powerful being in the universe and the Karovites will be enslaved… forever.

If you’re able to leave your comments and selections below, I’d truly appreciate it. Or feel free to go to my FB Author page and leave your feedback there at http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor. Or in the comments on my newly revamped web page at http://www.elysesalpeter.com! Thank you so much!

If you’re interested in reading THE WORLD OF KAROV, Book #1 in the Children of Demilee series, please check the links here:

US: http://www.amazon.com/World-Karov-Children-Demilee-ebook/dp/B00APJ6Z6Y/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1378565368&sr=8-1&keywords=the+world+of+karov

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Karov-Children-Demilee-ebook/dp/B00APJ6Z6Y/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1378565416&sr=8-1&keywords=the+world+of+karov

I Wrote THE END… I’m Done, Right? Ummm… No.

theendWe were once all Newbie writers. The first time we wrote “The End” on our first novel, we thought we had produced the world’s greatest piece of literature ever written. Why wouldn’t agents and publishers be all over it? Don’t they know we’ll make them millions?

We’ve all been there and I get it. For twenty years now I’ve been writing and those first newbie moments have come and gone. I was so green that when I once received a rejection letter from a literary agent telling me I needed my novel seriously edited, I actually called her and grilled her about “what does that even mean?” I can’t imagine her dinner table conversation that night. Still, this kind, gracious agent actually took a moment to explain what that meant and led me to the editor I use today.

This is not to say that twenty years later I know this industry inside and out, because I don’t. This business (because it IS a business) is changing constantly and with the addition of social media, I’m learning right along with everyone else. But, I know the first draft of a new novel is not the world’s greatest masterpiece. It’s just a first draft and I’m now savvy as to what comes next. The work, the editing, the tearing out of my hair as I clean this monster up.

But newbie writers are like little kids. They don’t know yet what is coming. The moment I hear someone say to me, “Oh yeah, I always wanted to write a book,” my response (years ago) used to be “ooh, how exciting, go write it!” My enthusiasm was endless for them. That’s waned after I soon realized these people had no intention of ever sitting down to write a book, much less finish it. Now I just smile because while I’m excited that person wants to step into this literary insanity, the chances of them actually doing it and completing it are extremely rare. “Wanting to write a book” is very different than “writing a book,” which is very different than “getting the novel ready for publication.” Every step along the way requires a tremendous amount of effort.

I’ve worked very hard at this craft over the years and tried to learn this industry. I finally acquired an agent and also self pubbed a book. And while I do not profess to know everything, there are some bits of advice I can impart to new writers who just finished their first draft.

#1 – Don’t say to every published author you meet: “I just wrote a book and need an agent. Can you get me one?”

Why? Because the first question they’ll ask you is “did you get the book professionally edited?” I’ve heard answers ranging from “I used spell check, it’s too expensive, I’m sure it’s fine, my mom read it and loved it and I’m sure it will sell.” I’ve also been met with blank stares and condescension that I would even ask the question. Um…. ok. So the answer is, “no, I really can’t get you an agent but I can direct you to a directory where they all are and you can start querying.”

#2 – Learn Social Media. Even if you get that agent or get that book deal with a publisher, as a new writer, you will be required to create your own social marketing platform. So, get yourself a webpage, a blog, a Facebook Author Fan Page and a Twitter acct. If you’re Type “A” also get on Google+, Goodreads and a host of other author sites. Get a book trailer going on youtube. Do everything you can and link it all back to you and where someone can purchase your book. You need to build your fan base to get the word out that your novel is ready to be read.

#3 – Keep writing. Why? Because if you sit around watching your Amazon ranking #’s or sit around waiting for the agent to call, you will fall into a great, sinking depression. Always keep yourself busy with another WIP, short story, flash fiction. I don’t care what it is, but keep writing. The more books you have out there, the better off you will be and the more sane you’ll be having your mind kept busy.

So, I leave you with this new writers… yes, some badly edited works get picked up and make millions. But honestly, that’s like winning Lotto – it’s really not real life. So instead, congratulate yourself on taking the first step and finishing your book. Now take the second one and pay to get it edited by a respected editor… and then take the third step and get your ducks all lined up. It’s going to be a heckava ride!

Please feel free to check out my Dark Fantasy Tale THE WORLD OF KAROV.
US Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/World-Karov-Children-Demilee-ebook/dp/B00APJ6Z6Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377874818&sr=8-1&keywords=the+world+of+karov
UK Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Karov-Children-Demilee-ebook/dp/B00APJ6Z6Y/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1377874976&sr=8-1&keywords=the+world+of+karov

The sequel, THE RUBY AMULET is scheduled for release, December 2013.

“Method Acting” in Writing: Letting your characters influence you too much…

sad1Definition from Wiki: The school of method acting is a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and feelings of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances. The “method” in method acting usually refers to the practice in which actors draw upon their own emotions and memories in their portrayals, aided by a set of exercises and practices including sense memory and affective memory.

I don’t know about you guys, but I definitely do this in my writing. When I develop a character, especially when writing in 1st Person POV, I become them. I experience their experiences, I feel their feelings. They can be male or female, but in 1st person POV I assume their identity as I write. So here’s the story: For some reason last month, I put down a thriller WIP I was about 20K into and picked up a novel I haven’t touched in about a year. It’s a very dark book, dealing with emotional issues, abuse, neglect, but is also quite powerful in that it’s about the main character overcoming obstacles and finally coming to a place of peace. It’s not the type of book I normally write, but for some reason my muse was calling to me and I picked it up and in just a few weeks I went from 20K to over 46K.

The problem is, it’s been an emotional few weeks personally for me for a myriad of reasons; family, friends, perceived slights, just life stuff. Nothing major and nothing that most people don’t normally go through. But, I’ve noticed I’m also more sensitive than normal. After a very brooding week, I realized I may have been channeling my character too much. I have been going back and editing the book and at times it’s a very sad, dark place. The sheer misery of what I put my poor character through is not something I’ll discuss, but I had a need to put it down on paper. This damaged soul just sits with me all day, hovering right behind me, gently touching my shoulder with her fingertips if I’m not writing. She just waits there to remind me that her life still needs to be resolved. If you’re like me, you never really “turn off” your characters and they play in your mind like little daydreams all day long.

I think this is what has happened to me. I realized that I was letting my character’s emotions invade my reality. After some thought on this, I decided that I’d tapped into what I’m going to call “The Method Act of Writing” where just like actors who completely delve into a character to portray them realistically, I’ve done that as a writer, and maybe too well.

Knowing I have no intention of stopping this WIP, I’ve decided to find moments in my day where she’s not living with me. I took three yoga classes this week to clear my mind and focus on positive thoughts. And then a funny thing happened. In my edits, I’m now on a chapter where my character is afforded the slightest bit of reprieve of happiness. Not to mention, I’m also in a better mood, too. Coincidence? I don’t know, but both me and my character are happier for it for the moment.

So I leave you with this. Keep your characters with you, but if they are emotional wrecks, let them exist behind a door when you’re not working on them. It could be a glass door that you can see through and still know they’re there, but if they’re in trouble, let them stay in trouble on the other side of that door until you’re ready to help them. Because if you open it, they’re here and you’ll have no choice but to write them back behind that door. It’s a hard thing to do, and if you’re like me, nearly an impossibility, but try.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I’d love to hear that I’m not the only one that’s one step away from the asylum.

Also, please feel free to come on over and like my author page at http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor for updates. Would love to see you there!

Why I Edit as I Write… Gaffes – did I really write that?

reallyThere’s an ongoing question authors ask each other about writing. “Do you edit as you write, or just write?” Me? I write, then edit, then edit, then write some more, then edit. Why? Because as I’m writing I have a tendency to add, or change things and I need to reread for consistency. It’s the way I self edit myself and it works for me.

The problem is, sometimes my issues have nothing to do with consistencies at all and have to do with gaffes. You know, those editing nightmares as you’re reading a book and the character in one paragraph is eating pancakes and two paragraphs later they’re staring into their cereal bowl? (this actually happened in book #4 in an extremely popular YA series that ended up being produced into 5 films. I’ll let you figure out which one – hint: think vampires…)

I had one of those gaffes in my new WIP and it was a doozy. My characters are in Egypt. There is an Englishman, an Italian, a Frenchman and an American in the bunch. I have my characters running from bad guys. The Englishman is saying all these sayings like gawd blimey, and bloody hell, and stuff (I was researching English phrases to get it right) and to get away from the bad guys, I have my people escape into the Underground. You know, the equivalent of the NYC subway system, but in London? I continued the chapter where they got off at their stop, queued up in line to get a taxi, and then were dropped off on a quaint country road.

Did you catch the gaffe yet? My characters are in Egypt, not London! Why in the world would they be in the Underground and what in the heck was I thinking as I wrote this chapter? I do remember thinking, “Wow, this is moving smoothly, the words are flowing easily.” Sure they were, because I WAS IN THE WRONG PLACE. When I reread what I wrote, because I always go back and reread what I did the session before, and noticed this, I stared at the screen in disbelief.

I love when I gaffe a description of a character as well. My protagonist stared into her boyfriend’s “beautiful amber eyes, flecked with yellow making them seem to sparkle and shine.” Nice, but the guy has blue-green eyes in book #1 of the series. Funny how in book #2 his eye color changed – and it wasn’t from contact lenses.

I know for a fact that I’m not the only author to experience something like this, so this week I asked authors Sara Barnard and Diane Rapp to chime in on this topic.

Question #1) Do you edit when you write, and why?

Sara Barnard: The more I write and the more I learn, the more I edit as I go. Not only does it save time when the manuscript goes to my totally awesome editor, but it has become habit. I like to think it makes me a better, more efficient, scribe. Writing a sentence or a paragraph then going back through and quickly reading, looking for errors or omissions helps keep me on track, too. But as a lesson, I also let it sit before sending it in and read through it at least one more time. It’s amazing the mistakes you’ll find when you let it rest then go back to it later.

Diane: I’m a “stream of consciousness writer.” I think about a scene and how the characters interact before I fall asleep each night, and my subconscious works on it. When I’m ready to write the scene, I type as fast as my fingers will move to put it into the computer.

After I write the newest scene, I wait a day and read through everything with a critical eye. At that point then the editing process starts. The first draft of the book is flexible, so I make changes and fix problems along the way. Sometimes I redo a scene three or four times until I’m satisfied, at other times I’m surprised that I already like what I created. It’s that sneaky subconscious doing a good job.

After the first draft of the book is complete, I reread everything straight through. That’s when I hope to spot inconsistencies and major errors. I also take time to check a thesaurus for more effective words. The third time through, I concentrate on punctuation, grammar, and incorrect words. This is the most boring part of the editing process, so I find myself daydreaming. I can’t count how many times I speed along, enjoying my own narrative, when I realize I’ve stopped paying attention to editing.

Question #2) What is the most major gaffe you found editing?

Sara: I’ve found numerous mistakes in my self-edits. One was in A HEART ON HOLD … Charlotte’s horse, Achilles, was written to be a gelding. Well, later, I had him as a stallion. That may not seem like much, but it was certainly important to Achilles! In my forthcoming Amish romance Rebekah’s Quilt, I had my heroine’s little brothers named something different in almost every chapter!

Diane: My worst mistake was using the wrong name for my heroine in a full chapter of a first draft. It was understandable. I just finished writing a Mystery with a heroine named Kayla, and the character in the new Science/Fantasy is named Krystal. My brain got mixed up, or maybe it was my fingers. Suddenly Kayla appeared on the planet Drako to confront an evil villain. The worst part was that I didn’t notice the error at first. One of my Beta readers sent me an e-mail asking, “Who is Kayla?” She had not read my mystery, so she didn’t understand the mistake. I was so embarrassed. At that point I realized many of my characters had similar sounding names. I reconsidered the character names and made major changes. I discovered that characters behaved differently after I changed their names. It’s true. I got in a few arguments with those characters, but they won in the end. Darn!

Ladies, thank you both so much! I think everyone can relate to the gaffes above – I know I do! I think I’ve done all of them at one point or another, as well.

If you’d like to learn more about Sara and Diane, please check out their links below:

Sara is the mother of four small children and wife to an awesome and supportive husband. Now that her husband is out of the Army and she is done following him around to various military bases around the world, they’ve settled down in their shared hometown in west Texas. Sara’s debut historical romance series, An Everlasting Heart, consists of four books: bestseller and 2012 RONE award finalist for Best American Historical Fiction A Heart on Hold, A Heart Broken, A Heart at Home, and the forthcoming final book in the series A Heart Forever Wild. Her debut Amish historical romance, Rebekah’s Quilt, will be released November 16th, 2013. All of these are from 5 Prince Publishing. Sara also writes children’s books: Chunky Sugars was her debut children’s book from 5 Prince Kids, with Little Spoon coming in September 2013. Sara independently publishes a nonfiction children’s line as well, all of which have remained on Amazon’s bestseller lists since being released. Those titles are: The ABC’s of Oklahoma Plants, The ABC’s of Texas Plants, and The Big Bad Wolf Really Isn’t So Big and Bad. She can be reached at twitter at @TheSaraBarnard, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sarabarnardbooks, her website at http://www.sarabarnardbooks.com and lastly, her blog at sarathreesuns.BlogSpot.com

Diane Rapp is a split-personality author, who writes a Mystery series and a Science/Fantasy series. She particularly enjoys works by Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Agatha Christie, and Arthur Conan Doyle. As an animal lover, she always includes animals such as telepathic wolves, flying dragons, or poison dart frogs (as a murder weapon) in her novels. For more information about both series, visit her website at http://www.quicksilvernovels.com. You can also reach her at her author’s FB page at: http://www.facebook.com/quicksilvernovels and on twitter at @DianeRapp