My Very Own Books

Sherlock Holmes may only be a figment of Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination, but he plugged into reality with the statement below.  Which really good books of your very own did your writing life start with?  I collected the Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins series as a child, which is when I started writing.  I’m sure there were more books before then, but my best early memories are of my mom making up her very own stories for me at bedtime.

One story in particular sticks out. It was about a poodle that somehow got lost and the scene that lingers is the one where the poor dog had to pee and was embarassed at having to hide behind a bush to do so.  Hmm, I wonder if that’s why I had a shy bladder all through grade school?


It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.

Sherlock Holmes, 1887 to infinity and beyond

My First Interview PLUS a Contest


I’m so excited.  My first interview about my book Chasing Nightmares was posted yesterday at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews.  We are also offering people an opportunity to win a FREE book.  I’m going to be giving away one e-book (mobi or epub) AND a trade paperback, so there are actually two chances to win.

I hope you will check it out, and good luck with the contest!

Tell us about your favorite restaurant.
There is a little café in the town near me that I intend to feature in the mystery I am writing now.  It’s just a cozy place nestled among the boutiques and antique shops that attract big city folks from Chicago down to the area.  It has homemade soups and specialty sandwiches and a country décor, but the best part is the absolutely delicious (!) homemade pies they bake daily.  And we’re taking at least ten varieties a day, mind you.  I’ve taken to following them on Facebook where they post the soups of the day and the lengthy, tasty list of pies.  I wish I could go there every day and had room in my tummy for one slice of each!
What is the next big thing?
I’m am hard at work on a cozy mystery which I hope will be first in a series I am calling Coffman Cozies.  Or sometimes I think of it as Coffman’s Country Art Colony Cozies, but that seems like too much of a mouthful, don’t you think?  Through the series, I am living out a fantasy of mine but adding in a fun quirky murder mystery to spice things up.  For years I lived in a little house in the country right next to a huge farmhouse and outbuildings that was the family home where twelve friends grew up with their parents.  When the place went up for sale, I really wished I could buy it and turn it into an artist’s retreat, complete with farm animals in the barn.  The first book in the series is titled A Bull By The Horns, and you can find out more about it if you like at the website I started.
If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?
Grumpy bear, definitely.  I have my little routine down: feed the dog, brew an espresso, walk the dog, eat breakfast.  It’s odd that I used to be an evening person who liked to sleep in and stay up late.  Because now I’m a zombie by ten at night and can’t sleep in no matter how much I want to.  That’s doesn’t mean, however, that I am a productive morning person, unfortunately.  I do usually manage to get to the computer by eight or nine in the morning, but until them I am a slug with my coffee and Good Morning America.
What books have most influenced your life?
Mysteries!  Fondest memories from childhood include Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins (though I never did get into Nancy Drew for some reason).  Then I moved on to gothic romance mysteries by Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt and the like.  The first “book” I ever wrote in high school was a handwritten, very bad imitation of a Mary Stewart novel where the main character goes to Paris on vacation and ends up governess to the niece of a very handsome stranger she meets in a café.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
When I remember to take time to do it, just sitting outside and taking it all in is the best medicine. Once I calm my mind and take a few deep breaths, I can feel my muscles unclench.  Then I can notice the small magical things around me: the rustle of the leaves, scudding clouds, squirrels scolding me.  I lived on the west coast for a while and the most refreshing view was whenever I could just gaze out over the ocean, especially if there were mountains in the background.