Category Archives: The Craft of Writing

Where do story ideas come from?

Feather pen for Writing TipsLast week I was invited to a bookclub to discuss my book,The Inscription.  These amazing readers call themselves the Bibliobabes.  They asked me where I got the inspiration for my novel, Christmas in the Highlands.

That really was a cool story in itself.

I was cleaning out some old keepsakes I’d found that belonged to my grandmother and found a gold locket.  Because I’m an author, and of course the curious type, I tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge.  The more I tried, the more I wondered what could be inside.  Then an idea blossomed. Was the locket soldered closed to hide a secret?locket

BLAM.  The idea for my Christmas novel took hold.  I still haven’t opened the locket. I’m thinking that there is a reason why it has been kept a secret for so long, but I realized something else.  Authors get their ideas from asking questions and then thinking- what if?  What did a shoe wash onto shore?  Where is Maylasian Flight 370?  But don’t overlook the seemingly innocent things that happen to you everyday.  Why did you bump into a friend that you hadn’t seen in five years?  Why did your battery die?  There are logical explanations for all of these questions.  As authors we look for the extraordinary. Keep asking questions.

So where do you get your story ideas?


a: teller of stories,
b: a reciter of tales,
c: a writer of stories.
I recently researched a topic for a welcome letter for the PNWA writer’s conference that I’d like to share.  It discusses what it means to be a storyteller.
The word in its current form, dates as far back

The Writer’s Life – roller coaster or merry-go-round?

Ask yourself; is your writing life a roller coaster, or a merry-go-round?
This question occurred to me after watching the 1989 movie Parenthood with Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards and one of my favorite actors, Keanu Reeves, before he became the mega star of Matrix.  Steve Martin’s character, Gil, wanted a quiet, uneventful life,

Genre versus Literary Fiction


These days the lines are blurring between genre and literary fiction.  Romance books are layered and textured, mystery novels are so seductive you can taste the air, and fantasy — well — all I’ll say on the matter is GAME OF THRONES.
For more of my thoughts on the topic, go to the

Writer’s Conferences

Although writer’s conferences happen year round, the summer months are packed solid. And as with everything in this world, there are varying opinions on how to select the conference that is right for you.
Deciding the best one can be daunting. Below is a list I hope will help.

Travel and time off: Can

Writer’s Block

What do writer’s block and the black plague have in common? Both have the ability to strike denial and fear without warning. The good news is that, unlike the black plague, no one has ever died from writer’s block. In fact, many have grown quite rich from promoting the latest and greatest theory on how

Writer’s Retreat

Writer’s Retreat
 A word is more lasting than all
the riches of the world.
from a Connacht Love Song
 Make a Writer’s Retreat a reality. Many authors dream of getting away. Yet the same questions of who, what, when, where and how, that cause writer’s block, sometimes grind those goals to a halt.
Who should I bring?

Welcome to

Welcome to the launch of my blog and website. As you can see from my website, I have a love of all things Celtic. In fact, the first person to guess where the magic is hidden in the banner will receive one of my books. (Your choice)
My blog will be divided into the following