Thursday, April 4, 2019

At long last, I return

As I was returning from the Kansas City Writing Workshop this weekend, it dawned on me that I hadn't posted on this blog for quite a while - two years, in fact.

There are a number of reasons for that, but the primary one was that I had been moved to a shift working nights and weekends at the Wichita Eagle and what time and energy I had outside of those hours were spent on other priorities: writing, marketing/promoting and simply striving to maintain some sense of balance in my life.

But my time as a staff writer for the Eagle has drawn to a close. I was laid off last August as part of a continuing reduction in force across the McClatchy chain. Since then, I have been charting a new course, figuring out what's next for me. I've finished a murder mystery and started a sequel and am doing some freelance writing.

FALLEN TREES continues to garner strong reviews and there has been some renewed interest. Many readers have requested a sequel, but it's been slow to emerge. We'll see what happens.

Monday, February 6, 2017

"An excellent book"

I was delighted to receive more glowing praise from someone who had just finished FALLEN TREES.

It is an excellent book. I finished it last night and can't wait for a sequel.

I find I take tremendous pleasure out of hearing that readers enjoyed the book. That's even more gratifying than hearing someone bought it. I want them pleased that they made the choice to purchase it, making it money well spent.

Maybe that's the farm boy in me, aware of the value of every dollar.

If you've been thinking about getting a copy, they're available at Watermark Books in Wichita, Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore in Emporia, and on Amazon.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Sunday in Emporia

I have to admit that it's been years since I've been in Emporia. Oh, I routinely pass through there on the way to somewhere else on the Kansas Turnpike, but I think the last time I spent any real time there was when a tornado hit back in the 1980s.

But Emporia was my destination on Sunday for a reading of FALLEN TREES as part of the Kansas Day Authors Showcase at Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore. I was one of 20 authors featured at the event.

I was delighted to see it was a packed house - no small feat, considering it had started at 1 p.m. and I was the final author to read, shortly after 4


Towns of every size need bookstores, so I was pleased to see the support for a relatively new venture. The owner, Marcie Lawrence, was most gracious and offered such a glowing introduction that I was tempted to turn around and see if she was introducing someone else.

Coincidentally, Emporia has a major role in the first book I wrote, the nonfiction work INTO THE DEEP, about the deaths of 6 people in a flash flood on the Kansas Turnpike about 10 miles south of Emporia in 2003.

Five members of the Rogers family died in that flash flood on Jacob Creek. The lone survivor, Robert Rogers, was brought to Emporia for evaluation and treatment at a hospital. My eyes invariably find the crosses still rising from the prairie soil at Mile Marker 116 just inside Chase County whenever I'm passing through that part of the Flint Hills.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The muse never sleeps

I was reminded of this a few days ago when, out of nowhere, I thought of a slight tweak to a chapter that strengthens the plot of the novel I'm working on right now.

Mind you, it wasn't even something I was consciously pondering - yet I recognized right away it made the story better.

It's a reminder that, if you're working on a book --- or simply thinking about writing one --- to let the muse have plenty of space to roam.

Keep a notebook nearby - or a digital voice recorder if that is more your style. Then log those tidbits so they're readily at hand.

You'll be thankful for that later.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It was just a short note......

........but it made me smile.

It was waiting for me in the mail when I got home from work tonight.

She was referring to FALLEN TREES, which she had purchased for herself as a Christmas gift. I'm thrilled she enjoyed it.

If you've been thinking about getting it but just haven't made the plunge, you can order it from Amazon or get it in Wichita at Watermark Books or at Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore in Emporia.

I'm working on securing additional locations and will keep you posted.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

FALLEN TREES is now a best-seller!

It's a magical time for any author when they learn their book has become a best-seller. I received that news on Friday, when I learned FALLEN TREES earned that distinction at Watermark Books in Wichita.

Here's confirmation in print:

If you haven't read FALLEN TREES yet, you can pick up a copy at Watermark or Ellen Plumb's City Bookstore in Emporia.

It's also available online at Watermark or Amazon. Barnes & Noble will order it upon request.

Book clubs are picking it up and having spirited discussions, so if you belong to one, nominate it as a selection. You'll be glad you did.

A literary festival worth celebrating

I was among four authors featured at a local literary festival hosted by Watermark Books in Wichita last Sunday.

The turnout was strong, with a steady flow of visitors throughout the 2-hour event. Many of them bought copies of my book, FALLEN TREES, which was an added bonus.

I'm grateful for the support! Thank you!

Here I am with a longtime friend, Holly Laird, who came to the festival with her mother, Kathy. They were the first to buy a copy!