Where do ideas come from?

Where did you get the idea for your book? This is one of the most common questions I am asked. I’ve learned to answer it succinctly by mentioning how I’d heard about people faking their deaths on 9/11 to get insurance payouts and that triggered a thought of, “Well, what if someone just didn’t show — Read More

A chat with Steven Rowley

I was lucky enough to have Steven Rowley at my lunch table at Literary Orange in April. I asked him the title of his book and he said, “Lily and the Octopus” and I said, “That’s in my Amazon cart!” And he said, “Well, buy it already!” I do well with direct orders. I bought — Read More

A chat with Tracy Barone

In April, I was lucky enough to be on a panel at Literary Orange, one of the biggest book events in Southern California. I was also lucky enough to meet Tracy Barone. We were both attempting to find the green room. Nothing bonds people better than being lost together. Her panel was right before mine, — Read More

Why stories matter: Practicing empathy with fiction

I worry that people think dust has settled after the election. It shouldn’t settle. There is so much that is (and should be) very unsettled. Regardless of your political opinions, the election was a 9.0 on the Richter Scale. It shook us. We realized we are not as united as we thought. People we assumed were on — Read More

In defense of unlikable characters

Generally speaking, the reviews for People Who Knew Me have been good. I try not to make a habit of reading them, but I get the general gist when I visit Amazon or Goodreads. If people don’t like the book, it’s usually because they don’t like the main character, Emily (who fakes her death on 9/11 — Read More

Book clubs, I’m coming for you

I’m embarking on a virtual book club tour, talking with readers in cities where my characters stopped on their road trip from California to New York. No matter what city you’re in, contact me if you’re interested in an author appearance (via phone, Skype, or in person) at your club meeting. If you’re looking for questions — Read More

The importance of reading for writers

This post isn’t going to say what you think it’s going to say. You probably think it’s going to say that I think writers should read all the classics and all the award winners and all the “important” books. But I don’t believe that to be true. I’ve always been a reader. I hesitate to — Read More

The state of the book

Every now and then, I feel the need to do a post about the state of publishing. Are books really dying? It’s hard for me to believe because I LOVE books and cannot imagine life without them. But, it appears that many people can totally imagine life without them. According to a 2015 survey by the — Read More