Authors and Books

The Shadowy Horses – Ghosts, Scotland and Romance

In The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley, archeologist Verity Grey begins an excavation in Scotland. The Ninth Roman Legion was rumored to have camped there as they marched north from York to fight the Scots, and the owner of a remote manor house is convinced his...

Minor Characters and Decisions Made

I’ve devoted several articles to the journey of the hero, but often what makes a book so memorable are the peripheral characters. Years ago when I was developing software, I created a program for working with brain injured patients; part of their successful journey...

How Stressful Events Make Great Books

Conflict always drives fiction. In real life, we may wish for things to fall into place easily, days go by smoothly, and relationships unfold effortlessly. But in fiction, nothing can be easy—because easy equates to boring. Watch the video below or skip to the text...

Secrets of the Lighthouse

I love a great ghost story, and Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore is a unique one. The first page instantly drew me in as I pictured Caitlin, a young wife and mother, looking at a lighthouse in the beautiful Connemara region of Ireland and a tiny chapel by...

The Hero: Confronting the Inner Saboteur

Our heroes often feel larger than life: Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Daisy Buchanan, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta or Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone.   But in reality, most heroes are filled with self-doubt at one...

The Girl from Ballymor is a Must Read!

There are many good books but only occasional great ones, and The Girl from Ballymor definitely is one of the great ones. It has reminded me many times over how it was books like this one that caused me to fall in love with reading, which later led to a lifelong love...

What are You Writing to Change the World?

The billionaire Richard Branson recently asked, “What are you doing to change the world?” It is not enough for businesses to remain in business simply to make a few individuals richer; in fact, the opposite is true. Businesses should exist because they bring something...

The Hero’s Trauma and Life-Transforming Journey

We’re continuing with the hero’s journey, and today I want to tell you about the trauma that awakens the hero and catapults him or her along their journey. The trauma can be a death (especially one that is unexpected or sudden), a divorce or split, job loss, illness...

The Antidote for Suicide

I know why a person commits suicide. Regardless of their situation or their circumstance, there is a single thread that runs through them all. The Centers for Disease Control released a study that concluded suicide rates have risen nearly 30% in the United States...

The Actions of our Heroes

The most common response to encountering something unexpected or potentially traumatic is to freeze. This has always been my default response to spiders. And once when I was gardening, I stood up to find myself face to face with the largest snake I’d ever seen. It had...