And So I’m Back From Outer Space

Hello Everyone!!! I’m so excited to be back blogging on Magical Words this year. I’ve missed you. I’ll be posting on Thursdays opposite to the fabulous Misty. There are a few things I want to post about right away. The first thing I *was* going to post about is my first self-pubbed title and what that process has been like, since I’m in the middle of it and have learned a ton of stuff. But then I got sideswiped with this other thought and so that’s where I am today. Next time I’ll start talking about the self-pub project.

As some of you know, I’ve been writing a series called the Diamond City Magic books. It’s an urban fantasy set in an alternate Colorado. I’ve recently turned in the revisions on the third book, Whisper of Shadows, and that means I have to start book four. Now I know what […]

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Committing Series: Emotional Commitment

I wrote the first Walker Papers novel, URBAN SHAMAN, in the year 2000. The final book, SHAMAN RISES, just came out this month, which means it’s been a 14 year journey.

Any 14 year relationship takes a lot commitment, and I’m not sure that’s something we think about very clearly at the start of writing a series. It’s just like any other relationship, then: everything is fresh and new and exciting, the ideas are good, the adventures are many…

…and then you may find yourself four books later with four or five more to go, and you might be wondering what you got yourself into. Why did you think you wanted to spend this much time with these people? How are you supposed to survive yet another revision? What on earth is the plot for the next book? Can you just give it up now and hide from readers […]

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Committing Series: Characters


I mentioned in my last post that character story arcs are extremely important to me as a writer. I want my characters to change: I want them to start somewhere and end someplace else. It can be a significant change or a subtle one, but I want to put them through those paces.

But then there are the characters who surprise you. Characters you might have plans for who go totally off the rails–and if you want to know the truth, practically all of the Walker Papers characters went off the rails. I’m going to talk mostly about Gary, Joanne’s 74-year-old cab-driving sidekick, behind the cut, although I can’t talk about where it all ends because it gets Too Spoilery. 🙂


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It all began on a cold Sunday in January…

I’m in love with this coffee house near my apartment in Manhattan (no, not Starbucks…ack!). It’s called Darling Coffee. They make all their food from scratch (oh the soup!) and they have so much tea you’d think Jane Yellowrock owned the place.

But where was I? Oh, yes…a cold Sunday in January…

It was chilly in the coffee house. Just enough to make me pull on my hoodie and enjoy wrapping my hands around a warm mug of tea, inhaling the aroma, as I sat hunched over my misbehaving laptop, figuring out what to work on first.


I get a text. It’s my best gal-pal in NYC, Lauren. She says our friend Jet (owner & CEO of wants to hang out. I tell her sure, if he wants to come write at the […]

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Planning trilogies/series

I told you last time around that I would address how to plan a series or a trilogy. I should probably confess, I don’t know. Or rather, I do it one way and I think there must be better ways. Which is why I’m hoping some of my compatriots here will chime in. How is Faith handling the Jane Yellowrock series in terms of planning? Will David’s Thieftaker books be a trilogy or longer? How do you decide? How do you know how many books will be available?

The first thing is this: It isn’t always about what you want. Publishers sometimes buy 2 books or 3 books, and then play the “we’ll see what the numbers do” card. Well, that means if you’re planning on five books or six, then you may not get to finish out the series because your numbers aren’t good enough for the publisher to […]

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Ranting and Organizing

The first few paragraphs are posted on my three private blogs. Man. I have three other blogs… I gotta cut down. Anyway, after that, it’s all new, with a few things just for us writers….

This is a rant. Well, not in the sense that normal people have rants, with hair-pulling, cursing, maybe throwing things. No. This is a quiet rant. With all the angst coming out my fingers, draining out of my body, like a deep, cleansing, yoga breath, or that first lack-of-strain breath you get when you finish a hard hike and are standing on the top of a hill, the king of the world (or at least king of the hill.)

Why am I ranting softly? Because I am still so full of tension at the horrid weekend I just finished, that if I ranted loudly, I’d just multiply the tension. And the weekend […]

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