Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock or on a desert island with no wifi, you’ve probably heard of Pokemon GO, the mobile app that is sweeping the nations and probably has groups of random twenty-somethings wandering around your lawn at four in the morning trying to catch that darn Nidoran.  I’ll admit, I’m guilty of the wandering as well.  My sister and I grew up on Pokemon and now, to be able to go out and “catch” them in the real world… It’s SO much fun!  It’s really bringing out the nerd in me.

I’ve never openly admitted my love for Pokemon, but the truth is it was a huge part of my childhood and one of the very first things to really spark my creativity.  I loved the idea of these cute, beautiful, powerful animals hanging out and going out and learning about them.  Granted, I’m pretty sure if I was a real life Pokemon trainer, I wouldn’t actually battle them or even train them.  I’d catch all the cute ones and keep them as pets and love them and take them on adventures.

Last night, I was hanging out with my birds (my real birds, not all the Pidgeys that have flocked to my front porch), and I started thinking, “I wonder what my characters would be like if they were Pokemon trainers?”

This inspired me to try to find one of those websites where you can make your own character.  You know, there’s a mermaid one, a Lord of the Rings one, a Disney one, etc… Well, I couldn’t find one.  So I decided to attempt to draw the characters myself.

May I just say that although I enjoy drawing, I’m not very good at it.

I started with Mel Parker from Boy Band, simply because the new book just came out and she was pretty easy as far as drawing is concerned.  I also knew almost immediately which Pokemon she would pick.  So I made an attempt at drawing Mel with her Marill.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 2.12.37 PM

I had a lot of fun with it.  I haven’t drawn anyone else yet, mostly because that one itty bitty drawing took me FOREVER.  But I want to.

Until I actually get around to it, however, I have been giving some thought as to who my other characters might pick as their Pokemon.

Luke Rainer from Cemetery Tours  is easy. He’d obviously have a Ghastly or a Haunter.  He’s far too obsessed with ghosts to have anything else.

At first I was thinking Kate Avery from Cemetery Tours might have a Mew, because of her sensitivity and sense of wonder, but then I reconsidered and realized she’d have something more like a Persian.  She’s a strong character.  And that’s not saying that Mew isn’t a strong Pokemon (it totally is), but I think a Persian suits her a little more.

As for Michael Sinclair?  He’d want something normal.  He’s all about lying low and fitting in.  I can see him with an Eevee.  Or anything that wouldn’t destroy his apartment.  He’d want a low-maintenance Pokemon.

Brink, on the other hand, would have something outrageous, like a Dragonite. The bigger and more destructive, the better.

Sam Morneau from Boy Band is very basic.  He’d totally have a Pikachu.

Oliver Berkley, for some reason, I can see with a Ponyta.  I think it’s because at first glance, Oliver is very meek and mellow, but he’s got a lot of spunk and fire in him.  A Ponyta would suit him.

Josh Chaill would have a Jigglypuff.  He wouldn’t want it, but that’s literally all he would be suited for.  Sorry, Josh.

Jesse Scott, I can see with a Wartortle (is that how you spell it?).  Not as cute and cuddly as Squirtle, but not as fierce as Blastoise.  But it can still pack a punch.

Cory Foreman, I think, would have something awkward like a Doduo or an Oddish.  He’s tall and awkward and the poor boy just doesn’t know what’s good for him.

His twin sister Joni, on the other hand, would probably have something like a Staryu.  I don’t know why, Staryu just always struck me as such a no-nonsense Pokemon, and Joni is the same way.

Now as for me, the author, I would want an Articuno.  I’ve ALWAYS wanted an Articuno because they’re pretty and blue and when they fly, they sparkle.  And even though I don’t necessarily enjoy the cold, I was born in the middle of a snowstorm, so you know, it fits.

What Pokemon would you choose?

 

Advertisements

Kindle Unlimited

As an author, I’ve never been all that sure how to feel about Kindle Unlimited.  I’ve heard mixed reviews.  Some authors love it and think that the pay-off is great.  Others think it is Internet robbery and claim that their sales and royalties have taken a major hit.  I didn’t have any books enrolled in KU, so I had no idea if or how it would affect me.  I chose to keep it that way.

Then I published the Cemetery Tours Series Box Set.  The set includes the first three books in the Cemetery Tours Series: Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds, and After Death.

CTBTW11011567_281967501978238_8483824394644812898_n

I knew I was only going to post it to Kindle.  I haven’t had a whole lot of luck formatting for Nook and sales haven’t been at all good enough to make the effort worth it.  So I uploaded the box set exclusively to Kindle.

Yesterday, on a complete and total whim, I thought, “You know… I’m going to give Kindle Unlimited a shot.”  At this point in the game, I’m curious.  It will be a learning experience if nothing else.  It’s not permanent.  It’s only for six months.  If I decide I don’t like it or that it’s not worth it, then I simply won’t re-enroll.

However, for the time being, the Cemetery Tours Series box set IS available on Kindle Unlimited.  That means that if you have a subscription, you can read ALL THREE novels in the series for FREE.  It’s over 700 pages, but then again, it’s three books.  It should be a bit lengthy.

Read the Cemetery Tours Series for FREE!

29220640

So if you have Kindle Unlimited, hop on over and download the Cemetery Tours Series.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

In other exciting news, the new Lurking Anthology, Lurking in the Shadows, has an official release date!  It will be available on June 28, 2016!  We don’t have a cover just yet, but I’m super excited about this anthology.  My contribution, An Empty Building, is by far the darkest thing I’ve ever written.  I had to write it in short increments in order to keep my own sanity.

Have a happy Thursday, y’all!  Keep reading!  Keep writing!

Indie Books and POGs

Last night, I found my old POG collection.  If you grew up in the 90s, chances are you also collected the little round pieces of cardboard that were apparently meant to be a game but really ended up just being shiny little circles we accumulated and hoarded like Smaug’s treasure in The Hobbit.

As I was looking through my old POGs, I noticed one had a ghost on it.  I thought, “Oh, that’s cute.  I should take a picture of it with Cemetery Tours.”

12814095_10207560977676191_1903108702222945380_n

So I did.

But I didn’t stop there.

Slowly but surely, my little idea to take a picture with the ghost POG became a full fledged POG and indie book photo shoot.

This isn’t the first time I’ve taken pictures of several (not all) of the indie books I own.  I have a whole photo album that I’ve dedicated to the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement on my Facebook page.

#IndieBooksBeSeen

There is a rhyme and reason to my madness.  Despite the fact that we call ourselves “Independent” authors, the truth is we are very much a community.  No one works alone.  We have editors and graphic designers and reviewers and marketing experts.  And we have each other.  As independent authors, we support each other 100%.  That’s one of the first things I learned about the community and one of my very favorite parts of being an independent author.  I never expected the warm reception or astounding support system when I first published Cemetery Tours, but it’s there.  And it’s so, so, so amazing.

There are several ways that authors support each other.  I have friends who Tweet and Retweet.  I have friends who share dozens of Facebook posts.  I have friends who review every book they read.  Me?  I definitely try to review at least every indie book I read.  But I like to take pictures.  It’s my favorite method of communication.  Funny, for a writer, I know.  But there’s a certain love to a beautiful image that words really can’t express.

I take pictures because these books need more exposure.  I want each and every one of these authors to know the same kind of love and praise and success that their traditionally published counterparts experience.  I want them to be interviewed and reviewed by Entertainment Weekly and fly to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List.  I want independent books to become mainstream.  And I think they are well on their way.

 

 

Fiction’s Females

Hello, friends.  Today, we’ll be talking about female characters in modern literature.

As a female myself, I identify with several aspects of several female characters.  For example, Cath Avery from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.  Like Cath, I spent a great deal of my time absorbed in fictional worlds.  Books are just so much safer than reality.  Or maybe Hermione Granger.  I wasn’t quite the know-it-all she was, but I was definitely teacher’s pet.  I also had the outrageous, uncontrollable curly hair.  Or what about Katniss Everdeen, perhaps my favorite modern literary heroine?  I would go to any lengths to protect my little sister.  I would rather die than let any harm come to her.  That’s what big sisters do, and Katniss is just… wow.  I love her.

Of course, all these characters have their flaws, too.  Cath is timid and antisocial.  Hermione is stubborn.  Katniss is cold and hardened after the loss of her father and having to become the primary caregiver and supplier for her entire family.

There is a big push today for writers – of books as well as movies – to create what is known as the STRONG female character.  We’re not talking about a damsel-in-distress whose one goal in life is to meet Prince Charming, fall in love, and live happily ever after.  Although I have to say, I have friends who want just that and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.  Who doesn’t want to find companionship?  It’s a basic human need.

But you know what I’m talking about.  The swooning schoolgirl just isn’t “in” right now.  And that’s fine also!  I love female characters who are intelligent, ambitious, witty, independent, talented, powerful, etc…  What I don’t like is female characters who come off as rude, ungrateful, sarcastic, and pretentious.

Why do I bring this up?  Because I’m reading a book with exactly that type of “strong” female character right now.  Or should I say I WAS reading the book.  To be totally honest with you, I hate this girl so much that I probably won’t make it much farther.  Disappointing too, because this is a book I really thought I was going to like.  I downloaded it on Kindle on a total whim.  It wasn’t one I had planned on reading.  Now it’s on that I don’t plan on finishing.

I know what the author is trying to do.  She’s trying to make her female protagonist “different.”  She’s super smart, totally focused on her studies and her budding career (more power to her for that), but she’s totally aloof, unimpressed with anything the other girls find interesting.  That’s fine, you don’t have to fawn over Harry Styles if everyone else does, but don’t look down on them for doing so.  This girl acts so snobby and above-it-all that I can’t imagine why she has any friends in the first place!  She’s so completely rude and unappreciative to everyone she meets, even when they treat her with nothing but courtesy and respect because she’s so smart and special… It just drives me crazy!  Of course *spoiler alert* she gets the guy in the end, the one that she scoffed at all the other girls for swooning over.

I try to take a whole different approach to the STRONG female character in my books.  I like my heroines to be independent and smart and witty… but I also like the to be genuine.  I like them to be honest, to struggle over what’s right and wrong, to enjoy what they enjoy, and to not be ashamed of being themselves and loving what they love.

Take Mel in Boy Band.  She’s not particularly intelligent or ambitious, but she’s loyal and she’s a hard worker and in this new book, boy does she struggle with what’s right and what’s wrong.  She’s a good friend and she’s so completely in love with Sam, but that doesn’t make her weak or anti-feminist.  It makes her her.

Kate in Cemetery Tours is a bit different.  She’s older, more ambitious, more intelligent, and she doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do.  She’s brave and adventurous, but she also loves nothing more than sitting around in her pajamas and marathoning her favorite television show.

I love my female characters.  I wouldn’t enjoy writing them if I didn’t.  And I don’t love them because they’re STRONG.  I love them simply because they’re them.  They’re real to me.  That’s what I’ve always tried to achieve with all my characters.  I want them to feel like real, fleshed out people.  Not a jumble of characteristics on a page with a name attached to them.

It’s important for women to be strong, but it’s just as important for us to be real, to be genuine, and to be happy and proud of who we are no matter what.  We’re all different.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Nothing at all.

Texas Renaissance Festival

Alright, here we go!  Pictures from this past weekend at Texas Renaissance Festival.  The theme for the weekend was All Hallow’s Eve, so my friend and fellow author, James William Peercy, invited me down to sell a few ghost stories.  I am so grateful to him and his beautiful wife, Claudette for taking me under their wings.  They are just the most amazing, wonderful, selfless people you could ever hope to meet and James’ books, The Wall Outside series, are just so beautiful and magical.  If you enjoy fantasy, I highly recommend you check out his work.

http://jameswilliampeercy.com

Although I can do things all by myself, I always prefer not to.  Besides, weekend excursions to Renaissance festivals are always so much more fun with friends.  So I took my trusty house elves, Kat and Rachel (Rat) to help me out.

Before we reached the festival, we made a quick stop at this cool, old, haunted town called Anderson.

12105994_10206747195492145_2381483530533324156_n 12112066_10206747196252164_5039054838392795724_n 12122895_10206747197092185_6099327145625311429_n 12188909_10206747195212138_6181936334319706997_n 12188951_10206747195052134_4739958923343182546_n 12193419_10206747194612123_5983106509973419010_n 12208560_10206747197492195_8779565830409084153_n

After we arrived at the Festival (OMG it was so muddy), we unloaded all the books from the car and then set out to explore the grounds.  Naturally, we first found ourselves in the Enchanted Forest.

11218857_10206747207532446_2218708702900524175_n11208642_10206747208972482_5335507517283425542_n12208811_10206747207692450_8504758179165937089_n 12195892_10206747201772302_3930027581300610705_n12189993_10206747203292340_8216039084889178150_n 12189928_10206747203652349_6481582568687229459_n12189601_10206747208092460_6652660353908180454_n 12189180_10206747205612398_5851334491138519984_n12189175_10206747205012383_8535155158497088577_n 12096199_10206747205772402_4499193650751788234_n12049737_10206747201332291_3467899062534309786_n11998950_10206747208292465_477253924451907061_n11987076_10206747207492445_5708127124581433338_n 11260703_10206747205332391_5465927949708764422_n

The rest of the grounds were equally beautiful.

12208264_10206747248133461_8061710165650795399_n 12196164_10206747200252264_4198263331152274303_n12196149_10206747258253714_9079591262681946900_n 12196104_10206747246693425_6060029051374896089_n12193746_10206747213852604_7234706036837165570_n 12193656_10206747248493470_5976646606644706508_n12191775_10206747247213438_3594007698913758531_n 12190842_10206747210732526_3029072408368027711_n12143355_10206747198052209_8092108020634452644_n 12122892_10206747220932781_7043198543527915014_n12122616_10206747252013558_5603123108790786047_n 12109247_10206747237773202_1199592282781035658_n12036457_10206747224852879_5980812143479681766_n 11220924_10206747248613473_2131548118838323307_n11220483_10206747247133436_5307625214409724936_n 10955371_10206747199692250_4398800819371027846_n10413390_10206747235373142_6371574831918095663_n 10369185_10206747237013183_6626201494142958597_n

And the arts and crafts were absolutely breathtaking.

12196290_10206747203092335_9143920886317346172_n 12208467_10206747234733126_3466479864211672271_n12208366_10206747220052759_6318423005528232162_n 12208346_10206747249533496_7313867181785555702_n12196185_10206747235693150_7965241763162722334_n 12195893_10206747221612798_8713533914527447454_n12193655_10206747257573697_738532726234299720_n 12187836_10206747234573122_8533088875191262840_n11218857_10206747233413093_2848150925727682866_n 12065541_10206747254773627_5056658029526840928_n11707401_10206747250213513_8747940859616443759_n 12191420_10206747238253214_7124164635247902366_n11012761_10206747222212813_6194628963009682198_n

Oh, and there were books too.

12208255_10206747223252839_5683021222931095805_n 12193561_10206747243493345_3221733872812360204_n12189601_10206747256453669_1430034960200037011_n 12189061_10206747245253389_4861225904986246920_n19986_10206747222492820_8304733808008363023_n 12187834_10206747257333691_4574686266297605967_n12196154_10206747238573222_545745161241373947_n 12189061_10206747245253389_4861225904986246920_n12108981_10206747222892830_2630913518567352062_n 12065961_10206747223132836_7886714085422123980_n12065868_10206747256613673_2894782910817913214_n 11049588_10206747222532821_6468571211976569086_n

I also had to get my picture taken with my Great-Great-Great-Great several times over Grandfather, Robert the Bruce.

12187810_10206747251253539_6007655186260707703_n

But I think my favorite new friends that I made were Pip and Owlbus Dumbledore.

12193567_10206747240293265_4445834780576471348_n  12189124_10206747243413343_7801476036660002121_n

How did you spend your Halloween?

Halloween Adventures

Well friends, this will be my last blog post until Tuesday at the earliest.  By then, Halloween will have come and gone and I will more than likely be in full blown Christmas mode.  I’m a Texas girl.  It happens.  Some stereotypes are true.

As for this weekend, two of my best friends and I will be road-tripping it (or kayaking, depending on how much it rains) down to Houston for the Texas Renaissance Festival.  A dear friend of mine, James William Peercy, participates in the festival every year (he writes fantasy: The Wall Outside series) and this weekend, the festival will be celebrating all things Halloween, the perfect opportunity to read a ghost story or two!

I have to admit, I’m quite excited.  I’ve been going to Ren Faires since high school, but I’ve never been a vendor, nor have I been to the big Houston one.  I’m used to the one that’s about three times smaller!  But I think it’s going to be amazing.  Of course, I still have a little bit of paperwork/a LOT of packing but I’ll get it all done.  The hardest part of any trip, of course, is leaving my sweet baby Midnight and my birdies, but my mom is going to take good care of them.  This will be my first Halloween away from my sweet black cat!  I don’t even want to think about it.

Anyway, since I won’t be back until Monday, that means that Cemetery Tours will be $2.99 on Kindle a bit longer than I said originally, so go get that book!  Make a Halloween dream come true.

I hope you all have the most haunted and spectacular of All Hallow’s Eves.  Until next time.

12042802_10206690395392178_4625995108811904974_n

Book Things

Hello, friends.  Well, today I’ve barely made it out of bed.  It’s just one of those icky sick days that kind of knocks you off your feet and punches you in the face.  Needless to say, I have not been very productive at all.  That’s why this post will be pretty short.  In fact, it’s basically just going to be me sharing a few new reviews and book covers.

The Cemetery Tours reviews go something like this:

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 5.16.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 5.16.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 5.16.54 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 5.17.02 PM

Friendly reminder that the Cemetery Tours eBook is only $2.99 on Kindle!

After Death has a few new reviews too, but this one is my favorite:

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 9.15.17 PM

Finally, a few book cover updates!  First of all, I designed the back cover for Backstage, the highly anticipated sequel to Boy Band:

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 4.29.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 4.29.49 PM

I also designed a cover to my new NaNoWriMo project.  I’m still not 100% set on the title or on the font, but it’s something!

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 6.41.17 PM

How are you this fine October afternoon?

A Very Haunted Weekend

Well friends, the Witching Hour is officially upon us!  All Hallows Eve is only days away!

12105757_10206696023772884_2059827934789822473_n

As I think most of you know, I’ve basically been celebrating Halloween for two straight months now.  This weekend, however, I got to kick things up a notch or two with my closest and dearest friends. It began with a Girls’ Night on Friday.

We drank some wine,

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.39.58 PM

Watched the single greatest Halloween movie of all time,

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.40.15 PM

And carved pumpkins!

11025804_10206695638883262_670956723710903576_n12065753_10206695639323273_2834020470753347590_n10406700_10206695638363249_4957884454959575937_n12072609_10206695929370524_3335495379711185514_n

I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of my Phoenix.

11100394_10206696018932763_4390341077611260492_n Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.40.26 PM

Before the night ended, my friends told me that they had an idea.  I have to admit, they are pretty spectacular.  I think I’ll keep them around.

12043073_10206696270419050_691615431326417925_n 12038020_10206696270779059_6781139836371092120_n

The next night, I went with another of my best friends to Fort Worth for a Ghost Bus Tour.  Talk about a Halloween dream come true!

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.41.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.40.43 PM

There was also wine.  It was basically perfect.

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.41.24 PM

But absolutely nothing beats a visit to an old cabin village… Or possibly capturing a few unexplained light anomalies on camera.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 1.38.18 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 1.37.02 AM Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 1.35.38 AM

To top it all off, I may have stumbled across a website that allows you to Halloween-ify yourself.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 11.41.48 PM Vampire zombie

So yeah, that was my weekend.  How was yours?

1506613_10206689193642135_3480033414943510615_n 12042802_10206690395392178_4625995108811904974_n

My Halloween Essentials

Alright people.  It’s October 21.  That means we only have ten days left to celebrate one of the greatest feast days of the year: All Hallow’s Eve.

Halloween has always been a big deal in my family.  What’s not to love?  The pumpkins, the magic, the spooks, the costumes…  I think everyone becomes more of a believer in the things that can’t be explained around this time of year.

That being said, I intend to savor every second I have left of these ten days.  So, without further ado, I present

Jacqueline E. Smith’s Halloween Essentials

  • A trip to the pumpkin patch.

IMG_8527 12122851_10206592692909677_8132374228292792570_n 12074486_10206591759366339_1362730506872938910_n

  • A haunting soundtrack full of classic Halloween hits.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 2.59.21 PM

  • A Halloween movie marathon. This marathon MUST include at least three separate viewings of Hocus Pocus.

1505994_10204207068470557_7467619425480736648_n

  • Candy Corns and Mellowcreme Pumpkins.
  • Scented candles.

CNhKwvfVAAAaC6t CNhLX_tUsAA1fUi CPe1sJkU8AAULdI

  • Finding your ideal costume.  If you can’t find it, make it!  One year in college when I was particularly broke, I went as The One-Eyed-One-Horned-Flying-Purple-People-Eater and I made my own wings and horn.  I looked a little deranged, but the wings looked AMAZING.

167789_10100122053390922_2651251_n

  • Decorations galore.

COy_gVkVAAA7YRr 10632612_10204236891416112_5213769996503591262_n 10408013_10204236890816097_2748583409370383540_n 10407979_10204236894896199_5447407679077045060_n 1908455_10204207101591385_3964147647105064717_n

  • A unique design for your Jack-O-Lantern.  Now, I’ve been carving my own Jack-O-Lanterns for years, but scraping out all the insides and carving can be a bit tiresome, so it might not be for everyone.  Especially if you don’t like pulp under your nails.

59614_4376265358446_1824621280_n

  • A black light bulb.  When I was little, my mom would ALWAYS light a black light on All Hallow’s Eve.  It’s simply not the Witching Hour without one.

10003458_10204236896056228_9117732833640526836_n

  • A black cat.  Naturally.  Where would I be without my beautiful Witch’s Familiar?

CMoTzKMUkAAkTWu

  • A good ghost story. Of course!  And you can get Cemetery Tours on Kindle for only $2.99 for the remainder of October.

12096221_305041849670803_4988227242966108787_n

11393265_10205752599107857_381549405489836783_n

What are your Halloween Essentials?

Why I Write

Most days, I have no idea what I’m going to blog about until I sit down at my computer.  Even then, sometimes it takes me a while to come up with something.  And if I can’t, chances are I’ll just skip blogging for the day.  After all, I usually don’t post every day.

Today, however, was one of those blessed days where I signed onto Twitter and noticed the number one trending topic in the nation: #WhyIWrite.  It was like a gift from the blogging gods.  Why do I write?

My immediate answer was Because I can’t not write.  Eloquent, I know.  But it’s true!  To not write would be almost physically impossible for me.  It’s a part of who I am, perhaps more so than just about any other quality that I possess.  When I’m writing, everything makes sense.  It’s one of the few things that has always come naturally to me.

My parents read to me every night, from the day I was born up until I learned to read myself.  Both profess that they don’t remember teaching me or my sister to read.  We just seemed to pick it up after having been read to our entire lives.  Writing followed shortly thereafter.

For years, writing was something I just did for fun.  In fact, I didn’t even realize I was doing it, if that makes any sense at all.  It was just something I did because I wanted to, like playing jump rope or riding my bike.  I even wrote stories about my future.  That should have been a clue right there that all my other interests would eventually take a backseat to writing.  Actually, looking back, I think they already had.

I write for myself, but I also write because I truly believe that it’s my way of interacting with the world, and maybe even doing some good.  I don’t write personal narratives very often, but I’m a huge believer in mental health awareness.  I’m also a big tree-hugger and animal and nature-lover.  Writing it what I have to give.  And I hope, one day, I’ll be able to make a difference.

I also write because I love characters and I love stories and I love adventures.  There will never be enough books in the world, nor intriguing characters to get to know.  I have dozens of plot lines and characters and places all swimming around in my head.  I have to let them out.  They’d drive me absolutely crazy if I didn’t.  And I want to give them their own stories.  I think they deserve that.  I hope I live long enough to see that happen for them.  I’m hoping I’ve got at least another fifty-sixty years, so I should be good.  Still, that doesn’t really seem like a very long time, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not.  I better get a move on!

Most importantly, I write because it’s what I love.  It makes me happy.  It gives me a thrill.  I hope to keep writing for the rest of my life, regardless of whether my books go on to become bestsellers or not.  Everything about writing is magic to me, and I’m thankful every day for books and for words and for stories.  May they never fade from our human experience.

IMG_7090