#IWSG Writing Journey

Happy New Year, writers! Join us for this supportive monthly group–sign up at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

You may have noticed I have a new website! It might also be evident that I’m just starting to spruce it up. Hopefully my blog will look prettier come next month.

Thanks to this month’s cohosts: T. Powell Coltrin, Victoria Marie Lees, Stephen Tremp, Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

January 8 question – What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/ coach/ spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?  

I enjoyed creative writing as a child, but it wasn’t until my 30’s when I became obsessed with the TV show, Prison Break. I scarfed down the entire first season before binge watching was a thing. Then I fell into writing fan fiction for the show, and I’ve been hooked on writing ever since. Wentworth Miller (yummy actor) was quite the inspiration!

Updated Site: jenniferlanebooks.com

New home of Jennifer Lane Books

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

― Lao Tzu

I’ve wanted to move my author blog from Blogger to WordPress for some time, and when my old site’s designer’s images became inaccessible, I found my opportunity! This site is still under construction.

#IWSG Your Future Writer Self

Join us for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group at creator Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Happy Holidays, writers! I just returned from Chicago where my family celebrated Thanksgiving. My oldest sister made a yummy meal including a brussels sprout salad, and my middle sister went all out planning a Frozen-themed party for my niece’s second birthday. (The seal was a gift for my niece that snuck onto the table. Not part of the movie, but still a wintry theme.)



December 4 question – Let’s play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?

Imagining the future, hmm. My writing life has never been intentional–I fell into it through fan fiction, and I consider writing more of a hobby than a career. As a result, it’s tough to plot a future for my writer self. 


I have envisioned a time when my psychology career slows down, meeting with fewer clients per week, and increasing writing time then. I’d like to venture into different genres, character ages, and tenses. I want to continue improving my craft. I also picture myself near a beach somewhere, likely South Carolina to watch my precious niece grow up! 


Thank you to the courageous co-hosts for December 4: Tonja Drecker, Beverly Stowe McClure, Nicki Elson, Fundy Blue, and Tyrean Martinson (A special thanks to Nicki Elson for being the best damn critique partner a writer can have.)

Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop

Thanks to The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It for hosting the Winter is Coming Giveaway Hop. What a cute kitty.


How do you like winter? I’m not a big fan, especially due to the shorter days. Americans, let’s lobby Congress to keep Daylight Savings Time all year long!

Until that happens, let’s celebrate a fun part of winter holidays: GIFTS! I’m giving away a $15 gift card and a Jennifer Lane ebook of your choice. I write sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist.

Enter on the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop on over to these participating wintry blogs!

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#IWSG Arresting Google Searches




It’s time to disclose our inadequacy and excitement about writing. Check out where it all started on Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:


This month’s question:

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?

What a great question! I’m sure many of us fear getting arrested for our bizarro and sometimes illegal internet searches, all in pursuit of writing with authenticity.


No way I can choose just one, so here’s a list of strange searches I’ve conducted:

Nicotine patches (for my WIP)
NCAA recruiting rules (also WIP)
Seafood restaurants in Pensacola, Florida
Secret Service protection for families of presidential candidates
ANFO (explosive)
Paintings of dogs playing poker
US Naval Academy Honor Concept
Parts of a guitar
Insulin pumps
Frank Sinatra songs
Parolee voting rights
Chemistry experiments gone wrong

And last but not least: 
Splenectomy!

New Release: Stone Man and the Trail of Tears

Stone Man
And the Trail of Tears
By Charles Suddeth
Print ISBN 9781939844620
EBook ISBN 9781939844637
$12.95, 6×9 trade paperback, 162 pages
Juvenile Fiction: Boys & Men/Legends, Myths, Fables-Native American/Historical-United States-General
Release date – October 8, 2019
Driven to Stone Man’s trail…
After U.S. soldiers attack twelve-year-old Tsatsi’s Cherokee village, his family flees to the Smokey Mountains. Facing storms, flood, and hunger, they’re forced to go where Stone Man, a monstrous giant, is rumored to live. 
His family seeks shelter in an abandoned village, but soldiers hunt them down. Tsatsi and his sister Sali escape, but Sali falls ill and is kidnapped by Stone Man. Tsatsi gives chase and confronts the giant, only to learn this monster isn’t what he seems.
Their journey is a dangerous one. Will Tsatsi find the strength to become a Cherokee warrior? And will they ever find their family?


Congratulations to Charles Suddeth!

Charles Suddeth loves to tell stories of all sizes and shapes and flavors. He has published picture books, middle readers’ books, young adult thrillers, and adult mysteries. Of Cherokee heritage, he draws inspiration from hiking Tom Sawyer State Park and teaches in Louisville, Kentucky. 
Purchase links:

#IWSG How Does Reading Affect Writing?

Writing can be lonely and disheartening, and I’m thankful for our monthly support group to lift up writers everywhere. Alex Cavanaugh started the group and has a great admin team to keep it going.

Thank you to these intrepid co-hosts:


This month’s question:
It’s been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don’t enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?


I’ve only heard about how much reading can help writing, and I’ve experienced those benefits myself, so I disagree with the notion that reading may interfere with originality in writing. Our imaginations are infinite–even if we read an idea that inspires our own work, we will produce a much different take on the story than any other writer.

It is true that particular genres sometimes flood the market (like paranormal romance around the time of my debut novel in 2010), but this phenomenon is probably more about following trends than about too much reading.

How has voracious reading made your writing better? Here’s how it has helped me:

1) Familiarity with the genre helps me improve my story’s structure (including pacing, voice, length, characterization). 

2) Reading increases my vocabulary and clarity. Occasionally, I jot down words or phrases that resonate with me, like in the murder mystery Defending Jacob that I just finished reading. The author described a TV news van barnacled with satellite dishes and antennae–a cool description, I thought. 

3) Reading absolutely stimulates my writing! When I read an amazing book, I can’t wait to get back to my manuscript and try to create a teensy bit of magic myself.