#IWSG Infusing Characters with Personal Traits

Happy July to all writers! And Happy July 4th to Americans. Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh for starting the Insecure Writers’ Support Group, where we support and befriend writerly peeps.


I’m excited to be a co-host this month along with Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard,and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!


Congratulations to Ellen Jacobson (The Cynical Sailor) for her new release, Poisoned by the Pier (Molly McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #3). I’m reading it now and it’s a lot of fun! Molly’s husband is trying a fad diet involving rutabaga–this is not going to end well.

Are you entering the 2019 IWSG Anthology Contest? The genre is middle grade historical adventure/fantasy. I was fortunate to be part of Masquerade: Oddly Suited, Dancing Lemur Press’s young adult romance anthology, and I met some wonderful IWSG authors in addition to working with a publisher featuring fast, clear communication. What a pleasure! I encourage you to submit a story for this year’s contest.

Speaking of Dancing Lemur Press, they have a BOGO book sale this week! Check it out


I love the introspective nature of this month’s question: What personal trait(s) have you written into your characters?

Wow. What personal traits haven’t I written into my characters? I find writing to be therapeutic, so I pour myself into my characters. I’m a psychologist and my books typically feature at least one therapist character. I’ve infused characters with these personal traits as well: anxious, romantic yet clueless at romance, intellectual, sporty (particularly swimming and volleyball), competitive, sensitive, analytical, passionate, persevering, overeating, loud laugher.

I’m working on a new novel, and my heroine is a smoker. Since I abhor smoking, this is a bit of a challenge for me.

I’m curious to hear your responses to this question! Write on.



#IWSG: Good luck #NaNoWriMo !

Happy November, writers! Once again I almost forgot to post on the first Wednesday of the month for Insecure Writers Support Group, but I saw a post on my lovely critique partner’s blog and got busy writing this at work! (Thanks, Nicki Elson.)

How’s your writing? I’m hustling to finish my WIP by the end of this month to squeeze into my editor’s schedule. I only have two chapters left to write, but one is rather pivotal to the plot and I haven’t figured out the details yet. I also am writing what I DON’T know by deciding to include chemistry in this story. Not the romantic kind, but the lab chemicals kind. If you’re a chemist and want to take a stab at an aspect of my plot that’s vexing me, please let me know!

IWSG question of the month:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? 
 
I’ve never tried NaNo. Combine my busy fall schedule at the day job with my anxious tendencies and I think it would feel like way too much pressure. I like writing to be fun and refreshing, so a daily goal might not work for my style.

But I wish much productivity for those writers undertaking this November adventure!


This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh. Click below to join the group!


One Lesson I’ve Learned as a Writer #IWSG #amwriting

Happy July to All Writers! Hop on the Insecure Writers Support Group train HERE.


How is your writing? Mine has grown less and less frequent over the years. But I AM still writing! I’m excited about my romantic suspense WIP–it’s just that my day job has grown in scope and I don’t write if I travel on the weekends. 

As I write this post, I’m in Nashville, visiting a good friend who moved here recently. We cooked quite a few dishes for his brother’s July 4th party, including spicy grits, pimento dip, banana pudding, spiked lemonade, and red velvet brownie stars.


IWSG Question: What is one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?


I could fill pages with all I’ve learned since I started writing ten years ago, but I’ll narrow it down to this:

Use punchy action verbs instead of adverbs.

Instead of Joe ran quickly … Joe dashed.

Instead of She looked frantically through her purse … She rummaged through her purse.

My debut novel, With Good Behavior, was full of adverbs and bloated writing. I sliced 30,000 words and my publisher will re-release the tighter version soon. I cut the book down to its fighting weight!

Check out this pdf by Deanna Carlyle, 1000 Verbs to Write By.

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and this month’s Co-Hosts:

#IWSG Where the Book Has No Name

Happy June to all writers! Join us for our monthly support group at Alex J Cavanaugh’s BLOG.


I’m about halfway through my romantic suspense WIP, Twin Sacrifice. It’s a crime drama involving twin brothers. My sister says she doesn’t like the title. What’s your honest reaction to “Twin Sacrifice”?

This past weekend was so fun. Attending a U2 concert has been on my bucket list since The Joshua Tree released when I was a teenager, and I finally got to go!!! I saw U2 at Soldier Field with my editor Jessica, and wrote with my critique partner Bev the next day, all in the great city of Chicago. Check out my Facebook video of the spellbinding introduction to Where the Streets Have No Name HERE.

Question of the month: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?


I started this writing thing in 2007, and I haven’t stopped yet. Writing has been the outlet I never knew I needed, and I’ve met such lovely (and crazy) people. But after I publish my WIP, I might take a break since I don’t have an idea for a new book brewing.

Check out this month’s kickbutt co-Hosts:

#IWSG Weird, Cool #Writing Research


Happy May to all writers!


Pop over to Alex Cavanaugh’s blog to join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group.

Today’s co-hosts: Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!

How’s your writing? I’m about 40% done with my romantic suspense WIP, Twin Sacrifice. Thank you to my awesome critique partner, Nicki Elson, for her tremendous help.

I love this month’s IWSG question:

What’s the weirdest/coolest thing you’ve researched for a story?

So many weird/cool topics to choose from! I know quite a few writers like me hope our internet search histories don’t alert the authorities to possible subversive behavior. Here are my highlights:

* Building bomb triggers

* Layout of rooms in the White House

* Effects of Rohypnol (Roofies) on the body

* How to get a gun through airport security

And my most fun research? Taking a Chicago architectural cruise.

I look forward to hearing what funky stuff you’ve researched!

#IWSG Pinterinspiration #Pinterest #Writing #Inspiration

Happy May, writers. Time to discuss our hopes and fears. Join us at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog. The amazing co-hosts for the May 4 posting of the IWSG will be Stephen Tremp, Fundy Blue, MJ Fifield, Loni Townsend, Bish Denham, Susan Gourley, and Stephanie Faris!


We writers find inspiration in the strangest places. For me, Pinterest is top on my list. I’m addicted to Pinterest, I must admit.

I like to create a Pinterest board when writing to collect images and websites that relate to the story.

For my work in progress SPIKED (Blocked #3), I’ve pinned these images:

1) Volleyball T-shirts (the heroine from Blocked has quite a collection)




2) Bad pickup lines (How Mateo gets Jessica to laugh)




What inspires YOUR writing? What’s the worst pickup line you’ve heard?

#IWSG What’s Easiest and Hardest to #Write ?

Whoops! Almost forgot this month’s IWSG in the midst of planning for trips to Chicago and Hawaii, a broken air conditioner, and installation of new carpet and sectional sofa.


Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for creating IWSG, and awesome co-hosts Eva Solar Melanie Schulz, Lisa-Buie Collard, and Stephen Tremp.

How’s your writing coming along? I wish it could go faster but I guess the muse can’t be rushed. I’m about 36K words into my work in progress, ACED (Blocked #2). Next up is a therapy chapter which is always easier for me to write. I throw my characters into therapy on a regular basis–I torture them so much that they need it!

I’m struggling a bit with the pacing of the romance. While it’s not insta-love, I have a tendency to rush things. I’m grateful for my critique partner Nicki Elson, who just released a wonderful romance (VIBRIZZIO). See my post below to read my review and enter the giveaway.

What type of chapters/scenes are easiest for you to write? Which are hardest?