About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Friday, March 30, 2012

How Do You Edit Your eBook?

Editing My eBook ‘Murder by the Clock

No one likes to edit their ebook once it’s been written. It’s over. Publish it. Get it out there. But nobody likes fixing mistakes after it’s published. Bad karma. However, I have read so many Indie ebooks with so many mistakes that I would say “I will not buy another book by that author.” Does that sound petty? I don’t think so. Language is important. Some say, “The Devil is in the details.” Others say, “God is in the details.” In any event, noticing the spelling, punctuation or other details take the reader away from the story. Not good. The story is all important. That’s what we’re selling. It’s like selling bananas. If there are big black bruises, nobody buys. So, it’s important that I edit my ebook ‘Murder by the Clock’ carefully. I don’t want big black bruises.

I did several things to make sure that my book was edited well.

1. I ran the novel through the spell checker. The spell checker may disagree, but make sure that anything it finds is actually OK before leaving it in.

2. I read my book five times to make sure there were no words that the spell checker didn’t catch. For example, duplicate words and words that were correctly spelled but were not the correct word.

3. In reading, I also made sure that quotes were not missing or added where not needed. Likewise, commas.

4. I read ‘Murder by the Clock’ again with action words in mind. Weak verbs make the novel weak. Avoid the word very. Minimize adverbs.

5. I checked that there was at least a space or stars between a change of scenes in a chapter. Nothing frustrates me more than a change of point of view or scene without advance notice. I hate reading a paragraph and asking, “What happened? Where am I? Who’s talking? What happened to the other guy?”

6. I had someone else read my novel. Another two eyes and another brain are always a good addition. It’s even better if the reader likes the genre.

Even after all this, I’m sure that ‘Murder by the Clock’ may contain a few mistakes. However, by doing the above steps, I make sure that fewer mistakes will remain and that my reader will have the best possible reading experience I can provide.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gun Permit

For many years I was a person who really didn't like guns. It wasn't that I wasn't around guns growing up. My father and brother were always going hunting, bringing home food to eat. Those were rifles and shotguns. Back then they didn't think about guns as protection but as means of obtaining food and having a bond between father and son.

Today, my mind about guns is changing. Times are hard and successful women are put in dangerous positions. Tuesday I am going to the sheriff's department to apply for a gun permit. I went to the local gun store on Friday and was shown several pistols. I held the gun in my hand and was careful to always point it away from anyone. I am very much aware of the dangers involved in owning a gun.

I have pretty  much decided which gun I want to purchase, but will wait until this week to formalize the purchase.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring and Flowers

My mystery book Murder by the Clock is being edited at the moment, so I have free time to enjoy the outdoors. Spring is a wonderful time of the year. I'm not much with flower names, but the above are running rampant in my yard. It just seems a shame to mow them down. The lady who owned the property before planted five forsythia bushes like the ones below. The only problem is they are a bear to keep pruned. They seem to branch out everywhere.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Ahhh! The Wildlife!

As I said, the wildlife is not three doors down. It is three feet from my windows. Actually one flew across the front of the window as it was frightened by a car half a mile away. It was like a 747 taking off, it's wings powerful and majestic.