Goodreads Giveaway

I got a big box in the mail today.  It contained the paperbacks for my Goodreads giveaway! If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s a link in the sidebar. Giveaway closes Novemeber 5th.  Good...

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Science and Magic

I’ve always loved fantasy.  I was the little girl in the unicorn t-shirt drawing fantastical pictures when she should have been paying attention in class.  I frequently got in trouble for daydreaming—until I learned to stare at the chalkboard and not out the window when my mind was elsewhere.  Yet through it all, I somehow became a scientist.  I feel like my interests rest on opposite ends of the spectrum.  At one end there’s hard science with its laws and absolutes, and at the other end there’s fantasy, which is anything but.  In The Final Formula, I think I found some middle ground. The alchemy in my story isn’t the boiling cauldron of magic brew encountered in a lot of fantasy fiction, though it has the trappings of it.  My alchemy is closer to modern chemistry.  After all, Addie was a chemist before magic returned.  This setup left me trying to explain magic with science.  (Which isn’t the first time.  I have an unpublished series where I actually turned to math in an attempt to puzzle out the magic.  Yeah, I’m a geek.)  While writing this story, I researched the ingredients Addie might use and discovered that science could come into play. One such example is in the opening scene where Addie is preparing some Remembrance Dust.  While searching for a plausible ingredient, I learned that rosemary was once believed to improve memory.  Digging deeper, I discovered that rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that’s even been used in Alzheimer’s research.  Perfect!  Over the course of writing this book, I found that a lot of herb lore has some basis in fact.  Granted, I took a few liberties with what Addie can do, but there are underlying reasons why she uses the ingredients she does. I had a lot of fun coming up with some crazy alchemy applications to solve Addie’s problems.  Homemade napalm to blow up zombies (and cars).  Magic bullets.  A compass to find the lost.  And as I dig into the next book, the fun continues.  Addie’s modern alchemy is a versatile medium that allows me to combine my interests.  I just wish I actually knew the Final Formula.  😉 How...

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Picturing a Scene

“The places used in this book are a product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.” There’s a lot of truth in that statement.  The majority of my scenes are conglomerations of real places and locations that exist only in my mind.  I thought it might be fun to share two real life locations that served as inspiration for settings in The Final Formula. I’m not a Cincinnati native, but I visit often.  Each time I go, I’m on the lookout for interesting locations, and I can’t wait to use some of the more iconic ones in future stories.  This time around, most of the settings are a bit generic, and when I imagined them, I pictured places I knew. One example is my description of the Nelson Funeral Parlor.  The actual building I pictured was Daehler F.C. Mortuary Co. in Portsmouth, Ohio.  I only borrowed the exterior, though.  The interior described in the book is a figment of my imagination.  At least, I assume they don’t have an alchemy lab in the basement at Daehler’s.  😉   Another location is the cemetery where our heroes have their misadventure in the mausoleum.  (Funeral parlor, cemetery—I’m seeing a theme.  Can you tell I like creepy things?)  In my mind’s eye, I pictured Greenlawn Cemetery, which is also in Portsmouth.  I love the weathered headstones, mature trees, and winding roads.  There are also a couple of mausoleums, but nothing like the one in the story.  (Thank goodness, huh?) So, that’s what I saw.  Hopefully, your impression was something close to that, or maybe something from your own life experience.  I try not to over-describe things.  Large passages of description bore me to read, let alone write.  Beyond that, I prefer to leave some things to the reader’s imagination.  Let them make the setting theirs. I’ve rambled enough.  Time to get back to that draft of the next story.  Feel free to share your thoughts.  And if you happen to be from the Cincinnati area or somewhere close by, do you know of any cool locations that might make a neat setting in a future story? Thanks for stopping in!      ...

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Art

My kids have enjoyed following along on my publishing adventure.  My son was very supportive.  When I showed him my book on Amazon, he said, “That’s cool, but I was published before you.”  (His short story was selected for inclusion in a children’s anthology.)  So, I guess this all old hat to him.  😛 My daughter, on the other hand, was more supportive.  She drew me this awesome picture.  (I love the thought bubbles.  One says, “I love this book.”  And the other says, “I wonder what happens to Addie.”)  However, I’m not allowed to call it “fan art.”  Because, according to her, she’s not JUST a fan; she’s my daughter.  Hence, this post is labeled...

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My Very First Post

Hello and welcome!  Well, today is the big day.  The Final Formula is formatted and ready to go.  Today I fumble around and try to get it up on the various retail sites.  I’ll be creating accounts, trying to figure out what goes where, and pestering writer friends when I get stuck. I started the day by creating this website.  It’s just a simple thing I threw together.  A much cooler version will replace it in the near future, but until then, I hope this will suffice. Thanks for stopping by!  Now I’d better get to work....

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