The Shy Sensitive Type: That’s Me!


We took this picture while out for a walk with Disappearing in Plain Sight on the Pitt Meadows Dike. I am the shy and sensitive type when it comes to promotion, but I did manage to sell a book to a wonderful lady who sat next to me at Bingo the other night. I couldn’t have done it without my daughter egging me on! Thanks, Kristen.

The following questions were drawn from a recent interview Glynis Sym did with me for her blog – Author of Historical Romance with a Twist. As I enjoy grandma time and holiday it up, I’m happy to have a few things on the back burner to share with you.

What is your genre? Why did you choose it?

I listed my book as contemporary, literary fiction with a good dose of romance thrown in. I didn’t choose this genre prior to writing. I wrote a book, and then I had to decide where it might fit. I actually hate these designations because they seem to pigeon-hole a book before a reader even gets to take a look.

Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?

Not in the creative stage. But when Disappearing in Plain Sight was in the final editing process, I was able to spend time writing the sequel.

Do you work with a writing/critique group?

No, I’ve never had the opportunity, and I’m not sure I would join such a group even if I did. At the end of the day, writing and reading are subjective experiences. We all know what we like or don’t like. I’m not sure what else I would be qualified to comment on? I wonder if a writer is better served by choosing a couple of trusted beta readers and paying attention to the suggestions they would offer.

Can you remember your first reading book?

The first real book I remember reading was a Trixie Beldon hardcover I got for Christmas one year. That was the year I also received a highly abridged hardcover copy of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. The poem, The Raven has stayed with me my whole life. Suddenly there came a tapping, tapping, tapping, tapping at my chamber door. Heady stuff.

Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?

In my reading life – so many authors, I wouldn’t want to select only three. For my writing life, I have been influenced by reading countless award winning novels. These taught me just how high the writing bar could be raised. Stephen King’s book, “On Writing” continues to influence me. I was also influenced in a positive way by Norah Roberts. Her books are not in a genre I would normally have read, but circumstances found me in a situation where many of her books were readily available, and I needed a good distraction. Reading her novels gave me the confidence to think that I could also write stories that people would like to read. We aren’t all going to be Michael Ondaatje or Margaret Atwood. But there is room for all sorts of stories written by all types of authors for all kinds of readers.

What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?

No matter how confident you are that your work is as perfect as it can get – it isn’t. Creating the first and even the second draft is a sacred process for a writer. We hole up and hold all our cards close to our chest. After that we need to throw open the doors. Get a few trusted beta readers to give feedback. Pay attention to what they have to say about where the story drags, if characters have remained consistent, if plots and storylines have been sufficiently tied-up. Get a good editor. You owe it to yourself and your readers to produce the best finished product possible. I would also advise any writer to take the time to sit and read their complete manuscript out loud to another person. You will be amazed the number of things you’ll discover when you read your work aloud.


Well, the birthday month here on Disappearing in Plain Sight blog is winding down, folks. This could be the last chance post to get your likes, comments, pingbacks and new follows into the draw for great prizes.

Happy Birthday to Me


Happy 56th today for me! What a month – prizes, party-time the whole month long for my blog anniversary, and now my own birthday.

If you have thought of checking out Disappearing in Plain Sight – today would be a good day to do it. A great gift for all of us. I’m off now for a day jam-packed with birthday fun.


Irrational Fallacies and Communication Skills | Saying What Matters

DSC_0293In this anniversary month of my blog (don’t forget about the great prices being offered all this month!) I’ve been doing some reassessment. I ventured into the blogging world because I wanted a platform to promote my debut novel. Of course, I ended up with so much more. 

I have decided to branch out and start another blog. It’s entitled – Saying What Matters. The aim of this new blog is to provide quick and easy pointers on how to become a more effective communicator. Each post is helpful on its own, but taken together, over time, the series of posts I plan to write will constitute the core material for an entire course in communication skills. We all want to say what matters to others, and hopefully we also want to listen when others tell us what matters to them.

I’m happy to be able to share my expertise on such an important topic. So, I invite my followers on Disappearing in Plain Sight to hop over and check out my new blog. 

Irrational Fallacies and Communication Skills | Saying What Matters

And just a quick recap on those all important June anniversary prizes:

  • All likes go in a draw for a guest appearance on my blog
  • All comments go in a draw for a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • All pingbacks and month of June followers are in the draw for a trade paperback copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight.


Disappearing in Plain Sight’s Biggest Fans


I’ve left my lakeside cabin to get out in the world. Over the next couple of weeks you can look forward to seeing my book and my biggest fans having all kinds of fun!

And on the theme of being out and about – please check my “Getting to Know the Author” interview over on Glynis Smy’s blog. Pretty funny story about marshmallows and horses at the end.

One Year Old Today!


Today is the official one-year anniversary of the Disappearing in Plain Sight blog! I know this because WordPress kindly put a little gold anniversary cup on my Stats page to remind me. Yippee for me! Today, I am a one-year-old blogger.

I want to thank everyone who has stopped by over this past year. You have read, liked, commented, followed, and re-blogged. You have been with me on an incredible journey, and I’m so grateful for your company. You followed me through the editing and self-publishing of my first novel, and then right on into marketing and promotion. We’ve been together for the highs and lows.

You’ve been with me on more than just my self-publishing journey. You’ve also been around for everything else that life had to offer in between. You’ve hung out with me as I wrote bits of flash fiction, regaled you with stories of my family, and shared my garden. You’ve laughed at my wonderfully funny and cute granddaughters. You’ve followed me on a fabulous trip to California. We’ve been through a lot together.

I hope I’ve been able to make the journey worth your while. You have certainly made writing a blog a rewarding experience. I thank each and every one of you for taking the time from your busy schedules to spend time with me.

The party is going on here all month. (Remember the all important prizes and keep liking, commenting, following and doing those pingbacks!) Today it feels right to send out a special thank you to all of my blog readers. The blog wouldn’t be much without you.


(A picture of me posing near the “real” Crater Lake in Oregon with Phantom Ship in the background.)

Sailboats, Disappearing in Plain Sight, and a Safe Harbour.


My marketing and promotion manager (aka – husband – Bruce) pulled off a significant coup the other day. He managed to have my book, Disappearing in Plain Sight, on sale at The Outpost, a local venue in Winter Harbour, in time for the arrival of the racers in the VanIsle 360, a circumnavigation sailboat race around Vancouver Island.


The Outpost is Winter Harbour’s all purpose general store. One of those places that remind me of days gone by when one stop shopping meant just that. The website will tell you they have everything from bolts to bananas, as well as a well-stocked liquor store, a wide variety of groceries, fishing gear and tackle, household items, and local souvenirs (like Fran’s book – yippee and happy dance going on).


“Winter Harbour is the true “end of the road”, an outpost community off Quatsino Sound. A unique fishing village on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, there are few residents 1881.1[1](population 20!) and lots to see. The village of Winter Harbour got its name in the 1800’s when its sheltered harbour became a haven for sailing ships. This boardwalk community puts visitors close to the wildlife and remoteness of northern Vancouver Island.” Quoted from  this great site – it describes Winter Harbour and all kinds of must-see places nearby.

If you ever plan to visit this picturesque community, consider staying at the Winter Harbour Cottages. Run by Pat and Phil Wainwright, the rates are reasonable, and the accommodations fully reflect the charm of the fishing village setting. The cottages have wonderfully evocative west coast names – Cedar Cottage, Chinook Cottage, Otter House, and Beach House. Check out the link above for all the details, plus great photos of the area. I want to send out a big hello to Pat – a former work colleague from School District #85. Hi Pat and Phil!

The VanIsle 360

2013 Van Isle 360 071 redone[1]

The Van Isle 360 is a biennial, 580 nautical mile point-to-point race circumnavigating wild and rugged Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Sailed in ten legs, the course provides inshore, offshore and overnight sailing through some of the most stunning and challenging waters on the planet.

The race is on as you read this – June 8th to 22nd. Please go and check out their website and their Facebook page. They’re trying to get a 1000 likes so feel free to give them a hand with that.

Each leg of the race is unique with a new adventure lurking around every corner. There are the strong currents and narrow passages that mark the inside route, to say nothing of the notorious Nahwitti Bar. It is said that fish boats’ windows can be permanently etched by the sand churned up in the waves. This is not to be outdone by the infamous Brooks Peninsula, where weather stations are frequently blown over. The host communities (of which Winter Harbour is one!) go out of their way to welcome the fleet at each one of the stops with awards and festive events (things like having Disappearing in Plain Sight for sale at the local store.) The sailors get to relax and enjoy warm hospitality and the unique character of each community.


So, there you have it, folks. Local promotion in a absolutely breathtaking spot with a sailboat race thrown in for good measure – life is good in my marketing world (thank you Bruce!)

Don’t forget that June is prize and party month here on my blog. All likes, comments, pingbacks, and new follows get entered for great prizes.

A Little Bit of Rain on the Party Today


Nothing drastic though! I promise. I had arranged my big iTunes free download of Disappearing in Plain Sight for Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th of June. Instead it happened on Thursday and Friday. I didn’t catch on until it was too late to fix the situation. So, I didn’t promote at all on Thursday – did a bunch of promotion on Friday – had a bunch more planned for today, which I won’t be doing. Life, right?

I would like to lay this at the feet of my assisted self-publishing choice, which took so much of the direct control of such things out of my hands. But to be fair, I read blog posts and updates on Facebook sites about mix-ups and messes every single day. We live in an imperfect world. Today it just happened to catch up with me.

During party month we (and I’ll happily use the royal form here) refuse to give into such frustrations. Life goes on and so should the party. Don’t forget the prizes I mentioned. All month long. All likes for the month of June will be put in a draw for the wonderful prize of a guest appearance on my blog. All comments for a $5.00 Amazon gift card. And all new followers and pingbacks for a trade paperback copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight. Get your name in all three draws.


I am so in love with this clematis that is blooming right outside my kitchen door! Puts a big smile on my face.

Drum roll. Moving onto another topic. What could be more party fun than having tea with a dragon?

I invite you to pop over to Patrick O’Scheen’s blog and read the interview he did with me entitled – Tea with a Dragon. It is an absolute delight and you will be stunned at how articulate I can be while having tea and fancy cakes with a real dragon. I’m quite proud of myself – I don’t even get rattled when he so obviously thinks I’ve eaten all the lady fingers. As you can imagine, that is bound to get a dragon somewhat miffed. Please check it out. Reading is believing.


Still Partying: My Book is Free on iTunes


The party continues! Disappearing in Plain Sight is free on  iTunes right now. What are you waiting for – get over there and download a copy. We’ll be right here when you come back. Promise.

Check out the guest post I did over on the Alliance of Independent Authors Self-Publishing Advice Blog –  It’s Called Fiction for a Reason People.” I was honoured to be asked to write for this prestigious group and blog. Tried to put my own unique spin on the topic.


Remember – all likes for the entire month of June get entered for a draw with the lucky winner getting to do a guest blog on the topic of their choice. All comments are going in a draw for a $5.00 Amazon gift card. Pingbacks and new followers are entered to win the big prize – a trade paperback edition of Disappearing in Plain Sight.

So let’s hear the chatter people!

The Party Just Got Better–Now we Have Cake!


I said June was party month, and I meant it! I’ve cued up Rod Stewart singing “We’re Having a Party” and it’s full blast here all month. Check out my last blog for details of fantastic prizes and how to be part of the fun.

And I’ve decided to up the ante folks. I’m going to include likes and comments and pingbacks in the various draws for all of my June posts – woot, woot!

Plus – Disappearing in Plain Sight will go free on iTunes all day Friday the 14th of June and Saturday the 15th of June. Check out the preview on the iTunes site and mark the date on your calendar.

In the self-publishing world, we tend to think of Amazon as the giant because, well, it’s true – Amazon is a bit of a behemoth. But iTunes is biting on the heels of the competition when it comes to the e-book trade. Just think about all the iPhones, iPods, and iPads out there waiting for a free download of Disappearing in Plain Sight.

You can help me spread the word about all the fabulous bling happening over here on my blog. Repost (hey, it’s pretty easy to do, and you get entered into the big prize when I receive your pingback!!). You could also send word out to your Twitter and Facebook friends.

So join the fun – play the Rod Stewart video and kick up your heels.