Age Group: Adult
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Kellie, a young college grad laid off from her first teaching job and besieged by creditors, receives a letter requesting her appearance at the reading of Frederick Malone’s will. What could she have in common with the town’s richest man? Curiosity draws her to the will reading where she learns she has inherited a vast sum.
The conditions of her inheritance require she change her name and reside in the Malone mansion. Long considered haunted by the residents of Malone Springs, Kellie, her fiancé and four friends move in ignoring the rumors. Strange and frightening events begin to plague Kellie before she moves and grow more frightening once she and her friends settle in. Adopted at birth, her adoptive parents killed in an auto accident leave Kellie to investigate her ancestors on her own.
What she discovers leads her into more danger and mystery as she learns the true nature of her biological grandfather. Could his evil deeds hurt her from beyond the grave? Who’s responsible for the strange occurrences? What happened to her biological parents? As one solved mystery leads Kellie into another, she and her friends try to solve them all before tragedy strikes.
I believe the most humbling aspect of being a writer is learning to accept criticism. It’s natural for human beings to want praise for what they’ve done. Not everyone will see your writing the way you do.
You have worked hard on your piece. After your third or maybe fourth draft, you feel you’re ready to share your work. You have a group of beta readers. Most of them are friends and you expect honesty. Many friends might feel if they’re negative they’ll hurt your feelings. Three of them give you rave reviews and love your story. You’re excited and picture yourself as the next great novelist.
A fourth friend feels he/she needs to be completely honest with you. She may have enjoyed your plotline and/or characters, but find the dialogue a little flat or your descriptions dull. Possibly your story became boring in spots. Your friend critiques your book pointing out the bad points and the good.
You read over the good points and only see the bad. Your writing career is over. What were you thinking? How could you ever become a writer? You feel like a failure. Take a deep breath and step back. Read the critique again. Yes, there are some problems, but you can fix them. You can deepen the dialogue; add more description to places and your character’s personalities. Adding more excitement to scenes will help your story.
After fixing everything you believe is wrong, you submit you finished manuscript to your editor. You wait patiently or impatiently for the glowing report you expect from your editor. When the manuscript is returned, there are more comments and suggestions than what your friend had offered. You begin to feel like a failure again. Don’t. Read each and every comment and suggestion carefully. They’re meant to help you improve your story. Work on the story and make the changes.
Your manuscript goes back to the editor for a final read through. It is much better and is returned with a few small suggestions. You polish it up and are ready to publish your baby. You worked hard, swallowed your pride with corrections, and now have a perfect piece of art. The world is going to love it and you’re happy.
Your first sale excites you. The more books you sell the more excited you become. Now you’re waiting for your first review. After a few weeks you check and there it is—a review. However, it isn’t what you expected. It isn’t a bad review, but it isn’t a raving review nor was it five stars. The evil seed of self-doubt creeps back in. Slam the door on it and wait. A better review is on the way.
At some point, you will see that wonderful review. A reader will love your story and give you four or five stars. I have been through this. I have felt the high of a five star review from a reader that loved my book and couldn’t wait for the sequel. I have also felt the pain of a one star review from a reader who hated the book, hated the way I wrote, and made the review a personal attack.
I have survived the bad and enjoyed the good. I no longer want to toss my laptop out the window when I receive a bad review. I have learned that all writers have their own writing technique and not every reader will like them all. I have read books I don’t like. We’re human after all. Don’t take the criticism personally, continue to write, and be happy.
I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free.
I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children's stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three "spirit" books. I have self-published the second "spirit" book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third "spirit" book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.