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Guest Blog Today on Fresh Fiction!

family stories, family secrets, story telling, writers I am so pleased when FreshFiction.com invites me to blog on their site.  Here is the latest and I hope you will enjoy it.

Excerpt:  ‘It was only while I was researching for my novel, Wild Violets that I learned that my mother “farmed out” my sister and brother to strangers. The term usually referred to children who were sent to a relative back in the day. In my siblings’ case it was a true indenture. My brother and sister had to work for their keep, ages six and 11….’

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Also available in AUDIO books


roaring 20's, flappers, new fiction, Wild Violetswomen's fiction, roaring twenties, flappers, prohibition

‘Art of Murder’ Goes Live in AUDIO Books

Working successfully with an illustrator  Now in AUDIO books !   Book 1 of the series,  ‘The World of Murder

This short novel is available at www.audible.com TODAY and at www.amazon.com and iTunes.com 

Monty is a struggling, unknown artist, living in Soho in New York. From his third floor walk up, he watches his beautiful neighbor as she comes and goes. Too shy and reclusive to ask her out, he paints her again and again. Suddenly the police are at his door.

Detective O’Roarke and his partner, Stella Garcia sift through the forensics, motives and physical evidence. At first glance it seems that all the evidence points to the strange artist who is obsessed with the beautiful actress. But, as time passes, several other suspects come to the attention of the two murder cops and the case is now not so open and shut. As the detectives immerse themselves in her life, it turns out that she has more than one secret.

Also in Audio books:  Art of Murder
                                       Dance of Murder
                                        Act of Murder
                                                                                              Angel of Murder
                                                                                              Taste of Murder
                                                   Coming Soon!                 Video of Murder  

Narrated by Daniel Dorse




What does it Look like? From No book to Finished book…55 days

        writing, blog, authors, create         This past Sunday I finished the first draft of my second novel.  74,000+ words and 365 pages.  This was possibly the purest writing I have ever done and almost an out-of-body experience.  WHY?  You ask?

       I let go! 

As most of my friends will tell you, I am a double ‘A’ personality with control issues.  Okay!  Call it what it is;  I’m a control freak!
But this time, I started with only a loose outline in order to keep my historical facts straight and to track where I thought I was going with the story.   I had written the prologue months ago.  On February 19th I marked my calendar that this was the day that I would begin writing it in earnest.

By the second chapter the characters took the story away from me and told me to hang on and start typing.
They told me who they were, where they were going, who they loved, why they had failed and all about their flaws. women's fiction, roaring twenties, flappers, prohibition

Now!  Other than the fact that I am in excellent company, I would agree with you when you mutter, “She’s just plain nuts!”   But according to the authors that I am now interviewing on a monthly basis, this is not bat-poop crazy but rather a condition that most writers dream about and when it does happen they don’t question it….they just let it happen and they give thanks!

During long, long days of writing (sometimes until my fingers refused to work any longer) I spent my non-writing, quiet time surrounded with great authors.  Either posting their interviews, reading their poetry, or curled up with a good book.  I believe that reading makes us better at our writing.

I am so inspired by other good writers.

So let go!  Open your hearts and minds and let it flow.  Don’t force the direction of your story…it will never be exactly like you planned and that’s a GOOD thing!
Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress was our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.  Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter.

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

‘The Life’…..how do I know so much about it?

prostitution, research, short plays, monologues          I’ve been asked by  several of my readers how can I write so accurately and make it so ‘real‘ when I write about prostitution and ‘the life?‘  Experience, my dear.  How else?
      Many, many years ago, I was staying on the beach in Honolulu and late one night, I went down to the hotel’s coffee shop for a cup of Joe.  Across the street I noticed tall, beautiful, well dressed women, (there were dozens of them) walking up and down.  Where were they going?  It was close to midnight.  My waitress arched an eyebrow as she informed me that ‘they were….you know….’ladies of the night‘.  This was in the 90’s and ladies did not throw out words like, ‘whores‘ or’ ho’s’.  So I paid for my coffee and dashed across the street and started following these high class hookers up and down Kalakaua Avenue, on Waikiki Beach.  They were well dressed, provocative but not cheap. Hair and makeup was perfect. As a writer, this was my chance to observe up close and personal.  But not too ‘up close’, I hoped. The part I found hysterical was the girls would pick up Asian men and take them, not to a hotel, but down the boulevard to a park bench several blocks away from the busy sidewalks.  The men would sit, all lined up, and wait patiently until the girls came back and got them. Later I noticed that the girls took their ‘breaks’ in an all night ice cream shop. I followed a few in, got in line behind them and introduced myself.  I told them I was a writer and I asked if I could talk to them and ask questions. They cheerfully agreed.  They told me that their biggest, best paying customers were Japanese business men.  I asked about the ‘johns’ lined up on the park bench.  They laughed and explained that the girls stored them there until they had enough men to take to the hotel.  Kind of like a holding pen. The girls actually knew a little Japanese so that they could ‘negotiate’.  Which act for how much??
They seemed almost as fascinated with me as I was with them.  They fired away with their questions:  why do I write? (a hard question to answer) would their stories be in a movie or on the stage?  They laughed so hard when I told them how much (or how little) I make as a writer.  They told me, Girl? You gotta get into the ‘life’ and make some real money!’
In 2005 I directed “The Oldest Profession” by  Paula Vogel.  It is a funny, bitter-sweet story of several old (over 60) prostitutes and their long time Madame.  Again, RESEARCH!!  This time as a director I needed to research prostitution so that we could do justice to Vogel’s script.  I Googled the Chicken Ranch, a famous (if not the most famous) bordello in Nevada and then I called the Ranch. They put me right through and the manager was kind enough to answer all of my questions. We were so cordial that by the end of the call she said she was going to send me a ‘grab bag’ of goodies for my ‘girls.  The funniest item she sent us was a menu that the men (customers, Johns, tricks) receive while waiting to pick a girl.  ‘Nuff said!   She seemed  entertained by our conversation and she was very curious about our end of the business, that is, portraying old hookers on stage.  We had a good laugh together!!  Managing a stable of prostitutes wasn’t that much different from ‘directing’ a bunch of actresses! 

Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS.  A NEW SERIES, The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other  best-selling AUTHORS!I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview at least once a month .  I have invited such luminaries as:  Anne Purser, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tasha Alexander, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.
So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!
To receive my posts sign up for my  blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”.  You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ .  Thanks!