Friday, February 24, 2012


I've been tagged. And I'm going to tag you too.


1. You must post the rules.  

2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.   

3. Tag eleven people (or as many as you can) and link to them on your post.

4. Let them know you've tagged them! 

It's always fun (for me) to be part of an interview, so when M. Nicole Cunningham tagged me, I was flattered. Here are her questions:

1. What is the oldest book you've ever read?
In terms of publication, probably the Bible. In terms of the age of a physical book, I've read several classics from the early 1900's. I liked the brittle pages and that the cover might fall off if I wasn't careful (no, really!)

2. What was the first story you ever wrote and what was it about?

My very first story was called The Bad Carwash. I probably wrote it when I was in kindergarten. It was about a woman who went to a car wash and got her dress caught in the door, thereby soaking her dress by the time the wash was finished. Started strong, but degraded into multiple car washes with various parts of the car falling off in the process. That's actually about how long the original was, too.

3. Who is your favorite author? If you have several, list them all out!

Always a tough question for me. Classically, I love Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens. In the modern world, I'm pulled toward writers who take my mind off other things, like Kyra Davis and Jennifer Weiner.

4. Tell me a little story about the significance of your birth date.  Feel free to embellish. 

Well, I was born. That's pretty significant to me!

5. What tropes are beginning to annoy you in steampunk? I know you have a few; I certainly do. *coughairshippiratescough* 

Uh, I'm not entirely engaged in steampunk, so I couldn't say.

6. Do you think a novel needs an idealized hero?

No. The hero should be someone who's flawed -- someone people can relate to. Any time you idealize something, you run the risk of it becoming a parody or a "Mary Sue".

7. What do you think of gender roles in novels?  Should they reflect reality, an ideal, or something in between?  

Most often, they should reflect reality. I write everything from "the present" so the roles are what I see around me.

8. What makes a delicious villain?  

Someone who has 2 sides. Everyone has a little good and a little evil, so when the villain displays something good, something you can identify with and (possibly) agree with, it makes the character so much frightening (and believable).

9. Tell me about a lesser-known novel that made an indelible impression on you and why.  

I could probably sit here all day thinking of the "perfect" choice here, but I'm gonna go with Help! A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle Hansen. Hilarious! It impressed me because voice can make or break a story. This story is more than a little morbid (a man trapped under a car has his legs slowly eaten by a bear), but the way the author handles the narrative and characterization makes the novel funny.

10. Earlybird or night owl?  

A little of both.

11. Favorite mythological being?  Feel free to pick an obscure one.  

Unicorns. They were a serious favorite when I was a kid, and they still make me a little happy. Although, if we could put some wings on a cat, that would be cool. My cat already hurls herself through the air, so I wouldn't have a hard time picturing that.

Now for the tagging! 

Please answer the following questions:

  1. What's the most annoying book you've ever read?
  2. You're in a bookstore: what's the first section you visit?
  3. What project are you working on now?
  4. Are you a "plotter" or "pantser" (i.e. do you use an outline or just "wing it")?
  5. What do you do when you're not writing?
  6. Why did you choose your specific genre?
  7. Who are your biggest influences?
  8. How much of your writing is based on your own experiences?
  9. Are you ever afraid you'll never have another book idea?
  10. We all like TV (even if we don't want to admit it). What's your favorite TV show?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


For a limited time, I'm offering The Silent Treatment free of charge! Download a copy, recommend it to your friends, leave a nice review. 

As a bonus, if you download The Silent Treatment and email your Smashwords receipt to Untreed Reads, they will send you a coupon code for 50% off The Morning After!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Spending Valentine's Day away from my husband has got me bummed out, so I decided to spread some love and give a FREE copy of my new book The Silent Treatment away to the first 10 people who respond. So reply to this message or to my Facebook announcement, or send me an email -- however!

Meanwhile, here's a(n unrelated) video that made me smile today.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Girl Detective

Nancy Drew taught me that reading didn't have to be boring and stupid. When you're homeschooled and all reading becomes "required," it's easy to want to do anything else.

Nancy was cool, though. She had a boyfriend (which my parents didn't like), investigated behind the police's backs, and saw all kinds of trouble (which my parents told me would give a real person serious mental problems). Regardless, I became hooked on The Nancy Drew Files -- it was the coolest of all the series.

Though I didn't grow up to be a detective (it was a runner-up), I kept reading and eventually writing about them

My current favorite "adult Nancy Drew" is the Sophie Katz series by Kyra Davis. Luckily for me, she's posting a chapter of her newest novel on her blog every week until the official release date. For reasons the author herself can fill you in on, this latest book will be indie (like me!), which is very exciting. You should all check it out. I even reviewed Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte on my previous blog.

Similar to Nancy, Sophie has a boyfriend (but a much cooler one ... I mean, I know Nancy's was invented in the 20s, but Ned? No longer sexy), goes behind the police's backs, and sees a lot of trouble. But there's also sex and language (sorry, mom) that makes the stories much more interesting.

I guess the reason I've preferred amateur detectives to professional ones is that they give me the hope that one day it could be me. I don't want to work for the police or be a reporter or any of that. But what if I get a client in my chair and she blabs a little too much about "that chick who got stabbed" ...? I'd put things together, ask the wrong person questions, and because I carry my shears and razor with me everywhere, they'd turn into the perfect weapons when I get kidnapped for knowing too much.

Yeah, not likely, but still.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


It's no secret that I like cats. In fact, sometimes you have to make me stop talking about mine. Luckily for me, the internet is full of them since my little Pour Chat is living 2 hours away.

So when my critique group got together and introduced a new middle grade story about a cat who is magically transformed into a boy, I was intrigued.

Catnapped, by A. M. Knott (as in, "are too!"), is the kind of story I wish I'd had when I was about 10. It's got cats (!), magic, adventure, and a lot of heart. 


It's happened. I pushed the button on and released The Silent Treatment.

Kat Shergill doesn't expect to find a piece of forgotten movie history during a bout of retail therapy. After watching the coil of film found tucked inside her purchase, she's shocked to witness the brutal murder of a famous 1920's star by a fellow actor. 80-year-old mystery aside, someone will stop at nothing to get the film away from her and silence what she's discovered. 
Head over to Kat Shergill Mysteries for more ...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Subway Art

Among other things today (which aren't worth getting into at the moment), I stumbled upon some cool art in the Prince Street station.

the "Cell Phone While Walking"

the "Awkward Conversation"
 And my favorite...
the "Fine Diner"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Silent Movies 102

To get ready for my forthcoming novel The Silent Treatment (you can catch the first chapter here: Chapter 1), I thought I'd share a few more silent movies with you, such as the oldest surviving one:

When I started watching silent films, I got hooked on the comedies -- namely Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. The more in depth I got, though, the more I connected with the German Expressionism films because of the emotion in them. They weren't quite so goofy. Also, as silents matured through the 20s, the technique of filming and acting became absolutely gorgeous before plunging into the world of "talkies".

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
Not even sure when I saw this movie first, but I was captivated. Everything about this film is unrealistic, and that's what makes it beautiful. The sets are painted and angular. The characters are something out of a nightmare. [93 year old SPOILER ALERT] The twist ending in the mental asylum brings all the strange elements together, since the entire story was being narrated by a "crazy" person.

I like this story so much that I've thought about adapting it into a novel. It would be a lot of fun (and not much of a stretch) to make this a murder mystery and create my own new twist.

Metropolis (1926)
Everyone who knows me knows I love this movie. Stealing my answer from The Lisas' blog interview:
I love a lot of movies, but I always go back to Metropolis from 1926. It was never an ordinary movie for me. The first copy I saw was a poorly presented public domain DVD I bought for about $5. The plot didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but the visuals were a real treat. After some research, I found out that after its release, the film was truncated, and the plot veered into some strange territory because it did so poorly at the box office. So, I tracked down the novel it was based off of, and it was a whole new experience. The characters made sense, missing scenes put others into perspective, and most of all, it was how the movie was supposed to have been seen (the director’s wife wrote the novel at the same time the movie was being made). 
Throughout the years, pieces of “missing” scenes have been found in various film museums around the world and plugged back where they belong. Now that the film has been restored to almost its full length (and with the correct plot), I feel like it hasn’t just been a nice movie, but something lovely I witnessed being rebuilt.

Sunrise (1927)
A sweet movie about a husband and wife falling in love with each other again. The film starts out with the husband conspiring with his mistress to kill the wife ... so they have a lot to overcome.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Even if you know nothing about the history of this character (or care), the look of the film will blow you away. Originally, it was meant to be watched completely silent (i.e. no soundtrack), but in 1995, Richard Einhorn wrote a stunning score for the film which even stands alone as a great piece of music.
Because this movie came at the end of the silent era, the cinematography is gorgeous. The acting style (while extremely emotional), is much more natural than films from even a decade before. [581 year old spoiler!] You'd even swear they were burning the actress at the end.

Asphalt (1929)
This movie stars the lead actor from Metropolis, and it's a fun movie about a cop who falls in love with a thief.