Society208-Photo courtesy of Clackamas County Historical Society, All Rights Reserved

Woo-hoo!! Another book!

I’m thrilled to announce I sold my second book, this one a historical novel of early Oregon. My agent Rita Rosenkranz just closed the deal with the editor of my previous book, Erin Turner of Globe Pequot Press. It will come out in April 2016 under the TwoDot imprint, the same as A Place of Her Own. The photo above is a lithograph by J. H. Richardson showing Oregon City in the 1840s, the primary setting of the new book, tentatively entitled The Shifting Winds.

It’s the story of reluctant Oregon pioneer Jennie Haviland whose father decides, against her wishes, to take the family west to the wilderness of 1842 Oregon. Two men there vie for Jennie, one British, one American, as their two countries vie for the contested Oregon land. But Jennie wants choices of her own.

The Oregon City shown in the lithograph is the hometown Jennie would have known soon after her family arrived at the end of the long Oregon Trail.

I wrote this book some years ago when my focus first turned to stories of Oregon pioneers. After succeeding in selling the story of my pioneer great-great-grandmother, released in 2014, I brought this one out and gave it a polish, hoping my editor would like it too. And yay! She did! It has always been one of my favorites. I had such fun reworking it and look forward to sharing it now with readers.

Although A Place of Her Own reads like fiction it was sold as non-fiction. This new one brings me over to the world of fiction, in this case, fiction set in the midst of historic events with some real people, like legendary mountain man Joe Meek and Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Factor John McLoughlin. It falls solidly into the category of historical fiction.

Please join me in a cheer for book number two!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


My Muse’s First Draft

Rough Draft - 4.5.15My muse just took me on a wild ride, and here’s the first draft. Done.

I’ve been writing books for many years. None ever caught me quite like this. And I must apologize to my followers for being absent awhile from this blog. I know. I know. You’re supposed to balance things out. Divide your time between writing and blogging and Facebook and marketing and all the rest. People sometimes remark about my discipline as a writer that helps me put out a lot of pages in a short amount of time. It’s not discipline, folks. It’s obsession. And this time, maybe more.

I blogged earlier about the visit of my muse, who began flooding me with ideas for this one in mid-December. I never really got away from it. I piled up notes and finally got them organized, ready to start the first draft in mid-February. I finished this draft March 22. In the last few days I gave it the first readings, one on the computer, one on paper. The photo above shows the first cleaned-up version on paper–not the final draft by any means. But it’s finally something I can hold in my hands.

Did I tell you the story of her name? My muse? I believe I alluded to it. In one post I had talked about changing the name of my character and how that ignited the inspiration for this historical novel of the Greek isle of Crete. I call the character Talia, and when I looked online for the meaning of that name I came up with several meanings like to blossom or bloom. Ah! Did she bloom! But, as I mentioned in my most recent post, one day I checked again for the name’s meaning, a different website. On this new website I learned that Thalia (an alternate spelling) is one of the nine Greek muses. Okay! That did set me back in my chair.

Is she sending me all this? It feels as if the story has come from a source outside myself. And the experience has been intense. I’ve been in this world, caught up in the joys and traumas and fiery conflicts and triumphs and pains, since the middle of December. A fantastic ride.

This is a book in my series from the Minoan world. One reason I could write an epic historical novel so quickly is that most of the research was already done for the earlier books, my scenario already developed. I just had to keep track of the generations and remain consistent–not always easy, but easier than the years of research that went into the first.

And Thalia isn’t done. Even before I finished this book, she started sending scenes for a new one. I’ll get the notes down, but I’m asking her for a brief rest.