Posted in my books, News, Thoughts

What Are You Scared Of?

What are you afraid of?

When I finally decided to publish Chrome Pink last year, I didn’t give myself time to back out. I just did it. I’d spent five years working on this book, writing it, editing and revising it, sending out queries to agents and publishers, doing more editing and rewriting, until I was tired of dealing with it.

My friend and mentor, Marni Graff told me, it’s ready, publish it. My husband, friends and family all said, go ahead, do it. I’d taken online classes, attended workshops and presentations, I’d picked the minds of friends: Kate Parker, Merry Simmons and Louis Edwards, but I was still afraid.

I’m so thankful Louis at Lighthouse Studio Graphics was working on my cover, he caught a simple mistake which could have been a costly one. I’d forgotten to change from double spacing to single. It made my page count around seven hundred. It’s the little things that are easy to overlook or not know to ask about. I also forgot to put page numbers in because I thought they’d be added automatically through Create Space, FYI―you have to insert your page numbers and headers yourself, and make sure the higher numbers still fit on the page.


I recently uploaded my second book to Create Space. I even created my own cover. I don’t regret the money I spent to have Louis create the cover for Chrome Pink. He brought my vision to life. I love that cover but as a new author with a limited budget I’m learning there are things I can do that doesn’t cost me extra. Create Space is a one-stop shopping for authors. You can upload your book, create your cover and even use their ISBN numbers without extra cost.

For anyone hesitating to publish here are my suggestions:

  1. Don’t be afraid, you can learn or fix anything that goes wrong. You can even start over.
  2. You can spend as little or as much as you choose. I thought I had to do things a certain way, like buy my own ISBN numbers ($99 on Create Space or $125 on Bowkers, the only official source for ISBN number in the US).
  3. You can design your own cover, purchase a cover or design one through Create Space. Don’t be afraid to experiment. (You can even do a reprint with a new cover, later).
  4. Have a short biography, a brief description of the story, and five words/phrases to attract people to your book. (You can change these later, in fact, for promoting the book, it’s good to make changes every 2-3 weeks).


There is no right way or wrong way to publish a book as long as you put your best work out there. I rely on friends for editing and proof reading, eventually, I’d love to have professional editing. I work hard to put out a good product on a budget. I am blessed to have a group of early readers, proof readers and editors who work really cheap, and my own personal librarians who are willing to look up information for me. Because of my extensive support group, my second book White Gold, the sequel to Chrome Pink will be available soon.  




Posted in inspiration, my books, Thoughts

The Accidental Feminist

I’m not sure how I ended up writing a feminist novel. My main character, Rae Lynne Grimes, is a woman who can drive and repair anything from trucks to boats. She is a tough girl with a bad attitude. She is a fighter and a survivor. On the surface, she is as different from me as chrome is to pink.

While writing Chrome Pink, I didn’t think about the oddity of a female tow truck driver, nor did I think it strange that she was able to restore a motorcycle. My husband has often talked of his friend who worked alongside her father as a girl, and has now surpassed him in mechanical abilities. He spoke of women football players and race car drivers, and he pushed me to pursue my dreams, never setting limitations because of gender.

Rae embodies the strength of the women who have influenced my life. She is vulnerable and strong, street smart and naïve, she is an enigma, and she is all woman. I wanted a powerful personality, a character who could deal with life’s crap and give it right back.

I tease and tell people Rae is my husband in drag. That is only the first part of how she was created. I was taking a class online, the instructor told us to describe someone we know well. I described my husband. Afterwards, she told us to make changes: gender, race, religion, etc. and that became the skeleton for my character. Rae does have traits similar to my husband but she has evolved into a woman who has powered past her own weaknesses to do what has to be done.

I often thought my mother was weak. My dad didn’t even want her driving alone at night. When we visited her parents in the neighboring county, (pre-cell phone era), her father or brother would follow her home. After she started attending night classes at the local community college, I rode with her to keep her from traveling alone at night (that’s how I first met my husband but that’s another story). Dad was very protective of mom and I have taken on that role in his absence but she isn’t not as fragile as she sometimes appears. As an adult, I have come to know more of the story of my mother’s life that I was unaware of, like Rae Lynne, she has had to deal with pain and suffering, loss and fear, and as she has told me, she just did what she had to do to get to the other side.

Saying I’m not a feminist is like saying, I’m not a woman. It’s not that I think all women should run for congress nor should all women stay home and take care of the children. Today, we have more choices. I think, we as women, no, we as humans, have to find our own path, whether that is soaring to the moon or running to the grocery store. We are only limited by our own choices.

What I want my characters to say to my readers is simple, be you. It takes each of us to make the world work, celebrate what makes you special and unique. The world would not be the same without you.