Do Authors Have Favorite Characters?

Emily 2I’ve been asked which characters from my new murder mystery, At the River’s Edge, are my favorites.

I planned for the story to get its early energy from Emily Edwards, a young, spunky mountain woman.  She’s the granddaughter of a deceased moonshiner who reportedly buried his illegal gains on Sunset Peak Mountain, where Emily now lives with her floppy-eared coonhound, Rufus. Attractive and petite with flowing blond hair, Emily’s appearance doesn’t reflect her self-reliance and toughness.

Suspense not only builds around the unsolved murder of Sunset Peak’s mayor, Hank Richards, but also around Emily and her ongoing battle with treasure hunters, convinced she possesses a map to her grandfather’s rumored fortune.

Emily and James Wolsey, her brave, well-meaning boyfriend, continue to find themselves entangled in danger and at the center of the book’s tension.  More often than not, it is Emily who rises to the challenge.  It’s my hope readers become immersed in the threats facing the young couple, and by the end of the story, are as captivated as I am by Emily.

Click HERE to learn more about At the River’s Edge.

*Emily’s Image from Pixabay

Time for a Deep Breath: AuthorToolBox

It’s time again for my contribution to this month’s #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop where dozens of writers share their writing experiences.  I encourage you to check out their thoughts by clicking on the icon at the end of this post.  This month I consider a break from writing.


Today I released my first murder mystery, At the River’s Edge.  Pre-orders could have been a little better, but all-in-all, it’s off to a good start.  The book took nearly a year to complete, and I’m considering taking some time away from writing novels.  I don’t imagine the break will be long, but it should be long enough for me to recharge before digging into my next major project.

I’d set a goal some time ago to produce a new novel or short story collection every year. I’ve been able to exceed this objective, publishing six novels and two short story collections since 2011.  But self-publishing eight books back-to-back is a tiring process, and I believe it’s time to take a deep breath and consider what’s next.

What does taking a deep breath mean? The business of writing never really stops.  I’ll need to dedicate time to marketing my new book on social media and at book signings.  I should also send a few more query letters to see if any agents are interested in a murder mystery set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I belong to two author blog hops (including this one), so that requires two blog posts each month. I also send out a monthly newsletter to my valued email subscribers.  And earlier this year, I joined a local writers’ group, Alleghany Writers.  We meet monthly to discuss various writing topics and write a 500-word short story that we critique at each meeting.  The writing projects associated with the author blog hops, my newsletter, and the writers’ group are evidence that my writing never really stops, nor should it if I’m serious about improving.

When I do dig back into writing my next novel, I haven’t decided if it will be the fourth in the Miles Stevens CIA investigative series, another murder mystery, or maybe pulling together a collection of short stories. I’ve asked my email followers what they think, and they’re leaning toward a murder mystery.

I’m not sure I want to delay the next book in the Miles Stevens series for another year, but then I did enjoy writing my first murder mystery.  Maybe I can write both in parallel.  If I do that, I’d better get started soon.  What the heck, it’s been a couple of weeks.  I think I’m ready.

typewriter - pixabay - Copy

To enjoy other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, click HERE.  Happy blog hopping!Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2


Check out At the River’s Edge by clicking on photo below.

Headsone in Creepy Cemetery with Bridge in background