The Best DIY Present For An Author!


This gift is so insanely thoughtful, I can’t even tell you.

My Angry Ginger made these beautiful shadow boxes for my birthday. She took her favorite passages from each book, printed them out on gorgeous paper, and put them inside a shadow box she bought at a craft store. Then she put the corresponding book cover on top with a foam inert to give it some depth.


Beautiful. Meaningful. Simple. I teared up when I opened it, and I can’t wait to hang them on my wall. She promised to do the same to the rest of the Bone Angel trilogy when it comes out. Won’t that be a thing of beauty?

I know many authors who frame their book covers and hang them, but this is the first time I’ve seen these shadow boxes. I adore them. Please let me know if you make one for yourself or the author in your life.

From the Vein to the Page: Harnessing Your Personal Demons

namelessPeople used to ask me how I’d write. Was there a magical formula? Did I have the writing room set up just so? Was there a special snack or drink or set of pajamas, or something specific that made my Muse lay a hand on my shoulder and unfurl her wings?

“It isn’t like that,” I’d say. “I simply open a vein and let it seep onto the page.”

This, of course, is when I get the funny looks and that cool one-raised-eyebrow thing. Then they usually take a step back. Perhaps two steps. Then they’re simply running full-tilt away from me.


The “bleed onto the page” metaphor is one that is often used, and there’s a reason for this. It’s truthful. It’s powerful. And it captures the grit of using your personal demons in order to strengthen your work.

I wrote a novel called Nameless: The Darkness Comes. This book was exceptionally fun to write. The characters are quirky and quite flawed. Yet despite those flaws, they struggle to do their best for each other. They pull themselves together as best they can while facing the most awful of adversity.

What most people don’t know if that I lost two children while writing this book. I was carrying triplets, and while all three were in peril, one of them managed to survive. (She’s currently a powerhouse toddler with wild curls and an even wilder personality.) Her sisters were lost. Two identical little girls, one lost in utero while the other lived for five hours, long enough for me to become lucid after the delivery and hold her in my arms.

She was a perfect being. They both were.

It was difficult, to say the least. It hurt my heart and my soul. Thank goodness I was writing. Thank goodness I had somewhere to channel the grief and pain.

A child goes missing in this book. Gee, I wonder what inspired that event. The characters, who are rather hapless, drive themselves crazy trying to get her back. They fall apart. They can’t deal with it. They pick the pieces back up, sometimes. They move on. They break. They carry on with humor, supporting each other as best they can. They work through emotions that I hope seem realistic and true-to-form for somebody dealing with loss. I know they felt true while I wrote them. While I certainly never would have chosen this experience, I took the personal demons that I was dealing with and bled them directly onto the page. Not only did it help me, but I’m hoping that it helped to create a stronger, more realistic novel.

Everybody has something that turns their life inside out. Our emotions are beautiful things, and we can’t keep them under wraps all of the time.  We shouldn’t. As writers, it’s important to let those feelings flow onto the page. Maybe we’ve had a terrible day. Write it into your book. Perhaps something so remarkable happened that you’re absolutely giddy. Let the excitement infuse your writing. By letting your personal demons claw their way into your work, you’ll be giving your readers a more well-rounded experience with characters who feel developed. After all, you’ve instilled your emotions into them. This will help them sparkle. It will help them shine.

Issue 42 of Sanitarium is Out!


Sanitarium Magazine is a very cool mag that caters to the dark and macabre. I’m delighted to be featured in issue 42 alongside Joe Konrath. I really enjoy his work and I have to admit that I cheered when I discovered that my interview was side-by-side with his. I turned to my husband and said, “I think I’m a real writer!”

Issue 42 contains

  • Nomi by Brooke Warra
  • Caretakers by Andrew Jurisic
  • Picture This by Ian Mullins
  • Soft Cell by Sean Spagnoli
  • The Monster Maker by Adam Gaylord
  • Devil Bird by Stephen Faulkner
  • Her Presence Covered in Mist by Elmedina Hota
  • A Fall Poem by James Michael Shoberg

On the record with:

  • Joe Konrath
  • Mercedes M. Yardley

Come check out the Sanitarium site to see where you can pick up your copy! Yay!

Zombiepalooza Interviews Sick Miss Murder

So sick. I was SO SICK, you guys. But Jackie Chin of Zombiepalooza Radio graciously allowed me to come on and talk about The Bram Stoker Nomination, Little Dead Red, and all sorts of things. It was a lot of fun. Zombiepalooza is one of my favorite radio shows.

I come in at about the two hour mark. It was a great show with several Bram Stoker nominees and recommended authors. Join JG Faherty, Patrick Freivald, Alex S. Johnson, and John Mcilveen, and It’s pretty cool.😀