A Map for The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

My daughter asked if I planned to include a map for my urban fantasy novella, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine. The answer was no. But as soon as she said it, I thought it would be a good idea. While the characters and plot are fiction, the setting is real. [...]

The Root Witch: An Urban Legend Caught on Tape

I almost feel guilty for using the amazing Pando quaking aspen forest in central Utah as a setting for a horror story. Sorry, Pando! All those pictures of your massive single root system not only stuck with me for years after I first saw them, but they also creeped me [...]

Learn about Chavez Ravine

While monstrous things happened to bring about the end of the neighborhoods of Palo Verde, La Loma and Bishop, “The Monsters of Chavez Ravine,” is a work of fiction. The characters and creatures are the products of my imagination and while the backstory of the eminent domain evictions follows the [...]

Cover Reveal: The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

Here it is! The cover for “The Monsters of Chavez Ravine,” an urban fantasy novella. Luckily, I have a graphic designer who talked me out of some pretty terrible ideas and with limited input, came up with a cover that captures what this book is about. A big thanks to [...]

GUEST POST: How to Write Book Reviews by Nina Romano

As a new indie author, I'm acutely aware of the importance of book reviews. They help convince readers to read the story and, more generally, help promote the book. But here's the thing. There are lots of people like me who read and love lots of books, yet rarely leave [...]

GUEST POST: How to Garner Book Reviews by Nina Romano

If you are a writer wondering how to get reviews, author Nina Romano demystifies the process in this guest post. (Scroll down for her bio). For published or unpublished authors it can really be a challenge to obtain book reviews—you know those darling little things with stars and someone’s opinion [...]

What Caused My Hypochondria & How I Conquered It

Years ago, I wrote and recorded a story for the weekly public radio program "This American Life," chronicling my struggle with hypochondria and anxiety. The program is celebrating its 25th anniversary! I just discovered the episode, “Mapping,” is a recommended staff favorite. Here's what host Ira Glass wrote about the [...]

Why DNA Results Are A Big Deal For This Adoptee

Well, now I know I am not part Jewish. DNA tests for adoptees like me are a game-changer. That’s the thing about being adopted. I was at the mercy of other people’s stories about me. In my early thirties, my adoptive father told me I was Jewish, although he [...]

Those Perplexing Amazon Subcategories

Okay, as an indie author I knew to pick two categories for my book published on Amazon. I did not know it was possible to choose more specific subcategories. To this, I credit a chapter in, “How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon,” by Penny Sensevieri. She calls [...]

Choosing a book cover for a self-published book

I am spectacularly bad at this. First off, I think too literally. Like, my story has a feisty young woman, so we should see her on the cover! Or the novel is set in a dusty, rural area seventy years ago, so maybe a sepia tone might help set the [...]

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