Choosing Not to Italicize Spanish Words in The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

One day, I was scrolling on Twitter and came across a tweet I found fascinating. A young traditionally published author announced in very bold terms she does not italicize Korean words in her novels. In fact, she said she REFUSED. Another author chimed in. This woman is Latina, like me. [...]

Family Secrets and The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

There is a character in my urban fantasy novella, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine, nicknamed Ripper. The residents of the old neighborhoods of Palo Verde, Bishop, and La Loma were big on nicknames. In photographer Don Normark’s stunning book, Chavez Ravine 1949: A Los Angeles Story, he includes two pages [...]

The Monsters of Chavez Ravine: The Chinatown Connection

In my urban fantasy novella set in the hills above Los Angeles, a doctor from Chinatown makes several house calls to the injured residents living in Chavez Ravine. Chinatown is a little over one mile away, and less than five minutes by car without traffic. I don’t know how many [...]

The Women of The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

When I started writing this novella, I did not consciously set out to bust Latina stereotypes. You know the ones I’m talking about because they’re popular in movies and TV shows: the maid, the fiery-tempered Latina, the Latina who wears tight clothes and shows lots of cleavage. Then there is [...]

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 [...]

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