Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Hello, dear readers,

Today is a very, very GOOD day! I’m so close to finishing the novel that I can taste it. I have one more scene to write before the big confrontation. Then the epilogue, and I’m done! DONE! I will probably burst into very happy tears when I finally get to type “The End”. I estimate that The End will come on Thursday night, just in time for me to enjoy a wonderful weekend with The Boy before heading to the retreat on Monday.

I’ve written other novels before, but Dragonfly Summer is special to me. It will be the very first novel I’ve written in five years. After years of rewrites, I finally was able to return to this book, and I will finally be able to finish it. Since I started it almost four years ago, it’s been a long time coming. So far, I’m really happy with it. I’ve had moments when I hated writing it. Moments when I felt sorry for myself. Moments when I’d rather clean the house than sit in front of that computer again. However, I have never worried that this novel sucks, which is a common thing for a writer to go through. I’ve been very happy with how it reads, how it flows, and I like my protagonist. (Thinking that it sucks will most likely happen during the rewrite phase.)

Dragonfly Summer has not been an easy book to write. It’s about a woman who returns to her hometown to find out what happened to the friend who vanished fifteen years before. It’s a paranormal mystery, but it also deals with abuse, loss, controversial medical treatments, the falsely accused, stalking, harassment, genocide, and unrequited love. Not easy, light topics to write about by any means. There’s a lot of humor to light the reader’s way through the dark, but for the writer, it can be hard on the heart.

It may sound weird, but I know I’m going to miss my protagonist when the book is done. Her name is Jo, and although she’s flawed, she’s admirably strong and witty and sharp. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her.

Since this is a happy occasion, it seems a fitting time to mention that writer, editor, and Web 2.0 marketing guru Margo Dillย selected me as the winner of the Circle of Friends blog award. As part of my job as recipient, I’m supposed to select five other worthy blogs.

1) Letters to the Universeย is written by the other chick in my writing group. It’s super funny and a quick, enjoyable read. Please drop by and encourage her to post more often!

2) I See You…is a colleague from Backspace, a thriller writer from New Zealand who’s also hilariously funny. Her recent interview with author EJ Knapp is one of my favorite author interviews of all time.

3) Those of you who are interested in all things criminal may love The Graveyard Shift. Lee Lofland is a cop/writer who has scribed an excellent resource book for writers. Very interesting stuff!

4) On a recommendation from another Backspace colleague, I found The Innocent Flower.This blog is by a mother, artist, and writer who lives in the Rocky Mountains withย her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter.

5) To thank my colleague for the recommendation, please check out her blog, too. And don’t forget to pay Margo’s a visit.

Thanks for all your encouragement and support! I couldn’t have done it without you.

What are you celebrating today? Let’s share our happy news!

Thanks for reading!
1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.


  1. Kim

    Congratulations. I know that feeling of where you are at. I am celebrating 200km in under 6 hours, something I would have told you wasn’t possible for me last month. I was far from being one of the workhorses on the ride and spent the last 80km hiding in other people’s draft but it is yet another step ahead and a true confidence builder. And it garnered me an email “complement” from someone who has been dissing my riding strength for 2 years.

  2. Story Teller

    Congratulations, Kim! That is a huge accomplishment. I can’t imagine biking 200 km. Way to go!

  3. Cat Connor

    Yay for almost reaching THE END! I kinda drag my feet when I see THE END Coming… it’s hard stepping out of Ellie’s world and back into life. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you so much for the blog award! I seriously had no idea I was funny. Damn, I really need to get out of Ellie’s world more often!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cat xx

  4. Madeline Mora-Summonte

    Great news and good for you! I’m celebrating realizing that my novel is better than I thought, that it’s just the revision process casting gloomy shadows of self-doubt. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Story Teller

    @ Cat – are you kidding me? That interview was hilarious! Not only are you funny; you are ballsy! Thanks for the congrats and the comment.

    @ Madeline – oh, it’s completely normal to think your writing sucks when you’re rewriting. In fact, if you aren’t crippled by self-doubt at times, THEN you probably have something to worry about. Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’re here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Ev Bishop

    Oh, hooray in advance for finishing another book!!! Dragonfly Summer sounds great.

    p.s. I love your blog’s new look. Classy and easy to read.

  7. Story Teller

    Thanks so much, Ev…on both counts. Hope you’re doing well. You must be getting excited about Surrey.

  8. Elspeth Cross

    Thank you for the award! I’ll try to do better on posting more often.

    And hurray for the light at the end of the tunnel. I know you’ll get there quickly. You are going to rock the retreat. Which sounds counterproductive, but you know what I mean ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Story Teller

    Good, because you give me a laugh when I need it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the kind words. The pressure will definitely be off now. A whole week, eight hrs/day to edit one 450 pg book? Child’s play!

  10. Story Teller

    No problem, Michelle. You earned it!


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