Monday, February 8, 2016

How Pinterest reconnected me with my muse…

A few years ago I was afflicted with a pretty acute case of malaise when it came to writing. Some of it was a lifestyle choice (I quit smoking) and some of it was just the fact I’d hit a wall.  I dorked around with a few projects, but a few years ago I stumbled upon a tool that revolutionized how I, as a writer, visualize my characters, and in doing so, helped bring my muse back to life after a long winter’s sleep.  

Back in the olden days (oh, say 5 years ago), lots of writers, including myself, scoured magazines looking for the “perfect” photos to visualize their characters with. Which was a ton of wasted time, because once you start looking at pretty pictures, it’s hard to stop.  And sure, with the advent of Pinterest, we still look at gorgeous images, but I’d argue that we can be a bit more focused now.

As an indie writer, these storyboards also help my cover artist a bunch when it comes to her creating a great cover. Because with Pinterest, I can tell a story within the story through pictures alone. And if I stray from what I’d originally envisioned, they show me how to get back on track, or drive me to take a secondary route. I wish I had a Pinterest board for each of my stories, but I only have them for two of my finished books (Shoot to Thrill and Something Witchy This Way Comes) and for a plethora of works in progress.  

I loved my Pinterest board while writing Shoot to Thrill, and I hope you’ll enjoy it (and the book) just as much!

Excerpt of Shoot to Thrill

I rifled through my case file box, looking for an interview done over thirty years ago.  Being the FBI’s go-to girl for the unofficial cold cases section had been my choice, my request, but it had become a parade of one low-budget chain hotel after the other, and now they all looked alike, just like my cases were starting to blend together.  If I hadn’t eaten some pretty fabulous barbeque tonight, I probably wouldn’t even know I was in Kansas City.

I found the interview I was looking for and settled back against the chair.  I’d be re-interviewing this witness tomorrow, seeing if she remembered anything else about the little girl who’d disappeared from a neighborhood park thirty-two years ago, and the panel station wagon she’d last been seen in.  Hunters found her remains years later in Arkansas, with little forensic evidence to point out who’d killed her and left her body in a remote part of the Ozarks.  Dentals had confirmed her identity, and we’d been called in because the victim had been taken across state lines.

Standard procedure.  Which sucked on so many levels I couldn’t even begin to count them.  I really, really hated cases like this.  It was easier when it was an adult who disappeared, or was killed.  They’d had at least a fighting chance at life.  But a five-year-old? Hurting kids made me want to inflict some damage on the assholes who’d done this, who’d taken a child’s innocence and exploited it in the worst way possible.

Yeah, today was definitely one of those days—new case, dead kid, not-quite-shitty hotel.  Even good barbeque couldn’t begin to balance out my day. 


The Colorado Academy for Superior Intellect (CASI) …only the best and the brightest may attend…and only if they possess a Talent the Meece Foundation deems of value. Founded in the late sixties, the Academy is the brainchild of Hugh Meece, pharmaceutical groundbreaker…and CASI is its shining jewel. Their motto: Exploring the last frontier...the human mind. 

Special Agent Arin Thomas always gets her man, but when she embarks on a personal mission to uncover the details behind her best friend’s death, she discovers a world she’s never even imagined. A world where extrasensory powers are exploited, and where her badge makes her a big, shiny target. 

Dr. Jonah Summers would be more than happy to run the Colorado Academy for Superior Intellect (CASI) if only people would stop shooting at him. But that’s a pointless wish when someone with a bottomless bank account and a direct line to Russian special forces has CASI and everyone connected to it in the crosshairs. 

Arin and Jonah find themselves dodging a merciless killer with a hidden agenda while trying to fight their own attraction. It’s only a matter of time before one of them has to Shoot to Thrill in order to kill—or be killed. 



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