Milestone Review

I’m celebrating my 100th review on Amazon for The Vanishing Wife today and as an added bonus, it’s a 5-star! The reviewer had this to say: “Very good story. I couldn’t put it down.”

Many thanks to those who have read my books and especially to those who have taken the time to leave a review! It means so much to an author to have their book reviewed and it helps other readers decide whether they would be interested in the book or not. It doesn’t have to be long…just a rating and a few words help.

For those looking for something else to read, my second thriller, A Perilous Question, is available on #NetGalley to read free for a month and my new political thriller, Remote Access, will be out in the spring.

Thanks again, everyone!


A Perilous Question is now free to read on NetGalley for one month only. Of course, nothing is totally free so you are requested to provide a review when you have finished reading. With 23 reviews and a 4.4 star rating out of 5 on Amazon, you don’t want to miss out. A recent reviewer had this to say: “One of the best books I have read so far and would recommend …” Check it out on NetGalley!

The Writing Process

While my new novel, Remote Access is meandering through the publishing process, I thought it might be interesting to share some thoughts on the writing process, at least what works for me. The one comment I get more than any others when I’m doing a book signing is, “Oh, I should write a book.” My answer is always, “So…do it.” Here are some initial thoughts on one person’s approach to writing.

Most important to me is to make sure you have a story that can be teased out into a book. It takes me awhile to come up with one. There’s inspiration everywhere, but it has to be something that interests you. My latest thriller is woven around today’s political climate, which is of interest to me. Lots to write about there. A Perilous Question arose out of an actual question I was asked by a teenage girl at a dormitory we had helped fund in Tanzania, Africa. The Vanishing Wife came out of a thought I’d always had about how awful it must be when a loved one disappears.  It just needs to be something you can get your teeth into. Of course, I’m talking about fiction. I found when our son and I wrote our non fiction book, Kilimanjaro and Beyond, the story just unfolded the way it happened. It was the same for I Guess We Missed the Boat.  The point is, the story will be much more interesting if you have some connection with it.

My experience now that I’ve written my fifth book is that there’s no right or wrong way to approach writing. There are those who sit down at a certain time every day, five days a week and write. I call it writing on command. Kudos to people who can do that. I have to write when I feel the urge. If the words aren’t coming, I walk away and pick it up later.

Some people prepare detailed outlines before starting. I heard a well established author say he writes over 100 pages of outline. It’s a great way to avoid writer’s block. Others fly by the seat of their pants. I’ve developed a hybrid style. For Remote Access, I wrote a high-level outline in a software package called Scrivener, and then proceeded to let the characters take me where they wanted to. I was sometimes surprised by where they went and how the story unfolded and that’s one of the joys (to me) of writing. I always tell people when I’m writing that I can’t wait to finish writing the book so I can see how it ends.

That’s enough for now. Next time, I’ll write about settings and detail in your writing. When Remote Access is published, I will be sharing some thoughts on the publishing process.

In the meantime, if you have questions, fire away. I would be happy to answer.




The Editing Process

People ask all the time about the editing process and why it takes so long. There are many types of editing, including manuscript evaluation, developmental/project editing, substantive and structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, proofreading, rewriting and checking/reference checking.
Many of these overlap and are done simultaneously. The first round for my editor and I could be considered substantive/developmental/copy editing/checking as she goes through every line in detail, challenging facts, improving grammar, suggesting changes to remove redundancies or expand on descriptions… It’s a lengthy, time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. We do it line by line and chapter by chapter.
After I agree or disagree and make changes, my editor reads it along with some other people, searching for typos that have crept in and to make sure the changes done in the first round have not introduced new problems. She may also challenge items that I have disagreed with in the first round.
The manuscript then goes for formatting to prepare it for publication. Different formats are required for paperback and e-book.
When the manuscript goes for publication and one copy of the finished product comes back, it’s time for proofreading. This could eliminate more typos and should ensure formatting is correct.
It’s a worthwhile process. After all that work writing the book, an author wants to ensure it’s as good as it can be.
A word of caution though, unfortunately, even after all that, glitches can and do show up from time to time. We sometimes see what we think should be there, not what is. 


I’m happy to say that the manuscript for my new book, REMOTE ACCESS, is done and on its way to the editor. Although not scheduled for release until spring, its’ moving along and I’m pleased about that.

Here’s the blurb:

REMOTE ACCESS is a high-octane cocktail of international intrigue, computer hacking and nerve agent assassinations served up with a sprinkling of contemporary politics.

Watch for a cover reveal and trailer.

Welcome News for the Thrillers

It has been a great week for the thrillers.

The Vanishing Wife received its 80th Amazon review and it’s a 5-star:

“This was one of the best books I have ever read. From chapter to chapter you never know what is going to happen. I would read another book by this author.” – Speede Reader

A Perilous Question was RECOMMENDED by the US Review of Books. Read the review here:

Thank you to all who have read and reviewed my books. Reviews are priceless to authors and readers alike.

Promotion Deal on Kilimanjaro and Beyond

My first book, written with my son Chris and called Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey, has now been re-published under my Keep On Climbing Publishing banner. It chronicles the work needed to prepare ourselves for climbing Africa’s highest mountain and our subsequent efforts to help the kids of Africa. I’m very proud to say it’s the winner of two literary awards.

Both the paperback and e-book are already at a new low price BUT from now until midnight, April 28, the Kindle version will be available at Amazon for only $0.99 USD.

Here’s the link:

This is your chance to get it while it’s on sale!