August 31, 2015

An Amazing Talent

A beautiful example of accordion virtuosity. Never thought "The Four Seasons" could sound so incredible with just one instrument. Vivaldi would be proud.

This young man is Alexander Hrustevich, a Ukranian teenager.


May 5, 2015

How to Publish Like the Pros

This is a free webinar that will take place on Thursday, May 7. The details below are part of an email I received from Joel Friedlander, one of the co-presenters.

It's sponsored by Kirkus Reviews. Sounds intriguing.

What:     Free webinar, "How to Publish Like the Pros"
Where:   Online from the comfort of your home or office
When:    Thursday, May 7, 2015 

                11:00 a.m.Pacific, 2:00 p.m. Eastern
Cost:       None, it's free
Who:      You, if you're interested in learning about indie 

                publishing, and how to find, hire, and work with 
                editors and designers.
How:      Register here: Webinar Registration Page
Why:      Webinar seating is limited, grab your seat now!

April 14, 2015


INDIE RECON, a free online conference founded by S.R. Johannes and Ali Cross, begins tomorrow, Wednesday, April 15 and runs through Friday, April 17.

There are events for beginners on up. Some titles to tempt you:

10 Million Sold and Counting: Barbara Freethy & Bella Andre    

Content Marketing 101: Jane Friedman

How to Protect your Rights and your Wallet: Helen Sedwick

Common Mistakes new Indie Authors Make: Ali Cross

Book Design For Authors – The Basics: Joel Friedlander 

And that's just a few you'll find on Wednesday!

For more info, go to: 


February 25, 2015


I've posted a new middle-grade short story on my website. 
It's based on the Slavic myth of the Green Man, also known as Leshee.
Hop on over for a look:


Image from

January 1, 2015


Wishing you and yours all the very best this year.


Image credit:

May 29, 2014

Maya Angelou, A Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou was a true Renaissance woman: writer, singer, dancer, director, civil rights activist. But for me, she'll always be first and foremost a poet. A sample from one of my favorites:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I'll miss her grace, her joie de vivre, her laugh. And be thankful for the gifts she left behind.


Phenomenal Woman excerpt from: THE COMPLETE COLLECTED POEMS OF MAYA ANGELOU, Random House, 1st edition (September 13, 1994).


March 31, 2014

Six Sites to Find Agents Who Rep PB, MG, YA

Image by David Castillo Dominici,

Though I initially planned to self-publish JURATA'S DAUGHTER, my editor convinced me to give querying a try first. She loves the book and thinks others will, too. Sure hope so.

Here's a list of sites I'm using to research agents and pubishers. If you know of others, please share. Thanks.

#MSWL - This is a Twitter feed where agents and editors post their "Manuscript Wish List". I recently saw one agent who specifically mentioned Slavic mythology--she's high on my list. You can fine tune this according to genre, such as #MSWL Fantasy, or #MSWL Young Adult, etc. Just remember, you don't pitch on Twitter unless they're having a special pitch day, like #PitMad. Send a normal query instead.

QUERY TRACKER - Search for agents/agencies that rep your genre, keep track of those you've contacted and their responses, store your query letter. A paid membership ($25) allows you to see what any agent has actually requested from queries, a big help if their site says, for example, they accept YA but all they've looked at is MG.

ABSOLUTE WRITE WATER COOLER - Search by agent, or check out these special sections: Bewares, Recommendations & Background Check; Ask the Agent; Ask the Editor. There's even a board for sharing your work, but you'll need to set up an account [free!] first. Post your query here and be ready for honest feedback. 

AGENTQUERY CONNECTFind an agent or editor, get your query critiqued, and much, much more.

LITERARY RAMBLES - Check out the "Agent Spotlight" here for current and past interviews.

ALEXA DONNE, YA AUTHOR - Alexa has some recent interviews with agents that are definitely worth a look.

Of course, any research will include going to the agent's site and looking up sales on Publishers' Marketplace. I hope this list helps.