New Title!

After weeks of discussion, my publisher, editor and I have settled on a new title for my debut historical novel–An Uncommon Crusade. I love this title for several reasons, but two in particular.

First of all, there was nothing common about this commoner’s crusade. Made up mostly of young adults and children, it was neither a military effort  nor endorsed by the church. Secondly, the zeal and desperation that thrust thousands of young peasants out of their towns and villages, in the end, proved the only thing that kept them alive. In this telling of the story, the crusade to wrangle Jerusalem from Muslim hands served instead to wrestle Elisabeth, Hugo, and Simon out of their own brokenness.

An Uncommon Crusade, indeed.

The Audio Book

All right, so my publisher has asked that I consider voicing the audio book for Children of Light. How cool is that? I need to send a voice sample, and then we’ll decide if it works or not. I’m open to the idea, of course, but mostly I want the voice to sound professional and be right for the story. I’ve done a few radio spots and have been encouraged to find a voice agent, but still . . .

There’s also the question of whether a woman’s voice is the best choice. Sure, I have a female protagonist. But there are two male protagonists and a number of battle scenes. Can I pull it off?

If you’re a writer, would you voice your own audio book? Or would you want the publisher to hire a pro?

Published in: on April 10, 2010 at 11:03 am  Comments (2)  

For Reals

I’m starting serious edits today based on excellent feedback from my editor, Rachel Davis. I told her recently that I love working with someone who enjoys the story as is, but can envision solutions when needed. She has terrific ideas for tightening the story. Love it!

I also told her that while it’s true authors tend to view their manuscripts with as much affection and possessiveness as a baby from the womb, I’ve learned to wield my editing scissors with cheerful abandon–snipping here, tucking there, adding a bit of trim work right along this edge . . .

It’s all about the story, right?

And I must admit I secretly like the challenge of doing more than I thought I could do.

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm  Comments (2)  


I just finished drawing a map to accompany my novel Children of Light. I have to admit, it was kinda fun making it on my computer, and took much less time than I feared it might.

Of course, my fifteen-year-old son’s reaction to my map drawing was, “Why?”

Well, first of all, my characters travel across Europe and on to Asia and Africa. That’s a lot of ground to cover. Just working on the map got me excited all over again about this story.

And because the story is set in the thirteenth century, some of the locations no longer exist or the story names are antiquated and hard to find on modern-day maps.

But mostly, I drew the map because I love maps. I love to know where I’m going and where one thing is in relation to another. On family road trips, if I’m not driving (which I usually am), then I’m sitting in the passenger seat with an atlas on my lap giving a play-by-play of where we are and what’s coming up. My family is not always crazy about this. The fact that we have a Garmin is irrelevant. Besides, Garmin scolds me and/or uses an impertinent tone, which is highly inappropriate for a store-bought item.

So, a map for Children of Light simply makes sense. And it makes me happy.

Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  


Drop by writer Ian Healy’s blog for my guest post on showing v. telling. Can you find my typo? (unless he’s fixed it for me by now) :).

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 11:29 am  Leave a Comment  


I’m excited to say I signed with Written World Communications for my historical novel, CHILDREN OF LIGHT! The book is tentatively scheduled for a November release.

Check back in for more details and more information about the novel.

Published in: on February 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Next?

My novel CHILDREN OF LIGHT has received a lot of positive feedback and placed well in’s international competition earlier this year, but the truth is that I haven’t found a place for it in today’s market.

Medieval novels are hard to place–especially in the Christian market, which CHILDREN is well-suited for. So I’m wondering what to do next.

Keep plugging along with it?

Shelve it until a more opportune time?

Serialize it on it’s own blog, and let people read it for free, building a fan base?

I don’t know, but in the meantime, I keep working on the next novel. I mean, it’s only one story, right? I have dozens to tell.

Published in: on September 28, 2008 at 2:09 pm  Comments (2)  


(Click on the title of this post to link to a free downloadable excerpt of CHILDREN OF LIGHT)

Several years ago I read an intriguing novel about the crusades which sent me to the encyclopedia in search of more information on the topic. At the end of the World Book article, I came across a few lines about a children’s crusade that ended in tragedy, most of the participants either dying prematurely in the Alps or being betrayed and sold into slavery in Africa.

I actually gasped and re-read the paragraph three or four times. What in the world would possess children to set off on such a misadventure or their parents to allow it?

Sometime later when I had the tools and time to research the subject properly, I discovered that at the forefront of the so-called children’s crusade was a charismatic and egotistical young commoner named Nicholas, that most of the “crusaders” were young adults, and that parents were generally terrified of the movement, seeking to protect their children from a disastrous end.

I couldn’t let the story go. Why would unarmed, untrained, unfinanced peasants think they could accomplish what professional armies had not? How desperate or deluded must an individual be to join such an ill-fated mission? And what about all those young people sold into slavery? How did they live with the consequences of their mistakes?

I began to envision a young woman who would do anything to win freedom from her past. A young man who dreams of rising above his lowly status to change the world. A would-be warrior looking for a fight, and perhaps a bit of fortune.

And so began my exploration into the lives of three young commoners who thought they had nothing left to lose.

Published in: on March 8, 2008 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment