Writing is, for the most part, a solitary avocation. I know that when I write my books I’m confined to my guy cave for endless hours at a time each day. So on those rare occasions when writers let themselves out into the real world and fill up a room or two at some event, you can just feel the energy that flows among peers.

Such was the case at last weekend’s San Diego Book Awards ceremony. I was there because my ghost story, The Burning Ground, was nominated for one of the awards, and although I played bridesmaid for the second year in a row, I still had a blast. Talking about books and writing with peers, how could I not! What made it even more gratifying was that five of the nominees in a variety of categories were former book award loisstudents or clients of mine. One of them, Lois Joy Hofmann (pictured here with husband Gunter), won the top award in the Travel category for her book, Sailing the South Pacific.

The evening’s glorious—and sobering—moment came when author Lee Fullbright’s mystery novel, The Angry Woman Suite, won the top award not only in the category, but also the Geisel Award as Best of the Best. In her acceptance speech Lee talked about the joy of seeing her first published novel released in March of 2012. Her husband proudly set up a display for the book in their living room. By the end of that month her husband had passed away. 🙁  I heard a few tears being shed in the audience. Talk about the highs and lows of life…

INTO THE 21ST CENTURY! Yes, I now have a Facebook page, and even a Twitter account (though I have no idea yet what to do with the latter)! I went up to L.A. earlier this week and spent a few hours with my blogmeister, social media guru, andaugust & me super friend August McLaughlin, who is helping me get started in this wild and wacky world. Right now my head is still spinning from all of it, but I imagine I’ll get the hang of it before long. I don’t want to be one of those old dogs that can’t learn new tricks. Thanks a bunch, GOTB! And thanks to all the new “friends” that I already have.

GHASTLY SPIRITS AT A WRITERS’ COLONY? On Saturday and Sunday, the 29th and 30th, I am making my Native American-themed horror novel, Demon Shadows, available for free download on Kindle. Bestselling novelist Paul Fleming has a bad case of writer’s block. Where better to demon-shadows-smallunleash the creativity than the prestigious Thorburn Artists’ and Writers’ Colony in California’s high Sierras? But Paul will soon discover a terrible secret hidden amid this idyllic setting—one that could cost him dearly. Enjoy!

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