Archive | November 2014

Character Profile: Toby

A place to call home coverCharacter name: Toby

Parents’ names: Mother’s name was Missy, father unknown

Character’s Date of Birth: June 1, 1988

Place of Birth: Northern California

Book appearing in: A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale

Profile: Toby’s life begins as a carefree puppy on a farm in northern California.

Through a series of fateful events, Toby is taken across the country without his beloved sister. On his quest to find a place to call home, Toby encounters and endures the best and worst of humanity as he comes face to face with sorrow and joy, fear and courage, and ultimately, with the power of love.

Ideal actor or actress to play in film adaptation: Since the best format for adapting “A Place to Call Home” to film would be animation, the question is what child actor would best portray Toby for voiceover purposes? It would be fun to have someone who is an unknown play Toby’s voiceover role.


Character Profile: Dinky

Kibble TalkSeries the character belongs to: Kibble Talk

Character name: Dinky

Character’s Date of Birth: It was sometime in April of 2011, but since he didn’t even has his eyes open yet, he couldn’t read the calendar. I’m figuring April 4th, but just to humor him, I read him the poem. He definitely feels he is fair of face, but also full of grace – he did win a dog show contest, after all. He’s also loving and giving (Friday), as long as you’re not asking for his tiara. Sunday is a possibility, because that day is “fair and wise and good and gay.” He thinks that pretty much sums him up, though it leaves out “most brilliant dog in the universe,” so he’s wondering if we can make a day for that?

Place of Birth: The kitchen floor, but Dinky assures us that there was a very comfy blanket for his mom and even a cardboard box for her to put her puppies in. It was all very cozy. Plus, snacks are always nearby when you are in a kitchen. He thinks humans should try having babies this way.
Book(s) appearing in: Kibble Talk, Dog Goner, What Dat?

Profile: Dinky is an enormous Great Dane who should be called a Great Talker. He is the pet of Tawny, a nine-year-old girl who discovers that when she eats dog kibble, she can hear and talk to dogs. Dinky wants only one thing in life: to be a tiny lapdog. Unfortunately for him, his head is the size of a lap dog.
Ideal actor or actress to play in a film adaptation: Even by the end of Book 2 in the series, there’s only a handful of Kibble Talkers in the world (people who can hear Dinky talk), so he would need a voice-over actor. Dinky says he would like Liam Neeson or James Earl Jones to read his lines, but as I reminded him, his voice is, well, dinky. I suggested Kermit the Frog, but Dinky only walked away – said he needed to find a favorite slipper or book of mine to chew up.


Character Profile: ​Shanna Blaine

Shattered TrustCharacter name: ​Shanna Blaine

Parents names (if known): ​Audrey Rose and Martin Blaine

Place of Birth (if known): ​Salt Lake City​

Book appearing in​SHATTERED TRUST​


Her long auburn hair, cut in a layered style, curled softly over her shoulders. In addition to her lovely tresses, brilliant emerald eyes were her most striking feature to say the least. That light sprinkling of freckles decorating her pert nose was like the icing on the proverbial cake. She was twenty-nine years old but looked years younger. So why she had never landed a man permanently was puzzling​.​

Ideal actor or actress to play in a film adaptation:

​Brigid Brannagh​

Reblog: 7 Point-of-View Basics Every Writer Should Know

This article reposted from explores the subject of point of view in writing.


Boudicca:  Britain's Queen of the Iceni

Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni takes a Celtic-British point of view.

In writing lingo we refer to point-of-view (POV) as the character through whom we tell the story. We get into the head of a particular character and see the story through her eyes. Sometimes we have one POV through the whole story. Other times we have multiple POVs.

Recently while reading a book, I became confused with some of the point of view changes. It was a really good story in many ways, and the author has had a long term writing career. So I was surprised to have to slog my way through several spots of hopping from one head to the next.

As I thought about the POV issues, I realized that during the last ten years, POV “rules” have grown more firm. Editors, agents, and readers want clear, concise, easy-to-read stories. Head-hopping can brand us as an amateur. That means we have to understand some of the basics that go into having clear POVs.

1. Strategically pick the number of POV characters. We can’t get into the head of everycharacter in our books. Nor should we randomly or haphazardly pick POV characters. We should usually try to narrow down those characters we want our readers to care most about—usually the main characters (hero and heroine). Sometimes, I’ve seen writers tell snippets of the plot from the POV of the antagonist to add tension.

If we add too many POVs, we risk confusing our readers. We also risk developing shallower characters since we’ll have less time in each person’s head, giving our readers less of an opportunity to get to know and thus love the characters.

2. Introduce all the POV characters within the first few chapters. We won’t want to all-of-a-sudden halfway through the book throw in a new POV from one of our characters that hasn’t had a voice yet. It’s best if we introduce all of our POV characters fairly early in the story.

3. Delineate POV changes by a line break or chapter break. In other words, we need to make it very clear when we’re switching to someone else’s POV. Hopping heads halfway through a scene just doesn’t work anymore (if it ever did).

If I want to change POV, I finish the scene first. Before I change POV, I move to a new stage, new setting, and new plot point. Of course, this means before starting each scene I have to determine which POV character will help accomplish the goals for the scene most adequately. And if I need readers to “get in the head” of another POV character during that scene, then I have to SHOW the reactions (or wait to recap their thoughts when their POV comes along in a later scene).

4. After a POV break, clarify the new POV within the first sentence or two. I usually try to use the new POV character’s name in the first sentence. And if not, then I weave it in the second sentence so that my readers are clear right from the start of the scene whose head they’re in. If switching among first person POV, I often write out the character’s name/title at the start of the scene or chapter.

5. Bring in each POV character regularly. I don’t perfectly alternate scenes between my hero and heroine. Sometimes I may need a couple of scenes in my heroine’s POV or vice versa. But I try not to go too long in one person’s head. For those writing with three or more POVs, the juggling can get even more complicated. But we have to remember to keep all the balls in the air.

6. Beware of making POV scenes too short. Story pacing will play a role in how long our scenes are. When we find ourselves changing POV every few paragraphs or multiple times per scene, then we may begin to annoy our readers. If we don’t have a long enough scene, then perhaps we don’t have enough goals and need to consider how we can combine the scene with another.

7. Once in a POV, stick with it carefully. When we get into one of our character’s heads, we need to do the best we can to see, hear, taste, touch, smell, and think about everything the way that particular character would. The more we can stay deeply inside our POV character, the more alive that character will become to our readers.

Remember, we can’t have our characters noticing things about themselves that they wouldn’t normally see. If in doubt, use the mirror test: Am I describing something about my character she would see of herself (i.e. the protruding blue veins in her hand)? Or would she need a mirror to notice it (i.e. the color of her own eyes)?

If she needs a mirror, then she shouldn’t be thinking it about herself (unless she really is looking into a mirror, which incidentally has become a clichéd way of having characters describe themselves).

What other POV tips do you have? What’s been your biggest struggle in handling POV changes?

About the Author:
Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances.

As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she’s not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.

You can catch her on her website where she gives great advice for writers and Twitter where she gushes about reading, chocolate, cats, and coffee.

This article originally appeared on

Reblog: The Magic Formula

Today’s post from Abraham Hicks is timely for this start of the holiday season:  appreciate what you have right now.

Richard Mann LinkedIn

I am happy and thankful that Richard Mann will narrate “Catherine de Valois” in 2015. Gratitude for the small things opens the door to receiving bigger dreams and goals — like my dream to immigrate to England and work with Mr. Mann in person instead of from 3600 miles away.

“If you will make this small effort to appreciate you and what is yours NOW, you will soften, so quickly, any resistance that has been keeping you apart from the things you want. 

It is the magic formula that you’ve been looking for. 

It is the key to your blending. 

It is the key to your allowing. 

It is the key to you getting what you want. 

It is the key to your abundance, your clarity, and to your stamina. 

It is the key to your energy. 

It is the key to your vitality. 

It is the key to your flexibility. 

It is the key to your wellness. 

It is the key to all things that feel good to you. 

Make some small effort, every chance you get, at looking at where you stand NOW and doing your best to soothe and appreciate you NOW, to soothe and appreciate your NOW.” 

Abraham Hicks