I used to hunt and peck out stories (and unsolicited school reports) on this clunky old 1940s Underwood typrewriter when I was in elementary school. Most of those creations have been lost to time, but I do still have one of the first “books” I ever wrote – The Mouse Who Didn’t Believe in Santa Clause. I was so proud of this book because I typed it (of course), I drew all the illustrations, and my 5th grade Reading teacher, Miss Will, gave me an A+ and said it should be in print. That sort of thing means a lot to a kid who wants to have a real book published one day. I was reminded of this because of this interview snippet I saw with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the 8th grade teacher who told him he should be writing musicals.


Anyway, click here – TheMouseWhoDidntBelieveInSantaClause – if you want to read it. And thanks for the encouragement, Miss Will, wherever you are!

In Honor of #AudioDramaSunday


It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of old time radio… I’m writing a mystery series around it after all. But the problem with old time radio is, well, it’s old. It is a finite resource. New episodes of shows like Lights Out, Jack Benny and Gunsmoke stopped being produced sometime in the 50s or 60s (or in the case of Lights Out, the 40s). The good news is that audio drama is experiencing something of a resurgence with the rise of podcasting in recent years. In honor of #AudioDramaSunday I’ve made a list of my current favorites below (and as you can see, I like to be scared). Check them out if you get a chance. Happy Listening!

Thrilling Adventure Hour – A stage show and podcast in the style of old-time radio

The Black Tapes – A serialized docudrama about one journalist’s search for truth, her enigmatic subject’s mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both.

Tanis – A serialized docudrama about the myth of Tanis (tangentially related to The Black Tapes above)

Campfire Radio – Original horror

No Sleep – Original first person horror that originated from the nosleep forum on Reddit

Suspense – A revival of the classic old-time radio anthology with all new stories

Manor House – Original horror

Fireside Mystery Theatre – An old-fashioned, live radio show with a modern horror twist. Recorded live in Manhatten.

How I Got Published*

The Darkness Knows

It was a long and winding road, my friends. My novel, The Darkness Knows, started life as a NaNoWriMo experiment in writing a mystery in 2009. I love mysteries – true life ones as well as the fictional kind. I was also listening to a lot of old time radio on my earbuds at work at the time, so that inspired the setting. I liked the story, characters, and setting so much that I kept writing it after NaNoWriMo ended. I finished, roughly two years later – mainly because I’d seen the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest (now defunct) and it gave me a reason to finish and review and rewrite and clean the whole thing up. I entered that contest and got to the quarterfinals of the mystery group. Not bad. That gave me enough confidence to revise and revise and revise some more and then I started querying agents. I didn’t get much response, because querying the traditional way (by email) is a terribly inefficient way of getting attention from agents – who are swamped with queries. And query writing is an art unto itself. (I’ll write about this more in the future).

So how then did I get my agent? Well, I revised some more and entered another contest (The Daphne DuMaurier through the Kiss of Death Chapter of Romance Writers of America). And I won. The whole thing! And the agent judging my category asked to see my full manuscript.  So gleefully, I sent it off to her. Then I heard nothing for months. I was disappointed and confused. So I contacted the agent. She was also confused as she’d expected to hear from me. Ooof, mixed signals. That, in itself, is sort of a long story, but anyway, turns out she’s a lovely person and boy, does she know what she’s doing. I signed with her at the end of September 2014, and by the beginning of December 2014 I had serious interest from Sourcebooks. I spoke with my now editor at Sourcebooks just before Christmas about my ideas for a series (!). Thankfully, I had some (and had already started writing book two). About a week later as I was waiting in the international arrivals area of O’Hare waiting to pick my sister up for Christmas my voicemail started blinking. It was my agent telling me the offer from Sourcebooks was a three-book deal. I couldn’t believe it. That was almost a year ago. And signing that contract was really just the beginning of the publishing journey…  more on that another time.

*Or How I Will  be Published in August 2016