Tag Archives: #writing


I’m excited to continue this year on the CRAFT OF WRITING blog by focusing on authors who write series. This month, I welcome the effervescent Chautona Havig.  Chautona has written over a hundred books in several series and hosts a popular podcast as well! I don’t know where she gets the energy, but I’m glad she’s with us today to talk about writing the series.

Here are just a few of Chautona’s books. Click the image to go to her website.

How did she write more than 100 books? An interview with Chautona Havig and a chance to win a hand-crafted Beginning of Time pen. Click To Tweet

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Once again, we’re doing something fun for this interview. The name of each person who enters a comment will be put into the drawing for a unique “Beginning of Time” pen, hand-crafted by my friend and colleague Steve Hooley. So join the conversation and earn a chance to win. I’ll leave the contest open for an extra day for folks who comment later, and I’ll post the name of the winner after 9PM Central Time tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov 14) night.

(Former winners are excluded from the drawing, but not from commenting!)

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Welcome to the Craft of Writing blog, Chautona Havig, and thank you for joining us!

Thank you for having me! I always love a good chat with you.


When did you decide you wanted to be a writer, and what was your first published work?

I remember “the moment” quite distinctly. I was twelve and living in Ventura, California. Mom gave me a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and told me I might want to read it.  I did.  And the teacher in that book—the one who Francie lied to about the little pie she took home—answered so many problems I had. She counseled Francie and then said, “Tell the truth. Write what should have happened.”

I can’t recall if it was 2007 or 2009, but my first book published was Noble Pursuits.  I was testing out the whole indie publishing thing to help me decide if I wanted to go traditional or not. I took a lot of bad advice with that book, made tons of mistakes.  Eventually, however, I unpublished it, rewrote it, and republished it as Oh, Gracious!


What was your first series, and why did you decide to write it?

The first series I wrote was the Aggie’s Inheritance series.  The first book, Ready or Not, was actually the first book I wrote.  I was still working on it when I published Noble Pursuits.  I started writing after another frustrating day with people walking up to me (I had eight kids at the time) and saying, “How do you do it all?  I can barely manage with my one or two!” And I kept saying, “But I didn’t get eight all at once. I barely managed with one or two also.  Barely managed with three, five, and then eventually nine. But I have a writer’s brain, and one day I thought, “But what would happen if someone got eight kids all at once?  What if she was single?  What if she doesn’t know a lot about kids?  What if her sister’s mother-in-law keeps interfering?  And well… four 120k-word books later…


Can you tell us about the other series you’ve written?

Soooo many series.  I’ll just throw out a few and a one-line snippet, okay?

The Annals of Wynnewood:  historical fantasy (13th Century) in England about a girl, the village that is terrified of her, and the boy who takes a chance on being her friend (middle-grade).

The Hartfield Mysteries: A horror/thriller author lives an eccentric life in an idyllic, Mayberry-like town where murder strikes over… and over…

The Agency Files: If you need protection, The Agency’s got your back—even against all odds. (suspense/romantic suspense)

The Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries: If Miss Marple were fifty-years younger and had the observation skills of Patrick Jane (from the Mentalist), you’d have Madeline Brown.  It’s the slow birth of a detective and how that might look (historical circa 1900).

Bookstrings:    With the slow demise of independent bookstores, Milton Coleridge takes his expertise in saving businesses and helps bookstores survive and thrive… with a tiny bit of matchmaking on the side. (General)

And half a dozen or so more series.  Maybe a dozen.  *whistles*


How do you approach writing a book? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

My writing style totally depends on the book, how fast I have to write it, and the genre.  Naturally I’m mostly a pantser. I love to just start writing and see where the story takes me. I used to say that I felt like a transcriptionist for a story I didn’t know until I wrote it. That’s really not true. Clearly, my subconscious has a plan.  But whatever.

Most often, I think of an idea and while driving, I talk it through. I used to use a voice recording app or recorder, but now I use my Ottr app on my phone. It transcribes everything as I talk it through. My goal is to know the hook (first sentence/paragraph/page), the inciting event (what kicks the story into action), the midpoint death (whatever “dies” in the middle—loss of a job, a friendship, a hope or dream, or even a person), the climax (the big tense scene near the end), and then the denouement (the resolution).  Then I tend to make a huge list of scene ideas. I may or may not ever use them.  I just begin writing and if I can’t decide the best way to go or if I’m tired and don’t want to think, I scan that list and go.

Mysteries, however, I tend to plan out more but even that, it’s a reference rather than a true plan.  No matter how tightly I try to outline and plot stuff out, I always deviate—a lot.


How do you handle the situation where a reader jumps into the middle of a series without reading the first book?

Um… recommend they don’t?  My books and series are very layered. While you USUALLY can jump into the middle and be okay, you’ll miss a lot of layered nuances and backstory that I don’t rehash in each one.

I’ve had readers email me asking if the book they got free can be read out of order, and I usually send them a review copy of the first in the series because I want them to have the best reading experience. I get why authors write almost “stand alones” in series to help readers be able to jump in anywhere, but I really love a good layered series, and I can’t do that well without them needing to build upon the last.


What advice would you give an author who’s considering writing a series?

Write down every single thing you can as it happens.  If in book one she hates coffee, write that down.  Review in book two. And three. And four. Or in book five, she’ll be swigging five cups a day and telling her friends she’s been addicted since she was eight.  Write down the name of the bookstore they go to, the car they drive, the childhood story they told.  Review it all with each new book. Trust me. You won’t regret it when it comes time to write the next books.

And then you won’t realize in book eight that your series has a Jarod Kennett, a Justine, a Josi, and a Jessie…  Yeah. Not that this happened to me or anything.


I loved being interviewed on your “Because Fiction” podcast. Please tell my blog audience about the podcast and how they can find it.

Because Fiction looks at all things Christian fiction—books, authors, genres, you name it. I have a lot of interviews with authors, indie, traditional, debut, and everything in between. I don’t limit my interviews to any specific subgenres. It just must be Christian.  You can find us on most if not all apps as Because Fiction Podcast or go to the website at becausefictionpodcast.com


Where can we find out more about you and your work?

The best place to find me is my website, Chautona.com There you’ll find my books, the podcast, blog posts—all kinds of stuff. Feel free to email anytime. I used to promise to get back to you quickly. Now I just promise I’ll get there eventually.  To keep up with the many sales I have (with over a hundred books, there are a lot of sales!), the giveaways I do, and all that stuff, I recommend getting my newsletter at Chautona.com/news. Here’s a hint.  Feel free to delete any author’s newsletter if you’re just not in a place to read it that day. There will be another one.  No stress. Or unsubscribe if you discover you aren’t interested. We get it. Life is full of choices, and one less choice to make is a blessing!

If you like to listen to folks chat about what they’re reading, what they want to be reading, and all things reader life, I also have a YouTube channel at youtube.com/chautonahavig. BookTube is a great community for readers, but I don’t limit my channel to just Christian fiction. It is, however, 95% clean reads (sometimes something sneaks up on me).


Thank you, Chautona, for being with us today.

Again, thanks for having me. This was fun!

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Meet Chautona

Using story to connect readers with the Master Storyteller.

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours, and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


How did she write more than 100 books? An interview with Chautona Havig and a chance to win a hand-crafted Beginning of Time pen. Click To Tweet


I’m excited to continue this year on the CRAFT OF WRITING blog by focusing on authors who write series. We’ve had some wonderful guests so far this year, and this month’s guest, Linore Rose Burkard, is continuing that trend.

Linore has written many novels, including three series, and she has a wealth of information and advice for the rest of us. Here are the two books in her latest series:

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Once again, we’re doing something fun for this interview. The name of each person who enters a comment will be put into the drawing for a unique “Beginning of Time” pen, hand-crafted by my friend and colleague Steve Hooley. So join the conversation and earn a chance to win. I’ll post the name of the winner after 9PM Central Time tonight.

(Former winners are excluded from the drawing, but not from commenting!)


What happens when you combine Regency Romance with Time Travel? An interview with Linore Burkard about her series, and a chance to win the beautiful Beginning of Time pen. Click To Tweet

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Welcome to the Craft of Writing blog, Linore, and thank you for joining us!

My pleasure, Kay, thanks for having me.


When did you start writing, and what was your first published work?

I started writing a novel at age 9, but after I’d written about 13 chapters, I realized I was basically copying (with me as the protagonist) the story from My Side of the Mountain, which I had read and just adored. Thus ended that project! (It’s not a bad idea for young writers to do this, though. All writing is good practice.) I didn’t return to novel writing until much later but dabbled in short stories and poems all through my teens and into college. It wasn’t until I had three of my five kids that I finally wrote my first novel, and in 2008 Harvest House picked it up after I’d self-published it. (Before the Season Ends). I had waited years for someone to write an Inspirational Regency and finally decided I’d have to do it myself. I’m honored to say, it was the first of its kind on the market.


What was your first series, and why did you decide to write it?

After Harvest House published the first book, to my delight, they asked if I had a sequel, and were open to me writing two, so I did. The Regency Trilogy, as we call it, was born. The takeaway from that is that you don’t always have to know in advance that you’re going to do a series, particularly in light-hearted romance.


Can you tell us about the other series you’ve written?

The YA/Suspense trilogy, The Pulse Effex Series, is about the aftermath in a grid-down world (when the electric grid goes down due to an electromagnetic pulse.). It shows how three teens and their very different families survive in this dark and scary world. It was a perfect way to show the difference between coping mechanisms and outcomes, for one family is very wealthy but non-religious; one is Christian, homeschoolers on a farmstead; and one is nominally religious, living in an apartment. The series is gritty and suspenseful, so I used my initials and last name (L.R. Burkard) instead of my full name in order to warn my readers. I didn’t want to horrify those expecting sweet historical romance!

Another trilogy, The Brides of Mayfair, is clean Regency romance, but not overtly Christian. With this series, I was trying to reach the secular audience of fans of the genre in the hope they’d go on to read my Christian books. Each of the brides’ stories are humorous and fun and I always try to hit all the earmarks of the true Regency.

My last series (Forever in Time) is Regency Time Travel Romance, and thus far has only two books. The second book, Forever Lovely, comes out on November 28! Like all my regencies, the emphasis is on good, clean fun but with the added element of time travel I was able to contrast the era with today’s life and culture in very humorous ways.


You’ve written both regency romance and suspense novels. How did you get interested in two such different genres? How does your approach to writing differ in each genre?

I really enjoyed reading Georgette Heyer, Emily Hendrickson, Marion Chesney, and other traditional (clean) Regency writers. I loved the era, the language, costume, atmosphere and the banter between heroes and heroines. But the books lacked the inspirational elements of Christian fiction, so I dove headlong into researching. Once I felt I’d mastered enough of it, I started my first novel, always striving to include all the fun and atmosphere that I enjoy so much myself, but with a Christian worldview.

As for the suspense trilogy, I had read an article about a space object that came within a hair of hitting the earth (in space terms, that is) and would have caused a massive EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that would have shut down the grid for large parts of the world. I wondered, what if it had hit? How would we survive? That started a wholly different type of research as I learned what would happen, how people might survive by preparing beforehand, but more than anything, I was struck by how many people would NOT be prepared. Really, I saw my book as a wake-up call to the church. Because it’s not science fiction—an EMP could happen, either from a space event, or a terrorists’ bomb or war, and most people are not ready. To write that series I had to dig in to my past as a teen, but I didn’t find that difficult. I was asked once how I wrote teens so well and I said it was due to never having grown up! (I was joking, but I suspect it’s true.) Readers interested in EMPs or the series can see more at https://www.linoreburkard.com/pulse-effex-trilogy

How do you handle the situation where a reader jumps into the middle of a series without reading the first book?

This is probably the trickiest part of writing sequels. The first chapter has to contain enough information to get them grounded in the story quickly while letting them know past events happened that brought us where we are. It’s a matter of interspersing little bits of the past while the narrator (protagonist) is still engaging with the present. If nothing else, this is why writing is an art and not a science. It must be done lightly enough not to befuddle or frustrate the new reader, while still acknowledging what’s happened for those who read the earlier book(s). (I like to think I did this particularly well in book two of the Pulse Effex, Resilience: Into the Dark. ) First chapters, in my opinion, are the most difficult to get right in any book, much less a sequel. They’re easy to write in the beginning, but when you go back after the writing’s done, the real work on them starts. If a writer doesn’t have to rewrite chapter one a dozen times, at least in part, I would question whether it is as effective as it should be.

What advice would you give an author who’s considering writing a series?

If you know at the outset you’ve got a series in mind, I would suggest writing a rough outline for each book.I can never stick to an outline myself, but many writers find them really helpful. It could be as simple as Book one: “EVENT HAPPENS. FALLOUT. THEN THIS HAPPENS. FALLOUT.FINALLY THIS HAPPENS. CRISIS. SOLUTION OR TRAGEDY. CLOSURE (resolution) but something must be left open-ended for book two to resolve. This is for a continuing series that begins with the same event. My Brides of Mayfair series are all stand-alone stories. The similarity is that each protagonist is a bride-to-be living in Mayfair, which is the posh center of Regency upper class life. This type of series is fluid in that you can add as many books as you wish without having to continue one long story. If you decide after writing book one to make it a continuing-story series, you need to find the person or persons whose story hasn’t been completely told. Side characters in book one often make great protagonists for later books.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

For me, the question is, how do I write while I’m doing so many other things? (ha!) My family has always come first , I homeschooled my five kids for more than two decades, plus we have a house and property that need a great deal of attention. I often cooked from scratch while our five kids were growing up, and so meal planning and preparing was a big time drain. These days, I make simpler meals, but with my husband retired, I feel busier than ever. I do Spanish lessons daily for fun to improve my fluency, and I love word games, jigsaw puzzles, and reading. We spend a lot of time at church and in church activities, and I’ll drop just about anything to catch Masterpiece Theater historical dramas! I also attend two monthly writers’ groups, one of which I’m president of.( I recommend all writers join a local group. Zoom meetings are good and well, but in-person meetings are the most helpful.)

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

On my website or through my newsletter, as I keep readers up to date on new books, what I’m working on, sales, and giveaways. Readers can sign up here: https://www.LinoreBurkard.com/newsletter. And you’ll get a flash fiction Regency short story when you join the list.  😊

Thank you, Linore, for being with us today.

Thanks for letting me talk writing. Unlike me, it’s a subject that never grows old!

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Meet Linore:


Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award-winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first novel (Before the Season Ends) opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), and contemporary romance. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, two cats, a Shorkie, and more teapots than any single human should possess!

What happens when you combine Regency Romance with Time Travel? An interview with Linore Burkard about her series, and a chance to win the beautiful Beginning of Time pen. Click To Tweet




The CRAFT OF WRITING BLOG continues in September with its 2023 focus on authors who write series. This month, the tables are turned, and I’m being interviewed about my series, The Watch Mysteries, by my good friend and colleague Debbie Burke.

Did you notice the pen in the image with the books? That’s the magnificent “Beginning of Time” pen that was hand-crafted by my good friend, author and craftsman, Steve Hooley. Inspired by the theme in The Watch Mysteries, the pen is built on 1870 Clocktower Pine, covered with black-as-night-sky dye, then coated with golden-stars glitter paint, and finally coated with a wet-gloss finish.

Here’s your chance to win the pen. The name of each person who enters a comment today will be put into a drawing, and I will post the name of the winner after 9 o’clock pm CDT tonight. So join the conversation and earn a chance to win. Many thanks to Steve for donating the pen for today’s post.

Former winners are excluded from the drawing. (But not from commenting!)

The fascinating subject of time. An interview with Kay DiBianca about her series, The Watch Mysteries. And a chance to win the beautiful Beginning of Time pen. Click To Tweet

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Now here’s Debbie:

I met Kay several years ago when she submitted an anonymous first page for critique at The Kill Zone. Her story featured two young wannabe detectives who charmed me and made me laugh. That promising first page turned into the book Time After Tyme. Kay and I have since become trusted colleagues and good friends. I’m honored to interview her today.

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Time is a major theme in your “Watch” mystery series. What inspired you to explore that topic?

I was out running when I decided to write my first novel. I was jogging past a long fence at the time, and I thought I could begin the novel by having the main character find a mysterious object on a fencepost while she was out running. (Ha!) I can’t remember why I decided on the watch as the “mysterious object,” but it may have been a subconscious desire to delve into my fascination with the subject of time.

From the perspective of writing, mysteries are usually a race against time. Find the killer before he/she can kill again. To emphasize that, a timepiece is always central to the stories.


What did you learn about time while writing your books? Are there insights that you hope readers will realize?

I’ve read some good books on the subjects of clocks, watches, and time. One thing I had fun learning about was the need for a reliable clock that could be used aboard ships so that the early explorers could pinpoint their position at sea. It’s a fascinating story told by Dava Sobel in her book Longitude. I wrote a post for the Kill Zone Blog on the subject.

As for insights, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that time is an equal-opportunity dimension. Rich or poor, everyone gets 24 hours in a day, and the way we choose to spend those hours is up to us. Although we may have constraints (jobs, family, obligations), our individual responses to the demands of time belong to each of us. Only we can decide.


Do you plan to continue the “Watch” series? Want to give readers a hint about what might be ahead for Kathryn and Cece?

Although I took a break for the last year or so to pursue a couple of other writing projects, I do plan to continue the Watch series. I think the main characters, half-sisters Kathryn and Cece, have a few more adventures to work on before I let them go. (And I want to know where they end up in their relationships with Phil and Ben.)

I’ve been playing with a few possible plot ideas. Maybe you or the folks who read this can help me think through them: 1) I’ve thought about sending the two young women off to Scotland when Kathryn is informed she’s one of the beneficiaries of a will left by a Scottish relative where some old mystery is smoldering. 2) Another idea is to have Kathryn run a marathon in an interesting world city where a murder happens during the course of the race. 3) A third possibility is to have Kathryn and Cece involved when a book reviewer is murdered after writing a scathing review of a mystery by author Purity Carp. Let me know which one you think would be most interesting in the comments!


The two young detectives in Time After Tyme stole the show, earning an award for “Young Adult Fiction.” When you wrote the book, did you have a YA story in mind or did it evolve into that? Does the book have a crossover audience of both adults and young readers?

I had wanted to write the young girls, Reen and Joanie, as secondary characters to add spice to Time After Tyme, and they were very good at their job! They had me laughing every day with their crazy antics in an attempt to “help” the police solve a murder mystery. I only entered it as a YA book in the Memphis Awards contest because I had friends who were entered in the Adult Fiction category, and I didn’t want to compete against them. I was truly surprised when the presenter called my name, but I think it’s confirmation that a book can straddle categories and appeal to a wide audience.


Do you have future plans for Reen and Joanie in upcoming books?

Shortly afterTime After Tyme was published, I was encouraged by several of my writing colleagues to start a middle-grade series featuring the two young girls. The result is the first-in-series novel The Other Side of Sunshine: A Reen and Joanie Detective Agency Book. I hope it will be published early in 2024.


You’re a licensed pilot and your upcoming book is about a female pilot who solves mysteries. How long have you been flying? What is the most thrilling experience you’ve had in the air? What is the scariest?

Lacey’s Star: A Lady Pilot-in-Command Novel is the story of Cassie Deakin, a young woman pilot who lands in the middle of a mystery with every flight. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Cassie and Deputy Frank White, a man she doesn’t trust, but whom she has a strong attraction to. I’m hoping it will be published later this year.

I received my pilot’s license in 1995. When I told my husband I was going to take flying lessons, he wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. But since then, he got his license in sailplanes (gliders), and we’ve had some good times flying together.

Our most thrilling experience was when we went to Nevada on a “flying vacation” around the year 2000 and I piloted a small aircraft out of the Carson City airport and over the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe. It was an absolutely gorgeous trip in perfect weather.

The scariest experience was on the same trip. I always file a flight plan or request flight-following from Air Traffic Control when I fly. As we were flying around the mountains, ATC in Reno contacted us to say they couldn’t follow us on radar because of the mountains, so we went VFR (Visual Flight Rules). I think we were somewhere over Pyramid Lake when I looked out the right side of the plane and spotted another light aircraft flying directly toward us. We were never in any danger – I immediately turned and descended to a lower altitude – but it wasn’t an experience I’d ever want to repeat.


Recently you attended the Killer Nashville writing conference. What were the most interesting and/or important takeaways from that event?

Killer Nashville is a conference that focuses on mystery, thriller, and suspense writing that I’ve attended several times. One of the great things the conference offers is a group of Agent Roundtables where authors can have the first two pages of their work-in-progress read in a small setting of five authors and one agent. Each author receives feedback from the others, and if you’re lucky, an agent will request your manuscript.

I presented the first two pages of The Other Side of Sunshine at one roundtable and Lacey’s Star at another one. I was fortunate that two agents showed interest in the books.


Where can readers find your books?

Each of the individual ebooks is on sale for 99¢ on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Google Play. The virtual boxset of the three books is also on sale for $1.99 on all of the same sites. Click on each image at the bottom of the page to go to the Amazon detail page.


Is there anything else you’d like to share that I haven’t asked you about?

Just to say many thanks to you, Debbie, for interviewing me. It’s interesting to sit on this side of the desk for a change. Also, equal thanks to Steve Hooley for supplying the gorgeous Beginning of Time pen for today’s post.

The fascinating subject of time. An interview with Kay DiBianca about her series, The Watch Mysteries. And a chance to win the beautiful Beginning of Time pen. Click To Tweet







I’m excited to continue this year on the CRAFT OF WRITING BLOG by focusing on authors who write series. Last month I interviewed an author writing his first series. This month I’ve gone to the other end of the spectrum, and I’m interviewing a master craftsman in the series-writing area, Patricia Bradley.

Patricia has written three series, and is currently working on the first book in a fourth, so she has a wealth of information and advice for the rest of us.

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Once again, we’ll do a drawing for a beautiful hand-crafted pen made by my good friend, author and craftsman, Steve Hooley. (Look for Steve’s comment about the history of the pen in today’s post.)

The name of each person who enters a comment today will be put into the drawing, and I will post the name of the winner after 9 o’clock pm CDT tonight. So join the conversation and earn a chance to win. Many thanks to Steve for donating the pen for today’s post.

Former winners are excluded from the drawing. (But not from commenting!)

Multiple award-winning and best-selling author Patricia Bradley shares her insights for writing series on The Craft of Writing Blog. Click To Tweet

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Welcome back to the Craft of Writing blog, Patricia Bradley, and thank you for joining us!

Thank you for inviting me! I love being on your blog.

What was your first series, and why did you decide to write it?

My first series was the Logan Point series, and Shadows of the Past is the first book in it. In fact it is my first published book and when I wrote it, I wasn’t thinking series. I was thinking, God, just one book…that’s all I’m asking. That shows how great our God is—I was thinking one, He was thinking three, which is what my first ever contract was for. I sent in two paragraphs describing what the other two books would be about and they accepted them. Then they added a fourth book.

I will add that none of the other books ended up being what I submitted. As I wrote one book, a minor character would demand to have their own story instead of the one I proposed. But my editor was fine with that.

As for why I wrote that first book, I’d taken a break from writing fiction in 2001 to work fulltime in the abstinence program. While there, I co-wrote an abstinence curriculum and a workbook, and never had a fiction thought in those eight years. Once those tasks were completed, I cut back to part time, and one day a woman popped in my head and told me someone was trying to kill her. I was ecstatic that I could kill people again…well figuratively.  And that was the first book in the Logan Point Series.

Can you tell us about the other series you’ve written?

After Gone Without a Trace, the third Logan Point book, my editor asked if I wanted to send in a proposal for another series. Is the sky blue??? I love cold cases and proposed a four-book series set in Memphis, and my editor accepted, and the Memphis Cold Case Novels were born. Again, I went off script and used only one of the ideas in the proposal.

When I proposed my third series, The Natchez Trace Park Rangers Series, I envisioned writing a story set around the Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee part of the Natchez Trace, but my editor fell in love with the idea of it being set in Natchez. Not a problem. I’d never been to Natchez and I immediately thought Research Trip!  I visited Natchez four times, loving every minute.

You’re beginning a fourth series now. Tell us what this one is about.

The Pearl River Series is set in the Cumberland Plateau near Chattanooga. I love the mountains and was familiar with the area since my sister lives near Chattanooga. Alexis Stone is a detective in Chattanooga when the first book, Counter Attack, begins. Her goal is to become Chattanooga’s first female chief of police, but takes a temporary (she thinks) side road to Pearl Springs in Russell County, after her grandfather, Sheriff Carson Stone, has a heart attack. He asks her to become his chief deputy. Here’s the back cover copy:

No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen’s Gambit Killer strikes again–this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex’s real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer’s calling card–a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it–cannot be ignored.


Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can’t believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can’t help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promises he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it’s too late.

I’m now working on the third book in this series, and I’m talking with my agent about where to set the next one, assuming my publisher will want another series from me. I already have a heroine in mind and she’s an investigative reporter and a minor character in the Pearl River series.

How do you keep a series fresh after readers become familiar with the stories?

I’m not sure I have the answer to that question. After Counter Attack, each book features different protagonists with the characters in Counter Attack playing secondary roles, so the reader becomes acquainted with new characters. And every book has a different crime.

How do you handle the situation where a reader jumps into the middle of a series without reading the first book?

All of my books are stand-alones, although there are spoilers in the later books. A stand-alone is a book that doesn’t require a reader to have knowledge provided in a previous book. Each of my series is connected mostly by the setting, and I think it helps that there is a fresh crime to be solved with different characters.

What advice would you give an author who’s considering writing a series?

Keep a series bible with the pertinent information about each character and the setting. I write in Scrivener, and the program has all the characters where it is easy to look back and check details like eye color, age, that sort of thing. Before I had Scrivener, I had a spread sheet where I kept that information, but that meant I had to leave my writing page to go look it up unless I’d printed it out. Which I never seemed to remember to do.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?

You can find out more about me on my two websites: patriciabradleybooks.com and https://ptbradley.com, where I have blog twice a week. On Tuesdays I have a mystery question for my readers to figure out, and on Fridays I blog about books I’ve recently read. I also blog at Christians Read and the Suspense Sisters.

And you can find me at these social media sites:

Twitter: @ptbradley1

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/patriciabradleyauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ptbradley1/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ptbradley/


Thank you, Patricia, for being with us today.

Thanks for having me! It was fun.

Multiple award-winning and best-selling author Patricia Bradley shares her insights for writing series on The Craft of Writing Blog. Click To Tweet


USA Today best-selling author, Patricia Bradley is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in suspense, a Selah suspense winner. She was a Carol and a Daphne du Maurier finalist. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Point series, the Memphis Cold Case Novels, and the Natchez Trace Park Rangers. She is now hard at work on the third book in her new Pearl River series set in the Cumberland Plateau area above Chattanooga. The first book in the series, Counter Attack was released May 16, 2023. The second book, Fatal Witness, releases on February 6, 2024.
Patricia Bradley teaches writing workshops and has been the keynote speaker at several writing conferences. She and her two cats call Northeast Mississippi home–the South is also where she sets most of her books, and when she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.








I’m excited to continue this year on the CRAFT OF WRITING blog by focusing on authors who write series. This month we welcome back award-winning author Randy Ingermanson. Randy is known for both his novels and his writing craft books on the Snowflake Method.

Randy has three series, but I’d like to concentrate on the two that cover the subject of ancient Jerusalem: The City of God series and the Crown of Thorns series. He has won two Christy Awards for excellence in Christian fiction.


Once again, we’re doing something fun for this interview. The name of each person who enters a comment will be put into the drawing for an ebook copy of Transgression, the Christy award-winning first book in the City of God series. So join the conversation and earn a chance to win.

(Former winners are excluded from the drawing.)


A chance to win one of Randy Ingermanson's Christy Award-winning novels on the Craft of Writing Blog. Click To Tweet


* * *

Welcome back, Randy Ingermanson, to the Craft of Writing blog and thank you for joining us!

Hi Kay, thanks for having me back!


What was your first published book, and why did you decide to write it?

The first book I published was a nonfiction book titled Who Wrote the Bible Code? Back around 1997, a journalist named Michael Drosnin published a best-selling book, The Bible Code, which alleged that Jewish mathematicians had unlocked a secret code in the Torah that contained information about current events, such as the Persian Gulf War and a nuclear apocalypse that would be coming in 2004. Drosnin was an atheist who believed that the Bible code had been inserted into the Torah by time-traveling space aliens. Yes, really.

A lot of people believed in this “Bible code,” although I think very few were on board with the bit about time-traveling space aliens. Jeffrey Satinover, a Jewish psychiatrist, then wrote a best-selling book, Cracking the Bible Code, in which he told the story of the small group of Jewish mathematicians who had allegedly discovered the codes. A major claim of the book was that the Torah contained unlimited amounts of information.

I wrote my book to examine this extraordinary claim. There’s a branch of math called “information theory” that tells you how much information is in a text. So I wrote a computer program to measure the amount of information in the Torah that might be embedded in the way claimed by the Bible code people.

I found nothing remarkable. My book, Who Wrote the Bible Code?, explained my conclusions and how I arrived at them.

About the same time, I finally sold my first novel, Transgression, a time-travel novel about a rogue physicist who goes back in time to kill the apostle Paul. I have a PhD in theoretical physics from UC Berkeley, so I read up a bit on what physicists were saying at that time about wormholes and time-travel. Kip Thorne and Michio Kaku were two prominent physicists who had written quite a lot on the subject.


I was captivated by your City of God series. Why did you choose ancient Jerusalem for your time travel novel, and did you always intend it to be a series?

The City of God series was born out of my complete failure to sell a historical novel set in first-century Jerusalem. I began writing fiction in 1988 and I spent years writing a very heavily-researched novel, Blood Avenger, set in Jerusalem in the last few years before the Jewish Revolt of AD 66-70.

This was a critical period in world history, and the repercussions of that revolt have lasted right down to the present day. It led to the birth of rabbinic Judaism as we know it. The revolt changed the direction of Christianity. And the geopolitics of the Middle East is still driven by the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 and the exile of Jews from Jerusalem.

Blood Avenger went to editorial board twice at a major publisher and failed both times. It got fairly far at a second publisher, who finally declined it. An editor at that publisher told my agent that they had three reasons for saying no: 1) Most of their readers were women, and all my characters were men, 2) Modern readers are not interested in ancient characters, 3) The book was 160k words, and that was just too long.

My agent called me with the bad news, and I immediately told him I had an idea for a new novel that would evade all those problems. The lead character would be a female archaeologist from the 21st century. She time-travels back to the first century and must find some way to rescue the apostle Paul from assassination by the physicist who created the wormhole. And I thought I could write the novel in about 100k words.

My agent told me to go for it, and I immediately got to work. Unfortunately, my agent died about a year later, so he never got to see the book in print. But I sold the book without an agent to an editor I met at a conference. And the book, to the complete astonishment of my editors and myself, won a Christy award in the Futuristic category.

One lesson I learned was this: Failure is only failure if you let it have the last word. I succeeded because one editor cared enough to tell me what was wrong, and because I found a way to eliminate the negatives and try again.

But I didn’t really imagine a series until the book won an award. By that time, I had a new agent, and he asked if I had a series in mind.

I thought about it and decided that the character my readers loved most was actually the setting—ancient Jerusalem. I had researched Jerusalem so much that my readers felt like I took them there. At that moment, the City of God series was born.


Can you tell us a little about each of the books in the City of God series?

Yes, but that entails some spoilers. I’ll keep them to a minimum.

Book 1 is titled Transgression. Rivka Meyers is an American archaeology student who grew up in a very unusual religious environment. She’s both Christian and Jewish—a Messianic Jew—and she’s now studying at UC Berkeley and she feels extremely uncomfortable. How can she reconcile her faith and her studies? She goes to Israel for the summer to work on an archaeological dig. There, she meets an Israeli theoretical physicist named Ari Kazan and his American experimentalist colleague, Damien West.

Damien is building a wormhole based on Ari’s theory. Against all odds, Damien succeeds. He, Rivka, and Ari end up in first-century Jerusalem. Damien’s secret plan is to assassinate the apostle Paul. When Rivka figures this out, she does all in her power to stop him. Ari is the odd man out. Ari hates what Christianity has done to his people for 20 centuries, and part of him would like Damien to succeed.

But Ari has a serious problem. For no good reason, Ari is in love with Rivka. Which is absurd. Ari is an atheist and hates Christianity. But there’s no explaining love. Against his will, Ari is crazy for Rivka. He’ll do anything to keep her from being killed in her nutball quest to save the apostle Paul.

Book 2 is titled Premonition. Damien has been neutralized, but the wormhole has collapsed, with no hope of it ever being reconstructed. Rivka and Ari are stuck on the wrong side, in first-century Jerusalem.

And they’re now married, despite extreme religious differences. Ari uses his knowledge of physics to become the best construction engineer in Jerusalem. Rivka has an eidetic memory (sometimes called a “photographic memory”). She’s read the history of the first century. She knows what’s coming. War will break out in the year AD 66.

But before that, in the year AD 62, a certain man James will be arrested by the high priest and executed. James is the brother of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the head of the Jesus Movement in Jerusalem. And Rivka knows him. She loves him as a father figure. She doesn’t want him to die. Ari claims that the laws of physics say you can’t change the past.

Rivka doesn’t care about the laws of physics. She aims to save James, by hook or by crook, whatever the cost. Her problem is that she’s a woman, and in patriarchal first-century Jerusalem, the premonitions of a woman are not considered believable. If Rivka is going to save James, she’s going to have to do it alone.

Book 3 is titled Retribution. Rivka now knows that she can’t change the past. The history books she read in the 21st century tell her that war is coming in AD 66. She knows she can’t prevent that. But the books also say that the Jesus Movement in Jerusalem will abandon Jerusalem shortly before the war.

The only problem is that the followers of Rabbi Jesus in Jerusalem show absolutely no urge to leave the city. And they won’t listen to a woman, because what does she know and how would she know it and why should anyone trust her?

And in the meantime, Ari’s knowledge of physics has brought him to the attention of certain young men who see a war coming. They want the war, and they intend to win. But they need war machines, better than the ones Rome has. So they need Ari’s extraordinary knowledge. Ari knows the coming war is doomed. And anyway, he’s a pacifist. But these young men are his friends. What’s the right, ethical, honest, intelligent thing for a physicist to do?


Your second series about ancient Jerusalem is Crown of Thorns. Please tell us a little about each of the books in that series.

First, I have to speak to the elephant in the room. Crown of Thorns is a series about Jesus of Nazareth. People have strong opinions about Jesus, and I can’t make everyone happy. I have to choose some point of view. My choice is to tell the story as known to us from the New Testament, with the viewpoint that the ancient Christian creeds about Jesus are true. The Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Chalcedonian Creed. All true. But that’s a problem.

These creeds were written in part to oppose Gnosticism. And many gnostics claimed that Jesus was all God and not a bit human. But the creeds insisted that yes, Jesus was God, but he was also human. One hundred percent human. Fully human, like us.

As I look around today, I see a lot of people who view Jesus through gnostic lenses. For them, Jesus is a Superman who has no kryptonite. He never worried, never sweated, never forgot anything. For these people, Jesus was fully omniscient. He knew Fortran without studying. He knew quantum mechanics. He knew tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal. All inside his three-pound brain. In fact, he knew it all as a newborn baby. As a developing fetus. As a one-celled embryo.

In my Crown of Thorns series, I’m trying to get back to the ancient creeds which insist on the full humanity of Jesus. A man who sweats. Who has real fears. Real tears. A baby who has to learn to talk. A boy who has to learn to read. A man who has to find his way in the world. A man deeply immersed in the Presence of God, yes. But a man with a body and a brain, and all the human limitations that go with having a body and a brain.

For this series, Jesus is not omnipresent. Not omnipotent. Not omniscient. What he does and what he knows are gifts from God, just as the things we all do and know are gifts from God.

Some will be offended by that. Maybe they want a more gnostic kind of Jesus—only God, not at all human. Maybe they want a modernist kind of Jesus—only human, not at all God. They are not my target audience.

Some will be intrigued by the creeds. They want to know if the creeds can make sense—that Jesus was fully God and fully man, both at the same time. I’m writing Crown of Thorns for them, and only for them.

Now I can answer your question:

Book 1 is titled Son of Mary. Yeshua of Nazareth has grown up in a village that loves him and honors him because he’s a righteous man. But the village believes that Yeshua’s mother Miryam seduced some man of the village before she was married. That unknown man must be the true blood father of Yeshua. Which man of the village was enticed into sin by the wicked Miryam? The scandal has rocked the village for 30 years.

Miryam claims she’s innocent. But the village thinks otherwise, and one man of the village wants her stoned. That man also insists that Yeshua is no legitimate son of his father.

Yeshua believes his destiny is to rule the kingdom of God on the throne of his ancestor David. But that’s not going to happen if his own village rejects his claim to be descended from David.

Yeshua’s father is now dead. If Yeshua wants to clear his mother’s name and clear his own path to be acclaimed as the son of David, he needs to do something. Drastic. Now.

Book 2 is titled Son of David. Yeshua has cleared his name and is free to pursue his goal of sitting on the throne of his father David. He’s got a small group of men who follow him, most from the village of Capernaum. Yeshua’s big problem is that the ancient prophecies don’t explain how the kingdom of God will come in. The Roman empire stands in the way. The entire Jewish world believes there will be no kingdom of God unless Rome is destroyed—by military might. But who will do the destroying?

One theory says that a military leader, a Mashiach, will rise up and lead an armed revolt against Rome, and God will bless the efforts of this man.

Another theory says that the Angel of the Lord will come down from heaven and destroy the enemies of God’s people. Then the Angel of the Lord will choose the anointed king of Israel to rule on the throne of David.

These two theories can’t both be right. Yeshua sees that if he follows the wrong one, his dream will fail. But he’s also beginning to question the basic idea he’s grown up with all his life—that the kingdom of God requires violence—either by a human Mashiach or a war-like Angel of the Lord.

How will Yeshua bring in the kingdom of God? He must make a decision. The fate of his people depends on it.


Do you have plans for future books in either of your series?

Yes, I expect that the City of God series will eventually have 7 or 8 or 9 books, and the Crown of Thorns series will have 4.


How do you keep a series fresh after readers become familiar with the stories?

It’s easy when the stories are driven by real history because the story of the world never ends. One problem gets solved, and then life moves on and some new problem leaps up.

Also, in my case, a major component of my fiction is the setting. For City of God, that setting is first-century Jerusalem. For Crown of Thorns, the setting expands to cover all of first-century Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. My readers absolutely love that setting, and it will never grow stale for them.

The reason readers love my setting is because of my research, which I began back in the 1980s. I’ve been to Israel several times and I’ve worked on archaeological digs in both Jerusalem and Galilee. I’ve got thousands of pictures that I took all over Israel. And I’ve read a crazy number of books about the history and archaeology and religion of first-century Israel.


How do you handle the situation where a reader jumps into the middle of a series without reading the first book?

I try to prevent that. I only promote Book 1 in each series, and I try to make it crystal clear that these books are in a series. If people ignore my excellent advice and start in the middle, that’s on their heads.


What advice would you give an author who’s considering writing a series?

Do it! The great thing about a series is that your marketing simplifies. You don’t have to promote all your books. You only need to promote Book 1 in each series. Then that book promotes the rest of the series.

Also, story development is a lot easier when you write a series. You’ve already worked out the characters and the setting in Book 1. Now all you need is a new plot for each book, and new character arcs (if your story has a character arc).

There is a key decision you have to make in writing a series. You must decide whether the series is:

  • One long story in several parts (like The Lord of the Rings)
  • Several complete stories that all combine to form a larger story (like Harry Potter)
  • Several complete stories that each stand alone (like the Jack Reacher series)

If the books in your series are part of a larger story, then you need to map out what that story is before you publish any of the books. And that takes a lot of work. It also requires the right sort of brain, because not all writers are wired to love planning. Some great writers hate planning and some love it, and you can’t change who you are and how you’re wired.

If the books in your series are not part of a larger story, then you can just write the books as they come to you. They don’t have to be in any particular order. You should maintain some sort of “story bible” to help you keep track of what happened and who the people are. Consistency matters. But you don’t have to worry about some overarching story arc.


Where can we find out more about you and your work?

For those interested in my books on how to write fiction, I have a website at www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com where I blog when the spirit moves me.

For those interested in my novels, I have a website at www.ingermanson.com where I blog for those interested in first-century Israel, and I run an email newsletter for those interested in my books.


Thank you, Randy, for being with us today.

Thanks for having me, Kay!


A chance to win one of Randy Ingermanson's Christy Award-winning novels on the Craft of Writing Blog. Click To Tweet


Randy Ingermanson wants to take you on an adventure to ancient Jerusalem. He has worked on archaeological digs in both Jerusalem and Magdala and thinks it’s fun to swing a pick, sift dirt, haul buckets, move stones, fill sandbags, wash pottery, and sweat like a pig with dozens of other crazy people. A favorite memory is facing down two pickpockets in a back alley in Jerusalem. On his bucket list is a wish to someday windsurf across the Sea of Galilee.

Randy likes to mix science, religion, history, romance, philosophy, and adventure into his novels. That’s just asking for trouble, but he doesn’t seem to know any better, and his friends are too kind to explain the matter.

He has a PhD from UC Berkeley in theoretical physics and has won two Christy awards for excellence in Christian fiction. Library Journal has called him “one of the best authors of biblical fiction today.”

Randy lives in the Pacific Northwest and works as a manservant to two surly and demanding cats. Visit Randy at www.ingermanson.com.

For a limited time, you can get a free e-book: “7 Tales About Jesus & His Family” at www.ingermanson.com/follow. You can’t get this e-book anywhere else.



I’m excited to continue this year on the CRAFT OF WRITING blog by focusing on authors who write series. This month, we welcome back my good friend, Steve Hooley, physician, craftsman, and author of the Mad River Magic fantasy series.


Again this month, we’re doing something fun for this interview. The name of each person who enters a comment will be put into the drawing for one of Steve’s hand-crafted pens made from wood that was around before the Civil War, so join the conversation and earn a chance to win.

(Because of the expense to mail internationally, only people with mailing addresses within the United States are eligible to win. Former winners are excluded from the drawing.)

I’ll post the name of the winner in the comments tonight around 9 PM CDT, so don’t forget to stop by to see if you won!



Here’s a look at Steve’s Mad River Magic fantasy series::


Win a chance for a handcrafted pen when you visit the Craft of Writing blog! Click To Tweet


Welcome back, Steve, to the Craft of Writing blog and thank you for joining us!

Thanks for inviting me, Kay. It’s good to be back.


Give us a little background. When did you first start writing?

I got a taste of the fun of fiction in high school, when we had a new English teacher, created a ghost student, and turned in assignments that pushed the limits of acceptability. It was great fun hearing her read the stories and entertain the class.

I got truly serious about writing in 2009, when my father was turning 90, had dementia, and had an unedited copy of his memoirs that had not been published. I spent that summer editing and organizing his book, self-published it, and presented a box of his books to him on his birthday. He didn’t understand what was happening, but the joy on his face as he autographed his books was priceless.

That hooked me on writing, and I began taking correspondence courses, reading every craft book I could get my hands on, and attending writer’s conferences.


This year we’re concentrating on writing series, and I know a little of the history of your work. Please share why you decided to write the series.

I had two unpublished books (adult thrillers). A small press had accepted the first book, then went bankrupt before it was published. I found an agent, who promptly forgot me. I had been following The Kill Zone, and decided it was time to go indie. I also realized that what I wanted to do was write for my grandchildren. The oldest were just starting school and kindergarten. I thought I would aim for 6-10 books and write middle-grade fantasy, hoping to have the series finished by the time my grandchildren were old enough to enjoy them.


Can you give us an overall description of the series?

The Mad River Magic series is “clean teen” fantasy, set in rural western Ohio, where I live. Each story is set in a different fantasy “organ system” (heart, skin, DNA, skeletal, immune system, etc.). Seven to nine cousins fly magic barrel carts (55-gallon oil drums with “turbo-levitators”), practice magic based on the Shawnee language (the Native Americans who lived in this area), and set out on missions to solve problems that are destroying the Mad River Valley.


There are six published books in the Mad River Magic series. How do you keep the series fresh, book after book?

Using different organ systems with each book means that the gang will have a new fantasy world to explore with each book. The number of grandchildren has grown as I’ve written, and each book has a different group of cousins going on the adventure to create different personality dynamics. Each book has a new major ally that is crucial in their survival and success. And the books are full of hidden symbolism for older readers who care to look for it.


How do you handle the situation where a reader jumps into the middle of a series without reading the first book or two?

That is a significant problem with so many cousins in the stories. I had asked the experts at The Kill Zone for their opinion of a “series update” – a chapter or a section of the appendix with a summary and background. The overall consensus was, “Don’t do it.” But with my last book, Perfect Strand, I lost a beta reader because of her frustration. I decided to depend on my own judgement, and added a section in the appendix with a description of each cousin, the family tree, and a tease about each of the previous books. I placed a very brief Preface as chapter one, letting readers know that a series update was available in the appendix, then got out of their way. I still introduce each cousin, when they appear in the story with a brief summary and background.


The latest book in the series is Perfect Strand. Give us an idea of what this book is about.

The theme is the Covid “religion.” An ancient wizard, Vid, at the end of the dark ages, learns that he can pass traits from one generation of dragon flies to the next with his primitive genetic experiments. He determines to pass his genetic code into the future and become immortal by freezing dragonfly larvae and storing them from 1313 to 2020 high in the Transylvania mountains, ready to be unleashed on the world by his descendant, Vid VII.

The Mad River Magic cousins become involved when mammoth Nautilus shells begin popping up in the Mad River Valley, each shell filled with prisoners who have been captured to further spread Vid’s genetic code. When Scout, member of the Mad River Magic group, is captured, the gang goes into action.


How far do you intend to take the series?

My next book, based on the underground world of Central American fentanyl trafficking, may be my last book of the series. I am eager to start an adult thriller series that has captured my imagination.


What advice would you give an author who’s considering writing a series?

First, make certain that is something you are really passionate about and will hold your interest for years. Look for an arc for the whole series that will hold it together, but still give you freedom to keep introducing new elements. Don’t make the mistake I did of having too many characters to confuse the reader. Consider a “series update” in the appendix, announced with a very brief note at the beginning. And use the brief description of each book as a tease to interest readers in going back and reading earlier books. Consider who your beta readers will be. I have found that it is very difficult to get teenagers to find the time to beta read, when they are involved in sports and other after-school activities. Also, consider giving away a novella or short story, that introduces and gives some of the history of the main character. This can be delivered free by BookFunnel.


Tell us more about you. What interests do you have outside of writing?

I have always been intrigued by the inventive process, working with woodworking, landscape design, graphic design, house design, and finally writing. My current interests are writing, woodturning (legacy pens), and caring for my wood lot – my enchanted forest.


Where can we find out more about you and your work?

My website is – SteveHooleyWriter.com – where you can learn more about my books, and see some of the legacy pens I have made from historical wood and offer for sale.

If you sign up for my newsletter, you can get a free novella, Bolt’s Story, that is a prequel to the Mad River Magic series.


Thank you, Steve, for being with us today.

Thanks for inviting me!

Win a chance for a handcrafted pen when you visit the Craft of Writing blog! Click To Tweet



Steve Hooley is a physician/writer. He has published seven short stories in four anthologies, his father’s memoirs, and is currently working on a middle-grade fantasy series, Mad River Magic. Each of the six books in the series finds a group of young cousins in a new adventure. The books are:

THE HEMLOCK, a middle-grade fantasy set in rural Western Ohio. THE TETRA-CHROME SPIRAL-SKYWAY is set in a giant DNA molecule above the Mad River Valley. CRYPTOFLUX CALCIUM CAPER takes place in a large cavern along the Mad River Valley. HEART BRAIN 180 plays out in a giant circulatory system inhabited by giant chess pieces and playing cards. UNITED WE STAND, DUDE! takes place in the skin and subcutaneous world. PERFECT STRAND is set in a giant Nautilus shell and is centered around the Vid religion.

Steve’s other works include entries in the anthologies OUT OF THE STORM, DANCING UP A STORM, and FAITH LIKE A MUSTARD SEED.

He also contributed to CHILDHOOD REGAINED, a charity anthology to raise money for and awareness of child labor in Asia.

Steve lives with his wife, Cindy, in rural western Ohio. They have five children and nine grandchildren. When not writing, he makes legacy pens and takes care of his enchanted forest. To learn more, please visit SteveHooleyWriter.com.