Published September, 2013
The dark water of the Hudson River isn’t the only blackness looming in the distance of the quaint river town of Sleepy Hollow. Two hundred years of secrets and lies are bleeding into the present, and high school seniors, Hunter Morrissey and Rowen Corbett, find themselves linked with unseen forces shrouded in mystery and violence.
Truths, buried and long forgotten, have risen at a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Only Hunter and Rowen hold the key to locking the past in the past, and setting old wrongs to right. Can justice be served? Can the two find a way to straddle both worlds and solve the mystery when they don’t understand the clues? Inspired by true historical events that surround the village of Sleepy Hollow and the famous legend that shares its name, this Young Adult Horror takes you on a journey full of history and suspense with a splash of romance and the paranormal.
The Importance of World Building and Character Development
Most people live ordinary lives. They have a network of friends and family about them that help make them who and what they are. They have daily routines and conflicts that come up from time to time that they have to overcome. So why would it be any different for characters in a book?
With the exception of the word ‘ordinary’, developing your character and their lives and loves is important in order to paint a picture for the reader. What makes this character who they are, where they’ve been and where they are going? It’s necessary to show the reader what is happening in the point of view of the character speaking rather than tell them. A reader has to feel like it’s really happening, they have to be able to imagine and sense everything the characters feel, see and sense. The way an author accomplishes that is through rich description and to the point dialogue.
This is all part of world building, giving the reader a birdseye view of the character’s life and surroundings…enmeshing them right in the thick of their conflicts and how they go about making choices and finding their resolutions. Good world building, description and dialogue are what allow the reader to get lost in a book…it’s what brings the characters to life in their imagination and where hopefully, they linger while anticipating the next book in the series. J
The places and events in my stories are always born of personal experience. (Paranormal relationships notwithstanding!) My usual haunts—New York, New Orleans, Maine, Montreal—are featured heavily since they are the places I love the most. I also love to travel, and many of the places I’ve been lend their flavor to the stories as well. But if it’s something unfamiliar, a topic or procedure, etc., I will contact experts in the field and pepper them with questions, or scour books on the subject. These are essential elements when world building. You have to write what you know or you will be spotted as a fake.
I’d have to say my favorite part of writing and world building is falling in love with my characters. They inspire me in so many ways. And while I know that each one of them is just an extension of me, it’s great to be able to live a hidden part of myself out loud through them. It’s truly their gift. But, on the flip side, what I enjoy least about writing is the mechanics of it…all the editing and fact checking and so on. Necessary…absolutely. Fun…not so much. All in all I think of myself as lucky…I get to do what I love for a living, so it never really ‘feels’ like work.
I'm a New Yorker, born and bred, and for the most part my stories and my characters embody the grit and complexity of the city. An avid traveler, I use my experiences from around the world in all my books. There isn't a place my characters live or travel to that I haven't been myself.
Like most authors, my love affair with the written word started as a child with the books I read. Even today, I love to read almost as much as I love to write. My favorite stories are the ones that transport me, that bring me to places and introduce me to characters that leave me breathless...the ones that spark the fire of my imagination, allowing me to dream in the world of 'what if?'
I've always been a scribbler, and from the time I could write my name I've been making up stories. So it was no surprise when I earned degrees in both Journalism and Fine Art, but after working in the trenches of Madison Avenue as a Graphic Artist, I decided to do what I love most full time. Write.
In the meantime I am also a founding member and former President of The Paranormal Romance Guild, a not-for-profit organization for readers and authors of the genre...and when I'm not 'bichok' (but in a chair hands on keyboard), I'm spending time with my husband and our three kids, traveling to exciting, romantic places ...for inspiration, of course!