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Thursday, July 28, 2011


Isn’t that the old saying?  Success is ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration. Boy, does it feel that way to me.  Fortunately, ideas come fairly quickly and I have lots of plots rattling around in my brain, but the perspiration comes when I’m actually writing.

I’m not big on sitting for hours at my desk (especially when the sun is out!).  There are just so many other things I want to do.  Not that I’m complaining.  Oh, no—this job is the best in the world.  I’m just better at it in the winter, with a cup of coffee or tea steaming beside me and the clouds are thick with rain, and the air has that damp chill in it.

Anyway, as I frown at the computer, teeth worrying my lower lip as I try to find the right turn of phrase, my phone at my side, the dog at my feet, I don’t really perspire, but I do “sweat” each scene until I feel it’s right.

As for the inspiration, I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what’s recently inspired me.  Let’s start with the “WICKED” series I’m writing with Nancy Bush, set on the moody Oregon Coast.

See what I mean?  Can’t you just see Siren Song, the home of the colony along these rocky shores.

In BORN TO DIE, I introduce a rescue dog.  Part pitbull and lab and who-knows-what.  That dog was inspired by my son’s rescue dog who was a big part of our family for over ten years. He passed away last year and so I decided to immortalize him in a book.  A very special dog, he was truly an inspiration.  RIP Bonzi . . .


Monday, July 25, 2011

At the Movies

Since BORN TO DIE is out this week, I thought you might want to see the book trailers for BORN TO DIE and WICKED LIES . . . so grab a handful of popcorn, or 3 Sour Patch Kids, or a couple of Milk Duds and get ready for some serious action . . . all in less than five minutes!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Lies (dead) Beneath

Since I’m a major animal lover, I have encouraged the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and yes, the raccoons to hang out at my deck. “Bird seed, suet, and sunflower seeds for everyone! Bread and apples!  Come one, come all!”

Kind of a bad idea as it turned out.

It was the rats who answered the call! It seems that they heard there was a buffet and took up residence under the boards and into the crawl space under the house.  I wouldn’t have known they existed. (No, I didn’t pick up the obvious clue of the dogs working their way under the very low deck and barking madly!)  My pug, Jackie O-No! even got stuck a couple of times while Magnus, the sweet-tempered beagle who turns into the Terminator at the sight of a squirrel was able to slither out.

What clued me in?  The stench of one of my guests—or two or three—having the nerve to die somewhere near the vents that open to the bedroom and laundry room—and oh, yeah, the garage didn’t smell so sweet either, despite repeated cleanings.

I received lots of advice about how to get rid of the smell—everything to vinegar to oil of wintergreen placed on cotton balls in the vents.  (This ended up smelling like a rat had died while choking on an Altoid).

What to do?

To be clear:  I was NOT crawling under the house!  I might write about creepy stuff, but I’m a big, fat chicken when it comes to facing the unknown enemy in a tight, dark, hot space.  No thanks!  I called in the professionals who came complete with knowledge, overalls, gas masks and more nerve than I had.

The result:
Zero carcasses found (though much rat-evidence discovered—don’t ask).  
            One wallet considerably lighter.
            One or two lingering whiffs of “dead smell” as I fold laundry.
            One writer somewhat less anxious about what lies or lives beneath.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


For the past few months, I’ve been spending most of my time in my sister’s basement.  Now, before you think of creepy, cobwebby dingy spaces, understand this was a full bedroom suite with bath, walk-in closet, and stunning view of the lake.  Oh, and a small kitchen, media room, pool table room, second bedroom . . .you get the general idea . . .

You might think—Geez, what’s the deal?  Is Lisa Jackson just a mooch?

Well . . .yes, maybe a little.  There is a slight chance I overstayed my welcome, but I started out in the basement for legit reasons.

I was recovering from back surgery.  Nancy graciously decided to take care of me after my stint in the hospital.  No, she’s not usually prone to being Nancy Nurse, but I was in a bind.  She cooked for me, washed my clothes, did my errands, you name it.  (I consider this payback for the way she used to sneak my clothes out of my closet when we were in high school.  She’d show up later in the day wearing my ultra cool outfits.  How’s that for nervy?)

But I digress.  Back to my eviction.  Eventually all of Nancy’s good deeds paid off. I healed and just never bothered to grab my dog and move out.

Why would I?  With a king sized bed and a gi-normous flatscreen, even a special chair for me to write in (when I wasn’t watching TV or staring at the lake) I was set. Yep, I settled in for the long haul.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end, right?  Nancy just happened to find a whole ‘nother family to fill her basement.  (Now how did that happen?) so I got the boot!

It’s not so bad though.  I did go home and it’s great . . . I just may have to upgrade my television though.  Bigger really is better!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

So Harlan Coben and I were on a panel at the RWA conference in NYC this past week.  Since I’m a big fan of his, I was very excited and I had planned to share some uber-exciting pictures of the event.  But you know what they say about “the best laid plans . . .”  Of course the person who worked the camera, couldn’t get it into focus—uh, I know, it HAS auto focus—and all of the pics of the event are very blurry.
What I can show you is my hotel, or more precisely the exterior of the hotel—doesn’t every ritzy spot in New York come with its own gi-normous hand attached to it?—and tell you that the city was hot, teeming with people and noisy as all get-out.
In a nutshell:  I had a blast!
Who needs pictures anyway.  Right?