Behind the Scenes of ‘The Fire-Pit’

Until I began writing The Fire-Pit I never thought about what went into writing a novel. At the library or bookstore, if an authors’ name or a cover caught my eye, I read the blurb on the back. If it sounded interesting I took the book home. It was fairly easy to find an entertaining story.

The last eighteen months have been an adventure. Grab a camp chair and join me by the fire.


A great story idea came to me in the shower. Guess I ought to write a book.

Yep, that’s how it started. With an idea. Part of my idea involved a food truck. I spent many hours learning everything I could about food trucks.

I spent days creating my characters. I found images on google. I interviewed each character, asking 40 in-depth and probing questions. I learned a lot about them.

Despite being scared I was ready to write. So I did the research all over again. I repeated this process for six months.

Camp NaNoWriMo

There was a blog, written by indie author Donna B. McNicol, that I regularly read. She announced in July that she was super busy writing all of August’s blog posts ahead of time because of Camp NaNoWriMo. I remember eagerly following the link to discover what this camp was all about. Camp NaNoWriMo is where writers come together and for a month write like crazy. You can do anything, a novel, a screenplay, blog posts, non-fiction, newsletters, or research for an upcoming project. I decided it might just be the kick in the pants I needed to escape this research quagmire I’d fallen into.

I wrote every day for two and a half weeks. On day 17 my characters went on strike citing unsafe working conditions. They claimed boredom had almost resulted in several of them dying. They refused to come back to work until I’d watched a few action adventure movies. I argued with them. They won. Continue reading “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Fire-Pit’”

Change is Good

I wiped my sweaty palms on my purple corduroy pants. The clock read 9:45. A perky pop song filled the car. From the moment I parked, I’d been unsuccessfully talking myself into opening the door and walking to the large old building. In fifteen minutes, the snow had covered the windows and the temperature inside the car had dropped. I shivered. Now or never, I thought.

Grabbing my messenger bag I hurried across the parking lot through the deepening snow. My hand shook as I punched the extension number into the phone hanging on the wall in the otherwise empty vestibule. The phone rang and rang and rang. My stomach cramped; had I written the number down wrong? Why did I make such stupid mistakes? The door opened and closed behind me, I turned, hoping whoever it was could help me.

“Are you Jill?” the snow-covered woman asked me. Continue reading “Change is Good”