East Yorkshire Villages in The Stonemason’s Secret: Bainton, Harpham, Huggate, and Hutton Cranswick

Picture of map with hand

East Yorkshire is not as well known as other parts of England, but it is home to many medieval churches and sites. For The Stonemason’s Secret, I set the action in Beverley, York, and several East Yorkshire villages. I previously wrote about medieval buildings and sites in Beverley, so here is more information about the … Read more East Yorkshire Villages in The Stonemason’s Secret: Bainton, Harpham, Huggate, and Hutton Cranswick

Reading for Escape During Hard Times

We read for many reasons, and escape is often one of them. During hard times, whether global ones we face during the coronavirus pandemic of spring 2020 or more personal ones, getting lost in a good story gives some relief from concerns. How Reading Helped Me Escape In the winter of 2001, while my marriage … Read more Reading for Escape During Hard Times

Medieval Sites to Visit in Beverley England

Medieval sites to visit in Beverley England with picture of Beverley Minster nave arch and pier

Beverley is a town in East Yorkshire, England. Often overshadowed by York, 30 miles to the northwest, Beverley is home to a number of medieval buildings and sites. Beverley is also 10 miles south of where I lived in England. I visited quite often, volunteering at a charity shop, researching my thesis in the Minster … Read more Medieval Sites to Visit in Beverley England

Researching My Novel with 21st Century Technology

Researching my novel with 21st century technology showing a computer screen with images and maps of East Yorkshire England.

Research has changed in the 21st century. With the internet and an ever-expanding collection of online resources, the ability to learn about events, people, and places has never been easier. These changes were obvious when I began research for my novel, The Stonemason’s Secret. With degrees in history and art history, I want to be … Read more Researching My Novel with 21st Century Technology

Reading Memories – Mysteries and Adventure

Reading Memories of mysteries and adventure books.

I was blessed to grow up in a home with parents who enjoyed reading and who made sure there were plenty of things for me to read. I remember some books in the house, but mostly it was library books we checked out and a subscription to National Geographic. These days I find myself reading … Read more Reading Memories – Mysteries and Adventure

Writing the First Draft During NaNoWriMo

Hands typing on keyboard with blank screen

Thinking of participating in NaNoWriMo? Below I share my experience of doing it for the first draft of The Stonemason’s Secret. What Is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is for participants to write 50,000 words on their novel during the 30 days of November. That averages out to 1667 words … Read more Writing the First Draft During NaNoWriMo

Medieval Minstrel Carvings in Beverley Minster

Three carvings of medieval minstrels in Beverley Minster playing nakers, harp, and guitar.

The Stonemason’s Secret, my forthcoming novel, follows the adventures of art historian Sarah Walker. While doing research for her dissertation, she discovers mysterious symbols carved on several of the minstrel figures in Beverley Minster. She has to find the clues, figure out how to read them, and recover the powerful Cup of Jamshid before the … Read more Medieval Minstrel Carvings in Beverley Minster

The Stonemason’s Secret – Beginning Idea

The Stonemason's Secret Beginning Idea with image of medieval carving of man playing drums

“I’ll never write fiction,” I said. “I have no interest in writing fiction and besides, I have no ideas for stories.” This is what I told myself when I started writing two years ago. At the time I was drawn to personal essays, to telling my stories. I wrote and I wrote, pages and pages … Read more The Stonemason’s Secret – Beginning Idea

The Stonemason’s Secret – First Revisions

The Stonemason's Secret First Revision with printed manuscript.

After the thrill of printing off the first draft, I took a couple of days off then began a read-through. The idea was to sit back and catch the big things – where the plot didn’t make sense, information that needed to be added in, things like that. But I kept seeing, and marking, misspelled … Read more The Stonemason’s Secret – First Revisions

A Year In England – March

A Year In England - March black text on yellow background

I think of March as the beginning of Spring. Not the day of the spring equinox, but just the calendar turning to the month. Growing up in Arkansas, the weather definitely changed in March. While we would get cold fronts moving through, overall the weather was warmer and the days were growing longer. Daffodils appeared, … Read more A Year In England – March