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

Researching My Novel with 21st Century Technology

Researching my novel with 21st century technology with images on computer screen

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

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

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

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 – 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

A Year In England – November: Beverley

A Year In England November: Beverley with images of medieval minstrel figures

November 1988 saw me more settled into the house, the village, and England. There were still plenty of new things going on. The first trip to Scotland was a visit to Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Aberdeen. Thanksgiving was the first holiday I celebrated outside the States. It was a bit surreal to realize that for … Read more