Friday, May 29, 2009

June 6 Forcing the Hand of God Book Signing!

I'm so excited to tell you that I have an upcoming book signing! I'll be at The Bethel Avenue Book Company in Port Orchard, WA, on June 6 from 1-4 pm. Come stop by and see me!

I will sign copies of my novel Forcing the Hand of God. It's always fun to meet readers—so don't be shy!

Eight other local authors will be joining me for this fun way to kick off the summer reading season! (There's nothing quite like enjoying a good book on a sunny afternoon!) Bring some friends and expect to discover great new books and meet local authors!

Find full event details here.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Forget tuning in at five forty-five, like Rachel and Heather had to in Forcing the Hand of God: you can hear Captain Midnight anytime you want! I found archives of Chicago’s own WGN’s daring radio series online. Have a listen! Pull up a chair; the Ovaltine’s on me!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meet the Flying Tigers

To paint an accurate picture of Major Rodger Brown, I needed to understand the real Flying Tigers, the American Volunteer Group.

I spent a lot of time researching the fighter pilots for my book Forcing the Hand of God. This is one of the best sites—their official site. You can get a comprehensive history of the Flying Tigers and read some personal accounts from the airmen.

Monday, May 18, 2009


You know how something turns out more magically than you could have ever planned yourself?

Back in 1982 I was writing my very first draft of Forcing the Hand of God. My husband happened to mention that he had an aunt named Ada who lived in Chicago. I was stunned to “recognize” her when he showed me this picture.

Doesn’t she look just like Ada? Her hair looks windswept from her busy life. Her eyes have that amazing serenity that sets her apart. What do you think: does she look like the Ada you pictured as you read the book?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Flying Tigers Action Figure?

Look what I found! First of all, the Flying Tigers were a real group of fighters in WWII China. But did you know there are Flying Tigers action figures? I didn’t—until I saw this on Toy Haven’s blog. Who knew! Click here to see one action figure, and here to see another!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On Writing Forcing the Hand of God

Like many writers, I didn’t intend to write a novel. For my master’s thesis in the University of Washington's Creative Writing program, I had a collection of short stories. One day, I joined a professional writers’ group hosted by Jean Bryant, who challenged me to see that what I had was not a collection of shorts, but the guts of a novel (thank you, Jean!). From there, Forcing the Hand of God was off and running with me chasing after.

I met with some surprises along the way. Ada came to me the most naturally—and then her relationship with Rodger in turn helped me understand him. I was fascinated by how Rodger’s and Ada’s emotional connection and sexual tension illuminated their inner lives.

You may have already guessed one of the hardest parts of writing historical fiction is keeping a tangle of dates, places, and facts all on a timeline! I changed the timeline for the action in Kunming, China and that proved to be a nightmare. I had to painstakingly string together all the subsequent actions, while keeping my characters in tow. Those of you who have written historical fiction know this agony of late nights, black coffee, and endless editing! But it does pay off.

Are there any writers out there who have similar stories? I'd especially love to hear from historical fiction authors!