Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Do your characters make you suffer from insomnia like author, Toby Neal?


Welcome to my blog Toby. I loved your post about insomnia, and must say I have experienced it quite often myself. Mind you, I don't recall having to terrorize one of my poor characters into making them even crazier, but then again, maybe I should. It could add a new element to my one of my angel stories!!

How lucky can you get living in Hawaii!!??
I wanna be you...

Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age 5 and has been published in magazines and won several writing contests. After initially majoring in Journalism, she eventually settled on mental health as a career and loves her work, saying, “I’m endlessly fascinated with people’s stories.” She enjoys many outdoor sports including bodyboarding, scuba diving, beach walking, gardening and hiking. She lives in Hawaii with her family and dogs. Toby credits her counseling background in adding depth to her characters–from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous and vulnerable heroine in the Lei Crime Series.

Last night I had insomnia. This is not all that unusual; as a ‘thinker’ I am unduly burdened by brain processing, and I’d been knocked out all last week by a cold and resulting cold medicine, and last night was the first time I went to bed without chemical help. Even so I did an afternoon workout hoping to be too tired for the ol’ sleeplessness to come back.

Didn’t work. At around 2 a.m. I woke up (unable to see clock without my glasses, and putting them on is admitting the insomnia is really bad, so the time remains a fuzzy red figment in the dark) and was plagued by the sense that the bad guy in my sequel is just not scary enough.

Creepy, yes. Disturbing. The potential for a great deal of gore is also there, which I’ve handled with buckets, tarps and scene cutaways (I tend to be of the suggestive rather than explicit school when it comes to violence) and he’s nicely crazed with a well developed pathology. Even so, he’s just not ‘popping’ for me… and if it’s not working for me it’s definitely not going to be working for readers.

So in my insomniac bed I thought of an old standby suspense technique—the ticking clock. I had it in there, but an early death of the victim sort of killed it (ha! Pun!) and so today I did what I have to do to keep track of time—printed out a calendar of the month, stretched out the timeline and extended hope for the hopeless. I gave the victim a clear expiration date that the reader knows and Detective Leilani Texeira doesn’t, and had the guy who, in the original, lay in a coma and was peacefully slaughtered, wake up and demand to know what the hell was going on.

And suddenly, the story’s scary. Urgent. A date at the top of each chapter begins a new day and reminds you the dude in the cave is going to buy it if Lei doesn’t get off her toned ass and out of the pool with the hot developer  and track down the madman.

I feel a heady power— I can manipulate time! I can bring back the dead, and invent entire bureaucracies! I can just freakin’ make stuff up, and when it doesn’t work, I can completely change it!

 I love being a writer. Even the insomnia—when it amounts to something useful. Unfortunately sometimes I forget the brilliant ideas I have in that effortless gray between sleeping and awake.

Do you have insomnia? How do you handle it, and what usually brings it on?

Free today as a Promotion so get a copy now!!! 

Torch Ginger, the sequel to Blood Orchids, will be released May 2012.

Visit Toby at her website and follow her on twitter and facebook

For this Leap into Books Blog Hop I will be happy to present the lucky winner with a $10 Amazon Gift certificate. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address. And, I'll be adding your names to my newsletter list, so I hope you won't mind getting a periodic letter from me telling of new releases and special news!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Step #4 of author Mimi Barbour's thirteen promotional steps


4. Facebook – Does it work? Are there authors who don’t have a Facebook fan page? Not sure that I get a lot of sales through this forum, but I must tell you, it is a great way to keep in touch with others. Just wish I had more time to spend there.
p.s. if you want to like me here...please...please do!!

My truth about Facebook

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this phenomenon?  It is what it is!  A way to find old friends, a way to stay in touch with new ones and a way to track what your kids are up to….!?? (wink!) As for an author who has several things to do every minute of the day trying to produce the next bestseller, spending time playing on facebook seems just… well… naughty.

I'd love to go there and like and comment on other's posts, get caught up in what is happening in my friend's lives, but whenever I do so, I know I should be writing and the guilt builds. So many other things seem to take priority. But maybe I'm the idiot who's passing up the best way to let readers know about my great stories.....what do I know? I must also mention that there are two pages attached to Facebook. The Fan page and the regular page. All the action seems to be happening on the regular one, but of course that's where the bulk of people have friended me since the beginning.

Every once in a while, I do post information. But it's almost always about the job…about a new blog, or a colleague's book, or my own. Then I feel like a jerk because I'm using this media solely for promo stuff and not to be linking up with friends and touching them.

I asked my husband (who has never used facebook) about his views.  He had two things to say. 

1. People don't want to be left out.  – How accurate is that? Personally, I know many friends who can't stand to miss anything that might have been written while they were away from the computer. It's a bit sad in a way. Even worse, they worry that they don't have as many friends or post as many photos or have as much to say as others.

2. He then added that he thought it was an "I" thing. That rang true for me…and maybe it's why I don't tend to get on there as much as I could. Because whenever I do, it's all about me - my books and my career. If I can't interact properly with family and friends, pay attention to their lives, then I feel sort of bad about slapping my advertising in front of them all the time…so I don't.

Now, having blathered on about my feelings, I must also add a truth here that should embarrass me to admit. I've never really understood Facebook and how it truly works. I know there are stats a person can follow up on, ways to advertise, groups we can follow, and a whole lot more, but I've never had the time or energy to try and learn how this all works. In fact, I'd sincerely welcome anyone who reads this blog to contact me at mimi@mimibarbour.com and offer to write a post about Facebook for me to put here on Believe! In this way I could follow up on my lack of knowledge and so could my followers.

(Chapter Thirteen)

     Ten minutes after Annie arrived at her apartment exhausted, weepy, and cranky, Tyler knocked his unique rap. She rose slowly from her prone position on the sofa, went to open the door, and leaned on it.
     Just looking at him banished her blues. He started talking before she could say a word. “Hi! Long time no see! I got your call, but you’d left already when I tried to return it. Baby doll, you look like someone who’s been working way too hard.”
     Flutters of apprehensive dissolved, and she smiled thankfully. Her old buddy stood there. “It has gone way past working hard. We’re moving into unmitigated insanity around the office. I’ve wanted to stop by and visit, but every night as I get home, all I can think of is my bed.”
     “Too tired to date your Latin lover?”
     “Latin lover? Oh, you mean Sergio. I haven’t seen him since the first time we went out, and I won’t be seeing him again. Appears he has the knack of picking out na├»ve idiots and misusing them. I thought he was special. Funny, my memories of our date are blurred, sorta mixed up, but they make me feel so... Oh, I don’t know!” She shuddered, a movement both visible and telling. “Goes to show you, my judgment of men is flawed—or should we say nonexistent.” She sighed long and deep, then scrunched her face as she grinned at him. “Oh, well, at least I have you.”
     “Be still my heart!” He clutched his chest and laughed. An uproarious laugh that seemed disproportionate to the humor of her comment. But then, what the hell did she know about the strange labyrinth of a man’s mind?
     She waited for him to stop chortling, and then she asked, “Did you need me for anything beside entertaining you? ’Cause if not, I’m for a hot bath and my bed.”
     “I’m sorry you’re so tired, sweetheart, but you do have to eat, and I have Lea waiting in my apartment downstairs. I’ve promised her a pizza at Dominic’s. She said she’s been trying to reach you. Seems she’s ready to open up about what’s been going on in her life. We can’t let this opportunity pass.”
     “Lea? She phoned earlier when I was in an important meeting. Which reminds me, I’ve got to tell you about what’s been happened lately. Another corporation’s been buying up Montaro’s shares. Everyone says it’s a takeover. We haven’t seen the new CEO who owns the big conglomerate, but he’s due to arrive any day now. The office is in a huge turmoil. Everyone’s panicking about their jobs and their future with the company.”
     “You’ll be okay, Annie. Things have a way of turning out. This new company will be keeping on the key people for a while at least, won’t they?”
     The name Annie sounded foreign after being called only Anna for so long. She liked it. “I guess so. I’m more worried about Hugo, my boss. His wife showed up after being missing for four years, and she stuck around for a week or so and then took off again. He’s been frantic, trying to find her. He looks like hell. And now he has this mess at the office to contend with. The poor man is a basket case.”
     “Speaking of cases, we’d better go and visit with Lea. Maybe we can find an hour to talk later, and you can tell me all about the craziness in your life then.”
     “Tyler, I can barely see, I’m so exhausted. I wasn’t planning to eat a big meal. Eggs and toast, a bath, and eight full hours of sleep are what I need.” She watched his face close down, affability instantly erased. The disappointment—and, yes, disapproval—was clear. He turned away.
     Conflicting thoughts bombarded her.
     I need sleep; tomorrow threatens to be a bitch of a day.
     It’s Tyler and Lea. I want to go with them. Besides, I need to see Lea and make sure she’s okay. And my heart needs to be with Tyler.
     Don’t be an idiot…
     Annie stopped listening to the screeching of her conscience. Anxiety for the troubled teen replaced lethargy. She couldn’t change it anymore than she could change the happy glow of anticipation that came with the thought of spending an evening with her best buddy once again.
     “Okay, Ty. Give me five minutes to have a quick shower and throw on some jeans, and I’ll join you.” She knew her voice conveyed the enthusiasm she couldn’t hide.
     He stopped and took a few seconds before turning back to face her, but when he did the friendliness had reappeared. “Take ten. Trust me, Little Bit, any amount of time I have to wait for you is time well spent.” His wink made her laugh, and his petting fingers on her cheek made her heart quicken like an idling motor getting more gas.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Step #3 of author Mimi Barbour’s thirteen promotional steps


Step #3 - Newsletter
Soon after my website was up and running, I asked my webmistress, who was also a multi-published author, what were her suggestions for the best promotional tactics. She suggested starting up a newsletter. Her idea was that anyone who signs onto your newsletter is interested in what’s happening to you, and they will stay with you as long as you don’t inundate them with too much 'yada yada' (my words) about inconsequential nothings – write when you have news! This has been one of my best-loved choices. Shamelessly, I started the newsletter using all my personal friends’ names, and then we set it up on my website that anyone who wants to follow me can enter their e-mail address. It’s lovely to see new people every time I send out another blurb, which I only do when I actually have something super to tell them (new contracts, books being released, etc.)

After three years, I still enjoy writing the newsletter, but I’m not sure if it’s a strong promotional tool. I do have the ability to see how many people open them, but I have no idea if they actually read my news, or if any sales can be directly attributed. I only write the newsletters periodically during the year, keeping to my promise of sharing the big news and not just the regular small stuff like a new review, or that I finished another chapter in the WIP, etc.

I have about 350 people on the list, but since I started blogging just recently, I mostly direct everyone to my blog rather than my website and so the ‘sign-ups’ from that avenue have slowed down some. Soon, I will figure out how to hook the newsletter to my blog and collect the names in both places. Another ‘to-do’ for that infernal everlasting list.

I’ve been blog-hopping recently which brings more traffic to my page, and so I came up with a brilliant plan. I’ve warned everyone who enters a contest on my blog and leaves their e-mail address that I’ll be automatically adding them to my newsletter. Not only has my list begun to grow again, but hopefully with this practice, I’ll find lovely new readers and maybe they’ll find an author who writes the kind of books they want to read. A win-win situation!


For this Randon Acts of kindness Blog Hop I will be happy to present the lucky winner with a $10 Amazon Gift certificate. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address. And, I'll be adding your names to my newsletter list, so I hope you won't mind getting a periodic note from me telling of new releases and special news!

Also, anyone who is willing to write a review for My Cheeky Angel needs only to e-mail me at mimibarbour@hotmaildotcom and I will gladly send you a free pdf copy. There's a promo I'd love to enter, but I need at least 20 reviews before they'll accept me. I only have 9...sigh!!

Latest review for My Cheeky Angel!
another 5 stars
so cool!!

5.0 out of 5 stars My Cheeky Angel, February 3, 2012
This review is from: My Cheeky Angel (Angels with Attitudes) (Kindle Edition)
My Cheeky Angel (Angels with Attitudes)

I started reading My Cheeky Angel the other day and couldn't stop.
Somewhere around 2:30 to 3:00 in the morning I finished it but it's been
quite awhile since I stayed up because I just had to see what happened
next. I loved Annie and Ty along with their guardian angel, Celi. It was a
nice twist to have an angel with a gravelly voice from smoking in place of
some ethereal being who seems too perfect to have ever been an earth bound

Pat Amsden
(I luv Pat!!!)


Sunday, February 5, 2012

#5 of Mimi's 13 Promotional steps

Posted December 3, 2011

Step 5.  Twitter – About six months ago, I decided that Twitter would be one of the best ways to get news out to the big wide social-media world, and so I worked really hard, gave up hours a day and started trying to build my followers. At that time, I had approximately 400 followers, and I am now over the 2,000 mark. Again, was it worth all the hours I put into it, the effort it took and the time away from my writing? I did meet wonderful people and wouldn’t give up knowing these new friends for anything in the world. So, yes it was worth it. And the proof came when just recently "My Cheeky Angel" the book I self-pubbed and released in September was chosen as one of five best paranormal books of the month, and I was able to turn to my friends on twitter where I know a great many of my votes came from.~~~

Update…last I looked I had 2,400 followers.

*Okay…I know I cheated going straight to step 5 since I hadn’t yet done posts on steps 3 & 4 but I will get back to them later. Right now I’ve just opened my own Tribe on Triberr called Blog with Mi! and I just had to share it with you.

Before I go any further, I guess I should tell you what Triberr is all about. It’s a blogging support network to help you get traffic to your blog.

You need more of an explanation? - Okay this is how I see it.

I used to put out a blog post, and if I was lucky, I might be able to tweet about it a few times a day. My stats weren’t so good unless I went to all my loops and begged friends to come and visit. As time went on, more people did start to come around, but the numbers were still pretty dismal. It helped to write about topics that would draw people, or invite interesting guests that brought along their own friends, but still the numbers were sorta depressing. And, since my tweets would only get to my own approximate 2,000 followers, I didn’t really have much of a reach through the twitter world.

But…once I joined Triberr and was invited to join a few tribes, I found that when all my 77 tribal mates tweeted about each new blog I published, my blog link spanned to over 370,000 followers. The tweets were released over intervals depending on when my mates got around to sending them, which was good. (On Triberr, everyone has a home page with a stream of their tribe mate’s blogs, and there’s buttons by each one to approve sending whichever tweets you feel you’d want your followers to see. Totally your choice.)

Two things necessary to use this social media site: have a blogsite that’s active and have a twitter account with followers….the more the better. Remember many in the tribes have thousands of followers they’ve worked hard to find so it’s imperative that you keep working on your own lists.  

So….have I tweaked your interest? I hope so. If I have, go check Triberr out and join. Research the site so you get a feel for what it’s all about. Watch the how-to videos to get a better idea of what else is available there.  And if you want to join with me in my new tribe, send me an e-mail at: mimibarbour@hotmail.com with your twitter and blogsite addresses  and I’ll be glad to issue you an invitation to Blog with Mi!

For this Valentine's Blog Hop I will be happy to present the lucky winner with a $10 Amazon Gift certificate. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address. And, I'll be adding your names to my newsletter list, so I hope you won't mind getting a periodic letter from me telling of new releases and special news!

Latest review for My Cheeky Angel!
another 5 stars
so cool!!

5.0 out of 5 stars My Cheeky Angel, February 3, 2012
This review is from: My Cheeky Angel (Angels with Attitudes) (Kindle Edition)
My Cheeky Angel (Angels with Attitudes)

I started reading My Cheeky Angel the other day and couldn't stop.
Somewhere around 2:30 to 3:00 in the morning I finished it but it's been
quite awhile since I stayed up because I just had to see what happened
next. I loved Annie and Ty along with their guardian angel, Celi. It was a
nice twist to have an angel with a gravelly voice from smoking in place of
some ethereal being who seems too perfect to have ever been an earth bound

Pat Amsden
(I luv Pat!!!)


Friday, February 3, 2012

Talented author of Dark Waters and Sundered - Shannon Mayer


Hi Shannon,

I'm so happy you could visit me here on my blog. If the readers love your books half as much as I do, you'll be a best seller in no time.


Available Amazon

Two sisters. Two gorgeous men. A legendary prophecy.
Monsters, magic, deception and sensuality.
Be prepared to dive into Dark Waters!

Aavailable Amazon  

Compared to "I am Legend", Sundered will take you into the dark realms of an apocalypse, with a new breed of zombie that will have your heart pounding, your palms sweaty and the pages flying. A Novella with true bite.

The Spanish Inquisition: Shannon Mayer on the Chopping Block
Name- Shannon Jerene (yes that’s right) Mayer
Astrological Sign-Gemini
Status-Married, no kids
Books currently available- Sundered, Bound, Dauntless (Books 1-3 of A Zombie-ish Apocalypse) and my most recent book is Dark Waters: Celtic Legacy Book 1

What is your favourite book you’ve written?
Now that’s not fair, you aren’t supposed to play favourites with your “babies”.  Okay, I’ll try. Sundered was my first Indie Book so it holds a special place and to write a love story in the middle of a zombie-ish apocalypse was a BLAST. But, Dark Waters is special too. It was a lot harder for me to write in that I had to pull on my experiences with almost losing my little sister to drugs and the street, so the emotions in that book are super close to my heart. Dang, I don’t think I can pick one, maybe down the line, but right now, they all are so important to me in different ways.
Was your family supportive of you and your writing?

 Yes and no. My husband, he was the one who encouraged me to follow my dreams. He pushed me pretty hard and I fought him at first, my own stupid stubborn nature, but I think I was afraid that in writing, putting myself out there, people would judge me. Which of course they do whether they read something you write or not. I got over that, eventually. The rest of my family, it was a split, about half were super encouraging, and half didn’t really think there was much to the writing. By that I mean they thought it was just a hobby, that it could never be a career. But when Sundered was released (and now it has over 50 reviews with a 4.7 average) I think they saw that perhaps there was enough talent in me to actually make it as a writer and they’ve all come around.
What’s the best compliment on your writing?

LOL. Not including some of my reviews (which a couple made me laugh till I was crying) my favourite compliment was “I hate to say this, but it was a hell of a lot better than I expected. I was shocked.”  That was a neighbour, he then went on to read the next two books, couldn’t get enough after that, but it was one of those compliments that I knew was honest, which I loved.

Is there one thing you would change so far in your writing journey?

Well, I would say that I have learned so much, that I just wish I could go back and apply it from the beginning. Like understanding how to get the best cover art, when to release your book (or better yet when NOT to!) finding the best editors, proofreaders and beta readers.

What are you reading right now?

 I have a couple of books on the go right now. “The Corridors of the Dead” By Jonathan Allen, “SHE” by James Caterino and I just started Heather McCorkle’s book “The Secret of Spruce Knoll: A Channeler Novel”.
Piece of advice for authors or readers?

For authors I would say just keep at it and do your best to keep up with the CONSTANTLY shifting industry.  For readers? GO READ MY BOOKS (LOL) no really, there are a ton of great Indie authors out there, don’t turn your nose up at them, those gems will one day be the authors you see on the bookstore shelves.

Feb 3rd & 4th Dark Waters and Sundered will be FREE! This opportunity to check out these two amazing series for FREE won’t come again, so get them while you can!

After a 2 year period waiting on her agent to actually do something, Ms. Mayer dropped the agent, and self published her first trilogy, A Zombie-ish Apocalypse which includes Sundered, Bound and Dauntless.  Her latest book, Dark Waters: Celtic Legacy Book 1 centers on the bonds of sisters while delving into the world of nightmares and magic. For more info on Shannon Mayer and her writing go to http://shannonmayer.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @TheShannonMayer


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Author of The Good Daughter - She's great!


Hi, Diana!
I'm so happy to have you visitng my blog, the sanctuary of a woman who not only hears voices, but so does her characters. Of course it's because they have other spirits invading their bodies but then it's still rather strange...right?
And thank you for offering a free copy of your books to some lucky commenter. It makes it more fun for the readers to leave you a note - maybe telling you about their own experience with voices??
p.s. Don't get me started about driving? I need to concentrate instead of arriving and wondering how the hell I got there?
Hugs Mimi

Available Amazon
Reviews 3-5star

THE GOOD DAUGHTER: When the mob kills her cop boyfriend and ruins her chances for a new life, a determined Mafia daughter vows to bring them down—even if it means destroying her family. She finds an ally in FBI agent Dave Armstrong, and though she falls in love with him, nothing will dissuade her from ensuring the mob's downfall, even if she has to go outside the law.

Available Amazon
Available Barnes & Noble

PIRATE'S PROPOSAL: Set in 1719 Bahamas, a swashbuckling tale about a pirate alliance that leads to love and a gypsy curse that threatens everything.


My name is Diana Layne. And I hear voices in my head.

There. I said it. I realize a person in the mental health field might be a little worried reading that. But honestly, it took me a long time to figure out that not everyone hears voices in their head. No, I mean really. A long time. As in recently. And I’m almost—

Yeah, well, let’s forget how old I am.

I was brought to this startling realization of what I’ll call silent-head syndrome when I had a conversation with a writer friend who confessed her daughter didn’t have people living in her head. That statement pulled me right out of any writerly mental playground. What?? Not everyone has imaginary playmates? I struggled to grasp such a foreign concept.

The friends in my head have been with me since I was a tot.

Perhaps it’s because I was an only child and an only grandchild and created imaginary friends to combat loneliness. No people living in computers back in my day. Although as a side note, I love my computer, I call it ‘my precious’, but I have to be careful so the friends in my head don’t get jealous. (They go away and sulk when they get jealous—bad scary times then. Yes, I know who’s in charge.)

But no, there were no computers back in the…er, yeah, forgot, we’re not mentioning how many years ago that was. Just know it was BC. Before Computers.

The jealousy thing is only one drawback of having friends in your head and living in a make-believe world. 

Yep, believe it or not, as wonderful as it is to never get lonely, to have friends to escape to when reality gets stressful, there are other drawbacks and dangers. And no, I’m not talking about the danger of being carted off in a straightjacket although I suppose that is always a possibility.

Voices in your head can be rather distracting when you have to do some real life stuff. I know. Real life. How annoying.

Things like cooking. I hate cooking.

Which is why I bring my friends out to play when I have to cook.

Ok, so the food ends up a little burned.  But you know, by now, my family has lived with burned food so long, they think if it isn’t burned, it’s not done. I know, I know, hard to believe. But trust me on this.

Another hazard in cooking is using a knife-- 

Nah, forget it, that story’s too gory, I won’t go into that. But I did once misplace a bag of frozen broccoli—and not in the freezer. House smelled for days; I tore it up looking for the source, bought enough scented candles it should’ve made the place smell like a bawdy house, until at last I tracked down from whence the stench flourished. Where, you ask?  In a cabinet up over the stove. That’s where the company-comes-calling dishes are stored. I have no idea or memory of storing it there. It must have been a brilliant brainchild of one of my ‘friends.’

Should I move on to driving?

First, if you live in the world of make-believe and have teen drivers… Beware! You could be off playing and your driving-age kid, who is now old enough to recognize only your body is there, knows it’s the perfect time to ask to borrow the car.

Later, you might join the real world only to wonder where your kid…and your car…are, and the kid is wisely not answering the cell phone. (No, I don’t speak from experience, why would you ask?)

As for me personally driving…well, I’ve run stoplights and found myself speeding, of course, and thank goodness I realized it before the cops did. But then there are times it gets a little scary when I look around and realize I have no idea where I am.  I have no sense of direction and getting lost can be a jolting experience. Oh, but we have GPS now, right! Let me tell you, I’ve managed to get my GPS lost. No, not lose my GPS, but get that poor lady in the box so lost and confused she sounds like an out-of-control talking doll. “Continue one block. In two feet turn left, in one foot, turn right.” Left. Right. Straight. Poof, blown fuse! Useless GPS. Sigh.

Maybe I should have a sign on the side of my mini-van. Warning: Writer Driving!

To prove it’s not just me, I asked a couple of writer friends what can happen when they are busy in their make-believe world.

Jerrie Alexander ( http://www.jerriealexander.com/ ) has learned, “It's a mistake to get so wrapped up [with imaginary friends] I don't pay attention when the dog growls.”

Jealous dog, I think, worse than needy kids. “Does he need to go out or is he fighting with the cat?” I ask.

“Growls when he wants to go out. Kicks it to ear-deafening barks if you don't listen. For 7 pounds, he's got a set of lungs.”

Note to self: Get a doggie door if I acquire a small dog…or better…don’t acquire small dog.

Another land of make-believe resident, Danielle Kazemi  (http://www.facebook.com/daniwrites ), confesses to burned dinners as well. (I contend charcoal is good for your kids!)

But the most memorable thing she has done while being distracted with her playmates:  “The best has to be I flooded the bathroom once. The scene just could not wait.” She chuckles.

“Flooding the bathroom! “ I gasp. That pretty much beats stinky broccoli. “How did that happen?”

Giving another small laugh she admits, “I turned on the water to take a bath then I remembered I needed something before I got in. So I left to go get it. The computer was on and somehow I ended up sitting down and writing a scene. By the time I remembered, the tub had overflowed. Spent a while cleaning that.”

Proof indeed, the siren call of imaginary friends.

So there you have it, living in the world of make-believe. Wouldn’t trade it for the real world for anything. Even if, like Danielle, it means I need a king-size mop…

Diana Layne’s land of make-believe is non-discriminatory and she plays equally well with pirates, mobsters, soccer players and FBI agents. You can read about her—er, their latest adventures at http://www.dianalayne.com/