Current Location: Living Room Couch, Chicago

Current Obsession: Hamilton: An American Musical. (Soundtrack is on a loop, on a loop, on a loop!)

Drink in Hand: Red Rooibos tea (with milk and sugar)

Daydreaming of: SPRING: So I can ride my motorcycle.

Currently Reading: The House on Mango Street (Sandra Cisneros)

TBR Pile on Bedside Table: Rita Moreno: A Memoir (Rita Moreno)

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Julia Alvarez)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Great storytelling consumes me. Once a story gets its hooks into me, good and deep, it often becomes an obsession that must be fed the way Audrey in ‘A Little Shop of Horrors’ demands to be fed: constantly (but without the blood sacrifice). When a story that becomes an obsession, I have to know everything about how the tale came to be. If it’s a book, any peek behind the Wizard’s curtain on the author’s creative process is enthralling.

I have obsessed over: The Boy Who Lived (ongoing), a Sassenach who traveled through the stones at Craigh na Dun (also ongoing); The Girl on Fire, Hobbits, The Winchester Family Business (not the guns, the angels and demons), a Book Thief, and the Ten Dollar Founding Father without a Father. (I’ll warn you now that I break into Hamilton lyrics unexpectedly. There’s no need to be alarmed, just beatbox in the background for me, and have the tissues handy for “It’s Quiet Uptown”. All will be well.)

Whether they’re books, movies, TV, or theater, the stories that become obsessions for me have a few things in common:

  1. Characters that rock my world. They are so alive, so 3D, so deliciously flawed and well written that it’s impossible to leave their world without yearning for to get back there as soon as humanely possible.
  1. Storylines that draw me in so deep I don’t want to leave in the first place. The ability to binge-watch some shows is not necessarily a good thing because I have zero impulse control when it comes to great stories (just one more. I promise, just one more). Much like a motorcycle ride on a Spring day where your helmet is filled with the fragrance of lilacs, eating great chocolate, or a forehead kiss from the one who makes your heart all twitter-pated, you just have to have more of these stories.
  1. Amazing writing style (or voice) that doesn’t pull you out of the story, instead it draws you deeper into it. Markus Zusak (The Book Thief) has this gift. As do Diana Gabaldon (Outlander series) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Yeah… Hamilton again). JK Rowling created the Wizarding World where we all want to receive that admissions letter on our eleventh birthday, JRR Tolkein created the Shire where we all want to plant gardens, and Suzanne Collins gave us a cause to fight for and a symbol to follow.

Every writer started where I am now,  a yet-to-be published author. Every writer I admire most has the same philosophy about storytelling: Do do the best storytelling job possible, and make it worth the readers’ time to get lost in the story… to earn the right to readers’ time and attention. I am nowhere in the same league as the writers I love (If only the Felix Felicis potion were real! But, I draw the line at crossroad demons, so Crowley can just stay away).  I feel like I sit at the feet of masters, and learn the craft of storytelling, every time I read (or watch or listen to) their work, and that will continue for as long as I can tap away on a keyboard or hold a pen.

You’re here on my website, reading this blog, and I thank you for being here! My promise to you, as readers, is to always strive to tell the best story I can and honor the time you spend with me and my work.

As for this blog, here’s what you can expect from me:

  1. Blog posts 1-2 times a month. My goal is to write books not just blogs. So, I’ll be here when I have something really interesting to share that will (hopefully) be engaging in some way, whether it’s an insight into my writing process, my writing journey, musings on books I’ve read or just a funny story or motorcycle trip story.
  1. If you sign up for my newsletter, I’ll never share your information with anyone else. That’s a promise. The newsletter is one of the primary ways you can keep up with new releases when they occur. There’s also a super cool exclusive for newsletter subscribers: Short stories related to the book in progress. The first e-book/short story is called “Beer with Papi”, and it centers on newly promoted police detective Teresa Ortiz from “Watch Them Die.” To unlock the short story exclusive, use the newsletter subscription link on the top of the screen.
  1. Engaging, witty banter on social media! At least, I’ll do my best to be witty and engaging. Hamilton retweets may happen on social media. And anything that piques my interest from chocolate to travel to animals to motorcycles (sometimes all at the same time! Remind me to tell you about my motorcycle trip through Namibia and South Africa!)

So, dear ones, of we go on a new journey together! Thank you for being here. I promise to make it worth your time!