Persuasive Words

253599_552284874793005_1213668136_nHow would you describe this picture? Just a garden or something more?  With the right descriptive words an author can turn a simple garden into a colorful and desirable masterpiece.

Words are the author’s greatest tool to build a good story and when simple words or thoughts are highlighted with descriptive words they can become very powerful suggestions. Authors can influence readers and bring them into their emotional control through words that captivate and persuade.

Words added to a simple thought can literally convince the reader to think like the author. A good example is the sentence, “It is raining”.  From this we learn two things – that the weather is now producing rain and that it’s happening in the present tense. We have no idea how hard it’s raining, how long it might last, what fears or anxieties are being caused by it or what anticipations are triggering the reader’s emotions because of it. All we know is that it is raining.

We can add words to persuade the reader to feel the emotions we want them to feel.

Example 1:

“My heart pounded with excitement as the summer sky quickly gathered the clouds and gently released warm drops that danced on the grass all around me and tickled my skin.”

From this sentence we can feel the romantic attitude of the protagonist and we can sense that the anticipation of the rain has brought forth a relief and a calmness that makes her happy.

Example 2.

“My heart pounded with fear as the rumbling skies quickly became dark, aggressive clouds that pitched chilling rain pellets on the grass all around me and pricked my skin like millions of tiny spikes.”

This example turns the rain into a threatening storm that scares the protagonist, and we can sense that fear through the descriptive – or persuasive – words.

Many authors don’t use descriptive words to their advantage – to captivate the reader. A perfect example is when they use ambiguous or generic words to describe something that could draw the reader deeper into the picture with more description.

Example 1:

“Sarah peeked through the gate and saw a beautiful rose garden. She couldn’t believe that anything could be so beautiful and after a minute she  ran home.”248220_521142997949931_1337045841_n

We know that Sarah saw a beautiful garden, but what does “beautiful” entail? The option is wide open to lure readers into something that will leave them wanting more of what the author has to say. When there is no description it stops there because the word “beautiful” does not paint a picture in the mind.

Example 2:

“Sarah peeked through the iron gate and gasped at the beauty of the rose garden that was hidden on the other side. Large white trellises covered in deep green foliage with vibrant red and pink and yellow flowers lined the back fence. Short single bushes of white and lavender were spread around the old wooden garden swing. The arbour was covered in deep, red blooms and planters spread along the short path were filled with orange and pink roses. She inhaled the intriguing fragrance and then ran home.”  

As readers, we now have a better picture of what “beautiful”  is. We see the rainbow of colors; we note the majesty of the garden and its size; and our senses are aroused to appreciate the alluring rose fragrance from the page. Readers need descriptive words to paint the picture so they can imagine it in their own minds.

At the same time, we don’t want to swing too far with the pendulum and add too many descriptive words because that will cause confusion and boredom.

Example 1:

“The drive was really, really long and it was so boring and totally uninteresting, and I hated being in the small, overcrowded little car for such a long period of time.”

The author has possibly broken the thought pattern through the use of redundant descriptive words.

Example 2:

“I hated the long and boring drive in the little, overcrowded car.”

The words are easier to read as they flow from the tongue and everything that was needed to be said was said in fewer words.

We don’t want to write paragraphs of description because that will steal from the captivation of the story and will prevent the reader from staying on the path that we’ve set out for them. As well, we don’t want to add too many adjectives to describe one thing or incident because it’s a story, not an English essay.

What we want to do is give enough description to keep the readers caught up with the story so that they won’t want to put the book down. We want them to feel what we want them to feel, and to see what we want them to see and to react how we want them to react by adding some selective descriptive words – persuasive words that bring our thoughts to life in a world that the reader can live in.4951618678_0fda13d84b_m




What’s in an Ending?

Sydney 2009 New Year Eve FireworkEvery facet of a short story or novel has its own unique importance, and each one needs to be carefully put together and presented in order for it to be effective. The title should be catchy and persuasive because it invites the reader to our creation; the book cover should grab their attention and draw them in; and the book description should captivate them into reading the story. But the ending is the thing that will make or break the story.

A good ending will leave the reader satisfied that the story has ended, and yet at the same time it will leave them wanting more. The ending of any novel or short story is our hidden invitation to readers to get to our next story, so it’s crucial that the ending be a good one.

The ending of any narrative ties in all the conflicts that we’ve written about throughout the story and brings closure on each of them. Nothing new is introduced in the ending because anything that we’ll write about here has already been mentioned, thought of or inspired in the body of the story – usually in the beginning. We may not dwell on what will turn out to be a surprise ending, but the story itself will prepare the reader for something, even if it’s camouflaged and comes at them as a shock at the time. They’ll be able to grasp the reality of the ending by something that we mentioned earlier on.

Aspiring writers will often write a potentially good story and then instead of following through with a dynamic ending, they’ll just end it with a fast and weak conclusion.

How can you tell if your ending isn’t a good one?

Read your own story and then ask these questions:

Does the ending leave you wondering what happened to certain people or things in the story?

Does the ending leave you asking why, where, how, who or when?

Does the ending fit in with the story?

Is the ending believable?

Is the ending disappointing in that the story has been full of hype and then just ends?

Are you left thinking that the ending doesn’t make sense, or that it’s just plain stupid?

If you can ask any of these questions and get yes for an answer, then you know that your readers are going to ask them, as well. You can correct the ending and turn it into something better now – before it’s published – but they can’t; what they’ll do is not read another story that you write because the ending to this story was such a disappointment.

If you’re not sure how to write a great ending, you can speak with another author, an editor or a writing coach, or take some writing courses to get the inspiration and insight that you need. You can also read books that are along the same line as yours so that you can see how another author ended their story. You don’t have to copy their ending, but you’ll get a better understanding of how that author brought all the loose ends together to give the story a great ending.

And always remember that the great ending to one story is often the invitation to another one, so we need to make the ending one that will keep the readers wanting more and waiting for our next story.





Do First Impressions Count?

First impressions have been an ongoing controversy for years. Some people say that it really doesn’t justify the value of a person, while others insist that first impressions are everything. So in light of this discussion and in reference to a recent event that I attended where first impressions meant everything, I want to review the view-points of both sides of this issue so that we can decide if first impressions really do count.

When we meet someone for the first time, we most often evaluate their character in our minds by how they dress and what they say, and in many cases our conclusions are correct. A woman who wears too much make-up has poor taste and wants to flaunt herself while the person who dresses simple has no taste at all; the person who chats too much is full of themselves and wants to show off their intelligence, and the person who says very little has either a boring life or is simply disinterested in talking to us.

The way we interpret the first impression we get of someone is the basis for our attitude towards them. Although we feel correct in our assumptions, we can often be misled by an unfair judgement of someone who is very different from the way they appeared in that first meeting. First impressions don’t always tell the truth about someone’s character or values.

The woman with too much make-up may be so insecure that she hides behind the face she paints; the person who chats relentlessly may be so nervous around people, that the only way they can control their fear is to talk; and the person who dresses simple but elegantly may not be boring all, but may have their focus on other things in life ahead of vanity.

All things that glitter may not be gold, and now I know why. Recently I was invited to meet a wonderful woman and best-selling author, but the first impression that I gave was likely anything but good. I was humbled beyond words when I realized that the person she saw wasn’t the real me.

As many of you know, I spent the entire year of 2011 battling cancer – and I won by the way! But during that time I lost a lot of weight and a lot of my hair. I’m still losing weight and my face is looking almost too thin, and most of my hair has grown back although the patches I’m still working on are the ones we notice the most.

I am a Christian author and while I love to dress in style I’m also very conservative and I don’t like to dress in a provocative manner. When I was preparing to dress for this occasion I had an outfit picked out that I thought would be perfect, but my daughter – you have to love your kids when they dote on you and think they’re helping you – wanted me to dress in a younger and more colorful style because this was my first time out since I’d become ill.

So, I wore this outfit and I did like the style and the color. It was fairly new but it was now too large and hung in places that I didn’t want it to. During my luncheon with this wonderful lady I spent the entire time pulling my top up so she wouldn’t think that I’d come to flaunt what was left of my femininity, and that became my focal point of the meal. But to make things worse and to my surprise, I was invited onto her television show as a guest to tell the world why I wrote the story about her that I did, and how she had influenced my own writing career.

I thought I handled myself well especially when the question she asked me had nothing to do with my writing. I was only on air for a couple of minutes and part of that was filled with the thrill of “this was my TV debut”. But when I saw the film of it afterwards I almost died. My first impression? A chunky flaunting woman with thin hair and a tooth missing. A bad first impression that I gave the entire world.

The camera had added a generous amount of weight on to me, not that it needed any help with the oversized clothes that I wore, and I was the only one with a revealing top. Without having stage make-up put on, my face was white with Marilyn Manson eyes and somehow I looked as if I had a tooth missing. Is this the first impression I wanted to give my fans? Never.

I reviewed the film very humbly many times and realized that the person on that film was not a true reflection of the real me. I don’t dress like that, I’m not fat and I have all my teeth, but the way the world saw me is the way I was portrayed on this film. It was a first impression that allows viewers to see me in an unfair way.

The picture of me here is discreet because I’m covered by the wrapping of the gift basket that I received that day. But the humbling experience of the live camera has made me change my thoughts entirely on first impressions.

I’m always amazed at how we learn things in life, and the point that we have to get to for us to change our way of thinking. It is very important for all of us to try to create a good first impression, but on the other hand, we can’t always judge the values and integrity of anyone at first glance. Like wine, we can’t judge it by the shape and color of the bottle. We need to go beyond the label, open the bottle and sip it carefully before we can truly appreciate the quality of the drink.

And so it is with meeting people for the first time. We shouldn’t judge them because of the way they appear at that time because it may not properly reflect the person they are and it may be a first impression that doesn’t count.

Write from the Heart

Sometimes the best articles and the most inspiring stories come from authors who write from the heart.

They don’t need to research their information or document their statements because they are writing what is true and meaningful, and about things or situations they have lived and experienced. Their work is unique, untouchable by outsiders and remarkable in their own light.

They aren’t giving instruction or direction to encourage anyone, and yet, what they write has the deepest and most relevant significance to everyone who reads their work. It’s a masterpiece that can’t be compared to anything else.

Jeff Mazza is one of those gifted and inspired authors. He writes a blog that is not only esthetically pleasing to the eye, but that presents regular inspiring posts with absolute sincerity. Each one is heart-felt as he pours out his feelings and emotions for his beautiful wife, Fawn, in each one. The messages are pure and without flaw because he’s writing from his heart, from what he knows and from how he feels. Who can critique that?

We may never have met his wife, but his posts are a wonderful description of her inward and outward beauty, of her character, her attitude towards people, and her devotion to Jeff and their children.

When we read articles that have been given such intimate attention, there’s nothing the reader can do except be absorbed into them and be touched by the love and compassion that was poured into each one. By the time Jeff writes his last post we will all have been blessed by the life of a woman who spent her own life being a blessing to others.

Please visit Jeff’s blog and meet the woman who has been his inspiration, his encouragement and his support. She believed that he would be a successful author because he has the gift and the desire to write. And she knew that one of his greatest attributes towards his success is that he has always been an author who writes from the heart.

Why Harry Potter?

The Harry Potter series has become a household staple in millions of homes around the world, but why? Why is Harry Potter so popular?

Could it be because the stories take you into the hidden corners of our imagination that risk  being exposed? Or could it be that the characters can live the daring and unbelievable lives that we all wish we could have? Perhaps it’s the mystery of events or the unusual circumstances that bring about impossible situations yet awesome victories. Regardless of what it is, Harry draws in the readers.

So what the rest of us authors need to do is read the Harry Potter books and learn the strategy that J K Rowling uses to promote these books into best sellers. Because …….all great stories don’t have to be fantasies to be loved by the reading audience.

Take the Sarah Davies series, for instance – my young adult adventure series. These stories are quite distant from fantasy as they are based on real-life disasters that trap Sarah and her friends and always turn a fun outing into a horrific nightmare. But the action is there and the characters are all real and likeable.

From the first book in the series to last there is non-stop action and thrill as the adventures carry forth with suspense and lots of the unexpected. And although each story is very different from the others in the conflicts and battles they endure, they all have one thing in common, and that is the characters that we love. Each book depicts them maturing and developing in their relationship with each other, and we are constantly rooting for Sarah and Brad to get together. They are great friends and part of the team of teen heroes but we see everything through Sarah’s eyes and she’s never quite sure if Brad sees her as a girlfriend or just a friend.

When you read the first book, Mudslide, you’re ready for the second adventure, Firestorm, where we see them more relaxed and more in tune with each other. And then comes Whiteout where they’ve graduated from high school and are now in college, and the adventure is even more challenging. By the time we get to Raging Waters that will come out in the fall, we will be totally addicted to the series, and then will come the last book, The Quake, that will challenge every aspect of our hopes and fears.

So, if you’re not into reading fantasy and prefer books that grab from the first page to the last in outdoor adventure, then you’ll love the Misadventures of Sarah Davies. And if these stories ever get to the theatre, you better not be holding a bag of popcorn.

You can read excerpts and prologues of all the books to date at my Official Website. Happy reading, everyone!

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A Dozen Roses

I think one of the most exciting times in an author’s life is when that last line is written and we can say that we are finished. It’s a big thrill and goes a long way for our esteem.

And for me, the roses come out when the finished hard cover copy is in my hands. It’s an accomplishment that brings excitement to the soul and tears to the eyes.

I can say, “I did this”.

I finished writing Whiteout last week and edited it several times over before I was happy with it. I edit as I go along – I know it’s not every author’s practice – but I find that as the story goes on, things change and I have to incorporate ideas from the body of the book as introduction thoughts in the beginning. So, I review my book dozens of times before I even get to the end.

So now, it’s at the editor’s and I have to wait for two to three weeks to get their review. It’ll come in the form of dozens of pages of changes and corrections for me to make because I won’t have met their standards. I try but they always seem to want to change things.

It’s an exciting time for me. The first thrill was two days ago when I wrote the last word. I looked at my manuscript and I was happy with every word that I’ve written.

The second thrill will be when I hold that published copy in my hands. I’ll glance over it a few dozen times and be the proudest author in the world, and then I’ll place it neatly onto my library shelf beside my other books.

What a feeling of accomplishment! It took me a year to write this book. I started last January and then became ill and wasn’t able to finish it until recently. I had to read it twice to remember where I was going in the story but I figured it out. And now it’s done!

What’s next? During my illness I kept a journal of inspirational messages to help me through and now I have enough material to comprise my next book. I have a few things to write and then hopefully in a few weeks, this book will be off to meet its fate at the “editor’s”. Another big thrill!

This book is called, Let Faith Arise! and I’m especially excited because it’s filled with meaningful messages on faith. I can feel that sense of accomplishment rising up again because not only did I write this book that I hope will be a blessing to so many people, but I lived it and I overcame my illness because of these messages that made my faith strong.

I may never become rich or famous but I have pursued the thing I like doing the most, and that is writing. And I will continue to add books to my library because nothing is more exciting than seeing my work published – except perhaps a dozen roses!

Author’s website

I have completed my official author’s website and it’s now live!

It was a bit of a challenge but a lot of fun, and I’m proud of how it turned out. I enjoy posting on this blog and this will continue, but I realized that I need a home base where other authors, editors and readers could visit and see with a bit more depth who I am and what I write.

In the first release of my website, I had a lot of “roses” in the background pictures and they were very colourful and beautiful – I love roses – but I wasn’t sure if perhaps it was too much. So, I asked my son who has created many websites professionally and the first thing he said was, “kill the flowers”.

So, the flowers are gone, and I’ve replaced them with a balance of compatible and more professional colours and themes.

I invite all of you to visit my website at and see what I have done. Leave a comment or suggestion and even subscribe to my site!

It’s been a long time coming but I thought it was time to finally get my thoughts together and create my author’s website.

Cris deNiro strikes again…

Every once in a while you come across a really dynamic book series that just grabs you and compells you to read them all and then wait anxiously for the next one to be published – and that’s besides my Sarah Davies series which goes without saying.

SIGNS OF WAR by Gerard deMarigny is the second book in the series starting Cris deNiro, the warrior who rose up after the disaster of 911 and went on to defend his homeland from future attacks. It’s a fiction book based on a true life event and it’s filled with prophesies and probabilities that could shape the future of the human race.

These two well written and exciting books, SIGNS OF WAR and the first book, THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM, leave us all wondering just what the real future has in store for us.

You can get the details of both of Gerard’s books at his website where you’ll also see where you can purchase your own copy, be it e-book or cover book…..or even better, a signed copy.

Never Give Up…

We are authors and we are also people who live in real families, work at real jobs and face real challenges that threaten our ability to write….but we must NEVER GIVE UP.

No matter what it takes, we need to hold on to that dream and hope of writing our book and getting it published. We must never give up when those challenges of life seem to steal all of our time and overcome our thoughts. We must never give in to what our  circumstances dictate, and when we have to set it aside for a while we must always maintain that determination that it is only temporal because we are going to succeed.

The second we give up is the same second that defeat sets in and begins its path to destroy our ambition and our hopes. Once those are gone, we have nothing but agonizing memories of what we tried to do and what could have been.

We need to schedule our time even if it means writing at 3 o’clock in the morning. Some of us are suffering from illnesses that are setting great challenges before us and deluding us into thinking that we were never meant to be authors. But this is a lie.

If it’s in our heart to be an author and we have a story that we want to write, then we cannot let anything stop us. If we can only  write a few words at a time, it’s progress. If we can only write sparingly, it’s progress. If we continue to try and never give up, it’s progress and we are on the road to success!

The more we are determined to write, the more power and authority and control we establish in our lives so that we can do the things that we want to do.

I speak as an author who has faced and is facing great challenges; challenges that said I should give up writing and spend my last few months in peace. But I will not give up on my life or my hopes or my dreams, and I will not give in to my circumstances. I will not allow them to dictate to me because I am an author and I WILL succeed.

I am currently writing the last chapters in the third book of my five-book y/a series, Whiteout, and I will write all of them. And then I’m going to write a book on my life story about how I overcame those deadly obstacles that threatened my hopes and my dreams and were set to end my life.

Don’t give up. Stay focussed and be positive.  We need to do all that we can do and God will do the rest – but we must NEVER GIVE UP!




Authors by name….

Today I was interviewed by Susan Claridge and it’s live for everyone to read!

I was interviewed by (Susan) S. R. Claridge on her Feeling the Fiction blog, and today I am her main topic.  I feel honored to be interviewed by a woman who’s accolades prove her to be not only an outstanding author of mystery and romance/suspense novels, but an inspiration to woman writers and authors around the globe.

I invite everyone to read my interview where you can learn a little bit more about me the author, me the person.