Check out my Store FAQ and Author FAQ below. Have a question you don’t see? Send me an email.
Q: Why should I buy direct from your website instead of from Amazon or my local bookstore?
A: I’m happy wherever you buy my books! I understand Amazon is easy. And by all means support your local independent bookstore. But if you buy from my website, you'll be supporting an independent author, as well as an independent printer. The books are the same high quality you get from other vendors. As for ebooks, my versions can be read on any device, using a variety of apps (you're not locked into just one). And they come with great support from BookFunnel, a leader in ebook delivery. BookFunnel even has its own app you can use, and any ebook you buy from me will show up automatically in it.
Q: Is ordering secure?
A: You bet! The checkout on my website is powered by Shopify, one of the world’s biggest e-commerce engines.
Q: When will I receive the ebook I purchased?
A: Immediately! Check your inbox for an email from Bookfunnel. If it's not there within a few minutes, check your spam or promotions folders. If you still don't see the email, use this page to contact the fine folks at BookFunnel. Their support team will get back to you within 24 hours.
Q: When will I receive the print book I ordered?
A: It takes roughly 5-7 business days for delivery. Paperbacks are printed on demand and shipped by Bookvault, and hardcovers by IngramSpark, from their U.S. or U.K. facilities, depending on your location. It can take up to three business days for them to print and dispatch your book, and then three business days or longer for delivery. You will receive an email when your order ships.
Q: Can I try a book before buying?
A: Yes! On each book's "full details" page, scroll down to the LOOK INSIDE button. Click/tap on that and a sample of my book will open, which you can read on any device.
Q: I loved your book! How can I spread the word?
A: Thank you!! I'm overjoyed. Here are some suggestions: tell a friend or family member; suggest it for a book group or classroom; post a rating or review, on my website and on Amazon; ask your local library to order it.
Q: How do you get inspired to write?
A: I like to connect two or more things that aren't related. Then I try to work out all the implications and the consequences and the problems that arise from bringing them together.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: The next book in the Sing & Shout series! I'm also revising a historical mystery set in 17th century England and brainstorming an alternate history fantasy series.
Q: What do you like best about being a writer?
A: Tinkering with words!
Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: I always start with pen and paper. The ideas just flow better for me that way. Later I'll type up what I’ve written by hand, and that often gets me going too. If nothing else works, I take a long walk or go to a coffee shop. Inspiration usually strikes if I give it time. Sometimes even in the middle of the night!
Q: If you could travel to any fictional book world, where would you go and what would you do there?
A: I’d go to the Barcelona where Carlos Ruiz Zafón set The Shadow of the Wind and the rest of the books in the series. Okay, Barcelona’s not a fictional world. But apparently it's not the same as it once was. I love his novels! The city itself is one of the main characters.
Q: What mystery in your own life could be a plot for a book?
A: My grandparents lived in a big, old house on a hill that had a hidden staircase, a cellar with winding corridors, and a creaky attic. Maybe it's why I love gothic mysteries like Jane Eyre and Rebecca, and why the setting of a story is so important to me.
Q: Where did you get the idea for the Sing & Shout series?
A: Like Harrison in Back in the USSR, I grew up in a diplomatic family. We lived in the Soviet Union three separate times. The idea to incorporate the music of The Beatles into my stories came after I rediscovered the band through my son, when he became a fan as a teenager. I'd been a fan as a teenager too, when I first started listening seriously to music. I looked back and saw how their music threaded through my life in so many ways. And I realized it wasn’t just me. Beatles music is kind of woven into the fabric of the universe. So when I started writing Back in the USSR, I tugged on a few of those threads.
Q: Where did the idea for Strawberry Fields come from?
A: The idea came from a couple of paragraphs in Back in the USSR where I describe how the parents of one of my main characters first met. A reader told me she wished she’d known more about them! I realized I agreed, and a new story was born.
Q: Do you have discussion guides for books clubs and classrooms?
A: Yes! The guide for Back in the USSR is here. More coming soon!
Q: Do you use AI in your writing?
A: Never! Not to brainstorm, not to write, not to edit. I have nothing against AI or the writers who do use it. I don't doubt that it will be capable of wonderful (as well as horrible) things. But I love to tinker with words. I love to put together plots like jigsaw puzzles. I love to experience the epiphanies that happen after letting a story simmer in the back of my mind. Why would I ever want to outsource the very things that bring me joy?