My summer of writing, murder, LOV, and more

For this round of YA Outside the Lines, we’re writing about summer, which is my favorite season of the year. For one, I love the hot weather. You will never find me complaining about the heat; it just makes me feel more alive.  

Another reason I love the summer season is because it’s my most laidback time of the year, meaning I take a little pause from some of my paying pursuits (working part-time rather than full-time) to get a lot of writing done. 

This summer, I was working on finishing the first draft of my current work in progress, still untitled. (Suggestions welcome. It’s full of magic, mystery, romance, drama, and ghosts.) I’ve just made my way through the climax, so now I just have a couple more chapters to write to tie things up; then, the real fun begins. Anyone who knows me knows I love the revision process so much more than first-drafting.

Other things I did? I ventured to create a TikTok account. To be honest, I don’t love it, but I’ve managed to get a few videos posted with the help of my fifteen-year-old, and I’m trying to make sense of things. First impressions: it seems like a major time-suck that might render me with attention issues, but I’m keeping an open mind. If you’d like to follow me, I’d love to follow you back. My account can be found here:

Another thing I've been working on… For the past couple of years, I’ve been working to try and solve a thirty-six-year-old murder case. The victim went to school in Salem, Massachusetts, which is where I grew up. To my complete and utter shock – not to mention relief – someone was indicted just yesterday. I can’t even tell you the hours I’d put into the case, also trying to garner it the attention of podcasts. I’m so relieved it can finally – almost – be put to rest. I never met Claire Gravel, the woman who was killed, but working on her case for so long, I almost felt I did. 

And speaking of podcasts (sort of), I’ve worked on the podcasts for a few of my books this summer. If you haven’t checked out the podcasts for Blue is for Nightmares, Bleed, or Jane Anonymous, you can listen to them on Apple Podcasts or the Fictionz app.

Other things I’ve done: spent as much time as I could outdoors, going for walks; gardening (herbs and lettuce of varying types are my thing); kayaking; reading on the beach, around dusk (I’m not a sun-bather); meeting with friends. I’m so lucky to live by the ocean, so I soak in every last bit, trying to hang on to summer until October, when the leaves change and the beaches are mostly deserted.

We got in a family trip this summer: Quebec and Montreal. I’d never been to Quebec and it was absolutely beautiful. We stayed in a loft apartment, bigger than my house. I got to practice a little French, roam the winding streets, and experience an architecturally exquisite old city. I love Montreal, but you could definitely feel the effects of the Covid shutdown, at least compared to my last several visits, which made me a little sad, but at least I got to eat at LOV a couple of times (which, for me, personally, is one of Montreal’s biggest draws). 

Lastly, this summer, I also got in a decent amount of time with extended family, ate outside a bunch, and got Blue is for Nightmares re-optioned for TV (fingers crossed).

What I wish I did a lot less of: worrying (something I’m very good at); fretting over schedules and “small-stuff” decisions; doctors’ appointments (though, don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful to have healthcare); and second-guessing myself. 

I hope your summers were full of peace, health, and progress; that you're feeling inspired (at least some of the time), and that you’re ready for fall. 






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