From 4 books to a spin-off...

When I finished writing the 4th THE SEER, SWORD PLAY, I was told there wouldn't be a 5th.

I got this call on my cell while taking a walk by a lake, and I still remember
having walked a mile and being out of breath but feeling really good. Then
my phone rang and my hopes soared to the sky. I was sure it was going to
be a call asking me to write the 5th THE SEER. But was a "sorry, no."
And it was strange how my body raced with an exercise high so the disappointment
didn't hit me until I got home. Then I think I cried.

But months later my editor changed his mind (maybe had something to do
with THE SEER being honored by YALSA as a Quick Pick selection) or that
sales were just going well. I was so thrilled to write what I thought would be
the final THE SEER book, and I put romance, spying, horses, camping,
astral travel, murder and a long lost sister in the story so I could give readers
an exciting conclusion.

THE SEER #5, FATAL CHARM, came out in 2007.

The series really was over now, and I had to keep telling fans when they
asked for a 6th book, that it just wasn't going to happen. There was one day
when I had several emails asking for another book and I just screamed at my
computer because I hate disappointing kids.

I kept busy and happy writing the DEAD GIRL trilogy. Read the first chapter
on my website.

But I missed Sabine from THE SEER and still received emails asking for a 6th THE SEER.

Then a miracle happened. A new editor at Flux asked me to write a 6th THE SEER
plus a spin-off novel starring THORN. I was sooo happy! And since this really would
be the end of THE SEER series, I put in all kinds of excitement and romance. I based
MAGICIAN'S MUSE on the memory of visiting a master magician and learning about
apprenticeships and the secrecy of the mostly male magician world. I put in some
feminism themes and created the ghost of woman magician who literally died on stage.
There's also a storyline with Dominic that completes the short story at the end
of DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY (large-sized newest edition only has short story).

To read first chapters of all 3 of my series check out the FREE short story:

Thanks to all of my SEER fans. You're the reason there's a 6th book and now a spin-off with Thorn that could be the beginning of a new series..

The spinoff to THE SEER, BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY, has been published. You can see all my books on my website

BURIED in mystery

When THE SEER series ended I missed writing about Sabine, Thorn, Penny-Love and the other characters. So I was thrilled to write a spin-off with Goth Girl Thorn, who has a minister for a mother and an independent, thrill-seeking spirit. I wanted to create the perfect guy for her and had fun coming up with the Grin Reaper, a vigilante who targets mean kids at school in a fight for justice.

BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY is now out from Flux. What do you think of the cover? It's really different than any of my other books. Check it out here:

Waking up at SCBWI writing conference retreat....


I'm waking up for my 2nd day at Asilomar, a conference facility by the ocean near Monterey, and I'm looking forward to my second day of SCBWI conferencing.

There are editors, agents and lots of wonderful writers here. It's so enjoyable to have "book talk" for an entire weekend; sharing woes and triumphs with people I usually see only once a year as well as new friends I hope to make. While posting to blogs like this is fun, too, I always hold back on specific editor/agent dealings for professional reaasons. So getting together with other writers is the best time to vent, boast and congratulate.

It was great to congratule Cyn on her upcoming book, and see Betsy's new book, and admire Sue's great DRESS picture book and many others. I carpooled to Asilomar (over 200 miles one direction) with writer-friends Linda Whalen (we are becoming The Linda's) and Lori Mortenson, who has an amazing pictue book coming out this year with Harper called Cindy Moo. And I got to show off my own new book, BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY, which is now out from Flux.

Well my makeup in on and my hair curled, so all I have to do is get dressed then meet everyone for breakfast at 7:30. Asilomar has new owners and is completely different. The ocean, though, always in the background remains the same.


Buried facts:

1.  BURIED sold to Flux with the title The Finder, which the publisher didn't feel was strong enough. Ironically a tv series recently came out with that title. I pushed to add the "mystery" title so it's clear this is more Nancy Drew than Twilight.

2. Thorn was based on a kohl-eyed teen in my ballet class.

3.  The dedication page thanks a few special librarians who have supported SEER and DEAD GIRL series. Thanks for the YALSA honors.

4. BURIED moves Thorn from Californian to Nevada.

5. Sabine and Manny firm THE SEER offer advice to help solve the mystery.

Writerly Stuff

SCBWI writer friends are so great to hang out with. During lunch last week we talked about submitting, rejections, agents and we made plans to attend a book event. It's so good to talk with other writers who understand the crazy mix of solitary days, challenges of family life vs. writing schedules, the sting of rejection and the hope of The Call.

I'm writing a new book and challenging myself to make a first draft in 2 months. A few days where family came first but I'm close to my goal schedule.

A fan on Facebook today posted that she wanted to live in my THE SEER series.
Best. Comment. Ever.


Last year I was invited to contribute a short story with a paranormal them to an anthology from Leap Books titled SPIRITED. I was super excited, especially when I found out that some fantastic authors would be joining me.

Since my THE SEER has some amazing fans, I wanted to give them a new story with favorite characters Sabine and Dominic. So I wrote PHANTOM OF THE PROM; a ghost, prom, romance.

SPIRITED is out now online and in March a paperback comes out, too.

This book is split up in three different genres of stories: PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE. My story is in the PRESENT category. I thought it would be fun to share the titles and authors for each story:

SPIRITED paranormal Anthology, edited by Kat O'Shea


1. Strangeways vs. the Wraith by Judith Graves
2. The Senet Box by Jill Williamson
3. Stained by Mark Finnemore
4. Thread of the Past by Dawn Dalton

5. The Cold One by Candace Havens
6. Death becomes Her by Kitty Keswick
7. Oast House by Carmen Tudor
8. The New Girl by Maria V. Synder
9. Aftermath by Halli Dee Liburn
10.Phantom of the Prom by Linda Joy Singleton

11. Night Queen by John W. Otte
12. To Hell and Back by Shannon Delany
13. The Story of Late by Heather Kenealy

Hope you check out our stories!

The Mystery of the Gift that Never Existed

Backstory: About 10 years ago I was inspired by my childhood memories of a visit to Peterson's Rock Garden in Bend Oregon, loving the glittering rock art, and started writing a book that would go through many title changes to become MY CASTLE ROCKS. For research, I visited the real rock garden and fell in love with the tiny bridges, buildings and glittery world in quartz, obsidian and other dazzling rocks. I especially loved the pink quartz.

Lately ROCKS has been on my mind because I spent the last 2 months revising the manuscript I started so long ago. I had to put it aside while I wrote THE SEER, DEAD GIRL and upcoming BURIED. I had some helpful comments from a few editors who saw the original version and I finally had time to make these rewrites. When I sent it to my agent Weds, she wrote back that she fell in love with it and "it was amazing."

So I was thinking of this book and rock art and this morning I woke up early with a startling memory. Hadn't my husband given me a pink quartz chunk for a gift? I could see it in my mind but couldn't remember every having it in this house. We moved here in 2005 and other things had been lost in the move--had this been lost? Put away in a box? I couldn't remember...

So I looked in closets and shelves. Nothing. So I looked in the past, by pulling out my journals and skipping to holidays where I would have received a gift. Nothing. So I called my husband, and he reminded me that he and my daughter HAD taken a trip to Oregon and searched for a pink quartz for me but ultimately didn't buy one. Still, he'd told me about this so vividly that I could see the rock in my mind. It's the trick memory can play, altering facts so that unreality seems real.

Mystery solved...but I have a feeling I may get that pink quartz someday (g).

PS -- My husband and I have an agreement that when ROCKS sells, he'll build me a wishing well out of real rocks from our property, like the rock art my story is based on.

Dog Names

When I was a kid, I was wild about everything dog. I collected photos, had a dog-cat club with my best friend, drew dog pictures, and made list of dog names. For a short time I even wanted to be a vet, until I realized needles and blood was involved. So I wrote animal stories instead, like the classic: Termite the Terrible Puppy.

So this morning I'm working on rewrites and watching the news (with my dog Lacey curled up beside me) and on the news they have a poll to name a dog. I never click over to news sites but I couldn't resist this. The puppy was so cute, too, all small and curly and white. Some of the names to choose from were Snowball, Bear, Coco, Tater, Dizzy, Sunny, Parker, Rocky, Miles, Cosmo, Coltrane, Oats, etc. I had to vote of course. I was leaning toward Coco until I read it again and saw it was a male puppy. So I picked Cosmo then checked the %'s and found that it wasn't the most popular name. Can you guess which name is leading with 17%?

It's up at

Linda...very skilled at procastinating instead of working on my book.