Bringing “Sunny Now & Then” to light—the mystery of the writing process


I just made a risky move!

To the subscribers of my newsletter, I’ve offered the first chapter of Sunny Now & Then—an unpublished novel I wrote in 1989.

Sunny is an eccentric 80-year-old who is somewhat inconveniently possessed by a spirit. It’s a light contemporary comedy/mystery. If you’re curious, and not a subscriber, sign up here. (If you are protective of your in-box—and who isn’t?—you can always unsubscribe.)

If you are already a newsletter subscriber, I’ll be offering this excerpt of Sunny Now & Then in my next newsletter.

What’s amusing about this early work, I think, is that although Sunny Now & Then is a contemporary comedy, it led directly to the writing and publication of The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. five years later. (I think you can guess who the possessing spirit might be.)

Writing is such a circuitous and mysterious process!

Curtain about to go up on The Shadow Queen

Curtain about to go up on The Shadow Queen

Perhaps one of the most heartening things for an author is when one’s work is understood. This review (see the link in @leaflette’s Tweet below) brought tears to my eyes.

I especially liked this from Leeanna’s review:

THE SHADOW QUEEN had just the right amount of historical detail to for me to perfectly imagine Claudette’s world, from the theatre to court. I’ve never had an interest in French plays or the history of them, but now I do, thanks to reading this book. Claudette’s parents are both actors, and so the beginning “acts” of the book take place in the theatre world. It was pretty cool to find out how plays were staged back then. Also, when Claudette moves to court, to be Athénaïs’ maid and companion, it was easy to draw allusions between both false worlds.

Thank you so much, Leeanna, whoever and wherever you are.

From the This ‘n That Department:

Have you noticed my new website design? I am very pleased.

Why I’ve been silent: so much to do. I am 4 days from pub date (OMG) and 6 days from heading north to Canada. (Yikes!)

My first event will be at the North Shore Writers Festival on Saturday, April 12, 2:30-3:30pm: Enlivening the Past, historical fiction writers’ panel featuring authors Sandra Gulland, Daniel Kalla, Mary Novikand Roberta Rich is moderated by Jen Sookfong Lee. I am stoked to be seeing Roberta again, and am very much looking forward to meeting Daniel, Jen, and—especially, Mary, who I’ve long admired from afar.

If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, be sure to do so now. ( With every newsletter, a subscriber wins a book. (I’m loving doing this.)

I was a bit over the moon that Flipboard mentioned my magazine in a Tweet:

The subscription has increased by over 500 already.

And last, another Tweet I loved:

All Hail: The Shadow Queen! The book trailer is launched …



Clicking takes you to YouTube. Feel free to “Like” it!

If you click “Share this video” you will be able to share it on any of your Social Media sites, which I’d love for you to do. For the tech-minded among you, clicking “embed” gives you the code you need to put the video on your own blog.

I’m going to be getting out a newsletter in a few days, so if you’re not subscribed, you might want to get on the list. (Click here to sign up.) With each newsletter, a subscriber wins a  book.

Another big change will be the redesign of this website … stay tuned!

And, for those of us who do not have access to the New York Times Book Review, here is the ad that will be in the April 13 issue. (Yes, I am thrilled.)