May Tulips

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Hopefully you’re having a barbecue.  This month the Fictorians are discussing what makes different novels stand out, and why you can recognize a particular author’s works, even across series. What is the ‘special sauce’ they use? Today I get to discuss my own books as an example. What makes a Frank […]

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Castello Odescalchi

Castles In Italy

Castles- A Photo journey Join Frank and Jenny Morin on a tour of the 3 castles they visited in Italy. The purpose of their trip: to research sites for Frank’s Facetakers series. They visited Castello Odescalci near Rome,  Guaiata Fortress in San Marino, and Castello Sforza in Milan.  

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Rune Warrior at the Uffizi

Fair Florence

We recently traveled to Italy on a research trip for Frank’s time travel thrillers, the Facetakers series. My first morning in Tuscany, I had a Room with a View experience. Typical Jenny fashion, I couldn’t open the shutters in my room, but I did manage to throw open the shutters at the end of the […]

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Turkish bath

What happens in a Turkish bath, anyway?

The most luxurious experience I’ve ever had happened half a world away in the exotic city of Istanbul. Our gracious hotel guide showed us the way to Cemberlitas Hamami, an ancient Turkish bath just a few minutes’ walk from our hotel.  Just walking in and feeling the warmth of the steam seeping out into the […]

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Italian bakery with cupcakes

Mangia in Italy!

Did you know there’s a tower in Italy named after eating? It’s true. Mangia is the word for ‘eat’ in Italian. In Siena, their tallest tower is named the Torre del Mangia or the Tower of eating! Italians take their food seriously. I’ve never had a bad meal there. It just takes a little planning, […]

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Hero with Friends

Why the Hero Needs Friends, but the Villain is a Loner

Why does the hero usually benefit from a group of friends to support them, while the villain seems to go it alone, surrounded by toadies, henchmen, and often monstrous servants, but no real friends? A favorite example for me is David Eddings’ classic fantasy: The Mallorean. I loved this series when I read it as […]

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Humor Panel LTUE

LTUE – Great Time Moderating the Humor Panel

The LTUE Conference (Life, the Universe, and Everything) this year in Provo, UT, was again a wonderful event. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, attending excellent panels and presentations, catching up with old friends, and networking with many new people. One of the highlights was moderating the panel on writing humor: “I’m in it For […]

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Batman vs Bane

Tension in Physical Confrontation

Which scene evokes more tension? 1 – Two master martial artists dueling in a high-flying contest of furious fists? 2 – A child trying to hold a door closed against a huge, rabid dog? Most people choose number two, even though both contests could likely result in at least one person dying, and the first […]

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Trashing Your Novel Might be the Only Way to Save It

Happy New Year! As we discuss new beginnings this month in the Fictorians, I’m talking about those times when you must begin at the beginning – again – when to decide to throw away your novel and start over. It’s a scary idea to consider for any writer, no matter how experienced. We slave over our […]

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Forbidden City

Pause to Enjoy the View

A lot of people travel during the holidays, and many of us focus on how efficiently we can get from point A to point B. How many times is the first question you get asked when arriving at a destination after a long drive, “How long did it take?” It’s important to learn to not […]

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