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Showing posts from February, 2017

Setting! Setting! Setting!

Female Bluebird on a sunny day. Mourning Dove on a rainy day--Raindrops keep falling on my head... In writing and photography, setting can mean everything. Just think if the dove had been in front of a bunch of shrubs. The raindrops falling on his head would have been lost. The bluebird against the blue sky made for a nice backdrop. In writing, I try to have a setting that challenges my characters, or gives the reader a new experience. I’m in the Boundary Waters on a canoe trip right now while writing the next Arctic Wolf book due out next year. It’s different from being in Alaska, where the story starts, the Grand Cayman Islands, where I've visited or say …Texas, where I live now. Shooting pictures on a rainy day gives a different setting than on a sunny day. The same with a story. It sets the mood. A rainy, foggy day makes you feel different from a sunny, bright day. A place can  make you feel differently about the weather too. A sunny day in Oregon was we

No, Really, I Have a Job by Shana Galen

When I first published, about a dozen years ago, writers talked a lot about not being taken seriously. Their families didn’t respect their writing time. Their friends thought their work was just a hobby. We gave and attended workshops on how to guard your time and not feel guilty about not answering the phone or the door to the bored neighbor who wants to have coffee. I thought in 2017 this attitude had passed. After all, people are working more flexible schedules now, and with the advances in technology, more people work from home. Personally, I feel like I’ve proven myself to anyone who might question whether writing is my job or just a hobby. I’ve published over 30 books with four more releasing this year. What else do I have to do to be taken seriously? Apparently, I have to get an office. There seems to be something about physically going to an office to work, as opposed to the kitchen table or a home office, that is magical. An office away from

Taking a closer look

I recently signed up for yet another marketing course. I'm hopeless when it comes to the business end of things, and I don't know if this course will be any different from the others. (Yawn.) It might be. Their first lesson wasn't actually meant to be a lesson, but it was for me. They asked us to fill out a very short questionnaire. It took less than 5 minutes, so I managed to complete at least one homework assignment. I was genuinely surprised by my own answers. Here they are: Why did you start writing? I'm a creative person and I was in a non-creative job. As an RN my job was to carry out doctor's orders. Period. It stifled my creativity and left me tired at the end of the day. Writing helped me express myself creatively, find my bliss, and eventually change my life. I now write full time. How does your writing make people's lives better? I've received 'thank you' emails, telling me my sense of

I Am in Charge...

Right. I’m trying to do my taxes, make bears, and write a book. Which means, the taxes are a necessary evil, and if I were in charge, I wouldn’t be doing them. Making bears, yes, they’re fun. Writing the book, it’s on deadline, so again, I’m not in charge. The deadline is. Not to mention my characters are presenting scenes to me while I’m trying to do other things…like sleep…and so guess who else is in charge???     Then the puppies. Aww, my adorable puppies. I’m supposed to be the alpha, but until I feed them this morning, they will keep hounding me, which means I finally gave in, so, you can see who is in charge. I am over halfway done on Flight of the White Wolf, yay! And I sewed up a lilac bear for a Mother’s Day bear, which is just the beginning, and finished a golden mohair last night. But I have an order too, that needs to be done. In January, yes of next year, Heart of the Wolf will be re-released with a new c

Enter the Age of the Alpha Heroine

In romancelandia, much has been made of alpha heroes and how sexy they are. I’m not denying the sexy. At all. I want to be clear about that. If some amazingly hot Viking prince warlord pack alpha rock star waltzes into my fictional purview, I am not going to tell him to go away. But I also might want to introduce him to my friend, alpha heroine. And sit back and watch for sparks. I grew up reading eclectically: Barbara Cartland and J. R. R. Tolkien and Madeleine L’Engle and John le Carre and Dean R. Koontz. Basically whatever I could scrounge at the library and/or neighborhood yard sales on the cheap. And though I salivated over the growly and slightly menacing heroes in some of those swoony ‘80s romance novels, I didn’t want to be any of the heroines. For the yearning to identify with protagonists who looked like me, I went to … well, I didn’t have a lot of options. L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was a great springboard, but the rest of that series devolved to dude-centric

Kim Redford’s Favorite Cowboy Business Card

Okay, I admit it. I needed a bit of a pick-me-up the other day while pounding away at my keyboard, but I never dreamed it was going to come in the way of . . . I heard a lot of hammering, sawing, and deep male voices at my next door neighbor’s house. Not normal, to say the least. Curious and more than ready for a break, I grabbed a sweater and my cell phone. I stepped out my front door into cool crisp air and looked to the left past my front lawn. Low and behold, four tall, broad-shouldered, cowboy-hatted Texans were putting up white siding on the Mid-Century Modern brick house. As much as I appreciate MCM, pretty winter days, and redbirds in pecan trees, at that moment I appreciated the eye candy more. A guy standing on the ground was cutting vinyl on sawhorses. He saw me, gave me a big grin, and called me over. He motioned at the three men on ladders, explained what they were doing, and wondered if I’d be interested in putting siding on my MCM. Up to that moment, I hadn’

Introducing SAVING MERCY

Hello Everyone! I'd like to introduce you to my newest novel SAVING MERCY . A little bit about SAVING MERCY ... He’s found her at last… Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man. His only redeeming quality? The extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch killers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his horrific past—and the one woman who might understand what it means. Only to lose her to a nightmare Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful—and in terrible danger. The moment Cain finds her the line between good and evil blurs and the only thing clear to them is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood—but is their bond strong enough to overcome the madness that stalks them? My Favorite Thing about SAVING MERCY ... Cain Killion. He's the son of a serial killer who falls for his father's only surviving

The Island of Misfit Dogs

The Island of Misfit Dogs While researching my Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series, I was impressed with the talented, real-life K9s working alongside law enforcement officers. It’s amazing what these brave dogs can do. Photo courtesy of the Rochester Minnesota Police K9 Unit Here on the Island of Misfit Dogs (i.e. my house), things are…well, a bit different. Roadie and Wiley are Australian Shepherds. Thinking that they should be allowed to do what their breed was meant to do, I signed up for herding lessons. I quickly discovered that they were not interested in herding sheep. Or goats. Or anything, really. These lessons ended when Roadie, the poster child for canine ADHD, turned away from the sheep to follow a butterfly. Not even a squirrel. A butterfly . Sigh. Cam, on the other hand, is a Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd cross. Her ancestors were livestock guardians, bred to hang out with the flock or herd and protect the livestock from predat

Learning History from Fiction (by Asa Maria Bradley)

Désirée Clary by François Gérard (1810) Like many writers, I have always been a voracious reader. Luckily, my mom is also a book addict and happily enabled her daughters addiction. My favorite stories were about human connection. Relationships between siblings, strangers, and soul mates fascinated me equally. I don’t remember the first romance novel I read, but I do remember shocking my Swedish seventh-grade history teacher by my extensive historical knowledge of how the current ruling family of Sweden was founded. All the kids in my class knew the event took place in 1818 by a French general named Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte.  And that he changed his name to Charles XIV John when he was elected heir presumptive to the Swedish throne. (The royal family was dying out because of too much inbreeding. Seriously!) We learned those details from our textbook. But I was the only student who rambled on about King Bernadotte's queen, Desideria, and the challenges she faced when sh