My Story Went to the Dogs

What do a bloodhound, a satellite, and a tracking device have in common? The answer is a search and research. I researched all three were subjects for my short novel, Fellowship (formerly Ian’s Trust). After the research, my story went to the dogs.  Fellowship is the story of Ian Hobart, an eighteen-year-old high school student. Ian lives in an imaginary town between Lynchburg, Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. His parents and older brother are Taken by the Fellowship. Ian in a desperate attempt to save his younger siblings takes them into the mountains.  The pursuit of Ian and his siblings takes place in the same world but a couple of years before My Soul to Keep. To create a believable pursuit, I needed to learn about methods of tracking escapees.  Early Communication Satellites I dove into the history of early satellites and telemetry to learn about tracking methods like GPS.  The first artificial Earth satellite was Sputnik 1. Launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, Sputnik had an on-board radio-transmitter. A major step in space exploration, it was not a communications satellite. The first satellite purpose-built to relay communications was NASA’s Project SCORE in 1958. It stored […]

The Magic You Make When You Read a Story

Storytelling is magic. Black marks march across a piece of paper into your brain. And in your brain something grows and blossoms. Colors and shapes and feelings and adventure. The magic you make when you tell a story is that every single person who reads it puts a piece of themselves into that story. Not only that, they take a little piece of that story away with them. The magic you make when you read a story creates a world with characters and problems and solutions.  Why I Write Books were friends, allies, escape when I desperately needed those things. They took me to real and fantastical places. The heroes and villains within taught me good and evil are not simple but doing right is. Someone’s words slid right through my eyes and my brain and into my heart. This. I wanted to be able to do that. To help someone who’s having a bad day. To show someone who had darkness in their life that there is light and you can reach it. My Soul to Keep My debut book, My Soul to Keep, is very much one of those books. A book I hope will touch the people […]

Inspiration Behind the Scenes with a Female Sniper

She was seventeen years old in June of 1943. Klavdiia Efremovna Kalugina (also spelled Klavdiya Yefremovna Kalugina) a Russian, born in 1926 came from a “not rich” family. She became the youngest sniper-in-training at a school for Komsomol (Communist Union of Youth). All the other pupils were eighteen. She could stay in the school as long as she didn’t “fall behind.” Sniper School They divided the young women into pairs. Marusia Chikhvintseva, Klavdiia’s first partner, became her best friend.  Accustomed to hard work, Klavdiia helped build the firing range for the school. But when it came time to shoot, she could only hit “milk” (jargon for a complete miss). Her squad commander took her aside and gave her private lessons.  She learned tactics and camouflage and ballistics. And she qualified as a sniper.  After graduation, they grouped pairs into squads and sent them all around the front. On March 1, 1944, six pairs of snipers, including Klavdiia and Marusia, were sent to the Belorussian front.  On the Front They rode in cattle cars with heaters as close to the front as they could get. The truck sent to take them to the fighting couldn’t get through the snow. Klavdiia said […]