Connecting the Thoughts

            Now and then someone will ask where I get my ideas.  I resist the temptation to give Isaac Asimov’s answer: “A post office box in Cleveland.”  I skip from one era, event, person, or country to another for my novels, so curiosity about what inspires them is...

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Shock and Ew-w-w-w

In 1979,  Ballantine Books gave me a contract to write a novel about the Comanches, a culture and tradition completely unknown to this Anglo-American East Coast native.  That first venture into historical research raised an unexpected question.  In 1836 what made the...

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Alligator Allegories

Light a Distant Fire is set in my home state of Florida.  Writing the story of Osceola gave me a chance to learn more about my favorite reptile, the alligator.  While driving around the state doing research, I also heard stories of people’s encounters with them. An...

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My Dead and Imaginary Friends

      In the thirty-six years I've been writing, I've acquired a fractious pack of rascally friends, both dead and imaginary.  Which explains why this is my all-time favorite cartoon. Robert Bloch once wrote, "I roll a piece of paper into the typewriter, load it with...

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The Ghost Warriors

This is the very talented Maria D'Angelo's portrait of Lozen, the Apache woman who rode as a warrior with the men in the second half of the 19th century.  Maria's compelling image of her hangs in its frame on my wall and it impresses me every day. The Apaches called...

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Cooking up a devilish story

        Meet my late, great next-door neighbor, Noni, on the far left, back row.   She fit this description of Faye, on page 20 of Devilish.       "Faye believed in seers and psychics, alien abductions and etheric forces.  She channeled a third century sage named...

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