Give Me Twenty-Six Lead Soldiers

“Give me twenty-six lead soldiers and I will conquer the world.”


I started writing eight years ago, because I had a story to tell that combined my love of politics, current events, and sports. The Jade Harrington series has been that story. Sometimes I think about how my writing life might be easier, if I focused on less controversial and complex topics. Over the holidays, a friend and constant supporter of my work gave me the quote, “Give me twenty-six lead soldiers and I will conquer the world.” Whether it was said by Johannes Gutenberg, Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx, or all the above, they understood the power of the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, the written word, and the printing press. Words can impact relationships, save lives, change minds, and, yes, conquer the world.

 Sometimes being a writer can be discouraging. So when a reader sent me a Facebook message: “You are scary amazing” (which I took as a good thing) and another wrote me a letter to “keep writing,” like these affirmations, this quote came right on time.

 If something you read moves you or resonates with you, contact the author. You never know…you might be the impetus to help him or her keep writing.

 As this year of dramatic change comes to an end, and as I look forward to a busy 2019—releasing The Divide, completing a standalone book, and beginning the fourth book in the Jade series, I want to thank everyone who bought my books, recommended them to friends, left a review, touted them on social media, and joined my newsletter. It means more to me than you will ever know.

 And, to my friend who gave me the quote, on this New Year’s Eve, I stand in gratitude.

 Happy New Year!

Waiting II

About eight months ago, while my political thriller, Don’t Speak, was being formatted, I wrote a blog entitled Waiting, in which I described how much a writer waits between stages of the writing process. But this time, I’m looking forward to it. I finished the second draft of the second book in the Jade Harrington series. The manuscript is now with my editor.

There’s always this trepidation when someone else reads my work for the first time. Is it good? Does it suck? Will he “get” it? Is the current political landscape becoming crazier than fiction? How will I ever keep up?

In the meantime, what will I do? I have some ideas. All the things that I’ve ignored while I was writing:

·       Organize my home office

·       Pay bills

·       Read

·       Practice synchronized swimming for the 2020 Olympics (kidding)

·       Learn how to cook (kidding)

·       Work out (not kidding)

·       Yoga / meditation

·       Get ready for football season (Go Raiders!)

·       Watch EPL (Go Chelsea!) and La Liga (Hala Madrid!)

·       Spend time with my family and friends who have missed me (you did miss me, right?)

·       Relax (what’s that?)

·       Did I say read?

And, maybe, brainstorm book #3.

Until next time…


Tom Petty once sang that the hardest part is waiting. He may have been singing about something else—in fact, I’m sure he was—but his song could also apply to the life of a writer.

After writing each draft, a writer waits for feedback from readers. Then, she waits on feedback from editors. This process can continue indefinitely. A proofreader does the final edits, while the writer waits some more.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

My novel, Don’t Speak, is now being formatted for publication. After it is printed, I will wait until it is available for sale next month. In the meantime, to fill the void, I have been writing the second book in the Jade Harrington series. My goal is to finish the first draft by the end of January.

When I’ll wait for someone else to read it.