Early 2021 TO READ List

Now that we are almost two months into 2021, I thought I’d share my to read list, as of right now.

At the end of 2020, I began reading the Harry Potter series. I’ve seen the movies countless times and even started reading the series once, but never got all the way through. Now, I’m determined.

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

Right now I’ve made it through the first five books of the series and I’m currently reading Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. Next up is The Deathly Hallows and I’ll have finished this entire series! The books track the movies pretty closely, but do have various differences, which is fun and unexpected. I love the series – I really love the movies. I’m not sure if the book series is something I’d read again, but you never know. I won’t lie; it’s kind of nice knowing what happens. Sometimes the anticipation of “what’s going to happen” in a book sets my anxious nerves on edge.

I got quite a few books for Christmas that are stacked up and waiting to be read. Most were off of my Amazon wish list. I don’t know a lot about them yet, but I’m excited to get into them.

I read Kathryn Croft’s Silent Lies last year and found it pretty interesting. It had been sitting my wish list for a while and I finally grabbed it. Totally loved it. I added her book The Warning afterward and got it as a gift. Once I find an author I really enjoy, I like to grab a couple of their works and see what I think. This book sounds like it may follow a similar style as to the first book of hers that I read, so I’m intrigued to see how it goes.

Another book on my Amazon Wish List that sat that for quite some time was Lucy Dawson’s The Memory. I think it’s been on my list for a couple of years. I don’t think I ‘ve read anything of hers before, so I’m looking forward to see what kind of style writer she is and if I enjoy the story. Anything that I can get dropped into is fun for me. I’ve looked up her other works and they seem like good reads as well. I’ll see how this first one goes and then decide. But I know me. I’ll probably love it. I have a habit of pain stakingly picking an author and then loving everything they’ve ever done (with a few exceptions).

I grabbed Broken Girls by Simone St. James off of Thriftbooks.com. It had been on my Amazon Wish List as well, but I could never decide if I wanted to pull the trigger and read it. I’ve never read anything by this author so I just wasn’t sure. I added it onto a TB order on a whim and it’s sitting waiting to be read. I get anxious reading authors for the first time, so I hope I enjoy it. Like I’ve mentioned before, I do tend to fall in love with whatever I read, but sometimes I get disappointed in the story. Or worse, I can’t finish the dang book at all. Thankfully, that has only happened once or twice.

Now, onto two nonfiction books. I gravitate to fiction, but I honestly love true crime books and true stories as well. If it’s got some adversity, I want to feel that pain with you. These two books, His Bright Light and Almost Perfect were on my wish list as well. I don’t remember how I stumbled across these book. I’ve always been drawn to true crime and true life stories – how did this awful thing happen and why? I just have to know! I’m a sucker for these types of shows on television as well. I’ve watched reruns of Unsolved Mysteries and Disappeared more times than I can count. These two books fall into these categories and I think I’m most excited to read them.

The last book on my list is a bit sentimental. It’s the last book in Shirly Murphy’s Joe Grey series, Cat Chase the Moon. The series is about Joe Grey – he’s a talking cat who helps solve crimes with other talking cats and their human counterparts. My friend Jeanne got me started with this series many years ago and I fell in love with it. This book is sentimental for a few reasons. Jeanne passed away in 2019 so we never got the chance to read this one together. It’s also the last in the series because Mrs. Murphy has been unable to continue writing. It’s rather heart breaking that there won’t be any more Joe Grey adventures. This is a series I’ll read again and again. It’s fun and adventurous and holds a special place in my heart.

My Goodreads goal is to read 30 books this year, so at some point I’ll post additional books, but this will get 2021 started. Good reading, everyone!

From Hobby to Lifestyle – being a Happy Planner

My obsession with planning started in high school when they began to give out planner to every student. That was amazing. Being organzied is also a favorite of mine, so a planner seems like a requirement. Over the years I had several different types of planner. Some were just pretty bound notebooks that I’d make a monthly calendar in and then write out all the things I needed to plan. Birthday parties, get togethers, trips, etc. I used to call those my Planning Notebooks.

In 2017 my best friend got me a binder-type planner for the 2018 year. It was mint green – gorgeous – and from Recollections. I loved that planner! I had some great stickers and post it notes and all kinds of accessories to go with it. I really loved that planner. I used it faithfully all year.

My First Planner

As 2018 came to an end, I went looking for a new planner. I’d seen some things online about The Happy Planner and thought it was a cute system. I picked up this one at Walmart on a whim. I didn’t know a whole lot about them apart from the fact that they were adorable and had tons of stickers and accessories. I bought it before the end of the year and kind of let it sit.

In the past it had been my habit that on New Years Eve, I’d fill out my new planner with everyone’s birthdays and all the important dates that I could transfer year to year. I didn’t that year. I knew I wanted to use the planner, I just had no idea how to.

On New Years Day 2019, my world was turned upside down. A very dear friend and co worker passed away unexpectedly and I was absolutely shattered. Jeanne was so very important to me. I was given some time off from work to get myself together and in those few days I wanted to pull my hair out. I was in shock and I needed something to fill the silence and distract me. I grabbed my new Happy Planner and googled how to use a happy planner. I clicked on a link to Heather Kell’s Kellofaplan YouTube channel and the rest is history. I let myself completely be immersed in every video Heather posted. I’ve since met Heather Kell and we’re friends now and I’ve told her how she helped me through those days of heartbreak.

I started using the decorative Happy Planner and found this “planning” to be a hobby. It helped immensly with the sadness and anxiety I was feeling. It still does. But it’s changed since those early days of putting stickers onto a page and trying to come up with stuff to fill a daily planner.

Now it’s a lifestyle. I touch my planner daily. I have several of them. All Happy Planner’s. I created a YouTube channel that spotlights my Happy Planners from time to time. My Instagram feed is almost exclusively Happy Planner content (see?)

I’ve applied two years in a row to be on the Happy Planner Squad, but haven’t made it yet. I own more Happy Planner supplies than I care to admit. My daugther even loves it and has her own Instagram account showing off her Happy Planner!

I now have a catch all, daily planner, a social media planner, an on-the-go planner, a budget planner and a writing planner. I also have endless project lists, notebooks and ideas sections within my planner.

I live for being a part of the planner community on Instagram and YouTube! I’ve been to one planner event where I got to meet some other amazing planner friends and when Covid is over, I hope to go to more. I’ve taken online classes and courses to better my planning skills.

It’s been an amazing journey from this little thing I picked up by chance to this full-blown daily part of my life. I love my Happy Planner(s).

What have you read in Quarantine? See ya, 2020!

These are the books I’ve read Fall through Winter 2020, because … COVID.

As mentioned last month, Covid quarantine has been real in our household and here we are, ready to end 2020.

Here is a quick rundown of the books I’ve read this fall through winter and my two cents on each. Let me know if you’re interested in keeping up with my reading list in 2021.

What My Sister Knew by Nina Laurin. I picked up Nina Laurin’s book Girl Last Seen and fell in love with her style of writing. I went back and forth on whether to read this one or not. The blurb didn’t quite grab my interest. I’m so glad I did, though. It was completely different than what I expected and I absolutely loved it! It’s one I’ll reread in the future. And I don’t reread a ton of books.

A Half Forgotten Song by Katherine Webb. In my last blog, I mentioned three books by Katherin Webb. I’ve just started reading her books this year and I’m in love with them! They remind me of my favorite author, Kate Morton. A Half Forgotten Song took a little bit to grab my interest, but once it did, I couldn’t put it down! It was intriguing and I really enjoy a book that I don’t see the ending coming.

Odd Child Out by Gilly MacMillian. I found this book at Dollar Tree! I couldn’t believe it. I read another book of hers, What She Knew a while back and really enjoyed her way of storytelling. This book was a little less impressive than the prior book I read, but I did enjoy it. It’s not one I’d reread again. Trigger warning – it was a little depressing and pretty sad.

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. I think I’ve read all of Chevy Stevens’ books. And for me, I either really love them or think they are okay. This one had me feeling it was just okay. I did enjoy the storyline, however the main character didn’t sit well with me. If I can’t connect with the main character, I tend to not connect with the entire story / book.

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield. Years ago I was gifted and read Diane’s book The Thirteenth Tale and was obssessed with it! It was simply amazing and I recommend it to everyone. When I grabbed this book, I was so excited. I honestly didn’t like this book at all. I couldn’t get into the story or connect with the plot or the characters. It made me sad, that I didn’t love it. The Thirteenth Tale was a much superior book, in my opinion.

Conversion by Katherine Howe. I absolutley love Katherine Howe. Her book The Physick Book of Deliverance Day is one my favorite books ever. I’ve read a few of her books and I picked this one up to kind of complete her catalog. I read Conversion quite a while ago and I still think about it. The story was something new to me and it keeps you thinking for a while after. It’s interesting because I’m not quite sure if I liked it, but I keep coming back to thinking about it.

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Kate Morton is one of my absolute favorite author and I’ve now read every book she has released. I’ve had this one on my shelf for almost two years as the last one to be read. I hate when I get to this point where I’ve read everything from an author and have to wait for the next release. It makes me sad. But, of course, I loved this book. I’ve yet to reread any of Kate Morton’s books, but I will. They feel like home to me and I absolutely recommend them to anyone!

The Harry Potter series. You don’t really need a whole lot of information here. I bought all the books in the series a while ago and they sat on my shelf. I’ve seen the movies more times than I can count. I finally picked up the first book and started reading. Currently I’m on book 5. They take a minute to read, and the first books seemed to track the movies pretty closely. I love seeing the subtle differences between the books and the movies. Of course I recommend Harry Potter. LOL. Who wouldn’t.

That’s my list! I have read 47 books in 2020 (and we have a few days left to go). What books to you recommend? I’d love to check them out!

What have you read in Quarantine?

These are the books I’ve read Summer through Fall 2020, because … COVID.

I know everyone’s opinions on Covid and quarantine vary, and that’s fine, but in our household – we’re taking extreme caution and staying in as much as possible.

Our daughter is virtual learning and I’m working outside the home, but our office is not seeing clients in person. I don’t go to the store, we don’t go out to eat. I wear a mask if I’m outside the house. In turn, I’ve done quite a bit of reading.

Here is a quick rundown of the books I’ve read this summer and fall and my two cents on each. Come back next month for the winter wrap up of what I’ve read.

The Charm of the Defeated and Ten Years Taken by Susannah B. Lewis. Both of these books by author and down right hilarious woman Susannah B. Lewis were purchased as gifts since I went on and on about her and wanted to support a fellow self-published author. Both were wonderful reads, Ten Years Taken being completely different than I expected. The Charm of the Defeated was a delightful look at the South through several different characters and timelines.

Daughters of the Lake and The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb. I’ve read all of Wendy Webb’s books (with the exception of The Haunting of Brynn Wilder that was just released) and I thoroughly enjoy her style of writing. You get caught up in the tale and within pages you’re right there with the characters. If you haven’t read her works, you should. I’d recommend any of them!

Bitter Falls by Rachel Caine
I was sad to hear that author Rachel Caine passed away recently. She’s got a huge volume of work, but I’m most familiar with her Stillhouse Lake series. I have a thing for books with lake houses, houses in the middle of nowhere, decrepit, old mansions. My friend Jeanne bought me my first Rachel Caine book and I was blown away by the nonstop action and despair of the main character. Bitter Falls is the latest in the series and does not disappoint. Check out the entire series and get ready for the next release Heartbreak Bay in March 2021.

The Cat, the Devil and the Last Escape by Shirley Murphy
This book is a spin off of the Joe Grey Mystery series. If you’re not familiar, the Joe Grey mystery series is about a talking cat that solves mysteries and it’s amazing. Jeanne started me on Joe Grey many years ago and I fell in love with him. I could go on and on about these books. They are so special to me because Jeanne loved them so much. Jeanne passed in January 2019 and I feel like any books in this collection are a connection to her.

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
This is the first Jessica Strawser book I’ve read and I fell in love with it. Almost Missed You was a page turner that I couldn’t put down. I rarely find a book that I can’t put down, but this was one of them. I can’t wait to pick up some of her other books!

Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft
This is another author I’ve not read before and picked up this book on a whim. I LOVED IT. Books like this that keep you turning the page and guessing what happens next are so much fun. I kept guessing what would happen next and then second guess myself. By the time it was over, I was exhausted. Great read!

The Legacy, The Unseen and The Misbegotten by Katherine Webb
Some of my favorite authors are Kate Morton and Wendy Webb with their sprawling houses and haunting characters. In looking for something similar, I came across Katherine Webb. I picked up The Legacy first and found a match for what I was looking for! Now I’ve read several of Katherine’s books with some more on their way to me. Check her out if you have any interest in this area of writing – haunting and whimsical historical fiction.

Replica and Rooms by Lauren Oliver
I fell in love with Lauren Oliver’s writing when I read Broken Things last year. It was one of those books that stuck with me. This year, I picked up Vanishing Girls, Replica and Ringer. Now I did this ass backwards and read Ringer before I read Replica, which should have been the other way around. Doesn’t matter. Both books were great. All her books are great. I recently finished Rooms and it blew me away!

Now the book that left a lasting impact most …

Night Road by Kristin Hannah
This was another gift and I’d never read a novel by Kristin Hannah before. I started the book knowing that Kristin Hannah is a huge author with loads of books under her belt. I was excited to see what everyone loved. I couldn’t put this book down. I think I read it in a couple of nights, maybe three. I identified with each character and the heartbreaking lives they were dealt. Ugh. This book tore me up. And not just while I was reading it. For days afterward it stuck with me, plagued me and wore heavy on my heart. It was such an expierence I want to read it again, but I also don’t because it was so emotional and quite a physical read – at least for me. And that is what makes it amazing – a book that can stay with you well after you’ve finished it and put it on the shelf is superb.

That’s my list! Next month I’ll have my wrap up of 2020. I have a few books in the mail to read but not enough. What do you recommend? I’d love to check them out!

The Movies & TV That Made Me

Not only do books influence authors, TV and movies do as well

What inspires you to write? A book that you read that you loved? A movie scene that gave you all the feels? A song that made you pull the car over? A dream that stayed with you all day until you typed out all the details?

All of these things have happened to me and more than once. No judgments as I tell you a little bit about the TV shows and Movies that inspired my writing.

Now this one is going way back to when I was a kid. Way back to when I’d carry a beat up notebook and two pencils around with me everywhere I went. You know, just in case inspiration struck. I was ten or twelve when I discoved Are You Afraid of the Dark on Nickolodeon and I.ate.it.up. Every week I’d watch and take notes of what the episode was about. And then I’d re-enact the episode with my kid brother. And then I’d try and write something similar.

This particular episode (see right) was one of my favorites and inspired countless ghost stories. For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to see this; the episode is about a girl who discovers a missing girl trapped within the mirror inside the empty house next door. Like …. that is genius on so many levels. That episode alone triggered a fascination with ghosts, empty and abandoned houses and cool bedrooms. I wrote stories about ghosts at baseball fields, ghosts in woods, ghosts frigging everywhere. Over twenty five years later, I wrote a story including a ghost of a friend.

I feel like you should have seen it coming that Twilight would make my list. For the record, I did not jump on this bandwagon the moment it started. In fact, I repelled it. I stayed away as long as I could. A friend brought it over one night when we were both away from our boyfriends. And that was it. I was hooked. In ways other than writing inspiration – I own and read all the books. Seen and own the movies. Watched said movies with my 9 year old.

And my favorite – I had this sticker on the back window of my car until I traded it in – well after I had my child. I had to explain it to everyone I encountered but I loved it.

As for inspiration, I wrote a YA novel after reading Twilight and it’s my longest novel ever! There are portions of the movies that I watch and giggle to myself because I know they’ve pressed upon me so much.

There have been tons of movie scenes and TV that have been an inspiration to me over the many years I’ve been writing. These are just a couple of them.

I will let you in one little secret. Again, no judgments. Favorites always seem to come back around to us, don’t they?

Last year, Nick rebooted Are You Afraid of the Dark. I watched with my kiddo and I managed to find myself yet another way to be inspired. One character inspired two entire novels! Be on the look out and see if you can figure out who he is!

Novel Plotting and Planning

How I use Microsoft One Note

Check out the video on my You Tube channel covering One Note

There are countless ways to plot and plan your novel. You can use a notebook, binder or white board if you like physically plotting. You can use any amount of online programs or apps. You can just not plot at all. The right to chose is yours.

My plotting and planning preferences have morphed over the years. From using pen and paper to what I use today – One Note.

When I really started focusing on my writing in 2005, I plotted and planned my novels by using hard cover, spiral bound notebooks. I wrote the story in pencil in the notebook as well as all plotting materials. At the end of the story, it makes kind of a scrapbook. I have these for almost every book I’ve written.

In 2018 I started using Mircosoft Excel and a USB dedicated to my writing to keep all plotting material. I’m just going to say it – I HATE Excel. With a passion. I have to use Excel in my 9-5 and it’s triggered panic attacks. I’m not kidding. But I used it for a brief minute because it was there.

At the end of 2019 I looked into One Note. Like Excel it was included in my Microsoft 365 subscription (I pay $7 a month for access to Word, Excel, One Note, etc). I hated it too. It made no sense to me at first. But I did love the idea of using tabs like in a notebook.

I forced myself to learn it, at least enough to operate it, and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use and navigate.

Breakwater Notebook, Amelia Tab, Personal Details Page

Breakwater is a current work in progress and has been for a few years now. It’s original plot structure was in the hated Excel so I moved it all over to One Note. I first used One Note to plot and note another work in progress throughout this Spring and Summer, Cedarwood.

Above, You can see how I created the One Note Notebook entitled Breakwater and added Tabs or Sections; Amelia (I do one tab for each main character), The Town, The Plot, Chapter Summaries and Calendars.

Each tab has it’s own set of Pages and Subpages.

These are outlines that work for me and I love them.

Below, you’ll see The Town Tab with the Inspiration Page open to show some photos that I found.

In the above, you’ll see the Plot Tab opened to the Soundtrack Page. I love keeping track of lists of songs that remind me of the story or the characters I’m working on.

Watch the You Tube video above to see a tutorial on how to set up this Breakwater Notebook and the tabs. This will be the second novel I’ve used One Note to plot and I love it!

Also, a quick add. I’ve also been using an online program called http://www.pacemaker.press for an extra, added push for plotting and planning. There is a free version and a paid version, so I can only speak to the free version, but it’s pretty cool.

I use it more to just track my daily word counts, but it’s absolutely worth a look. You can set up your goal and each day you input your progress. It gives a little confetti celebration every time you enter progress so that’s pretty cool.

If you’re a plotter or just want an easy place to store notes, ideas or web links I’d suggested getting to know and using One Note. It’s simple and fun, can be personalized and better than Excel. Just my opinion.

The Journey of Endless

Click above to see the You Tube video on my channel covering The Journey of Endless

Endless. The very first novel I wrote and self published. It’s not the first novel I ever wrote. That one we’ll discuss at a much later date. That one has it’s own terrifying history.

Back to Endless. I began writing Endless in 2005. As you know, I’ve loved writing and been writing forever but this one was different. I did research and plotted. I printed and saved so many things from the internet. I bought a huge spiral bound, hard back journal and began writing, with a pencil, my story.

Oringal Endless

I spent years on Endless, on and off. I probably finished her around 2010. I spent months writing and then months, sometimes years, not writing. For the longest time Endless lived in this notebook. (Do you want to see even more inside the Original Endless? Click Contact Me and sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get sneak peeks inside delivered right to your inbox!) Other than myself, there are three other people who have seen this version of Endless.

I wrote several of my other novels in this exact pattern – hard bound, spiral notebook with a pencil. I now call these my Novel Scrapbooks because there are so many pieces tucked and taped into these notebooks.

In 2015, I started writing more and hearing the buzz about online or self publishing. I’ll be honest. I did very little research and it shows. I went with lulu.com and I love them. I find their platform easy to use and the cost to do this is way, way low. I say I did little research because I plowed into the process like I do everything – 100 mph and no idea what I’m doing. I’ve lost count on how many versions of Endless I self published in the beginning because of flaws and mistakes I made with and in the manuscripts. Five or more maybe? That’s on me, though, not Lulu.

Endless, first few self pub versions

Flying at 100 mph leaves room for plenty of mistakes. There were tons and tons of typos, formatting issues and stuff that just made the book look like it was obviously self published. I wanted to change that but I wasn’t sure if I had the capability to do so. I let Endless sit for a few years.

In that time, I joined a local writing group and starting learning so much about my craft that it was almost embarrassing that I’d put this bad boy out there they way I had. But, we live and we learn. And we continued learning. One of the most important things I learned in this process was to know when to stop and put your baby out there.

As writers, we’re always going to be learning new things and masterning those skills so in essence our writing can change over time. A lot of people can look at their first novels and cringe or chose to see how far they’ve come. I’ve come a long way and I have a heck of a long way still to go. I’m no expert. There are rules I still don’t remember or understand. And that’s okay.

In 2018 I took the new skills I learned and re-published Endless with a flashy new cover font and sent her out again. I also started submitting Endless to traditional publishers.

As of now – the dreaded 2020 – I’ve got a folder full of sparkling rejections. I’m in the process of re-editing Endless for one final issuance before I let my baby be in the world as she is.

Sneak Peak

I could probably spend forever learning new skills and changing her over and over again, but it’s time to move forward. I love this book. It will always be extremely special to me.

I also want to mention – my self publishing journey is probably different than almost anyone else out there. I work with a minimal budget. I don’t pay for editing – I have family and friends work on it with me. I use photos taken by people I personally know for cover photos. I do all the formatting myself in Lulu. I can’t afford editors, designers or formatters. Not yet. Maybe never. So I fully understand my books will never be the high level of awesomeness that other more equiped self published authors are. That’s okay too.

I’d love to have my books in a brick and mortar Barnes and Noble, instead of just online. I’d really love my books to Lifetime movies. I’m also completely happy with having the journies that I write be out there. Someone, someday, may find them and enjoy them and that’s the coolest feeling ever.

New Resource & Giveaway Alert: The Occupation Thesaurus Writing Guide Is Here!

Hi everyone! Today I have something fun to share…a special chance to win some help with your writing bills. Awesome, right?

Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them so they can tell you about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!


Certain details can reveal a lot about a character, such as their goals, desires, and backstory wounds. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?

It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.

Think about it: how much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles…or bringing you joy and helping you live your truth?

Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character’s personality, interests, and skills. It’s okay, you aren’t alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. (Here’s one of the job profiles we cover in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)

GIVEAWAY ALERT: THE WRITER’S SHOWCASE

To celebrate the release of a new book, Writers Helping Writers has a giveaway happening July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within our Writer’s Showcase. Stop by to enter!

Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters

Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past. What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right? To access this list, GO HERE.

Happy writing to all!

The Occupation Thesaurus – Review

The Occupation Thesaurus is yet another priceless author resource released in this series. As with the prior Thesauruses in this collection, The Occupation version is chalked full of insights and information that many writers may not have realized they needed.

My Women’s Fiction stories tend to involve quite a few details about the characters professions. Going through the Table of Contents, I was excited to see the wide variety of careers covered in this book. It would be impossible to contain every occupation out there, so several “popular” occupations I was looking for were not included. However, the list does include careers you may have never considered for your characters, maybe Dream Interpreter or Human Test Subject. I knew the second I saw Social Media Manager on the list – a career my WIP main character has – this would be a great addition to my collection.

Do not skip the informational chapters before you get to the meat of the book! It is hard not to jump right to the page you may be interested in (see me immediately flipping to Social Media Manager) but it is worth the complete read. When developing our stories and our characters, we may not take time to put much effort into the characters career or current job situation. It may seem like a small detail, but as outlined in these beginning chapters, it is quite important to know what your character does for a living and why.

Angela and Becca do another amazing job outlining that why so we as authors have a better understanding of how to create a complete world for our characters. In reading these pages you may be surprised as to how much a specific career or job will impress upon your character. We may not realize, as in our real lives, our careers are a major part of many life decisions.

The beginning of the book touches on the basic need’s humans have and how these factors into choosing an occupation. Also discussed are how emotional wounds, personality traits, skills and beliefs come into play when we chose our occupation, whether we realize it or not. The same is said for characters that we create.

The authors also cover how one’s occupation can be a catalyst for propelling the story forward, creating and maintaining tension within the plot and invoke insights into the character and their life.

The details given to each individual occupation is what you would expect from the authors and like the other Thesaurus volumes. I love how each occupation covers information about that career, how to get there and the traits someone in that field may possess. This is helpful in any aspect of character development. Whether your character is formed and needs a job, or you have a job idea and need a body to fill it, the information here will help any author fill in the blanks.

Occupations I have given my characters: Editor, Librarian, Account Manager, Veterinarian Technician, ER Nurse, Teacher (several teachers), School Psychologist, Travel Photographer, Management Consultant, and my latest, Social Media Manager. I did skip right to this page. I have used the other Thesaurus volumes in this series to help mold this character and I chose Social Media Manager because I needed her to work from home. I loved seeing how spot on the information was for her and the fact that she is a thirty-something doing this job, not a fresh face out of school.

As with the other books in this series, the back of The Occupation Thesaurus contains various appendixes you can use as outlines, helpful tools, and online pintables.

This book releases July 20, 2020 and will make a great addition to your writers’ toolbox. You will love this resource as much as the other Thesauruses written by these authors. I received an ARC of The Occupation Thesaurus and cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy to highlight and make notes in!