Researching Can Be Fun

I love research. I sometimes disappear down the rabbit hole for hours. I was actually looking for something else when I found the information about the Central Park Zoo Escape happening in November of 1874.

(An illustration that accompanied an 1893 article in Harper’s Weekly about the hoax.)

It actually changed my plans for Book Four of the series. I was originally going to have Jo and Alistair heading off to Ireland at the end of Book Three…but the Hoax was too fascinating not to work into the story somewhere. And it became a pivotal part of the action.

Happy accidents like this can add some interesting flavor to whatever you want to write.

Make sure you keep track of anything that might add color to your work. For example, this is my folder set up for the books:


And, within each of those top level folders are more bookmarks:


Some of the information may never make its way into a book, but it is far better to have things you don’t use than not have something at your fingertips that you wish you could remember.

And always be on the lookout for new things. For example, a friend suggested that I contact the Irish Consulate in my hometown, and the gentleman I spoke with gave me a lead to someone who was a historical personage in Ireland at the time, and a perfect character to have a cameo in the next book.

To summarize:

  1. Research — it’s fun!
  2. Bookmark — make sure you don’t lose track of the info you find.
  3. Keep your eyes and ears open — you never know where your next idea will come from.
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It’s Here!

Despite a few bumps on the production highway,

Front Cover Only

is now live on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback editions.

I learned a few things on this one. First of all, the new Kindle template is a dream to work with. I tried to use my goto method, and was getting lots of random code generated. Ick! Jo knows nothing of Chinese…

So I went to the template, and I will definitely be using it from now on. Continue reading

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Home Stretch

I have finished the polish edit on The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive, and I still really love this book. I think there is something for everyone in it–romance, intrigue, a gun-fight…but I won’t give too much away.

I’ve started working on the cover, but I think I may see if I can do something a bit different than I originally planned. If I can pull it off, I’ll share soon.

Now comes the fun part–the formatting. 😛 But it isn’t impossible that I MIGHT have it for the June 10th show in Wimberley. Hoping for SoonerCon at the latest. Depends on how fast it goes this time.

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This will take awhile…

…especially as I am trying to get the edits of The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive finished…but I am making headway on putting this site back together. Still need to find some of the media and so forth. Ignore the broken links for now. I may have to edit out some of the pictures since I don’t have unlimited space any more…

Still, it is better than pointing people to a website that doesn’t exist. 🙂

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I am a terrible Blogger…

I hope to be better next year. At least I was better this year than the one before, I think. We improve by baby steps. 😉

The reason I have been so negligent is because I have been hard at work on The Incredibly Irritating Irishman, revising it from very rough first draft to something I can live with. I am not sure if I am quite through tweaking yet, but we are definitely on track to be out by ConDFW.

Of course, if you have been to the page you will have seen the gorgeous cover, but I am going to put it here too, because I just can’t stop looking at it.

Irritaing Irishman Revised Cover FOR PRINT


I am so pleased to welcome Brad Fraunfelter back to the job of cover artist, because I didn’t do The Nearly Notorious Nun nearly as much justice as he would have.

I’ve also been toying with an idea for something new and exciting (to me at least) for younger readers. I will let you know what happens. For now, Happy Holidays from all of us at the Conn-Mann Chronicles!



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November is a Terrible Month for Timely Updates…

…Here it is, another three weeks with no update. However, it has been a decent NaNoWriMo. A little behind, but catching up on the missed days as I go. I can’t wait for people to see this one! There is a lot of good stuff happening…and a lot of not so good. Characters reuniting. Characters torn asunder.

I anticipate a happy ending, but it isn’t coming without some tears…

I am starting to weave in threads from the short stories. That has been fun. Hopefully, the weaving is strong enough that if you haven’t read the short story it is okay.

I have also been posting the Dime Novel over on my Patreon page for my patrons. It may be a long time before other people get to see it–since this is the book AFTER the next one. If you want to see it before it is published, come sign up. For only $1 a month, you can be a Patreon, and get lots of special content. 🙂


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Sorry About This…

…but sometimes the book refuses to do what you wanted it to.

I will not be calling it The Peculiar Prodigal Parents, but instead, The Fiercely Formidable Fugitive.

There is still a reunion with Jo’s mother–who she thought had died in the cholera epidemic of 1854, But there is another reunion looming, and it will not be as pleasant.

On the other hand…well, that is a surprise. 😉

Stats so far: 12880 words. I should be at 15000, but with the show on Saturday and a crisis of thought on Sunday put me behind.

The show was the First Annual Steampunk Variety Show and Faire put on by the Wimberley Steampunk Flood Gauges. It was a lot of fun, and a decently profitable show. I tried some new things with the set up this time. Some worked, some didn’t.


I placed the dolls up out of the way, and I think that was a mistake. However, if I have room, I think the bookcase worked well as an alternative to the racks I usually use. I worked on some of my fixtures to make them more “Steampunk” as well — the box for the tea samples; the chalkboard to write my drawing message on; the pepperbox decanter up on the shelf. I think those things worked well. I will continue to edge toward the Steam for now, as my books get to be more and more in that category…but I won’t forget the fantasies, because I have new projects in that genre as well. 😉

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