As I began what was to become Webs of Perception, I had no idea it would be the concluding novel in the Web Series. . It is difficult to let go, however, my characters informed me the time had come.

As part of my extended family, my characters continue to surprise me. The working titles of this last novel were Severed Webs, then changed to Shattered Webs. However, as the novel progressed, neither of those titles fit the story.

I begin each novel with characters I care about with high-stake obstacles to overcome. My focus is not on the obstacle, such as amnesia, a kidnapping, a decision gone wrong, etc. The interaction and growth of the characters, within a world thrown off its axis, has propelled the Web Series..

In this concluding novel, while on a semester-at-sea, the Taylor twins, Callie and Marnie, suffer separate tragedies when a rogue wave broadsides their ship, the Rising Star. One twin struggles with autobiographical amnesia. The other is thought to be lost at sea.

When I began this novel with the two major storylines, set on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, I had not imagined what a nightmare I’d set up with the timelines, nor the difficulty I would encounter in bringing the twins together.

Since the opening scene in Webs of Perceptions is set in the Mid-Atlantic. My characters sent me on a merry chase from the East Coast to the West Coast of the US, and from France to England. Managing the time lines required a huge color-coded chart and multiple calendars. Due to an important speaking engagement which I was honored to accept, my publisher fast-tracked Webs of Perception for a November release. Therefore, for two months I locked myself in my editing cave. It was a worthwhile isolation, as I feel this is now a story my readers will enjoy.

For maintaining authenticity, I owe a great deal to many individuals who gifted me with their time and expertise. The research was fun as well as informative, involving a cruise to Victoria, Canada, where I spoke with various staff members and other personnel aboard the Golden Princess. I also enjoyed an informative meeting in a coffee shop with Dr. Kenneth Martinez, a knowledgeable neurologist, who met me for lunch with a plastic model of the brain. And Selina Anderson, who had experienced a recent semester-at-sea. She gave me an in-depth description of her adventure. However, as in most novels, only a small fraction of what I gained from the people who were so generous with their time and knowledge appear in the novel. Only what a reader needs to know to enjoy the story made it onto the pages of Webs of Perception. I owe a great deal to the many people who shared their time and knowledge with me. They are individually listed in the acknowledgments of Webs of Perception.

Now for my major dilemma throughout the writing of this novel—being aware of the busy lives we lead and the shortening of attention spans, I realized about halfway through that this novel was getting too long and yet I had to keep writing since the story was not complete—resolutions for the various characters had not been reached. Therefore, while I worried, I kept writing, with plans to cut anything that did not move the story when I came to the end.

Another issue I had was having my well-planned timeline thrown off when a major character did something totally unexpected. While most writers understand this phenomenon, I realize that not all readers will. Before I began writing fiction, I thought it bizarre when I heard authors talking about their characters taking a story in unexpected directions. After all it’s the writer telling the story, I thought. And, yet, the type characters readers relate to have their own personalities and opinions. They have ideas and minds of their own, much like our children.

The personalities and career paths of several significant characters in the Web Series parallel those of key individuals in the fashion, retail industry—many whom I’d worked with while on the management team of the seven Bullocks Wilshire Department Stores.

Viviana De Mornay and Glenn Nelson were patterned after our director of fashion merchandising and a buyer who left the company before the takeover. In getting together with them over the past few years, I discovered I had written more fact than fiction about their personal lives and choices.

While I happen to enjoy a good novel at any length, I prefer bite-sized chapter since I read my books in print at the end of the day and find it unsatisfying to have to stop mid-chapter. However, for the few authors I enjoy who continue to write in long chapters, I listen to their stories on audiobooks on morning walks, and during the day while I engage in a myriad of mindless tasks.

When I finally sent my manuscript to my editor, I expressed my concern over the length. Since writers cannot be objective over their stores, I am blessed to have an excellent editor and also a copy editor who worked with me in eliminating any areas that did not move the story.

The proofs for the Advanced Readers Copy will be available on August 8th, and while I plan to once again go through the entire manuscript, With the two storylines and what I hope my readers will find intriguing subplots, Webs of Perception will be a big book–one I am very proud of and hope my readers will enjoy and be sorry when they come to the end.
While the official book release is November 13th, Barnes and Noble in Long Beach—Marina Pacific is hosting my book launch on November 11th. The next day we leave for Florida for a mini-book tour prior to the Annual Readers Favorite International Book Awards Ceremony, then home for Thanksgiving with the family.

My idea for a novel following Webs of Perception—Just Ten Seconds (working title) will have an all new cast. As much as I love my Web Series cast, none have the background nor personalities for the story and plot line rattling around in my head. Peyton Prescott—a woman in serious trouble will be my new protagonist. In the future some Web Series characters may be featured in their own novels (i.e. Madison, the lovable, spunky Juliana, etc.) So many wonderful stories to tell, so little time.

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