fic Examples of Malapropisms

fic Examples of Malapropisms

I am constantly spouting off malapropisms. Just a few days ago, one of you caught me saying I was going to "button down the hatches" instead of "batten down the hatches." So embarrassing. *sigh* For fun, my son, his wife and I tried to come up with a bunch on our own. Here are eight from the list we made.

Note: a proper definition of malapropism is waiting for you at the bottom of the list, but chances are you'll have guessed the definition by then.

 

1) Barry the Hatchet

Malapropism: Barry the hatchet
Correct Phrase: Bury the hatchet

 

2) Mock My Words

Malapropism: Mock my words
Correct Phrase: Mark my words

 

3) Don't Take Me For Granite

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Source

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Source

Malapropism: Don't take me for granite
Correct Phrase: Don't take me for granted

 

4) A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moths

Malapropism: A rolling stone gathers no moths
Correct Phrase: A rolling stone gathers no moss

 

5) Self of Steam

Malapropism: Self of steam
Correct Phrase: Self esteem

 

6) Check Your Knee-flexes

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Source

                                                                                                                                                                                                     Source

Malapropism: Check your knee-flexes
Correct Phrase: Check your reflexes

 

7) Bowl in a China Shop

Malapropism: Bowl in a china shop
Correct Phrase: Bull in a china shop

 

8) Bump Beds

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Source

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Source

Malapropism: Bump Beds
Correct Phrase: Bunk Beds

Yep, you guessed it. Malapropisms are the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar sounding one, often with an unintentional amusing effect. What funny malapropisms have you said or heard? Let me know here, on my Facebook page, or tweet me @DeeanneGist!

International bestselling author, Deeanne Gist IWantHerBook.com

International bestselling author, Deeanne Gist IWantHerBook.com

In Need of a Book?

Deeanne's TIFFANY GIRL was rated as a *MUST READ* by USA Today!

 

10 Struggles Readers Face

10 Struggles Readers Face

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I'm a self-diagnosed bibliomaniac--a person who has an excessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books. I not only acquire them, though, I actually read them! As such, I face unique struggles specific to my affliction. What? You, too? Find out the severity of your bibliomaniac malady by seeing how many of the below apply to you, then let's compare war wounds.

1) Finding a man like the hero in your books takes patience.

 

2) You never seem to get enough sleep.

 

3) Avoiding spoilers makes you look crazy.

 

4) You can't bring yourself to get rid of old books.

 

5) Because of that fact, moving day looks like this:

#heavyboxes

 

6) Book hangovers are totally real.

 

7) And character deaths are brutal.

 

8) All books. No money.

 

9) "Dog-earing" a page always garner this reaction:

 

10) You have no bookshelf space left, and are in complete denial.

 

In the end, the struggles of being a bibliomaniac are totally worth the rewards of reading. Even if getting a new book makes you do this: 

Rating System:

1 to 3 - SEASONAL READER:

You typically only read during a particular season. Maybe you’re the summer reader who enjoys reading by the pool. Or maybe you’re a wintertime reader who loves to snuggle up next to the fire with a novel.

4 to 6 - REGULAR READER:

You love to read and would do so more more often if you could. You have a few favorite authors and try to stay current with their new books.

7 to 9 - BIBLIOMANIAC:

You love books. You read books. You collect books. You devour books. You decorate your home with books. The worst part? Your friends never understand your literary references.

10 - YOU SHOULD PROBABLY OPEN YOUR OWN LIBRARY.

 

So ... what was your rating? Let me know here, on my Facebook page, or tweet me @DeeanneGist!

International bestselling author, Deeanne Gist   IWantHerBook.com

International bestselling author, Deeanne Gist   IWantHerBook.com

Need More Books?

Deeanne's TIFFANY GIRL was rated as a *MUST READ* by USA Today!

 

Granny Hair

Granny Hair

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Okay, so there's this new hair color trending, and at first I didn’t know what to think. Have y’all seen these young gals dying their hair gray?! The phenomenon is known as #grannyhair.

Now, before I saw a photo I was sure I would hate it. What were these young girls thinking? We dye our hair so it’s not gray. What in the world?

A few minutes of perusing Pinterest, though, and my opinion was starting to change. The color range was so, so pretty. Why did I never stop to consider how pretty gray could be?


I wonder if the #grannyhair movement has inspired anyone to let their hair go naturally gray. What about you, what do you think of #grannyhair? Would you ever dye your hair gray?

11 Unique DIY Bookmarks

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Pinterest is so addicting. Today I was going to just take a quick peek, then several hours later, I’d pinned a whole bunch of really cool bookmarks you can make yourself. Check them out:

1) Sun Dress Bookmark  

The instructions are in Portuguese, but the pictures are so clear you won’t have any trouble following the instructions.

2) Yarn Ball Bookmarks

Inexpensive, easy to make and so festive!

3) Spoon Bookmark

This particular bookmark is for sale, but if you wanted to make one yourself, you could go loosely by these instructions here. I love the message hammered into this example, though. LOL.

4) Corner Bookmarks

Love this. So cute!

 

5) Old Book Spines 

Look how clever this is! Spines from old books that have fallen apart. You could pick these up at library sales or garage sales.

6) Printable Bookmarks 

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How cute is this? Just print it out, do a bit of cut and pasting and you’re ready to go.

7) Photo Bookmarks  

This would be a great gift for grandma and one your kids could do!

8) Button Collection

I love collecting buttons. Never occurred to me to turn them into bookmarks! How simple is this?

9) Magnetic Bookmark [[link to: http://lollyjane.com/magnetic-bookmark-tutorial/ ]]

This example used some die cuts, but really all you’d need is some scrapbook paper, some ribbon, some magnets and a pair of scissors.

10) Victorian Undergarments Bookmark

This is a bookmark one of my readers handmade for me! Isn’t it so cute? Thank you, Lisa J. from Oklahoma!

11) Tiffany Girl Bookmarks

Not the crafty type? No worries! We’ve done all the work for you. Just click here and you can download these, print them out and your set to go!

So, which bookmarks are your favorites? Leave me a comment on my Facebook page, or tweet me at @DeeanneGist!

3 Secrets for Incorporating Historical Research into Your Writing

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Researching historical backdrops are a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is my readers will, hopefully, feel like they’ve traveled back in time when they read one of my books. The bad thing is, I find so many fun facts that I want to incorporate them all. Unfortunately, I can’t. So how do I pick and choose? Here are my three secrets:

1) Avoid Information Dumps

Throwing too many facts at your readers at one time can end up reading more like a history textbook instead of a compelling story. If you have a feeling that your writing is getting kind of heavy, it probably is. Remember, less is more!

2) Ask Yourself: “Is This Helping Move the Plot Along?”

A great way to make sure you’re following the “less is more” rule is to ask yourself what the purpose of your scene is. If the scene is simply an interesting incident that occurred in history but it doesn’t cause the plot of your story to progress, then you should consider cutting that scene.

3) Consider the Pacing

Writing historical fiction can be a delicate balance because you want to give readers enough context to immerse them in the time period, but not so much that it slows the pace of your story. If you’ve written quite a few paragraphs but you haven’t seen much dialogue or action, it may be time to go back and make some edits.

For a more in-depth discussion of this, watch this 2-Minute Tip for Aspiring Authors:

If you have any other questions about how to incorporate historical research into your writing, leave me a comment on my Facebook page, or tweet me at @DeeanneGist. 

The Art of Picking Character Names

The Art of Picking Character Names

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“How do you pick your characters names?” My readers ask me this question ALL the time. And with uniquely named characters like Billy Jack, Flossie, Cullen and Essie, I guess there is a good reason for their curiosity.

My first step in choosing names is to do a little research. Luckily, I have the perfect way to get started. Awhile back, I got my hands on some old yearbooks from the early 1900s. Whenever I’m needing some inspiration, I comb through them to find names that were actually used when my characters were alive. When it comes time to pick out the name, I always go for a first and last name combination that has a nice ring to it, paints a picture of the type of personality I’m working to create, and is memorable for my readers. (I never choose both the first and last name of a real person, though, no matter how much I might like it. It would be just my luck that a descendant recognizes the name and emails me!)

Once I have my character names picked out, I write them down in my big writing journals (remember those?) to keep for future reference. This is incredibly helpful when I think I’ve picked out my new character’s name, but need to make sure it’s not too similar to a previous one. For example, if I had a character named Essie, I wouldn’t add a different character named Ellie. 

And that’s my recipe for creating character names. It takes just a little bit of research, some creativity and a pinch of recordkeeping. Which character’s name is your favorite so far? I know I’ve got mine, but I’d love to hear yours! Leave me a comment on my Facebook page or tweet me at @DeeanneGist!

Why I Love Historical Fiction

Why I Love Historical Fiction

When I was a young girl, I fell head over heels in love with the Nancy Drew books my mother gave me to read. Since they were the original 1930s versions, they read like historicals to me. Nancy drove a roadster and she wore skirts and high heels while she investigated. I found it totally fascinating to learn about years gone by as I read. And before I realized it, I was hooked on historicals.

As I started to explore writing, it seemed natural to focus on telling stories of the past. Like most authors, I wanted to write the kind of book I loved to read. When I began researching and discovered all the nuances of historical fashion from different eras, it wasn’t too long before I began to play dress up as part of my job. Yeah … Best. Job. Ever. 

Why do you love to read historical fiction? Was it an unexpected book like those in the Nancy Drew series that first got you hooked, or something else? Do you have aspirations of writing someday? Leave a comment on my Facebook page, or tweet me @DeeanneGist with your answer.

 

3 Easy Steps to Creating A Fiction Writer's Journal

3 Easy Steps to Creating A Fiction Writer's Journal

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When I start a book, I have one big idea. (In the case of Tiffany Girl, it was to fictionalize turn-of-the-century women who in spite of the odds against them, did a man’s job in a man’s world and completed Tiffany windows in time for the World’s Fair exhibit). But when I began to flesh out that idea, I suddenly had historical research, character descriptions, setting details and plot points to keep up with. I’d learned early in my career that organization is KEY to getting those ideas out of my head and into my manuscript. So I’ve developed a super organized writing journal to keep me on track. Without it, who knows where I’d be!

Now every author is different. Some keep their notes organized in applications specifically for writers. Some on spreadsheets. Some on flow charts pasted to their wall. There is no right or wrong way, it’s just what works for you. But if you’re an aspiring author and are in dire need of better organization, I thought I’d give you 3 easy steps for building a writing journal of your own just in case the method you’re currently using isn’t working for you.

 

1.     Get your hands on a big binder. Personally, I like to use the Circa Notebooks made by Levenger. They’re heavy-duty and have plenty of space to hold all of my notes. The  best part is that the pages can be taken out and moved around quickly and easily.

2. Print out a calendar of the year your story takes place and paste it to the inside front cover of your binder. When you’re plotting your story, this will help you keep track of how much time has passed, so you don’t confuse yourself or your readers.

3. Divide your binder into sections. I have tabs for characters, plotting, research and setting in my own writing journal. All of my information—including images and diagrams—stays safely in those sections so when I’m writing and need to refer back to something, it’s right at my fingertips.

tabs.jpg

That’s it! You’ve got your very own writing journal now and can keep adding to it as your notes and research come together. If you want more specifics about how I piece my own writing journal together, you can watch this video on my YouTube Channel for All the Juicy DeeTales. If you have any questions, post them on my Facebook page or tweet me at @DeeanneGist! I’ll do my best to answer them!

 

World's Fair Debut: Inventions Introduced during The Fair That We Still Use Today

World's Fair Debut: Inventions Introduced during The Fair That We Still Use Today

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It’s no secret that every aspect of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair fascinates me. I loved camping there for the last three books I’ve written. I’ve learned SO much from all the research that I can picture it in my mind almost as if I’d actually been there. If only, right?

One of the many, many reasons the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair is interesting to me is because so many products that are still popular today had their public debut at the fair. Things like...

Juicy Fruit Gum

Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix

Cracker Jacks

The World's FIRST Ferris Wheel 

The Zipper (invented by a Woman, of course!)

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 2.10.29 PM.png


What other Chicago World’s Fair inventions can you name? Tell me on my Facebook page or tweet with me @DeeanneGist

Three Ways I Relax After A Book Release

Three Ways I Relax After A Book Release

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I absolutely love writing, but I have to confess: releasing a book is hard work! Somewhere in the middle of my 11 book releases, I finally learned that post book-launch I need some serious TLC. So, in order to make sure I’m fully rested and recharged, I’ve developed my own relaxation routine that I always follow after the first rush of book launch activities. As of May 5th, Tiffany Girl was released into the book stores. Before and after that date I’ve been doing book tours, online events, live events, social media parties and all kinds of things. But now I’m back home and have officially started my post-release routine.

1. Have A "Read-Fest" 

First thing on my agenda: Get some alone time and recharge. I do this by gathering up my to-be-read pile of books, order out for pizza with extra tomato sauce, a chocolate molten dessert, and a real Coke. Then I curl up in a quiet corner of the house with our sweet border collie and read, read, read. Everyone knows that Mom is refueling and they are so sweet to honor this quiet time for me. This time around, the first book in my pile is The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle..

2. Spend Quality Time with Family

Collin Hauser performing at The Kessler in Dallas, Texas ... From L to R: Collin, Deeanne, youngest daughter, oldest daughter, son-in-law. (Missing is my husband and our two sons who were not able to make the concert because they were not in town.)

Collin Hauser performing at The Kessler in Dallas, Texas ... From L to R: Collin, Deeanne, youngest daughter, oldest daughter, son-in-law. (Missing is my husband and our two sons who were not able to make the concert because they were not in town.)

Between writing next year’s book and all the promotion involved in releasing this year’s book, the six months leading to launch is really intense and requires a lot of attention and energy. I think it’s safe to say that by the time the book comes out, my family feels a little neglected and I crave some quality time with them, as well. Catching up with them is such a joy-filled time. It can be as simple as dinner or as elaborate as a full-on vacation. This time, I went with my daughters and son-in-law to a concert where the youngest daughter’s young man was performing. So, so special! As an additional treat, my husband has arranged it so that in a few weeks we’ll get to see not only the girls, but our sons too as we take them all to Hawaii. I CANNOT wait!

3. Girl Time

My friends get just as neglected as my family during my book releases. Lunch dates and girls nights are very few and far between. So we’ve a lot of catching up to do right about now.

How do you relax after a busy few months? You can share your suggestions with me by posting on my Facebook page or tweeting me @DeeanneGist. I just might incorporate your ideas into my routine next time!

A Family Full of Entrepreneurs

A Family Full of Entrepreneurs

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Some of you may have read my article on Maria Schriver’s website about how I struggled to turn my passions into a real career. It’s been a tough journey, but it’s been worth it!

Well, entrepreneurship must run in the family, because my wonderful niece, Hannah, is starting on the same adventure herself! She has an amazing idea for a fun new children's’ toy called Snapdragons, stuffed animals that have mix-and-matchable parts. I thought I’d find out more and share her story with you. 

 

Deeanne: How did you come up with the idea for Snapdragons?

Hannah: The idea for Snapdragons came from a book I used to read with my grandma when I was a kid. It was called Croc-Gu-Phant, and it was a spiral-bound picture book. Each page had a picture of a different animal standing on its hind legs. The pages were cut into thirds, and they all flipped independently, so you could have a crocodile head on a jaguar body with elephant legs. There were so many different combinations you could make, and my grandma and I never got tired of playing with it!

Well, I took that idea and thought, "Why couldn't we make that 3-dimensional?"

Deeanne: Starting a business, even as a side project, is usually considered a risky move. What motivated you to start your own business?

Hannah Alvarez. Inventor of SNAPDRAGONS.

Hannah Alvarez. Inventor of SNAPDRAGONS.

Hannah: I'd been dreaming up the idea for Snapdragons for a few years, but for some reason, I had just never gotten up the nerve to go out and make it happen. Last fall, though, it hit me: if I don't get going now, I may never do it. I have this idea, and the only thing stopping me is my own doubts. I thought it would be so sad if one day I woke up and realized I never even tried to make my dream come to life. So I got to work!

Deeanne: Did you have a favorite stuffed animal as a child that inspired Snapdragons?

Hannah: I loved stuffed animals so much as a kid... and I still do! I was an only child, so my stuffed animals were some of my best friends! I had plush rabbits and dogs and tigers and every animal you could think of. But I could never pick a favorite, which is part of the idea with Snapdragons. Kids don't have to stick with one favorite; they can keep mixing them up and rearranging them whenever they want.

Deeanne: Mix-and-match stuffed animals are such an interesting idea! You have to tell us, which creative creature combination do you like best?

Hannah: I've been having a ton of fun playing with the Snapdragons prototypes at home, and I thought I had made some pretty cute combinations, but I didn't even realize how fun they could be until I actually watched kids playing with them. They're way more creative than us grownups! One of the little girls who playtested the prototypes made a lion with six legs, a tail on its head, and horns on the side like spikes. I had never thought of that combination, so that's got to be my favorite!

I love this! Such a neat idea! If you want to learn more about Snapdragons, or see them in action -- CLICK HERE

 What Would They Wear in 2015: Reeve Wilder

What Would They Wear in 2015: Reeve Wilder

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I’ve been having the best time with our “What Would They Wear in 2015” blogs. It’s just so much fun to imagine what my characters might be like if they were around today. I’ve done this before with a few of my leading ladies, Flossie Jayne and Constance Morrow, but never with one of my leading men. So today, to change things up a bit, I’m going to tell you a bit about Reeve Wilder—Tiffany Girl’s leading man—and show you what I think he might wear if he were around in 2015. Then, you can head over to my group Pinterest board and show me how YOU think he would dress. Ok, let’s get started!

Men’s clothing was very formal in the 1890s. Sometimes, I wish today’s guys appreciated dressing up as much as men did back at the turn of the century. I totally get that comfort is key, but baggy jeans and an old sweatshirt just don’t have it goin’ on the way a double-breasted suit does!

Since Reeve was quite the ambitious, career-minded young fellow, he would want to dress nicely, but not to appear overdressed. His job as a reporter sent him all over the city, so he would want to be able to move around easily while still looking professional. On most days, he would wear a frock coat, with one row of buttons over a vest, a pair of trousers and of course, a hat. 

For Reeve, my celebrity inspiration was a young Jude Law. I love that he’s so totally, classically handsome, but also looks like he would be a warm-hearted man when you get to know him --  just like Reeve! 

Since Reeve was an ambitious young working professional, I think if he were living in 2015, he would have the business casual style down pat. He would shop at stores like J.Crew and Banana Republic and pair dress pants with crisp shirts, sweaters and vests. Don’t these young men look so dapper? 

Now it's your turn! Find an outfit you think Reeve would wear today, and add it to my Group Pinterest Board. Just comment here or send me a message with your email address and I’ll add you to the group board so you can pin away!  Or, you can simply leave your outfit ideas here or on my Facebook page and I’ll make sure they get pinned!

Inside Flossie’s Childhood Home

Inside Flossie’s Childhood Home

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Visiting New York City as a novelist verses a tourist changes the entire experience. The first time I ever went to the city, I was a tourist in every sense of the word and hit all the not-to-be-missed places (Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park, Broadway, etc.). But when I visited to research Tiffany Girl, I looked at the city through a whole different lens. One of the things I fell in love with was the beautiful brownstone homes on the city’s Upper West Side.

As soon as I walked past a row of those charming buildings, I knew I would have to make one of them the fictional childhood home of my heroine Flossie Jayne. The Upper West Side was quite the swanky neighborhood and too expensive for her family, so I put them on the very fringes of it and made it so her father was living beyond his means. The beautiful artistry and design that goes into these buildings makes them feel like the perfect place for a budding young artist to grow up. See what I mean?

New York City brownstone homes were (and still are) usually quite long and narrow, with the biggest rooms in the very front and very back of the house. Because they were built upward, not outward, these homes usually had 2-4 levels, with bedrooms, parlors and sitting rooms spread across several different floors. Could you imagine walking up and down those flights stairs all day long? Yikes!

Since Flossie was an only child, the Jayne family didn’t need to have quite as much space as their friends with big families, so a home with two levels provided more than enough room for all of them.

Flossie would have spent the majority of her childhood in the sitting room, where she and her mother sewed fancy dresses for the upper class ladies of New York City. While she was hard at work, Flossie could look out the window and watch the people strolling through the north end of Stuyvesant Park. Not a bad view, right? 

I like to imagine that Flossie’s childhood bedroom would have been tasteful and elegant, just like her. She would have had a four poster bed with white lace detailing on her bedding and a big, colorful rug on the floor. Remember how she decorated her room at the boardinghouse with her paintings? They would have been all over the walls in her childhood room too, along with prints of other artists she admired. I think Flossie would have had a dressing room table with a mirror where she would sit when she got ready in the mornings, and a rocking chair in the corner perfect for painting and reading.

What kind of picture of Flossie’s childhood home do you get in your head while reading the first scenes of Tiffany Girl? Have you ever been in a brownstone? Share your thoughts with me on my Facebook page, or on Twitter

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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Before the Thanksgiving turkey is even off the table, my Christmas wish list is in the works, but I’ve never really made one for Mother’s Day. Yet I have to tell you, I’ve found the COOLEST thing: tin plates—the same tin you see in decorative cans people put cookies in, but these plates have replicas of museum-quality designs on them. Think outdoor BBQ meets English high tea. They come in all different designs based on patterns the royals chose and are perfect for when you want things to look pretty, but you don’t want to worry about anything breaking. Anyway, I told the kids that for the next several years, this is what I’d like every Christmas, Mother’s Day, and birthday until I have a complete collection (or two).

Do you make a Mother’s Day wish list? What would you put on it?

Tiffany Girl is Here!

Tiffany Girl is Here!

After months and months of waiting, Tiffany Girl is finally hitting the shelves TODAY! My eleventh book. Whodathunk? Especially since I have dyslexia. Yep. Up until my junior year in high school, my dad and I would sit on the couch as he read my textbooks to me. Then, my senior year, something magical happened. Whatever needed to fuse in my brain, fused (which sometimes happens with dyslexic adolescents). All of a sudden, I could read by myself. I was very slow at reading (still am), but I could definitely do it without help.

It opened up a whole new world for me—including reading for pleasure (because before, reading had been a torturous process). It is for that reason that I am particularly thrilled and honored that Givington’s is doing a 30% off sale on Tiffany Girl and with every purchase, a portion of the sales will be donated to Dore—a nonprofit whose mission is to help children with learning disabilities become better students and athletes.

To sweeten the pot even more, we’re doing a Bubbles, Baths & Books giveaway ($100 value) for any who order Tiffany Girl during the first week of this promotion.

I’ve had the best time going on this journey with you--from coming up with the idea for Tiffany Girl to my research process, to writing and developing the characters. Once you’ve started reading it, I’d LOVE to hear from you! You can send all of your questions and comments my way by writing on my Facebook wall, or tweeting me at @DeeanneGist. I’m so excited to hear what you think! 

Get To Know The Heroine and Hero in Tiffany Girl

Get To Know The Heroine and Hero in Tiffany Girl

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The heroes and heroines of my books spend a lot of time inside my head, and by the time each manuscript is done, I feel like I know them almost as well as I know my own family members. Some writers like to call their characters their “imaginary friends,” and I think that’s a pretty accurate description!

As I’ve prepared to send Tiffany Girl out into the world, I’ve tried to help you get to know the main characters from the book. That’s why I’ve shared things like my character quiz and bookmarks these last few weeks. But somehow, it felt like something was still missing. I can’t duplicate what it’s like for characters to live inside your head, so I thought I'd do the next best thing: I'll give you a little bit deeper peek at Flossie Jayne and Reeve Wilder, the main characters from Tiffany Girl

Flossie Jayne drawn by artist Monica Bruenjes who rendered artwork on Flossie's behalf for Tiffany Girl and signed it as such.

Flossie Jayne drawn by artist Monica Bruenjes who rendered artwork on Flossie's behalf for Tiffany Girl and signed it as such.

Flossie Jayne

Though Flossie was born in Newport Beach, Virginia in 1871, she only lived there for four years before her packed their bags and headed out to the Big Apple. 

Once in New York, Flossie’s father quickly established his barbershop and her mother found success by making the most beautiful, elaborate dresses for the wealthy women in New York’s high society circles. Because they had some extra money coming in from the sewing business (and because Flossie was an only child), Flossie’s parents were able to dote on her and allow her to enjoy lots of luxuries that her friends could only dream of. She visited art galleries, went on fun day trips with her parents, took up art as a hobby and wore beautiful clothes designed by her mother. Flossie was the apple of her parents’ eye. Because of that, she thought of herself as a “special snowflake” -- something that challenges her quite a bit on her journey through Tiffany Girl.


Reeve Wilder

Reeve, unfortunately, didn’t have the same kind of upbringing that Flossie did. When he was just four years old, his mother came down with tuberculosis and passed away soon after. He was then raised by his grandparents, who were lacking in the affection department (hard to imagine, right? I always expect grandparents to be full of love and hugs, but not these two). Despite his tough childhood, he grows up and begins to want a home of his own -- somewhere he knows he finally belongs. This makes him an advocate for traditional family structures, and he’s pretty skeptical of “New Women” in general, and Flossie in particular. To say she irks him is an understatement!

Do you know anyone in real life who reminds you of Flossie or Reeve? Give me the scoop over on Facebook!

 

 

Reeve Wilder drawn by Flossie (aka artist Monica Bruenjes).

Reeve Wilder drawn by Flossie (aka artist Monica Bruenjes).

It Started in an Attic--My inspiration for Tiffany Girl

It Started in an Attic--My inspiration for Tiffany Girl

A rendering of Clara Driscoll by artist Monica Bruenjes (taking on the role of my heroine Flossie Jayne--who "signed" the piece.)

A rendering of Clara Driscoll by artist Monica Bruenjes (taking on the role of my heroine Flossie Jayne--who "signed" the piece.)

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I’ll bet you’d never guess where I found my inspiration for Tiffany Girl and its leading lady, Flossie Jayne. My mom! Yup. She’s been responsible for giving me ideas for books I’ve written in the past—and some I have yet to write. So, how did she find out about the Tiffany Girls? A History Detective PBS show she was watching mentioned them and she knew right away I’d be interested in those girls. Boy, was she ever right! What I didn’t expect, was to find myself going through boxes and boxes of handwritten letters from the 1890s by the head of Tiffany’s Women’s Department.

The manager's name was Clara Driscoll and during her tenure there, she exchanged “round robin” letters with her family. The way these worked is, Mother would write a letter to Clara. Clara would add on to her mom’s letter and send the whole thing to her sister. Then, her sister would add on to those and send it to their Aunt Jo. Aunt Jo would do the same and send it back to Mom. Then they’d start all over again. Fun, right? I like to think of it as the turn of the century version of group texting.

Several generations later, a distant relative found the letters in an attic and donated them to a local historical society. It was there, in 2005, that scholars discovered the truth about who actually designed some of Tiffany’s work, and boy, were they shocked. 

For in Clara’s letters, she not only chit-chatted about life in NYC, but she also revealed snippets about her work and where her ideas came from. One letter even describes how she got the idea for the famous dragonfly Tiffany lamp while on a bike ride. She saw a dragonfly and suddenly, her creative wheels were turning just as fast as her bicycle wheels were!

From what Clara wrote to her family, it was clear that the Women’s Glass Cutting Department was responsible for designing not just the Dragonfly Lamp, but a number of Tiffany's most iconic designs -- designs that Louis Comfort Tiffany himself took credit for. His justification for this was to preserve the Tiffany brand and he evidently didn’t want any interference on that from his employees. I’ve often wondered what the girls felt about it. If they were unhappy over it, though, I never saw anything in Clara’s letters to indicate it. Still, I’d have been pretty exasperated if some man tried to take credit for my work like that!

One of their most important projects was the Tiffany Chapel for the Chicago World’s Fair—it’s what got them hired in the first place. You’ll see the Tiffany Girls spending a lot of time on that chapel in my new book.

So that’s how did I found out about all of this and now, here we are! Just a week away from the launch of Tiffany Girl. The episode on PBS’s History Detectives that my mom watched is right here! The portion on the Tiffany Girls starts at marker 37:46. I wish I’d discovered it before I wrote the book. If I had, I would have included the Tiffany Girl their segment features.

What would you do if you knew a man was taking credit for your work? Head on over to my Facebook page -- we’ll chat about it there!

Which Tiffany Girl Are You?

I heard from so many of you after you took our quiz—you know, the one that helped you figure out which of my books you should read next. Wasn’t it fun? I just LOVED it when you posted which book you’d been matched to—especially when it was your favorite one! Even I took the quiz. Can you guess which book I was matched with? (Hint: The heroine is a bloomer-wearing, independent woman who hikes up her skirts when bike riding through town.)


Since the last quiz was so much fun, I thought we’d do another one, except this one features the characters from my new book, Tiffany Girl! By answering a handful of questions about things like your favorite hobbies and how you relax after a long day, you’ll find out which Tiffany Girl character is most like you! Are you artistic like Flossie? Hardworking like Clara? Stern like Nan? Or strong-willed like Aggie? I think I might have a touch of all four. Maybe what they say about us authors putting a little bit of ourselves into each of our charact