Friday, December 12, 2014

Someone Hijacked My Computer!

I am SO SORRY for the delay in writing/publishing comments, but my computer was shut down by a virus. After much back-and-forthing, my wonderful son came to my home and helped me with said nasty computer virus, but when he worked on it he changed the settings so I COULD NOT get onto my blog!!! Foiled again! AACK! FINALLY got it fixed, and will write more tomorrow, but this has been unbelievably frustrating! (It's really not my son's fault - it all started with me getting hacked! Boo to people who create these viruses - come on!) Anyway, thanks for all your wonderful, uplifting comments - I could read them even though I could not respond. Be sure to write me at if you'd like to be a Beta reader, and happy holidays! I'm back!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sad News...

I'm sure you've been wondering why I've been so quiet for so long, and there has, in fact, been a reason. (Actually, many reasons, but more on that later.) It's just I didn't want to say it out loud and make it real, so I...didn't. Many, many of you have written and asked about the status of THE DEAD GIVEAWAY, a question I have dodged, but now it's time to just tell you what has happened and be done with it. So here goes: Due to the merger of Penguin with Random House, the new corporation decided to put my forensic books in publisher's limbo. In other words, they have no plans to release either one of the new titles. Which is why I've been so absent. It's heartbreaking news, especially since there is nothing I can do about it. So there you have it, the end of the forensic series. After I appeared on The Paula Zahn show (which was incredibly hard) I came home to a cancer scare concerning my daughter, which turned out well but took up all of my mental energy. (Terror, pure and simple.) Then my granddaughter had to have surgery due to yet another cancer scare (again, it turned out well) and worst of all, my son's baby died when his wife was at the six-month pregnancy mark. (They live just ten minutes away.) As this was to be their first child, it was a particularly hard loss, since there was nothing physically wrong with their little baby girl. Why she died is a mystery - her heart just stopped beating. In the midst of that emotional storm, I found out about the fate of the series, and I just sort of...bailed. Sorry sorry sorry. I'm back now, finishing up DRAGONFLY EYES. I think it will be my best book ever, so there's that to look forward to! I want to share what happened when I asked my sister why all these bad things had been raining down on me, because, in truth, I was feeling very low. She reminded me of something that is so important I feel embarrassed that I let this truth slip away from me, even for a little while. When I was on the show with Paula Zahn (bloated from those horrible drugs because of the terrible case of pneumonia I'd endured, which in turn had forced me to take high high high levels of prednisone and swell up like a pumpkin) I was still sick. I'd really wanted to represent Savannah and felt like I had failed, in part because of those nasty prednisone side-effects. Joni, my sister, gently told me that instead of my appearance on the show being a failure, it had been a triumph, because, as bloated as I was, I had been alive to tell her story, thanks to the very drug I so despised. Prednisone had saved me and I should be grateful. My daughter's biopsy turned out to be benign and it could have been so much worse. So was my granddaughter's biopsy - another benign, huzzah! The loss of the baby was a true heart-breaker, but I've never been promised an easy path and my son and wife may still try for another. Joni encouraged me to count my blessings, which I have started to do all over again. It's not been a bad six months, it's been a challenging six months. When you're dealing with the loss of life, the loss of a book(s) isn't so bad. It's all about perspective. On a final note, Robert Lloyd Sellers son wrote to me, and if he reads this message, I would very much like him to email me at (As may any of you. I'm much better at answering emails, so if you have a question, always feel free to write to me directly!) There have been many, many connections that were made from ON THE CASE WITH PAULA ZAHN, and it has been healing to have been able to talk with those who remembered my friend. It's almost as if Savannah's here with me again; I have missed her so very, very much... Just so you know, DRAGONFLY EYES is written from the perspective of a character named Savannah Anderson, a beautiful girl who, like my friend Savannah, was murdered in her prime. It is my tribute to 'my Savannah'. This new book series shines a light on my belief that we must be kind to each other, always always always. You never know what twist or turn may surprise you up ahead, but you can make a choice to be grateful for the sweetness, the nectar that comes from living each and every day we are given with joy. Books may come and go, but the love we share though the lives we touch is forever. That is something to remember...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's Tonight!!!

Sorry again for the terrible silence, but things over here have been CRAZY!!! As many of you know, my best friend, Savannah Anderson, was murdered in 1979. ON THE CASE with Paula Zahn found out about Savannah from my blog and contacted me to be on their show, which airs tonight at 10:00 Eastern Time. Two months before we filmed I was truly at death's door with the worst case of pneumonia EVER, which meant I was pumped FULL of nasty drugs (Prednisone among others) that made me swell up like a balloon. Stay-Puffed Marshmallow face or no, I decided I needed to go on and be the voice of Savannah, even though I was still quite ill when we filmed. Having said that, the point of filming the show was to ensure Savannah not be forgotten. I really, truly hope I made my friend proud. So if any of you want to tune in, tonight's the night! Kisses to all, Alane Ferguson

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Merry!

First, I am SO sorry for the radio silence - once again, I got very sick, this time with a double smack-down: pneumonia combined strep throat. I think I've been put on every medication known to mankind, and I'm back on my feet, but things like communicating sort of slid off my radar. Plus, the drug Prednisone (saved my life!) made it impossible to see (everything was so incredibly blurry and wiggly) that work on a screen was out. But, as I said, I'm better and I want to wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday season! I've been asked what happen as far as the television deal. MTV passed, but I just spoke with the producers last week and they are still shopping it to places like NetFlix Original programming, Hulu etc. Also, ABC Family may be back on board. This is an extremely competitive field, so I content myself with being thrilled that they are doing anything at all. Hope springs eternal - huzzah! Peace on earth is my wish for Christmas and 2014. May you all have the best holiday EVER! Love, Alane

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And So It Goes...

Hi to all my wonderful friends!!! Yes, it was a waiting game, and although MTV passed (boo!) my producers are very optimistic they will find a home for the series, so keep lighting those candles! When I actually looked at MTV's lineup I wondered if it would be a good fit, since 99% of their programming is reality television and this would be a scripted show. On a brighter note, the National Geographic series is moving forward, so huzzah on that front! Concerning Body Language, the best I have is we shall see... One thing that has happened that is very unnerving is that I got a call from a prime time television crime series last Thursday. They would like to feature the murder of my friend, Savannah Leigh Anderson, on their one-hour program. That call really came out of nowhere and I must admit, I was reeling when we ended that call, although the producer could not have been more kind! I've been pulling together pictures/letters/memories of when I lost Savannah, which has been emotionally difficult, but healing, too. One of the things the producer is looking for is Savannah's fiance, who I knew as Bill Mills. His given name is Gene William Mills Junior. When I knew him he lived in Irvine, California and worked at Seth Thomas Company. I have a vague memory of him moving to Tennessee, but I'm not sure if that's right. If anyone knows where he is, please give me a shout out so I can pass his information along. I would very much like Savannah to be remembered in this way and Bill, who was as devastated as I at Savannah's loss, would be able to add so much to her story. Savannah's killer, Robert Lloyd Sellers, died in prison, so at least we know he can't hurt anyone else. As I tell my writing students - everything that is difficult, like Savannah's loss, always ends up in some form on the page. The act of writing is cathartic. Back to working on THE ENEMY IN THE WALLS. I'M ALMOST done, and then I'll finish DRAGONFLY EYES (it's a tribute to Savannah - I even use her name as my protagonist - which in light of recent events is sort of eerie). Oh, and I'll try to see about posting a couple of chapters. So far my editor has said 'no' but it might change as we get closer to the release date. So I'll keep my fingers on the keyboard and write Cameryn's story, which has turned out to be so cool! This one is the scariest of all, hands down! XO's, Alane

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Time to Light Those Candles!

Today, August 19th, happens to be the day for the MTV pitch (fingers crossed) as well as my personal phone meeting with Benj Thall, who is writing the script for the National Geographic Mysteries! I'm SOOOOOOOOOO nervous. Please send good thoughts/pray/dance a little dance, and we'll see what the day brings. I'm holding my breath in Colorado! Thanks so much for your amazing support. I can feel it across the miles!, and it means the world to me...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Meeting Was AMAZING!

Thanks for everyone's prayers/good-thoughts/positive-energy, because I DID speak with The Great David Ehrman and his brilliant co-writer, who happens to be his daughter Alexis! I had been mulling over another angle for the series, shared it with them on the phone call, and I'm happy to say they LOVED it!!! Whoot whoot! The pitch is set for August 18th and I am soooooooooo nervous, but MTV has already expressed a strong interest, so there is a possibility it might actually happen. So candles lit, fingers crossed - I'm really hoping the next step goes well. Hollywood is a very tough game, though, so I'm trying to keep me feet on the ground. I'll let you know! On a separate note, I want to shout out a great big THANKS to all of you who called in to the radio interview. For those of you who missed it, here are the links Royce (the man who interviewed me) sent via email request: From: "Royce Holleman" Date: July 28, 2013 8:15:07 AM MDT To: "Alane Ferguson" Subject: Re: I'd love to join you!!! Thanks for your participation - it was fantastic! I’m doing better than sending you a single link, here are 3 links to the show! The link to the one on my site is the full show on Youtube. Daily Motion only plays half-shows. Speaking of how well your interview went, how does Saturday, October 5th at 1:00 pm central sound to you as far as coming on again? I'd like to hear more on the ghost and ghoul stories! So - I'll be back once more, with more crazy (but true) stories to share. Hope you can join me! XO's, Alane

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Forgot the URL!!!

Royce Holleman is host of Talknow Radio found at Good grief, I'm glad I've got intelligent readers watching my back!!! This is what comes from running from one thing to another - thanks for the save! I owe you one... <3 Hope to hear from you-all tonight!

I'll Be On The Radio Tonight!!!

Hi all my patient friends! Things out here have been CRAZY (as usual) but I WILL be taking time out tonight to speak with Royce Holleman on his internet radio show, which begins at 7:00 p.m. central. Call in and ask away!!! LOVE to all of you, Alane Ferguson Here's the information: Welcome to Talknow Radio Host Royce Holleman Show airs live every Wednesday at 7:00 pm central time and Saturday at 1:00 pm central time Call in number (832) 632-7904

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer 2014....

Greetings and a happy summer to all! I've written about this in past posts, but since I've been asked again it bears repeating; the long and the short of it is that Random House was bought by Penguin, which is my publisher, and THEY decided to push my release date back to Summer 2014. I know I know, it's so frustrating, but that is the way my world works. The idea is that THE DEAD GIVEAWAY will be followed by THE ENEMY IN THE WALLS in the Fall of 2014 - back-to-back release! Kisses and hugs to everyone who is hanging in there along with me. XO's to you all and a huge 'thank you' for your patience. Now, back to writing TEITW. It's SUPER scary. And a LOT of fun to write! :)

Monday, May 13, 2013


Quick check in as I blaze my way through THE ENEMY IN THE WALLS - I've received some truly BRILLIANT ideas (writing from Justin's P.O.V.) that I will ABSOLUTELY do as soon as I'm finished with book six! I feel like my readers are the most intelligent readers on the planet (there must be a way to prove this theory) and I wish I could reach through the screen and hug each and every one of you. Because YOU are the reason I keep on going. Thanks for making my day/year/life so much brighter!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Enemy in the Walls....

Sorry for the oh-so-long delay in obtaining the electronic release, but I DID talk with my agent yesterday, and alas, as I feared, until my publisher signs off on the release my hands are tied. 'Anonymous' asked how long that usually takes; the answer is...I don't know. Usually less time than this, but Penguin bumped the book back to the Summer list, which took it off the front burner and pushed it to the back burner. Boo! My agent is meeting with my editor today, so let's hope to get that fire restarted so I can post Chapter One! In the meantime, my editor (and my agent) are totally freaked by the plot twists and turns of THE ENEMY IN THE WALLS! (The idea is that the two books will be released back-to-back, so I'm working HARD to make that happen.) So it's back to death and mayhem for me!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Thanks to all who sent good thoughts/prayers for little Leyton, the seven-month old baby who was shaken by his caretaker. It pains me to share that he has passed away from his injuries. Be sure to hug someone you love today extra hard and remember to cherish each other always. What a tragedy...

Monday, April 1, 2013

For Those of You Who Want to Write....

An amazing author and friend Carol Lynch Williams asked me to help spread the word about a truly wonderful conference held in Utah - one I've taught at several times in the past and loved. I can tell you it is a truly special place to learn the craft of writing. So here is the information for all of you who have dreamed of joining the world of published authors! Registration is now open for the 2013 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference (WIFYR), held June 17-21 at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. The workshops fill quickly, so those interested should apply soon. Continuing its tradition of providing helpful instruction from published authors and illustrators as well as presentations by industry professionals, this year’s conference features a keynote address by Utah's Poet Laureate Lance Larsen, workshops by national authors Matt Kirby, Martine Leavitt, Sharlee Glenn, A.E. Cannon, Carol Lynch Williams, J. Scott Savage, Cheri Pray Earl, Kris Chandler, and illustrator Steve Bjorkman. New this year: a full novel class with Mette Ivie Harrison and day-long mini workshops covering a variety of topics including an accredited teacher course, publication for the discouraged writer, and screenwriting. Afternoon-only registration is also available. This year editor Alyson Heller (Aladdin Books), agent Ammi-Joan Paquette (Erin Murphy Literary Agent), and agent Steven Fraser (Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency) will present at the conference. Another exciting event this year is the WIFYR Second Annual Writing Contest and Award. The prize is $1,000 and this year, in addition, the winning manuscript will be considered publication with Familius. For more information, go to

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I've Got The Date!!!

Okay, everyone, there's good news and bad news. First, the good news! Penguin released my check, which means they have fully accepted the changes on the manuscript (my editor was happy happy happy!) so I'm doing a conga dance in Colorado complete with sparklers. Huzzah! BUT, here's where you will see the power of the author (not!) when it comes to a manuscript. My book was supposed to be on the Fall 2013 list, but they pushed it back because the list was full and I was working on the revisions yadda yadda yadda. So my heart was heavy as we discussed the situation of a Spring release. In the end I was satisfied that they were making what Penguin considered a prudent choice by pushing it back to Spring since they said they could give it more attentions etc. and get the word out more easily to the buyers. However, I JUST RECEIVED an email from my editor, telling me the Powers at Penguin had a meeting and decided to make The Dead Giveaway a lead book for the Summer Read program. As in summer of 2014. I read the email and immediately called her office, but in the three minute lapse of time it took for her to send the email and for me to read it and immediately punch in her phone number, my editor had skipped out of the building - she's currently in South East Asia for three weeks. I then called my agent, wailing about the length of time you all would have to wait, and he said these decisions happen and it's all about what's on the Penguin list and it's just part of the process. So I suppose I'm going to have to suck it up and deal with the fact that the release date is off in the horizon. But it is at last a firm date. PLEASE stick with Cameryn and Justin while the days of the calendar fly by. I'm working on The Enemy in the Walls so that The Dead Giveaway and then The Enemy in the Walls can be released Summer and then Fall - that's something to cheer about! The forensic television deal is still on the table, (it is supposed to be pitched in April) so I'll let you know what/when/if anything happens on that front. The television deal with National Geographic is moving forward as well, but that deals with Mysteries in our National Parks, which is of course a different series entirely. The Book of the Dawning is well underway, and then I will finish up Dragonfly Eyes! somewhere in all of this. So, to recap, there's good and not so good, but we're moving forward and that's a wonderful thing! Last but not least: when things like moving release dates make me want to tear my hair out, something will happen that puts my problems into perspective. One of those 'reminders' just happened to me in the saddest possible way. My friend's grandson was left in an at-home daycare for one day last Thursday, and the caretaker shook his little seven-month-old body so hard he had a massive brain hemorrhage. His name is Leyton, he's in a coma, and the prognosis is not good. Yesterday, the doctors allowed his parents to hold him, perhaps for the last time. My husband and I are going to a prayer & candlelight service for him tonight. So please, all of you, send good thoughts/prayers for this little guy who has been so terribly injured, and remember to look at the difference between disappointment and tragedy. Then hug someone and tell them you love them. Because the one thing writing forensics and paranormal stories has taught me is that you never know what's coming. Just make sure today counts.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fun Article Questions!

Hi all! I was asked to answer questions for an article by my fellow (and amazing) author Veda Boyd Jones, and I thought I'd share my reply with you! (Since there is still no news...) The article will appear in Children's Writer sometime soon. (The date is not locked in as of yet.) Enjoy! 1. I am currently reading DANCE OF SHADOWS by Yelena Black, which is beautiful and compelling. The book I've read that constantly simmers in my subconscious is THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES by Laura Kasischke. A novel centered around a character's brief life and untimely death, TLBHE is what I call a 'perfect book'. It's theme of what-would-you-think-of-in-your-last-moment-on-earth haunts me, but also reminds me to live every day in a loving, purposeful way. The writing is incredible - each page is an indulgence for me as a reader. Kasischke is a poetic master. 2. I primarily read Young Adult books, but I mix in a lot of adult books, both fiction and non-fiction. And with five grandchildren in my familial mix, I find I'm reading aloud about kittens and puppies one minute before curling up with a delicious mystery (those are just for me) the next. The truth is, my reading is nothing short of eclectic. Which suits me because I love it all! 3. Why do I read the types of books I read? I think I devour a rainbow of books because there are many sides to me as a person. Reading about history fascinates me since today is interconnected with yesterday, and I live for those 'aha' moments when a causality clicks into place. I love getting lost in a romance or pitting my mind against the author of a great mystery. (Kudos to the writer who can fool me - a fist pump when that happens!) I find I get completely and emotionally drawn into an author's alternate world: when Rue died in THE HUNGER GAMES, I wept through an entire box of Kleenex. I'm talking a Mount Rushmore pile of crumpled white tissue by my side, which was doubled when I read the epilogue of MOCKINGJAY. Every day I plow through our newspaper (I also keep up online) so that I can grasp our political and international landscape, but at the same time I'll confess to gobbling up each installment of TWILIGHT, actually standing in those long midnight lines. So for me, reading is like a well-balanced meal - I eat my veggies, but I always include dessert! 4. Yes, I belong to a book club with my daughter. It's so much fun to unpack the meaning of a book with others! Plus (surprise!) I love to talk. But I clamp my lips tight when someone describes a passage that particularly resonated with her, because as an author I make it a point to listen to what touches a reader. That's an author's gold! 5. My favorite magazine is Psychology Today, but I loves me some People Magazine (gossiping about celebrities doesn't count, right?) as well as assorted news magazines and The Denver Post. 6. I read every chance I get. Since I have the privilege of working from home, I actually have to resist temptation and keep my eyes on my computer screen instead of my Kindle/hardcover/paperback novels stacked high on my desk. They sing their siren song while I try to create my own novels, and, oh, my, not reading them is like constantly dieting (I have to do that, too!). Reading is my candy - I must force myself to regulate. On a side-note, the Kindle Paperwhite saved my marriage, since it allows me to read discreetly in bed without disturbing my poor husband. (Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever gone to sleep without reading first.) I find listening to another author quiets the 'writer's voice' yammering inside my own head. The only downside is that I've been known to buy a sequel in the wee hours because I just have to know what happens next in a series and downloading on Kindle is so easy. The electronic book store is always open! 7. Since I've completed book five and am currently writing book six in my forensic mystery series, I would say THE CHRISTOPHER KILLER, THE ANGEL OF DEATH, THE CIRCLE OF BLOOD and THE DYING BREATH. 8. Reading is like breathing to me - I'd die without it! On Mar 10, 2013, at 11:18 AM, Veda Boyd Jones wrote: I've been assigned an article for Children's Writer: Reading Habits of Successful Writers. We've all said if you want to be a writer, you must first be a reader. So... 1. What are you currently reading? What's the last book you read that's still in your mind? 2. Do you read primarily adult books or books for children? 3. Why do you read the types of books you read? 4. Belong to any book clubs? 5. What about magazines and newspapers? Do you read the Wall Street Journal for financial news or People for the latest celebrity gossip to use in a book? 6. When do you read? Special time set aside or on the fly? 7. What book would you like marketed in parenthesis behind your name? 8. Any other comments about reading?

Monday, March 11, 2013


Greetings to all my favorite people! Now you're getting a taste of the waiting game right along with me - my agent is on it and we're still watching the clock slowly tick by.... Fun, isn't it? (Not!) I'm so glad I've got so much else to keep me busy, including book six of the forensic mysteries. It's soooo scarey I'm waking up at night, peering into dark corners, which is sort of a psychological spillover from my work during the day! As far as The Dead Giveaway, please hang in, hang on, and I'll let everyone know the second I do! :) Until then, enjoy the first hints of spring!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tap Tap Tap!

That's the sound of my foot, waiting, waiting, waiting...aack - this delay drives me crazier than it does you guys, I promise! My wonderful, fantastic, amazing agent surprised me and switched houses (from McIntosh & Otis to Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency) so there's been a bit of a lag in communication between my editor and agent, compounded by the fact that he (my incredible agent) is currently out of town. I called today so I HOPEFULLY will hear next week about the plan. In the meantime, I'm finishing up The Book of the Dawning outline with the help of my marvelous producer (I'm going heavy on the adjectives tonight, but they are all true) PLUS I've already started The Enemy in the Walls, which is uber-intense! So I just put my head down and keep on typing. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Guess what - it's finally finally finally finished, and this Monday I'll begin book six (The Enemy in the Walls) so thank you thank you thank you for all of your good wishes. It truly helped me push to the finish. And yes, the television show is moving forward, as is a television proposal for my younger National Geographic series. Huzzah! Plus, there's The Book of the Dawning to complete (Lionsgate - as in MOVIE!) as well as Dragonfly Eyes! So I'm taking the weekend off before diving in again. I am whipped - but happy! :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I Had a Brainwave!

Revisions can SUCK, but it's actually really fun when your editor is totally awesome, like mine. She's been pushes for something more concrete in one chapter of my book. So I had to come up with more specific rules for the game show in The Dead Giveaway, which had me walking in circles going, 'How, exactly, do I create a believable reality show and how can I spice up the 'rules'? Then my wonderful daughter-in-law Mandy came over and we threw out everything I had and just started making up new rules that are hilarious/creepy/just-wait-Hollywood-will-really-make-a-show-out-of-this and now I have that last chapter to rework and huzzah - DONE! Please keep lighting those candles for me to create/write/work, since I'm speaking in Florida at the end of the month and I want TDG finished before I leave. You're rooting really helps! I can feel your positive energy all the way out here in Colorado... :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Heard From My Editor!!!

Yeah - back-flips and cartwheels - I heard from my editor about the revision, and she wants me to write and new first chapter that will then be followed by the Chapter One I posted on this site. I had an idea that she loved, and I'm madly working on it right now. I'll post it as soon as she says this new submission will be the final final final published manuscript. Ah, the world of a writer! On a fun note, they hired a beautiful model for my cover, and will carry out the shoot next week. I saw a mockup and I LOVE what they are doing. Penguin ROCKS! That's what is happening, which I know is frustrating for you but equally frustrating for me, because first chapters are the hardest and I'm back to square one. Revision is part of the process. And truthfully, I like my new direction. Wait and see.... Hope everyone is gearing up for the holidays and that you are surrounded by family and friends! Thankfully, I've got my decorations up and my gifts purchased, which means clear sailing for theisrevision. I should have it in by Christmas!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still Waiting for my Editor!

Hi to my wonderful friends - just another quick update to let you all know I'm still WAITING to hear dates/release/permission details from Penguin. There's been a HUGE takeover of Penguin in the publishing world, so that may be the cause of the delay. I'm so glad I have other projects that are keeping me crazy in the meantime! Yes, I did catch more ghostly activity on my last ghost hunt at the New Mexico's very haunted Legal Tender, which will be so useful when I write Dragonfly Eyes. But I'm also working on a book/movie for famous producer Bill Borden, and just today I found out my National Geographic series is being optioned for television. The television adaptation of Body Language (the Cammie forensic books) is still underway as well! So, as I've said before, my brain has to move from aliens (The Book of the Dawning: Blood and Tears) to ghosts (Dragonfly Eyes) to the forensic series (Body Language) - aack! At least I love what I do!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Thanks for everyone who has written concerning my next two chapters - I think the hold-up at Penguin is that they've just been bought out by a German company and we are consolidating with Random House into one of the largest publishing companies in the world! On top of that, Hurricane Sandy hit New York and shut everything down, so I've had to postpone my talks with my editor and agent. Sorry for the delay - I'm working on getting their permission! in the meantime, I'm off to New Mexico for a real ghost hunt in a very haunted, very old building. It's called the Legal Tender, and my team and I are actually spending the night! On our last ghost hunt at a residence in Ault, Colorado we caught an actual ghost on my infrared camera, which I will post. So...Happy Halloween, stay safe, and I'll check in when everything calms down in New York! XO's, Alane Ferguson P.S. I really, truly appreciate all of your support for Cameryn and Justin! Love to you all!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

So Happy You Liked The First Chapter!

I had a bit of trouble with the text in Chapter One (I couldn't get any indentations to show up, which made the paragraphs run into each other. Aack!) I wrote about my margin frustration but those comments somehow mysteriously disappeared upon posting, so sorry it came out in such a chunky block! Anyway, I already had one positive, cheerful response to my setup, which makes my heart sing! As for chapter two, there are legal issues when posting copyrighted material, so I'm not sure if I can sneak that in or not. I'll try to find out. In the meantime, thanks again for the positive feedback. You won't believe what happens to Cameryn in California, mawhahah! (And yes, it has to do with Justin!) XO's, Alane


Chapter One “Cameryn, open up. I’ve got a surprise for you!” Justin exclaimed as he knocked on Cameryn’s dorm room in a rapid-fire rhythm. “Oh, come on!” Lyric moaned to Cameryn as she raked blue fingernails through her freshly dyed, pumpkin-colored hair. The two of them were nestled into their battered, used loveseat that had been draped with a blanket to hide its preexisting stains. Curled up, with Cameryn’s boney hip pressed against Lyric’s plump one, they’d been preparing to once again watch Cameryn’s audition for a new television reality show called The Dead Giveaway, a forensic program where college students competed for a dazzling money prize. “This is girl’s night and you promised to watch,” Lyric protested. Deliberately aiming the remote, she pressed ‘play’. The television flashed. My name is Cameryn Mahoney and I live in Durango, Colorado, where I am a freshman at Fort Lewis College. It has been my lifelong dream to become a forensic pathologist! Cameryn’s image chirped from the screen. “Cammie!” Justin cried, his voice more insistent. “I know I’m interrupting but you really need to see this.” “I’ll be right there!” she called to her door, which was flimsy enough to allow sound to pass through. “Sorry,” she sighed to Lyric, “it must be important.” Planting her palms on either side of her of her hips, Cameryn lifted herself as she hopped off the loveseat. Lyric rolled her blue, kohl-rimmed eyes. “All right, I will hit ‘pause’ for five minutes, but that’s it.” She aimed the controller at the set so that Cameryn’s image froze in place. “Must I remind you that your best friends needs time, too? And now he’s here,” she swooped the controller through the air, “– again! I understand you guys can’t live without each other but I really wanted to watch the part where you pop off the skull with that screwdriver-thingy. It’s so disturbingly cool.” “I’ll be quick,” Cameryn told her. “I promise.” Although she tried to make her expression serious, for Lyric’s sake, Cameryn couldn’t help but smile, happy that Justin had provided an excuse to get out of yet another viewing. Winning a spot on The Dead Giveaway had filled her dreams during the months since she’d sent in the audition DVD. The problem was she’d never gotten used to seeing her image on film. I look too young, she thought whenever she’d viewed herself in those overlarge pale green, hand-me-down morgue scrubs, paper booties and the stiff, bouffant cap that puffed from her head like a gauzy cloud. With her long hair pulled up, her large, dark eyes appeared almost alien; her voice sounded too thin, too high. Cameryn knew her slight build and short stature made her look much, much younger than her eighteen years, and that would most likely kill her chances at being chosen out of the thousands who had applied. Bang bang bang. Justin’s knocking became more insistent. “Okay, okay, I’m coming!” Cameryn’s bare feet padded against the linoleum squares as she made her way to the one person who knew her almost as well as she knew herself. When she flung it open his dark hair had been dusted in a fine layer of Durango snow that reminded Cameryn of powdered sugar. “You’re out of breath!” she said, brushing the snow off his shoulders. “Sorry,” he huffed, “I ran across the parking lot - took the stairs at -top speed.” He sucked in another gulp of air. “Lyric is not happy you’re here,” she whispered. Rolling onto her toes, she kissed his cold cheek. “I was supposed to be on best friend duty tonight, remember?” “Yeah, I’m seriously thinking of burning my ‘Team Justin’ tee shirt,” Lyric’s singsong voice chimed. “My – apologies - Lyric.” Cameryn laughed as she shook her head. “So…what is it? What’s the 911 emergency?” “Something came today.” His eyes, like lasers, were attuned to her now. It was the way he looked at Cameryn that made every hair on her arms rise up with her gooseflesh. From the inside of his jacket he removed a FedEx envelope, gasping, “They sent it to your old house by mistake – the Hollywood geniuses missed the fact you’re in college now.” His fingers bent the cardboard as he gripped it too tight. “I told your mammaw I would drive it down.” Cameryn froze, staring. “Are you sure it’s from them?” she asked weakly. “It says The Dead Giveaway,” he answered, “So yeah, I’m sure. This is it, Cammie.” In an instant Lyric was at her side. “Oh, my God!” She reached out for the envelope. “What are you waiting for? Let’s open it right now!” “Uh…wow. Okay. Just, give me a second.” Cameryn ran her fingers through her curls and braided them into a long rope, buying mental time. Because inside that cardboard sheath lay the answer to her future, a knowledge both terrifying and exhilarating. It contained the ‘yes’ or the ‘no,’ the ‘go’ or the ‘stay,’ the fame or anonymity. It was everything. Or maybe nothing at all. Standing tall against the doorframe Justin was rigid. Cameryn understood his body language well enough to know he wanted to open that envelope with her alone, without Lyric’s prying eyes, but he was waiting for Cameryn herself to make the decision about what happened next. “Ohhhh,” Lyric breathed out the word. “I get it. I’m not wanted, which is incredibly awkward since this whole thing was my idea in the first place. But, no worries.” Her hand flew up as Cameryn began to protest. “I’ll just go knock on Sara’s door and see if I can score me a Coke. But Cammie, you’ve got to promise to text me as soon as you open it!” “Thanks, Lyric,” Justin told her softly. “For understanding.” “Well, just so you know, my psychic powers are amped to overdrive – and Cammie - you’re going to Hollywood,” she squealed. Lyric stepped around Justin, her pink faux fur slippers whisking against the floor as her terrycloth robe wound between her legs until she vanished around a corner. Cameryn watched from the doorway, chewing her lip. “Aren’t you going to open it?” Justin asked, raising an eyebrow in a dark arch. His breathing had slowed, and he raked back his too-long hair, revealing eyes that were the color of deep water, the blue-green found in the center of a mountain lake. He must have just gotten off of work because he was dressed in his almost-uniform: faded jeans, his green aviator jacket with the collar flipped up, the cowboy boots that had become as worn as a true westerner’s, and a deputy badge hanging from a cord around his neck. A smile lifted the corners of his mouth. “Cameryn Mahoney, you actually look scared. Aren’t you the person who puts her hands inside dead people?” He extended the envelope toward her so that the purple FedEx logo was just inches away, and yet she could not bring herself to take it from him. Her fists remained clenched firmly at her sides. “Come on,” he said, and this time his voice had an edge. “This is my life, too.” Still, she could not move. “Okay, then I’ll do it.” He pinched his fingers and began to pull the thread-like tab. “No - stop!” she cried, so loud it startled a pair of girls ambling by. They glanced at her before moving on, their backpacks bumping together as they walked on. “Sorry, I’m just…freaking out. I mean, I know I had a huge advantage since I work for a medical examiner, but, bottom line, only ten people get chosen for this reality show. Ten. As long as I don’t look, I can believe there’s still a possibility I got picked. So please, let me hope for a minute longer.” “That does not sound like the scientific Cameryn I know,” he replied. “I’m complicated.” She shook her head. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Lyric’s wrong. It’s a ‘no’.” She pointed to the envelope. “I can feel it.” He didn’t even try to hide his pleasure as his face erupted into a crooked grin. “If The Dead Giveaway turns you down, then I win.” “And I lose.” Her words hung in the air, and she hated herself for the hurt that flickered behind his eyes. But it only remained a moment before it dipped beneath the waves and his face was impassive once again. “It depends on how you look at it.” As his fingertip brushed against her cheek, she could feel herself leaning in to his touch. And then came his voice, lower now, “Would it really be so bad to stay here with me?” When she hesitated the flicker returned to his eyes. “Look,” he said, “I’m not trying to be selfish, but I don’t want us to be apart, Cammie. Not after everything you and I have lived through. With something this big – like a move and Hollywood - people change. Even if they don’t mean to.” She nodded, because of course she wanted to be close to Justin, safely enrolled in her freshman year at Fort Lewis College, a mere hour from her father and her mammaw. Moving to the city of Durango had been a comfortable transition, a new beginning rooted in old earth. The essence of her small town life had been packed into her Jeep along with her clothes and her laptop and Tupperware filled to the brim with her grandmother’s Irish Lace cookies. Even Dr. Moore had offered her a part-time job as his assistant, a position she’d readily accepted, and she’d stepped into the role without missing a beat. But when Cameryn and Lyric had moved into the Cooper Dorm in July, she’d stood on their cement balcony, wondering at how Durango’s stars exactly mirrored Silverton’s night sky. And why wouldn’t they? The San Juan Mountains cradled Durango in the same way they’d cupped tiny Silverton, and she’d realized that Durango was just a grown up, polished twin of her home town. That sameness had been a comfort, a blanket of continuity in which she’d wrapped herself, cocoon-like and safe. She’d been content with that. Until Lyric had planted the idea of trading the mountains for an ocean. Doctor Moore had been outraged, blaming Lyric for putting such a crazy plan into her head, but Cameryn knew it wasn’t Lyric’s fault. Because the truth was, deep down, a seed had been germinating since she’d moved into the dorm. At night she could almost hear the whispers in her subconscious, fading echoes that hinted there might be more out there in the world, beyond the life she seemed preordained to live. It made her feel guilty. In the eight months since he’d been stabbed, she and Justin had grown together, the two of them becoming all but inseparable. The milestones of their lives had come in quick succession: his returning to his job as deputy of Silverton, her graduation with honors, her move to Fort Lewis, their weekends split between Durango and Silverton. And she’d been happy. So the notion of her walking away, even for three months, was painful because it ripped away at what they’d woven together. And yet…she was only eighteen and had barely been outside the borders of Colorado. That was when it hit her: she’d spent so much time speaking for the dead she wasn’t sure what she had to say for herself. And now an answer was waiting only inches away, clenched in Justin’s hand. Bouncing the soft side of his fist against the doorframe he said, “So open it already.” The flush on his cheeks made Justin’s eyes look electric. “I will. It’s just…I don’t want to do this in the hallway. Come inside.” “But your pop said I couldn’t enter the premises unless –” Before he could finish speaking she grabbed his jacket and pulled him into her dorm room, a small square just large enough for the loveseat and two twin beds, one covered with peace signs and the other, Cameryn’s, made up with a simple denim comforter. “Justin,” she said, “I’m making the decisions now. And it’ll be okay.” Sinking onto her bed, she patted the end and said, “Sit.” He sat. For a moment the stayed that way, with Justin’s hand in hers, until he tossed the envelope to one side and thrust out his arms. Without a thought Cameryn folded herself into him, resting her head against his shoulder as she listened to his heartbeat thump, steady and strong. She felt she could stay there forever, in the twilight of possibilities, but it was Justin who pulled away. “Let’s get it over with,” he said. Reaching past her fingertips he picked up the envelope and placed it in her hands. The return address typed in black ink: The Dead Giveaway, Audition Department, Warner Hollywood Studios, 1041 N. Formosa, Hollywood, CA 90046. With her finger she traced the letters, swallowing hard. Then, grasping the cardboard tab, she pulled hard across the top. There was a ripping sound as she released the plastic thread. Justin was right – there was no point in dragging it out any longer. So it shocked her all the more when he reached out to stay her hand. “Wait,” he said. “Why?” “I want you to kiss me first. For luck.” “Your luck,” she whispered, “or mine?” “Mine.” Leaning close, he tipped his head so that his lips lightly brushed hers; she noticed the taste of peppermint and registered the roughness of his chin. When his lips pressed harder she had a crazy idea, because it seemed as though she could almost feel the pounding of his thoughts, as if the word ‘stay’ pulsed in time with his heartbeat. But she couldn’t let herself be swayed. This was her dream, her rainbow and her pot of gold. Breaking free, she popped opened the envelope and felt for the paper inside. The paper was thick, like linen, and at the top there was a blue and gold seal that made her think of gilded wedding invitations. Dear Ms. Mahoney, it began. As her eyes skimmed the rest of the words her hand flew to her throat as she gave out a cry. “I’m in, Justin!” she screamed, jumping to her feet. “I’m actually in!” Twirling in an arc, the paper flapping in her hand, she felt something inside rise up, a bubble bursting. “I can’t believe it! I made it! Me! They want me! They want me!” If Justin said something in reply she didn’t hear. The colors of the room whirled past her as she spun herself like a whirligig. A single thread of her cocoon was unwinding as she turned again and again until she felt Justin’s hand on her arm, stopping her cold. It took a moment for her eyes to refocus. She could tell that for her sake that he would do his best to pretend he was happy. “Congratulations,” he said woodenly. “I know, right?” she cried as she hugged her sides, unable to contain herself. “Lyric is going to go insane – I’ve got to text her! Doctor Moore hates reality television so he’ll pitch a fit when I tell him, but he’s not the one paying for my college, so -” “That’s not what worries me,” Justin’s voice cut across her. “No,” he put his finger to her lips, “let me say it. Just this one time. Cards on the table.” Cameryn closed her eyes. “Justin, please. Don’t spoil this. This is a good thing. It’s an amazing thing.” His finger slipped past her lips and tucked beneath her chin. With a gently motion, he raised her face to his. “Look at me, Cammie.” Reluctantly, she opened her lids. “What worries me is a number. Three. Three months. That’s a very long time. You and me -” “ – will be fine,” she brushed his objections away as she took a step back. “It’s only three months if they don’t boot me off. Every contestant leaves with money. All of it will go to my student loans. So just…don’t. Don’t make me feel like I’ve let you down. Because this isn’t about you or us. It’s about me and what I want!” It was as if her words had literally slapped him in his face. His expression took on a strange intensity she’d never seen before. Finally, with a quick nod, he leaned down to kiss her on her forehead. What was different from a thousand other kisses was the way he lingered, his lips pressing hard against her skin, cool and dry. “You’re right,” he finally said. “I am?” “Yes. I’ll be rooting for you, Cameryn Mahoney. And I promise, I’ll be waiting.” “Thank you!” Cameryn drew him close as he buried his face in her hair, hugging her so hard she found herself on the tips of bare toes like a ballerina on pointe. She could tell he wanted to say more, but she stopped his lips with another kiss until he gave up and gave in. It wasn’t hard to guess what he was thinking, but she hoped for once he couldn’t see into her mind. Because it wasn’t the thought of leaving Justin or Durango or the mountains that was making her heart beat like mad. It was the thought of her new reality. The reality of The Dead Giveaway.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Last Page!

I'm on my last page of The Dead Giveaway revision! Hurray! When I get back from my Florida trip, I will post the first chapter. YEAH!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why I Called Myself The Worst Blogger

Someone just asked me what I meant about my comment that I was 'The Worst Blogger' - and to me, it's really clear that I am terrible at reminding myself to check in and write to you guys! My excuses are many, ranging from my family needing me to the tornado that touched down by my home (three miles away) after which came the fires in Colorado (it hailed ash on our house) to the horrible shootings in Aurora (because my friend was murdered, I was very shaken by the violence) to the traveling and the writing of two additional pieces for publication and, above all, my retooling The Dead Giveaway, which I'm told is (blush) the best book yet! I hope so, because I've sweat buckets over its intricate plot-line. And best of all, I'm on the last few pages of my final, final polish! So my apologies for being so lax in sharing my thoughts! (I'm also writing a blog entry every month for The Australian Literary Review - yikes, I'm always at my keyboard!) I have much to share when I come up for air (I'm about to leave for another speaking trip to be held held in Florida, and then I'll be back and stay in Colorado for over a month). I'll be sharing with all of you who are wondering what is next for Cameryn and Justin. The answer is: A LOT! I'll be starting on book six in August, so I've got plenty more in store for those two, with lots of twists and turns. And there is a possibility of the books being turned into a television show, directed by none other the the uber-amazing David Ehrman of The Secret Circle, 24 fame! Keep those candles lit, and I PROMISE I'll try to get better at letting everyone know what's been going on in my life and in the lives of my characters! (Another hint about me - I had the most AMAZING ghost hunt in New Mexico where I captured incredible voices that literally answered my questions. No LIE! I'll try to get everything uploaded when I get back from my trip!) Cheers to all! Alane

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Have Been Naughty, Naughty, Naughty!

I am so sorry for the radio silence - life just got the best of me, along with technical difficulties with my computer. But now for the news - YES, I finished The Dead Giveaway, and it is on my editor's desk as we speak! No news as to when it will be out, but I'll let everyone know as soon as I do. We had a wedding in December (my son Daniel to his lovely bride, Mandy) and a new baby named Emilie born in January to my daughter Kathy and son-in-law DJ, plus I wrote a l-o-o-o-o-n-g piece about the writing process for The Australian Literature Review in addition to blog post which you can find at the following addresses:;;
I also wrote an essay for Roaring Brook press and have been speaking all over the country, and am about to leave again in two days. CRAZY BUSY at Chez Ferguson! A bit of fun news between all the madness is that TWO producers are interested in turning these stories into a television series, so we shall see. It's always fun to dream!

My New Year's resolution was to be better at keeping up with my blog, which, as you can see, has been a dismal failure. Here's to doing better as the spring blooms!

Friday, February 11, 2011

An Interesting Forensic Conversation!

This question came to me via an online writer's group called Rockcanyon. It's from an author, and I thought I'd share her query and my reply. (The things I pick up as a mystery writer!) Before reading further, though, I want to give a kind of 'parent advisory' that the material below is real and disturbing. For those who still want to peek into my world, my goal is for you to see the kind of research necessary to write dark characters - what I have to grasp in order to capture their motivations. To create that mindset I have to understand it, which means endless digging and reading! So, if you're not feeling squeamish, here is the author's query and my answer. She was specifically interested in serial killers working as a pair, and asked if that was ever true in real life.

Question: What I'm curious about is how does a serial killer find someone with similar interests? That doesn't seem like something that would come up in normal conversation. And maybe if I'd read your book I'd know this (it's on my list) but how do serial killers appear to others? Do they seem fairly normal, have a normal boring job? Or do they seem pretty freaky? Also, is it possible to use those tendencies in a more appropriate way like being a sniper or writing books about serial killers ;) or something? Also how did you become interested in this and how do you research it? Sorry for all the questions. You don't have to answer them. I'm just curious.

Answer: I know this one since I've researched (and written) so many books involving this subject. For me, it's taken an even more personal tone because my best friend Savannah Anderson was murdered by a serial killer, thus thrusting me on the path to write forensic murder mysteries. So, in a nutshell, most serial killers who team up either have an established relationship (as in the Blanchi/Buono case, where the two men were cousins) or the perpetrators meet in prison, although the internet has unfortunately changed and expanded that dynamic. A third rail is a man enticing a woman to be his accomplice, as in the Jaycee Dugard case where Phillip and Nancy Garrido worked as a team to keep her captive. (There is a theory that at least one more girl had been kidnapped and killed, but I haven't heard the verdict on that, just that they are still looking into it.) Also, the Elizabeth Smart case involved a woman, Wanda Barzee, who cowered beneath Brian Mitchell's reign. Anyway, there is usually a psychological 'master' and a weaker accomplice. The gender of the perpetrators could come down in any combination, but by far the most common is a dominant man with a submissive man, then the man/woman followed by the woman/woman, which is extremely rare. The only case I can think of that might qualify in that instance is the Aileen Wuornos/Tyria Moore case, but the suspicion of Moore being part of the murder spree was never proven. Women serial killers, while real, are very, very unusual.

Last point: a serial killer is a sociopath/psychopath, so they applaud the actions of their peers because they see nothing wrong in what they do, other than the fact they may get caught. To them, they are normal, because they live inside their own heads and they are completely narcissistic with zero feeling for others. They have no empathy. To outsiders their image is usually that of a loner who doesn't quite 'fit in,' but some, like the BTK (Bind Torture Kill) Dennis Rader was a church deacon. He was able to pull off 'normalcy' but only for a short time, so he, as others like him, chose a job that gave him a lot of 'alone time.' I read a book by a forensic psychiatrist who wrote that the sociopath could only keep the veneer up so long before he cracked. (I think it something like six hours, but I'm not sure...) Anyway, there is definitely a profile.

Okay, I'll stop now, because as Dan said, most people don't want to know this stuff. The good news is that the folks you'll meet will be charming, warm friends. You will most likely never, ever cross paths with these crazies, so don't fret. Although I know this stuff, I choose to walk in the rainbows and sunshine. And it's a reminder to carpe diem!

Alane Ferguson

So, dear readers, that is the kind of information I must be fluent in so that I can make up a character like Kyle O'Neil or Dr. Jewel. I not only need to understand the science of forensics, but I must also dig into the minds of those who commit these unspeakable crimes. At the end of the day, though, I go back to what I said at the end of the Rockcanyon post, and that is that I walk in the sun purposely. Yes, the world has darkness, but it also has light. It's where I begin my day and where I end it. So, cherish and love your life. I know I do!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Forensic Murders

Hi everyone!

I'm knee deep in guts again, busily sawing away at imaginary decedents in my newest book, The Forensic Murders. Or, do you prefer the title The Forensic Academy Murders? I'm on the fence on this one and just wondered what you, my wonderful readers, thought! In between all the writing (I'm still sneaking away to hammer out Dragonfly Eyes on the side) I'm speaking, visiting eight states between now and April to talk about my passion, which is writing! First stop, Omaha, Nebraska, starting February 13th and going through the week. Corn Huskers, here I come!

Oh, and all is right in the world now that Damon from The Vampire Diaries is back with his blue, blue eyes. I'm so team Delena, although I've been intrigued by the newest Caroline/Matt/Tyler twist. I SO dig this series and my other favorites, which include anything at all with ghosts (Supernatural, Ghost Hunters, and the (alas) canceled Medium). I also love Modern Family, Glee, The Middle, and I Survived. On the reading front, I've just reread The Hunger Games (fantastic) and keep crying EVERY time I read the Mockingjay epilogue, which is pretty pathetic since I of course know how it ends. That's the beauty of truly great writing - it never stops moving a reader. Three cheers for Suzanne Collins!

Speaking of writing, I'd better stop blathering and get back to it. Despite being a pacifist, I have to say that in my writing world, there are so many to kill, and yet so little time...


Alane Ferguson

Thursday, September 23, 2010

South Carolina Asked Me an Interesting Question!

I answered this on a seperate post, but for those who might miss the link, I thought I'd share! Here goes!

Hi Cathy Nelson from SOUTH CAROLINA!

What an interesting question. I've actually never had anyone ask me about censorship before, and I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity to share my views on this touchy topic. First of all, I believe not all published work is suited to all readers. There, I said it - to me it's a simple fact. BUT, having said that, we wade into the murky waters of who decides for whom what is and is not appropriate.

So! I will now weigh in. Remember, this is just my take on the question as an author. (Yikes! I hope when I'm done people won't pelt my house with olives!)

I'll begin with little back-story. I may have mentioned earlier on my blog that ALL are welcome in my home, and those are not empty words. I have had teenagers (girls, mostly - although boys have landed here, too!) who have moved in when things have gotten rough, which has translated into hundreds of hours negotiating sticky areas between teens and adults. My conclusion? Let me just say that there is A LOT MORE GOING ON in the lives of young adults than many parents might care to acknowledge. Yes, there are some protected teens who have never heard a swear word, but they are, sadly, a small minority. Most teens I've encountered have matured beyond their years. (Another fact: I might not like the way they have walked away from their childhoods too soon, but choices are made apart from my pearls of wisdom. I work from what IS, not from what I wish could be). And having said all of that, it is my belief that banning books won't change behavior, not in the slightest.

I mean, isn't that the fear? That a child reading about a certain behavior will suddenly indulge in said behavior themselves? I have never personally witnessed anyone renounce their core beliefs because of some random author's take on life. Quite the contrary. I've found reading is the safest way to explore alternative world views. Personally, I welcome a chance to talk about 'banned' subjects, not to preach as much as to listen. To probe into the decisions of a fictional character and discuss fictional consequences enlightens everyone involved. How much safer is it to talk about imaginary pregnancy than to face the real thing?

Now comes a caveat: Parents know their kids, so I invariability bow to their choices and wisdom when it comes to their offspring. If they deem my books (which some have) as too graphic (for some readers they are) then by all means, censor my books from your family! It's not a problem with me - discretionary reading has my blessing. However, and this is where some people get stuck, the idea of honor goes both ways. Those same parents MUST honor the right of the many to read material they themselves may deem 'unsuitable.' I believe we must not allow individualistic sanctions to put the kibosh on a teacher's/classroom's/librarian's choice of material. For me, the few should not control the rest! We're all about freedom, right? (Man, I feel those olives coming my way...)

Last but not least - one thing life has taught me is that it is impossible to please everyone. Let's not try. To that end, I am a big believer in offering all sorts of books to all kinds of readers - no judgment! I respect their choices...problem solved! Respecting differing points of view is the key.

So! In my humble opinion, let the few choose NOT to read, allow the many to ENJOY, and let the conversations begin!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Want to Learn to Publish Your Own Book?

Hi All!

On September 23rd, my friend will be teaching a webinar about writing for children with the fabulous folks at Writer's Digest. Mary Kole (an agent with Andrea Brown Agency) is trying to get the word out about this webinar (people register, then call in and listen to her give a structured talk, followed by a time for Q&A) so that she will get good attendance for it and make this a worthwhile thing for WD. If it does well, they'll ask her to do it again, and she loves all teaching opportunities. Believe me, Mary is very, very good!

So - for any of you who would like to write, here's your chance to connect with one of the best! Posts/Tweets/blurbs about it now and around September 15th would probably work the best to generate the most interest for Mary (and serve as a reminder for you to tune in as well!)

Here's the link where you can learn more about the webinar. Use this link (or a tinyurl version, etc.) when you blog or Tweet, as it has Mary's referral code on it. Full disclosure: Mary won't get paid per click with this referral code or anything, so it's not like she's getting gravy by asking you to use it, it's just for tracking purposes on WD's end, to see whose publicity worked the best:

This is a rare opportunity, and I hope all of you who have wanted to break into the field take time to listen to Mary Kole. I know I will!

Alane Ferguson

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Vampire Diaries and More!

Hi Everyone!

Summer's been screaming by and I am, as usual, writing/writing/writing, but since a lot of people have asked me about my favorite books and television shows I thought I'd take just a minute and share! I'm currently working very hard on the next installment in the Forensic Mystery series (I'm having a blast!) entitled THE FORENSIC ACADEMY MURDERS, so I'm back to mining the 'gore' side of my brain. From ghosts to guts - what a transition!

Okay, so when I DO take a break, my first choice is to read, and I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed THE HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. If you want some fantastic books to finish off your summer, try those. Her newest one, MOCKINGJAY, will be out next week, and I've already got it pre-ordered.

Also, I have to confess that I am literally counting down the days until THE VAMPIRE DIARIES comes back for Season 2. September 9th can't get here fast enough for me - I'm a total Damon fan and think he is sooooo amazing as a character! So if you haven't seen THE VAMPIRE DIARIES before, I recommend you pop a huge bowl of popcorn and download the episodes from Amazon. Or wait just a few more days for the release of Season 1 on DVD, which I have have also pre-ordered. (I already purchased the downloaded episodes, so you can see how OCD I am about TVD). I promise by the last episode you'll be screaming at your flat-screen, just as I and a big group of friends did during our 'Last Episode' party! I also love GLEE (I am a huge Gleek) and THIRTY ROCK as well as GHOST HUNTERS. My favorite move I've seen lately is THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES with Uma Thurman, which is an amazing film. Totally worth checking out! And my current favorite workout video is Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. (Although by the end of it I am calling her names!)

So - those are my favorite things to read/watch when I'm not lost in my Apple creating more trouble for Cameryn Mahoney! I'd love to hear some of your favorites, too. Hope your summer has been as wonderful as mine, and for those of you gearing up for school, have a fantastic start to your best year yet!

XO's from Colorado,

Alane Ferguson

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Friend's Story and My Reply

The following thoughts are really important to me, because they were written by my dear friend Carol Lynch Williams on her blog entitled Throwing Up Words. (She helps writers and those who want to write become better at their craft.) It concerns a topic I'm all too familiar with, and that is facing the pain of letting go of someone you love. I found her insights so compelling that I wanted you to not only see into Carol's heart, but into mine as well. (I've included my reply to her.)

The takeaway is the flip side of the inevitable goodbye, which is holding on and loving our family and our friends hard. So run through the rain, laugh and cry and have fun every day. And above all, remember how very special each and every one of you are!

XO's from Colorado,

Alane Ferguson

From Carol Lynch Williams:

Two funerals to attend this week. Two. The thought of two families suffering actually makes my brain unable to process. I’ve been forgetting things, crying when I least expect it, I’ve had panic attacks, and the sick headache I get when I feel too much stress.

I actually have so much to say, but the thing is, I can’t think of the right way to get the words out. Why? Maybe, maybe, some emotion is private.
Could this is true in writing, too?
I’m not absolutely certain here–but maybe some grief is too sacred or raw or hard to put on the page. So today’s post may be completely off, because this past week has been hard and I may not be seeing things clearly.

A million years ago, when I was writing KELLY AND ME, my first novel, I couldn’t figure out how to end the book. Then I remembered a story from a few years before (this is a flashback within a flashback. Don’t do this in your fiction.). A girl a few years older than I am had lost her 7-year-old son. At the breakfast table. An aneurism. No one saw it coming. He was just there and then gone. (I hate it. I hate it. All these years later I feel sorrow for that young mother.)

Isn’t this like death? We mostly don’t see it coming. Even when we know someone we love is going to die–because of illness–we are still struck with the loss. In a movie I can’t remember the name of, when a mother loses her adult daughter to cancer–and when the daughter’s spirit finally leaves her body, the mother says something like, “I thought it would better, easier, when she was gone. But it isn’t.”

Grief changes us.
I am not the same today as I was Tuesday morning.

So that means that grief changes our readers, too. When we write grief, we want to connect to our reader. Most everyone has felt sorrow. They may not have known someone who has died, but they have lost things that are important to them–a father or mother through divorce, peace, their place in school, who they thought they were, a bit of themselves because of abuse, their minds–the list goes on and on.

As hard as it is, we have to put grief on the page in a way that makes the emotion feel real. And this is difficult. In MY ANGELICA, when Sage writes a sad scene, she tells the reader of her deep, deep, deep, deep pain. Good writing isn’t telling. It’s sharing. It’s connecting. It’s knowing.

Rushing through an emotional scene–or through an emotion that a whole book centers around–can cheapen what you are writing. The truth is, when we grieve, we’re showing what our loved one meant to us. You’ve read the novel where someone dies and the main character doesn’t miss that person for every word of the book. In fact, they’re moved on rather early. I think one of reasons THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE works is that Jandy Nelson really explores grief. And her characters explore grief. And the reader does, too, with Lennon.

When I was young, my oldest cousin was having an affair with a married man. The man’s wife found my cousin and shot her twice in the chest, killing her in a bar. At the funeral Aunt Carol couldn’t stop crying. It was awful. It was horrible. Aunt Carol screamed and wailed. I stood back in the hot sun, weeping for my aunt. At her sorrow. Someone ran forward, grabbed Aunt Carol and hollered (in her own grief), “Carol, Carol, you’ve got to stop crying.”
“I can’t,” my aunt said. “I can’t.”

And she couldn’t.

Maybe this is the wrong thing to write about all the way around. But I want to remember these two people. And I want you to know something of how I felt to know them. And that the Williams girls are no longer who they were with these losses.

To John I want say, “You made me laugh. And I am sorry that it was so very hard at the end.”

And to Brandon I want to say, “You let people know they mattered. What is better than that?”

To their families I want to say, “I am so sorry. My words cannot even begin to touch the sorrow I know you must be experiencing.”

Because this is real. Sorrow is real. Grief is real. Our readers go through crap and back. And life goes on even when we think it should slow down and just let us take a breath.

From Alane Ferguson:

My newest book, DRAGONFLY EYES, follows the life of a girl named Savannah Anderson who dies unexpectedly, and who, as an earthbound spirit, looks back at the life she lived, wondering what could have been if her time hadn’t been tragically cut short. My forensic mystery series deals with my character Cameryn Mahoney, who dreams of becoming a forensic pathologist in order to give voice to the dead. Death is a theme I circle over and over again because I’ve lived it through the murder of my best friend, Savannah Anderson (I’m using her name in DE as a tribute). She was killed in 1979, and I can honestly say it is from that point that I divide my life: before, and after. Savannah was murdered by a serial killer, and I have never been the same. So to Carol and every other person who wrote such touching posts on this blog, i thank you for putting into words the reason why I write what I write.
The truth is, none of us gets out of here alive.
And while letting go is beyond painful, there is a flip side to the horror, and that is this: We must embrace the life we’ve been given every second of every day, and remind those we love that they made us who we are. Carol, knowing you has changed my life for the better. And because of YOU I am more whole. Your tender heart showed me how to love. (And right now – feel it – I am hugging you fiercely from across the miles!)
I believe grief reminds us to hold on to each other. In THE LOVELY BONES, when Susie’s spirit meets other victims of her killer, she says, “Our heartache poured into one another like water from cup to cup. Each time I told my story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain.”
So we share our sorrow with each other, and then we go on to live and love and never forget
To Carol I want to say, “Those two boys knew you. And that made a difference.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Crazy/Wonderful Family Surprise!

Hi all!

Sorry I didn't manage to get my ghost pic up yet - that has to be done from my husband's office computer and the gang (all nine) came down for a surprise confab! We're currently heading off to our pool (Gambel Oaks Community pool built for our little subdivision - it's a lot of fun) so as we splash in the Colorado sun picture my ghost orb floating your way on Monday. Now it's back to baking/cooking/splashing for me and the tribe! (We have w-a-a-a-a-a-y too much fun!) :) Come and join us anytime!


Alane Ferguson

P.S. My sons-in-law are threatening to throw me in the deep end and dunk me. Boys are always BOYS no matter how old they are!

P.P.S. Maybe I'll hide out here instead!

P.P.S. Don't you think girls are easier? My daughters have never thrown me into the pool. We just sit, crossed-legged on any available bed and gab about everything under the sun. SO much better than getting endless noogies or getting squirted by a hose when my back is turned! BOYS BOYS BOYS! (They are pretty funny, though. It's just been an adjustment because I had four sisters and no brothers.) Okay, here I go. Wish me luck!

P.P.P.S. I'm bringing extra towels, just in case.

P.P.P.P.S. Now I'm stalling...

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Back AGAIN!

I just returned from a wonderful but exhausting trip to Utah where I taught a fantastic group of writers how to make their manuscripts market ready. (Those writers rocked it!) Thank you for all your kind comments that arrived while I was on the road - it's so much fun to hear your thoughts about Cameryn and Justin and what should happen to them now that Cameryn's ready to start a new chapter in her life. The next book (spoiler alert) will have Cammie begin her first year in Durango's Ft. Lewis College, so watch out for romantic complications. I'm madly writing my paranormal mystery Dragonfly Eyes and then will switch back to the forensic series, so I'll be stuck behind my desk for a long, long time. That's okay - I love what I do!

My next post, if I can get it to work, will reveal my first official ghost photo I have ever snapped. I spoke in Charleston, South Carolina and at night I went on a cemetery tour to one of the oldest and most haunted graveyards in our country. I got a lot of orbs (I know, I know, most of them are dust) but one of them had a BABY'S face smack in the middle! When I called Bull Dog tours (they are the ones who took me through the cemetery, and I highly recommend them!) the guide explained the grave was that of a mother, father and child who died when their carriage flipped into a river and they tragically drowned. So keep an eye out - I'll try to post it this week.

My new resolution is to keep up with my blog much better that I have been and to let you know what's happening in chez Ferguson. Keep me posted on your lives as well, because I really adore hearing from you all!

XO's forever,

Alane Ferguson

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Article About Me!

I've been traveling so much I've almost forgotten what home feels like - and I'm off one more time until fall!

Once again, thanks to all who have written to me concerning the two new books in the forensic series - kiss kiss kiss to you all! The following is an article detailing a class I'm going to teach. Enjoy!

2010 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference: Alane Ferguson
As part of our continuing series of 2010 Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference ( faculty interviews with interviewer Carol Lynch Williams.
Advanced novel faculty Alane Ferguson was born in Cumberland, Maryland, in 1957. Her mother is children’s author Gloria Skurzynski. Ferguson is the author of many novels and mysteries, including the Edgar Award-winning Show Me The Evidence. Rumor has it that there will be two more books in Alane’s forensic series staring Cameryn Mahoney!
Carol Lynch Williams: Why did you decide to become a writer?
Alane Ferguson: I became a writer because my mother, who is a successful author, showed me that it was possible to actually live out your dreams. (While working in your pajamas with a baby on your lap, no less!) From the time I was twelve I watched the process up close, and I think those observations gave me the key to what makes a writer successful: hard, hard, HARD work and the ability and humility to revise. My personal journey as an author began a bit strangely because I never thought about becoming a writer until I put pencil (literally, it was a yellow notepad) to paper to create a story for my daughter Kristin when she was less than enthusiastic about the arrival of a second child. My mother caught wind of the story and convinced me to send it in to New York for a possible book sale (after a revision, of course). So with great trepidation I popped my story in the mail. Believe it or not, the first place I sent it, bought it, and I’ve been writing ever since!
CLW: Please introduce yourself—but do it as the opening of one of your mystery novels.
AF: Alane Ferguson looked nothing like her sister Joni, whose angularity exuded an almost bird-like quality while Alane seemed softer, rounded both inside and out, like river rocks smoothed by time. Looks, though, could be deceiving: it was Alane who possessed the flair for finding trouble….

CLW: What book has most influenced you?
AF: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It was the first time I realized the soul-churning power of the written word.
CLW: You’ve been faculty at this conference many times. Why do you keep coming back?
AF: I keep coming back to this conference because of the talent that attends—I’ve met the most amazing aspiring writers! It is a thrill to become a part of their accomplishments, even if it’s just the smallest link in the writing chain. I get great joy from watching them succeed, and succeed they do!
CLW: What will students learn in your class?
AF: My students will learn how to structure their thoughts, and by that I mean the nuts and bolts of framing their stories in a way that will make their writing ‘pop’ right off the page! It’s actually fun to see the light go on as a writer hones his or her skill. My job is to show authors how to construct their work so their words can flow organically. I call my class a ‘boot camp’ because writing is work, but it in the end they’ll have some nice, strong writing biceps to do the heavy lifting.-
CLW: What is it like to have a mom who is also published?
AF: Having a mom who is also published is cool because she understands both the frustrations and the delights of the writing process. Joyous at my triumphs, Gloria Skurzynski is my most unwavering champion, which can get a bit embarrassing when we’re in a group of other writers and editors. “You think J.K. Rowling can write?” says she, incredulous. “Why, you simply must get a copy of my daughter’s book if you want to see real craftsmanship.” Bear in mind my mother actually said this to an editor who had in fact worked on J.K. Rowling’s books. Hear the internal scream of MOTHER! (And, big surprise, that editor did not ask to see my work.) But seriously, you can’t put a price on that kind of support—she has been invaluable to me as a mentor. The best part is that my mother will not hesitate to tell me when I’ve missed the mark, which is, counter-intuitively, writing gold. I trust her input and adjust accordingly, and my reward has been 32 published books, halfway to my mother’s amazing total of 60!
CLW: What book do we have to look forward to?
AF: My next book is my most personal work of all, a paranormal mystery filled with love and loss and the question of life and its meaning. Dragonfly Eyes is the novel I’m most excited about completing, which should be very, very soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm Leaving Again!

To all my wonderful fans!

Guess what? It seems your emails have made a difference, because (even though it's not official) it looks as though there will be two more books in this forensic series! It's thanks to readers like you who have made this has happen, and I want to pause for a moment to say an official 'thank you.' Although I'm off (again) to Tampa, Florida, I want to stop and give you-all a virtual hug for keeping this series going. Every one of you is the BEST! Cameryn and Justin will LIVE on! Huzzah!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I LOVE your emails!

Hi Everyone!

I'm so deep into Dragonfly Eyes that when I finally came up for air I got a thrill to read so many emails about Cammie and Justin - this one was especially fun since Sarah asked if I know any 'Justins' in real life. The answer is, YES! My son Daniel is single and looking, so let me know you're a 'Cammie' somewhere in Colorado. (Or Florida, hint hint hint to Mandy!) My son will now officially kill me for posting that! Isn't blogging fun! :)

Seriously, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about Justin and Cameryn and Dr. Moore and all the characters in my forensic series. They feel real to me, too. And there may be more forensic novels thanks to fans like you and your kind comments on my work. I'll keep you posted on what happens next. And happy Valentine's Day to each and every one of you. Have oodles of chocolate, get lost in a great book, and above all remember how much each and every one of you are loved, especially by ME!

Hello Alane,

I saw your first book on reading list at my library and once I started reading I couldn't put them down until the last page of Dying Breath! I really enjoyed the series and hope that there will be more. Cameryn definitely has a way of getting herself into some crazy situations but they keep you enthralled until the end! I really love that forensic science is sprinkled right in with the romance and mystery! Oh and by the way, if you know any real life 'Justins' send them my way hahaha Just wanted to let you know that I loved the books, and thought I'd add one more fan mail to the pile:)

Your Reader,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Just Illustrates My Point!

I just illustrated my point on how ridiculous I am at this (Kacie isn't here today - darn it!). I thought I'd lost my original I Can't Believe How Long It's Been post, so after searching for over thirty minutes I just rewrote the whole thing. Now there are two. I think this proves I am absolutely pathetic. When Kacie gets here on Monday, she'll have to show me how to delete the post on my Mac. In the meantime, sorry to be so repetitive and redundant. Now you see just how electronically impaired I really am. Embarrassing!

I Can't Believe How Long It's Been!

First of all, it was a shock to my system to see how much time has gone by since I've written. You, though, have been leaving such wonderful comments on my blog that guess what??? I may be writing more about Cammie and Justin thanks to YOU! I've submitted two more proposals for the forensic series, so keep your fingers crossed and those good thought coming! Since I've last written I've traveled all over the country (so much fun!) and been on ever more ghost hunts (scary!. The best part is I've met lots and lots of future authors in high schools and middle schools everywhere. Really, the amount of talent I've seen is breathtaking. I've also been writing my newest book, Dragonfly Eyes, which has been an amazing experience. My life has just been CRAZY! So once I realized I couldn't get everything done (I received almost 2,000 emails during my last week-long trip) I decided to take control of the situation, which means I finally hired an assistant to help me get my schedule/life in order. Her name is Kacie Wheeler and she absolutely ROCKS! So, under her watchful eye, I should get a handle on everything and do much better in keeping up with my blog/emails/speaking schedule/writing. Kacie absolutely laughed at my archaic and chaotic method of keeping track of things - Post It notes that seemed to flutter on their own throughout my office and dates/thoughts scrawled on yellow tablets. She's begun the long, tedious conversion of my paper calendar over to the electronic calendar on my Mac. Wow - with Kacie's help, I finally think there is hope. I should be able to handle things now!

On another note, since it's been so long, let's catch up. In the very few moments of free time I've had I managed to see New Moon (LOVED it!) and Avatar (fantastic - my new favorite) as well as The Lovely Bones, which I felt kinda missed the mark. (Too many special effects, not enough character development.) For the holidays my son and sons'-in-law surprised me with new kitchen granite counter tops that they installed, which was a blast to watch! My boys are so good to me! That was an enormous project which got even bigger: DJ (my son-in-law who is an electrician) thought that as long as they were doing the counter-tops we should put in new lighting, which was an amazing amount of work for him. (The new lights look fantastic!) Then Matt, my other wonderful son-in-law, said as long as he and my son Dan and DJ were doing the new kitchen counter-top, sink and faucet, they should go ahead and tear out the bathroom and install a new faucet and sink and counter-top. Dan had to go back to school in Greeley while DJ had to return to Ft. Collins, which meant Matt got stuck chipping away at my bathroom. Poor guy! So we've had a rotating roster of my kids (and grand-kids) here and a bunch of huge projects going round the clock since Christmas. In the meantime, I've had to travel, and the day I got back from Florida my husband left for China. He got home Thursday and we realized we had been apart over three weeks! Crazy!

I hope this find every one of you happy, well, and ready to write your own stories. Since I'm knee-deep in Dragonfly Eyes I'd like to remind anyone with a paranormal story to please share it with me - it might make its way into my book! Thanks again for your patience and here's to all of our futures. I believe 2010 will be the best one yet!

XO's from Colorado!

I Can't Believe How long It's Been!

Wow - things have been going CRAZY over at my house, and I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote to any of you! First, the good news: it looks like there MAY be more books coming your way in this series! I have spoken with my agent and written two proposals, so cross your fingers and think good thoughts. Cammie and Justin might just be back! Second, I have been traveling pretty much everywhere throughout the country, attending more ghost hunts, taken care of my grand-babies, writing every day, and have pretty pushed myself near the breaking point busy-wise. So! Knowing that this insane schedule just won't do, I hired myself an assistant who has vowed to help me shatter this blockade of emails (2000 arrived in the last week while I was gone. She's instructed me to convert all my information onto my Mac (seems obvious, but I've been relying on post-its that I always lose) and generally get things on track. Her name is Kacie Wheeler and she is amazing. So you should be hearing much more from me in the future. I've vowed to get my life pulled together, and Kacie is just the person to help me dig through this mound of work. She will be my game-changer!

On a separate note, I ADORED New Moon and I went crazy for Avatar, so I did manage to squeeze in some fun things besides work. My new book Dragonfly Eyes is really coming along as well. Remember, please post any of your real life ghost stories so I can incorporate them into my book. And last but not least, thanks to all of your for your encouraging and kind comments. My editors have looked at what you've written, and it all counts. So THANK YOU!

XO's from Colorado!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ghost Hunting!

A HUGE thanks to all of you who have written and supported The Dying Breath - everyone's been excited (my agent and editor) and there may be more. I'd also like to ask everyone to do me an incredible favor - pleasepleaseplease go to Amazon and Barnes & Noble and write your positive comments on their review sites. It could really make the difference on going forward with this series!

Right now I just have to share where I've been and what I've been up to, which is ghost hunting in the Stanley Hotel (inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining) with Grant and Kris, Amy and Britt. (Alas, Jason was home sick with the Swine flu.) It was totally awesome and I learned a lot that I will use in my new book Dragonfly Eyes. I'll blend the paranormal along with the forensic science in that series, so there should be something for everyone! As always it's hard to squeeze everything in - I'll be leaving for Florida this Sunday and will keep traveling right up until Christmas. I'll try to get some pictures up of me on the hunt with all my ghostly gadgets. I crept through the tunnels beneath the hotel and did EVP and K2 sessions, which at one point got a bit creepy. The things I do for research!

Again, thanks so much for your amazing feedback on The Dying Breath. You all ROCK!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Dying Breath is Out!

I JUST got back from a fabulous speaking trip to South Carolina, so I missed the chance to post on the big day, October 15th. But The Dying Breath is finally and officially out, and the reviewers have said it's the best one yet! I'm completely pumped and happy that you can finally discover what happens to Cameryn, Justin and Kyle. Here's just one of the many fantastic emails I've received since TDB's debut:

Dear Alane,

First of all, I have to say that The Dying Breath was one of the BEST books I have ever read! It was addicting from the first page to the very end and it made me happy and sad when I reached the end. The part that I loved the best was all the action at the end. I was actually wondering where you get all your ideas for your books and if there is going to be more of Forensic Mysteries. I hope there is because you have written one of the best book series I have ever read!

Jessica Soria

If you the fans continue to want more in this series I will happily take the forensics to the next level - Cameryn will attend Ft. Lewis college in Durango and solve even more intricate cases with Dr. Moore. So! Pass the word! And thanks again to all who have pre-ordered the book and to you who have supported me and this series from its inception. I really love you all!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Great news - The Forensic Mystery Series has just been sold to Amazon's Audiobooks! It will be exciting to hear my words read out loud (I hope it's someone with a British accent, because I could listen to a man/woman with a British accent all day!) I'll keep you posted on the dates. Yeah!
I also wanted to share the following email with you because it makes me happy when my work encourages a reader to pursue her/his own dreams. Rachel feels like a lot of people, because forensics can be perceived as 'grim' and those who choose it 'ghoulish.' While I admit it is a difficult profession, it is, in my opinion, an extremely noble one. Who else will speak for those who have been silenced? So, to Rachel and everyone else who is walking their own path, I say, kudos.

Here is RAchel's email:

Dear Alane, I have just recently discovered your "Christopher Killer" series, and the books have totally blown me away. I am a junior in high school and I have already decided that I am going to be a medical examiner when I am older. I have always been very intrigued by forensic pathology, because there is something about being able to speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves that draws me in. Up until I read "The Christopher Killer" a couple weeks ago, I felt as if I was just a crazy person who wanted to cut up dead people for the rest of my life, and that's what I felt others thought of me. After reading these books, I have found the confidence inside myself to be proud of what I want to do with the rest of my life. Also, I am VERY excited about the release of your newest book, "The Dying Breath." You can bet I will be there when it is released :) Anyways, please keep writing more amazing books! It is hard to find good, quality, interesting forensic novels these days, but you have definitely hit the nail on the head!
Thank you so much for writing these books and inspiring me even more.

Rachel Lee

Thanks, Rachel, and hugs to everyone who shares their thoughts and hearts with me. I really love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Blue Screen of Death!

Here is another fact about me - technology and I do not get along. I don't know why, but I've gone through FOUR hard drives, the last one having melted not only itself but the thumb drive as well. So two + weeks ago my computer froze up yet again while I was working (between running over to my daughter's to help with baby Megan) and I could not believe I lost a whole day's work. Still, I was relieved that I at least had an external hard drive that automatically backed up every night, something I bought the last time disaster struck. But still - a whole day of work is a lot to lose, and I was literally pacing while my husband tackled my computer. As I walked and chewed my nails I kept muttering "at least I have my external backup, at lest I have my external backup." Ron told me I was making him nervous and I needed to go upstairs. About an hour later my husband sat next to me and took my hand. "You just got The Blue Screen of Death. And now is not a time for recriminations," says he. I dug my fingers into my legs as I asked for clarification, which went something like, "Uhhh, The Blue Screen of Death means your computer is fried, and I, um, installed the external hard drive backup system incorrectly, sooo, it never saved anything." (I'm still married, surprisingly.) I took my computer to Best Buy, where I had my warranty, only to learn the problem has a name - 'catastrophic hard drive failure,' which translates to 'You are Screwed.' I've got nothing at the moment except a shiny new Mac that I'm now learning to navigate. The kicker to this perfect storm is that my email previously failed and my husband went into the ethernet where my emails were backed up, except the sheer volume had swollen to 45,000 in the past year, which rendered that safety net basically inoperable. So he wiped them off - poof! However, he did not reinstall the program. (Did I mention I'm still married?) The Geek Squad claims that they cannot retrieve my emails off my hard drive by law, which left me with with NO contact information, NO address book, and NO correspondence for all the speaking I'm booked for but have NO idea of the details.

SO! If I have missed any of your emails it's because I didn't have a computer for awhile, and I'm really sorry. I will say one thing, though, and that is holding a new life really keeps things in perspective. Although the computer crash has been incredibly frustrating, there is nothing like a baby to bring back the joy. I'm still smiling! Your good thoughts have been a real boost, too. And October (and The Dying Breath release)is right around the coroner! Good time are comming!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Pictures!

Hi All!

I've just posted a couple of pictures of the new baby (aren't grandmas relentless?) in case you'd like to see Megan & company! Just go to my web page at and hit the 'About Alane' tab, then follow the link that says 'Want to See Some Candid Photos' and there she is! So now my total is four - three granddaughters and one grandson! I LOVE it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Welcome Megan Alane!

Huzzah - she's here!!! Our little grand baby Megan Alane Gloria Ledesma arrived July 28th at 1:03 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs. 2oz. and measuring 19 1/4 inches long. She's got a button nose and dark hair (her siblings started out as blonds, so who knows what we'll get in the end) and we couldn't be happier with our sweet addition! After a week of helping (and no sleep) I'm back, sharing the good news with you and writing once again. Thanks to everyone for your much-needed prayers and good thoughts you sent our way - we're exhausted but happy and Megan is a joy. I'll be posting pictures shortly!

More when I get some sleep!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We're Still Hanging In!

Thanks for all of your warm thoughts concerning baby - we're still hanging in, trying to squeeze out every last day. I'll let you know when the wee one arrives, but we're officially 'out of the woods' now and the baby should be fine. In the meantime, I was able to sneak away and watch the new Harry Potter movie, which I found fantastic! I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet. Of course, on the way out I spied a poster for New Moon, which was inspiring! I'm all ready counting down until November....

The Dying Breath will be out in two months (can you believe it!) and I'm ready for all of you to read it so you can find out what happens to Cameryn and Justin! I just completed a really interesting interview for an amazing woman named Deborah Krueger Hipes that focused on The Circle of Blood. In addition to teaching a class at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis Campus, Deborah presents a seminar for the Bureau of Education & Research where she has recommended my YA novels. We had a teleconference where her students asked me questions. I guess it's startling when I really start to count how many brushes I've had with death, and I thought once again about the impact it's had on me. In the end, I really feel you've got to find happiness in all the good/great things you're given, which, if you really think about it, will be a LOT! The funny thing is that I really am not in the least bit morose, which is what people expect when they find out I write forensic mysteries. I wanted to share some of Deborah's kind words she emailed to me afterward:
Hi Lanie,

It was soooo much fun talking to you yesterday. You were delightful. My teachers were mesmerized, & still talking about you fifteen minutes after the call. You may have had lots of episodes with death in your life, but you are truly FILLED with LIFE. Thanks for talking with us--especially during a really stressful time with another new life in your life! I hope everything goes well for your daughter & her new baby. (Please let me know what you get.) :~)

So - my thought for today, as I await another major addition to my family - is to smile :) and remember how fleeting is our time on planet earth. Make it count - give someone you love a hug today! You won't be sorry!