What’s your story?

20160525_145545Now that my newest release, THEIR GREEK KEY has been out a month, I’m being asked what I’ll write about next. I had nada, nothing. As you can see from the photo, I’m back to the drawing board with plenty of pens, but a blank page.

I considered writing a new series book from another character in my current book, but wasn’t quite sure about it. So I let the idea go, and figured if I was to write another book, something would come to me in time, although this is about the time of year I like to start writing, after having already mapped out my theme, goals, subject matter and conflicts.

I was resting yesterday, thinking I needed a nap, but that didn’t happen either. Instead, a slew of information about a story idea ran through my head. While it’s far from ready to write, I think it’ll develop.

Sometimes stories come through us, or from us, in our experiences of life or both. Even if you don’t like to write, remember everyone has a story to tell. Maybe you’ll consider writing yours or having another pen your words, because it’s definitely important enough to be told and someone is waiting or needing to hear it.

Happy reading and writing,





Chicago Greek Town Inspiration

As I reviewed the comment under my blog title, The Write Inspiration, “experience life, travel, be inspired, write” I thought I might relate a bit of a recent trip.

It’s been a year since I’ve visited the establishments on Chicago’s Halsted Street, so my memory of Greek town had dimmed. Plus, I’ve been to other Greek establishments elsewhere throughout the year.

Since it’s less than a month since my latest release, THEIR GREEK KEY debuted, with the book fresh in mind, I realized upon visiting the Pegasus restaurant, it sported the same blue doors, similar murals on the walls, and a Greek key design railing, all part of the setting for the restaurant in my book. I’d love to take credit and say it was all stored in my subconscious, but I know better. My friend, Gerri Russell, kindly offered to take my picture at the doors.

In any event, it reminded me that if we don’t travel overseas or even to a city a few hundred miles away from home, reading a book, any book, allows us to travel the world when we like. Costs less, too and better than no travel at all, besides the benefit to enjoy a story.

I think that’s one reason summer reads or “beach reads” are especially popular. The weather’s good, it stays light all evening, and it’s a great time to daydream into another world.

Although travel itself can be great, you need some kind of a story to go with it. So please share your comments of recent travel events here, but especially what books you may have enjoyed this summer, so the rest of us might consider them. After all, word of mouth is often the best advertisement. Feel free to share.

As always, happy reading,



The Key to Life is…

What is the key to life? In my newly released book, THEIR GREEK KEY, love is their key. But what encompasses and creates that love? On my Facebook page, I received some replies to “the key of life is…”and I think they’re good ones.

Steve and Joyce Russell suggest “the key to life is to love yourself first.” Without that, you really can’t love anyone else, and without love, hate breeds, life can be lost. Excellent point.

Susan Dailey answered “the key to life is to live simply, so that others might live.” Another great point. If we don’t learn to help or share, which means caring for and loving others, life can be more difficult for some, to say the least.

With these few words from my guest bloggers, the main tenants of our existence is explained. There is tremendous power in words. Experience life, be inspired, tell your stories and write.

New Book Release


See the book description for THEIR GREEK KEY, my inspirational novel below, available at


Abandonment. Trust. Intrigue. A complicated past and present span from Chicago to Greece.

Connie Pappas has a lifetime opportunity to leave Chicago and design fashions in New York when the love of her life returns, and spins her world around.

For Nick Kanelleas, all that remain are two pendants from his deceased father and uncle, who were abandoned. He follows their mystery, but he also wants business success. He reconnects with Connie when he renovates her father’s restaurant, but past issues and new conflicts arise.Connie questions Nick’s business transactions. His job leads to problems at the restaurant, and his own future.

Will Connie move to New York and leave Nick when trust affects their relationship? Will Nick pursue Connie if she can’t trust in him? From Chicago to the Aegean, will their faith be strong enough to overcome their difficulties?

Amazon Celebrating Writers

Amazon is graciously celebrating authors all month with their #PoweredByIndie event. When invited to discuss why I became a writer, I gladly accepted the invitation. I realized I wouldn’t be the person I am at all without books, whether reading for information or entertainment. And so appreciating reading, I wanted to be able to share life experiences, travel, emotion and inspiration with a message through writing my fiction novels. I enjoy penning my novels for others to read. And if someone can enjoy them, all the better.So thanks, Amazon for your recogntion.

Authors in the #PoweredByIndie group I recommend is Anna Faversham.

Pamela Harstad



New Novel Ideas

As you might guess from the photo, I’m considering writing a novel partially set in Greece and also in Chicago, with a family Greek restaurant. It still needs to be worked out, but  keeps rumbling around in my head. It would certainly be different from ERIN’S MISSION, set in Iowa, and HEALING JOURNEY set in Port St. Lucie, Florida, if I choose this setting and story. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions welcome!


Writing Description


I had the privilege of spending the 4th of July in the Windy City of Chicago. The sights, sounds, tastes and smells left vivid images as always. But on returning home and reflecting on what I experienced, I realized to put the events in writing would take more description in words, than the story of what I actually did; the warmth and savory taste of the pizza, fresh fish, steak and fresh Garrett’s popcorn. The cool spray from Lake Michigan on the water taxi. Traffic, sirens, and fireworks sounds. The colors of the river, lake, and buildings, many adorned with red white and blue lights and flags.

I didn’t think much about these descriptions at the time, as I was so involved in what I was doing, but am glad I remember them now to tuck away in my memory, as description is so important in writing. It’s easy to gloss over when writing a first draft, but makes such a difference to bring a reader into the story. So, my thought is to list what descriptions I’ll need when planning the next novel, to be sure I vividly bring the story across.


Writing Themes

What is theme in writing? Universal truths? Beliefs?

We read for escape, adventure, excitement, knowledge, a satisfying story, but what binds it altogether? It should be the theme.

We’ve all heard about man vs.man, good vs. evil, and man vs.nature, no doubt. That’s because they’re good, universal themes.

But on the detailed level, think about what in particular you like to read about, or write about if you’re also an author. That can give you deeper insight as to who you are and why you’ve become who you are.

I hadn’t considered this when I wrote my two books, ERIN’S MISSION and HEALING JOURNEY. But now, as I look back, I realize even in my titles, the word “mission” and “journey” speak a little about me. I’ve blogged before about liking to travel and about writing in particular settings. However, on a deeper level, I’ve seen my own and others’ life journeys and missions, so to speak, and they’ve come out in my writing.

So next time you read a book that really resonates with you, ask yourself why.

I’d love to hear from writers and readers what books have touched your heart.

Happy reading!7d583e65-b35f-44a2-92ba-efcaae95b35e




Summer,travel, book settings

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Butterflies aren’t static, they travel widely, like authors’ stories.

Not long ago, I wrote a blog post using setting as character, then most recently I wrote about one of my most favorite places in the Hawaiian Islands. So now that it’s summer, we’re all thinking of taking trips, no matter how long, short, close or far.

Planning a trip to Chicago this summer, for starters, but I’m also “percolating” an idea and a new setting for another novel. I’m considering starting with a Midwest setting and adding a setting in Greece.

As readers, what are your favorite geographical settings? The U.S. Europe, Islands, Asia?

Happy reading and traveling this summer!