More about my characters: the CATS

Felines have been a large part of my life. Since right before my husband and I were married, we’ve been blessed to always have a tuxedo cat (or four) sharing our lives.

Our first, Horatio Roo, was somewhere between four and six weeks when he was pulled from a litter of feral kittens and throughout his life, he would nurse on my fingers or thumb as he would fall asleep at night. He didn’t see himself as a “cat” and accompanied me everywhere, including to work at a local Seattle television station some evenings.

Because our cats have brought such joy to our lives, I’ve paid tribute to their calming presence and rambunctious spirits by adding them as characters within “The Operator’s Daughter” series.

Henrik as a kitten

“Bond” is mentioned in Ashton’s mother’s journals–“a left behind” cat by a former resident of the home shared by LT Gracelynn Wright and CPT Charlotte Lewis. When Charlotte took occupancy of the base-housing bungalow, she found a bag of cat crunchies and a water fountain for him to drink from–as we have found out our kitties over the years prefer drinking from running water. (An Operator’s Daughter – part I.) “Bond” is a smoothie tuxedo, and in my mind he resembles our current kitty boy, Henrik–our “lap leopard.”

As I am drafting out episodes of “An Operator’s Daughter – part IV”, “Orion” will make an appearance as Ashton’s emotional support animal. He is a six-toed Hemingway Maine Coon – greatly resembling the tuxedo Maine Coon who shared our home until just a few years ago. Niko, who was not a polydactyl cat, was the most gentle of our kitties, the largest in size and in the capacity of his heart for us and our other cats. We miss him a great deal.

Niko as a kitten with his big sis Tilda

Check our my author page on Amazon at the link above!

Success! You're on the list.

More about my characters: Marcus Davis

It will take until Part III in my “An Operator’s Daughter” series to learn Marcus’s last name, but that is because I wanted everyone to see themselves within this amazing young man who is Ashton’s “bestie” through tough and better times.

Ashton meets Marcus when he’s assigned the role of showing her around the high school the first day she attends classes. He goes about this job with so much enthusiasm, that Ashton doesn’t quite know what to make of him. He wins her over quickly with his welcoming smile, solid advice, and loyalty.

Many high schools have opportunities for students to serve as ambassadors. In some schools this is a club one joins, and in others, it is a selection process based upon teacher recommendation, scholarship and volunteer hours. In Marcus’s case, he applied for the opportunity, and was selected because he is a solid student, willingly gives his time to make the school’s drama productions a success, and applied to be on the school’s yearbook staff–a class where he earns credit, but it will become a full-time job for him despite working afterschool and weekends at his parents’ sub sandwich shop.

Marcus aspires to sing in the school’s elect choir ensemble group and also to be selected for starring roles in the school’s drama productions–especially the musicals. He was disappointed he did not make either during his junior year in high school, but he keeps trying.

Although his parents have high expectations for him to take his education seriously, they are not of the “helicopter variety”. As busy business owners, they leave Marcus to make things happen on his own, while other students’ parents are pushy, or donate the cash, to procure plum roles or selection into elite performance groups for their sons and daughters. Heart and talent do not always equal opportunity in a suburban public high school; a lesson Marcus will come to learn from experience.

To learn more about Marcus, and his friendship with Ashton McAllister, start with “An Operator’s Daughter – Part I” on Kindle Vella where the first three episodes are free, and Amazon will give readers new to this platform another 200 free tokens to keep reading. Marcus will also make appearances in Parts II and III, and even in Part IV–currently in development.

Success! You're on the list.

More about my characters: Dustin Maguire

I am deep into writing and editing Part IV of my “An Operator’s Daughter” series and hoping to begin posting episodes within the next week (or two).

The character of Dustin Bryce Maguire, Ashton McAllister’s love interest, points out his truck to her the the evening he returns from his first mission (“An Operator’s Daughter – Part I” Episode 157). He tells her, proudly, that it’s paid for, and she gives him an appreciative smile.

Dustin’s truck is a symbol of his hard work, blood, sweat, and hidden tears overcoming his neglected youth and his fight to make it through Navy SEAL training and on to a platoon.

He drives a later model lifted Toyota Tacoma, a two-door with not-quite a backseat similar to the one pictured below.

Success! You're on the list.

Interview on The Second Time Around Homestead

I was thrilled Rachel Roy reached out to interview me for her author series on her Blog, The Second Time Around Homestead.

Rating: 1 out of 5.
  1. Hi Laurie I love 💕 your series An Operator’s Daughter. When will part IV be uploaded to Kindle Vella?

  2. Could not have said it better myself, as a 35 year admitted “IT Phony” with two BS Degrees in Bio-Science…

The Art of the Binge

Over the New Year’s holiday weekend, my husband and I began watching the television series “Yellowstone”. We had watched the first two of the prequel series the week prior, and dove into a pastime we had not partaken in since ordering a television series on DVD.

Now the fact we have not really indulged in streaming services prior to now betrays our ages and our lifestyle. Both of us have been more focused on our work for our jobs—his appearing never-ending because he comes home after working a 10-hour day, and then logs right back on to take care of the things a superior, who cannot get herself into the officer before noon, or get anything accomplished before 3 pm, which means work for his technology team after hours—and the employees he supervises are not authorized for overtime, so it falls on him… but I digress. I used to focus on my work after hours, also, when I was a teacher, planning lessons and grading for my overloaded English and social studies classes. Now, in a new line of work, my after-hours efforts are more focused on myself, on my writing, trying to make a name for myself in serial fiction or as a blogger—getting a head start on my second act before reaching retirement age. The television, once I am home, is tuned to news as I multitask to keep up with the goings on of the day or for company while pounding away on the keyboard.

I must admit; I felt guilt over the indulgence of watching the drama episode after episode. I have been conditioned over my lifetime to wait to watch until a specific night and time to follow a series. While living in the dorm during college, my roommates and I scheduled our classes to get our daily fix of “All My Children” and huddled in front of the small TV in our common area to watch “Dynasty” on Wednesday evenings together over bowls of air-popped popcorn sprinkled lightly with artificial buttery topping.

However, when I have the time to read a book, I often will consume it in a single setting, foregoing sleep to finish it. Somehow, there is no guilt associated with this practice; it has been my normal since I was a child where there was usually a flashlight tucked away under my pillow to hide my appetite for a good story from my parents’ concerned eyes.

As a new writer of serial fiction—episodes released one, or a few, at a time, I’ve also become a fan of the work of other writers on the site Kindle Vella. The episodes fill the space of a lunch break, filling that same space the Soap Opera used to fill, transporting me to another time or place beyond the break room’s walls.

While it wasn’t my goal when I first began writing my story to make it an episodic drama, I look forward to creating and releasing the next events of my main character’s fictional life. Through her, I address my own worries and fears, overcome life’s challenges, finding joy and healing.

I invite you to try the escape of a good drama when you get, or need, a break; while I would be ecstatic if it was my own, there is something for everyone’s fix on Kindle Vella.

Thank you for reading!

#serial fiction #binge reading #KindleVella #escape