"I laughed, cried, felt the urgency . . . the story will take you to another dimension of 'ahhh' moments of reflection and insight that will 'gotcha.' I could read this book again and again and get something more. I enjoyed i from the second I began to read."

"A thick slice of MaryAnn Easley pie. Oozing UFOs, sweet on science, and warm with fantasy. This veteran children's writer's many young fans should be satiated.....for now!"

Saturday, January 24, 2015


After being visited and marked by aliens, my sixteen-year-old protagonist Alana Odette Blair, aka, Allie, is diagnosed with AIWS, otherwise known as, the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

This little known ailment is only one example of what digging will turn up, and all fiction writers know the importance of solid research.

CHANGED IN THE NIGHT is set in 1952. Why did I choose that particular year?  Through research, I discovered UFOs were sighted over the White House.

July 20 - 0100 EDT: A Capitol Airlines flight out of National Airport reported unidentified flying objects resembling falling stars without tails that flew in all directions and hovered in place. 0105 EDT: Five witnesses at Andrews AFB reported seeing reddish-orange objects moving erratically. 0300 EDT: A Capitol Airlines flight incoming to National Airport reported an unidentified light following the airline to within four miles of the airport. 0430 to 0630 EDT: Air Force radar operators at Andrews AFB weather tower tracked ten unidentified flying objects as they approached the runway, scattered, and then made sharp turns and reversals of direction.

July 26 - 2115 EDT: UFO targets were clearly sighted on Air Route Traffic Control radar at National Airport. Civilian pilots observed glowing white objects on four occasions: a United Airlines pilot, two CAA pilots, and a National Airlines pilot who reported seeing a UFO flying directly a above his airliner. 2130 EDT: Andrews AFB radar operators confirmed “big target” on radar reported by ARTC. 2150 EDT: ARTC radar at National Airport tracked “sold returns” f four targets in “rough line abreast” and eight others scattered over the radarscope. 2154 EDT: Surveillance radar at Andrews AFB tracked a dozen unidentified flying objects in the Washington DC area. 2157 EDT: National Airport confirmed seeing at least a dozen UFOs over Washington DC. 2238 EDT: The Air Force Command Post scrambled two F-94 jet interceptors from New Castle AFB to investigate. Military officers arrived at the ARTC center and observed “seven good, solid targets.” By the time the F-94 jets arrived, no UFO targets remained onscreen and no visual contacts could be made.


Ideas crop up like rabbits during research.
However, this was only the beginning of my research. For every episode of a sighting in my book, I needed to back it up with actual accounts. In addition, I researched the styles, trends, slang and attitudes of the fifties. I also reviewed the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor since that incident starts the chain of story events, and I read accounts and watched documentaries about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I struggled to learn about time and space and parallel dimensions, delved into the mysterious death of a cabinet member, read personal accounts from abductees, joined the Planetary Society, traveled to a site aliens had visited, witnessed the aurora borealis, studied ice caves, read Bible passages, mythology, and scientific theory, and discovered what it would be like to be locked up in a mental facility.

No, my research didn't incarcerate me in a mental ward, but it did force me into  improvisation. I relearned what it's like to drive a stick-shift Buick convertible, and I experienced meditation techniques, chakra cleaning, chanting, and sound baths for myself.

And yes, I've seen UFOs.

No wonder it takes so long to write a book! 

As my protagonist in CHANGED IN THE NIGHT was on a quest, I was on my own journey. Even though I'm no longer researching for this particular book, I have a continuing and profound interest in science, space exploration, and the unexplained in our mysterious and ever-changing Universe.

And yes, I believe science and religion are connected, that parallel universes exist, and that aliens are real. As humans, we are truly a miracle, but all of life is a miracle and there are many life forms, not only on Earth but surely throughout the Universe.

In order to pull readers into a time and place and situation, the author must create a feeling of verisimilitude throughout the story. While CHANGED IN THE NIGHT is fiction with elements of sci-fi and fantasy, it is rooted to significant factual events and sound science.

I know. I did my homework.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


When I was young I was shy, I worried about my flaws. My knees were too knobby, my nose too big, my chest too flat. In addition, I couldn't swim.
All bad.
Little did I know that all humans are flawed, and when it comes to creating a character, flaws are good. Insecurities are good. Fears are good.
A story is CONFLICT. It's about a broken character trying to reach a worthy goal or solve a critical problem. As writers of story, we must make an emotional connection with the reader by creating characters as flawed as we are so that our story heroes are broken in the beginning and become whole at the end of their arduous journey.
Giving characters flaws helps create conflict.
In my novel, BELLY UP, I created a character who couldn't swim, put her on a sinking boat, and tossed her into the water in the middle of the ocean. As authors, we can kill off people, cause accidents, and blow up dreams. We break our characters in the beginning, prop them up to endure hardships as they battle internal and external obstacles. And that's how they discover UNIVERSAL TRUTHS about themselves and the world and become whole.
In CHANGED IN THE NIGHT, I created a guilt-ridden teen with mental problems and forced her to duel with her most evil self during her quest to become WHOLE  Her obstacles include a dead brother only visible, alien abduction, parallel realities, extraterrestrial intervention and psychological issues.
We are human so we are flawed. Therefore, our characters must also be flawed.
The NEED in our character comes from these flaw or weaknesses. A flaw might be a psychological weakness like being a coward or too full of pride or a flaw can be a physical weakness like being unable to swim.
One interesting way to create a character weakness is to start with something that seems to be a good trait, like being generous. What if a character is generous to an extreme so that she's giving away the family fortune, money put away for her own college education? Eventually, this generosity, once praised, is a curse after her father loses his job and her mother needs expensive medical treatment.
Anything good to the extreme becomes bad; for example, someone who loves too much and becomes obsessive and possessive. Interesting concept.
Give your hero character flaws revealed through actions. Make sure one is a moral weakness so that others in the story might be harmed by it, and give the hero's opponents in the story weaknesses, too. When a character demonstrates courage in spite of everything and becomes whole in the end, we rejoice because it means we, too, can overcome our own weaknesses.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Being absorbed in a work-in-progress is a bit like becoming Rip Van Winkle. I feel as if I've been asleep for the last four years. I've traveled back in time to 1941, spent 24/7  in 1952, seen UFOs over the White House, gone through portals in forests, been abducted my aliens, followed by men in black, and soared through other dimensions. Why? I'm writing a novel!

Rip Van Winkle took a nap and slept for years. When he awoke, he was an old man with a long white beard and the world around him had changed.

Well, I must finally admit I'm an old woman, and while I've been "away" —so to speak—the world has definitely changed. Certainly publishing. And marketing. And how people read books. And what books they read.

Today there's a plethora of books and blogs and words.

But it seems a lot of people are good-book-deprived and a lot of people pass off a blog post or a rough draft as an actual book and sell it online.

Oh, well, things change.

Why has it taken me so long to write this particular book? 

After all, I have a dozen real books you can pick up and feel pages and set on a shelf to my name. I've taught writing for years, facilitate critique groups, and peer coach writers. This should be a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, piece-of-cake walk in the park for someone like me. Why can't I produce something review-worthly in a matter of months?

First of all, I've gotten really, really  picky about story structure, character development, and words—they have to be just right—words with the right connotation, words set exactly right in a sentence, words that fit into the puzzle correctly.

Second-rate, fly-by-night, run-of-the-mill, seat-of-the-pants sort of writing simply isn't good enough.

Secondly, while my other YA books are also set back in time, this book is Sci-fi/fantasy based on factual UFO events and that takes a lot of research. The story is told by a sixteen-year-old unreliable narrator, and it's not easy to write from the point of view of someone who is mentally unstable. And make her likable. 

So if you've been wondering where I've been lately and what I've been doing, or if you find me wandering about in sort of a haze, bewildered by current trends, and behind on the news, I have an excuse, I'm not senile or ready to be hauled off to some facility. I'm an author.

And I've been with sixteen-year-old Allana Odette Blair, aka, Allie-cat, an isolated girl who does get locked up in a facility and is still grieving a decade after killing her twin brother on December 7, 1941. Yes, the date the Japanese dropped bombs on Pearl Harbor, the day that will live in infamy. 

See what I mean? It's complicated! 

I just sent the first eleven chapters to my teen Beta readers. The book at 55 chapters is finished, but it simply won't let me go. I'm caught in Allana's post-war world, living on Oak Street where nothing is as it seems. At least I know there's a portal because I put that in, and did I mention other dimensions and parallel worlds? 

And trying to get the science right?

More about that later.