First past clichés:

Do one’s own thing – To find self-expression in some activity. Term is very old–see Chaucer as in The Merchant’s Tale– it became a cliché in 1960s.  The rebels against society dropped out and “did their own thing.”  In 1841 Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, Self-Reliance uses the phrase “…But do your own thing and I shall know you.”

Much ado about nothing – A commotion over something small. A tempest in a teapot. Best remembered as Shakespeare’s title for a comedy.  However, the term was already known by the time he used it.

On the fence – To be undecided or uncommitted. Dates from early 19th century.  A person who cannot decide which side of fence to jump. First it applied to politics, ie which candidate to support-see John Bartlett’s 1859 Dictionary of Americanisms: “Fencering.” Since the term now refers to any kind of hedging.

       INTRO TO BLOG CHAIN: Arletta Dawdy, fellow Redwood Writers member asked me to be next in the Next Big Thing Blog Chain. Easier said than done. The following questions made me think twice about my arson novel. Maybe I’m not as strong as Arletta’s women characters from the 19th century American West. Arletta’s extensive travels in the Southwest makes the scenes and characters come alive in Huachuca Woman and By Grace. She’s now working on the 3rd in the trilogy Rose of Sharon. Her main character has many talents, but chooses a life of isolation and loneliness when she fears her psychic gifts will create more havoc than good. Check Arletta out at to know when the third book is ready.

A BLOG INTERVIEW WITH Julie A. Winrich:                 

What is your working title of your book?  I’ve been using Night Terror Arsonist for my working title, but I think I’ll use Night Terror because to me it says it all since a nightmare is a dream you awake from and it disappears.  However, a night terror is when you wake up and your dream continues.

Where did the idea come from for the book? In 1989 I went on a trip to Canada with some friends and everyone had a book to read, but me. So on a tiny notebook, I started a story about an arsonist who burns Victorian homes and was after a woman. The arsonist plays screams of the victims over the phone for her.

What genre does your book fall under? Night Terror, I thought was a simple mystery/suspense novel. But, after having Ana Manwaring from JAM Manuscript Consulting edit it, she informed me my book was a psychological thriller. Came as a shock to me so I had to do some “tweaking.”

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Good question, but hard to say. I’ve felt it would make a great movie, but never thought about who would be in it. My heroine Kathy Hellman would have to be played by a blond, short, strong, intelligent character.
Kathy’s husband, Jack the arson investigator would need a 6 foot man with dark hair, sensitive, caring, and a fearful actor.
The arsonist I would not begin to consider as that might give him or her away.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Kathy Hellman digs deep down inside to find the courage to discover the real identity of the arsonist burning Victorian homes ever closer to her own and who plays screams over the phone for her.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’m thinking about self-publishing and doing an e-book, using Amazon and Kindle. I’m currently working with another Redwood Writer member on a book cover design and getting input for a great title. However, I will also explore finding an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The very first draft produced about a 40,000 word manuscript and took about six to eight months. I started writing this book in 1989. I’ve done so many edits and added scenes, I’ve lost count. I’ve decided that a writer can continue to edit even after publication. there comes a point where you have to say “enought!” and go for it.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Other readers of Night Terror have said it reminded them of a James Patterson or a Ridley Pearson novel. I leave that to the critics and fans.

What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest? Aside from the arson fires, Night Terror takes place in a made-up town of Carson, which is based on the real town of Eureka, California with some changes. Eureka has many beautiful Victorian homes. This book is more than about the arsonist and his or her fires and Victorian homes, but about twisted love and revenge.


LINDA LOVELAND REID:                                          

Fellow Redwood Writer Member and friend Linda Loveland Reid’s first novel, Touch of Magenta was published in 2009; the second coming in spring 2013 is called Undercurrent: Reunion at Dillon Beach. Linda has a BA in History and Art History from Sonoma State University where she graduated cum laude in 1999, and where she is currently an instructor for an art history class she designed for the Osher Lifelong Living Institute. Linda is a board member with the Sonoma County Literary Art Guild and Book Festival. Other activities include Figurative Oil Painter and Theater Director. Linda is semi-retired from a family insurance business that she founded with her children. Linda is Immediate Past President of Redwood Writers, the largest branch of the esteemed California Writers Club. Check out her website: