SPEAKER: Linda is a member of AWSA, and is available to speak to your organization, at your conference, or as part of a workshop.
Contact her at

AGENT: Linda is a an agent with Hartline Literary Agency. She would love to represent that next great American novel! She will look at nonfiction, but she LOVES FICTION--historic, suspense, romance or all of the above.

AUTHOR: Linda writes romance in all categories, but what is her fave? Suspense, and not only suspense, but SUSPENSE SEALED WITH A KISS

Monday, September 6, 2010


Utilizing the senses in fiction
When we first moved into our 120 year old home,
I found wild violets, wild asparagus, and
wild strawberries at the back of the property.
Now, I have wild concord grapes growing everywhere.
Yummy, tangy grape jam.

But what can you do with wild violets? They are so fragrant,
so beautiful, and so DELICIOUS!
Have you ever considered wild violet jelly?
It is a delicate flavor that is wonderful on homemade biscuits.

What an amazing thing to include in a story.

Very few people have heard about violet jelly, let alone tasted it.
Can you imagine your heroine picking a bunch,
smelling deeply of the rich aroma, and
putting them on display in her old farmhouse.
The next day, she picks another bunch and turns them into jelly
to take to a sick neighbor. Can’t you just feel the senses
all kicking in when the reader hears about and tastes on
the tip of their tongues your wild violet jelly?

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that draw a reader in.
Have you ever tasted wild violet jelly?
Ah, it’s heaven to the tongue and makes for a
spiritual connection to the bounty God offers.

Don’t neglect these wonderful opportunities to titillate
the senses of your reader. Walk outside, close your eyes, and
what you should add to your story.

Anyone with any particular scenarios
where you used the senses to
connect with your reader?


  1. Is this what you mean Linda? "The hard-packed ground is cool but the blackness is hot
    and stinky with gasoline and musty old grass clippings.Dust hangs in a single sunbeam poking through a crack. I sit so still, a cricket chirrups behind the mower.
    I sit as still as any big kid can sit
    even when Buster licks my lips."
    I knew violets were edible, I never thought of making jelly. I'm going to try it. Will you be at ACFW conference? If so, I hope to meet you.

  2. Exactly. The idea is to sprinkle it throughout so no one sees it coming. I could almost feel Buster licking my lips, eeouww! Great. Sometimes a writer relies ONLY on the senses and then we almost feel as if we're in literary fiction, which is great if that's where we're headed, but in genre it's nice to have it dot the canvas here and there. But it's wonderful when the senses are included in some way on each page. No, I won't be at ACFW this year as my oldest daughter is getting married that weekend. Not sure she'd be too happy if I chose ACFW over the wedding. The jelly's wonderful, just a light hint of purple to a delicate, clear jelly. My kids were very small last time I made it. Hopefully I'll get to meet you all next year.

  3. Linda: I never considered violet jam, but my favorite gum is violet. It's challenging to find, but one Mexican company makes it, and I find it sometimes in Mexican restaurants and markets.

    How creative of you to use the wild plants on your property as jumping off points for your writing!


  4. Yes!! I love using the tropical setting of my books to bring in lots of scents and tastes. Sometimes I forget, but when I remember, even I get more drawn into the scene I'm writing.

    Thanks for the reminder, Linda!

  5. sounds amazing, Linda. Thanks for reminding me to use my senses to experience the world around me. I want to taste some of that jam:)