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What the heck is in my reference library?


Like any author, I love buying books. I'm honestly just looking for an excuse. And because a writer's Google searches can sometimes flag the interests of certain investigative authorities - i.e., "Honestly, the searches on poison were work-related!" - it's good to have a healthy reference library in your writing office. 

Sometimes, readers ask what I use for reference materials, so I thought I would share some of the titles in my big office bookshelf. 

By category and in no particular order, with order links:



(Seriously, I use these nearly every time I start a new story.)


Screenwriting Tricks for Authors and Screenwriters by Alexandra Sokoloff


The Complete Writers Guide to Heroes and Heroines by Tami Cowden, Carolyn LeFever and Sue Viders


And as I write the Mystic Bayou series, the two following books have been absolutely invaluable:


Monsters You Should Know by Emma Sancartier


The Mythical Creatures Bible by Brenda Rosen


Before anyone thinks I’m all fancy and cerebral, a good number of these were textbooks for my master’s of fine arts program. 


The Writers Workshop by Alan Zeigler


Released into Language by Wendy Bishop


Writers Guide to Character Traits by Linda Edelstein


The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Peglisi

The Positive Traits Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Peglisi

The Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Peglisi


20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald Tobias


How to Write a Selling Screenplay by Christopher Keane


Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434 by Lew Hunter


Writers Workshop of Horror by Michael Knost


Adventures in Screen Trade by William Goldman


The Elements of Grammar by Margaret Shertzer


Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King

The Cambridge Companion to Popular Fiction by David Glover and Scott McCracken

The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman

Teaching Young Adult Literature: Developing Students as World Citizens


Young Adult Fiction: From Romance to Realism by Michael Cart

The Critical Merits of Young Adult Fiction, Edited by Crag Hill

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell



10,000 Ghost Stories by Lisa K. Webster and Jason Hook


Black Cats and Evil Eyes by Chloe Rhodes


A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other 

Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack and Dinah Mack


Wicca: A Guide for The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham


To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver RavenWolf


The Complete Book of Spells, Curses and Magical Recipes by Leonard R.N. Ashley


Giants, Monsters and Legends by Carol Rose


The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe


Don’t Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth Davis


Wisconsin's Most Haunted by Craig Nehring


Haunted Michigan by Gerald S. Hunter

Michigan Haunts by John Milan, Gail Offen and Rev. Gerald S. Hunter

Michigan's Haunted Lighthouses by Diana Higgs Stampfler

Haunted Hollywood by Ogden

World's Scariest Places by Centennial Writers

Haunts of Mackinac by Todd Clement




How Chance and Stupidity Have Changed History by Eric Durschmied


History’s Greatest Decisions by Bill Price


History’s Greatest Blunders by Ian Whitelaw


History’s Greatest Deceptions by Eric Chaline


The Forgotten History of America by Cormac O’Brien


Mackinac Island: Three Hundred Fifty Years of History by Robert Benjamin



Young Witches and Warlocks by Isaac Asimov and Others

Edgar Cayce on ESP


Forbidden Knowledge: 101 Things NOT Everyone Should Know How to Do by Michael Powell


Forbidden Knowledge Sex: 101 Sensual Acts NOT Everyone Should Know How to Do by Claire Bailey

101 Ways to Kill a Zombie by Rob Pearlman


How to Survive a Sharknado by Andrew Shaffer


Gypsy Law: Romani Tradition and Culture by Walter Weyrauch


The Private Investigator’s Handbook: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Protect Yourself, Get Justice or Get Even by Chuck Chambers


World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks by Mark Daniels


Old Wives Lore by Polly Bloom


Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by WB Yeats


Greek Legends and Stories by MV Seton-Williams


The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell


Myths and Legends by Jake Jackson


Myth and Legends by Phillip Wilkinson


The Illustrated Encyclopedia of World Mythology by Arthur Cotterell


The Nightmare Dictionary: Discover What Causes Your Nightmare and What Your Bad Dreams Mean by Adams Media


Legendary Ladies by Ann Shen


Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen


Sacred Crystals by Hazel Raven

The Illustrate History of Weaponry by Chuck Wills


Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide by Rosemary Gladstar



(I swear I tried to spell every title and author name correctly, but if I made mistakes, please forgive me.)

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