It’s easy to wonder, with some of the dreck that gets published, how some authors manage to turn out best seller after best seller. Some of it, to be sure, is due to the frustrating habit that people have of seeking out the familiar. But there is more to it than that.

These authors possess the ability to move people, to stir their emotions, and get them caught up the world of the author’s creation.

You don’t have to be a technically accomplished writer to do this, and do it well. In fact, getting hung up on the fine points can be counterproductive.

What you do have to have is…


I try to infuse heart into my work. To do this successfully I have to be writing on things I feel strongly about. That is where the hidden theme becomes a useful tool. Heart of Hythea is about a girl who is chosen by the gods to do their bidding. It is full of adventure and romance. But within that framework I can address a lot of issues that are important to me, and (on a good day, at least) do it transparently. Things like honour and responsibility, slavery and freedom. The trick is to make the story engaging, and let the hidden themes percolate underneath, giving depth and meaning to the events beyond the confines of the action.