• Book Review,  writing inspiration

    Book Review: The Rules of Half

    (This article originally ran in the September 2017 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS.) When Sherrill’s Ford resident Jenna Patrick first got the idea for her debut novel, “The Rules of Half,” she was juggling the demands of a career in engineering and the schedules of her two daughters, who are both competitive gymnasts. She says it took her about a year to finish the first draft of the book, which centers around a family dealing with mental illness set in small-town America. While Patrick’s path to publication was different than she first imagined it, she couldn’t be happier with the reception of her novel. She says she first got the idea for the…

  • writing inspiration

    The Name You’re Not Supposed to Call Women

      A few months ago, I was watching something on TV when this PSA came on. It stopped me in my tracks, mostly because it brought some old memories to the surface. I’ve been thinking about writing about the topic of emotional abuse for a while, but wasn’t sure how to do it. I have one YA manuscript with a male character who is both physically and emotionally abusive to his girlfriend, but sometimes people don’t even realize they’re in a damaging relationship because they’ve never been hit, punched, slapped or kicked. At least, that’s why I didn’t realize I was in such a relationship when I was 17 years old. I thought…