Friday, December 16, 2011


House of Cuts

By June Gillam

When dismembered managers begin turning up inside a small town’s only superstore, reporter Hillary Broome finally has something interesting to write about. Her articles on the grisly murders catapult her into the national limelight, threatening to expose the shameful secret that could ruin her career…as well as bringing her to the murderer’s attention. Now Hillary must work with detective Ed Kiffin to solve the case before she becomes the next victim.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

nanowrimo one nearly done!

Just 5,000 words short of the magic number 50,000 for my first nanowrimo! National Novel Writing Month! An ultra rough draft of the second in the Hillary Broome novels series, titled House of Dads.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

now to become a publisher...

Well, sad to say, the publisher I hoped would bring out House of Cuts thinks it still needs more "tightening" so I am going to follow the footsteps of the Little Red Hen and become a publisher myself. Would likely not do this if I were say 20 or 30 years younger, but I don't have time to send out to agents/publishers and wait for the 100 to 400+ rejections folks say they get before being accepted and published.

So, onward! Not sure yet what to call my publishing business. Some ideas are
Kovar Press
Gold Dust Press
Auburn Press


Saturday, October 1, 2011

pushing on...

Going to print out 60,000 plus words latest revision of House of Cuts to read through this weekend, mark up and change and be done with it!!!!!! I hope and pray! Then will start book two of the Hillary Broome series *:)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good things take time and more time!

Publisher had things she wanted me to change--working it through again... 68 pages left for this go round then maybe one more pass and truly ready for publication... Thank God I love this process--it's kind of like being in an altered state of consciousness, a sort of land I like as well as my "real" life--very weird.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's done!!!!!

Just sent off the 248 page, 57,000 word, manuscript of House of Cuts to my publisher!!!!!! Now on to all that other stuff like creating my website, listing keywords, etc. Wow, wahoo, whoopee, why not, and whew! (as Tom Robbins writes in Even Cowgirls...)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

almost ready to publish

House of Cuts is out to editors now. I am hoping to publish HoC as an eBook before July 15 and get the series rolling with the next one: House of Dads.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Once More With Feeling

Back at the polishing, halfway through chapter five. Saturday, May 28, 1:45 p.m. Onward...

Monday, May 9, 2011

back at it

Reaching back into the revise/polish basket, trying to iron out all the wrinkes in this stubborn fabric!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April nearly gone...

Jeez! April is nearly gone and the book is not much further along--this teaching while trying to write is so frustrating. Got to develop (re-develop) a WRITING FIRST rhythm!!!!

Latest pitch for House of Cuts to take to Gold Rush Conference this weekend:

A flaming red-headed reporter writes stories about grisly dismemberments at a superstore in California’s Central Valley while racing the investigation team--headed up by a detective who's fallen for her--to find the killer and to keep secret her own "crime," then becomes forced to witness another murder in progress, which may lead to her own demise.

Latest first 300 words to take to conf:

October dusk streamed through the high windows and spotlighted the terrific pattern. When I laid out the pieces of Brookfield’s arms, they would form the I Ching K'un Trigram, the season of late summer/early autumn. My message would be clear even to the sheep. And for those who had studied wisdom traditions, the design would pay homage to Mother, as well. I rubbed my hands over the penciled drawing in a sort of blessing, scraped my stool away from the workbench, and skipped to the bulletin board. Humming Rub-a-dub-dub, I thumbtacked the drawing onto the crumbly cork, stained over the years but bearing so much I loved. Keeping my gaze on the pattern, I toe-heeled back to the middle of the room, turned and stretched up to snap on the light bulb. Leaning against the load-bearing post in the center, the length of my body relaxed, and I grinned. Let the lesson begin.

I shut my eyes and summoned her voice again. Thou shalt not kill. It was always the wrong message. I scanned the dim space, listening. Nothing. She of all people should see the difference. Other kills are evil, yes, dripping with blood and gore. But this, it was sacred. Sacred and clean.

Swiveling around, I gazed at the home-canned goods lining the wall, glass quarts glistening, packed with peaches and cherries. The gallon-sized jars of pickles will come in handy but even better are the bungee cords stretched across the front of the shelves, keeping the jars from falling onto the concrete floor. With bungees, there are no knots to untie. I was satisfied with the extra bungees, their thicknesses, color-coded and coiled up neatly on the bottom shelf.

My thumbnail hurt from practicing ripping off duct tape. I brushed my fingers across the bristles of my close-cropped hair, then finger-massaged the scalp, counting out twenty-five strokes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

finish line

Okay, just ran through the whole outline/synopsis again, adding and smoothing as a guide for working out the wrinkles in the text of the novel House of Cuts.

Sometimes feel I'll never get there, but I know I will if I keep at it!

Reading Under the Dome by Stephen King and admiring his amazing skills at weaving in so many characters and plot points!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

more of the same...

90 minutes more this morning to polishing House of Cuts. breakfast break and then backatit! back at it, lol.

Friday, March 25, 2011


My latest sales pitch for House of Cuts: PITCH:

Trying to keep secret her own misdeed, a flaming red-headed reporter writes stories about grisly dismemberments at a superstore in California’s Central Valley while racing the investigation team--headed up by a detective who's fallen for her--to find the killer then becomes forced to witness another murder in progress, which may lead to her own demise.

Would you buy this book?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Power to the powerpoint!

Pasted in from Facebook--kind of weird looking!
Facing the challenge to simplify the overall HoCuts scene by scene outline (in order to then put all the actual text into the best order), and lacking wall space to tape a printout of all 50 scenes around the room like a storyboard set, and being too lazy to handwrite them all on 4x6 cards, came up with a new method:
    • June Augusta Gillam set my laptop next to my desktop, made 55 copies of boilerplate scene essentials (POV, time, place, action, reaction) on Powerpoint slides and now will fill in each slide with essentials and can move the slides around if needed. Hope this works!

Monday, March 14, 2011

early at it

Up at 5:00 daylight savings time, eek, really 4:00. Now 5:52 and starting to work on House of Cuts, plan for a long day, broken up with a couple one-mile walks if the rain stays light. Onward!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Whew! It's one o'clock (new daylight savings robs me of a precious hour) and I'm just done with my online teaching writing and lit work.

Will move to HoC asap...

Saturday, March 12, 2011


After working for three hours on HoC, going for a one mile fastwalk to clear my brain--getting the overall synopsis/chapter outline aligned up now with the actual story. Amazing how many ziggidy zags can creep in!!!!

finish line

One month to go now. March 12 through April 11. Time to knuckle down and finish House of Cuts, for real.

Friday, March 4, 2011

go slow to go fast?

Already March 4!

Working on HoCuts, still aiming for that April 11 done date!

Feeling winded and smiling, trying to sprint along the word path in front of me...

at my pace...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meeting Hilary

Okay, here's how Hilary shows up--comments welcome:

Chapter Two

I left the dark groves of Morada and drove out through the cool October morning, radio blasting. “Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again,” wailed the swamp rock singers. This chance to cover introduction of a new home furnishing line by celebrity designer Jacki Jones after she got out of prison was exciting, but I hoped it wouldn’t be a really huge story, nothing to cause anyone to look under the rocks I’d put over my own shame.

Scraping my teeth across the chocolate coating of a biscotti, I hummed along with Credence Clearwater’s Revival. The twangy music was comforting—here I was safe, hiding out in the flat Central Valley, sprawled out like a dusty pancake, where no one really wanted to live.

For now, I was glad to be stuck in flatland Lodi, writing for the small town Express and teaching part-time as faculty advisor for the Lodi college student newspaper. Swigging at my French Roast coffee, I crunched up the last of the biscotti as I drove toward the megastore, located just behind the college out in the boonies of the boonies.

PriceCuts’ boxy shape loomed up off the dusty horizon. The exterior of the immense building was divided into sections every thirty or forty feet by paint in contrasting hues to create the look of a long row of separate small shops.

I parked in the back of the gigantic lot, edged by vineyards and cornfields faded to wrinkled shades of brown this mid-October morning. Ten minutes early for the eight o'clock interview with Steven Brookfield about the plans for Jacki Jones coming to town, I felt flutters in the belly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

return to the work

Started again last night on the latest revision of House of Cuts, with new protagonist Hilary Broom replacing Amy Kovar, who now resides in her own novel.

Seems never ending this novel polishing process!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Journalism scholarships -- apply now!

Since 1974, the Sacramento Press Club has offered scholarships to students who are preparing for a journalism career. For 2011, they are offering five scholarships totaling $17,500. These continue to be among the largest journalism awards in Northern California and include the $2,500 Jerry Gillam Scholarship plus four others!

Applicants must be college students who will be juniors, seniors or graduate students in the 2011/12 academic year. For details, please see:


See for updates and outcomes.