Part 1 of my podcast with SWRT is up now!

Alida Winternheimer and Company at SWRT (Story Works Round Table) graciously invited me to discuss my work, dark fiction, and the craft of writing with them.  And lo and behold, you get to hear my voice and see my smiling mug in this podcast!  (I really do exist.)  Part 1:

Contract Signed for new Novel, INCIDENTAL FINDINGS

Just signed the contract with DarkFuse to publish my 7th title, INCIDENTAL FINDINGS! This one’s a medical/legal thriller, introducing a potential series character, the intrepid Nikki Avalon. Details to follow as they firm up…


I have a confession to make. I have a soft spot–okay, an obsession–with motels. They appear in a lot of my work. In fact, a creepy little motel features quite prominently in my very first published short story, “Vacancy” (2002, THE EDGE). Room Eight hides terrible secrets in my novella, ASH AND BONE (2014, published by DarkFuse). To me, a motel or room can be an important and interesting character in and of itself.

Why is this?

Because, unlike with antiseptic, corporate, cookie-cutter hotels, motels make me fantasize about what has transpired within the walls of their rooms. It’s like Tom Waits says in his song, “Ninth and Hennepin”:

And all the rooms they smell like diesel
And you take on the dreams of the ones who have slept here
And i’m lost in the window, and i hide in the stairway
And i hang in the curtain, and i sleep in your hat…

Who’s been there before me? What was going on in their life? What journey were they on, to wind up at that place? Beat-up or tidy, small old motels have that sort of character, a sort of mysterious history within their walls. That’s why I love road trips–a chance to discover new motels and dream up new plots.

Abandoned motels are even better! Or abandoned farmhouses…

BROKEN CHAIN released!

BROKEN CHAIN by Lisa von Biela Released


An unprecedented wave of senseless and brutal violence is sweeping the nation.

Livestock are mysteriously dying in droves—and there is no cure.

Meat and dairy products are rotting before their sell-by dates.


Dr. Kyle Sommers is one of a team of CDC doctors deployed nationwide to find the cause. Along with his wife Gretchen and young daughter Lara, he travels to St. Joe, Minnesota to investigate after a particularly gruesome murder shocks the small town. Frantic to find the answer before more people die and haunted by the secret that destroyed his father, Dr. Sommers uncovers the shattering truth behind the seemingly unconnected crises. And when he does, he discovers his own family is in grave danger.

Something has gone horribly wrong with the food chain. And nothing will ever be the same.

Part medical detective story, part post-apocalyptic tale, Broken Chain examines what might happen if a major component of our food supply had to be destroyed and banned because of its malignant effect on those who consume it.

You are what you eat…