First Pages Prize

I recently received information about a contest being conducted by Stockholm Writers Festival. The prizes are great. If you’re unagented and have something unpublished (whether you’ve been published or not), check this contest out. ********* Good evening from Stockholm!,    Once again we are running the First Pages Prize, a … Continue reading

‘Tis the Season to Visit Grammar

Back on February 17, 2016 I wrote a blog on  The Craft of Writing Narrative/. At that time I mentioned some sources a writer might visit to review the rules of grammar. My favorite sources, then and now, are Shrunk & White’s Elements of Style and Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & … Continue reading

Have You Lost Your Senses?

I don’t remember when I picked up this laminated card, but I have it taped to my monitor because it’s a good reminder. Often when critiquing the work of others, either I or others in the group begin asking the writer (being critiqued) questions such as these: What does your … Continue reading

Book Stores, Book Clubs, and Conferences

October, for me, was a busy month of promoting the paperback version of A KILLER PAST. I didn’t really plan it that way, but starting last spring and through the summer I kept receiving invitations to speak or appear.  All wanted October dates. These invitations included two book clubs, one … Continue reading

Why Write a Book?

Recently someone said to me, “I think I’ll write a book. So, what do I need to do?” The answer, of course, is simple–Sit down and write it. But they usually want more than that. They want to know “How do I get an agent?” or “What’s the easiest way to … Continue reading

Fear

Recently I attended the inaugural, one-day Southwest Michigan Writers’ Conference chaired and coordinated by Brian R. Johnston, Head of Public Services at the Lincoln Township Public Library. The event was sponsored by a group of southwest Michigan libraries, and held at the beautiful Niles District Library. Most of the men … Continue reading

Creator and Creating

Writers are creators. We create characters, families, communities, worlds, and conflict. Sometimes all elements magically come together to create a story, but often we complain about being blocked (Writers Block) or that our characters are two-dimensional . . .or the story simply isn’t exciting or interesting enough. Too mundane. Too … Continue reading

WANTED: A Marketing Department

I think most writers would love it if signing a publishing contract meant the publisher’s marketing department would get the reviews, promote the book through advertising, set up interviews (TV, radio, and print), and arrange a book tour (at least a blog tour). And some writers do get all or … Continue reading

Audio Ga Ga

Last month my long-time friend, Nancy Gideon, mentioned her publisher was releasing one of her early (very early) romances as an audio book, so I asked her to write about the experience. Audio Ga Ga by Nancy Gideon After my 30+ year writing career, I thought I’d done and seen … Continue reading

The Will To Live

When I decided to attend “Building Your Character-Session 2” during Writers’ Police Academy, I didn’t realize that the instructor, Mary VanHaut, would be discussing suicide. (I should have read the workshop description.) Nevertheless, I’m glad I attended, and I think I’ll be using some of the following information in my … Continue reading

The Art of Interrogation

How do you get your villain to confess? How do you know if a witness is telling the truth? Paul Bishop, who is a nationally recognized behaviorist interrogation expert and veteran LAPD detective, conducted this session at the Writers’ Police Academy. (He’s also a writer. Check out his books.) Paul Bishop’s … Continue reading

Back from the Dead

Writing a story where a character overdoses on drugs? I am, so while I was at the Writers’ Police Academy I attend a session that dealt with that subject. Eric Paulowski was the instructor and, of course, the topic was the opioid addiction that’s been in the news this year. … Continue reading

The Wonderful World of Crime Evidence

We’ve heard that what you see on CSI isn’t reality, that one can’t get fingerprint matches or facial recognition as quickly as shown, but the truth is, science and computers are bringing us closer and closer to what is shown. Just a week or so ago the news reported how … Continue reading

Cowboy Hero Syndrome

Back in the 1940s and 50s the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and others were the cowboy heroes. If a good guy was about to be hanged, the Lone Ranger would ride in and shoot the rope and the good guy was saved. Or Roy Rogers would shoot the … Continue reading

Writers’ Police Academy Overview

Michigan author, Elizabeth (Betty) Meyette, and I decided to travel and room together at this year’s Writers’ Police Academy. We took the 10:15 a.m. Lake Express Ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee and arrived at the Hyatt Regency in Green Bay, Wisconsin around 2:30 p.m. (CDT). Our room wasn’t ready, but … Continue reading

Heading for WPA

  Tomorrow I leave for Green Bay, Wisconsin to attend this year’s Writers’ Police Academy. This is my third WPA, but my first in Wisconsin. (It used to be held in North Carolina.)  writerspoliceacademy My experiences in the past have been fantastic, and, looking at this year’s schedule, I’m sure I’ll … Continue reading

Each Story is Different

Today, please welcome Diane Burton as she relates how she came up with the idea for her most recent release, NUMBERS NEVER LIE, and why it took so long from idea to finished product. Thanks, Maris, for inviting me to your blog today. Ever since we met, twenty-some years ago, I’ve … Continue reading