How Do I Get My Book Published?

Last month I received an email from a young girl asking for information about how to get a book she’d written published. The following is, in part, what I sent back to her. Dear Writer: Since my weekly blog is primarily about writing and getting published, some of my earlier … Continue reading

Goodbye 2018

I don’t know about you, but the day after Christmas and the week before New Year’s Eve is always a little depressing for me. The cheerful “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” greetings end, most of the romantic or hopeful holiday shows cease to be shown, and the major networks are … Continue reading

Changing Tense

I’m finally working on the fourth (and final) P.J. Benson Mystery (My Crows series). I actually had close to 5,000 words written the end of summer, but life got in the way, and the opening just didn’t feel right to me. I wasn’t connecting with P.J. Here’s the original opening: … Continue reading

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 If you’re unagented and have something unpublished (whether you’ve been published or not), check this contest out.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