F is for Fear

I’m constantly amazed when I hear writers whom I consider highly successful express their fears. Fear that they’ll never write another book as great as the one that won an award, or made the NY Times list, or just sold a million/trillion copies. Fear that they’ll be dropped by their … Continue reading

How Do I Get Organized?

 I’m considered by most to be a Type-A personality, anal retentive, and organized. Well, not organized in the sense of being neat and tidy, but when my husband wants information about the cars, his boat, a bank account, etc., I have a file for it and I know where the … Continue reading

Before the First Word is Written

What many readers and new writers don’t realize is how many decisions are made before that first word is written. 1. Who is the main character (MC)? I may have a vague idea about the character, but soon I need to “get to know” this person. a. Name, sex, age, … Continue reading

Life Interferes–or does it?

Most of the writers I know have day jobs as well as their writing, and/or have families to care for (some with youngsters/some with elder parents or ailing partners). Writing time is limited: before work, lunch hours, late at night. When anything disrupts that schedule—when life interferes—it’s frustrating. It’s certainly happened … Continue reading

Formatting

First, I’d like to mention that my first P.J. Benson mystery, The Crows, is being featured on Pamela Thibodeaux website this coming Saturday, January 10th. http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot I’d love it if you’d stop by and make a comment. Now, onto my weekly (first one in 2015) blog. I am once again … Continue reading

Giving Birth to a Story

 Writers often compare their stories to children. When asked which one they like best, they say, “How can I choose one over another?” (But, of course, if we are honest, there are some we love more.) We talk about sending our children off to New York (or to an agent … Continue reading

Career Planning

Career Planning is often offered as a class in high school. Sometimes in college. I wonder how many people end up in the careers they originally thought they would follow. I certainly didn’t. In high school I told my friends I was going to major in animal husbandry. I would … Continue reading

Writers Are Generous

First, I’d like to announce that Jean Patton is the winner of last week’s Haunted House Blog Hop that appeared on my blog page. She will receive a copy of HAUNTED along with a $5 gift certificate from Amazon.com. And Shelly Hammond is the winner of the drawing held on … Continue reading

What Makes a Hero?

I’ve been writing romances and mysteries for years now, but this week has had me truly thinking about the hero—my hero in particular. No, not the one in my latest book. I’m talking about the one I married. As a writer, I sometimes wonder: Why did I pick him? Most … Continue reading

Sisters in Crime September Blog Hop

I’ve been tagged by Terry Odell to participate in the Sisters in Crime Blog Hop (#SinCBlogHop). The rules are simple. I’m to choose one or more questions that were posted on the SinC Website and write the answer(s) in a blog. I can then tag someone else to continue this blog hop (or … Continue reading

Contests: Good or Bad

Last week, during the Romance Writers of America’s® National Conference the RITA and Golden Heart contest rules were once again modified. From what I understand the rules have basically gone back to what they were a few years ago. Even as the conference proceeded, several members posted messages about the … Continue reading

Research–Then and Now

I started writing in the ‘80s. My first books were basically “Write what you know” books: teaching, Santa Barbara, Michigan, a farm community, and a local township supervisor who made me angry. I did do a little research: I talked to the local (female) banker about how the men in … Continue reading

IMAGE: Yours and your characters

Image: Yours and your characters Yesterday I participated in a fashion show for a local organization I belong to. Prior to the show, I put on makeup, including eye shadow, and polished my toenails. As I was doing so, I started thinking about image. In many ways, I think image … Continue reading

What I Learned at the NRA Convention

The main thing I learned is I’m not ready to own a gun. Through the Writers’ Police Academy, an MWA conference that included a special session at a shooting range, and a conceal carry class I took several years ago, I’ve been taught how to handle a gun. So there … Continue reading

Revisions

I didn’t write a blog last week because I was still on a cruise ship on Wednesday, sailing from Cozumel to Tampa. The cruise was wonderful. Five days of being treated like royalty…and being told there were wonderful bargains to be had, onboard and off. I did see a Goya … Continue reading