A Retreat for Writing

Last weekend I participated in a writing retreat held in Traverse City, Michigan. I’ve attended the Mid-Michigan RWA Chapter’s “Retreat from Harsh Reality” more than twenty times—even chaired it for a few years—but this was a totally different experience. This was truly a writing retreat. Rather than sneak away from … 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

WPA–Dispelling Myths

Saturday afternoon, Alafair Burke, (http://alafairburke.com) a former deputy district attorney, bestselling author, and law professor, talked about the myths many have regarding prosecutors, judges and investigators. She presented 5 myths. Myth #1: Criminal cases involve trials. She said 90% of all criminal cases are resolved before the criminal goes to … 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

WPA-“From Fact to Fiction”

Our Friday afternoon speaker was Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times bestselling suspense novelist. Lisa spoke on: “From Fact to Fiction: How to Turn Chilling Research into a Thrilling Novel.” I’ve read some of Lisa’s novels and she truly does write a chilling story. Much of what she said … Continue reading

WPA-Women in Law Enforcement and an Accident Response

My learning experiences at Writers’ Police Academy continued early Friday morning when we stepped off the bus that took us from the Marriott Hotel to Guilford Technical Community College/Public Safety and were herded over to an “accident scene.” The “scene” was that a drunk driver lost control of his car … Continue reading

Can an Introvert be a Successful Writer?

Can an introvert be a successful writer? And no, I’m not implying I’m an introvert, but this week I’ve been busy doing marketing, so the question came to mind. I used to believe a good book would succeed no matter what, but I’ve discovered that isn’t always true. Over the last … Continue reading

Talking Heads

Recently I spent some time critiquing another writer’s work. The writer does dialogue quite well, but every so often she went on and on with the dialogue without breaking it up with dialogue tags or narrative tags. Everything was correctly punctuated, even when she had three paragraphs in a row of … Continue reading

How To Come Up With A Great Title

Last weekI blogged about the importance of a good title. So how do you come up with one? I’ve already mentioned the problem with titles that don’t give any idea what the book is about…or are so generic they could be plopped on a dozen books…or are so popular dozens … Continue reading

Contracts

Yesterday I signed and mailed a contract for EAT CROW AND DIE to Five Star Publishing a subsidiary of Gale/Cengage Learning. Of course, before I signed, I read through the contract and began thinking about all of the different contracts I have signed over the years. My first contract with … Continue reading

Ebook Preparation

This week I’ve been working on getting Storybook Hero ready to upload to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), Smashwords, Nook, and Kobo. Although the story part of the manuscript basically stays the same (there is a slight difference for those uploaded for the Nook), the front and afterword portions vary a … Continue reading

Covers

This past week I’ve been working with Rebel Ink Designs (http://rebelinkdesigns.com/) regarding covers for two romances from my backlist. Creating covers has been a relatively new experience for me. My first romances were published by Harlequin and the only input I had regarding the cover was a “Cover Art” sheet … 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

Internal Thoughts

Recently I was asked to critique mss written by two new writers. In both cases, the writers were/are struggling with how to indicate a character’s thoughts. They knew the thoughts weren’t supposed to be placed within quote marks, but they also knew they couldn’t put all of the character’s thoughts … 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