SF17 Keynote Speaker: David Baldacci

David Baldacci was the Saturday keynote luncheon speaker at Sleuthfest 2017. He began his talk by relaying a humorous story about why he won’t go up to anyone reading his book. He said he saw a man reading one of his books and offered to sign it for the man. … Continue reading

Shooting Solutions Session plus The Gritty Cozy Session

Saturday morning (February 25), I had a meeting so I didn’t get to “Shooting Solutions, Part 1,” presented by Sharon Plotkin, until it was more than halfway over; nevertheless, I still picked up some interesting information to add to my mysteries. For one thing, Sharon said, “Use gloves to pick … Continue reading

Sleuthfest: The Editors’ Panel

The guest editors attending Sleuthfest were Emily Giglierano (Mulholland Books), Juliet Grames (Associate Publisher: Soho Press), Annette Rogers (Poison Pen Press), and Neil Nyren (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Random House). Diane Stuckart moderated the panel. All four editors said they (generally) only accept submissions through an agent. … Continue reading

The Agents’ Panel

The agents’ panel at Sleuthfest 2017 started at 8:30 a.m. Friday. I missed a few minutes right at the start (I had to bring some books to the book store, and it didn’t open until 8:30), but I heard most of what the agents had to say. The four agents … Continue reading

Read What You Write

For the  last week I’ve been reading cozy mysteries. For anyone who doesn’t know what a cozy is, think of Agatha Christie’s books or the TV series, “Murder She Wrote.” The books usually involve a small town or community, an off-stage murder, some quirky characters, and an animal—a dog, cat, … Continue reading

Voice: His/Hers

Years ago I had an editor ask me to change my point-of-view (pov) character from a female to a male. I’d written some books where I’d used both povs, but I wasn’t sure I could pull off a story written completely in the male pov. What I discovered was I … Continue reading

A Lost Voice

Last week a unique voice died. Actually, each of us has a unique voice, but writers often hear that agents and editors are looking for a “new” voice, or that it’s “voice” they’re interested. I’m never quite sure what that means, and I’m not sure they know, either. What I … Continue reading

Do You Have a Business Card?

The question should be: Do you have your business card with you? Twice last year I met writers at social events (events not connected with writing) who had newly published books. One was independently published while the other woman had been published by one of the Big Four’s imprints. Each … Continue reading

Common Concerns

I’ve been having trouble coming up with a topic to blog about. No, that’s not true. I’ve had plenty of ideas. I thought about blogging about agents—but then I realized I’ve done that several times (Agents1, Agents2 ,). Then I decided I’d write about titles. Oops, done that. (Titles Blog 1, … Continue reading

Verbosity

Verbose: adjective. Using or expressed in more words than are needed. “Much academic language is obscure and verbose.: synonym: wordy, loquacious, garrulous, talkative, voluble. I’ve been told I write tight, but my critique partners and editors can usually find ways to tighten my writing. Often I’ve read books (some being … Continue reading

What is it?

My husband and I have communication problems. He’ll ask, “What do you think of it?” I believe he’s talking about the book I’m reading, but he’s talking about the wine I’m drinking. After a couple comments back and forth that make no sense to either of us, I discover what … Continue reading

Dialogue Revisited

First, I want to report that my interview with Jim Christina and Bobbi Bell on LATalkRadio “The Writer’s Block” went well and was fun. I always like talking about my books and writing in general. Also it was great that they both liked A Killer Past. (Wouldn’t it be terrible … Continue reading

Disappointment

I’ve seen several discussions regarding writers losing the initial excitement they had when they started writing. Some of that loss, I believe, is due to reality replacing the anticipated results of being published; i.e., our book hitting best seller charts, awards, TV and radio interviews, instant recognition. On December 8, 2016,I … Continue reading

Editing: Are you Right Brain or Left Brain?

Recently I attended a Mid-Michigan RWA Chapter meeting where the program was on editing. The speaker, Dr. Diana Stout, MFA PhD, is one of MMRWA’s members and besides being a writer has taught college English for several years. During the meeting, she covered punctuation from comma rules to words to … Continue reading

The Importance of ARCs

I recently received the advanced reading copy of my  March 2017 thriller, Echoes of Terror. It has been a while since I read through the manuscript, and since I’m sending some copies out for review, I wanted to make sure there were no glaring errors. Actually, I didn’t want any … Continue reading

Today’s Publishing Options

Last week I wrote about “Publishing Then and Now.” This week I want to focus on “Now.” Writers nowadays, both published and pre-published, have three basic options. Writers can go with traditional publisher, print-on-demand publishers, or Independent self-publishing. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages. First Option Let’s assume you’ve written … Continue reading

Publishing Then and Now

A few weeks ago Barbara Vortman posted a comment on my blog. She said, “I remember when your first book was published. Can you tell us how marketing has changed since then and how you adapted? I have never been a self-promoter and I detest the job. My novel will … Continue reading

What is a Logline

Last weekend I opened an e-book that I purchased about five years ago. Save the Cat is a non-fiction book about screenwriting written by Blake Snyder (who is a screenwriter). It’s also a book that is often mentioned by writers when talking about writing. The first chapter of Save the Cat … Continue reading

From Paperback to E-book

Back in 1997 Silhouette published Heiress Seeking Perfect Husband under their Yours Truly line. I loved the story. It’s a “You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find Prince Charming” type of story and is probably the most humorous one I’ve ever written. When the publisher dropped … Continue reading

5 Decision Points

It would be so nice if all a writer needed to do was write. But, of course, life isn’t that easy. On September 20th I had surgery on the middle finger of my right hand (and yes, I’m right handed), which resulted in a week of one-finger typing and some … Continue reading