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

Newsletters

This week I’m working on revisions to my third “Crows” book (Eat Crow and Die), but I’m also still mulling over all I learned while attending Sleuthfest 2014. The sessions I sat in on primarily followed various publishing options and promotion. With over a million books being published each year, … Continue reading

Make It Clear To Everyone

Last week I received my manuscript back from my editor with a list of requested revisions. Actually it’s not a written list/letter (what I used to receive when manuscripts were submitted and edited in hardcopy) but the electronic version of the ms with “comments” and “track changes” editing. Some of … Continue reading

Sleuthfest2014

Last week I attended Sleuthfest 2014 in Orlando, Florida. For four days I was surrounded by writers and bombarded with ideas. Friday and Saturday there were four tracks offered each hour providing information and ideas ranging from basic writing tips to how to keep up with the changes in publishing. … Continue reading

Name Your Genre

You’ve written a book and now it’s time to start thinking about selling it. Whether you send the manuscript off to an agent or an editor or decide to self-publish, you need to indicate the genre. That is, you need to let others know how it would be classified. “Why?” … Continue reading

Writing Process Blog Hop

Today isn’t my normal day to blog, but I was asked by Annette Briggs to participate in a “Writing Process Blog Hop.” It’s sort of like tag. You’re asked to participate, and if you agree, you’re assigned a date to answer 4 questions and asked to find 3 writers to … Continue reading

Ways to Avoid Stress

The experts say one way to manage stress is to avoid those situations which cause stress. Well, I can name two ways for me to avoid stress. 1. Don’t write a book 2. Don’t submit the book to an agent or editor I remember back when I started writing and … Continue reading

Business Cards

I need new business cards. If you’re a writer, whether you’re published or not, business cards are important. Even before you’ve sold a book, you need to be carrying your cards with you. If you attend a writers’ meeting or conference, a business card is a must. You simply never … Continue reading

Head-Hopping

This month (all 8 days of it) I started transcribing my last Harlequin Temptation —STORYBOOK HERO—so I can put it out as an e-book. That book was published in 1989, before I started writing for Bantam’s Loveswept line, before my editor there chastised me about “head-hopping.” For anyone not familiar … Continue reading

Accuracy

Santa is busy checking his list, making sure he has everything right. He certainly doesn’t want to give the wrong gift to a child. What Santa is doing is similar to what a writer must do before considering a manuscript ready for publication. (It’s what I’m doing with my work … Continue reading

Letter from Richard Russo

Below you’ll find  a letter I received today from the Authors Guild. It included a request to share the letter with other writer friends. I decided to do so through my blog. I am a member of the Authors Guild. I’m not saying all writers need to join the Authors’ Guild … Continue reading

Agents: Do we need them?

Nowadays many writers are rethinking the need for an agent. With the rise in e-book sales, the ease of self-publishing (without paying big bucks), and the lack of marketing on the part of traditional publishers, many writers wonder what an agent can do for them. Why bother trying to sell … Continue reading

Count Your Blessings

I’m basically an optimist. I think that helps in the writing profession. Writers get so much criticism, most of us would probably quit if we weren’t optimists. We start with the notion that the stories running around in our heads are ones others would enjoy reading (or hearing). Optimism takes … Continue reading

Book Titles

I recently received an email from the editor of my first two “Crow” books. I’d told him I had the rough draft finished on the third book in that series, tentatively titled A Murder of Crows. He wasn’t happy with the title. “Have you looked on Amazon,” he emailed. “Have … Continue reading