I’m Celebrating

Tomorrow, October 22nd, A KILLER PAST will be available as an e-book. No, this isn’t a new book, but for over two years Mary Harrington’s story in e-book fashion has been missing, and its disappearance is a good example of how little control most authors have over their books. Originally, … Continue reading

After the End

Last week I blogged about finishing the rough draft of the book I’ve been working on. To my surprise, a couple people asked where they could now buy the book. This question reminded me that many readers and new writers don’t understand the steps necessary between finishing the rough draft … Continue reading

What is a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Anyone who has read one of my P.J. Benson Mysteries (THE CROWS, AS THE CROW FLIES, EYE OF THE CROW, and EAT CROW AND DIE) knows Baraka, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, plays an important part in each of the stories. No, P.J.’s dog doesn’t solve mysteries, doesn’t talk to her, and … Continue reading

Awhile vs A While

Last week another writer asked me why I wrote a while instead of awhile in the following sentence: After a while, I didn’t notice the cigarette smell. Years ago, I would have written awhile, but after having editors change that to a while so many times, I now automatically split … Continue reading

Writing A Contemporary is Dangerous

Writing a contemporary novel is dangerous. The time between when you write it, when it’s published, and when someone reads the story can bring about many changes. With historical novels, the settings, weaponry, devices, language, mores are pretty well set. A writer might fudge a little, have a heroine more … Continue reading

Nothing New

I haven’t been blogging lately because I haven’t felt I had anything new to say. Over the years I’ve written about formatting, grammar and punctuation. I’ve suggested sites that cover marketing, new markets, and markets to avoid. I’ve reported on conferences I’ve attended, what editors and agents want (at least … Continue reading

Face Masks to Make a Statement

The coronavirus has made many changes in our lives. Writers are facing new challenges in ways to promote their books. Bookstores have been closed (some are reopening, but author talks and signings have been cancelled); physical author tours have been cancelled; conferences have been cancelled; libraries are still closed, which … Continue reading

Want to be Published? 5 Questions to Answer

You’ve written a story that you think is really good. You want it published. Here are 5 questions you need to answer. 1. Is your manuscript in publishable shape right now? No spelling errors, typos, or inconsistencies in the story? Don’t plan on an editor correcting your errors. Yes, the … Continue reading

Exercise Your Mind and Body

The Coronavirus has given many writers a guilt-free excuse to sit at the computer and write, but I’m hearing some writers admit to wasting this opportunity. Instead of writing, they’re doing jigsaw puzzles (in March sales of jigsaw puzzles surged), binge watching TV, reading (for pleasure and escape, in many … Continue reading

Luck Be A Lady

Talent plays a very small role in a writer’s chances for success. I’ve read wonderful stories that will either (1) never be published or, even if published, (2) will never be financially successful. Oh, persistence helps, along with a good story, knowing the market, and knowing how to present your … Continue reading

A Major Interruption

I hate interruptions when I’m writing. The deeper I get into a story, the more I become a part of the story–I am the protagonist, the villain, the secondary characters. I am living where they live, seeing what they see, feeling their emotions. That is until… The phone rings. My … Continue reading