All About That Pace

Let's talk about pacing, i.e. the action in your novel. Does it start slow and build to an action-packed climax? Do you hit on your main themes in a regular pattern? Do you sprinkle humor here and there? I wasn't sure how I did it. I've had readers comment that they like the pacing in... Continue Reading →

My new book is out!

This is a proud moment for me seeing the first three Lexy books under one cover. Also new: this one released in eBook and paperback simultaneously. The book is a big 'un: it runs over 600 pages and weighs more than 2 pounds. Slip one under the tree of your favorite reader. Super duper thanks to... Continue Reading →

Free Books!

In honor of the return to school, the first Lexy Cooper mystery is free this week. Download the Schooled eBook through September 6 for the price of sunshine! Here's what readers are saying about Schooled: “Filled with great characters, and a twisty-turney perfect murder mystery plot.” “Witty, empowering, and deeper than you think.” “Lexy is... Continue Reading →

Bringing out your dead: When to drop the first body.

Conventional wisdom dictates that mystery/crime novels offer up a body early on. Think about every episode of every incarnation of Law & Order. There's the discovery of the victim, then the iconic "DONK DONK" (also called the "clang") followed by the theme song/opening credits. Then the detectives are on scene and the process of discovering... Continue Reading →

Course Correction – When a work-in-progress isn’t working

Last week I wrote a long post lamenting the shitty state of my new novel Summer Wind. If you want to read the whole boohoo thing it's here. The short version is: It sucked. My main character Detective Mike Malick was stiff and uninteresting. One of the solutions I pondered was "Try switching to the... Continue Reading →

The Art of the Cover – Griefed

It's sort of a funny story--now--but at the time it stressed me out so much I was losing sleep over it. My cover artist was missing. I found Brett Parson by chance. I searched "book cover" on Deviantart and discovered his amazing work. I asked if he'd take a commission and he said yes. Two... Continue Reading →

Playing with fire: Naming characters after real people

I'm not talking about using real people in fiction. We all do it, but we are at least smart enough to change the names and details enough to avoid lawsuits. I talked a bit about that in this post on character names. I'm talking about using real people's real names for fictional characters. Let me... Continue Reading →

Why is this book taking so long to write?

My first novel, The Sleepless Nanny, took nine months to write. It wasn't a long book, or particularly complex. I wrote it for one hour each night, most of the time with a toddler on my lap. Second novel (Schooled)? Three months. Ditto with the third (Pwned). This, the fourth book, should be the quickest/easiest... Continue Reading →

Things my proofreader taught me

I'm a professional writer. By that I mean that since 1995 I have made my living--paid my rent, fed my offspring--by writing. You'd think I'd have words pretty much figured out by now, wouldn't you? But you'd be wrong. I still have a lot to learn. Here are some of the things I learned recently... Continue Reading →

A Deep Breath — Moving on to the Next Book

I began writing the first Lexy Cooper crime novel Schooled on May 3 2012 and finished the first week of August. It came out on November 6. I started noodling on the second Lexy book, Pwned, while Schooled was in the editing process, but I didn't hunker down and really start making progress until December,... Continue Reading →

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