10 things I got wrong about breast cancer

So here I am, a handful of days after my lumpectomy, still waiting for the pathology report which will presumably tell us either "We got it all" or "There's still cancer in there." And I've been thinking about the past few months and the assumptions I made and the stuff I got wrong. So I... Continue Reading →

Billable Hours – A Writer’s Day

Okay, novelists don't really have billable hours. I worked in a PR agency for a brief, miserable period and keeping track of how much time I spent on every little thing was a massive pain in my ass. That 15 minute chunk of time when I was staring out the window watching pigeons have sex... Continue Reading →

Series Fiction: What I wish I’d known at the start

I'm in the final stretch of writing the fourth book in my Lexy Cooper mystery series. Now, I'm certainly nowhere near as prolific as many writers, but by the time you get to Book 4, you've built up a pretty substantial cast of characters, a history, and a world. Here are some of the things... Continue Reading →

5 Great Reasons to Publish Short Content

When you’re trying to establish a brand, it’s important to build your series as quickly as you can without sacrificing quality or sanity. If you have a good response to the debut book, don’t make readers wait a year or more for their next meal—they will move on, and you need all the momentum you... Continue Reading →

Writing great bad guys

Just as you shouldn't write a perfect protagonist who is good at everything and always makes the right choice, don’t make your antagonist perfectly evil. Everyone has something not-terrible about them. I don’t mean anything like “Hitler loved kittens.” He probably loved them for breakfast. I’m not talking about real-world villains, and I’m not suggesting... Continue Reading →

The Hiatus Experiment or Can I Write A Romance in 2 Weeks?

Yesterday I finished the first draft of Summer Wind. This is the book that was giving me fits just a month ago when at the half-way point I hated the book so much I wanted to burn it. I figured out the problem, fixed it, and the words just started to flow. The muse was... Continue Reading →

Spoilers and Recaps – What series readers want

This is a slice of the information gathered in the survey I posted about last week, and the data I found most useful and surprising. As someone who writes a series these are two issues I struggle with in each new book. How much backtracking do I have to do? Can I assume that anyone... Continue Reading →

B.Y.O.P – Be Your Own Publisher

I've been blogging about my trials and errors in this writing thing for a couple years now. From a post about discovering Kindle Direct Publishing and unearthing a long-lost novel, to crowdfunding a research trip, I've shared the journey with my blog readers. If you've found my writing tips interesting or helpful, I'm collecting them... Continue Reading →

Working with an Editor and Proofreader

Right now my most excellent Empress of Editing Marti McKenna is deep in the weeds of a second pass on my upcoming book Griefed, getting ready to hand off what we believe is final copy to Proofreader Princess Stacie Magelssen. This is our third book together, and we've definitely got a system that works for... Continue Reading →

Multiple POVs: Keeping it real

My first book The Sleepless Nanny, was written in the first-person from the protagonist's point of view. It's basically the easiest, most natural way to write, and a good place to start for beginning writers. When I began writing my first mystery/crime novel I knew I wasn't going to write it in the first person... Continue Reading →

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