Archive for February 2017
Are you a Panster or a Plotter?
At Thrillerfest 2012, I had the pleasure and honor to meet and hear from the best in the industry. A variety of topics were presented on the craft of writing including: Crafting a Story Outline, Finding Your Storytelling Voice, Creating Mind Blowing Twists, Creating Compelling and Complex Antagonists, as…Read More
There's Something Special About Your First Book
What Circle Dance means to me When my sister and I first agreed to collaborate on a story, we constructed one similar to what we loved to read at the time—stories about women, their emotional lives, and the choices they make in life. Our first characters were three sisters—beautiful, blonde, rich, and American. The story…Read More
Where is the Best Place to Write?
Everyone needs a room of one’s own – at least according to Virginia Woolf. Whether this is a literal or metaphorical dictum is open to interpretation – the state of women’s rights in Woolf’s day vastly different from today. Still – the idea that a dedicated writing space was integral to my success as an…Read More
Writing with a Co-Author
People often ask me – “How do you write a book with another person?” When my sister and I decided to work together on Circle Dance, we didn’t know the answer to that question. I bought a book (“How to Write and Sell Your First Novel”, by Oscar Collier), read it, and proceeded to follow…Read More
The Road to Publication
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment the paradigm shift occurred. The transition from traditionally published author to an independent one marked the beginning of the change. When my first book was published, the overwhelming feeling of vulnerability I felt shocked me. A part of me was sitting on that bookshelf for anyone to see and…Read More
Lose the Lukewarm Writing – Going from Tepid to Torrid
I’m inclined to agree… I was a little upset… It was almost too much to bear… He was kind of difficult… She was barely passing… She was practically salivating… These limp descriptions are the tepid water of writing – the equivalent of a timid hand raised half way with no real expectation of being…Read More
The Voices in my Head
What captures you more—a thrilling plot or a fascinating character? The impetuous Scarlett O’Hara and the dashing Rhett Butler, or the Civil War? A good story makes us care about the people in it—everything else is secondary. Complex characters drive the action and the plot.Read More
Pontificating with Purple Prose
If there’s a passage I’m overly proud of—it usually means I need to cut it. There is a big difference between a well-crafted sentence relevant to the story, and one that sounds impressive but does nothing to move the story forward. This kind of self-indulgence is referred to as purple prose: metaphor after metaphor;…Read More
Villains – the New Heroes?
I love my bad guys. They are the most fun to write—their evil deeds flow effortlessly from my imagination. They are malicious, devious, merciless, and sadistic. But If I’m not careful, they begin to resemble cardboard cutouts in black hats and handlebar mustaches. While it is tempting to craft a character oozing with evil…Read More
What Makes Thriller Writers Tick
“What’s the best way to assassinate someone and make it look like an accident?” “How about poisons—which are undetectable in an autopsy?” In most circles, these types of questions would be cause for alarm—and notification of the authorities. Not so at Thrillerfest, the premiere writer’s conference for thriller writers where talk about death, murder,…Read More