Is Research That Important?

Is Research That Important?

Is Research That Important? The need to be a savvy, entertaining, visionary, imaginative, and riveting storyteller aside, research for me is a main and even essential ingredient of being an author who is taken seriously. It is an imperative element, without which any given book would lack authenticity, believability, and that organic quality (fantasy aside, […]

The Not So Mysterious Mystery Of Creativity

The Not So Mysterious Mystery Of Creativity   I’m continually asked how did you come up with this?  Where do I get the ideas for my stories?  People genuinely seem confounded by it.  I think the key thing is to be open to the world and the possibilities around you.  Most people aren’t; they lumber […]

Top Ten Tips for Writing a Page-Turner

Why I Left My Day Job With One Unsold Manuscript Under My Belt

Why I Left My Day Job With One Unsold Manuscript Under My Belt It sounds crazy, right? Like something you’d read on one of those self-help blogs about the twenty-something who ditches his life and takes his laptop to some paradise island to be its social media manager. Except I was a forty-something with a […]

Top Ten Gifts to Give a Suspense Writer…

Top Ten Gifts to Give a Suspense Writer…

Top Ten Gifts to Give a Suspense Writer…   With Christmas approaching, let the angst begin. What should you get the mystery or suspense writer on your list? You know, the one who’s perpetually late because the voices in her head speak over the buzzing of the alarm. Or the one who has ink stains […]

“And the winner is…”

“And the winner is…”

“And the winner is…” A reflection on writing success   I was pretty sure I’d win. After all, I’d been writing for six years—mostly for curriculum publishers and magazines, and I was confident that I really had my act together. The writers’ conference I was attending had a short-story-writing contest and, thankfully for me, although […]

From Covering Crime to Writing Crime

From Covering Crime to Writing Crime Author of  Desert Remains (Seventh Street Books)   “Hello. I’d like to see the menu. Thank you. Now if you wouldn’t mind listing the specials and telling me about the crime du jour.”   That was me, as a cocky young reporter, walking into the newsroom every morning, anticipating whatever […]

Top Five Places to Find Writing Inspiration

Top Five Places to Find Writing Inspiration

Top Five Places to Find Writing Inspiration One of my favorite parts of writing is the noodling. I love the mulling that comes before I’ve committed to what a story will be. I love choosing the tiniest grain of an idea and then going off to look for the things that will transform it into […]

How My Teenage Diaries Inspired My Novel

How My Teenage Diaries Inspired My Novel

How My Teenage Diaries Inspired My Novel   When I decided to write a novel with a dual timeline—present day with flashbacks to 1989—I got out my old teenage diaries for a bit of inspiration. As you might expect, there were times where I laughed or cringed as I read, but actually I was mostly […]

Five Tips for Writing a Compelling Legal Thriller

Five Tips for Writing a Compelling Legal Thriller   Courtroom Scenes Are Inherently Dramatic. A courtroom can provide a perfect locale for drama and tension. Events take place in a confined space. Authors can “play to the jury” while playing with readers’ expectations, allowing the suspense to build. Judges can be depicted as people who […]

Writers and Day Jobs

Writers and Day Jobs

Writers and Day Jobs A writer’s gotta have a day job. I knew that going in.   I was in high school back then, learning about the Civil War and differential calculus and the reproductive system of the earthworm. It was important stuff, all of it. Earthworms are hermaphrodites. They have both male and female […]