The Importance of Using Newspapers for Research

Writing Tip: The Importance of Using Newspapers for Research

The Importance of Using Newspapers for Research   Reconstructing a Family Member’s Life Story through Newspaper Research   As a family history researcher with almost twenty years of experience, I can say that genealogy research sites and online databases are better now than ever. And with all sorts of new technology designed especially for family […]

Writing Tip: How to Write About the Past

Why the past is the toughest assignment of them all… Writing Tip: How to Write About the Past “Don’t you know, you can’t go home again,” as Thomas Wolfe was famously warned, but I have done so, for my writerly sins, returning at the age of thirty-five with my young family to the small rural […]

THE LOCKBOX IN EVERY AUTHOR’S CLOSET

THE LOCKBOX IN EVERY AUTHOR’S CLOSET

THE LOCKBOX IN EVERY AUTHOR’S CLOSET   I was a curious kid. When I was thirteen, I became convinced I was adopted. I couldn’t possibly share the DNA of the people who sat around the dinner table at our house each night. My dad sold insurance. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. My five siblings […]

Writing Tips: Who Needs Rules to Write?

Writing Tips: Who Needs Rules to Write?

Writing Tips: Who Needs Rules to Write?   “There are three rules for writing a novel,” W. Somerset Maugham once quipped. “Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” Anyone who’s set pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) knows this to be true. However, that’s never stopped members of the literati from offering advice in […]

Why are readers fascinated with Secret Societies

Why are readers fascinated with Secret Societies?

Thrillers and secret societies seem to be a perpetual trend. What lies behind this fascination? The first thing I’d like to say is that while I am a terrific fan of a good secret-society thriller, Dominus is a story that I wrote, in part, to challenge some of the assumptions of that genre. It’s not […]

Essential Writing Tips: Giving characters their own voice

Giving Characters Their Own Voice   As long as there have been creative writing classes, aspiring authors have received the same advice: Write what you know.   Unfortunately, unless you know a lot — and even if you do — that advice will only take you so far. You’ll still face the issue of building […]

I Don’t Know How to Write a Book, yet I did!

  They say that all you need to write a book is a good idea. And I didn’t have one. It was June 2012 on a cold, crisp afternoon in the shaky isles of Middle Earth, or as I affectionately call it, New Zealand. I was huddled under a blanket on the couch staring blankly […]

Murder in the Fjords...

Murder in the Fjords…

Murder in the Fjords… I have enjoyed telling creepy stories since I was a child. I’ve always had this voice in my head that asks, “What if …” When you write a crime novel series with a recurring protagonist, one of the most frequently asked questions you get from readers, journalists, and panel participants—and it’s […]

keep on writing

Keep on Writing!

(Keep on Writing! An order that needs to be heeded by aspiring writers) How do you go about writing a story that’s several hundred pages long? “Seriously, how do you do it? “some people ask me in astonishment, as if writing were some kind of magic and all those pages of text just erupted from […]