RSSCategory: How To and Tips

How To Build A Character

How To Build A Character

If you type ‘how to build a’ into Google, you’ll be given the options of shed, fence, house, website. (I don’t think it will be too long before ‘girl’ is added to the list due to Caitlin Moran cornering this part of the literary market.) All of these options give guidance on construction and the […]

July 20, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
My Husband Doesn’t Read My Books: Ways to Support an Author Without Spending a Dime

My Husband Doesn’t Read My Books: Ways to Support an Author Without Spending a Dime

I glance up from autographing a copy of my newest book to see my husband across the store. He has our mastiff Henry with him—a character in all of my novels—and is surrounded by women asking him questions. Then, the dreaded question, the one we both hope he won’t be asked, comes out of a […]

July 19, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Writing Fiction Based on Fact, or ‘How to Make Life Difficult for Yourself’

Writing Fiction Based on Fact, or ‘How to Make Life Difficult for Yourself’

In December 1836, a bricklayer found a torso resting in a pool of frozen blood beneath a paving stone on the Edgware Road, London. Over the next few months, the remaining body pieces were found, and in May 1837 two people were tried: James Greenacre was convicted of murdering Hannah Brown; his lover, Sarah Gale, […]

July 17, 2016 | By | Reply More
How Collaging and Scrapbooking Helps Me Write Better

How Collaging and Scrapbooking Helps Me Write Better

I first began collaging soon after I turned thirteen; I still have sketchbooks from those years, page after page filled with collage narratives that I had abstracted from paper pieces ripped from magazines and newspapers. These sketchbooks also contained my tentative forays into water-color painting: a fuchsia bougainvillea blooming beneath a cerulean blue sky, a […]

July 16, 2016 | By | Reply More
Book Reviews and the Author Psyche

Book Reviews and the Author Psyche

Authors have a love/hate relationship with book reviews. Reviews improve a book’s popularity. The more popular, the more sales. We want more reviews, but we don’t always like what’s said in those reviews. Here’s the thing, authors should concern themselves with the number of reviews, not the content. The content is for readers. It can […]

July 13, 2016 | By | 3 Replies More
Leaving Your Comfort Zone: Reading Out of Genre

Leaving Your Comfort Zone: Reading Out of Genre

Historical fiction makes me swoon with delight. It’s what I write and what I love to read. Immersed in a 1920’s speakeasy in New York City or in the servants’ quarters in Regency England, the world around me falls away. When real life calls, I’m startled to discover I still live in the twenty-first century. […]

July 5, 2016 | By | 8 Replies More
The ‘Difficult’ Second Novel

The ‘Difficult’ Second Novel

Writing a first novel is easy. Of course that is a big fat lie, but in comparison to writing a second novel, it really is. First time round, you can take as long as you like, you can write whatever genre you like or no genre at all. You may choose your own writing style […]

July 1, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More
Second Person: Why I Used You In My Novel

Second Person: Why I Used You In My Novel

Second person address, “I-to-you,” is a fascinating and effective literary device, the most intimate point-of-view there is, but writers avoid it like a death knell. Most editors reject it. Not only that, it isn’t easy to pull off, especially in novel length stories. So why use it? Why have the narrator tell her story to […]

June 25, 2016 | By | 4 Replies More
Having an Affair With Your Writing

Having an Affair With Your Writing

Recently I completed my first young adult novel. As anyone writing a book can attest, it was a long slog. Personally, I wouldn’t have been able to complete it were it not for two creative sources of inspiration that rocked my world in a major way—Broadway’s Hamilton and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Let me back […]

June 22, 2016 | By | 2 Replies More
Never Jump From A Moving Novel

Never Jump From A Moving Novel

Novel writing is a journey. We authors are the advance team who scout locations before the readers make an appearance. But we’re travelers first and foremost – into foreign lands, if we’ve the nerve to leave the familiar landscape of memoir. When I began writing, agents and editors cautioned that the craft had strict rules. […]

June 17, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More