RSSCategory: How To and Tips

In Defense of Unlikeable Characters- Five Tips to Keep Readers Engaged

In Defense of Unlikeable Characters- Five Tips to Keep Readers Engaged

It’s a well-known writing tip- your main character should be likeable. Readers enjoy being able to identify with a character, to cheer her on toward her goal. This can be hard to do when they’re unlikable. It’s good advice. However, I keep doing the opposite- I write complicated, messy, often seriously flawed characters. Books like […]

October 3, 2017 | By | Reply More
Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Writing is a solitary and very personal process. Alone at our writing desks, we struggle with word count and plot, accompanied only by our self-doubt and bull-headed determination. No wonder the prospect of sharing some of that isolation with another writer is so appealing, and yet collaboration is a relatively rare, and slightly mythical form. […]

October 3, 2017 | By | Reply More
Sex In Women’s Fiction, Part One: Writing Sex

Sex In Women’s Fiction, Part One: Writing Sex

Part one of a three part series about Sex In Women’s Fiction I write stories about women – stories that chronicle the wonderful, harrowing, funny, mess, fabulous, and occasionally sordid details of their lives. And, inevitably, there comes a time in every manuscript when my main character decides that she’s going to have sex. Before […]

September 29, 2017 | By | Reply More
How Writing Stories Made Me A Better Corporate Leader

How Writing Stories Made Me A Better Corporate Leader

HOW WRITING STORIES MADE ME A BETTER CORPORATE LEADER When business influencers talk about the top five qualities of a good leader, emotional intelligence (EQ) will be on almost everyone’s list. I think EQ is important, don’t get me wrong, but storytelling is a vital skill that hardly anyone mentions. The one thing I learned […]

September 26, 2017 | By | Reply More
My First Writers’ Workshop

My First Writers’ Workshop

Frankly, I was scared to go. School was decades behind me and I had a successful career as a magazine editor. Why put myself out there with a work of fiction I’d been fussing over for years? On the other hand, I had been fussing over that story for years on my own with no […]

September 26, 2017 | By | Reply More
What Happens When An Unreliable Character Pops Into Your Head?

What Happens When An Unreliable Character Pops Into Your Head?

The short answer: you write his story. Here’s what happened to me. Last summer I was working on the first book in what would be a women’s fiction series at the request of my agent. You see, with the exception of one of my previous novels, my books were considered women’s fiction, even though some […]

September 25, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Hook Them with Hope

Hook Them with Hope

As writers, we’ve all heard that to keep a reader turning pages, we should hook them from the start. That much is true, but something else I’ve learned is that once you have their interest, you can also keep them hooked by giving them hope. Some of the common themes throughout my books are difficult […]

September 25, 2017 | By | Reply More
Ten Things I Learned as a New Author

Ten Things I Learned as a New Author

While long-published authors put my meager knowledge to shame, there are some important lessons I learned as a new author. Needless to say, getting attention for a novel with all the competition in the publishing world is a tough assignment. Here are the most important things I learned during the process of publishing first novel. […]

September 22, 2017 | By | Reply More
Dialogue – It’s Not A Conversation

Dialogue – It’s Not A Conversation

Dialogue charts a middle path between authenticity and art in writing. It reveals personality, and in this way it is closely linked to character. It advances the story, and in this way it is closely linked with plot. It adds a layer of verisimilitude, and in this way it is closely linked with setting. Excellent […]

September 22, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
How To Pitch A Series

How To Pitch A Series

A few weeks ago, I announced the Gamer Girl series, three books coming out from Kensington’s Lyrical Press starting in 2019. Since this is my second series, many people have asked me how to get an editor to buy multiple books rather than just one. Initially, if you do not know the editor and have […]

September 20, 2017 | By | Reply More