RSSCategory: How To and Tips

What to Learn from Frozen, Besides the Words to ‘Let It Go’

What to Learn from Frozen, Besides the Words to ‘Let It Go’

When Frozen debuted in 2013, my daughter was two months old. I thought I missed “Frozen Fever.” Nope. A few months back, we caught it on the Disney Channel and my daughter promptly requested to have her own copy, the sing-along edition. We have Frozen sheets, cups, plates and bowls, utensils, dolls (Elsa and Olaf), […]

July 1, 2017 | By | 2 Replies More
What’s the Point of Point of View?

What’s the Point of Point of View?

The changing use of point of view has had an impact on everything I’ve written. The most visible example is in The Last Woman Standing, a historical novel about Wyatt Earp’s true love, Josephine Marcus, which I wrote and rewrote over a period of years and stages of child development. In the final manuscript the […]

July 1, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
Everyday Magic

Everyday Magic

My love affair with magical fiction began at seven years old, when I inhaled A Wrinkle In Time. I still remember the goosebumps that spread across my gangly arms and legs when Mrs. Whatsit blew into Meg’s life and proclaimed, “Wild nights are my glory!” This anticipation of the impossible has yet to loosen its […]

June 28, 2017 | By | Reply More
In-Person Pitching: The Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat

In-Person Pitching: The Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat

#pitching. If you’re a writer and you’re on Twitter, you know what I’m talking about. It’s super fun and super simple. Just hide behind your screen and pitch your book to all the agents on Twitter in 140 characters or less. No likes? No problem. That tweet – the one that that couldn’t even scratch […]

June 25, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More
What a Week of Pro Tennis Taught Me About Writing

What a Week of Pro Tennis Taught Me About Writing

My son and I are tennis nuts. We spend days on end at the U.S. Open in New York each summer, and we travel to other major tournaments, both home and abroad, as often as we can. When a snowstorm back east a few months ago left us stranded in California – where we’d gone […]

June 19, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More
Writing Under Multiple Pen Names

Writing Under Multiple Pen Names

When a dream comes true, and it’s even better than your original dream, you can be forgiven for thinking you’ve reached a pinnacle in your writing journey and you’re pinching yourself to wake up. You’re floating on air. It’s all too wonderful to be true. But there it is in black and white – you’ve […]

June 17, 2017 | By | Reply More
Past, Present, Never: Writing Time In Fiction

Past, Present, Never: Writing Time In Fiction

New authors are always advised to avoid complexity, to begin with a single narrator and a straightforward plot. I ignored that advice. In my first novel, there was a story in the present which related to events in the past, told in flashbacks. In my second I had three interconnected narratives. I think perhaps I […]

June 16, 2017 | By | 3 Replies More
How to Write the Perfect Ending

How to Write the Perfect Ending

I’ve often felt that your first chapter is what sells your novel, but the ending is what sells you as an author. I’m not saying a rollicking start isn’t important—as are characters, voice, plot, and theme—but a great ending is what will leave your reader satisfied, enthusiastic, and wanting more. It’s certainly not easy. Endings […]

June 13, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
What’s Food Doing in Your Fiction?

What’s Food Doing in Your Fiction?

I’m mildly obsessed with writing about food, both in memoir and in mystery, so I paid attention when a blogger recently complained about the preponderance of food scenes in fiction, warning authors to give those scenes tension and to make them advance the plot. It’s not bad advice, although I think it more important that authors […]

June 13, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More
What I’ve Learnt As A Writer

What I’ve Learnt As A Writer

I’ve just published my first novel—a romantic comedy called Mr. Right-Swipe (Grand Central Publishing). What I’ve learned in this process from new writer to published author probably isn’t all that groundbreaking; but I’ve been at this for a number of years—seven or eight of serious writing, to be exact—and I’ve come away with a lot […]

June 12, 2017 | By | Reply More