Writing Women

By which I mean, writing female characters. It’s an ongoing topic of discussion, the center of many a college course, debated and mused upon. We use the term “strong women,” usually interchangeably with “kick-ass heroine.” I don’t write kick-ass heroines, so I guess maybe I don’t write strong women, either. There are other ways to…

(Not So) Famous First Lines

Really, just my first lines. Because I’m curious to see the progression of them over time. First lines are pretty important. They’re often referred to in writing as “the hook.” That is, they need to grab the reader. So I began to wonder: Do mine do that? The World Ends at Five and Other Stories…

Lessons by the Foot

Someone mentioned the other day that I was taking the whole broken foot thing rather well. I had to stop and think that over. And I guess I feel very fortunate, really. I’m lucky in that I have good health care, for example. I’ve been through times when I didn’t, so I can certainly appreciate…

Help! Which Organizations Should I Join?

Writing is a solitary endeavor a lot of the time, which is why I find it important to have a critique group and attend conferences—basically, to be around other writers. We need that support, and honestly, I also enjoy giving that encouragement to others. This isn’t some recent thing. Writers have been gathering for centuries.…

Stars Upon Thars

What is your immediate reaction to seeing a book or other item that has between three and four stars? I’m asking because I feel like this is the grayest area when it comes to ratings. 1-2 stars = “not good at all” to “not very good.” And 4-5 stars = “pretty good” to “excellent.” So…

“Winning”

I’ve told this story before, but I like to do it again periodically for new readers. My first publishing credits came from small magazines and literary journals. But after that I ran up against the wall of agents and publishers, and I eventually self-published. My goal wasn’t money or fame. I just wanted my work…

No Questions Asked

Here’s a question for you: Which authors’ books do you buy—preorder, even—without question? You’ll pick up their next book no matter what? I have three at the moment. 1. Tana French I love her Dublin Murder Squad series and click “preorder” without hesitation whenever a new one is announced. 2. Ben Aaronovitch Yeah, the last…

Print or E-book?

I saw a headline from the London Book Fair today touting that, in the UK at least, print books are on the upswing. For two years running sales of print titles have gone up. Now, the article doesn’t mention if some of that rise is due to adult coloring books (which is what accounted for…

Popularity

It occurred to me the other day that being an indie author these days is a bit like a never-ending popularity contest. I only say this because so many online sites where indie authors are featured have contests where the author has to try and get friends, family, readers to vote for their books. So…