Friday, August 28, 2020

A Search for The Real Deal

What happens when they both start wanting a real marriage?

That's the tagline for a new romance from author Barbara Burke, today's guest in My Writing Corner.  Barbara tells us that in her peripatetic life, she has lived everywhere from a suburban house in a small town to a funky apartment in a big city, and from an architecturally designed estate deep in the forest to a cedar shack on the edge of the ocean. 

Everywhere she’s gone she’s been accompanied by her husband, her animals and her books. For the last ten years she’s worked as a freelance journalist and has won several awards. She says she was a fan of Jane Austen long before that lady was discovered by revisionists and zombie lovers. She also says she thinks Georgette Heyer was one of the great writers of the twentieth century. 

Barbara says she lives by the philosophy that one should never turn down the opportunity to get on a plane no matter where it’s going, but deep down inside wishes she could travel everywhere by train. 

Ironically, she now lives on an island that doesn’t have any trains at all. 

 What are some of the challenges of being a writer?

Can I say writing? Apparently Victor Hugo used to have himself locked in a room with only a pen, ink and paper so that he’d be forced to write. Otherwise, he’d be out on the town having fun. Writing does take a lot of self-discipline. I’d be much more prolific if I had more (curse you, solitaire and facebook). Really the only thing worse than writing is not writing. At least that’s the case until inspiration strikes while you’re at the keyboard and then you feel like you have wings. It’s sublime. Also marketing. I really dislike marketing.

 Tell us about your road to publication.

Like another more famous road it’s paved with good intentions. When I finished university I decided I’d knock off a romance for a bit of cash before writing a ‘real’ novel. Oops. The people at Harlequin saw right through me. I refuse to repeat the comment that cut to the bone but was absolutely spot on.

Later on I went into journalism, but I still heard fiction calling my name when I allowed myself some quiet time to listen. So I finally went back to romance and this time did it with a little more respect for the genre. That seemed to work.

Hmmm, maybe my road was paved with bad intentions.

 How do you come up with your characters?

Sometimes I think of a situation and wonder who would be an appropriate person to inhabit that world and sometimes I think of a person and wonder what would be an appropriate place for them to inhabit. With romance, of course, once you’ve stumbled upon a character you think you can work with you have to come up with an appropriate counterfoil – a hero or heroine worthy of them, even if they don’t realize it themselves.

 How do you come up with plots?

Actually plots are my biggest problem. I love my characters – they often spring into my head pretty fully formed, although they need a lot of fleshing out. But then comes the problem of what to do with them. If I could just stick them in a room and make them chat for the entire length of the book I would be very happy. Alas, readers expect a little more than that. As I reader myself I fully understand and try to come up with something to move things along. I often talk it out with my husband or daughter and they can often come up with some useful ideas.

 Tell us about your latest book.  What made you write it?

Counterfeit Viscountess is about a man and a woman who are forced to pretend they’re married in order to save the woman’s reputation. So they pretend to be in love to society and, when they actually fall in love, they pretend to each other that they aren’t. It gets complicated.

I wanted to write a really sweet story where the interaction between the two characters was all on an intellectual, non-physical level. That sounds so dry and unappealing, but they really fell for each other and the conflict in the story was all about them keeping their hands off each other. If they hadn’t been able to do that everything would have gone wrong.

 What advice do you have for beginning writers?

Write. Then write some more. However, don’t be too quick to publish. It’s so easy now to self-publish and I’m all for it, but sometimes when you get rejected by a publisher it’s for a reason and you should pay attention. Hone your craft. I know quite a few writers who are quite embarrassed by their first (or second or third) efforts. They’d be a lot more embarrassed if those efforts had been out there on amazon for the world to find.

 What’s your next project? (or What are you working on now?)

I’ve got a couple of things on the go at the moment. I imagine most writers do; it’s a way to stave off writer’s block. If things aren’t going well with one project then try writing the other one. It often works.

I’m currently working on a collection of loosely tied together Christmas stories set in Newfoundland, where I live. I’m also working on an old school locked door style mystery set in Manitoba, where I once lived.

Now let's look at Counterfeit Viscountess:

 Saxon must travel to London for the season, when all she really wants is to stay in Ireland and breed horses. But a carriage accident leaves her unchaperoned at a posting inn.

Dashing Christopher Hawking just wants a bed for the night. He didn't expect to find it occupied by a beautiful woman or to be caught sneaking out of her room. In the light of day, a London-bound member of the ton finds them together.

Attraction flares between the two in spite of themselves. But how will they save Caroline's reputation and calm the storm of the ton's gossip?

 Want more? Let's get an excerpt:

When they were alone again and the tea distributed, Christopher and Caroline did their best to explain to Eleanor the events of the morning and the evening before.

Eleanor listened without interruption, contenting herself with the occasional raised eyebrow as her only commentary on the convoluted tale. When they had finished she turned to Christopher and remarked, "I must say, it seems quite foolish to have allowed Annabelle Winthrop of all people to discover you. She's a complete pea goose and she won't take kindly to Miss Saxon's appearance on the scene. She's been setting her cap at you forever."

"I didn't exactly do it on purpose," Christopher was stung to reply.

"On purpose or not, it's got you into a great deal of difficulty which could have been avoided if you had taken more care."

Recognizing the signs of temper on Christopher’s face, Caroline interjected quickly. "Indeed, Lord Saxon did everything he could. If not for his quick thinking, we would have already come to ruin. You really cannot blame him for the presence of Miss Winthrop in the same inn where we were staying."

"Nonsense, I can blame him for anything I wish. I've been doing it since he was a baby and very handy it's been as well. It's one of the only advantages of having a younger sibling."

The fond smile she bestowed on her brother precluded any sting Caroline, less used to the ways of siblings, might have imagined such a comment implied, as did Christopher’s bland acceptance of her outrageous assertion. Though she had watched, and frequently envied, the comfortable, if often fractious, interaction between the brothers and sisters she’d played with as a child, she clearly had much to learn about family relationships when adulthood was achieved.

“However, I suppose there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Eleanor conceded, magnanimously. “But mind, Christopher, I’ll expect you to take a great deal more care the next time you break into a respectable woman’s bedroom.”

Want to read more? Here are the Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Counterfeit-Viscountess-Barbara-Burke/dp/1509231129

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/counterfeit-viscountess/9781509231133-item.html?ikwsec=Books&ikwidx=3#algoliaQueryId=d1d2efaccdde2da6eee0e21206244c86

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/counterfeit-viscountess-barbara-burke/1136955014?ean=9781509231126

 And if you would like to follow Barbara or learn more about her, here are the Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Barbara-Burke

https://barbaraburkeauthor.wordpress.com/

authorbarbaraburke@gmail.com

 

Thank you, Barbara, for being our guest! Any questions or comments?

 


Friday, August 21, 2020

Going Back in Time

With the hot days of August keeping us inside in the cool air, this is the perfect time to find new authors and new stories. Today's guest in My Writing Corner is author Colleen Donnelly who brings us a story from the Old West--a location I've loved visiting in books and movies since my childhood.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Colleen studied and worked in science, using that career to travel and explore other parts of the country. An avid fan of literature, both reading and writing, she loves tales involving moral dilemmas and the choices people come up against. A lover of the outdoors as well as a comfy living room, Colleen says she is always searching inside and out for the next good story.

 Welcome Colleen! Have you always wanted to write fiction?

I believe storytelling was born a part of me. I dabbled at it in childhood, relegated it to purely homework in my teen years and college, then set it aside completely until my career and family were well established. Then, I wrote a stage play, of all things. I followed that with several others until one excelled in a national contest. That gave me the courage to try short stories and then at last, novels.

What are some of the challenges of being a writer?

Maintaining a thick skin, persevering, and forgiving yourself for lousy first drafts.

I decided to wear and keep a thick skin when I first stepped into the public with my writing. We won’t please everyone, and I accepted that. But I still read every review and try to learn from each one, no matter how painful.

Perseverance has to follow the sometimes brutal beatings we take from others and ourselves, and be there when we’re utterly fed up with a manuscript. I may occasionally close my laptop and walk away, but the desire to write is like an eternal flame. It continues to flicker. And eventually, I return and fan it again.

And finally, no morbid first draft will ever look like the great American novel. Beauty is crafted, penned, and re-penned before it is ever published…or should be published. First drafts sound elementary, dry, and pointless. It takes an act of faith to see the finished product on the far, far, far horizon. And an act of the will to get it there.

 Tell us about your road to publication.

I was told in my first writers’ group meeting that a person has to write five novels before one is good enough for traditional publication. I believed, along with countless starry-eyed others, that my first novel would be amongst the few that broke that rule. Not. I wrote four books no publisher would consider. Then my fifth was accepted, but only after much polish and multiple edits. It also went on to become an Amazon #1 Bestseller, surpassing the big names of historical fiction writers I admired. In shock, I set about figuring out why that story was such a success and have since combined that knowledge with inspiration, something no book will blossom without.

 How do you come up with your characters?

Plot occurs to me first and I build my characters from the dilemma I want to explore. So I craft my primary characters, but my best secondary ones have written themselves, not just their roles but also their personalities. Now, to give a character a name is forever a struggle for me. I steer clear of self-invented names, gender-confusing names where the reader can’t be sure whether the character is a male or female, names that begin with the same letter in a single book, or names I’ve used in prior novels. Then I sort through the names of people I know and either avoid assigning them to villains or dismiss any who might still have an axe to grind with me. Ha!

 How do you come up with your plots?

Moral dilemmas. They either occur to me or I run across one in real life that I tweak into its own story. Brutal honesty here—I was betrayed once in a marriage, so adultery became a theme of mine in several books. Talk about writing what you know! And strangely enough I didn’t hack the offender to death, but instead wrote the rocky road to wholeness and recovery. I’ve been a spectator to dilemmas friends have gone through that would make excellent books, but I never write the exact truth as it happened or friends’ stories. Even when someone gives me permission, I don’t. Each idea has to germinate inside me and take on an identity and life of its own. Once it does, it appears on the page.

 Tell us about your latest book.  What made you write it?

I needed to have some fun. So do people caught in any of the turmoil despoiling our world. My books before “Letters and Lies” were mainly serious, well received, but hitting the heart. I needed a fallible heroine with spunk who marched red-faced and determined through her own mistakes and others’. Louise Archer rose up to be that person, a near spinster in the 1870s who finds herself jilted, humiliated, and bent on fixing that. Justifying a single lie to enable her to get her man, she soon finds herself snowballed beneath too many lies to keep track of, in a strange town with a false identity, and no easy way out. I’ve written, rewritten, and edited “Letters and Lies” more than a person should be able to stand, and yet I still laugh at Louise each time I read her.

 What advice do you have for beginning writers?

The same convictions I built for myself – maintain a thick skin, persevere, and forgive yourself for lousy first drafts.

 What’s your next project? (or What are you working on now?”

I contracted “Letters and Lies” as a stand-alone title, then lo and behold, at the end of multiple rounds of edits, the man who jilted Louise jumped off the page. I already knew why he retracted his proposal, but in that moment I saw his heart. That heart needed to be told and I was supposed to do it. So I asked my publisher if I could do a “sequel” and they said yes, but asked the obvious—how could this man have any sort of happy ending, let alone a satisfying story? I scratched my head over that for days, batted him around with a theatre friend full of talent for plot and “setting the stage” until the light went on and I knew. Now his story is well underway and I’m looking forward to seeing this man in print soon.

Let's get a closer look at Letters and Lies:

Louise Archer boards a westbound train in St. Louis to find the Kansas homesteader who wooed and proposed to her by correspondence, then jilted her by telegram – Don't come, I can't marry you. Giving a false name to hide her humiliation, her lie backfires when a marshal interferes and offers her his seat.

 Marshal Everett McCloud intends to verify the woman coming to marry his homesteading friend is suitable. At the St. Louis train station, his plan detours when he offers his seat to a captivating woman whose name thankfully isn't Louise Archer.

Everett's plans thwart hers, until he begins to resemble the man she came west to find, and she the woman meant to marry his friend.

 Let's get an Excerpt

 “He wrote and changed your plans? Why didn’t you tell me? You know I love hearing his letters.”

Everyone loved hearing his letters. Or at least they’d pretended to. I glanced at my friends, especially the one who’d first suggested I correspond with her husband’s homesteading friend in Kansas who was ready to look for a wife. She dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief while she flicked the fingers of her other hand in a weak wave. I dredged my soul in search of a smile. The man she’d introduced me to truly had penned everything I’d ever wanted in a husband, months of letters which convinced Mama Jim was my open door. Letters I’d foolishly carted from family to friend to blather every word like a desperate spinster. Drat.

“He didn’t send his change of plans in a letter, Mama. He sent them in a telegram.” Don’t come, I can’t marry you. The only words I never shared.  

“Well I imagine your Jim has a surprise for you and didn’t have time to send a letter before you left for Crooked Creek. How thoughtful to wire you instead.”

Thoughtful…I felt poisoned and Mama would too if she ever found out Jim had shut my open door. Which she wouldn’t, since as soon as I got out there and found him, I’d wedge it back open again.

 Sounds like great reading for these hot summer days! Here are the Buy Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2yNFGNv

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3aXuMCl

iTunes: https://apple.co/2YinxBY

Here are Social Media Links if you would like to learn more about Colleen

http://www.colleenldonnelly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ColleenLDonnelly

https://twitter.com/ColleenLDonnell

http://www.Goodreads.com/colleenldonnelly

Thank you, Colleen, for being my guest today. Any comments or questions for Colleen?

Friday, August 14, 2020

Cats & Purses = Fun Reading!

Meeting and discovering new writers is always fun. That is another one of the many reasons I enjoy writing this blog so much. The different stories about the authors are as fun as the new books they introduce. This week's featured author is Wendy Kendall. She tells us she has a passion for purses (always near and dear to my heart since my mother absolutely loved purses) as well as writing.

Wendy is a blogger, editor, speaker, project manager and she's also a syndicated columnist.  You can catch her her exciting author interviews on her two You Tube Podcasts  --A Novel Talk and Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries. She is also a mother of two sons, Alex and Brad. 

Her new cozy mystery Kat out of the Bag is the first book of the In Purse-Suit Mystery Series, and it introduces us to a wonderful new heroine, Katherine Watson, who is an international purse designer/sleuth. Let's hear more about her book and Purrada Cat who is featured in her mystery.

Celebrated international purse designer Katherine Watson hosts a gala for her Purse-

onality Museum. She never expected the next day's headline to read: 'Murder at the Gala Premiere.' But after a dead body is found during the event, that's exactly what happened. Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner, Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. But they'll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer's next knock off.

Sounds like an engrossing book that might be great for , right? Let's get an excerpt

           “There's an officer nearby. We'll alert him. Hold the line.”

             Katherine was worried by the operator's monotone. Did she understand the urgency? Katherine watched in disbelief as the shadow figure moved toward the shed attached to the waterwheel. Too late, she thought to get a picture after the person disappeared inside the shed.

            “Oh no,” Katherine muttered. She spoke into the phone, “Hurry. I think it's the killer, maybe looking for something left behind? Hello?” Had the operator hung up?

            “Yes, the officer is on the way. Please stay on the line.” The operator's voice now sounded bored.

            A sharp ray of light from inside the shed cut through the darkness. The light jumped around. Sweat collected on Katherine's upper lip as she imagined the killer looking through her things for something, maybe critical evidence. Fear gave way to irritation at the invasion. Irritation gave way to anger. Someone had to stop that killer from removing whatever incriminating thing so critical it had driven a return to the scene of the crime. Katherine wanted to scream. Where were the police? Maybe MJ was right about them. She pressed against the French doors. The light in the shed went out. Her breath caught in her throat. The silhouette walked out of the shed toward the alley leading to the maze that burrowed throughout Bayside and beyond.

            Katherine spoke gruffly and fast, “Hello. Where's your officer? The suspect is getting away.”

          “Ma'am, please stay calm and hang on the line. They're on the way.

Okay! Don't you just want to read on? This is a book that might be a great way to spend those summer hours reading! If  you would like to know more about her books or get in touch with Wendy, here are the links:

Website: wendywrites.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WendyKendallMysteries/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Twitter: @wendywrites1

Instagram: @wendyekendall

Thank you, Wendy, for being my guest today and introducing us to your new book.  Any comments or questions for Wendy?




           

Friday, August 7, 2020

A Long, Fruitful Journey

Every writer's story is unique to that person, and that is one of the reasons I love to talk to different writers and find out how they got started, how they succeed and what they love about becoming a writer. It's one of the reasons I enjoy this blog so much, because i not only love to find out about the different books coming out, but I also like hearing those wonderful, individual stories.  Today's guest in My Writing Corner is author Barbara Kroon and her personal story touched me because I not only love writing conferences, but I have also always been interested in writing stories with a sports backdrop.  

 Welcome, Barbara! Please tell us about your road to publication and your new book

Trap Play. 
Writing and publishing turned out to be a longer journey than I expected. Soon after I began work on Trap Play, I began meeting with a writer’s group in Portland, Oregon. The group is small, four to six writers. We work on mysteries, YA adventure, memoir, and literary fiction. We meet every weekthanks to Zoom, we’ve been able to continue that schedule despite coronavirus. Group members are expected to bring five to ten pages to our meetings, and so I did my best to have new or rewritten pages each week. That pressure to produce and the weeks of “draft, critique, rewrite, critique, tweak” became my process for writing Trap Play. Once I felt satisfied that I had a solid first draft, each group member took a copy home and did a complete read-through. A month later, we devoted meeting to discussing the draft, identifying what needed clarification, what was missing, and/or what perhaps could be eliminated.

Once I finished the edit that addressed my group’s suggestions, I thought my manuscript was ready to get to an agent. The group had given me an idea of the steps involved in finding representation and encouraged me to attend writers’ conferences, so I registered to attend the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association’s annual conference in Seattle, and the Willamette Writers’ Conference in Portland, Oregon. To be honest, as I headed for Seattle, I was hopeful that I would find an agent and be done with that part of the process.

Silly me. Once I showed up in Seattle, it didn’t take long to see that I wasn’t ready. I had only the vaguest of idea of how to pitch my novel, I had no idea of how to write a successful query letter. The good news, the conference had great information on query writing and pitching. So just to gain some experience, I pitched my book. I got a few nibbles and some really helpful feedback.

I spent the next year editing and polishing my manuscript. And when the PNWA conference came around on the calendar, I signed up again. This time, several agents asked for pages. Ironically, an editor I did not pitch to turned out to have the most influence on my book.

Melissa Singer is a senior editor with Tor Books. Like the other agents and editors at the conference, Melissa gave a talk about what she wanted to see in a manuscript. She was terrific. Afterward, I approached her and thanked her for her great suggestions. “Send me your book,” she said. I said my book wasn’t what Tor published. She said, “Send it to me anyway.”

It took five months for her to get back to meamazingly quick considering she was receiving in excess of 300 manuscripts a week in queries. Her email comments were so thorough, it was clear she had read my whole my manuscript. She praised the structure, praised the villain, praised the writing…and very kindly, very gently, said my hero was boring.

Melissa Singer was soooooooooo right. The good news about fixing that boring hero was that I had written Trap Play in three points of view. So, I only had to rework the chapters I had written from my hero’s point of view. It took five months. And the result of that rewrite is a more interesting and complicated hero.

Year three and I was back at PNWA. By this time, I had a really good pitch plan and I knew how to make the most of the conference. In total, I pitched to five agents and to four editors. Every one of them asked to see some part of my book. During my pitch, one editor immediately asked for the whole manuscript.

When I returned home from the conference, I wrote “requested query” letters to the agents and editors I’d met and included whatever part of my manuscript they had requested, plus the extra information their company submission requirements identified. Once I was finished with those queries, and in case all nine of the conf people rejected my manuscript, I spent one day a week for several weeks querying other agents who were seeking suspense thrillers.

The PNWA conference was in September. In early December, I heard back from Ally Robertson, the editor who had asked to see my whole manuscript. Ally emailed me on behalf of Wild Rose Press, saying they were interested in publishing Trap Play but… The selection committee felt that the manuscript needed another touch from an independent editor (meaning not Ally, because Ally would be working with me at the press if they took the book). Ally recommended independent editor Tammy Jeffers, who did a splendid pass-through of my manuscript. When Tammy pointed out a chapter near the middle of the book which seemed to stall the action, I got the message loud and clear: drop that chapter. After all, she knew more about story than I did. I sent the revised manuscript back to Ally and four days later I had my contract with Wild Rose Press.

How do you come up with your characters?

The Ben Leit series was born out of my interest in football. I started out thinking I would write about incompetent officiating and the damage that players suffer because of it. I made a bunch of starts on my story which went nowhere. Then, finally, I took a different angle for the story. Think of starting the story as finding a loose thread on a sweater. I took hold of that loose thread and pulled. The sweater unraveled and out popped Ben Leit, his murdered father, and the question of what the killer was like and why had the killer had targeted Ben’s dad.

It seemed logical to me that the killer murdered Ben’s dad in order to hide an earlier crime, something where the threat of exposure might be serious enough that the killer would do anything to prevent it coming to a prosecutor’s attention. ‘Serious crimes’ left me thinking about the corporate messes I’d encountered during my law firm days. And the idea of a corrupt corporation left me thinking about the power struggles that can go on inside large organizations. And that led me to (surprise) a second protagonist: Mimi Fitzroy.

Two protagonists meant I needed to build a real contrast between Ben and Mimi. Where Ben is a big, physical man, suffering from everything life has stripped away from him (career, his father, and the possibility he’ll die in roughly ten years thanks to his head injuries), Mimi is tiny, exceedingly smart, and she has sacrificed an academic career to satisfy the demands of a father who doesn’t understand her, doesn’t appreciate her, but is completely comfortable with using her talents and abilities to make himself into an even bigger wheel. To make things worse, he is stepping down and putting Mimi’s lifelong enemy is his place as corporate CEO.

As you know by now, the villain is killing to prevent Ben’s dad from exposing blackmail, arson, securities fraud, and nearly a decade of antitrust violations… I needed a villain who was smart enough to commit the underlying crimes, clever enough to manipulate the people around her, and physically capable of accomplishing the seductions and fights the story required. That led me to the villain’s backstory, most of which is tragic and barely suggested in the book, but which was important for me to work through.

How do you come up with your plots?

I talked above about the connection the Ben Leit series has to my fondness for football. What may not be clear is that the Ben Leit books are not about the game of football, but rather, about the long-range consequences of head injury caused by helmet-to-helmet collisions. Those injuries hang like a ghost in the Trap Play story. Trap Play is about power, greed, and what it means to be a hero. The second book in the Ben Leit series (working title The Beek) is about revenge. Again, with that undercurrent of the impact of brain injury on the family of the injured player.

But not everything I’m working on is connected to sports. I’m also working on a literary novel.

The Truth of It (working title) involves three generations of a once-affluent family, a Ponzi scheme, and lawsuit brought by the victims of the con artists. Portia’s discovery of her husband’s lie about a Ponzi scheme and that he has lost all their money is like the tree falling on your roof. In the process of fixing your roof, you discover that the house has been falling apart for years. The more you fix, the more you find is rotten.

Chronologically, The Truth of It begins with that Ponzi scheme. But the arc of the story rides on the idea of deceit—how the deceit of the con game leads to a string of lies that damage three generations of a family.

Tell us about your latest book.  What made you write it?

I started out writing as a poet. One of the things poets do is work out their concerns on the page. Since I kept getting so annoyed with the officiating at our team’s games, like any poet, I decided to write around the subject and see where it took me. Writing around bad officiating led took me to a whole bunch of questions. What happens to the guys who are forced out of the football game (and their really, really big-deal careers) because of those head injuries we read about? What if one of those guys with a head injury discovered the loss of his career and even the possibility that he had CTE was not the worst thing that happen to him? What if someone he loved was murdered?

How did you decide on the sports background?

Add it up. (1) America’s sense of heroism certainly extends to its athletes. (2) I’m interested in exploring the ideas of heroism. (3) Sports are wonderfully physical and you need a sense of the physical in suspense/thrillers.

But as I’ve said, sports is simply a background for the action in Trap Play. The story focuses on the protagonists’ willingness to risk their lives in order to expose a murderer. It has something for pretty much anyone: a former football hero, a brainy computer geek, and a power-hungry former beauty queen.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

1.    In particular (and maybe first of all), read “Save the Cat! Writes a Novel.” The strategies and advice in those pages will likely save you weeks, months, maybe even years of wasted time.

2.    Read well-written books, including ones in your genre (if you’re doing genre writing). Then re-read them and pay attention to how the author has put them together.

3.    Attend classes or symposiums, and the nearest writer’s conferenceall those venues will help you get going and hopefully give you a chance to connect with other ‘young’ writers.

4.    When you begin your book, think about your characters and what they would do in a particular circumstance and why. That way, your story is driven by what your characters want and what’s blocking them from achieving their desires.

5.    Connect up with a group of writers who meet regularly. You can get a lead on groups in those classes, symposiums and conferences I mentioned above. And a word about writers’ groups: you will grow more as a writer if you steer toward groups that actually give you the bad news and don’t simply pour on the praise. It may be difficult at times to get that tough love, but your work will grow and improve because of it.

6.    When you think your book is ready, send it to an independent editor and ask them to give it a hard look. Consider their advice seriously.

7.    Don’t let rejection get you down. But do listen to those agents, editors, beta readers and others who talk with you critically about your book. Remember, your job is to keep your reader engaged.

What is you next project?

I’m mid-way through book two of the Ben Leit series (The Beek). When I complete a first draft (I expect to finish that first draft by this fall), I will let it rest for a few months and shift back to my literary novel (The Truth of It).

How can readers get in touch with you?

http://bdaviskroon.com/

Here are the links to her books:

BUY: Amazon also available at NookKOBO,

Thank you, Barb, for being my guest.  Any comments or questions? 


An Arresting New Book & Hero

November has always been one of my favorite months  as a writer. This is a good time to stay inside and read or write and relax before the h...