Writing Erotica — Talking to Sex Scene Expert Alexis Duran

Friday, July 18, 2014

When It comes to sex scenes, I’m no expert. I’ve written one sex scene, which was for a novel that will never see the light of day. That said, I’m curious about writers who pen explicit novels, in which the novels are about the sex and the sex is graphic–in your face, so to speak. It’s a hugely popular market, and growing. I’m lucky because one of my good friends,…


THE BLACK HOUR by Lori Rader-Day Is An Amazing Mystery Too

Friday, July 11, 2014

I love the posts about Lori’s THE BLACK HOUR this week. Natalia, Susan, and Heather have said everything I was thinking about this wonderful novel. In fact, I was hard pressed to come up with a unique topic. My issue — which is a non-issue — is that I read The Black Hour straight through, my critical brain on hiatus because I enjoyed the story that much. As a result,…


Rebellion Means Not Writing This Blog Post + Check Out My New Pup!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Today of all days, we commemorate how acts of rebellion can lead to independence. Happy birthday to our country. I’m grateful to have grown up without civil wars, repressive regimes, famine, and disease. Our country’s not perfect, but, hey, it’s good to be here, right? And, today, I’m rebelling by not writing a proper blog post! Seriously. And seriously, is anybody out there to read this post? I’m imagining lots…


Award-Winning LESLIE BUDEWITZ on Chicken Jokes and Persistence + GIVEAWAY!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Please welcome Leslie Budewitz! She’s on such a great roll with her Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime) series. The first novel in the series, Death al Dente, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. And her second novel, CRIME RIB (don’t you love the titles?) will be out on July 1st! In Crime Rib, Gourmet food market owner Erin Murphy is determined to get Jewel Bay, Montana’s…


Thoughts from a Sentimental Book Slut

Friday, June 27, 2014

On average, I probably read a book a week. And can I tell you what I’ve read recently? Nope. Except for our Natalia’s CHASING THE SUN and Lori’s THE BLACK HOUR. (Both fabulous! And I do recommend them.) In other words, I have a hard time recommending books. I have the books that are my personal classics, but I don’t recommend them much, for whatever reason. So, I’m sitting here, mildly…


Give Me an Inch, and I’ll Really Go Off on A Blogging Tangent

Friday, June 20, 2014

Giving me free rein to write what I want isn’t always a good idea. I’m likely to be a little too … uh … self-revelatory. What’s the blog-o-sphere term? “Confessional.” Oh well. Here’s today’s term: “mental health.” Uh-huh. I’m going there. This morning I had a doctor’s appointment. My doctor’s name is Dr. Darling. She’s a great doctor, don’t get me wrong, but “darling” is a misnomer. She’s not fluffy…


Creativity and Going Back to Nature

Friday, June 13, 2014

As luck would have it, this week’s Deb Ball topic coincided with my life quite well. I just returned from a mini-writers retreat on the Oregon coast. I’m pretty relaxed right now, so I’m not full of deep thoughts. That said (I’m such a liar!), here’s what I think: I think modern life can deplete us. It can sap our inner resources, including our creativity. We are so busy, we sometimes…


The Universal and the Specific in CHASING THE SUN by Natalia Sylvester

Friday, June 6, 2014

Months ago, Natalia recounted one of her challenges on the journey toward publication: Peru, her homeland. The same homeland that is so intrinsic to her novel CHASING THE SUN was exactly what led to rejections. Namely, that such an exotic, little-known setting would be a difficult sell. In fact, Natalia was asked to somehow connect the story to the United States! Once you read her novel you will understand why…


An Early Writing (and Life!) Lesson from my Dad

Friday, May 30, 2014

This week I went to Jenny Milchman’s reading. She was our guest a few weeks ago (post here). Afterwards, hanging out with Jenny and another fabulous author, Johnny Shaw, we got to talking about the promotion and marketing side of our biz. Johnny said he considered it part of his job, like a woodworker sweeping up his shop at day’s end. We may not like some chores, but we gotta…


5 Tips for Becoming a Better Reader for Your Writing Peeps

Friday, May 23, 2014

This week we’ve been talking about readers for our manuscripts, but what about when we’re the readers? I think, at least I hope, I’ve become a better reader over the years. For me, it helps to know something about the writer and her sensibility. For example, it wouldn’t do for me to suggest to my humorous cozy-mystery writing friend to get all moody. Moody goes with my writing territory, not…