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Writing Short

on December 6, 2012

I write long. After twenty books, only five were less than 100,000 words (The Hunt, Tempting Evil, Kiss Me Kill Me, If I Should Die, Stalked) and those five books were between 95-98K. My longest book was Original Sin (125K) followed by Love Me To Death (122K) and Playing Dead (120K). When I average the word counts of all 20 books, I average 109K words/book. So when I think of stories, thinking “short” isn’t easy. I see stories as bigger than a single idea, filled with characters and actions and, well, stuff. However, I love reading short stories. I glommed… Read More

Creative Stretching

on October 25, 2012

Five days until STALKED is finally out! It should be available wherever books are sold. I’m excited because every book feels like a gift. Like kids. Hard work, painful at times, but hugely rewarding. I’m currently writing a Lucy Kincaid novella, “Reckless,” which will be out in March. And I’m waiting for my editorial notes for the revisions of STOLEN, my 20th book. It’s also the first book that is mostly in the hero’s head. It’s Sean Rogan’s story, where his past affects his present and he has to make some very difficult choices. For me, writing the hero’s POV… Read More

Point of Personal Privilege

on August 2, 2012

I had a great blog idea I thought up when I was at RWA … and I can’t remember what it was. I should have written it down. :/ And then, I KNEW today was my blog day, but then I forgot. I posted our two new bloggers this week (Deborah and B.J.) and I guess my mind convinced me that I’d already posted my blog. So I’m really sorry that I’m so late. By now, you’ve all heard about the RITA and GH winners, but if you haven’t you can read them here. I want to single out Darynda… Read More

Thrillerfest VII

on July 19, 2012

I’ve been a member of International Thriller Writers since almost the beginning of their organization. (In fact, I missed being a charter member by three days! Grr.) Since the first, small conference in Arizona in 2006, I’ve only missed one “Thrillerfest” when it conflicted with RWA. If there’s ever another conflict, I won’t be skipping out on Thrillerfest. There are many reasons why I love this conference, not least of which is the thriller/suspense focus. The conference is in New York City and gives me the opportunity to sit down with my editor and agent every year. While meeting in… Read More

Summer Time Blues!

on July 18, 2012

It’s summer and I just wanted to give you all a heads up what’s going on at Murder She Writes since today is another free day! We have two new bloggers joining us on Wednesdays (and you’ll just have to wait until next Wednesday for our first new blogger!) so no longer will “hump day” be forgotten 🙂 Yeah! We’re also settling on a new web designer to revamp the blog to highlight our new folks and provide a better blog experience for our readers. Summer is naturally a slow time in cyberspace, so this is the perfect time for… Read More

The Same, but Different

on April 12, 2012

In January, I wrote a blog called SPEAR THE MONSTER where I cut open a vein or two and shared my struggle writing SILENCED. It was difficult on multiple levels. But then I got these yesterday: Even though SILENCED is my 18th novel, I was just as thrilled as when I held the first copy of my debut novel. Maybe even more excited, and relieved, because this book was so hard for me. Holding the book I stressed over was cathartic. SILENCED received a top pick from RT Book Reviews, another validation that the sweat and tears poured out while… Read More

Writing the Short Story

on February 16, 2012

“The victim is Ashley Young,” the responding officer, Sampson, told me as I approached. It was officially Tuesday morning: 12:02 a.m. I recognized Sampson from the station, but hadn’t worked a case with him. “We found her purse over there.” He gestured toward the Dumpster near where the alley and walkway intersected. He handed me her California driver’s license. Ashley was twenty-four, five feet five inches tall, one hundred ten pounds, blonde hair and blue eyes. Pretty and blonde, just the way Greg Keller—aka “the River City Rapist”—liked his prey. I stuffed my hands back into the pockets of my… Read More

The Very Dreadful Synopsis

on February 2, 2012

On Tuesday, I got an email that many writer’s dread. The copy department wants a synopsis. This is particularly dire when you, the author, DID actually send in a (very) brief synopsis weeks ago. They want more. This doesn’t surprise me because I only sent them one long paragraph that I wrote as if it were back cover copy, with a few more details. I know there are formulas that people use, and I can write a log line, and I can put together the premise and backstory very easily, but I have no idea until I’m in my character’s… Read More

Thankful for Friends

on November 24, 2011

I love Thanksgiving, not just because calories don’t count this one day of the year, but because it’s the day we reflect on how we’re blessed. Sometimes, it’s so easy to complain about the bad things that happen to us, or mourn losses both devastating and small, but on Thanksgiving we can focus on the positive. I have always been an optimist. I was the kid who always looked at the silver lining, the person who focused on whatever good was happening and ignored the rest. I have tried very hard never to regret my decisions, even if I’ve come… Read More

Has it really been six years?

on November 10, 2011

If you follow me regularly on Twitter or Facebook, you probably know I’ve left the fabulous mystery blog Murderati. You can read all about it here. In a nutshell: if I’m going to write three books a year and raise five kids, something had to give. I’ve talked about social media in the past, the pros and cons (and there are pros and cons, don’t let anyone tell you it’s all good or it’s all bad.) Blogging is part of “social media” but I think it goes a step beyond. It’s easy to Tweet a comment or retweet a link… Read More