publishing

Excuses

on November 15, 2012

We all make excuses for why we do or don’t do things we know we shouldn’t or should. My big excuse relates to exercise. I know that exercise will keep me healthy, that I’ll lose weight and feel good. Intellectually, I know that. But I have a million excuses about why I don’t exercise. The time factor is always a good excuse (writing three books a year and raising five kids takes a lot of time!) I walked 2 miles a day for a month and didn’t lose a pound–another excuse. But today I ran into my former trainer and… Read More


Vigilantes and Other Rogues

on November 8, 2012

What is it about vigilantes, rogue cops, and superheroes that keep us captivated? This trend is nothing new, though over the last few years the vigilante-as-hero has been on the rise. I look back to Westerns as the rise of vigilante justice. When America was a new country and there wasn’t any real system in place to keep people safe. People were responsible for each other–families for their own, neighbors for their neighbors, towns for their towns. Someone comes onto your land to steal your cattle, shoot them. Someone rapes your wife, shoot him. Someone robs the bank? Hunt them… Read More


Advice

on September 13, 2012

I joined Romance Writers of America in early 2003 when an acquaintance brought me as her guest to a Sacramento Valley Rose meeting. It was the January meeting, a panel of category romance writers who also wrote single-title length romance in all different sub-genres. Even though I don’t write category romance, I was stunned at the wealth of information I’d never imagined would be so readily available to those who just ask. I never regretted joining RWA. It’s one of the few professional writers organization that was also open to aspiring writers. I joined the Kiss of Death chapter in… 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


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


Money Can't Buy Love

on July 21, 2011

I’m back from New York City where I was at first the Romance Writers of America conference then the International Thriller Writers “Thrillerfest.” There are many great wrap-ups of the conferences around cyberspace, and it’s kind of old news, so I won’t rehash it here. Besides, I have little to add. But one thing that happened–and is still happening–I want to talk about, because I think it affects all authors … and readers. Self-promotion. There was an undercurrent of angst among authors–and not just debut authors or midlist authors–that they needed to do *more* self-promotion. Many conversations, particularly at RWA,… Read More


Money Can’t Buy Love

on July 21, 2011

I’m back from New York City where I was at first the Romance Writers of America conference then the International Thriller Writers “Thrillerfest.” There are many great wrap-ups of the conferences around cyberspace, and it’s kind of old news, so I won’t rehash it here. Besides, I have little to add. But one thing that happened–and is still happening–I want to talk about, because I think it affects all authors … and readers. Self-promotion. There was an undercurrent of angst among authors–and not just debut authors or midlist authors–that they needed to do *more* self-promotion. Many conversations, particularly at RWA,… Read More


MSW Welcomes NYT Bestselling Author Brenda Novak!

on September 7, 2010

Please give MSW guest author Brenda Novak a round of applause! (Sorry I’m late today, I completely spaced last night because I wasn’t on-line while I read page-proofs.) I’ve known Brenda for nearly 20 years. On New Years Eve in 1992, I was at Brenda’s house for a party with my then-fiance Dan (now my husband) and mutual friends. Fast-forward 13 years and I met Brenda through our local RWA chapter, the Sacramento Valley Rose, at my first meeting in January of 2003. She didn’t remember me, but I definitely remembered her! She was speaking on the panel, and I… Read More


Afterward: Thrillerfest

on July 15, 2010

The International Thriller Writers (ITW) hosts Thrillerfest in NYC the second week of every July. On Sunday, I returned from the Thrillerfest V, elated and excited and a bit apprehensive. First, a little about the organization. ITW was originally for published thriller writers of all sub-genres, as well as the lofty goal of being a “readers” group. I think the organization has moved solidly into the thriller writers camp, but with one big exception: the organization makes a concerted effort to reach readers, librarians, booksellers and other industry folks and does an amazing job promoting not only thriller writers, but… Read More


Social Media

on July 1, 2010

I’m moderating a workshop at Thrillerfest next week about social networking: Is Social Networking a Waste of Time? My panelists include a prolific non-fiction author, a popular fiction author, a publicist, and two industry professionals and to say I’m a little intimidated to be leading such an esteemed panel is an understatement (and one of my favorite authors is on a panel opposite mine, Ted Dekker, a fabulous scary and talented thriller author with a Christian bent–I hesitate to lump him into Christian thrillers ala Frank Peretti, because it’s not really the same thing, but there is usually a spiritual… Read More