revisions

Think your book is ready to publish? Maybe not.

on April 6, 2017

This blog was originally published two years ago today at the Kill Zone, and the link popped up in my facebook feed. It’s not only as relevant as it was two years ago, but perhaps more so as the glut of self-published books has increased. Plus, as I re-read the history behind my first (unpublished) book, it reminded me not only of how far I have come since 2002 when I decided to commit myself to a writing career, but how far I’ve come in the last two years … and how far I still need to go. I’ve been… Read More


Old Books

on June 9, 2014

I’m not talking about Frankenstein or Catcher in the Rye, I’m talking about MY old books — books I wrote years ago and am now re-reading. Cringe. I have three side projects going right now. Yeah, I know. But I’m waiting on line edits for COMPULSION and what else do I do? Clean? Ha! The first is taking my first six books and digitally publishing outside of the North American market. I paid to have them scanned (because I don’t have the original edited files anymore — wonder how THAT happened!) and am proofreading them primarily for scanning and formatting… Read More


Establishing Character

on February 28, 2013

Story is Character.┬áThat’s the famous quote from Robert McKee. Story is character. Character is story. Meaning, without character, you have no story. Your character drives the story, your character makes the reader invested in the story. Without a character the reader can relate to, at least on some level, or sympathize with, or care about, the reader will be dissatisfied. Yes, you can certainly write a fabulous bestseller without characters you care about (I can think of at least one thriller I read this year where I hated the characters and hated the ending, yet couldn’t put the book down),… 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


Kill Your Darlings . . .

on June 17, 2010

. . . I’m not talking about your children! There’s a phrase writers use in the revision process: Kill Your Darlings. That a descriptive paragraph or scene, no matter how well-written or poignant or suspenseful or romantic or just plain stunning . . . if it doesn’t fit in the story . . . if it can be taken out without changing anything . . . has to go. Kill it. It’s the hardest thing a writer can do. Because killing your darlings goes well beyond a well-turned phrase that may be repetitive, or a scene that is unnecessary. Sometimes… Read More