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

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


on March 29, 2012

Today I’m at Left Coast Crime in Sacramento — the best thing about this conference is that it’s local! No airfare, no hotel. I’m “commuting” each day (Ok, that’s kind of bad, I really hate commuting!) But I’m definitely all about penny pinching now, especially since my oldest is going off to college in the fall … so commuting it is. Checking in with you all may be a bit haphazard, so in light of Deb’s great blog about endings last week, I thought I’d talk about beginnings. For me, beginnings are the hardest part of writing. Where to start?… 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

Better Late …

on December 22, 2011

It’s 11 a.m. on the East Coast as I write this blog — I’m late. (It’s 8 a.m. in California, where I live, but here at MSW we endeavor to schedule our blog to post between midnight and 6 a.m. ET, so I’m late.) Being late is the story of my life. My kids lament that I’m late to everything. Usually it’s only a couple minutes. Last year, when I was responsible for driving the kids to school, they were late 2 out of 5 days in the week. The tardies were so bad, I had to have a meeting… 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

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

on September 1, 2011

On Tuesday, I sent the page proofs for IF I SHOULD DIE to Ballantine. Page proofs are the last step for the author in the publication process. After writing, revising, and reviewing the copyedits, the page proofs are the last time an author can make changes to her book before it goes to press. Though the proofs are on regular letter-sized paper, it’s formatted like the book will be. There are few changes at this stage—double checking timelines, making sure the copyedited changes were made correctly, fixing typos, tweaking a word here or there. The book is done, just this… Read More

Writer as God

on May 26, 2011

Writer as God Last week, I turned in the revisions of IF I SHOULD DIE, minus the ending. The last sixty pages just weren’t working. I’d attempted to write the ending a multitude of times, but as I got into it, something stopped me. The set-up was contrived. The characters were being stupid. I forgot a character over here. I killed the wrong guy. Nothing was coming together the way I thought it would. I suppose I should have realized this book would be the hardest book yet. More than five years ago, my first book was published and I… Read More