The Business

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


Editing

on August 4, 2011

I’m nearly done revising a digital-only, self-published novella for a charity anthology benefitting breast cancer research. ENTANGLED (9.12.11) has a great group of paranormal romance and supernatural thriller writers and I’m thrilled to be included. Because we’re self-publishing it, and because all the royalties for the first year will be donated to charity, I’m not going to see any money on it. And that’s okay because it’s for a good cause. I’ve written other free stories–for International Thriller Writers and for my website–so I’m just happy to do something that contributes back. I decided to write a Seven Deadly Sins… 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


Breaking Rules, Revised

on June 9, 2011

I didn’t have a blog idea for today because my daughter Kelly was supposed to write a blog about the whole Wall Street Journal opinion piece calling (practically) for the censorship of a glut of YA books, including several that Kelly read and enjoyed. And she wrote it, but didn’t finish it, and she’s sleeping now (because it’s one in the morning) and while I debated waking her up to meet her deadline (I gave her five days!) I decided to let her sleep. (Who says I’m not a considerate mom?) I’m going to make her finish it and I’ll… 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


Genre Blending Redux

on December 31, 2009

Here’s one of my favorite posts of the year . . . well, last year. I wrote this at the end of 2008, but I’m posting it again because it’s relevant to publishing today and me specifically. Today is the last day of 2009. My career has been arguably successful. I can support my family with my writing, but I’m not at the point where I feel any sense of job security. That I’m writing something different from my first twelve books is thrilling–it’s exactly what I want to write. But it’s also scary–what if my readers don’t follow me?… Read More


Publishing is as easy as one, two, $599 and up

on November 19, 2009

It’s been a little over forty-eight hours since the announcement that Harlequin has joined in a self-publishing venture with Author Solutions, a vanity press. I don’t want to quibble over definitions, so for the purpose of this article I use “self-publishing” and “vanity press” as meaning any book that an author pays to produce. Call it what you will, but the money is flowing FROM the author to a printer (I hesitate to say “publisher” because that’s insulting to the reputable publishers.) There are legitimate reasons to self-publish a book. A family history, for example. Many schools use self-publishing as… Read More


Writing, Revising, Editing, Copy, Proof

on November 5, 2009

Most of the regular readers of this blog know about how a book becomes a book: a writer writes it and revises it in her own way. Then she submits it to her editor and often (or, in cases like me, every time) does a round of editor revisions. Then the book goes to the editor for line edits, then production for copy edits, then back to the author to review and make changes, then to production for galleys/proofs, then back to the author for a final read/minor changes, then back to production for printing. For more on the process,… Read More