The Business

Queries and Agents and Rejects . . . Oh My!

on April 23, 2009

I love my agent and think she’s the greatest thing since the discovery that grapes can ferment into wine, but she doesn’t have a blog and I love agent blogs. I regularly visit Kristin Nelson at Pub Rants and Nathan Bransford and on occasion BookEnds and a few others. A few weeks ago, Curtis Brown agent Nathan Bransford solicited queries from both published and unpublished authors. On a whim (or a completely idiotic moment) I sent him the query I’d sent my agent Kim Whalen in December of 2003, for THE COPYCAT KILLER. For those who knew me then (Karin)… Read More

It's Subjective

on April 16, 2009

Okay, I’ll admit, I’m a news addict. When I worked in the legislature, one of the things I did every morning was read the headlines. My excuse: it was part of my job to keep informed on the important news and events of the day. I used facts in my writing about crime, education, taxes . . . and I liked to use anecdotal stories to illustrate or prove my facts. When I sold, I switched my news obsession to the publishing industry. It may surprise you to know that I now have to rely on my husband for important… Read More

Genre Blending

on October 16, 2008

A couple years ago, NYT bestseller James Rollins spoke to my local RWA chapter on blending genres. His presentation was fantastic–not only is Jim a great writer, but he’s also a fun and informed speaker. He suggested that one way to break out, or to write that something “fresh and different” that editors say they want is to take an element from another genre and blend it with the “rules” of an established genre. JD Robb’s books are a perfect example of a blended genre–romantic suspense novels set in the future. They’re truly three genres–mysteries, romance, and light science fiction…. Read More

Need Questions!

on May 29, 2008

PASIC, the Published Author Special Interest Chapter, has had online workshops for the past year, and this Fall is turning the monthly workshops into quarterly events. We want to provide writers, both published and unpublished, with workshops that can’t be found elsewhere. As PASIC President, I think it’s important as both a fundraising tool, promotional opportunity, and service (paying forward concept) to provide such workshops to members of RWA and other aspiring and published authors. So I’m developing a unique workshop for November that is exclusive–at least for the year after I present at PASIC online, you won’t get this… Read More

Okay, I'm Back

on April 10, 2008

Sorry about the lack of a post earlier today. Brennan #2 did great at the speech meet. Her speed, however, knocked her out of the running for blue ribbons, LOL. She normally talks fast (Hmmm, wonder where she gets that from?) but when she’s nervous, she talks in double-time. Still, she read a complex and challenging section of her book and still did very well. I’m very proud of her for standing up in front of a room full of strangers and speaking. Now, if you haven’t read Deb’s post below . . . read it! It dovetails on Jen’s… Read More

Elisabeth Naughton!

on March 2, 2008

Frequent MSW visitor Elisabeth Naughton emailed me the other day with the BEST news . . . she’s accepted a THREE BOOK DEAL for romantic adventures from Dorchester!!! (The first book is her Golden Heart finalist from 2007!) Check out Elisabeth’s website and wish her a big congratulations!!!

Series Trends

on February 21, 2008

Yesterday at the Fog City Divas, I blogged about ideas and posted a question, what would you ask an author? Published author Terry Odell commented that it depended who the author was, but she was interested in whether to write a series or connected books and how that really works. I answered her question, but it interested me enough that I think it deserves a full blog post of the pros and cons and considerations of each. 1) Stand Alone Novel: A novel that is wholly contained with original, non-series characters and a complete story arc. Examples: Michael Connelly’s THE… Read More


on August 23, 2007

Robert Gregory Browne, a pal of mine from Thriller Writers whose debut novel KISS HER GOODBYE came out this year, posted over at Murderati yesterday about log lines. It’s definitely worth reading (but come back here when you’re done!) Rob posted this article a year or so ago on his own blog, and it resonated with me. Being able to pitch your idea in on sentence so that someone “gets it” is a valuable tool. I use loglines (though not as good as Rob’s!) to summarize all my books. However, after reading Rob’s lesson, I realized that what I thought… Read More

Book Proposals

on July 19, 2007

Over at my personal blog, I’ve asked people to ask me questions so I don’t have to come up with blog topics since I have a couple deadlines all about the same time and I’m brain dead 🙂 Susan Hatler, a friend of mine from the Sacramento Valley Rose, had a great question about proposals. And since it’s more craft/writing related I decided to answer it over here. Question: Since I’ve heard you’re not a plotter, is it difficult to write a proposal before you’ve written the book? How do you deal with writing the actual novel if the characters… Read More

Making a Living

on February 1, 2007

I originally was going to blog about POV today, and have a nice partial post written about how and why I changed the POV of the first chapter of my paranormal novella. But that can wait until next week. In the last twelve hours, two of my online communities have suddenly started talking about making a living writing–print runs, advances, etc. The overall tone turned negative and fatalistic–how can anyone make a living doing this? I’ve heard statistics thrown around (with no back-up) that only 200 writers “make a living” as writers, or 5% of published authors, or whatever. I… Read More