I’ve been following Britt’s blog posts about the missing Dutch students in Panama. It is one of those compelling stories that draws us in. Our blog webmistress, Linda, has posed a question to us about whether or how much we use real life events in our novels. An interesting question. How much is too much? Are some things so sensitive we shouldn’t think about including them.
For my part, I find kinds of bits and pieces of things find their way into my novel and short stories. Some are inspired by things I see or by things people do. … Continue reading
Part of my Group
Friday nights at Barnes & Noble, you can find me at a table with a cup of coffee and three or four members of my writing group. We try to meet once a week. For me that weekly confab is extremely important–I get a new dose of enthusiasm for my writing and an honest appraisal of my latest work from dedicated authors.
However, I didn’t have the help of other knowledgeable and caring people when I finally decided to write in… Continue reading
Back in the Spring, I noted here the story of two Dutch students, Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, who came to my town of Boquete, Panama, and never made it home. One beautiful April day, they disappeared on a hike near the local volcano, leaving town without a guide and without saying precisely which trail they were taking. Their only companion was “Blue,” the Husky mix who belonged to the hostel where the students were staying. “Blue” returned to Boquete, but, ominously, the girls didn’t.
The disappearance was one which… Continue reading
I often speak with people who tell me they have written a novel which is quietly gathering dust in their attics. For various reasons, they were not able to find a publisher. In this publishing age, people can self-publish quite easily and relatively cheaply. Still, some would-be novelists would like to find “a real publisher.” If you are one of those people, gentle reader, I have four difficult truths about how that happens. Read on at your own risk.
As someone who will have her first published mystery… Continue reading
Virginia Writers Club’s annual conference “Navigating the Writing Life” took place on August 2, 2014. This year, in response to comments from last year, the conference included a number of morning panels for genre fiction and then afternoon workshops.
For the morning, I attended the short fiction panel. This was a discussion between Clifford Garstang and Jody Hobbs Hesler on their experiences as editor and writer. They included some basic things like writing a great story, choosing your markets carefully, and that rejection is not personal. Clifford talked about the… Continue reading
Me & Jasper
My love of reading has taken me to wonderful places with so many different characters. If you ask me what kind of books I like, I can’t come up with just one type. Reading has always been cathartic to me, and I can get hooked on any piece of good writing.
As a child, I loved Nancy Drew. Those books ignited my love for mysteries. Then, writers like Pearl S. Buck, Robert Michener and Irving Stone caught my imagination and I… Continue reading