Resources – What Supports My Writing

Most of us have some form of resources that we use for our novels and other writings.  I am no different but mine have changed over the years as I’ve grown as a writer.  Below are some of the things I use.


My first resource started years ago when I came back to writing more consistently.  I knew I had a lot to learn and so I went on a writer’s retreat that was more a class in writing than a place to simply write.  That was a turning point for me because I met a writing… Continue reading

More on Self-Editing (Will It Ever End?)

Not every great writer writes a great book. That’s a given. Even Agatha Christie had a couple of truly awful mysteries. elephant (“Elephants Can Remember” stands out as boring, repetitive, definitely an un-Christie-like story.)

But still, it’s always a surprise to hit one of those disappointments, much more so when the disappointments are multiple. Three of the last four bestsellers I’ve read have fit into this category.

lawyer revised and flippedOne had so much technical information it got in the… Continue reading

Malice Domestic, Here I Come!

malice domesticIn early May, I will be going to my first book conference in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s a conference for authors called Malice Domestic, but it is also highly geared toward mystery fans. Malice Domestic 27 is held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and it will feature special events and panels of authors speaking on all kinds of writing subjects. In the words of the Malice website, this is what the conference is about:

“Established in 1989, Malice Domestic® is an annual “fun fan” convention in metropolitan Washington, D.C., saluting… Continue reading

Writing Humor – With Lane Stone

Today we are fortunate to have author Lane Stone join us to talk a bit about the inspiration for her novels, her process and how she uses humor in her mysteries.  Lane is the author of Current Affairs:  A Tiara Investigations Mystery, Domestic Affairs and Maltipoos Are Murder.Lane photo

Thanks for being here today.  How did you come up with the ideas for your book – i.e., main character?

I had the idea of a Southern beauty queen – in her later years – solving crimes, but I also… Continue reading

After “The End”

My masterpiece is finished. I’ve gone over and over it, and received many critiques. Am I ready to publish? Not quite. It’s now time to send it to a real editor, and the state of my budget is very much on my mind. I know editing is a vital aspect of creating a successful book, but it isn’t cheap. Even though I’ve pored over the words until I’m cross-eyed, and writing peers have given me wonderful suggestions, an editor will look at the manuscript with fresh, professional eyes that can spot not only punctuation and grammar mistakes but also plot holes, pacing problems, and other potentially fatal flaws in my… Continue reading

Join or Start a Critique Group

Every critique group I have been in has taught me something, not only about my writing, but about myself.  Some critique groups I’ve been in have worked well, some worked okay, and some didn’t work at all.

My current critique group has been active for nearly a year, and it all started with my response to a request for a critique partner on one of the groups I belong to. It’s one of the most productive and interesting critique groups I’ve belonged to – thanks to my critique partners Lane and Carolyn