Writing Conferences — Worth the Money?

Every time I’m about to hit the “Send Payment” button for a conference, the same mantra runs through my head. Should I go? Will this really help my writing? Is it worth the money?

NECRWA

NECRWA

First, let me admit that I don’t do a whole lot of conferences. I’m a regular at the Sisters in Crime (SinC) conference in November and the New England chapter of Romance Writers of America (NECRWA) conference in May. Both are in… Continue reading

November Equals NaNoWriMo

When I first heard about NaNoWriMo , I thought it was some crazy contest. All I could think of was Robin William’s alien greeting on Mork and Mindy, Na-Nu, Na-Nu.

I soon learned that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was a unique opportunity to get the bones of a finished novel written in the space of one month. Not even a thirty-one day month! http://nanowrimo.org/Shield-Nano-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes

Four years ago, in the midst of a writing dry spell, I decided to put my half-finished cozy aside and take the… Continue reading

Found!

Before I begin my post I would like to say how happy I am to again be an active participant in this wonderful blog.  Beginning in late Spring and extending over the summer into September, I first underwent manic preparation of a manuscript for Thrillerfest, followed by a lingering family illness, followed by an all-consuming interest in the subject of this post. Those things combined led me to take a hiatus from the blog, which is now, happily, concluded.

Regarding the post, I experienced for the second time in my life what it is like to be drawn into

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Lost

In the process of writing my manuscript, one of my favorite tasks, the one I thought would be so boring, was doing the research. Depending on the story, research can be surprising, intimidating, unnerving, intriguing, funny, heartwarming, or scary. However, it’s always enlightening. And, an enlightened writer is an interesting writer.

demonologist_copyThe most unnerving research I’ve done was for a paranormal story about ghosts and possession. One of my Google trips led me to a book by Gerald Daniel Brittle, The Demonologist, the Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Inspiration: Do You Draw From Real Life Events?

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

Get Yourself a Posse!

Part of my Group

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

Writing Spaces – Ideals, Dreams, and Reality

I have a very vivid picture in my head of a specific writing space, a space I want to inhabit. I suppose you could call it my dream writing space. The room has dark wood beams and white walls. The walls are not drywall painted white, but appear to be plastered. My desk is dark wood and placed against a wall of bookcases. If I turn to my right there is an ocean view out of the window. The room is not at ground level, but is on the second – or third floor – of a house.

That’s… Continue reading

Do you have a Hogwarts?

What would the story of Harry Potter have been without Hogwarts? Could the characters have carried it off on their own? How would the plot have fared somewhere else?

Setting is an integral part of some stories and incidental in others. I love reading Janet Evanovich, whose Stephanie Plum series is set in “the Burg”, a tight community in New Jersey. That setting works perfectly for Janet’s bail bonds woman to run into outlandish characters and situations. Continue reading

Intuition and Writing – An Interview with Diane Brandon

I’m pleased to be interviewing Diane Brandon today. Diane is an Integrative Intuitive Counselor who helps others access their own intuitive information. I wondered how we, as mystery writers or simply as writers, might use this in our everyday writing lives and in our stories.books and pen pic

Carolyn: Diane, thanks for being here today. To start, can you tell us what an Integrative Intuitive Counselor is? And what exactly is intuition?

Diane: Basically I use my intuition to help others in their lives, especially in finding more fulfillment and… Continue reading

This Writer’s Revenge

books, mysteryI wrote my first story, a murder mystery, when I was about ten years old. I know I was influenced by my mother’s love of mysteries. She’d take me to the library every week and we’d go to the area of the stacks where all the book bindings had a yellow sticker with a Sherlock Holmes type imprint. I loved walking along the cool, dim rows between bookshelves reading titles that evoked bloody images. I know, sick, huh?

The other person who influenced that first story was my brother… Continue reading