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

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

ThrillerFest 14 Part Two– A Neophyte’s Do’s and Don’ts

I went to ThrillerFest this past July and posted about my experience last month. As I said then, it was the first conference I’ve attended and, predictably, I racked up plenty of boo-boos. There were some good things as well so I’ve distilled both ends of the experience into a short list of takeaways that, hopefully, will help other neophyte conference attendees.

#1       Know your purpose and goal in attending the event. I knew that my purpose was to assess whether I wanted to engage an agent for my second book, having self-published the first. I wanted to see… Continue reading

Thrillerfest 2014 – My Experience

official photoLast January, I decided to attend Thrillerfest, of all the mystery conferences, this being the one that intrigued me most.

Steve Berry spoke to a packed house.

Steve Berry spoke to a packed house.

There was a great CraftFest segment with top authors.  A big luncheon and cocktail party where I could mingle with interesting folks in the mystery community. And there was the jewel, PitchFest, a singular opportunity to meet agents and put my second book —… Continue reading

Make a Fun Goal Your Deadline

Which One?

Which One?

How do you get your manuscript from page one to THE END? Do you plod all the way through to the finish to get the whole thing down on paper? After you’re finished with the first draft, do you take a break and turn your sights to a different story? Or do you stay with your original manuscript? Are you able to work back and forth between more than one piece at a time?

Right now, I have two finished manuscripts. I wrote… Continue reading

UnBlock Us!

I’ve done some thinking recently about writer’s block, the self-inflicted wound that almost all wordsmiths endure at least once in our careers. So much has been written about the subject that it almost seems presumptuous to add anything more. Indeed a Writer’s Block cottage industry has sprung up, complete with books, audio tapes, even counselors who specialize in the phenomenon. Nonetheless, I’ll throw in a few more paragraphs in the hopes that they might be of help to anyone battling the wretched affliction. For, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that there can never be too… Continue reading

Pixie Dust

Back in December, when the world was all golden light here in Panama, when the bougainvillea were pouring over rooftops and spilling down hillsides, and the coffee plants were bursting with fat crimson cherries everywhere you turned, it seemed that nothing could go wrong. How could it when the next month brought rainbows — three, four, five every day — and when the skies were so clear the glinting Pacific beckoned in the distance?

Oh, be wary of decisions made when the world is wonderful!

In a moment of stupendously unfounded optimism, I made the decision to attend… Continue reading