Category Archives: Writing and Publishing

About This Writing Stuff…

This week, PJ Parrish weighs in on the proper use of metaphors while editor Beth Hill delves into the differences between showing and telling. At Writer Unboxed, Kathryn Craft discusses enhancing dialogue through misdirection and modulation, David Corbett provides two methods of motivating your protagonist, and Lynne Griffin advises us to knot up our stories with conflict and tension.

Jonathan Vars offers tips on creating time-bomb plots and effective use of settings, and Kate Coe reviews the etiquette of editing another writer’s work.

All that and little more… Enjoy!

Do You Dare to Eat a Peach? Finding the Perfect Metaphor by PJ Parrish

Bring Your Dialogue to Life by Kathryn Craft

Motivating the Reluctant Protagonist by David Corbett

Dying to Know, Afraid to Find Out: Building Tension in Fiction by Lynne Griffin

Building an Author Website: The First Step to Publishing by Joe Bunting

12 Tips to Get Unstuck and Finish Writing Your Book by Lorna Faith

Showing and Telling Particulars by Beth Hill

3 Tips to Creating a Time Bomb Plot Device and How to Create a Setting from Nothing in 5 Steps by Jonathan Vars

Editing Someone Else’s Work by Kate Coe

 

You Want The Write Stuff? We Got You Covered!

Write Stuff Writers Conference 2018
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One of the best writers conferences around, and I’m not just saying that as a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group or as a past conference chair. If you want to become a writer and you’re serious about your craft, I highly recommend attending the Write Stuff. Our keynote this year is Bob Mayer. 
 
We have a full roster of sessions covering craft topics, marketing, social media, and more including opportunities to pitch your work to agents. Want to learn about World Building, Weapons in Fiction, How to Write Realistic Fight Scenes, Time Management for Writers, and so much more? We got you covered. 
Best Western Hotel and Conference Center
300 Gateway Drive
Bethlehem, PA, 18017
610-866-5800

Short Story Acceptance: A Plague of Shadows

Now it can be told! I am beyond ecstatic to report that my short story, “Bottom of the Hour” has been accepted by Smart Rhino Publications for their 2018 paranormal anthology A PLAGUE OF SHADOWS edited by Weldon Burge and JM Reinbold.
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About “Bottom of the Hour”— After surviving a car accident that killed his parents twenty years ago, Victor Orologio has the ability to hear death approaching… yet he has never been able to save any of its victims. When he buys a used Camaro that turns out to be haunted by a vengeful ghost, Victor eventually begins to fear that the next death knell he hears might be his own.
 
For more information on A PLAGUE OF SHADOWS, check out the Written Remains website by clicking HERE  or on the cover image below.
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A Plague of Shadows

One. At. A. Time…

Wait… whatever happened to the first draft of that science fiction novel that was in progress between 2016 and 2017? Heh, well ya know…
 
Thinking back, when I wrote my first two novels between 2007 and 2013, those were the only writing projects I was focused on at the time. No short stories, no editing anthologies. Just the novels. Testing the Prisoner then By Your Side
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One. At. A. Time.
 
Among the excitement of having my new Miranda Lorensen novella accepted by my publisher back in June—and a finishing the outline to her next full length novel earlier today—I don’t want to lose sight of the science fiction novel that I outlined in 2015, started writing in 2016, lost traction after four chapters, picked up again at the beginning of 2017, then lost traction again after four more chapters. To say that was frustrating as HELL would be putting it mildly.
 
That has never happened to me before. I typically stay with a project until it’s finished. So what the frack happened?
Well, in 2012, I pitched an idea for a speculative fiction anthology to my publisher (Firebringer Press). I became the editor and project manager on the book, as well as a contributor, and Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity was released two years later. That led to last year’s Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity and now, Meanwhile in the Middle of Eternity is in progress. 
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On top of that, I finished three home renovations over the past year and a half, a violent storm collapsed part of the roof at my workplace this past July which meant weeks of recovering our IT systems (working around the clock early on), and I completed several short stories for various contests and anthologies, which was a blast.
 
While I’m proud of every anthology and short story as much as every finished home project, now it’s time to prioritize and get the science fiction novel back on track. I believe everything happens for a reason and perhaps time away from the novel will provide a fresh perspective when I sit down this week and read the first eight chapters and review the outline.
 
However, focusing on these next two novels will also mean declining any new short story work in 2018 (with one exception to which I’ve already committed). Fortunately, I wrote several short stories in 2016 and 2017 that are ready for submission to a few anthologies in the coming year. I also stepped down as editor of the Middle of Eternity series after volume three is released. 
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It’s time to get back to novels.
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One. At. A. Time. 
 

About This Writing Stuff…

This week, David Gaughran and Anne R. Allen analyze Amazon’s heavy-handed measures of fraud detection that are forcing the innocent to suffer for the guilty. P.J. Parrish illustrates the revision process using one of her own manuscripts while Ruth Harris and Andrew Falconer offer tips on writing historical fiction.

We strike gold with… who else, but… Jami Gold! Jami is busy with NaNoWriMo, so she has invited guest bloggers to discuss such topics as Imposter Syndrome (Kassandra Lamb), Deep POV (Lisa Hall-Wilson), and Productivity (J. Rose).

From the latter, this statement leapt out at me: “We’re trained to work ourselves to the bone, and that we should best each other about “who’s the most busy” or “who has the least amount of time.” I challenge you to step away from this game! Do you really want to be #1 at being stressed and being busy all the time so you don’t have time to enjoy your life?”

All that and a little more. Enjoy!

Amazon’s Hall of Spinning Knives by David Gaughran

Don’t Let Impostor Syndrome Ruin Your Writing by Kassandra Lamb via Jami Gold

Deep POV and Hidden Messages in Subtext by Lisa Hall-Wilson via Jami Gold

Creating the Right Mindset to Be Productive by J. Rose via Jami Gold

Cutting Open the Sausage: A Hard Look at Rewriting by PJ Parrish

Plunge Into Story Action—and Genre by Kathryn Craft

A Character’s POV = A Character’s Truth by Sarah Callender

Five Essentials of Historical Fantasy by Andrew Falconer

How to Use Authentic Historical Detail to Trigger Emotions and Memories in Your Readers by Ruth Harris

The Most Important Rule of Backstory by Andrea Lundgren

Amazon’s Latest Crackdowns: Do They Include Amazon Review Trolls? by Anne R. Allen

 

 

A New Miranda Lorensen Adventure…

Some of my readers have asked about the next adventure of my psychic medium single mom, Miranda Lorensen. After all, it has been almost five years since my last novel, By Your Side.

The wait is nearly over. Like Mother, Like Daughters, a novella starring Miranda and her daughter, Andrea, is coming soon from Firebringer Press.

After Andrea Lorensen’s closest friend, Wendy, is found murdered during a paranormal investigation, Andrea is determined to find the killer—with some help from Wendy’s ghost. Meanwhile, Miranda is invited to speak at a paranormal conference in Salem, Massachusetts. While there, she reunites with a gentle spirit she has not seen in over thirty years. This time, however, the encounter reveals an astonishing truth about Miranda’s past life—a truth that could kill her. 

Below is the preliminary cover, subject to some tweaking. The image was created by the incredible Laura Inglis who also created the cover art for my first two novels (Testing the Prisoner and By Your Side), while credit for the title font goes to Chris Winner who also created the titles for By Your Side, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, and Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity.

To say I’m excited about it would be an understatement.  What’s more, Like Mother, Like Daughters will be paired up with a vampire novella by Steven H. Wilson and the entire book will be formatted exactly as the old ACE double books. Read one story, flip it over to read the other. I grew up reading those so the fact that Firebringer intends to release such a book has me over the moon!

Look for more updates in the near future!

Like Mother, Like Daughters Cover