writing advice

How Much Description Do You Like in a Novel?

As an author, I can’t help comparing my style with the style of the books I read as I read them. Yes, there are times when I get frustrated with a book because I feel like it could have written it better (being completely honest here), but there are times when I’m blown away and wonder if I could ever write that well. Of course, there are also plenty of times when I look at writing and just think it’s a matter of taste. I personally get bored with too much description, and so I often don’t have nearly as

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Joining International Thriller Writers (and a General Writing-as-a-Career Update)

Yesterday I came across a new (to me) writers organization: ITW (International Thriller Writers). I’m already a member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association) and SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators), having joined both soon after I first became traditionally published. I pay my dues each year to keep current on membership, but I honestly hadn’t thought much about it since I first signed up. So it might seem like a no-brainer that I should have taken the time to see if there were other organizations more tailored to the genre I’m currently writing in, but

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Back to Psychology

The new school year is under way for everyone. MC headed off yesterday to fifth grade, and Daniela started her sophomore year this morning. Denisa’s teaching her second day of classes today, and I’ve already been back on the reference desk, visiting classes, and scheduling research appointments. (Note: the work never ends for me. It’s not like I’ve got a summer vacation. I’ve got more of a “summer of doing something else for part of the time.”) This year, I’m also going back to another psychology class. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that I

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How Much Can an Author Influence Their Sales?

I’m hardly an old pro at publishing, but I do have four novels under my belt now, and that’s given me some more time and experience to see what goes on behind the scenes. When I was first published, I tried to do everything I could to increase the visibility of my book. I blogged all about it, I pestered family members and friends, I made promo items. Anything I could think of that would move the needle. What did it all amount to? Not a whole lot of anything, unfortunately. I had no idea how to gauge success, but

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Rust, Writer’s Block, or General Malaise?

I’ve been really struggling with writing lately, and I’m not entirely sure why. That is, it hasn’t exactly come out of nowhere, and I know a number of factors are in play, but I can’t quite pin down how to solve this. Obviously, a global pandemic hasn’t made life any easier for me, from a creativity perspective. While Brandon might have used the at home time to write another 5 books, I’ve had to worry about any number of things that have taken a lot of my attention to get through. These range from “renovate my kitchen” to “try to

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