Category: Tips and Tricks

The Physical Act of Writing

Writing can be exorbitantly taxing on the body. From magnetic keyboards to stretching, there are ways to alleviate the aches and pains that accompany regular hours spent at a desk. Read on to find out how.

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Making Stuff Up: Inspiration

Writer Struck By Inspiration

On occasion, someone tells me how wonderful it is that I’m a writer and they couldn’t ever come up with a story.
“Of course you can,” I say, “you make stuff up all the time. You just don’t realize it!”

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Travel like a writer

The five senses

Right now, I’m soaking in the sights and sounds and tastes of the United Kingdom. Traveling outside my day-to-day routine means more chances to observe and to be inspired.

With that on my mind, here are a few tips to travel like a writer. 

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I spent last weekend as a workshop leader at the NY Pitch conference, listening to various editors and agents talk about the importance of the logline. Loglines, also called elevator pitches, are one-or-two sentence descriptions of a novel that are meant to hook the reader. Here’s the logline for my story that was just in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine: Beleaguered middle-aged woman teams up with the ghost of Anne Boleyn to solve a murder. Her own. Almost every writer I’ve ever met has hated loglines, mainly because they force us to boil our 90,000 carefully written mystery novels into something you could spit out in an elevator. Where’s the nuance? However, they do sell books. So my question for my fellow Miss Demeanors was: Do you have a logline? Would you like to share it here? Or do you hate them and never want to hear about them again? Tracee de Hahn  That’s the perfect logline for your story (everyone rush out and read it now in Alfred Hitchcock Magazine)! I want to see more of Anne and her new friend, let’s hope there are more murders in their future. On to your question . . .  I had a […]

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In person events, signings, book tours

I’m only now beginning to realize the wealth and breadth of in person events that are available to authors. From what I’m hearing, online launches and panels aren’t going away either, and podcasts are on the ascendancy.

In other words, there’s a plethora of ways to get the word out about your book baby.

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Letters From Beyond the Grave: In Fiction and Real Life

Spoiler Alert! The Letter in Fiction In series six of the popular crime fiction television show, Shetland, Donna is on her death bed when she asks Duncan to post a letter for her. That letter is received and opened after Donna’s demise and causes a whole lot of trouble. My lawyer-self said to my viewer-self, “that can’t happen! Everyone knows that letter is hearsay and thus inadmissible. Evidence Rule 802.” My viewer-self retorted: “Yeah, what the Linehan trial?” This was a case widely reported nationally a few years ago including on NBC’s Dateline and CBS’ 48 Hours. Dead Man Named His Killer, The Letter in Real Life Mechele Linehan was an exotic dancer in Anchorage who, through the course of her employment, met one Kent Leppink and one John Carlin III. She was living with both of them in 1996. Leppink was obsessed with her. He told people that she was his fiancé. He even purchased a $1 million life insurance policy naming her as his beneficiary. But he began to suspect she was having an affair with Carlin. Five days before his death, he changed the beneficiary to his father. His body was dumped near Hope, Alaska, shot to death. […]

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