Tag: fiction

fiction

Many Voices, Many Stories

Voice isn’t content; it’s the way that content is translated onto the page. Voice is easy to recognize in music. Take the same song lyrics sung, for example, by Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, and Little Richard. You’d never mistake one for the other. In the same way, you’d never confuse Charles Dickens with J. R. R. Tolkien or Hawthorne with Louise Penny. Your voice as an author is yours alone. Developing your authorial voice takes time.

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What I Love About Writing Fiction, Part 2: Creating Interesting Characters

What we remember best about the books we’ve read is usually not the plot or the setting, as wonderful as these can be. We remember characters. Some of them walk into our hearts and never leave us. I recently finished reading the New York Times Bestseller We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet for my book club. The novel is set in the south of England (a favorite setting), during and after World War 2 (a favorite time frame). The story begins when a young woman, Ellen Parr, finds an abandoned child, little Pamela, asleep on a bus. The theme is courage and love—the fierce love of a woman’s heart for a child. The plot, spanning decades, is beautifully laid out, but what will stick with me forever is Ellen herself—a believable, relatable, flawed, lovable human being. Some fictional characters achieve immortality—Miss Havisham (Great Expectations), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride & Prejudice), Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird), Sherlock Holmes (The Complete Sherlock Holmes), Gandalf (Lord of the Rings), Lisbeth Salander (The Millennium Trilogy), Celie (The Color Purple), Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing), Peter Pan (Peter Pan), Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With The Wind), Mole (The Wind In The Willows), Armand Gamache (The […]

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Am I In Your Book?

One of the questions mystery writers are frequently asked by friends and relatives is, “Am I in your book?” Our answer is usually something like “No, but if you make me mad, I might kill you off!” A more truthful answer would be “You are–or at least a part of you is.”

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My Top Ten Favorite Books of 2019

For those who read, write, and love crime fiction, one of the best traditions of any new year is the listing of favorite books published by critics, reviewers, and bloggers on social media. This year I was honored to find both my novels (A Dream of Death and A Legacy of Murder) on several lists. Thank you!

I’ve decided to join the party (albeit a bit late) and nominate my top ten favorite books of 2019. As a self-confessed Anglophile, I make no apologies for the fact that all but one take place in England. Here they are in alphabetical order…

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Into the Woods

I adore pinecones— the woodsy smell, the rough texture and complex structure, the memories they conjure.

Last week I was putting away the final remnants of my Christmas decorations when it occurred to me that I use pinecones and tree branches a lot in my house, not just at Christmastime but throughout the year. From my earliest childhood, the woods have been for me a powerful symbol of the enchanted forest with all its delightful and sinister possibilities.

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