The Luck of the Irish Writer

The Luck of the Irish Writer

They say that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. I say there’s a corollary, on St. Patrick’s Day, all writers are a wee bit Irish. My grandmother claimed to be Irish, but no one in our Alsatian-American family believed her. I believed her, because I wanted to be...
New Book, New War Plan

New Book, New War Plan

Starting a new novel is like planning a war campaign. Strategy is everything, and in those early days of testing characters and settings and plot lines, it’s best to go in quietly, fully armed, surprising the elements of your story into submission. At least until you...
Namastay at My Computer

Namastay at My Computer

When after thirty-plus years of child-rearing I found myself with an empty nest, I needed something to do. Something to help me figure out who I was if I wasn’t a mom, first and foremost. Of course, I had other roles to play: agent, author, editor, significant other,...
My Favorite Books on Writing

My Favorite Books on Writing

One of the most common questions I get from aspiring authors is, “Which books on writing should I read?” Of course, I am always tempted to reply: Mine. After all, I’ve written three books on writing. (If you must know: Plot Perfect, Writing with Quiet Hands, and The...
Top 10 Lessons Writers Can Learn from Mad Men

Top 10 Lessons Writers Can Learn from Mad Men

Go epic or go home. Ground your story in time and place. Let the girl who can’t find love find it right under her nose. When your heroine must choose one thing or another, let her figure out that there’s always a third option that may let her live her life...

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