Get Thee to a Conference

One of the earliest—and most annoying—pieces of advice I received several years ago, when I first came back to writing with the aim of publication, was go to a writer’s conference. Isn’t going to happen, I said. I was a stay-at-home mother of … [Continue reading]

Why You Must Trim the Fat in Your Novel, What It Means, and How to Do It

Trim the Fat

I saw this quote on Facebook recently, and it got me to thinking. New writers sometimes don't recognize when their novels are carrying extra weight. They have the tendency to think they need to add more "stuff" to fill the pages. Then, in trying to … [Continue reading]



"In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit..." With these words J.R.R. Tolkien launched an epic fantasy that has thrilled generations of readers. Yet he chose to begin his story with not with action nor with characters, directly, but with … [Continue reading]

How NOT to Promote Yourself

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” So, last week I talked a bit about marketing and looking at it from a fresh angle. What might be some ways to NOT promote yourself (or others)? When looking for … [Continue reading]

The Dreaded “M” Word

There’s much said in writing circles about “marketing.” Most of it I did my best to ignore, at least until getting my first contract, when I realized it was suddenly relevant and I better pay attention, because even traditional publishers have … [Continue reading]