Pitch Wars Pep Talk

We’re in the final days of the Pitch Wars selection period. The mentors are frantically reading through the subs, looking for “the one,” or deciding which of several “ones” they can best help. The hopefuls are handling the waiting in whatever way works best for them. Because tensions, and emotions, run high in Pitch Wars,…

Better off dead? This is why we need diverse books

As a non-contributing member of society, apparently I would be better off dead. At least according to a friend’s co-worker, who holds this opinion of all paralyzed people. It’s a prejudice often reinforced by the media, including a certain recent book-turned-to-movie. I’ve even heard it suggested that giving a villain a disability is a great…

Confessions of a book snob

I’ve loved to read and write for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I read some of everything: classics, poetry, fantasy, thrillers, mysteries, romance, historical fiction, etc. That lasted until I went to grad school. Then I turned into a book snob. I was studying history and landscape architecture, and, honestly,…

There are no bad words

I’m pretty straight-laced, so people who know me may be surprised by that title. I mean it, but let me clarify. There are crude words. There are hurtful, insulting words. There are words meant to shock that are usually a crutch or stumbling block to saying something meaningful. There are boring words. There are dangerous…

What I learned by not winning NaNoWriMo

I’m a big fan of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month–a challenge to authors to write 50,000 words in one month). It’s not for everyone, but I find it a great motivator. Congrats to everyone who participated, and especially to those who finished! This is my third year doing NaNo, and my first year not winning….

Why a one-star review made me happy

In the social media age, reviews are critical to a book’s success–a digital form of word-of-mouth publicity, which is the best kind of advertising. While we authors would love it if everyone thought our books deserved five stars, there’s no book out there that connects with everyone, and when a book only has five-star reviews,…

It’s okay to fall

My daughter recently went ice skating for the first time. The instructors started the kids out with a cheer: “It’s okay to fall!” And boy did they. A few of the kids had skated before–one even plays ice hockey–and those glided around the rink, their skates glinting in the artificial light, but the rest made…

Titles are not my forte

My husband came up with the best working title ever for my WIP set in Utah during World War I. Ready for it? All Quiet on the Wasatch Front. My co-author suggested A Bridgerland too Far, which is a close second even if it is the wrong war. I have no clever titles of my…

I don’t want to be the next [fill in the blank]

Make no mistake, I want to be successful, but I don’t think being someone else’s shadow is the way to do that. I recently read a book touted to be just like [big name author]. And it wasn’t. It wasn’t a bad story, but it suffered by the comparison. There are a lot of authors…

Reading like a writer and writing like a reader

First, as a total digression, my book comes out one month from today! I’m freaking out a little, but mostly in a good way. I’m super excited and looking at a crazy calendar of giveaways, signings, blog tours, and (no doubt) an emotional roller coaster. Last week I taught a class on reading like a…

Storymakers 2015: Meaningful, believable relationships in stories

Here’s another post about lessons from LDStorymakers, this one including my own “light bulb” moment at the conference. On Thursday, my agent emailed me suggesting that the next step in revising my manuscript is to deepen the relationships between the characters. I started thinking about how I would do that and, honestly, not feeling very…