Add Some Great First Lines to Your Author Toolbox

You know what's the hardest part of writing a book? Besides the writing and the outlining and the scene construction and editing and . . . okay . . . every other part. This bit is really the most intimidating, I promise. The hardest part is making yourself start. Prevailing advice, endless online articles, and [...]

Breaking Down a Romance Plot

This is an author toolbox post. To get in on the tips and resources yourself, head over to our hostΒ Raimey Gallant For this month's post, let's break down a well known romance plot to see where the story beats are going. This is an exercise I'd really recommend for authors of any genre. Take your [...]

10 Reasons Writers Are Creatures of the Night

We function best with darkened spaces. Like a desk, or a writing cave. 2. We're characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. When we can get away with it. 3. Highly developed sense of hearing means we pick up on and use the conversations we hear around us all the [...]

How to Survive the Querying Process; Or, Being a Stubborn Ball of Rock

Grit For this post we want the grit that means courage and resolve, or strength of character. The definition that is synonymous with bravery, pluck, mettle, backbone, strength of will, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, determination, and tenacity. All of that sounds . . . well, amazing. MUCH better than refreshing your inbox for the sixth [...]

The Magic of Manuscript Rejections: Part 5

The Query ship sets sail again this week! In batches of three, my latest begging letter will be heading out to seas unknown, trying to lure me in an agent. My first three letters for 2018 have already garnered me three rejections. Here be monsters (if you define monsters as a vicious cycle of hope [...]

Plotting, for Pantsers

Welcome to the 2018 #AuthorToolboxBlogHop and my first post for the hop! Come join in and post useful, helpful or interesting things for other authors. This blog hop is the brainchild of Raimey Gallant and you can sign up on her website. By inclination I'm a Pantser (Pantsers, Pantsers, Oi, Oi, Oi!) (That's our motto) (I just [...]

Nevada: The Start

Welcome to the Silver State! A lot of my books are going to be set in Nevada, describing it in detail, loving all of its quirks (there are lots.) It's a place full of contradictions, but empty of people. The terrain goes from high mountain dryness to arid, rocky sand. Although there is a lot [...]

When One Door Closes, Kick Another One Open

Impostor syndrome has been on my mind lately, partly due to that viral thing Neil Gaiman wrote about it and also because I follow Chuck Wendig's blog Terribleminds and he just wrote a whole article on impostor syndrome and how to deal with it. Seriously recommended, especially if you want to hear a good solid technique. What [...]