- Her typewriter is in the collection of the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.
- She was an avid traveler and adventurer who trained as a pilot, traveling to South American archaeological sites before they were opened to tourists.
- In 1927, she was the first student, man or woman, to earn a master’s in journalism at the University of Iowa.
- She worked as a journalist for 50 years, mostly on the courthouse beat for the Toledo Blade.
- Her role as Carolyn Keene was kept under wraps until researchers uncovered the story in the 1980s.
Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.
KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.
Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!
Look for Kaye George and Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Kaye's story is "Life and Death on the Road" and Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."
Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.
Kaye George's second novel in the Vintage Sweets mystery series, Deadly Sweet Tooth, was released on June 2. Look for the interview here on June 10.
Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.
Monday, July 13, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Friday, July 10, 2020
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
How would you answer that question?
Monday, July 6, 2020
Book Excerpt—To Find Time to Write Your Novel, You Must Make Time to WriteI have recently been asked by a number of people how to find time to write novels. I decided to offer a free excerpt from my book, Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, that deals with precisely that problem to the Writers Who Kill readers. I hope our readers will find it helpful.
How do you find time to write the novels which are your vocation in the midst of job and career demands, family and housework demands, community and societal demands? When everyone else expects so much from you that there’s nothing left for your own dreams, what can you do about it?
First, we have to change our terminology from “finding time to write” to “making time to write.” The sad truth is that no one finds time to write. There aren’t big pockets of time just lying around waiting to be picked up and used in most of our lives. For most of us, we’ll have to give up some comfort or pleasure to make real time to write—in some cases, to make any bits of time to write at all.
The first step is to make the decision to own your own life. Time is not a commodity—the time we’re talking about is the substance of your life. When it’s gone, so are you. If you want to write anything, you have to claim your own life and find out what you want.
How do you find those pieces of time and the regular schedule for writing that leads to a body of work? The trick is to create order and make a tourniquet for a time hemorrhage, but first you must destroy all of those 'shoulds' and 'what will people thinks' that are standing in your way. Make it easy on yourself by asking for help and accepting help when it’s offered to you. Take the time to de-stress. When you’re not frazzled by stress, you’ll find it easier to set limits and boundaries and hold to them.
Whenever you find your desk or day becoming chaotic, take time to reorganize. It will repay in more time that you can steal for your illicit love affair with the novel. To make sure you stay on track with those things that absolutely must be done, make a brief list of the way your time was spent at the end of each day and week. Check it for places where you abandoned time reserved for writing or other truly necessary tasks to engage with lower priority urgencies or comfort activities. After a disastrous day, sit down with a notebook and figure out how to handle things differently if you face the same situations again. Review the situation and just what happened step by step, pinpointing the spot(s) at which you could and should have made a different decision or taken a stand against someone else's urgency with your time. Figure out a strategy for dealing with this situation when it next arises, and write it down. Then forget the day and relax.
Worrying about the myriad things, some great but most small to tiny, that we must take care of wears us down. When you find yourself doing this rather than being able to write or revise the passage you want to work on, keep an ongoing master list and write down each task or obligation the moment you think about it. Get it out of your head and onto paper to free your mind and stop the energy drain. Then, later, you can decide which tasks can be delegated to someone else and arrange the remaining tasks in the order that will allow them to be done quickest and most easily.
We can also free up energy by developing habits and systems to take care of the mindless stuff. We already do this every day, brushing teeth, driving to work, without having to make decisions for each tiny action that comprises these tasks. Develop a system for handling things that recur, and stick with it for twenty-one days. Then it will be a habit, and you can forget it and set your mind free to be more creative.
Much time use is sheer habit. Work smarter. Find the ways in which you want and need to spend time. Steal those minutes and hours from low-priority tasks. Break down everything on your to-do list into small tasks and estimate the minimum time to accomplish them. (Double all time estimates!) Schedule into your calendar. If they won't all fit in the time allotted, then something must go. Nothing is fixed in stone--renegotiate and eliminate whatever you can. Of the rest, what can you successfully delegate? It pays to invest time (and money, if possible) in training someone to do it.
Become assertive. Don't be afraid to approach someone with a request, and don’t take it personally if they refuse you. Learn to say 'no' kindly and firmly and to receive a 'no' without letting it affect your self-esteem or your relationship. Be secure.
Author of many published novels and teacher of writing, Holly Lisle, says it the best way I’ve ever seen it. “Realize that real writers who write multiple books and who make a living at it have systems they use. A process for brainstorming, a consistent way of outlining a story, a certain number of words or pages a day, a way of plotting, a way of revising, a way of finishing. Writing is work. It doesn't fall out of your head by magic. It doesn't just happen because you want it to.”
What tips do you employ to make time to write?
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Each of the Slow Horses has committed a sin proving he or she is unfit for the spy business resulting in banishment to Slough House. River Cartwright, the heart of the stories, was accused of making a critical mistake during a training exercise that crashed Victoria Station during rush hour, but he might have been set up by the man he thought was his best friend. Some of his teammates include Rodney Ho, an IT wizard who is so arrogant and clueless that his teammates fantasize about killing him; JK Coe, a psychologist with a wicked case of PTSD who listens to music all the time and pulls a knife on people who disturb him; and Shirley Dander, a short squat cocaine addict with anger management issues.
Saturday, July 4, 2020
Friday, July 3, 2020
President Trump planned to hold a political rally and speak on June 19, 2020. When he learned the date coincided with a holiday named Juneteenth, he rescheduled the rally. It is not surprising that he did not know about Juneteenth. It was a pretty obscure holiday in the past. The 2020 observance, however, was compounded by recent events that have reignited the significant racial trauma and unrest experienced by black people and communities. The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and Rayshard Brooks by police forced attention on that date as never before.