Write First, Clean Later

Characters We Love to Hate

Isn’t it odd that you can love and hate a character at the same time? Like House. I love it when he’s painfully honest with an idiot who needs a dose of reality. I hate it when he’s cruel to his boss and co-workers for no reason.

Then there’s Ari Gold from Entourage. He’s horrible to everyone except his favorite client (Vinnie Chase) and his own kids, but I still enjoy watching his character in action. I think it’s the Jeremy Piven factor. Read more

Is My Novel Ready?

I’m re-working the outline and first few chapter for my fourth Detective Jackson novel before I send them to an editor. Things were bothering me, so I went back to the basics and decided to share my 8-point checklist.

Plot. Is your plot logical? Do you have important scenes that would make a reader say “No one would ever do that”? Is your plot both linear and complex? Read more

Job Choices and Healthcare

In a letter to the editor this morning, a writer claimed many people stay in jobs that are unhealthy for them, physically and/or emotionally, just to keep healthcare benefits for their family. What a sad tradeoff.

I believe it happens more often than you think. My brother, for example, stayed in a job he hated for 20 years because his wife had diabetes and couldn’t work and he felt trapped into providing healthcare benefits Read more

Finding Time to Be Yourself (and Stay Sane)

pam-ptv-sml1Today’s guest blog about work/life balance is from Pam Ripling—lighthouse aficionado and cross-genre author.

When I first saw the title of L.J.’s wonderful blog, “Write First, Clean Later,” I had to laugh. It’s a laudable mantra, not only for authors but for anyone who works out of their home. I’ve had a home business for 18 years, and I had to learn that work—be it writing a novel or balancing a Read more

Friendly Buzz

Here’s 10 things your friends and family can do to help you and your book catch a little online buzz:

  1. Set up a Google alert for your name and book titles.
  2. Search for your name or book title frequently using various search engines. (Google, Dogpile, Alta Vista, Bing, etc.)
  3. Visit your website and blog, then comment while they’re there. Read more

Email List Etiquette

keyboard-smallCrime writers and readers have been discussing the proper etiquette for collecting e-mail addresses for a newsletter or new-release announcement. Some readers are quick to say that any unsolicited communication is spam and will turn them away from a writer forever. Ouch! Read more

Writers’ Website Guidelines

I came across these guidelines for a writer’s website recently and saved them to consider/implement later. I’m re-posting them, with modifications and comments, in case you find them useful.

1. Don’t put everything on the front page. The landing page should have a welcoming message and a lot of white space. Don’t use any graphics except the cover  of your book so people know they’re in the right place. Read more

Eugene Crime Lab

I finally visited the Eugene Police Department’s crime lab. Criminologist Jason Petersen gave me a two-hour crash course in processing evidence. I heard a lot of chemical terms that, fortunately, I have on my recording, because they didn’t stick in my brain. I learned that what real evidence technicians (versus the CSI kind) spend most of their time doing is processing latent fingerprints and watching/editing surveillance videos. Here’s the photo highlights.

Read more

How Many Is Enough?

Recently two authors on the mystery listserv Dorothy L announced their publisher was dropping their series. Dozens of mystery readers/fans expressed dismay and disappointment. They wanted to know what they could do to help keep the series alive. They wanted to start a campaign! The outpouring of support for the first author inspired a small publisher on the list to step in and pick up the series. Read more

Sky Diving

The first bad moment came when it occurred to me that I wasn’t wearing a parachute. Here I was on my way to jump out of an airplane, and all I had on was a dirty blue jumpsuit and a body harness. Tremors of raw vulnerability washed over me. I worked through the moment, telling myself that Tim—my quiet, but quick-to-smile instructor —was wearing not one, but two parachutes. Any moment, he would hook our harnesses together in five distinct places. Read more

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LATEST REVIEWS

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The characters were compelling, the procedural work was dead-on, and the story was enthralling. Definitely recommended.”
~Michelle Gagnon, author of Boneyard
The author expertly intertwines multiple story lines, presents readers with fully realized characters that readers will feel they know, and keeps the action and suspense levels high. That’s a lot to expect from an author but L. J. Sellers delivers.” ~OverMyDeadBody
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