Archive for the the life of a writer Category

The Futuristic Thriller Comes Together

I’ve been talking about this thriller for a few months, but it now has a title, a cover, a description, and a first draft. It hasn’t gone out to beta readers, so I’m still nervous. But here’s a glimpse. Let me know what you think.

The Arranger
The year is 2023 and ex-detective Lara Evans is working as a freelance paramedic in a bleak new world. She responds to an emergency call and Read more

Mother’s Day Tribute to My Sons

I have given birth only once, and it was not my idea at the time. I’d decided in my late teens that I would never have children, thinking I was too selfish. Yet, the moment my son was born, I fell hopelessly in love with him. I didn’t let him out of my sight, literally, for a year. I never knew I could love someone that much. Until then, I thought I was flawed, unable to feel the deep love that others experienced. 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

Back Up Your Backup

Watching the fires in California recently made me think about how it would feel to come home and find my house in ashes. All I could think about was how devastating it would be to lose my electronic files. Not the computer itself, the lifetime of creative work. All the other things—clothes, books, appliances—are replaceable. The insurance check would buy more stuff. But if my files are ever lost, I’ll be lost too.

This is not the first time I’ve had this thought. In fact, I once had a hard drive (in a PC) catch fire, and I lost the e-file of a great novel that I spent years on. I had made a backup disk, but it mysteriously disappeared. (Teenage computer geek son grabbing floppy disks without thinking!) That was a devastating moment, saved only by the reassurance that I had a printed version. Eventually, I paid a transcriptionist to retype the paper copy into a Word file.

So I developed a healthy sense of paranoia and thorough backup system. And as anal as it makes me sound, I’m sharing it so other writers will remember to back up their files and store them in several safe places.

  • I have an external hard drive and software (LaCie) that I back up the whole drive with—files, e-mails, bookmarks—once or twice a week. But it’s sitting right next to my computer, so if my house burns, it’s toast too.
  • I also carry a flash drive in my purse that contains all my creative files—novels, scripts, promotional material, etc. I carry this with me mostly for convenience and peace of mind.
  • Once every couple of months, I burn a CD or two of all files (Word, Excel, InDesign, PDFs, etc.) and take it to my car. (Flash drives are unreliable, and if you tell a techie that’s what you’re using, he will roll his eyes.)
  • Every time I complete a new novel, I burn it to a CD and take it to my mother’s. The car could go up in a fire too. Or get stolen. Or wrecked.

I started all this before there were online backup services available, so I’ve never used one. Maybe it’s time. Are you backed up?

Five-Time Readers Favorite Award Winner!

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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