Write First, Clean Later

Name Those Characters Contest

I spent an hour looking through the phone book for names, then realized I hadn’t held my usual “Name That Character” contest for this book. I’m writing a new Jackson story with the working title Liars, Cheaters, & Thieves, and I need lots of names. Suspects, victims, and witnesses.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the story involves three men, friends since high school. I’ve settled on the main character’s name, Read more

The Truth About Tasers

True or false? The closer you are to your target, the more effective your hit with a Taser will be. Strangely enough, it’s not true. I’ve been writing about Tasers in my police procedural novels for a few years, and only last night in the Eugene Citizen’s Police Academy did I learn how they really work. The sharp probes are fired out on very thin wires, which I knew, but they’re designed to fly at an angle. Read more

Criminals Have to Eat Too

On one of my mystery listservs, participants shared their local “stupid-criminal” stories, which I love! These made me laugh out loud, so I thought I would share.

“A man was arrested this past week in U. City (a St.Louis suburb) during a burglary. While stealing the home’s stuff, the guy found a pound of bacon, which apparently he just could not resist. Read more

Writing-Advice Book Released

When my readers commented about how much they enjoyed my blogs, I decided to combine the best of my nonfiction—including all the posts I wrote about my journey to become a full-time novelist—into a book. I thought my readers would like to know more about me, and authors would find the writing, editing, and promotion advice helpful and inspiring. Read more

Blog Book Tour

For the next few weeks, I’ll have blog posts and Q&As with bloggers around the world. The tour is to promote my new release The Arranger, but there’s lots of great information about a variety of subjects and an opportunity to win print and e-books. I hope you’ll stop in at a few.

Retraining My Brain

Like all writers (and humans!), I have moments of jealousy. Sometimes when I see someone post a glowing review of their book from Publisher’s Weekly, I think: I wish I could get reviewed by PW. I want my first thought to be: That’s terrific. I’m so happy for you. I don’t want to be jealous or ungrateful or negative. Those kind of thoughts can end up in a spiral, so I’m currently trying to retrain my brain, especially for how I think and feel about a certain family member. Read more

The Arranger: A Futuristic Thriller

What do you do when a minor character is so much fun you can’t let her go? You plot a novel just for her. That story became The Arranger, a futuristic thriller involving two wildly different concepts: a software technician who devolves into a killer and a national endurance competition called the Gauntlet. This unusual story developed from several ideas that came together for me: Read more

Bullying: Time to Knock It Off

I came across some statistics on school bullying recently and was dismayed that this practice is accelerating. It was bad enough when I was in high school, but those incidents seem tame in comparison. Still, a single incident had a profound effect on me. I entered high school the size I am now, but during initiation week, I worried that seniors would harass me. I was prepared to stand my ground, but it never happened. I was big, smart, and confident and no one messed with me. Others weren’t so lucky. Read more

Missing, Assumed Dead: a Marva Dasaf Mystery

I met Marva at a book fair and critiqued a few chapters of her fantasy novel. The writing was terrific, the story was engaging, and if I had been a YA fantasy publisher, I would have bought it. I’ve since read several of her novels, and I’m happy to recommend them. Now Marva has turned to writing mysteries, and I’m pleased to introduce her new e-book, Missing, Assumed Dead, a fast-paced engaging story. 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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