Write First, Clean Later

New Editing Rates

keyboard-smallAn editing job I completed recently for a satisfied client (and a layoff ☺) made me rethink my approach. Essentially, I’ve cut my rate in half with the idea that most writers can’t afford an extensive service—they simply want to catch all the typos, misused words, and inconsistencies before they submit anywhere.

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Tip: Personal Calendar Printout

keyboard-smallTips for Busy Writers: What better way to start every Monday than by learning a great tip for managing a busy life?

I use the monthly calendar function in my Entourage e-mail program to track my personal schedule, and I print out a few months at a time and carry the pages with me. This neat trick serves two functions: Read more

New Day, New Direction

I’m a free agent again. In other words, I’ve been laid off my part-time newspaper job. The weirdest thing? I received an unemployment debit card from the state last week. I laughed and twittered: “Do they know something I don’t?” I guess they did. The hardest thing? Walking away from a terrific group of people I’ve come to really enjoy and count on for emotional and intellectual interaction. Read more

Detectives Around the World

babyshark1In April, about 30 bloggers will each host a detective, and readers will learn about cops, agents, and PIs from all corners of the earth. My blog will feature Kristin Van Dijk, aka Baby Shark, a fascinating and kickass young woman. The series is written by the talented and charming Robert Fate who has lived a most interesting life. Read more

More Self-Editing Tips

I’m still working through the rewrite on my forth novel and finding self-editing tips to share.

1. Get rid of the word that. In my last post, I wrote a sentence like this: If a guy in a driveway points at tires, readers will assume that you mean on the car. I went back and took out that. The sentence reads better without it. Sometimes the word will be needed for clarity but not often. Read more

Easy Editing Tips

I’m fine-tuning the novel I just finished, and these are some of the edits I’m making. They can help you as you write or edit your own novel.
1. Get rid of unnecessary prepositional phrases. When you read back through your manuscript, watch for phrases like on the table, toward the door, near the wall. These phrases bog down your writing and often add little to a description. Readers can make a lot of assumptions. If two guys are standing in the driveway talking and one points at the tires, readers Read more

Character Name Winners

Thanks everyone for suggesting such intriguing characters names for my futuristic thriller. My husband now has a crush on one of the winners because her suggestions are so creatively awesome! After much consideration, the winning selections are:
Male, bureaucrat: Sherman Dogg, submitted by Rose
Female paramedic: DeTerra Celeste Stibbins submitted by C. Lyncia Wright-Harris. Ms. Harris also submitted Adulan Dominic Masters, but Read more

Character Naming Contest

secretstodiefor_small2I’ve had so much great feedback on SECRETS TO DIE FOR I’ve decided to give away a few more copies. This time you have to earn it by coming up with a great name for one of the characters in my next novel, which I’ve just started outlining. Here’s what I know about the characters so far: Read more

Love It or Hate It Books

I love the Top & Bottoms lists created at the end of every year by the  4 Mystery Addicts book discussion group. The sheer diversity of favorite books is heartening. (I always make somebody’s list 🙂 But I’m more intrigued by the books that make both lists: favorites and least favorites. It reminds me again that every reading experience is subjective and that readers bring their own perceptions and experiences to what they read. A whooping 31 books were listed this year both as someone’s Read more

Making Connections

Just have to say that lately I’m having a blast. Much of it has to do with my newspaper job. In the last few months, I’ve interviewed cartoonist Jan Eliot, a professor of film studies who discussed great women movie characters (blog coming soon!), a 77-year-old woman doing standup with a very naughty routine, and a female weightlifting champion, to name a few. As a novelist, I’ve been privileged to interview a SWAT team Read more

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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