I try to practice being grateful every day, but it’s important to put it into words sometimes. Today, these are some of the things I’m grateful for.
- An extended family, most of whom live close by. They’re my best friends, (and I don’t have to travel on holidays).
- A part-time job and 2 steady freelance clients. No immediate money worries.
- The life circumstances that allow me write novels. Because telling stories makes me happier than anything else I do. Read more →
It is serendipitous that I became aware of the National Federation of the Blind’s complaints against Kindle just days after deciding to make my novels more accessible to visually impaired readers. NFB is filing a lawsuit claiming that Kindle’s lack of a voice menu makes the device impossible for blind people to use. Several universities are supporting NFB by boycotting the product as a replacement for text books until Kindle makes the e-reader more accessible to the visually impaired. Read more →
I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month for the first time. To hit the goal, I need 1667 words a day for 30 days. Right! But I’m in it for the motivation to write as much as I can every day for a month and finish the draft of my novel in progress. Today I rewrote a scene because it was wrong, losing some words in the process. Tomorrow I’ll interview a SWAT leader, then rewrite the scene again. Both rewrites will be a setback to my NaNo word count, but they’ll bring me closer to my goal of a finished Read more →
Characters everywhere! You can run into the most interesting people just cruising around, but as newspaper writer, I get sent to interview them. It’s wonderful! One day last week, for example, I interviewed Omer and Dave Orian, red-afro-sporting Israeli brothers who operate Off the Waffle out of their home (and a cart near the UO). “Obsessed with waffles” is how Dave describes them and their business, which has a very loyal following. (You have to click through for the photos!) Read more →
Readers care more about gender than I realized. Recent mystery forum discussions revealed some startling proclivities: Some women read only male writers. Other women often avoid female writers and protagonists because they fear they’ll fit into certain stereotypes. As a novelist, all of this concerns me. Especially considering four of the top five current fiction authors on the New York Times bestseller list are men, and that Oprah Read more →
Last night a tall man with a British accent joined our group at the bar while I was in the rest room. When I got back, I said, “I didn’t catch your name.” He shook my hand and said, “Lee Child.” I was surprised, delighted, and embarrassed that I didn’t recognize him. He gave us this great advice: “The most important thing you can do as a writer is to focus on the quality of the second book.” Read more →
Loving every moment of this conference. Click “Read More” to see some photos.
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For readers who can’t make it to mystery/crime gatherings to meet their favorite authors, Poisoned Pen Press is offering a virtual online conference. Scheduled for Oct. 24, the PPP webcon is a chance to take in great discussions among authors on many subjects. For example, I’m on a panel that discusses provocative social issues in novels. There will also be discussions about exotic locations in novels, historical settings, reader favorites such as sex and violence, and many other subjects. Read more →
This morning I wrote a scene in which my character thinks about his dead parents, and I had to stop and figure out whether I had mentioned in previous books what happened to them. It was real “duh” moment. My solution—to prevent readers from e-mailing me about “character mistakes”—is to go back and write a character development history. Then keep it updated as I go along. Read more →
What percentage of crimes is rooted in sexual desire, frustration, deviancy, or possession? There are no stats for this broad spectrum, but according to the Bureau of Justice, “One third of female murder victims were killed by an intimate partner.” If you throw in abduction, assault by intimate partners, voyeurism, rape, and sexual abuse, you see that sexually motivated crimes are highly prevalent. But do they make good fiction? Read more →