Write First, Clean Later

More B-Con Moments

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

Bouchercon Moments

Loving every moment of this conference. Click “Read More” to see some photos.
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Armchair Mystery Conference

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

Writing a Character History

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

The Politics of Sex and Crime

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

A Limited Number of Words

Is there finite number of words that each writer can produce—within each week or month or lifetime? Some writers seem prolific no matter what, but for myself, I think I have periodic limits. Last year, I worked about the same number of non-novel (meaning, paid) hours as I have this year, and yet I still managed to write a novel and a half. This year, my novel word count has tapered off drastically, and I’m even blogging less too. Why? Read more

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

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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