5 Types of Books to Make You a Better Writer

This is a re-blogging of a post I wrote a couple of years ago, but I believe the content continues to be valid. It’s said that writers should be readers – which is true – but just what exactly are we supposed to be reading? Here’s my take on books for writers:

A Craft of Writing Book

This is one category that I need to work on more. I’ve read a few books on the craft of writing, but it’s something that even the best authors can always get better at. If you want to get better at writing, then constantly writing is important – but a how-to writing book can help you strengthen your writing strengths, adjust your weaknesses, and point out mistakes you didn’t even realize you were making. Continue reading

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5 Google Tips for Authors

The Internet is a writer’s friend. We use it for research, for social media, and for selling (and buying) books. I offer tips and personalized coaching for writers and their social media platforms, and so I thought I’d write a blog post along similar lines to help writers with their Googling.

Research Names

Some time ago I got into the habit of researching proper names before I used them in a story, and I believe it’s a good habit to have. I think it’s especially important in contemporary or historical fiction, because it’s very easy to accidentally name your character after someone famous (that you didn’t know about, but that one of your readers most likely will). I also recommend doing it if you want a fictitious town (or road or school) in a real place; like, say, you want your characters to live in small-town Nebraska, but you don’t want to make said small town an actual real place. Go ahead and research cities, towns, and communities in Nebraska so that you don’t accidentally wind up setting your story in a real place that you will then mispresent because you thought it wasn’t real. Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late to Get Organized

Just a quick post today, and one that is mostly me preaching to myself.

Do you ever have detailed plans and goals that you’re working towards, and then you get distracted or derailed? A lot of different things can pull you away from pursuing your goals. In my case, over the past few months, I uprooted my life and moved across the country, bought a house, had family come visit right after I’d moved in, and so on. Yes, that’s just an excuse, I suppose, but at any rate, I’ve fallen a bit behind on my writing goals for the past few months. Continue reading

Cover Reveal for a New Dieselpunk Story!

I’m excited to introduce to you my newest character and her world!

The character is Mrs. John G. Jones – Cornelia to her friends. The world is Los Angeles during the Roaring 20s – with a little magic thrown in. Cornelia Jones will be the headliner for a new series of dieselpunk short stories.

So what’s dieselpunk? Here’s a post I wrote where I give a few different common definitions of this fast-growing genre. Think historical fantasy, retro-futurism, steampunk set in the 1920s, or classic pulp adventure stories. The Mrs. Jones adventures will encompass a little bit of all of that. Continue reading

Freedom to Write

Not much of a blog post this week, because I’m writing this on the 4th of July (very late), and I’m feeling lazy.

But as I was trying to decide what I could write in my tired and lazy state, I reflected on how blessed I am to live in a place and time where I have the freedom to write what I want, when I want.

Of course America is not the only country with a freedom of press. But on this American holiday, when we celebrate our freedoms, I’m grateful for the freedom to write. I can write whatever I want, and publish it in any format I want, whenever I want. The freedom to write, publish, and distribute should not be taken for granted. And I do not want to squander that freedom that I have.

No matter where you might live, if you have the freedom to write, do so. Celebrate your freedom and write!

Writing Is…Seeing the Big Picture

I recently wrote a post about seeing the details. Details add richness and flavor to stories and to life.

Along those same lines, seeing the big picture is just as important. Where I’m living now in north Idaho, everything is big: the trees, the mountains, and especially the sky.

Continue reading