We’re not supposed to have favorites. Like, kids. I’m a mom and I’m not supposed to have a favorite kid. And I don’t. I might have a favorite k
Remember when you were a teenager … or maybe more recent! … when you loved filling out personality tests to find out what kind of person you are? Ha …
I’m thrilled to have my friend and amazing suspense author Erica Spindler back to Murder She Writes. Enjoy! And while you’re enjoying her blog, check out h
I’m thrilled to host Lisa Black again at Murder She Writes. Not only because she’s a terrific person, but because she writes terrific books — with fa
Woo hoo! It’s another release day in the Brennan house. BREAKING POINT — the 13th (!) book in the Lucy Kincaid series — is out today! Bella Caruso su
BREAKING POINT is out in two weeks! I’m really excited about this book for several reasons. 1) The cover. I LOVE this cover. It hits all the right spots for me.
Hi gang — first, if your comment doesn’t show up it’s because it’s in moderation. I’ve had a huge problem with spam and am trying to find
This summer I binge watched HAWAII FIVE-O (all 7 seasons) and loved it — great ensemble cast, over-the-top action, great dialogue. It was an all-around fun cop s
First, before we get to our irregularly scheduled program, great news! SHATTERED is #67 on the USA Today bestseller list. via GIPHY If you haven’t bought SHATTER
I remember when I first started reading genre fiction. If I wanted to contact an author to tell them how much I loved a book, I’d have to write a letter and snail mail it to their publisher. This was always too much work for me, so I never did, but that was how it worked. There were no author websites, no social media. Hell, there was no email.
When I began writing, things were different. I do occasionally receive a snail mail letter forwarded to me by my publisher(s), but I have my own PO Box for those who want to reach me that way. Mostly readers contact me through my social media outreach, which is what I prefer.
One of the results of this new accessibility is reader commentary and suggestions. This is especially interesting while writing a series in progress. Speculating on what may happen or what one thinks may happen is one thing. Being told that something *must* happen or a character *must* act in a certain way to keep that reader engaged is entirely another.
Now, I’m not bitching. I welcome and encourage discussion on my books. It’s fascinating to see the directions other minds take and the varying responses individuals have to a scene or character arc. But at the end of the day, I’m writing my story in my way and I can’t be influenced to take it in another direction. I’m open to editorial, but not to restructuring my vision based on any individual’s feedback.
The relationship between an author and their work is a separate thing from the relationship between an author and their readers. Yes, every writer hopes that their work will resonate with readers. I love it when a reader tells me one of my books was a perfect read for them and there’s nothing they would change. But it’s also perfectly okay to not be a perfect read, to have elements that a reader wishes would’ve been different or that a character would’ve acted in a different way. It’s actually a bit more of a challenge to take you along on journey using a route you wouldn’t have taken (or feel that the character shouldn’t have taken) and still have you satisfied when you reach the destination. And as a reader, I want an author to take me places I wouldn’t have chosen to go. That’s the escape.
So please, feel free to share your thoughts, hopes, and suggestions. Every writer wants their readers to be so engaged in the story that it lingers and grows in their minds. But be open to the road you wouldn’t have traveled. It might be what makes the trip truly memorable.
I was in New Orleans from Wednesday thru Saturday for the Authors After Dark convention. It was my third year attending and I thought it was the best so far. Four hundred attendees got together to share a love of books in a city unlike any other I’ve ever seen.
It’s been a longtime dream of mine to go to New Orleans. I’ll have to go back sometime and really see everything. As it was, a deadline (the same one that’s going to keep this post short and sweet) kept me in my room Thursday and Friday. To be honest, I really didn’t mind. It was lovely having the quiet writing time to myself. I found the groove and it’s still with me.
But I didn’t want to be in a city I’d dreamed about visiting and leave it feeling unhappy. So I made a short list (VERY short) of things I needed to do to be able to leave NOLA not feeling shortchanged. That list was:
(those two things kind of go in order, too, don’t you agree?)
Here I am Wednesday night on Bourbon Street with longtime friend, Sasha White:
And here’s Saturday and the line for Cafe du Monde, where Shayla Black and Kris Cook accompanied me on my mission to have chicory coffee:
With my list done, AND the convention events I attended on Wednesday and Saturday, AND the chapters I wrote, I left New Orleans feeling content with what I’d accomplished while I was there.
How about you? Have you ever taken an abbreviated trip somewhere and still managed to leave feeling satisfied?
Have you ever been to Comic-Con in San Diego? It’s pretty crazy. Mostly in good ways. It went on this past Wed-Sun and I was there Fri/Sat. It seemed a little more manageable this year, less shoulder-to-shoulder crowding.
I had a panel on Friday about writing romance with otherworldly characters and that was a lot of fun. Thanks to the brilliant moderation of Stephanie Perkins, we covered a lot of topics, from story-length to writing in multiple genres. I shared the stage with Kelley Armstrong, Aprilynne Pike, Shawntelle Madison, Tessa Gratton, Marjorie Liu, and Andrea Cremer. I had a great time, which was capped by having Jason Lewis brush past me on the main convention floor. He’s totally hot in person, too!
Later today, I’ll be traveling to London for Penguin UK’s launch of Bared to You. If you live close enough to London to visit, I’ll be hosting an exclusive fan signing in partnership with Penguin Books and Ann Summers. The event will take place between 5-7pm on Wednesday 18th July at a central London location. Keep watching my Facebook page for more details! I’d love to see you. I doubt I’ll get to see much of the city, since it’s a whirlwind trip and my scheduling is tight, but I’m very excited to have the paperback available in the UK and Australia.
I’ll get back just in time to check into the hotel for RWA’s National Conference. Karin and I will be in board meetings as of Sunday, with the conference kicking off on Wednesday with the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. If you’re anywhere near Anaheim, it’s worth the trip in to come to the signing. You have to see it to believe. Getting 400+ authors in one room for a signing is incredible. And ALL proceeds go to charity!
I’ll finally get back home two weeks from yesterday, just in time to write my next blog here. *whew* I expect I’ll have some fun stories and photos to share then!
What have you got planned for the next two weeks? Any of the events above on your plate? Happy Monday!
Good Monday Morning, everyone! Today, I’m thrilled to have Thea Harrison joining us here at MSW. I’m a big fan of Thea’s Elder Races series and of Thea herself, who’s just all-around awesome. She’s got a great guest post today sharing lots of hard-earned wisdom. Enjoy!
Publishing Do’s and Don’ts
I have never felt qualified to offer people writing or publishing advice, so when people ask me, I tend to shy away from those questions or deflect them in some way.
But I certainly do have opinions on the subject, so this blog is my attempt to offer some writing and publishing do’s and don’ts. Many of these points are not original to me; they are tips I have embraced because I agree with them. Some of these are highly personal opinion.
Yes, some people manage to hit big on self-publishing, but either those instances are flukes—such as you have an author with mad marketing skills, an obsession that just won’t give up and all the time in the world to devote to it—or you may be looking at a self-published work by someone who has already built a reputation with other traditional publications, such as author Courtney Milan. (Although there are numerous examples, I’m going to give just the one.) The truth of the matter is (as I see it) most self-publications don’t achieve much reader attention, and they tend to be poorly edited. Don’t let this happen to you.
Then pick yourself up and keep writing. Only better.
So now I’ve gone past 1,200 words, and I could still keep going, but because this is supposed to be a blog post, I’d better draw it to a close. I guess I had more opinions about these writing tips than I thought I did. I hope someone finds something useful in this list.
Allison Brennan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly three dozen romantic thrillers and mysteries, including the Lucy Kincaid series and the Max Revere series. She lives in Northern California with her husband, five children, and assorted pets.Read more
FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid tackles her most dangerous case yet ... while her fiance Sean Rogan receives life-changing news.