Throughout my career as an author, I’ve had an opportunity to meet many others who were further along in their professions, and who were kind enough to answer my questions about the craft or the business of writing.
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
Today is the first day of November, which means holiday craziness is just around the corner. So, hey, why not write a novel?
I’m not sure whose idea it was to make November National Novel Writing Month, but it is. Also known as NaNoWriMo, this is the month when thousands of writers across the globe challenge themselves to create 50,000 original words—either the first draft of a novel or the start of a novel that will be finished later.
I have to say, the idea of completing an entire book in a month (or even a draft, which is the goal) sounds daunting to me. I take longer to write, probably because I’m prone to distractions.
But that is the whole purpose of NaNoWriMo… eliminate distractions and WRITE YOUR BOOK.
I want to give a shout out to all the writers out there who are undertaking new novels this month. And I’d like to share some of my favorite sources of inspiration. After writing fiction for the past ten years, I have a ton of how-to books in my collection, but here are just a few of my favorites:
First, congratulations to all the writers out there who just finished NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month, which lasts through November. That undertaking takes a lot of time and dedication. Cheers to you guys!
Also, I’m so excited to (at last!) be able to share the cover for my upcoming book, TWISTED. I’ve been holding onto this for a while until it was finalized. I recently got the green light to share, plus a box of ARCs, plus a batch of bookmarks, so… this story that’s been percolating in my head for ages is suddenly seeming very real!
This mystery/love story features police detective Allison Doyle (who first appeared in SNAPPED) and FBI profiler Mark Wolfe. I think the cover they designed is perfect for a serial killer story set in the fall. What do you think?
I also wanted to take a moment to share a few contests I’m running this holiday season. I know we all talk about how the holidays are about more than just shopping, which is very true, but… who doesn’t like to shop? Especially with a gift card?
I took a poll on my Facebook page to see what gift card people wanted, and by popular request, I’m giving away Amazon cards, plus I’ve thrown in a Starbucks card for that much-needed coffee break. So here are the contests. Enter one! Enter all! I love mailing out prizes to readers.
$100 Amazon gift card & signed copy of SNAPPED, giveaway hosted by Fresh Fiction (ends Dec. 15): enter here
$50 Amazon gift card & signed copy of SNAPPED, giveaway hosted on my web site (ends Dec. 31): enter here
$15 Starbucks gift card & signed copy of any book from my Tracers series. This giveaway is here on the blog TODAY ONLY and I’ll announce the winner this weekend.
Just leave a comment here about something on your holiday shopping list (for yourself or someone else) and be entered to win the Starbucks card + book.
And if you’d like one of these shiny new bookmarks, drop me an email email@example.com and I’ll be happy to send you one snail mail.
Somewhere, there is a woman, sitting in a room, three days past a rape. Her bruises are turning purple and in a few more days, they’re going to be that greenish hue of ghouls. She hasn’t looked in a mirror, yet, but the swelling is starting to abate, and she can open her jaw without the execrable pain. The screaming is almost entirely in her head, now. The stitches hurting her remind her she’s alive and she’s not really sure why people keep telling her that, as if that’s a good thing. She’s not sure she wants to be. There’s been just enough time to get past the initial shock, the stunned chaotic business of having lost any sense of strength in the face of the world. She has had just enough time to be processed, and there should be a stamp for her forehead: file # 56449A.
Oh, people have been caring. They have been very professionally caring. All of the people, scads of them. They have been very careful not to touch her or move too fast. Everyone is diligent about addressing her respectfully, using her name, always making sure she feels like an individual. She can see it, see in their eyes how she is now different. The opposite of the person on the other side of the desk, where there are things like strength and weapons and confidence.
And right now, she is finally alone, though the moat around her has turned into an ocean, and the screaming, it just keeps on coming. For a few minutes, not having to deal with anyone else is good. A relief. But then there is the silence, and in the silence, it all happens again. She cannot close her eyes, because it’s all happening. Again. She cannot talk to someone, because the screaming will break free. Or the tears. Either may kill her.
She needs. Needs. To be somewhere else, other than here. Other than this thing she’s become. Needs to be able to step outside of her skin for a little while. Maybe a long long time.
She’s going to go to her bookcase and pick up something. Maybe it’s something where the woman kicks someone’s ass. Maybe it’s one where the good guy wins. Or the DA is brilliant. Or the girl comes of age and has confidence. Whatever it is, she gets to step outside of the bruises and the cuts and the broken bones for a little while. She gets to live a different ending. A different beginning. Have a safe place to be. And somehow, maybe, have a little hope that this thing, too, will pass.
Write a story for her.
Somewhere, there is a man, sitting in a hospital room. His wife has cancer, and he’s been there, every day, before and after work. Except now, he can be there full-time, since he’s lost his job. He’s spent days seeking help, trying to find a way to keep her there, to make sure she has the care she needs, when all of his benefits are gone. He’s filled out more paperwork in this one week than he’s done in a lifetime, and only barely understands half of what they’ve told him, if that.
He’ll try to get a second mortgage for the house. Sell off the second car, trade his in for something cheaper. The savings–such as it is, there’s not much with two kids–is gone. The retirement will go next, and that might last a month, at this rate. They don’t qualify yet for any sort of Medicare or help. His sister is at his house, boxing up stuff to sell. Doing it while the kids are at school, so they don’t see.
The screaming is almost entirely in his head, now. The anger, the rage, the helplessness. His wife’s asleep, and sleep is so rare with the pain she’s in, he can’t risk turning on the TV. She’s been in too much pain for him to leave the room, though.
He’s lost. He sees it in the eyes of the nurses, sees it in the eyes of the administrator. The woman running the accounts payable office. He’s become this other thing, this person he doesn’t know, and right now, for a little while, he needs. Needs. To be somewhere else but here. Someone else but him.
He’ll slump down in the God-awful chair they have in the room, punching a pillow that one of the orderlies found for him, and he’ll crack open that favorite paperback he grabbed on his way out the house this morning. For a little while, he gets to be a hero. He gets to fight crime or solve problems, save the world or save the girl. For a little while, he gets to have hope.
Write a story for him.
A lot of people in the industry are scared right now–things look bleak. If you’re pushing through NaNoWriMo or that draft on deadline or beginning a new project, you may be at that part of the process where you’re feeling exhausted–or scared to begin. Writer fatigue and fear are hard to combat in the face of a lot of bad news, and especially hard to slug it out when it looks like the possibility of selling is dwindling to nothing.
And this, ironically, is when we need story the most.
Story-telling has been around for millennia for a reason–we need to connect. We need to both transport somewhere other than our own daily circumstances and to connect to others, to know that someone out there understands us. Understands our fears, our desires. We need to escape, without physically abandoning our family and friends. Stories do that. We need the hope, the connection, the dream.
Write a story for us.
*originally posted at http://murderati.com – but it’s so relevant now, I thought I’d re-post it for you. I hope you’ll tell me what kind of stories you need most.
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.