Multi-tasking

Is there anything in life that doesn’t require multi-tasking skills of some sort or another? At any stage in life? Employers want workers who can juggle. Husbands, children, lovers, and readers expect you to be able to swivel from one thing to another. If readers like...

Finding a New Way to Kill Someone Off

Today I am hosting my friend Marilyn Meredith. She is sharing news of her new book, A Cold Death. Be sure to read to the end of this post to enter Marilyn’s contest. When you’ve written as many books as I have, I’m always looking for a new and unusual way for my...

What Writers Do to Sell a Few Books

So I got an invitation to sign books more than one hundred miles away, and a two-and-a-half-hour drive from my mountain top village to coastal California. Specifically, Santa Maria. A bookstore called Bookworm. The trip offers an eyeful of glorious California scenery....

The Cruelest Enemy: Self-doubt

The best writing advice I ever got was watching the agony of a writer who couldn’t bring himself to write The End. As a result, he never finished anything and still remains in the ranks of the wannabes.  Oh, he had a million excuses, and at some point, we’ve all used...

Writing Something Different for a Change

I adapted a short story I wrote long ago  for three characters. We have two little theater companies in our mountain village in Central California. I went to a first reading a couple of years ago intending to volunteer as stage manager and found myself in a lead role...

I thought everyone could write if they just sat down and put their mind to it.  As my facility for words came easily to me, I never thought it was important. A facility for manipulating numbers was of consequence, after all, because I spent more than a score of years...

Proofreading Your own Work

No one can proofread their own work with any competence. The mind is tricky, inserting words that don’t lie on the printed page. Ever tried to read those garbled words/passages that show up on Facebook? As long as the first and last letters of the word are correct,...

Me and Raymond Chandler

Really good books are about a lot of things, some of them heavy social issues. Raymond Chandler’s novels are about crime and corruption in the 1940s in a place he called Bay City, in truth, Santa Monica. Myy first novel, No Dice,  published in 2010, is about crime and...

Why We Write What We Write

I write police procedurals in the  whodunit genre.  I like the cerebral quality of following the detective in an investigation. With a thriller you know soon who the evil villain is and his big stakes plan to take over the world. Then it’s all a race against the clock...

What Do I Want To Be Good At?

I see lots of women my age trundling craft supplies into the clubhouse:  lace making, quilting, scrapbooking, card creation. I pass by hearing them laughing and having a good time. I live in a tiny mountain village in the mountains a good bit north of the Los Angeles...