Archive | Guest Post

5 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN WRITING FOR A YOUNG ADULT AUDIENCE

I’ve been a middle school teacher longer than I’ve been an author. While 2019 marks my debut year, it also marks my twentieth year teaching middle school literacy. Juggling these two careers is challenging, but I also benefit from the overlap between both roles. What I’ve learned being an author helps me teach writing better. And what I’ve learned as a teacher has made me a better writer. Some of the principles I use to […]

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Five Tips for Self-Care When You Are Writing Difficult Topics

It can be difficult to write about some things, and some of us are drawn to writing about difficult things, but that doesn’t mean we need to suffer for our art. Here are five things to remember when you decide to write something that, one way or another, evokes intense emotions. Come up for air (or Netflix), but remember to go back in. I write dark shit. An entire collection about loss and grief, and […]

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Where Fact Meets Fiction: Writing Novels Based on Real Life Crimes

As an author of historical mysteries and thrillers, I am drawn to the darker side of the past and find that truth is often stranger than fiction. I search for unusual and unsolved cases of murder, corruption, and organized crime to center my novels. Including select portions of the historical record lends realism to what would otherwise be an overly sensational story. While I enjoy true-crime novels (my most recent obsession is I’ll Be Gone […]

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Pitching Historical Romance Series (and Small Presses)

There is one genre convention in romance that may never be broken: the happily ever after. Hearts must flutter at the close or heads will roll (or both, in the case of my Tudor books). But how do you pull off a romance serial—following the same two lovers—in which each novel features a happily ever after, yet keeps the story going, and is set in a different time period? I faced this conundrum while writing […]

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A Late Bloomer’s Bumpy Road To Publication

My debut novel officially releases this month, one month from a Very Significant Birthday for me. I’ve been writing seriously since I was twenty-five, a lifetime ago. My long route to publication might scare younger writers, but it shouldn’t. Some people bloom late, and this is work that must be given the time it needs. In my late twenties, I used my first novel manuscript to apply to a number of MFA programs. I didn’t […]

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