Author Archive | Julie

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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Beating Writer’s Block

When aspiring writers ask me for advice, the most common question I get is about overcoming writer’s block. I think perhaps the reason this question is asked so frequently is that more than one situation is given the label “writer’s block.” Obviously, writer’s block refers to not knowing what to write, but I think it can be broken down into three separate categories: Problems with idea generation, Loss of faith in your writing’s quality, and […]

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Putting Your Truth in Your Fiction

In October 2016, I began working up the idea for a new story. It involved a dangerous race that started with the contestants entering into drug-induced amnesia. As you can imagine, memory loss was a big part of the story. Fast-forward to January 2017. My parents moved back to Pennsylvania from South Carolina because my father needed extra help caring for his wife. Although I knew my stepmom was having issues, it wasn’t until I […]

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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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