Sending LEISHA’S SONG Into the World

When I became pregnant with my second child, the obstetrician asked me how my first delivery went. I said, “Frankly, I found it to be one of life’s more horrifying experiences.” His face dropped, and he cleared his throat. I’m quite sure he didn’t like my answer. But what he didn’t ask me was how I…

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Confessions of an Anxious Writer

Don’t get me wrong. I would never choose not to have gone to see my amazing NYC grandkids, followed by a Boston reunion with my super sisters. Getting to hug the people I love felt like such a gift after this year of not being able to be with them face-to-face. But like anyone who’s…

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How You Felt Versus How You Appeared

I’ve been doing lots of reading about writing young adult fiction in connection with a talk I’m giving next week to my local Sisters in Crime chapter. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest pieces of advice is to avoid writing stereotypical, flat characters—the nerdy geek, the shallow blonde cheerleader, the macho jock, etc. For one…

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Hatching an Idea for a Novel- And Then What?

Are there writers on the planet who haven’t been asked: “Where do you get your ideas?” If so, I’ve yet to meet them! The easiest and perhaps least helpful answer is: “Anywhere and everywhere.” As Lisa Cron points out in Story Genius, her craft book for writers, the wisp of an idea could come from…

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What I Needed to Hear

Have you ever read or heard something and thought, “Wow, that’s just what I needed to hear”? That happened to me this week reading Elise Bryant’s delightful debut YA novel, Happily Ever Afters. Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson loves writing romance stories and sharing them with her best friend, Caroline. But when her family moves to a…

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Virginia Woolf Was Right

In 1929, Virginia Woolf published her famous essay, A Room of One’s Own, in which she argued that if a woman is to write, she must have money and a room of her own. I’ve certainly been aware of money as a factor in being able to focus on creative work. In the years when…

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Meet Susan Bell

Today, I’m delighted to introduce readers to a dynamo member of Derby Rotten Scoundrels, the Ohio River Valley chapter of Sisters in Crime. Below is her bio and her responses to my interview questions. Susan Bell was born in coastal California, then proceeded to travel the country in her role as daughter of a Naval officer.…

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