Daphne and Me

  I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Nobody’s Child is a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. It’s in their “Mainstream” category. The award will be given in July in NYC during the RWA convention at the Death by Chocolate event. I think I’ll be going.    

Writing Lite Tip #42: Hobson’s Choices and dilemmas

Writing Lite Tip #42

While worst-case scenarios are one type of obstacle your protagonist must overcome, there are others. Hobson’s Choice dilemmas are a great tool – Your character must decide which one of two people will live and which will die. Or your alcoholic character has years of sobriety behind him, but needs to drink to prove he’s … Read more

Writing Lite Tip #41: To create suspense, first think of a worst-case scenario…

Writing Lite Tip 41: To create suspense, think of a worst-case scenario. Then make it worse.

A fundamental task in creating suspense is to confront your protagonist with obstacles and hurdles he or she must overcome. Then, just as he/she thinks they have a handle on the situation, it becomes even worse. One of the best examples I’ve read is in William Kent Krueger’s Purgatory Ridge. Two mothers and their children … Read more

Flash Sale: Two Ellie Foreman Mysteries

Two of my Ellie Foreman mysteries are discounted to .99 cents and .99£ all week on Amazon, both US and UK.  An Eye For Murder was nominated for an Anthony Award, and A Shot To Die For won Best traditional novel at the Love is Murder contest. They’ll stay at that price until December 14. … Read more

Nanowrimo Video Writing Tip #4 — Chapter Endings

How many times have you stayed up waaay too late reading a book, because you just had to read one more chapter? In this video I discuss how to end your chapters so that your readers won’t be able to put your book down. How’s your Nanowrimo novel going? Comments welcome.  

Nanowrimo Video Writing Tip #3 — Raise The Stakes

One of the points we’re always told when plotting a novel, no matter what genre, is to raise the stakes. The protagonist (or his/her loved ones) must confront obstacles, jump over hurdles, or solve problems… or else… But what does that really mean? I explain in this short video. Hope it helps your Nanowrimo project.

Nanowrimo Video Writing Tip #1

Hi, all. In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I decided to repost my Writing Lite video series. I hope you find them useful, even if you’re not participating. There are twelve videos, and none are over four minutes– most are under three. I’ll try to post a few each week so you have them all … Read more

What Is Suspense?

Here’s a transcription of the first video in my Writing Lite series, in advance of Top Suspense Group’s Hangout this Thursday, 20th February 2014. We’d love to have you join the hangout, btw, and you can do it by clicking here or on the link below. Secrets to Writing Top Suspense OK. Here’s the transcript: Take one neighbor, … Read more

Writing Lite #3 — Raise the Stakes

In this week’s Writing Lite I talk about how to raise the stakes to build suspense into your work. Enjoy… and let me know what you think. And yes, I’m sorry I cut off a bit of my head in the frame, but I didn’t think you’d miss it. It’s not easy to produce and … Read more