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August 17, 2018

We readers prefer a narrative that flows in “active voice” sentences. We might not realize it, we might not even know what active voice is, but trust me, we readers prefer it. Why? Simply put: active voice means better, faster reading comprehension.

For example, read th...

February 21, 2018

With becoming a writer, I’ve had to learn all sorts of new coping skills: How to be humble after a good review. How to keep my ego above water after a bad review. How to bargain with myself to get a chapter written (a piece a chocolate every five paragraphs works well)...

September 26, 2017

After publishing my urban fantasy novel, Curse Me Not, which is about a woman who can cleanse curses off people’s auras, I was surprised by readers asking me about aura health. My novel was, by definition, fiction, so I turned to real world experts and was surprised th...

July 24, 2017

Let me guess. When you hear “Appalachia” you picture moonshine, clan feuds, illiterate hillbillies living up “hollers,” shotguns at every door jamb, and maybe banjo music playing in the background.

Have you noticed how stereotypes are invariably wrong but they live...

June 16, 2017

Fictional writing should offer a rhythm, a pattern, and a sound. Together these elements create what’s needed for any decent narrative: flow. Without flow, readers will soon find themselves disinterested in what you’ve written and, frankly, perturbed at you.

Here’s an e...

May 1, 2017

My Knoxville writers’ group has been at it again with more flash fiction. This time we used Seventh Sanctum to give us individual prompts. Seventh Sanctum is a website that provides randomly generated ideas that inspire writers. The following is what came out of my ran...

March 28, 2017

On one of my earliest trips abroad, I happened to strike up a conversation with a fellow backpacker over expressos at some student café in Paris. One topic led to another, and she ended up telling me about a strange decision made by a friend of hers. Now, many years la...

February 24, 2017

Rage is not anger. Don’t confuse the two.

We can rant at a neighbor’s dog that won’t stop barking, we can snap at a significant other for not picking up their dirty underwear, we can even feel our blood pressure rise at the words of a politician or shout at another dri...

January 4, 2017

While I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy, many members of my local writers group focus on science fiction. At a recent group meeting, we fell into a discussion of how hard it is to develop truly "alien" aliens. After all, anything that comes out of a human br...

November 8, 2016

While we women authors often include at least a touch of romance in our novels, it doesn’t mean women understand romance better than men or even that we’re better at "working" it. Perhaps—and this is just my opinion—women simply have more fun with romance than men do.

L...

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