Conversations: Karen Brooks

I hope you’re as excited as I am about this new series for the column. Karen Brooks is a columnist, book reviewer, blogger, former academic, and—most importantly for us—a successful author in the historical fiction genre. I discovered her work in The Locksmith’s Daughter, published in the US and the UK by HarperCollins and in… Read more »

Building Your Publishing Team: Your Cover Designer

In my last post, I talked about the most important creative talent an indie author should add to her publishing team: the editor. This time, we’ll look at the creative in a close second position. That’s the cover designer. If your editor helps you get your manuscript ready for public consumption, your cover designer entices… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Tips for Writing Fearlessly

Fearless writing is impactful. It forces the audience to encounter characters, situations, or outcomes that they may not be entirely comfortable with—and that’s a wonderful thing. It sounds easy enough to write fearlessly, and indeed it is—right up until someone starts reading your work. I never considered what my grandmother might think about my gruesome… Read more »

ICYMI: Four Lovely Books With Pictures Released in 2018

Unlike fashion, books can’t become so-last-year (unless they started out as the button-down jumpsuit of the literary world). I browsed through books with pictures released in 2018 and below are four of my micro-reviews. I tried to cast a wide net, since there are so many subgenres of what for a long time were just… Read more »

Ask The Editor: Character Description

Dear Editor, I’m writing a novel in the first-person perspective, and one of my critique partners just pointed out that they don’t know what my character looks like. Is character description important? If so, how do I describe a character from their own perspective without having them look in a mirror? Sincerely, Wondering Dear Wondering,… Read more »

Deep Dive into Short Forms: Flash Nonfiction

It’s fitting, as a poet, that my first published foray into fiction, Let It Go, was a piece of flash fiction. The story clocked in at a brief 286 words. Brevity is the bedrock of writing flash. I consider flash writing forms as cousins to poetry. Grant Faulkner, the editor of the literary magazine 100… Read more »

Pet the Dog: Signpost Scene #8

Much like the second signpost scene (The Care Package) in James Scott Bell’s SuperStructure, the Pet the Dog scene gives the reader a chance to catch his/her breath while reinforcing care and concern for the story’s Lead (protagonist). Think about it, if the Lead thinks “only of himself,” readers “get a negative impression.” If we… Read more »