Drawing the Vote

Why vote? I never ask myself this question and here’s why. At nineteen, I went on my first trip abroad. It was Fall 1980. My plan was to traipse across Europe with my bestie, starting in October, have grand adventures, become more worldly, and be home by Christmas. I thought I had prepared for the… Read more »

How to Create and Manage a Pen Name

Hi, writers! Today, I want to talk about pen names: when and how you should use one and tips on creating and managing one (or several!).  You’re probably already familiar with at least a few authors who write under a pen name or pseudonym. J.K. Rowling and J.D. Robb are a couple big names that… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Books To Propel Your Memoir Writing

Writing a memoir is not easy. Like any genre, we need a compelling narrative arc driven by good scenes full of sensory details and great dialog. But we also need to create meaning from experience and offer takeaways for our readers. We need to claim our own emotional truth.  Negative critics jabber away in our… Read more »

No-Fear Critique

Key Features in No-Fear Critique

It is fascinating how past experiences culminate into the present, creating beliefs. Taking part in critique was, at times, akin to a battlefield. The gauntlet was daunting and sometimes painful. In academia, I developed shied away from peer critique and moved toward mentors and professionals for feedback after much proactive work on my part. As… Read more »

When Is It Historical Fiction and When Is It Something Else?

During an interview for the promotion for my most recent book, it dawned on me we have never actually discussed, in this column, the relationships between “pure” historical fiction and the adjacencies that might be either sub-genres or just tangentially related. The interviewer asked how historical fantasy differs from historical fiction – and answering that… Read more »

Email 102: Building Your Author Newsletter List

Don’t Do What I Did: Mistakes in Indie Publishing When I started my indie career, I made a lot of mistakes with my email list. I knew I needed a mailing list, but I didn’t know the best way to get addresses legally and ethically or what to do with them once I had them…. Read more »

#5onFri: Five Common Traits of Successful Authors

Since the onset of the 21st century, writing has undoubtedly evolved in a lot of remarkable ways. Now, more than ever, writers from all niches have access to more resources to help them create genuinely outstanding literature. While the scope of available writing tools might have expanded and access to resources increased, the fundamental principles… Read more »

Sara Farmer

Interview with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Editor’s Note: Columnist, Sara Farmer, is writing a limited series for DIY MFA in which she interviews authors of color who write thrillers. She is kicking off the series with Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Mexican Gothic, Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things, Untamed Shore, and more. Check back in two weeks for the next installment!… Read more »

RH Herron

Episode 318: Voice, Pacing, and Sensitivity: The Art of Writing a 911 Thriller – Interview with R.H. Herron

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing R.H. Herron. Rachael Herron is the internationally bestselling author of more than two dozen books, including thriller (under R.H. Herron), mainstream fiction, feminist romance, memoir, and nonfiction. She received her MFA in writing from Mills College, Oakland, and she teaches writing extension workshops at both UC Berkeley and… Read more »