female sleuths

#5onFri: Five Female Sleuths to Track Down Now

As a feminist who grew up being teased for her intelligence and lack of athletic talent, I’m enthralled by tales of women using their brains and brawn. You can probably tell from this list that I find it particularly satisfying when women kick butt in eras when it was uncommon for women to do so…. Read more »

A Whole New World: Graphic Novels for Kids

Graphic novels are rising in popularity, across age groups. In September 2019 The New York Times announced, citing “reader interest and market strength,” that it would bring back its monthly “Graphic Books” best seller list, which includes fiction, nonfiction, kidlit, comics, and manga. Topping the list upon its October 2019 return is the Middle Grade… Read more »

Watch With Purpose: Writing Lessons from Television

Over the last ten months, as I’ve been on this journey of one full year of fiction writing, I’ve gone through a multitude of creative highs and lows. When I’ve been in a good place with my writing and imagination, I’ve managed to finish creative projects way ahead of schedule. (For example, I had planned… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Balance Writing and Parenting

After my son was born I had a moment of panic wondering if I’d ever be able to write again. Suddenly, my world began revolving around late-night feedings, diapering, and swaddling, which left me concerned about how my creativity would fare in this new reality. I’m four years into parenting now, and although my writing… Read more »

bernard cornwell

Conversations: Bernard Cornwell

On November 26th, the latest opus from Bernard Cornwell – Sword of Kings  – will be available in bookstores in the US. If you’re already a fan of The Last Kingdom Series, then you’re no doubt as eager as I am for the newest volume. If you haven’t yet explored Cornwell’s work, then don’t wait… Read more »


The Secret to Creating an Irresistible Protagonist

In my last post, we discussed how a protagonist is the driving force behind every story. And there are four distinct types of protagonists, and different writers are drawn to different ones. They all exist on a spectrum, between what a character wants and his or her personality. Which do you gravitate towards? Let’s take… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Write What You Want to Understand

Most people are familiar with Hemingway’s writing advice encouraging storytellers to, “Write what you know.” But what most of us “know” comes from first not knowing — from daring to journey toward understanding. Writing fiction well requires we provoke our reader’s curiosity and wonder; but how can we as writers feel either curious or wonder-filled… Read more »