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 »

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 »

Story Grid Scene Analysis: Something Borrowed

If you’ve been following my last two articles on scene analysis, you know how valuable I believe it is for writers to understand how to determine if a scene either advances the plot and/or develops the character(s). This is especially important if it is the opening chapter of a novel. Before I became a Certified… Read more »

Ten Black Science Fiction & Fantasy Authors to Read Now

Shortly after I submitted my last Speculations, COVID-19 made its presence felt. The world shut down and we all self-isolated and waited for health authorities to tell us that the danger had passed. It hasn’t. Then May 25, 2020 arrived, and 8 minutes and 46 seconds changed everything. Though George Floyd was not the first,… Read more »

A Bouquet of Comics

My first deep impression of anthologies was as texts in poetry school. I still have a shelf dedicated to these early intros to poetry: The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, Imagist Poetry: An Anthology, Great Poems by American Women: An Anthology. In the literary arts, collections like these register a kind of arrival to such… Read more »

Pandemic Potpourri

It’s probably fair to say that the number of us actually living our 2020 plan is vanishingly small.  It was to have been my year of geographical expansion – a self-organized book tour to signings and festivals around the country. What’s happened instead is a geographical contraction to the four walls of my house and… Read more »

Sara Farmer

Cozy to Cold-blooded: An interview with DP Lyle

DP Lyle’s 4th Jake Longly thriller Rigged is here! Fans of the series can expect another smooth, funny ride with Jake, girlfriend Nicole Jamison, dad Ray, and childhood friend Tommy “Pancake” Jeffers. Since this book is set in the nearby town of Fairhope, rather than Jake’s hometown of Gulf Shores, AL, we meet police chief… Read more »

Abigail K. Perry

Story Grid Scene Analysis: The Giver of Stars

Welcome back! In my last column I talked about the immense value of using Story Grid’s Scene Analysis Template to read with purpose, by learning how to read (and analyze a scene) like a writer.  To recap: the bulk of the Scene Analysis Template focuses on how a working scene creates a Story Event—or an… Read more »

Pamela Taylor

Conversations: Alison Weir

Mark your calendars for August 6th. That’s when Alison Weir’s newest historical fiction novel – Katheryn Howard: The Tainted Queen – will be available in bookshops and online. Better still, preorder it now and you’ll be among the first to have it. Though some describe Weir’s non-fiction as “popular” history (she even uses the term… Read more »