Twelve Lessons from The DIY MFA BOOK

I knew I was a devotee of Gabriela’s DIY MFA philosophy, but I didn’t know by how much until I read her book. I joined the team and started writing columns for the site a year and a half ago. My writing has gone a wild ride since then. When I started, I was a lowly… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Must-Dos for the Proactive Author

There are five major things I needed to do before my book release I wish I’d done sooner. Here’s hoping with this list, you won’t be taken by surprise like me. These five things can be done anytime. There’s no such thing as doing them too early, and when your first book does come out… Read more »

Publishing My First Book – Part 2

I talked before about the first stages of editing, from pre-round edits, to cover copy, to round one content edits. We attacked details with gusto, but moving into copy edits and final line edits, the details went microscopic. Clarity of  prose, sensitivity of subject matter, echo words, punctuation—we looked at every sentence as through a… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Writing Must-Haves

My first book releases in less than two months. There are so many promo things I’m supposed to be doing, even though the editing was done ages ago. The list of stuff authors are supposed to do for book promotion keeps getting longer. We’re told we need more followers, more reviews. We need a website, a… Read more »

Publishing My First Book, Part 1

After I signed my book contract, I thought I’d have a few weeks to let things sink in before editing began. I mistakenly thought I’d have a month or more to do nothing but pound out the first draft of book two. Nope. The discussions on editing and the cover began within a week, and… Read more »

Anatomy of Love Scene, Part Two

The first requirement of a love scene is that it forwards the plot and character developments in the story. Especially in a scene of real intimacy, the farther the characters go in their physical relationship, the more it affects them. But, truth time, how can sex move a plot? Apply it to real life: if… Read more »

Anatomy of a Love Scene, Part One

I write romance, so yeah, I love love scenes. I enjoy writing them. It’s a lot of fun. I look forward to them. Contrary to what many think, though, those love scene aren’t always sexual. It can be any moment of intimacy between two characters, a simple touch of a hand. Not necessarily skin to… Read more »

Diary of a Book Deal

My agent calls, and I swallow the urge to scream. Bad news comes via email. If she’s calling that only means one thing—that magic word—DEAL. She received an offer from Samhain Publishing for my novel Racing To You. This is what all writers know as . . . The Call: I’m speechless, sort of. I… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five Awesome Conference Round-Ups

Happy Fall, Word Nerds! Summer is over, and I’m not mourning. I’m a little too busy anticipating the first Chai Tea Latte of the season, sweaters, and cozy writing days. But boy, was this a busy and wonderful few months! Summer is high conference season, and as we prepared for our own writing conference this… Read more »

Pitching on Twitter: How to Circumvent the Slush

Wouldn’t it be cool if instead of sending out dozens (or hundreds) of queries, writers could post their pitches in one spot for editors and agents to browse? A place where agents and editors could come shop for writers instead of writers shopping for them? Oh wait, it exists. It’s pitching on Twitter. It’s how… Read more »