New York Times Bestselling author

THE CRAFT

Six Reasons You’re Not as Creative as You Could Be

Years ago, I attended a writers’ conference. After my speech was over, I sat in on a talk given by a writing professor. And what she said has stayed with me ever since. A woman in the audience lamented that she wanted to write, really wanted to, but could never find the time. The professor’s…

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The Story is in the Details

I love getting mail from my readers! Occasionally, I get a question that really makes me think. And when I write the answer, I wonder if other readers or writers might enjoy it, too. Here is an edited version of a letter I received from a retired math teacher turning his attention to writing for…

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Things I Know for Sure About Writing

For a couple of years now, I have been involved with a poetry group at Brookwood Florida, a home for adolescent girls who have been removed from their domestic situations because of abuse. Under the direction of the wonderful Jeanne Chase, some of the girls gather weekly to write. And the result is some of…

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The Center for Fiction – Masters Class

New York City pals! Come chat with me about craft, process and getting published at The Center for Fiction Tuesday, March 25th at 7 PM.  I love talking about the journey from aspiring to published and everything in-between … and beyond.  This is a free event, open to the public, and seats are still available.…

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Liar, Liar

Why do people lie?  Let’s start with you.  When’s the last time you told a lie?  And I don’t mean a big one.  I mean a little one, say to protect a friend’s feelings, or to spare yourself embarrassment.  I consider myself an honest person, but I occasionally lie.  My daughter believes in Santa Claus…

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The Truth About Fiction – Part Two

I have sometimes offended people with my work.  Occasionally, I have received angry letters from readers who feel I did not paint a flattering portrait of their geographic area. (Characters have opinions that I do not share and make observations of their own.)  I have even lost a longtime friend who did not care for…

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So You Want to be a Writer …

I spent this past weekend at Sleuthfest, one of Florida’s best writers conferences.  It was a dynamic gathering of writers, professional and aspiring, as well as some of the most important agents and editors in the business.  I was struck that it’s probably one of the best things you can do as an aspiring writer, spend…

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The Truth about Fiction

My blogger pal Erin Faye recently asked me an interesting question on Twitter.  When I sat down to answer her, I found I couldn’t do it in 140 characters.  Having just read DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND, she wanted to know if a restaurant in the novel, called Grillmarks, was a real place in New York,…

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My First Time

Once upon a time, I was a secret writer.  Writing had been my passion for as long as I could remember.  But when I graduated from college, I knew I had to get a “real” job, as my father called it. (A “real job” is defined as one that pays, if not well, then at…

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