• On Writing

    To self-publish or not

    Many authors struggle with the decision of whether to self-publish or not. I cannot advise you on the route you should take in publishing your book, this is a personal decision. But here are some things to consider as you make the decision. At the most basic level, the main differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing are time and money.

  • On Writing

    Publishing 1: Yes, you should hire an editor

    Have you ever given someone directions on how to make your favorite recipe then left out an important ingredient or step because it is so second-nature to you that you didn’t even think to mention it? Oversights and many more errors of that type will hang on in your work with the tenacity of a teenager gripping a cell phone. A fresh pair of trained eyes will uncover holes in the plot, inconsistencies in your characters’ behavior, the grammar mistakes you commonly make, the things you cannot see because you are too close to the work. And then there are the errors you will read over and over and never…

  • On Writing

    You wrote your book, so now what?

    At least once a week, someone approaches me with a final draft of their manuscript asking for advice on publishing their manuscript. I love to help. It is such an exciting time, like attending the birth of a baby.

  • On Writing

    October Inspired

    Nerissa Golden recently posted “It’s October! Are you ready to finish the year strong?” Then my son said to me-“You have to figure out how you work best and make that environment happen.”

  • On Writing

    Get it on the record

    I write fiction and teach fiction and in my teaching I recommend planning novels, especially for first-time novelist. However, a lot of people ask me about memoir-writing, and the number one question I get? How do I start? The answer: Change your mindset and your tools!

  • On Writing

    Making a Change

    I have been inspired a lot by quotes recently. This one is the latest. This quote reminds me to challenge myself often to look at my motives for doing things and to make sure they continue to fit with my view on life. When it comes to my writing, I struggle with one basic “I’ve always done it that way.” I like to write with pen and paper. Yes, I said it. Actually physically, hold in the hand and write with pen and paper. I know: It dates me. It slows my productivity. I lose my notes occasionally (read regularly). I used to claim that my brain was stimulated when…

  • On Writing

    Writers’ Block

    The majority of writers experience writers’ block at some point. That moment/ day/ week/ year where you sit in front of a blank page and words fail you. I used to experience writers’ block much more often than I do now.One of the worst experiences was when I was writing the novel Fury on Soufrière Hills. I had written my three child protagonists into an impossible situation. It took me four months to get them out. Every day I stared at that blank screen unable to come up with a single idea. This was nine years ago, and I don’t recall what eventually jolted me out of that mess. I was…

  • On Writing

    Can you make inspiration happen?

    I recently came across the saying – “Creativity is intelligence having fun,” which is often incorrectly attributed to Einstein (the correct attribution is unknown). The phrase resonated with me, although I would rephrase it to “Creativity is hard work having fun.”