Winning Wednesday: Behold the Dawn Tote Bag

This week’s Winning Wednesday winner is Mitch. In order to win the Charlemagne Sword Letter Opener, he correctly answered the question “What famous British king led the Third Crusade?”. Richard the Lion Heart Richard I, popularly known as Coeur de Lion, or the Lionheart, is easily the most well-known figure in the Third Crusade. Legendary […]

How to Market Your Book, Pt. 1 of 4: Using Twitter

Today, I’m posting over on AuthorCulture, with the post “How to Market Your Book Using Twitter.” Here’s an excerpt: When you think about it, the writing life really isn’t fair. Here you are slaving away over your masterpiece of a Great American Novel, sweating over it for months, years even, until it’s the most perfect piece of […]

Do You Have the Two Necessary Skills for Using Details to Bring Fiction to Life

Do You Have the Two Necessary Skills for Using Details to Bring Your Fiction to Life?

Most of the time when we think of great stories, we think of just that: stories. We don’t often think about the bits and pieces that make up the composite whole, the 206 different bones beneath the polished flesh, the mosaic chips that form the complete picture. But it’s these bits, bones, and chips that decide whether a story […]

Announcing Behold the Dawn and Winning Wednesdays

I’m thrilled to officially announce the publication of my second novel, Behold the Dawn. As regular followers of my blog may be aware, this novel has been a grand adventure for me over the last several years. Tackling a historical subject as mammoth as the Third Crusade, which takes place at the end of the […]

Characters: Likability Is Overrated

Characters: Likability Is Overrated

Writers want readers to love their characters. We want them to connect with the men and women who inhabit our stories. We want them to empathize so strongly that they are moved to laughter and to tears right along with these imaginary people we’ve created. So, naturally, we want our characters to be as likable […]

Why Authors Should Be Using the BIG Words

I’m a vocabulary nut. I admit it. I love words. Little words, big words, unusual words, archaic words. In high school, I kept a piece of paper in the front of whatever book I was reading, so I could write down unfamiliar words and look them up the next day. Whenever I looked up a word, I underlined it, and […]

Choosing the Right POV

Choosing the Right POV

Narrative point of view (or POV, as it is popularly known in writer parlance) is one of those things that writers often tend to take for granted. We come up with a story idea, sit down to write, and spend maybe all of thirty seconds debating between a first- and third-person POV. But this snap, […]

The 5 Secrets of Grabbing Your Readers' Emotions

The 5 Secrets of Grabbing Your Readers’ Emotions

Want to know the secrets of grabbing your readers’ emotions? For starters, let’s pretend I’m your reader–‘cuz I’m a hard sell. I’m not a very emotional person. Even when I feel deeply about something, it takes a lot to move me to tears. I can count on my fingers the stories that have made me […]

Two Things Every Author Needs to Know About Using / Brand Names in Fiction

Two Things Every Author Needs to Know About Using Brand Names in Fiction

Consumerism in fiction has become increasingly prominent in recent years. Powerhouse companies have gone from mere advertisements—commercials during television shows, billboards outside ballparks, joint advertisements with blockbuster movies—to what many people consider a blatant overuse and occasionally even abuse of product placement in sports coliseums, movies, TV shows, and even books, such as Lauren Weisburger’s best-selling […]

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice: How to Use Both to Get the Most Out of Your Writing

Active Voice vs. Passive Voice: How to Use Both to Get the Most Out of Your Writing

Most of us learned about sentences in grammar school. Most of us also promptly forgot all about them after grammar school. This is why, I presume, the art of correctly using the active voice and the passive voice in our fiction is something almost all of us have to relearn at some point in our […]