We are grateful that the International Thriller Writers'' publication, The Big Thrill, have once again supported our new book release. Book 2, Death's Footprint, in our Blair & Piermont crime thriller series' interview. Click HERE
Friday, 28 July 2017
This week is all about character: A first name can date an individual, do character names reflect the character of the character, and do they offer their own tensions by defying a time period? We’re joined by ITW Members D.P. Lyle, Peter James, Donna Warner, Patrick Oster, Jonathan F. Putnam, Richard Billingsley, Billy Lyons and Meredith Anthony.
Drop in to read what International Thriller Writers' authors are saying about naming characters in The Big Thrill. Some comments may surprise you!
Friday, 7 July 2017
Wednesday, 5 July 2017
Tuesday, 20 June 2017
You’ve accomplished what seemed impossible! The first draft of your manuscript is finished. Now what?
Let Your Draft Breathe
* Wait a couple of weeks before tackling editing. You’ll be more objective and better able to find mistakes. Otherwise, you brain will discern what you intended to write versus what you wrote.
Be a Reader Not an Author
* Read your manuscript from a reader’s point of view to check pacing, tone, writing voice, and story flow. It can be helpful to read aloud or convert your document to a PDF and utilize the ‘read aloud mode’ found at the ‘View’ tab.
Edit in Steps and Ask Yourself These Questions
* Does your first chapter confirm the book’s genre?
* Is the setting alluring?
* Do your characters have a purpose? Are they memorable? Is their dialogue appropriate? Are names easy to pronounce and spelled correctly?
* Point of view is whose head you’re in during a scene. Draw readers into the emotion of your story by writing in deep POV. Eliminate excessive dialogue tags.
* Filter words weaken your writing by taking readers out of the character’s head. Reduce as many as possible, words such as: wondered, very, then, felt, realized, just
* Delete repetition of words and details. Use MS-Word’s ‘Find and Replace’ feature.
* If a sentence doesn’t advance the plot or add to character development – axe it.
* As a general rule, you should use active voice whenever possible to engage your readers. Active voice is bold, e.g., “Jordan stubbed her toe.” Versus “The toe was stubbed by Jordan.
* The Show -- Don’t Tell writing tip is a challenge for many seasoned and novice writers. SHOWING with vivid description makes a reader feel that they are experiencing a scene. Whereas, TELLING them what is occurring, is reporting or narrative, which tends to distance them from the action. To further complicate things, some writers do both. TELL and in the following sentence, SHOW. This can frustrate readers who don’t feel the need to be fed details twice.
* Have you used powerful sentences for chapter beginnings and endings to hook readers to read on? Is there conflict, tension, and plot originality? Have all plot questions been answered? Does your story have a satisfactory conclusion?
* Proofread on-line; then print off your manuscript to edit with a pen for: spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, excess wordiness, and awkward phrasing. A Style Guide is helpful for checking mechanical errors.
Seek Feedback and Develop a Thick Skin
· Request constructive input from people who agree to be your beta readers. Consider their suggestions carefully, especially if more than one voices a similar concern. It’s difficult to identify your own writing mistakes even if you have editing skills.
· If your goal is to indie publish, hire an editorial consultant to polish your manuscript to publication quality.
Donna J. Warner
Freelance Editor and Author of the Blair & Piermont Crime Thriller Series:
Book #1 Targeted
Book #2 Death’s Footprint
Monday, 5 June 2017
Had a wonderful time networking with SinC and CWC author members and meeting new writing pals in the beautiful city of Kingston, Ontario. Panels, readings, workshops, pitch sessions, and pub night. We regret our fantasy author in our group couldn't attend.
|Genre5 authors (L-R) Pam Blane; Liz Lindsay (Jamie Tremain); Donna Warner; Gloria Ferris|
|Loaded up and ready to rock 'n roll to attend the Limestone Book Expo, Kingston, ON|
|Gloria Ferris (centre) on "True Crime Leads to Fiction" panel|
|Had lots of laughs with team members of SinC|
Sunday, 28 May 2017
It is my pleasure to feature Joanne's latest novel.
Spotlight on Too Many Women in the Room
When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture— Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario. Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.
Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?
When the telephone call came, I was deep in a dreamless sleep. Startled and disoriented, I glanced at the clock. Five forty-seven. Tempted to ignore the call, I realized it could be my mother. In Italy, it was eleven forty-seven. While my mother was aware of the time difference, she would not hesitate to call if there was some kind of emergency. Or someone else could be calling about her.
To still these obsessive thoughts, I picked up the phone.
“Took you long enough,” Carlo Fantin said in an exasperated tone. “Did you just get in?”
What was he implying? And why was he calling? Had someone told him about the evening’s events? I dismissed the last thought. None of the women or men—even Michael Taylor—would think of relaying the evening’s events to Carlo.
“I’ve been asleep for hours,” I said, gripping the phone. While I had been waiting for him to call and resume our relationship, I doubted he would do so in the early hours of the morning. “Is there some reason for this call?”
A pause. “There’s been a murder. A jogger found the body of Michael Taylor in Bell Grove field.”
I jolted upright as a flash of adrenaline tingled through my body. “What happened? How? And
murdered? By whom?” Michael Taylor dead? While I had never liked the man and dreaded my encounters with him, I didn’t wish death on him. Carlo must have a reason for waking me up with this information.
“I heard all about tonight’s dinner from Jean Taylor,” he said in a low voice.
As Michael’s wife, she would be the first to learn of his death, and she would have given Carlo her version of the evening’s events. And not necessarily in a lucid tone. The calm yogini had a habit of breaking down outside the peaceful confines of her studio. She was triggered by strong emotions and unsettling events. Michael’s death fell well beyond both categories.
I returned to the present moment and caught the tail end of Carlo’s conversation. “…scheduled you in for nine thirty. Luke Morrison will be questioning you.”
“Questioning me?” I said as my heart beat at an alarming rate. “Why?”
“We’re questioning everyone who was at the dinner,” he said. “You were the last people to see
“How was he killed? What did Jean tell you?”
“You know I can’t share any details,” he said, cutting me off without saying goodbye.
Amazon (US): https://is.gd/NRjAXT
Amazon (Canada): https://is.gd/1pX3Bn
The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/1mns8Q
Barnes & Noble: https://is.gd/NFHdlS
In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.Where to find Joanne...
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