Three years ago, my photography instructor gave our class this assignment: spend a day taking pictures which, when put in the right order, tell a story. And coincidentally, the next Sunday I was set to attend my first Green Bay Packer game at Lambeau Field where we were pitted against our decades-old rival, the Chicago…

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This month I hosted my 78th interview for Hear Us Roar where my guests are debut authors of women’s fiction, so it’s a perfect time to share some tips from the last 2+ years about using this medium as part of your book marketing package. As of February 2021, there are 1.75 million podcasts out…

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Last week my writing buddy sent me her new novel and asked for my feedback. This is the one I’ve been hearing about for a year, the novel she’s written that’s closest to her heart, and the one I feel will earn her a deal with a major publisher. And it got me thinking about…

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Last month I shared that I’d signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). I’d never done it before but thought I’d give it a try. So first things first. I WON (okay, hundreds of thousands of writers did but I was one of them). I wrote 50,111 words during the month of…

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I’d always scoffed at folks who diligently signed up every November to pound out a new novel. I mean, I was a writer. It wasn’t a hard job, not like piloting a plane or finding a cure for cancer. All I had to do was put my butt in the chair, turn on my laptop,…

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The two most powerful words in the writer’s toolbox have got to be “What If …?” What if the world we live in is simply a computer simulation- (The Matrix) What if certain people can travel through time but can’t control it- (The Time Traveler’s Wife) What if robots developed into sentient beings- (Ex-Machina) What…

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There are so many things about your writing career you can’t control but there’s one big one that you can—your author photo. As soon as you declare yourself a writer, you’ll get asked for it. You’ll upload it to your author website. You’ll splash it across your social media platforms. It’ll be printed on your…

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A year ago I signed with a small press to publish my debut.  I loved the acquiring editor and her “take” on my book. I felt comfortable with the owner, liked the fact that they’d do an actual print run (not just POD and E-book), that the press was run by women, and that I…

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I wrote my first short story in a day. Not that I planned it that way. I’d always wanted to try my hand at short fiction so I signed up for a week-long class at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, only to discover this wasn’t a series of lectures where I’d learn the fundamentals. No,…

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GoodReads has a whole section on quotes about writing from household names like Stephen King and Annie Dillard and Mark Twain.  Hemingway and Faulkner and Salinger jump in, too. Some quotes are wise, like Sylvia Plath’s assertion that “the worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt” and some are blunt like Wendig’s “try very hard not…

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