On lattes and Writing

It’s a chilly 15° F -9°C in my Seattle Eastside suburb. Here’s my warmup cinnamon vanilla latte. My first shot at latte art is meh. However, I’m really getting good at making cafe quality lattes at a fraction of their prices. I didn’t start out that way. My first lattes were craptastic. I’ve never been[…]

Marketing Monday: Swag to Sell Your Books

If you write in a particular genre, that genre usually has conventions. The conventions can range from a small local one of a couple thousand people to tens of thousands (San Diego Comic Con). Newer authors might not be able to afford a table at a con, but there are ways you can market your[…]

On Writing: 5 Things I Do after I Receive Feedback

In movies, the writer has a typewriter or laptop click clacking away, drafting until they write the words “The End”. The author sends the book to their agent who instantly sends it to the publishing company and voila, a book is printed and on the shelf of every bookstore ever. The novel becomes a best[…]

Antagonists: Mental Illness is an Overdone and Ableist Trope

I recently had a fellow writer comment that Roi, the antagonist for Warrior Tithe, gave them “Ramsay Bolton vibes”. I took it as a compliment. A character readers love to hate. However, I want to say this. Cu Roi mac Daire is a legendary figure from The Ulster Cycle, not someone suffering from mental illness.[…]

On Genre: Where Does My Werewolf Story Belong?

Traditionally, a werewolf in a story earned a book a spot on the shelf of the horror section of a bookstore. However, today there are many genres that include supernatural, potentially monstrous creatures that are not inherently cursed or evil. Categorizing a werewolf story is depends on the plot, not the supernatural creature. For example,[…]

Back Up Your Work: A Cautionary Tale

Writers like to use different programs to get their work down. Microsoft Word being the most common. I personally switch between Word and Google Docs, but I own Scrivener. I use Scrivener for the planning stages of a book, the notes, the outline, little character cards, etc. It’s a lot better than my wall looking[…]

Struggling with Imposter Syndrome? You’re Not Alone

After dickering around writing and doing nothing with it for years, about five years ago, I decided to take writing seriously. I started attending classes and workshops to improve. I had the audacity to assume that I could put out better work than what was out there. I thought I could be like Toni Morrison[…]

Opening Lines

When I was new to writing, I’d read that an author should make the first line the best. It’s your hook, so make it memorable. Another book said an author should sum up the entirety of their book in the first line. I thought that the second was absurd and you couldn’t possibly do both….then[…]

Reflection Sunday

In my Facebook writers’ group Speculative Twist, I ask my fellow fantasy, science fiction, and horror writers to share with me their writerly wins, setbacks, and plans for the following week. I like to do this because as writers, unless we’re working for a magazine, or on a publisher’s deadline, we don’t get the same[…]

What Does Genre Mean to a Writer?

Anyone old enough to remember card catalogues, remembers learning the Dewy Decimal System–a library’s classification system based on subject. Dewey Decimal Classifications: 000 – Computer science, information & general works 100 – Philosophy & psychology 200 – Religion 300 – Social sciences 400 – Language 500 – Pure Science 600 – Technology 700 – Arts & recreation 800 – Literature 900 – History & geography[…]