Under the Mango Tree

One of the real pleasures of working as a writer is meeting new writers who are just starting to figure out their way around the publishing world.  I talk to several dozen new writers a year, advising them about how to finish their books, how to get published, and how to find the reading audience for their work. Over Christmas break last year, I met with another one of these eager new craftsmen, Michael Gibbs.  Although Michael is the adult son...

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Better, Stronger, Faster

I have the theme from The Six Million Dollar Man running through my head (and now, I suspect, you do too…) A few weeks ago, I attended a writing workshop let by a Big Name Author.  In the past, I had heard many positive things about the BNA and his workshop, but I have to admit, I was *very* disappointed in the actual presentation.  I thought that the BNA was very … slippery — when asked for specific advice about specific...

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Wearing the Editorial Hat

In addition to spending my days lazing on the chaise lounge, eating bon bons, and wearing feather boas, writing, I also spend some time editing the works of others.  My editing clients have ranged widely in experience and in writing-career goals:  Some are pursuing traditional New York publishing contracts, some are pursuing self-publication, and some have written just for themselves and their families. I’m always pleased when my editing...

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Commas, Commas, Everywhere

By nature, I’m an author who uses a lot of commas.  (And yes, I am hyper-aware of that curly little punctuation mark, as I write this post.  No, I don’t plan on changing the basic rules of my usage.  Yet.) I like to string together phrases, to make sentences flow, to try to imitate the rhythms of speech by setting words into neat little groups. But even I realize that commas can be overused. And so, as I edit DARKBEAST REBELLION...

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“Stet,” she said, politely.

I received electronic copy edits on THE MOGUL’S MAYBE MARRIAGE this morning, a Word file with Track Changes turned on.  My practice is to read through all of the suggested copy edits, leave the room to rant and rave, administer emergency chocolate, then sit down to consider each individual change, line by line. Fortunately, I’ve never been cursed with horrific copy edit stories.  I’ve never had a copy editor rewrite entire...

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