Saturday, September 26, 2009


Kersten Campbell, author of the candid and hilarious book, Confessions of an Insane Mother, was the first in the biz to review Dawn's Early Light for me. It's no easy task for the early birds who are sent a cyber-copy by email and therefore read and review over a dimly-lit computer screen. Thanks, Kersten!

She also conducted an interview with me about writing in general, as well as my experiences with this particular book. She's posting that interview, along with her review of Dawn's Early Light on her web site. My interview answers read more like Confessions of an Insane Author. Life gets crazy when one is seated behind a computer for hours and hours and hours on end. . .

If you enjoy writing, you know what I'm saying. So here are a few tips from one crazed novelist.

In my opinion, if you are a writer in any phase of development, from wannabe dreamer to published author, you need a few basic tools--a great idea, a passion for writing, a computer, thesaurus, dictionary, chocolate, time, a good critique group or a relative or friend willing to be tough with you, and some writing reference books.

You're on your own finding some of these items, but if you're writing fiction, I can help you out with a few.

In my opinion, The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes should be on your book shelf. For the beginner, it lays out--albeit with straightforward, Boot camp-style toughness--the excuses that prevent desire from becoming reality; and for the successful, published author, it provides a 38-point checklist--an author's medical kit if you will--to help you evaluate, diagnose problems and mend your work.

It's concise style appealed to me.

Some people may prefer a more esoteric approach like Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, which also sits on the bookshelf by my desk. But in crunch time, when I'm stuck and frustrated, having lost my creative way, 38 Mistakes by Jack M. Bickham, fills the bill, rights my path and gets my author-mojo working again.

I picked up another gem this past spring. It's written by Annette Lyons, a fellow LDStorymaker and a successful author/editor. It's playful, quirky style makes it a fun read, (who'd a thunk a grammar book could be a fun read?) and its concise layout makes it a valuable tool you'll actually refer to often.

Yes, I also have a thirteen-pound copy of The Chicago Manual of Style, but it gives my arm a cramp just picking it up, and my migraine sets in whenever I try to nail down a single question locked within it's 930 voluminous pages.

So pick up copies of these concise helps, and you'll find yourself excited about the process of not only writing, but writing well.

Oh, and don't forget to click on the Dawn's Early Light book cover above and read the first three chapters. Then visit Kersten's site and read her review. Better yet, come back here and post your own review of the preview here in the comment box. I'll enter you in a drawing to win a copy of Dawn's Early Light when it's released in a few weeks.

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