As some of you know, in addition to writing, reviewing, and publishing many novels, I am also a certified editor with over five years’ industry experience editing for small publishing houses and indie authors alike. Oftentimes, I’m asked about the most common, frustrating or egregious mistakes I come across while editing novels, particularly romances, since … Continue reading The 4 Mistakes Your Editor Can’t Fix in Your Romance Novel
When I sat down to write this article, I originally wanted to title it, 'Why I Love Self-Publishing!' But when I really began to envision my preface about how much my publishers have taught me, and what an integral part of my writer's journey they've been, I realized pretty quickly that I am only a … Continue reading The Perks of Being a Hybrid Author
Writer's block is a lot like pain. And I don't just mean that it hurts. But, like pain, block is a sign that something is wrong. That something needs changing or repair. The body has an amazing nervous system designed to (among other things) alert us if anything's awry. If we couldn't feel pain, then … Continue reading The 10 Gifts of Writer’s Block
There will be many trials and many errors.There will be many failed attempts.Many experiments will go wrong, while some go nowhere at all.There will be false positives and silver linings.Frustration and hours of dullness and darkness will prevail, for a time.There will be lonely, listless days and electric, sleepless nights.Stay authentic, whatever you do.Don't write … Continue reading For writers who are stuck.
The following is a repost of a guest article I wrote for Jennifer M. Eaton's blog in December 2016, originally entitled "Handling historical attitudes in a millennial feminist world":Make no mistake, I consider myself a Feminist. I’m not old enough to have fought for it; I was simply fortunate enough to have been born into … Continue reading Repost: Handling the touchy topic of feminism in historicals
Let's clear up one thing first: "trope" is not a bad word. Neither is it an insult. A trope, for the purposes of this post, is a common theme or archetype that frequently appears in stories. The 'damsel in distress' has historically been a popular trope in storytelling - albeit, one that's losing significant steam … Continue reading Why enemies-to-lovers is my favorite romance trope
I'll never forget waiting three years between releases of the fourth and fifth Harry Potter novels. Rumor had it, we were finally going to find out WHY the evil Lord Voldemort had tried to kill innocent Harry as a baby. That was the crux of the whole series, wasn't it? The morning of Order of the … Continue reading Why Prophecy is the laziest literary device
I recently received this email from fellow Michigan writer, Jaclyn E. Dunlop. She had a very good question: Jaclyn's Email: Hey. Do you have any suggestions on how to write a combat scene? ...My main character is fighting a dragon to prove her worth, and I'm not sure how to go about it. C.K.'s Response:The … Continue reading Mailbag: Suggestions for writing action scenes
When I sit down to brainstorm or outline a new book, I always start with one question: What intrigues me?Reconnecting with my younger self, I recall the stories, secrets, mysteries, and phenomena that once sparked a burning curiosity within my adolescent mind. What was forbidden and what was taboo? What was sneaky and tempting and … Continue reading What inspires my stories?
Some days, it's easier to be anything but a writer. It's easier to applaud others' accomplishments than to put our own stuff out there. It's safer to read someone else's work than to painstakingly compose our own, then release it and let it be rejected, criticized, or worst of all, totally ignored. It's easier just … Continue reading On Writing
I'm looking at a fascinating book for writers called 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias (here's the link on Amazon). While scrolling through the table of contents, I realized I've used some of these themes, and thought it would be fun to list them here on my blog. The ones I … Continue reading How Many “Master Plots” Have I Written?
Did you miss my Once Upon a Time? Read Part 1. The Plot Thickens... Had I known what I was getting myself into when I began writing The Duchess Quest, I would've been too horrified to even try! (I suppose the same can be said of childbirth.) Therefore, I am grateful for my ignorance at the time! … Continue reading My Story: Part 2 (Happily Ever After)
I don't generally get too personal online, and I try to keep my posts about my or other people's books, rather than about myself. However, I've read some inspiring stories by other authors brave enough to speak of their writing and publication journeys, and thought perhaps it was time to share my own. In two … Continue reading My Story: Part 1 (Once Upon A Time…)