Grabbing Readers With Eye-Catching Covers

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An eye-catching cover is essential for grabbing readers’ attention. It’s important that the cover be catchy and appealing while not being too busy. A cluttered cover can interfere with the readability of the words on the page. Importantly,

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Tips on Titles

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A good title is a must. As the primary fiction selector for a large library system, I read dozens of book reviews from a variety of reviewing sources–Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus–to name a few. When I see books with banal,

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Smooth Transitions

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In order for a reader to get immersed in a novel, the story must flow as seamlessly as possible from beginning to end; chapter to chapter; scene to scene; paragraph to paragraph; sentence to sentence.  Before I began writing Olive Branches Don’t

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Stories All Around Us

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There are stories everywhere around us and they are constantly happening.  Our job, as writers, is to look and listen for them, to take full advantage of our surroundings.  Every window of the apartment building across from my apartment building

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What Landscape Reveals About Character

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Landscape is the backdrop against which the story falls.  It can be both entertaining and informative for readers.  Most importantly, it reveals the internal state of the protagonist. The protagonist perceptions of reality change according to

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Reading for Writing

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I could not have developed my voice as a writer had I not read many other writers throughout my life.  Now I read only those writers whose style I like so that they can influence my own style.  Some of my favorites include Flannery O’Connor,

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The Journey Motif

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What do the novels Huckleberry Finn, The Canterbury Tales and On The Road have in common?  All of these great works of fiction employ the literary technique known as the journey motif.  Although the journey that the characters of these stories

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The Ever Useful Subplot

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In my previous novel, Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees, the theme of my book was peace.  The primary plot was Silvia attempting to make peace in her own family, while the subplot was her finding direction in her own life.  Her finding

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Questions At The End

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One review of Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees claimed that the ending of the book was inconclusive and that I left too many loose ends.  The ending is open and I intentionally left it open so that the reader could use his or her imagination

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The Part That Stays

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Most people have had the experience of reading a book and having that book stay with them well after they have finished it.  This after-feeling is something that can keep a reader thinking about a book and wanting more from the particular author

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