Friday, March 6, 2020

One Author’s Top Twenty Tips by Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell)

Quick Announcements: The winner of Maria DiRico's Here Comes the Body is Karen in OH!!! Congrats, Karen. Email me at jennmck at yahoo dot com and I'll hook you two up!

Also, my publisher is having a giveaway of 50 ARCs of Paris is Always a Good Idea on Goodreads. To enter click here:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/304021-paris-is-always-a-good-idea

One Author’s Top Twenty Tips

Maddie Day, aka Edith Maxwell
Maddie/Edith: Jenn, thank you for inviting me back on the blog!

Jenn: My pleasure! Side note: Edith was kind enough to send me an ARC of Murder at the Taffy Shop and it is sooooo good! Highly recommend!!!

Maddie/Edith: It’s a bit unbelievable to me, but Murder at the Taffy Shop (out March 31) is Maddie Day’s and my twentieth published novel, and it all happened in seven and a half years. I’ve shared most, if not all, of those releases here with the generous Reds and faithful commenters over the years, and it’s only right I celebrate my big book birthday here, too.


So I’d like to share the top twenty tips I’ve learned about the adventure of writing. Even though I get quite peeved when others presume to offer me unsolicited advice – it’s my party, so I’m going to! And I’ll send (at the end of the month, when I get them in) a copy of the new book to one commenter here today.


20: Believe in yourself. When I told Hugh (my wonderful but genetically pessimistic partner) I was writing a mystery, he said (cue dire tone): “You know, it’s really hard to get published.” Me: (cue my inborn optimistic smile) “Somebody’s going to get published, it might as well be me.” Bingo.
19: One speaker per paragraph. This is a pet peeve of mine. Please, after a line of Suzie’s dialog, don’t tell me in the same paragraph what Jimbo did. No! That’s her paragraph. Give Jimbo his own. You’ll only confuse the reader (and if that reader is me, I’m likely to toss the book into the giveaway box…).
18: Commit to your writing. People at book talks often tell me, “I have this book I want to write but I can’t find the time.” I channel Hank’s mother (did I get the gist of this right, Hank?) and say, “If you want to write a book, you will.” Period. 
17: (See #18) Find the schedule that works for you. Me, I’m working by seven every morning (except Sunday), but everyone’s different. Just fit the writing in where you can. It’s all good!
16: Have fun. Sure, a lot of writing is work, hard work. But isn’t it magical when a character does something you never expected, and you have to keep writing to figure out why? Enjoy the moment. Smile broadly, thank the Muse, and type on. 
15: Be kind. To your readers, to snarky reviewers, to clueless authors. Go high if they go low. Be kind to and about successful authors you’re a teensy bit jealous of. And of course to your family, who tolerate you ignoring them. 
14: Find a great editor. Not everyone does this (or can afford it), but all my manuscripts have been read by an independent developmental editor before I submitted them. All were hugely improved. A good critique partner or two can fill this gap if your budget doesn’t allow and if you have time to return the favor.
13: Be patient. You have exactly one shot at querying an agent or sending in your manuscript. Please don’t submit it before it’s ready (see #14).
12: Be generous. Share your fellow authors’ posts, retweet successes, “Like” newbies’ fledging Facebook pages, write positive reviews. Once you make it (however you define that), be like a Jungle Red and host guests, even clueless newbie ones (like me). Julie Hennrikus told several of us long ago, “Social media is ninety percent about sharing and retweeting and ten percent about yourself.” I tucked that into my virtual fist and haven’t let go.
11: Own your genre. Whether writer or reader, don’t let anybody knock your preferred genre. You like village-based mysteries (whether contemporary or historical) where justice is restored to the community in the end and nobody has to read about mutilations or have reason to be scared to go to bed? Be proud to read or write it. You like dark noir, international thrillers, or unreliable narrators? Go for it, and don’t let anybody tell you you’re wrong.


10: Heed your peers – mostly. In a critique group, pay attention to the same comment from several readers. Take a look and give the edit a chance. But if they’re asking for a change you truly think is wrong or doesn’t fit with your view of your story, stick to your (fictional) guns.
9: Pay attention to industry and genre standards. Don’t polish a 100,000-word manuscript about a tea shop if you want to sell it as a cozy. And don’t end your dark thriller (which might include dismemberment and obscenities) at 70,000 words if you want a publishing house to buy it.
8: (See #9) Review the book you read on its own merits. Okay, this tip is for readers only. Please don’t give a book a one-star review because you don’t like the genre (or the cover…). If you’re a domestic suspense or thriller fan who hates cozies, what’s the point in giving a cozy one star because it’s not your cup of tea (so to speak)?
7: Heed your publisher’s editors. These professionals are way more tuned into the market and your potential fans than you are. Ignore an editorial comment at your own peril. Carefully consider if you want to stet a copyeditor (ahem and however, comma before “too” is fine in my book…).
6: No matter how famous you are, please don’t phone it in. None of the Reds do this, of course, but we might all be able to think of a few writers with zillions of sales who keep writing the same story over and over. Their characters don’t grow, the love triangle never gets resolved, the language is sloppy, and the authors ignore their editors (see #7). Let this befall none of us here.
5: Get help. No, I don’t mean counseling – unless you need it, and then, please do. I mean, well, for example: I’m worthless at graphics. It takes me forever (and a new crop of silver hairs) to come up with a nice-looking square thingy (that is, “meme”) advertising a sale price or a new release. So I hire out the graphics to a virtual assistant, who also posts to Instagram for me – with my input, of course – because I’m no good at that, either. It saves me a huge amount of grief and is well worth the fairly low cost. 
4: Find your tribe. Go hang out, in person or online, with others writing in your genre – Sisters in Crime (National, your local chapter, the Guppies), RWA, SWCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), sci-fi writers – whoever and wherever they are. You’ll hear about most of these tips from people who get what you do.
3: Schedule health. By that I mean daily exercise, lots of water, the healthy food of your choice. Because…don’t you want to keep doing this wonderful work?
2: Appreciate your readers. Because, really, aren’t we crafting the best story we can because we want people (lots of people…) to read it? I seriously don’t care if readers buy the book, check it out from the library, borrow it from their sister, or find it in the dollar sale bin. I appreciate you. If you are so moved, please tell everyone you know how much you liked my writing. And if it made your life better for a while, I’ve done my job.
1: Enjoy the ride! Grab a bottle of bubbly (forget about #3 for the moment) and some chocolate. Isn’t it glorious for your dream to come true? Whether you have a single half-finished manuscript, your first book under contract, or dozens of published books (looking at you, Reds), we’re doing the work we love. We’re bringing joy, nail-biting, sleepless nights of page turning, and escape to readers. What could be better?
Readers: What are your tips? Writers: please add yours. I’ll pick my favorite comment and send a signed copy when my ship – I mean, box of books – comes in!


Book two in the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, Murder at the Taffy Shop, is set in August, full season on Cape Cod. When bike shop owner Mac Almeida heads out forll a walk with her friend, she finds a horrified Gin staring at an imperious summer person, dead on the sidewalk in front of Gin’s candy shop, Salty Taffy’s. When the police find the murder weapon in Gin’s garage, the Cozy Capers book group members put their heads together to clear Gin’s nameand figure out who killed the woman whom almost everyone disliked. After the killer later invades Mac’s tiny house to finish her off, Belle, Mac’s African Gray parrot, comes to the rescue. Murder at the Taffy Shop releases March 31 in a paperback exclusive from Barnes & Noble.

Maddie Day– aka Edith Maxwell – is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha-nominated and bestselling author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She pens the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries and the Country Store Mysteries. Maddie lives with her beau north of Boston, where she’s currently working on her next mystery when she isn’t cooking up something delectable in the kitchen. She hopes you'll visit her alter-ego and her on their web site, sign up for their  monthly newsletter, visit them on social media, and check out all their books and short stories. 




95 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new book, Maddie/Edith . . . “Murder at the Taffy Shop" sounds exciting and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    I love your tips . . . they’re all so true.
    If I had to add one, I think I’d say
    Keep on keeping on . . . those who never give up are the ones most likely to succeed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've got the ARC of this book on my nightstand. I'll get to it in a couple of weeks.

    RE: #19, Yes, Yes, Yes!!!! It is so confusing when you try to get two people into one paragraph like that. And it seems to be popping up more and more.

    #8 - Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I try very hard to do this, especially with movies. It's hard at times to decide if the problem is the thing you are review or your own interests. Then again, sometimes, you know right away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you love the story, Mark!

      Delete
    2. I'm really looking forward to it. (I thought I'd said that when I first posted, but clearly I am brain dead right now.)

      Delete
  3. Oh, Edith/Maddie, congratulations on your 20th book achievement! How exciting and wonderful that you've written so many great stories in a relatively short amount of time. Please give yourself a big pat on the back. I'm really looking forward to Murder at the Taffy Shop, yet another hit series for you.

    I love all of your tips, Edith, and I plan to pass them on to my son. #4 reminds me of a discussion I had with my son on the phone the other day. He's writing more, which makes me happy (and him), and I told him to find people of a like mind, other writers and people who will support his endeavors and give him guidance when he needs it. Surround yourself with a great tribe is what I told him.

    As a reader and reviewer, I'm a fan of #2, too, and the authors I read on a regular basis are indeed appreciative of their readers. Of course, as a reviewer, it's also nice to be acknowledged and appreciated, as we reviewers have a great love for what you write and enjoy promoting you and encouraging others to read you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Kathy. Reviewer/bloggers like you and Mark (and Kristopher and Dru Ann and Lesa and...) are so important to us - I know I'm not alone in appreciating you. And how cool your son is writing.

      Delete
    2. Edith, it means so much to me that you and other authors appreciate the reviewer/bloggers. And, I meant it to read in my comments (not sure it did) that the authors I read on a regular basis do appreciate the reviewers/bloggers and let us know. I also meant to comment on what a great idea your virtual assistant is. That's something that would be of benefit to almost any author.

      Delete
  4. It is always such a pleasure when a writer takes the time to communicate directly with a reader. It’s lovely that there is a circle of appreciation flowing between the two and that it can be acknowledged with a quick note.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes when I get an email from a reader and I respond, they seem astonished I actually got back to them, Pat.

      Delete
  5. I've said this before: Edith you make me feel like such a slacker! Twenty in 7 1/2 years!!! Wow.

    Excellent advice. Personally, I need to pay more attention to #3. And I like the virtual assistant thing, I may need to look into that.

    Congratulations, big hugs, and lots of love to you, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you, dear Annette! And...you are NOT a slacker.

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on the new book. I enjoyed the first book and looking forward to this book. Love the setting and the cozy books group. I am not of a writer but I love to read. Thanks for writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. I'm delighted you enjoyed Murder on Cape Cod.

      Delete
  7. I got to read an advance copy of MURDER AT THE TAFFY SHOP and it is a great read!

    I'm not shocked by that fact but it is always nice to discover that the book you are reading turns out to be THAT great.

    I can't wait to see Maddie for a couple of signing events in mid-April!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulation, Edith! What a milestone! Great tips, too. I'd add the idea to be flexible. For example--you've written other series that are no longer in production, so to speak. And did you give up, go out and find a day job? No, you shifted, found some new direction(s), kept writing, and succeeded in publishing new series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! No way am I going back to the day job if I can help it (even though writing software manuals was a great gig the twenty years I did it).

      Delete
  9. Edith, these are terrific tips. The best kind: earned from experience.
    My fave: 6: No matter how famous you are, please don’t phone it in.

    True story - I went to Brookline Booksmith for a top tier mystery author's talk about her new book. She boasted that her name alone could sell her books. "I could turn in the phone book and my publisher would take it." Did not make me want to buy her books.

    Another time a NYTimes #1 author showed up at a talk and announced he hadn't prepared anything, he'd just take questions. Sadly that attitude hasn't hurt his sales numbers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gah on those true stories, Hallie.

      Delete
    2. Authors behaving badly...one of my favorite subjects! I’m always amazed when authors get swollen heads. Yikes!

      Delete
  10. You've hit all of mine Edith. I'm with you especially on #6. But 20 in 7 1/2 years?!? Wow!

    Congratulations my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I’m looking forward to reading the book. As a reader, one of my major issues is poor editing. I’ve read several books recently with not only typos but also sentences that didn’t make sense because they were missing words. At least one of these books was the first book In a new series from a major publisher and it was bad enough that I won’t be buying any more books in the series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sandy. That bothers me a lot, too. Still, it's crazy how many sets of eyeballs a book gets - and still one typo per book usually slips by.

      Delete
  12. Congratulations Edith for your accomplishment of 20 books in 7-1/2 years and for your 20th release. The cover and the setting are very appealing. I have many of your books as Edith but didn't have the occasion to begin the ones as Maddie . I'm sure to appreciate them when I do.
    I can't think of something to add to your tips.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great tips, every single one, Edith! Huge congratulations on your 20th book - wow! I remember your first, and have stood in awe of your hard work and commitment ever since.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Happy book birthday, Edith. What an impressive output in less than a decade! I think you've accomplished something that few others can ever hope to do.

    You all know I'm a reader -- the back of cereal boxes, signs in a foreign language that I don't speak, almost anything anyone has bothered to write. My pet peeve is editing. If I have to correct for spelling and punctuation, read a sentence three times for the meaning, find typos and inconsistencies, et al, I will most likely put my Kindle down, send the book back to Amazon for a refund, and never try that author again.

    I require a good story that flows seamlessly. I want a picture in my mind of the cottage or the office or the city that lasts, with no detours. I don't want to have to keep track of details ever.
    I like a title whose meaning becomes clear as I read -- NINE TAILORS -- but I avoid most anything with a pun or a cat on the cover.

    I pay very little attention to blurbs, sorry Reds, and little more to reviews, with a few exceptions: Kristopher Zgorski, Marilyn Stasio, Parul Sehgal, Ruth Franklin.

    And, speaking of covers, I pay very little attention to these. Mostly that's because I read on my Kindle Oasis, and no matter how gorgeous a cover is, it loses completely when it's in black and white. I do wish covers were simpler though. I like to read both the title and the author's name at a glance. In so much cover art, the pictures and words get lost in each other, another Kindle disadvantage.

    Lastly, nothing of the above has anything to do with any writer on this panel. I adore you all, tout you shamelessly to my friends and online, and I will never ever give you a one star review. If, perchance, I don't really care for a book, I neither finish it nor review it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you, Ann. I hope you might squint at my Country Store mysteries covers (punny titles, cat on cover) and give the actual writing a chance. And we're all grateful you don't give one-star reviews!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congrats Edith! 20 books in 7.5 years? my mind reels!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Susie - and those are just the published ones!

      Delete
  17. I love Edith's books! I'm beginning to enjoy Maddie's too, so it's all good. The only tip I can add would be for the author to read her work out loud, just like she hears it in her head. Preferably read it to someone else. It might work to have someone else read it while the author listens. I think that way any problems with word usage or flow would become apparent. This advice is not my original thought; I don't know where I heard it but it does help.
    I get most of my books from the library and I have been noticing something lately. Many people who read the books before I do are editing them! Sometimes I edit a passage in my head but now people are crossing out words and putting in different ones. One example is the text had the word 'verbally' which someone changed to 'orally'. I agree that word was better but still. Tell me, what is the best way to handle this. Should we contact the author and complain? I might if it were a very big plot hole perhaps. Probably best to just move on unless it really ruins the book for you. If it's a first time author I like to give them some slack. An no, even with books I own I do not make corrections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reading it out loud is a great tool, Judi. I should have included it. But writing in library books? A crime!

      Delete
  18. Congratulations, Edith! I'm still struggling to write a crappy first draft so I truly appreciate your advice. I'm a college writing instructor and in the Winter 2021 semester I will be teaching Writing Crime Fiction. May I share your tips with my students?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cathy. And please do share. A link to my website would be awesome, too.

      Delete
  19. Persevere, please!♥️✝️��✡️♥️

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations, Edith! What an accomplishment, and I echo Annette's words: you make me feel like a slacker (but in a good way--I'm inspired!). Great tips, and I would add this: on days when the words won't come, don't let it get you down. Tomorrow will be better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a good one, Amy. I hope I can inspire you instead of discouraging you!

      Delete
  21. Congratulations on your ongoing success and your new book. What a great story of your own you've created, Edith, by being committed to being the writer you are. I find you inspiring. And your tips are great for anyone who works with words. I'm going to print them out and add them to my 'inspiring words' file.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Edith, perfect! And my mom would have been so thrilled that you listened to her :-) I worried once that I would not be able to finish my first book, and she said “you will if you want to,” and that turned out to be Prime Time.
    I have to say, I still think of that advice every day. Congratulations, dear Edith!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Hank. That was the quote I meant. Thank you, and thank you for all the encouragement and generosity you have shown me over the years. I first met you when I think you had one book out and I had zero. Isn't it a great path we're on?

      Delete
    2. Hank! I watched GROUNDHOG DAY on streaming tv and it FINALLY had captions! Yay! Diana

      Delete
  23. Edith, welcome to Jungle Reds and congratulations on your new novel! Great tips! A while ago there were discussions about starred reviews here on Jungle Reds. Since I read that post, I only review books that I really liked. However, if I promised a new author friend that I would review his/her novel and it is not my cup of tea, I would say that the novel was not my cup of tea, though I think fans of (name of author) would love this novel.

    Sometimes a novel gets a lot of hype and if I do not like it, I use the #blacksheepofinstagram. Sometimes I DNF a novel because I am not in the mood.

    My reviews over at Goodreads are always at least three stars or above, with one exception. Over at Instagram, when I really loved a book, I use the heart emoji.

    Regarding one star reviews, I really try not to give one star reviews. Once I broke that rule because I was shocked that an author who was supposed to be well educated (Eton? Cambridge?) wrote a biography with so many grammatical errors. In that review, I pointed out that it looked like a rush job and I was not sure if it was the author or the copyeditor or the editor who dropped the ball. It was a biography. Not a cozy mystery.

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Edith, I love your Quaker Midwife series! I love cozy mysteries set in the past. Diana

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much, Diana. I love your not my cup of tea trick. That's a good approach.

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much, Edith. I was worried that my approaches were unkind.

      Delete
  24. I used to stress to students-- #19: One speaker per paragraph. I also changed the peer editing instruction telling them to bring "the very best copy you can write on your own" because "rough copies" were too rough and sparse. ;-)
    I also tried to give them some of that #1 Enjoy the ride because we all need it, and truly they remembered better the work they enjoyed. Brava for the new books! <3

    ReplyDelete
  25. Edith, you are a marvel! Of excellent writing, of discipline, and of sheer output. I admire your energy. Congratulations on #20!

    Hear, hear, Ann, on the cats. SO overdone. And as a former copyeditor, I am also really turned off by typos, grammatical errors, misspellings (especially mixing up "led" with "lead", and some other common, but boneheaded goofs), and repetitive use of words.

    As for the list, could we add this, maybe call it 12A? A little blatant self-promotion goes a long, long way. This blog, and The Lipstick Chronicles before it, is a perfect example of how to keep your name out in front, but without clobbering people over the head with "buy my book!" pleas. Engaging with potential readers--or even friends of potential readers who might make recommendations--makes us all more interested in acquiring what you write. ("You" in this case referring to the newbie reading the list.)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you, Karen. But please give my Birdy a chance (the tuxedo cat on the covers of the Country Store mysteries). He found my protagonist, not the other way around! And I like your 12A. A little does go a long way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've enjoyed Birdy very much, Edith! But as an enticement to buy a book, cats don't do a thing for me.

      Delete
    2. Karen, congratulations on winning Ellen's novel! I am reading the book now.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, Diana! I'm very excited!

      Delete
  27. Great post! Thanks for visiting today, Edith! I’m on my way to the SW FL Reading Festival so I’ll pop in as I can!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for having me, Jenn - and have fun at the festival!

      Delete
  28. Congratulations, Edith. I'm always amazed at the number of plates you seem to juggle with ease. You've learned a lot over these twenty books, and your points certainly show that.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Congratulations on this big milestone, Edith! You are amazing. I think you've covered - and done it very well - all the important pieces on your list. When asked how I did it (not that I've come close to you), I give some variant of your #18- there are no secrets. You become a writer by writing. BICHOK - butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "You become a writer by writing" - exactly Triss!

      Delete
  30. Congratulations!! Quite an achievement and well-deserved. I enjoy all your series. All different but all have that "something" that keeps me coming back. Maybe it's that you follow your tips? ;-) As a reader I especially appreciate #6. I have stopped reading some authors that seem to just cut and paste now. And also as a reader, #8 is the only decent thing to do, especially if you're lucky enough to receive an ARC. Review the story itself, and don't pretend to be a professional editor. Congrats again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for appreciating all my different stories, and for your approach to ARCs, too.

      Delete
  31. Congratulations, Edith! As I'm working on book #19 and have been writing way more than a decade, you leave me in awe! I love all your tips, too. I would add my personal peeve to your #19: One viewpoint per scene, please! I hate getting viewpoint whiplash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debs. I am with you ALL the way on POV slide/headhopping. Yes, we all know a couple of highly successful authors who do it. I still don't like it.

      Delete
    2. Deborah, thanks for reminding me. Edith, one of your tips reminded me of when I read a novel and there are different speakers. Sometimes I get confused and cannot tell who is who.

      Delete
  32. Edith and Jungle Reds,

    Delicate Question: I need your advice: How can we write a Review of a Book when we see lots of grammatical mistakes or too many typos? Do we Forget about writing a review at all? Any advice?

    Much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana, I thought your response farther up was perfect: "In that review, I pointed out that it looked like a rush job and I was not sure if it was the author or the copyeditor or the editor who dropped the ball." If you liked the story despite the errors, say so. And if you find an error in my book, please let me know. My editor will get it fixed in the ebook and in the next printing.

      Delete
    2. Edith, thank you! I do try to be tactful. And I will let you know if I find an error in your book via your Instagram account.

      Diana

      Delete
  33. I am so glad that most cozy writers did not go the present tense route that a lot of fiction has taken. It really puts me off to read those, and it is troublesome when I like the writing otherwise. Of course, even worse is frequent tense shifting; I am old school on this.
    But, since I appreciate that language evolves, what would you recommend as a guide to "modern" best practices? Thanks!
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sometimes write short stories in first person present but never a book.

      Delete
  34. I admire writers, you have to be a real disciplined and dedicated person to write a book. It seems to be a long process. I also hate to see grammatical mistakes and typos in books. I've also read books where a characters name changes depending on the page or chapter. I know authors do several edits and they are proofread and reviewed by editors and I feel these types of error should be corrected before publication.

    ReplyDelete
  35. When Edith/Maddie speaks, I listen! Thank you for all twenty.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Congratulations on your new book, Edith. Your advice is applicable to so many endeavors, not just writing. The story sounds like it will be a fun read. Since I vowed to read Jungle Reds this year, I will put your book into my TBR pile and give shout when I've read it. I love hearing about your success asa writer. It is inspirational.
    And Hank, your mom gave you really good advice!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sounds interesting and fun to read. I love the location. Belle sounds interesting too. Belle to the rescue! That's different and fun a bird helps out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donamae. I had run through all four of our cats and figured it was time for something different. Belle is a hoot, too..

      Delete
  38. Congratulations on the 29th book! Your advice sounds good, and works for more than just writing!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Great post. I love all the tips, especially #19, 11, 8, & 2

    ReplyDelete
  40. These are wonderful tips. They describe a writer just as I picture you: professional, organized, etc. Congrats on your new release—you have a well-deserved successful career. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great tips! I've enjoyed writing since I was young and have recently been considering looking into publication for my current work. I totally agree with #17 and #18. I'm tired after my day job and struggling to concentrate on writing even if I want to. I'm trying to work out a schedule or goal for each day/week so I feel I've accomplished something. And #20 is so true, for anything. Whether it's about writing or not, I think that's something everyone needs to hear sometimes.
    Congrats on the new book and all the wonderful ones previously!
    kozo8989@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you found the list helpful, Alicia, and I know it's really, really hard to write around the edges of a day job. You'll figure it out!

      Delete
  42. Taylor R. WilliamsMarch 6, 2020 at 9:43 PM

    I would think you need to remember to take some time for yourself - I would imagine that sometimes it's best to step away and do something fun and silly for a bit, or to pamper yourself a little so that you can keep writing - sure love your books - trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good addition to the list, Taylor - thanks!

      Delete
  43. it is 7:30pm on the west coast. So many comments, so many good ideas, so many books. I think it was mentioned earlier - changing tense is weird. I agree with Taylor, above, about taking a minute, hour, soaking bath or escape for yourself. It is part of #3 - Schedule Health. I've always carried a book to use as an escape. I do the same with the yarn I carry to work almost daily. Sometimes you just need to stop and make your brain do something else. As long as what you do for yourself is not against the law or will physically hurt, it should be good. I hope that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Of course, and thanks for popping in! Part of #3 is a long fast walk every day after my morning of writing.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Congrats. You got some really good tips there.

    ReplyDelete