Peg Herring's Blog – July 2007 Archive (12)

Atmosphere

How is it that some authors grab you by the sleeve and won't let you go, while others only provide a pleasant diversion that can be set down at any moment to do something more pressing?

I started my second Laura Lippman book this morning, and already I'm hooked. Barry Eisler does it as well. It could be in Lippman's case that she writes as I think, pulling up details that seem like they came from my own brain, but in Eisler's work I have no frame of reference, being neither Asian nor…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 31, 2007 at 10:39pm — No Comments

Variety

As I read through the posts on several writer/reader forums I've joined, it strikes me that we're different. Now isn't that profound?

Different means that a book I like, for example, Craig Johnson's A Cold Dish, made a reader post that she'd given up on it because it took too long to tell the story, and a book I find corny and in fact irritating is someone else's "brilliant read." If you've read earlier posts you can guess which authors I don't care for in the mystery genre,…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 30, 2007 at 10:38pm — No Comments

Books We Love to Write

Yesterday's post was on writing what you like versus what will sell. I find that among my works, I can't say which is better or best; I love whichever one I'm working on right now. I can't imagine being told what to write, and I guess that taking the creativity out of a person's work is what makes a writer a hack. Although I understand the need for editorial intervention once I'm done, before that point I have to write my story. It is this that makes me reluctant to join critique groups that…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 27, 2007 at 11:18pm — No Comments

Writing What You Like

I had lunch with a writer friend the other day and we got into a discussion about what we write. I'm about to be published in historical romance when I really love writing mysteries. She's published in cozies and wants to start a series with a paranormal detective. Conventional wisdom says to write what you know, but there's also the consideration of what will sell versus what you really love to write.

My friend's written two series, one she devised herself and one she was asked to…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 26, 2007 at 9:40pm — No Comments

Mistakes Writers Make-con't

In addition to long asides that take the reader out of the story, there is another practice all too common in modern cozy writing that drives me crazy. Because of "themed" mysteries, we all have to learn about a craft, a job, or a hobby as we follow clues to whodunnit. That's not terrible, but authors should be careful not to let their theme overshadow the plot. There's a tendency to get so detailed that the text reads like an instruction manual rather than a story, and in the end I get the…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 25, 2007 at 9:49pm — No Comments

Waiting

The hardest thing for me about the publishing business is waiting. You send queries to agents and you wait while they wade through the stacks of queries they receive each day. You get an agent and he/she sends out MS packages to publishers and you wait while some assistant reads it, passes it on to the next person up, and so on. A publisher nibbles, and you wait while editors confer and decide. They take the book and you wait while an editor goes at it to make it fit their guidelines. You…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 20, 2007 at 9:18pm — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #6

As I crouched in the trees wondering how to get the drop on Rocky and his stone-cold buddies, an incident began that might define poetic justice. Things happened so fast I hardly had time to comprehend what I was seeing.

Rocky's two bodyguards were bored, uncomfortable, and obviously not into hunting. There must have been an incident before I got there, and the pot was simmering. Only a few minutes after I arrived, the Asian said something in a low, gravelly voice, something I didn't…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 19, 2007 at 10:02pm — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #5

Added by Peg Herring on July 19, 2007 at 6:30am — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #4

When I stepped off the plane in Savannah, it was hot enough to turn a guy to lava. I made my way to the spa where I'd been told I could find "Hard-hearted" Hannah Granitelli, a nightclub chanteuse and sometime girlfriend of my target, Rocky Cahoney.

I found Hannah in the atrium, taking some sort of beauty treatment. She looked me over at a distance and made her decision. Her face turned stony as I approached. "I got nothing to say to the likes of you," was her greeting.

"Gimme…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 17, 2007 at 10:55pm — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #3

My search for Rocco Cahoney led me first to Detroit, where I met the oldest criminal ever, Adam Antini. He sat in the shady corner of a park, feeding the mourning doves and pondering his life's misdeeds. "Before I sink into the ground," he told me, "I want to make things right."

"Good," I told him. "You can go a long way toward that if you tell me where to find Cahoney."

"If I help you, I won't last out the week," Antini said, "but it'll be worth it to clear my conscience. I'm…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 17, 2007 at 10:06pm — No Comments

Short Post-It's a Holiday!

Just a quiz today and the answer to yesterday's. Cleopatra, of course. This one is more difficult, and you have to be a student of history...

Accident or Spousal Abuse?…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 4, 2007 at 11:20pm — No Comments

Finding Good Readers

One of the things I've found hardest in writing is getting someone to read my work with a critical yet encouraging eye. First problem: I was for years an English teacher in our small town, so most people think if I wrote it, it must be okay. Not true, of course, but many would never "dare" to criticize and are therefore out of the running as first readers.

Then there are the people who would love a chance to axe something I've written, just to prove that they're smarter than I am. Not…

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Added by Peg Herring on July 3, 2007 at 2:51am — No Comments

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