Why I don’t default trust iconic authors #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Granted there are exceptions, but in my experience, there tends to be a disconnect between the most iconic authors and the rest of us. And by disconnect, I mean the wealthier and more famous an author gets and the longer they’re at that level, the more out of touch they are with evolving worldviews and how to get from word one to book deal and beyond. Click the title above to continue reading.

Ableism in the writing community #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

The last two and a half years of my life have been a kind of painful hell. It took some doing, but I’m currently being worked up for a chronic Lyme diagnosis, and I’m finally getting treatment as a result, but my path out of pain is non-linear and uncertain. Now you have context for why I wrote this non-exhaustive list of writing advice that has a ring of ableism to it. Click the title above to continue reading.

How people are democratizing the publishing industry #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

There are people out there doing the hard thing in order to democratize the publishing industry. They’re risking their jobs, their income, their industry relationships, their mental health, and even their lives, all to make publishing more accessible, transparent, and accountable. Below are a few examples of people who did the hard thing and effected change in publishing as a result. Click the title above to continue reading.

How white people uphold systemic racism in publishing #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

White people uphold systemic racism in publishing by not doing the right thing sometimes when it means doing the right thing will benefit people of color and especially BIPOC (Black and Indigenous people of color) in publishing more than it will benefit white people. Upholding systemic racism happens with both actions and inactions. The latter is what we’re focusing on here, which is to say, doing nothing. The only thing necessary for systemic racism in publishing to triumph, is for authors and other publishing professionals to do nothing.

Investigating writing advice given in absolutes #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Once upon a time, I decided to write fiction. I consumed as many sources of craft advice (agent blogs, how-to-write books, author Twitter threads, etc.) as I could find. That advice often came in absolutes, as in, always write a certain genre in a certain tense, never start a story with a character waking up, and definitely don’t ever use -ly adverbs. Click the title above to continue reading.

Book launching in the time of COVID-19 #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

My beloved critique partner is launching her debut right now. She came up in the query trenches, won herself a spot in a competition for editing services, got herself an agent, and then, reader, she landed herself a two-book deal with Amazon imprint Thomas & Mercer. This post is dedicated to Elle Marr, whose thriller THE MISSING SISTER is launching April 1, 2020, and to all the other authors launching books in the time of COVID-19. My academic and professional background is in marketing and fundraising, so gather ’round, my wonderful scribes, and I’ll tell you the secrets to marketing during a pandemic.

I’ve got your list of responsible style guides #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Writers write words to express, entertain, inspire, escape, empathize, honor, inform, persuade, profit, debate, overcome trauma, and more. But when we write words for readers, whatever our purposes or intentions, the effect is influence. We have the power to influence those who read our words, and with great power comes you know what. Click the title above to continue reading.

The 2 kinds of diversity advocates in publishing

You might have noticed that a 9,000-member literary organization has been in the news  since it wrongfully censured author Courtney Milan on December 23, 2019. I’m a member of that organization and a white woman, and I am still watching as other members who are also white women, over and over again, refuse to believe women of color. Click the title above to continue reading.

8 ways to invigorate silent beats in dialogue #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

As in real life, our characters sometimes need to pause and reflect on something before responding. This silent beat is often indicated with an ellipsis or the word finally, as in, “Yes,” she said finally. Nothing wrong with marking a beat this way, but here are some alternatives you can use to invigorate some of the beats in your dialogue.