A Poem & an Interview

Awesome 2-hour interview with Chuck Palahnuick. Must watch for all writers. The guy is amazing.

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A Writer’s Meme…

I sort of stole this from another blog – but I thought it would be a fun Friday post.

Name a novel(s) that inspired you to write.

So many… but three that come to mind are: The World According to Garp by John Irving, Of Captains and Kings by Taylor Caldwell, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

What’s your favorite genre to write and read?

Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense. Love puzzles and can’t resist trying to solve them.

Do you prefer to write stand-alone or series?

Series are great because you get to spend more time with beloved characters and watch them grow and develop. Although some stories are meant to stand alone. So, I guess I don’t have a preference. Although, most of my books at present, are part of a series.

Use 3 words to describe yourself.

Funny, stubborn, determined

Use an image that reveals your latest book’s Main Character or story setting.

anita rodgers mystery writer

Yes, bad things happen in the creepy woods. Hehe

How long did your first book take to draft?

Six months. Then I promptly trashed it. It’s okay, it was utter drek.

Who is your author idol?

Michael Connelly – the best crime writer out there, in my opinion.

Share a writing memory that made you determined to keep writing.

After reading a historical romance I wrote (inspired by a poem) my writing professor told me that I wasn’t ready to write novels yet. He said I needed to get more life experience first. Though he didn’t specify what that experience needed to be. Nothing like being told you can’t do something to make you want to do something.

Tell us something surprising or unique about yourself.

I’m very shy in real life. (Nobody believes me about this)

Share the hardest part of being a writer.

It’s very easy to feel as though you are all alone in the world. Writing is a solitary activity and it can make you feel isolated. You doubt whether what you’re doing matters, is good enough, and whether anyone will really care about what you have to say. You have to learn to be good at self motivation, giving yourself pep talks, and letting your intuition guide you. But despite this, there is nothing more amazing than creating a story you are proud of and want to share with others.

What’s your favorite social media and why? Share your link.

I think Facebook. It allows for a lot of interaction and enables you to connect on a deeper level than most of the other venues. I’ve made some lovely friends and found some wonderful readers on Facebook.

Share some uplifting wisdom in six words or less.

Believe in yourself. Believe in others.

Thanks for reading this fun little writing meme. Feel free to ‘meme’ yourself in the comments.

If you’re a writer: What is your favorite thing about being a writer? What is your least favorite?

If you’re a reader: What do you most like learning about your favorite authors? What book do you wish an author would write?

Have a lovely Autumn weekend.

Cheers,

Annie ❤

 

38 Phrases coined by Shakespeare that you never knew

anita rodgers mystery writer

Some writers are just timeless. Shakespeare is probably one of the most timeless of them all. Don’t believe me? Following are common phrases that we ALL use, even today – that came from the Bard himself.

For goodness sake

Neither here not there

Mum’s the word

Eaten out of house and home

Knock knock! Who’s there?

All’s well that ends well

With bated breath

A wild goose chase

Too much of a good thing

A heart of gold

Such stuff as dreams are made on

Fashionable

What the dickens

Lie low

Dead as a doornail

Not slept one wink

Foregone conclusion

The world’s mine oyster

In stitches

Naked truth

Send him packing

Vanish into thin air

in a pickle

Own flesh and blood

too much of a good thing

Truth will out

Eaten (you) out of house and home

Had you in stitches over a joke.

Give the devil his due

A sorry sight

There’s method in my madness

Salad days

Wear your heart on your sleeve

Spotless reputation

Full circle

There’s the rub

All of a sudden

Come what may

So, the next time you utter one of these phrases, be sure to thank the Bard for it. 😉

Why I Write About Monsters

 

Monsters come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. No group is immune to birthing monsters. Not all monsters are criminals. Often monsters never get caught. Yet, they wreak havoc wherever they go and revel in ruining lives. Death, destruction, and ruination is their goal.

My stories are crime thrillers and mysteries. And there is a certain satisfaction in writing such stories, because at least in fiction you can come to some resolution. You may even bring the monster/bad guy to justice. And reassure others that monsters can be caught and punished—and that we are all safe.

But fiction aside there are men and women in the world whose whole lives are devoted to being predators. To preying upon those they see as weaker or inferior.

I learned at an early age, that even so-called friends can be monsters. Like the man who called himself my father’s best friend then tried to lure me with candy and money into his sick fantasies. Or the tenant who lived in my grandparents’ rental who thought a color TV and cartoon shows would encourage me to let him be my boyfriend. I was eleven and he was forty.

Both these men were kind, funny, and very charming. Everybody loved them. No one suspected for a minute that they were monsters. I just happened to be lucky that my father believed me when I told him about them. Because so many girls aren’t believed. So many victims are ridiculed and shamed for ‘telling lies’ or ‘making up stories.’

But those are not the only type of monsters in the world…there the friends, teachers, parents, siblings, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, etc etc, who will batter you for ‘your own good.’ Who will give you advice. Who will judge you. Who will do everything in their power to make you feel like crap (in a word).

So…I guess I write about monsters because I’ve had a few wreak havoc in my life. And because I have seen what they have done and can do to others. And because I believe that knowing what monsters do can tell you who they are. And lastly, but perhaps more importantly because there are people out there who fight monsters everyday to which we owe a good deal of gratitude. Ordinary men and women who know evil when they see it and do everything in their power, to bring a little justice to the world and help maintain order in society. And it’s for them, I dedicate my stories and give my respect.

If you want a few good tips on how to spot sociopaths (monsters) this excellent article will give you some great tips on how to spot monsters.

What about you? Do you believe in monsters? Have you had people in your life who’ve turned out to be monsters? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Things I discovered over the weekend (writer resource roundup)

anita rodgers mystery writer

  1. There is a way to autograph you eBooks for readers. Go to Authorgraph, set up a free account and spread the news. It is super easy to set up, although the confirmation email took a few days to go through, and lots of fun. For you and your readers.  If you look to the left sidebar, you can see their little widget that you can add to your site to let your readers know you can autograph their eBooks.
  2. Apparently, a very prestigious literary agency has had an embezzling bookkeeper on board for quite a while. He managed to filch 3.4 million (yes, you read that right) from author royalties meant for the agency’s clients. Among them, one of my heroes, Chuck Palahnuick. This Kristine Kathryn Rusch post gives the details.
  3. Voracious Readers offers a small but possibly effective way to increase your email list and maybe get a few reviews while you’re at it.
  4. I discovered a great online proofreading app called Typely (H.T. Jane Friedman) that is free, super easy to use and hits those funny little things that the others seems to miss. The drawback is that it is an online only app and you can only cut and paste 50K characters (about 4,000 words) at a time, but it goes super fast. It won’t replace Grammarly or Hemingway but it’s a great little booster in producing a really clean manuscript.
  5. Apparently Shopify has a little site called Burst that offers free images. They are nice, high quality, somewhat artistic shots and better than many of the other free sites offer. You do have to pay for the high res version but for the low res version (totally usable for social media and promos) you can download totally free.

I’m sure there is something I’m forgetting, but five very cool, groovy things is pretty good for a weekend, right?

How about you? Any cool writer or reader tools, gadgets, apps or comics you discovered lately? Share in the comments please.

Have a great week.

Annie 

Yes, the Writing Matters

I read a blog post from an influencer in the indie industry today. He said the writing doesn’t matter. Well…not so much anyway. Really what’s important is to give the readers what they know. It’s content over form. (That pesky craft stuff is not really necessary, although watch the typos because that really irritates people.)

He then went on to explain that as long as you put in the expected tropes and clichés (with your own special twists of course) then that’s when people will want to read what you write.

(Which perhaps explains why there is so much bad fiction out there, I suppose.)

But here’s the question:

If the writing doesn’t matter then why call ourselves writers? Why don’t we call ourselves trope-ists or cliché’ists or trend-ists?

If we don’t need to care about word choice, or flow or character development or any of that bothersome ‘craft’ stuff. If the form doesn’t really matter.

If a book dashed off in a month is as good as a book written with care, then edited and revised and polished, then why are we putting in all that effort? Why are we torturing ourselves? Clearly it’s more important that we start selling our stuff. Clearly what’s important is us. And selling our crap.

Because if the writing doesn’t really matter then the reader doesn’t really matter either, right? Unless they buy our crap.

If anybody can be an author and anybody is good enough to be an author (as long as they stay on the trope train) then being a writer doesn’t mean much does it? If writing a book is no big deal, because everybody is doing it and can do it, then why should anyone care?

And if words and the craft of words (a.k.a. communication) don’t matter to writers then who will they matter to? If language and communication isn’t important to us as creators, where are we headed? Where is society headed?

It matters…yes, it does…

YES, the writing does matter.

Because the reader matters.

Because your writing isn’t all about you. It shouldn’t be anyway.

It’s all about the reader. It should be anyway.

Shouldn’t it?

I think so.

What do you think?