Writing Naked



Share your book while you write it, someone suggested. “Are you kidding?” I replied. I do corrections. I revamp things, move chapters around. I even write a character out of a story here and there — now and again.

Somehow, though, the idea kept percolating around in this relentless mind of mine. And now, here I am, trying to get everything right the first time, hopefully enabling me to send words straight from my fingertips to your eyes.

I’m two chapters, plus a prologue into the experiment. I can’t judge how it’s going. I only know it’s pressure, but sometimes, pressure is good, right?

As if that’s not challenge enough, I’m also trying to write in what is for me a new genre. Up to this point, I have been primarily a cozy mystery writer. Nice, safe, murderous little tales that won’t send you looking out your windows trembling over what might be out there. But you see, I really love suspense.

Plus, my mystery books also include a love interest. I mean, give me a break, these are female sleuths. One, Melanie Hart, is a young news reporter who has developed a relationship with a CPA. He lives about five hours away. Then there’s Ginger, owner of the most popular beauty shop in the county, who enjoys teaming up with Melanie to hunt for killers. She’s always in search of a new man.

My other series features an elderly widow. She’s dealing with the ghost of her college heart throb. He’s moved into her house, and he loves giving her all kinds of fits.

So, see? I write a little romance, too.

So put all that together and what could be more logical than that I try writing a little Romantic Suspense.

(I know. I know. That’s an intensely crowded field, too. But these days, what isn’t?)

So if you want to have a laugh or discover what I hope will be a good book, feel free to follow along. It’s title is Blind Faith.

It’s under construction at Wattpad, where it may be read for free. Here’s the link. https://www.wattpad.com/story/98029457-blind-faith


Meet Molly, the Alternate Me

catPlease meet Molly. She now officially represents me on various discussion boards where I hang out.  I never felt comfortable using a personal photo  in my posts, because having my face pictured next to my words felt, well, too personal for me.  (It’s probably a deep-seated flaw in my character, but I have been camera-shy since a very young child.)

Since I’ve used an avatar for a while now, I’ve tried more than one. The first I liked very much, but no one else did. I decided to change it one day when I stumbled across an electronic discussion suggesting it was a very poor choice.. (It was the head of a turkey, so possibly they may have had a point.) So it came down to be replaced by another image. But I didn’t much like that one. And then one recent day there she was, Molly, the avatar of my dreams.

My inspiration came from the avatar of a fellow forum member. She has the picture of the face of a white dog with a tiny tip of her pink tongue reaching up toward her nose and a glorious wig of pink hair, which cascades elegantly down her shoulders. It is darling!

So what do you think of my Molly? Do you like her? Would you read books written by her? And what about you? Do you use your own photo, or do you, also, hide behind a beloved image?

And please forgive me for filling this page with such nonsense, but I really, really like Molly.

Creating Characters Is Fun for Me; Naming Them Is the Pits

I must admit I love creating fictional characters. They start out as certain types. I mean you can’t have a hero who doesn’t have at least the potential to become brave. So there you have the hunk of raw clay which will let you build your ultimate man or woman. The same is true for other characters. You don’t want a love interest who is frigid or a lover who is a beast…. Well, that is, unless you’re writing something that’s like Fifty Shades of Grey.  Could you imagine that dude being a wimp? I don’t think so.

So I must confess I like types. But to those types I add all kinds of quirks as I write. Are they funny? Kind? Evil? Rude? Take your pick. And gradually those people pop out from the page and turn into their interesting selves.

But names are my undoing. I obsess with nearly every one I create. Plus, I write mysteries, which don’t require much in the way of creativity. I don’t know what I’d do if I were writing fantasy or space operas. But even though I have the easiest of all tasks, I often start off with one name, which I’m not truly in love with, and soon find myself doing a global search and replace to rename person. Sometimes I change my name and find myself doing it all over again. I’ve even been known to change the name of a cat — not once but three times.  This business of naming characters is truly pure agony for me. It seems my brain is incapable of the task. It absolutely refuses to stockpile worthy names for me to dredge up and use on demand.

So imagine my delight when I discovered there are name generators available online. Oh, what joy, what bliss.

And the little tools cover a wide variety of names, ranging from plain Anglo-American monikers to elves or even names to suit characters from around the world. If you are writing, there are most likely names available to answer whatever need you have.

Not only that, but many even offer ideas for space ship names or pirate ships or…. Well to be fair, I don’t remember  all of the options. So here, without further fanfare, is a list of name generators to help you come up with names that will please you.





Well, those are a few. There are others and even some for purposes such as domain names and business names and what have you. Just type ‘online name generators’ into a search engine and enjoy the results. It seems there are a lot of people who find coming up with names a bit of a challenge.


To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That Is Today’s Question

Every so often a heated debate breaks out in a writing forum I follow. “Should authors use Twitter to promote their books?” some poor poster asks. And the responses are usually instant and many.

Most of the people believe writers who use Twitter to openly sell books are slime buckets. Twitter, they say, is for making friends and connections. Authors there should share life stories or good reads or observations on life. They say we should  rarely send out tweets containing links to our books. It can be done, they say if you’ve just published a new book. But the announcement should only be posted once, not repeated twenty times in one day. That’s it. That’s all you can safely do there. To do otherwise is to risk having followers cut you from their feeds.

But there is a another opinion, a brave soul who steps up and says, “Hey, wait just one dang minute.”

He says he spews out nothing but spam on Twitter. He subscribes to a program that kicks out promos multiple times every day, and from the clicks his links get, he suspects doing so sells as many as five books a week for him. He claims he has lots of followers and doesn’t care if someone drops  his feeds. He’ll sell just as well to the new people who follow him.

So, what’s your feeling?

Another Way to Get the Word Out on New Books

Beyond the challenge of writing the book, there’s also the question of getting the word out to your faithful fans that there’s a new book to be had. That’s no small point, especially today when so many books are available. I currently offer many ways for readers to learn of my new publications. But recently, I’ve added another channel. And I think it’s a spiffy one offered by the mighty Amazon.

Apparently a lot of writers don’t think or even know about this option. I certainly didn’t until it was pointed out to me recently in a popular forum. The service is available to writers on their author’s page, where a shiny little star pops up in the left hand corner and encourages visitors to mark the author as one of their favorites. Check it out.

A large number of clever self publishers have been encouraging readers to sign up for information in new releases for a long time now. Typically, they use an email service such as MailChimp to collect the email addresses of fans. Then, when their novel’s finished, they send out an email and hopefully reap the rewards by having their readers click book to buy it.

I haven’t done that yet, but I have added the link to my Amazon Authors page on the Home Page of this website. There, I urge them to add me as one of their Amazon favorite authors. It’s quick. It’s convenient. And hopefully, it’s effective.

I also run a sign up sheet on the website and provide links to my Facebook page and Twitter account. With more and more books being published daily, building your fan base is becoming more important than ever before. Providing a number of ways to help fans track your books – really makes sense to me.

Tales from the Dark Side of Love giveaway

Valentine receives a rosary from the Virgin, by David Teniers III

It’s February, that month when the groundhog sticks his nose out of his hole and discovers love is in the air. (Well, maybe that’s not exactly how it works, but I think you get my drift.) Anyway, this year there’s even more reason to celebrate our escape from January’s frigid embrace. That’s because this February brings with it the Tales from the Dark Side of Love giveaway, offering readers a chance to win free books, or Amazon gift certificates, or a Kindle Fire HD.

The event has been organized by romantic suspense author, Bianca Sloane. And the idea for the giveaway tracks back, of course, to the presence of Valentine’s Day halfway though the month. But while many of us when we think Valentine’s Day picture chubby cupids with bows and arrows or red paper hearts with lace, the day’s origin actually stems back to the life an early Christian saint.

But poor St. Valentine. Apparently no one’s quite certain if he was one man or was perhaps a composite of two different people. For this reason Valentine’s name was dropped from the Catholic calendar of saints when revised in 1969. But his memory still lives on and he is lists among the saints allowed to be locally venerated. And for the less church oriented of us, he’s gained even wider recognition for his alleged support of love and loving couples. And our thoughts of love and hearts and flowers care little about his status as an officially sanctioned saint.

And the group of writers participating in the Tales from the Dark Side of Love giveaway aren’t looking at love quite so simply, either. We’re out to present to you the flip side of hearts and flowers.

To learn more about our perspectives and the prizes available to you, the reader, be sure to visit Bianca Sloane’s blog where you can enter the contest and possibly win one of those many, amazing prizes!

Three ways to win:

  • Tweet about the giveaway/promotion using the hashtag #DARKSIDEOFLOVE with a link back to http://www.biancasloane.blogspot.com/

  • Leave a comment on blog posts with email address. No email address means no entry.

  • Email Bianca Sloane at Bianca@biancasloane.com with the subject line “Dark Side of Love.”


Out of the Blue, a New Cover Strikes


I’m pleased to announce a new cover for Murderous Decisions. I’m not sure why I changed covers. My book only came out in July. But at a recent sale I found a graphic I liked so well, I simply had to buy it. And once bought, I could not resist using it in a cover.