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Showing posts from December, 2019

Counting Down with Kathryn Craft

Kathryn Craft contributed over a hundred posts to the Blood-Red Pencil between 2010 and 2014, including her excellent monthly series detailing her journey to publication, and her "Busted!" series exploring effective writing techniques found in print. Kathryn's books Twelve tense hours, three women, and the suicide standoff that turns one family's little piece of heaven into a scene from hell. Based on a real event from Kathryn's life. All Penny has ever wanted to do is dance—and when that chance is taken from her, it pushes her to the brink of despair. After a traumatic fall that she is lucky to have survived, Penny must confront her past and use her love of movement to rebuild her shattered life. Kathryn's top posts on the Blood-Red Pencil Start here for Kathryn's Countdown to a Book series and follow the links for the next post at the end of each: Countdown to a Book 1: Joining Hands Or pick and choose from all her countdown pos

Raising a glass to Dr. John Yeoman

We are going down memory lane here at the Blood Red Pencil during the month of December, recalling and honoring BRP regulars and guest contributors. Today, we raise a glass (of eggnog, perhaps, because it is the season) in memory of Dr. John Yeoman , PhD Creative Writing. Prior to receiving his doctorate degree, Dr. Yeoman spent 40 years as a commercial author and chairman of a major PR company. He wrote children's books and historical mysteries for adults and ran the Writers' Village story competition. Dr. Yeoman died unexpectedly in 2016, but his words and his works live on. Dr. Yeoman's Hippo Yeoman series of instructional novels (unobtrusive tips explain the writing techniques used to craft the stories) are still available from Amazon Kindle, and are well worth working through:       His many insightful posts at the Blood Red Pencil include: How to Win a Writing Competition   How To Pitch A Self-Published Novel to A Publisher - Part One   How to Pitch a S

Feeling Sheepish with Elspeth Futcher

Elspeth Futcher was a member of the Blood-Red Pencil from 2010 to 2018. She is a playwright and a bestselling author of murder mystery games. Elspeth's humorous 'Writing Sheep' posts were a favorite here as well as appearing in the European writers' magazine Elias . Elspeth's latest releases Tension is high inside the big white tent because it’s time for this year’s bakers to face judgment and elimination. But wait! Stop those timers! Our esteemed judge, Shaw G. Bottom has just been discovered dead in the judge’s tent. The bread round just turned into the dead round. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall…but no! Humpty didn’t fall. He was pushed! Which of these familiar fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters is the perpetrator? Can you solve this scrambled case? Every member of Griffin Patrol was having a good time on their current camping trip … until Peg Puller didn’t show up when the dinner gong sounded. She was disco

Best of Morgan Mandel

Morgan Mandel was a member of the Blood-Red Pencil from 2008 until 2016. She writes in the romantic comedy and mystery/suspense genres. Morgan's latest releases After suffering the devastating loss of her parents, Rina returns home to confront the man who’d broken her heart. Danger awaits her when she plots revenge. She has no idea the man she defies is not the person she once loved. Laugh and cry with Morgan Mandel as she shares the antics and trials she and her husband experience through adopting dogs. Bursting with anticipation, Hailey awaits the arrival of her first child. She has no idea her world will soon be shattered. In the midst of pain, an unexpected offer arises. If it doesn’t pan out, she’s in for further heartbreak. Should she take the chance? Morgan's top articles at the Blood-Red Pencil Kindle and Smashwords Quirks Twitter Don'ts Secrets of Genre Strategy Morgan Mandel Interviews Popular Male Romance Cover Model, Jason Aaron Baca

Writing in Style with Audrey Lintner

CMOS expert Audrey Lintner joined the Blood-Red Pencil in 2012 and lends her breezy sense of humor to the Style Maven column. Multi-talented Audrey brings the attention to detail and precision of a spinner and knitter to her editing work. Audrey's top articles on the Blood-Red Pencil Style Maven: That Which Confuses Us Style Maven: Pucker Up Your Ellipses! Hot Under the Collar about Cold, Hard Cash To My Valentine, the Deadline A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Mailbox... Not-so-fancy Dress Find out more about Audrey's editing services at ALTO Editing on Facebook .

Weaving it all together with Pat Smith

Patricia B. Smith joined the Blood-Red Pencil in 2018. Pat is a journalist and experienced professional developmental editor, working both for a publishing company and for private clients, as well as running her own publishing company. Pat's latest releases A practical, real world look at the process of buying, renovating, and reselling houses, presenting the risks and rewards of flipping real estate. This book will help readers determine if they have the necessary time and cash, and guide them through the process. Romantic short stories by 12 different authors, edited by Pat and published as an anthology by her company, Welkin Press. Spine-tingling short stories by 12 award-winning authors, edited by Pat. Pat's top articles on the Blood-Red Pencil Cats and Cozy Mysteries Go Together Like Scones and Clotted Cream How to Tell Good Editing from Bad Editing Is Editing a Dying Art? Killer Companions How NOT to Sell a Book Connect with Pat on Facebook,

Mining the Past with Ann Parker

Historical mystery author Ann Parker joined the Blood-Red Pencil in 2018. Ann is a science writer and editor, and marketing communications specialist in her day job. Ann's latest releases Set in 1881. Inez Stannert, co-owner of Leadville, Colorado's Silver Queen saloon, has turned her business talents to managing a music store. But when the body of a young musician washes up on the banks of a canal, the investigation into his death threatens to expose Inez's notorious past. When Leadville soothsayer Drina Gizzi is murdered it is Inez Stannert, Reverend Sands, and Drina's young daughter, Antonia, who find her body. The mystery surrounding Drina's death deepens when her body vanishes without a trace. Inez Stannert travels to the fashionable summer retreat of Manitou. But when fellow stagecoach passenger Edward Pace dies unexpectedly, his widow rejects a weak heart theory and begs Inez to investigate. Ann's top posts at the Blood-Red Pencil 

Mixing Genres with Polly Iyer

Polly Iyer began blogging with the Blood Red Pencil in 2013, which makes her one of the newest members of the group. She’s a cross-genre writer, switching from thrillers, suspense, mystery, a bit of romance and a touch of paranormal, sometimes all in the same book. Polly's Latest Releases Two unrelated cases keep Diana and Lucier busy. Their search for the missing mother of a street boy they've taken under their wing exposes the crime and corruption among some of the city's most upstanding citizens. An eccentric socialite pressures Diana to rid her mansion of her twin sister's ghost in the second case. With no clues to go on, Diana and Lucier must first prove the missing sister is dead, and a ghost is helping her find the truth. Book 4 of the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series. When psychic Diana Racine’s old friend is murdered in New Orleans, her love, Lieutenant Ernie Lucier, brings her in to consult on the case. What Diana “sees” draws them both in

Getting Organized with Diana Hurwitz

Diana Hurwitz is the organization queen behind the quarterly lists of writing conferences and workshops that have been published at the Blood-Red Pencil for the past few years. You can see Diana's list of Conferences for 2020 Requiring Early Registration here . Diana has also created a wealth of writing tools in her Story Building Blocks manuals and workbooks, and has been very generous about sharing a lot of great information from her series in her posts here: The Central Question Shifting Point of View Is It a Love Story? Dressing Up Your Romance Making a Thriller Making a Thriller, continued Stretching the Story Seed Layering Conflict External Conflict Scenes Antagonist Conflict Scenes Interpersonal Conflicts Internal Conflict   Diana also wrote a very important post that every writer should read: In Case of Emergency Connect with Diana on Facebook and Twitter . Visit her blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict and website fo

Self-Editing with Patricia Stoltey

Patricia Stoltey initially wrote for the Blood-Red Pencil from 2009 to 2010, before taking a break to concentrate on writing fiction. We were thrilled when Pat decided to rejoin us in 2018. Patricia Stoltey's latest releases In the early 1800s in a village on the Illinois frontier, young Jo Mae Proud wishes her cruel brother dead. Forced into prostitution by Caswell, Jo Mae discovers she is pregnant and vows to escape. Then Caswell is injured by a near lightning hit. When Lynnette Foster's cop husband punches her in the face, she leaves him and boards a flight from Miami to Los Angeles. At the airport, a criminal accidentally switches Lynnette's laptop case with his own. Sammy's boss sends a hit man to recover his property. To complicate Lynnette's life, eleven-year-old Grace McCoy follows her off the plane during the Denver layover. Then Lynnette learns that her husband has been murdered. When a body is discovered in a hotel bathtub in Nevada, gue

Writing Workshops and Conferences 2020: Early Registration

Whether a one day session, one week conference, or a month-long writing workshop writing related events are a good way to commune with other writers. They are opportunities to network and get your name out there. In some instances, you can meet and mingle with editors and agents. Some offer critiques or pitching sessions. Nowhere will you find a higher concentration of introverts enjoying each other's company. Local conferences are a good place to meet potential critique groups or recruit members. Some are free. Some require a fee. Some are more social than others. Many are for new writers, but a few dig deep into craft. You should choose an event that speaks to your needs and desires. The following is a list of conferences that require early registration or application. WORKSHOPS REQUIRING EARLY REGISTRATION May 9-16, 2020  Longleaf Writers' Conference , Seaside, Florida. Application due by January 10, 2020. March 2

Trying New Things with Linda Lane

This week at the Blood-Red Pencil we are celebrating our longest-serving members, with a look back at a selection of their awesome posts.   Linda Lane joined the Blood-Red Pencil in 2009 and is another of our prolific bloggers, having contributed over 150 posts so far. Linda inspires the rest of us with her willingness and determination to give something new a go -- from social media and marketing, to the more advanced aspects of blogging. A well-respected editor in the industry, Linda has also recently picked up her writing pen again. Linda's latest releases When successful businessman Edmund Kohler is involved in a road accident, the lives of his family and business partner are forever changed. Then Edmund's vindictive brother arrives with the intent of settling an old score with Edmund's wife. Attorneys Aidan Wolf, Jenna Jacobs, and Wilson Howell practice law in a small Colorado town tucked up against the Rocky Mountain’s front range. Although the three

Making it Shine with Shonell Bacon

This week at the Blood-Red Pencil we are celebrating our longest-serving members, with a look back at a selection of their awesome posts. Shonell Bacon began her journey with Blood Red Pencil in 2009. Since then, her contributions have brought clarity and insight to writers and editors alike. Particularly useful was her 8-part series that imparted vital information to writers about how to choose the right editor for their works. A portion of the first entry, "Inside the Editor's Den: the Beginning," is reprinted below. Links to the rest of the post and the series can be found at the end of the excerpt. Welcome to the first post in our Inside the Editor’s Den series. This month, we talk to four of BRP’s bloggers – Elle Carter Neal, Maryann Miller, Linda Lane, and Shonell Bacon – on their work as editors. Since 2008, The Blood-Red Pencil’s goal has been, as stated by founder Dani Greer, “to help writers by blogging about what we know best – editing.” In t

Keeping It Fresh with Maryann Miller

This week at the Blood-Red Pencil we are celebrating our longest-serving members, with a look back at a selection of their awesome posts. This gem from Maryann Miller originally posted on March 13, 2009. Titled "Keep Your Salad Fresh", its words written more than 10 years ago are just as relevant today and well worth revisiting. Maryann has been a longtime contributor to BRP, and her posts always offer a variety of literary gifts to the reader as well as to fellow editors. The links at the end of the article include an interview with a romance writer; its wisdom deserves a second look. During the first draft of a novel, the writing can sometimes be pretty ordinary. We are intent on getting the story on paper and we write what we are familiar with. The challenge is to freshen everything up in the second draft. Here are just a few pointers that haven't been covered here in a while: AVOID clichés and shop-worn phrases. I recently edited a book and the author w