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So, You Want to Write…

“Don’t be afraid to take a big step. You can’t cross a chasm in two steps. David Lloyd George

A flood of questions are nearly always top of the list from readers and wannabee writers when they talk to published authors.

How do you write so much? Julia Cameron, who wrote The Artist’s Way, recommends you write three pages of long hand stream of consciousness writing every day, first thing in the morning. I’ve followed her advice since 1990. One day I looked at the accumulated pages on a shelf of composition books and I marveled.

If I had channeled that writing into a story, or written even one page of story a day —I would have three books written, or at the very least, one book written.

Do the math: 3 pages per day 3 X 365= 1,095 words per day or 399,675 per year. That is 4 or 5– 80,000 word novels. Or one page a day = 365 pages. Each page, double spaced in 12 point in Times New Roman font = 250 words.  250 words times 365 = 91,250 words.Surely you can write one page a day – a one page letter to a friend every day?  Think of your reader as a friend and write.

My day –How does my day start? It usually begins at 5 a.m. I love mornings. Seven days a week.  That way, I’m alone except for our two cats, Daisy and Lady Slipper, until 8:30 or 9 A.m. when my husband gets up and I fix him breakfast.

The world is my oyster then.  Still with Julia Cameron’s three long hand pages a day, plus writing in my gratitude journal and reading a chapter in some motivational, inspirational book…then I write a chapter that ranges anywhere from three to six pages, rarely more than that, on my current WIP (Works in Progress). I write in long hand because it seems I get deeper into the story that way.  I type the days writing when I finally get to the computer around 10 a.m. That is how I’ve managed to get from three to five books a year published…adding up to over 30 published novels and 5 books on the craft of writing.

The next burning question in this group of readers/wannabee writers is where do you find the ideas for your stories? Here are a few places where ideas lurked and the books they sparked:

>Death by Candlelight – a person I saw crossing a clearing overgrown with weeds. She was waif-like, tall boot moccasins, long, rich chocolate brown hair…who was she?

>Skull Music

Skull Music a Mystery Novel

Skull Music a Mystery Novel

– three words given from a random prompt, x-ray of a non-human, strange music on a cassette tape, Dolphin.

>Watch For The Raven – a phrase my mother’s grandfather used to begin all his tales with and apparently he told many a tale. “When tag was a pup and turkeys chewed tobacco…”

>Diamonds, Death and Deceit—A news paper story about South Africa and a Witch Hunt conference.

> The Pink Lady Slipper – A photograph

Once you start looking for ideas they pop up everywhere. Stephen King  (Full Dark No Stars) and many other authors’ stories begin with true crime ripped from the headlines. One of Patricia Cornwells’ novels explores the possibilities of who Jack The Ripper was (Portrait of a Killer, Jack the Ripper—Case Closed)—she claims to have solved that issue. Many authors use their careers as starting points—John Grisham, lawyer; Robin Cook, doctor – and many, many more.

Writing, though it’s something I love to do, is treated like a business. Regular hours, regular work day – put out the product, in this case a book. Submit it to my publisher. After a contact is issued, market and promote while I wait for edits and at the same time begin writing my next book.

Right now I’m editing one book, July Heat, before submission, but the next book in my Zodiac series – Leo_ with the character named Augustine Aeble sits in my subconscious developing her story. It’s like a manufacturing plant if you think of it. Raw material in, finished product out. Plan (idea), development (sub conscious noodling, vegetating) Action (write).

Write like the wind—think of all the ways the wind blows – a gentle, playful breeze, a stout nor-easterner, gale force, tornado, hurricane, steady flow, can you picture yourself writing like any of these winds? Each day and sometimes even the same day renders a wind-like writing, sometimes it’s against the wind, next time it’s like with the wind at your back pushing you as fast as your pen or your fingers can fly.

Try it – you too can write a novel — one page at a time.

 

 

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Award-winning Mystery Author Launches Unique Mstyery of the Month Book Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Billie A Williams
Billie A. Williams Mystery-of-the-Month Book Club
P O Box 134
Amberg, WI 54102

billie@billiewilliams.com
www.billiewilliams.com


This is NOT your ordinary book club!

Billie A. Williams, award-winning, multi-published, mystery suspense author of more than thirty published novels, announces the January 2011 launch of the Billie A. Williams Mystery-of-the-Month Book Club. This is NOT your ordinary book club that features a book by a different author each month. Instead, each month members of the Billie A. Williams Mystery-of-the-Month Book Club will receive a different published mystery written by Williams herself.

“I have always enjoyed being part of book clubs, practically since I learned to read,” says Williams. “First it was the school offered Scholastic Book Clubs, then Double Day, or Book of the Month, or Mystery Book Clubs. Now, I am so excited to be able to offer readers a dynamic selection of my own novels, each with an ordinary, accidental sleuth (protagonist) who takes it upon herself (yes, it’s usually a woman) to help someone in trouble and solve their dilemma with wit, wisdom and chutzpah.”

The selected book each month will arrive at members’ homes either via United States Postal Service (print book club), or via the internet email inbox (electronic book club). Print copies are autographed by the author for the print club. Autographed bookmarks will be sent to those for the electronic book club.

“I am hoping these books will resonate with readers in a wonderfully personal way, either by career choice of the protagonist, the way she solves the quandary posed, or the character’s familiarity or similar uniqueness to the reader,” says Williams.

Some of the features of the print book club are:

Autographed copy of the current month’s book
Bookmark/and/or Post card of book covers
Reader’s Guide (Discussion questions that can be used for local book club meetings)
A live tele-forum with the author at the end of each month where members can ask questions 
about the book, about writing, about the author, etc.
A Once a month drawing – for special gifts.
And more…

Some of the features of the electronic club are:
All formats available as well as Kindle
Book Marks to download and print out
Book Club Newsletter (PDF format)
Short, short stories to download
and more….

For all the details about the Billie A. Williams Mystery-of-the-Month Book Club, including pricing, selected books for 2011, etc. visit www.billiewilliams.com/MysteryBookClub.html or contact Billie Williams via email.

Knapsack Secrets Mystery Novel

Mystery Novel

 

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No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

Novel, No Place Like Home

The Hardcover cover available in Paper back as well

By Mary Higgins Clark

ISBN 0-7432-6489-4

Simon & Schuster 2005©

 

Readers often ask, “Where did you get the idea for that story?” In the case of No Place Like Home a New Jersey law was the source for Mary Higgins Clark.  A real estate law to be specific, but to be more specific a real estate agent must inform prospective buyers if the home he/or she considers purchasing carries a stigma that might cause psychological damage to the purchaser. Like ghosts haunting the place or other sinister things connected with the facility.

As a prelude—or an introduction that gives the reader a chill and sets the stage for what might be coming next, Clark includes the oft repeated chant…

“Lizzie Borden took an ax

And gave her mother forty whacks

When she saw what she had done

She gave her father forty one.”

An unthinkable crime, a child killing a parent, and wounding another. Ten-year old Liza Barton, in a dreadful scene of domestic abuse, is awakened by an argument between her mother and her estranged stepfather. She accidentally shoots her mother. She was trying to protect her from that stepfather. She is arrested, but the judge finds her not guilty.

Exonerated by the justice system, but not the town or her conscience, Liza is taken in by distant relatives from across the country, California cousins. Liza is given a new name to protect her and help her get a new start on life.

Celia, twenty-four years later divorced and remarried receives a birthday gift from her second husband. He buys her a house, it turns out to be the house of her childhood, the house in Mendham, New Jersey where she killed her mother and wounded her step father.

The terror she thought she left behind resurfaces as they are about to move in to the new place. The lawn and house are marked up with messages of the old…Little Lizzie’s Place—Beware is painted on the front lawn. A skull and cross bones is carved into the mahogany front door, a doll with a toy gun is propped against that door and the siding is splotched with red paint.

“Blood. It wasn’t paint. It was Mother’s blood. I could feel my arms and neck and face becoming sticky with her blood.” Liza/Celia is transported back to that dreadful day.

Her husband is outraged. The real estate agent is beside herself with embarrassment and Lisa/Celia is ready to collapse, but dares not show the terror she feels.  Not until she can prove her innocence to her husband before she tells him or the town who she really is.

It all gets worse from here on out. Who knows her—who remembers what she did—why harass her all these years after she received an innocent verdict? Does her stepfather have anything to do with this?

The reader will fly through the pages, sharing Liza/Celia’s terror and fear so thick it is nearly palpable, all the way to the end. Hoping for a solution, some good in Liza’s life, wanting her to find peace and recognition as the innocent person she is, or is she? In a word this is an unputdownable recommended read.

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Mystery Writer reveals all…

Don’t you just love it. Those tabloid tell alls sure get attention – even if most of it is just headline garbage. Well, I was meaning to tell you where I got my start.

My favorite aunt bought me the book The House of Seven Gables a Trixie Belden mystery. That was even before I knew what gables were – or turrets or any of that Victorian stuff. I read and carried that book everywhere. Eventually, its well worn cover (I can still picture the dust jacket) and frayed pages stayed behind in one of our many moves. I suppose as a teenager I may have had many other things on my mind and with 5 children my parents couldn’t take everything we all owned…I never forgot the book.

As so many authors cut their teeth on The Hardy Boys, or Agatha Christie or even Dorothy Parker–the old and still very popular authors of mystery have fan clubs and more on the internet and I wouldn’t doubt if not on live too.

In later years I followed the Murder She Wrote television series, never tiring of the reruns until I thought I would try to look for books by Angela Lansbury. I knew she was a Broadway actress of some status so why not. Imagine my surprise when I discovered she writes, but as her character. Jessica Fletcher and a partner have penned many, many mysteries. I started collecting them because she reminds me so much of my mother and they are good (though probably very slow paced by today’s standards) relaxing reading.

Funny how we hitch our wagon to some stars and they carry us over the rainbow and back with their stories…what makes me think I can write? They did.

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I Wrote The End today…

Yes, I did! I wrote the end on the WIP July Heat. which is a mystery/suspense. Part of the Zodiac series — did you guess this is July? the Cancer?

Number 7 in the Zodiac Series

Now comes the fun part the re-write, the edit, the polish. I try to sneak up on it and edit it in several stages = ) First does it sound like an adult wrote it? or is it garbled and inconsistent, then I get down to order – does it track, then comes the dangling thingies (I guess misplaced modifiers and dangling participles – I always thought participles were atom like things that floated in the air.) *sigh* well I know they are now because after I leave a piece of writing they sneak in and switch the order so they dangle where they want.

But I push on because I love it. I am a writer and no one can stop me…not even the file cabinet full of rejections, because I have all these nice contracts that did make it. *grin*

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Its a Mystery

Well getting here has turned into a mystery – I was beginning to wonder about my prowess…Hi I write mysteries and I hope to communicate with readers of mystery here…

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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