Writing the Killer Query Letter

Writing a great query letter is an art, but once you've created your synopsis, you've got the bones. Here's the rest of the story: Your synopsis forms the basis for your query letter. Almost all queries today are email cover letters; your manuscript or pages are sent as a Word attachment – but these are requirements you should establish first as some houses still prefer your pages in … [Read more...]

Darlene Beck Jacobson and Her Historical Fiction WHEELS OF CHANGE

Today on the blog I'm pleased to host an interview with Darlene Beck Jacobson, whose debut middle grade novel WHEELS OF CHANGE is an inventive look at a window of history as the car was making its debut. Here's just a bit of the great review Kirkus gave the novel: "Twelve-year-old Emily loves helping her father in his barn; she even dreams, in futility, of becoming a blacksmith like her … [Read more...]

Loglines and Elevator Moments

If you read my "Synopsis" post, you'll see that you've already got a start on crafting a logline. But we're going to take it a step further. A logline is a one-sentence summary of your story. Think about a movie poster, with its brief but compelling summary, or the cover grab of your favorite best-seller. Those are loglines. And why do you need one? In part because you may experience an … [Read more...]

Writing the Synopsis

Each time I attend a writing conference I'm reminded that one of the trickiest things to do correctly is write a synopsis. And yet the synopsis forms the basis of a query, so the more powerful you can make your synopsis, the better your query. I'll post on queries soon, but I'd like to give you a worksheet on synopses here. This worksheet will hopefully guide you through the steps you need in … [Read more...]

Lindsey Lane’s Debut THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN

Okay kids, this novel is an incredible read - moving, mysterious, and deeply engaging. It is not for the faint of heart, nor for the easy-reader; it's a novel for those who love to think and be prodded out of their comfort zone. I devoured it in a single day. Lindsey Lane's debut YA THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN (out now from Farrar, Straus, Giroux) is a not-put-down story of the disappearance … [Read more...]

Coming March 2016 From Viking…

[Read more...]

News on Middle Grade novel- Chatelaine: The Thirteenth Charm

I have some new exciting news... Kendra Levin of Viking has acquired my first middle grade, CHATELAINE: THE THIRTEENTH CHARM in a pre-empt. It's slated for a winter 2016 release. I can't wait to share Kat's story with you. Here's a synopsis: CHATELAINE is a middle-grade novel set in a rundown Scottish castle during WWII. The lady of the manor has set it up as a temporary boarding school … [Read more...]

Announcing: E-Book Launch of FORGIVEN

I'm pleased to announce that my second novel and the companion to FAITHFUL, FORGIVEN, is now available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle for $2.99. If you haven't read FORGIVEN - and I hope you'll give it a try! - here's the synopsis: Kula Baker never expected to find herself on the streets of San Francisco in 1906. The daughter of an outlaw, Kula is soon swept up in a world of art and intrigue … [Read more...]

Country Bookshelf Reader: Bozeman Writers

I'm pleased that my contemporary young adult short story Jewels, set in New York City, is included in this anthology of work by Bozeman-area authors. The anthology, published by Bangtail Press, is available exclusively at Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana. Here's an excerpt from Jewels: Wren pulls on a knee-high and slips her right foot into the shoe. The leather glows; her foot is … [Read more...]

A Plot Paradigm Compilation

I have always had trouble with plotting, so I’m a big fan of collecting working solutions to planning the plot. Today I’m posting the latest in my personal collection of plot diagrams, something I’ve put together based on the best plot diagrams I’ve found and used. Here is my plot paradigm with some explanation… (You can download this image as a pdf file.) The black line at the top is, … [Read more...]