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Amber’s Blog

70% Dark Intentions - Book Launch Eve

Here it is, very late the night before 70% Dark Intentions comes out.  I’ve just finished editing some video for the launch party tomorrow, and I’m finally getting to my book-launch eve blog post. What did I learn this time around?  For one thing, how warm and supportive people can be, when you are approaching […]

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Making Us Care

I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about book openings, specifically what you need to accomplish in the first ten pages of your manuscript.  To prologue or not to prologue?  Do you need to set up the scale of the world, or give details on the science?  Should you start with an action scene? These are […]

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Setting and History

A setting is the sum of its history.  Whether you’re writing contemporary fiction, or something set in an invented country, a place’s history provides both context for your story and opportunities to make your story specific. I played into that with the mystery I just released by setting it in Galveston, where I am familiar […]

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Giving Your Story Depth

When talking about story depth, predominantly, you’re talking about how the author has handled themes in a work.  I’ve had a number of writing students who embrace the ideas of planning out character and plot, but totally shy away from discussing theme.  The story events are what they are – entertaining, exciting, fun.  So why […]

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A 15 Day Journey

I decided to do a writing challenge on Instagram, where you were supposed to explore different aspects of your writing practice/writing life.  I though the results were interesting, especially the way the prompts built on each other.  I know not everyone is on Instagram, so I compiled the Insta segments into one long diary-style post.  […]

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Finding Your Voice

It can take courage to be yourself on the page.  If you are writing “primly” or “correctly,” that can feel safe.  Who can find fault with a voice that sounds carefully generic?  But the story written generically isn’t going to come out very exciting, is it?  More likely, your entire book will sound stilted or […]

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Grand Openings Book Launch Eve Post

Here it is, the night before my first cozy mystery comes out. This was a fun one to write, and it got me thinking about how story is story, no matter what the genre. Because story always comes down to people, and human nature is the same, whether writing someone who comes from the area […]

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Literary Interview -- Diane Kelly

I have known Diane Kelly for years.  She volunteers to help with literacy and for getting young writers off to a good start.  And in addition to being an animal lover, she’s also a prolific mystery writer.  Be sure to check out her award-winning Death & Taxes, Paw Enforcement, House Flipper, and Busted mystery series.  […]

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Invented Language

I’ve designed parts of multiple alien languages for my Chocoverse books.  It’s one of the most fun parts of worldbuilding.  I love building lexicons and language rules, and thinking about how prefixes and suffixes can affect a basic word’s meaning. Depending on how much of the language will actually be used in a book or […]

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Grand Openings Can Be Murder Roundup Post

Here’s where to find me doing the virtual book tour thing.  I will be adding to this post over the next few months, as I am doing a TON of guest posts and interviews relating to the Bean to Bar Mysteries.  But I wanted to get everything in one spot, as the links go live. — […]

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