• blog,  Creativity,  On Writing

    Author Reading: Mesha Maren Reading Sugar Run

    Tonight I went to an author’s reading in town.  I used to go to these all the time when I lived in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now I live in a smaller town that doesn’t have many and to get to the readings I have to drive 45 minutes.  Going into town for a reading or anything else for that matter was nearly impossible for many years.  Now that my kids are getting older and have busy social lives of their own, going to something like an author’s reading is possible with some extra planning. Tonight, Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home, was…

  • blog,  Book Reviews

    Book Review: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

    *Spoiler Alert* In A Land More Kind Than Home, Cash tells the story of a death that happens in a small church from three different points of view, each person giving different parts of the story. There is Adelaide Lyle who opens the book remembering how much has changed in the tiny North Carolina town where they live. She hints that these changes came about because of the actions or decisions of Carson Chambliss. The book is about a tragic event that changes the town forever. Read more about writing a great beginning with a great hook.  This first chapter is incredibly strong. It follows the full arc of a…

  • blog,  On Writing

    Mastering “The Hook” in Your Writing

    This essay is a summary of the points made in my recent Write Naked, Die Famous Podcast on the topic of Beginnings. Use this article as a reference. Listen here. Many of us think we can measure success in writing by sales, but any number of factors can impact your book sales that don’t have to do with your writing. You are a writer. Your job as a writer is not to sell units of books — that’s the job of the publisher and the bookstore. Your job as a writer is to keep the reader reading.  Keep her reading the next word, sentence, page, and chapter despite all the…