ASKING HELP FROM OTHERS: Are you an Annie?

ASKING HELP FROM OTHERS: Are you an Annie?

Annie Pearce has a problem She keeps going off by herself and doesn’t ask for help. Whether it’s to follow leads, a suspect or even do research, she repeatedly leaves on her own, against the warnings of friends and colleagues to not go anywhere without backup or knowing where she is. It’s a problem throughout book one of the Wizard Hall Chronicles, The Day of First Sun.   Cham: “Can I look at your neck?” Dark purple bruises covered both…

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Pitching an Agent – Someone Please Read My Book!

Pitching an Agent – Someone Please Read My Book!

The Opportunity: Pitching an Agent All we writers want is that single opportunity to give our book to an agent. To have one person be intrigued enough to ask for a full manuscript. It’s the first step, to traditionally publishing a book. You don’t interview agents and pick the one you want to work with. You pitch the book with a query letter, and a small sampling of the book, usually the first 50 pages and a short synopsis. If…

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Writing: The Process – It Goes Round and Round

Writing: The Process – It Goes Round and Round

Once upon a time… I had a story to tell, my own story of writing. I sat down at the computer and began to type. My fingers flew over the keyboard and the words poured out of me. And in six weeks’ time, I had a book. The End. Only, it wasn’t the end. It was really the beginning. After that first draft, I must have made 30 more sets of changes. I was a total novice to this process….

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Editing: It’s Like Sending Your Baby to College

Editing: It’s Like Sending Your Baby to College

Editing a Book – Like Setting a Child Free The mere idea of sending a book to editing is like sending your oldest child to college. You care for and nurture your child, feed and clothe them, heal their wounds, hold them when they cry. It’s 18 years of care, to unceremoniously drop them off and drive away. I’m not joking.  Sending a book to the editor is much the same emotional roller coaster. I live with my book, everyday….

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Theme Writing – Saying Something with Purpose

Theme Writing – Saying Something with Purpose

Do My Books Have a Theme? As a pantser, not a plotter, a writer who writes without plotting the story, I very rarely chose the book’s theme before I begin. I actually don’t think I really planned on a theme for any of the stories. To be perfectly honest, my goal has always been to write an entertaining story, one that leaves the reader happy they spent an afternoon with my characters. I wanted relatable, real characters, a female lead…

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If Magic Were Real Would We Have to Share

If Magic Were Real Would We Have to Share

Protecting Magic at all Costs It’s a common trope in supernatural books: magic must be hidden from the non-magical world, no matter the cost. In Harry Potter’s world, the Ministry of Magic would punish offenders for exposing magic. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, protagonists Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein were threatened with execution when it was thought that they conspired to release a dangerous Obscurus on the unsuspecting citizens of New York City. When destruction and chaos…

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STORIES, THE COMPULSION TO WRITE: BRINGING WORLDS TO REALITY

STORIES, THE COMPULSION TO WRITE: BRINGING WORLDS TO REALITY

The Young Dreamer When we are young, I think we all made up stories in our heads. Maybe when we were playing with dolls or building forts in our backyards. We made up the good guys and the bad guys. We made up the winners and the losers. We made up the fairies and the elves. We made up the happy ending. But at some point, for many of us, the stories stopped. Life got in the way — We…

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ELVES: THEY MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

ELVES: THEY MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

Okay – I want to make a bet with you. Say you are reading some sort of fictional book set in some sort of supernatural world. How long do you think it would take before the author introduces elves? These creatures may look very different and have different purposes in their respective stories, but they have become a favorite microcosm of the paranormal. These creatures seem to make their worlds a better place. Harry Potter had his Dobby. The members…

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Teamwork: Lessons from Law and Order

Teamwork: Lessons from Law and Order

Law and Order for the Supernatural Set Hi, my name is Sheryl Steines and I am a “Law and Order” addict. From the first uttering of “In the criminal justice system…” to the rolling credits, I get sucked into the story and the characters. Heaven help me if it’s a SVU marathon – I can be in front of the TV all day. I have always had a thing for procedural dramas. I try to follow all of the twists…

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Here’s to the Strong Female Character! May we know them; May we be them; May we raise them; AND MAY WE WRITE ABOUT THEM!

Here’s to the Strong Female Character! May we know them; May we be them; May we raise them; AND MAY WE WRITE ABOUT THEM!

March is Women’s History Month It brings me back to a familiar topic here on my blog – the strong female character at the heart of an interesting, complex story. As a fan, I look to books and movies that feature kick-ass women as their lead. These ladies are the ones who don’t wait until their boyfriends show up to save the day – they kick down the door and take no prisoners. As an author and as a woman,…

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