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Notes from Other Authors

Hello, folks. How are you? You getting through these very strange days with ease or with struggle? Likely both, I imagine. Have you been connecting more, reaching out to those you haven't talked to in awhile, just to ask them the simple question you okay? Me too. Over...

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Room 217

Jessica and I just got back from our annual ghost-hunting excursion at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, for the past six years I’ve gone to the famously haunted hotel to do some writing and search for ghosts,...

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Screen Time Makes Me a Better Writer

I pay attention when another author's book captivates my attention. I'll analyze the detail, pace, prose, and voice, and try to figure out what exactly it was that grabbed me. (Sometimes the opposite is true: I'll read a terrible book  and obsess over how it became...

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On Setting Goals

Happy New Year and new decade!  This is the time of year I walk into my hometown gym and there's twice as many people as usual. Everyone's ready for the new year. New resolutions, fresh dose of determination. But did you know less than 10% of people keep their New...

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My Halloween Theme

One of the best parts of Halloween is I have guaranteed newsletter content for a quarter of the year. In August or September I write how I'm stressed out that I haven't yet decided on a theme. In October I reveal the theme. And in November I always provide a recap...

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The Day I Met the Dead Girl.

My publisher bought my book The Dead Girl in 2A in 2018, though when I sold it that wasn’t its title. My working title was The Orphan List, but my editor wanted a different name (this is very common) and she came up with the finalized version. The “girl” in the title...

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All About the Mood.

Storytelling is 20% idea and 80% mood. When I set out to write a story, I never have a fully formed vision of what the plot will be, but I know how I want the story to feel. Of course, moods shift scene to scene throughout a novel, but there should be one pervasive...

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Kids are creepy.

I'm constantly amazed at how creepy kids are. Specifically little kids, like Damien from the Omen or that ghost-peeper from The Sixth Sense. Every now and then I'm asked to come teach at an elementary school, and inevitably the kids are WAY darker than I expect them...

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