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Writing

Unveiling a New Cover

Cover reveal! I normally begin each newsletter with an essay of sorts, but I just received my batch of advance reader copies for my upcoming book, The Dead Husband (coming May 2021) and can't wait to show you the cover. There's nothing like opening a box of your books...

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On Writing Violence

I've killed. Countless times. I've shot, stabbed, tortured, burned, bludgeoned, and amputated. Hell, I've even crucified people. In my six published novels, many of my characters meet a bad end. In fact, one of the main reasons I don't write a series is I always want...

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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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Writing in Extraordinary Times

You've heard me go on and on about my favorite band James, whose lyrics I've used in my last two books and, hopefully, the next one as well. Their latest album, Living in Extraordinary Times, was released a year and a half ago, and is essentially a protest album (the...

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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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Why So Dark?

My readers know what I write: dark psychological suspense, sometimes tinged with horror. The space of fiction in which I exist is a cold, barely lit world where paranoia rules and people quite occasionally die—a place where trust is a rare commodity, hope is even more...

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Give Me Halloween Ideas

Mid-July is when the Halloween nightmares start. The recurring dream is that it's 6 P.M. on Halloween night, kids are walking toward my house, and I totally forgot to decorate. I haven't put out one goddamn thing. My body is frozen in place, so I can't even get a...

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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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