Writing tips
Writing tip: Don’t be afraid to cut
On November 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

In my first job out of college, one of my assignments was to co-write an opinion piece for my boss. (In this case, “co-write” meant “write.”) He told me the points he wanted to make, and my role was to turn those ideas into a clear, readable argument that a prominent magazine in our industry […]

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Guest post from a fan and fellow author
On October 26, 2015 | 6 Comments

I recently received an email from a loyal fan named S.J. Francis who is releasing a debut novel this week. While I was perplexed by S.J.’s decision not to reveal his/her gender (see the author headshot below), I was also grateful to learn that S.J. had read all my books, so I decided to help […]

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Active vs. passive voice
On October 19, 2015 | 0 Comments

If you’ve never heard of “active voice” or “passive voice,” don’t worry, you’re not alone. However, while you might not know the official terminology, I’m willing to bet you can easily spot the difference between the two. In the active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing the acting. For example: I am writing this […]

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Who is/was your favorite teacher?
On October 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

Today is World Teachers’ Day, so I’d like to give a special shout-out to Margaret “Señorita” Azevedo, who was my high school Spanish teacher for three years. The way she explained grammar made it FUN and easy to understand, and that foundation helped me with English grammar as well. The señorita also taught us how […]

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Reality check: Remember why you wrote your book in the first place
On September 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

Last fall my close friends Martha and Tanya had a “stoop sale,” which is what we apartment-dwelling New Yorkers call a good old-fashioned garage sale. As the three of us were discussing how much to charge for a beaded purse and why no one had yet bought the wooden elephant, a kind older gentleman strolled […]

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The importance of asking for feedback
On September 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

Requesting feedback is a valuable – and critical – element of the writing process. When it’s positive, feedback can encourage you to keep going when you might otherwise lack momentum. On a more granular level, it can reveal what’s strongest about your writing, which characters and storylines readers respond to the most, etc. All in all, […]

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Punctuation tip: How to use “however”
On September 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

Knowing which punctuation to use with the word “however” is tricky. However, it’s important to get it correct, so here’s a brief explanation. As demonstrated above, when “however” means “in spite of that” and appears at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma. For example: However, it’s important to get it […]

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Lie vs. lay
On September 8, 2015 | 2 Comments

I recently started taking a crazy fitness class at my gym. I like the instructor, but I secretly think he may be trying to kill us! I spend most of the class praying for it to be over, keeping one eye on the clock while trying not to fall off the medicine ball, or out […]

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Writing tip: Keep track of your ideas
On August 31, 2015 | 0 Comments

The other day, I received a notification that I had a new subscriber to my monthly newsletter. As I always do, I e-mailed her to ask why she’d signed up. She replied that while she hasn’t yet written anything, she has a lot of stories she wants to share when she retires from her job […]

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Watch for repetition in your writing
On August 3, 2015 | 2 Comments

My upstairs neighbor Alexandra, who is a big fan of my books, recently read one of my newest titles, Cassidy Lane. She told me she loved it, but she’d also lost track of how many times in the story Cassidy “walked home slowly.” I thanked her for her honesty because I hadn’t noticed my tendency to […]

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