Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Katie Ruggle | Five Ways I Pretend I’m Not Procrastinating When I Should Be Writing:
Author Guest / June 15, 2016

Research! For research purposes, I type “best fuel to use in an improvised explosive” into the browser search bar. Two hours later, I’ve read so, so many interesting things, but I still haven’t written the scene with the homemade bomb in it. Promo. Sigh. I start down the slippery social-media slope with the best intentions of spending five minutes (max!) updating my author stuff. Next thing I know, I’m blinking gritty eyes at the screen, trying to figure out what happened to the past three days. Darn you, Facebook—you and your time-sucking ways. How can I not watch the video of the cop rescuing the ducks trying to cross the Interstate? How?? Conference Call. I adore my editor. When we need to have an occasional chat over the phone, I don’t mind at all. We start with the issue at hand and usually find a solution in short order. Feeling smug, I say something like, “Now that we’ve solved that, I’d better get back to writing. Oh, wait! Before you go, what did you think about that revision on [whatever book I’m editing at the time]?” With that, our neat, tidy and short call goes off the rails. Pretty soon,…

Jennifer Shirk | Why the Jersey Shore Makes a Great Small-Town Setting
Author Guest / June 15, 2016

Hi, all, Jennifer here. Some of you may (or may not) know that a majority of the books that I’ve written usually take place in some sort of small New Jersey shore town. Why? Well, most likely because I live in a small NJ shore town and I know it like the back of my hand. However, I also like to write about it, because there are so many bad ways NJ is depicted (yes, I’m looking at you, Jersey Shore TV show) that I feel the need to capture the better things about New Jersey. Today, I’m happy to share with you WHY southern NJ shore towns make great small-town settings: the year round population of most of the shore towns by me can range anywhere from 2,000 to 11,000—not counting Atlantic City. (In the summer that can increase to sometimes 200,000 people) But they are true small towns in the winter! Everybody knows everybody! NJ shore towns have the most beautiful beaches. In fact, Ocean City, NJ was rated Best Beach in America by Coastal Living magazine this year beating out beaches in CA! Your hero or heroine can surf, fish, crab, paddleboard, or just walk the beach…

DiAnn Mills | Thesaurus – A Treasure Box
Author Guest / June 15, 2016

While touring the Acropolis Museum in Greece, I stumbled upon a stone relic that caused me to smile, as though I’d just learned a powerful secret. The English translation said simply: thesaurus, a treasure box. The meaning that fueled my interest is the idea of a storehouse or a treasury. The ancient Greeks used a thesaurus to store treasures, and for writers, our words are our treasures. Since grade school, we’ve used a thesaurus to find synonyms and sometimes antonyms for specific words. This valuable resource helps writers locate specific words when the ones normally used are not exactly what we intend or the concept needs to be bigger, more definite, unique, or the writer wishes to avoid repetition. Meanings twist and turn according to culture, dates used, and what the writer is desperately seeking. Word lovers can get lost in a thesaurus. But there are dangers in tossing aside creativity and diving into a treasure box each time we want to sound distinct or extraordinary. The result builds barriers in our writing. We lose our voice and our character’s voice in an endless pursuit of the perfect word when often the most common fits our passage. Communicating with our…