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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Onward into 2017...and beyond

cj Sez: It seems like I haven’t posted in Lyrical Pens for a year…No, really. The holidaze were so crazy happy, I lost track of time. Now the weather is crazy, but I have to buckle down to work.
And more in some places.
As I throw myself headfirst into 2017, I realize I need to come up with some kind of plan to reach my goal of publishing a book or risk abject failure. You know, organized confusion instead of confused organization…oh wait. They’re the same thing. Anyway, here’s my attempt at listing some things to consider on my path to publication this year. Most of them come from recommendations by prolific authors whose work I respect.

Most important:  Read, Read, Read. Books, magazines, whatever I can find in any genre. I want to read 52 books this year. That may not seem much to avid readers, but it's enormous for me.

I'll try to go to at least one conference. Conferences are some of the best ways to keep up with the changes in the publishing industry. Ergo, advice to writers: to get the latest inside info on new technologies, new publications, and to network with colleagues new and old, go to as many craft-based conferences and workshops as you can. If you have a manuscript complete or mostly complete and the conference offers the option, pay for an editor critique of however many pages she/he will accept. Some of my top choices:

“One of the premier mystery writers’ conferences” Annual conference for mystery, suspense and thriller writers.
February 23-26, 2017

“Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, both readers and authors.”
Honolulu, Hawaii, March 16-19, 2017

“The premier conference for thriller enthusiasts”

“If Traditional Mysteries are your cup of tea”

April 28-30, 2017 Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, MD

“The premiere forum for all genres incorporating mystery, thriller, and suspense”
August 24-27, 2017

The international fan and writer love fest called Bouchercon (last year in New Orleans, in Toronto in 2017) is aptly described by Lawrence Block:

“Fill a hotel with few thousand socially-challenged introverts, folks for whom the ‘I’d rather be reading’ T-shirt was created, and force them to spend a long autumn weekend together, and what have you got? Bouchercon—and you’d be a fool to miss it.”
                                 ~Lawrence Block
“The world mystery convention”
Toronto, Canada October 12-15, 2017

 “The SCWC is the best writing conference in the nation.” —

Books and other info to have in my writer’s library (my personal list):

Chicago Manual of Style for all the questions writers need to ask.

Standard Grammar texts by Random House or Prentice Hall,
Harcourt Brace (“Harbrace”)

Other Questions about Hyphenation:  Fellow Sisters-in-Crime/Guppy member Kaye George wisely counsels writers: “Don't be afraid to use the language your own way. English is fluid. I did an essay on this once. The natural progression of two-word terms is from two words to hyphenation to combined. So, from log in to log-in to login. Eventually it'll be login everywhere. Many words are in transition, hence confusion will probably always reign.” Here’s where to find her essay:
      cj ez: Scroll down to “Blue Moon” on August 27, 2012.

Point of View
The Power of Point of View by Alicia Rasley
Writing the Intimate Character by Jordan Rosenfeld
Don't Sabotage Your Submission by Chris Roerden (chapter 11)
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King
Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell

How-to Books
My favorites:  On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King; Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel, Hallie Ephron; Stein on Writing, Sol Stein; Writing the Breakout Novel (and the 2015 Workbook), Donald Maas

Publishing for Beginners: What first-time authors need to know by Lourdes Venard 2014

Anthology contracts:
In late 2015, attorney and Shinobi series author Susan Spann wrote a series of posts for the Writers in the Storm blog. This link should get you to all of them:

Be sure to stop back by Lyrical Pens on Jan 11 when our guest is composer/author Nupur Tustin who writes historical fiction mysteries with Franz Joseph Haydn (wow) as the protagonist.

Mystery Thriller Week is happening now on Facebook and at 

On Jan 12, MTW author Jennifer S. Alderson is posting a cameo of me and my latest short story on her blog.  Look for recent posts on the right side of her home page. Jennifer said I’ll be under the“MysteryThrillerWeek Arts theme.” Stop by when you have a moment. I’d love to hear from you, on the post, on Lyrical Pens, on Facebook, or by email. Wherever.

cj Sez: You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same…and for 2017 and beyond, I wish you good health and many successes.
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
Amazon Central Author Page:
More Than Friends:
The More than Friends bundle is available until Jan 30,6 romance novels for 99 cents!


  1. Thanks for the shout out! Now I'll go shout out your blog. There's a LOT of good info here!

    1. cj Sez: Thanks for stopping by, Kaye. And I very much appreciate the applause.


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