Tag Archives: mystery

Ficton Contest Now Open

The Laine Cunningham long-form fiction contest is open. Now in its fifth year, the contest awards $1,000 to first place, $500 to second place, $250 for third place, and a certificate for honorable mention.

Fiction ranging from 30,000 words up is eligible. The manuscripts can be novels, novellas, short story collections, mixtures of various forms (including short prose and flash fiction), YA, New Adult and adult romance, sci-fi, literary, mainstream…pretty much as long as it meets the minimum length requirement, anything goes.

Details are available on Writer’s Resource’s website under the Writing Contest tab.

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Book Marketing with Adjunct Stories

Often I talk to authors about selling themselves to readers as much as their books. It’s natural for readers to want to know more about authors, their motivation for writing a particular book, even about the writing process.

Nowadays, with short books and short stories being produced in ebook and even print formats, there’s an added ability to market your books. No matter what you’re writing, you can create adjunct books.

Consider a self-help author with a workbook…the workbook isn’t the primary self-help book but it adds to the original publication in a helpful manner. Novelists, too, can use this idea by writing short stories about appealing secondary characters in their stories.

These can be sold, of course, or given away to generate interest in the book. Since most adjunct books are short, the time and effort to produce them is often much less than what the original project required.

Crime fiction

Yesterday I posted an article written by a man who was stalked by one of his writing students. Today I’m posting about an article on a different author who thought direct contact with the police force would enhance the novels.

As he discovered, police work is mostly boring. I’ve done some ride-along programs with regional police officers to research my own novels. I’ve found that much of what they do is babysitting. They round up the same drunks and respond to the same noise complaints over and over. Very little of their jobs entail high-stakes action.

But when the stakes do rise, they still have to be ready. This blend of boredom and high-octane work is important to capture in your work. It will make the novel more realistic.

Resource

Here’s an article on a writing instructor who was stalked by a student.

Writers of crime fiction, mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels can turn to real-world experiences such as these for insight into their characters. In this case, since the victim is an author, the experience is presented especially well. The psychology of both victim and stalker is important to understand when you’re aim is to create real characters.