A Tale of Two Trailers

While querying A Season for Killing Blondes, I started another writing project, one that I hoped would distract me from the seemingly endless process of trying to find a home for my first novel. The words flowed quickly and, in less than one year’s time, I had written, edited, and polished Between Land and Sea,…

On Writing Romantic Suspense

Writing romantic suspense involves the skillful juggling of romantic elements and nail-biting suspense. A daunting task but so rewarding when all the essential ingredients come together in a well-crafted, character-driven novel. Here are eight tips: Ask yourself: what is intriguing about the premise? What will attract readers to the book? In Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series,…

The Right Character Names

By Joanne Guidoccio “How attached are you to the name Anna May?” Sandy Isaac’s question took me and six other members of the critique group by surprise. While I appreciated most of the suggestions I had received, I wondered about Sandy’s question. Anna May Godfrey is one of the villains in A Season for Killing…

On Planting Red Herrings

When I shared an early draft of A Season for Killing Blondes, a beta reader complimented me on my use of red herrings and suggested the title could also be considered a red herring. Puzzled, I asked for clarification. She explained, “A red herring is a literary device that leads readers toward a false conclusion….

How to Clearly See…

In A Different Kind of Reunion, Private Investigator Jim Nelson doesn’t mince words when he learns about the psychic’s involvement in the murder investigation: “Let’s face some facts here. Most psychics need to make a living. I don’t doubt this lady has some intuitive ability—as many women do—but I don’t think it’s enough to catch…

Idea → Sticky Idea → Premise

By Joanne Guidoccio Writers  can find inspiration almost anywhere, and they don’t have to go too far to find those ideas. Checking Twitter or Facebook feeds, reading a daily newspaper, watching a television program, visiting an art gallery, eavesdropping on conversations… Which ideas work best? Sticky ideas…those ideas that simply won’t go away. Once that…

What About the Men?

It’s the last week of the blog tour for Too Many Women in the Room. You can enter the giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card here. Since the book’s release, I have received many comments about the temperamental female characters that populate the novel. Potential readers have also asked… What about the men? Three…

Dealing with Dialogue Tags

Glancing back at some of my earlier work, I cringe at my use of “said bookisms” such as roared, admonished, exclaimed, queried, and hissed. I was trying to avoid overusing the word “said” and searched for suitable alternatives. I realize now that substituting those words made it sound like I enjoyed using my thesaurus. Instead,…