RT Daily Blog

Mary Stanton’s Advice For Writing Mysteries

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 19, 2010 | PERMALINK

Author Mary Stanton, who also writes as Claudia Bishop, has published more than forty stories. Now the author shares “the absolute low-down, dirty-dog truth” about writing mystery novels. 

Late in the spring of 1993, my agent called me to tell me Berkley Prime Crime had made an offer on the partial of my first mystery novel, A Taste for Murder. And they wanted two more after that. 

I remember yelling for joy. I remember blessing my agent and all of his progeny to come. I remember shouting that this was my big chance.

I hung up the phone, danced around the kitchen, ran into the dining room and danced around that, then stopped smack in the middle of the living room floor and pulled my hair in complete and utter panic. 

I didn’t even have one complete mystery novel, and Berkley wanted THREE?

I grabbed a brown paper bag from the storage bin, breathed into it, and tried to get a grip. I didn’t know how to write a mystery novel. Berkley had made the offer based on the other novels I’d published and none of it, not one single book, was a mystery novel, and I was absolutely positively certain I was going to make a complete and utter ass of myself. 


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Video Interview: Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 18, 2010 | PERMALINK

Graphic artists Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba are interviewed by RT's Web Editor Morgan Doremus. The authors chat about their award winning graphic novel, De:Tales. Get an insider look at the artists' inspiration and discover why they say De:Tales is a "universal" story. And don't miss the *Web Exclusive Review* of De:Tales after the interview!

Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba Go Behind the Scenes of De:Tales >>

More From The RT BOOK REVIEWS Video Channel >>

Read the *Web Exclusive Review* of De:Tales >>


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Tags: Comics/Graphic Novels/Manga, RT Daily Blog
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Footnotes

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 18, 2010 | PERMALINK


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SCOOPED! Featuring NYC spots for book lovers, grammar resources and more!

BY Morgan Doremus, NOVEMBER 18, 2010 | PERMALINK

For my weekly column Scooped!, I scour the Internet, contact authors and pick my fellow RT editors' brains to make sure no reader question goes unanswered. This week, I pick out some NYC stops for a book lover, share some great grammar resources, find out Whitney's favorite recent read and more. Still have questions? Send them to me here and you may be featured in an upcoming post.

Question: I'm visiting New York City for the first time. What are some book lover stops I should make while I'm there? - Extremely Excited

Morgan: The New York Public Library at 40th Street and Fifth Avenue is absolutely beautiful. Not only are the lions that sit out front an iconic New York sight, but the craftsmanship and detail inside the library itself is breathtaking. Whitney's tip? Don't forget to look up! However, this being said, there are actually no books to check out at this library (alas, it is only for show). The actual circulation library is one block south.


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Mid-Month Check-In: Writer's Block Busters

BY Whitney Sullivan, NOVEMBER 18, 2010 | PERMALINK

Aspiring authors, it’s the middle of NaNoWriMo and our month of focusing on aspiring authors. Hopefully you are chugging right along on your manuscript and have been inspired by all of the writing tips and suggestions from authors across the genres in our series of daily posts. But even during such inspirational times, writer’s block is an ever-present threat. Honestly, I am feeling it lurking around the corner of my mind as I write this blog post.

So here are some handy exercises to help you battle this brain beast and get back to your story. 

Exercise One: Solve It! — So you’ve created a character, let’s call it X. X is the coolest person in the world, not only does X always have good comebacks (you know, the ones you wish came to you when you needed them) but X is attractive and beloved by all. Now I know what I am about to ask is difficult, it may even hurt a little bit. But no pain, no gain! Create a scene where X has a giant flaw. I’m not just talking a pimple on X’s nose, but something horrible, for example X's fear of heights causes someone to be seriously injured. Now make the scene work.


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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Tips and Tricks For Surviving Family During The Holidays

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 | PERMALINK

Author Shannon Stacey’s latest novel, Undeniably Yours, is a heart warming contemporary romance that revolves around an unexpected pregnancy. As parents-to-be, Beth Hansen and Kevin Kowalski work on their relationship, their future is shaped by their very different relationships with their families. So with the holidays — and all that family time — right around the corner, the author considers how to enjoy the festivities without the strife. 

Big families and the holiday season…a recipe for love, laughter and a little bit of chaos. Every family celebrates in a different way. Some have quiet, semi-formal dinners. Some small, intimate celebrations with their spouses and children. And some have rowdy family get-togethers that threaten to topple the Christmas tree.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, E-Book, Romance
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5 Questions For The Human Target

BY Morgan Doremus, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 | PERMALINK

Christopher Chance, aka the Human Target, first appeared in comic books in 1972. An assassin turned bodyguard, Chance puts himself into dangerous situations to protect the real target. Last year Fox debuted the Human Target television show staring Fringe regular Mark Valley. This week I caught up with Mark to ask him what it is like to play a comic book hero.

***

How is the Human Target TV show different from the comic book?

In the comic book Chance insinuated himself into peoples lives. He would impersonate the target, but instead of taking over their lives, I just get close to the target by acting like someone that could be in their lives - a coworker, translator or driver. I’m really glad I don’t have to do the whole impersonation thing with masks and makeup. 

What is your favorite part of the role?

Well, Chance is not a very good actor and I’m having fun with that – he can’t move into the character he is playing with much facility. That and on Fringe I spent a lot of time in a coma so walking around and talking to people is exciting and I just love action. It appeals to the kid in me.


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Tags: Comics/Graphic Novels/Manga, RT Daily Blog
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Win a Year's Subscription to RT BOOK REVIEWS Magazine

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 | PERMALINK

We are thrilled to announce the return of one of our most popular contests — your chance to win a free year's subscription to RT BOOK REVIEWS magazine!

The Publisher's newsletter is RT's free monthly look at the latest news and book picks, plus information on contests, videos and convention updates delivered to your inbox every month! It's the easiest way to get insider details from RT's Publisher Carol Stacy about all that is going on in the new issue and the industry.

But now we've made the newsletter even better. Each month anyone who is signed up for the RT Publisher's monthly newsletter will automatically be entered to win a free year's subscription to RT BOOK REVIEWS! That's twelve chances to win a free subscription, so be sure to sign up for your copy of the free monthly newsletter today!

Sign Up Now And ENTER TO WIN >>


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Authors At Thrillerfest 2010 Reflect On The Value Of Attending Conventions

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 | PERMALINK

The RT staff always has a great time at the Thrillerfest convention and this year was no exception. In our November issue of RT we asked authors for the best writing advice they'd ever received. Here, we get their opinions on why they go to conventions and what they get out of them.

Joseph Finder, Vanished
Conventions are . . . All about hanging out with my writer friends (there's no nicer group of people than writers, I've found), but I also like meeting industry professionals like publishers or agents, because I'm still learning about the business. And of course it's a rare opportunity for me to get to meet actual "fans" and buyers of my books and hear from them what they like (or don't!)


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Convention
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Tim Downs Asks You To Consider: What Do You Want From Writing?

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 | PERMALINK

Author Tim Downs suggests that aspiring authors consider what they want from writing and supplies some helpful hints to figure out how to achieve those goals. 

As the author of nine novels I get a lot of questions from aspiring writers: What’s your daily writing schedule? How many words do you produce in a day? What’s the best way to approach an acquisitions editor? How do you get your manuscript to the top of that infamous slush pile? Oddly enough, the most important question for any writer to consider is one that rarely gets asked.

What do I want from writing?

It’s easy to understand why this question gets overlooked. For many writers, the desire to express themselves in writing comes over them like a sudden hunger, and a hungry man doesn’t stop to ponder the question, What is it I want from eating? 

He just eats.

But there are many different reasons to write, and an aspiring writer can save herself a lot of frustration and disappointment simply by taking the time to decide what she wants from the craft of writing before she launches into that 700-page tome. For example…


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, RT Daily Blog
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