Month: August 2014

The Value of Critique

There are times as an author when you need to seek the opinion of other authors and readers. You might not even find all of those opinions valid, but you just might find gems in their opinions. Gems that can do nothing but make your work stronger. There is one issue with critique though, and for many writers it’s a big one. Ready? You have to let your work go BEFORE it is ready, so others can help you get it ready. I’d repeat that, if I was teaching a class. But it’s written, so just read the sentence above one more time. Letting go is uncomfortable. Let’s face it, some authors even struggle with letting go after their work has been edited, and is supposedly ready. But without feedback from readers before the work is released, the author really only has the opinion of one or two people. People who may be close to, and even vested in, the words on the page. The reader, or critique group has no such investment or love for your turn of phrase. Likely they will see plot holes and places where disbelief has not been suspended adequately, and places where you, as the author, just stepped over the line a bit too far. It’s hard not to take at least a part of it personally, because it is, after all, your...

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Just Another Manic Monday

If you stop and think about it, it will make you sick. All the talk surrounding Robin Williams and the topic of art, acting, music, and manic behavior over the last few weeks has gone to the extreme. So why add my two cents? Because I write from a place of pain, and this is just another stop along the way. I’m Troy, and I am manic too. It may be no accident that my most recent book is titled Confession. Creatives in general tend to be a bit manic, or even bipolar, and often remain undiagnosed. After all,...

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Photo Shoot of “The Seven”

Last night at the Old Penitentiary, I expected a typical author shoot. A few head shots with different poses, then a group shot for a collaborative group of authors launching soon, The Seven. (Follow #TheSeven for more details coming soon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). In my experience, these things usually take maybe half an hour, a little more. You get some really solid shots, and even I look good. But it couldn’t be that spectacular, could it? Enter Don Johnson of Arrowrock Photography, and a crew (did I say crew? Yes I did) of photographers, cameras, helpers, armed with reflectors, sun blocker thingamajigs, and all kinds of creative ideas. We write. He expresses creativity through images. Not only did he shoot the shots we needed, he added even more, including some great shots of myself and Marlie Harris, my photogenic co-author on the recent release, Into the Darkness, fist in the Ridge Falls series. (Like us on Facebook here) The experience was a pleasure, but so much more. Obsessed with getting “the shot,” and far exceeding our expectations, we got way more than I expected, or I think any of us did. Thanks to Noreen Brisson,Rochelle Cunningham, Loni Townsend, Cathy Behm Valenti, Marlie Harris, and Sherry Briscoe for being a part of this amazing group! Can’t wait to see photos? Too bad. And by the way, what’s The Seven, and what are we...

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The “Easy “ Life

There are times when I understand why authors used to, years ago, simply retreat from the world to do what they loved most: write. The publicity, the marketing, even the personal appearances went away once they reached a certain level of success. I’m on a different path: if anything I feel too visible at times. Everyone knows I am an author, nearly everywhere I go. Much of the time I deliberately reach out, in groups, by organizing conferences, and even holding author events like potluck BBQ’s with no agenda other than easing the journey we are all on, and...

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Idaho Author Guest Post: Jane Munro

Today, a fellow Idaho Author, Jane Munro, tells us why she is a mystery writer. See her bio and more about her books below. Read and review to support local Idaho authors! Why am I a Mystery Writer? Anybody who’s already a writer knows the answer to that question. There are probably as many answers as there are writers. As for the genre…I write what I love to read. I’ve always loved mysteries, starting with Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and the Hardy Boys. Then I graduated to Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy Sayers. I know, I’m dating myself here. Now there’s Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell. People always compare me to that other pathologist who writes, now what’s her name? I say I don’t know, because I don’t know of any other mystery series written by a pathologist. But I know they’re thinking of Patricia Cornwell, who isn’t a pathologist, but a reporter.  I suspect that Kay Scarpetta is based on Marcella Fierro, the real chief medical examiner in Richmond VA. What I want is for those people to be thinking of me when they ask that question. But I digress. I can’t say exactly when I started wanting to write. I imagine I thought it would be something to keep me busy after I retired. Doctors have a way of working well into their seventies, and then when they retire...

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