Month: December 2015

Guest Post: Cathy Mansell Where I Grew Up

Where I Grew Up I grew up in the friendly neighbourhood of Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 approximately 2km south of the city until I was eleven years old. Then we moved to a house in Donnybrook a short distance away. In the late forties and fifties  with little traffic about, I grew up a robust  adventurous child, in a world of simplicity almost untouched by outside influences. Our home, number six Beatty’s Avenue was in the middle of a row of one-story cottages facing the Dodder River. Ballsbridge, named after Mr Balls who built and owned the original wooden bridge....

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Guest Post: Elizabeth Delisi Naming Your Characters

Naming Your Characters Romeo and Juliet. Scarlett and Rhett. James Bond. Miss Marple. All these names conjure up an instant image. As soon as we hear them, we feel we know something about the characters they represent, their personality traits and quirks, their strengths and their vices. Suppose Scarlett was named Henrietta, or Rhett was named Bartholomew. Would they be the same impulsive, romantic couple with those names? If James Bond were named Calvin Jones, would he still be a dashing, intrepid spy? Your character’s name is often the first thing the reader encounters, and it makes an immediate impression in the reader’s mind. It’s important you choose a name that will make the right impression. But how do you go about doing that? When you choose a name for your baby, you’re taking a chance because you have no idea how the child will turn out, what his or her personality will be like. We have all met people whose names don’t seem to fit with their personalities. When you’re naming a fictional character, however, you have a great advantage. You know what type of character you will write about, what traits you want him to have, what quirks you want her to display, what his weaknesses are. Under these conditions, there’s no excuse for not getting it right! The names you choose can suggest a certain social...

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The Holiday Spirit

This year I have already written about the Holiday season: the fun it is to track Santa, but also how scary it is we are giving the big guy (and many other people) about us. It seems we are in a giving mood year round, whether we know it or not. I also wrote about how important it is to show kindness and grace this time of year, and really all year long. It’s a post I hope goes just as viral as my post about Four Spiritual Lessons We Can Learn from the Big Lebowski, which had over 4400 shares on Facebook alone. The Dude Abides, indeed. I’ve had the privilege the last half of the year to write about teachers, libraries, and business, sharing what I have learned, and bit of my writer’s journey with other people. You see, I have been blessed, and learned a lot this year about not being such a workaholic, but still working hard. About love and family, and what those words really mean. I’m still learning: if somehow you are offended by my journey, or part of it, stick with me. I’ll get it right eventually. I’ve been thinking about doing something, a little different author event. The idea started a couple of years ago, in a bookstore. It has been sitting in the back of my mind. Then this summer, while...

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Guest Post: Kemberlee Shortland: Researching Murder in Mornington

Each Thursday in December, this site will feature an author guest post, and it it goes well, that will continue after the first of the year. Today we welcome Kemberlee Shortland, one of my favorite people, and a great author. She talks about the research that went into her new mystery, Murder in Mornington: Researching Murder in Mornington Since releasing my latest story, Murder in Mornington, I’ve been asked what inspired it. After all, it’s a cozy mystery and I’m a romance writer. Why the change? Well, it’s as simple, or as complicated, as real murder. Two years ago,...

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So You Want to be a Writer?

No you don’t. Honestly. But here is the thing about being a writer: you really don’t have any choice. I said recently in a blog post that you can’t become a writer, because it is something you already are. Either you are a writer, or you aren’t. If you are, you will find doing anything else for a living pretty damn miserable. On the other side, if you aren’t you will find the writer life a pretty miserable place to be. You can’t force a round peg into a square hole, and it’s the same the other way around....

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