Archive for the 'RESEARCH' Category

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Thanks to Stephanie Perkins and Paula McLain, I can visit Paris anytime I want. Shilpi Somaya Gowda has taken me to Mumbai. My tour guide in Maine is Elizabeth Strout. And I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with Cheryl Strayed. Good books take us on a journey, both literally and figuratively. As a writer, I’ve […]

10 Rules for Rewriting History

Today’s guest, Jennifer Cody Epstein, is the author of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment and the international bestseller The Painter from Shanghai. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Self, Mademoiselle and NBC, and has worked in Hong Kong, Japan and Bangkok, Thailand. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, […]

A Spy in Another Country

Our guest today is April Smith, author of the bestselling FBI Special Agent Ana Grey mystery-thrillers North of Montana, Judas Horse, and White Shotgun. She also wrote and executive-produced the TV-movie adaptation of her novel, Good Morning, Killer, for TNT’s Mystery Movie Night. But the big news is that April Smith has a forthcoming book […]

Literary Terms Defined: The Uncommon and Common

GIVEAWAY: I am very excited to again give away a free book to a random commenter. The winner can choose either CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM or the 2013 GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS. Commenters must live in the US/Canada; comment within one week to win. Good luck! UPDATE: Kim won. Thanks for all who participated. Working […]

PR and Marketing for Self-Publishing: Do’s and Don’ts

It (finally) appears the stigmas once associated with self and indie-publishing are disappearing, or at least waning – though in some cases there are new ones arising and there will always be naysayers. Let me clarify that while I think there are pros and cons to traditional publishing, self publishing and Indie publishing alike, I […]

Stop Feeling Like an Author-Wishbone at a Table of Industry Experts (Part I)

Do you have a uterus? If you answered yes and were a post-menopausal female in my practice roughly a decade ago, odds are I’d have talked you into taking combination hormone therapy. Besides the fact you’d probably feel better, having ditched those inconvenient hot flushes without hugely altering your lifestyle, I was after bigger fish. I’d […]

Characters Welcome

Today’s guest is bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her second historical fiction novel, After the Fog, is set in 1948 Donora, Pennsylvania. The mill town’s “killing smog” was one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history, triggering clean air advocacy and eventually, the Clean Air Act. Kathleen’s debut novel, The Last Letter, sold more than 50,000 copies and garnered multiple awards in 2011, […]

I’m Not Above Spying

Therese here. Today’s guest is WU community member, Julia Munroe Martin. Julia is a writer and editor who blogs from one of the best places in the world–the coast of Maine. She has experience as a business and technical writer as well as a journalist, and she is currently, in her own words, “a novelist-in-progress.” […]

Tips for Turning Online Procrastination Time into Writing Research Time

Therese here. Today’s guest is someone who’s been a WU lurker for over a year and half: L.B. Gale. L.B. works as an educator–a literacy specialist–in New York City, and is an aspiring fantasy author who received her Master’s degree at the University of Chicago, focused on comparative mythology and fantasy literature. Her favorite novels […]

Take Your Characters to Therapy

“Every character should want something–even if it is only a glass of water.” –Kurt Vonnegut Vonnegut was right, of course. But we need to know more than what our characters want. To truly empathize with our characters, we need to know why they want the things they desire. What makes our characters tick? What limits our […]

Research vs. Observation

Do you research your novels to the point of obsession or do you not research at all?  Historical novelists are research junkies. Coming-of-age novelists mostly rely on memory. The majority of fiction writers fall somewhere in between: They study just enough so that their settings are accurate and their characters’ occupations feel real. The rest […]

How to Use Psychometric Testing to Create Believable Characters

Today’s guest is psychologist Vince McLeod, who runs a website called The Story Generator. Vince is here today to talk with us about the psychology of our characters–and more than that, how we might use psychological testing to help inform our fiction. Enjoy! How to Use Psychometric Testing to Create Believable Characters In order to […]