What Books Are on Your Nightstand?

I was asked recently what books are on my nightstand as part of the #SinC-up and #SincBlogHop. Right now, this is what's queued up.

I'm really excited to read Mary Miley's Silent Murders and Mary Ellen Taylor's Sweet Expectations. I'm also working on Writes of Passage, edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan.  I also have three or four ebooks on my iPad that I need to get to. There's never enough time for reading.

What's on your nightstand?

My Two Cents about Writing...

This month, I'm participating with other bloggers in the Sisters in Crime Blog Hop.

What are some things that new writers need to know?

1. Good writing is work. If you want to be a writer, you need to make time to improve your craft. This means writing and rewriting.

2. Write. Write. Write. Keep writing. Dreaming about being an author doesn't cut it.

3. Spend time proofreading and editing. If you're not good at it, find someone who is.

4. Find a good critique group. You need people to read your draft and provide constructive feedback. I love my mystery group (SinC-Central Virginia). It's made up of readers and writers. They don't pull punches, and that's what I need to improve.

5. Use social media to network with other writers, agents, and readers. Build your platform. But balance your networking and writing time.

6. Be strong. There are going to be rejections, bad critiques, and not so favorable reviews. Learn from them and move on. It stings, but take what you can, and don't dwell on them. And don't obsess about your number of followers, sales, and reviews. It will make you crazy.

7. Have fun. Enjoy what you do and every step in the process. I can't explain the joy that comes when you see your author's copy or your name on the cover.

For more writing blogs, check out Maggie King's site. Also see #SinCBlogHop and #SinC-Up.

You can find me on Twitter @CrazyforWords13 and on Facebook.


What's Your Writing Playlist?

I love music, and it's a part of just about everything I do. I even have a "Play it Loud" list for driving on the interstate in the red Mustang.

 I was asked recently what's on my playlist for writing. And it depends...

With fifteen different, themed playlists with hundreds of hours of music, I usually listen to rock or country with a fast pace and uplifting words. I write and edit better when there's a beat. These are my favorites right now:

  • Kid Rock
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Train
  • Pharrell Williams (He's from Virginia Beach too.)
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Neon Trees
  • Fun.
  • Bruno Mars
  • Sara Bareilles
  • Uncle Kracker

But, I also often go back to old friends:

  • Van Halen
  • Elvis
  • UB40
  • Prince
  • Billy Joel
  • Elton John
  • Culture Club
  • Duran Duran

And if you're a mystery writer who's stuck, put on Train's "50 Ways to Say Goodbye." He offers a variety of ways to get rid of that annoying character.

What do you listen to when you write? Is there a specific genre that works best for you?

For more blogs about writing, check out author, Maggie King.

#SinC-up and #SinCBlogHop