Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Novels in the Making
I kind of hated to leave the warm house yesterday afternoon. The weather was perfect for the Canada geese at river -- not so much for driving.
But I soldiered on into Asheville, wipers slapping, defroster roaring, to be there for the final meeting of my fall fiction workshop. There were five separate first or second chapters awaiting the class's attention. Obviously I had no choice.
After a quick stop at Accent on Books to pick up another box of Christmas cards (I always forget how many friends we exchange cards with,) I called on my friend Josie to chat and have a cup of tea in our usual pre-class ritual. And while I was comfortably ensconced on her love seat, outside the window the sky began to clear and do wonderful things.
Speaking of wonderful things (note clever transition,) this has been an especially talented class. And wildly diverse in their choice of subject matter too. We've got women's fiction, alternative history (Revolutionary War,) cozy mystery, drug cartel thriller, paranormalish thriller, past life regression story, straight mystery, historical fiction (pirates Mary Read and Ann Bonney and the foppish Captain Jack Rackham, for whom someone in class came up with the term swishbuckler. Which cracked us all up. Then I found out, courtesy Mr. Google, that it's a known term and there's a movie of that name coming out soon. We thought we were so clever.)
Once again, the class has been fun. I feel privileged to share what little I know about this baffling business and hope that I help my students some and pray that I don't discourage them any.
Except for the money part -- I do always warn them that they better not quit their day jobs.
June 25-July 1 -- John C. Campbell Folk School. I'll be teaching A Practical Guide to Writing Popular Fiction. Your novel starts here with this intense, week-long class. We will focus on writing realistic dialogue and creating characters that move through and interact with a fully realized setting. We will discuss different approaches to plotting, tricks for building suspense, means of ensuring continuity, and the avoidance of info dumps. We'll also talk about forming or joining critique groups, the ins and outs of self editing, agents and how to query them, as well as the various publishing alternatives available today. All levels welcome. Link to JCC HERE.
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I'm the author of The Elizabeth Goodweather Full Circle Farm Appalachian Mysteries from Bantam Dell. The series includes SIGNS IN THE BLOOD (LA MONTAGNE DES SECRETS in France), ART'S BLOOD, (LE SECRET DES APPALACHES in France,) OLD WOUNDS,IN A DARK SEASON (Anthony Nominee, Best PBO), and UNDER THE SKIN. There's also THE DAY OF SMALL THINGS (a spinoff/standalone)chronicling the unexpected life story of Miss Birdie, one of Elizabeth's neighbors.
Currently I have just completed a historical novel, dealing with a massacre in my county during the Civil War.
I came to this weird business late (my first novel was published in 2005) and am still trying to figure it out.
As my novels are set in a place much like my real life home, I thought I'd use this blog to share pictures of our farm and county. I've been blogging for nearly nine years now, on an almost daily basis, and the topics have ranged from writing, chickens, food, books, quilts, flora and fauna of all sorts, to the occasional tiny rant. There's no plan, but there are lots of pictures.
There's more information about me and my books on my web site: http://vickilanemysteries.com/