Kathy Carlton Willis

For Readers

All I Want For Christmas Is a Good Book to Read...A Good Book to Read

How many of you can remember what you got for Christmas when you were eight years old? A teenager? Graduate? Newly married? What if I asked you to recall how many of those gifts were books—does that help prompt your memory? I’ll never forget the year Mom and my brother, Wade, went in together to purchase the Little House on the Prairie series for me.

Read more


For Writers

The Pitfalls of Counting Words

From time to time I make a comment on Facebook about word count. Granted—I need to get this out of the way first—some authors are under contract and absolutely need to schedule themselves to write a certain number of words each day to meet a pressing deadline. I get that. Although I will still argue that’s a skewed way to look at writing a novel. Why not make it a goal to complete one scene or chapter a day? 

Read more
Brandilyn Collins

Making A Scene

Hear the Beat! Using Sentence Rhythm, Part I

Sentences have rhythm? You bet they do. And as in music, different sentence rhythms create different feelings. A fast beat in a song makes you want to dance; a slow beat makes you want to sway. Once you understand how sentence rhythm works, you can use it to help create the desired aura of a scene. Sentence rhythm is based on this principle: The rhythm of your sentences should match the “beat” of action in your scene and the emotion you want to create in the reader.

Read more
Harry Kraus

Author By Night

Harry Kraus, MD., FACS,

Balancing a writing life and real life is an issue for most of us, until Oprah calls because she is highlighting our books on her show. Since I’m writing this, you can assume she hasn’t phoned me. For me, my “day job” as a general surgeon is often irregular and turns into my “night job,” too. Nonetheless, I have managed to balance writing and a career in general surgery.

Read more

Melanie Dobson

Genre Happenings

Fascination with Amish Fiction

Streetlights and power lines faded away along with my confidence as I drew closer to Eli and Mary’s farmhouse that wintery night in March. As part of the research for my suspense novel The Silent Order, I was spending the night with an Old Order Amish couple near Sugarcreek, Ohio. I drove a little slower on the country road, nervous about what to expect when I arrived. In my ignorance, I’d already made up my mind what an Old Order Amish woman would be like:

Read more