Posted on March 16, 2016
In the middle of the night several years ago, I was researching how to write a murder mystery. I
came upon a set of guidelines which began, “Find the body.” There may have been more to that
instruction, but that’s what I wrote down on a pink Post-it note along with six other brief mystery milestones that fit on a two-by-two inch piece of paper. I put the note on my desk, and from time to time read it over when my mind strayed from other tasks.
For the rest of this guest blog on bkstevensmysteries.com, click here: http://www.bkstevensmysteries.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ginny.pdf
Recently, I was asked to answer a few questions for Carolyn Howard Johnson’s blog. Carolyn is the author of the Frugal Book Promoter. I leaped at the opportunity.
Just in case you don’t see her blog, I’m posting the questions and responses here.
1. What is your genre? Is it fiction or nonfiction? Fiction/murder mysteries
2. What made you want to be a writer? I like to read.
3. Of all the authors out there, who inspired you most? Alexander Dumas and Jane Austen as a teenager; right now Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. Each writer teaches me something new about how to tell a story.
4. What is your writing style? Do you outline? Linearly? By scene? Why? I’m a hybrid seat-of-the-pants planner. I begin where the story tells me to, typing as fast as I can to keep up, and when the plot gets complicated, I start making a timeline that spans the entire framework of the novel. The timeline isn’t a cage. The story can escape from it at any time, but it does help me to see where I’m going.
5. Do you write every day? How much? How long? I write every day, including weekends; in the morning for as long as it’s productive, so sometimes for four hours, sometimes longer. I don’t count words or pages.
6. Do you think reading is as important to writing for an author? Why? Reading is critical to good writing. The more you read, the more you discover about your craft. But it’s also simply pleasurable. Books are good brain food.
7. What are some of the things you would like to share with budding authors? Read everything. Write down lines when they come. A good line can zoom by like a ping pong ball in a vacuum. Don’t be in a hurry; writing is a long process and it’s okay if your first draft is a mess. Get in a writers group that meets weekly and let other writers hold you accountable.
8. Do you have any marketing and promotional advice, referrals, tips you would like to share? I’m still praying for a book maven to promote my novel so I can reach that all-critical tipping point!
9. Do you think conferences are beneficial? If so, what have you learned? Which ones do you frequent? Sometimes conferences are beneficial, depending on who is speaking. I recently went to the F. Scott Fitzgerald Writers Conference in October and was inspired by the presenters, two of whom were Pulitzer Prize winners.
10. Where can we find you, your books and when is your next event? My novel, Cromwell’s Folly, is on Amazon, B&N, and wherever books are sold. In my local indie book store, Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown, it is one of the store’s “best sellers” and shares a shelf with The Martian and All the Light We Cannot See, to my knee-buckling astonishment. My next signing event is on Dec. 12th at the Christmas Market in Charles Town, WV from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Posted on November 5, 2015
Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Talking and reading at the Scarborough Arts & Lecture Series, Scarborough Library, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV
Everyone is welcome to attend this free event with refreshments afterwards.
My agent sends me a sale sheet. Send it out to everyone, she writes. Let’s get some sales going. Of course, I thought I had done that already with the website, Facebook author posts, press releases, readings, book signings, Twitter.
I pause what I’m doing, which is writing the next novel. I read the sales sheet, correct a few typos, grammatical errors, formatting mistakes. I read it over again. This is marketing. It’s the new century. Now, not only do we writers write the books, we get to market them also.
I sigh. I don’t want to do this. I want to brood over whether I have the right conflict, complications, climax and resolution in each segment of my new novel. I want to work out all the kinks in a character. I want to think about the novel after this one.
I’m whining. It’s the 21st century. I remember a speaker complaining at the F. Scott Fitzgerald writers’ conference about how her publisher, the famed Farrar Straus & Giroux, didn’t sufficiently market her three novels. I sat there thinking, if they published me, I’d be happy with that.
But maybe not. Maybe seeing your book on the list, or sitting on the shelf in the bookstore isn’t enough. You want to see it in the hands of people. You want to see people glued to the page, turning the next page as fast as they breathe. I imagine an entire airplane of people simultaneously reading my book. I imagine everyone lounging on the beach reading my book. Now that’s a vision that makes me happy.
The only way to get from point A to point B is (oh crap) to do the marketing. I recall a time when a colleague told me I needed a wife. It was a classically misogynistic thing to say. These days I think I need a housekeeper, a personal assistant, a driver, a cook, a laundress. In fact, the whole staff from Downton Abbey minus the butlers, valets, and footmen, would just about do it. I suppose I could dress myself.
Perhaps marketing falls into the “dress myself” category in these post-modern times when, in addition to being writers, we do all those other tasks for ourselves. Sigh.
Now where am I supposed to send this sheet?
Posted on October 3, 2015
Black Opal Books takes on Ginny Fite’s sequel to Cromwell’s Folly in the Sam Lagarde Mystery Series, No Good Deed Left Undone!
When Grant Wodehouse went to the barn that fine morning, he had no idea what would take place—saddle a couple of horses, a little S&M with his neighbor and a pitchfork through his chest, pinning him to the wall, is what.
Who would not want him dead? Having bedded every female he’d ever laid eyes on, swindled anyone he had ever had business dealings with and ignored and ostracized his children, one person said it was time to meet his maker…but who?
The second in the Sam Lagarde Mystery Series leads us on another blood trail with twists and turns never anticipated.
Ginny Fite is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency.
Posted on September 19, 2015
116 W. German Street, Shepherdstown, WV
Good girls, it is commonly believed, are obsessed with bad boys. Usually, they get burned. Rarely do they get revenge…
Ben Cromwell—handsome, sexy and ruthless—keeps a stable of women; picks them up the way someone picks up a ripe peach, consumes it in a few bites, and throws away the pit. This time, he chose the wrong peaches.
Come and browse through the books of local West Virginia and Virginia authors on June 20, 1 – 4, Four Seasons Books, 116. W. German St., Shepherdstown, WV. I’ll be there signing What Goes Around and I Should Be Dead by Now . Stop by and ask me questions about the upcoming release of my first novel, the psychological thriller Folly, scheduled for publication by Black Opal Books in late fall.