Sunday, May 29, 2011

Caol Shenold's Mystery We Write Book Tour

A nurse for forty years and a writer/artist for nearly as long, Carol Shenold has published three mysteries and an urban fantasy novel as well three nursing textbooks and numerous articles. Her website states: "The monsters under the bed might be real."

Carol, how has book publishing changed your life?

Having books published has allowed me to realize a lifetime dream of sharing my love of reading and creating with other and bring them some pleasure in escape.

Have you used your 40-year-career in nursing as background in your mystery plots?

So far, I haven’t used my medical background in my books. Writing is an escape for me so if I were writing medical mysteries, it would be too close to what I do every day, as much as I love what I do. Plus, I like the paranormal mystery so much more than medical.

Which of your professions as writer, artist or nurse bring you the most pleasure?

I don’t think I can pick just one. Art I do for fun and relaxation. Writing, I need to do plus it’s just so much fun. Art and writing are sides of the same coin involving the creative process, which has been part of me ever since I was a youngster designing dresses for my paper dolls. Nursing was a goal for me from grade school and has been the perfect career for me.

What’s the biggest disappointment you’ve had in your writing career?

Writing hasn’t been a disappointment other than failing to reach the NY Times Best Sellers list or receive any six-figure advances.

What’s the best thing that’s happened?

Meeting other writers over the years and making long-term friendships with fellow word lovers has been one of the best things about writing, that plus the pleasure you receive when someone enjoys your work.

Have ebooks sales surpassed your print editions?

Ebooks seem to sell better than print since my books are sold through Amazon and Kindle but are not in brick and mortar stores.

Advice to fledgling writers?

Learn your craft and be persistent. Never stop writing and submitting. Never stop trying to improve. Write what you love, not what you think the market wants. Readers know when you’re really invested in what you write.

Thanks, Carol.

You can visit Carol at her website:
and her blog site at

Monday, May 23, 2011

Marilyn Meredith, My First Mystery We Write Guest Blogger

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith is one of my favorite authors. She's published nearly thirty novels including her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, Angel Lost, the third of her Dark Oak mysteries from Oak Tree Press, and the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the  Invisible Path from Mundania Press (writing as F. M. Meredith). Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Internet chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and she's on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.

Writing Advice for Fledglings  

by Marilyn Meredith

Begin by reading the kind of books that you want to write. Pay attention to how the books begin, how the characters are introduced, how the suspense rises, the dialogue and what makes you like the book.
Attend writers’ conferences and read books on writing. Many people have the mistaken idea that just because they know how to “write” that they can sit down in front of a computer and write a book without learning how. There are many rules about writing a book—yes, some can be broken, but not until you know what they are.

If possible, join a writing group. It’s helpful if the members are writing in the same genre as you, but not absolutely necessary. What you mainly need are people who know about writing and will give you constructive feedback on what you’re written. Listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to take all their advice, but think about it. Frankly, I learned the most about writing from the members of my critique group—the same one I still belong to after 30 years.

Develop believable characters. Keep notes about them so they don’t suddenly change eye color or the spelling of their names. Speaking of character names be careful to pick names that don’t rhyme with the other character names, or start with the same letter, or all have the same number of syllables.

Write regularly. If you can, write every day even if it’s only for a short while. The more you write, the better you’ll write.

When you think you’ve finished your novel, it’s time to start the rewriting process. Print it out and go over each page diligently. Check that you’ve been consistent through out. Make sure the dialogue sounds natural but either moves the plot along or reveals character. Are the characters three dimensional? 
Don’t rely on the spell and grammar checker. You’ll need to check on the printed page. Many common words have different spellings and meanings. And if you’ve used fragments in dialogue because that’s how a character speaks, you don’t want to make the changes suggested.

When you think you’re done, the manuscript is polished, have someone take a look at it who is a professional. You never want to send something off to a publisher or agent that isn’t as close to perfect as you can make it.

Submitting to publishers is a whole other topic, but just let me say this: follow each agent’s or publisher’s guidelines exactly. They receive so many submissions they’re looking for a reason for rejection.
Never give up. With my first book I received nearly 30 rejections before it was accepted. I did a lot of rewriting in-between those rejections. I’ve had plenty of rejections since, but I never gave up. Rejections are part of being a writer. Sometimes you can learn from the rejection.

Write, write, write.

About Angel Lost: As plans for her perfect wedding fill her mind, Officer Stacey Wilbur is sent out to trap a flasher, the new hire realizes Rocky Bluff P.D. is not the answer to his problems, Abel Navarro’s can’t concentrate on the job because of worry about his mother, Officer Gordon Butler has his usual upsets, the sudden appearance of an angel in the window of a furniture store captures everyone’s imagination and causes problems for RBPD, and then the worst possible happens—will Stacey and Doug’s wedding take place?