Category: Blog

Interview with Harold Schechter, author of MANIAC

Author of recently release title MANIAC: The Bath School Disaster and the Birth of the Modern Mass Killer I am excited for the next interview in my interview series. This week, we have author Harold Schechter. Harold is an American true crime writer who specializes in serial killers. He attended the State University of New York in Buffalo where his PhD director was Leslie … Read More Interview with Harold Schechter, author of MANIAC

Tips and Topics for Writers #7 – Author Responsibility to the story

True Crime titles obviously carry weight. The topics are sensitive, and many times, there are surviving family members of victims and perpetrators. Digging up the past can be traumatic for them. In addition, there are many facts to the story, and those must be central to your writing. In essence, it is the author’s responsibility to ensure the story is told with the utmost … Read More Tips and Topics for Writers #7 – Author Responsibility to the story

Tips and Topics for Writers #6 – Adding Detail to Historical Research

I spend a lot of time with history and true crime manuscripts. True Crime stories have to be well-written. They are aimed at entertaining audiences, so sharp writing when telling that story is crucial. History manuscripts are different. Authors have to remain within the boundaries of the sources, and cannot deviate, otherwise the manuscript turns into historical fiction. Those boundaries can make authors feel … Read More Tips and Topics for Writers #6 – Adding Detail to Historical Research

Interview with Phil Christman, author of MIDWEST FUTURES

A former substitute teacher, shelter worker, and home health aide, Phil Christman currently lectures in the English department at University of Michigan. His work has appeared in The Hedgehog Review, Commonweal, The Christian Century, The Outline, and other places. He holds an MFA from the University of South Carolina-Columbia. He is the editor of the Michigan Review of Prisoner Creative Writing, a journal sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Prison Creative … Read More Interview with Phil Christman, author of MIDWEST FUTURES

Tips and Topics for Writers #5 – Trust Your Reader

This is one of my favorite things to talk about. We’ve all heard of them. Most of us know them. The Rules of Writing. I’m not going to launch into page after page of all the written and unwritten rules of writing. They are there, and we all know it. Now, I want to say this, but take it with a grain of salt. … Read More Tips and Topics for Writers #5 – Trust Your Reader

Tips and Topics for Writers #4 – Trust Your Reader

This was one of the things I struggled with the most when I began writing, and I still struggle with. Trust your reader. I write satire. It’s something I have always been drawn to, so it was a natural fit for me. But writing satire requires a balance between the things you are mocking and what you are trying to say to readers. One … Read More Tips and Topics for Writers #4 – Trust Your Reader

Tips and Topics for Writers #3 – Diction

Diction. Voice. Tone. All three of these things are very different, but I want to talk about diction as to how it relates to tone and voice. In non-fiction you diction and voice will be determined by topic. If you’re writing about a murder or serial killer or a disaster, then you probably want to avoid diction, voice and tone that do not convey … Read More Tips and Topics for Writers #3 – Diction

Author Talk with Three True Crime Authors

Tips and Topics for Writers #2- Sentence Structure

Post # 2 Sentence Structure One of the more frequent aspects of writing that I see in first-time writers is sentence structure. This is one of the more basic topics of writing, but it is so important to readability, which is crucial in history and true crime titles, but applies to all writing. Simply put, your sentence structure needs to vary. You don’t have … Read More Tips and Topics for Writers #2- Sentence Structure

Group Talk for True Crime Fans

On Wednesday, April 7 at 630 pm, I will be moderating a panel of true crime authors. We will be discussing the true crime genre, writing methods and much more. I will be joined by authors Rita Shuler, Raymond Guadagni, and Keith Roysdon. It is free to join, and you can check the Arcadia Publishing website for details. Hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/ArcadiaPublishing/

Tips and Topics for Writers #1- Research

Post #1 Researching True Crime and History Books Over the years, I’ve edited a lot of history and true crime titles. There are a few common mistakes that first-time, and even seasoned, authors make. Today, I’d like to discuss one of those. Everyone in publishing understands the amount of time and effort it takes to research a history or true crime title. Let’s just … Read More Tips and Topics for Writers #1- Research

Pushcart nomination

My short story “I’m Sorry, There’s No Smoking” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the amazing folks at Deep South Magazine. It’s my first nomination, and I’m pretty excited about it. Check it out. http://deepsouthmag.com/2014/02/im-sorry-theres-no-smoking/