Female Serial Killers Aren’t a Type

Serial killers have fascinated the public for a very long time. Rumor and speculation and myth inflate and conflate the details. Even the definition of a serial killer is up for debate. But one thing is certain, there is no template that produces serial killers of any specific gender, race, or nationality. A short review of history shows that even female serial killers aren’t a type.  The Definition The FBI defined serial murder as: The unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events. This differs from a spree murder because there is a “cooling-off” period. A cooling-off period is a period of days between murders. A spree killing does not have a cooling-off period. The time period also differentiates serial murder and mass murder.  How Many Serial Killers? The FBI estimates that approximately one percent of all murders in the United States are serial killings. That would amount to twenty-five to fifty serial killers operating in any year. That’s only in the United States. I haven’t found an estimate for how many exist worldwide.  The History of Serial Killing It’s likely that serial killing has been around as long as mankind has been. And the first serial […]

Your Success as a Female Author of SF & F

Your Success as a female author has challenges. One of them is to find mentors who inspire you no matter where you are in your career path. In my last two Monday posts, I shared the names of many women writers who have been very successful writing fiction. (If you missed them read “Who Does Your Greatest Success Look Like” and “Are You Aiming for Their Writing Success?”) The field of science fiction and fantasy novels has been dominated by men for a very long time. Being a female author of SF & F (science fiction and fantasy) increases the difficulty of reaching success. Yet, more and more women authors are entering the field. And many of them are flourishing. Let’s take a brief look and see if you can find a mentor or two. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration to carry you through NANOWRIMO and the rest of your career. The Best-Selling Science Fiction by Women The best-selling books by female author of SF & F is difficult to determine. Methods of collecting that information are so variable as to make the data useless. Turning to Ranker again, I looked up the 100 best science fiction authors. The complete list is here. […]

The Final Perfect Line

November is coming! November is coming! Writers are frantically preparing for the month of NANOWRIMO. In case you’ve been living under a rock, NANOWRIMO stands for National Novel Writing Month. Since 1999, a simple challenge to write 50,000 words in thirty days has grown to be a non-profit organization supporting and cheering on hundreds of thousands of writers. The push is to finish no matter how unpolished the words. Because until you write the first draft, the perfect phrases, you cannot craft the perfect final line. Prepare for NANOWRIMO Many participants spend October planning the novel they’ll write in November. In the race to prepare, the writers create outlines and character bios and lists of complications and setting details.  That means that advice for the participants fills many October blogs. This blog is not a lot different. In past years, I’ve written advice on how to revise their NANOWRIMO novels. In reverse you can use that advice to build a novel. Read my Re-visioning Your Story posts if you want that kind of writing advice. This year, instead of advice, I share a few last lines as inspiration. The Perfect Final Line He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness […]