Are You Aiming for Their Writing Success?

These five women authors are the top five of the Best Female Novelists of All Time (adapted from Ranker)  On your road to success, you may wish to follow the path of someone who has been there. In this series of blog posts, we’ll briefly review the writing lives of these authors. When you are aiming for writing success, understanding what others’ success looked like helps.  Virginia Woolf 1882-1941 British author, Virginia Woolf, produced at least ten novels, many short stories, plays, essays, and reviews. Virginia started writing in 1900 at eight years old. Her first published piece appeared in 1915. This home schooled author wrote about artistic theory, literary history, women’s writing, and the politics of power. Her novels fall into the women’s literary fiction category.  Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so slightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Often the attachment is scarcely perceptible. Virginia Woolf While working on her first novel, she asked friends and relatives for advice. Thereafter, she allowed no one to see her manuscripts.  She wrote standing for a while because, like a painter, she wanted to step back from her canvas to get a better view. And she experimented with different […]

Outtake from Fellowship & A Lesson

I’m deep in the last minute edits for Fellowship before I send it to the proofreader. Writing a book in the same world as My Soul to Keep that is not a sequel, has been interesting. So this week, I want to share an outtake from Fellowship and a lesson learned about writing before research. I am both a planner and a pantser. By that I mean, I write the story with a general outline. Since the outline isn’t very detailed I often go “off on a tangent.” I let the characters take me places that often end up on the cutting room floor as this excerpt did after I learned an important lesson. Before Research Ian opened and closed his fists over and over. It was weird. He’d never been afraid of hiking through the mountains before. It’s not right. Not fair. The Blue Ridge Mountains are my mountains. It was where Pop had taught him to hunt and fish and think. Pop was wrong about the Fellowship though. He thought it just needed some improvements. Pop used to talk about a time when he was young when he could walk where ever he wanted, even the streets of […]

The Beekeeper’s Fear

Written for middle-grade readers, my first book, The Mystery of Apple Crest, takes place on an Apple Orchard. A young girl and her family have moved into her grandfather’s home and learn to manage an Apple Orchard. In the course of writing this book, I learned an important lesson when a beekeeper’s fear stopped me in my tracks. I wrote this book mumble-mumble years ago. It is a sweet story, not well written, but in my defense, it was my first. Diligent, as always, I researched a lot of stuff. I’d been to orchards too many times to count, I’d even stayed a few nights in my aunt and uncle’s home with its orchard (see More than a Game). But I’d never lived on an orchard. So I visited a local orchard, toured the place, and asked lots of dumb questions. Bees and Apple Orchards During the course of the tour, I discovered that this orchard also had rows of beehives. It’s obvious once you think about it, apple trees have blossoms that must be pollinated. Bees are pollinators. In fact, apple orchards depend on honey bees to pollinate the trees. For best results, they need approximately 20-25 bees per […]