New York Times  Bestselling Author

Archive for August 2008

Cuss Words Revisited

We’ve talked before about the “colorful” language sometimes used in novels and my readers represent many different opinions on the subject. My opinion is and always has been that such language should not be gratuitous (same with graphic sex and violence), but it’s sometimes necessary. (note: those of you easily offended had better skip After the Storm, the sequel…

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Coming up with Book Titles

Naming a character is one thing. Naming an entire book is quite another. This is much on my mind as I toy with titles for my new, fledgling work-in-progress. I jot them down in the dark as I’m falling asleep, and they seem so brilliant then. In the light of day, though, they often lose their sparkle.  I…

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What Do You See?

The last time John and I were on Topsail Island, we were having dinner in a restaurant when John suddenly said, “Do you see that waitress over there? That’s Dawn.” I figured he must mean the character Dawn in my latest book, Before the Storm. I turned to look at the waitress. She was a little…

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Naming Names

Naming characters can be such a challenge! But it’s not nearly as difficult as remembering what I’ve named them. For my first four or five books, I kept an ongoing list of names I’d used so that I’d be careful not to re-use them. Somewhere around book six, I got sloppy or busy or both,…

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Sympathy for the Devil

Those of you who’ve read Before the Storm know that one of the main characters, Laurel Lockwood, develops post partum depression after the birth of her baby Maggie. With the depression undiagnosed and severe, she begins to drink as a way to escape her sadness and shame. She continues to drink wine coolers even after learning she’s pregnant…

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Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures

I’ve taken a tiny break from the blog as I train myself in using my new Blackberry, along with Outlook, Word and a few other torturous inventions designed to move me into the twenty-first century. So while I’m doing that, I thought I’d share this video John made for Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures, nature photography…

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A Gift for Those of you who Write

My neighborhood bookclub met tonight to discuss Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell. (For those of you who don’t know, twenty-nine-year-old Julie Powell set a goal of making every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking–all in one year, in a tiny apartment in New York. Lots of stocks made from scratch,…

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Writing While Driving

Years ago, while working on my fourth book, Keeper of the Light, I hired writing consultant Peter Porosky to help me brainstorm the plot and structure. I lived in Virginia at the time, and Peter lived nearly an hour’s drive away from me in Maryland. He’d read my initial outline and we got right down to work, talking…

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