If arsenic had a golden age, it was probably the Victorian era in England and the United States. It was in bloody everything, from wallpaper, to clothing dye, to cosmetics. If arsenic had a golden age in terms of literature, it was probably the mid-1900s, though by then its career as an actual murder weapon was being regulated out of relevance. Still, writers like Agatha Christie made arsenic one of the most well-known and sordid tools in popular crime fiction.
There is an absolute ton of juicy content to get into here. For a start, it really was as common as you hear, according to Sandra Hempel, an author and expert on the subject. She states, “Through much of the nineteenth century, a third of all criminal cases of poisoning involved arsenic. One reason for its popularity was simply its availability. All you had to do was go into a chemist’s shop and say that you needed to kill rats.” Continue reading “Literature’s Torrid Love Affair with Arsenic”
Over the holidays I’ve been sequestered in the writing cave. It’s been productive; in fact I finished the final installment of a trilogy I’ve been trying to put to bed for the past few years. When I finally came out of the cave, it was January 1st and you know what that means. It’s time to turn random thoughts into resolutions and call it a blog.
Be more selfish
We devote a fair amount of time to helping others. We coach, encourage, and share our findings with our colleagues but we need to put ourselves first. We need to build our own mailing lists. We need to hone our own writing skills. We have to build our own support groups. These efforts have to come first before we help anyone else. Keep paying it forward but consider being a bit more selfish in the coming year. Continue reading “Everyday Writing Resolutions for Self-Publishers”
I was talking the other day with E.L. James and Hugh Howey about what a bunch of name-droppers we writers are.
Okay, maybe that part didn’t happen, and I don’t mean name-dropper in the conventional sense. I mean that as writers, we have actually dropped certain names from literature.
When we choose our characters’ names, we use the opportunity to enhance the reader’s mental image of the character. Certain names just don’t seem to do that as well, so we drop them from the lexicon. They may not be totally gone, but to the extent they are used at all, they are given to minor characters. Continue reading “Name Droppers”
Hi! I’m Anita Smoke and I write because I breathe! I right in many genres which makes my fans very happy. I never know what type of story I’ll be writing next! I was born in California but moved to Texas, Chicago, and finally Virginia when I married my soulmate. We’ve got four furry children, and boy is the bed crowded! When I’m not writing, I’m running the styrofoam boat races in my neighborhood, knitting snap-on extension panels for leg warmers, and developing a myriad of recipes for boil-in-bag toast. Stay turned for my next book! It’s coming soon!
Seriously – is that the type of impression you want potential customers to get when they read your biography? Are you looking for readers or for a new bff?
Your biography is basically your resume and cover letter built into one. The facts need to be there; they need to be presented with the right amount of friendliness and professionalism. It can be a very tough balance to achieve. So, here are some tips to help you create, update, and/or revamp your author biography. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Me: Writing Your Bio”