What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Referred to as the American P.D. James, Laura S. Wharton is the author of sea adventure/suspense/mystery novels for adults and mysteries for children. Award-winning adult titles include Deceived: A Sam McClellan Tale, The Pirate's Bastard, and Leaving Lukens. Wharton also is the author of four mysteries for children, including the popular award-winning Mystery at the Lake House series, and others. Most of her books involve adventure, fun, a little history, and sailboats. (She is a recovering sailor who could backslide at any moment!)
Today Laura Wharton will be talking about the best and worst pieces of writing advice she's received.
* Best pieces of writing advice: Often, the best writing advice I’ve received over my career as a writer and as a novelist have come from my editors. A few nuggets include:
1. Start with what you know. Research the rest until you can make the truth and fiction seamless.
2. Show the story. Never tell it.
3. Go deep, unless you want a cardboard character.
4. Brevity is better.
5. Write like you talk. Only smarter.
* Worst pieces of writing advice (and my responses in parentheses):
1. Write what you know. Period. (What’s the fun in that?)
2. You may want to choose a different line of work…your writing, well, it’s not that good. (Really? Um, I don’t think writers win awards for mediocre writing. My books/articles/ads/etc., have won plenty of awards. Oh, wait—you were using reverse psychology on me to urge me to do better? I see that now.)
3. Proper English is proper. (Maybe. But I love one-word sentences. And hyphens. Always.)
* “Huh?” Jack leaned forward and put his arms on my desk.
* “You said you didn’t think there was anything in here worth killing for. Macy wasn’t killed, Jack. She died of a heart attack, according to Dr. Tesh. Mr. Evans used the word, ‘die’…you are the only one who used the word, ‘kill.’ Why?”
* “Didn’t you know? Julia Norton vanished. Her disappearance was never solved, and she was presumed dead. I got curious and perhaps a little nervous for you when I thought you might have something that could have led to Julia’s disappearance and possibly to Macy’s death. As I said, though, I didn’t find anything mysterious or titillating in there.” Jack pushed himself out of the chair and walked to the door.
* “Jack, how do you know Julia Norton went missing?”
* “I researched it online,” he responded, pointing at my computer. “It’s all there: archived newspaper stories and a page or two from a magazine featuring a socialite’s column about her. That’s what I was doing this morning. I was researching. Seems Julia was a popular young lady. Very popular. She came from a good family whose fortunes dwindled during the Great Depression. When the war began, her family did what it could for the war effort, and her father was rewarded handsomely by the city of Columbia for his ability to put people back to work making parts for airplanes. As the war came to a close, the family’s finances stabilized, but Julia went into a tailspin over something. One article said she began turning down invitations to big parties after the boys came home. Another reported that rumors about a secret marriage made her go into hiding. Anyway, there wasn’t anything about that in the journal. Just notes about parties when she was young, plants she liked…stuff like that was in the pages that I did manage to get through. Like I said, I couldn’t keep my eyes open for the whole thing.” Jack stood up and slung his backpack over his shoulder. “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about, Lily. Anyway, I’ve got your back, just in case.”
ANNOUNCEMENT! Laura Wharton will be awarding a copy of In Julia's Garden (U.S.) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
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