Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's On My Shelf?

Aside from writing, revising, marketing, and social networking, authors also conduct research for the stories they write. While the internet provides information (often from dubious sources), books still remain a staple in my reference library.

I tend to buy books with the foresight I might need them later. This is especially true if they’re on sale. While I’ll probably buy most of my fiction in digital format, I’ll stay with print for my research material. I have a tendency to stick Post It notes on pages I refer to and flip back and forth. Easier for me to do with a paper book than an electronic one at this point.

What’s on my shelves? I thought I’d share some of the books I referred to while writing Death Sword and my current WIPs Serpent Fire and The Zaphkiel Project (which really needs a title). Since all three books are angel-centric, it would be best to start there:


Angels A to Z (Lewis, James R. & Oliver, Evelyn Dorothy)

This was the first angel book I bought. I don’t remember if I planned to write about angels then. I think it was my fascination with them that prompted this purchase.

Book of Angels, The (Taylor, Renae; Thompson, Ruth; Williams, L.A.)

Okay, I’ll admit it. I bought this one because I love the artwork. But it’s actually got some interesting and unique information that’s helped me shape my Angels of Death series.

Dictionary of Angels, A (Davidson, Gustave)

A friend of mine, who’s quite well-versed in angelic lore, pointed me to this source. Took a while to find, but I’m glad I did. Comprehensive and rather eye-opening, it’s become my primary go-to reference when researching angels.

Dictionary of Demons, The (Belanger, Michelle)

What I like about this one is it challenges some preconceived notions about angels and demons, many of whom play dual roles of holy and fallen.

Encyclopedia of Angels, The (Guiley, Rosemary Ellen)

This is the book I refer to when I need to cross-check information.  

Spiritual Tarot (Echols, Signe E, M.S..; Mueller, Robert, Ph.D.; Thomson, Sandra A.)

It’s been a while since I’ve read this, but I remember it being very thorough on the meaning of the cards and the symbolism contained therein.

Tarot for Writers (Kenner, Corrine)

I use both the Rider-Waite and Celtic Tarot to develop characters and help plot my stories. Because they utilize the subconscious, the Tarot is also a great way to break through writer’s block.

That’s about it. If you have any reference books you like, please share. Thanks and enjoy!  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

For drabness sake

There are some weeks that offer treats with one hand while kicking you in the 'nads with a booted foot, and this was one of them. I mean, there's good stuff happening. I've just had my call for submissions approved by Lyrical Press.


And I'm totally stoked about this. I've been wanting to bring darker, grittier stuff back into my life and I'm absolutely fecking happy about this. I've also had some absolutely delightful submissions. The Meet me at Dusk call for subs is indefinite, which means I'll sporadically trot this pony out and say "Hey howzit" to authors that I'm the editor you want to speak to about getting your dark and urban fantasy published at Lyrical Press.

The only other bright spark is that I filed a story with a national newspaper today, and it's a story I reckon I can feel justifiably proud of as it features one of my favourite artists. More on that later when it goes to print and I can put some virtual linkage up.

Other than that, I'm writing, editing and reading, and trying not to be too glum. Because overall I'm having a month that can only be summed up in one word: blegh!

No go out and make me happy by liking my Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nerine-Dorman-author/173330419365374

I'm one member shy of 100.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Lesson #11: The Evolution of Rejection

I joined the road paved with rejection slips in 1987, when I started sending out my early horror novel TERROR IN TANNER’S FIELD. So by the time I received the publishing contract for SUFFER THE CHILDREN, I had been travelling that rejection road for over twenty years. And I’ve noticed some changes in that time.

I learned fairly early on that there was no point in sending your manuscript direct to publishers. You had to have an agent. I also learned that between UK and US agents, there was a difference in submission requirements. UK agents want the first three chapters and a synopsis. If they like what they see they will ask to see the full manuscript; if they don’t, they return the pages to you in the required SAE. There is one extra step with US agents, as they want a query letter first, then a partial if they like the query, then eventually the full manuscript (if you’re lucky).

In the early days, everyone wanted hard copy. I have spent many a lunch hour over the last twenty years queuing up in the Post Office, with my envelope containing my first three chapters or my short story, unsealed so when I got to the counter I could get it weighed to find out what the postage was going to be, get the equivalent amount for return postage, stick the return postage on the SAE before sealing the envelope, sticking the other stamps on the outside envelope and dropping the whole thing in the post box.

Having the pages returned to you, though, is often just a formality. When your pages come back to you in the SAE, they are generally in less than pristine condition and not really fit to be sent out to anyone else. After all, you don’t want to make a bad impression with agents and editors by submitting dog-eared and coffee-stained pages.

Submitting to international agents was even more of a challenge. Once upon a time you could send an international reply coupon, but over the years they became unpopular. It became easier to buy stamps whenever I went to the US, to use on SAEs when I submitted to American agents. But because I only visit the US once every couple of years I tended to stockpile the stamps, which would generally mean US postage would increase before I’d used all the stamps up, resulting in the necessity of trying to get hold of a load of 5-cent ones to make sure my SAE had the correct postage on.

But then, a few years ago, things started to change. We began to see an increase in small, independent publishers, who were happy to look at unsolicited manuscripts from new writers. Often they wanted to look at the whole thing, not just three chapters. Sometimes they were even happy to have the file sent as an email attachment.

The new writer is no longer limited to sending their manuscript to agents. The number of independent publishers continues to grow, and most of them are still happy to look at unagented writers. And nowadays it’s not just the new publishing companies that will accept email submissions. Many agents will accept emails also (but not all – there is still a need to check the individual requirements carefully before submitting).

Email submissions are far better for the writer. No more queuing up in the post office; no more small fortunes being spent on stamps, printer ink, paper and envelopes.

There’s an old saying about most writers having enough rejection slips to wallpaper their office with. I still have that old file, labelled ‘rejections’, but I haven’t added anything to it for a while. But not because I haven’t been getting rejections. My most recent rejections are all saved on the PC, in a sub-folder of my email inbox called ‘rejections’.

And this is another advantage of how technology has made submissions better. Electronic files don’t bulk out the folder the way paper does. If you can’t see the rejection folder getting visibly fatter, you get far less depressed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fun with research

I love research, it's one of my favorites things about creating a fictional world. This is especially fun for the Mojo books - Mojo Queen which just came out and yes I am totes giving a buy link, and the follow-up Red House which is my current work in progress. For these books I have researched chaos magic, hoodoo, the magical properties of various roots and herbs, the Battle of Franklin which was a major battle here in Tennessee during the Civil War, ghost-hunting EMF devices, the old Tennessee State Prison in Nashville, and various drink recipes for my beverage loving vampire sidekick. Fun times!

My latest source for research is actually a book I've had for years that I am now re-reading. Blue Roots: African-American Folk Magic of the Gullah People is a volume I've had shelved with the music books for some time. Okay, no, the book isn't technically about music but it just seemed to fit there better than with the rest of the general non-fiction. The Gullah of coastal South Carolina and Georgia are descended from slaves that were able to retain much more of their traditional African culture due to being fairly isolated. The antebellum plantations in those semi-tropic Low Country areas primarily grew rice, with most of the white owners and their families withdrawing inland during the mosquito-infested summer months that brought widespread malaria. Between how labor intensive rice production was and the "white flight" of half the year, blacks were actually the majority population. With less interference from the white owners, slaves were able to hold on to  more of their African customs and beliefs. One of those customs was having root doctors in the community, folk who worked with herbs, roots, and the spirit world to create magical charms. Charms for protection, good health, love, gambling, crossing an enemy - the same kind of stuff as the hoodoo that thrived underground throughout the Mississippi Delta region and other places.

It's pretty interesting stuff and I'm enjoying reading the book again. My main character Roxie is trained as a root worker but she's worked as a paranormal investigator, dealing with hauntings and such instead of the more traditional work of a root doctor. I thought I would begin to touch on some of that tradition a little bit in this second book. I do have a specific reason for reading up on Gullah folk magic but you'll have to wait for Red House for that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bloody Parchment update: 1301

I don't just wear the author hat. My other passion is editing and, not only do I edit for Lyrical Press, I also do my bit to promote dark fantasy and horror fiction in South Africa. For the past three years I've been working on Bloody Parchment, which is not just an author reading event every year in October, under the auspices of the SA HorrorFest, but also an anthology of fiction. Last year we ran our first short fiction competition.

This year also see the relaunch of Something Wicked magazine, who have requested to use the top five stories from the Bloody Parchment anthology to be released later this year.

Today I'd like to showcase the fourth-place winner, Chris Miller, who wrote the rather creepy 1301.

For more information about Bloody Parchment, see the blog here: http://bloodyparchment.blogspot.com

You can direct any queries to nerinedorman@gmail.com but remember to put "Bloody Parchment" in the subject line.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The End of The Edits

The galleys for DEATH SCENE are finally done, and I am rejoicing.

For the uninitiated, galleys are the final proof of a novel before it gets published. For my e-books, the galleys arrive in the form of a PDF file. This is the last chance I have to make edits, so I have to read them carefully, and make notes of any changes in a separate word document, to be submitted back to the editor.

The pesky day job has been seriously hampering my writing time the last couple of weeks (and before that was my holiday...) so I was not able to devote as much time to my galleys as I would prefer. Still, I managed to read them twice. I found a few things that looked wrong, I made notes, and I despatched them back to the editor.

Submitting the galleys marked the end of the emotional roller-coaster ride that was the editing process. At the beginning of this process, I was excited that my book was going to have a place in the world. By the third or fourth round of edits, I was sick to death of the story and convinced it was a load of rubbish and I had no business calling myself a writer.

When I got to the galleys, that changed. As I read through them, my faith in my story was re-confirmed. It wasn't a bad book after all, I thought. In fact, by the end of the editing process I was rather proud of what I'd achieved, and had rediscovered a belief in myself as a writer.

My involvement in the editing process is now over. My actress amateur sleuth, Shara Summers, is waiting in the wings for her big entrance into the world. I can't help but feel a little nervous on her behalf. Will she get a standing ovation, or get booed off the stage? I guess only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Not to Do in a Pitch Session

This June28-July 1, hundreds of writers will descend on New York City for the RWA National Conference. For many aspiring authors, this means a chance to pitch to an agent or editor.

For those of you who are nervous about pitching and not quite sure what to do (or not to do), I hope this little video by Christie Craig and Faye Hughes of Write With Us will not only give you some good tips but also a good laugh.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Recognize your weaknesses

Every writer has strengths and weaknesses. Some excel at characterization, others are good at building suspense or crafting exciting action scenes. Some writers might be good at suspense and atmosphere, but have to work hard to forge a connection to their characters so that the reader can then feel a similar connection. You have to learn to recognize what you're good at and what you need to work on, and getting published doesn't mean you've mastered everything. There is always room for improvement.

At this point, I'm honestly not sure what exactly I'm good at, but I do know what I need to keep working to improve. Setting is something I have trouble with. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I never feel a particularly strong connection to places, having grown up on the move and never living anywhere for more than two and half years. I've been in the town where I live for many years now but it's still just "the town where I live" and not home. Trying to create a sense of place in my fiction is always a struggle for me. Every place has its unique features but all the moving I did growing up also taught me that there is a surprising amount of uniformity everywhere you go.

Another thing I have to keep working on is balance. I want my books to be a mix of different things: paranormal, humor, action, romance. If I find myself having trouble with one of those elements, I've noticed that I tend to over-compensate and use a lot of that element. For instance in my current work in progress Red House I started out having a lot of trouble with the romance part of the story. Now it's trying to take over. Recognizing this issue will help me fix it in revisions so that the story elements are balanced.

That's really important to becoming a better writer - recognizing your weaknesses so that you can work on them. What are some of your weaknesses?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two-Reader Household

Hubby and I are both die-hard bibliophiles, and our house has always been full of books. In fact, it's so full of books that was one of the reasons I decided to buy an e-reader - less storage space required.

I love my Sony e-reader and after Hubby saw me happy with it he decided he wanted an e-reader, too. Given the fact that many e-books are only available in one format, we decided, rather than get a second Sony, to get him a Kindle - figuring that we'd be increasing the chances of us being able to get hold of desired e-books in a format we could read.

So we are now a two e-reader household, and Hubby has enthusiastically embraced e-book technology. On our recent holiday we took along both e-readers, and we spent many hours relaxing by the pool, him with his nose in the Kindle and me with mine in the Sony.

Having compared the two, I think aesthetically I still prefer my pocket Sony, which is neater and more compact. But the Kindle has its advantages, too. There are now Sony e-readers that will allow one to edit documents, but my particular brand will not. The Kindle will, and it's also wifi compatible, which the Sony is not.

Buying e-books on the Sony is fairly straightforward. You have to download the reader library software onto your PC. When you buy an e-book in EPUB format, it will download into your reader library. You then plug the e-reader into the PC, and drag and drop the relevant EPUB files from the library onto your device. Unplug the device, and your new e-books appear on your e-reader.

The Kindle's even easier, though. When you buy a Kindle from Amazon, it automatically links itself to your Amazon account. Buying an e-book for your Kindle, after that, is literally a case of one click. Browse the available Kindle books on Amazon. When you find one you want to buy, you click the 'buy now' button. And that's it. The next time you switch on your Kindle, your new e-books will automatically download. You don't even have to worry about payment details, as they are already stored in your Amazon account (which makes buying Kindle e-books potentially very expensive, because it's far too easy to lose track of how much money you've spent).

Both Hubby and I still buy paper books, but I find myself buying ever more e-books. So many books, so little time.

There's still a fear out there in the publishing world that e-books will make paper books obsolete. I still believe that won't happen, but maybe I'm being optimistic. A few years ago Hubby didn't believe he'd ever stop reading newspapers - he used to read one every morning on the daily commute. But now he doesn't read newspapers at all. At some point over the last couple of years he changed to getting all of his news online, read with a cup of coffee at his desk before he starts work in the morning.

If e-books take over from paper completely it will be a shame. In the meantime my paper TBR pile continues to grow - but the Sony TBR pile grows even faster.

As an extra complication, I now have an addition 'TBR pile'on the Kindle. I just have to prise it away from Hubby first...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Playing in the Past

Lately I’ve been playing around with the idea of writing a vampire/werewolf tale set in Victorian Louisville.

It wouldn’t be my first historical. As a rule, I don’t write them very often. Nevertheless, I enjoy reading such stories, particularly those set in the 1920s-1940s. The clothes, the cars, even the music... What’s not to love?

I first ventured into writing historical stories while in high school. Many of these were crime dramas set during Prohibition. Even then, I did my research. However, given these were stories written for English class or a few friends, I didn’t have to worry about historical accuracy, although I tried to be as realistic as possible.

Flash forward a decade or so. After graduating with a degree in English, I pretty much stopped writing creatively. When I decided to write my first novel, a YA horror, I set it in a village trapped in the American Colonial past. The following year I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month challenge. My story about a vampire hunter was partially set during the French Revolution.

Neither of those stories will see publication.

So why this renewed interest in  writing historicals? I think it’s simply a matter of needing a change, of wanting to write something different.  

And there is that Tod Browning idea...   

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stepping away from the keyboard

Writing is not a nine-to-five job. The muse doesn't give you weekends off, holidays or vacations. Even if you're not sitting at a desk typing away, adding word count to your latest manuscript, its likely part of your brain is still turning over plot problems. Letting a work-in-progress consume you is an  easy thing to do. But it's not a good thing to do.

Every writer has a variety of commitments beyond their writing. There's also things you like to do, hobbies you enjoy. (I do not consider writing a hobby.) Movies you want to see. Whatever. Sometimes you have to step away from the keyboard and honor those other commitments and sometimes you choose to step away and spend time with family and friends or doing something else you enjoy. And that's perfectly okay, a good thing, even. The last thing a creative person wants to do is get so burned out that they don't even enjoy the act of creating anymore. A little time away from the keyboard, away from the work-in-progress, might even be just the thing your brain needs to work out the latest plot problem or character issue.

Besides - you have to live in order to translate your experiences into fiction. Its important to remember that. I hope wherever you are has the same beautiful weather we've got here today, and loved ones to share it with. Right now I'm going to go search my fridge for something to grill and enjoy the rest of the day with my husband. The work will still be there later, waiting for me to bring the next chapter together (and boy, is it going to be a doozy).

Remember to step away from the keyboard sometimes and take a look around you. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Plotting to take over the world

One aspect of my work that I enjoy is being able to look at the bigger picture in a novel. In many cases an author may be too close to a story. It’s that whole not seeing the forest for the trees thing. It helps to take a step back. And while some authors are pantsers, who gamely stride into storytelling with only a notion of where they’re going, I’ve read umpteen blogs where said authors complain they’ve lost the plot—they don’t know where the story’s going.

I’m a big fan of writing an overview. When I write, I try to use the best of both worlds: an overview tempered with artistic licence when I see a promising story arc bloom. The fact remains that I know where the novel’s headed. I know where the climaxes are. I know how the story ends yet I’ve the freedom to tweak.

And you need those climaxes. Trust me.

I had a coffee with a literary agent a few months back and I’ll never forget what she said about plotting a novel.

I’m going to paraphrase here, badly: “You have to take your main characters, chase them out of their house, hunt them through dark forest, make them almost fall down a cliff, get them trapped up a tree, set the tree on fire then throw their pet cat up for good measure.”

An engaging novel will have you turning the pages while wondering how in heaven’s name your main character is ever going to get out of his or her predicament, as they go from what I call one “oh no” situation into the next. “Oh no” situations are good. They keep readers off balance. Off balance readers want resolution. Good authors offer a satisfying resolution, just deserts that make readers sit back and wipe their collective brow in relief.

One of the methods I use for plotting a novel is The Snowflake Method. While I don’t follow it slavishly, I adapt the aspects of it that work for me so that I can get a bare-bones framework before I look at layering. In essence, a novel is pretty much like a play. You have your introduction, three acts and a conclusion. I like to think of the three acts as three disasters, each worse than the one before.

This is obviously a *very* simplistic way of looking at building a novel and a savvy author can get really creative, but it’s a model that works. I like to add the Hero’s Journey in there some place à la Joseph Campbell, for good measure. Go look up the concept of a monomyth. There’s a reason why this tried-and-tested development is intrinsic to a good story.

Realise this: real life isn’t always exciting. Many everyday lives go out with a whimper, not a bang. When we read, we don’t want to immerse ourselves in the doings of a mediocre person. We want to hear that call to adventure. We want to recognise that hero within, the everyman/woman who rises above the mundane and take their fate into their own hands. The reason why we read stories is because for a short while they take us out of the real world. Heed the call to adventure. Write it down. Make the words sing.

It stands to reason that certain functions of a good story need to be fulfilled otherwise you may end up with a technically good novel that could have been stronger with its overarching impact, the *satisfaction* readers are looking for when they choose a novel. Writing is a form of magic, of changing the way people perceive their world by taking them on a journey, be it to slay monsters or traipse through the Ninth Pit of Hell to retrieve the Holy Grail…or to save that one true love.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing Lesson #10: Mobile Writing

I am a creature of habit. It took me a long time to adapt to writing on a word processor, instead of long hand in pencil in the back of note books.

Once I had adapted, though, I had a new routine. I created for myself a ‘writing corner’ around my computer. Wherever we’ve lived over the last twenty years, I had to have a ‘writing corner’ (I would like a whole room, but we’ve never lived in a place big enough). And I decided I couldn’t do any writing unless I was in my ‘writing corner’.

This was all well and good in the days of desktop PCs, which weren’t mobile. But when SUFFER THE CHILDREN took 10 years to write, I was using far too often the excuse that I had no time to write because I wasn’t in my ‘writing corner’. A few years ago, my husband bought me a lap top, in an attempt to encourage me to write more often. I decided I didn’t like writing on the laptop because it took me out of my comfort zone. I bought myself a cradle for it, and set it up on the computer desk with a separate mouse and keyboard plugged into it. I could write on it then, because it was in my ‘writing corner’, which defeated the whole purpose of having a laptop.

And then, a couple of years ago, he bought me a NetBook. And with the arrival of the publishing contract, I had to change my thinking. I could no longer afford to spend months and years away from the writing. I had to be more than a one trick pony (or, indeed, one book author). I always complain about the day job getting in the way of writing time. But since giving up the day job is not a feasible option (at least not yet), the alternative was to try and find time to write around the day job. I had to get used to writing on the NetBook, and get out of my head the idea that the only place I could write was at home in my ‘writing corner’.

And I have to say I have finally made some progress in disabusing myself of this notion. The NetBook keyboard took some getting used to – I am a touch typist, and the keys are so close together it is easy to hit the wrong one – but now that I have, I am getting quite adept at carrying the NetBook around with me and writing in places other than my ‘writing corner’. I sit in Starbucks and bash away for an hour or so before work a couple of days a week. Sometimes I even take the NetBook on holiday and set up camp in the hotel lobby to get some writing in.

In theory I have time on the train on my daily commute that could be put to good use writing, but in practise that’s not going to happen. First of all, I don’t always have a seat on my train. Secondly, we are all packed in so tightly if I tried writing on the NetBook I would have several people who could see over my shoulder. Writing on the move is one thing but having someone watch me write is seriously off-putting.

But there are plenty of other places where I could get some writing time in with the NetBook, and after 20 years of the ‘writing corner’ I am once more getting used to writing on the move. It is, after all, going back to the beginning. Before the days of computers, when I wrote in notebooks, I used to be able to write anywhere. Why it’s taken me so long to go back to that, I have no idea. As I say, I’m a creature of habit. But I am learning that habits can be changed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The One-Three Point of View Punch

A couple of years ago, I submitted an excerpt of a work-in-progress to an online class. The instructor liked it but also mentioned I “head hopped.” This is when point of view (POV) switches from character to character without the benefit of chapter breaks or scene changes.

Since head hopping is probably one of the seven deadly writing sins, I vowed to cure myself of that affliction.

I usually write 3rd person deep POV. Perhaps it was my time in collegiate theatre but I liken this POV to becoming the character.

You have to be aware of what your character knows. For example, consider this sentence: “Francine walked up and down the sidewalk, her high heels of her worn black patent leather pumps clacking on the concrete. She tossed back her auburn hair over one shoulder and sighed. Her green eyes narrowed...”

Yeah, I know. Bad prose. (We won’t get into the overuse of “her.”) But that’s not the point. Notice the description of hair, eyes, and shoes? A character in 3rd person deep POV wouldn’t likely notice these things. Now if the shoes were new, maybe. (I have to thank Toni Andrews of Deadline Dames for first pointing this out about characters and their POVs.)

So how do we know what a character looks like? From another person’s POV. This is why some authors use multiple POVs. Again, this can be tricky. First, not every character needs a POV. Try to keep it restricted to the main characters. Second, which POV is important to that particular scene? Who is going to be affected by what happens?

What I like about 3rd person POV is you can layer your story, explore it from different characters’ perceptions. It also allows your reader to know what’s going on before your hero does and this can make for a suspenseful scene. In Alfred Hitchcock’s Sabotage the audience knows the bomb is going to explode but the victims are unaware. Such an incident keeps us on the proverbial edge of our seats.

Knowing what might happen to the hero or heroine puts us in a unique and advantageous position. Will he or she survive? Will they learn of the treachery?

And this is the problem with 1st person POV. We’re restricted to knowing everything our narrator knows when s/he finds out. Sure there’s suspense but it’s minimal because we don’t have that extra benefit of knowing beforehand.

Is this to say 1st person POV is wrong? Not at all. Mystery writers use it. We follow along with the private detective as he unravels the clues. How do we learn about him? From his interactions with other people.

Keep in mind, however, it’s harder to layer a story with 1st person POV because you can’t rely on other POVs. Also, your hero or heroine is onstage most if not all of the time. He or she needs to be interesting and keep the reader engaged.

So what are the benefits of 1st person POV? It can be a great way to write a first draft. Death Sword was originally in 1st person POV before I switched to 3rd. Writing 1st person POV can also ensure your readers will connect with your hero or heroine, see the world through their perspective. Many urban fantasies used 1st person POV.  

Will I write 1st person POV again? Sure. Do I recommend one over the other? No. I write mostly 3rd person deep POV because I’m used to it. But if that’s not your thing, don’t worry about it.

My only advice? Try not to head hop. Sure, some popular best-selling authors are notorious for doing same. Let them. You probably haven’t reached that stage in your writing career.

Remember, your poor editor is already pulling out her hair. No point in her going bald. And you don’t want your readers to throw your book across the room, especially not an e-reader. (Trust me, I know this from personal experience. That LCD isn’t shatter proof. Well, mine wasn’t.)

Until then, happy writing!