Sunday Smatterings

Smatterings - August 11 .png

Happy Sunday, all! I’m back from my brief sabbatical and roaring into the month of August. I snuck away while I was offline to a place I normally go at the end of August. When the trip was wrapping up, I started having my usual end-of-summer freak out: not enough words done, deadline looming. But… I realized… wait a minute, I have a WHOLE EXTRA MONTH ahead of me! Phew! My new book, set in an exotic locale, hasn’t been cooperating, but I finally figured out the issue (POV, again!) and once I made the change, it all fell into place. So I’m full speed ahead for that December deadline.

You know, I’ve written an awful lot of books now, but every single one of them is unique. They all have their own challenges, whether it’s a great character with no plot, a great plot with no character, but lately, I’ve had issues with point of view. Part of it is I’ve changed as a person—I’m entering a new stage of my female life, my priorities are different, my influences have changed—but it’s also that I’ve changed as a writer. I’ve experienced a lot of different styles of writing. I’ve co-written, which forces you to look at the work in a completely new manner. And now I’ve pivoted genres to more intimate crime fiction.

I finally figured out that with these more intimate books, first person narrative works better for the way I want to tell the stories. They’re smaller, affecting fewer people. This is in contrast with my bigger thrillers, which need a third-person narration because the stakes are affecting more people at once. So I’ve decided, going forward, to try the “first for suspense, third for thriller” method and see if that clears up the issues at the beginning for me.

All that said, LIE TO ME, which is as intimate thriller as I’ve ever written, was done mostly in close third with a first person villain. In other words, know the rules so you know when to break them, as Father Steve likes to say.

Speaking of unique narrations… here’s some excellent news: A THOUSAND DOORS is on sale worldwide for only 99 cents! Pick up your copy of the book Publishers Weekly said “not only provides great pleasure but also offers readers the opportunity to sample the work of first-class authors who may be new to them.”

On to the links!


Here's what happened on the Internets this week:

Here's The "Harry Potter" Road Trip Every Fan Needs To Do ASAP. I’m game! I’ve done Oxford and Scotland so far…

CIRCE Coming to Television via HBO Max. Fantastic news! This was one of my favorite books of 2018. Madeline Miller is a genius, and you know my love of mythology…

Libraries Act as Cooling Centers in Heatwaves. Libraries do so much for their communities. Stay cool out there.

How to Help Combat Piracy in Publishing. It takes all of us. If we aren’t paid for our work, there will be no room to make the work.

These Are the Books That Have Inspired Our Readers to Travel. What a great list! I tend to grab books set in the places I want to/am traveling to, just to enhance the experience!

Fans Are Better Than Tech at Organizing Information Online. “Here's a problem that AO3 users, like the rest of the internet, encounter every day: How do you find a particular thing you're interested in, while filtering out all the other stuff you don't care about? Most websites end up with tags of some sort.”

When Crime Authors Write Non-Crime Books. You may not know this, but publishers really like us to stay in our lane. When we’ve had success with one genre, it’s rare to get a ton of support to move to another. These books defy that trend.

This Tiny Traveling Bookstore Wanders the French Countryside. This sounds like a dream come true! Isn’t this perfect?

50 Must-Read Fantasy Books by Women. How many of these have you read?

Mary Laura interviewed Nashville’s own Margaret Renkl on A WORD ON WORDS this week.

The Wine of the Week at The Wine Vixen is a personal favorite. 5 goblets, people.🍷


What I’m Reading:

RUSH by Lisa Patton

What a beautiful, haunting novel. In addition to being an engaging, lush portrait of the phenomenon known as sorority rush, RUSH tackles some of the most serious injustices in the south. Lisa Patton's work personifies "be the change". You have to read this book, and share it with everyone you know. And good news, the paperback just released this week! Show Lisa some love, won’t you?

What are you reading?


That’s all for now. If you’re writing, play a bit with a POV you don’t normally write in. If you’re reading, get to it! And if you’re neither, go take a walk. It will make you happy. I’ll see you next week!

peace and hugs,
J.T.