My 2019 Appearances

I will be attending the always awesome James River Writers conference. Get your ticket now!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 — JRW Writing Show, “People Skills for Writers,” Richmond, Va.

Sat.-Sun., October 12-13, 2019 — 17th Annual James River Writers Conference, Richmond, Va.

RVA Booklovers' Festival

Saturday, October 19, 2019 — RVA Booklovers’ Festival, Richmond, Va.

Past Events

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 — JRW Writing Show, “I Finished My Book (Poem, Screenplay)—Now What?” Richmond, Va.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 — JRW Writing Show, “Defining and Finding Your Audience,” Richmond, Va.

Wednesday, June 25, 2019 — JRW Writing Show, “Building Relationships with Bookstore Owners and Librarians,” Richmond, Va.

Satuday, April 27, 2019 — Hanover Book Festival, Mechanicsville, Va.

Interview with Author Bruce Holsinger

Finding the extraordinary story right in front of you.

In episode 36 of Working Title podcast, I chat with author and scholar Bruce Holsinger. We discuss his latest novel, The Gifted School, and all things research. How the idea for his previous novel sprang from his reviewing centuries-old inventory documents, where you can find allies in your own research, tips for reaching out to subject matter experts, ways to introduce your characters to the reader, and more.

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Interview with Jon Sealy

There’s a new press for southern writers called Haywire Books. In episode 35 of Working Title podcast, I chat with author, and now publisher, Jon Sealy about his Haywire Books enterprise, and his strategy to face the challenges of a changing publishing landscape.

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On Memorable Characters Panel

Panelists
Me with Amy Sue Nathan, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Kristina Wright, and Bruce Holsinger.

At the 2015 James River Writers conference, I moderated the panel, “Creating Memorable Characters: Writing the Characters Readers Hold in their Hearts.” The illustrious panel included Stacy Hawkins Adams, author of Lead Me Home; Bruce Hollinger, author of The Invention of Fire; Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Good Neighbor; and Kristina Wright, author of Fairy Tale Lust.

I think it went well. Alas, there is no recording or transcript to share. Here is some of what was said that I recall:

  • Dialogue should be used to reveal character or move the plot forward, not serve as exposition.
  • Use internal monologue sparingly — too much can send the reader skimming.
  • Some writers lavish their characters with physical descriptions, while others are more stingy. However much detail you use to convey your characters’ traits, be sure they are easy for your readers to hold in their minds.
  • Perfect characters are boring and unrealistic – your protagonists should have flaws just as people do.
  • Antagonists/villains are people too. Just as protagonists should have flaws, antagonists should have sympathetic qualities. Readers should understand their motivations, even if they don’t agree with them.

I would have loved to have been a panelist here as characters are what I most enjoy about writing stories. It’s like I’m introducing beloved friends to the world. My aim is to make compelling characters collide and write down the fallout.