author interview, Nonfiction Writing Advice

Author Interview: Ruffled Feathers

author interview: Barbara Taylor McCafferty

Deep in the Archives

This is an author interview I wrote in the 1990s.

Ruffled Feathers by (Barbara) Taylor McCafferty

Barbara Taylor McCafferty was born on September 15, the same day as Agatha Christie. She loves figuring out a good puzzle, like those found in novels by Christie. So, what does McCafferty do for a living?

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Writes mystery novels — just like Agatha Christie!

Well, not exactly like Christie. McCafferty has her own unique style, sticking her unsuspecting characters in bizarre situations and watching them wiggle their way out of them.

“I always start a story with a question that begins with ‘wouldn’t it be funny if?'” she said. “Like in my book, Ruffled Feathers, a guy gets a ransom note and the person allegedly kidnapped is standing right next to him. So, you wonder, ‘Is this an error in timing? A gag?'”

author interview, Nonfiction Writing Advice

Author Interview: Fool’s Puzzle

author interview: Earlene Fowler

Deep From the Archives

This is an author interview I wrote in the 1990s.

Fool’s Puzzle by Earlene Fowler

Toss in one fresh, sassy, 34-year-old ex-cowgirl, mix in two parts of a murder almost spoiling a folk art museum quilt display, add a dash of a fifty percent Anglo, fifty percent Latino, one hundred and ten percent macho cop with gorgeous eyes, and what do you have?

You have the deliciously intense, tangy-tasting romance of Benni Harper and Gabe Ortiz, in Earlene Fowler’s first mystery novel: Agatha Award nominee, Fool’s Puzzle.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Writing Traits: Are You a Writer?

freelance writer
FabJob Guide to Become a Freelance Writer

Before We Get Started

Here are some posts from my site that can help with freelance writing:

Writing a Nonfiction Book: Keeping it Real

Nonfiction Writing: Toss Out a Great Opener

How to Write a Book Proposal: Nonfiction Example

Research, Write and Review: The Biography

What is Content Creation?

Writing Traits to Consider

Give yourself one point for each of these writing traits that sound like you. You:

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Nonfiction Writing Advice: Toss Out a Great Opener

boomerang book

Here is some nonfiction writing advice that I’d created years ago.

To unravel the twisting, turning history (of the boomerang), you’d have to travel back in time. You’d slip back to an age before there were airplanes, before there were cars, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. You’d travel to a place where America wasn’t yet known, to a time long before William the Conqueror subdued England in 1066. You wouldn’t even recognize the world you’d enter, the primitive, murky horizons of ancient man.”

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Writing a Non-Fiction Book: Keeping It Real

writing a book
Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

I want to write a book” or “I have a book idea.”

When people find out that I’m an author, that’s often what they say to me – and, I reply, “That’s great! The world needs more wonderful books.” (And, it’s true. There can never be enough wonderful books!)

A follow up question that I sometimes get asked is, “Do you think I have the talent to write a book?”

Historical writing, Nonfiction Writing Advice

How to Write a Book Proposal: Non-Fiction Example

how to write a book proposal
Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

I recently came across a book proposal that I’d written in 2013, one that was ultimately rejected because the publisher felt there were too many books on the subject already. So, I thought it might be helpful to share it with you, a guide to how to write a book proposal. Note that I’m not suggesting that ALL book proposals should look this way. The publisher I was querying had specific requirements and I followed them. Having said that, this book proposal is fairly typical of what a publisher might want, although shorter than many others I’ve written.

A Few More Resources

Writing a Nonfiction Book: Keeping it Real

Nonfiction Writing Advice: Toss Out a Great Opener

Nonfiction Writing Advice, Writer's Conferences

Value of Attending Christian Writers Conferences

Like most things in life, there is a fine line between not networking enough as a writer – and focusing on networking at the expense of your actual writing time. If you find yourself spending too much energy on networking, it’s probably time for you to be honest with yourself. Do you really want to write – or do you simply enjoy socializing with writers and other Christians? Neither answer is “wrong.” A candid self-assessment, though, will most likely save you a lot of frustration — and this process will help you to determine what value there will be for you in attending Christian writers conferences.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Ethics in Writing

“If the best journalists in the world lack credibility then they are nothing. All we have is our credibility. We aren’t granted ‘journalist’ status by earning a certain college degree or being issued a government license. We earn it by reporting responsibly.” (Society of Professional Journalists President David Cuillier discussing ethics in writing, April 2014 issue of Quill)

Maybe you consider yourself a journalist – or a blogger or a magazine writer. No matter how you self label, when you write nonfiction, it’s crucial to report responsibly and to navigate ethical tightropes as carefully as possible.

Nonfiction Writing Advice

Right-Size Your Early Publishing Strategy and Expectations

I’ve taught online writing classes for the company that publishes Writer’s Digest for 18 years now and at writer’s conferences for more than 20 years. If I were to choose the challenge that seems to derail the biggest number of talented writers with potential to be published in magazines, I’d say this: they tend to focus their early efforts on super-sized magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Entrepreneur and Parenting. But, is that really the best publishing strategy?

Nonfiction Writing Advice

How to Curate Content for Your Blog

A curated blog post contains information of interest to a particular audience from multiple sources. For example, the post might contain information about 2018 kitchen decorating trends from five different websites. When done poorly, the curated post doesn’t add any new layers of value to the information and/or what’s chosen to be included is of lesser quality. Here’s more about how to curate content for your blog.