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Character Sketch

As authors, we create characters for our books all the time. This is as true for non-fiction writers as it is for novelists.

We get into their skin and see life through their eyes. We imagine their personalities and their lives in incredible detail; where they live, what they do, who their friends are, sometimes what their favourite food is. We live their lives and experience their emotions. We have to, otherwise our writing is stilted and cold.

What if we used that skill to design our writing career? What if we created a character in the image of the kind of writer we want to be? What if we got into that character’s skin and lived life as she would live it?

Valerie Francis

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie

Well, you’re not going to believe this. Reece Witherspoon and I picked the same book for our February book clubs. Sort of.  Late last year, I came across THE MYSTERY OF MRS. CHRISTIE by Marie Benedict and was fascinated by the premise. Benedict writes historical fiction, much like Philippa Gregory,

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Valerie Francis

A Girl Named Howard

This month, rather than recommend one book to read, I’m recommending the entire body of work of one author because Anne Rice, who passed away December 11, 2021, single-handedly revolutionized the role of vampires in literature.  Yes, vampires.  And the impact she’s had is more significant than you might realize.

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Valerie Francis

The Christmas Bookshop

If you’ve had it up to your eyes with holiday preparations and are looking for a light-hearted story to escape into, The Christmas Bookshop, by Jenny Colgan, might be just the ticket. The title is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, there’s a bookstore. Yes, the plot unfolds in

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Masquerade