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Walk, then Run

If we saw a white belt enter a fight with a black belt, we’d think he was a fool. The gap in skill level is too wide. We’d wonder what on earth made the white belt think he could compete at that level.

If a couch potato started training with marathon runners he’d get left behind in a hurry and he’d probably get injured.

These might seem like far-fetched examples. Common sense dictates that a person would start at the beginning of a training program and work her way up through the stages of development. Of course a white belt wouldn’t challenge a black belt. Of course a couch potato wouldn’t train with marathoners. Except they do. And they become discouraged, and they quit.

So why is it novice writers insist on competing with master level storytellers? What is it about this industry that makes us think we can write a debut novel that competes with the greats of literature? Why aren’t we willing to write one novel after another, moving along the stages of development with each book?

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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