Advice to Authors
by Joanna Campbell Slan
“The stain advanced like the Wehrmacht over a map of Europe.” — The Leopard by Jo Nesbos
Isn’t that a wonderful description? The Wehrmacht is a term for the German army. I had to look it up—and I’m glad! I love learning new things. In fact, the best advice I can give any author is to read, read, read, and read some more. Read out of your genre. Read non-fiction. Read magazines. Read advertisements. Saturate your brain with words. Soak up new ideas and images. Never be without a book!
Over the past two weeks I’ve read The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes, The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro, The Birth House by Ami McKay, and most of this month’s Vanity Fair.
No, that’s not a typo. I have read all of these over the past fourteen days. As a result, I now know that you can extract fragrance by pressing petals between two pieces of glass smeared with a layer of tallow. This is called enfleurage. I have found out that those commemorative plaques on buildings in London are made by Royal Doulton. I have learned that the advent of “clinical” birthing methods in Nova Scotia had a distinctly misogynistic flavor.
I’ve also learned new words. Bast is the fibrous part of a tree and it’s used to make rope; le jardin des morts means the garden of the dead; a dongle is an electronic device that must be attached to a computer in order for it to use protected software; a guywan is a covered tea cup; and FPS is a gaming term for First Person Shooter.
Will any of this show up in my books?
I’m not sure.
Authors are like icebergs. The tip is what we share with our readers, but it is the submerged bulk supports that tip. All these ideas are necessary, whether I share them in my work or not. They go into the hopper, that marvelous container called my brain, where they swirl and blend with other ideas.
Maybe I will use one or two of those words.
I can imagine my protagonist Cara Mia Delgatto selling a guywan in her store, The Treasure Chest. Her computer expert Sid Heckman could show her how to use a dongle. Her eighteen-year-old son Tommy might come home for Spring Break and play an FPS. Skye Blue, her crafty employee, might attempt an enfleurage. MJ Austin, who’s an antique expert and Cara’s full-time employee, might sell a plaque by Royal Doulton.
Kicked to the Curb
By Joanna Campbell Slan
- Series: (Book #2 in the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series)
- Cozy Mystery 200 pages
Cara Mia Delgatto’s cup runneth over with worries. Her ex-husband is refusing to pay their son’s college tuition, her evil sister is pulling mean pranks, and her old boyfriend has broken her heart. And that’s just the personal stuff. She’s also concerned about keeping the cash register ringing at The Treasure Chest, her retail store specializing in upcycled, recycled, and repurposed décor items with a coastal theme. The media event that Cara plans turns nasty when reporter Kathy Simmons threatens to share unsavory details from the shopkeeper’s past. Things get really dicey when Kathy mysteriously disappears. Cara’s other problems seem trivial in comparison to…a murder investigation!
Purchase Link: Click Here to Purchase from Amazon!
About This Author
National Bestselling and Award-Winning Author Joanna Campbell Slan has penned 26 books, including the popular Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist). Her new series featuring Cara Mia Delgatto is a spin off from those books. Joanna writes about spunky women who get by with a little help from their friends. A crafting junkie, Joanna lives on a nearly deserted island in Florida with her dog, Jax, who is making a career out of stealing women’s lingerie.
A FREE offer!
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Enter the giveaway to win one of 3 ebook copies of Kicked to the Curb, a $50 Amazon gift card, or one of two print copies of Kicked to the Curb.
November 1 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Review, Interview
November 2 – Tea and A Book – Review, Guest Post
November 3 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post
November 4 – readalot – Review
November 5 – Community Bookstop – Review
November 6 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
November 7 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
November 8 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Interview
November 9 – Kelly P’s Blog – Guest Post
November 10 – Back Porchervations – Review
November 11 – Carole’s Book Corner – Review
November 12 – Lilac Reviews – Review
November 12 – Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Guest Post
November 13 – fuonlyknew – Review
November 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
November 15 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review