Where would you live in the City of Filth?

My new novel, Die Klinge des Waldes, Blanvalet-Germany, is set in the City of Filth which has 35 districts with very distinct personalities. Take the personality quiz to find out which district is yours!

Click on the image below to get started.

City of Filth
© Andreas Hancock, Bielefeld

Query Letters

I’ve been writing query letters for a while now, so you’d think I have it down. Yet its important to adjust to changes in personnel, technology and industry expectations, I found this column by Gus Sambchino helpful.  Check it out!

(This column excerpted from GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS, from Writer’s Digest Books.)

Validation Feels Good

It is very rewarding to hear from a fan who likes one of my stories. This email about Impasse hit my mailbox yesterday. Feels great to be compared to some 
best selling authors in the genre. Thank you!

"I just finished your book, Impasse.  Best story I have read in a long time.  I work at a library--that's how I came across your book.  The cover grabbed my attention and I love suspense-thrillers-mysteries.  I read about 2 books a week, including best-selling authors.  You have topped James Patterson by a mile and rival Stuart Woods, James Grippando, and David Baldacci.  Congratulations on a great book from this old lady!"

My Latest Writing Tips Via Twitter

Here are some of my latest writing tips that have appeared on Twitter. If you think they’re helpful or know someone who would benefit, go ahead and follow me on Twitter. You can also Like my author page on Facebook. The tips show up on both.

Writing tip: Set daily goal for word count. Simple, but effective. Do a daily minimum, not average. Averaging leads to excuses. Excuses lead to suffering (says Yoda)…

Writing tip: Use small details from real life. In its simplest form, this technique requires that you just look up from your computer. 🙂

Writing tip: Specific details over vague. “The dish with the half moon chip.” Not – “The broken dish.”

Writing tip: Cliffhangers = okay by me. The cheese factor is the key. Make them only as cheesy as tone of your overall story.

Writing tip: Eliminate “he said” and “she said” if it is clear who is speaking from the context.


What my English Degree Did for Me

Last year was my 25th reunion at Whitman College, where I obtained a degree in English literature. Whitman Magazine invited me to write an essay reflecting on how my experience at Whitman and my degree helped shape my professional life. Below is the first paragraph of the essay and a link to the whole thing.  

“It’s been 25 years since I graduated with a degree in English literature from Whitman, and I’ve been asked to reflect on how it prepared me for life as a working fiction author and attorney. I suppose it starts with the college’s general premise: “A Whitman liberal arts education offers great breadth over specialization …” More specifically, Whitman’s English Majors’ Handbook states, “Whatever else students of English call ourselves, we are first and foremost readers and writers.” So, presumably, I graduated a broadly educated reader and writer. But that’s not a profession, it turns out. So how is that degree turned into a career? In my case, it went something like this:”

To read more, click here.

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