Tag Archive for: Heather Weidner

Valuable Writing Advice from Other Writers – Heather Weidner

Debra here:  I’m a big believer in learning from others — here’s an example of writing advice that another writer, Heather Weidner, believes has helped her career.  I’ll be back next month!  

Writing Advice from Other Writers – Heather Weidner

Thank you so much for letting me visit. I’m Heather
Weidner, and I write the Delanie Fitzgerald mysteries, Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The
Tulip Shirt Murders,
and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband. I’m so
excited about the third book in the Delanie Fitzgerald series. In this one, my
sassy private investigator is hired to find out who is stealing from the talent
at a local drag show. Delanie gets more than she bargains for and a few makeup
tips in the process. She also uses her skills to track down missing reptiles
and uncover hidden valuables from a 100-year-old crime with a Poe connection.

I have been writing for a while and a
published author since 2014, and I have found that writing is often a lonely
endeavor. I treasure my writer friends who are so generous with their time and
advice. I am extremely grateful for all the authors who have shared their
ideas, advice, and successes with me through the years. It is so helpful as you
begin or move along your writing journey. Here are some key items that I’ve

When I’m working
on a new novel, I plot out a simple outline. I learned from Donna Andrews to
color-code the different kinds of action in your outline, so you can see it
over the course of the book. For example, I mark all romantic elements with
pink, humorous items are orange, clues are green, etc.

I learned from
Mary Burton to keep a running list of over-used words. Add to it as you write,
and then at the end of each revision cycle, search your document and remove the
culprits. She also calls your first draft the “sloppy copy.” This isn’t “the
end” of your project. It’s the beginning of the revision cycle.

I learned from the
late Kathy Mix to keep a list of character names for each book. Her rule was to
name each character with a different letter of the alphabet. If she already had
a Krissy, then she couldn’t have another character whose first name started
with a “K.” I build a chart of characters for my books in a series. I create a
column for each book and update where the characters appear. I also create a
list of key locations. I enter all the important facts, so I can keep track of
the details.

Mary Miley gave me
some great advice about honing dialogue. She recommends cutting out the
unnecessary pleasantries and chitchat that don’t move your story forward.

Elaine Viets said
to know your genre and who is publishing in it. Do your research and know the

Lynda Bishop, my
long-term editor, recommends that authors keep a timeline for each book to make
sure all events are in order and make sense. This helps with pacing.

In one of her
talks, Tina Glasneck told the group to create a calendar for each book launch.
Mine starts three months before the launch and runs three months after. Plan
all events, interviews, blogs, and media campaigns.

Jane Friedman
tells writers that their platform grows from their body of work. An author’s
website and blog should be at the center of this. Also, the website and blog
should be on the same site.

Frances Aylor and
Alan Orloff gave me the best advice for writing. Butt glue (Frances) or BICFOK
(Alan). They’re essentially the same. If you want to be a writer, put your Backside
in the Chair and Fingers on the Keyboard.

And my advice to
writers is to cultivate your relationships with other writers. Join writer or
critique groups. Build your network, share in their celebrations, and share
writing and publication information that helps everyone learn and grow.


Glam, and Contraband

is Heather Weidner’s third novel in the Delanie Fitzgerald series. Her

stories appear in the Virginia is for
series, 50 Shades of
, and Deadly Southern Charm.
Her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series. She is a member of Sisters in
Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James
River Writers.

Originally from Virginia Beach,
Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in
Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from
Virginia Wesleyan University and her MA in American literature from the
University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a cop’s kid, technical
writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. 

Synopsis of Glitter, Glam, and Contraband

Glam, and Contraband
a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous
situations like helping sleezy strip club owner, Chaz Smith on his quest to
become Richmond’s next mayor, tracking down missing reptiles, and uncovering
hidden valuables from a 100-year-old crime with a Poe connection.


Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ