Tag Archive for: J.D. Robb

2020 and J.D. Robb by Dru Ann Love

2020 is here and we are already in the second month and with this post heading into the third month also known as my birthday month.

When 2020 starts, it means reader/fan conventions will soon be upon us. For the first time in several years, I’m not going to Left Coast Crime. I had planned to take an action, but the alignment that I needed wasn’t in the cards, so I’ll be missing LCC.

The next reader/fan convention I will be attending is Malice. This is by far my favorite event and 2020 is my eleventh year attending. It’s great to see friends you don’t see for a year and meet new ones that you meet via social media.

But before that, my first event of the year was attending a book signing with the one and only Nora Roberts aka J.D. Robb. The book signing was for Golden In Death, the 50th book in the In Death Series. The main reason for my attendance was for her to sign my book, and to see my photo in the inside jacket of the book cover. So how did that happen?

Her publisher put out a call for her J.D. Robb readers to submit a selfie with one of her book covers. When I first came on Facebook, I took a selfie of me wearing shades sitting in front a bookcase holding her book. I did not suspect I would win, because I never win a contest, but lo and behold, I got an email saying my photo made it in and I could not wait to see it.

So, my friends and I trekked to Boonsboro, MD and Turn The Page Bookstore and bought our book before it hit the shelves. It pays to own the bookstore and other properties in the area. I opened the book, scanned and gave out a yelp, because I found my photo. While waiting our turn to get our book signed, we dined at Vesta, yes, another location owned by Nora. But the best part was as I got closer to Nora, it was decided that she would stand, do I got my picture taken with a standing Nora.

The photos below tell the story of a wonderful adventure.

Turn The Page Bookstore

The signage

The tribe. Photo courtesy of Eleanor Cawood-Jones

Inn BoonsBoro

Vesta Pizzeria and Family Restaurant

Golden In Death

Inside jacket cover of Golden in Death featuring collage of selfies with a photo of a J.D. Robb book

Nora Roberts and ME!

A photo within a photo. Courtesy of  Eleanor Cawood Jones

My photo within the collage. Courtesy of Michael G. Mueller

What adventures do you have waiting for you?

Clicking Our Heels: Authors Whose Craft Abilities We Admire

Clicking Our Heels: Authors Whose Craft Abilities
We Admire

Although classes and books are ways writers
improve their skills, another way is to analyze the skills of writers we
admire. Here are some writers we each turn to when looking for great examples
of particular aspects of craft, such as dialogue, transitions, description and

Judy Penz Sheluk: John Sanford is the
master of pacing. I love how Tana French takes a minor character in one book and
makes them the protagonist in another. Fiona Barton for cleverly twisted plots
with a simple premise. Agatha Christie because (most of) her books still hold up

Shari Randall: What would Agatha do? Is
a question I ask myself when I run into plotting roadblocks. Her ingenious and
byzantine plotting sets a high bar that I know I’ll never reach, but it does
inspire. For dialogue I’ll turn to the films of the thirties. As far as most
elements of writing, I worship Kate Atkinson in general. For action, I turn to
Dan Brown. He has his detractors, but his stories move.

Juliana Aragon Fatula: Linda Rodriguez
has helped me so much with her Plotting the Character Driven Novel. Stephen King
because he writes the characters I love: Annie Wilkes, and Dolores Clairborne
and many other strong women.

T.K. Thorne: Sue Monk Kidd. I just
think her writing is amazing.

Kay Kendall: For emotional depth I look
to Louise Penny. No one fleshes out personality and motivation as well as she
does. For violent action balanced with understanding of the human psyche, all
written in fantastic prose, I think Tim Hallinan and Reed Farrel Coleman can’t
be beat.

Bethany Maines: I actually look quite
often to movies. A well-crafted script (and there are many that aren’t) is
incredibly informative about getting a story and characters from point A to
point B.

A.B. Plum: Elmore Leonard is my
go-to-dialogue guru. His characters make me laugh out loud, and I admire his
zany plotting – proving nothing is too crazy if you entertain the reader.

Dru Ann Love: I will answer this as the
only book that I reread is J.D. Robb as it has everything, great narrative,
good dialogue, good transition, great visuals, nice suspense and plenty of

J.M. Phillippe: I think it depends on
which genre I am writing in. I was taught a mimicking exercise in college,
where you start to copy, word for word, something an author has written to get
a sense of their literary voice, and then continue the passage using your own
words but mimicking their style. Depending on what genre I am writing, I will
pick up well known and respected authors in genre and do a mimicking exercise.
I am also always expanding my favorite author list that way.

Linda Rodriguez: Toni Morrison and John
Steinbeck are two writers I turn to for improving my dialogue. For description,
I turn to Alice Walker and Stephen King. For action scenes, I like Elizabeth
George and Tony Hillerman. For transitions, I study Ursula K. LeGuin and
Virginia Woolf. For bringing characters onstage and to life, Agatha Christie and
Charles Dickens are hard to beat.

Sparkle Abbey:

Mary Lee Woods: There are so many! I
recently did a program for a local writers’ group on taking your writing to the
next level where I discussed the difference between technically correct and “good”
writing , and really using all the creative tools you have at your disposal to
tell the story. As far as examples, I used: Characters – Nora Robers; Dialogue –
Jennifer Crusie; Description – William Ken Kruger; Action – Janet Evanovich;
and Humor – Laura Levine.

Anita Carter: For plot, Lisa Gardner…always.
For a great fast paced comedy, Laura Levine. For dialogue, Julia Quinn. For
emoton, Virginia Kantra. I also reference Hallie Ephon and Harlan Coben.