The Bookshelf Cafe News

Talk Like a Pirate Day is Here Again

     I’m not sure why this eclectic annual event tickles my fancy. Perhaps because it’s…

When You Can’t Get a Book Out of Your Mind

Most of us have at least a few books that stick with us. When we know…

Rethinking a Character’s Past

I read a blog post today on Writers Helping Writers that contained this sentence.  “Before randomly choosing…

Deciding Where to Blog

Blogging can be a useful tool to present opinions, share information, or attract people who want…

Making Books Starred Favorites

Occasionally I wish I’d done something differently in a book, but mostly I like what I…

Shared Experiences and “Do You Remember” Discussions

The other day, my husband asked me if I remembered the television show Bonanza. I immediately…

My Web Page Enters the 21st Century

What could keep an author from posting for more than two weeks? Marathon sessions to recreate…

Starting with Jolie’s New ‘Normal’ World

In reading K.M. Weiland’s materials on structuring a novel, I appreciated her concept of the protagonist’s…

Drawing History Into the Mystery

 It’s no secret that my Family History Mystery Series deals with a mix of current and…

Try the “Writers Helping Writers” Website

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have created Writers Helping Writers — a resource with dozens of…

Hobbies Into Books

I’ve enjoyed using my family history hobby as a jumping off point for the family history…

Working in Spurts

Ideally, I’ve developed ideas for whatever I’m writing and work consistently. For years, especially toward the…

Donating to Roadside Libraries — and Finding Books for Them

One of the best parts about my local library (Chatham Area Public Library in Illinois) is…

Why “Going Wide” Can Work for Authors

Prolific authors — whether they work with a publisher or self-publish — sell many books through…

Seeing a Story from Each Character’s Perspective

 If I had to pick one thing that has made a difference in my writing it…

What People Say About Books

So many young people say they “don’t read.” It saddens me. I suppose video games have…

The Eyes that Give Descriptions in a Book

 I’ve had a number of discussion with people about how much to describe a character’s appearance,…

Writing Scene By Scene

I’m working on Mountain Rails of Old, third in the Family History Mystery Series. I finished…

Quotes Bring Ideas

I’m always jotting notes, sometimes in a notebook other times on odd pieces of paper. The…

All Genre Fiction Has Common Elements…Which One Gets Made Fun Of?

Fiction is whatever the author chooses to create, in terms of characters, setting, and plot. Many…

Women of Mystery

I’m fortunate to be able to attend, via Zoom, a book club I reluctantly left when…

What We Writers Try to Achieve

Recently, someone asked me why I work so hard to produce books. I inferred that the…

Are You a Closet Outliner?

Other than fully outlining one book in 2006, I generally start with an idea, make some…

Turning the Page

 I love a good book metaphor, and “turning the page to 2021” is perfect. Anyone like…