The Poisoned Point of View

“Limit your POVs to two or three,” they say.

They do say a lot of things, don’t they?

I’m not about to argue with the experts–the writers, agents, editors, publishers, marketers, and creative writing instructors who tell us that eight points of view is Just. Too. Damned. Many. They’ve been in the business longer than I have, and they know things I don’t.

What I can do, though, is offer a counter-example (and a defense, which I’ll get to later). One counter-example. That’s an N of 1, in statistician-speak, and not very telling, but the N in question is a really big book. Here, I’ll give you a hint:

Its title rhymes with The Silence of the Lambs. Read more

Mr. Ripley and That Other Character

Who am I?
Who am I?

I love the macabre. Always have, ever since I was a wee gal and sucked up those old Hammer films with Peter Cushing as Van Helsing and Christopher Lee as the undead Count. For some reason, they were always on television and my mother let me watch them. My best friend and I even played Dracula in the yard–she as the ill-fated Lucy, me as Mina. I didn’t think that was fair, since I was the blonde, but I played along anyway. We devised a method of using Charms Blow-Pops to ward off the evil Count Dracula and, apparently, they worked. I’m still here. I don’t know about the girl who played Lucy.

So give me horror, suspense, monsters, witches, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (what genre is that?), and psychological thrillers. Throw them all my way, because I’m in love with them.

Except for that one. Yeah, that one everyone was reading and talking about. That one with all the clever twists and evil characters and domestic strife. Give me anything except that.

Here’s why: Read more

Making that bad character badder

IMG_4012 - Version 2

Yeah, I’m a linguist.  I know the word ‘badder’ doesn’t exist in English.  And I know why it doesn’t exist.  So unless you want a dissertation on morphological processes, you might wanna let that one go.

Back to our regularly scheduled programme…

LUCKY THIRTEEN, like all thrillers, has a bad guy in it.  I read somewhere that it’s a rule for thrillers.  If you know me, you know that I’m not a big rule-follower, but this one seemed pretty important. Read more


We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in my house.  Well, that’s not entirely true: we celebrate it all year round.

But this Valentine’s Day isn’t your average hearts-and-roses-and-chocolate-sampler kind of a day.  This one is special.

You see, I’ve had a few proposals in the past week (and my husband is good with that). They haven’t come in florist boxes or those wee baby-blue boxes from a well-known jeweler; they’ve come in phone calls and emails.  And they haven’t really come for me, but rather for the woman who lives in my head. Read more