Thursday, October 8, 2009

WV Book Festival Charleston Civic Center 10/11/09 2:30

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the WV Book Festival. Come on down Saturday-Sunday October 10-11th at the Charleston Civic Center. Panel discussions, book signing, Agents/Publishing, and chat with local authors.
Join me and Robert Walker at 2:30 on Sunday as we discuss how to get your book ready for an agent/publishing house, methods on finding agents and publishers, a look into the publishing world, book promotion, and much more. We will have a book signing after the discussion.
The Well Meaning Killer and Dead On will be available through Borders at the Book festival. Look forward to seeing you there!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10/9/09 WV Book Festival Discussion & Book Signing

Title Fights & Writing Lifelines

Hey, fellow writers come join me at the Charleston, WV Civic Center on Sunday October 11, 2009 at 2:30 for a panal discussion and book signing afterwards! I promise, I don't bite.Often today getting your title published is a blow-by-blow experience, often bruising to the ego. This open discussion will focus on how to keep upbeat in a difficult business; getting to know all your publishing options; and determining which option(s) will make you happily published. In other words, while not everyone can get into the NFL of publishing, say with Random House, you do have far more publishing options available today than a decade ago, with small press and online self-publication here to stay. Miranda and Robert Walker will discuss the nature of publishing today, the importance of a writer's having a cheering section or support group, and how to stay upbeat and positive in the rough waters you are faced with when you take the boat across the publishing seas.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I See Dead People, Life of A ER Nurse

They say truth is stranger than fiction, I can tell you coming from a nursing point of view this is very true. I am reminding of this at least three times a week while I'm working in the Emergency Room, If I used any of these examples I would have to water them down because most people would think I was really off my rocker if I told the truth. With the release of my new book "The Well Meaning Killer" I'm starting to roll in some reviews, and some reviewers are questioning Megan McKenna's injury turn around. This fun little post is part of a new nonfiction book I've been working on with amazing stories of patients I've seen cheat death.

Unless you've spent a few hours, and I mean no less than fifteen in the ER waiting to either be seen or discharged you would probably not believe this anyway. For example while on a travel assignment in a large trauma in Texas, we had this guy brought in by EMS that had an ax lodged in the top of his head. I not kidding, the guy was sitting up on the gurney talking and laughing about he was just chopping wood one minute then felt his head burning and bleeding the next. The ax was situated about one inch on the forehead back to the middle of the top of the head. Of course head injuries bleed alot, so blood was everywhere. The staff were taking bets on whether the guy would survive surgery or not with his brain intact, guess what the guy made a full recovery with no deficits! Amazing.
Here's one similar to McKenna's injury, a young male I once had in Baltimore, Md came in to ER after his brother's pet boa constrictor had got out of the cage and had coiled itself around the teen. the boy had woke to severe pressure on his chest think he was having a heart attack from the drugs he'd done earlier that evening. he started yelling, waking up his parents and brother. Long story short the snake's constricting action was giving the boy respiratory problems (like not being able to breathe) so by the time he arrived in the ER he was unconscious but after a few days in the ICU he bounced back with no problems.

I have been a nurse for eighteen years, so I could go on for pages, but every day all nurses see for a lack of a better word, miracles everyday.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Book Signing at Borders in Charleston Town Center Mall, Charleston, WV 2-5pm

Save the Date" August 15th 2009
Thrilled to be at Borders Express this weekend August 15 from 2-5pm in the Charleston Town Center Mall, in Charleston WV continuing the "Partners in Crime Novels Book Tour." Rob will be doing signings for his new novel, Dead On. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ready, Set, Action: Useful Websites for Mystery Writers!

Here is a list of a few of my favorite websites I use when writing a mystery: Includes Crime Scene Investigation resources, training, articles and links to forensic web pages. Comprehensive resource covering forensic identification. Articles related to crime scene investigations, physical evidence, death investigation, and DNA. The Art and Science of Criminal Investigation. Writer's Medical & Forensic Lab Professional Investigator's Magazine Every story need a little Romance Great Site

Just a few I use for research, happy writing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Book Sumission Success

Do your homework to cut down on rejections on your part. You should have gone through Writer's Market 2009, Jeff Herman's guide to book publishers, editors and agents, Preditors & Editors, Agent Query. Very important, always match the correct genre. It would would be a hugh mistake to send a romance to an agent/pubshier that only handles mysteries, but you won't believe how often this happens. Now the fun part let's all play are favorite childhood game, Simon Says, remember if you don't do what simon says you're out, only this time you'll get a cute little rejection letter for not listening. Agents and publishers are human too, they are overworked, have families and friends, and most of all if you've never been a New York office you would freak to know the stack of submissions really are piled to the ceiling on their desk. Yikes! Even with the perfect manuscript these things will make the best agent/publisher throw you manuscript in the slush pile.Take Note:Read the entire submission guideline for the agency you are sending too. Don't get cute and pull any tricks like color paper, going through three boxes till you get to the manuscript, get the idea.
1. Font: Always use 12pt Times New Roman/Courier
2. Use good quality paper, speaking of paper never use paper clips, staples, or fold paper. make sure it's clean, i.e. no coffee stains, or cigerette smears.
3. Use a lazer printer, if you don't have get it copied at Kinko's or any office supply store. Unless you want immediate death never sent a hand written, or copy where your printer has run out of ink getting lighter in the last few chapters. sudden death for sure.
4. Spacing, Typos, & Margins: Check the submission guidelines/call to confirm. No cute stuff follow the rules. Some companies now are having authors use only one space between words so check guidelines. I know this sounds like I'm beating a dead horse but I'm not. take special not if yu work on one computer say, and send it to another for rewrites, the back and forth tends to cause formatting issues, you are better off to stay on one computer. I see this with say your work is on an old computer with XP and transferred to a new computer with Window's Vista.
5. As I've written before, but worth repeating:Start in the first chapter in the middle of action, you should have action/heat on every page.Use Dialog, Show don't tellBacksory is a few sentnces anymore and it's not a backstory. Salt & Pepper the back story through the book, don't hit the reader with it all at once, they'll loose interest and the book will lose momentium.Conflict is king! use it, abuse it, and anything that does not move your story along cut it!Your ending should be as strong as your opening, don't wip out now, Nail it!
6. Run the spell check, but remember the word may be correct but the the right meaning. Use Explanation points, ..., dialects, slang, sparing. Remenber to use a good word mix, Watch you POV, your repretention one one word, watch for purple prose.
7. Rememer when writing the scene to sift the five senses through the character. What is the characrter feeling, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, gives the scene a real feeling.
8. When writing blogs like these, write them first on word, then copy them onto the blog. You will be able to run spell check and see what you're writing. I was just politely blasted on another site for my typos in this article--never mind I was trying to give helpful advice. And don't write them after doing 3 twelve hour shifts back -back in the Emergency Room, LOL.
Hope these tips were helpful Happy Writing!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Marketing Your Novel with Success!

Alrighty then, your book has been published--Great! Now the hard work really starts, you need to know it's up to you to promote it. I know some of you are working with a large publishing house and think your covered. Well take off your rose colored glasses. Yes, the big houses will do some promo work, but it's not like it use to be, with budget and staff cuts all around, you can't sit back and hope magic happens. If you don't know this, take note, publishers and agents you will deal with from now on are concerned with "The Numbers." How many copies did you sell? You made be a kick A writer, but it's the numbers that will keep you in the game. Some writers have even went with a pen name to start over so the powers that be don't get blind sided by the poor numbers they recieved on their last book.

First, you need to get your face and name out there. Get a website, this is a must. If you don't know how to built one get professional help. Picking a webmaster can be tricky like everything else some are out to take your money and give you a crappy site. I use You can check out his work on my site at

Set up your author profile on Myspace, Facebook, Blog Spot, Authors Den, Crimespace, refers to my website for more of these links. After you get your blogs going write and submit articles related to writing, add your url to search engines like Google, Yahoo, might take a week or so before they crawl to top ranking.
Consider doing guest blogging or blog tours, start with your contact list, most other authors will be glad to have you as a guest on their blog. Don't forget your bussiness cards, book markers, book posters, post cards you should always carry your cards with you. Vista print offers free deals on several products you just pay S&H.

A note on Book Signings- set them up at least a month in advance. When you are about 3 weeks from the date, (very important remember this) confirm they have no problems ordering your book and confirm that they have ordered it. Book stores usually order 20-30 copies. I make sure I have an extra twenty with me. You don't want to show up for the signing and not have books! Can you say disaster. Most books stores don't think signings sell books so they don't do much in way of promotion. Take your book or a PDF file to a office supply store and have them make up a simple color poster of the front cover of your book on a board. cost about $5-7 dollars depending on the size you order. I also take a camping table with me, in case they don't have a table or it's too small. Set up your books, posters, flyers, cards on the table. I also have a dish with suckers and chocolate kisses, to draw the customer to the table. If you can, ask the book store if you can place one of your poster in their store window with dates of your signing a week or so prior to the event. Remember to place your table at the store's entry so you see customers as they enter. Whatever you do don't just sit there, nows not the time to be shy. you don't have to jump them, but greet the customers as the come in, tell them your the author and mention your book. if they seem interested pitch your book in 20 secs.

Press Releases are another great way to market your book, send them to book stores, independent book stores, newspapers, libraries, the college you graduated get the idea. If you don't know how to write a sell sheet/press release I will be posting a sample one.
Sign up for book conferences, do signings, network. Join writers forums, and writers organizations.
Theses are just a few of my suggestions for affortable book promotion, I hope these tips were helpful to you...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Book Signings Have Started!!!

Charleston, WV 2009

Books-A-Million SouthRidge Charleston, WV July 18,2009 12-4pm
Taylor's Books Downtown Charleston, WV July 30, 2009 12-2pm
Borders Town Center Mall Charleston, WV August 15 2009 12-2

More To Follow

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Well Meaning Killer Available Now!!

Available now online at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Krill Press, and available at Bookstores!
Grab One and let the mystery unfold!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Well Meaning Killer Was Published Yesterday!!!

Exciting news, as of yesterday, my book, The Well Meaning Killer was published!!! After I finish another shift in the ER tonight, I'm going to celebrate! Currently working on my second novel in the series with firey FBI Agent Megan McKenna and her lovable sidekick Max, a retired search & resecue Lab.

The Well Meaning Killer Was

Exciting news, as of yesterday, my book, The Well Meaning Killer was published!!! After I finish another shift in the ER tonight, I'm going to celebrate! Currently working on my second novel in the series with firey FBI Agent Megan McKenna and her lovable sidekick Max, a retired search & resecue Lab.

The Well Meaning Killer Was

Exciting news, as of yesterday, my book, The Well Meaning Killer was published!!! After I finish another shift in the ER tonight, I'm going to celebrate! Currently working on my second novel in the series with firey FBI Agent Megan McKenna and her lovable sidekick Max, a retired search & resecue Lab.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rejection and Hanging Tough

I like to visit several different writing blogs, and it pains me to see posts from new writers so eager to throw in the towel. Do you really believe Stephen King, Patterson, Block didn't get their share of rejection letters? You know they did! I know some writers that take great pride in saying, no lie the have two walls of their office plastered with them. Everyone wants to write that top ten best seller, but few of us will. Most writers would love to make at least a half way decient profit on their book, but are you writing because it's your passion or for the almightly dollar? Let me just throw out a few tips to increase your chances on getting published.
First, know your book, what is it? If you have a mystery novel don't sent it to an agent that only handles romance. As soon as the agent sees this you'll get a nice form rejection letter. Hopefully you are ready to send a finished novel that's been looked at by a real editor not your sister's boyfriend that loves to read. Family and friends will always tell you it's the best book they have ever read. Two books that are a must are Writer's Market, and Jeff Herman's Guide to Publishers, Editors, and Agents. The Preditors and Editors website is also helpful. Even when you find an agency in the book/web be sure to visit the website to make sure they are still handling that type of book, and check out thier submission guidelines. Guidelines, I don't care what you've heard follow them to the letter. Another tidbit go to for very affortable editing help from an author that's pinned over 45+ novels. Happy Writing!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Miranda's Writing Tips & Tidbits--Getting Started

Tip Sheet
Getting Starting

Using an outline is up to you, I don’t use a hard copy, I just have in my mind where I would like my story to go. I let my ideas unfold naturally. I do make notes of the characters, places, and most important their names. Speaking of names, try to keep the names you pick different so the reader doesn’t get confused. Like say in your story you might have a Dr. Marywell, a secretary named Mary Manguss, and a cop named Marcus Mann. These names are too similar and will stop the reader; you never want the reader or editor to stop!

Now the fun part, just sit down and write. Always start the first chapter in the middle of action. From then on try to have heat on every page (action). Leave out any idea or sentence that doesn’t move you story along, and be careful when adding any back story. The back story should be adding sparingly let it built through the novel. If you put too much too soon you will bore the reader, not a good idea. Try not to have the back story in the first chapter. Remember Conflict is King, there should be conflict with your characters from page one to the last chapter. The conflict should build throughout the story, every time the reader thinks its safe throw in another twist. Also, adding a sub story is fine just let it not take away from your main story.
I know you’ve hear this a million times…Show don’t Tell. When writing, bring in all 5 senses to the story, what does the character feel, smell, hear, taste, etc. most important Watch Your POV! Stick to one character’s thought the entire chapter, if you don’t it will confuse the reader and stop the storyline. Use dilogue, don't just tell what the characteris doing, show it!

If you haven’t noticed we’re a busy world, we are use to getting everything we want fast. James Patterson, bless his heart started this short chapters business. It’s up to you but most readers including editors like short chapters like 8-12 pages insteadof the traditional 30-40 pages. Being a nurse, I love the medical stuff, but most readers will flip past a 3 page autopsy, mine are brief, the characters get the info they need and their out of there.

I read my chapters out loud to myself as I go, this helps pick out errors and really helps me know if it just sounds right. When you’re ready to let someone else review your work, give it to someone other than a close friend or relative. Why? You know grandma isn’t going to say it’d awful. This may come as a surprise, but you “baby” will be edited several times. Even toss it in a drawer and leaving it for a month or two, then going back you will pick up several editorial changes to make. Writers groups are a good resource as well, just be prepared to hear criticism.You should make an effort every day to write and read the genre you’re interested in writing. Take note on how the masters write. Go to writing conferences, they are a gold mine of ideas and encouragement to all writers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Review from Mary Welk, author of A Merry Little Murder

"Miranda Walker presents readers with a gutsy new character in the world of police procedurals. Plagued by a past almost as horrendous as the case she's investigating, FBI Agent Megan McKenna exhibits the determination of a bulldog in both her professional and private lives. This opening salvo in Walker's new series is a sure bet for readers who love strong feminine characters."

Mary Welk

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Well Meaning Killer Coming June 2009!

It's almost time fot the release of my first novel, The Well Meaning Killer, fast tracked for June 2009 set in Baltimore, MD. Everything is on schedule, so now I'm looking at where to do my book signings, lol. For those of you that have been following my facebook, myspace, and crimespace sites you already know this, becauses I just can't keep quiet about it. You can see the book cover on the site with a little summary by the publisher Kent Lewis.
I have been working on TWMK for years, and I hope by giving some advise and encouragement other unpublished writers will come away with some good tips. I spent hours of research looking for agents, websites for writers until I hit on what I think are the best ones. I will blogging on these started next week.