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newschat March 2011

Subject: Newschat

Dearest Correspondent,

If you're like me, you've almost recovered from Spring Forward, and you're feeling the warm breeze in your face and you've been hearing the calls of all the spring creatures as they look for love, and you're thinking, "What can I do to procrastinate a few more minutes before turning back to work?" You are so lucky, because you have a Newschat on your hands. [Remember CTRL + click to follow links.]

From the digital mailbag:

Q. You've been writing a lot for Writer's Digest magazine. Are they going to give you an office and a 401K plan, or what?

A. Indeed I have been writing a lot for the magazine, recently "8 Ways to Write a 5-Star Chapter One" in January's issue. This, my most blogged-about piece, is now available FREE on line: http://writersdigest.com/article/8-ways-to-write-a-5-star-chapter-one/. "It's All Relative" came out in February, on how to craft realistic relationships in your fiction. And then there's March / April, with "The Long and the Short of It," on how to tell if your story idea is better suited for a novel or short story form. Coming up we'll see a piece on how to gain perspective before you revise (the revision issue later this year), as well as an analysis of how fan conferences can help writers (also later this year). As to the office and 401K, that's a 'we'll see' kind of thing.

Q. They really should do that for you.

A. Yes.

Q. I heard your webinar last November for WD University was so good it made people cry. Any plans to repeat?

A. Absolutely! Join me on April 14 at 1 p.m. Eastern for "How to Write a Dynamite Mystery or Thriller that SELLS." It's a $79 investment, with more information and registration at: http://www.writersdigestshop.com/product/how-to-write-dynamite-mystery-or-thriller/?r=sims

Q. I have a few days in June I don't know what to do with. Any suggestions?

A. I'm on it! I was pleased and honored to be invited to be the Special Speaker at the upcoming Golden Crown Literary Society's annual conference, June 9-12, 2011 in the great state of Orlando, Florida. http://goldencrown.org/ Yes, I know Orlando hasn't seceded yet, but don't you agree it really IS a state unto itself? Registration is still open; tickets range from $50 (a steal for a full day) to $300. Here's the blurb for my talk:

"'Looking for Trouble: What I've Learned Doing Research for Fiction.' From inner-city Detroit to South Los Angeles, from casting studios in Hollywood to the storm-lashed wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, Elizabeth Sims has forged fiction from experience. She'll relate her adventures, discuss the state of fiction research today, and share inside tips for aspiring writers and readers. Bring your questions for the Q & A."

I agreed to do a workshop as well, and that one's gonna be: "Rough It Up: For a Better First Draft, Get Messy!" We'll have some fun with that. Exact schedule on both of these events to be announced on the Golden Crown site.

Q. What about another book? I've just finished ON LOCATION and I want more!

A. The Rita Farmer series may or may not continue (complicated story), but I'm working on new projects and strategizing with my agent to bring you another quality novel. Much more is in the works, a little too early to discuss, but I promise to keep you posted.

Q. Would you like to be my friend on Facebook?

A. Yes, please! Click through to friendship:

There's also my author page:


In closing, here's a free eHow article by my friend Angela Brown, on how to write a first novel.


Thank you for reading!

Elizabeth Sims

The Rita Farmer Mysteries: "Crime fiction as smart as it is compelling." -- Booklist
The Lillian Byrd Crime Series: "By far the best detective of the bunch." -- Just Out
Contributing Editor, Writer's Digest Magazine

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