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This is Not a Joke

April 1, 2020– It may be April Fool’s Day, but this post about research is not a joke. I started writing my new thriller titled, My name is Jessica Westlake, around a year and a half ago. It’s in the final stages of completion, and it was a hard book to write because a lot of the content was about things that I’ve never had to deal with personally. A lot of writing advice says, write what you know, and I think that’s the easy way out. To be a good writer, we must spend a ton of time researching different topics, events, and people. Credibility in our writing is essential because as soon as the reader doesn’t believe what you’re saying, you can kiss them goodbye. This is especially true for crime scene buffs, books with a medical or legal slant, and locations if they exist in real life.

So, how do you protect the integrity of your own work when writing fiction? Here are three tips:

1) Talk to the experts. I enlisted the help of the head of homicide at the TPD to help me with my book Obsessed with Her because it had a major crime scene in it, and I needed to be accurate. If I had just thrown together something that I thought was correct or close enough, my seasoned crime readers would have thrown my book across the room and would have never read another thing I’ve written. With my new novel, I joined a grief counselling group online and read the comments, I visited funeral homes and asked about the process from beginning to end, and I spoke with a police department detective in my city.  It’s imperative to be precise when writing so that your readers can take you seriously.

2) Consider the source. The internet is an excellent reference for information, but be careful to consider the source.  Along with facts and figures, there can be a lot of fiction. Be sure to get your information from reliable sources such as Google Maps (which updates frequently), City of (insert your city here), and police department websites.

3) Get to the library. Books are a wonderful resource, especially when it comes to writing historical fiction! Plus, the more you read in other genres, the stronger writer you become.  When looking for books to research your own, be sure to find as many as you can in your specific interest so that your research will be well rounded. For example, if your main character is a reiki healer with a magic touch, and you’ve never had a session in your life, grab a book or five on the subject. Learn as much as you can because your readers will thank you for it!

Research, research, research and remember to acknowledge those who have helped your book along the way with their expertise. X LLB

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Bring This With You

January 17, 2020– Here’s a throwback video on our Youtube Channel about what you (authors) should bring with you to a book signing! I’ll be doing a ton of signings at events over the coming year, so stay tuned for an official listing of when and where to find me.

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Upcoming Events February 2018

I know that this is a bit behind schedule, but I thought that I’d post some upcoming events anyways!

Monday, February 12 Author Visit- I’m excited to present Deer Diary and Panda the Very Bad Cat to the JK to Grade 2 children at two schools in St. Catharines.

Thursday, February 15-Author Visit- I’ll be presenting Deer Diary and Panda the Very Bad Cat in the morning to some students, and then I’ll be attending a literacy event in the evening at another school. I know it’ll be an excellent event and I can’t wait to meet some eager readers.

Saturday, February 17-It’s a Family Affair Event-This event takes place in Burlington at 10 am until 4 pm, and I’ll be there signing copies of all of my books! Stop by and say hi if you’re in the area, I’d love to visit with you.

Friday, February 23-Author Visit-I’ll be presenting a publishing workshop to some students in senior grades seven and eight, and we’ll also be talking about character development and the mechanics of book creation!

Sunday, February 25– Meet the Author event at Nest- I’ll be signing copies of my books at Nest from 1-4  on Sunday, February 25th and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be invited! Robyn Allan is the owner of this fabulous store that supports artists from Hamilton and the surrounding area. Nest is located at 171 Locke St. South in Hamilton. Check out their site at nesthamilton.com.

Wednesday, February 28– Join me at the Terry Berry branch of the Hamilton Public Library as I present a publishing workshop to the Hamilton Mountain Writer’s Circle members from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm. A very special thank you to Professor Barry Gotlieb for the invitation!

March looks like it shaping up to be just as exciting! Stay tuned for upcoming events.

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Our current titles from Pandamonium Publishing House…stay tuned for upcoming works!