Tag Archives: mystery novel

Kick-start writing your novel when it hits stall mode

Sharon A. Crawford's latest in the Beyond series

Sharon A. Crawford’s latest in the Beyond series

Has the novel you are writing hit stall mode?

Maybe you’ve been procrastinating? Maybe family and/or work stuff has taken up a lot of your time? Or maybe, like me, 2015 has been shoving unwanted and unanticipated problems at you.

To get back on track with writing your novel takes some major work on your part. What I am doing to get back on track with writing the next novel in my Beyond mystery series may not be your cup of tea, but for what it’s worth, here it is.

When I get hit with a lot of problems from “outside” as I call it – and that can be anything from weather-related property problems to cable TV problems to computer problems, I find that getting angry about it helps. I use that anger to get at whomever or whatever is causing the problem to fix it. Sometimes I am even nice about it. But I find anger combined with persistence, can help get the problem resolved.

That’s when a third party doesn’t have to be called in to fix the problem, but that’s another story.

As you can guess, all this steals my precious time, time I could be using writing my new mystery novel. So how am I getting back to that?

  1. I switched over to Research mode – I had some research I needed to do before I could get much further in the novel anyway. Research can be worked into a fragmented schedule at home or in transit (except when driving) – whether online or from print material.
  2. Go back to your novel outline – plot and characters. Chances are your mind is scattered with all your problems, so focusing on just where your novel is going (or not) and fixing that not only gets your mind off the problem temporarily, it helps you move forward with your novel. Because of the crappy winter weather conditions, I decided to arrive very early to teach a memoir writing workshop last week at a local library branch. I didn’t bring my laptop because I was carting enough books and handouts for the workshop. But I did bring a small print file containing some plot and character concerns. So, I sat in the library branch and reworked some of the outline. I figured out exactly why I wanted X character to be the murderer and also how to add more suspense and foreshadowing in the novel.
  3. Make an hour or two during your day when you can actually sit at your computer and do some more writing – and to hell with the problems. This is a good distraction and also moves your novel along.
  4. I also went back to the beginning to work in more suspense and foreshadowing, mainly connected to the murderer. Sometimes going back to the beginning and just reading it, not only refreshes your memory, it might also provide more ideas and you will find yourself making a few changes.


And the problem causers?

They better watch out. I don’t take kindly to having my life screwed up big time. Especially when it interferes with my writing. Sometimes I work these people, organizations, etc. into my fiction-writing – changing names and details of course. All fodder for the fiction.


See, you can have some fun as an author and also get some writing done, too.




Sharon A. Crawford


Author of the Beyond book series. See and for more info. Book at top of this post links to my Amazon author profile.

To watch my interview on Liquid Lunch on go to Go to and enjoy


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Beyond Blood my mystery novel debuts amid promo frenzy

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Publishing is a business. Writing may be art, but publishing, when all is said and done, comes down to dollars.

  • Nicholas Sparks



My first mystery novel Beyond Blood is making its debut in the e-copies on and Kobo now – early. I am still frantically doing all the pre-book launch PR and wishing I had a clone or astral body to do some of the work.

Not that I mind – I love doing the PR but my two-week holiday earlier this month probably wasn’t a good idea time-wise. However, I did do some promo during my vacation– lining up possible reading gigs for Beyond Blood in southwestern Ontario and telling my cousins – “you’ll get an invite for the book launch once the details are finalized.”

Well, after all the other promo that comes before is done. And yes, I do have a marketing plan. Finding the time to do all that is on it for pre-book launch is the challenge. Too much else going on but I am trying to prioritize. Whatever can wait goes on hold on the back burner. That includes answering some email and even some client work. For the latter I am focusing on one editing client’s manuscript evaluation because the deadline is the end of next week.

But I am so happy that my fraternal twin characters – Dana Bowman and Bast Overture are back. Some of you may remember them from the four linked stories in Beyond the Tripping Point. Or from the series of Dana interviews on this blog a few months ago. Beyond Blood’s story is actually the prequel to the four linked stories.

Watch for Dana and Bast. They will be returning here in these blog posts soon.

Meantime, check out the book. The book at the top of this blog post links to and for those of us with Kobo’s, here is that link for the e-pub version. And when I (finally) get my amazon profile and web page updated I’ll give you the links to them.

Print version of Beyond Blood is coming out soon.



Sharon A. Crawford


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Authors – read from your book or chat too?

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford's mystery short story collection

Cover of Sharon A. Crawford’s mystery short story collection

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss

While touring around southwestern Ontario, Canada  to promote my upcoming mystery novel Beyond Blood, I ran into opposite takes on how the author should present his or her new novel in person to readers.

A bookstore owner who wants me (and a few other Crime Writers of Canada authors) to read in his bookstore this fall or early spring said authors need to do more than just read. People no longer want to sit through an author only reading from her published book. I agreed and said my publisher had told me – not more than 10 minutes of reading or the audience starts fidgeting. I explained that what crime fiction and non-fiction authors have been doing is interviews – either myself or Nate, the CWC Ontario Regional Director who organizes these readings (some with my help), interviews the other authors presenting and we get one of them to interview us. Interviewing yourself is not cool or hot or even lukewarm.

I added that some of us are or were journalists so there is the contrast there and how we switched to writing about crime – fiction or fact. And we open it to the audience for a Q and A. He was enthusiastic about that.

Then, one of my readers told me she would rather have the author read from his or her book rather than talk about it or about their writing.

Hm. This is maybe less work for the author. But I still think anything that will get the author to interact with her audience and provide some insight on where her characters come from, adds to the interest. That is what has been my experience in the Q and A – even when we do reveal something about our writing and our characters.

Maybe the latter also whets the reader’s appetite.

So, the answer may be to blend in the reading with the back story and a Q and A.

And sell some books, of course.


Sharon A. Crawford

You can read about my characters and their stories in my short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point (Blue Denim Press, 2012). Click on the book at the top and it takes you to Sharon A. Crawford’s profile – including book reviews – at
More info on Sharon A.’s upcoming gigs, workshops, guest blog posts, etc. at And keep checking for the latest news on the release of my first mystery novel Beyond Blood, also published by Blue Denim Press More info on the Beyond Blood page as we get closer to the date. And remember that clicking on the book icon at the top gets you to my Amazon profile.

Cover of Dead Wrong by Klaus Jakelski, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Dead Wrong by Klaus Jakelski, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press


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