I just started to write the fourth book of my Annie Tillery Mystery series. The enjoyable part of writing the book is now at hand because I have laid the groundwork I need to help me navigate through the plot of a mystery novel. I guess I’m old-fashioned. I need an outline. Once I get the basic idea for the story I write a list of chapter titles, even giving the chapters the most clever names I can think of to remind me of what I want to put there. Then, I go back and fill in the details. This helps to clarify the plot. Some of the original ideas just don’t fly when you put them in writing. Next, I make a flow chart of where I introduce the clues used by the characters to solve the mystery. This helps me to take care of every clue and tie…

By Linda Maria Frank
One of the first questions anyone asks me about the book is why I chose the title, The Madonna Ghost. Some readers think that it is a reference to the singer, Madonna. It is not. The original meaning of the word, Madonna, is an Italian formal form of address for a woman, meaning literally, my lady. It has come to refer to the Mother of Christ in the Christian religion as illustrated by many works of art. So, a Madonna figure is a mother figure, most commonly a mother with child.

 

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The most important thing I did this year, book-wise, was to publish “Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys”. And the most important lesson I learned was that you can’t fool around when it comes to editing. One of the low marks self-published books receive is for the quality of the editing.

There is an industry standard. The Chicago Manual of Style is what book editors use. Your friend who worked as a magazine editor, or your English teacher buddy probably won’t produce the clean results you want. You need someone working in the industry NOW. I used the editor provided by my publishing house . The proof is in the pudding.