Fictionary: Online Story Editing Tool + Online Course

I’ve found a lot of joy over the years helping authors promote their books online. Now, I’ve expanded that to help authors learn how to do their own story edit. Some of you know I not only write books, but I’m also the CEO of

Fictionary is the first online tool for editing your story, not your words. Think characters, plot, and settings.

Fictionary is developed by writers for writers. That’s me 🙂 and indie author Michael Conn. Our third co-founder is Mathew Stanley – yup – my husband. He’s been my first reader and eagle-eye-editor for years.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce the Fictionary Story Editing Course.

Helping Authors Create Stories That Work

We believe to become a successful author, your novel needs to tell a great story.
Combining Fictionary with an online course seems like a great way to give authors the knowledge and process they need to complete their own story edit and ensure their story works.
Twitter Fictionary Course

Fictionary Story Editing Course

This course will guide you through your manuscript with a scene-by-scene approach to editing. Fictionary focuses on the story, not the words.

We’ll send you the first two lessons when you sign up for a free 10-day trial.
The full 14-lesson course will also now be included with a Fictionary subscription.
  • Lesson 1: How To Use Fictionary To Make Your Story Work
  • Lesson 2: Characters And Novel Structure
  • Lesson 3: How To Improve Your Plot
  • Lesson 4: How To Improve Your Settings
  • Lesson 5: How To Use Word Count To Evaluate Your Scenes
  • Lesson 6: Connect Your Readers To Your Characters
  • Lesson 7: Make The Most Of Your POV Characters
  • Lesson 8: Story Arc And Engaging Your Readers
  • Lesson 9: Finding Plot Holes
  • Lesson 10: Draw Your Readers Into and Out of Each Scene
  • Lesson 11: Maximize Your Use of Tension And Conflict
  • Lesson 12: Check For An Empty Stage
  • Lesson 13: Keep Your Timeline Clear
  • Lesson 14: Bringing It All Together
We hope you get a chance to experience Fictionary and the Story Editing Course.
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Descent’s Launch: Seven Sleeps To Go

DescentCoverI’m nervous. I’m excited. I’m flattered.

Check out the authors who are donating eBooks as prizes for DESCENT’s online launch party on July 25th, 2015.

Melodie Campbell donating THE ARTFUL GODDAUGHTER (A Gina Gallo Mystery) and A PURSE TO DIE FOR

Jessie Giles Christiansen donating PELICAN BAY (The Captain Shelby Trilogy Book 1)

Michael James Conn donating THE RIGHT TURN

Kat Flannery donating LAKOTA HONOR (Branded Trilogy Book 1) and BLOOD CURSE (Branded Trilogy Book 2) – 2 copies of each!

Debra Purdy Kong donating OPPOSITE OF DARK (Casey Holland Mystery #1)


Susan J McLeod donating  SOUL AND SHADOW (A Lilly Evans Mystery)

Rosemary McCracken donating SAFE HARBOR (A Pat Tierney Mystery)

Cheryl Kaye Tardif donating Devine Intervention (Devine Trilogy Book 1) and E.Y.E of the Scorpion (E.Y.E Spy Mystery Book 1)

That’s nine authors and fourteen books. If you don’t want to wait for DESCENT’s launch to read one of these fabulous authors, click on the title of their book and you’ll be taken right to Amazon.

When is the party? July 25th, 3-6 PM EST

Where? Click here to sign up.

I’d love to chat with you online on the 25th, so come on by and sign up. Maybe you’ll be the lucky winner of one of these books.

One big happy thank you and shout out to the participating authors!

Thanks for reading…

Announcing Mystery Mondays

Promoting Reading – Promoting Authors

It is my pleasure to announce I will be hosting a series called Mystery Mondays.  Authors from many genres who write with a hint of mystery will tell you about their books, answer your questions about writing and share their thoughts with you. Every Monday, you’ll be introduced to another author and maybe discover someone you’re not familiar with.

The opening line-up of Mystery Mondays authors:

Character Driven THRILLERS: Luke Murphy, July 20th

Psychological HORROR and YA THRILLERS: Michael Conn, July 27th

Adventurous Women SLEUTHS: Catherine Astolfo, August 3rd

THRILLERS for Adult and Children: Donna Galanti, August 10th

A Formidable Calgary DETECTIVE: Garry Ryan, August 17th.

Dangerous Amateur SLEUTH: Debra Purdy Kong, August 24th

MYSTERIES with a Hugely Successful Sleuth: Rosemary McCracken, August 31st

Mystery, History and Romantic SUSPENSE: Alison Bruce, Sept 7th

Screwball COMEDY Capers: Melodie Campbell, Sept 14th

Amateur SLEUTH with an Edge: Judy Penz Sheluk, September 21st

Exciting Police THRILLERS: Brenda Chapman, Sept 28th

Gritty and Psychological THRILLERS: Barbara Fradkin, Oct 5th

Sassy yet Vulnerable SLEUTH: Phyllis Smallman, Oct 19th

International best-selling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif will be posting…the mystery is on what date. She’s booked. We have her. So stay tuned to find out.

Click on the blue-green-ish highlighted author names above and you’ll be taken to their page to find out more about them, or even better, order their books and experience a fantastic read.

If you’d like to be hosted on Mystery Mondays, come back here next Wednesday and I’ll tell you how.

Thanks for reading… And please share to help spread the word.


Who are the mystery authors donating books to DESCENT’s Facebook launch party?

This is all part of the publishing cycle – host a launch party. To energize the party and make it exciting for virtual visitors, I asked other authors to donate one or two of their novels as prizes.

So not to keep you in suspense, in alphabetical order, the contributors are…

But what books will they donate? That’s a mystery to be solved on another blog. Stay tuned…

When is the Facebook launch party? July 25th, 3-6 PM EST. You are invited and most welcome to join us to help celebrate. Come and win a book from one of the amazing authors!

DESCENT is now available for pre-order in eBook format. The paperback will follow shortly.

If you haven’t read my blog before, I’ve signed on with Imajin Books and will blog about my publishing adventure. I’ll share what I learn and hope it helps someone out there get their novel published.

Please feel free to share this post and help me get the word out.

Thanks for reading…

Early Drafts: Having Your Novel Reviewed

Last year at this time I was working with Garry Ryan (2011 CWC President) through the CWC mentorship program on my 3rd novel Burnt. Burnt is now with my literary agent, Margaret Hart, awaiting comment.

I sent Garry about 10 pages at a time, he commented, I updated and sent the next 10 pages. I learned something new with each section. If you get the chance to be part of this program, it’s certainly worth it.

Many of you know my brother, Michael Conn, is also an author. I’ve convinced him that the process I went through with Garry improved my novel and that he, Michael, should do this with me for my next novel.

I’ve finished the first draft of my fourth novel, Look the Other Way, and Michael is reviewing it chapter by chapter. I send him one chapter, he comments, I update and on it goes.

At this early stage, Michael gives me his thoughts on story line, whether he likes a character or not, whether he thinks a sentence is foreshadowing something, and if the writing is good enough.

This helps me see the novel through his eyes and understand what impression I’m giving a reader.

It takes time and effort, but if you can find someone willing to do this for you, I recommend it. My only caution is that you must find someone you trust. It’s hard to put writing out there when it’s not in its most polished state.

Thanks for reading . . .


Maxwell Huxley’s Demon – Makes Me Feel Great!

I don’t usually post on Saturday, but I’m excited and wanted to share my happy moment.

Maxwell Huxley’s Demon, written by Michael Conn, came out in paperback a few weeks ago. You many know this is my brother’s debut novel and it’s sensational.

I’ve read the e-book version of the novel, but wanted my own copies to save. So I ordered  them and they arrived.

Here’s the good bit. To my surprise, I read the dedication.

For Kristina, my cheerleader, my editor, my sister.

That’s me! Wow! I am so flattered and honoured to be mentioned in this way.

Here’s the blurb to wet your appetite:

In MAXWELL HUXLEY’S DEMON, when nine-year-old Maxwell Huxley and three others break free from their mountain-top “school” for gifted children – a place where kids mysteriously vanish when they turn ten – a fantastical chase around the world begins. Pursuing answers and freedom, Max unintentionally creates a new world: a world where friends and family meet their demons, where artificial beings come to life, and where nanotechnology is indistinguishable from magic. Maxwell pays a heavy price to discover what he was bred for.

One part Ender, one part Bourne, and a dash of Harry.

One Family – Two Publishing Strategies

The big question is: to self publish or go with a traditional publisher. #writetip #writing

My brother has just published his first novel: Maxwell Huxley’s Demon. He chose the self-publishing route. His book is available both in paperback and as an e-book.

Some say this is the easy route. After watching the amount of work Mike put into this, I don’t believe that’s true. He went through the same vigorous process of editing and proofing, of finding beta readers, of taking feedback. He found YA readers to comment before he published, making sure he had feedback from his target audience.

I decided on the traditional route and have an agent. Margaret Hart at the HSW Literary Agency is representing my work. This route involves the same amount of work my brother’s chosen route.

Mike and I are watching each other and learning from both processes. What we did learn is that we both love writing, so no matter what option you chose, if you love to write, the end result is you have created a novel. While we watch, scheme, plan and wait, hoping that Mike’s book takes off and mine gets published, we continue to write. That’s what this is all about.