Sunday, July 22, 2012

Creativity is like...

Creativity is like . . . slipping into that all-occasion basic black dress pulled from your closet, and then adding the drama of accessories.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Great Beginnings.

Love vacant places, the stories they could tell. Fodder for Great Beginnings!

I've been asked to do a workshop at a local shop on May 19th. The subject will be Great Beginnings, as in how to make the first three chapters of your book a page turner. Of course, if you are a writer, you already know it's your job to keep the reader turning the pages. To do that, you must provide a "hook." You could have great characters all lined up and ready to perform, a plot that has the potential of keeping the reader up until 3 a.m., and a dynamite cover that promises a great book. You could have all these wonderful things in order, but if you fail to serenade the reader into your world in three paragraphs, or if the reader becomes incredibly bored with details and snoozes off in the middle of the second chapter, you've lost them, maybe forever.

First, in three words or less, describe what your book is about. Just three words. For example, my current WIP is Devil's Change, a story about greed, loss and forgiveness. The first sentence of any book is like a welcome mat, asking the reader to step inside, take a look around, and if they like what they see (read), they'll stay awhile and get comfy. And if you're real lucky, by the end of the book, they're sad to leave the characters behind. 

In Devil's Change, my first sentence is, "Kate James was supposed to be in Italy right now - at this very moment." Of course, the reader will hopefully want to read the second sentence to find out exactly why Kate isn't in Italy. What happened? A bit of teasing to pique the reader's interest.

By the second paragraph the reader knows that Kate's husband died a year ago. And to heighten the intrique, Kate feels responsible for her husband's death. The reader will hopefully ask, "What happened to her husband. Why does Kate feel responsible for his death? 

Third paraagraph, the reader finds out that Kate is an attorney and is being stalked by her late husband's best friend. The big question: "What happens next?

Although the three chapters present the central theme of your story, it's the characters you create who are the real "movers" and "shakers." Give them life with emotions, dialogue and universal tags that readers can identify with.

Any thoughts or discussions are always appreciated.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Background noise!

It's tough to be creative with all the background noise that invades our lives. I often crave the peace and quiet that Laura Ingalls Wilder must've had on the prairie or Marjorie Rawlings had in her orange grove in the alligator invested swamps of Cross Creek. I doubt very much they did yoga in the mornings to pique their creativity, or downed a smoothie with protein powder to keep their energy up. I well imagine both Laura and Marjorie had their share of distractions, too, although it's fun to romanticize their lives as being simple and uncomplicated. Life is certainly a compromise, isn't it? Just think what Laura and Marjorie would've achieved (or thought they could've achieved) if only they'd had a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, microwave, blender, or the History Channel?  I suppose it's all relative. So, for today, I'll just accept the background noise of the washer and dryer, the dishwasher, and when I prepare my protein shake with almond milk, half a banana, strawberries and fresh leaf spinach (yes, I said spinach) I'll think of Laura and Marjorie and thank God I have a lap top!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Okay, it's officially spring. While I have been ignoring my blog lately, I want you to know that I've been deligently working on my next novel, DEVIL'S CHANGE. Although the novel is complete, I'm in the throes of editing, and anyone who writes, knows what a headache that is. Writing is a lonely job. No one in the real world can possibly understand the amount of time and emotional stress involved in creating a novel. At times, even your beloved characters get disgruntled and tap their feet, wondering when the heck you're finally going to get it together. Of course, the payoff comes when the story goes out to your very special "readers" who give of their time to read the story and give invaluable comments and suggestions. I am pleased to say I'm finally almost to the point of giving DEVIL'S CHANGE to my "readers" and hope they will love the story and characters just as much as I do. At that point, the first and biggest phase will be complete. Then, off to the printers.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


ISLAND PASSAGE free today (one day only February 5, 2012) on Amazon Kindle - Check it out - Break up the winter blahs with a little summer island -

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Better than chocolate, Valentine Special -Women's Fiction -  ISLAND PASSAGE - 99 cents on Amazon Kindle This Valentine's Day, curl up with a "sweet" satisfying novel. -

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sherry Hartzler - - BOOKS FOR WOMEN: "DON'T" EAT CAKE!!!

Sherry Hartzler - - BOOKS FOR WOMEN: "DON'T" EAT CAKE!!!


Okay, it's a new year. I'm saying goodbye to all the chocolates, cookies, cakes and other tempting desserts that have put my blood sugar into a spiraling frenzy. Not to mention the extra two pounds to be shoved into my jeans and zipped up. I've long ago given up on new year's resolutions. They don't work, not really. I've found that bad habits usually follow you around like spoiled children, always wanting what they want, when they want it. So, this year, I've started something new, not really a resolution at all. This year I will not commit to anything that involves a second thought. I'll do what I can to be the best person I can be, eat the best foods for my body and mostly be kind to others. Hmmm that cheesecake in the photo was mighty good. Perhaps my commitment to not commit will be the best-kept resolution ever. As for the treats. well now, Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I can smell the chocolate now! My favorite: chocolate covered cherries.

Also want to thank everyone for all the wonderful December sales on Amazon Kindle - Happy New Year!
Sherry Hartzler, Author of
Three Moons Over Sedona
Island Passage.