Something Wicked This Way Comes

What makes a memorable villain? American novels and films are crawling with devils. (Sometimes literally.) Ghosts linger. Stalkers lurk. And, if you’re a horror fan, it’s all in looking-over-your-shoulder fun. But as a writer, how do you make your villain leave a frightening aftertaste? As I get older, I’m starting to think that the most […]

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Setting Intrigue

              Some of my favorite fictional characters are cities from the past. I feel like Hugo’s Paris, Cheever’s New York and Winterson’s Venice remain so vibrant, exaggerated and well-defined that you miss them like flawed but magnetic old friends. Dennis Lehane’s portraits of pre-gentrification Irish and Italian-American Boston neighborhoods […]

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Logical Fantasy

How do you know when you are writing fiction with fantastic elements vs. genuine fantasy fiction? Currently, I am writing a short story about two very different young girls and their interactions with a mysterious and decidedly grumpy púca (or pooka) that they discover living in a deserted New England playground. I plucked and mined […]

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