Sunday, September 30, 2018

What's on Your Author Bookshelf?

Oh, my peeps…September has been an exceedingly chaotic month for me. And exciting! If you’ve read my first book, Prophecy, and wondered what happened next to Gryf and Alexandra, the answer is coming in a little holiday novella I’m working on. It’s a companion story written for my readers, so yes, it’ll make more sense if you read Prophecy first. This novella should be out by, or before, the first week of November.

Anyhoo, all this story writing has had me thinking a lot about what I’ve learned about writing over the past two and half years. Specifically, what books I’ve turned to in my quest to educate myself. Which of them would I recommend to a newbie writer? Or to a not-so-newbie writer with the burning desire to learn more.

Here are a few of the staples on my author bookshelf:

If you’re a writer and don’t have this, get it! It is a treasure trove of useful phraseology that has inspired my muse. And the good news is that there’s a whole series of these thesauruses: Emotion, Positive Trait, Negative Trait, etc. They’re all writer must-haves, imo, but The Emotion Thesaurus has been the most useful to me.

No, I don’t write spanking stories, and yes, this is exactly what you think. But, let’s face it, if an author uses the same set of words for all their make out/sex scenes, then the reader might start yawning. This book has inspired me to get creative with the words I use when writing acts of love in my stories.


This compilation of writing advice from members of the San Francisco-Bay Area RWA inspired and motivated me in my pre-published days. The stories and advice are timeless, and I refer to them still.

This book introduced me to the concept of Deep POV. Deep POV isn’t for every writer, but when I first read this book I knew the style appealed to me. It fit me. I’m not perfect at DPOV yet, but I’m trying. And as an intro to this method of writing, this book has been a tremendous help.

First, a confession: This book is not on my bookshelf…yet. It’s on my birthday wish list for my family to buy for me (because they always ask what I want and as I get older I find I want/need less and less). So, one way or another I will have it by early November. However, this book is based on an excellent and informative webinar by Alice which I attended, so technically I’m already familiar with the contents.

If I need to get into the DPOV frame of mind quickly, I pick up one of Suzanne Brockmann’s books, read a random paragraph or two, and suddenly I’m able to crawl into my character’s head and think like them. That may sound weird, but this really works for me. If Brockmann is not your style, try another author who writes DPOV.

So, there you have a small sampling of some of my how-to-write library. If you’re an author, please share with us in the comments which writing books have helped you.

See you all again on Oct. 30th…the day before Halloweeeeeeen!


USA Today Bestselling Author Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance Prophecy series. She’s an avid Trekkie, Gryffindor, and wannabe space explorer. She’s made one foray into paranormal romance with her Magic, NM vampire novella, Made for Her, and hopes to write more stories in this world.

When she’s not busy writing, she’s hanging out with her wonderful hubby of twenty-eight years, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and a spoiled Dobie mix pup.

For more on Lea's books (past, present, and future), check out her:


Nightingale said...

I think I'll pick up a copy of Naughty Words! I'm writing a Bianca (my erotic romance pen name) story and need it!

Diane Burton said...

I have the Emotional Thesaurus but haven't used it much. I need to. My go-to book is always Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey, based on Campbell's The Hero's Journey. Whenever I get stuck, I write out both MC's journey and find out what I've missed. Deep POV seems to come naturally for me--maybe because I write cozy mysteries in the 1st person. It's easier to transfer the concept into 3rd person POV.

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Maureen said...

I love collecting books like this, problem is, I don't always take the time to read them, or use their advice. I rely too much on knowing that once I have them- miracles will happen! lol. Regardless, my latest favorite that I did finish and am applying advice from is Newsletter Ninja!

Cara Bristol said...

Wow! What a surprise to see my thesaurus, Naughty Words for Nice Writers featured. Glad you find it helpful. I'd like to mention that's it's available in a handy paperback and a portable ebook version.

I have the Emotion Thesaurus and use it all the time. I also like the Writer's A-Z of Body Language by Tim Ellis. It's a very helpful book, particularly for dialogue tags.

Sorchia DuBois said...

Naughty Words and the Emotion Thesaurus are near my desk--and the Hero's Journey in one form or another is nearby, too. All of these sound like Must-Haves to me. Thanks for adding to my list!!