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Writing Funny

I’m here to talk about a very serious subject — comedy writing. In writing, getting the comedic balance right is tricky. Years ago, a contest judge said my entry read like a series of jokes. Unfortunately, this was not intended as a compliment. What s/he meant was a novel shouldn’t come across like a stand-up […]

5 Lessons on Branding… Which Led to Launching a New Pen Name

When I signed my first contract for a little paranormal romantic comedy short story back in 2008, I didn’t have a clue about branding.  But at least I knew I was completely clueless.  I was ready to be a sponge and absorb all the wisdom I could about the wild and wonderful writing business.  I […]

Ruby Release: Cowboys for Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time…of the year! No, I’m not talking about Christmas. Not yet. I still have two kids’ birthdays AND two kids’ birthday parties, plus Thanksgiving, before I can turn my attention to Ho-Ho-Ho and mistletoe. I’m talking about Holiday Book Season! The time of year when I curl up with anthologies from […]

Ruby Release – I Wish

“Don’t ever give up,” said the late Jimmy Valvano (former basketball coach for NC State University) a few short weeks before cancer claimed him. That quote became the motto for me and I Wish. This is the manuscript that finaled in the Golden Heart in 2009. Without I Wish, I would’ve never met my Ruby […]

November: A Writer’s Take for Giving Thanks

Because the American holiday falls in November, I’ve noticed that we tend to focus more on our blessings during this time. I’ve seen it on Facebook when friends will take each day in November and list something for which they are grateful. List toppers are usually their faith, their families, their health, etc. I’m not […]

NaNoWriMo Mid-Point Check-In

Whoa. I’ve just had a revelation. Seriously. A big, possibly writing-life-changing revelation. For a few years now, I’ve been reporting my NaNo progress here on the Ruby blog…’cause, you know, I find the threat of public shame to be a really great motivator. This is my sixth annual NaNo, and I’m coming in with a […]

Superstitions: Find a Penny, Pick It Up

Hurray! Today is the book birthday of CURSED BY LOVE, the second book in my Good Riders Series. While writing this book, I studied long lists of good luck/bad luck superstitions. And believe me, there are some odd ones out there. In CURSED BY LOVE, the heroine, Molly Webber, is a superstitious schoolteacher who doesn’t […]

Keep It Up!

It’s November 12th which means folks are nearly halfway through NANO. For those of you racing toward your 50,000 word goal, I salute you and wish you continued success and a productive, daily word count.  For those who have set different goals for the month, I salute you as well. We all write at our […]

Just Say “No” to NaNoWriMo: In Defense of Writing Slowly

Two books and a novella. That’s what I remembered being “normal,” back in 2011, before my son was born. It felt like a lot, but as an unpublished author, I didn’t think I had much say in the matter. Swim with the big fish or get left in the shoals. And before my baby was […]

To Buy or Not to Buy: That is the Question

To massacre a phrase from Hamlet’s Soliloquy beyond all earthly recognition, have you ever thought about the factors that influence you to buy a book? This blog post started off as an analysis of authors whose work I pre-order and auto-buy, but then, looking at my Amazon Cart and seeing so few books there <wince>, […]

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The Latest Comments

  • Sharon Archer: Vanessa! I’m back to say I’ve just had the most awesome few hours reading This Is Your...
  • Traci Krites: Inspiring!!
  • Vanessa Barneveld: Hi, Sharon! That IS the great challenge of writing comedy — it’s so subjective and you never...
  • Vanessa Barneveld: Maggie, thanks very much! I’ll be adding your rom-com to my TBR — looking forward to reading...
  • Sharon Archer: Hi Vanessa, I’m late to visit but wanted to say what a fab post about using humour in writing!...

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