…like old friends helping with my writing? I’ve been fortunate. I have heard some of these authors speak and reading their books is like having them sit right next to me–– chiding, guiding, teaching, cajoling. Just like any good book should! The order of these books is not important; it’s just the way they stack up on my desk.

The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children By Nancy Lamb 
An excellent read that is informative, educational and supportive. Holds your attention with lots of description and illustration.

Don’t Murder Your Mystery By Chris Roerden Not only is Chris an excellent editor, DMYM is the winner of the 2007 Agatha for Non-Fiction. Don’t let the mystery angle stop you. You couldn’t ask for a better book on your writing table right now. [Chris is also a member of my SinC Chapter, could I be any luckier?]

The Writer’s Journey By Christopher Vogler Takes the ancient myth elements and structures as described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero With a Thousand Faces and illustrates these elements and structures using movies of the last century, a good, visual way to understand basic storytelling.

Book of Poisons, A Guide for Writers By Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon Yes, your spouse may be concerned when this comes in the mail, but Hey! You need to be able to kill of people in a believable way.

Forensics for Dummies By D.P. Lyle, MD a reference book on all the forensics information you’ll ever need. And don’t forget to visit Dr. Lyle’s website, www.dplylemd.com

Manual for Writers & Editors Merriam-Webster’s guide to writing and publishing. Okay, so I don’t always have my commas in the right place and I need help with en and em dashes and ellipses, so I read this book.

Illustrated Oxford Dictionary When I was fourteen I asked for the full 25 Volume set of the OED. My parents said no. I love this dictionary and the companion Thesaurus

Eats, Shoots & Leaves By Lynne Truss. Written as a delightful romp through the trials and travails of punctuation. This book will have you laughing and thinking. And do read Talk to the Hand.

The Elements of Style By William Strunk jr. and E.B. White 
This is a book that will never go out of date and a must for understanding what is important about your writing.

The Elements of Editing By Arthor Plotnik
If you are going to write you are going to have to edit; it’s a fact. This is a small book with big information.

The Elements of Grammar By Mararet Shertzer 
You can never know too much about the mechanics of writing nor can you ever have enough books that help you figure it out.

The Secret Universe of Names By Roy Feinson Ever had a problem getting THE RIGHT NAME for your character. Well, this book uses combination of sounds in names to help understand characters. Good diversion if you have writer’s block.

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