Avi WordCraft blog
The Secret School

Writing a series

I may be wrong, but I think it was Ross McDonald (he wrote the highly successful Archer series of crime novels) who suggested that if you intend to write a series, start off by writing three or four of them, so you get, not just the sequencing right, but the main characters right.

My best piece of writing

On the recently viewed Ken Burns documentary on Ernest Hemingway, he relates an incident in which the writer, in Spain (I recall) asked his wife to bring a suitcase of his recent writings to him. She was in Paris. The story goes that the suitcase was lost on a train, never to be found. The

What is my writing process?

One of the common question writers are asked—at least I am—is, “What is your process when you write one of your novels?” It seems like a simple question, with a straightforward answer. It is not.

Crispin Cross of Lead


One of my dictionaries defines aphorism as a short pithy statement or maxim. I’m not sure if one can consider them a literary form, but I delight in them. 

bookcase closeup

A Room with Books

Consider the bookcase. Here’s a quirk of mine: when watching TV interviews with important personages there is quite often a background of bookshelves. Never mind what that eminent person is saying, I’m checking the books on those shelves.

True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Achieving the Pinnacle

A recent online review of one my books referenced The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, as “the Pinnacle” of my writing career. That book was published in 1990 and was my twenty-second book. Since that time—thirty years ago—I have published sixty-one more books.