What makes Tosca Lee and other successful authors tick? Let’s find out

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

We love their books, of course. But this month we’re getting inside the heads of the talented people behind the words, in order to find out what drives them. Have you ever wondered, for example, what inspires the stories they write? What encourages them to keep telling those stories? And why so many feel such an intense need to write?

These are the questions we hope to answer in this issue.

Before we get started, have you been itching to write a novel? Now’s your chance! Join us in the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, and by this time next year, you could be an independently published author—with a growing audience to boot. It’s the perfect way to turn over a new leaf as you unwrap your 2022 calendar and pin it up on the wall.

And now, let’s dig in! This month’s issue is like a holiday feast with all the trimmings:

Gracing our cover is New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, who’s currently adjusting to life on a Nebraska farm. “I lived in the city before this,” Tosca says, “so I’m still new to farm life.” In my interview with Tosca, you’ll hear what her original choice of profession was (hint: not a writer), the offer her father made her one summer that she couldn’t refuse, and her number one rule for writing a novel. And by the way, did you know this versatile author is working on a new book? When you hear what it’s about, you probably won’t be surprised, even if it’s not what you expected.

Next, for author Sherile Reilly, it was two people who didn’t like each other very much—at least not at first—that set her writing career in motion, and served as the premise for her first novel. But one book wasn’t enough for Sherile. “I knew I hadn’t finished my characters’ stories,” she explains. “A mystery had to be solved and the love story needed time to develop.” Sherile talks about her writing past, and why she just couldn’t stop writing once she started.

Next, do you read a lot? Craig DiLouie, thriller, horror, and sci-fi author, explains exactly what happens inside your brain as your eyes move down the page and you process the words. “A number of years ago,” he writes, “a woman told me that one of my horror novels had made her cry.” At that point, curiosity got the best of him, and he wanted to know how the simple act of reading could produce such reactions. “This started me on an exploratory journey,” he says, “a meditation on what happens to our brains on reading and writing, and what insights we can glean from that.” You’re sure to learn a lot when you, well, read about Craig’s fascinating findings.

Finally, over the years, bestselling author Ann Charles has built a large fan base of loyal readers, and now she’s revealing how she did it. “The truth of the matter is that there has been no magic involved,” Ann tells us. “In my experience, there are very few shortcuts to success, and the opportunities for instant fame are few and far between.” Ann proceeds to detail the tried-and-true methods that have worked (and continue to work) to bring readers into her corner—and keep them there. Best of all? They’re simple, and they can work for you, too.

A semi-normal holiday season means we get to enjoy each other’s company again. Yay! When you get a few minutes to unplug from the festivities, fill a glass with egg nog, sprinkle some nutmeg on top, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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