Welcome to Exeter has a new home

Over the weekend, I finally did something that’s been on the list for a while and moved my site over to JennieCoughlin.com. After enough messing with DNS and other geeky details to remind me why I like the content side of being a digital editor, not the production side, it’s up and running — and redesigned.

Everything that was here is now over there, but so far everybody has said the new site is MUCH easier to navigate. If you get a chance, head on over, check it out and let me know what you think!

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Create your characters from different moulds

Roz does a great job talking about how to make characters distinct.

Nail Your Novel

58671977_0e83de32ff_zI’m somewhat preoccupied with characters as I’m finishing NYN 2: Bring Characters To Life. I’ve recently read two novels with several main characters – one that made them real and the other that didn’t. I thought it would be interesting to compare the key differences.

The former is Ruth Rendell’s The Keys To The Street, which uses several points of view, all with their own internal identity. The shaky one is The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. It follows eight separate people but they all sound exactly the same.

Briefly, The Keys To The Street is about a handful of characters in Regent’s Park, London, whose lives intersect over one summer. The Slap begins as an extended family gathers for a suburban barbeque. One of the children gets out of hand and one of the other parents gives it a slap. There is uproar and the novel explores the…

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Valentine’s Day Blog Hop

Cam Jansen. Encyclopedia Brown. Trixie Belden. The Hardy Boys. Agatha Christie. Sara Paretsky. Emma Lathan.

But never Dick Francis. (There’s a reason for that.)

I’m a mystery reader. Have been since I first picked up a book. For years, that was all I read unless I was assigned to something else in school. And then my best friend in college handed me one of Nora Roberts’ MacGregor books. “You’ll like it,” he said.

He was right. I liked it. I read my way through those books, then started reading more of her work. I dipped into other romances along the way, but they didn’t hold my interest. Nora Roberts did. First, I fell in love with her characters. With her series romances, such as the MacGregors, and her trilogies — more than I can name — I found that what I had always loved about mysteries was as much the series format as the mystery itself. That’s why Dick Francis never became a habit. I wanted to see the characters again, and he rarely does that.

Roberts showed me that characters we love can recur in a genre that’s not a mystery. I loved seeing how two characters at such odds with each other could find a connection, then step aside and let a new pair take the spotlight in the next book. While I can think of a few I wasn’t crazy about, I can’t tell you a favorite. Sometimes I like the hint of sorcery in the Three Sisters trilogy or the Key trilogy. Other times I’m in the mood for the Garden trilogy, with Roz as one of my favorite female characters.

You can’t help falling for the characters Roberts creates, and then rooting for them to realize they have what I’ve dubbed complementary baggage. She weaves in quests and mysteries, laced with enough danger to keep me turning pages long into the night. I still consider mysteries to be my primary genre for reading, but Roberts has hooked me on her characters, and thus, her books. Now, which one will make the perfect Valentine’s Day evening read…

Liked this post? Keep hopping around the Valentine’s Day Blog Hop to learn others’ favorite romantic reads.



New Blog Schedule

If you’re looking for today’s Meet the Character, please come back in a couple of days. Now that I’ve had the blog posting schedule in place for a few weeks, I realized a couple of snags with timing through the week. I also just had my schedule at the newspaper shift around, so that makes the changes even more important. Starting this week, here’s the new schedule:

Mondays: Blog tour posts, guest posts, housekeeping (like today) and any other topic that doesn’t fit on a different day.

Tuesdays: #WriterYoga

Wednesdays: Indie Interviews

Thursdays: Meet the Characters or Around Town

Fridays: Book reviews

Free Par-Tay!

Several authors I network with have all joined together for a Free Par-Tay event — all of us have made books free on Kindle today through Saturday. (Don’t wait until Saturday to get them – a lot of the books will revert back to paid mid-day.)

If you’re looking to stock up, head on over:


Free Par-Tay!
If you’ve just been looking for an excuse to get my book, it’s here.

Happy reading!!!!