Author Archives: Katherine Ramsland

Writing in the Dark

The 1999 movie Instinct features a metaphorical scene for writers. Dr. Powell is an anthropologist imprisoned for murdering men who have killed the band of gorillas he was studying. A young psychiatrist, Dr. Theo Calder, is studying Powell, hoping to find a way to free him. In the scene relevant to us, Calder tries to prevent Powell from ending a session early. Calder claims he’s the one in charge. He will decide when it’s over.  Powell deftly locks him into a life-and-death grip, demonstrating that Continue reading →

Strange Request at a Funeral Home

I published a book in 2001 called Cemetery Stories. We’re in the Halloween season, so this excerpt seems appropriate. I interviewed a lot of people for this book and one of my favorites tales features Father Massey, formerly an undertaker in Hollywood. While in college, he got a job in a funeral home to pay expenses, and when the owner offered him a full-time job if he went to mortuary school, he accepted. This was at a Jewish funeral home in Hollywood, and since he Continue reading →

A Marketing Book We Writers Can Use

The other day, I saw a book in the bookstore called The Organized Mind. It was written by cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin, and his focus was on thinking straight in an age of information overload. It sounded like just what I needed: A brain expert explaining how to get myself organized. I ordered a hazelnut latte and took this tome to a table to glance through it. Ironically, it wasn’t long before the abundance of information further cluttered my already pressurized mind. It was over Continue reading →

Prime Your Aha! Moments

You know the feeling: You’re at an impasse with a character or plot point and you can’t seem to dissolve it. You’re frustrated, perhaps desperate. It’s going nowhere, but you’re on a deadline. You’ve run out of ways to spur your muse. Consider this: Don’t work so hard. The less you push, the better your chances of getting what you need. Your brain requires some space to do its best work. Isaac Asimov realized this. Whenever he experienced writer’s block, he knew it was useless Continue reading →