Hi, I’m Ninie

I’ve been waiting for you. And here you are!

I have soooo many stories I want to tell you, so many worlds I want you to see, so many people I want you to meet. People in trouble, most of them. Big trouble they didn’t ask for but there it is. Ordinary folks like you and me who are forced to fight for their lives. And then, smack in the middle of their everyday worlds they encounter the unexplainable. It’s always the game-changer.

Welcome. If you’d like to know more about me, I’m easy. Click on Meet Ninie and you’ll see. My life isn’t really an open book; it’s more of a pamphlet, and you are cordially invited to read it. I’d love to interact with you in all those virtual realms; Twitter, Facebook Fan page, Goodreads and 9e’s Blog. Who knows, maybe after you’ve listened to some of my stories, you’ll decide you’ve been waiting for me, too.

Oh, and about the 9 and the e beside my picture and on my blog. Say it fast, emphasis on the 9. That’s how you pronounce my first name-9e. (Think “rhymes with tiny and shiny, NOT with skinny and penny.”) If you’re interested in how I got tagged with that handy pronunciation-guide, click on Meet Ninie and you’ll find The Rest of The Story.

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The Last Safe Place

In the deepest, darkest midnight of her soul, Gabriella writes a book, a horror story about demons, and then one of them crawls up out of the pages and confronts her face to face. A deranged, fanatical fan who believes he is The Beast of Babylon from her novel turns up at a book signing and then comes after her to claim her as his bride. And to sacrifice her son, Ty, as an offering to their unholy union.

. . . . more

Click here to order this book

Ninie’s Latest Posts

Ranked #1 on Amazon Kindle Top 100 List! (So What?)

  I have to write this REALLY fast. Please pardon hte typos; don’t have time to edit. Things change QUICK on Amazon and I have to post this while it’s still true. In the newspaper business, we used to call … Continue reading

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Five Days in May wins Mom’s Choice Award

TOOT! TOOT! (That sound you hear is me tooting my own horn.) May I have a drum roll, please? A little louder…building …. louder… now a final Boom! And in the silence that follows, a small voice says: …uh…did I tell you … Continue reading

Three ways to lead Amazon search bots to YOUR book

A NEWBIE’S GUIDE: NOVEL MARKETING FOR DUMMIES PART 3 Whenever my husband and I have time to kill in London, we pop up out of the Knight’s Bridge Tube Station (like prairie dogs checking for coyotes) and step beneath the big … Continue reading

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Two Things You MUST Get Right: Categories and Keywords

 A NEWBIE’S GUIDE: NOVEL MARKETING FOR DUMMIES PART 2 You spend hours thumbing through the catalogue and finally find a picture of exactly what you want—a pink dress with orange stripes and no sleeves in a size 8. So you flip … Continue reading

The One Thing You Have to Get Right To Sell Your Book

A NEWBIE’S GUIDE: NOVEL MARKETING FOR DUMMIES PART 2 A man sits down on an airplane beside a stunningly beautiful young woman and knows instantly they were made for each other. “So tell me,” he asks, “what kind of men do … Continue reading

Driftwood Marketing: A Newbie’s Guide to Selling Books

 A NEWBIE’S GUIDE: NOVEL MARKETING FOR DUMMIES PART 1 In last week’s post http://bit.ly/9eDummies, I said that what I’ve dubbed “Driftwood Marketing” is a method of chopping book marketing into bite-sized pieces. Don’t believe it. I lied. Unless your mouth opens … Continue reading

A Newbie’s Guide: Novel Marketing for Dummies

Shortly before Thanksgiving, I swallowed hard, put on my big boy pants and offered to purchase from my publisher the rights to all seven of my novels. They weren’t selling as well as I believed they could and I was … Continue reading

Stephen King’s Pet Sematary: A Textbook on Creating Suspense

TEN WAYS TO CREATE GUT-GNAWING SUSPENSE  #1 IN MINIATURE          Out on Route 15, a tanker truck droned by, one so big and long Louis couldn’t see his house across the road. Written on the side, just visible … Continue reading

Another massacre like Sandy Hook almost happened

It’s been a year now, and I believe it’s time for me to share this story. The parents of the children massacred in Sandy Hook Elementary School last year had no idea their little ones were in danger, but neither … Continue reading

Ten Ways to Create Gut-Gnawing Suspense

I checked the door—locked, just like it’d been the other four times I checked it—and with a final quick glance into the dark corners of the room, I crawled between the cold sheets, grateful for Aunt Margaret’s assurance that I … Continue reading

Writing ISN’T the most important thing in a writer’s life

It’s likely that a fair number of the people reading these words are experiencing post-NaNoWriMo flashbacks, recognizable by uncontrollable bouts of splitting infinitives and seizures in which you roll on the floor crossing out every third tile in red ink. … Continue reading

There’s ONLY ONE WAY to create unforgettable characters

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #10 THE ONLY WAY This is the final in a ten-week series about characterization. We’ve talked about all manner of techniques and skills but here, at the end of it, we need to get … Continue reading

One Critical Tip From Professional Gamblers Will Make Your Characters Unforgettable

You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run. You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s … Continue reading

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One Question: Answer It Well And Your Characters Will Be Unforgettable

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #8 WHAT DOES HE WANT? To find Nemo. To save Jews. To go home to Kansas. To kill the great white whale. To destroy the ring. To catch the one-armed man. To get back … Continue reading

Four Ways to Reveal Your Character’s Personal Boogie Man

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #7 FEAR Her thoughts stopped spinning so abruptly they slammed into the back of each other like train cars crashing into a stalled engine. This wasn’t about her! It never had been. “That’s just … Continue reading

Three Ways to Use Thoughts to Create Unforgettable Characters

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #6 THOUGHTS “Have dinner with me and we can talk about what Karen said.” I was too thunderstruck to speak. “My intentions are honorable. I’m not inviting you to go snipe hunting or cow … Continue reading

Three Ways to Use Dialogue to NAIL Great Characters

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS  #5 DIALOGUE “One psycho with a nuke—that’s all it’s gonna take,” Steve said. “Armageddon, huh?” Andrew rolled his eyes. “You’re an idiot.” “Hey, no reason to get nasty,” said Jonathan. “You need to apologize.” … Continue reading

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Three powerful ways to use action to create memorable characters

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #4 ACTION True story. No, I’m serious, this really happened. Four teenage boys go to a crowded movie. The house lights dim. The movie begins and Roger, the dude farthest from the aisle, feels … Continue reading

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The Three Best Ways To Physically Describe Your Characters

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #3 PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION   “You had a visitor while you were out.” “Who? “Didn’t give her name.” “What’d she look like?” “She was about as tall as a five-foot, four-inch mop handle, with a … Continue reading

Don’t Make These Four Mistakes When You Name Your Characters

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #2 NAME It’s clear that from the outset my parents never intended for me to amount to anything. How could I? With a name like “Ninie?” Please. Fame and fortune do not come to … Continue reading

I FINISHED My Novel So Why Do I Feel Like Crying?

Two events on different sides of the planet happened at exactly the same instant on Monday, August 11, 1969. One of them was in the Vale of Amberclewydd, Wales, where it was 10:33 a.m. Alastair Shelbourne stopped in his daily trek up the … Continue reading

The BEST–and WORST–ways to use back story

  TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS #1 BACK STORY It was a dark and stormy night. Ellen felt her way across the room in the shadows and reached out to turn on the light. Someone else’s hand was already … Continue reading

Ten Ways to Create Unforgettable Characters

TEN WAYS TO CREATE UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS My oldest son and his friends used to play Dungeons and Dragons back when it was a game that came in a box with dice, a game board and little metal game figures—a pre-digital … Continue reading

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Every Writer Has One–What’s Yours?

Every writer has one. From Tolkein to Stephen King and every scribe before or since. We all have a story about what it was that made us decide to become writers. Mine isn’t a what story. It’s a who. * … Continue reading

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Looking for your writer’s voice? Here’s how to find it.

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY  #10 AUTHENTIC VOICE I spent a blessedly brief period of my journalism career as the news director of a radio station. Less than a week before my third child was born, I was forced … Continue reading

One Thing You MUST Do After the Climax of Your Novel

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY  #9 RESOLUTION   No, wait,what about the little dog? What dog? The dog you introduced in Chapter 5. You remember, Sparky. The mutt the kid found at the rest stop and the kidnapper thought … Continue reading

There’s Only One Door into Your Story–Build It RIGHT!

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY  #8 INCITING INCIDENT  You and your date snuggle down into comfy seats. On the screen in front of you, the Pixar desk lamp comes hop, hop, hopping into its spot between the P and … Continue reading

What’s Lurking Deep in the Guts of Your Story?

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY  #7  COMPELLING THEME Elevator doors open. Woman gets in. Elevator doors close. This woman’s got to be a literary agent! She looks like an agent, has that agenty thing going on, you know what … Continue reading

Three Basics Will Revive Dead Dialogue

 10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY #6 GREAT DIALOGUE “You ate my cookie.” “No, I didn’t!” “Yes, you did!” “No, I didn’t.” “You did, too.” “I did not.” “Did, too.” “Did not.” “Did, too.” “Not.” “Too.” “Not!” “Too!” “Not, not, … Continue reading

Do the Unexpected: Twist & Turn Your Plot

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY  #5 TWISTS AND TURNS zzzzzzzzzzzzz snort, cough  Oh, hello. It’s you. Sorry about that. I was reading a novel where everything turned out exactly like I thought it would and I dozed off. #5 … Continue reading

Three Ways to Grab Your Reader’s Heart

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY #4 GENUINE EMOTION Granny Sparrow’s quiet voice got so soft it was almost a whisper. “I took to the closet. There in the beginnin’, I had to. The house was so quiet I could … Continue reading

What EVERY writer MUST tell EVERY Fan

This blog post is for readers, not writers. But it’s one EVERY writer will love. It’s the post every writer wants to write and certainly needs to write, but usually doesn’t. I suspect my writer friends will post links to … Continue reading

Heroes & Villains: You Need Both

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY #3 GOOD GUYS & BAD GUYS Where would Luke Skywalker be without Darth Vader? Harry Potter without Voldemort. The Three Little Pigs without the Big, Bad Wolf? Black hats, white hats; good guys, bad … Continue reading

Conflict: there are only four kinds

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY  #2 CONFLICT For the record, I don’t entirely agree with what I’m going to tell you about conflict. You could say, I suppose, that I’m in conflict with conflict. It is the common wisdom … Continue reading

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Three Roles of Setting in a Novel

10 ESSENTIALS OF A DYNAMITE STORY  #1 SETTING Why is setting so important in a novel? Because it defines your characters. Or exemplifies your characters. Sometimes, actually becomes a character. Setting both affects characters and is the effect of characters. (Yup, … Continue reading

10 Essentials of a Dynamite Story

JOB DESCRIPTION: NOVELIST You have to reach up out of the pages of your book, grab your Loyal Reader by the lapels and yank him out of his world into a place he’s never been, where he’ll be introduced to … Continue reading

Three Ways To Draw Pictures In Your Readers’ Heads

I suspect it’d be easier to sneak a pipe bomb through security at the Tel Aviv airport than to get any three authors to agree on a job description. Exactly what is it we get paid those megabucks to do? … Continue reading

Three Things Every Novelist MUST Do

I spent a lot of years telling rooms full of just-out-of-J-School reporters to “picture groceries.” For a decade, I gave up a few days every summer to teach at state press association “boot camps” where the goal was to whip … Continue reading

Don’t Break Your Promise To Your Readers

I spoke to a group of fledgling suspense novelists last week and loved their fire and enthusiasm. I tried hard not to dampen that fire when I answered the questions they’d submitted. A dose of reality can be a bit … Continue reading

How To Survive Success As a Novelist

STEP FIFTEEN I considered adding a subtitle: I’ll Let You Know As Soon As I Have Some and then leaving the space below blank. Might have gotten a chuckle, but it’s not accurate. I have had success as a novelist … Continue reading

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If You Have A Song to Sing, SING IT!

STEP FOURTEEN Perhaps this should have been the first post instead of the 14th out of 15. It is, after all, foundational to everything I have come to understand about writing in general and the writing of novels in particular. … Continue reading

Set It Free! No Little Dogs.

STEP THIRTEEN My mother was an artist. Though she passed through water colors, oils and acrylics on the way, she found her home in pastel chalk, not an easy medium. So many of my childhood memories center around my mother … Continue reading

Watch Your Novel Go From Caterpillar to Butterfly

STEP TWELVE It happened to me with my very first novel. I got it in the mail, shipped to my house in Godalming, Surrey, southwest of London, and for a full half hour I did nothing but stare at the … Continue reading

Label ‘Em or Lose ‘Em

STEP ELEVEN So you’re going to write a novel. You sit down and type the title: “The Greatest Book Ever Written”. You slug it, “By Ninie Hammon,” and you’re off to the races. First day 500 words. Second day 750. … Continue reading

The CFD–Crappy First Draft

STEP TEN Years ago, a famous columnist from a big metro daily and I co-taught a session on column-writing for the Kentucky Press Association Boot Camp. His approach to the craft and mine could not have been more different. Bob … Continue reading

All Great Stories Are About Change

STEP NINE  As the story opens, Gandalf the Gray provides the entertainment for Bilbo’s birthday party. He sets off fireworks, his specialty. Three books full of outrageous adventure and 1,000+ pages later, the bearded wizard emerges as Gandalf the White, … Continue reading

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One List to Rule Them All, One List to Find Them

STEP EIGHT: “One list to rule them all … One list to find them … One list to bring them all and in your novel bind them … In the land of fiction where the writers lie.” I guess I owe an apology … Continue reading

What Were They Doing When?

STEP SEVEN: I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. Starting a new novel is a front-loaded activity. Every novelist does it differently, but only a handful sit down at the keyboard and type: “It was a dark and stormy … Continue reading

Five Strangers Stare At Me

STEP SIX: As I type these words, five people stare at me from the other side of the room, four grownups and a little red-haired girl. One of the grownups is a soldier. His name’s Grayson, a young man, but … Continue reading

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Line Up The Pearls

STEP FIVE: In my head, I see each scene of a novel as a pearl. A pearl is born in conflict. Something, some irritant, a grain of sand or a tiny piece of grit somehow gets inside the clam. Once … Continue reading