February 13, 2020


Kay DiBianca   @Kdibianca

Christian Mystery & Suspense Romance

Would you like to learn to fly? Great. Come on over to the airport. I have a nice little Cessna you can use. Keys are in the ignition. Just hop in and take ‘er up!

Would you do it? Of course not. Flying is a difficult endeavor even if you’re an accomplished pilot. Trying to fly without instruction would be a guaranteed crash-and-burn. In order to learn to fly, you need to hire a flight instructor, spend hours on the ground learning the basics of flight, and then more hours in the air practicing the skills of navigation and flight control.

But when it comes to writing, we often feel we can open the laptop and pour eighty thousand words of first-rate prose into the keyboard without any instruction. After all, we made A’s in English composition. And Aunt Edith always said she loved the stories we made up. How hard can it be?

I found it to be very hard. When I sat down to write a mystery novel, I was excited. Day after day I logged hundreds of words, and after a few months I had a story that was around fifty thousand words long. But that was the problem. I had a story, but not a novel. 

The arc of the plot wasn’t well defined, and the characters weren’t fully developed. I needed the equivalent of a flight instructor for writing.

Fortunately for me, I discovered several craft books that gave me the foundation I needed to begin revising the story. In addition, I found a resource that led me to my mentor/editor. Before I finished the second draft of my novel, it had gone through a complete plot review and line editing process, and I had changed the Point of View character throughout the entire story.

I revised, rewrote, and revised some more, all under the watchful eyes of my editor. And I read books on the craft of writing. Lots of them.

Finally, my editor and I decided the manuscript could be pitched to publishers. And then the big moment arrived – I received an offer to publish! But that offer would never have come if I hadn’t invested in the articles, books, and professionals who helped me turn a raw story into a finished product.

When my book, The Watch on the Fencepost, was released in February 2019, I wanted to share some of my experience with other novices, so I started the Craft of Writing blog series on my website at

I’ve had the good fortune to interview some of the experts who wrote those craft books I mentioned above, and I found them to be extraordinarily generous with their time and expertise.

My blog is intended to equip and encourage new writers, so this year I am alternating monthly blog posts between craft experts and debut authors who share their journey to publication.

I invite you to join us. If you like, you can sign up for my newsletter and receive an email each month announcing the next blog post. 

In any case, welcome aboard. It’s going to be a great flight.


Kay DiBianca holds an MS degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked in the IT departments of several major organizations, including IBM, UNC, International Paper, and FedEx.
An avid runner, Kay can often be found at a nearby track, on the treadmill, or at a large park near her home. She is also an instrument-rated pilot.

Kay believes her interest in computer systems has driven her fascination with puzzles which led to a desire to write mysteries. And her experience in running and flying has taught her lessons in endurance every author needs.
Kay and her husband, Frank, are retired and live in Memphis, Tennessee. They are US representatives of Bridges for Peace, an international Christian organization, whose mission is to serve the people of Israel and to build relationships between Christians and Jews in Israel and around the world.
Kay’s cozy mystery novel, The Watch on the Fencepost, was published by CrossLink Christian Publishers and released in 2019.

You can connect with Kay through her website at


  1. Kay,

    Wonderful article and I always love reading about different writers and their journey. Thank you. Also thank you for the effort to help other writers with your blog. I'll be signing up and reading.

    Get a FREE copy of the 11th Publishing Myth

    1. Terry, Thank you for stopping by and for your encouragement. Just last night I finished reading another insightful book on the craft of writing: "10 Publishing Myths" by you! There is so much practical wisdom in the pages of your book, and I'm grateful to you for writing it and sharing it with the world. I'm keeping it close by to use as a reference as I continue to navigate this labyrinth called "publishing."
      Thanks again for your comments!

  2. Thank you for stopping by and for the insight about beta-readers. And thanks for the tip about I'm going to check them out.
    Tell us more about your book. What's it about? When did you complete it? Was it your first?

  3. Kay thank you so much for posting today. I truly enjoyed your post.
    I have to compliment you on your book. I usually look at the first two paragraphs of a book to see if I have an interest in reading further, and I have to tell you, you had me at the two short paragraphs in your prologue. I was hooked. Great read.

    Your post is dead on in learning the craft of writing. It's like taking continuing educational courses which is great for those of us who like to learn.

    I have enjoyed your blog and reading the post on helping writers and your interviews. It is very refreshing and insightful and truly helps writers. Keep it up.

    1. Oh Susan! You have made my day. Thank you for the compliment.
      And thank you so much for inviting me to post on Suite-T. It is truly an honor.

      I agree with you that learning the craft of writing never ends. It's a journey, not a destination. To that end, I have been a fortunate student of your leadership in the Collierville Christian Writers Group where every meeting is a learning experience.

      Thank you again!

    2. Thank you Kay we are so glad to have you in our group.We learn from each other.

  4. Great post and sound advice. Looking forward to checking your blog out.

    1. Thank you, Patricia! I look forward to seeing you on my blog. The next interview will be with James Scott Bell. I'll post the interview on March 10, so please join us!

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