Great and gracious greetings!
Being an author is like being an actor or a door-to-door salesman. There's lots of rejection and disappointment and you have to have a healthy ego to not let it get you down. Plus, you need to engage in a bit of shameless self-promotion. That's why I submitted Frame Shop to the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project last December, when it first came out. I'm happy to say that the top twelve books (i.e., the semi-finalists) have been announce
In the midst of my Kickstarter campaign for Frame Shop, Gail Martin offered to let me do a guest blog post on Killing Off Fictional Characters. You should all go check out Gail's website at www.disquietingvisions.com. In the course of setting up my new website and transferring over my old blogs for ... er ... posterity, I include the text below: Many years ago, an amateur graphologist told a business colleague that I was, based on my signature, a serial killer. When she assu
During the Kickstarter for Frame Shop, Jennifer Brozek, a prolific writer and fellow GenCon Writers' Symposium panelist, let me do a guest post on her blog, Tell Me. Check her blog and her books at www.jenniferbrozek.com. Here's the text of that post:
Every once in a while, I see a t-shirt that says “Be nice to me or I’ll put you in my next novel.” My non-writer friends think it is funny. Heck, a few writers I know have worn such shirts. Truth is, those t-shirts really irri
Janine Spendlove let me guest blog on her site during the Kickstarter for Frame Shop because, well, she's generally a swell friend. Check out her site and books at www.ailionora.com. Check it out You may recall that Janine's book, War of the Seasons: The Human, ws one of the stretch goals Kickstarter. Here's the text of my guest post: You understand quite a bit about group dynamics already. After all, you went to high school. High school is all about group dynamics. How to re
As most of you probably know by now, I launched a Kickstarter today for my novella, Frame Shop. It’s a mystery/thriller set in a writers’ group and punctuated by violence, humor, and occasional writing advice. I’m hoping it appeals not only to my regular readers (“Hi, Mom!”), but to mystery readers in general, along with authors, NaNoWriMo participants, writers’ group members, and aspiring writers. If you haven’t checked it out yet, take a look at http://kck.st/YMyWaS and fee
It’s a staple of writing thrillers that the stakes and the difficulties for the protagonist must keep ratcheting up throughout the story. After all, if the protagonist is faced with a difficulty, comes up with a plan to overcome it, and executes that plan seamlessly, there’s not really that much tension/suspense. Heck, there’s not even much of a plot.
There’s a whole raft of things that can be done to thwart the protagonist’s efforts. He can have underestimated the difficul
I'm a writer, but I confess I haven't written a book in a while. I've written a number of short stories recently and two novellas under pen names, but not a full-length book recently. (I'm working on a mystery thriller now, but I'm not absolutely positive it will end up long enough to be a book, rather than a longish novella. Since it is a speculative piece of work, rather than written to the specifications of a contract, I'm flexible on how long I make it.)
Just so everyon
When I was in law school, at The University of Chicago on the south side of the city, I dated someone from one of the tony, rich suburbs on the lakeshore north of the city. One evening as I was driving her home from our date, I noticed there was an MG dealership in her posh suburb. Since I had the silly notion at the time that I might buy an MG-B when I graduated, I decided it would be nice to get a general idea of the price of the coveted car, so I drove around the block, pa
Tis the shopping season, which immediately precedes the giving season, so I suspect that many of you clicking onto this blog are expecting me to flog my own inventory or give you a list of gadgets (Kindles, Nooks, and pocket recorders), gewgaws (T-shirts with writerly references, brass brads for screenplay submissions, and fancy journals), and books (dictionaries, historical timelines, and ... is there another word for thesaurus?) to tuck in the mail or post under the tree fo
I'm not a big fan of writers writing for free or of the various websites, anthologies, and (mostly literary) magazines which expect writers to write for free. No, it's not that I need the money to eat and it's not like what most writers get paid to write short fiction (5 cents a word is considered pro rates, a payment which hasn't, I believe, changed much in the last fifty or more years) really amounts to that much. It just seems to be an odd thing to write for free or for pu
If you are a full-time writer without a day-job, this post is not for you. But if, like most writers, you have a day-job to pay the bills and provide affordable health insurance (at least until those Nook and Kindle sales begin to whir), whether to tell people at your day-job that you write on the side is something we all have to face.
Sure, when you are first starting out and haven't published yet, it is an easy secret to keep, but when you start getting published on a reg