Operation Sheltering Sky

Rajasthan is desert country, 70% of the state---India's largest---an arid mix of scrub and sand. We trekked by camel into the Thar Desert about 50 km outside Jaisalmer. Abdullah led our beasts on foot, their names Simon, Paulos, and---inexplicably---Johnny No. 1. Toward sunset we reached the Sam Dunes. The wind died down and we made … Continue reading Operation Sheltering Sky

Book Marketing & Helping Others

I've turned the tables on fellow indie writer and keen author interviewer Matthew Whiteside, who describes his Uniweb Productions website as A place for creativity, hope, inspiration, and all around good times. https://youtu.be/XZmi1laMEQo Anyone familiar with his interviews knows about the good times. But what about the hope and inspiration? What about the creativity? Find … Continue reading Book Marketing & Helping Others

Ten Questions

I am asked, "A book begins as an idea in the writer’s imagination. Eventually, this grain of sand turns into a pearl. What was the grain of sand that fired your imagination?" I respond: Orwellian signs in the DC Metro: “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.” See what, exactly? Commuters staring empty-eyed at phones while … Continue reading Ten Questions

Speaking of Oscar

Previously blogged: Oscar KeyE is Dead. Long Live Oscar Keye. Rather than dwell on my dislike for all things Oscar Awards, trying to unravel the reasons for my disdain, I'll revisit one thing I do love about Oscar: his utility as an early alter-ego. 'Oscar Keye is dead and I am free,' I wrote in … Continue reading Speaking of Oscar

Lords of the Flies

We boys are to be left alone while the lynchpin of our home operation conducts child labor research in island-nation Philippines for the next seven days. The irony's not lost on me. How long 'til we descend into savagery? Not to worry. Rather than cranking the inevitable conflagrant sounds we so admire, we'll tuck ourselves … Continue reading Lords of the Flies

Finding Your Market

This video is about examining your manuscript to find its best market opportunity. For me the process took ten years, failed representation, and an entire rewrite. But it was worth it. https://youtu.be/cQgAu7OX0UU In this segment from my interview with Matthew Whiteside, I share lessons learned from the process of bringing out my first novel. Hint: … Continue reading Finding Your Market

Lousy Book Covers

This clip from my interview with Matthew Whiteside explores the marketing side of writing books, and why a title like Two Pumps for the Body Man can be a real challenge to promote. The cover didn't help, not even when it was featured on a website called LousyBookCovers(dot)com (their snark goes to 11...). Check the design … Continue reading Lousy Book Covers

A BenEast FilmFirst Production

This week I enjoyed a 30-minute interview with Matthew Whiteside, head impresario at Uniweb Productions. The man's doing a lot for indie writers, pumping out interview after interview exploring the challenges we face, the inspirations that drive us, and the rewards that come with pursuing our creative demons. He even inspired me to put up … Continue reading A BenEast FilmFirst Production

Sez the Man with No Lips

I have too much to say about this experience, so I'll just pop it up here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvIQ6eEYegY&feature=youtu.be A few days ago I sat down to chat with Matt Whiteside and only recently looked at the results. He's a sharp guy with a great heart and an ambitious idea: help other writers. He's fun and funny … Continue reading Sez the Man with No Lips

The Non-Business Plan

Fellow blogger and author C.S. Boyack found the right word to describe what many might otherwise call a New Year's resolution (he wisely disavows the concept). Rather, Boyack puts forward a 'business plan' for the year ahead---which platforms he'll look to and why, beta readers and critique groups, ideas for the next narrative, etc. With … Continue reading The Non-Business Plan