For All You Novelists

Creative writing is a walk along a fine line. That line divides the seen and the unseen, the knowable and the unknown, the past and the future, cause and effect. Sanity and madness. Creative writers tread by feel to bridge the one and the other. For some the means is poetry. For others, memoir, essay, … Continue reading For All You Novelists

Bless Their (little) Hearts

It would be easy to give in to rage over this image in the NRA's official organ, The American Rifleman. It would be natural and normal to descend into name-calling against them. But that's exactly what the NRA wants, isn't it? Emotional contagion. Rather than express my disgust at this callous provocation to violence, I'll … Continue reading Bless Their (little) Hearts

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

Revising for Backstory

Emotion How does a writer revise an old manuscript? Skim the surface line-editing a well-worn draft? I suppose there’s a method for every problem. What if the problem is an absence of feeling and emotion? In this case the problem demanded the author talk himself to the solution. I sat down and wrote to myself: … Continue reading Revising for Backstory

In the Pathless Woods: Revising

Three years after writing a novel called The Fortress for my eight-year-old son, I’m taking on the fourth revision. It's got a new title, In the Pathless Woods, inspired by Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, the 18th century narrative poem by George Gordon, Lord Byron. Byron's verse replaces a simple placeholder I'd inserted at the time, filler … Continue reading In the Pathless Woods: Revising

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

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

Ele-Vader Pitch

Like so many of their peers, my sons are obsessed by the Harry Potter books. No wonder, then, that while introducing them to Star Wars I came upon this happy epiphany. As I brought popcorn into the living room, I overheard one of them reading the Amazon plot pitch for The Empire Strikes Back as if it … Continue reading Ele-Vader Pitch

BAMF vs The Shutdown

This next episode from life at the Bureau of Government Intelligence and Execution---aka BOGIE---introduces the Bureau of Administration, Management, and Facilities. DC may shut its doors on the public workers who serve the Republic. But that can't stop the mofos in BAMF from installing new ones to protect its workers from America's next shooting rampage. Also … Continue reading BAMF vs The Shutdown