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

First Lit Mag Layout in the Books

Last week I took on the role of layout designer for a community literary magazine. It was a satisfying experience with a few lessons learned. The Job The challenge included formatting and organizing 120 pages of photos, art, poetry, and prose fiction and nonfiction between 50 and 1,500 words, in three languages and three different … Continue reading First Lit Mag Layout in the Books

Happy Publication Day!

Happy Publication Day to all the contributors at the American School of Bombay! Over 80 students, parents, teachers, and staff added their voice to the first issue of ASB Musings --- a collection of reflections of the world through our eyes --- to make it a spellbinding repository of poetry, short fiction, memoir, photographs, journalism, and … Continue reading Happy Publication Day!

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

Idling through the Shut Down

Revisiting publication credits to stimulate and inspire 2019 projects. I'd like to make it a year of broader platforms with more non-fiction. The days ahead, if the Grinches in DC keep Grinching, might provide both the means and the need to fulfill that prospect. Non-fiction The Card from Kabul---The Foreign Service Journal May 2018 Transition Brief … Continue reading Idling through the Shut Down

New Middle Grade Fiction

Appreciated the chance to chime in on Robbie Yates latest release, The Kooky Kids' Club, and honored to have a blurb on the cover. I found the story relatable and empathetic, the story-telling spare and true. In the author's own words: Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives … Continue reading New Middle Grade Fiction

Today’s Coffee…

...mightier than the sword. Terminal 1D Indira Gandhi International Airport ert Dehra Dun in the foothills of the Himalayas. #amwriting #amtraveling #Diwali       ##

Foreign Service Writings

My favorite Foreign Service Journal issue of the year is out! All the recently published books by writers affiliated with America's proud diplomatic corps are listed in one tight package this month. Pick up a few titles and learn about the Foreign Service. Read about how we promote U.S. interests and protect our citizens overseas. … Continue reading Foreign Service Writings