Let me tell you a story about a book, a bear, and a beginning editor. Back in the 90s. I was just getting started as a book editor. I was given the assignment of editing a children’s book. It was one of my first books, and to my elation, it was a very good book. … More The Woeful Story of Pepper Bear
I have a colleague here in the English department at the university where I teach, and early on in my efforts at writing novels I passed several of my books in front of him. No more. One time, I passed the first chapter in front of him and then asked him what he thought of … More Does Your Story Have a Soul?
Here’s another sneak peek at Soul Survivor, my new book featuring Connie Simescu, the UT Austin student caught up in a crazy war between good and evil. You can get the ebook for a limited time for 99 cents right here. After Ruth and Josh left in the ambulance, the U.S. marshals continued to search … More Sneak Peek #3: “Soul Survivor”
In 2012, I decided for the first time to join the crazy international project known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for those who are familiar with it. Each November, hundreds of thousands of would-be authors are challenged to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. Because it was my first time, and because … More Keep It Simple? Or Complex?
Grand Marshall E. Pluribus Unum was bored. Bored and worried. He looked out through the picture window of his home overlooking the small country of Lilia and sighed. It had been five years since peace and independence had been declared. And not much had happened since then. Nothing but prosperity it seemed. Farmers had returned … More Short Story: “The Great Cantaloupe War”
I have this little thing, called a book launch, happening tomorrow. It’s for a book I like to call Tesla’s Ghost. For those of you who are interested in science fiction, mystery, suspense, steampunk, aliens, or just good writing, there’s probably something in there for you somewhere. Interesting thing about this book is that I … More Just In Case You Haven’t Heard…
I’ve never been a detail person. I consider myself a generalist, and have a reputation of getting a great deal of work done fast. The problem is that I find the details sometimes lacking when you focus on getting volumes of work done. It seems odd for me, a person with several decades’ experience as … More The Devil Is In the Details
I have a very bad habit. Somehow I have gotten in my mind that if I don’t finish something, then nothing bad will happen. It started when I wrote my first book. I knew that the editor was waiting for it. I put it in an envelope, addressed the envelope, put stamps on it, and … More Avoiding the Last Chapter
“Give your audience what they want, but not in the way they expect it.” –Robert McKee, Story One of the most memorable stories I have read was a book called Cryptonomicon, written by Neal Stephenson. But it was almost a book I didn’t finish. The book is about 800 pages long, like most of his … More Giving Your Readers What You Owe Them
Years ago…I mean eons ago, when I was in grade school…I used to change what I was going to do with my life from day to day. One day it would be a fireman, the next an archeologist, the next a soldier. It wasn’t until I got into high school that I started dabbling with … More Getting My Research Hat On