“You Can’t Get Firefly by Rebooting Bonanza.”

My sister Sarah said the above quote and I thought it was so true. We live in a swirling media storm of sequels, re-boots, re-imaginings, prequels, adaptations, updates, and spin-offs.  Our summer movie slates are full of sequels and three-quells and our fall movie schedules are full of play and book adaptations.  The new seasonContinue reading ““You Can’t Get Firefly by Rebooting Bonanza.””

Is ‘Release Day’ an Outdated Term for Self-Published Books?

I am planning the release of my first book at the end of the month and I have a problem — I don’t have a burning desire to email everyone I’ve ever met, Tweet 24-7 about my “GREAT DEAL! ON AMAZON! CHEEP!”, or prime my fans to buy it on day one or else, I’llContinue reading “Is ‘Release Day’ an Outdated Term for Self-Published Books?”

Ten Ways to Improve One Sentence

Warning: insane writers only need apply. “They brought him no sweet lullabies, indeed, the heavy air of the stifling little room sang only with the slight ringing of ghost trumpets, each calling him toward an inescapable future.” — Averil, pondering a sword and a gift from a magical being, in Other Gods Okay — IContinue reading “Ten Ways to Improve One Sentence”

How Often Should You Publish a Book?

Or perhaps the real question is, how often should you self publish a book?  If you’re like me, you use to think of book releases as these nebulous, once-in-a-blue-moon happenings (when the stars aligned and the book publishers were feeling frisky).  But now, if you’re a self published author, you are only constrained by how fastContinue reading “How Often Should You Publish a Book?”

The Novelist’s To-Do List for Greatness

Today I finished the first draft of my third novel, ‘Fall Street’ (claps on the back, applause, and confetti here).  Now, the more times I do this the easier it gets, but I still remember being a nervous newbie who couldn’t imagine writing a whole book.   So with that in mind, here’s my very simpleContinue reading “The Novelist’s To-Do List for Greatness”

Follow Me and I’ll Follow You: Social Media and Self Promotion

Great post from Rob White.  The idea of seeing people as ‘dollar signs with arms and legs’ is exactly what I don’t like about online promotion. But I think there is a better, classier way to connect with readers and I think Rob’s showing us the way —   Follow Me and I’ll Follow You:Continue reading “Follow Me and I’ll Follow You: Social Media and Self Promotion”

Everything You Want Is Just Outside Your Comfort Zone

When you decide to change your life, to improve or expound or dream beyond the limits of your hard, tattered shell — many things will happen at once.  And most of them will seem bad.  Whether it’s guardians at the gate (a la Joseph Campbell) or the simple fact that you’ve moved onto that steep,Continue reading “Everything You Want Is Just Outside Your Comfort Zone”

How to Make Your Characters Come Alive

I love everything about writing.  I love words, I love plots, but above all — I love characters. Now, the picture above may be cheating a little bit, because some (or most) of the characters on Deadwood were based on real people.  But that doesn’t matter.  I defy you to find a more well-rounded, intriguing,Continue reading “How to Make Your Characters Come Alive”

Tips for the Newborn Writer

When did I become a writer?  Truthfully, I don’t know.  I am just the kid who never stopped telling stories.  I was homeschooled, out in the Athens, GA countryside, making up tales (many involving pretending I was a wild horse).  Later, as a teenager, I changed to people-based stories.  Also,  my sister and I wouldContinue reading “Tips for the Newborn Writer”

How Long Should We Wait to Start Living Our Dreams?

I told my friend Nancy, the poet, that when I had four novels finished, I thought I could become a ‘professional novelist’.  She asked, ‘Shouldn’t you be able to do that with one book?’  Therein lies an interesting question — How Long Should We Wait to Start Living Our Dreams? Now, for the dream ofContinue reading “How Long Should We Wait to Start Living Our Dreams?”