Writing Tips: Sharing is Caring

BookBaby is a self-publishing website that I use for promotion tips. It’s totally free and helpful. Recently, I shared a link for a free download they were offering to Bookbaby members (a $10 value). One of my Facebook friends thanked me for doing so, claiming she’d seen the “crab-in-a-barrel” mentality among authors. I could understand why I wouldn’tContinue reading “Writing Tips: Sharing is Caring”

Open Letter to online reviewers

Dear Reader, I read your review, the one where you gave me one-star and compared the first few chapters of The Lost Testament to an “eighth grade assignment for a short story.” You’e not alone. Another one-star giver said it was “just bad” and “uninteresting.” Someone else called it “not worth finishing.” I’m not going toContinue reading “Open Letter to online reviewers”

Roll up the partition: Where does artistic responsibility begin?

I’m a fan of Beyonce. Was a fan, until her latest album permanently turned me off and unplugged me from fandom. Hardly a “hater,” but I disagree with its direction.There’s no artistic responsibility there — meaning, I won’t take my preteen niece to a Beyonce concert (not like I was itching to do that anyway). ThisContinue reading “Roll up the partition: Where does artistic responsibility begin?”

What’s coming in 2014

Ready for a Christmas party? So am I. Almost. Maybe not so much. My blog has been an accurate reflection of my writing time once school started. Some of you know I have returned to the classroom as a high school literature and journalism teacher. In between the lessons and grading, I don’t have veryContinue reading “What’s coming in 2014”

Plotting: I’m a believer. Are you?

I’m in the midst of writing my sixth manuscript. It’s the third in my Reject High teen series. I got stuck. Like all four wheels spinning helplessly in the mud stuck. I didn’t want to try writing out my plot. For my first three novels, I created my characters, wound them up and let themContinue reading “Plotting: I’m a believer. Are you?”

Writing in a time crunch

My writing process is insane. Don’t try it at home. I envy those writers you read about who can flick their muse on and off like a light switch. I have, what my editing Jackie Rodriguez calls “writing jags.” Imagine if your writing muse had the stomach flu. One moment, there’s nothing, and the next,Continue reading “Writing in a time crunch”

What’s in a name?

Shakespeare famously said in Romeo and Juliet, that “A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.” So, why are the names of your characters important? They’re probably not terribly pivotal, but I try to make them meaningful in my novel-writing. To me, it’s like naming your child — if you happen to have 20+Continue reading “What’s in a name?”

I’ve been followed, too

If you’re a minority, you might have one of these stories. Thankfully, mine doesn’t end with a bullet. During my freshman year at Morehouse, I hung out with a group of about 11 other young men. We hailed from different parts of the United States – Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Georgia, etc. One day,Continue reading “I’ve been followed, too”

The war over e-book prices

Do you own an e-reader? Are you an avid reader and/or author? If you answered “yes,” read up on the current e-book pricing decisions of the Big 6 legacy publishers (Hatchette, MacMillan, Simon and Shuster, Penguin, HarperCollins, Random House). Here’s a quick  primer.  Otherwise, you might get sticker shock the next time you go e-bookContinue reading “The war over e-book prices”

Sometimes, the best closure is worth waiting for

Anything you regret doing or not doing in your life? I’ve got two. Here’s one of them: In 1992, I attended an out-of-state funeral. Until then, I rarely knew the deceased. My cousin Lizzie died; the one with a mustache who always wanted to kiss me on the lips. That’s not the regret, though IContinue reading “Sometimes, the best closure is worth waiting for”