Editing: The boilerplate, the bold.

A first-time author once called some of my writing advice “boilerplate” which she could find “on any writing website.” I can find the lyrics to “A House is Not a Home” on the web, but it doesn’t mean I can sing it well. My critique of her introduction — that ten pages is too long,Continue reading “Editing: The boilerplate, the bold.”

How to plan a book wedding

I wanted to help plan my wedding. OK, not the flowers or colors. I didn’t pick the bridesmaid dresses. With some things, I asked “how much?” and passed off to my future bride. But I had a hand in the important things. Planning your book release is a similar process. Start with choosing a relevantContinue reading “How to plan a book wedding”

Do-It-Yourself: Why I D-I-Yed

About two years ago, I changed my life. Call it divine purpose or destiny, but I was left at a crossroads with a decision. Either continue teaching, which I loved, or pursue a career writing full-time. Either required 100 percent dedication, and I only had 100 to give. I tendered my resignation. Some coworkers stillContinue reading “Do-It-Yourself: Why I D-I-Yed”

Don’t take it personal: Damaging the brand

FYI: I said “personal” not “personally” on purpose 🙂 I have strong opinions on many political and social issues, but you’ll never see them on my social media pages. There will not be rampant misspelled postings or off-the-cuff comments warranting a “sorry-if-that-offended-some-people” disclaimer either. Learn a little lesson called “social media policy.” But Brian, I’mContinue reading “Don’t take it personal: Damaging the brand”

Compelling characters create connections

Every author wants characters you, the reader, believe in, root for, love, or hate. You want your reader to care about your characters, no matter how prolific or damaged they are, and you do that by establishing a connection between character and reader. I’m willing to bet that most people who drive by a terribleContinue reading “Compelling characters create connections”

Happy endings and loose ends in fiction

Last week, I wrapped up writing my 2012 release, The Anarchists. It’s the story about the impact of choice, and how four people decide the fate of the planet in the year 2050. What I’m doing with it now is what I liken to post-production work on a film — adding in “effects,” and tyingContinue reading “Happy endings and loose ends in fiction”

Save time & money: Why you need a publishing mentor

I call myself a “publishing mentor,” and not because I like cutesy titles (I actually HATE them). Authors interested in indie publishing (ESPECIALLY self-publishing) need information to successfully navigate the publishing process. You could use someone on your team who’s not trying to hawk their wares instead of offering you another, efficient, time-saving way, couldn’t you?Continue reading “Save time & money: Why you need a publishing mentor”