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”

If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you

Beta Readers are a test audience for your new material. For example, in the movie The Break Up, Vince Vaughn’s character originally came out looking better than Jennifer Aniston’s character. That ending did not rate well with its test audience, so the ending was changed. If The Break Up was a novel, the test audience would haveContinue reading “If you’re an author and you don’t have Beta Readers, there’s something seriously wrong with you”

What the Nook?

To drive early sales, get reviews and create buzz, I released the Kindle version of Reject High a month early and set the price at .99 using Kindle Direct. The process was simple — I uploaded my print-ready PDF and cover files and it was on sale within minutes.  One of my beta readers and aContinue reading “What the Nook?”

All your character wants is a meatball sandwich

E! True Brian Story: Though the meatball marinara sub  sandwich at Subway isn’t the greatest in the world, I still REALLY wanted one the other day. My wife set me up with a text, describing it as “hot,” and “fresh.” I so wanted that. Instead, my mother, who is in town, made me a homemadeContinue reading “All your character wants is a meatball sandwich”

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?”

Back Cover Copy = Torture!

For me, writing back cover copy is a lot like the first time I met my wife.  At first glance, I automatically wanted to meet her. But, without any idea of what I wanted to say, I didn’t want to get shot down either. My first words would determine everything.   Those of us whoContinue reading “Back Cover Copy = Torture!”

The Power of Negative Reviews

Here’s one lowlight review on Amazon for my first novel, The Lost Testament.  “I put the book down after the first few chapters. Who cares about the lost testament? NO ONE alive is from those times so why waste your time giving your opinion on “lost” things. No one knows and they won’t either until allContinue reading “The Power of Negative Reviews”

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”

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”

Editing: really, it’s nothing personal

In another life, I was a professional journalist. Steve Berlin, my copy editor, tore my first article to shreds and made me redo it. If I told you what I imagined doing to him, you’d think I wrote scripts for the Saw franchise. Prior to Steve, no one had really bloodbathed my journalistic writing before. InContinue reading “Editing: really, it’s nothing personal”