Showing posts from January, 2015


National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo) is where millions of authors come together to pound out a novel of at least 50,000 words. It’s a crazy time for authors published or not to put together their next book. I’m not immune to the attraction of writing 1667 words a day to make the bare minimum required to get the certificate, but you cannot submit or publish your NaNo project until you’ve done a lot of editing.
First, I am a NaNo participant. I joined the madness in 2005 and continued every year until 2011, took a break and then came back in 2013 to 2014. All eight years were winners for me. Six of those books have been published (Softly Say Goodbye, Take Chances, The Wrong One, Evil Eyes, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, and The Curse of Grungy Gulley) and a seventh will be published at the end of February (Lost & Scared). What I learned the hard way is that a NaNo completion is only the beginning.
What do you do after November 30, when you…


You’re pounding out a fiction story. There’s no need to do research. After all, you’re making it up as you go. Nobody will care if you change all the rules, or history for that fact, as long as you create a fabulous story.
Hit the brakes and back up there. This might work, if you’ve carefully crafted an alternative rule and let the reader know up front that’s exactly what you’re doing. But not in ordinary, everyday fiction. There are rules we have to follow, and this is one of the most important.
Research can make or break your book.
Let’s start with the rules of physics, which so many new sci-fi authors love to break. First, unless you’re Han Solo barrel rolling away from the Death Star, you cannot do stunts like that sitting in your pilot’s seat without restraints and not pay a price. At the least, you’ll lost control of your craft. At the worst, you’ll crash into the spacecraft you’re escaping. Least you forget, space is a vacuum. You can’t go outside your craft without protectiv…


You’re an author. You have a book or many books published. The royalties are making you proud. Yet, you receive requests from family and friends for a free copy of your latest book. Is this right?
Absolutely not.
The view people have of an author is a far cry from who we truly are. They don’t understand the calling of the author. To them, the author spends days on end wining and dining the movers and shakers. We are supposed to look as if we’ve never scrubbed out a toilet or stayed up all night with a crying baby, yet we do those things and many other daily chores that seem mundane. Around all that, we are busily plotting our latest adventure, crafting scenes that will turn the hardest heart soft, and also promoting our books both online and traditionally.
As a reader, most people will jump at the opportunity to get a free copy of a book. They’ll enter contests and volunteer to do a review in order to get closer to their favorite author. It becomes an obsession to have those books …

Age is No Limit

The internet is a scary place for some people, far more frightening than say the Cold War, Vietnam, Korea, or even McCarthyism. Okay, I can see a lot of you scratching your heads and wondering exactly what I’m talking about. And I have to admit that Korea and McCarthyism were before my time by a few years, but for those I’m talking to this week, those were real problems that dominated the news when they were younger. The expression “Better Red Than Dead” was used as a challenge to prove how true blue American you were. 
People will reminisce about those times as when they could run around but had to be home before the streetlights came on. We didn’t have internet, but we always knew where everyone was by the amount of bikes spilled on the sidewalk or walkway of a house. Korea had yet to be memorialized by first the movie and then the popular series M.A.S.H. Vietnam came during a time of great social change, when we began to question things we once accepted without question.
Today, all …