Showing posts from October, 2019

When no ordinary excuse will do

Not unlike most fiction writers, I'm constantly asked the same question.
"How do you come up with this stuff?"

The simple answer is, I don't. It comes to me. Every writer is different of course, but there is this common thread for those who write fiction. It starts when we're very young. When we make up our very first story.
Remember the old "the dog ate my homework" line?

With fiction writers, from a very early age, the story has a plot twist. A one-liner becomes an essay.

My homework was done but it vanished. Poof. I think the dog took it and buried it out back with his bone. Then a coyote came and dug up Sinbad's bone and leaped over the back fence with it. Well you know that old man next door is crazy and he shot that poor coyote. Even had a burial ceremony for it last night about 1am. It was a huge bonfire and they roasted that beast on a spit. I had my window open and my room still smells of smoke.

So notice several elements are in play here. …

To serialize or not to serialize?

Seems one of the latest rages in publishing is to serialize your novel. Chapter by chapter, publish once a week and keep the reader hooked. Now this works for digital publishing, but what about that paperback? Not so practical.

That's the issue for me. I love paperbacks! I love to open up a closet and find stacks of them waiting to be read. But I also love a good continuing saga online. A blog or website I can tune into each week and get my fix of a really good story.

Right now, I'm working on a new series. I've completed the first two books, and am working on the third. While I've had a bit of success interesting a few publishers and agents in my current work, nothing has panned out so far. Leaving me to decide what is the best way to introduce my new series.

This is where I am in my decision-making process. So I turn to you, my faithful blog-readers.
Would you like to see my next masterpiece published online, chapter by chapter?
What about if I give you a look at th…

How fictional is fiction anyway?

A common question from readers relates to how real characters and incidents in a fictional novel are. Sometimes the answer is obvious. Or seems to be. If you're an avid SciFi reader or Fantasy reader, clearly many other-worldly beings and events are fictional. Make-believe. Never gonna happen. But even characters and events in these genres have an elemental truth to them.

There are so many times a story leaps off the page as if it could be true. The characters real. And leaves the reader wondering whether the writer has based their story on personal experience.

Often that answer is yes. Or no.
Or might be.

The truth is a mixture of all of the above. Writers do tend to incorporate their own personal experiences into their writing. How much is dependent upon what they are writing and whether it's relatable. Writers also tend to not answer the question. Because what fun would that be?

My debut novel, All About Annie, is a classic example of how this all comes together. The book, …