The best writing podcasts dig deep into the writing process and make you think. That’s why it’s always interesting talking to fellow Colorado author Mark Stevens on the official podcast for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
Not only is Mark an award-winning author in his own right, he also asks the tough questions about what it’s really like to be a working writer. I’ve been lucky enough to be a guest on his podcast several times, and sometimes our talks take a turn that surprises even me.
In this latest episode, we talked about the inspirations behind the cast of the Dru Jasper series. Especially the fan-favorite demon-possessed car, Hellbringer.
We also talked about the difference between plotting a novel and leaving yourself open for inspiration while you write. Believe it or not, you can have it both ways.
By the way, Mark tried to get me to talk about my super-secret brand-new book (a new one that isn’t even out yet), and I couldn’t help but drop a few clues. Plus, we discussed how to handle working on several different books at once.
Oh, and I also got a chance to read the opening scene of my new book, Forever and a Doomsday.
Hey, there’s tons of good stuff in this podcast. Listen to it here.
P.S. Have you signed up for my author newsletter? I love to give away books and other cool stuff. Join here.
There will be more than 100 science-fiction, fantasy, and horror authors and artists giving talks, signing books . . . cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria. Join in the fun!
I’ll be on these panels:
Hidden Depths: Characters with Secrets
Friday 10/18/19 at 3:00 pm
Mesa Verde B
Self-Editing vs. Hiring
Friday 10/18/19 at 6:00 pm
Mesa Verde B
PG-13 Monsters: Not So Scary YA
Sunday 10/20/19 at 12:00 pm
Mesa Verde A
Fun trivia: This year’s guest of honor is USA Today bestselling author Angela Roquet, whose very nice blurb graced the cover of my book No Sleep till Doomsday: “An epic blend of magic, action, and humor.”
More details about this crazy weekend at https://milehicon.org/
P.S. Psst . . . you could score a signed paperback or other cool freebies when you join my author newsletter.
The wait is over! Forever and a Doomsday releases today (yay!) and the reviews are already pouring in. Here’s an absolutely fabulous recap of the entire series (that doesn’t give away any spoilers) from Fan Girl Nation:
Mixing together the atmospheric flavor of the action sequences from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, airy hints of classic rock music, with a backdrop of fire and brimstone, comes the Dru Jasper series written by Laurence Naughton. This is an urban fantasy novel that hits the right combo the nostalgic vibes for the urban fantasy shows of the 90s/2000s in novel form. Except instead of picture perfect adults playing teenagers, this series has flawed and relatable adults doing the best they can while not ultimately freaking out…
Click here to read the whole review.
P.S. I’m giving away cool freebies — paperback books et cetera — to my newsletter subscribers. So if you haven’t joined yet, here’s your chance.
When considering who gives out the best writing advice in the world, the first name that pops up might not be Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But a decade ago, Schwarzenegger presented his “6 Rules of Success” in a now-famous commencement speech at the University of Southern California.
And these rules just might hold the key to your success as a writer.
A chilling cohort of soul-devouring wraiths has risen from the netherworld to crack open the final seal of the apocalypse scroll and bring the world to a fiery end.
To keep the scroll out of their clutches, Dru must solve a 2,000-year-old magical mystery, find a city lost in the netherworld, and unearth a crystal older than the Earth itself.
Can she elude the forces of darkness long enough to save her friends and safeguard the scroll forever—before the undead break the seventh seal and bring on doomsday?
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Has your writing fallen into a black hole?
Has your pacing dropped to a crawl, or your suspense become a snore?
Do you just feel stuck?
You might be sabotaging your own writing without even knowing it.
But don’t panic. Here’s how to avoid the four most perilous pitfalls of writing.
When a character in your story speaks a foreign language, should you write it out in that language, or in English?
How can you make the dialogue sound exotic without confusing the reader?
These are tricky questions.
Foreign languages can lend your characters and locations a more exotic flair, and even increase the dramatic tension in a scene.
But before you start sprinkling a certain je ne sais quoi into your prose, understand that you have four options.
A reporter recently interviewed me about how to be more organized. Which I secretly found funny, because I don’t feel particularly organized. At all. And yet people frequently tell me that I am the most organized person they know.
Pfft. Obviously, they don’t know the real me, right? Just because I color-code my file folders, divide my work into 30-minute increments, and constantly update the lists I keep of my other lists . . .
You know what? Maybe I am more organized than I think.
Anyway, here are my top three tips: Continue reading
The Pomodoro Technique is deceptively simple.
Set a timer for half an hour or so, ignore all distractions, and focus on your work.
On the surface, it seems far too simple to be effective.
But it does work. Amazingly well.
In fact, I can pinpoint the exact moment my novel-writing career took off a few years ago. It happened right after I adopted the Pomodoro Technique.
Once I started using a timer, eliminating distractions, and tracking my results, everything changed. Continue reading
Theme seems to be one of those angst-triggering bogeymen that writers constantly wrestle with. But when you examine it closely, there’s really nothing complicated about it. Theme is simply the lesson the main character learns over the course of the story.
(Or, in the case of a tragic ending, the lesson they failed to learn.)
Every story, from the silliest comedy to the deepest work of literature, delivers a moral message on some level. It basically says “life is like this.”
Think about some of the most famous movie quotes of all time:
“There’s no place like home.”
“Greed is good.”
“Use the Force, Luke.”
All of those quotes point directly toward the theme of the story. Continue reading