Posts Tagged With: behind the scenes

The Bulletproof Secret to Doing Anything Better

Thumbs Up

Try. Measure. Improve. Then repeat as needed.

Every writer I’ve ever talked to always wants to achieve more.

(Even Hugh Howey.)

We all want to reach more readers, sell more books, write better stories, and so on.

All of us, writers or not, want to do more and do it better. The question is, how?

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Categories: Self Help, The Writing Life | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

How to Turn a Short Story into a Book Series

Lightbulb Moment

DING! (That’s my lightbulb-moment sound effect.)

Believe it or not, IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY started out as a short story.

I was struggling with another novel, so I switched gears and wrote a fun little story about this awkward wannabe sorceress who ends up breaking the evil curse on a bad-boy hero with a muscle car.

It was half scary, half funny, and people seemed to really get a kick out of it. They kept asking me what happens next.

And I had to say, “There is no next. This is it.”

But then something funny happened.

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How to Make Writing Your Career: Word Cafe Interview with Yours Truly

Word Cafe author interview

Just for the record, the lace doilies were not my idea. Now you know.

Hey, this is cool. Join me over at Word Cafe for an interview where I reveal everything I know about:

• Building a full-time career around writing, as a novelist and a copywriter — and what a copywriter does, exactly.

• How my first book from a New York publisher actually started out as a short story — and how I grew it into a novel.

• The pros and cons of being a hybrid author (both traditionally published and self-published).

• What my fiction writing process looks like. (It’s both crazier and more straightforward than you might think).

• And, of course, my top piece of advice for writers.

Read the complete interview here. >

P.S. Also, I’m giving away a few autographed paperback books to my newsletter subscribers. Don’t miss out. Click here to subscribe to my author newsletter. >

Categories: how to write a novel, The Writing Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What an Editor Really Does — and Why You Need One

I first met Anita when she worked with my literary agent, Kristin Nelson. Anita is a freelance editor who helps writers bring out the very best in their novels. She was kind enough to share her editing insights, including why you should never let a rejection letter get you down, and why joining a critique group can not only improve your writing, but also save you money – and help you get published. Here’s Anita with all the insider info about editors. –L.

 

Anita, can you tell us what a developmental editor does, exactly?

Anita Mumm, founder of Mumm’s the Word Editing & Critique Services

Anita Mumm, founder of Mumm’s the Word Editing & Critique Services

The easiest way to describe a developmental editor’s work is that it focuses on the big picture: Does the plot work? Are the characters the kind of people readers want to spend an entire book with? Is the dialogue smooth or stilted? Is the voice appropriate to the genre and audience?

Developmental editing means making sure the foundation of the novel is sound, and that all of its parts come together in a meaningful whole.

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Categories: For Writers | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

3 weird (but true!) facts about It Happened One Doomsday

SFBC spotlight on It Happened One Doomsday

Science Fiction Book Club spotlight on It Happened One Doomsday

While this book is fiction, it was inspired by some very strange facts.

It all started with crystals. Here in the Rocky Mountains, you’re never far from abandoned gold mines, ghost towns, or rock shops.

In It Happened One Doomsday, the main character gets her magical powers from real-life crystals such as galena, amethyst, pyrite, ulexite, or quartz. Some people believe these rocks have metaphysical properties.

People like Dan Aykroyd from Ghostbusters, for instance. I once had a strange conversation with him about his private-label vodka, which he filters through Herkimer diamonds.

These “diamonds” are actually ultra-pure quartz crystals, which supposedly cleanse anything they touch.

In metaphysical beliefs, different crystals have their own supposed powers. Galena defends you against evil. Amethyst protects you from psychic attack. Halite (rock salt) dissolves negative energy.

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They’re here! Win a Doomsday paperback

It Happened One Doomsday - paperback reveal

Read all you want. There’s plenty!

If you’re like me, you love getting books in the mail.

Tear open the envelope or cardboard box and boom, there it is. The book you’ve been waiting for.

This time, it’s a little more exciting.

No matter what you think, absolutely nothing can prepare you for the experience of opening up the box and seeing a giant stack of your own book staring back at you.

A book with your name on it. A book you wrote.

All of those endless days and nights of struggling to get the words just right. All of the worry, all the joy, all the heartbreak, all the struggle.

All of it. It comes down to this.

Now this . . . this is cool. And it makes me realize something:

I’m glad I’ve been working out, because these books are actually kind of heavy.

Want a chance to win your very own It Happened One Doomsday paperback, signed by yours truly? Subscribe to my author newsletter here. >

Categories: It Happened One Doomsday | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

What Do Men Really Think About Your Hair?

My next book is so new that even the title isn’t settled yet.

what men really think about your hair

Watch what happens when he runs out of shampoo.

But my agent sent me a nice note about how well I pulled off the simmering romantic tension between the lead characters.

Considering that the point-of-view character is a smart young woman, and I’m a guy (in my case, smart and young are arguable), this was quite a compliment.

And it got me thinking:

How do authors write about characters of the opposite gender?

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Spider Thief Steals Hibernating Tarantulas

pet tarantula

Just because it’s fuzzy doesn’t make it a cuddly pet.

Did you know that there’s a black market for stolen tarantulas?

Or that these spiders hibernate during the winter?

Can you imagine someone crazy enough to break into the dark, cobweb-choked crawlspace under a house and steal a bunch of giant spiders?

Yeah. My thoughts exactly.

Read the full article >

So, real life can be stranger than fiction. But still, I do my best to make fiction pretty freakin’ strange.

The Spider Thief: Omnibus paperback on Amazon >

Categories: Books, Fun, The Spider Thief | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

It Doesn’t Get Easier. You Just Get Better.

how to succeed at new years resolutions or die trying

Where do New Year’s resolutions go to die? Mostly, Cinnabon.

This is the week that New Year’s resolutions die.

I didn’t just make that up, by the way. I read it in The Wall Street Journal.

Also, there was something in there about bonds or treasuries or whatever.

So much for my financial resolutions.

Look, your New Year’s resolutions are doomed. But there’s a better way.

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Categories: Fun | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

The Short, Sad Saga of Mississippi Jones

Don't eat me!

Scary. Freakin’. Fish. That is all. Move along.

Some names stick with us.

Bridget Jones, Holden Caulfield, Nero Wolfe — these names are all indelibly stamped into our literary consciousness.

Those names are evocative. Memorable. Unique.

Some writers are incredibly good at coming up with names.

I am not one of them.

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Categories: For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized, writing, writing a book, writing a novel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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