Posts Tagged With: behind the scenes

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. >

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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 >

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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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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

My Dinner with Satan

Dinner with Satan ... or is it Seitan?

It’s pronounced SAY-TAHN. Yeah, it is.

I recently discovered, much to my dismay, that I had eaten Satan for dinner.

This is a true story. Allow me to explain.

In the midst of a snowstorm, my wife and I decided to try a new restaurant.

We ended up at a brightly lit, very mod, hipster-friendly place that put an emphasis on fresh food.

Hey, I’m cool. I love fresh food.

But what landed on my table bore no resemblance, by any stretch of imagination, to the gyro I had ordered. Continue reading

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The Art of Getting Things Done

Sun Tzu Ruined My Life

Don’t make them get medieval on you!

Sun Tzu ruined my life.

Don’t get me wrong, “The Art of War” contains some gems of insight for anyone engaged in a difficult struggle, like running a business.

(Or fighting a war with chariots and spears.)

But the problem is that Sun Tzu puts a great deal of emphasis on lightning-fast strikes intended to leave the enemy off-balance and lead to a swift victory. He recommends avoiding a prolonged conflict at all costs.

And he makes some good points.

But sometimes, you can only win the battle — or write a book — with a slow and steady application of force.

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Categories: book business, For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why You Should NEVER Carry a Notebook

Levenger Index Card Holder Pocket Briefcase

Don’t carry a notebook in your pocket. Instead, carry index cards!

For many years, I carried a writing notebook with me everywhere I went. That’s what all serious writers do, I’ve always heard. But in truth, it’s a terrible idea.

Here’s why.

  • First, when you write in a notebook, your notes are locked in rigid sequential order. If you tend to think of things randomly (and who doesn’t?), you’ll spend a lot of time flipping back and forth through your pages to find something.
  • Second, it’s difficult and time-consuming to transcribe your notes from your notebook into the files for each project. I suppose if you’re the sort of person who only works on one story, ever, then this isn’t such a big deal. But I’m always working on a huge list of projects.
  • Third, notebooks get gnarly quickly. They get creased, folded, bent, ink-stained… It’s not pretty.

The Un-Notebook Solution

The secret is deceptively simple:

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Categories: book business, For Writers, how to write a book, how to write a novel, writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

5 Jazzy St. Clare mysteries solved

Okay, first, here’s a brand new trailer from the ever-spectacular folks over at Booktrack.com:

Can’t watch the video? Click here to see it on YouTube.

Now, back to the mysteries of Jazzy St. Clare:

Did you know that there actually was a real-life Saint Clare? Me either, until recently. Some other things you didn’t know about this story:

1) The original title was “The Case of the Missing Mummy”. Accurate, but not as catchy.

2) The sound effect of the lioness’s hiss is actually a recording of an air leak. Listen closely and you’ll hear it.

3) I used the same swing music from The Case of the Green-Eyed Werewolf to give Jazzy a theme song. Because every good detective needs a theme song.

4) My ever-creative wife came up with Jazzy St. Clare’s name — and she names most of my characters. Which is good, because I tend to come up with names like Agatha Whistlethorpe. And “Jazzy” is just so much cooler.

5) The Case of Mummy’s Secret is a 2013 Litquake winner. Yay! Okay, so, you’ve probably heard me crowing about that before. But I’m just tickled pink whenever I win an actual hard American cash prize for one of my stories. I dunno, maybe I got one too many “certificates of participation” as a kid.

Now, back to you.

What are you curious to see next from Jazzy St. Clare? Want to see her solve a vampire case … explore the Black Lagoon … go heel-to-heel against Spring-Heeled Jack? Now’s your chance to chime in. Leave me a comment or email me.

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