Thursday, July 28, 2011

Money From Writing- Me vs. John Locke

Who says there's no money to be made from writing? Just today I received the sum one of dollar for a poem I wrote, soon to be published. Say what you want, I got paid for writing. That's a dollar more than most people made today.

Now if I could make enough to offset the $300 brake job my car got today... Only 299 more poems to go...

At least "A Memory of Grief" is getting good reviews. And a co-worker showed me the Kindle he's taking with him on vacation-- loaded up with my novel!
His parting words-- "It better be good!"

And my publisher tells me I'll soon have copies available for signing. Yay!

Just read some of the blog of writer John Locke today. He's the first self-published author to sell a million copies on Kindle. So he's probably made more than me today. His blog was interesting, though, so I forgive him and am going to read his books.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Great review!

Wow- now have a 5-star review of my novel "A Memory of Grief," courtesy of Debbi Mack, the NY Times best-seller pro mystery author. (It's also available on Amazon-- just no reviews up there yet.)

So if you were waiting to see what someone else thought of it before getting your own copy, you now know that there are two reviews that think it's good, then there's the orginal blurb from David Daniel, another pro mystery author. So you've got two professionals willing to put their name down to say "read it!"

Monday, July 25, 2011


Recently I returned from vacation, to discover a friend, a former co-worker, had passed away. He was a good man, decent, kind, and funny, and one of the sharpest business minds I've ever met. His passing is a loss to the world.

There have been two other recent untimely demises, both musicians, although in different spaces. You've likely heard of Amy Winehouse, but you may not know of Bill Morrissey, a singer-songwriter (and a writer) who could touch your heart and tickle your funnybone. Both Winehouse and Morrissey had enormous talent and made contributions to music, with devoted followers. Much of modern-day commercial music is swill, but these two performers made music a joy and an art.

Bill Morrissey chronicled the human condition with songs that were deep short stories. He also had a wicked sense of humor and could make you laugh with his recitation of character insights. He performed around New England for many years, and will be sorely missed in the coffeehouses and where folks make real music from the heart.

In the course of their lives, all three of these deceased folk battled an inner pain that they sometimes dealt with by self-destructive choices. Winehouse, especially, has been criticized and ridiculed for her lifestyle and choices. Think for a minute, though, of how much pain someone must be in to go that far down the hole. Money, success, and fame are of no use if one cannot control the inner demons. And those with no pity have likely never suffered from an addiction. If you haven't, consider yourself lucky, and pity those who are afflicted. It's hard to win against an addiction, you more often just have a lifelong truce that can break at any moment.

Most of us have some kind of pain we deal with in various ways. Some are socially acceptable methods, and some are illegal. Life's pain can get to be too much to handle, and folks will use just about any crutch to get themselves through the day.

Three lives untimely snuffed out, from three who added something to life. Damn.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Harry Potter Movie

We just got back from seeing the latest Harry Potter movie-- stunning! Loved by all of us. It's extra nice for us, as we were in London recently, and saw not only Platform 9-3/4 (actually at St. Pancras station, not King's Cross, as said in the movie), but were there in Trafalgar Square as the cast showed up for their British Premier! Gave it a little bit more oomph, not that it needed it.

Kind of spooky how perfect the cast is, looking and sounding like they should, over the course of quite a few years. Don't know if the originator feels the same, but millions of watchers and her readers do.

I admire the fact that J.K. Rowling created a world that so moves people. That says a lot, that she can touch others and make her story and characters matter. Kudos.

And her recent announcement that she will self-publish future books... did you hear that sound? That was another wall of the citadel of Old Traditional Publishing collapsing. She sold millions of books for the old way, and now will sell millions more the new way.

All this because one person sat down and poured forth a story that was within them. And millions responded. The power of the written word is amazing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moose Tracks

Call me Captain Overlook. On the day I left for vacation, Debbi Mack, the NY Times mystery best-selling author, posted a lovely complimentary note about my latest published story, "Moose Tracks."

And by the time I got back, it had slipped by without my notice. Just found it today.

It's so great when a pro writer helps out another writer, and this is to thank Debbi for her efforts. Just sorry I didn't find it sooner!

So if you haven't read Moose Tracks, click the link for it above and enjoy. If Jaws made you scared to go in the water, maybe this will make you scared to go off into the woods...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another Feature

Getting further along in the catchup phase, I see that my debut novel "A Memory of Grief" was also just recently featured on Mark O'Neal's blog!

This is an indie books blog that helps promote indie authors. Am pleased to be featured on the site.

Wow-- I go away for two weeks, and get more press than ever! Keep up the good work everybody! And thank you for helping to get the word out. People have been telling me they like the novel, so if you know someone who likes mysteries, have them check it out.

Heee's Back! Timelines and Book Review

Hello again-- I'm now back, after being away for two weeks, on my first real vacation in many years. Still wiped out from the journey and activities. Still trying to catch up with email. Still trying to come to terms with life here, which is completely different.

As a writer, I'm always dealing with different timelines, planning and plotting projects and happenings. So I'm always half in the present and half in the future (with an occasional side trip into the past). Realized that while I was away, I spent the last two weeks living only in the present. It was a strange sensation, a not unpleasant one. No email, phone, or social Internet connections for two weeks. All unplugged.

Didn't think about work, or book sales/releases, or much of anything except seeing the sights and dining out. Needed that mental getaway as well as the physical one.

But now break's over, back on my head.

One fine piece of news in my absence, I find a review of my novel "A Memory of Grief" by NY Times best-selling mystery author Debbi Mack. How cool is that?

And another person posted a 4-star rating for the book on Smashwords:
"A fun summer read. Very enjoyable."

Hey, I should go away more often!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Writing World Revolution Roundup

Lots of things going on in the writing world.
But then, it's usually busy during a revolution.

First up, we'd like to note the incredible generosity of Joe Konrath, one of the most successful people touting self-publishing (though he's also been successful at traditional publishing).

Not only is he one of the advance guard of the revolution, and an insightful chronicler, his piece on Scott Doornbosch shows what kind of a guy he is. After encouraging Scott to finish his book, Joe found out the guy has cancer. So Joe pushed and paid for the setup to get the book out, a published version that the guy could hold in his hands, in case time ran out. As he says in the post:
"Holding your first book in your hands is one of the true joys of being a writer."

Indeed. As a person who very recently experienced this magnificent accomplishment of holding my first published book, I can state that joy is an understatement.

Kudos to Joe for being a decent human being who helped a man and a writer push through to something grand. Best of luck to Scott for sales and most important, good health.

Another reason to read Joe's blog is the comments on the seismic shifts in publishing, such as this one, where J.K. Rowling announces going into self-publishing.

(I wonder if the dipstick who not-too-long-ago posted on how they thought the big pub world "wasn't worried about self-publishers" still feels that way.)

And yet another reason to read Joe's blog is the posting on how agents are now looking for alternative means of income, so are trying to expand their reach.

Another great discussion of agents and roles is best-selling mystery writer Debbi Mack's post.

To finish up, in case you were thinking of whether you should publish at all, read writer Keryl Raist's posting on the subject.

That should give you some reading to do over the holidays. Have a happy and safe 4th!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Well, first my daughter Erin had her first published poem yesterday:

And now my latest story "Moose Tracks" is out at An Electric Tragedy: