August 24, 2017

Road to a Novel #3: Selling Beyond the Bookstores

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    “Only 25% of authors make a living as a writer.” That was one of many eye- openers from Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada at the daylong Writers Workshop in Monterey, CA (see “Road” Blog Posts #1 and # 2). Both literary agents offered such know-how and insights as: “Pay your dues to the muse. Write every day,” said Elizabeth who noted if you write one page a day, that’s one book in a year. Then she quoted William Faulkner who said, “Write when the spirit moves you, … [Read more...]

Road to a Novel #2: Know What Group Jack London Started?

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    As promised, I’m taking you inside a Writers Workshop presented by literary agents Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada (see “Road” Blog Post #1 for their stellar credentials). Since 1972, this husband-and-wife team has sold hundreds of fiction and non-fiction books to more than 100 publishers. Besides their high-profile agency, they are co-directors of the San Francisco Writers Conference (www.sfwriters.org). Michael specializes in non-fiction titles while Elizabeth represents … [Read more...]

Road to a Novel # 1: The Author Goes Back to School

Macro of red HB pencil peeking through a book

  Before tackling Vegas Snap, I had written prolifically as reporter, editor, and market researcher (see tab above, “Meet the Author”). But fiction’s a different animal. You must learn about plot, character, dialog, point of view, style, descriptive narrative, and voice. So I had to go “back to school” to learn the craft of fiction. Attended writer’s workshops, the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, and a “Blockbuster Plots” seminar. Also devoured classic books on … [Read more...]

Vegas Snap Preview: Chapter 1

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Billboard Corpse (June 27, 2007. Mid-Morning)   “Where in hell is the victim’s head?” Detective Frank Stetson bellowed at his partner Billy Snow. Billy shrugged his shoulders. They both looked up at the headless man, hung upside down from the freeway billboard’s steel-grated platform. The swaying corpse seemed to be mocking the billboard’s message above, Own Your Dream Home: Low Down, Great Rates. Frank was baffled by the missing body part. He planted the sole of his … [Read more...]

Vegas Snap Preview: Chapter 2

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Tequila Eyes (June 26, 2007. The Previous Evening)   Buddy Crawford strummed and picked his electric guitar until his numb fingers bled. Still in sync with the group, he was glad the last set was almost done. The drum roll crescendo came right on cue as the drummer’s sticks rattled cymbals with a whirlwind flourish. After the last note, the nightclub’s patrons were either too tired to clap or too drunk to care. They shuffled out the thick oak door of Black Hearts. Buddy moseyed … [Read more...]

Vegas Snap Preview: Chapter 3

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DNA and Pranksters (June 27, 2007. Early Afternoon)   Every dead body tells a story. “This corpse is not Roger Blackstone”, asserted Charles Barnes, the M.D. conducting the autopsy. Dr. Barnes told his assistant, Rachel Meyers, that the “DNA does not match Blackstone’s. But we can’t search for fingerprints because the tips of his fingers were cut off. It gets worse: Both his legs were broken. And see, there are no surgical incisions where there should have been for … [Read more...]

Vegas Snap Preview: Chapter 4

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Cryptic Clue, Unfolded (June 28, 2007. Mid-Morning)   Downing morning coffee from his Dallas Cowboys mug, Chief Detective Stetson tapped out a jazzy tune with the knuckles of his free left hand. Wisps of wavy red hair shadowed his furrowed brow. A hulking reminder of his college football days, Frank’s sturdy 6’ 4” frame readily filled the doorway when he entered a room. The crew at Vegas Metropolitan PD kept a safe distance from Frank to avoid his notorious temper. Researcher … [Read more...]


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