Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday Tips: The Power of Routine

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to establish a writing routine and stick with it.

If you treat writing like brushing your teeth, wearing your seat belt or going to your job every day, things will happen.

Reserve your writing hours. I bet you manage to get to your day job every day at the same time. The hours there are set aside as a priority and managed every day. Do the same for your writing. I found this easier for writing because I LOVE to write.

Don't make excuses. If you can't work at home because the kids or fridge or the wife or the ten cats are distracting, stop at the library on the way home every day and do it.

You can't wait until you feel like it. Do you only go to your job when you feel like it? It's not about waiting for inspiration, it about discipline. Once writing is in your routine, inspiration will know when and where to find you.

Once the routine is established and a priority you will find things start to happen. You will associate the place and time with the writing and your productivity will increase. It did with me, anyway.

Give up Bullshit time wasters. It is too easy to spend two hours on stupid TV or Facebook. That BS is stealing your life away. It's crap and is a total waste. And you know it is.

--Time to Drink Coffee and Make Stuff Up!

Monday, February 27, 2017


David Weber
This weekend I attended Mysticon in Roanoke Virginia.

 I was a really good conference for me. I learned a lot and met a ton of interesting people.

Most notable of the people I met was David Weber. It's really good to know that burly men with gray goatee beards can get a head.

His talk was really interesting about his life, his books, his health scare last year, family and much more. He's a regular guy and his wife is a hoot.

I also got to meet Tony Todd and Sherilyn Fenn.

I also met several other Scifi authors. You will even see some of them in future Friday interviews.

I attended multiple panels about Screenwriting. I learned a lot about the craft and the market. I had multiple land mines pointed out with methods to avoid them.

One other topic that was really interesting to me was a new Scifi/Fantasy genre that is emerging called Wierd West. It is basically old west Scifi or Fantasy. Sometimes Steampunk like Wild Wild West. Sometimes its Scifi like the HBO series West World or the movie Cowboys and Aliens. All of it is fun stuff and may find it's way into my writing one day.

--Mysticon was great. I liked it better because my wife Brenda came along to hunt for PEZ!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Quotes of the Week

Once the grammar has been learned, writing is simply talking on paper and in time learning what not to say.
 —Beryl Bainbridge

Work every day. No matter what has happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail.
—Ernest Hemingway

Practice, practice, practice writing. Writing is a craft that requires both talent and acquired skills.
—Jeffrey A. Carver

I have long since decided that if you wait for the perfect time to write, you'll never write.
—Margaret Atwood

Keep in mind that the person to write for is yourself. Tell the story that you most desperately want to read.
—Susan Isaacs

The only element I find common to all successful writers is persistence-an overwhelming determination to succeed.
—Sophy Burnham

Sanderson: Description Part 2

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Alberto Pupo

Alberto Pupo

Tell me about yourself, Alberto?

Born and raised in Miami Florida lived there and in Orlando FL for almost 30 years. Before relocating Maryland in 2013. Currently residing in Frederick MD with my Wife and three children. I have always had a longtime passion for writing since the tender age of 13 however life happened and I tried for many years to pursue a career in law., ultimately life throws many curve balls and I became burnt out with the “traditional path” and chose the path of the starving artist! Alas, here I stand hoping to someday make it big!  One can dream. right?

Tell me about your current Book:

Time Trigger is based around the year 2474. 10% of the population is born with the ability to time travel, the other 90% must learn it from those with the gift (if they feel like sharing!). Our protagonist Connor Walker is an employee at a massive Entertainment Conglomerate called The Network (actually the only entertainment conglomerate which controls all entertainment and art)

Connor is basically sick of them, so being a natural born time traveler he decides to go back and alter time so that he can ensure to keep the arts and entertainment free from their clutches! However, the only way to do this is to find… yes, a Time Trigger. This is a random event somewhere in the time stream which is the only way that time can be altered. However, these events are random and there is little instruction on how to find one.

Connor does eventually find a way… however changing things will have unintended consequences.

What are you working on now?    

I am currently working on a science fiction trilogy called the Silberian Chronicles. The first part of it will be published hopefully later this yea

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?   

I do all my writing on a laptop setup on the main floor of my home, not the ideal spot but the only spot I have so beggars can’t be choosers.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing?        

I have learned that this business is impossible… Actually the most important take away is that one needs to wear many hats in today’s business, you need to be a writer as well as a promoter so it’s not just a matter of sitting back and waiting for magical things to happen.

What is your favorite Website?   

Honestly when it comes to websites I really don’t have a favorite now that I think on it.


Email: alberto.pupo@hotmail.com
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VVFHC57
Blog: https://albertopupoblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlbertoPupo84

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quotes of the Week

It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all…people.
—James Baldwin

There were times I thought I'd never sell another book, but I never doubted I'd write another book.
—George R.R. Martin

Be sure not to discuss your hero's state of mind. Make it clear from his actions.
—Anton Chekhov

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air.
—Jules Renard

The most important lesson in the writing trade is that any manuscript is improved if you cut away the fat.
—Robert A. Heinlein

Never use a long word where a short one will do.
—George Orwell

As a writer, one spends a lifetime...trying to minimize, if not eliminate, the distance between language and thought.
—Arundhati Roy

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Be Willing to Change

Some people write for themselves, just to get something out of their head. I write the kind of stories I like to read. I hope other people like them as well and send me money. If selling your book is a goal, one big tool to that end is a willingness to change it.

I have recently sent my novel to my editor. This is the month when I take a breather and step away from it as it begins to get reviewed by others.

My editor does more than Copy-Edits. She covers the whole spectrum. Find a good editor and PAY them. They are the best investment.

I will get a pile of feedback about what works, what doesn't, where it's weak and just plain F'd up.

At first taking suggestions from others was difficult for me. This book was my baby! What do you mean, my baby is ugly!?

The key here is to find the right people to help you make your book not suck. Finding the right editor is tough enough. Finding Beta-readers is even more difficult.

A Beta-reader is someone that reads my book when it is in the final stages and gives me feedback on everything. They comment on characters, plot, settings and anything else. You don't need to take all your recommendations but if ten people ALL tell you that chapter ruined their lives forever, they may be onto something. This feedback always makes my books better.

The willingness to change is kind of a superpower. It will result in better reviews and more sales.

I met an aspiring author that had been working on the same novel for 30 years. At the first suggestions in our writers-group (the reason for the group) he flew off the handle. Stormed off in a fury and we were being nice to him because he was a first timer. He came for praise, not help.

--Assemble a team you trust. They are gold!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Reading: JET

This week I read JET by Russell Blake.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Code name: Jet

Twenty-eight-year-old Jet was once the Mossad's most lethal operative before faking her own death and burying that identity forever.

But the past doesn't give up on its secrets easily.

When her new life on a tranquil island is shattered by a brutal attack, Jet must return to a clandestine existence of savagery and deception to save herself and those she loves. A gritty, unflinching roller-coaster of high-stakes twists and shocking turns, JET features a new breed of protagonist that breaks the mold.

Fans of Lisbeth Salander, SALT, and the Bourne trilogy will find themselves carried along at Lamborghini speed to a conclusion as jarring and surprising as the story's heroine is unconventional.

--I enjoyed this quick read! All action, bad-ass, hot woman in black leather!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Julian Green

Julian Green

Tell me about yourself Mr Green?

*Stares into the middle-distance, mouth opening and closing silently*

*Sigh* What did you do before you became a writer Mr Green?

Oh. I worked in Finance. Equities specialist. Lord Wilsey.

And then you decided to become an author?

Well, yes.

Something pretty major must have occurred for such a dramatic shift. Tell me.

Yes, Lord Wilsey. Well, being in finance I saw a unique side of the 9/11 event, and I watched how the world changed in order to regain that feeling of safety. You know all the ways in which we cut our freedoms.  N-Not that your Lordship did er… Anyway, on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 this idea for a story snuck into my head and wouldn’t leave, Your Lordship. And then this muse showed up and started pummeling my brain with her thick-knuckled fists until I wrote it down. She was horribly cruel to me your Lordship. It’s her fault I tell you!

Allow me to take his photo for our records. Smile Mr Green. 

Tell me about your current Book:

Um, How do I distill more than a hundred thousand words into a single sentence? How do I make the years of bloody soul ink squeezed onto the page sound amazing? Oh, I get it you want the elevator pitch your Lordship. Some stunning brilliance in twenty seconds that makes jaws drop and panties loosen.
*Sigh* Panties, really? What’s your book about? 
*Suave look* Blah. *Drops mic* Double finger pistols. Walks away.
No. You cannot leave until you tell me what the book is about.
*Tries for a suave look…fails* It’s called Suffrage your Lordship. I picked that title because the word suffrage literally means ‘the ability to choose’. Without choice, we aren’t free. And the novel, and ultimately the series, explores what are we prepared to do for freedom. The underlying message is Freedom versus Control and the choices we make.

I See. And how do you do that?

It’s a new adult novel. (yes, it’s a thing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_adult_fiction ), in a scifi yet modern setting.

Scifi yet modern? That doesn’t make sense man. 

*Looks panicked* T-There’s a t-team of people centered about someone called Juliet. I mean Jay…no Juliet; a-and her parents, who are killers, sort-of, I mean they kill people, but only the bad people…oh and some robots. A-and her brother, who’s meant be dead, he’s in there too. And a sarcastic Australian musician by the name of Snake, I mean Adder, I mean Snake. And - and a pissed off bad guy. Well, he’s a bit broken. And a scientist. And there’s like this ship, no not on the water type ship, and not a spaceship. A different kind of ship. And some of the characters can do strange things, and there’s hints about aliens and and…  

Stop babbling man!

M-my beta readers love the b-book! They say things like “Masterful bookend” and “Brilliant can’t wait for Book 2!!” I made my editor dream about the book!! I’ve read it more than thirty times looking for mistakes and I still like it!!! You can read a bit on the website for free. You can even pre-order now! There’s a button!!!! I don’t know what it does but there’s a button!!!!! I’ll even sign it just for you!!! 

Calm down Mr Green, it’s just a few more questions. 


Ahhhhhhhhhhhh *Throws cookies and runs away*

Someone bring him back before he finds the electric fence.

What does your book look like Mr Green?

Oh, um here it is. Swanky eh?

Is that a dragon on the cover? You didn’t mention that before.

Well, One of the Royals is named The Dragon because...reasons, and there’s other stuff on the cover. Can you see the Compass Rose? A-And the Ouroborus? And the title kinda hides the Lotus flower and the Sun. They are all the symbols of the Royals, who are my main antagonists. Maybe I should show you the artwork it’s based off?

What is this Mr Green?

Oh, an artist did an actual painting. That’s it hanging on my wall. I’m giving it away to one of the first 1000 people to buy a paperback. Look, you can see where she used modeling clay to create a 3d effect on the compass rose, because the first bad guy is Heinrich and that’s his symbol - *Claps hand over mouth* Ooh I shouldn’t have said that. Forget that bit.

Hmmm. What are you working on now Mr. Green?

Um, I’ve nearly finished the second draft of book two which is tentatively titled “Unfettered.” I want to release at least one book a year in the series. I’m also working on some short stories, one of which is accepted into the Futurevision anthology being released later this year called “Bad Hair Day.”

I see. Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

Er, I have a comfy couch You Lordship. Or if it’s too hot I sit in my garden under my avocado tree. My cat likes to sit next to me and watch me write. She doesn’t have accusing eyes. Well, not often.

What is your favorite lesson you have learned about the business of writing Mr Green?

Never piss of your muse. Ooh. Sorry Your Lordship, that just slipped out.

What is your favorite Website?

Um, I really don’t have one. But you didn’t look at my browser history did you? I swear I’m not a terrorist or a serial killer Your Lordship. Please have mercy Your Lordship. All that was research. Research I tell you.

*Sigh* Give me your links Mr Green:

 Amazon: Er, It should be set up in a couple of weeks my Lord. You can pre-order now through the website, www.juliangreenauthor.com if you want a paperback copy. Otherwise you can search for me on Amazon. It’ll be there soon I swear it. By the Monarchs I swear it will be there soon. 

Blog: http://www.juliangreenauthor.com/blog 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suffrageworldkeys/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jsagreenauthor
You may depart Mr Green.
Thank-you Lord Wilsey. Thank-you.  Sorry I threw cookies at you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Quotes of the Week

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
—Arthur Miller

The readers imagination is the most powerful tool a writer has.
—Diana Gabaldon

Dialogue is not just quotation. It is grimaces, pauses, adjustments of blouse buttons, and the crossing of legs.
—Jerome Stern

Short paragraphs put air around what you write and make it look inviting...
—William Zinsser

Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.
—Isabel Allende

Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.
—Neil Gaiman

Write hard and clear about what hurts.
—Ernest Hemingway

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
—E.B. White

You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone. That is the goal.
—James Baldwin


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday Tips: What Writing Isn't

I believe that writing is many things. It's fun, it's creative, it can be social, and goes great with coffee.

After I finished my first novel and started to get in the greased grooves, I was surprised at how many things writing is NOT.
  • IT IS... 
  • Not winning the Lotto
  • Not about Inspiration
  • Not due to Luck
  • Not Magic
  • Not a single magnum opus
  • Not about the Idea
  • Not waiting for the Muse

It's work, it's discipline, it's skill, it's practice. It's hard work. It's FUN!

I am not saying that inspiration is not going to happen. I'm not saying you wouldn't enjoy luck or have a great idea. What I am saying is, the odds are way better for all those things if you are working hard at the time.

--And if you have a Cat he will do what he can to stop you!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Reading: The Prefect

This week I am reading The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the Glitter Band habitats that leaves nine hundred people dead. But then he uncovers an even greater threat-a covert plot by an enigmatic entity seeking nothing less than total control of the Glitter Band.

--Great story. Serious world building there!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Kenneth Jarrett Singleton

Kenneth Jarrett Singleton

Tell me about yourself in third person!

Kenneth Jarrett Singleton is a highly controversial, as well as, artistically revolutionary thirty-two year old poet, playwright, and author. He has had a total of four books published thus far in his career. His first book was a science-fiction/horror novel called, "The Cadaver Factory." It was published in (2004) when Singleton was twenty years of age. His second novel, "The Donner Society," was published in (2005) the same year as his first play, "Angelica and Francesca." Singleton's latest published literary work is a book of poetry entitled,"Exotic Neurotic." He currently resides in the state of West Virginia.

Tell me about your current Book:

Exotic Neurotic is a book of poetry which involves subject matter such as depression, imbalance within one's personal self, angst, frustration, youthfulness, antisocial behavior, and violence. In addition, many of Exotic Neurotic's thematic properties also pertain to love, illness, death, human anatomy, physical deformities, elimination, birth, and abortion.

This book will change the way you have previously viewed poetry. It is unique unto itself.

What are you working on now?

Getting a new play prepared for publishing, writing another poetry book, and working on another play. 

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

At home in my office.

What is your favorite Website?



Email: kenthbrbsnglt@yahoo.com
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kenneth-Jarrett-Singleton/e/B01HSHMIXY/
Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1808111.Kenneth_Jarrett_Singleton/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kenneth-Jarrett-Singleton-223099364522405/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KennethSinglet

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Images that Inspire

--So foul a sky clears not without a storm. --Shakespear

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Quotes of the Week

We tell ourselves stories in order to live.
—Joan Didion

A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children isn't a good children's story in the slightest.
—C.S. Lewis

Creativity is an act of defiance.
—Twlya Tharp

The six golden rules of writing: READ, READ, READ and WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.
—Ernest Gaines

The highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist, is to remain true to himself and let the chips fall where they may.
—John Kennedy

Write a novel if you must, but think of money as an unlikely accident. Get your reward out of writing it.
—Pearl S. Buck

The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.
—T.S. Elliot

Read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.
—J.K. Rowling

Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
—Erica Jong

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Text to Voice

I read really fast. In fact I go so fast I don't really even see the words as I'm reading. My mind sees what the words represent. My mind ignores a lot as it blazes down the page. I see an "Elephant" in my mind, I don't read the word E l e p h a n t.

This is great. I get lost in books. I see and feel and smell the books.

It sucks when I am editing.

One of the tools and methods I use to help me is Text to Voice. Computer generated speech has gotten really good.

All I do is save the document as a .PDF, open the PDF and select VIEW menu, click on READ OUT LOUD.

This will allow you to listen to the book. I usually follow along in the MSWord doc. I am amazed how many times I repeat words like "and and" or use the word "Though" when I wanted "Through".

Doing this will also keep you focused. Put on headphones and roll. 

--I'm almost done with Virtues of the Vicious. I'm listening!

Reading: The Atlantis Gene

This week I read The Atlantis Gene by A.G.Riddle.

Here is the description from Amazon:

70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct. We survived, but no one knows how. Until now.

The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time.

The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they've hidden the truth about human evolution. They've also searched for an ancient enemy--a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.

Off the coast of Antarctica, a research vessel discovers a mysterious structure buried deep in an iceberg. It has been there for thousands of years, and something is guarding it. As the Immari rush to execute their plan, a brilliant geneticist makes a discovery that could change everything.

Dr. Kate Warner moved to Jakarta, Indonesia to escape her past. She hasn't recovered from what happened to her, but she has made an incredible breakthrough: a cure for autism. Or so she thinks. What she has found is far more dangerous--for her and the entire human race. Her work could be the key to the next stage of human evolution. In the hands of the Immari, it would mean the end of humanity as we know it.

Agent David Vale has spent ten years trying to stop the Immari. Now he's out of time. His informant is dead. His organization has been infiltrated. His enemy is hunting him. But when David receives a coded message related to the Immari attack, he risks everything to save the one person that can help him solve it: Dr. Kate Warner.

Together, Kate and David must race to unravel a global conspiracy and learn the truth about the Atlantis Gene... and human origins. Their journey takes them to the far corners of the globe and into the secrets of their pasts. The Immari are close on their heels and will stop at nothing to obtain Kate's research and force the next stage of human evolution--even if it means killing 99.9% of the world's population. David and Kate can stop them... if they can trust each other. And stay alive.

--This is the first book in a series.  


Friday, February 3, 2017

Fast Friday Indie Interviews: Sharlin Craig

Sharlin Craig

Tell me about yourself?

Sharlin Craig, a Detroit native who now resides in southern California with her husband and daughter, is dedicated to writing inspirational children’s books that touch the spirit of her readers. A graduate of Oakland University, she’s taught music to children for several years while also writing music and lyrics. She’s combined her love for children and writing into authoring her debut children’s Christmas picture book, ‘Ornaments of Love’.

Sharlin believes that with the right surroundings and daily encouragement, children are boundless. She’s passionate about helping children feel understood and empowered through her books and hopes that her stories make them smile.

Sharlin loves being a mom and wife and her ultimate goal is to have a happy, healthy family and a full and balanced life. She enjoys spending quality time with her family biking, hiking, and just hanging out.

For now, she is letting her creativity shine through children’s books that inspire kids to live fully and beautifully. As readers await her next release, they can unravel a little piece of her heart by leafing through the pages of her current release, “Ornaments of Love,” a gem of a story bound to be adored by countless families across the globe.

Tell me about your current Book:

Fill in the blanks:  When it’s time to decorate the Christmas tree this year, 10-year-old Ayana, must decorate the tree by herself, or else it won’t get done.

A touching Christmas story with glowing illustrations, “Ornaments of Love” is a story to cherish for years to come. A beautiful tale of Ayana, an endearing ten-year-old who excitedly anticipates that special time of year when the entire family joins together to decorate and admire the Christmas tree.

But sadly this year is different. Ayana realizes that her mom and dad are far too busy with everything else to enjoy the tree with Ayana. Then, something unexpected happens and the family is brought together with tenderness and joy.

Filled to the brim and overflowing with charming moments, gentle humor, and timeless illustrations, this beautiful story is a wonderful reminder of what’s important not only during the Christmas season, but every day of our lives. Ornaments of Love is destined to become one of your favorite holiday stories. One that will remain in your heart forever.

What are you working on now?

Right now, with Christmas quickly approaching, I’m working on the marketing of my book, “Ornaments of Love”. After Christmas I plan to start on a new project, details to be announced at a later date.

Where is your favorite place to be when you write?

My favorite place to write is at home when it’s quiet, outside on the patio in the fresh air, in the morning hours when my brain is wide-awake and fresh.

What is your favorite Website?

I’ve been checking out a lot of Mom websites because of the marketing and book blog tour coming up for my book. One of the websites I really enjoy is Overstuffed.com. It’s full of great ideas for keeping life as a mom simpler and more organized. There are many great mom sites out there with excellent content.


Email: sharlincraig@gmail.com
Amazon: Ornaments of Love Picture Book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/099710600x
Amazon: Ornaments of Love Coloring Book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997106026
Website: http://www.sharlincraig.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsharlincraig/?fref=ts
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28182811-ornaments-of-love

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Quotes of the Week

I don't try to guess what a million people will like. It's hard enough to know what I like.
—John Houston

Write. Write every day, even if it is only a page or two. The more you write, the better you’ll get.
—George R.R. Martin

Respect your characters, even the minor ones. In art, as in life, everyone is the hero of their own particular story.
—Sarah Waters

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.
—Lorraine Hansberry

The third act must build in tempo and action until the last event, and then—that’s it. Don’t hang around.
—Billy Wilder

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not falling down, but the staying down.
—Mary Pickford

I don't believe in writer's block or waiting for inspiration. If you're a writer, you sit down and write.
—Elmore Leonard