Category Archives: Authors

E. Tip: Every emotion counts!

E.Tip: Help readers empathize with your main character by giving them real situations that they can feel real emotions in, just like in life. In your novel, your main character should go through every emotion at least once: angry, frustrated, anxious, excited, sad, exhilarated, concerned, and terrified. When you’re thinking about these scenes, think about moments in your life when you felt this way. Then, write from the heart! 

Copyright 2012 by Sabrena R. Koren

News from Lake Boobbegone: A Breast Cancer Memoir from the Heart by Carolyn Redman

Self-Help/Women’s Memoir

Paperback: $13.99      Ebook: $8.99

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Question: Does the world really need another breast cancer memoir?

Answer: Probably not.

But writing is the only way Carolyn Redman knew how to process a heartbreaking breast cancer diagnosis and the year-long treatments that ensued.  These honest, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous e-mails and essays, written solely to keep family and friends informed of her medical condition morphed into the definitive exercise in self-compassion and healing. In the end, no one was more surprised or more grateful than she was to find purpose and meaning masquerading as cancer.

 

 

 

About the Author:  Carolyn Redman has been writing poetry and short stories since junior high school, where she was erroneously labeled by her guidance counselor as having the wrong kind of imagination. She persevered, earning a BA (cum laude) from Mount Mary University in English / Professional Writing, while working full time as an editorial assistant at an academic medical institution. She is a Wisconsin state licensed, board certified massage therapist who believes strongly in integrative medicine and the mind body connection. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she lives with her artist husband Tom and their cat, Sophie. This is her first published work.

Freewheel by Katharine M. Nohr

Legal Mystery

February 2017 Release

Book 2 in the Tri-Angles Triathlete Mystery Series

#HonoluluLaw, #OlympicTriathlete, & a #Charity

Hard Cover Price: $24.99       Paperback Price: $16.99      Ebook Price: $8.99

Freewheel takes readers for a spin in the real world of personal injury litigation, where the drama takes place outside the courtroom.

freewheel-frontOlympic gold medalist, Ryan Peterson can’t seem to get a break. He was ousted from professional cycling for doping. After he switched sports to triathlon, he was blasted by the tabloid press for allegedly causing an accident that wiped out his competitors. In an effort to redeem himself, Ryan starts the Freewheel Movement to help homeless and isolated people financially and emotionally. Although Freewheel is an instant success and Ryan becomes a television talk show regular, his bad luck continues. He’s sued for allegedly causing the death of a competitor in a Hawaii triathlon, and no matter what he does, he can’t convince the beautiful claims adjuster, Alexia Moore, to go out with him.

Young and ambitious new attorney Zana West is hired to represent Ryan and provide him a defense in the lawsuit, but by doing so, her relationship with Jerry Hirano, T.V. star of “Fighting in Paradise,” is threatened. Will Zana be able to help Ryan get his life back, and keep her relationship together?

Katharine M. Nohr Photo Copyright by Katharine M. Nohr.

Katharine M. Nohr
Photo Copyright by Katharine M. Nohr.

Katharine M. Nohr is the author of Managing Risk in Sport and Recreation: The Essential Guide for Loss Prevention (Human Kinetics, 2009) and Land Sharks (Written Dreams Publishing, 2016), and is a frequent international speaker on Olympic Games, professional athlete and triathlon risk management. She is a principal in Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC, which offers career longevity/reputation risk management coaching for professional athletes. A former District Court (per diem) Judge, she continues her work as an insurance defense attorney, practicing law in Hawaii. During her free time, Katharine swims, travels and writes. Freewheel is her second novel in the Tri-Angles series. To learn more about Katharine or her books, visit her website at katharinenohr.com, or find her on Facebook at KatharineMNohr, on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

 

 

Sorceress Resurrected by Evan Michael Martin

Horror/Dark Fantasy Fiction

A Clio Boru Novel

Available 10/31/2016 in Hardcover, Paperback, and Ebook!

To order, email wdp@writtendreams.com!

Hardcover ISBN 9780998167343:  $24.99            

Paperback ISBN 9780996252188: $16.99               

Ebook ISBN: 9780998167336: $8.99

With their only hope in a coma, John and Roger must save the town from an evil force, but can they stop it without the assistance of Clio’s natural gifts?

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In the small, quiet town of Lake Melts, Wisconsin, three friends suffer a tragedy when Clio Boru is hospitalized and is comatose after a terrible accident.

As Clio lies powerless in a hospital bed, her mind in another realm, Old Native American superstitions arise in Lake Melts. Deputy John Slocum, beside himself with worry over Clio’s condition, has to find a murderer when two boys turn up dead. But, his inner fears surface—John’s depression and being heartbroken, hoping for a miracle for Clio makes it difficult to cope.

That leaves Roger Marquette as Lake Melts’ only hope of finding the truth. While Roger Marquette researches and attempts to fill the void created by Clio’s absence, he is limited by what he can do.

Meanwhile, Ancient Rites, complete with an influential family history of heroes from another time, force Clio to travel to different places far beyond her unconscious imagination.

Clio lingers far away, as Roger tries to figure out exactly what this unseen otherworldly danger is and how to keep it from the town.

But lurking in the dark, a more horrific, sinister evil waits its chance to finally destroy Clio and all she and her friends hold dear. Will Clio be strong enough to resurrect herself before all is lost?hosts, shadow people and gypsy curses fill the maternal side of his family, from Northeast Wisconsin to France, Poland, and Ireland.  His travels have taken him to many sites where he experienced firsthand ghosts and the unexplained. Sorceress Resurrected is the third book in the Clio Boru Series. He currently lives in Northeast Wisconsin.

Author Bio:

EMM02Evan Michael Martin has lived a life on the fringes of the occult and supernatural.  Stories of ghosts, shadow people and gypsy curses fill the maternal side of his family, from Northeast Wisconsin to France, Poland, and Ireland.  His travels have taken him to many sites where he experienced firsthand ghosts and the unexplained. Sorceress Resurrected is the third book in the Clio Boru Series. He currently lives in Northeast Wisconsin. Visit his website at EvanMMartin.com.

LUMBERJACK JESUS: How to Develop Faith Despite Pitfalls, Roadblocks, Stupidity, and Prejudice

Christian Men’s Memoir

Available July 11, 2016 in Hardcover, Paperback, and Ebook!

buy now 2TO ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY: Click on the link and specify which format (Hardcover, Paperback, or Ebook) of the book and the number of copies you would like to order in your email to wdp@writtendreams.com.           Standard Shipping & Handling fees apply.

Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9962521-4-0        $22.99

Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9962521-5-7        $15.99

Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9962521-6-4                  $8.99

Lumberjack Jesus, a Summer 2016 Release from Written Dreams Publishing

 Insightful and uplifting, Lumberjack Jesus reminds us all that we need and deserve unconditional love.

In a series of essays written in memoir form, Bruce Kirkpatrick shows us a God who is loving, a good conversationalist, and often looks like a lumberjack. God comes alive in these pages in everyday life—in stories about Vietnam heroes, cowboy movies, wrestling matches and chemistry sets.

Bruce Kirkpatrick discovered that as he was consumed by anger, shame and guilt—quite literally dying on the inside—Jesus came to him, looking like a lumberjack, in a red plaid shirt and a short-cropped beard. Even as he pushed Jesus far away and with such belligerence that reconciliation seemed impossible, Jesus was always there.

Bruce learned the love of Jesus is not just for caring Christians who never falter or fail at life. If Jesus can love and accept an uncaring, self-centered, lustful dope like Bruce, he can do the same for you. Nobody is beyond his reach or his hand.

In a unique and introspective style, these stories will help you see faith in almost every circumstance in your life.

 

FinalBrucePhotoLumberjackBruce Kirkpatrick spent over 30 years in Silicon Valley as an executive and entrepreneur. Since his move to Southern California, he now divides his time between writing and serving on nonprofit boards of directors, including Christian Education Development Company and Extollo International. His nonprofit work includes helping to train Haitian men and women in employable skills, so that they can find jobs, feed their families and have hope for the future. His first novel, Hard Left, was published in 2007. He is currently working on his next novel, Booneville. To learn more, visit Bruce’s website at: BKirkpatrick.com.

Marketing: Having a Cause

As an author, having a cause or charity that you support is both noble and marketable. It’s a way to support something you believe in, and help your community. And even though I know a lot of authors will donate their royalties towards a specific cause, in most cases, it doesn’t hurt overall book sales. It’s a great way to get your name out there in different circles, to people who believe in helping the same cause. It can also help your self-esteem and make you feel good about yourself for doing the right thing.

Jim C. Hines writes in his blog about having more awareness about rape and sexual abuse issues: http://www.jimchines.com. Brenda Novak does a fundraiser for juvenile diabetes: http://www.brendanovak.com/for-the-cure-2/. Both are people who have a cause they support and donate to, who happen to be authors.

Jim had a friend who was sexually assaulted. It’s something he doesn’t want to see happen to anyone–with good reason. Sexual abuse is a huge problem in today’s world. Helping others to get educated on the subject and be more aware is very dear to his heart. He’s broadened a lot of minds, including my own, with his unique approach.

Brenda’s son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes as a young child. As a mother myself, I understand the desire and willingness to do anything and everything to protect your child. Brenda did what any mother would do when faced with a challenge out of her control. She brainstormed. As of today, she’s raised well over $2 million towards research for a cure.

These authors are just two examples of people doing good by their writing. They’re raising awareness for a cause they believe in, and in doing so, they’re helping their community. Has their audience for their own books increased because of it? Maybe. The important thing here is that they’re doing what they can to help this world be a better place.

For myself, I have several charities I support.

Michael and Brittiany in 2007 at Red Smith SchoolMy church, the local no-kill animal shelter, and raising awareness for psoriatic arthritis, an arthritis many people still don’t know exists. It’s a disease my husband has been living with for close to twenty years, and I’m hopeful someday he’ll have a pain-free day. To learn more about this autoimmune disease, go to: https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriatic-arthritis.

So, when you’re marketing your next book, be more creative. Don’t think about the “Buy My Book” posts that need to be created for your new release. Think about who you are as a person and who you want to be. Think about those you’d like to help. Think about what you really care about in your life. Think about the needs of your family, friends, and community, and let things happen naturally.

 

Picture of Brittiany and Michael Koren © copyright 2015 by the Koren family.

Writer’s Wednesday: An Interview with the Edgar and Stoker Nominated Author, Billie Sue Mosiman

I first discovered Billie Sue and her writing in the mid 90s about a year before she edited the anthology, Never Shake a Family Tree. It is with great pleasure to have her as our guest today. Please help me welcome her to The Editing Essentials!

Billie Sue Mosiman is an Edgar and Stoker Nominated author of  more than 50 e-books. She published 13 novels with New York major publishers and recently published BANISHED, her latest novel. She’s the author of at least 150 published short stories that were in various magazines and anthologies. Her latest stories will be in BETTER WEIRD edited by Paul F. Olson from Cemetery Dance, a tribute anthology to David Silva, a story in the anthology ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT edited by Annetta Ribken, and another story in William Cook’s FRESH FEAR. She’s an active member of HWA and International Thriller Writers. She’s working on a new novel of suspense titled THE GREY MATTER. You can visit her at: The Peculiar Life of a Writer http://www.peculiarwriter.blogspot.com, or at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/billie.s.mosiman or on Twitter: @billiemosiman or at Billie Sue’s Amazon Page.

WD: Does your family support your writing career, and if so, have they always?

BM: Yes, my husband has always supported me in my career. Before I sold a novel, all my other women friends had a job and I was at home, writing. I’m sure they thought I was being lazy because didn’t everyone work? My husband continued supporting the family and believing in me until I got my first contract. My daughters were raised with a writer so they understood what I was doing (I probably lectured them enough about how important Mama’s work was!). They tried hard not to interrupt me when I was at the typewriter and the computer.

WD: Does anybody in your family write because of your influence on them?

BM: No. My daughters are creative in various ways, but they haven’t been writing.

WD: What inspired you to begin writing?

BM: I can’t imagine. Since I wanted to be a writer from the time I was thirteen, I can’t say what inspired me. I think it was because I was raised around Southern storytellers who sat around telling one another tales, but it could also be because, or in addition to, my love of reading books.

WD: What author or authors influenced your own style?

 

BM: There were several. John D. MacDonald, Jim Thompson, Phillip K. Dick, Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, and a whole raft of mystery and suspense popular writers during the 70s and 80s.

WD: What is your own process for getting a manuscript complete? Any habits? How do you stay focused?

BM: I believe in dedication and discipline. I was under contract from year to year so I had novels to turn in and expected of me. I would write every day five days a week and take weekends off to devote to my family. That kind of schedule became a routine. I stay focused by reading over what I’ve written the day before and falling into the page, falling into the story so that I can see it in my head and can write the next scene or chapter.

WD: What are your thoughts on how the industry is radically changing to benefit the author? How do you see the industry changing for the better or worse?

BM: With digital books it’s changed almost completely. Writers in my early years of course sent their paper manuscripts in manuscript boxes to New York publishing houses or agents. Today writers can simply upload them to a digital online bookstore. I think the industry has changed for the better in giving the author more control and it’s changed for the worse in making people believe their work is ready to be “published” digitally when it isn’t, or when as writers they really have some way to go to be professional writers. I expect it will all shake out eventually, but the transition might be rocky.

WD: If you could give one tip to a new writer, what would it be?

BM: Write like it means something to you, like storytelling is your life’s goal and you want to tell the best stories anyone ever told. Try to write in a humane way, with heart, and hope to touch people. Write with nerve, take risks, try to do what hasn’t been done or do what has been done better. Lastly, get an editor. Your prose probably isn’t as polished as you think it is.

 

Thank you, Billie Sue, for being with us today! If you’d like to leave a comment or question for Billie Sue, we will be happy to pass it on to her.

Writer’s Wednesday: An Interview with Tricia Zoeller, Author of First Born

Today, we’re excited to have Tricia Zoeller as our guestblogger. I first met Tricia through another author we worked with, M.E. May. and we became fast friends. Tricia is a very talented writer and I’m looking forward to seeing many, many novels written by her. Please welcome Tricia to The Editing Essentials.

Tricia Zoeller lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Lou, her little yappy dog, Lola Belle, and her big orange mutant cat, George. Her two stepsons, Joseph and Robert, make stopovers as well, making sure to keep life an adventure. Writing has always been a part of her life—like breathing and chocolate. Tricia loves to hear from her readers. You can catch up with her here:  http://www.triciazoeller.com/ , https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tricia-Zoeller-Author/439025286173082?ref=hl  , http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17670526-first-born

WD: What inspired you to begin writing?

TZ: I’ve always written. I’ve always been a reader. My father worked for his school paper and influenced me as I was growing up to take an interest in writing. He traveled frequently for his job and would read a mystery (quite often Agatha Christie) on his overseas flights and give the book to me when he returned.

In high school, I wrote for the school paper and in college, I pursued a degree in journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington. However, after graduation I never worked as a writer. Instead, I obtained my masters degree and worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over a decade.  I liked that it combined my love of language, science, and helping people. I never stopped writing poems, novellas, etc. When health problems caused me to stop working as a therapist, I turned to writing as an outlet.

WD: Does your family support your writing?

TZ: My husband has a love/hate relationship with my writing. Sometimes, I get a bit obsessed or distracted. Also, I’m a thinker; he’s a doer. If he had his way, I would have published this book over a year ago. He also is not a fiction reader. So when I talk about shapeshifters or vampires or changelings, he will sometimes get a confused look on his face. But he never asked questions when I took over the one spare bedroom and made it into my writing studio complete with fantasy art for inspiration. I’ve also overheard him talking about my characters to people and realized that he really has been listening.

WD: Which authors do you enjoy reading?

TZ: I have focused on fantasy and paranormal over the last several years. One of my favorite books is Stephen King’s collection of shorts, Just After Sunset. I also enjoy reading Nalini Singh, J. K. Rowling, Robin Hobb, Jana Oliver, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Suzanne Johnson, and Anya Bast.

WD: How did Lily come to be? Is she based off of personal situations?

TZ: Lily came to me in her shapeshifter form after I read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series. I had an idea of creating a different kind of shifter. Even though I took a humorous approach to my character’s shape, there is a serious story behind it. Lily’s struggles with her shapeshifting directly relate to my struggles with Lupus. May is Lupus Awareness Month and it is almost exactly fifteen years to this day that I started cytoxan treatments for kidney disease.

I had read so many books where “bam” a character goes through a transformation, they suddenly can do anything, and they own it. I tried to take a more realistic approach to how it really feels to have your body out of control and the ups and downs of each day something new happening just when you feel like you’ve mastered the situation.

WD: Was there a specific person or event that inspired you to create Lily?

TZ: I may have based Lily after my friend Cheryl’s creature (no spoilers). Lily’s heritage stems from my experiences with eastern medicine. I did Korean yoga, sought Chinese healing sessions, acupuncture, etc. This influenced not only the creation of Lily, but another character in my book.

WD: Atlanta is your setting for the Lily Moore series. What made you decide on that backdrop?

TZ: I’ve lived in Atlanta off and on for over fifteen years. I know Atlanta and I love its greenery. It suits a shifter. You can drive 15 miles in any direction in Atlanta and find a wildlife management area, mountain, lake or river. In fact, the Chattahoochee River plays a big part in book 2.

WD: During the writing process, what is the toughest part for you to write—beginning, middle, or end or characters, setting, plot, action scenes and why?

TZ: The middle is definitely the hardest for me. I always know my beginning, end and the title. I also know my main character immediately. I have an idea of the middle, but organizing it can give me fits. First Born was the hardest because I insisted on having all these characters with plots and subplots. I actually used a flipchart, timeline and crime board at one point to hash out the details.

WD: Is there anything or anyone that specifically helped you during those more trying times in the writing process?

It takes a village. I attended many of the Georgia Writers Association workshops and took online writing courses through the Romance Writers of America Mystery/Suspense Chapter called Coffin, Kiss of Death. These got me back in the right mindset. I also visited crime scene writing forums via yahoo groups.

My friends and fellow writers provided me with a great network. Written Dreams helped me with the editing process—a painful but necessary step. My critique partners and beta readers have listened time and time again and prodded me along in this very rough last stretch.

To beginning authors, I say keep your eyes and ears open. Don’t give up! Listen to constructive criticism, but act only on those snippets that ring true for you. Know you will make mistakes, but learn from them and move on. Carve out a routine for yourself and write every day.

Thank you Tricia for being our guest today! If you’d like to leave a comment or question for Tricia, we’ll be sure to pass it on to her. Thank you!

Thoughts on Writing from Best-selling Author, John Marco

Today, we’re very excited to have John Marco as our guestblogger. I first worked with John when he wrote a story, “The Hundredth Kill” for one of my anthologies I edited with Marty Greenberg. I was so touched by that story, I had to read his novels. His stories are so filled with emotion, depth and character, for me, it’s a joy to read his stories every time. Please help us welcome John to The Editing Essentials!

John Marco is the author of eightbooks, including the bestselling Tyrants and Kings trilogy and the books of the Bronze Knight, Lukien.  His latest novel, THE FOREVER KNIGHT, has just been published by DAW Books and is a Barnes and Noble and Kirkus top pick for April.  To find out more about John and his work, please visit his website at www.johnmarco.com.

WD: What inspired you to begin writing? A certain book, teacher, family member?
JM: I’m one of those people who think that writers are born rather than made, which might be why it’s difficult for me to pinpoint a particular instant of inspiration.  Writers often say that they’ve “always” wanted to be a writer, but for me it’s actually true.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be one.  There wasn’t a particular person that I met or book that I read.  It was just something that I found absolutely fascinating from the beginning—the ability to create stories and put them down on paper.  Of course none of us come out fully formed as writers.  There’s always more to learn and the striving to get better.  But for me, the desire was always there.  When I stop to think about it, that seems rather strange, as if I literally was born with it, but I bet all the writers out there will understand what I mean.
WD: Why did you choose to write in the fantasy genre instead of another genre? Or, did the genre choose you?
JM: In this case, I think the genre chose me.  There was never any question in my mind that I’d write fantasy.  Fantasy and science fiction were what inspired me as a kid.  I loved the old paperbacks and magazines—just seeing the artwork on their covers made me long to create those kinds of stories myself.  I still get wistful when I see one of those old, yellowing paperbacks, or when I hear someone mention Omni magazine.  And fantasy in particular is such a big pallet!  It’s limitless.
WD: What is your favorite thing to write? Writing dialogue, action scenes, character background, etc.?
JM: I had to think on this for a moment, because I do enjoy working on character backgrounds, and although writing action scenes is difficult I enjoy them, too.  But I’d have to say dialogue.  I’ve always struggled with dialogue, and it’s something I’m constantly working on improving because I absolutely love great dialogue.  I know it when I see it, or maybe I should say when I hear it, because it has a meter to it that draws the reader in and carries them along.  When it’s really well done it’s revealing in ways that makes normal exposition dull.
WD: How much of your own life experiences get into your stories?
JM: I’m not sure.  Really, I’m not trying to dodge the question.  I honestly don’t know.  People used to think I had military experience because some of my books were called “military fantasy,” but I’ve never been in the service and have only fired a gun once in my life.  I’ve never been in war or been overseas to see great ancient architecture or even ridden a horse, yet all these things figure heavily into my writing.  I’ve lived a really provincial life, because that’s how I like it.  On the other hand, I pile a lot of emotional stuff into my stories, and that’s got to come from somewhere.  None of it is autobiographical, but they’re all subjects that I care about or move me on some level.  I’ve always been more interested in why people do the things they do more than in what they actually did.
WD: Does your family support your writing career, and if so, have they always?
JM: My family has always supported my writing career.  I have a wonderful wife that lets me hide out at my desk for hours at a time, a young son that proudly tells his friends that his dad’s a writer, and other family members who are always out there spreading the word and trying to get people to try my books.  It’s hard for me to imagine being a writer without that kind of support.  I love writing, but it’s a ton of work and I can get pretty moody when I’m deep into a project.
WD: Tell us about your new release. What was the process with The Forever Knight? How long did it take to write? What types of things happened in your real life during the process of writing it that may have slowed it down?
JM: First, I’d like to say that The Forever Knight is kind of a soft “reboot” of a previous trilogy that I wrote that started with The Eyes of God over ten years ago.  A number of people have asked me if they can start by reading this new book, or if they first have to go back and read the three others; I always say that they can just jump right in to this new book because it is very different from the ones before it.  It’s much shorter, for one thing. It concentrates on a single character, and it’s much less epic in scope.  All those things were by design.  It’s really a more intimate tale about a knight who is haunted by his own immortality and how he tries to come to terms with it.  In fact, I often refer to it as “a bloody tale of revenge and immortality.”  To me, that sums up the theme of the book nicely.
Writing the book actually didn’t take me very long once I made up my mind to focus on it.  I had the outline done and started writing it, and then wound up taking a break from it while I took a job outside of writing.  When I got back to it, I knew I had to really make the time to write, something I wasn’t used to doing after having the luxury of writing full-time for so long.  I used to have a tiny place in upstate NY, and I remember going up there and working on it.  That was fantastic, the kind of thing I used to picture being a writer was like.  No distractions, nothing but my computer and microwave dinners.  Once I made up my mind to get it done, it really flowed.
WD: How do you deal with writer’s block? Are there places you go—in your mind, or in real life—that help you get back on track with the scene you are writing?
JM: Writer’s block?  No way.  No time for that.  I’m sorry to sound flippant, but I could give myself a thousand excuses for not getting my work done.  That’s what writer’s block sounds like to me—just another in a long list of excuses.  Writer’s block is really a problem of having nothing to say.  And if that’s the case, it means I haven’t done my work in scoping out the story.  Having an idea isn’t enough—you need a story.  So I take my time and outline, and determine what I want to say ahead of time, and then I get to it.  If I reach a difficult section (which I do often), I force myself to power through it.  Maybe I’ll go for a long drive and talk to myself and let it play out in my mind, but I don’t let it fester.  I try to look at it like a job.  Yes, it’s art, but you also have to get the damn thing done.
WD: What do you enjoy about the writing process? What do you dislike?
JM: I need to pull a Sarah Palin on you and answer this question in my own way, if you don’t mind.  There was a period of about two years where I wasn’t writing at all, because I went back to work at a job that I hated, and I wasn’t sure where things were going with my books.  Candidly, it was a difficult time for me.  Eventually a good friend coaxed me back into writing, and since then I’ve seen the whole thing through new eyes.  I not only realized how much I missed writing, but how much I love it.  Yes, it’s a cruel mistress and all that, but I’ve honestly come to appreciate all of it in a deeper way.  If I had to identify the part of it that I don’t enjoy, I’d have to say the publishing process itself.  It’s long and fraught.  But when it comes to actually writing, I’m much more willing to embrace its challenges now.  I’m learning to love the hard parts.
WD: If you could write any of your stories over again, which would it be?
JM: Oh, I’m so glad you asked me this question, because I’ve never had the chance to say this in public, but I would really like the chance to rework my first book, The Jackal of Nar.  I recently heard an interview with Frank Langella in which he said that he almost never watches any of his older movies, because he always sees things he could have done better in them.  That’s how I feel about Jackal.  Now, I should say that a lot of people have told me that that’s their favorite book of mine. I’m grateful to hear that, but I know I’ve gotten better as a writer and there’s things I wish I could go back and change.  But I guess that’s just the nature of the business.
WD: Which non-fiction books on the craft of writing have helped you become a better writer?
JM: I’ve read a lot of these kinds of books over the years, and I’ve found useful stuff in all of them, but the only one that sticks in my mind is a book called Writing and Selling Science Fiction that came out in 1976.  I took that book out of the library when I was ten or twelve years old, and I never gave it back!  I know, shame on me.  Really, it’s silly that I kept it, but I loved it.  I read it over and over again and I still keep it with me when I write.  Each chapter of it is written by a different author and covers a different subject, like creating characters, writing dialogue, and so on.  Even though it’s old, it’s full of good, timeless advice.  Maybe copies of it can be found on Ebay.  It’s worth seeking out.

Thanks so much, John, for being here and sharing your tips on writing. We wish you the best with the release of The Forever Knight. If you’d like to post a question or comment for John, we’ll be sure to pass it on. Thank you!