Month: January 2014

Intentional Writing

Many of you have heard me speak at writer’s groups about a thing I am calling intentional writing. None of the concepts are new, I’m just pulling them together to try to define something without offending anyone. Because there clearly are at least two classes of writers, and the difference is difficult to define without using generalizations. So for the sake of argument, I will define it as unintentional or not-yet-intentional writers, and intentional writers. So what is an intentional writer? Intentional Writers Write Every Day. Not only do intentional writers write daily, but they write with specific goals...

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The Dogs that Got Away

A boy and his dog make a glorious pair: No better friendship is found anywhere Edgar Guest After penning Stray Ally, and in anticipation of its release March 4, I have been mentally reviewing my lifetime canine companions. My experience with dogs began young, and I lost out on much learning due in part to my mother. Part of it was her economic status as a single mother, Christian school teacher with two boys. Part was also her lack of experience with domestic animals, primarily cats, which she loathed, and dogs, who often just need an alpha male to handle them: put them in their place if you will. I don’t blame her, but we often could not keep dogs as long as we wished, and I became a dog lover through experiencing other people’s pets. Our first was Ricky. Ricky was a black lab, and his being my first may be the reason for my affinity for labs now. He came to us through a cousin, as a puppy. But Ricky had big paws. No, not just big paws. Gigantic paws. Our yard was not fenced, so chaining such an animal seemed cruel, and as he grew he became a burden for our small, poor family. It was like a third mouth for my mother to feed. Luckily we had an uncle who had a fenced yard, and also...

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Wearing Masks

As any dog person will tell you, you can hide a lot from people, but it is much harder to hide tings from animals, especially dogs and cats. This was clearly in my thoughts when I wrote Stray Ally (coming March 4th) But it’s not Halloween. Why am I talking about masks? Simple. In finishing Confession, the last in the Samuel Elijah Johnson series I recognized a few things about myself, and writers in general, although I hate making generalizations. One of the biggest revelations was about masks, and our love of dogs and cats. Many of us have worn masks from a young age. Raised in a strict Baptist home, I embraced the religion of those around me at a young age, but as an avid reader, I also began to question it young as well. Since questions were not always welcome (at least not the kind I asked, and the way I asked them) I put on a mask or quiet acceptance. Although in my head my belief was eroding, and I knew some things were wrong, I outwardly accepted them, even endorsed them when necessary. We realize there is something different about us, and the way we think. Why is that a problem? Because, at least in the generation I grew up in ‘different’ was not a good thing. Example: most of my high school graduating...

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The Hybrid Theory: A Case for Small Press

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while, but what pushed me to it this time was Hugh Howey’s excellent post about Brenna Aubrey who turned down a six-figure contract deal to self-publish, and found the gamble worked. Sure, her spectacular results are atypical, but I wanted to answer Hugh’s points about self-publishing with a caveat. I have (and will continue to) self-publish, but I also work with publishers. Not the traditional big houses, but small-digital press. Here’s why. Investment. Brenna spend just over $1800 dollars on the production of the book. Hugh’s point is well taken. This...

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Why I Gave Money Away

And what happened when I did. I’ve been a part of charity anthologies before. I’ve given stories to causes, and even put stories in anthologies just for the exposure. However, I  never actually wrote one of my own stories and decided to see how much money I could raise for charity with it, until “The Angel,” and Happily Ever Afterlife. So how did that go? We raised some money. It actually worked, and with a Facebook event, a Facebook page (you can still like the page here) and even before the first royalties we raised some money for Boston Children’s Hospital. Not as much as I would have liked, but the first big chunk of royalties has yet to hit the bank, and sales were good, at least for the first little while. Not bad for an anthology. We actually sold almost 50 t-shirts overall, although the shipping and the set up in the end cost me more than it should have. Not bad for a little anthology. Not all of the feedback was positive. What follows are actually questions people asked me throughout the campaign: Why did you give only half your royalties away? A: Well, because I paid for shipping, set up for t-shirts, and spent my time setting up the events. Giving half the proceeds away, I didn’t really make much. And I am a professional...

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