To Thine Own Writing Be True

It’s been an interesting experience getting The Mushroom Shift ready for publication. I mean, here is a novel I wrote almost 25 years ago, and as I’m reading it, and as I’m having my Kindle read it to me as part of the proofreading process, I’m discovering something about it that I hadn’t expected. It’s [...]

How-To Books and You: A Concise Guide to Whether or Not You Should Read a Book on How to Write

Okay, it’s pushing past 4am. The Benadryl I took to settle my allergy has long since kicked in, but the email I decided to write to pass a few minutes turned into a monster, and so I’m going to recycle it here. A friend writes: I wanted to see if you thought that a prospective [...]


Coming off of a trilogy about Ghostwriting, it’s only appropriate that I address the issue of franchises. After all writing for a franchise is a lot like ghosting – there’s more money involved than the average writer bags for his/er own work, and while your name is on the cover, it’s somebody else’s sandbox you’re [...]

Ghostwriters in Disguise, Part I

So in a stray moment today, Tom Clancy came to mind. It has been years since his last novel, and in the light of Jean Auel emerging with the lastest in her Earth’s Children series, I wondered if Clancy might be up to something. Turns out, he is. A couple minutes of Googling came up [...]

Harry Potter to Enter 21st Century?

I don’t know how long she’s been saying “No”, but J.K. Rowling has gotten a reputation for being something of a luddite when it comes to her novels about a certain boy with a scar on his forehead. Words like “never” were batted about when it came to asking when her Harry Potter series would [...]

Breaking the Rules

Okay, I’ve been writing about Writer’s Rules on and off since firing up this blog in 2002. What about when the time comes to break the rules? Depends on what rules you break. For example, I’m planning a novel in which nobody gets killed. For me that’s a definite leap forward. I’ve got one friend [...]

Michael Crichton, 1942 – 2008

In 1969, this kid who wanted to be a writer walked into his local library and was browsing in the adult section when he happened upon a book on the New shelf. The cover intrigued him. He picked it up, read the inside flap, read the opening sentence – and was hooked. He checked the [...]

Fictitious Times

I was away from my day job for a few days and it turned out to be quite the eventful week. First, O.J. did an interview and a book, and then didn’t, as cries of disgust were raised. That didn’t stop copies of the book from showing up on eBay, no doubt thanks to some [...]

Writers United to Save Harry

[sarcasm]Two of my favorite writers[/sarcasm], Stephen King and John Irving, have joined forces in entreating J.K. Rowling not to kill off Harry Potter. A couple of points. First of all, John, Stephen, you’re not exactly sterling examples of how to write novels, are you? John with your expert plot recycling techniques, and Steve’s reliance on [...]

Harry Must Die

Some years ago, my wife and I were sitting through our umpteenth viewing of Lady and the Tramp with our young daughter. It was the scene where the Trusty, the bloodhound who lost his sense of smell, tracked down the wagon carrying Tramp to the dog pound, causing an accident. Cut to a scene of [...]


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