Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Guest Post

I'll be posting today at the Suspense Sisters blog, where I talk about the question, Aren't All Published Writers Rich and Famous? All comments (that include their email address) will have a chance at an Amazon gift card.

Incidentally, this will be my last post there. It's been a great time with those authors, and I hope you'll continue checking out their blog (as well as this one).

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Has Sprung

I could have sworn I already posted this, but then again, maybe I just dreamed it. That's what happens when you're in the midst of launching a new book (well, a novella), going through the regular "stuff" of which life consists, and trying to make time for the important things in your life (like golf and such). Anyway, it's officially spring and I wanted to ask your opinion.

To me, spring means that flowers will soon appear. Baseball season is almost with us. Kay is bustling here and there with spring cleaning. And both kids and parents look ahead to the end of school (with differing emotions). So, to you, what does spring mean? Leave me a comment. I'd like to know.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Writing: Guest Posting

I was supposed to post at Fresh Fiction today, but (even though I sent the material) the post hasn't appeared and I haven't received the URL. I'll let you know if it shows up.

However, there's another place you can read about me and have a chance to win a copy of my latest novella.  I was interviewed yesterday on the blog of Lena Dooley, where a commenter has a chance to win a copy of Doctor's Dilemma. Click on over there and post your comment.

I'll see you back here next Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Another Appearance Today

Beckie Burnham (otherwise known as Beckie By The Book) is having me as her guest today. Click here to join the conversation. Commenters will be entered to win a copy of my latest novella, Doctor's Dilemma. Click here to join the fun.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Don't Come Up Short

My usual route for walks takes me by the second green of a nearby golf course. When the wind is behind the golfers, I sometimes find golf balls that have overshot the green and rolled into the yard across the street. But, as I watch, most of the time golfers come up short of the green with their shots. I saw this a number of times, and wondered why it occurred. The answer, I think, is that sometimes these golfers tend to overestimate their ability.

Those of you who play golf can identify with this. The announcer tells us that Tiger Woods or Jordan Spieth just hit a pitching wedge dead to the pin on this 150 yard approach shot. Now there's no way in the world I'm ever going to hit a wedge that far, but the next time I play golf I'll probably remember that. As a result, I'll select a club that would make the ball carry to the green if I hit the best shot I've ever played. But because I'm trying so hard, most of the time I'll either stub my club into the ground or hit the ball way offline. It's so much better to take a less lofted club, swing easy, and see what the result is. I may be on the back of the green, even over it, but I won't be short. Cut back on my self-assessment, swing easy, and watch the result.

Is there a moral to this story? I think there is. All of us are vulnerable to what my golf partner calls "delusions of adequacy." I don't mean we shouldn't shoot for the moon--not at all. But we have to do it with the tools at our disposal. My favorite Texas Rangers baseball player was Rusty Greer. He didn't have major league speed, or power, or any of the other attributes of a star, but he made up for all of that with desire. He worked hard, and as a result he played in the majors for years. He made the best use of what he had. And so should we.

We can make it to the green. We might need to take a 5 iron instead of a wedge, but if we stay within our capabilities and don't fall victim to "delusions of adequacy," there's no limit to what we can accomplish.

Tweet with a single click: "Do some of us 'come up short' because we don't take into account the talents we have?" Click here to tweet.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Writing: New Novella (and Giveaway)

I'm posting today at the Suspense Sisters blog, where I'll be talking a bit about the differences between publishing via a "traditional" contract and self-publication. One commenter there will receive a free copy of my new novella, Doctor's Dilemma. But EVERYONE who reads through the post will see a special pre-publication price for the Kindle version that runs through this weekend. Hop over and see what I mean.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017


Kay and I enjoyed watching the TV series that starred the obsessive-compulsive detective, Adrian Monk. I'll have to admit that I, like the character Monk, don't care for change. Actually, his words were, "I don't mind change. I just don't like to be around when it's happening." I'll echo those words. But about the time I got into this writing thing, changes were starting, and they've sped up recently.

If you arrived here late and don't know how I got into writing, you may wish to click here to read about me. I've been fortunate enough to have ten novels and two (soon to be three) novellas published, in addition to the book that started all this, The Tender Scar. But in case you haven't noticed, traditional publishers of Christian fiction (the newer word is Inspirational, but I'm old-fashioned) are slowly dropping these lines. At last count, about ten have done this in the past couple of  years. And I got caught up in this change. The publisher with whom I signed my most recent contract encountered financing problems, and the book that was supposed to be released last November, then was rescheduled to this February, has been permanently shelved.

Around me, I saw authors producing anywhere from one to three or four books per year. Would my readers even remember me if a year passed with no book of mine to remind them? So I wrote and arranged self-publication of a long novella (a bit over 40 thousand words), which will be released next week. I've been assured by my readers that they're ready to read what I put out there, so in gratitude I've arranged a pre-publication price of 99 cents for the Kindle version of Doctor's Dilemma. Sorry, but there's no special deal on the print version. The regular price goes into effect on Monday, when the book releases.

To order the Kindle version (and you can read any Kindle book on your PC, Mac, or smart phone--do a Google search for the free app that makes that possible), click here. It's my way of saying, "Thanks for waiting.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Writing: Is There A Shift Toward Self-Publication?

Have you noticed more authors whom you follow self-publishing their work? And have you wondered why this shift?

Authors may choose self-publication for a number of reasons. Some of them don't wish to give up a significant portion of the monetary return for their efforts in return for a publisher taking over all the responsibilities that go with publication of a novel. Some of them who would like publishers to give them a contract can't get one because the genre in which they write no longer sells...and publishing houses are a for-profit business. And that's where the industry is right now.

In case you haven't noticed, a number of publishers have chosen to discontinue their fiction lines over the past year or two. When a well-known publishing house did this a couple of years ago, life seemed to move forward for most people. It was like the comic definition of shame vs. catastrophe: When an earthquake ravages a foreign land, we think "What a shame." When we get a splinter in our finger and can't get it out, that's a catastrophe. This change in publishing might have caused a bit of concern, but it wasn't a catastrophe...except for the writers affected by the change (and their readers).

That movement away from published Christian fiction has gained a lot of traction, and it's time to ask you, the readers, this question: Does it make any difference to you whether the novel you read comes from an established publishing company or is self-published? There might have been a time when some self-published work was filled with typos and covers were less than optimum. But in the past year, writers have begun to employ professional editors and designers. They've learned to pay attention to proof-reading. Does it show? Can you even tell nowadays when a book is self-published? And do you care?

Leave your opinions in the comments section. I'm anxious to read them. And, by the way, I've self-published a novella, Doctor's Dilemma, which releases a week from Monday. If you have a Kindle, you can get it for a pre-publication price of 99 cents.

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