Friday, July 08, 2022

Message That Speaks to Writers

 Being curious, I looked him up and found that he's an author living in Austin, TX. Don't know anything about him otherwise, but he certainly spoke to the writer in me. How about you?

Friday, July 01, 2022

Independence Day, 2022

Monday is July 4, the day we celebrate the independence of this great nation. Some people will take off for a varying length of time, either for a long weekend or as part of a vacation. Others will work. Some will head for sales. Others will go to the lake. But whatever we do, let's understand the meaning of the holiday. And be especially mindful of that meaning this year.

On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies marked the signing of the Declaration of Independence, declaring themselves free from the British Empire.The framers of our documents of freedom--the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution--didn't all agree. And sometimes, their discourse wasn't very civil. But as Benjamin Franklin put it, "We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." They argued, but they didn't loot and burn. 

Remember that these people put their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors on the line to help give us the independence we celebrate. This Independence Day, may we reflect on all that has gone before as we observe this day.


Friday, May 27, 2022

Memorial Day 2022


This weekend we observe Memorial Day, an American holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It started out as Decoration Day, and originated in the years following the Civil War. It became an official federal holiday in 1971.

It is not a day for honoring those who previously served or are actively serving in our armed forces--there are other holidays for that, most typically Veterans' Day (formerly Armistice Day). And, although mattress and tire sales have seemed to come around on this three-day holiday, that's not what we celebrate. It's for honoring the gift given to all of us by those who didn't come home. 

All gave some. Some gave all. Let's honor them.

Friday, April 29, 2022

I've Survived


This meme didn't originate with me, but the longer I live, the more I laugh about it. Then again, I'm still around, relatively active probably a decade or more after I shouldn't be.

My idea of retirement was to retire at age 65 and be gone by 70. But I've exceeded that, and I have no explanation for it. God apparently decided that I shouldn't become a full-time golfer after stepping away from medicine, so He gave me enough talent to become sort of a writer. Even when the ideas were harder to come by and even harder to turn into novels and novellas, I kept at it.

Our wills are over 20 years old, so I'm in the process of gathering data to update them, which is a task that will bring you up short in a hurry. But it's also good to see where I've been, as well as what the future holds. I've started a couple of novellas, which may or may not be going anywhere, but then again, they may.

My dear, sweet wife (yes, I have been blessed by the love of two wonderful women, which is evidence of God's hand) assures me that the Lord isn't finished with me yet. So I guess I'll keep on writing. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

If You Give Your Son A Baseball...

 I realize that this refers to just boys. It did not originate with me, but it brought back memories of my father (including what he did for me). Maybe that's why I, in turn, tried to watch as many of my sons' baseball games and swim meets as possible, why I served many times as judge for my daughter's speech events, why I chose to spend time doing it. Anyway, perhaps it will speak to you as it did to me. 

If you give your son a baseball, he will want a bat to go with it.


You’ll buy him the best bat you can find, and then he will probably want some cleats too. 

He will probably spend hours begging you to go out in the yard to play with him, even though you may want to sit on the couch and watch tv. He will insis, and nd his insistence will win. Then he will want a jersey. And when a boy gets a jersey, he will need pants and socks and a belt to go with it. And then a team.  At that point, life as you know it will end.


There will be no more lazy weekends watching tv. You will see more sunrises than you ever thought possible. Every spare minute of your time will be spent hauling ball-buckets and bags and stinky cleats and crazy boys all over tarnation for hours to practice for a game. 

And your house will be a mess. And your car will be dirty. All because you gave a boy a baseball. 


Your weekends will be spent freezing or burning to death on a fold up chair. And his weekends will be spent gaining confidence and friends and learning new skills and having fun and getting dirty. And you will be there the day he hits his first home run, his first strikeout, and his first double play. And he will make you proud. The other parents will congratulate you. But you feel weird saying thank you because it's not you at bat or on the mound. It's all him, you’re merely the facilitator.


When you give a boy a baseball, you give him more than just a ball. You give him a sport, and a talent, and hope, and dreams, and friends, a new family, a place to learn about life, room to grow as a person where he can push his limits. And he will have all of these things, simply because you gave a boy a baseball. 


Then one day, many years from today, he will be in his room and a baseball will roll out from an old dusty bat-bag underneath his bed. And he will pick it up and you realize instantly that when you gave that boy a baseball, you also gave him a childhood that he would never forget. And then he will hug you, and your eyes may leak – because you realize that everything you gave up along the way was worth it.


All because you gave a boy a baseball.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Easter 2022

  The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed...Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead'...."

(Matt 28:5-7a, The Message)

In the ancient world, the message was this: "Christos anesti; al├ęthos anesti."

In our modern language, the words are different, the message the same: "Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!"

Have a blessed Easter. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Importance of Writing


Why would someone keep on writing, even when it's no longer necessary? We've heard it said that a writer writes because he/she has to do it. I've seen interviews with writers who say that they write every day, even if it's only a few lines. Others say that their daily quota of writing may consist only of a grocery list, but even that contains a few strike-throughs and some editing. 

I always thought of myself as a physician. I continue to read my journals, do my continuing education, even keep my license up-to-date (although I must confess that it's unlikely that I'll ever practice again)--but even though writing is something of a sideline that I got into after retirement, I find myself fighting the urge to write. Even if it's a list of some sort. Or a blog entry. Like this one.

So, if you find yourself at odds until you've put pen to paper or fingers to computer keys, then congratulations. You may be a writer.

Tuesday, April 05, 2022


The other day I thought about the rules and superstitions that some folks have. When I played baseball, although I didn't go as far as wearing the same pair of socks as long as we were winning (boy, I was ready to lose after the smell got too bad) in the locker room), I did try to avoid stepping on the foul lines when I went to the mound each inning. You don't see me pitching in the majors, so you see how it worked.

My daughter, while she was in the theatre world, taught me not to put shoes on the bed. It might have something to do with a closing of a play, moving on. It never made much sense to me. However, to this day I always refer to "the Scottish play." avoiding saying Macb*** aloud. No rhyme or reason to that superstition that I can see.

People...well, writers...are always looking for sure-fire "rules," that guarantee success. Writing in the first person is difficult, but some writers do it and carry it off well. Avoiding the passive voice does indeed make the reader identify more closely with the action. But avoiding opening with the weather? If it's done well, the weather can become a character in your action. Yes, Elmore Leonard said we shouldn't do it, but it's been done and done well by some writers.

I guess some of the "sure-fire rules" make as much sense as not stepping on a foul line or saying "the Scottish play." I have only one sure fire rule...well, maybe three. Write the best manuscript possible,  edit it one more time than than you think it needs, and keep writing. Chances are, you'll hit it.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Audio Version of Medical Mystery

As I said in my last post, I've been advised that Medical Mystery is now available in print book format, a Kindle format, and the audio format (narrated by Bill Nevitt). I've been given a limited number of keys to free copies of the audio version, and if you would use them, I would be happy to send a key. Just ask for one and leave your email address in the comments. This offer is only good until Monday, so if you want one of these keys, let me hear from you. Thanks.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Medical Mystery


Was just notified that my latest book, Medical Mystery, is now available as an audio book, so it's available in 3 formats. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


When I left my position as full professor at the med school in 2002, I was looking forward to a life of retirement. But God decided that it was too soon for me to retire, and I wrote a dozen novels and eight novellas of romantic medical suspense. Along the way, I decreased my blogging to twice a week--"stuff" on Tuesday each week, and a writing related post every Friday. I thought I was through with writing, but earlier this year I published my latest (and possibly last) novella, Medical Mystery. And now, once again, I'm going into wind-down mode. 

Blogs are no longer as important as they once were. I've managed to keep up with blogging, but have avoided getting into podcasts and some of the latest social media outlets--this old dog is getting too many years on him to learn some of those new tricks. I will blog when/if I have something to say. For those who will miss some of my early wisdom, I suggest the publication of some of my earliest blogs, First Lessons.

For now, I plan to sit around and stare at the walls. If the spirit moves me, I'll post something on my blog from time to time. Otherwise, it's been fun (mostly). Talk among yourselves. See you.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Writing: Pubishing An Audiobook

 When you have written your book (personally, I mark the end with ###) and it's accepted, you might think your work is done. And, I guess, it's done if your goal is to produce a written book. But there's one more format for your book to be published in. If you have a publisher, they'll probably do this for you, but if you've cast your lot with those who publish the work independently, this is up to you. More and more people prefer to hear, rather than read, their books. And if your book isn't in audio format, say good-bye to those sales.

For all my novellas, including this latest one, I went through ACX to publish an audio format of them. I won't go through all the steps--you can read about them on the ACX website--but one of the last (and most important) steps will require you to visit the book just one more time. You should listen to it. Listen for errors in pronunciation, as well as other errors that might have slipped by you. You just thought you were through.

I had hoped to tell you that Medical Error is now available in audio format, and it may be by the time this post is up. And that is my final book. (But I've said that before, haven't I?) Well, stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Thoughts About March


March 15--the "ides of March"--used to be the date when our income taxes were due. That has changed, but most of us (including me) like to have our material to our accountant well before the current due date of April 15. Interesting thought occurred to me as I gathered the information. Since I started my solo practice of medicine more than half a century ago, I have gone through five accountants! It's not that I'm a difficult client. I just literally wore out that many. That should tell me (and anyone else paying attention) that I'm too old for this foolishness. Unfortunately, the IRS doesn't agree.

Things have been sort of hectic around our place. We've had both the "grand-dogs" develop problems that required them to be put down. Fortunately, there was a puppy (another "rescue" dog) waiting between number one and two's departure. I suspect that there will be another one soon, and the quota of dogs at the home of two of my granddaughters will be filled once more. But for now, there are some tears.

Other than that, not much is new. Well, I am pondering something that I may be ready to share with you. Come back Friday and we'll see if it jells by then.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Writing: When Do You Write?

What do writers do with their time? The majority of authors have "jobs," of whatever kind--housewife, teacher, clerk, lawyer, whatever--and they squeeze in writing because they want to, not because of other obligations. They write because they have something to say, so they do it when they can.

Even those authors who have "retired" have full lives. Writing demands concentration, and sometimes there just isn't time to fit it into the schedule. That's what I'm experiencing right now. Nothing bad--just the everyday things that we all have to do. And, since I'm retired, may wife and I are sometimes called upon to help. The difference, I suppose, lies in our ability to put family before almost anything else--even writing, or blogging, or any other activity.

Whatever is facing you, your writing may have to take a back seat for a short time, but that's okay. It's not a contest, and they don't shoot the losers. Take some time away from your writing if you need to. In the long run, it's worth it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Life Got In The Way

If you were expecting to read words of wisdom this morning, please accept my apologies. We've all heard the phrase, "life got in the way." Well, that's just what happened. Writers, just like all of us, have other obligations and things come up. I'll try to post something writing-related on Friday. Meanwhile, talk among yourselves. 

Friday, March 04, 2022

Writing: Mistakes

I dare you to look carefully at the next half-dozen books you read and find one without an error--either a minor one, like a punctuation mark that should be changed, or a really big goof such as referring to a character as Herbert in one place and Hubert in another. 

Every manuscript undergoes a proofreading--actually, it is proofread many times, and by more than one pair of eyes. But no matter how rigorous the process, errors slip through. It doesn't matter whether the book is put out by a well-known publisher or is independently published, errors will end up on the printed page (or the electronic version). 

When I began writing, I received lots of advice. But one bit of advice really stuck with me. It was that mistakes happen, and if the mistake doesn't contribute to the story line, let it go. In my latest novella, despite my best efforts, some mistakes have turned up. The average reader will let them slip by. Some people will call them to my attention. And that's okay. But unless they are major errors, the book is not going to be reprinted. Sorry about that.

Do you think that more errors turn up on an e-book as opposed to a printed copy? What has been your experience? And if they're relatively minor, do you want them corrected? I'd like to know.

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Random Jottings: Surprise!

Ever been surprised because something has crept up on you? Just today, my wife asked if we had put the trash containers out, because a big truck was going down our alley and we hadn't put out our trash and recycle containers. Fortunately (or unfortunately) her question was followed by the sound of a jack-hammer, and a look at the garage door confirmed that the truck had stopped down the alley where our neighbor was having some repair work done on his pool. But that led me to think that, although it wasn't the day for putting our trash out for pickup, it was also time for me to write one of my blogs for the week. So, although I got out of one chore today, I found this one staring me in the face. 

It was easy enough to write my blogs when I was getting ready to publish my last novella (and thanks for the nice words about it, by the way). I was ready to take things easy for a while afterward--not keep up my blogging. But like death and taxes, it's a certainty that this obligation has to be met.

By now, you've sort of grasped the idea that I have nothing in particular to write. I guess it's your turn. Anything you'd like to know about the "real, live author" behind this blog? 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Writing: Advice From Years Ago

In looking through my prior interviews, I saw that dates to years ago, and I wondered if my answers had changed. I don't think so. Do you?

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey? 


Many people may not know that I started on this road to writing to craft a book about my experiences following the death of my wife. After the publication of The Tender Scar, I struggled through four years/four novels/forty rejections before I gave up the idea of writing fiction. But through circumstances that only God could put in place, I received representation, got my first fiction contract, and got back to work.


 How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?


My books reflect my own relationship with God—sometimes my faith is weak, sometimes I stumble, but He’s always there to set my feet back on the path, to bear me up in tough times. I want people to realize that, although God doesn’t cause bad things to happen, He can use even the worst of them to strengthen our faith and our witness.


 Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?


My ideas come from two factors—the things I see around me and the question Alton Gansky taught me to ask: “What if?” For example, my current novel began when another doctor at the medical school and I were talking about a resident who faced down a gunman in the emergency room. Then I asked, “What if the gunman was a member of a drug cartel?” The plot grew from there.


I’ll start with an idea of what I want to convey. Then I populate the story with characters who sometimes surprise me because they don’t behave the way I think they should. Finally, I determine a beginning, a twist in the middle (and maybe a few others along the way), and an ending that, as Jim Bell puts it, is a “knockout. “


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Election Season (again)

Here in Texas, early voting has begun. We're deluged by candidate messages via mail, TV ads, and phone messages left (when the candidates  get through.) We've downloaded a sample ballot and have made our decisions, and we'll be voting soon. But, unfortunately, the candidate messages will continue until it's all settled. Then, this fall, they'll start up again.

Of course, every candidate wants our money. As I've said before, it seems that the candidate or party that raises "just another $10" will win--for now. Then they repeat the appeal. And apparently the right hand and left hand aren't communicating well, since we usually get pleas for money several times during the same day, and often from the same candidate or party.

With all those ads, how do we know who to vote for? Our plan is to observe what the candidates do, not when that they say. This means paying attention throughout the year, not just at election time. What is your solution? I'd like to hear. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Writing: What Will It Cost?

In the back of the minds of most authors, at some time or another, is the question of cost. If you're fortunate enough to sign with a recognized publisher, the amount of an advance payment will come up. In addition, be aware that the publisher has come up with a figure for publicity, as well as payment to the people who will help you produce as good a book as possible. After all, even a Christian publisher isn't in business to lose money.

The figure for an advance payment will probably (but not always) be smaller that the amount a larger, more established house may be prepared to pay. And, although the exact figure may not be mentioned, the amount budgeted for publicity will (or should be) part of the package. Don't hesitate to ask.

What about the person who, for one reason or another, decides to publish independently. Will they get more money? Not necessarily. The author who chooses to "go indie" may get a larger paycheck from their sales because they have no royalty split to consider, but they should (please, please, please) choose to spend the money for a professional editor and have the cover professionally done.As for marketing, the phrase I've heard for many years (and have found to be true) is that no one cares as much about sales of your book as much as you do. And don't forget that the cost of those copies for review and as give-aways come out of your pocket.

There are many reasons to write. But you need to be aware of the underlying economics of the situation. If   you go into it with your eyes wide open and with a firm understanding of the process, then go ahead and write. Many have said it, and I believe it to be true. An author writes because they can't NOT write. If you fall into this category, please write. If you are the only one who reads the words you put down, you may have fulfilled your purpose. Write on!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Random Jottings Before The Super Bowl

This is written before the Super Bowl--for a number of reasons. First, although my wife and I have determined who we'll pull for (since the Cowboys aren't playing today), by not picking a possible winner or loser, I've avoided alienating a good fraction of my audience (both of them). 

Actually, we'll watch the Super Bowl differently than we usually do. Our usual practice is to mute the sound and ignore the commercials, but this is our chance to see (and pass judgment) on them for a change. We saw one "preview" of one of the commercials yesterday, and if this sample is typical of all of them, I may end up watching a recorded episode of The Closer, one we've seen two or three times before.

I have to think back to the words of Duane Thomas, a running back for the Cowboys, who was interviewed before the game was played. He said that if the match-up was "the ultimate game," he wondered why they were going to play it again next year. Good question. Any one have an answer for that one? 

PS--just watched the Super Bowl. Football game got good toward the end. Kept TV on mute through the half-time show. Commercials? "The mountain labored and gave forth a mouse." Won't plan to do that again!

Friday, February 11, 2022

Writing: Is "Should" A Bad Word?

Don't recognize the picture? I wouldn't worry, unless you're into psychiatry. Karen Horney first wrote about the "tyrannical shoulds" years ago. I don't expect those who follow this blog to remember, but about 5 or 6 years ago, I wrote about them here as well. 

I'd like to resurrect the subject again, and talk about how it affects authors. We try to be supportive when fellow authors launch a new work--or, at least we should. We read in some of our specialized sites about how much in royalties is coming their way, and we're happy--or at least, we should be. We try our best to be supportive, and be happy about our colleague's success--because we think it's the way we should behave. But it's hard. And, based on my experience, it's getting harder. 

One of the things I enjoyed about Christian writing was the tendency of the authors who wrote in this genre to be helpful to others struggling along the same road. But it seems to me that it's harder than it used to be. 

Maybe I'm jaded. Perhaps it's a function of the current state of our world and the society in which we live. It's possible that I'm just having a bad day. Or maybe the "tyrannical shoulds" have gotten to me. What is your opinion? 

Tuesday, February 08, 2022


Rant follows. Skip it if you aren't up to thinking about it this morning.

Although I tend to read mainly the writers of one particular race, it's mainly a function of familiarity with their work, rather than their color or any other factor. I choose books mainly on a sampling of them if I am unfamiliar with the person doing the writing. We want to read their work, not judge them any other way. And that goes for others, not just authors or football coaches.

Many of us think it was a mistake on the part of the man occupying the white house to say that he will nominate a person for a lifetime position on the highest court of the land based on the color of their skin or their sex. Personally, I would feel more comfortable if the person nominated were given the opportunity based on their legal knowledge and expertise, not because giving them the nod came from checking certain boxes. I will be following the confirmation process closely (and would emphasize that the function of the senate was to give advice and consent, not just to rubber stamp the nominee of the chief executive).

Maybe I just read the wrong columns this morning--or perhaps others feel this way, too. We'll see.

Friday, February 04, 2022

Writing: The Story Behind The Story

Well, it's out there. I've put the words together, edited until I can't stand it anymore, and my novella has been published for the world to read. Although it's relatively simple to comment on someone else's blog, even to write a short pose of our own, it doesn't really hit anyone who is an "author" until the deed is done and they realize that their words are now and forever on public view to be read, commented on, and attributed to them for all time. (And this includes the errors--and there are always errors).

 I thought, when the "pandemic" hit, that this was a good time to stop writing. Conversations with other authors returned two very different feelings. One group felt that being shut away, relatively isolated, was perfect for them to write. The other, which was where I fell, decided that, since we didn't feel much like writing under these circumstances, it was a good time to take an extended (in my case, permanent) hiatus.

But my wife had other ideas. She hinted at plots that I might explore. One of them was about an ER nurse who used her experiences as the basis for a novel. I couldn't get anywhere with this, but as I turned it over I found myself interested in the situation of that nurse and the widowed family doctor caring for her mother. Before long, I had written what amounted to a novella. My original title was Medical Mystery, and as I sought for a different one, I realized that I had, within the novella, a means of carrying out a murder that was almost undetectable...almost, that is. So I kept the title.

So, that's the reason for my current novella. I hope you enjoy it. 

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Tax Time (Again)

 Every year about this time, most of us turn our attention to Form 1099s and our taxes for the past year. Every year, I studiously keep all the data I'll need in folders labelled "income" and "writing  expenses" and such, and every year I have problems putting the figures in the right place, assuming my figures are correct (which isn't always the easiest thing to do). We're supposed to have all the forms and data we need by the end of January, but there always seems to be something we need that comes straggling in sometime in early February.

Now that I am retired (and I thought I had written my last novel and was through with my second career--but that's another story for another time), my taxes should be simple. But, of course, in their infinite wisdom, the Internal Revenue Service has changed the forms just enough to confuse me...again. 

Are there tricks you have learned over the years? Taxes apparently are like the weather--everyone talks about them but we don't really do anything about it. I'd be interested in your responses.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Writing: The Reviews Keep Coming

One more post about reviews, and then I'll quit--honest!  Earlier this week I was featured on the blog of Lena Dooley, and today I'm on the blog of Patricia Bradley. And don't forget yesterday's interview with Carrie Schmidt, on Reading Is My SuperPower. Thus far, they've all been good. 

I've seen a post by an experienced writer this week that posts the "rules" Elmore Leonard gave once in an interview. I agree with them, by and large, but feel that each of them can be broken in the right circumstances. Remember, there's no hard and fast rule that guarantees acceptance by an agent, an editor, or a reader. Rules won't get it---persistence and keeping at it will. Do you agree, disagree, or just don't care? I'd like to know.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Lest We Forget

Over the weekend, more of the people who protect us were killed. As I sit here, I still read news about the young patrolman in one of our nation's large cities who is dead, while his partner is fighting for his life. I see information about a patrolmen in my state (Texas) who was fatally injured while performing his duties. Yet I also read about laws already on the books, laws some elected officials have decided not to enforce.  I have my opinion about all this, but I'll leave it to you to interpret all this for yourself. All I'll suggest is that you keep all this in mind when you go to the polls in a few months. And when you see them, thank those who put on the uniform daily and both serve and protect us. I shall.

My interviews regarding my latest book continue as scheduled. This week I'm due to have my words of wisdom listed on Lena Dooley's blog on January 25 (that's today) as well as on Reading Is My Superpower on Friday. I hope you'll check them both out. (And I think I'll be featured on Patricia Bradley's site, and she tells me on Friday).

Friday, January 21, 2022

Writing: Waiting For Reviews

 It's a typical part of every story involving "show business"--the hero or heroine awaits what the critics have to say about the new show. They stay up late or get up early to read what the critics have to say about their production or performance. And, of course, it is usually a great triumph, leading to a "boffo" hit or a "star" on the dressing room door. Do authors go through this? I can't speak for all authors, but to some extent I suspect that we all do. But there's less tendency to await the "reviews" for later books. This is certainly the case with me.

I turned loose a novella into the world this week--January 18, if you're counting--but I didn't get all giddy about the first review that was posted. I was glad that my words had made the reader happy, but I didn't do cartwheels. Actually, I was probably at work on the next book. If you've put together enough words to make a book, congratulations. If it turns out to be a best-seller, wonderful. But please, please, please don't stop there. The first book by Harper Lee was the best-seller, To Kill A Mockingbird. We didn't hear from her until her second manuscript was uncovered, and I'll bet you don't know the name of it. 

If you go into writing, realize that there's more to it than putting words on a page. There are interviews and blog posts to keep your name before the public and tell about your book. Keep on keeping on, and I'll look for your name in the bookstore.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Book Launch

Well, it's here. Today (according to Amazon) my next book will be published. Also, today I'll be featured on Suite T, the blog of the Southern Writers. I'll have several other pieces along the way, including SuspenseSisters tomorrow and a review on Patricia Bradley's blog two weeks from this Friday. I'll try to keep you abreast of them as we go along. 

As I've said before, I've about given up on signings, launch activities, and such. My feeling is that the effectiveness of some of those--perhaps all of them--have gone away over the years. How about you? I'd like to hear your thoughts and experiences with these. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Writing: Interviews Are Coming

 Just an aside to all the writers out there. Ask anyone who writes --we never stop editing our work. Even notes done on our computers are edited. How many of us have read something that we read on a tweet or FB post or even a note sent to us, and found that we would have said it differently--even better. We never stop writing...or editing. Even when we write something that's going to be posted elsewhere. Maybe that's why it takes me so long to write a post sometime.

But for the reason for this post--I've already posted about all that must be done after your work is published. Here's an example. I've spent some time recently preparing answers to various questions and guest posts for writing blogs. I'm not complaining, mind you. It goes with the territory, and as the saying goes, "This isn't my first rodeo." It's part of the process, which doesn't stop with the publication of your book.

If all goes as planned, my first posting will be today on the Seekerville blog. The dates given to me aren't always the final ones as schedules are shuffled, but I'll keep you posted if there's any change.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Book Coming

After a year or so of silence, I thought I was through writing, but my wife encouraged me to take up the pen (well, the computer) one more time. After seeing the opening I wrote, she suggested that I carry it forward and make my principal character a female who was trying to write a book. Other than the opening, though, it wasn't working. But along the way I got to know the emergency room nurse who was called away from her writing, and the family doctor who had given no thought to "getting back in the game" after the death of his first wife. I populated the story and took it forward, and on the 18th of this month it will be published.

The first interview will be posted at the end of the week, and I'll post the link that day. Meanwhile, if you're interested, here's the link for the prepublication special for the Kindle version.


Friday, January 07, 2022

Writing: Publication Is Only Part Of The Process

As authors, we exert lots of effort getting our words down on paper, sending them to agents and editors, hoping eventually to have them published. But (and I hate to tell you this), the process isn't over at that point. Matter of fact, it may have just started. Now comes the part where you announce the publication to the world. And for some of us, that's harder than the actual writing.

When my first novel came out, I planned a huge party at a local bookstore. I even ordered a cake. When I showed up, I was a bit dismayed by the number of chairs that had been put out, although I was glad for them to be filled. The reading went well, as did the sales, but I was still disappointed at the turn-out. That's when a bookstore employee said that they had a publication party recently for a former Secretary of State which drew an even smaller crowd. In attending a similar event for a well-known author on a "book tour," I saw a similar circumstance...the crowd wasn't what I expected.

I've written books published by well-known publishers as well as some that were self-published, and I've come to the conclusion that your readers are your readers, and it doesn't take a brass band and a host of people cheering to introduce your books. But then again, that's just my opinion. What do you think?



Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Thoughts on a New Year

 It's been hard composing this blog--for a number of reasons. I received my copies of my new novella, Medical Mystery, over the holidays. Although I'm glad to have written one more novella (authors are said to enjoy writing; I personally enjoy having written...not the writing process). But it's been nice just to go to my desk and read what others blog about, without having to write something myself. However, I have to do it, if no other reason than to let those of you who've been waiting (both of you) that I've written another novella, which will be released on Jan 18. If you like the Kindle format, you can put in your pre-order for 99 cents. End of commercial.

It's also hard to realize that 2021 is over, and I'll need to start writing 2022. Hey, I've just gotten good at writing 2021, and now I've got to learn all over. That saying about old dogs and new tricks gets more true with every passing year.

I awoke in the middle of the night with the thought that it was time to change the folders on my desk for receipts to a new set, and soon it will be time to put together my taxes. But not yet (sort of like I've put off writing this blog until today).

Anyway, I'm back. Has your new year begun any better for you than mine? I hope so. See you Friday, if I can think of something about writing that might be interesting.