Monthly Blog Archives: April 2016

Ten Things I Have Learned About Writing Novels

Yesterday, the protagonist in my new novel broke out of her comfort zone and attempted something difficult, but failed. She was absolutely certain that she would succeed. Upon reaching out to her mentor for wise counsel she asks, “What now?” However, her trusted friend gives priority to another question, “What did you learn?” Life is a great teacher. If it doesn’t break you it will make you. Since, my friends Angel and Molly are continuing this conversation today, I thought I would turn the tables and ask myself a similar question. “What have I learned so far about writing novels?” Be […]

My Plan for Catching Bad Guys

Now, to be clear, I’m an old guy, spend most of my time at home, and very seldom leave the confines of my subdivision. As close to recluse as one can be without actually being one. Oh, this hermit-like behavior is of my own choosing. After years in the so-called public eye and putting up with more opinions than I ever wanted to hear, I decided to fall off the planet. But even now, sitting here in the sanctity of my recliner, working on my latest novel, they still find me. My phone rang this morning at 4:00 a.m. Fellow […]

The Evolution of a Book Title

What is your process for hanging a title on your book? I suppose there is no right or wrong method but the title is supremely important or so I am told. Still not sold on that point. Just for kicks, here’s a short list of New York Times best sellers. Hold up your hand if you see a title that jumps out and grabs you. Private Paris by James Patterson & Mark Sullivan Property of a Noblewoman by Danielle Steel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah Off the Grid by C.J. Box The Girl on […]

Parting Thoughts On American Idol

Up until 2003, I thought Reuben was a sandwich with sauerkraut. And then came Ruben Studdard on American Idol. “Ruben! Ruben!” At the time, I was working two fulltime jobs and didn’t have time for television but the talk about the Alabama contestant was unavoidable. Yes. It’s true. I missed Season #1 and a singer who is now one of my all time favorite singers. Kelly Clarkson is amazing. In fact, my life didn’t normalize until Season #4, which was my first opportunity to tune into the biggest TV ratings hit of all time. At least I was there to […]

Welcome to Divinity Falls, PA

Wouldn’t it be a kick to pick the name of a town? Why, you could even name it after you. Hmmm. Georgetown. Maryville. Thomasville. In my case, Richardville or Dickieton or Weirichburg. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many geographical locations left to name unless…you’re an author. When I was in the 8th grade, I participated in the 200th anniversary celebration of the founding of my hometown. That would be Strasburg, Virginia, originally known as Staufferstadt (German settlement) and Stover Town. As part of the event, one of the English teachers from the high school penned an outdoor stage play and I landed a non-speaking […]

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