Author Archive

Revision, and How it Changes a Fella…

February 1st, 2010 1 comment

I started a novel back at the beginning of November.  I wrote well beyond the required fifty thousand words required for Nanowrimo and the annual challenge, and sometime in January, I finished.  The book came in between 80,000 and 90,000 words.  I immediately set it aside.  I don’t know how many know or remember, but things in my personal life took a sock to the teeth at the end of November, and I was in need of time to re-boot my brain and get the creative engines firing on all cylinders again.

Still, I have this novel.  I had a good pack of readers signed in who read it in installments as I wrote it, and I got some amazing feedback.  Overall, the response was very positive.  I also got a suggestion from one of the readers – a guy who took time out of his own busy life to help me put together a “bible” for this series of novels.  He suggested that I should read some of the novels by Jim Butcher about the character Harry Dresden.

I was leery of this advice for the simple reason that I did not want someone’s style (other than my own) to leak into my work.  Still, I wasn’t ready to do the revision yet, and I had / have a lot of nagging doubts and problems with my manuscript as it stands.  I went on over to and downloaded the first Harry Dresden novel.  I listened to it on my recent trip to Baltimore, and I have to say – I’m a fan.  It’s quick moving, it immediately provides you with  a nice comfortable stable of regular characters and settings.  I don’t believe the books are remarkable in the way that you’d remember them for years to come – but that they ARE addictive in the way Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and other shows of that type can be.  I am currently reading the second in the series and will no doubt slog my way through every one of them.

Before I give the impression this is a book review, let me shift gears.  I did learn some things from the Harry Dresden novels that will affect how I revise “Heart of a Dragon,” which is an odd duck.  It’s the second Donovan DeChance novel, but if and when I get a mass market deal on the series, it will probably be the first released.  When I wrote and sold Vintage Soul, I did so in a bit more cavalier a manner than I should have.  I have learned some things, and I intend to make use of the knowledge.

For one thing, revising this novel very carefully and noting characters and settings that will recur.  I’m also trying to provide a bit more explanation of the magic involved to lend some weight and “gravity” to the prose.  Originally I intended to write these as if I were writing one of the World of Darkness novels I penned early in my career, only without the restrictions of writing in someone else’s world.  What I neglected to do was set proper restrictions for my own.

So…this revision is a careful one.  I’ve revised Chapter One three times and have had four passes at the ending of Chapter Two.  The book will be stronger for it…but it’s going to take some time.  I believe the outcome will be worth it.

Meanwhile – any blogs / websites / book reviewers out there willing to interview, review, or take a guest blog spot to promote Vintage Soul…contact me.  I’m ready and willing.  The book has gotten very little press, and it’s been out since December.

Now, back to my revision…



October 17th, 2009 Comments off


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Storytellers Unplugged and Re Designed

September 30th, 2009 Comments off

peaceoutsmallI want to start this post off by giving credit where credit is due.  Many years ago, Joe Nassise e-mailed me and invited me to be part of a new “experiment” he wanted to try.  He called it, no surprise, “Storytellers Unplugged.”  Originally, it was to be a group of thirty genre-related authors, mostly horror writers, who would post in a sort of round-robin form on a “blog”.  Keep in mind that – at the time – blog wasn’t a common term in the outside world.  Social Media was only beginning to make it’s mark in advertising and marketing, and HTML tables were still the standard for web page design.  I was less than totally enthusiastic, but I told Joe I’d do it.  I just didn’t “get” it.  Joe did.

In fact, Joe has been at the forefront of a lot of things I’ve seen slowly become standards, and I salute him for his forward thinking.  I believe we are likely to hear about a few of them in future posts. I also thank him for both conceiving Storytellers Unplugged and for allowing me to share admin responsibilities.  As time went along, we both learned a lot about blogging, managing websites, and WordPress – our chosen blogging platform.

Now Storytellers is moving into a new era.  Joe is going to drop back to the ranks of regular posters, so he’s not going anywhere, and I’m going to try my hand at pushing the envelope with a new format.  The new Storytellers Unplugged is built on the WordPress MU platform.  (Multi-User).  What we have here is a miniature community modeled on – a site where you can not only sign up new users, but you can have as many different blogs as you like.

I’ve separated our authors into their own blogs – you’ll find the links to them on the right of the main page.  This allows readers to find more posts by an author they are particularly taken with, and allows us to more easily back up our content and search it when we want to find something.  It also gives the authors more freedom to customize their content, track the stats on their individual posts, and promote their work.  There’s a lot more coming.

Some things I’m hoping to add include a separate blog with information on different publishers, a podcast channel, a video channel where we can show book trailers and other short video content, a bookstore where our author’s work will be available – hopefully signed – and a section for interviews.  I’ve interviewed many of the folks here on my main website, Glimpses Into an Overactive Mind, and I hope to update those and move them here.  We might also have a blog for excerpts to upcoming work – and could even hold some contests and promotions.  The Net’s the limit, and it’s still fairly boundless – just stick with me.  I want to get all the wheels spinning smoothly and on the right tracks before I start building on the framework.

Comments can be left on the main site now, or on the original post at the particular author’s site.  If you have questions, suggestions for content of for topics you’d like to see covered, please, feel free to include these in your comments.  All of our authors are very interested in your feedback – the comments are what make the “connection” – and the connection between authors, readers, and other creative minds is the entire point of our site.

We’d like to welcome back to the fold author Elizabeth Bear, who was on a Storytellers hiatus for a while, and in a month or so, author Brian Hodge, both of whom have agreed to sign on and re-enter the madness.  This month we will bid fond farewell to Steve and Melanie Tem, though I’m sure we’ll see them around these parts now and again – they have contributed some of the most thoughtful and memorable posts in recent months, and they will be missed.

Welcome new Storyteller Mur Lafferty – who is a master of geek-fu, queen of the Murverse, and whose novels Heaven and Hell were the first two “podioooks” I’ve ever read.  Very lucky and happy to have her on board – she adds another clear helpful voice, a lot of energy and talent, and words.  It’s all about the words.

Anyway, I’ve droned on long enough.  My next post will be on the 31st – I’ve traditionally taken that date as an extra, and my fellow Storytellers always allow it.  I’ll be posting a short story…and then the next day diving into the world of Nanowrimo and National Novel Writing Month.  I’d like to thank the love of my life, and my collaborator in creativity, Patricia Lee Macomber for the cool flying books banner on the main site.  She’s available for graphics work, if you need it, and reasonable (both in price and demeanor … ) She and I have collaborated on stories and a Stargate Atlantis novel due out in February – and on our masterwork, a little girl named Katie who started kindergarten this year.

It’s an interesting time to be a writer, and I’m hoping that Storytellers Unplugged will become an important part of the written world as we move into a new generation of publishing, technology, and stories.

You can follow us on Twitter as well.  We’re cool like that. We don’t post to the account, but it updates whenever there is a new post on the site – sort of like a reminder.  Also another archive, if you’re the archiving sort…

Welcome to our home.  Enter…of your own free will.

Listen to them…the storytellers of the night…what music they make.

(Okay…I’ll stop)


Hello world!

September 27th, 2009 Comments off

Welcome to Storytellers Unplugged. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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