My First Book Giveaway!

16 11 2011

Ladies and gents!  Something exciting happened today.  I got a digital copy of Stephen King’s new title, 11/22/63.  I have not read the book myself, but I hear it’s great, with a 4.42/5 stars from Goodreads and a 4/5 from Amazon ratings.  This time travel novel sends a school teacher to stop the assassination (in the past, mind you) of JFK.  (You can read the official summary here.)

Want it?  Here’s how to get it: Read the rest of this entry »


Finding the Heart

20 07 2011

‘Lo everyone!  If you keep up with my blog you’ve probably noticed the back and forth talk of my plans and schemes for future posts and features.  I won’t try to hide it, I don’t know exactly what I’m doing here.  I have many things I want to do, but what is it I need to do with this place?

Find the heart.  In trying to build my author platform, I’ve lost focus and gone all over the place with Wyvern’s Peak.  Just as we writers have to find our focus after a bout of writer’s block, I need to step back and remember what I started this blog for.

That said, I’ll try to keep from saying what I’m going to do for now, and instead I’ll just do what posts come to mind (or heart), if any at all.  Don’t expect a lot from me, I’m hard at work on two different series of books and hoping-praying-wishing-pushing for one of those books to be released later this year…which means lots of time spent writing, and less time on here.

However, I did promise a monster two weeks ago!  And I only got one vote, but that vote (from my Irish blooded dad!) won.  So here’s this week’s pencil sketched monster:  The drunken leprechaun! Read the rest of this entry »

“Don’t Piss With Kitsune,” and Messy Writing

8 06 2011

I would like you all to know, I’m not happy with WordPress right now.  After having spent the last half hour typing (and then hitting “Publish”) all of my post was erased.  The nerve!

Curse you, Evil WordPress Gremlins!!!

I really don’t want to type everything out again, but…

…let’s try this again…

(Who knows?  Maybe I’ll make more sense the second time around.) Read the rest of this entry »

Finished. Bring On The Next!

15 03 2011

No philosophical comments today.  Just a quick update, writer to writer.  (Or reader…or musician, supervillain, whatever you may be.)

I finished the third round of editing and rewriting last night on a book (hopefully) due out this year.  That’s two books down, several to go.

So what’s next?  I’ve started the brainsetting process–yes, brainsetting–of three more books.  I CAN’T WAIT for the marketing to start and I can start sharing my ideas with you all.

Soon.  Very soon. 

Write well, read well, live well.

“Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible”
-Edwin Land

Evil Plans–A Gift to You and Me

5 03 2011

I thought by the time I’d finished Evil Plans, I’d have quoted the entire book on my Twitter.  It’s just that good. Read the rest of this entry »

Current Reading(s)

2 03 2011

I recently finished reading Crush It–written by Wine Guy, Gary Vaynerchuk–and have just started to read Evil Plans–from cartoonist Hugh MacLeod.

Sorry, @DougMcGannon, I’m stealing your reading list.  Consider it a compliment.

Both books are great reads.  They’re informative, often humorous, and, most importantly in our day and age, they read easy.

What really struck me, though, is how similar they are.  Both books are focused on living the life you want to live–doing what you love to find success and happiness.  Both Vaynerchuk and MacLeod are heavy proponents of social media, and essentially tell you how to live out your passion using Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and a few other key social media staples to build your “personal brand.”  (A very important subject, by the way.)

The difference, then?  While both authors have frank and humorous personalities, Vaynerchuk seems to have a more “professional” approach to creating your brand.  Not a bad thing.  He loves business development–or biz dev, as he lovingly refers–and it shows throughout the book.  Still, as an artist and writer I had trouble relating to some of his more business minded approaches to living your life’s passion.

Hugh Macleod, on the other hand, is a ball of creative energy.  As a cartoonist, he’s just the thing for other creative minds, liberally sprinkling his cartoons, seemingly at random.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but already MacLeod’s Evil Plans seems to answer the blank spaces left by Crush It–although there were ony few blank spaces, I assure you.

Sound interested?  Wondering which book you should read?  Read both.

These are two important books by two people who have lived it–are still living it.  If you want to live your passion, read as much from the people who have done the same.  Crush It and Evil Plans are essentially the same, but they complement each other greatly, and if you missed anything in one book you’ll probably find it in the other.  And for those of you who–like me–think yourselves artists and writers, we do have to become business people as well, something we can learn from both authors.

Besides, you’ll like listening to their voices, and I think you’ll quickly buy into their personal brands.

For more of these two great thinkers, you can find Gary Vaynerchuk and Hugh MacLeodon Twitter.

“If you can’t say it interestingly, don’t say it at all.”

26 02 2011

“A cardinal rule of writing is never interrupt yourself to explain something. If you must bring up an obscure topic, drop informative hints about it as you go along so that you don’t end up with the entire explanation all in one place. This keeps you from skidding to a stop and sounding teacherish. Otherwise it’s better to omit the obscure topic altogether, or as mothers might put it: If you can’t say it interestingly, don’t say it at all.”
-Florence King

I find this in almost all of my first drafts, in the form of backstory.  As a writer I LOVE backstory.  When you’ve poured days, months, years into creating a character’s personality and life story there is a strong desire to show all your hard work up front.  But as painful as it is to admit, that much detail is a book killer.  Detailed backstory is one of those “obscure topics,” one that needs to be hinted at and revealed throughout the length of your book(s).

The fact of the matter is that readers don’t care yet.  That’s why they’re reading the book, because they want to care.  And they’ve picked up your book, trusting that you can make them care about this story, and more particularly about this set of characters.

How do we learn to care about people in life?  We get to know them over time, through conversations, at parties, sharing opinions.  The same goes for books.  Let the characters speak for themselves, and let the reader get to know them through their actions more than their detailed backstory.

(By the way, I found this great quote today on Jon Winokur’s website,  Jon is a constant great source for daily quotes and inspiration for writers.  If you’re not already following him on Twitter–you should!–you can find him @AdviceToWriters.)