Instafreebie is Rocket Fuel

Instafreebie is Rocket Fuel

Following the advice of many indie authors, I recently signed up for Instafreebie. Like the headline suggests, it has been rocket fuel for my mailing list. You can’t just sign up for Instafreebie, post a book, and wait for the new subscribers to roll in. Instafreebie is not “set it and forget it.” One of the great tools available for both authors and readers is the group giveaway. As an author, you apply to join the giveaway. Most of them…

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Writing a Novella

Writing a Novella

Not every idea germinating in a writer’s mind is a novel. Some are short stories. One that gets trapped between those two is a novella. Novellas don’t get a lot of love. Everyone wants to write novels. Readers want to read novels. Some writers will put out a collection of short stories (which I’ve done). Not many will write novellas. I think there’s some unexplored space here. I think part of the reason we don’t get a lot of novellas…

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Moving Delays a Writer

Moving Delays a Writer

Yes, I’ve been a little quiet recently. The reason is that we’re moving. Moving always sucks. Even when you contract the heavy lifting to someone else, the process is no fun. We have to move three people, all of whom own a lot of stuff. Some of that stuff will donated, some sold, and some will come with us (to combine with new stuff we’ve bought for this house). While getting new stuff (like a king bed, w00t!) is neat,…

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Review: Little White Lies

Review: Little White Lies

Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies, by Ace Atkins. Little White Lies is Ace Atkins’ sixth Spenser book since the Robert B. Parker estate chose him to continue the series following Parker’s death. The books have ranged from just OK (Kickback) to quite good (Wonderland). Little White Lies lands solidly toward the very good end of the scale. The venerable Spenser gets a referral from his longtime lover Susan Silverman. Connie Kelly wants him to find M. Brooks Welles, an…

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Working with an Editor

Working with an Editor

I’ve written a couple reviews recently, and I’ll have more coming in the near-ish future. What I haven’t done recently is write about writing. Today, I want to share some experiences I’ve had working with an editor. This will be an irregular ongoing series, one I’ll add to when I have new or interesting experiences to share. First, I think every independent author should hire a professional editor. No, they don’t work for free, but we also shouldn’t expect them…

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Review: Wonder Woman

Review: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is easily the best movie in the DCEU. Considering the competition, I’m sure you could interpret that as damning with faint praise. It’s not. This movie is great. It’s a shining light in a sea of otherwise dreary and mopey grey. The movie: Young Diana, the princess of the island of Themiscyra, wishes to train with her fellow Amazons. Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) initially refuses, but, as Diana grows into a teenager, tells Antiope (Robin Wright) to train…

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Review – Logan

Review – Logan

Preamble: this movie review, and others you’ll see on this site, will focus on both the movie and the writing. This is, after all, a site about writing by a writer. This review covers the recent movie Logan, the final entry in the Wolverine saga. Yes, I’m lame enough that I missed it in theaters. The movie: Logan is set in 2029. In this dreary future, no mutant have been born in the last 25 years. No longer going by…

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Review: No Middle Name, by Lee Child

Review: No Middle Name, by Lee Child

No Middle Name collects all the Jack Reacher short stories into one volume. Whatever your opinion of Reacher, this collection won’t change it. I’ve read all the books (and seen both movies), so I like the character. However, I also recognize that he has his faults. Reacher can be pretty pompous and annoying at times, bordering on insufferable in some moments. The good and the occasionally vexing are all in here. The good wins out. I’ll focus more on the…

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How Important is Setting?

How Important is Setting?

Today, my wife and I took our daughter to seeĀ Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood. “Wait,” you may be thinking. “Since when is Hollywood the setting forĀ Peter and the Wolf?” That’s the point. It’s usually not. But for this performance, it was, and it worked. There were a few changes, but anyone familiar with the story would still recognize it, and the narration and music accompaniment were very good. That got me thinking about setting. For some books, it’s vital….

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Book Review: Smart Baseball by Keith Law

Book Review: Smart Baseball by Keith Law

Smart Baseball, by ESPN senior writer Keith Law, is a comprehensive and entertaining look at the world of baseball statistics, both the better new ones and some older ones that have lost relevance. Yes, I’m something of a baseball nerd. Over the years, football has become my favorite sport to sit and watch on TV, but baseball is still my favorite sport to follow. A large reason for that is the game’s statistical history and depth. I collected baseball cards…

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