Marketing Matters: The Art of Self-Promotion

Once you’ve been published, you might think that your job is done, and that it is time to move on to your next project. You would be right on the latter account; wrong on the former. There are a number of ways to get the word out about yourself and your book. Here I shallContinue reading “Marketing Matters: The Art of Self-Promotion”

‘Little Women’: A Review

Louisa May Alcott’s signature work, Little Women, is undeniably a classic. Though set in the mid-19th century, its themes and lessons are timeless, and its main characters unforgettable in the annals of great literature. It is, in fact, one of only two or three books ever to have brought a tear to my eye. Here IContinue reading “‘Little Women’: A Review”

Pitching to a Literary Agent Live: What It’s Really Like

A couple years ago, I attended the last annual Longview Literary Festival in Lee’s Summit, MO. It was an incredibly fun experience as always, but different from previous years in that, for the first time ever, I got to pitch a novel series to a literary agency in person! Here I am going to tellContinue reading “Pitching to a Literary Agent Live: What It’s Really Like”

Agents: What Are They Good For?

Love them or hate them, literary agents are a force to be reckoned with in the publishing world. Just about all the big-name authors have one, and any online search you do for book publishers will likely bring up some agency names as well. So, who are these mysterious entities who do so much behind-the-scenesContinue reading “Agents: What Are They Good For?”

Writing Nonfiction

Needless to say, writing nonfiction is a very different experience from writing fiction. The most obvious fact, of course, is that while with fiction your only limits are those imposed by yourself, with nonfiction your job is to posit straight facts. This can lead some to believe that nonfiction is a more restrictive or boringContinue reading “Writing Nonfiction”

World Building

The most important aspect of any book next to character is setting, for without it there would be no context for the story to exist. I would go so far as to say anywhere from one third to half of any story has to do with establishing the surroundings in which the action can unfold,Continue reading “World Building”

The Worst of the Worst: Making Believable Antagonists

Continuing from last week’s post on creating good characters, I will now give a look at how best to portray those characters who are often far more interesting: the baddies. For the most part, the same rules apply to making good bad guys as making good good guys: show rather than tell, make his/her problemContinue reading “The Worst of the Worst: Making Believable Antagonists”

The Best of the Best: Making Believable Protagonists

While not all protagonists are good, it’s true, they are nevertheless an essential ingredient to any story (with a few abstract exceptions). It might seem easy to make a lead character who is generally likeable, and for some it is. But for others, creating a character out of thin air who is both interesting andContinue reading “The Best of the Best: Making Believable Protagonists”

Reading Between the Lines: Sending a Message to Readers

Everybody’s got a point to make. That’s how it often seems, anyway. From movies to television, ads to periodicals, there’s almost always some kind of takeaway message. Some are subtle: others much less so. Thus, it is only natural that books should follow the same pattern. Authors have their ideals and opinions too, after all,Continue reading “Reading Between the Lines: Sending a Message to Readers”