Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do You See What I See?

Shining Star

A star, a star shining in the night! Do you remember that song? I do and it reminds me how frustrating it can be when you write a book and you’re trying to get others to read it. Reviews are fantastic, readers that have read your book love your book. So what’s the problem?

Taking it to the next level is the problem. There is no juggernaut publishing marketing team positioning your book. It is up to you, the independent and self-published author who has to do the heavy lifting. Finding an audience for your books is a daunting challenge. To navigate these rough seas we need help. Even if your book is fantastic those seas are still rough.

Any takers?

Determination Equals Focus Equals Discipline!


After many attempts to write that story you’ve been thinking about for so long you are now at a point where you are determined to get it done. You have reached that ‘fixed direction to an end’ but yet you find yourself stalling once again and the story remains locked inside of your brain. What is the key to setting your determination into real action? Well, take comfort in knowing that determination means you won’t quit. You will always make another attempt. Finding your focus is one of those keys. Zeroing in on the task at hand, blocking out distractions and making the decisions that will force you to act is true in all endeavors. The same holds true in your determination to begin writing that story. The other key is discipline. Not allowing distractions steal your determination and cloud your focus requires discipline.

Master these qualities and you will see your writing proliferate.

Dive Right In!


Starting a new book can be daunting. So much so it can delay you even beginning to write. The sheer scope of the work ahead of you is a deterrent, a distraction and a fairly large obstacle to overcome before you finally sit down and begin. Has anyone else experienced that? Especially if you have written books before then you know for sure how much work is ahead of you. I admit that this road block has played havoc with my mind in starting my new novel. I keep telling myself I am going to start writing and then that energy is quickly replaced with the realism of what is ahead of me and as a result I delay my writing for another day. Days, weeks and even months can easily slip away while you gather the necessary mental energy to just ‘Dive right in’.

I finally made the decision to start to write the new book. All the thoughts of the task ahead of me were pushed to the side with the excitement of finally writing those first words. Then those first few words turn into many words and a chapter is born. Then another and another. I then find myself asking ‘why did it take me so long to start writing the new book’?

Overcome obstacles by being stronger than the negative thoughts that slow you down and stop you from doing the difficult things.

Using Famous People in Your Story


Sometimes it is necessary or appropriate to use the real names of someone famous in your novel for authenticity purposes or for effect. What I would like to know is does an author require authorization from the famous person being used in the story? I understand it to be that as long as the reference to the famous person are in good taste then one does not need to worry about any potential backlash and therefor does not require authorization. Am I wrong? I would like to hear from other authors and what they believe is the correct use of the names of famous people and or the famous person in their story.

St. Patrick’s Day Salute


One of my favorite days of the year. It is a day that I can truly celebrate my heritage. Deep in family history and roots in Ireland marked by my recent obtaining of Irish citizenship it is a day all of my family has great fun with. I host a St. Patty’s Day party every year in my home that is great fun. It is my dream to someday spend several months a year in Ireland to find inspiration and solitude to write. Whether you’re Irish or not take some time today to raise your glass and salute those fun loving and hard working Irishman who endured tremendous hardship to carve out new lives for themselves and future generations in North America hundreds of years ago.

May the luck of the Irish be with you always!

Sometimes Simpler is Better

Designing a book cover can be frustrating, difficult and stressful. The natural impulse is to create something dramatic, the perfect eye-catching design that will draw readers to your book. Your graphic designer friends want to create something spectacular for your book cover.

What about something simple or just plain. Did you know that also can draw readers to want to know what is behind such a plain looking cover. The reader must surely be curious what lurks behind the simplicity. They will want to turn the book over and read your blurb. Often a reader scans the bookshelves looking for that eye-popping book cover to catch their interest but often its the most simplest of covers that catch their interest. I originally went with lots of graphics but eventually changed it and went the simple route.

What do you think? Simple or Super? Either way, make sure you have fun with this and not to stress.

Self-Publisher…Are you ready to spend money?


I have self published three books to date and counting. Have I spent money in producing those books? You bet I have…and lots.Think about it. Cover design, editing fees and the bottomless pit called marketing. Yes there are inexpensive do-it-yourself methods that can get you books out there and gain some attention to your books. It is however slow going and you must rely on a tremendous amount of luck to really move it along faster. I made a decision early on that I knew I would have to sacrifice and spend money to get my books out there. Copies to reviewers, advertising, social media efforts, professional editing services, graphic artwork for a professional cover design. Travel to and setup costs for book signings. The list is long but I do it within reason because I believe in my work and know there is a bigger audience waiting to discover it.

Dreaming in technicolor is, however, free.

Edit, Edit, Edit and Edit Some More…Aargh!


Okay I understand the importance of editing. Every writer gets it. None of us can write a book first draft to the book shelf, right? Okay maybe some of you can. What bothers me is my first editor, credentialy accomplished, edited my first book for a whopping fee. Then a reviewer made some comments on the editing so I freaked and paid another enormous fee to another well accomplished editor. Now through a series of circumstances, another editor is working on it. Yes for an enormous fee. I now think that every set of new eyeballs will have a different opinion and style on editing. When do I put a stop to the prying eyeballs and accept that the work is great?

Are news anchors a thing of the past?

News Anchor

I am a news junkie and I try and watch the news as often as I can. I grew up in the era when Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer were the very best. On scene reporters or journalists like Sam Donaldson and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer were incredible. To me they will always be the best. Their believability was unmatched. Brian Williams had become my next generation newscaster favorite. That of course all changed with his admission of lying on air. I now wonder if the Williams scandal will change how newscast will be seen in the future. I know my adult kids do not watch traditional newscasts unless something incredible happens in the world. They get their bits of news they are interested in through a news broadcast laced with satire and comedy like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.

I find myself searching to identify with a new up and coming household news deliverer. CNN’s Anderson Cooper is good but he is usually ‘on scene’ delivering news on one specific topic or situation.

I need a re-branded Brian Williams to make a comeback.

Book Two of the Superstars Trilogy, Vasallus: An Excerpt #10

Homicide Office

Detective Showenstein of the LAPD and his cantankerous boss, Captain Bitters:

He may have had the full resources of the LAPD at his disposal for now, but Sam knew he would not have that luxury for long. Soon the department would start scaling back the overtime, reassigning detectives to other cases, and returning detectives on loan from other departments, all in response to the lack of progress on the investigation of the Chelsea Benning murder. When it slowed down, then resources were taken away. That was the nature of the beast in police work. The rule of thumb in homicide investigations was the forty-eight hour rule. Most murder cases were solved within the first forty-eight hours. Beyond that, the percentages of solving the case went down dramatically. Witnesses changed their minds because they were scared and stepped back into the shadows of their unanimity, forensic evidence deteriorated, suspects slipped through the initial dragnet of momentum when the investigators were first assigned to the case. The ‘rush’ of the first forty-eight hours was critical on many fronts. Investigators assigned to the case were super focused and their instincts were razor sharp because they knew how important the first few days were in the case. Like the evidence, they had a tendency to slow down as the case dragged on. Lack of interest and the excitement to catch the next ‘rush’ wreaked havoc. A good homicide department captain anticipated this ebb and flow and kept his team focused and motivated. Captain Bitters was the best of the best in leading a group of skilled investigators for the LAPD Homicide and Robbery Section. Turning down opportunities for promotion in other sections to stay in Homicide, Bitters became the quintessential leader of the most highly paid group of cops in the force. He chose to accept it and his attitude had improved dramatically ever since. Sam learned to respect his boss immensely and the feeling was mutual and as a result, Sam saw himself turn into a career investigator in Homicide.

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