Sunday, January 22, 2017

Practicing Writing -- Check Out This Resource!

Here's a resource you really should check out:

Erika Dreifus -- Practicing Writing

Erika Dreifus is the author of Quiet Americans, a short-story collection that is largely inspired by the histories and experiences of her paternal grandparents, German Jews who escaped Nazi persecution and immigrated to the United States in the late 1930s. Erika earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, where she taught history, literature, and writing for several years. Currently, she lives in New York City, where she works as Media Editor for Fig Tree Books.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Belle Books Introduces Stone Cold Bastards by Jake Bible

"Keep dwelling in the past and you won't see the present."
-- Jake Bible, Parkway To Hell

Stone Cold Bastards, by our newest author, Jake Bible, is now available for pre-order!
Only a rag-tag team of gargoyles stands between humanity and extinction.

Hell has released its ravening horde of demons, leaving most of humanity a puke-spewing, head-spinning mess of possession.

Humanity's last hope? A team of misfit gargoyles - including a cigar chomping, hard-ass grotesque - come alive and ready for battle during the End of Days. They guard the last cathedral-turned-sanctuary atop a bald knoll in the North Carolina mountains.

Gargoyle protection grudgingly extends to any human who can make it inside the sanctuary, but the power of the stonecutter blood magic, which protects the sanctuary, may not be enough when a rogue grotesque and his badly-wounded ward arrive.

All the hounds of hell are on their heels. The last sanctuary is about to fall.

About Jake Bible

Born Jacob David Bible pre-Microsoft in Bellevue, WA, Jake was whisked away to the Beaver State when he was three and raised fundamentalist pagan. Fed a steady diet of Doritos, Fritos Bean Dip and Chinese herbal tonics, Jake had so many vivid hallucinations that he was writing and binding his own books by fifth grade. True story.

He grew up fascinated with the speculative and the macabre. He spent many summers on his grandparent's lake reading a leather bound, Franklin Library Edition of The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe. No, it wasn't a haunted book. And, no, it wasn't a haunted lake. Yes, his grandparents were actually re-animated corpses that had been accidentally murdered and then raised from the dead when a cocktail party got just a little out of hand. And they drank gin and tonics. True story.

Bram Stoker Award nominated-novelist, short story writer, independent screenwriter, podcaster, and inventor of the Drabble Novel, Jake has entertained thousands with his horror and sci/fi tales. He reaches audiences of all ages with his uncanny ability to write a wide range of characters and genres. Jake is the author of the bestselling Z-Burbia series set in Asheville, NC, the bestselling Salvage Merc One, the Apex Trilogy (DEAD MECH, The Americans, Metal and Ash) and the Mega series for Severed Press, as well as the YA zombie novel, Little Dead Man, the Teen horror novel, Intentional Haunting, the middle grade scifi/horror ScareScapes series, and the Reign of Four series, which he calls "medieval space fiction", for Permuted Press. As of 2017, he also publishes with Bell Bridge Books and will be releasing three books, starting with Stone Cold Bastards.

Jake currently lives in the Asheville, NC area with his wife, two kids, and two dogs. And although he writes about zombies and cannibals, Jake does not eat of the flesh himself (that means he's a vegetarian, son. I say, I say, stop bein' so dense, ya hear?). But, he will eat the non-homicidal animal foodstuffs because pizza is it's own food group and soy cheese just ain't gonna cut it.

True story.

For more information: https://jakebible.com/

Friday, January 20, 2017

Vampires for Valentines -- Crimson Shadows By Trisha Baker

Mikal Baldevar -- The legendary living Philosopher's Stone and a murderous sociopath!

Simon Baldevar and Meghann O'Neill have twins, Elizabeth and Mikal. Elizabeth is a mortal, loving, and normal child while Mikal is his father's son. Simon and Meghann separated in order to keep their children safe; he to an isolated Highland island with their vampiric son and Meghann to New York to raise their human daughter.

Eighteen years later, despite Simon's best efforts to raise his son, there are serious issues. In fact, Mikal has absolutely no sense of right or wrong, nor any sense of pleasure or pain. He's a true sociopath in every sense of the word. To Simon's dismay, Mikal leaves home on a murderous rampage.

Simon originally got Meghann pregnant to produce the legendary living philosopher's stone, knowing that his vampire child would possess powers that other vampires could only dream of, including the most fearful of all, Mikal is able to walk in daylight. Now, Simon Baldevar is faced with the most horrifying of choices; be a loving father or a ruthless killer. Either way, he must face what he has unleashed upon the world.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/crimsonshadows.html

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pushing Your Genre Boundaries -- Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

This week, let's talk about jumping into a new genre from the one you're most comfortable with.

Think back to the first time you wrote in a genre other than you're favorite, did it rattle you at all? How did you prepare for the new experience?

Bobby Nash: I love the challenge of playing in a new genre or mixing genres in a way I haven't attempted before. Each story offers up a a challenge. When I wrote Lance Star: Sky Ranger for the first time, it was new for me writing this type of action/adventure story and my first time getting into the head of pilot characters. When I moved over to Domino Lady, even though it was still a pulp story, it was a different kind of character and story so those same kind of challenges were there. Then, one day, I got the chance to write a western. It was a little nerve-wracking, but it was also fun to scratch that particular creative itch. So, maybe a little rattled, but just a little. No real preparation other than researching where needed, but that happens no matter what genre I'm writing.

Lucy Blue: I've always written for myself in various genres, but the first time I consciously wrote for publication in a genre that wasn't romance was a noir story (or pulp story?), and I was a little self-conscious. I went back and read a couple of noir classics that I knew well and a couple of new things in the genre I'd never read before, just to get the taste of it in my mouth, if that makes any sense.

Lee Houston Jr.: No, because even when you're tackling what you might think is just 1 specific genre when creating a tale, you always bring elements from others (action, drama, etc) into your story whether you're consciously aware of doing so or not. 

L. Andrew Cooper: I’ve been writing in different genres since I was a kid, so I remember adventure (a choose-your-own-adventure with kidnapping and a plane wreck on a desert island! –second grade) and horror (ghost child kills parents –third grade) and sci-fi (genetically engineered antichrist –eighth grade)… and my first novel, at 18, was experimental literary (don’t even ask). If I can immerse myself and get a genre’s feeling, I’m ready for the experience. I don’t get the feeling of romantic comedy or—from the storytelling perspective—happy porn. I couldn’t write it. I tried porn. Embarrassing fail.

Bill Craig: It didn't because it was a genre that I loved to read. Preparation was getting the character just right.

Hilaire Barch: Yes! I am used to happy endings. Dark fantasy/horror were hard. I wrote in lieu of therapy.

Nancy Hansen: Rattle me? No, but I was a bit nervous about getting it right. First time was PI fiction, and Tommy Hancock tossed me an idea that I said no to, and then went ahead and did it —- my way. That idea transformed into The Keener Eye. Second time I got myself involved in writing a western, which is something I'd never tackled before. Because that was a 'write like the original author' scenario, I had to do my research. I had never even read a western. I think the story I did for Senorita Scorpion turned out pretty well, but I had doubts all along the way. Now I'm writing a pirate series...

Danielle Procter Piper: As a kid, I wrote mysteries (or tried to). As a teen, I broadened into sci-fi and fantasy. Basically, I followed the rule; write what you'd like to read. I love humorous horror, so that was not a stretch. I was encouraged to write erotica because it apparently sells well. I learned I'm no good at erotica because I tend to make everything I write funny or horrific. I can write some steamy sex scenes for my sci-fi, but a whole book surrounding sex... it just feels goofy to me. I guess because I've never felt sexy -- only goofy. It was recently suggested that I try my hand at writing a western. I do own a few western DVDs, but I've never read any, so without a sci-fi or fantasy twist, I doubt it will happen. Writing genres I'm naturally drawn to is a piece o'cake.

Robert Krog: My default setting for writing is Fantasy.   It’s not precisely my favorite to write, but most of my favorite books to read are Fantasy.  That being stated, I’ve rarely had trouble working in a new genre.  The first time I was required to write something not in a genre to which I had gravitated of my own interest was, I was asked to write a Steampunk story.  At that time, I had only heard of Steampunk and didn’t really know what it was.  I wasn’t rattled, but I was perplexed.  After doing some careful research, I discovered that Steampunk is mostly about setting and technology and is often a hybrid subgenre, from there it was easy.  I read a few well-known examples and a few obscure samples of the genre to get a feel for the setting and then went a told a story that met

I have had a more difficult experience in writing a piece of Historical Fiction.  I trained as an Egyptologist in graduate school and have always wanted but always been leery of writing a story set in Ancient Egypt.  I recently did so at last, and it was a difficult process due to my own concerns about getting the facts right and capturing the spirit of the times.  I’m still not sure I did the job properly, and I don’t think I’ll try it again any time soon unless I have a lot more time to brush up on the subject matter. 

Ellie Raine: I started on a detective story that was more or less intended to be a straight murder mystery… yeah, that didn’t go over so well with my fantasy-tuned attention span. I got so bored with the straight detective story (most likely because I’m just not that great at it) that I contacted my publisher and asked “Just HOW paranormal can I go with this?”. He said “go crazy”. So, I rewrote the story into a paranormal noir until I found it fun. And it was. I regret nothing… *maniacal laughter*

Retta Bodhaine: I've started out on missions to write either horror or mystery, but have yet to complete one. It's still something I'm working towards, but the main reason I want to accomplish this is to push my own boundaries. I think it will help me grow as a writer to wander outside of my comfort zones.

When branching out into a new genre, has the new one ever become your new favorite, even to the point of taking the place of your previous "go-to genre"?

 L. Andrew Cooper: Awhile ago I started playing with poetry and haven’t been able to stop—not a genre, exactly, but it’s a go-to form these days instead of prose. I’m still a horror guy, though, and novels are happening. I’ve got a sonnet cycle coming out that’s a superhero horror story, also kind of autobiographical. It’s weird. 

Lee Houston Jr.: No. While I do have my favorites (superheroes, sci-fi, mysteries, and fantasy) I like variety. The one genre I probably would never tackle is modern horror because by today's definition of it, horror is more blood, guts, and violence than suspense and dread from back in the days of Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Senior or Junior, Boris, Karloff, Vincent Price, etc.  

Danielle Procter Piper: When I published my first fantasy a few years ago, I found writing it rather freeing as I was not constrained by either science or history. The problem I had was keeping myself reigned in so I didn't add too many fantasy elements that I had no intention of explaining better or tying off neatly by the story's end. I also have to control myself when I write horror. I have really freaked a few people out by "going too far". I thought that was the point, but perhaps not if it disturbs readers so much they don't really want to read your stuff again.

Hilaire Barch:
So far, no. I think it's made me a better writer though.

Bill Craig:
Mystery writing became my new favorite genre to work in, because it let me take the plot pieces like they were a puzzle and build the story around them until I had a good solid book.

Robert Krog: I haven’t found a new favorite, much less a new default genre for my writing.  I’m most comfortable with Fantasy to this day, but I enjoy telling stories regardless, and I rarely think of what I write as genre anyway. Stories are about people, genre is mostly window dressing, so far as I can tell. 

Bobby Nash: Before writing my first pulp story, I had been writing mystery/thrillers and comic books. Once I worked on Lance Star: Sky Ranger and Domino Lady stories, I was hooked on writing pulpy adventures and I write pulpy stories more often than most types.

Lucy Blue: I adored the experience of writing outside romance and have been doing more and more of that, and I have written a couple of other noir things since that felt amazing. I haven't really picked a new favorite genre yet, but the experience of that initial branching out has been a huge deal in helping me rediscover who I want to be as a writer.

What advice would you offer for new writers looking to broaden their horizons into new genres?

Lucy Blue: Pick a new genre that you genuinely love as a reader, not just the hot new thing; read lots of it and learn the tone and language and commonplaces; then write YOUR story. Know the rules well enough to break them in a way that makes sense within the context of the genre. Don't try to bait and switch an editor, calling your book one genre that they've asked for when you know in your heart it's really more something else.

Retta Bodhaine: As a part of my quest I have taken to reading many instructional books and delving back into those genres for my pleasure reading too. I am currently reading How to Write Crime Fiction by Sarah Williams and re-familiarizing myself with some of my favorite Poe.

Bobby Nash: Do it. If you have an idea for a story or a passion to try a genre, do it. You might fail. You might succeed. You might discover that publishers have pigeon-holed you into one type of writer and will have to pitch it under a pen name. You can learn a lot about yourself as a writer by getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.

Robert Krog: Despite what I stated about window dressing, stories set in other, real cultures, past or present, do need to be well-researched and do present intellectual challenges to the author if he wishes his stories to be accurate and well-received by those in the know about the setting.  Do your research, and even if you are making it all up, be sure to keep your story internally consistent.  If it doesn’t follow its own logic, you are cheating, and the reader will catch you.  If it is set in a real-world culture, you will turn off readers who know better than you do when you make a mistake by using customs or technologies not associated with the time and/or place.

Danielle Procter Piper: The advice I'll give new writers is to go ahead and have fun, be adventurous. You'll know while you're writing a story if it feels right or not. The best thing you can do is find total strangers to review your work. They won't lie to you. And never take their criticism personally. You'll never know where your weaknesses are until several strangers have picked out the same fault. Book stores want you to write within a genre just so they know where to shelve your work. Publishers want you to write within a specific genre so they know how to promote your work. You can try to please them, or you can choose to please yourself and write whatever you like. Little hint: If you're good enough, no one will care what you're trying to do with your writing, so write what makes you happy.

Bill Craig: Don't be afraid to write outside your comfort zone. You will be surprised at how it opens you up to new ideas.

Hilaire Barch: Don't discount any genre until you've given it a shot. All have different writing aspects that even if the piece never sees the light of day, can help you improve your craft.

L. Andrew Cooper: A genre is built primarily on readers’ expectations and secondarily on historical conventions. Know both—screw with both, sure, but know both, and then have fun. Genres are full of little seeds to plant in your own stories. Cultivate them however you like.

Lee Houston Jr.: READ MORE! Broaden your mind and increase your horizons at the same time. You might enjoy something new that you were unaware existed, and at least experiencing other genres will help you down the road when you least expect it.

Nancy Hansen: Sword & Sorcery\Epic\Heroic Fantasy will always be my favorite genre, but it's good to be able to write other stuff. It opens up new markets. I've even done some horror now. I'm a better writer all round for branching out. I also read more diverse genres than I used to. So I'd say do your homework, read within any genre you're interested, both well done work and sloppy stuff, old and new. Then get out of your comfort zone and start dipping your toes in a new area of fiction. It's good for you and will broaden your appeal as an author. Learning to write stuff like westerns and pirate tales is like learning a new language. You start out overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge you need, but over time it begins to make sense, and before you know it, you're explaining things to other people. Just stick with it and you'll eventually be fluent enough in the lingo to write it well.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Nugget #88 -- The Right Word

The right word will do things a good word won't. It will 
say something about the character of the person saying or 
thinking it. It will bring with it the baggage of years of 
cultural context to say more than your mere word count ever 
could. It will sing rather than simply hum. It will make an 
idea stick to the brain rather than just "get the job done."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Update Your Links


Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action now has a new, easy to remember, direct website address:

www.badgirlsgoodguys.com

Be sure to update your links accordingly.

[Link] An interview with Donald Westlake (aka Richard Stark)

Note: Here's an oldie but a goodie,
as the saying goes.

==========================

by Paul Kane

Donald Westlake has also been associated with the cinema. “The Hunter,” one of the Parker novels written under the name of Richard Stark, has been made into a film four times. His screenplay for Stephen Frears’ 1990 film “The Grifters,” still the best screen adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel, was nominated for an Oscar.

I interviewed Donald Westlake in December 2006, following the publication of his latest Parker novel, “Ask the Parrot.” Here is how it turned out.

Paul Kane: Do you see yourself as a crime writer or simply a writer, period?

Donald Westlake: I began by writing everything, genre, slices of life, whatever. Over the course of time, it was mostly mystery stories (followed by sci-fi and humor) that got accepted, and you tend to go where you’re liked. Through the sixties, I said I was a writer disguised as a mystery writer, but then I looked at my back trail and said, okay, I’m a mystery writer.

I began by writing everything, genre, slices of life, whatever. Over the course of time, it was mostly mystery stories (followed by sci-fi and humor) that got accepted, and you tend to go where you’re liked. Through the sixties, I said I was a writer disguised as a mystery writer, but then I looked at my back trail and said, okay, I’m a mystery writer.

PK: What can you do in crime fiction that you can’t do in a straight literary novel? What possibilities does the genre offer you?

DW: I don’t think the distinction between genre and literary fiction is useful. We’re all working with the same two things, story and language, and if you fail with either of those it doesn’t matter what label you put on it.

Read the full article: http://www.compulsivereader.com/2006/12/30/an-interview-with-donald-westlake-aka-richard-stark/

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an annual award for adventure writing.

This award is split into two separate categories – a prize for the best published adventure novel of the previous calendar year and a prize for the best unpublished adventure manuscript submitted for consideration.


The winner of the prize for a published novel will receive £10,000. The winner of the prize for an unpublished manuscript will be offered the Writer’s Adventure Research Award. The award is an exceptional opportunity in the form of a £5,000 grant, enabling the winner to travel to undertake invaluable research for their next story. They will also be offered guidance from Wilbur’s literary agents at Tibor Jones & Associates.

Criteria

Entries for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize must meet the following criteria:

Published Work

  1. Entries can be submitted from the 31st of October 2016 until the 23rd of January 2017. Any novel submitted after the deadline will not be eligible for entry.
  2. The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.
  3. Entrants may submit multiple works as long as they were all published between the 1st of January 2016 and the 1st of January 2017.
  4. The work in question must have been published by a recognised trade publisher.
  5. Entrants must submit two copies of the completed novel, as well as a covering letter explaining why the work qualifies as adventure writing (using the definition provided here), to the following address: The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, 2-6 Atlantic Road, 2nd Floor, London, SW9 8HY.
  6. We reserve the right to disqualify any entry if we have reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these rules.
  7. We cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the competition.
  8. We will act in accordance with current UK data protection legislation in relation to your personal data. All personal data entered is secure.
  9. We reserve the right to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary to do so or where circumstances are beyond our control. We reserve the right to not award the first prize, where circumstances are beyond our control, or if the judges’ overall verdict is that the level of entries is not up to the required standard.
  10. Submission of entry is taken to be an unqualified acceptance of these rules.
  11. The shortlist will be announced in April 2017.

Unpublished Work

  • Entries can be submitted from the 31st of October 2016 until the 23rd of January 2017. Any manuscript submitted after the deadline will not be eligible for entry.
  • The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.
  • You may enter multiple works but novels will be considered as separate entries, so each completed manuscript must be accompanied by its own covering letter, explaining why the work qualifies as adventure writing (using the definition provided here), a synopsis and a copy of your CV.
  • All submissions must be made via email (submissions@wilbur-niso-smithfoundation.org).
  • Submissions must exceed 50,000 words in length.
  • Self-published e-books are eligible, but manuscripts that have been published in any other format are not.
  • If you enter your novel in other competitions and you win, please notify us and withdraw your submission.
  • Entrants must not be represented by a literary agent.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify any entry if we have reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these rules.
  • We cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrant entering the competition.
  • We will act in accordance with current UK data protection legislation in relation to your personal data. All personal data entered is secure.
  • We reserve the right to amend these rules where it is deemed necessary to do so or where circumstances are beyond our control. We reserve the right to not award the first prize, where circumstances are beyond our control, or if the judges’ overall verdict is that the level of entries is not up to the required standard for publication.
  • Submission of entry is taken to be an unqualified acceptance of these rules.
  • The shortlist will be announced in April 2017.

For more information: http://www.wilbur-niso-smithfoundation.org/index.php?p=awards/adventure-writing-prize

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Chromosphere Press Announces the Latest from Stephanie Osborn!

2 JANUARY 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HUNTSVILLE, AL

Stephanie Osborn, aka the Interstellar Woman of Mystery, former rocket scientist and author of acclaimed science fiction mysteries, goes back to the urban legend of the unique group of men and women who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. and make things...disappear...to craft her vision of the universe we don't know about. Her new series, Division One, chronicles this universe through the eyes of recruit Megan McAllister, aka Omega, and her experienced partner, Echo, as they handle everything from lost alien children to extraterrestrial assassination attempts and more.

Dr. Megan McAllister was already a pretty unique human — NASA astronaut, professional astronomer, polymath — when she encountered the man in the black Suit that night in west Texas. What Division One Agent Echo didn't know, when he recruited her to the Agency, was that she was even more special.

But he'd find out, soon enough.

Award-winning author Osborn is a 20+-year space program veteran, with multiple STEM degrees. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to more than 30 books. She currently writes the critically-acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files,” and the Gentleman Aegis Series, whose first book was a Silver Falchion winner. She “pays it forward” through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, and working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank. Osborn’s website is http://www.stephanie-osborn.com.

Division One series Book One, Alpha and Omega, will be released in ebook formats on 10 January, 2017, and in trade paperback format on 24 January. Additional installments in the ongoing series are anticipated later this year.

ISBN:
978-0-9982888-0-2 (ebook)
978-0-9982888-1-9 (print)

The ebooks are available for preorder at:
Amazon (Kindle): https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Omega-Division-Stephanie-Osborn-ebook/dp/B01MXNQTFJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483394401&sr=1-1

Barnes-Noble (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alpha-and-omega-stephanie-osborn/1125168253?ean=9780998288802

Other formats, and trade paper, will be available from your favorite bookseller!

Friday, January 13, 2017

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS COMANCHE BLOOD

Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to announce the release of the second in writer R.A. Jones’ western series featuring Jason Mankiller. During the Civil War, the young Union soldier had a tattoo painted on his left check; that of blood drops falling from the corner of his eyes. Since that time, earning his reputation as a bounty hunter, he is known on the Texas frontier as The Man Who Cries Blood.

In this second tale, Mankiller is on the trail of three vicious Comancheros who have been stirring up trouble between the Comanche and the white settlers of Fort Rogers. Even though the skilled hunter has the friendship of the notorious half-breed Comanche Chief, Quanah Parker, it is still left to him to find the renegades and prevent more bloodshed.

“When R.A. first approached us about doing this series, we were delighted,” says Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor Ron Fortier. “He wanted to do a straight up, old fashion western adventure. No fantasy elements, no weird western label. Just a classic tale of the old west during the years after the Civil War when America was attempting to heal its wound and rededicate itself to its manifest destiny.”

With the help of interior illustrator Chris Kohler and cover painter, Adam Shaw, writer R.A. Jones once again weaves a thrilled packed adventure set against the backdrop of the Texas frontier and brings to life the pioneer men and women who crossed a vast wilderness to create a new chapter in American history. Comanche Blood is a part of their story.

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!

Available now at Amazon and soon on Kindle.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Writing Redemptive Stories


by Sean Taylor

Every reader, it seems, loves to cheer for the underdog—but not just for the physical underdog, the weak and small David dwarfed by the monstrous Goliath. Readers also seem to have a place in their hearts for the moral underdog, the failed and fallen character (in both senses of the word, the individual and that individual's choices and nature) who seeks a resolution or a reinstatement of his or her innocence or at the very least a return to a place of balance between his or her good and evil natures.

In fact, it has perhaps become a staple in the modern adventure story. For every Luke Skywalker trying to to the right thing there stands a Darth Vader who must be saved from the evil within himself. For every Superman with midwest values of right and wrong, there's a Batman of the urban sprawl who must learn to balance violence, judgment, and compassion.

Now when it comes to writing redemptive stories there are two main approaches a writer can use. The first is what I'll call the “Religious Approach.” The second, which is far more common, is what I'll call the “Bootstrap Approach”—based on the maxim about people pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.

The Religious Approach


Writers who use this way of looking at redemptive stories tend to create characters who require the help from someone of something greater than themselves to either trigger or complete their restoration. In the Narnia books, the Pevensie children can't defeat the Snow Queen without the work of Aslan. Nor can Frodo (who struggles with the “sin” the one ring forces him to acknowledge and struggle against) make his way to Mount Doom to destroy the ring without the assistance of Gandalf (either white or gray). Nor can the narrator of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane save himself. His saving requires the sacrificial work of Lettie Hempstock.

If it helps, think of this version as the Billy Graham version:  “I discovered I was bad or needed change, and ____________ helped me achieve it.”

Writers of this camp tend to come from a background of religion, and draw from that theological upbringing. Without getting into too deep a catechism, the bottom line connecting all Christian sects is that humankind is fallen (or evil) and that it requires the righteousness of someone not fallen to substitute or count in its place.

In the world of comics, several of the best Sandman stories by Neil Gaiman are of this type. Morpheus' world is filled with victims, villains, stand-abouts, and heroes who try to do and be better, only to require the Lord of Dream's help to get there.

One of my favorite twists on this type of tale comes when instead of a mighty creature like Aslan having the saving grace (so to speak), it is instead the small, seemingly unmighty creature or character who provides the innocence required to trigger the fallen character's redemption, playing off the literary riff in the Bible of the Lion that is also the Lamb. Examples of this include the aforementioned Lord of the Rings—even with the mighty works of Gandalf and Aragorn, it's really the brotherly support of Samwise that strengthens Frodo and saves him from his own desires to keep the ring.

Other notable works in the religious approach include Les Miserables, Wise Blood, Crime and Punishment, and A Christmas Carol.

The Bootstrap Approach


As I mentioned before, this approach is far more common in contemporary fiction, no doubt beginning with the Age of Reason and coming most recently from the 19th Century push toward the philosophy called Humanism (in short, man is dependent on and reports to himself ultimately). As such, writers (and philosophers, although this isn't that sort of column) began to introduce more characters who were the authors and finishers of their own inner change toward restoration or innocence.

If it helps, think of this version as the Oprah Winfrey version: “I decided I needed to be a better person, and this is what I did about it.”

Perhaps my favorite example of this is Han Solo. Why does he turn around and help the Rebels destroy the Death Star? Simply because he chooses to. He makes a decision to be a better person, damn the consequences, and he does it. He needs no help from the Force.

Another is Damien Karras in Blatty's The Exorcist. Karras is driven by grief and loss of faith to be a stronger man. Unfortunately, his opposition is the Devil, but even against such odds, it's not God who drives him. It's a personal desire and drive to be stronger (some might say worthy) in spite of his lack of faith.

From the world of comics, I recommend Punk Rock Jesus as one of the best of this type story. Thomas McKeal, a former IRA type with a list of regrets and deaths in his wake, gets a shot at being the bodyguard for a clone of Christ. It's the ultimate bootstrap pull, right in front of “Jesus” himself, but doing it for him not because of him.

Such changes in nature can be linked to several catalysts:

  • New love (a particularly obvious one)
  • A new group of influencers (for example, Han Solo's sudden heroic band, more than he'd care to admit).
  • An injury
  • Sometimes just a well-thought out change in POV
  • Grief from personal loss
  • Prophecy (The Once and Future King)
  • A sudden change in situation, such as location (Coraline)
  • Revenge turned into forgiveness (The Man in the Iron Mask)
  • Comparison to another generation (Catcher in the Rye)
  • The list is almost endless

Other notable works in the bootstrap approach include The Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner (the movie portrays this perhaps better than the book, I think as Deckard learns his own flaws and seeks to understand and change), The Outsiders, and the Harry Potter series (particularly if viewed from the story of Snape).

Failed Redemption

There's one last thing we need to examine as we discuss redemptive stories, and that's the failed redemption.

In this version, no matter whether the change is prompted by a religious, inner zeal or an outer change, whether influenced by outside help or inner will, a character makes every effort to be better (as he or she defines that, of course), but ultimately fails.

The quintessential “great American novel”—The Great Gatsby—is perhaps my favorite failed redemption story. Jay Gatsby creates a set of criteria for his change and success as a new person, only to find how wrong he was, and the very things he pursued end up destroying him utterly.

Some well-known works with redemptive failures include Ethan Frome, the Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series by Stephen Donaldson, Plath's The Bell Jar, and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. Some might even include The Awakening by Kate Chopin on this list, though it can be argued that the heroine doesn't fail, but becomes someone the world isn't ready for yet.

Putting It All Together Into a Process

Okay, Sean. That's all well and good. Thanks for the background lesson on books and films with redemptive themes. But what do I really need to do to tell better redemptive stories?

I get it. We're in a generation of bullet lists and step-by-step processes, so I'll try to make it as USA Today as I can for all of us.

1. Your character (or multiple characters) must face the truth about himself or herself. He or she must, for some reason (see the list above) see beneath the surface to the flawed, failed creature shriveled there.

2. Your character must want to change for the better, however it is that he or she (or it) defines better. Whether the criteria are religious or personal, true or false, your character must begin on the path toward betterment. Sometimes this will be physical (as in an action novel) or psychological (in something less genre).

3. The road must be fraught with obstacles. As with any good fiction, something must get in the way of your protagonist getting what he or she wants. It can be a balrog on the bridge or a husband who wants a trophy wife (Their Eyes Were Watching God) or an dying father (Jane Smiley's 1000 Acres), but it must be something.

4. Small victories lead to great confidence. Edna Pontellier moves out on her own (The Awakening). Thomas Covenant is able to make the ring glow by himself. Luke Skywalker finally listens to the Force and blocks a laser blast while blindfolded. If you could warn your characters, this is when you would want to tell them to be careful, that pride comes before a fall.

5. New confidence leads to overconfidence, which becomes a new “sin” to be dealt with. C.S. Lewis wrote about this often, particularly when he mentioned the small goods that get in the way of the great good. Spider-man gets control of his life (or so he thinks) financially, only to have his plans disrupted and lead to Uncle Ben's death.

6. Your character must face the truth about his or her nature again. This new “sin” reveals the depth of wrongness inside to be even deeper and more troubling that the character though back in step one. This is that moment when Rick Hunter realizes he's not a hero after all (Robotech reference for those who didn't know), and when the monster created by Victor Frankenstein realizes that in spite of his desire to be better than his creator, he is perhaps just a monster after all. The closer a character gets to his or her redemptive goal, the more subtle and deeply entrenched the wrongs inside him or her become (or were there all along but can finally be seen). The problem may not have been sleeping around after all, but that was just a symptom of the of the true moral failing—for example, wanting to be known as the great lover without earning it by truly loving.

7. Rinse and repeat as needed. You know the cycle. Keep it going until your antagonist is either beaten down to the gooey human pulp you want for the story or built up from lesson after lesson until he or she practically gleams gold. Then, and only then, do you really sock it to him or her.

8. You character faces his or her moment of truth. This is where the crap hits the fan. It's all or nothing. Either all the growth up to this point comes to fruition, or it gets left off to the side of the road in the biggest moral failing in your character's life. This is when Carol Fry realizes at the point of a beast's stinger that she's not the hero, but Riddick is. This is the moment when Rorschach comes to terms with the facts—all he has done is for naught. The world will never let the little guy win. Best just to carry on and get murdered by your friends.This is when little Frodo drops either the ring or himself into the flames of Mount Doom.

9. Your character faces the aftermath. This will typically end in a brand new journey toward redemption or (perhaps the harder story to craft) a resolving to accept the truth about oneself and come to terms with being a lesser person in one's own eyes. Dr. Manhattan “unmakes” Rorschach, then leaves to contemplate the moralities of life... elsewhere. Riddick flies the survivors to safety, wondering if he's worthy of Fry's sacrifice after all. Deckard takes Rachael away—presumably to temporary safety and limited happy ever afters. Excalibur is returned to the Lady of the Lake. Karras leaps through the window to take the demon with him, away from little Regan. Edna Pontellier walks into the ocean to die. Luke Skywalker gives his father an honored death and sees his redeemed Force ghost.

But...


None of this is necessary for your story, however. Not all tales are redemptive ones. Or even failed redemptions. There are plenty of stories out there with characters who couldn't care less about becoming better people. Hammett's Sam Spade, for example, is perfectly happy being the unhappy schlup with zero interest in examining the moral side of his choices. The same goes for Hemingway's existential heroes. All they're concerned with is simply surviving. He who makes it to the end of breath wins.

Still, although you don't need to weave a redemptive story into your fiction, it never hurts to have something redemptive going on—even in a subplot. This is particularly true for pulpy writers who focus on the action and less on the nature of their characters. So what if the hero isn't looking to better himself or herself. Perhaps the client or the victim in distress is, and the hero is that person's only hope. Sometimes telling the story from the POV of the “other” rather than the one looking for innocence or redemption can be the more compelling story.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Nugget #87 -- Don't Rape the Muse (kudos to those who appreciate the Sandman reference)

I know this isn't the answer most new writers want to hear,
but most of the time if I don't feel like writing then I simply
don't write. Forcing the muse, so to speak, at least for me,
can do more harm than good.

Never kidnap your Muse when inspiration isn't flowing. It's just not worth it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

[Link] How to Write While Managing a Full-Time Job: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Time

by Patrick Carr

Let’s face it; unless you’re in the upper echelons of the writing business, you’re quickly discovering that writing won’t make you rich. I’m a full time math teacher in Nashville. I learned early on that writers, by and large, are one of the few professions that make less than teachers. So, until you become the next J.K. Rowling or James Patterson, you’ll need to manage your writing efforts in conjunction with your day gig. Here are some steps on how to do that.

1. Never ever ever leave the house without a way to record your ideas. Inspiration for a new book, a change to a scene, or even a character’s distinguishing feature strikes at the most inopportune time. Keep pen and paper, or a voice recorder, your smartphone, something with you at all times.

Read the full article: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/how-to-write-while-managing-a-full-time-job-5-ways-to-maximize-your-time

Monday, January 9, 2017

My work is nominated for Preditors & Editors' Readers Favorites Poll

Capes & Clockwork 2 is in the running for the Preditors & Editors' Readers Favorites Poll. The poll has many different categories, so look for C&C2 under that Anthologies category. Share the link below with your friends and be sure to give us a vote.

C&C2 featured my story "Not So These City Beasts."

http://critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Who Better Than Bob Dylan?

I know this isn't time critical anymore, but I've been listening to Bob Dylan's newest "old release" from the Royal Albert Hall, and regarding Bob Dylan as the recipient for the most recent Nobel Prize in Literature, I have to say that Dylan's addition to the canon of American poetry is as important and vital to world literature as that of Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, or Maya Angelou. It matters not that it was set to music. The music was as much as delivery system for his truths as a paperback book was a delivery system for Salman Rushdie. (Perhaps that's one reason each arrangement was different from live show to live show -- the music didn't matter so much, at least not as much as what he was saying.)

Dylan told folk tales as well as Mark Twain ("The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" and "As I Went Out One Morning,") and literary short stories as well as Raymond Carver ("Sweetheart Like You" and "Like a Rolling Stone"). He has and will continue to confound and divide academics with songs are varied as "Ballad of a Thin Man," "Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream," and "Maggie's Farm." And he captured the American cultural zeitgeist as well as Eliot's "The Wasteland" or anything by Ezra Pound with songs like "Desolation Row" and "Highway 61 Revisited."

And for those who fear that the inclusion of a minstrel among the literati means we'll soon have insipid pop stars winning Nobel Prizes for Literature, don't be ridiculous. There are fewer than a handful of true poets in the music world, and there's a world of difference between "Desolation Row" and "Hit Me, Baby, One More Time." And for those who refuse to broaden their understanding of what constitutes Literature (with a capital "L" of course, for all the high-falutin' snots like myself), Dylan himself predicted that the old definitions are supposed to be fluid and always open to redefinition when he sang, "The times, they are a-changin'."

Viva la Dylan!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bobby Nash's SNOW FALLS available for Kindle

SNOW FALLS by Bobby Nash is now available for Kindle at www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAOHSTR

Abraham Snow’s career ended with a single shot. Left for dead, the undercover operative barely survived an assassin’s bullet. After a long and painful recovery, Snow retires. He returns home to rest and recuperate only to get swept up in the family business, one just as dangerous as his previous profession. When he thwarts an assassination attempt on a diplomat that endangers his sister, Snow leaps into action to keep his family out of a highly trained killer’s crosshairs.

SNOW FALLS is the first book in the continuing adventures of Abraham Snow.

www.bobbynash.com
http://ben-books.blogspot.com/p/snow.html

Friday, January 6, 2017

[Link] #WriteTip PIs, Lawyers and Clients: Who’s Driving the Bus?

by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman

Recently, I’ve read this scenario in several private eye novels: In a first-time meeting with a new client in a defense lawyer’s office, the PI runs the show while the lawyer stays mum in the background. Sometimes the PI gets aggressive with the client, going full-tilt interrogation mode, demanding to know what the client said and did at a crime scene, for example. Meanwhile, the lawyer sits idly nearby, saying zilch, the epitome of passivity.

I’ve never met a milquetoast criminal lawyer. Especially on their turf.

Better to double-check for accuracy than propagate a cliche in your story.

After reading similar scenes in multiple books, I began to wonder if some writers are reading scenes like this in others’ private eye stories, so they copy the same set-up as if it’s realistic. Nope. It’s not. Copying a scenario, especially one involving a legal setting, without conducting some research to check accuracy is lazy writing. You might as well put your PI in a trench coat, carrying a sap, and swilling whiskey while on the job. You know, the stuff cliches are made of.

Let’s look at a few reasons why a PI wouldn’t behave like this.

Read the full article.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fictionalizing History

This week's roundtable proved to be quite a popular one with writers weighing in on both sides and having some pretty strong feelings about the issue of historical accuracy in fictional works. And with period fiction being all the rave on television, in movies, and in novels, it's remarkably apropos for writers looking to test the waters of blending fiction and history.

When you use people or events from history in your fiction, how important is it that they are portrayed accurately? When is it okay to ignore history and create new "facts" about the people or event you are choosing to utilize in your story?

Stephanie Osborn: Depends how serious my story line is. If I'm playing around with a concept, I might play a bit fast and loose. If it's a really serious story, then I'll try to stay close to the facts. (If it's an alternate history/universe, that also gives me some leeway to mess with the timeline.

Robert Krog: I would only fictionalize history if I were writing alternate history. If I were writing strict, historical fiction, then it would be a cardinal sin to change any facts. I would carefully distinguish which I were writing so the reader would know. The tiny exception might be to insert a small, historically insignificant event written to keep the character of the person in question in tact, say a chance meeting that is over briefly. I would write it so that it would be something of which historians would plausibly be ignorant. I would keep the implications of the event as small as possible.

As far as alternate History goes, the possibilities for alteration are much greater, however, for the alternate History to be a useful exploration, it should really ask, what would the world look like or how would the world be changed if this particular person or event were different, but the rest remained the same. What if the South had won the Civil War? What if Stalin had died in W.W. II? What if Muhammed had converted to Christianity rather than inventing his own religion? Etc.

James Bojaciuk: Accuracy is incredibly important. First, you'll be alienating any reader who knows the real history. I have my own blacklist of authors I'll never read again -- some for making up their own facts (Houdini believes in fairies and magic), some for fundamentally misunderstanding history (failing to understand that when Theodore Roosevelt said "race," he meant "nation," and spinning-off into a very racist Teddy when his actual record belies that notion).

Second, we owe historical figures, and their families, and readers as a whole an accurate take on the figure, their beliefs, and their life. There's no reason to violate that. History is always more entertaining, and enlightening, than fiction's "improvements."

The best kind of drama is human drama, and the further we get from that with embellishments, the less powerful it is. One needs only compare Karoline Leach's mostly accurate In the Shadow of the Dreamchild to any of the novels based on the faked Lewis Carroll/Alice romance to see which is more interesting, dramatic, and powerful.

As a publisher, I have a very low threshold for inaccuracy. I think we owe our readers real history, as much as humanly possible.

When is it okay? Alternate history, *if* that alternate history takes off from an actual historical point. Near the end of his life, after meeting with Arabs, FDR decided that any and all attempts at Zionism were absolutely wrong, and Jewish people did not deserve any land in the Middle East (directly opposed to Churchill's own beliefs--which had been fervently held his entire political life). Add to this his dismissive attitude toward Jews in general...

And you could take that and, in an alternate history where FDR goes on to a fifth term, plot around an explicitly anti-Semitic FDR who has a war of proxies in the Middle East. Or does any other reasonably villainous things the plot demands of him. All of it is firmly based in the bedrock of history, even if none of it came to pass.

Alternatively, FDR revealing himself to have been a Yakuza informant the entire time is impossible to take seriously, and a bit insulting to history.
All changes need to have a core of both believability and facts, unless you've decided to write something absolutely absurd.

Tamara Lowery: I personally have only lightly touched on historical facts, just enough to give my readers a feel for the time setting of the stories. My current series of books are about a pirate cursed to be a living vampire, so the readers already know to suspend disbelief to a point. I have carefully avoided including known historical figures. The stories take place in the years just before and in the early years of the American Revolution. I only reference it as how it might have come up in conversations or affected characters not directly involved in it.

Hiram LaFon Doup: Accuracy is important unless you are doing an alternative history story!

Kurt Belcher: Me personally, unless I'm writing a fairly serious story, I like to go off of established history to varying degrees. For instance, the main character in my WINTER WAR comic was based on a real sniper in the war between Finland and USSR. But I also used other smaller details I learned from stories about the war, with him as their focus.

On the other hand, I have a couple of comics I've written that feature Abraham Lincoln, both of which have historic deviations. One has Fredrick Douglass calling him an "a-hole", and another has him as President-in-perpetuity, and looking like Charlton Heston's Moses in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Mark Bousquet: In a general sense I tend to take the DOCTOR WHO method: get history true enough to be recognizable, not so true it turns my story into a textbook.

Mark Holmes: I like accuracy but when it gets in the way of excitement. In a western a pistol only has six shots which is accurate. However the heroine can "fan her gun" and still hit multiple targets which is really not possible in the real world.

Deborah Brown: I spent a good deal of time studying up on 1930s Shanghai for the last "Golden Dragon" book. I wouldn't claim perfect accuracy for a book that includes real dragons and Gods, but it provided much needed flavor. Besides, research is fun!

Ed Erdelac: I love (and prefer to read) the notion of 'hidden' history. I like to cleave to actual history as much as possible in terms of established timeline and character. But a surprising amount of history is spotty and a lot of time is lost to memory. It's in those blank spaces that Doc Holiday can stare down demons, Zora Neale Hurston can become a Mythos detective and demons can run rampant through Andersonville prison.

Lucy Blue: The first novel I ever published was a collaboration with another writer on a TV tie-in for the show Forever Knight called These Our Revels. It took place around the conception, rehearsal, and first performance of Hamlet; Shakespeare and his patron William Hilliard were major characters. And oh yeah, there were vampires in it. Lots and lots of vampires. Obviously it wasn't a historical document, plus we made some decisions about Shakespeare's sexuality that have long been speculated but never been proven. BUT we took pretty deep pains to make everything that wasn't vamp-related as accurate as we possibly could. My writing partner even consulted an astronomer about phases of the moon in England during our time frame to make sure one of our characters could actually have been gazing up at a full moon when I wrote that she was gazing up at a full moon. Our feeling was that the more vigilant we were about all the details we could include (without overloading the story), the easier it would be for the reader to buy into the notion that one of Shakespeare's favorite actors was a vampire. Since then I've written several medieval-set paranormal romances and again, getting the history as right as possible without getting in the way of the story makes the fantastical story seem more plausible, I think.

Tom Hutchison: I like to use the facts as the baseline, but you have to let your character fill the space that is needed in your new version of this "historical" narrative. Id' say the one thing you have to be cognizant of is that there are people who have existing understandings and perceptions of your character and if they see something totally out of historical place, you may get a bit more hate mail than usual or get talked to at a convention. But that to me is part of the fun of messing with what people already know or believe.

Jenny Reed: I prefer history that is as accurate as humanly possible. I find it is usually best to use fictional characters in a real setting. That generally means avoiding interacting with historical famous figures entirely if possible, or keeping the interactions minimal at best.

For example, it's okay to watch the Queen and her parade walk down the avenue, or to join the line and shake her hand, or even to have her give your main character a quest because s/he is good at something. But making your character the Queen's favorite consort or the Queen's personal confessor or the Queen's handmaid who she talks to daily is a really bad move. At least, it's not a move I would make. Not unless I was actually writing the story of the Queen and did a hell of a lot of research about her, anyway.

Ed Keller: Established facts are of paramount importance! Even when writing historical fiction, the events, characters and how the characters WERE should be as accurate as possible until the moment of deviation from actual history occurs. After, that point nearly anything goes, though the closer you keep the characters' personalities to that of the real people, the more believable they will be.

Jim Ritchey: Maintain character. Everything else is BS. If you know the kind of person Andrew Jackson or Abraham Lincoln is, you don't need to wonder. Study them.

Emily Leverett: I'm an English prof, and I write fantasy. Story first. Always. Unless you're deliberately going for an accuracy-heavy genre, or it is a fact that if you do wrong (w/o reason) it will fling the reader from the story. It's neat to get background right, and I am a fan of accuracy when you can. I'm a teacher, if folks learn real things from my work, hooray! But story first. Always.

Brian K Morris: As much as possible, I like to get the history right. I don't always succeed, but I try.

Retta Bodhaine: As a writer who bases a good number of her stories off of historical events, this question is very important to me. I write fantasy, but I try to get the known elements of historical events correct. I think it's important that the factual information be handled responsibly. I know that most people aren't going to research the life of Persian King Cambyses II, or the traditions of the 18th century Tanka people and the pirates they produced, or even how our universe came into existence according to myths, beliefs and (my personal favorite) science. That's my job, to know as many of the facts as is feasible, and then portray them in an entertaining way, and add in my fantasy elements in the plentiful unknown gaps. There are things I will change in order for the mash up of history and fantasy to blend harmoniously, but once again, I try to change those things in such a way that it does not hurt or directly mislead my audience about factual history and, if it is not to be believed, I make it unbelievable by introducing supernatural elements.

On one hand, I think it's irresponsible to present fiction in such a way that the audience walks away thinking that it was truth. It continues to aggravate our growing problems in the age of mistrust and misinformation.

On the other hand, I very much think it's the audience's responsibility to not be unthinking sponges. To understand that all mediums not specifically labeled non fiction are fictional. To question and seek answers from RELIABLE sources (finding reliable sources might not be so easy but that's a different rant for a different day).

I also think that taking that responsibility from the audience is an insult. That's basically saying that the general population isn't smart enough to know to have questions and how to find answers.
If you want to go the extra mile and have a fact tracker or Easter egg blog that corresponds with your work because you're proud of the research you've done... that's up to you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Nugget #86 -- Don't Stop the Train

As with any kind of writing technique, I prefer the one that interferes with the story the least, and draws a little attention to the writer as possible to pull readers out of the adventure itself -- in short the one that doesn't stop the train or threaten to derail it.



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bibliorati coming January 15!

To Writers and Publishers:

Finally, there is (or will be on January 15) a place for readers to connect with Writers and discover new and older works while keeping up with the latest in publishing and reading news.  That place is Bibliorati.

Bibliorati will feature daily news from publishers and authors, from the brand new to the old guard, and will also reach out to readers through writers of today. From reviews to interviews to articles on a particular aspect of books or genre or reading, writers and readers alike will introduce readers, brand new as well as lifelong practitioners of the art, to new vistas, raising awareness of works by current authors and publishers today as well as revealing past works that readers may enjoy.

Bibliorati is where readers can find out about books, genres, authors, and publishers they may not be aware of and want to support. And contributors to the site will enrich readers, sending them in new directions. It is also where Publishers and Writers may find one another, where audiences can be expanded, and books that deserve more attention can finally get it. 

There will be a core group of columnists, most who will have one column appear weekly. These columns will either be reviews, interviews with writers and publishers, or articles that focus on a certain type of book, themes, genres, etc.  This isn’t a ‘how to write’ site, but more of a ‘how and what to read’ experience.  The goal is to connect readers with writers they either have never known or maybe are familiar with and just want to know more about.  As a side note, ideally, we want three columns a day each week of new material, done by one columnist. We will be starting with two columns on most days, one on others.   The rest of the content for the site will be made up of news that we hope writers and publishers, such as Yourself, will provide. 

We want to keep readers informed of all the things that are going on in the reading/literary world, but as this is a labor of interest without pay, we don’t have someone who can go out scouting all the news.  That’s why if You wish to have news featured on Bibliorati, please be sure to regularly send it along to Biblioratione@gmail.com and we’ll get it posted when the site goes live on January 15, 2017.  We will also simultaneously post it to the Facebook page, which will be live today, and our Twitter account, which will be set up about the time the site is.  New releases, promotions, submissions calls, etc., all news is welcome.

What is the price for this service? Well, there is one….

We want Bibliorati to be a go to place for readers. To that end, we are going to be regularly promoting the site in as many venues as possible and putting the site in front of, so to speak, publishers and press outlets of all types, wanting them to not only use Bibliorati as a source of content, but to discover writers and such that should be discovered.  So, what we would ask all of You to do is to mobilize Your market, Your fan base, Your regulars to not only read Bibliorati, but to talk about it and spread the word.  We can’t force you to do this, but we’d like Your help in making Bibliorati work for us all. 

Join us on Facebook. Email any news to Biblioratione@gmail.com and ask any questions You may have there or at this email.