Sunday, November 24, 2013


If you love thrillers and if you love historical fiction and you are a member of, then volunteer to be a test reader for my manuscript BLOODWATER. This manuscript had been agented (currently not agented) and placed in front of editors of major publishing companies and rejected, but with flattering remarks. I feel like the manuscript is primed to go, but I get the impression the editors don't think it will sell, as this is more of a business than anything else.

At the moment, I am collecting test readers and you must be a member of and join the group "BLOODWATER Test Readers" so you can post your review and comments.

If you email bloodwater.reader(at)aol(dot)com, I will email blast everyone IN JANUARY a pdf of Bloodwater formatted for e-readers. Here is a description of the manuscript:

BLOODWATER delves into a fictitious murder that takes place in the days before, during, and after the flooding of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The reader will follow the TRUE accounts of Paramedic Evan Pelicano as he is saddled with the sixteen year old daughter of his slain friend Officer Jeremy Scarlet. At first, the paramedics and police officers navigate the floodwater trying to save residents, but then Evan finds he needs to save himself as well as protect his friend's daughter from the killer among them, all the while determined to reunite with his girlfriend, the Chief Deputy Coroner of New Orleans.

To recap, join Goodreads, join the group BLOODWATER Test Readers, and email bloodwater.reader(at)aol(dot)com. I will email the manuscript in January and then the discussions will begin.

Thanks everyone!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The choice to self publish

Wow, it's been a while since I posted anything.

I was messaging a self-published writer about his book that I wanted to read and he made the assumption that traditionally published writers (me) look down on Indie writers. I told him that I don't look down on self-pubbed writers, I just think that many self-pubbed books aren't as good as they can be because writers don't need to be patient anymore.

Now, I don't want Indie writers to think I'm calling them bad writers, that's not the case. I just believe that every writer needs to earn the right to self publish.

How do you earn the right to self publish, you ask?
You get good enough to get personal feedback from agents and publishers.
You stop getting ripped a new one from reputable critics online.

If self pubbing was around when I first started, then I would have ended up with a piece of crap because back then, I was sure it was ready. My God, no it was not ready. With no other outlet, I was forced to constantly edit, constantly submit and constantly open form rejection letters. I read tips and honed my craft the best I could in bits and pieces, each edit getting me closer.

I read my favorite authors in order to examine how they handled a paragraph and I micro-edited until agents began giving me handwritten tips on how to get even better. Trusted online critics started telling me my writing only needed to be tweaked. Publishers went from "no thanks" on the first chapters to requesting the full manuscript and then indicated what they liked and what needed work.

So, a few years ago I was published by Medallion Press and now with an agent and now with several major publishing house editors telling me my writing is strong (but the manuscript isn't for them), I feel that I have earned the right to self publish if I choose to.

Of course, waiting shouldn't apply to all writers. Some Indie writers won't regret having self published a book three years earlier because they've gotten good enough to see the mistakes they've made. While writing your fourth book, don't be ashamed about rushing out the first. Don't regret putting your writing out there before it is ready.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cover of Snow

This is a review of COVER OF SNOW by author Jenny Milchman.

This novel starts off with the most intersting of premises, which I've learned from the author herself, doesn't want given away, even though the reader learns of it in the first chapter. So, with respect to the author, I won't speak of it. I will say this event drives the protagonist, as well as the novel, into dangerous, spine-tingling situations in this snowy small town that Stephen King would be proud of.

But, this isn't King, or James Bond, or Patterson where unbelievable events are participated in by the psychotic or super-smart. These characters are part of a small town where each connection is believable and she show respect to the reader in not holding thier hand through events that make sense when dealing with corruption, cover-ups, and just the inherent evil some people possess.

As with most novels, there are some directions the author took that I question. It would be hard to say without giving away that first chapter, but I'll just say after reading the entire book, Nora's husband had other choices, but in making a different choice, it wouldn't be the same book. And the ending is very satisfying in the same tone as the entire book, however, I think the climax could have been drawn out a little longer. (Yes, this coming from an author who has been criticized for the same thing in my own book UNHINGED.)

All in all, I give Cover of Snow 4 out of 5 stars. It was an entirely enjoyable read and kept me returning to it in my spare time where many novels are simply forgotten in my busy schedule. Be warned, once you enter the pages of this small town, you may find it hard to escape!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Value of Flawed Characters

Unhinged recently received a couple of reviews that mentioned how much they liked the flawed characters, and not just the main character, but all of them. Those flaws, those subtle quirks draw the reader into your character's world. Hell, give the mailman walking by a limp and he becames three dimensional even though he appears in one sentence.

No matter how perfect someone seems, you can believe there is a deep, dark secret...politicians, religious leaders, soldiers, and even stay-at-home moms. Everyone wants something and in literary terms, it drives the novel. Once you develop and embrace your character's flaws, you have to make damn sure their actions follow suit.

I find that most protagonists in thrillers and mysteries are good looking, strong, smart, inquisitive - all the things that make a hero, but in real life, would this person not be a wise-ass? Would this person not be selfish? Would this person not be cynical? Would this person not be eternally optimistic from a fear of not being liked? I'm not suggesting you change your character, just add another layer to them and you might find their choices and actions write themselves.

I always thought James Bond 007 was a series of movies about stunts, explosions and chases until the most recent movies when they gave him a little depth and suddenly he became interesting. As I think about it, Ignatious from Confederacy of Dunces is as unnattractive a main character as you can get and yet, he is so...warped and out there that you can't help be carried along in his comedic drama.

Anyway, those two reviews I mentioned are:


Thanks to everyone who downloaded the free versions of Unhinged, which runs until the end of February. Get it NOW!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

UNHINGED for free

First, let me inform my tens of fans that my novel UNHINGED will be available for a free download starting February 15 for two weeks. At least, that is my publisher's plan. There is a chance that it may be delayed or not happen at all if there is a problem with the distributor, but I'm planning on it all working out. So, be on the lookout at your favorite ebook stores. I must warn you that Unhinged is graphic in some places and has much adult content, but you can't go wrong if you like thrillers.

Well, so much for me to consistantly write my blog using Confederacy of Dunces words. There are just too many irons in the fire; too much on the plate; being pulled in too many directions; in other words, too much life...

One day when I'm writing for a living, things should open up to let me write more interesting stuff in a blog. I saw one of these country singers the other day going on about his workout routine he does about two hours a day. Who the hell has two hours a day to work out? It's hard enough for working class people to take a crap ten minutes out of their day, not to mention the temptation of cheap, fast, fatty food on every corner. Once I'm writing full time, I'm sure my six pack abs will become a priority.

So, my agent informs me the new year will start with a fresh barrage to new publishers for Bloodwater. It is a fantastic book that follows a paramedic's true accounts of the days during the flooding of Hurricane Katrina, but is also involved in a fictitious murder. We've gotten many flattering rejections from the Big-6, so I'm one of the next tier publishers should take it, right.

Look out for a free copy of Unhinged and I look forward to your reviews (but only if you like it).