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Stories have a tendency to write themselves…

… no matter how much you think you know better… you probably don’t. The story knows.

So, I’m still writing. Yes, yes, I know, I haven’t kept you updated… been too busy writing, or thinking up marketing strategies for HEALER’S TOUCH – often having to remind myself that the best marketing strategy for HT is to get WARRIOR’S TOUCH out there…

But I just felt like sharing something…

This may not be true for everyone, but for me, it really is: my stories write themselves, and if I try to go against them, I get stifled.

I’ve been reminded of this fact a couple of times recenty.

A few weeks ago I had an idea for WT. I thought “That’ll be really cool, and according to well-established story beats, a good time for that to happen would be… later in the story.” Cool, I thought. I have something to work towards.

Wrong.

I stagnated.

I kept pushing on, telling myself “Come on, write, there’s good stuff coming.” Not that I thought what I was writing at the time was terrible, or even bad. I was just struggling to find momentum in my writing.

Then I had an epiphany. That idea that I thought would work best coming later in the story could easily

Read more…Stories have a tendency to write themselves…

Special Guest: Literary Agent Eric Ruben

I’m trying to not to double-post… but I couldn’t hold this one back…

As you all know, after umming and ahhing over whether to pursue a traditional publishing deal or go it alone, I finally settled on a compromise: I signed with a small press. For me, it gave me the best of both worlds: a little hand-holding, but not quite as big and scary as the full publishing world. I have got to say, if you can make it big in this world, the rewards are great. I’d love to believe I can, but the reality for many of us is that we’re not gonna shine quite that bright. Even so, we can shine… we can publish, we can be read, we can be loved.

And so I’ve published. I have fans now… really. One or two, anyway.

I’m not going to say I don’t ask “what if”… What if I’d aimed for a bigger deal?

And so, I wonder… what would it be like to work with an agent? What doors do they open? What doors do they close?

To help me, and any other writers curious about such things, Eric Ruben agreed to do an interview with me.

Here goes…

Hi Eric, I’d like to start things off by getting to know you…

So, you’re a lawyer, literary agent, talent manager and a stand-up comic? (Who wouldn’t want to work with you? is my question…). What did you want to grow up to be when you were a child?

I remember wanting to be the President, a talk show host, a comedian, talk show host, race car driver, actor, rock star.

You’ve managed to tick a few off that list… Presidency might be just around the corner!

OK. Let’s get down to why I brought you here…

In today’s world, writers have more options than ever before: holding out for a Big-5 deal, approaching small publishers, self-publishing, or serialising their work on a blog. With all these choices, and the chances of acceptance by an agent/big publisher so small, you can see why authors might choose the other channels. In talking to other writers, the biggest disadvantages of working with an agent, and pursuing a big traditional deal, seem to be: sharing a percentage, and the long wait between selling a book and seeing it on bookshelves (vs. clicking “Publish” on Amazon…). What do you feel an agent has to offer in this ever more competitive market?

Read more…Special Guest: Literary Agent Eric Ruben

Going Local, Going Real

I originally posted this as an article in a Newsletter I edit…

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As writers, we’re pretty well used to interacting with “people” via text… it’s how our characters live. We write/type, and they live.

But what if the only way you intermingle with other writers is through the internet: WDC, Twitter, Facebook, G+… whatever…? Are they real? Or have you made them up? Am I real? Or are you just imagining me?

The thing about meeting up with real life fellow authors is you get to interact (gasp!) face-to-face. Foreign, I know… but let me tell you something…

Several years ago I finally discovered why I had been feeling so “odd” as I clawed my way through day-to-day life and went to work, blah blah. You see, I rediscovered my writing bug. I started penning a story. When it started to grow into something more than “just a story”, I joined WDC and combed through various websites looking for the advice and experience I needed to shape my story into a NOVEL. My best progress was made through the more personal relationships I formed both on WDC and on other sites (I found my strongest supporter on Jottify). It’s all good and well sending a review here and there and getting the odd one back, but there really is something about forming allegiences with other writers with the goal of helping each other succeed in whichever way they wish.

Then one day, for some reason I forget, I decided to seek face-to-face writing groups in my area. I learned of two. One I had to contact someone to get the details, the other one had all the details online, so I just rocked up. In both cases, it turned out to be the last meeting for the year before a 2-month break. The one I had to contact someone about was alright, but I never heard anything about things starting back up the following year, and I ended up not following it up, because…

The other one

Read more…Going Local, Going Real