The thrill of it all: A writer’s first ThrillerFest {BookTrib}


by Mea Stewart

I had been scanning the crowd all day trying to find him. All I knew was that he was a dark-haired man with glasses, maybe in his late 50s. As I was about to give up hope, my colleague tapped me on the shoulder and said two words that forever changed my life. “That’s Bob.” 

Before I had a chance to compose myself, he was standing in front of me, cracking a joke. R.L. Stine, author of the Fear Street series that kept me penniless and out of trouble as a middle school girl, was telling me a joke. My inner 12-year-old did cartwheels and set off fireworks while my outer adult smiled politely and introduced herself. (I was rather proud that I was able to keep the babbling to a minimum.) This is part of the greatness that is ThrillerFest, the world’s largest gathering of suspense writers where published authors, aspiring authors and fans mix and mingle, learn from the best, network and find the agent of their dreams. 

As a ThrillerFest neophyte, I was ignorant of what to expect. Nervous energy of hopeful authors mulling over their pitches? Perhaps. Thriller fans clamoring for a chance to meet their favorite author? Maybe. What I was not expecting was the overwhelming sense of community and acceptance. Unpublished authors came together to review pitches before the frenzy of PitchFest. Superstars gave classes in writing at CraftFest. Big name authors like David Morrell, Joseph Finder and Linwood Barclay led panels designed to educate, encourage and entertain fans and fellow authors. One hilariously humanizing moment came when Anne Rice stated that she does not force herself to write daily, in direct contradiction to Scott Turow who said he believes that writing often is most important. While the exchange elicited quite a few chuckles, it made things clear that there is no single path to literary success. 

Read the rest of the Article HERE.


(The above article is re-posted from BookTrib. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)


The Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Writers {The Book Designer}

Have you been ignoring Twitter? Do you think you don’t have time for it? Well, I’m here to try to convince you that Twitter is worth your energy.
We already know that social media in general helps us to build our brand and connect with new readers. Twitter, like no other social media network, is especially helpful in helping authors connect with readers around the globe. You’ll also meet other Indie authors you can connect with as well as publishing experts, agents, publishers and expert bloggers.
Through Twitter I met Tony Riches, a writer and blogger from Wales. As soon as my first book was published, he asked me to write a post for his blog. Soon my book was selling in the U.K. and still does – every month.
More recently, I met Gregory A. Barker, the editor at Voice Council Magazine, who asked me to write two social media articles for his magazine, which has a distribution of 2 million readers.
I first found Susanne Lakin on Twitter and then met her in person at the San Francisco Writers Conference. I gave her a copy of my book and she began to recommend it on Twitter.
I’m active on other social media platforms yet Twitter, like no other social media network, has created opportunities for me and is responsible for my book sales in nearly every pocket of the U.S. and in other parts of the world where people speak English.
Twitter will provide you with instant accessibility to the greatest minds in publishing, writing, public relations, and editing. And this channel is probably the best platform to keep you up to date on writing conferences, book marketing techniques and workshops about your genre.
One benefit of Twitter is that you will see instant results. If you retweet someone’s message, the likelihood is high the person will send you a thank-you tweet —immediately. If you ask a question, people will answer. On Twitter, everyone is accessible because that is the nature of Twitter.
Some authors are perplexed by the 140-character limit. Writers often ask, “What can I say in 140 characters?” We fool ourselves if we think that our readers have the time or patience to read long social media posts. On Facebook, for example, recent studies indicate that the most successful status updates contain just 80 to 190 characters. On Twitter, You can actually say a lot in 140 characters or 120 characters, which will be your true character limit if you want your content to gain traction and spread through retweets.

How to Get Started with Twitter

If you are new to Twitter, here are some initial steps you’ll need to take.


Read Opening Lines of Books on the Man Booker Longlist {WSJ}

Americans are making a run for one of Britain’s top literary awards.
The Man Booker Prize announced its global longlist today, the first time the award has been expanded to include U.S. authors. Four Americans are among the 13 contenders:Joshua FerrisKaren Joy FowlerSiri Hustvedt andRichard Powers.
In the past, the prize was only eligible to authors from Britain, other Commonwealth countries and Ireland. Now, works written originally in English and published in the U.K. also are being considered.
The list’s release sparked chatter on both sides of the Atlantic: Did the push to include U.S. authors edge women off the list, which includes just three female names? Why did only one Commonwealth writer, Australian Richard Flanagan, make the cut? Where wereMartin Amis and Ian McEwan? And what explains the absence of American Donna Tartt, who won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Goldfinch”?
“Having some American authors has added a little bit of frisson to the whole thing,” says Ion Trewing, literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation.
Other contenders include Brits David Mitchell and Neel Mukherjee. The list features one Irish-American, Joseph O’Neill, and Irish author Niall Williams.
Last year’s honor went to New Zealand author Eleanor Catton, for “The Luminaries.” Kazuo Ishiguro, J. M. Coetzee and Hilary Mantel are among the past winners in the award’s 46-year history.
A shortlist of six books will be announced on Sept. 9. The winner will be named on Oct. 14 and will receive a £50,000 prize, or around $85,000.
Here’s a look at some opening lines from novels on the list (books slated for release in the fall were not available). A full list of contenders follows.
“The mouth is a weird place.” —From “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour” by Joshua Ferris
“Why at the beginning of things is there always light?” —From “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan
“Those who know me now will be surprised to learn that I was a great talker as a child.” —From “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler
“I started making them about a year after Felix died—totems, fetishes, signs, creatures like him and not so like him, odd bodies of all kinds that frightened the children, even though they were grown up and didn’t live with me anymore.” —From “The Blazing World” by Siri Hustvedt
“the night was clere though i slept i seen it.” —From “The Wake” by Paul Kingsnorth

Read the Remained of the Article HERE


(The above article is re-posted from the WSJ. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)


Read “Jasper's War” and help a Wounded Warrior

Author Cym Lowell is continuing his mission to make a difference in the lives of wounded Veterans. It's your good news. Made possible by La Fogata.

SAN ANTONIO - We take pride in being known as Military City USA, and now there's an easy way to support our wounded warriors -- just by buying a book.

Vietnam veteran turned author Cym Lowell has written a book called Jasper's War. In addition to be a very interesting book to read, it also highlights the importance of wounded warriors that live around our community and need a little push getting back to their regular lives. To obtain a copy of this amazing novel, visit or Amazon.

Not only you will get a great book, but also you will be helping the wounded warriors of San Antonio. One hundred percent of its proceeds will go to "Operation Next Chapter." The initiative has partnered with Soldiers Angels to buy voice-controlled laptops for military personnel who were injured and in need of these devices.

You can find more information by visiting or Operation Next Chapter.


Are There 5 Reasons to Stick With Major Publishers? No, There Are Zero Reasons

by Michael Levin
NYT Bestselling Author, Amazon Kindle #1 Business Book Author, CEO,

A HuffPost blogger with expertise in publishing suggests there are still 5 reasons to get a deal with a New York publisher: partnership; quality; legitimacy; distribution; and advances.
Respectfully, there aren't five reasons to go with New York. Actually, there are zero reasons.
If they can't do a good job with Hillary Clinton's new book, and that release is generally viewed as a flop, why would they do any better with a book written by a mere mortal?
Let's look at each of the five reasons and see if the arguments hold up. (Spoiler alert: they don't.)
1. Partnership. Um, really? What kind of "partner" gets 85 to 90 percent of the pie, and has a long, sorry history of illicitly keeping much of the rest? Yes, the editorial staffs work hard to create well-edited books. But otherwise, what exactly does a New York publisher do? They don't do marketing or even share their marketing expertise with authors. Publication of books is delayed as much as a year after they're completed, by which time the information in the book may no longer be useful, current or actionable for readers. And editors get fired so often these days that they often aren't even around when a book they edited gets published.
2. Quality. No. New York publishers only care about the marketing plan for a book, not the contents. If Author A has great content but only no national footprint or large social media following, and Author B has recycled content he "borrowed" from other authors but a million Twitter followers, guess who gets the deal. The New York publishers are essentially running a scam on readers, by publishing third-rate books with first-rate media platforms, which is why book readers are an endangered species.
3. Legitimacy. This used to be true but is no longer the case. As a ghostwriter, I constantly hear from my clients, "But in MY field, I need the legitimacy of a major publisher." It's not legitimacy; it's an ego trip for the author, a pat on the head from a bunch of smart people in New York City. Here's why: if I made a list of ten publishers, of which five were imprints of the major houses and five were names I made up, most non-publishing industry could never tell which was which. It's an ego trip pure and simple.
CLICK HERE for the rest of the article.


(The above article is re-posted from Huffington Post. I have posted this article on my blog to share with you, my readers. I only re-post articles that I find entertaining, educational or just plain good. I am NOT the originator/author/writer of this post. I always post the first few paragraphs of interesting articles & then provide a link directly to the original source. Please keep clicking & reading.)


Lying Awake by Mark Salzman {book review}

Lying Awake 
by Mark Salzman 
(Vantage Contemporaries, Vantage Books, division of Random House, Inc.)

What is the nature of your faith? Is it a belief in God? Something super-natural? Another person? Or yourself?

I have often explored these questions with thoughtful friends, which seem to arise more frequently as we age and experience life.

In Lying Awake, Mark Salzman explores the subject from the standpoint of a woman named Helen who became a Carmelite nun adopting the name of Sister John of the Cross. After some 28 years in the cloister, she felt abandoned by the God she dedicated her life to serve. She wrote diaries, which were published providing a source of income for the cloister located in the Los Angeles hills. 

Sister John became sick. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Is this all there is? became questions tormenting her consciousness.

Sister John had been abandoned by her mother. After so many years, Sister John began coming to grips with her emotions about her mother as what she thought were migraines morphed into an epileptic disorder. It was as if her life could not really begin until the mystery of her mother was resolved. When it was, suffering of the knowledge was drowned in the drudgery of everyday convent life.

A confessor asked if her faith was simply self-devotion, as if Sister John worshipped projections of her own needs. She then asked: what is my dream?

Lying Awake is lovely means of guiding you through your own emotions about faith and the purpose of life. You will enjoy its majesty!

As I read Lying Awake, I was reminded of the story of Punchinello by Max Lucado. It is the story of a carved wooden Wemmick, Punchinello, who had a paint job less attractive than the other Wemmick’s, in his own eyes. The carver on the hill advises him to go back down the hill and discover other things that might differentiate him. In the end, Punchinello discovers that the carver (God) gave him a heart and feelings that were unique unto himself.

Like Sister John and Punchinello, we all need periodic re-examination of our faith and emotions.

Warms, Cym