December 30, 2015

Year-End Report on my Fiction.

As 2015 closes, you may be interested in where things stand with regard to my fiction. Amazon is the measure of how well each of my books is doing, although they are also for sale in half a dozen bookstores in upstate New York and on Barnes & Noble, iTune and Kozo websites. Here are my Amazon numbers: House Divided, which was introduced at the end of January 205, has received 22 reviews, earning an average 4.5 stars. It is ranked #1,210 in the Kindle terrorism category. The book with the highest review average is my suspense novel, Last Stop on Desolation Ridge. Reviewers found it worth 4.8 stars. The Expendable Man, my first novel, has received the most reviews […]
December 16, 2015

The Mystery of Genres: What’s the Difference?

A recent survey reported nearly 90 percent of New Yorkers are concerned another terrorist attack will occur in their state. Test question: Why might these New Yorkers be more likely to read the latest thriller than the latest mystery? The answer has to do with core structural differences between different types of genre fiction. Writers ought to understand how those differences help define their ideal audience, but readers can also benefit. Knowing the difference between genre types can help readers find books that fit their interests. Genre fiction divides along the lines of solving problems for individuals versus solving them for communities. A romance, for example, rarely gets into social issues since its stories are about individuals resolving their need […]
December 10, 2015

My interview with author Puja Guha

Puja Guha is the author of two novels, Ahriman, the Spirit of Destruction, an international espionage, and The Confluence, an Indian family drama. She has lived in Kuwait, Canada, France, the U.S. and U.K. After meeting her at a writers’ conference, she agreed to answer a few questions about her writing career.   Q: You got the idea for your first novel while participating in the National Novel Writing Month. How did that event help convince you that you could write fiction? P.G.: I started to write with a limited idea. I hadn’t figured out how the book would end, or how much of the story would progress. When I started to write it though, everything just flowed. Pieces of […]
November 28, 2015

Fiction Writers Should Be Heard Not Seen

The modern aesthetic is for fiction authors to be invisible. That’s why so many novels are written from a close third or first person point of view. Early novelists often jump into the middle of their stories for short asides or long dissertations, but that style is long gone and today’s writers need to remove the last vestiges of their presence from their stories. Writers should be heard and not seen. Examples of where this issue needs to be addressed follow. Let’s start with chapter headings. Cute or even informative chapter headings should be dispensed with. They remind the reader that there’s an author telling this story and s/he wants you to know the theme of this chapter is “Madeline […]
November 21, 2015

Round One Goes to this Writer

Okay. Maybe the analogy doesn’t quite fit, but ask any writer and they’ll tell you some days feel like you’re in a boxing ring with an opponent who hits below the belt. So, when you make it through a round, it’s time to blow your horn. Round One for me is finishing the first draft of my current novel. Manchurian Candidate meets Mission Impossible is its working title because I haven’t come up with one that fits. MCmMI is another thriller. It currently runs about 75,000 words or 300 double-spaced pages, and is version 11. That’s right, version 11. Set aside the notion that writers are able to produce smooth, error free prose right to the printed page. Stories evolve […]
October 25, 2015

Interview with Sharon Buchbinder, author of Kiss of the Jinni Hunter Series

  Describe your writing career to this point.  I have always been a story-teller. As a child, I got into a lot of trouble for “making things up.” Now, I’m rewarded for making things up! I’ve been writing fiction since middle school and have the rejection slips to prove it. I even handwrote a script for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I had a massive crush on Ilya Kurykin, played by David McCallum, and I wrote myself into that script as his love interest. I was writing romantic suspense even then—I just didn’t know it was called that! After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology, I realized my dream of working in the attic writing great novels would have to take […]