Swing State Blues

(This article was written during the presidential campaign of 2012) The election will soon be upon us, and the gods of statistics have declared that a once-in-a-blue-moon event is about to happen: my vote will actually matter!  Having spent my entire life living in...

The Reality of Writing

People often ask me what writing professionally is like…or how to go about writing a publishable book…or some other question that involves the writing process. Well, here’s the answer: This morning I’m working on a chapter in my book where my...

To Beta or not to Beta?

All right, I never thought of them as “beta readers.” The first ones were just “friends who believe in me and keep me going.” Back when I was working on my first novel, 700+ pages with no guarantee of publication, that was what I needed most....

The DM Rule

Too often we create our worlds with a particular story in mind and assume that all the characters will respect our intentions. They don’t travel beyond the borders of our map, try to use artifacts in ways that we did not intend, seek loopholes in our Laws of...

Trade Secret: How to Get your Book Published

Often I am approached by aspiring young writers who would like “the secret” to getting a book published. The formula is actually very simple: Write a book. Make it as good as it can possibly be. Send it in. Too simple, you say? Okay, I’ll add a few more details. 1....