Category Archives: On writing

Fifty pages in

I’m in the middle of a 15 day streak at work and, as many of you know, I get the bulk of my writing done on the weekends. So there haven’t been any “weekends” for a while.

But good news: I’m getting my Fourth of July holiday and my “weekend” on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. And I’ve lined up a tour of the setting where the third Annie novel is set. Also plan to get some writing done!

The other thing is there’s a project that’s come up that I’m working on a business plan so I can get some advice on whether it’s worth the financial risk involved. If I decide to go ahead, it will definitely impact time available for writing … But it’s also something that I think you’ll really like.

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The first of the month brings the BBoS, better known as the Brown Bar of Shame to authors who sell their books on the Amazon Kindle. That’s what you see until you sell a book.

May was a good month — 305 sales of Finding Grace and another 86 of Signs and Wonders. A good month but not a great one. There’s still 75,000+ people out there who have copies of S&W that I have yet to reach. (Amazon, unfortunately, does not automatically send emails to readers when the second book in a series is released.)

Marketing is hard and frustrating. Almost every author will tell you this. Writing and chatting with readers is a thousand times more fun.

If you have bought Finding Grace,, thank you, thank you, thank you. If you enjoyed it, please tell a friend. (Recommending it to your friends on Goodreads is VERY helpful and easy. The book has its own page and you just click the recommend button.)

In the meantime, I’m going to go start work this afternoon on Chapter 1 of the next Annie Grace book. That’s what many of you have been asking me to do. It makes me happy. It (hopefully) makes you happy. Everyone wins.

Enjoy your Saturday!


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Now, where were we …

I’m embarrassed how long I’ve been gone, but work has been all-consuming for a few months.

I work for Gannett newspapers, editing and monitoring the wire services for 40+ newspapers. The idea is that by having a group responsible for wire copy that everyone can use, that allows local copy editors to spend more time making sure the local stories are well-edited.

We were in startup mode during the spring and I’m in charge of the group, so I wanted to make sure we got off to a great start. That required a lot of extra hours and coming home too tired to think about writing.

But things are getting back to normal, which means I have weekends back — so, where were we?

The bad news: I havent had time to write since February.

The good news: 67 pages of “Finding Grace,” the sequel to Signs and Wonders, are done.

The other good news: I’m going to get back into a regular writing schedule.

What does that mean? Hard to say. I have no idea how long “Finding Grace” will be. Definitely not 400 pages, but probably not 120, either.

We’ll get there when we get there, as your parents used to say. But at least we’re moving again, right?

P.s. The book is FREE today at Amazon. Tell a friend who has a Kindle or an iPad?

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Chapter Five

I wrapped up chapter five today, which was a good feeling. So far this is coming together more smoothly than the first novel. The chapters are more “book” length — although what that means is evolving in the eBook era.

So I’m 55 pages in and the beta readers are getting their first chapters tonight. But I couldn’t tell you yet how many pages it will have at the end. Hopefully more than 120, because the most common complaint about book one is that it ended too soon.

But I’m not the kind of writer to overstay my welcome when I’m telling a story. The worst mistake we can make is to bore you, just so we can say we reached a magical number of pages that qualifies us as a “real” author.

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Came up a little short on becoming a finalist for the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. Can’t say I’m surprised — the screenplay didn’t have all of the improvements I made to the story when I wrote the novel. I’ll go back and do a revision before the 2013 contest and give it another go!


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Kairos Prize semifinalist!

Signs and Wonders has its origins as a screenplay, which today has been named a semifinalist for the Kairos Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays. (FYI: If you go the website, you’ll see the screenplay listed under my real name. The novel is published under my pen name.)

This is the biggest competition (by far) for screenplays about faith. There’s very generous prizes for the three finalists, a trip to Los Angeles for a black-tie ceremony, and the chance to meet a bunch of people who can turn your screenplay into a film.

Who knows what will happen, but being named a semifinalist allows me to dream of the possibilities for the next few weeks 🙂

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Clean your windows

We own a 1918 bungalow and one of the things we love about it is the front porch. It’s enclosed and has eight windows and a screen door that’s about 80 percent glass. The house is set back enough from the street that the noise isn’t bad and we don’t feel like we’re on display for our neighbors. It’s a great spot to sit and read or enjoy a glass of wine. Harper, our dog, loves to rest her chin on the pneumatic piston for the screen door and gaze out at the street. The cats like to sit in the window or nap in the sunny spots. Continue reading


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Paperback Writer

(Cue The Beatles song.)

First, here’s the cover (which you’ve seen) and the back (which you haven’t.)

Signs And Wonders Paperback Cover

I thought about including text on the back, but in the end I liked it with just the photograph. Ronnell Porter, who did a great job on the e-book cover, also handled the paperback.

I’m using Amazon’s CreateSpace print-on-demand service to offer the paperback. (Twenty years ago, even the idea of this would seem farfetched.)  CreateSpace makes it incredibly easy — the set-up is easy to use and just takes a few minutes. If you have an e-book I highly recommend giving it a try.

Now, the good news. I’m able to offer the paperback for just $3.99. The minimum price Amazon would let me sell it on their site was $3.77, but I thought it would look weird if I priced it at that. So it’s $3.99. With a little luck it will be available next week.

I think my profit from each paperback sale is 13 cents, even less than what I’m making from each e-book sale. But that’s not the point of “Signs and Wonders.” I just want to reach as wide an audience as possible, hoping they will be willing to spend $2.99 for the sequel when it comes out next year.

UPDATE (9 a.m. Monday): That was fast. Just got an email from CreateSpace saying the proof was ready to order.


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Paperbacks coming soon

I’ve started working with Amazon’s Create Space, a print on demand system that will allow me to offer a paperback version of “Signs and Wonders.” I’ve also ordered up a higher-resolution version of the cover for the paperback. Continue reading

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I’m writing about them today over at Paula Wiseman’s blog.

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