Thursday, June 22, 2017

Audio Books

I love audio books. Whenever I’m in the car alone, I listen to an audio book. Some people find listening to an audio book in a car distracting, but I find it has a good effect on me. I relax and pay attention to the road while listening to a story. I’ve found that I’m a calmer driver when listening to an audio book. If there is a delay, I don’t get uptight because I can listen to more of the story.

As a writer, I’m delighted that my books come out in so many different formats including normal print, large print, e-book and audio book formats. Six of my thirteen published books are now available as audio books.

So writers keep writing, and readers keep reading (and listening).

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Fun

Summer is upon us. We returned this week from a trip to Honolulu for my 55th high school reunion. We had a great time getting together with old friends, the operative word being “old.” Then at the end of this week, we have friends visiting from Colorado. These are our young friends, and we plan to go to Disneyland, California Adventure and the beach. Another activity in Lakewood, CA, where we live, is a series of weekly concerts in the park.

Then in October we plan to visit our son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons in Iowa City.
On the writing front, my geezer-lit mystery, Death of a Scam Artist, is scheduled for publication in August. This introduces a whole new set of quirky characters who live in a retirement home. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Writers: Build a Portfolio of Manuscripts

One piece of advice I give to new writers is once you’ve finished your first manuscript, keep editing it but also start writing your next book. When you complete this one, write the next. It’s important to keep improving a manuscript, but it is equally important to write more.

Authors rarely publish their first book. From my own experience and hearing other author’s accounts, I would say it averages approximately the fourth manuscript. Writing takes lots of practice. One author stated that you need to write a million words to learn the craft. I have written over a million words, and I’m still learning.

Another advantage of writing more books: you can build a portfolio of manuscripts. In today’s world of numerous publishing options including large publishers (requiring an agent), small and medium-sized publishers who will accept submissions directly from the author and self-publishing, if you have a portfolio of manuscripts, you can choose the best path for a particular book.

Although I have thirteen published books and one more due out in August, I have a number of other manuscripts I’m tuning and will be getting published in the future.

What I’ve learned about writing can be summarized in two rules:

  1. Start writing
  2. Keep writing

Thursday, June 1, 2017

High School Reunions

Do you go to high school reunions? I went to my 25th and since my 40th I’ve gone every five year. This year is my 55th and I’ll be attending. My wife has gotten to know my classmates and she will join me. It helps that it’s in Honolulu.

One of the events at the reunion is an Alumni Art and Literary Show so I’ll be signing books there. I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, operative word being old.

 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Reading Preferences and Alternative Publishing Formats

In what form do you like to read a book? Fifty years ago this meant print or print. Today we have a variety of options including print, audio and e-book. Within print, there are hardcover, trade paperback and mass market paperback. As an author, I have books published in all of these formats. As a reader, I prefer print and audio. Since I spend time on the computer writing and on a smart phone communicating, when I have a chance to read at home, I like curling up with a print edition to read. When I’m in the car by myself, I always listen to an audio book.

When e-books first arrived on the scene, they were preferred by younger readers. But e-books are now popular among all age groups because they are very handy when traveling, and for older people with diminished eyesight, the font can be enlarged. I will read books in electronic format when I am reviewing, judging a contest or editing, but my preference for home reading is still print.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Author Events at Libraries


Since moving to Southern California two years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to do a number of library events including Cerritos Library’s Mystery on the Menu luncheon, an author open house at the El Segundo Library, the re-opening of the Glendale Library, and presentations at the Iacoboni Library in Lakewood, Friends of the Costa Mesa Library and the library at Leisure World.

I will be speaking again at the Iacoboni Library, 4990 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, CA, on Monday, June 5 at 6:30 pm. This will be a book talk about my international thriller,. The Tesla Legacy. In this novel, retired mathematics professor and conspiracy nut, Elmore Kranz, bombards the police with his predictions of disaster until one of them actually happens. Even with the assistance of his one ally, rookie cop Brittney Chase, people start dying around Elmore as attempts are made on his life. Following up on inventions from eccentric genius, Nikola Tesla, Elmore and Brittney team up to solve a hundred year old puzzle while trying to thwart a secret government agency and an Afghani terrorist group who seek to get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction invented by Tesla.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Importance of Libraries


I love libraries. Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed going to the library. I recently read a book about Dewey, the library cat in a town in Iowa and how he brought the town together. I’ve been taking my 21-month-old grandson to children’s library programs at two libraries in Lakewood, CA. He listens to stories and songs and plays with toys there. It’s become a fun part of our time together to do this. As a writer, I have participated in a number of programs at libraries including panels and book talks. Libraries are a vital part of our communities and deserve our support.