Thursday, April 26, 2018

An Author Expressing Political. Views

I’m on Facebook and often express my political views, as well as posting about writing, my grandkids and walks I take. I follow people who also share their political views. As an author, this can be a two-edged sword. Some authors find that they lose Facebook “friends” who disagree with their views. I had this one response recently that I will share here: “I really like your books. I had wanted to follow you on Facebook, but was kind of worried when I saw you live in California, then I saw your posts. You can keep Nancy Pelosi and we will keep Trump! I do like your books, just wish I could like you.”

I “liked” this post because I enjoyed the comment but to set the record straight also responded with this reply: “I like people of different political persuasions, just ask my son-in-law who often posts opposing opinions. That's the great thing about our country: we have different views. It would be too dull if we all thought the same way. I'm glad you enjoy my books.”

I then sent a friend request to this person. I don’t know if it will be accepted, but what I stated is how I feel.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

It’s that time again. On Saturday and Sunday April 21-22, 2018, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will take place on the USC campus in Los Angeles. I’ll be signing on Sunday from noon to one in the Sisters in Crime Booth #376 and from two to three in the Mystery Writers of America Booth #377.

This is an amazing gathering of writers of all genres with the added excitement of a street fair. My favorite from last year was Morrie Marcoff who was there signing his very first book, Keep Breathing, which had just been published. Morrie was 103 at the time.

As I tell aspiring writers, it’s never too late to start.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Do People on the Extreme Left or Right Have a Sense of Humor?

Here's a question I’ve been thinking about: Do people on the extreme left or right have a sense of humor? As a mystery writer who uses humor in my writing, I also post parody comments on Facebook. These comments sometimes get attacked by people who take what I say literally.

I believe this is a symptom of extreme thinking when people have made up their minds and have no intention of discussion with people who hold a different perspective. I also think there are few extremists who are capable of laughing at themselves—they take their views too seriously and won’t step back to look at themselves.

Humor can be used to diffuse difficult situations, but it is also part of human nature. Most of us enjoy a good chuckle. I think it’s important to take positions on key topics, but let’s not take ourselves too seriously in the process.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Triage Approach to Publishing

One of the most helpful pieces of advice I was given when I started writing was once I finished my first novel-length manuscript to start writing the next one. It was important to continue new writing while editing the completed manuscript. This has served me well as I now have fourteen published books, another due out in October, 2018, and other manuscripts that I am in the process of getting published.

The basic concept was to build a portfolio of manuscripts. This allowed me to write what I wanted to write while seeking publishing opportunities. With this approach it’s possible to pursue a triage strategy to publishing.

Some manuscripts are mainstream and lend themselves to working through an agent to reach a large publisher. A second group of manuscripts that may not be what large publishers are looking for can be sold to small or medium-sized publishers who take submissions directly from writers. A third set of manuscripts that are outside the mainstream will lend themselves to self-publishing.

This triage approach allows the writer to pursue three different simultaneous paths to publication.