10 Things I Wish I’d Learned In My Creative Writing Degree


So much truth in this post. So , you get your writing degree, hit the streets, then realize you don’t know anything about selling to professional markets

Originally posted on Judy Black Cloud:

When I finished my BA in English with a focus in Creative Writing, I was convinced I knew everything. Then I went to try to get a short story published in something besides the college run literary magazine and realized I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. For a while I was really angry about how little I came out of school knowing how to do. (Some days I still am.) It felt like my entire degree had been geared towards learning how to write what my professors wanted me to write, certainly not for me. I learned how to write for the deadline, make the changes the professor wanted, and to turn in a paper on time.

Learning how to turn things in on a deadline is a great skill to have learned, but I still get upset when I think about all the things I wished I’d learned in…

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The Neurological Similarities between Successful Writers and the Mentally Ill


Some great thoughts here if you’re a creative person.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Knowing his wife was upset with him for spending more time with his typewriter than with her, F. Scott Fitzgerald hatched a plan. He wasn’t proud of many of his short stories (he only included 46 of his 181 short stories in his published collections), but he knew that in order to win back his wife he’d have to whip up something quickly. Working from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., he churned out “The Camel’s Back” for The Saturday Evening Post for a fee of $500. That very morning, he bought Zelda a gift with the money he had made.

“I suppose that of all the stories I have ever written this one cost me the least travail and perhaps gave me the most amusement,” he commented in the first edition of Tales of the Jazz Age. “As to the labor involved, it was written during one day in…

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On the perception of limitations

After particularly difficult hill workouts in college, with our legs trashed and our lungs searing, we’d sometimes run a surprise “maintenance mile.” Before this final mile we’d write down our guestimated time to compare to our actual time. More often than not, we’d run quite a bit faster than we thought we would. Running the maintenance mile was more about perceived limits than adding to the workout.  After all, what would one more mile add after already running a five mile tempo warm up, five continuous hills on a ski hill, followed by a 3-5 mile farklek?

I hadn’t thought about that aspect of training in a long time, but watching Galen Rupp’s workout after setting the American indoor 2-mile record (8:07) sure brought it back. We can can always do more; we set our own limitations.  And for the record, Rupp after race work out was 5 x 1 mile (4:21, 4:20, 4:16, 4:16, 4:01).




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Audiobook Giveaway

Paul at Audiobook Reviewer has kindly agreed to help me run a giveaway for a couple of free copies of the audio version of The Nightmare Within.  I’m so unsavy with this WordPress blog that I’m not even sure if I can use the widget for the giveaway.  I’ll make it simple.  If you’d like to enter, just click through here:



And if you’ve already read and/or listened to The Nightmare Within, please consider click a couple of the share buttons below to share the love. 



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Top Ten Reads of 2013

Top Ten Reads of 2013

I read fewer books this year than last (down to 40 from 51), but I wrote a lot more, so I’d say that’s an acceptable tradeoff.  I can recommend all of the books on this year’s list without reservation.  All of these books are stunning, and a few will stay with me for a long time to come.

I would love to hear about your favorite reads of the year.  It makes me feel slightly guilty and certainly glutinous to read through people’s lists while switching over to an open Amazon window.  That one-click option is going to bankrupt me, lol.

(in no particular order)

The Gray Zone by John R Little


Miranda by John R Little


The Girl on the Glider by Brian Keene


The Tent by Kealan Patrick Burke


Jianghu by Charles Colyott


The Giver by Lois Lowry


Westlake Soul by Rio Youers


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


Whom the Gods Would Destroy by Brian Hodge


The Keep by F. Paul Wilson


If I don’t hear from you sooner, I hope you have a happy holiday season!


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Me + Cemetery Dance = Dream Come True!


To be published by Cemetery Dance is a dream come true.  If you’re not familiar with the authors they’ve published, take a look at this selective list: Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Dean Koontz, Joe Lansdale, Jack Ketchum… and on and on.  All heroes of mine.  

For just $15, this signed holiday chapbook (limited to 750 copies) also includes work by Ray Garton, Kealan Patrick Burke, and Robert Brouhard.   The cover art is by the talented Glenn Chadbourne.  

Here’s a handy link to the publisher’s site:

Also, just in time for the holidays, I’ve made the ebook editions for my novels Where Darkness Dwells and The Nightmare Within FREE when you purchase a copy of the print edition.  I figure, why not buy the print edition for someone special and then keep the ebook for yourself!

Where Darkness Dwells:

The Nightmare Within:

More big announcements are on the horizon.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Happy reading and happy holidays!


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10 Books that have stuck with me

There’s a Facebook meme going around asking people to list the 10 books that have stuck with them.  I thought it would be hard to narrow down, and certainly doubling or trebling the list would’ve been easy, but I somehow managed to pull it off.  Well, here’s my list.  

 The Long Walk by Stephen King


Why I Write by George Orwell


Brave New World Revisited/Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley


Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


A People’s History of the United States


Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury


The Long Emergency by James Kunstler


Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo


Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon


Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett



Can you keep your list to ten titles?


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Kindle Matchbook = Awesome!

Great News!

If you’ve bought either of my print books, you should now be able to get a free ebook copy through the Kindle Matchbook program.

To see if you qualify, click on the book link on my Amazon page.
If you’ve bought either of my print books, you should now be able to get a free ebook copy through the Kindle Matchbook program.


What this also means is that if you buy a print copy of either The Nightmare Within or Where Darkness Dwells, you will also receive an ebook copy for FREE. What a deal, right? Just think, you can buy an early Christmas present for someone, and keep the ebook for yourself!


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Audiobooks now available

To maximize my reach as an author, I’ve tried to utilize as many formats as possible.  After starting out with only ebooks of my work, last year I expanded into print editions.  I currently have print editions for both The Nightmare Within and Where Darkness Dwells.  A local grocery store actually carries these titles, and if I can find the time, I’d like to make them available in more brick and mortar stores.

After exploring the print side of things, the next logical step was to produce audio editions of my work.  I now have three titles available in audio.

The Nightmare Within

Where Darkness Dwells

Both of these novels are narrated by the highly talented Troy Duran.  Where Darkness Dwells has sold the most copies, but the subject matter has divided readers’ opinions (which is pretty much what I expected.  That story isn’t for the faint of heart).

Loss is my latest audio title.  Nikki Devitt did an outstanding job portraying the mental breakdown at the center of that story.


Do you listen to audiobooks?  I haven’t gotten around to getting an Audible subscription, but I intend to at some point.  I do listen to text-to-speech on my Kindle.  It doesn’t give you the same flavor of a professional narration, but it’s still enjoyable.


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Open to new editing clients

Even though I now work from home full time, I’ve intentionally taken on few new editing clients this year.  I wanted to build consistency with my own writing before taking on any more responsibilities.  I’ve built that consistency, and now I’d like to ramp up my editing work as well.

I’m looking to fill out my client list through the end of 2013.  If you have a project that is finished (or nearly so), I’d be happy to do a sample edit to show you the extensive effort I put into everything I do.  If you don’t have any projects that fit the bill, please pass on the information to any friends who might need my assistance.  Thanks! 

Send any inquires to:


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