I’ve found that scouting out the foreign locations I plan to cite in my stories can draw me into fascinating encounters. E.g. (exempli gratia)…
I come to your Earth of 2023 from a much different world. And that distant planet from which I arrive was Earth back in the 1950s. Okay, right, I’ll admit that doesn’t sound like much of a gap or such a grand span of years.
A book’s cover can open a window into a story. Of course, that view should not be a spoiler. So, a good cover ought to tease every bit as much as it tells.
Like the prospect of a gallows, the Russia vs Ukraine war ought to concentrate our thoughts about our response to conflict or bloodshed. It’s certainly invigorated my thinking about my most recent novel, SPLINTER—causing me to analyze my own stance on violence.
I pursued entertainments that might be clumped under a heading of “risk sports,” oh, for about four decades of life. Throughout this funfest, I strove to be guided by a clear and abiding principle: Never let my last thought be: yeow, that was dumb!
Some five years back, I winged o’er the Pond to Norway and swan-dove into research for a new novel, “Splinter.” Yet that span of years now seems nearly non-existent.
A bronze statue of author Jack London in a vigorous pose juts up at Jack London Square (well, where else would it be?) in Oakland CA. It bears a plaque that bears a quote from Jack that bears repeating.
I’ve been asked to speak out loud and in public two times this month, by a couple of quite daring individuals who actually want to hear me say what I think.
If writers were awarded a nickel every time they were asked, “So, what’s your process?”, they could probably retire to a lovely Greek isle and never need to scribble another line in their lives.
My early childhood was haunted by a nightmare in which skin on my body progressively thickened till it turned as dense as crocodile hide. Every sensation then proceeded to disappear—I could no longer feel a thing.
The myth of the solitary artist is exactly that—a myth.
It’s no use trying to divide life into good and bad parts, into the painful and the pleasurable, or—more palpably—into the stuff you prefer to accept versus that other crap which you feel must be shunned at all costs.
Adolf Hitler sought to cloak his brutal regime in a warm and rosy aura when he mounted the 1936 Olympics.
“We must remember that we cannot abandon the truth and remain a free nation.”
What star guides your course? For me it’s been our sun, always.
My best friend at Sacred Heart Elementary was the school’s Black janitor, named Israel—who went by Izzy.
Boredom is a fabulous state of being.
The most truthful comment to be made on religion is that it’s not one thing.
How may we best tell stories about sex?
Bad poets imitate, good poets steal—there’s your abridged gem of an epigram by T. S. Eliot.
Rubber meets the road in thriller writing when a character’s development starts to force changes upon the plot.
One of the toughest jobs for a fiction writer is describing human motivation.
Some events are so singular, they prove quite tough to use in a story.
All clichés about U.S. pavement bard Jack Kerouac aside, chasing life along America’s roadways does provide a fine chance to get some good writing done.
While a mere prat, a lad of 23 tender years, I chose to accept Lord Buckley as my personal savior.
Use of a still camera taught me much about how to write.
It’s been said—and not just by me—that every fictional character must own a grand and lovely stash of personal secrets.
When a Native American decides to share his or her medicine, that’s a gift one should never take lightly.
A bronze plaque held aloft in the tail flippers of a harbor seal was a sight that both pleased and startled me.
Any writer attempting to complete a thriller in our way-wacko year of 2020 had to face a rather high bar.
The main thing those two crazy kids in Verona just absolutely had to have was a fair chance to find true love. But they got stymied by their crude, violent, chaotic city. Verona seems, “A town without pity…” as an ol’ American pop tune spins it.
You all are quite hep, no doubt, to this term, “early adopter.” Right?
Read the first chapter of “Came A Horseman,” the new book by Paul McHugh
Christie Olson Day believes if we can bond with books and bookstores as kids, we’ll blaze a trail to a wellspring of stories that can sustain and nurture us throughout life.
The strongest prod to fitness I ever got came just as I touched age thirteen.
America’s great, homegrown activist-politician Tom Hayden has long been a hero of mine.
Maybe you’ve heard a bon mot like this: “The secret to public speaking is sincerity. Once you can fake that, the rest is easy.”
Anyone who can be talked out of it, should be.
Poetry’s strengths can be the strengths of all good writing.
What could be more ironic than a fabulous bookstore with a paltry selection?