“What Are Red Herrings?” Asked the Cat

 In literature, a red herring is an informal fallacy that typically uses extraneous or irrelevant information to mislead the audience. It’s used to give an astute reader several challenges during the telling of the tale. In other words, they’re purposeful deceits the author employs to mislead the folks who read their stories. Red herrings are […]

Small Publisher Series: Garden Gnome Publications

 Garden Gnome Publications Another oddball small press that publishes an interesting series of anthologies called Biblical Legends, amongst others. I co-wrote a couple of stories with Tonya L. De Marco about two robots who go about doing horrible things to humans — enough so that they help to create some of the legends and mythologies we […]

Small Publisher Series: WolfSinger Publications

 Wolfsinger Publications This is another Colorado publisher, albeit a micro press. WolfSinger puts out several unique anthologies every year, and sometimes I write a story for them just because the anthology concept excites my muse. They respond to questions quickly and actually do thorough edits. My story, “Grubstake”, appears in Supernatural Colorado, and a story […]

Small Publisher Series: Wordfire Press

 WordFire Press This is a small-to-middling sized pro-level Colorado press owned by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. I’ve done some minor work for them in the past, and they’re publishing a novel I co-wrote with a couple of friends. Everyone there is wonderful to work with, and I know many of them personally. Getting […]

Keeping Your Secret Identity a Secret

 I was thinking about what makes a particular author’s work recognizable to their audience. Then I thought I would take the reverse of this notion — What if you write under several different pseudonyms and don’t want them connected? This is the issue I have to deal with. I don’t want readers of my horror books to […]

Using Feedback to Improve Your Writing Skills

 Sometimes it’s a good thing to ask your friends and/or readers what they like about your work. Then again, sometimes the answers they give will surprise you. While many authors think they have a good idea of what they’re good at, sometimes they’re wrong. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — in fact, having a […]

Bad Amazon Ads

 Attention authors, particularly indie authors who are doing their own marketing: If you are not treating your advertising with at least the same respect as your book, you’re throwing away your money. In fact, you may be damaging your career. On my Kindle Touch is an advertisement for a book that almost screams “do not […]

What Are MacGuffins?

 JULES You win. Jules raises his hand off the briefcase. JULES It’s all yours, Ringo. PUMPKIN Open it. Jules flips the locks and opens the case, revealing it to Pumpkin but not to us. The same light SHINES from the case. Pumpkin’s expression goes to amazement. Honey Bunny, across the room, can’t see inside. HONEY […]

Lies New Authors Tell Themselves

 Nothing makes a professional author chuckle like listening to potential writers deciding to get into the field. Far too many think it’s easy to write a book and then have publishing companies dump shipping containers of hundred dollar bills on your front lawn. While this is a theoretical possibility (E.L. James comes to mind), it’s […]

Ghost Town Writers Retreat

I will be a guest instructor at the upcoming Ghost Town Writers Retreat in Georgetown, Colorado in August. There’s a lot of fantastic folks who can help you with your writing, plus Georgetown is an actual ghost town in the Rocky Mountains. I hope to see you there! Visit their website for more information. I’ve […]