Where Have I Been?

Damned if I can remember.

Shoved a full-flown memoir of my two years in Southeast Asia during the Viet-Nam War — “HOTEL CONSTELLATION: Notes from America’s Secret War in Laos” — to the family and a few very close (tolerant) friends.

Finished a supernatural adventure novel called “The Mark of the Spider” and sent it out to beta readers last spring. Still awaiting feedback, so that’s not promising.

Rewriting a straight sci-fi called “PSNGR” — formerly “The Passenger”? — seemingly forever. Instead of tackling chapter 28 today, I’m doing this.

I first wrote PSNGR as a long short story; then as a graphic novel when I had a comic book publisher willing to take a look at it. Now trying to finish it as a potential indie publishing project.

Bailed on my writer’s group for personal reasons having nothing to do with the calibre of their kind feedback.

Journeys, which is what this writing process was intended to be, can be tortuous. Witness The Odyssey. Which is not to say my journey has been nearly as exciting, or even interesting.

And the point is …

But I digress from my intent today, which is to point out links to two stories that struck my fancy.

Ten Books that Were Written on a Bet — From the terse Dr. Seuss to the loquacious James Fennimore Cooper and C.S. Lewis, I’ll be dipping into this list in future.

Publishers Are Now Shedding Best-Selling Authors — So … what’s the point?

Bottom line


Agents Behaving Badly

Every writer wants an agent. Someone to take their cause, fight their fight, make them money. (Let’s be real here, people.)

Well, probably almost every writer, given that e-publishing allows writers to become their own publishers.

Maybe perhaps a lot of writers want an agent, because all the big writers have them.

All right, already, I want an agent. I need a tutor in publishing and book marketing, a mentor in the business of selling fiction.

So thank you very much, James Scott Bell, for your piece on The Kill Zone blog about Agents Behaving Badly.

Dousing oneself in ice water appears all the rage these days.

I just wish I had an agent to wonder about.

BTW, Bell’s piece should be mandatory for all writers seeking an agent. It’s a business, people, not just art.

ThrillerFest: Where I’ve Been All Week

Back from ThrillerFest 2014 in New York late Saturday night, made later by Virginia DOT’s decision to allow milling and paving on I-395 South that reduced traffic to one lane.

My overriding impression was that it was overwhelming. Established authors hobnobbing with aspiring writers in sessions, during book signings, over dinner and at the bar.

Substantive sessions on technicalities (guns, ballistics and bombs), techniques (first person vs. third person) and how-tos. (Fifty agents did speed dating with 400 wannabe-published writers in a chaotic three-and-a-half hour, four-room dance.)

Here are some links to media coverage:

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO PITCH YOUR NOVEL TO 50 AGENTS IN 3 HOURS. Adrienne Crezo in Writer’s Digest.

Visions of Rambo and Bourne Dancing in Their Heads. Dan Slater in The New York Times.

ThrillerFest IX: A Writer’s Paradise. Michael Cavacini on his eponymous blog. (I had lunch with Michael; he’s a voice to watch.)

All in the Family: ThrillerFest Celebrates ITW’s First Decade. Lenny Picker in Publisher’s Weekly.

ThrillerFest IX: terrific gathering of star writers & fans. Joe Myers of the Connecticut News-Times.