a weblog for readers and writers

Monday, August 28, 2006

Break the Rules

Because the publishing industry is designed to keep new writers out, author Robert W. Walker suggests this: "Don't follow the rules!"

Mr. Walker gave the example of another successful writer he knows. The author wasn't having any luck with his query letters, so he decided to break the rules. He sent out a legal-sized envelope with a press kit about himself and his concept for a series of mysteries. He included a bio, photo, and tag lines for possible novels in the series. Out of 25 agents, 14 responded favorably -- and he ended up with a six-figure deal!

Find out about such six-figure deals at www.publishersweekly.com.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Look at Maryland's Writers

The Maryland Writers' Association is about 400 writers strong. Members range from seasoned professionals to those just getting their quills wet. Visit the website and get acquainted with some of the Maryland writers roaming around in cyberspace. In fact, you'll even find yours truly about halfway down the page.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Designed to Keep You Out

Before Silence of the Lambs or CSI came to light, Robert W. Walker was already writing popular mysteries about serial killers and forensics. With 43 novels already published and another in the works, Walker knows the publishing business.

When I spoke with Robert Walker earlier this year at the Maryland Writers' Conference, he offered this bit of encouragement to new writers: "The publishing industry is designed to keep you out." More about business than art, he explains that the industry is more interested in sure sales than potential new writers. There are tricks to help crack the door, but it can be as difficult as catching a serial killer with forensics.

Learn more about Robert W. Walker at his nook on the Harper Collins site.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

TRACKS Reading at Baltimore Book Festival

I've been invited to read from Tracks, my novel in stories, at this year's Baltimore Book Festival -- the mid-Atlantic's premier celebration of the literary arts. I'll be reading at the City Lit Project's "Next Big Thing" tent on Sunday, October 1.

Earlier this year, I read a condensed version of my short story, "Cicadas" at Baltimore's Patterson Theater in a reading event hosted by the City Lit Project and the Creative Alliance.

To learn more, visit http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com/resources/up344.aspx.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Teacher Man's Student

Pulitzer-prize winning author Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and Teacher Man, has influenced a lot of people. Perhaps more than anyone, his students. One such student, Lauren Eisenberg Davis, will share her experience as a creative writing student under Mr. McCourt this Wednesday, August 9 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Chesapeake Arts Center. The event is free for members and $5 for the public. See the link to learn more.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hot Fiction for a Hot Day

A heat wave is sweeping across America. Why not settle down in an air-conditioned room with a computer and take a look at the latest installment of "Freedom?" The fourth chapter in the serialized story was published today in Coloquio. Follow the link below to read some hot fiction.