A Tribute to Becky

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Every cat has a story. Becky was the Marley of cats. She wolfed down her food, drank out of the toilet, knocked over the trash, begged at the table and, although she was an inside pet, tried to slip outdoors every chance she got. But she also met me at the door each day after…
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Consider the Source

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Let’s talk about reviews. Are they helpful?  If you mean, can good reviews help you sell more books, it’s possible. Especially if you’re lucky, and talented, enough to receive some kind words from a credible source like Kirkus or Publisher’s Weekly. How about Amazon reviews? I think so, although no one knows for sure. Amazon,…
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“I Only Read Nonfiction”

At a book fair signing yesterday, a man I thought was a potential buyer told me, “I only read nonfiction.” He said it with an air of disdain and something approaching a sneer. As if made-up stories were beneath him. I’ve heard this before and I still don’t get it. Nonfiction, of course, can be…
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Moving the Needle

I started writing Las Vegas novels about 20 years ago. Four books later, I’ve spent thousands on marketing, PR, advertising and other types of promotions. Other authors I know have spent ten times that. Here’s what I’ve learned: If your only metric is how many books you sell, you’re bound to be disappointed. At about…
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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Over the course of my writing career, I’ve conducted dozens, if not hundreds, of author presentations, workshops, seminars, Q & A’s, panel discussions and many more public appearances. Selling books is largely a grass roots business and they certainly don’t sell themselves. Plus, I flat out enjoy talking about writing. Invariably, when it comes time…
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Your Hometown Writing Toolkit

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Here’s a reprint of a blog I wrote for the excellent author resource site Hometown Reads, in which I discuss using your hometown to its best advantage: In my previous blog post, I spoke about the importance of embracing your hometown from a marketing perspective, how it can help you create a distinctive brand and…
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A Tribute to Lucky

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Writing can be healing. Here’s a little tribute I wrote for our beloved cat, Lucky, who crossed the bridge yesterday: Every cat has a story. Seventeen years ago, in the middle of a typical Vegas summer, my wife Tamera-Tammy Seeker Rouff stopped at a red light at Maryland and Flamingo when she noticed a woman…
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John Perry Barlow’s 25 Principles of Adult Behavior

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I’d never heard of John Perry Barlow until recently, when a friend forwarded me these 25 Principles of Adult Behavior. Unfortunately, Barlow, a Silicon Valley visionary and erstwhile Grateful Dead lyricist (chew on that for a second), had already died earlier this year, so we won’t be having any spirited conversations over a beer or…
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The Old Man and a Smile

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My wife and I had a fun time yesterday watching “The Old Man and a Gun,” Robert Redford’s latest, and possibly last, film. It’s a congenial, leisurely stroll through a mostly true story about a gentleman bank robber who truly loves his work. Redford and co-star Sissy Spacek warm the screen, as does an eclectic…
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