Guest Angst

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My friend from Tennessee, Gretchen Smith, is the best unpublished author I know. She writes Southern gambling fiction with wit and insight and her characters jump off the pages. My last blog hit a nerve because she responded with this “love letter” to the traditional publishing industry. She expresses her feelings better than I ever…
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What’s Wrong with Publishing?

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A couple years ago, I heard author Mitch Albom speak as part of the annual One Book Henderson event, in which our entire community is encouraged to read and discuss one book, in this case, “The Five People you Meet in Heaven.” Albom, who still works as a sports columnist for the “Detroit Free Press,”…
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My Indie Journey

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Recently, the Indie Reader website asked me to post an article describing my journey as an independent publisher. Here’s what I sent them: Although I’ve written advertising and marketing materials my entire professional life, I didn’t start writing fiction until my mid- forties. I joked that it was how I handled my midlife crisis: safer…
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Book Festival Highlights

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I’ve been involved in all eight Vegas Valley Book Festivals and this was by far the best. Large, energetic crowds, lots of families checking out the children’s book fair, plenty of interesting panel discussions, a chance to catch up with old friends I only see once a year.   The highlights for me:   Indian…
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Vegas Valley Book Festival

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It seems like not too long ago that I sat in an audience of more than 1,000 people at the Green Valley Ranch Station and listened to author Tom Robbins, looking cool and mysterious in his Wayfarer shades, as he valiantly tried to explain how he catches lightning in a bottle. He couldn’t do it,…
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Books on Writing

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I haven’t taken many formal writing courses. (This may come as no surprise to people who don’t like my stuff.) As a journalism minor in college, I learned how to write concisely and get to the point fast. I also enrolled in a few extension screenwriting classes and a comedy writing class. That’s about it.…
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Living the Dream

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When I allow myself to dream about my ideal life, I envision a funky two-story house on the beach, an upstairs book-lined office and a large picture window. I get up every morning and go for a run (okay, more like a slow jog) with my dog (I’m between dogs at the moment, but I’m…
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Catching Some Z’s

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In keeping with my recent predilection for end-of-the-world stories, I visited “Zombieland” Friday night. It was a fun trip, the best time I’ve had at the movies this year (although “Star Trek” and “Inglourious Basterds” would give it a run for its money).   The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg (who could be Michael Cera’s brother)…
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Apocalypse Now and Then

Lately, I’ve been drawn to end-of-the-world stories. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy and “Swan Song” by Robert McCammen are the most recent entries. “The Road” is the more literary of the two; spare, poetic, unrelenting. It stayed with me long after I finished the last page. “Swan Song” is typical McCammen (a good thing), almost…
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But It’s the Truth

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People continue to send me manuscripts. (My wife accuses me of being too nice a guy. She says I need to practice looking and sounding meaner.)   Typically, curiosity gets the better of me and I’ll read anywhere from one to fifty pages. Every now and then, I’ll get a good one and I’ll read…
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