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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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Guest Post from Teri Love

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My friend Teri Love just posted a funny and relatable excerpt of the inner turmoil she experiences while trying to write. I re-post it here with her permission. (I wonder which sport she’ll choose): Things I think during the writing of my research paper: This makes NO SENSE. I’m an incoherent fool! This is good…

“Just Add Words”

One of my favorite taglines ever is for the screenwriting software Final Draft: “Just add words. ” It’s that easy. And that difficult. Of course, you need to know which order to put them in. But that’s what rewriting is for.

Do you wanna know a secret?

Do you promise not to tell? Okay, here goes: All three of my Las Vegas novels, “Dice Angel,” “Money Shot,” and “The House Always Wins,” are essentially the same story. Sure, they feature different characters, different challenges and different timelines. But the structure is the same. The main character, through a combination of luck (good…
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