Friday, October 28, 2011

The plunge

Well, I did it. I took the plunge.

I've ventured into the world of self-publishing.

I've learned a ton already, and there is so much more to learn.

The most important lesson is who good my friends are to me. I can not, in a million years, express what I've felt over the past 24 hours since I hit Save and Publish and became a self-published author.

After I collect my thoughts, and figure out what comes next, I'll have a more substantial post about this whole process.

For now, visit Voices in the Field and let me know what you think.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I don't have cancer

I have LPR. And something else. Something about elephant pachyderm something-something. I have to look it up yet, and figure out what's next. Doc says there's not really anything they can do about the LPR other than treat and adjust my eating and drinking habits. But, I don't have throat cancer. Of this, he's sure.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This is a journey, into sound

Sept. 6 still seems a long time away.

In the meantime, I've been driving myself insane. Part of me wants to believe this is all in my mind. But the pain seems real. The difficulty swallowing, the hoarseness, the cough, the mucous, the swollen glands . . . they seem real.

My mind is playing tricks on me. I've replayed my funeral in my head a thousand times. I've spelled out my wishes to my wife. I've checked and double checked my life insurance policy. I'm preparing for the worst.

And, yet, it could just be a scratchy voice.

Do I believe that? No. I believe it's the worst possible scenario.

Is it Sept. 6 yet?

In so many ways, I just want to know. One way or the other, the not knowing is more difficult I think.


Friday, August 26, 2011

I remember the day my mother died, not because of the significance of losing a parent, but because of my reaction to it.

My mother had been sick seemingly my entire life. As far back as my memories go, all I see is this frail, pale woman with translucent skin and a soft voice. I know there were times when she wasn't sick, but even in those times, my memories are of a quiet, reflective woman. She was gentle with this easy air about her, not so much aloof, but more of a Devil-may-care freedom that allowed her to exist in a moment.

On the morning that she passed, I was in school when the voice over the intercom called me to the office. I looked at my teacher and said, "My mom just died." There was no way I could have known, but I did. After 11 years of watching and waiting for the inevitable, it had finally come. And I just knew it.

I never cried.

It was like business. I had lived it for so long, it was just another part of the process.

At the funeral, I felt out of place. All these people around me were crying. My father held my sister and I close, perhaps to comfort us, but I think it was more so we could comfort him. Although I knew I should cry, I couldn't.

It wasn't that I didn't care, or that I wasn't sad. In fact, quite the opposite. My mother and I had a bond I never shared with my father. Likewise, my father had a bond with my sister he never had with me. I was heartbroken. I was crushed. I was completely lost. And for that, at 11 years old, I shut down.

Nearly 30 years have gone by, and while there have been times along the way that a particular song or a milestone passes that reminds me of her and a tear forms, I've never fully grieved her loss.

I wonder how my son will handle my death. Will it crush him, or will he bury it inside and accept it as part of the deal we make with life. We only have a moment to be, and then it's gone.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Closet Smoker

I'm coming clean. I'm a closet smoker. Have been for 25 years. Not solid. There have been some breaks along the way; a few months here, a year there. But mostly I've smoked a couple cigarettes a day, maybe a pack or two a month since I was 15 years old.

It started about six months ago, this sore throat, a change in my voice. Gravelly and hoarse. And this terrible pain from my ear to my neck. Drainage, phlegm, mucus, a slight cough. Pressure in my chest.

I went to my internal doctor today. Yes, I know he doesn't specialize in oncology or ear/nose/throat stuff, but HMO . . . well, you know the story. So I start there, not hoping for answers, but hoping to at least start the process.

He sends me to an ENT doc and tells me to lose weight and stop smoking. Really doc? Really? That's your advice? Eight years of medical school and 30 years of practice, and your advice is to lose weight and quit smoking?

He tells me it could be throat cancer, though he doubts it. Or it could be an infection caused by acid reflux. Um, again, really? Fancy initials at the beginning and end of your name, and this is your diagnosis? Guess what, I have Google and Wikipedia . . . and I came up with the EXACT SAME FUCKING DIAGNOSIS!

Anyway, I'm on terminal hold (should I use terminal when talking about cancer?) with the ENT trying to make an appointment. Hopefully they'll tell me something the Interwebs can't.

Until then,

cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Upon further reflection . . .

I've had several good friends tell me lately what an idiot I am.

The publishing world is not what it once was. I hold no illusions about being a world-famous author, but that shouldn't be my goal. It shouldn't have ever been my goal. Don't we write to tell stories? Who of us gets to make it rich in this racket?

Some people like what I write. I'm not a world beater. I'm not for everyone. But I do think I tell nice stories. Some of them funny, some of them bizarre, some of them from the heart. I don't write to a genre, although some of my stories are written in a particular genre.

So I've decided to push forward . . . as my own publisher. There's really nothing to lose, if I've already thrown in the towel. If no one reads me, or critics say my work is crap, I'm no worse off than I am now.

This fall, look for my first collection of short stories on Smashwords and Kindle. Shortly after that, I will publish my first YA novel, and then my first adult novel. If I'm inspired to continue, I plan on putting my second adult novel and second in the YA series out maybe by this time next year.

Thanks for your support and encouragement.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time to let go

I love writing.

I hate the business of writing.

I have a really good friend, Gae Polisner (you can read her blog here, and here). She's a fantastic writer. Got a sweet book deal with a world-famous publisher. Her book is getting glowing reviews all over the place. Librarians, teachers, students, critics. She calls it her "quiet little book." She even learned at least one school district is going to be using her book as part of their curriculum next year.

I tell you all this not to sell Gae's book for her, but to show the side of the business that just doesn't work for me.

Gae is still beating the streets trying to get a second book published. How can this be? How can you have a book that gets huge critical success, and not be able to get another deal? It doesn't make sense.

The answer is: Unless you're New York Times Bestseller stuff, you're still nobody.

Gae is a New York attorney with contacts beyond anything this simple boy from Kansas City will ever have. Gae can hop in her car and run to THE city (yes, THE city) and talk to agents, publishers, book critics face-to-face. How am I supposed to compete in a market where I'm so isolated from THE scene (yes, THE scene) that I couldn't talk face-to-face with an agent, publisher, or critic unless it were for the Bovine Monthly Review?

This business isn't designed to reward the author.

Years ago, I used to have a writing partner (Ron Brown) with whom I shared goals, manuscripts, scribbles and scratch. We were chasing the dream. We kept telling each other, "This business is designed to weed out the ones who don't have the heart to keep going. But we're going to make it. We're going to be strong. We WILL persevere."

That was a long time ago. Too many years. And now I have to admit, this business chewed me up and spit me out. It proved I don't have the heart to keep going, to be strong, to persevere.

And, so, I'm not chasing the dream any longer. I love writing. I'll write for me. I'll write for my kids. I'll write because I like to tell stories. But no more chasing.

I hate the business of writing.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

It's been a while since I last blogged.

The open call for submissions from agents was a big bust. Not a single query. What is wrong with these agents that they aren't out there pounding the streets looking for the next small- to mid-sized thing? I've been thinking of changing my last name to Palin so I can get a book deal.

Or at the very least appear on Dancing with the Stars. Of course, when I dance, I look like a wounded cat having a seizure. I've met epileptics with more rhythm.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about today. I'm here to talk about focus and goals.

I have none.

Well, thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Open Submission Period for Agents

In honor of my 40th birthday, I'm offering agents a one-time open submission period for the month of May. You can contact me via e-mail and propose how you'll represent me.

What I'm looking for:

An agent who represents adult or young adult fiction. I write both, and don't care which path I take for a career. I would happily do both, or if you think it works better with your business plan, I'm willing to stick with one or the other. Wow me with your ideas.

What I'm not looking for:

I don't need a mom, but I do need someone who understands the business. If you're just getting started, I wish you luck and hope that there are authors out there who are willing to take you on, but I'm at a point in my career where I need someone with a little more experience and knowledge of the industry. However, I'm not opposed to hearing good ideas from new agents, so put a package together and, again, wow me.

No attachments please, and make sure to put "QUERY" in the subject line.

You can send proposals to:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun . . .

I'm going through a bit of a personal crisis of faith. Not like God faith, though there's probably a bit of that as well.

I have a very manic personality, going from one interest to the next with the frequency of a police band scanner. A month ago, I wanted to be a writer. Last week, I wanted to be a graphic designer.

Today, I want to disappear.

I tell my kids: You can't spell Daddy without A.D.D.

An old friend once told me that you search for yourself in your 20s, you discover yourself in your 30s, and you define yourself in your 40s. I'm looking down the barrel of 40, and I haven't figured out who I am yet.

And worse yet, I have no idea what I'm going to be when I grow up.

Every day, I seem to slip further and further away from whom I'm supposed to become. I become less and less sure of my goals, or how to get there. My passion for creating, for exploring, for discovering new ideas is waning with every passing moment, and I don't know how to get back.

Think of your life as a marriage to yourself. Right now, I've fallen out of love with me, and I'm thinking about divorce. Perhaps I should try a trial separation. I have this overwhelming sense that it's time for me to go, and that I'll never find myself stuck where I am.

Or maybe that's just the A.D.D. talking.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reading with Gae Polisner

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” - Emilie Buchwald

One of my greatest joys in life is reading to my kids. There is nothing like sharing words with them, and watching their eyes as they scan the pages. My daughter doesn’t let me read to her much. She insists on reading to me, which is its own thrill for me. But my oldest son has always been my reading companion. We are currently tackling the Harry Potter series together; our promise that he will let me read the final word, whether he is 10, 13, or 21.

While I was writing my first YA book, it meant the world to me to run each chapter by Grant as I read. The look on his face or the questions he asked let me know if I had done well, or if I’d missed the mark. I find there’s a fascinating link between the author as parent and children as editors.

Last year, I was honored to read an early draft of Gae Polisner’s first book, The Pull of Gravity. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (May 10, 2011)). Gae was kind enough to spend a few minutes with me talking about that connection between her as a parent author, and her children as early readers/editors.

Jeff: You started off as an attorney, then you became a mother. Why did you want to throw "writer" onto your list of jobs?

Gae: I didn't set out to be an attorney. Quite to the contrary. I was a totally creative kid, always writing and acting and making artsy-crafty things. I wrote my first novel at 11 in fifth grade, and my sister illustrated it. It was a very Judy Blume book (apologies to Judy Blume for any attempt to compare myself) about a girl and her brother whose parents were going through a divorce and they hated their dad's new girlfriend. I don't know what happened to it, but I often wish I could find it. I'm sure it is not as good as it is in my memory, but I was pretty convinced it was brilliant. I took creative writing in college and my undergrad degree is in Marketing/Mass Communications. In college, I ran special events at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston. I also managed an A cappella group from Brown University called the Jabberwocks. I mostly went to law school to get the "credentials" having a lot to do with this latter experience. When I got out, I wanted to be in entertainment management. But a funny thing happened in law school. The economy crashed (much like it has now, but not as long-lasting) and I had to take the job I could get as a divorce lawyer at a major Long Island firm. In the meantime, law school had basically sucked the creativity right out of me and it took me about ten years to find it again and start my first manuscript.

Jeff: You said it took you 10 years to get your creativity back and write your first novel. During that time, did you forget about writing, or was it always there? Were you brewing stories in your mind?

Gae: No, the opposite. I was trying to be a lawyer (which I wasn't exactly enjoying, although it had its moments). And then I had kids. And I was trying to be a good mommy, which was exhilarating, but exhausting. And I truly believed the creativity was sucked out of me and I had no stories to tell . . . but it was always there underneath. It was always the dream. The Jetty was the first novel I wrote. It took me about five years start to finish. I started it while I was pregnant with my second, and would write into the wee hours of the night after the boys went to bed.

Jeff: You have two boys, Sam (15) and Holden (12) to whom you read a lot. When you used to read to them, did you think, "I can do that?"

Gae: Yes. And in fact, the boys would get frustrated that we couldn't find enough good contemporary [Young Adult] fiction that featured male protagonists. My boys were never "Harry Potter" kids (it scared them!) or fantasy or sci-fi. They wanted character-driven stories that weren't so girly, even though we loved some of the more girly-feeling ones very much. So more and more I started thinking, I'm going to do this. I can do this. My first stab was actually a middle-grade journal style book called Henry's Absolutely Required Fourth Grade Journal which both my boys loved (and preceded Diary of a Wimpy Kid, FYI!), but I never revised enough to really send it out anywhere (although Michael Bourret read and understandably rejected a first draft!).

Jeff: Did you write The Pull of Gravity for them? Did you read it to them along the way (as you wrote) or was it a "finished" product the first time they got to read it?

Gae: I wrote it for them, but did not read it aloud as I went. My older son read the first draft by himself and quietly liked it. My younger son, I read that first draft aloud to, and he loved it. We then read the revised version aloud together, and he has since read the ARC to himself as his required book for school last month. He's a big fan of the story. Probably my biggest.

Jeff: What was it like reading YOUR book to Holden, or letting Sam read it? Were you afraid of their reactions? Did you watch them for their responses?

Gae: One day I was reading a chapter aloud [to Holden], and my older son---who is fond of torturing me about my books (not his type anymore)---laughed out loud DESPITE himself. That was a great moment. My younger son is my biggest fan. There is nothing better than reading my books aloud with him. He is a GREAT editor and will tell me when stuff isn't working. And will get all the nuances. The best part is when he tells me that he forgets I am the author because it "feels like a real book."

Jeff: Do you feel The Pull of Gravity is a legacy of yourself you've left for your kids, and your grand kids?

Gae: I hope so. I believe so. I still aspire to write a "bigger better" book. But I love [The Pull of Gravity] and I think it is worthy. I hope one day my boys will read it to their kids. But don't ever make me type that sentence again because it seriously makes me weep.

Jeff: What's more special: A glowing book review from a famous critic, or a laugh at the exact right spot from your kids?

Gae: TOTALLY leading question. Honestly, the latter. The respect, appreciation, pride of my kids. Look, I'm praying for good critical reviews but things that already mean more to me: my family's reaction; the unbelievably humbling praise I've already received from the people I idolize MOST in the field (I mean, seriously, Chris Crutcher, Lynne Rae Perkins, KL Going, Francisco X. Stork and Mary E. Pearson . . . have you READ THEIR books?) and even moreso, a letter I received from the father of a teen--- I won’t name names--- telling me how much my virtual friendship and encouragement has meant to her. That's why I write. That's why I always want to write. Thanks for reminding me.

Jeff: Thank you, Gae. I’m really looking forward to reading The Pull of Gravity to Grant in May.


You can learn more about Gae Polisner by visiting her Web site at

Pre-order The Pull of Gravity, here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

And the winner is . . .

Split Ends. By a mile.


International Intrigue – Martha

Yes, her name was Martha. No, she was not 90.

Starbucks in Canada are identical to Starbucks in America. They even order in ounces despite being on the metric system, and they gladly took my money in a very American way.

“I can’t give you the exchange rate,” the disinterested barista said. Even in Canada, baristas believe they are way too cool for their idiot clientele.

I sat at a table in the corner, pulled out my laptop and started Word. It opened just as slowly in Canada. Staring at the blank page, I prayed words would magically appear.

I’d come to Canada to get inspired. Inspiration had yet to strike. I was certain the more I stared at the screen, prose the likes the world had never seen would begin to flow from my fingers. While I waiting, I tapped The William Tell Overture across the ASDF keys. The first sip of coffee scorched my teeth, forcing me to do Fahrenheit to Celsius conversions in my head.

“You’re an American,” a woman’s voice said, snapping me from my reverie.

Coffee spilled from my lip burning me again and I coughed as I raised my head, staring into deep green eyes and a coy smile that would have stunned me even if I had been prepared for her. She was average height, fit without being thin, and wore her strawberry blond hair with style. I could have stared at her for longer, but I think it would have made us both uncomfortable, though I’m sure she was used to catching glances.

“Excuse me?” I croaked, wiping my chin with the palm of my hand. Mr. Smooth.

“You. You’re an American,” she said again.

“Is it that obvious?”

“You paid with American money.”

“Right. Yeah. That.” Boy, I sure knew how to form complex sentences.

“You know she ripped you off.” She said it in such a way that it was clear it wasn’t a question.

“Yeah, Starbucks is overpriced wherever you go.”

“That too. But she ripped you off on your change.”

“I haven’t had a chance to get to an exchange kiosk this morning. How much did she take me for?”

“Not much. Probably a dollar. An American one, so a bit more Canadian.”

I nodded, not sure what else to say.

“How long have you been here?” she asked.

“Got in last night,” I said.

More silence.

“So are you going to ask me to join you?”

I believe I’ve mentioned that I’m Mr. Smooth.

“Sorry, yes, please. Will you sit with me?”

She sat across from me, legs crossed, swaying her leg to some unheard rhythm. She told me her name was Martha. I introduced myself. We shared small talk. She asked what I was doing in Canada. I explained it as best I could without sounding pretentious. I left out the part about my being under investigation for murder, as this seems to be a roadblock when meeting women. She said she too wanted to be a writer. I keep getting mixed up with writers, who are just about as fucked in the head as I am, yet that doesn’t seem to stop me from falling in love within the first twenty minutes of meeting them. Martha did not seem fucked in the head, but it was early yet, and there was still time for her to break into song in the middle of coffee.

“I recently graduated from university,” she said, her accent distinctly Canadian English.

“Interesting,” I said.

“What? That I graduated from university? Doesn’t seem all that interesting.”

“Well, interesting enough that you’d mention it to me. But I meant the way you say it.”

“How’s that?”

“That you ‘graduated from university.’ In the States, we say ‘graduated from college.’ It’s interesting that we’re neighbors, we share the same language, but we use it differently.”

“Well, we’re still a bit British in our diction.”

“I admit, I don’t know a lot about Canada, other than Jim Carrey and that the Queen of Canada lives in England.”


“How’s that?”

“Well most Canadians don’t even know we have a queen. They did a poll where only five percent of Canadians could answer that she was the head of state. Everyone thinks Prime Minister Harper and the Governor General are in charge.”

“Sounds like drama.”

“No, not at all. In fact, no one really cares. Every few years, some Parliamentary showoff will try to raise the Republic flag, but after a few beers, they typically forget about it and move on.”

It had been nearly twenty minutes, and I was beginning to fall in love with this woman.

“So how long are you in town?”

“I haven’t decided yet. I was hoping two weeks, but I don’t know if my money will last that long.”

“Where are you staying?”

“At a hostel on King Street.”

“The Village?”

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

“I’ve lived here my whole life. Things don’t change quickly in Canada. It snows from early October until May. Not much to do in the meantime but drink and watch television. No one builds, so once you learn the sites, you know they’ll pretty much always be the same.”

I swirled my coffee and glanced over at my blank screen.

“I’ve kept you,” she said.

“It’s okay. I wasn’t writing anyway. That’s the same word count I had before I left.”

“Well, let’s go site seeing,” she said, suddenly standing. “Let’s see if we can find something to inspire you.”

We left, opening the door and attacking Toronto together.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

As promised, here's Chapter 1 of my WIP, Three Dogs, which is a follow up to my YA Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entry, Four Dogs.

It's a lot rougher than the excerpt for Split Ends, and I've only done two chapters thus far, though I've already plotted most of the book through the major conflicts and ending.

Anyway, your thoughts, and especially compared to my adult project, and the market are appreciated.



Paul Douglass stood at the edge of the clearing, smiling. They had come, just as the master said they would. As he watched them step through the clearing and into what had once been a fort he and his friends had built, he marveled at how smart the master was. From the moment he’d met Batu Chinua, everything had gone according to plan.

Well, nearly everything.

The master hadn’t planned on J.J.

And where was the master now for that mistake?

Paul smiled again.

He had figured out a way to outwit J.J. when the master hadn’t. He had played the game.

The three boys climbed up into the fort and disappeared. Paul sniffed at the air, his senses more keen when he took this shape. But he couldn’t stay this way for too long. He let out a brief howl, enough to frighten the boys, but not scare them off and ran through the woods toward the cabin he had built in case the master returned.

As he walked through the cabin door, he retook his human shape.

His mind raced with his power.

“You were never this powerful at my age,” he said.

The empty room absorbed the sound.

He licked his lips and tasted blood; a taste he imagined he’d never grow tired of. It would be dark soon. He had to head back to his home, fall back in line with J.J. and the others. They couldn’t know what he had become.

The master would return—if he could—and Paul would be needed in both worlds. The thought of pretending to be like one of them made him want to throw up.

“If I have to do this on my own, Master, I will. I will continue what you couldn’t.”

A charged ripped through him like a bolt of lightning. He crashed to the floor, writhing, unable to control the spasms that coursed through his flesh.

Thoughts, images, words surrounded him, through him, in him, like a fog of sound, consuming him but without mass. It was like he been punched in the chest by a thousand pounds of pressure.

He saw the knife on the table.

“Master. No. Please.”

“Don’t ever question me,” a voice said.

“I’m sorry, Master.”

“Too late.”

Paul grabbed the knife, raised it into the air and brought it down with all his power. The pain was unbearable.

“You are nothing without me,” the voice said.

When the darkness came, Paul embraced it, hoping it would stop the pain.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Split Ends: A Novel About Dead Girlfriends

Here's a short excerpt. I'll post an excerpt for Three Dogs tomorrow.


“I see all the things I've missed out on, and wonder how I got here. An infinitely long list of bad choices and worse circumstances.”

“You’re just feeling sorry for yourself,” Patrick said. I knew he was trying to be helpful, but right then, I didn’t want his help.

“I’m dealing with a lot of dead people who I used to love.”

“So, waa. A lot of us deal with a lot of dead people who we used to love.”

“Not like this, Patrick.”

“Sure, maybe not like this. But people die. You didn’t have any part in it.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because you didn’t sick a pack of angry ducks on Stephanie, and you didn’t make a tree fall on Starr.”

Out of context, this was an absolutely obscure comment. Had I mapped out every conversation I’d ever have in my entire life, this would not have made the list.

“I don’t know, Pat. I really don’t. Maybe the cops are right. There are just too many bodies, and too many coincidences.” I paused and thought about Officer DeParalta’s comments. “And not enough answers.”

Patrick stared at me. I could see it growing in his mind, too.

“So you’re starting to believe them?”

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“But don’t you think you’d know if you were killing people?”

“I don’t know, Pat. You hear about serial killers all the time separating their own realities from the ‘monster’ that’s killing people. What if I’m one of those guys? What if I’m killing people while in some weird other consciousness?”

“Like you’re blacking out and turning into Ted Bundy?”

“Yeah, like that. Maybe I have no idea that I’m killing people when really I am.”

“Look, I’ve known you a long time. I think I’d know if you were killing people.”

“No, Pat, you’d be the guy they interviewed who said, ‘He was such a nice boy. Always ate his green beans.’”

“You hate green beans.”

“Not the point, Patrick. The point is, no one thinks their best friend is a serial killer until the cops show up. When they arrested that BTK guy, you think his wife went, ‘Oh, totally, I saw this coming.’?”

“That’s different. She didn’t want to see those things.”

“And you do?”

“Man, if you’re a serial killer, do you know how much air time I’ll get? I could make millions selling your story.”

“Nice. It’s so comforting to know you’d use my misery to make a buck.”

“That’s what best friends are for. I’m here to help you, but if you’re guilty, fuck yeah, I’m totally selling every word you’ve ever spoken to me to TMZ.”

“You’re an asshole.”

“Your lips to God’s ears, brother.”

Despite my best efforts, I was actually starting to feel better.

“So what now?”

“Now we try to find Neanderthal. We get him to admit he was the one with Michelle when she died. That’s the only one they got you with right now, so let’s solve that one.”

“Where do we start?”

“We go back to college.”


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Done. Next.

Four Dogs is officially submitted to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.

There's nothing I can do at this point but wait until the next round to find out if my pitch as advanced, and my excerpt moves on to be reviewed by Amazon Vine Reviewers.

While I'm not holding my breath, I like to think my pitch, and the concept of Four Dogs will be good enough to move me through to the next round.

Either way, I won't know until Feb. 24, and so, it's time to move on to other things.

I finally saved up enough to buy a Macbook Pro (and said goodbye to my first love, my iBook). I have AutoArt to create and send to press for the next two weeks, and then it's time to get back to writing.

What I'm getting to is a question. I have two books I'm currently working on, and I'd like to narrow it down and focus on one of them.

Three Dogs is the sequel to Four Dogs. Split Ends is an adult humorous/mystery. Work on Three Dogs in case Four Dogs wins and I need to follow up with an option book? Or jump out of that genre, and do something different?

Now, I have to be honest, I think I was born to write humorous mysteries a la Carl Hiaasen of 15 years ago. Nothing makes me happier than making people laugh.

But I need to be pragmatic. It's not about what I want to write, but what I can sell. I have to write to the market, and not to the muse.


Before you make your decision, I'll share two excerpts with you. In a couple days, I'll upload a short excerpt of Three Dogs. A couple days after that, I'll upload a short excerpt from Split Ends.

In the meantime, time for me to get to work on AutoArt so I can finish paying for my new toy.