Tag Archive - writing advice

I Wrote a Book Set in a Place I’d Never Been To, Then I Visited That Place. How’d I Do?

My last novel, The Otto Digmore Difference, was a road trip story about Russel Middlebrook and his friend Otto Digmore traveling from Los Angeles to New Orleans, so that Otto, an actor, can get to an all-important movie audition on time. Here’s a little secret that I shouldn’t be confessing: I’d never actually driven most […]

Should You Self-Publish?

In our latest Media Carnivores podcast, Erik and I return to the age-old question: Should You Self-Publish? What are the new challenges for indie publishers? What the biggest mistakes to avoid? Plus, Erik and I both reveal how much money we’ve both made self-publishing. Send to Kindle

What Advice Would I Give My Younger Writer Self?

In our latest Media Carnivores podcast, Erik and I discuss the advice that we wish would could give our younger writing selves (and that we’d offer to all writers). Give it a listen! Send to Kindle

How Do Writers Deal with Failure?

Our latest Media Carnivores podcast, How Do Writers Deal with Failure? Erik and I share embarrassing details about our own failures, but also offer advice on how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on. (Bonus: hear the story behind The Order of the Poison Oak!). Send to Kindle

Advice for Writers: How Do You Launch a Book?

So in my latest Media Carnivores podcast, we discuss book launches and book publicity in general. (As chance would have it, I’m currently launching a new book, The Thing I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know!) Send to Kindle

Advice for Writers: Almost Every Story is a Mystery!

So here’s what I think makes a good ” mystery” book or movie: an intriguing question is asked at the beginning of a story (typically about a murder, but not always). Over the course of that story, the main character gathers clues. Some of these clues may be dead-ends, but even they help the character […]

The Entertainment Industry is Like the Mortgage Industry: Basically Broken

Last year, Michael and I refinanced our house. We have great credit (scores of 780+), a ton of equity, and decent jobs. And the process was A COMPLETE AND ABSOLUTE HELL! They had us jumping through hoop after hoop after hoop, and at several points in the process, we were thinking we’d never get financing […]

Advice for Writers: Play Video Games!

So I’m on record as saying that every novelist should write at least one play in his or her life (and hopefully see it performed in front of an audience). The act of structuring a play — and plays, more than any writing medium except maybe screenplays, are ALL about structure — will teach you […]

Some Thoughts on Diversity: Wow, It’s Complicated

I participated in a pretty interesting and rousing panel last year at the Kidlitosphere Conference (with Justina Chen, Sarah Ryan, Lee Wind, and Sarah Stevenson) on the subject of “diversity” — racial and otherwise — in YA fiction. I’m re-posting some of my thoughts: Talk is cheap. Everyone says, “I’m all for diversity!” But being […]

My Charlie Brown/Snoopy Theory of Artistic Success!

My good friends know that I’m a major, long-time fan of Charles M. Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip. It’s funny, touching, and brilliant — one of those truly rare artistic projects that was both wildly popular and a critical success. (Full disclosure: the strip had its hey-day from about 1959 until about 1978. After that, it […]