The Author Life

Lessons, challenges, and observations for those pursuing the writing craft and business

A Solitary Daffodil

If you wanna fiddle with writing, you gotta have a “pen” in your hand. It takes a lot of hours, determination, and brain sweat to coax a ream’s worth of words into coherence; that’s why it’s a craft.

Rocking Your Reading

Rocking Your Reading

If you want to know how it sounds, you’ve got to read your stuff out loud. Reading your work in front of a live audience can be nerve-wracking, but absolutely nothing helps you understand syntax, inflection, and pacing better than oral reading.

Writing

The Lowdown on Getting It Down

If you want to be down with writing, you’ve got to write it down. Today, I’m going to share with you my process for drafting a manuscript.  In other words, what  I DO to get that story out of my head and into a form that will one day become a book! 

Fairhope Yacht Club

Book Chat in Fairhope Alabama

Rocky met with the lively ladies of Book Chat on a shaded veranda overlooking Mobile Bay to talk about A Gathering Misery. As ice-cold drinks were served, the interactive discussion revolved around the creative process and the use of family heirlooms as scaffolding for both plot development and character arcs in Southern Literature.

Death Kindly Stopped

A particularly gruesome death befell me last night. Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” I’m not much of a poet, but the same applies for your friendly neighborhood horror writer: no fear in the writer, no fear in the reader.

Taking a Curative

Graduate-level writing instruction fired my imagination, while real-life actual intellectual discussion about the craft of writing…discussion with egos, politics, and the minutiae of daily responsibilities held in suspense for just a few days amongst a community of authors–this is the stuff new years are made of!

Christmas Past

What the Dickens?

  The Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet To Come swirled about the classroom as the genius of Dickens wrought its magic.  Sure, the students understood allusions to Scrooge, but I was surprised by their corporate ignorance of the plot line (and, consequently, the message) of A Christmas Carol.  After using a combo of rich …

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