Archive for July, 2009


July 24, 2009

Oh glorious weekend. It feels like it’s been a long time coming. I haven’t been home for a couple of weekends as I was out of town for a funeral and then for my association black belt test (it’s sort of a lot to explain, but yes there are two big tests involved… and it’s all done now). So this is the first weekend in a while that I get to stay in town and chill out at home. 

It’s been a productive couple of weeks though. I’m getting close to being finished on one large book project and got caught up on a couple of others. I got started on my article covering the WD Annual Competition (it’s fun getting to write an article–usually I’m on the editing side of things, obviously). Anyway, I’m looking forward to going home and mowing the grass and then being done for the week. After that I plan to do some reading, play with my dog, and eat some mexican food. That’s the extent of how complicated my plans are for the weekend. Seriously.


As you can see, I mean business.

As you can see, I mean business.

WD humor writing book featured on Pop Candy!

July 20, 2009

Z1028Here’s a link to an excerpt from And Here’s the Kicker by Mike Sacks (a book of conversations with humor writers), on USA Today’s Pop Candy Blog. 

I’m always excited when any of our books ends up being mentioned on Pop Candy, as I’ve met blogger Whitney Matheson a couple of times  and she’s super nice. Anyway. Check out the excerpt (oh, did I mention that the excerpted bit is a conversation with David Sedaris?… must have slipped my mind).




Me and blogger Whitney Matheson at ComiCon 2008

Me and blogger Whitney Matheson at ComiCon 2008

“Your Story” Contest Entries

July 16, 2009

four-leaf_clover2Today our team read through submissions for a short story competition. Yet again I was amazed by the number of Leprechaun stories that we received! I rarely find myself contemplating leprechauns, but apparently some writers out there are fascinated by them. Out of 901 entries, 7 of them were about leprechauns. While 7 doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s a lot more than I would expect to receive. When you consider percentages it’s roughly .8% of our submissions– nearly one percent! Considering how rare leprechauns are you wouldn’t really expect them to be 1% of anything. But I guess they’re full of surprises.

Back in the Fray

July 14, 2009

I hit the ground running (sort of) this morning after a weekend of a funeral, a birthday party for my mom that involved a series of unfortunate jet ski incidents where I smashed my big toe and tweaked a muscle in my back, and buying a new car on Monday. What a weekend.

But like I said. I’m back. I’m going through contest entries, putting together a list of design elements for a book, and going through some proofreader notes on a another book project. Good times.

I started reading The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon this weekend (thanks to Jessica for the loan). I’m digging it… Shadow of the Wind is one of my favorite books, so I’m really excited about reading this and trying to not compare too much, but just enjoy the voice and tone of the book. Totally stoked. For those who haven’t read it, my favorite scene so far involves a writer’s fictional character appearing to seduce him and a creepy little girl with a porcelain hand.

The busy weekend has story ideas spinning in my head. Hope I get a chance to write some stuff down, but this week is looking pretty busy too. Such is life.

Onward! (a shout out to my fellow editor who loves battle cries)

It’s Been a Week

July 9, 2009
This is the face I was making on Tuesday.

This is the face I was making on Tuesday.


Well writers, it’s been a crazy week full of wonky computers, slow printers, permissions red tape and other hurtles and delays. I’m also sad to say I have a funeral to go to this weekend, so I’m heading to Detroit tomorrow and then my wife and I are trying to resolve some car drama on Monday (possibly trying to buy a car if the one in the shop is unfixable), so I won’t be back in the office until Tuesday.

So lots of personal stuff going on along with my projects, which are numerous (including an article I need to write for the Nov/Dec issue of WD)… but all the projects are in good places, I think.

Moral of the story: the writing life is rarely neat and easy… but you can always find a way.

WD Author Wins Indiana Authors Award

July 7, 2009

Yesterday I found out that one of our authors, James Alexander Thom, won the national author category for the Indiana Authors Award. 

Thom, author of historical novels including Follow the River and Panther in the Sky, is working on a book for Writer’s Digest titled The Art & Craft of Writing Historical Fiction (February 2010). I worked with Thom in the early stages of the project before it was assigned to another editor (I’m still his contact inside the office). Thom is a true pleasure to work with-the type of writer you’d like to sit down and talk to. If you write period fiction, you should check out his work.

Click here for more info about the Indiana Author Award

To learn more about James Alexander Thom visit his website


Available February 2010

Available February 2010

Novel Writing… The Issue!

July 1, 2009

This afternoon advance copies of Novel Writing, the special issue of WD that I edited, arrived in the office. I’m really excited… the issue looks great. My friend Claudean did a great job designing it. It hits newstands on 7/21, so check it out and post a comment to let you know what you think of it.

The issue features articles on trends in genre fiction, novel revision, avoiding common writing mistakes, and tons of technique based instruction. I wrote an article for the issue as well that addresses marketing for writers. Look for it on newstands and let me know what you think.

















Zombies on NPR…

July 1, 2009

Z1805Check out this post on NPR about Zombies in popular culture. One of my company’s books is mentioned: Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum–a disturbing and funny book of haiku written from the perspective of the undead.