Author Blogs

Telemachus Press, LLC is pleased to offer a venue for its author’s blog postings and other writings. This portion of our website is automatically fed with material provided by our authors who are third parties and are not employed by Telemachus Press, LLC. This externally provided commentary and any opinions contained therein are solely those of the author and not necessarily supported by Telemachus Press, LLC or any of its employees or subcontractors.

19
Now that I'm working on the sequel to MANDARIN YELLOW, I appreciate how useful and important using a beat sheet is. For the first time I truly have an overview of my book and am able to shift around chapters at will within the context of my view (literally and figuratively) of the whole. This has been immeasurably useful to me....

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19
The reasons were many. First and foremost, I love to write, but all of my published writing before MANDARIN YELLOW involved nonfiction — various aspects of American history. Second, I love to read crime novels, especially hardboiled or noir mysteries. I also love reading crime novels that are set in modern times, but have an historical bent to them (such as The Poe Shadow  and The Dante Club, both by Matthew Pearl). Third, I have been fascinated by Chinese culture and history for several decades, and from time-to-time have thought about writing something that would reflect my interest in this civilization....

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19
Do you finish reading every book you start? If not, do you feel guilty when you quit before the end? I used to try to finish every book even when I felt the book wasn’t worth completing. Somehow, somewhere along the way when I was young, I came to believe that if you start a book, you should finish it. On those occasions when I quit early, I felt guilty. Now I know better. I find that for every book I buy and start to read, I somehow also acquire two or three others that I mentally designate as “to be read someday.” It’s a fact of my book life I cannot escape: The more I read, the farther behind I fall in my reading because I keep buying books. So, I’ve asked myself: why waste my limited leisure reading time finishing books that do not live up to my expectations?...

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19
How important is a book’s cover? Aren’t we taught from a young age that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover? Do you really need a cover that will knock your readers off their feet? No, you don’t, but it sure helps sales and it might get you some reviews you otherwise would not get. When I browse in a bookstore, I find my books, first, by looking for authors I enjoy reading (then I look at the titles); next, I examine the books of authors I’ve never read if I’m attracted to their books by their covers (which includes their titles); and, last, I read the pitches or synopses on the back covers of the books I’ve selected after the front covers have reeled me in....

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19
Actually, I write with six fountain pens, one of which I carry with me. The other five I keep at home and use at my desk, switching out the one I carry every two or three weeks. But don’t be misled by the title of this post. I also “write” with my computer’s word processing software, but only after I’ve written the first and second drafts using a pen. That’s how I wrote my first mystery novel, MANDARIN YELLOW, and it’s how I perform much of my day-to-day writing. It all started when I was in law school and used a ballpoint pen to take class notes. I was forced to write so fast just to keep up with the lectures that I found myself pressing against the paper with more and more force as my hand became tired. After a few weeks I developed a painful blister on my finger, followed by a callus, but a callus that remained tender to pressure for the balance of my three years in law school. By the time I graduated, I was looking for excuses not to write manually (but there were no PCs yet)....

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26
Indie and self-published authors matter yet are often ignored as viable players in the publishing industry. We matter to the big publishers and retailers because we are groundbreakers, innovators, creators and consumers. From our ranks you will find the next Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking.  We matter to readers because from our books they will find their next favorite author and can’t-put-down series. Yet, it is nearly impossible as an independent or self-published author to get our books into a Barnes & Noble store, even if we offer the maximum discount and the books are returnable. Some independent bookstores even refuse to stock our books. We seem to be given no thought in the current battle of the Goliaths, Amazon vs. Hachette Book Group, and in the mergers of the big six (now down to five, soon to be four?). But we matter because we are the backbone of the publishing industry. We are old and young, workers and retirees, rich and poor, and we are readers. We write i......

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16
(*This blog post was updated on June 29, 2014 to reflect modified number of e-books sold and given away during free Amazon promotions.) My name is Joanne Lewis. I am a writer but I am not Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Michael Connelly or Stephen Colbert. I’ve had two agents and am now unagented. I had a publisher but now self-publish. I am of the majority of serious writers who write at 3am, when the baby is down for a nap and when not at our paying jobs. I have five published novels and, as of May 31, 2014, I have sold approximately 21,500 and have given away about 27,750 e-books. That’s at least 49,250 of my books that are out there for people to enjoy. This is beyond my expectations. I am thrilled. This would never have happened without Amazon. As I understand it, Amazon wants a bigger cut from the Hatchette Book Group’s e-book sales. Hatchette is a French conglomerate, which includes U.S. imprints Little, Brown & Company, Grand Central and Hyperion. When ......

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10
I am coaching a colleague as he begins his foray into the field of writing. Having been wildly successful in his career and reaching the top of his profession, he thought—like many others—that writing would be easy. He finished his first short story and submitted it to a contest, expecting to receive the accolades that have followed him his entire adult life. When he got the rejection, he wrote the following to me: “If I don't have the ability to write 1000 words, then I am in the wrong field.” I thought long and hard as to how I wanted to respond. Should I be encouraging to a fault, telling him how the judges of that contest were probably illiterate? Or should I respond by saying he was right, he is in the wrong field? Of course, none of those were options since neither was true. Instead, this is what I wrote to him upon his declaration that he was “in the wrong field”: “DON'T BE RIDICULOUS!!!! Rejection is part of writing. It's subjective......

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31
I learned how to juggle when I was in high school. My brother’s girlfriend was over one New Year’s Eve and while waiting for the ball to drop she taught me the art of keeping three balls in the air at once. I spent the next few hours perfecting my hand eye coordination and becoming talented enough to amuse my friends but not good enough to join the circus. What I didn’t realize that evening was how invaluable learning to juggle would be. Today, like all of us, I use my juggling skills to juggle work, play, family, friends and writing. Typically, I'm editing a book while writing a new one but for the first time I'm working on three books at once. Forbidden Night is a prequel to my best seller, Forbidden Room, Miriam’s Timbrel is a fantasy novel, and Sleeping Cupid is the second book of the Michelangelo & Me series. I have realized that while we all juggle different things in our lives, some juggling is good and some is bad. Good juggling for a novice like......

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09
Dear Peter,  You asked me to share my experiences with you about my chemotherapy. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on November 13, 2005. The protocol was 6 sessions total with 1 session every three weeks. My first session was in the middle of December. I went to my first session feeling apprehension and relief. Apprehension for the unknown--I had heard all about the horrible side effects of chemo--and relief because this drug that was going to be dripped into my system was also going to save my life.  I did my chemo at Broward General Hospital. It was in a large room with lazy boy chairs in areas that could be closed off by curtains or left open. I brought a DVD player so I could watch movies, my iPod so I could listen to music, and my favorite pillow and blanket. And socks, don't forget the socks. The cancer center was always cold. I was surprised that the chemo was in a glass bottle. I was not surprised that the oncology nurses were wonderful. I ended up having a fav......

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