The art of storytelling and writing

This has to be one of the finest explanations of the difference between storytelling and writing that I have seen in a long time, and no, I'm not partial because she is my agent. I love it when Weronika writes about writing, and I read everything she has to say on the subject, because I always learn something from her.

Her ability to detail what makes a well-written, well-told story is phenomenal. Concise and with clear examples, Weronika talks about the writer's vision, story arcs, and she also gives some superb editing tips. If you want a clue into my writing/editing process, check out Weronika's post On Compactness at

Compact writing manifests when the writer puts words on the page with courage, direction, and intention; when every word is critical to and organic in the building of the scene, and ideas are introduced quickly without overwhelming readers. The best writers layer each of their scenes, considering the framework of their chapters, and then they undergo harsh line edits to rid their works-in-progress of all unnecessary components. Compactness is not a matter of words alone, of each sentence having purpose. It’s also a matter of storytelling—the rise of events and tension in each paragraph, scene, chapter, and part, and in the novel as a whole. [READ MORE]


a review and some random notes

Paul Weimer gave Miserere a very nice review over at SF Signal today. Head over if you want to give it a look-see.

Congratulations to my colleague, Max Gladstone, who is celebrating the sale of his novel Three Parts Dead to Tor Books by none other than our rock star agent Weronika Janczuk. Congratulations to both of them, and I'm looking forward to adding Three Parts Dead to my to-read shelf.

Just kind of FYI: Due to a large amount of SPAM, I've had to turn on comment moderation at the old blog. I apologize in advance, because I always like to make commenting as easy as possible on the folks that visit with me. However, I don't like people using my airspace to hawk everything from cashmere shawls to the enhancements of certain body parts.

So. In an effort to curb ... enhancements, for lack of better ... you won't see your comments on the blog until my eyes have seen your comments. As long as everyone follows the general rules of good behavior (and I've yet to have anyone visit me here who doesn't), your comments will magically appear when I've got time to release them.

Unless you're a spammer. Then I'll think of some devilment to perpetrate on you.

I'm old and mean. Don't provoke me.

how I got my literary agent

Everything kind of went up simultaneously this week, but that's okay. I've got a post up at one of my favorite blogs to read: Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents. I'm talking about how I found my literary agent, the awesome Weronika Janczuk.

And just to keep things sweet, you've got a chance to win a copy of Miserere there too!

So if you're curious, check out how I met Weronika over at Chuck's GLA Blog.

Happy Release Day--MISERERE!

Today is the official release day of my debut novel Miserere: An Autumn Tale!

The initial reviews have been positive and we're having a blog tour to celebrate, but today we're taking a break from the blog tour.

My agent, Weronika Janczuk, is doing multiple blog posts today, telling everyone about me, how we met, and what it was that drew her to Miserere.

Part I -- About the Book and Author

Part II -- The Journey (Weronika tells how we met online and even shares my query letter with you)

Part III -- Why Weronika loved Miserere (find out what caught her eye so you'll know if she might like your pitch)

Weronika has more coming this evening, so keep an eye on her site! I'll be tweeting along.

Meanwhile, thanks to all of you who have already purchased Miserere! I love hearing from you!


blog tour kick-off, contest, and more!

A blog tour, a blog tour! That's right, for the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting links for a blog tour with some of the most gracious and fabulous blogs in the Internetz. I'm going to be talking about writing, publication, and of course, Miserere. The tour starts tomorrow.

But that's not all! I've been working on a super sekrit project with the Winston-Salem Writers and when they've got the post up on their web site, I will tell you more about it. It's one of the coolest on-going projects a writers group can do, and I'll be keeping you posted as the story unfolds.

But that's not all! For my ebook friends: You can now pre-order Miserere for your Kindle at Amazon.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! To kick-off our blog tour, my rock-star agent, Weronika Janczuk, is joining me for an awesome giveaway.

Are you ready? Okay, here it is:

Please read the rules closely.

This giveaway is open internationally, and closes at 11:59 p.m. EST on July 15th, at which point, winners will be announced over the following weekend.

Participants may enter to win any of the gift packages, but can actually win only one. When you fill out the form linked below, rank all of the packages you’re interested in. Whoever wins first place in the story contest (explained below) will get his/her first choice of package, and so forth.

To enter, the only requirement is that you write a 250 to 300-word self-contained fantastical short story. It can be as funny or dark, experimental or straightforward, as you would like it to be. We’ll judge based on the quality of writing and entertainment, and reserve the right to alter or add gift packages if there are any ties, many or too few entries, etc.

Gift packages may be split. (For example, if you win the book and critique, but don’t need a critique, you’re free to pass it on to a friend, etc.)

If you have questions, please post in the comments below.

PACKAGE #1-- autographed copy of MISERERE: AN AUTUMN TALE + 25-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + autographed MISERERE postcard*

PACKAGE #2-- 50-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + autographed MISERERE postcard

PACKAGE #3-- 25-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + synopsis critique from my agent + autographed MISERERE postcard

PACKAGE #4-- 25-page critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + synopsis critique from my agent

PACKAGE #5-- synopsis critique from my agent, Weronika Janczuk + query critique

Stay tuned during the tour for news of further giveaways and chances to win more books, autographs, critiques, and more.

The contest is over, folks. Thanks for entering!

*All of the postcards are oversized 5 5/8" x 4"

Okay. Now that's all.

Have a great weekend.

Another chance to win an autographed copy of Miserere is here!

My author's copies of Miserere: An Autumn Tale arrived yesterday and to celebrate, my awesome agent Weronika Janczuk is hosting a contest at her blog!

There are two ways to win, and so no one gets confused about where to link, I'm sending you to Weronika's page now.

Click here for your chance to win an autographed copy of Miserere!

Go on, you know you want it ...