Impala Is Here!

In addition to adding Impala to its list of best of the month list for September, they also added it to this week’s Kindle Select 25 list. I got word yesterday that Bibliolabs and Library Journal added Impala to their Self-E Select list as one of the notable indie titles of the month. They’ll help make it available through local libraries around the country. Since Kirkus also featured it in their September issue, I’m interested to see if libraries […]

Writing and Selling

My new book, Impala, was finished in May–not just the writing, but the editing, proofreading, design, and layout. I decided to have it ready four months before release so I could do some of the promotional work that traditional publishers do: get the book into the hands of reviewers, talk to bookstores and news outlets. The ebook market is quite competitive, and like the app market for smart phones, it often seems like a race to the bottom. The writers and […]

An Update on the Classic Crime Novel

My new novel, Impala, is a thriller in the vein of the classic crime novels of the thirties, forties, and fifties. The best of those novels follow a pattern that goes like this: An intelligent but flawed character gets in trouble after he gives into to some desire or compulsion, like lust, greed, or revenge. He finds himself surrounded by people and powers that will not let him go. His attempts to extricate himself from his troubles only lead to deeper trouble. He’s usually involved with […]

Iceland, June 2016

I’m sitting here in Keflavik airport on a Tuesday afternoon, waiting for a flight back to the US. I stopped here for a couple of days on the way home from Dublin, and I’m glad I did. When you fly into Iceland, the first thing you see is the huge lava field of the southwest coast. It’s a broad, flat plain of lichen-covered rock, with huge swaths of purple. The color comes from Alaska lupine flowers, brought to the island in […]

Ireland, June 2016

I arrived in Dublin on June 12 for the 2016 Open Repositories conference at Trinity College. By coincidence, my brother Paul arrived the same day from Seattle, on unrelated work, and had a room in the same hotel, two doors down the hall from mine. We met in the lobby around 5pm and were approached immediately by a drunk American woman in her 60s who asked Paul where his wife was. When he said she was at home, the woman said, “Well then, […]

How To Make a Mess of Things

The other day, I was trying to buy a new phone and sign up for a mobile service plan online. I added a phone to my cart, and then when I selected a payment method, the page disappeared, and I found myself looking at a different page full of phones I didn’t want. “OK,” I said. “Let’s try that again.” Another try, and I got the same result. So I tried again without specifying the payment option. After I added […]

Impala Summary Poll Results

Last week, I asked readers to vote on a blurb for my next book, Impala. Two thirds of the respondents favored the “Summary” blurb, which described the main character and his predicament in straight expository prose. One third preferred the “Flavor” blurb that gave a good sense of the books’ style and tone, and encouraged the reader to piece together what the book was about. The readers who preferred the Summary blurb said they liked knowing what the book was about, […]

Q&A: On Writing

What do you try to accomplish in your writing? The first thing, I guess, is to write something I would like to read. I like books that make me think and feel. I like books that are emotionally and intellectually honest, that tell a good story, but also strive for depth. I like to see the author’s heart in their work, and to get a sense of the flavor of their mind. So I try to put all that in […]