Beta 2 of The Ghosts of Reseda High is coming soon. Click here to learn more.

“…Then, why are you looking for an agent for your next book?”

Offline at Barnes and NobleMatthew, you say you like independent publishing. Then, why are you looking for an agent and publisher for your new novel, The Ghosts of Reseda High?

Because, why not?

I don’t see a conflict between independent and traditional publishing. One doesn’t eliminate the other, and a growing number of authors are learning to use both successfully. As I wrote in my post, “Independent publishing is not for everyone.” It’s also not for every book. The Ghosts of Reseda High is one of those books.

Read more »

What Chopped can teach you about writing

"Whose writing is on the Chopping Block?" (Photo from Food Network)

“Whose writing is on the Chopping Block?” (Photo from Food Network)

One of my favorite TV shows is Chopped. I love the thrill of the competition, and I love learning about new food and ways to prepare it. (When I was at the WritersUA conference, I was one of the few people who recognized the dragon’s fruit on the buffet table.)

Chopped also provides great lessons about creativity beyond the kitchen. You can even learn a lot about writing from that show. Here are the lessons I learned.

Read more »

Habits in fact and fiction

I finished reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. It’s an excellent and useful book (especially because I need to change my eating habits). This book also helped me understand character development in fiction.

Read more »

WritersUA 2014 Day 4: A community, not a crowd

Sun, fun, and community in Palm Springs

This tweet best summarizes WritersUA this year:

I believe that it’s not because we have the same type of job or suffer the same pain points. I think it’s because we have a clearer idea of what we’re doing and why it matters.

Read more »

WritersUA 2014 Day 3: “What do I do now?”

Amiga Workbench 1.3 (circa 1987) from WikipediaAnother benefit of coming to WritersUA is that it’s helping me write my new novel, Amiga. There’s a scene where my narrator is looking at Workbench, the Amiga user interface, for the first time. He is perplexed when he looks at the screen. (Keep in mind that this happens in 1985 when windows and icons were new things.) He asks his colleague, “What do I do now?”

Nearly 30 years later, we’re asking the same questions when confronted with new user interfaces. Our challenge as technical communicators is how we can provide answer that question for our users. Here are some tips I learned from today’s sessions at WritersUA.
Read more »