Saving History One Story at a Time

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Last week’s post was about my journey to San Antonio to meet, for the first time, my new friends from the Military Writers Society of America, and to pick up their prestigious award for my novel The Oath. This week I want to share with you some of my experiences with the MWSA.

As I said in my blog last week, the MWSA is comprised of interesting and talented people. What I forgot to tell you is what good people they are. Just one example among many: Bob Doerr, the Society’s Veep, and a half-dozen members arrived in San Antonio a day early to put on a free, all-day writing seminar at the Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital. And this was not just a random act of kindness on the Society’s part. Besides sponsoring workshops at other VA facilities nationwide, members are encouraged to donate copies of their books to VA hospitals near where they live.

The 2017 Military Writers Society of America Conference itself featured two days of discussions on various topics. I was invited to contribute to a panel whose title was: “I’ve Written My Book – Now What?” It provided experiences and thoughts by some of us who’ve written books and asked ourselves “what the heck should I do next?” I mostly kept my mouth shut and learned from a very experienced group of panelists/writers: Kathleen M. Rodgers, best-selling author of Seven Wings to Glory and The Final Salute; John D. Trudel, himself a best-selling author of Raven’s Run and The Lone Wolf Agenda; and last, but certainly not least, panel moderator Don Helin, a 2017 MWSA winner for his mystery/thriller Angel’s Revenge. I’m mentioning these books because I think you should put them on your “to read” list. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

As Don noted, the period after completing the manuscript is one of the most frustrating times for writers. And John stated, “I think it easier these days to get published, but much harder to become visible, to get noticed.”  Even Kathleen noted that “despite my 40+ years in the writing business, I still feel like a beginner every time I sit down to work.”

The last night of the conference was highlighted by the awards banquet. MWSA recognizes and awards authors in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. It was a night of good food, good wine and good conversation. Oh, and my tearful acceptance of a Silver Medal for The Oath.

If you are a veteran who writes (or is thinking about writing), or a non-veteran, but who writes about things “military,” then I urge you to find out what the MSWA offers by clicking here: mwsadispatches.com.  As we like to say, we’re “SAVING HISTORY ONE STORY AT A TIME.”

One last thought on the subject of author discoverability: If you’re looking for a company to do web design and/or host your website, I can unequivocally recommend Lenka Lee. Go to Lenkaslist.com to check her out. I have all my books registered with her. She also does interviews and blogs. I’ve been with her for over a year. She helps get you discovered, and now offers a web design and hosting service.  Use coupon code LENKAWEBDISCOUNT during checkout to get $50 off until September 30th, 2017! I’m on board. Check her out. I think you’ll come to the same conclusion I did.

Lenka's List web design and hosting for authors

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5 Things You Need To Be Doing While Writing Your Book

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Many people think that writing a book is all about having a good story or hook, but the reality is you are in the book writing “business.”  Here are five things that you should do while you are writing the book that can help your “book business” once you finish. Continue reading

Strength In Numbers

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CALL ME CRAZY, BUT …

For the past three months, my third novel, The Custer Conspiracy, has been circulating among the NY Literati looking for an agent. To date, I have received five requests to see the entire manuscript seeded between thirty-three outright rejections.

Even though I think The Custer Conspiracy is worthy of a mainstream publishing house, I’m not surprised at the level of disinterest. I understand the book business pretty well (I think), and can appreciate the pressures the agent class is under when trying to select books the ordinary reader (you and me) will be allowed to read. Continue reading

On being “Discovered”

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I was recently asked what’s the biggest hurdle I face as an indie author. Easy answer.

Discoverability.

Let me be honest  … I don’t write novels just for the fun of it. Just to have a gotcha over old drinking buddies. I’m in this because I’m itching to be a mainstream, bestselling author. And I can do it. All I have to do is get …discovered. Continue reading

Big Win for Follower ph89oenix

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Today was the 50th Super Bowl, pitting the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers.  My friends and I in the San Francisco area watched all fours hours, including the halftime show and award ceremony.  To help pass the time, we played “The Big Game Bingo” using the television commercials as squares. I got a couple of BINGOs before the third quarter ended and scored a crisp $2-bill for each win. Making the game even more enjoyable was the great food and drink prepared by the hostess. Continue reading

The Holy Grail of the Discoverability Process

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The real “social media” at work.

“DISCOVERABILITY” – the bane of all Indie writers. If you are (or were) like me, you spent a lot of time thinking, planning, plotting about how to get “discovered”. On the one hand, it looks so easy. I mean, if 50 Shades of Grey can do it, so can you. Right?

Ummm …. NO! Continue reading

Was 2014 a Successful Year for You?

Gas Prices Drop
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Got to tell you … no matter what else happened in 2014, that I could fill my car with gas that cost $1.75 per gallon (OK, OK …I had some “cents-off coupons”, but still …) qualifies it as a great year, no matter what else happened.

But I jest … sort of.

We all have our own definition of “success”. Since this is a blog about writing, I want to focus on that. But first, allow me to put into perspective the really important things in life: Continue reading