So you can read my books

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Take a chance on Wolf Howl!

                 in your book. 

Press the limits,

push the boundaries of what you think will work,

then make it work somehow.

Aren't you as a reader tired of seeing the same old thing:

shy girl goes to new school and meets a hot bad boy who turns out to be:

a werewolf, a vampire, a cross-dressing son of a mad scientist (caught you with that last one, didn't I?)

How about a tiger named Hobbes who imagines his human boy doll is alive and talks to him?

Spin the expected on its ear. 

You will snare bored readers, making them your loyal fans.

You can't go beyond yourself. 

No matter how strange your twist ...

shadows who live and breathe, casting people behind them as they walk in the sun. 

No matter your idea,

it will still have the stamp of your personality, your style of writing.

Be open to any whim drifting from your unconscious. 
To create means to think beyond the limits we have placed upon our muse. 
The mind has no boundaries. 
The imagination is the key to infinity ...
and to bestsellers.

A persecuted boy cracks: 

He climbs to the top of the school with a rifle and the school's yearbook. He starts shooting.

His persecutors? No. He shoots every nice person he knows. Why?

To spare them the hurt he knows is waiting for them as it waited for him.


Break the rules:

  The shy girl falls in love with the vampire. His love for her turns him human. Now, his coven is out to turn them both!

Extreme is good.

The vampire was confident and kind. 

As a human he is sullen and snotty. 

The girl wants him to be a vampire again even if it means the death of innocents.

Her shyness hid her selfishness. 

The vampire realizes what a monster she would turn into if she becomes a vampire. He kills them both ...
as a gesture of the last remnants of his kindness.

The only rule:

everything in your novel must serve a purpose, down to the painting of the dying swan on the girl's bedroom wall.

It is what the humanized vampire looks at as he smothers the girl he loves. 

He sees not the monster she has become but the lovely, shy swan he thought her to be when he first saw her.

Everything in your novel must do double-duty.

The murder of the girl. 
The painting of the dying swan. 
Even going to the prom. 
The surface meaning. The meaning behind the character doing it.

Have we moved beyond the rules, beyond the boundaries of what you think possible?



  1. Hi, my friend. I finished Return of the Last Shaman yesterday, and LOVED it. Now I just need to do it justice in a review, hopefully today. And thanks for the audio gift, but I can't use it because I can't get an audio download to work. But I prefer reading to listening anyway.

    Now I'm going to read Her Bones Are in the Badlands, and I want to watch the movie Serenity. It's on Amazon. I have never been a great fan of fantasy or science fiction, but you have now "turned me on" to them. Thanks so much. And have a good, safe weekend.

  2. Ann:
    I am so happy that you enjoyed RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN. So sorry about the audio download problems.

    Here is the link Audible provides to download software that allows you to listen to their audio books on iPad, Kindle, cell phone, and your computer:

    SERENITY is a bit violent. I would not have suggested it to you. But I would suggest NEXT with Nicholas Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel with one of the last performances by the great Peter Faulk.

    Cage plays a man who can see 2 minutes in the future. It is based on a story by Philip K Dick who wrote the story BLADERUNNER was based on.

    You can rent it on Amazon for $2.99:

    It was one of the last good films Nicholas Cage made before financial woes made him do every film offered him.

    You will think about this movie even after you've finished it. :-)

  3. You're singing my song, Roland. I am so weary of reading the same book over and over. I accept there are only seven basic story plots. That doesn't mean there are only seven stories. It's what the writer does with those plots that matters.

    Looking forward to your visit tomorrow. (Love that pic of me and my sweet boy).

    VR Barkowski

  4. VR:
    Yes, my most recent post has an excellent video on the lack of original stories in action movies. :-) It also has 2 other photos of you in it, too!

    Haven't you heard a familiar joke told badly and later told so well you still laughed though you knew it? It was in the telling, right?

    I am looking forward to my visit to you tomorrow as well. I have tweeted about it and done a new post. I even visited your page on Facebook to say THANKS for having me. :-)