So you can read my books

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Hibbs, the cub with no clue, here.

I'm all done in, guys. I can't even lift my head.

I have just enough strength to give you the schedule for next week 's Book Blog Tour for THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS --

that's me when I grow up :

Monday (21st) -- Donna Hole - DONNA HOLE

Tuesday (22nd) -- Summer Ross - MY INNER FAIRY

Wednesday (23rd) -- J. C. Martin - FIGHTER, WRITER


Friday (25th) -- Jo Schaffer Part I - SHOVELING IN A JO STORM

Saturday (26th) -- Jo Schaffer Part II - SHOVELING IN A JO STORM

Now, guys, I am going to sleep for a century or so. YAWN. Maybe more.

Little Hibbs asked me a moment ago, "How do you write a classic, Mr. Roland."

That's a question you would like to know, too.

Sure you do. Deep down we all do.

But how to pull off that miracle?

Like the photo to today's post suggests ... by giving the reader what he wants to read.

And that's what has readers come back to read our novel a second ... even a third time.

It's what has them rush to their friends, talking about the book that they just have to read.

Word of mouth gives birth to bestsellers that become modern day classics ... to movies being made of said novels ... maybe your book.

Word of mouth.

That phrase leads us to one of the three things will ensure your book is worthy of coming back for seconds,

thus becoming a classic -- (Sorry, I ran out of space -- I only got to one of the three.) :

1) Dialogue that sparkles.

Take the sixties Western, THE PROFESSIONALS :

Burt Lancaster. Lee Marvin. Robert Ryan. Ralph Bellamy. Jack Palance. Woody Strode.

Each actor at the apex of their careers. How did the director draw in so many large stars at the time of one-star vechiles?

The studio couldn't afford that much in salaries.


Each actor was given lines that didn't just say something but words that MEANT something. Words that didn't just move the plot along but spoke to something primal within the hearts of the audience.

Such as :

Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) : Rico, buddy. I don't deserve you.

Rico (Lee Marvin): I agree. I can understand you getting in a crap game and losing $700 you didn't have, but how'd you lose your pants?

Bill Dolworth: In a ladies bedroom, trying to raise the cash. Almost had it made, too. Do you realize that people are the only animals that make love face to face?


Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) : Maybe there's only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?


Rico: So what else is on your mind besides hundred-proof women, 'n' ninety-proof whiskey, 'n' fourteen-carat gold?

Bill Dolworth: Amigo, you just wrote my epitaph!


Jake Sharp (Woody Strode) : Mr. D, whatever got a loving man like you in the dynamite business?

Bill Dolworth: Well, I'll tell you. I was born with a powerful passion to create. I can't write, can't paint, can't make up a song...

Hans Ehrengard (Robert Ryan) : So you explode things.

Bill Dolworth: Well that's how the world was born. Biggest damn explosion you ever saw.


Jesus Raza (Jack Palance) : La RevoluciÛn is like a great love affair. In the beginning, she is a goddess. A holy cause. But...

every love affair has a terrible enemy: time. We see her as she is. La RevoluciÛn is not a goddess but a whore.

She was never pure, never saintly, never perfect. And we run away, find another lover, another cause. Quick, sordid affairs. Lust, but no love. Passion, but no compassion.

Without love, without a cause, we are... *nothing*! We stay because we believe. We leave because we are disillusioned. We come back because we are lost. We die because we are committed.


[last lines]
J.W. Grant (Ralph Bellamy) : You bastard.

Rico: Yes, Sir. In my case an accident of birth. But you, Sir, you're a self-made man.


On the surface THE PROFESSIONALS was just an adventure tale, plain and simple.

But your novel to become a classic cannot be plain and simple.

It must have depth. Your dialogue must do more than say something -- it must MEAN something.

As THE PROFESSIONALS had depth. Beneath the adventure was an examination of what it means to be a professional in all you did, what it took for mature, intelligent men to fight for love or for a cause when ultimately all loves, all causes, betray you.

Each character had a different surface answer. But their base-rock answer was the same : you lived in such a way as to not betray yourself -- you fought because of the people you battled alongside and for.

And that leads back to us :

as authors we write for ourselves and for those who read our words -- not to betray ourselves or the readers who paid cash money for tale. In the end, we want what all authors want :

to tell a story that sings a song of the soul, that murmurs "You are not alone."



  1. Awesome, Roland! I've never seen The Professional, but I'm going to find and watch it. You are so right about dialogue and the depth it needs to really make characters and a story come to life.

    As a writer (and reader), I've always know this, but you've reminded me how important it is with this post.

    Thank you! Have a great weekend!

  2. Love The Professional. I'm currently trying to figure out exactly how to make my new story just as unputdownable... there is so much thought that must go into it, but at some point, we have to just trust ourselves and write. Some stories will make it, some won't. I think we just have to love the ones who didn't quite cut it, just as much so we can move on to write the story that really sparkles.
    Thanks for the inspirational post. And gosh darn that Hibbs is a cutie!

  3. Great quotes from a great script! As a screenwriter I totally understand what you're saying about making every word count. Dialog does more than move the story forward, it expresses character. Your examples were spot on.

  4. I felt inadequate after reading the dialog, until I realized that there is dialog like that in our family ALL. THE. TIME.

    I just need to write it down.

  5. I hope Hibbs understands dialogue is the key, Roland.

    Or, did he fall asleep half way through.... Only kidding. He just looks SOOOO tired. Poor baby bear,

    Great advise as always.

    I know I have been tweaking my dialogue in my first ms. It needed to sound little girlish and real. Not as easy task for a grown man.LOL

    I'm looking forward to next week's blog tour.


  6. speak of a classic my father used to watch, back when I wasn't much older than Hibbs the cub:)

    It's been a long night, think I'll join Hibbs for a nap.

    I'll be in touch, Roland.

  7. Elliot : I wasn't much older than Hibbs the cub when I first saw THE PROFESSIONALS on TV. I know all about looong nights. I hope you have rested by now.

    Michael : Hibbs was asleep before I say the first word! The mind was willing, the furry flesh was pooped!

    I wish you well writing the dialogue for the character of Amber. Like you wrote, it's hard to shift gears mentally and go down a notch in years and pop to another gender!!

    Ani : You've found the secret of good dialogue : listen to the world around you and replicate the mood and sass of what you hear.

    Luana : As always you are perceptive. So you're a screenwriter? A lady of many talents. Thanks for the compliment : it's hard to find better dialogue than THE PROFESSIONAL -- unless you look at THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Have a great weekend, Roland

  8. E.C. : I think you'll enjoy THE PROFESSIONALS. It's witty and action packed. Thanks for liking my post. And I wish you success in writing your dream to reality.

    PK : Hibbs is blushing under his face fur!

    And thanks for liking my post. You're right : preparation is important, but there comes a time to just leap into the lake and swim. We give it our best shot, polish to our utmost, then move on to the next story burning our tongues to tell. Have a lovely weekend.

    Hibbs is tugging at me to take him to the bayou bordering our apartment complex. He wants to chase butterflies and talk to the egrets.

  9. "Tell a story that sings a song of the soul" -- that's the real key, isn't it? Congrats on your book! How'd you get such great cover art?

  10. Thanks for liking my post, Milo. Easy for me to write how. Hard for me to actually do.

    As for the cover art, I know that if I get picked up by a print publisher, I will be at the mercy of whatever cover art they choose.

    I scoured the images in all the public domain resources I could until I found one that connected. I then had my computer whiz friend, Michael Di Gesu, crop and tweak it, adding the font as well.

    So Michael Di Gesu is the genius responsible for my cover art.

    Thanks for visiting. May we both find success in our publication dreams, Roland

  11. Get some rest, Roland. I know how tired you must be. I appreciate your insights into dialogue. It is so true.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

  12. Thanks, Nancy. Me and Hibbs slept most of the day. Now, not too surprisingly, we are going to watch Jean-Jacques Annaud's THE BEAR.

    Have a great Sunday, Roland