Monthly Archives: April 2015

It’s Time for Me to Weigh In on a Most Controversial Topic

A few years ago, when I had just gotten started in the whole “marketing myself” thing, I was given a critical piece of advice by fellow author Armand Rosamillia.

At the time my primary means of marketing was facebook.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about some of the things people post on facebook every day — and how easily some of the conversations escalate from innocuous to ugly in the blink of a cursor.

Back in the day, I thought nothing of joining in these “spirited” debates – never, for a moment, considering the option of keeping my opinion to myself.

Especially when it came to politics.

So, talking with Armand one day, he explained the error of my ways…

To paraphrase, he said that whenever I engaged in a hot-button topic I ran the risk of alienating potential readers –something that no author, especially an unknown indie like myself (I hadn’t yet risen to the level of fame I’m at today) could afford to do.

I saw the wisdom of his words and, even though it took some serious self-control, I followed his advice and I can honestly say that I haven’t contributed to an on-line controversy in years.

Well…as the saying goes – all good things must come to an end.

I can no longer sit by and keep my mouth shut.

I’ve been watching an issue simmer for a long time and it seems as though it’s about to boil over. It’s been the topic of many heated debates, even causing serious rifts between good friends and brothers. It isn’t confined to cities like Baltimore. It’s been discussed in places like Cincinnati, Miami, Boston, Chicago and New York.

Whenever the topic is brought up it sparks an immediate confrontation between sides. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground, either…people expect you to take a side. None of this I can see both sides crap.

Naturally, I’ve always had an opinion on the matter, but, as I stated earlier, I’ve gotten out of the habit of adding fuel to the fire.

Until now.

If you get your news on the same channel I get mine you’ve seen that things have escalated recently, so I can’t not say anything anymore.

I have an opinion and, although it won’t make a bit of difference in the on-going debate, I am going to throw my two-cents in.

I apologize in advance if my opinion angers you, please understand that it is just my opinion. Many people are bound to be surprised by what I have to say, given my lifelong leanings. All I ask is that you respect my thoughts the same way I respect yours. If we can’t see eye-to-eye…I hope it won’t put a damper on our relationship.

If you don’t want to hear my opinion, now is the time to stop reading…


I think it is time to ban the designated hitter and return baseball to a game of strategy and managerial challenges – rather than proceeding down the road to “whoever hits the most three-run homers wins the World Series.”


Once again – I apologize for my radical views…but somebody had to say it.


As always – thank you for reading


Filed under Uncategorized

Authors, why use #hashtags in your blog post titles?

Looks like it’s time for me to start #ing my blog titles!


You may have noticed that I use hashtags in my blog post titles, and I wouldn’t blame you for wondering why – that used to be me, too, when I noticed an author I follow cluttering up her titles with those rather unattractive tags.

But we want people to share our posts, don’t we? After all, that’s why we have all those ‘share’ buttons after our posts – to make it simple and fast for people to share – but how effective are they?


If you’re sharing to Facebook, then its likely to be to your closer group of friends; to Google, your like-minded associates.

But to Twitter?

Have you looked at the tweets generated by the share buttons, before you click on ‘tweet’?

They include the title of your piece – but unless the sharer takes the time to add hashtags, they go out with, often, a title that strangers…

View original post 105 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Tim Baker – Reading Recommendation Revisited

Thank you to Susan Toy for her continued support of Indie Authors!!

Reading Recommendations

Tim Baker was the second author featured on Reading Recommendations way back in November, 2013, and he’s been a terrific support of the site, and of me and my books – as well as being a great pal! – ever since. He also came back during the following year with updates on new books in August, 2014, and November, 2014. So when I decided to begin offering new promotions to authors I’d already featured, it was definite I had to begin with Tim! He even came up with the name for the series:
Reading Recommendation Revisited!
Welcome back, Tim Baker!

Tim 973

RRR: Since your first promotion on RR, what have you been doing?
TB: If memory serves the last thing I shared with your audience was the release of Path of a Bullet, A Collection of Short Stories Featuring Ike. Since then I have begun work…

View original post 800 more words


Filed under Uncategorized


A site stealing the hard work of Independent Authors has been shut down by the awesome pressure brought about by those same authors on social media! #Teamwork

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

The Illegal Free Book Site highlighted in my post has been DISABLED!




View original post


Filed under Uncategorized

Plotting a Thriller

Cynthia Harrison talks about the challenges of writing a story in a new genre.


I’ve had the idea for a psychological thriller for almost a year now. The minute I finished my latest novel (on my editor’s desk as I type this) I started planning the new one. I quickly realized there would be a LOT more research than usual. I had a new genre, a new setting, a new profession, which has since turned into several new professions. I almost said “maybe not.”

But my critique group meets next week, and a month ago I’d promised them a first chapter of the new book. I’d already done quite a bit of research on the setting and I knew the character since I’d written about her in two previous novels. Also, I had read How to Write a Damn Good Mystery by James N. Frey when I wrote Sweet Melissa, so I knew some stuff. Enough for a first chapter.


I had also…

View original post 392 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Guest Post from Tim Baker

A guest post (and a bit of a confession) by me about my research habits (or lack thereof!)

A Lover of Books

Book Cover

‘Eyewitness Blues’ is Tim Baker’s latest novel.  He has written a guest post for my blog about research and how important it is.


There’s nothing worse than spotting inaccuracies in a novel.

Suspension of disbelief aside, even fiction should be as factually accurate as possible…I mean if your character is being chased by a pack of time-traveling zombies riding flying monkeys, and he/she shoots ten of them dead with a Colt single-action revolver, I’m afraid I’d have to call that bullshit.

A simple Google inquiry will tell you that particular weapon only holds six rounds.


Every novelist should do his/her research because, as Genghis Khan said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

Actually, that quote belongs to Abraham Lincoln, but I…

View original post 871 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

In Memory of Walker Newton

Writing about death is practically an everyday occurrence for me, but I now find myself writing about it from a completely different, and very unexpected perspective.

Several months ago I was attending the Inspired Mic, a monthly “open mic” night for authors here in my town, and there was a newcomer in the lineup.

Walker Newton read an excerpt from one of his novels, and by the time his six minutes were up he had morphed from a writer I had never heard of, to the guy I wanted to be friends with.


Walker Newton 1

Maybe it was his style of writing, which was very similar to mine. After the event several people approached me and commented about the similarities in our styles.

It could have been the fact that he was also a musician, often combining his musical performances with his book signings. I thought that was too cool.

Most likely it was his cool, easy manner.

Walker Newton 2

Unassuming, modest, easy-going and humble.

I liked him immediately.

When I learned that he was from neighboring St. Augustine, and that his books were set there, I thought How do I not know this guy?


Walker and I had a couple of conversations and were featured together at a signing held at a local winery, where we exchanged books.

We were well on our way to becoming friends.

Sadly, that friendship has been put on hold.


Walker Newton 4

Rance “Walker” Newton passed away on Monday April 13, 2015 at the age of 70.

After serving as a submariner in the US Navy, Walker received a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree. He traveled extensively and had a very successful career in hotel development.

He was a talented musician and writer, but far more important, he was a friend to everyone he met.

His legacy will live forever in the hearts of all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Walker Newton 3

I’ve never written an obituary, and I didn’t know Walker well enough to do him justice, but I can say that he was taken far too soon.

Walker Newton works Walker Newton on Amazon


As always – Thank you for reading…and Godspeed Walker


Filed under Uncategorized