Thursday, January 13, 2011

Author Scott Nicholson

Just wanted to take a moment to announce a new release by thriller author Scott Nicholson.  Scott's a good guy and a terrific writer.  His latest is CRIME BEAT.   Here's a description:

Product Description

Crime doesn't pay...but neither does journalism. DRM-free and 99 cents for a limited time.

A novella by Scott Nicholson

When John Moretz takes a job as a reporter in the Appalachian town of Sycamore Shade, a crime wave erupts that boosts circulation and leaves people uneasy. Then a murder victim is discovered, and Moretz is first on the scene.

As more bodies are discovered, Moretz comes under police suspicion, but the newspaper's sales are booming due to his coverage of sensational crime. His editor is torn between calling off his newshound and cashing in on the attention, plus the editor is romancing the big-city reporter assigned to cover the suspected serial killer.

And Moretz seems to be one step ahead of the other reporters, the police, and even the killer himself.

CRIME BEAT is a 21,000-word novella, the equivalent of about 80 book pages. Also contains the bonus story "Do You Know Me Yet?" from HEAD CASES.
By Scott Nicholson, #1 Kindle bestselling author in Mystery & Suspense. Nicholson is author of Disintegration, The Skull Ring, The Red Church, and other crime, mystery, suspense, and paranormal thrillers. His mystery collections include Curtains and Head Cases, and with bestselling Kindle author J.R. Rain, he's published the urban fantasy Cursed!

You can buy it here:

Check out Scott on the web at

Scott's website is loaded with articles and tons of information for writers. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You Might Be a Writer.

People often wonder if they have what it takes to be a writer. I've posted some helpful guidelines to determine your aptitude for writing fiction. Signs you might be a writer...

You obsess over office supplies. The prospect of purchasing a new notebook makes you a little too excited. You purchase a pack of your favorite pens even though you have two packages of said pens at home in your drawer. Because you like the way they flow on the page.

You are willing to defend to the death the placement of a comma.

Much to your friends' dismay, you point out what will happen next in a movie.  Or you say things like, "That would never happen. Let me explain."  At this point it is perfectly acceptable for your friends to pelt you with popcorn and/or Raisinettes.

Potential story ideas are everywhere. While standing at the deli counter you wonder aloud, "What if a shadowy government agency secretly controlled the nation's supply of olive loaf?" You immediately write this idea down for fear it you will forget it.

You have three to five novels laying around at any given time because you never know when they'll be a reading emergency and you may need to grab one. The prospect of getting rid of favorite books makes you want to weep uncontrollably.

You were the kid who daydreamed during history/math/science class. While the other kids were learning about algebra, in your mind, you were defending the school from a Russian invasion (a la Red Dawn). Or you just knew a masked maniac was waiting beneath your basement stairs, and if you didn't climb them fast enough, he would surely grab your ankle and drag you into the shadows.

You start writing a piece, decide it's total crap, and vow never to write again. Ever. You promptly return to writing the next day and discover you cannot quit.

Take heed. Once the writing bug sets in, there is no known cure. May God help us all.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Surviving Disaster

I stumbled across Surviving Disaster, which I guess is no longer on Spike. In the show,  former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley gives tips on how to survive worst case scenarios.  Not only did I find the show entertaining and informative, but I thought the episodes could teach basic novel plotting.

The episode where Cade shows the viewer how to survive a terror attack at a mall is quite good.
How does it relate to plotting a novel?

There's an inciting incident (the attack).
The status quo has changed for the mallgoers (nothing will be the same after this)
The mall patrons try several routes of escape (which are blocked).  They are pursuing goals and repeatedly denied.
They must come up with plans while being hunted. They must take out the terrorists at certain points.
Things go wrong (someone is wounded, they are blocked by a sniper) until they pull things together at the end.

It's worth watching not only for the survival tips, but for the mini story arcs that occur throughout the show. No matter what type of fiction you write, plotting is about throwing roadblocks in front of your characters and forcing them to deal with it. 

No Escape/Smashwords

Thanks to the efforts of my wife, NO ESCAPE is now available at

Hope you'll check it out.

Saw A Quiet Place II This Weekend

Jenn and I went for lunch yesterday, then saw A Quiet Place II at the Aurora Theater. The Aurora is a great little theater. One screen, and...