Wrapping Up a Project

But how do you know when you are finished with an illustrated project, especially when the deadline is still out there?

Easy-reader comic book! Goldilocks, revisited.

I decided to try writing and illustrating a graphic novel based on an early reader series I wrote called Sir Pants-a-Lot and Squire Mousekins. In the first adventure, the brave knight and his loyal squire rescue Goldilocks from the three bears. And, unlike the traditional story, they encourage the naughty girl to make amends for…

Chirp All About It! Publishing News!

As it has for millions of people, the pandemic has had a big impact on my working routine. When not plugging away on contracted projects, I would normally be brainstorming new ideas, researching markets, and submitting finished projects. With the country pretty much shut down, there wasn’t much point in all of that. Since I’m…

Writers are Liars

“Writers are liars, my dear, surely you know that by now? And yet, things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.” ― Neil Gaiman, Dream Country Like pretty much everyone reading this, I engage in social media….

Keeping it real

One of many things I have gleaned from successful writers is to make sure my fictional stories are believable. Experienced sci-fi and fantasy writers are adept at weaving a made-up world and filling it with characters and situations that a reader can believe and invest in. Legal thrillers play out according to real laws with…

Collage of Memories

My mom, aka Burl to her left coast kin, was an energetic and creative soul. Burl tried so many different crafts during her retirement years that I started calling her creations “Burl’s Limited Editions: sometimes limited to one.” Learning a new craft, enjoying the process, and then moving on to another new craft were what…

Keeping busy during the off-season.

This summer I had two book projects to complete for Rourke Educational Media, then as often happens in summer, that was it until fall work comes in. But it ain’t quittin’ time! The writing life can be sporadic when it comes to paying work, but that doesn’t mean writers should just stop writing. If we…

When to give up on a story.

Writers love their stories. It can be a love-hate thing throughout the writing process, but when a writer reaches the end and declares the story is done, they are hopelessly in love with it. Does anyone remember the intro scene from Romancing the Stone, when the sobbing Joan Wilder types in the final scene in…

Changing with the times – how I stayed published.

This piece is from the May 2006 issue of our local electrical coop’s Ruralite Magazine. I interviewed myself actually, and was very easy to talk to. I also took the photos, hence the cut off head. The gist of the interview was how we creative types struggle in our careers. Getting published doesn’t mean we’ll…

DIY Picture Book Query Letters

When it comes to picture book submissions, editors and agents nearly always ask for the entire text. For novels and nonfiction, they generally ask for a synopsis, the first three chapters, and/or a proposal and outline. It’s a no-brainer that one should write a query for novels or nonfiction to get the prospective publisher interested…