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Archive for January, 2008

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Today is the paperback release of The Liar’s Diary by Patry Francis, which has accumulated a number of spectacular reviews, been translated into several languages, and eagerly read by many. And today, over 300 writers will blog about the book which was released by Dutton (hard cover), Plume (paperback), and Brilliance Audio. Patry Francis was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and while the mother of four employs her grandfather’s motto of “No Kick” and continues to blog and to write, she can not yet take on the traditional amount of extensive promotion required of an author, so a large number of people are chipping in to help out.

The Patry Francis Blog Day is the brainchild of Laura Benedict and was put into motion by her; Patry’s editor, Julie Doughty; her agent, Alice Tasman; her publicist, Laurie Connors; Karen Dionne of Backspace; Susan Henderson of Litpark; Dan Conaway of Writers House; Jessica Keener of Agni; and Brilliance Audio. They’ve put in the legwork to bring together as many people as possible to help Patry and promote the book in almost any fashion, from blogging about today to reviewing The Liar’s Diary.

I haven’t read The Liar’s Diary yet, but will be getting the book soon. Having read excerpts of the work and listened to the audio excerpt provided by Brilliance Audio, I think it is certainly not one to miss.

But because of that fact, when Karen Dionne asked fellow Backspacers to participate, I contemplated joining in on the Blog Day for just a little bit. What would I blog about? I’ve never met her. I haven’t read the book. Sure, I’ve read her blog and excerpts of the work, but what would I say? Ultimately, it was a very simple decision. Like so many others, I wanted to help, plain and simple. Patry Francis has shown an amazing fighting spirit that most of us hope for in such times of pain and crisis, and her situation and the generous support from her family and friends has no doubt inspired us all. Now–for those of us that haven’t yet–it’s time to take it to the bank, further support a fellow writer and human being and purchase a copy of The Liar’s Diary. Without further ado:

The Liar’s Diary at Amazon.com.

From Backspace:

In support of Patry Francis and this remarkable blog initiative, Penguin Group USA would like to offer 15% off the paperback edition of The Liar’s Diary when purchased online from us.penguingroup.com until 2/15/2008. On the shopping cart page, enter PATRY in the ‘coupon code’ field and click ‘update cart’ to activate it.

Video Clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD31Ip3y3Gk

Audio (provided by Brilliance Audio and linked from LITPARK): http://litpark.com/mp3/LiarsDiaryclip.mp3″

Press Release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Laurie Connors
A Plume Paperback Plume Publicity
212-366-2222
laurie.connors @ us.penguingroup.com

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THE LIAR’S DIARY

A Novel
By Patry Francis

“The new questions and revelations just keep coming…Readers will be heartily rewarded.”—Ladies’ Home Journal

When new music teacher Ali Mather enters Jeanne Cross’s quiet suburban life, she brings a jolt of energy that Jeanne never expected. Ali has a magnetic personality and looks to match, drawing attention from all quarters. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities THE LIAR’S DIARY (Plume / February 2008 / ISBN 978-0-452-28915-4 / $14.00) is the story of Ali and Jeanne’s friendship, and the secrets they both keep.

Jeanne’s secrets are kept to herself; like her son’s poor report card and husband’s lack of interest in their marriage. Ali’s secrets are kept in her diary, which holds the key to something dark: her fear that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. While their secrets bring Jeanne and Ali together, it is this secret that will drive them apart. Jeanne finds herself torn between her family and her dear friend in order to protect the people she loves.

A chilling tour of troubled minds, THE LIAR’S DIARY questions just how far you’ll go for your family and what dark truths you’d be willing to admit—even to yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patry Francis
is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize whose work has appeared in the Tampa Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and the American Poetry Review. She is also the author of the popular blogs, simplywait.blogspot.com and waitresspoems.blogspot.com. This is her first novel. Please visit her website at www.patryfrancis.com.

Praise for THE LIAR’S DIARY:

“Twists and turns but never lets go.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“A quirky, well-written and well-constructed mystery with an edge.”—Publishers Weekly

“Outright chilling.”—New York Daily News

“Genuinely creepy…The unlikely friendship between a small-town school secretary and a flamboyant teacher proves deadly in this psychological murder mystery.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A twisting ride full of dangerous curves and jaw-dropping surprises. This is one of my favorite reads of the year!”—Tess Gerristen, bestselling author of The Mephisto Club

“Francis draws and tense and moody picture of the perfect home and family being peeled back secret by secret…Four Stars.”—Romantic Times

THE LIAR’S DIARY
By Patry Francis
Plume Paperbacks / February 2008 / $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-452-28915-4
Readers Guide available at www.penguin.com

For more information or to schedule an interview with Patry Francis, please contact Laurie Connors, Plume Publicity
212-366-2222 / laurie.connors @ us.penguingroup.com

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The list of writers, editors, agents, and publishers participating in The Patry Francis Blog Day (from LITPARK):

Patti Abbott
Mario Acevedo
Susan Adrian

Samina Ali
Christa Allan
Anne-Marie
Joelle Anthony
Jorge Argueta
Vicki Arkoff – MAD Magazine, Nickelodeon, MW Book Review
Melanie Avila
Tricia Ares
Backspace

Backstory
Terry Bain
Gail Baker – The Debutante Ball
Anjali Banerjee
Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Elizabeth Bartasius
Carolyn Burns Bass
Brett Battles
Laura Benedict

Pinckney Benedict
Janet Berliner
William Bernhardt
Alexander Besher
Bev
Marcie Beyatte
Brenda Birch
Roberto Bonazzi
Bookfinds

Raven Bower
Laura Bowers
Beatrice Bowles
Tara Bradford
Gayle Brandeis
Stacy Brazalovich
Susan Breen – Gotham Writers Workshops
Heather Brewer
Eve Bridburg – Zachary Shuster Harmsworth

Sassy Brit
Heatheraynne Brooks
Debra Broughon
Josie Brown
Pat Brown
Ruth Brown
Ken Bruen
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Aldo Calcagno

Austin S. Camacho
Bill Cameron
Lorenzo Carcaterra
Vincent Carrella
Karen DeGroot Carter
Rosemary Carstens
Cynthia Clark – Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine
Jon Clinch
Kamela Cody

Oline H. Cogdill – Sun-Sentinal
Tish Cohen
Eileen Cruz Coleman
Myfanwy Collins
Dan Conaway – Writers House
Laurie Connors – Penguin
Eileen Cook
Richard Cooper
David Corbett

Auria Cortes
Bill Crider – Pop Culture Magazine
Kim Cristofoli
Ann Mare Cummins
Sheila Curran
Kristie Cutter
Jordan Dane
Josephine Damian
Daryl Darko

A.J. Davis
Kelli Davis
Alyssa Day
Alma Hromic Deckert
Jim DeFelice
Mike Dellosso
Katrina Denza
Bella DePaulo
Karen Dionne

Felicia Donovan
Julie Doughty – Dutton
Gerry Doyle
Terri DuLong
Firoozeh Dumas
Christine Eldrin
J.T. Ellison – Killer Year
Sheila Clover English – Circle of Seven Productions
Kate Epstein – the Epstein Literary Agency

Kathryn Esplin
Rachel Fershleiser at SMITH Magazine
Ryan Field
Michael A. FitzGerald
William Floyd
Natasha Fondren
Jamie Ford
Connie May Fowler
Heather Fowler

Therese Fowler
Jenifer Fox
Thaisa Frank
Michelle Gable
Gary Gach
Leighton Gage
Neil Gaiman
Colin Galbraith
Jayson Gallaway

Jane Ganahl – Red Room
Erika-Marie S. Geiss
Linda Gerber
Shane Gericke
Tess Gerritsen
Karin Gillespie
Anne Glamore
Kathi Kamen Goldmark
Jewelle Gomez

Susan Helene Gottfried
Deborah Grabien
Elizabeth Graham
Caroline Grant
Robin Grantham
Bob Gray – Shelf Awareness
Nancy O. Greene
Robert Grudin
Lisa Guidarini

David Habbin
Jim Hanas
Lynette Hart
Melanie Harvey
Michael Haskins
Melanie Lynn Hauser
Bill Hayes
Maria Dahvana Headley
Susan Henderson

Heidi the Hick
Georgia Hesse
Billie Hinton
Vicki Hinze
Lori Hope
Khaled Hosseini
Eileen Hutton – Brilliance Audio
Gina Hyams
International Thriller Writers

David Isaak
Susan Ito
Lisa Jackson
Arachne Jericho
Allison Johnson
Jen Jordan – Crimespree
Jungle Red Writers
Lesley Kagen
Polly Kahl

Jessica Keener
Charles Kelly
Lisa Kenny
Beth Kephart
Jackie Kessler
Merle Kessler
Kristy Kiernan – Southern Authors Blog
A.S. King
Jeff Kleinman – Folio Literary Management

Sandra Kring
Kyra
R.D. Laban
Rebecca Laffar-Smith – Writers Roundabout
Clair Lamb
Daphne Larkin
Larramie
Judy Merrill Larson
Caroline Leavitt

Leah
Virginia Lee
Leslie Levine
Mary Lewis
Richard Lewis
Liane
Sharon Linnea
Julie Anne Long
CJ Lyons

Jonathan Maberry
Amy MacKinnon – The Writers Group
Tim Maleeny
Ric Marion
Nancy Martin
Adrienne Mayor
L.C. McCabe
Damian McNicholl
Ellen Meister

Melba
Christa Miller
Kyle Minor
Jacquelyn Mitchard
P. A. Moed
Terri Molina
Pat Montandon
David Montgomery
Alexis Moore

Joe Moore – Inkspot
Amanda Morgan
Sarie Morrell
Murderati
Amy Nathan
Nathalie
National Post
Tia Nevitt
Nicole

Carolyn North
Aurelio O’Brien
Martha O’Connor
Andrea Okrentowich
Lori Oliva
Aimee Palooza
Pamela
Michael Palmer
Stephen Parrish

Marie Peck
Marcia Peterson – WOW! Women on Writing
Jason Pinter
Anthony S. Policastro
Douglas Preston
Publishers Marketplace
Terese Ramin
Jody Reale
Martha Reed

Janet Reid – FinePrint Literary Management
Kamilla Reid
Lance Reynald
Michelle Richmond
Maria Robinson
John Robison
James Rollins
M.J. Rose – Buzz, Balls & Hype

Renee Rosen
Jordan Rosenfeld
Russell Rowland
Anneli Rufus
Hank Ryan
Marcus Sakey
Harris Salat -Visual Thesaurus
Rachel Sarah
Maria Schneider – Writer’s Digest Magazine

Nina Schuyler
Dani Shapiro
Rochelle Shapiro
Charles Shaughnessy
Jessie Sholl
Robert Siegel
Clea Simon
Lynn Sinclair
Jen Singer

Shelley Singer
Sisters in Crime
Robin Slick
BPM Smith – Word & Bass
Bridget Smith
Claudia Smith
Kim Smith
Stephie Smith

Alexandra Sokoloff
Char Solomon
James Spring
Emilie Staat
Kim Stagliano
Maryanne Stahl
Bella Stander
Kelli Stanley
Marta Stephens

Bronwyn Storm
Jennifer Talty
Judith Tannenbaum
Mindy Tarquini
Alice Tasman – the Jean Naggar Literary Agency
Charles R. Temple
David Thayer
The Outfit
Theresa
Joyce Tremel
Danielle Trussoni
Louise Ure
N. L. Valler
Barbara Vey – Publishers Weekly
Bev Vincent
Brenda Wallace
Therese Walsh – Writer Unboxed
John Warner – Tow Books
Gary Wassner
Brenda Webster
Sarah Weinman
Kimberly M. Wetherell
Dan Wickett – Emerging Writers Network
Jennifer Weiner
Laura Wellner
Susan Wiggs
Liz Wolfe
Cheryl Wyatt
Stephen Wylder
Irvin Yalom
Belle Yang
Dawn Yun
Michele Zackheim
Victoria Zackheim
Ernie Zelinski
Crystal Zevon

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Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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Welcome to the January 29, 2008 edition of writers from across the blogosphere. Click, read, Enjoy!

writing

Vaibhav Gadodia presents Habitually Good » Blog Archive » Writer’s block – what is that? posted at Habitually Good.

GrrlScientist presents Today’s Adventure in The Land of Medicine posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “After a day like this, I would be crazy, if I wasn’t crazy already.”

Rebecca Suzanne Dean presents How To Kick Writers? Block posted at Rebecca Dean.

Richard Lee presents How To Write Magnetic Headlines posted at Richard Lee.

Brent Diggs presents Writing Prompts for the Not-So-Prompt posted at The Ominous Comma, saying, “Humor for writers”

Jessse Hines presents The Best Writing Advice I Ever Received posted at Vigorous Writing.

Jessse Hines presents Got Writer’s Block? Just Eat that Frog. posted at Vigorous Writing.

blue skelton presents The First Junkie Ninja Monologue posted at This Wasted Monologue, saying, “Scene: Present Day, Hospital Waiting Room – Blue Skelton is reflecting on the imminent birth of his first child.”

ScottG presents Notebook on a Passion: The Writer Begins with the Begiining posted at Notebook on a Passion, saying, “Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
–Aldous Huxley”

Steve Osborne presents First Things First posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Thursday Bram presents What If? Emergency Planning for Your Writing posted at thursdaybram.com.

GrrlScientist presents Bridge To Opportunity (Reprise) posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “This is just a story about the Brooklyn Bridge, as written by a non-native NYCer; me! Includes history of the bridge and Emily Roebling’s remarkable contribution to its completion.”

Steve Osborne presents “Are You Done Yet?” posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Ward Tipton presents Writing in Earnest | The Write Page posted at The Online Writing Resource Center, saying, “While freelance writing is great in many ways, wouldn’t it be nice to have your name on your writing and put the money it earned in your own pocket? I was finally able to get started doing this.”

Carol Bentley presents 4 easy steps to authorship. . . posted at Carol Bentley.

Steve Osborne presents The Well/Good Conundrum posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years experience. His blog teaches writing rules, strategies and techniques in a memorable, easy-to-understand way, spiced with a bit of humor.”

Alfa King presents Degree or experience? posted at Alfa King Memories.

Steve Osborne presents E-Mail Etiquette posted at TheWritersBag.com, saying, “Steve Osborne, author of “Writing Tips for the Real World,” is a professional freelance writer and writing instructor with over 20 years of experience.”

Sagar presents Rookie Mistakes: 15 Blunders New Freelancers Make and How to Avoid Them posted at Bootstrapper.

Alfa King presents Clarity and Brevity Make Good Blogging posted at Alfa King Memories.

articles

Orna Ross presents Planning Your Writing posted at WRITING ADVICE & PUBLISHING ADVICE from Font, saying, “Article on the importance of planning for writers”

Bela presents How to Catch a Mouse | House Chronicles posted at House Chronicles.

blogs

Michael Bass presents Hints for writing great blog posts. posted at Debt Prison, saying, “Don’t write junk, anything worth writing is worth writing correctly. Bad articles will leave readers with a negative impression of your site.”

Nick Cobb presents Felonious Ramblings: My First Day In The Joint posted at Felonious Ramblings.

Warren Wong presents The Different Types Of Website Visitors And Their Value posted at Personal Development for INTJs, saying, “An article describing the different types of websites visitors such as search engine, direct, referring, and social bookmarking and the value they bring to your website.”

Bob Younce presents Setting posted at Writing My First Novel.

book reviews

GrrlScientist presents Speciation in Birds posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “by Trevor Price, is a wonderful review of the literature that reveals the process and nature of speciation in birds.”

GrrlScientist presents Attenborough in Paradise posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “A remarkable set of adventures to the South Pacific islands and beyond on DVD as David Attenborough pursues his most deeply burning passions. [educational DVD review]”

Peter Jones presents The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: New Mystery Keeps You Reading posted at Great New Books that Are a Must Read.

books

James DeLelys presents Am I the Only One? posted at Author James DeLelys, saying, “Prelude to a new book.”

Sarah presents Eugenides and Saunders read from My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead posted at SARAHSPY.

interviews

Marilyn Terrell presents The Inn at Little Washington Celebrates 30 Years posted at Intelligent Travel, saying, “Susan O’Keefe interviews the celebrated chef-innkeeper at the Inn at Little Washington, Patrick O’Connell, as his inn and restaurant turn 30.”

life

Madeleine Begun Kane presents One Car Guaranty I?d Gladly Forgo posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.

Alex Blackwell presents And a Side Order of Positive Attitude, Too Please posted at The Next 45 Years.

Justin Duval presents www.DarkGrin.com – mind TRIP posted at The Dark Grin, saying, “Philosophical creative writing piece.”

Joshua Wagner presents Getting Your Ducks in a Row posted at Total Possibility.

Joshua Wagner presents Love and Fear posted at Total Possibility.

Alex Blackwell presents Feel the Music in You posted at The Next 45 Years, saying, “While allowing my heart to hear the words to the song, it occurred to me that I did indeed own my life. Regret and shame were just pieces of garbage I had been carrying around long enough. But there was still plenty of time and there was still plenty of hope and fight left in me.”

philosophy

Akemi presents Belief can Change the Course of Life posted at Gratitude Magic.

Samuel Bryson presents The Philosophy of Happiness – Accepting Yourself posted at Total Wellbeing.

Scholars & Rogues presents A human thinking trap (and how to avoid it) posted at Scholars and Rogues, saying, “Thank you for your consideration.”

politics/current events

Meggie Pace presents Craft Research: Craft 2.0 posted at Earthly Paradise, saying, “The arts and crafts movement is experiencing an incredible revival on the web. This article discusses the movement’s origins and future.”

Heidi Whitaker presents Viral Blogging: What is the Price of Profiting from the Politics of Bigotry and Hate? posted at Work from Home Choices, saying, “This article discusses how political blogs are stirring up hatred and bigotry.”

Cheryl presents Cop a plea: to criminal stupidity posted at Glob-a-log, saying, “Dimwitted cops and criminals”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
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We all often forget in the glorious insanity of writing that if you wish to publish, your writing is a business. That means you have to treat it and your interactions with everyone as a business dealing. These are my “rules” that I’ve developed by watching and talking with other writers as well as feeling my way through my own career.

1) Writing “cache” is earned not bestowed.

It is like any other job. Really. You must pay your dues as the new kid on the block before you can start to break the rules. I’ve got seven novels and a slew of short stories out there now. The publishers I work with can bank on my name on a title to bring in a certain amount of sales. Because of that I’ve earned a certain amount of license in how I work.

My first novel, not so much. I got the dreaded: we like it, but can’t take it as is. Do some significant re-writes and we may consider publication. I also got the same on the second novel. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and accept that.

The first one, I queried the editor and politely asked what re-writes. “Chop 2000 words of the front. Expand this relationship. And by the way, your female love interest (a male/male/female triangle) is an absolute raving bitch…tone her down.” Did that bug the hell out of me to have someone critique my baby so bluntly? Hell yes. Did I do the re-writes? Hell yes. And the second set of re-writes they asked for as well. They never did accept that book. But, in the end, I ended up with a much better novel.

The second book, the editor said, “Its great, but to fit our formula, I need the main characters to hate each other by the end of chapter three.” I didn’t do that re-write. It would have changed the entire plot. I politely sent a letter stating that it would require the re-write of the entire plot, but now that I knew what they were looking for, I’d try and write a book geared toward that.

You must sometimes sacrifice your baby to the Gods of Publication. If the second publisher had come back with similar requests to the first, I would have done them. Because, at that time, my name meant nothing to anyone.

2) You’re only as good as your promotion on your last book.

Really and for true folks. Your publisher watches. Even if you have a big named bank roll behind you, they watch. People who are active about getting their own name out there are money makers for them. I have a friend who writes for Bantam. That is BIG. Her editor told her, this is what we expect you to do to promote your own book. It’s not just the small presses who want you out there stumping. The authors I know who’ve sat on their “my book is wonderful” notions and done nothing, they get dumped. Your publisher wants to know that you are invested in you book as well. They don’t expect you to arrange nation wide book signing tours, but passing out flyers, maybe getting on a speakers panel or arranging a chat date on some reader loop: they watch for that.

3) If I’m reading your blog, so is your potential publisher.

I don’t know why so many people have a problem with that concept. They air their dirty laundry in public. My basic philosophy is: Tout your successes to everyone who will listen. Mourn your defeats in private.

I have been watching a certain new writer tank herself. She has written a short story for a collection and two longer stand alone works. The short story was contracted and the longer works under consideration. This is someone who has “broken in.” She then spent the next two months publicly agonizing over the re-writes in her blog. Blasting all the people who offered to help her with them as “red-liners” and “hack artists.” She turns in a re-write, noting something to the effect that she doesn’t know at all why they wanted her to do them. Gets a second request for more clean up and does a public freak out. Pulls the story from the antho (which she’s allowed to do under that contract), announces that she is doing so because she “just can’t work with editors like that,” and other people have told similar “horror” stories.

The best part: She was surprised when two days later she gets a rejection on the two longer works. I will bet that she gets rejects from a lot of publishers as well. She has not earned the right to act like a prima donna.

It is really demoralizing to have someone be brutally honest about your work that you’ve slaved over, agonized about sometimes for years. But go have your bitch fit in private. I railed for nearly a month with the requests I got. Privately, bending my poor guy’s ear off at length and to a couple of private friends. Not on a public blog post.

4) Everyone you meet has the potential to help or hinder your career.

You never know where the next reviewer, news media persona or publisher is. I’ve gotten invited into anthologies because I met someone (who I don’t remember) at some conference. I’ve gotten major reviews outside my genre because I impressed someone while speaking on a panel at some po-dunk convention, or the nice clerk at the book store…who isn’t the clerk but the manager in charge of setting up signings.

I have a friend, both personal and professional, who is a major freelance writer for some major GLBT publications. I met him at someone else’s reading where we just got to chatting. We went and had a drink afterward. Turned out he had a press pass to an event a few weeks later and didn’t want to go stag so I tagged along. Now, anytime one of his publications needs emergency filler I’m one of five people on the rolodex for the “hey what’s new with you?” interview.

Years of managing law offices has taught me that your best business deals are made in riding up the elevator or in the airport bar after the conference is over.

5) You will take crappier deals when you start out.

You don’t have to once you’re established. Obviously, you don’t want to sign away your complete rights in perpetuity to your work for royalties only. Jumping at the first deal, if it’s incredibly one sided, is not a good idea. But, it may be worth your while to take a contract that doesn’t pay much to get your foot in the door.

Keep an eye on what rights you’ve kept. If you’ve sold electronic rights to a work, but kept the print…you still have something to sell. Your publisher will make decisions based on who sells how much. Sometimes it’s fair for you to wait and sometimes its not. If they wish to take a wait and see before offering to buy more rights, and someone else will do it now…well there’s a lot of weighing of risk and such you should make, but sometimes it’s better to take the other deal.

As you get farther up the food chain you have more leverage to negotiate deals you don’t like. Don’t be afraid of a “take it or leave it” card thrown on the table. If you already know what your value is, sometimes the best negotiation strategy for you is to say, “I’ll leave it.” I, at my level, in my market, have options. Deals I would have taken when I started out (and I don’t have any qualms about having made them) well, sometimes they’re just not good enough any more. I have to look at this as a profit making business.

Now, if I take a shot at the next “tier” up of publishers…I may end up taking a deal that’s not quite as good to get my foot in that door.

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The Oscar nominations were announced on Tuesday the 22nd, and three of the five best picture nominees were films adapted from equally popular novels: Atonement, No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood is unique as it is not a traditional book to film adaptation like the other two films.  Inspired by Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil!, director Paul Thomas Anderson has put his own perverse spin on the classic tome by the iconic muckraker.  The film stays true to the book’s period detail and basic backdrop (the early days of the California oil boom), but Paul Thomas Anderson works things up into a bold visual and aural frenzy anchored by the greatest acting performance so far this century from Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview.  The result is an astonishing cinematic work of art that will stand the test of time and likely outlive the novel upon which it drew its initial inspiration.

Below is my review of There Will Be Blood that was first published on my personal blog and the Internet Movie Database:

The World of Blood and Oil According to Plainview, 6 January 2008
10/10
Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA

*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

There’s a recurring nightmare of mine where I am falling down a well. Our reality is an illusion. This life is simply the dream we have while we are actually falling down a well. It always seemed as if the well was bottomless. After watching “There Will Be Blood” I discovered the well has a bottom. At the bottom of the well is one thing. Oil.

Also falling down this well was “The Performance.” Watching Daniel Day Lewis play the unstoppable, unshakable, unfathomably misanthropic and greedy oil man that is Daniel Plainview, one is left to imagine that “The Performance” was always out there. It always existed somewhere in the ether, in our collective unconscious, in our nightmares and anxieties. It took a visionary auteur like Paul Thomas Anderson to realize that if he did a modern film update of Upton Sinclair’s early 20th century novel “Oil!” and ominously renamed it “There Will Be Blood” then this performance could be channeled onto celluloid as a testament to the defining struggles of 21st century mankind.

Blistering cinematography of stark California landscapes from Robert Elswit, an evocatively organic and haunting music score from Jonny Greenwood (from the rock band Radiohead), and the beautifully fluid movement and framing of Paul Thomas Anderson’s maniacally calculating camera grab you from scene one and never let go. Daniel Day Lewis moves through the film like a cold burning firestorm combining and combusting with the technical elements and the fabulous ensemble cast around him to create a rising tension that is unlike anything experienced in cinema since the golden era of Stanley Kubrick.

The story is multilayered and allegorical. Led to an untapped area floating in dust on rivers of oil by a mysterious young man, Plainview soon comes face to face with that young man’s twin brother, Eli Sunday (a fecklessly manipulative Paul Dano). Eli is a wunderkind preacher at the Church of the Third Revelation and has the town wrapped around his finger with his claims to be a healer and prophet. Eli agrees to let Plainview buy his family’s land for the right price. The profits are to be used to build a bigger church. But when Plainview refuses to let Eli properly bless the drill site, a series of events unfold that Eli trumpets as acts of “God” while Plainview views them as results of meddling people he can scarcely see any good in and must crush.

The heart of the movie lies in Plainview’s relationship with his adopted son H. W. (a wonderfully naturalistic and quietly expressive Dillon Freasier). When the boy is injured on a drilling site and loses his hearing, Plainview, torn by his love for the idea of the boy looking up to him and the friendly face the boy has leant to the family business, abandons him only to latch on to a shady vagabond (Kevin J. O’Connor) who trots into town claiming to be his long lost brother Henry. Plainview’s replacing of a fake son with a fake brother shows his character’s deep-seeded and wounded need to connect to someone when insatiable greed has been his only driving force.

To explore in detail the film’s deeper message and resonance for today’s audience would be to spoil the ending. Suffice it to say, after the slowly infectious, nerve-shattering build-up, the film culminates with a soliloquy from Plainview to Eli that will make your jaw drop. In the end, it lives up to its title. There was blood. Whose was spilled is not a matter of debate, but what that blood says to its 21st century audience will be discussed and argued and studied for years to come. If you want to know what happens when greed guised in religious zealotry falls down a dark seemingly bottomless well with greed blatant as corporate capitalism, look no further than this film. There is a bottom to that well. There is a winner at the finish line. Meanwhile the blood is on the floor, the walls, the desert sand, the silver screen, the nightly news, and pumping through our bodies until we die.

Originally Published on the Internet Movie Database:

http://imdb.com/title/tt0469494/usercomments-59

*Regular reviews of films can be found on my personal blog:

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/

-David H. Schleicher

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Please find below a press release about an event taking place in Baltimore on Monday the 28th. Feel free to contact me for more details.

Best regards,

-Eric D. Goodman –
www.Writeful.blogspot.com

MARYLAND WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Eric D. Goodman, MWA Public Relations Director

DATE: January 11, 2007

EMAIL: edgewriter@gmail.com

Your Chance to Steer Baltimore Writers

The year’s first monthly meeting of the Maryland Writers’ Association’s Baltimore Chapter is your chance to join in the discussion of what the organization will do in 2008. The event takes place at Ukazoo Books in on Monday, January 28 from 7-9 pm and is free and open to the public.

We’re not having a guest speaker this time — instead, we’re inaugurating what may become an annual tradition, a roundtable member discussion to map out where we’d like the organization to go in the coming year. Topics up for discussion will include meeting dates, venues, topics, guest speakers, activities, the financing of signs for the organization, and more. We will also discuss ways in which to reach out to other writers in the community, how to get more involved with the community and other organizations, and what sorts of activities the MWAB should initiate or participate in during the coming years.

If you are a writer in Baltimore or the surrounding area, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to make your voice heard.

Ukazoo Books
730 Dulaney Valley Rd.
Towson, MD 21204
www.ukazoobooks.com

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Last night we were traveling down Old Murfreesboro Road where the blackness of the night hung in the air as thick as pea soup fog.

I spotted a couple of cars that had stopped on the side of the road that had appeared to be in a fender bender situation. I slowed the car down and asked if we could help…a young man was visibly upset and told us that everyone was ok, but he hit a baby deer and it was hurt.

In the meantime, another young man was trying his best to grab the deer so that he could finish it off and proclaim the poor animal as “dinner”. I yelled at him to ask if anyone called animal control or the ASPCA. He gave me a sour look and dropped the deer and left.

We quickly called the police and animal control and the 3 of us, strangers to all, stared at this beautiful deer in the night, trying to talk and soothe it’s shattered nerves. The deer finally stopped struggling and watched us as much as we were watching it.

I could see the shallow panting and the blood on the ground that was spilled as he darted into traffic, smack dab into a Pontiac Vibe. I noticed the deer’s tongue was soaked with blood and knew that it wasn’t looking good for this little doe-eyed beauty. Hopefully, the animal expert would be here to sedate it and take care of it.

The swirling colors of blue, white and red filled up the sky as the cop soon arrived. He didn’t say much except to check on the animal expert. The deer by now had grown accustomed to our faces and had a sense of trust that we were trying to help him.

The animal expert showed up and flashed a light on the deer. We offered ideas on how best to move the deer and asked if he was going to sedate it first.

He looked at us with disdain as he spoke to the cop quietly. “What are you going to do?” my partner asked. “Maam, step away from the animal.” is all he would say. He had a huge bulbous stomach that had stretched out the ragged polo shirt he was wearing. He went to his truck and got a revolver.

We all 3 were incredulous. My partner demanded his badge number, to which he replied:

“Maam, step away from the animal. If you try to interfere with my job, I’ll take you downtown.” So there we had it…she had been threatened by the poster boy for “Hunters R Us”. We all 3 looked at the doe again and began to cry. The little guy trusted that we were going to help him.

I can only hope that the gunshot ended his pain quickly. I know that for me, that gunshot is still ringing in my ears and isn’t likely to stop my pain anytime soon.

********************************
Taryn Simpson is a Pulitzer Prize Nominee for her book, “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road”, which was written with her co-writer in Beijing, China. The 2 writers have yet to speak to each other or meet in person for that matter. Check out the book here: http://www.Taryn-Simpson.blogspot.com

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I don’t have much time to blog this week. I’ve been doing research and networking in order to meet new authors and as a result many have joined Guerrilla Marketers’ Cafe. I believe we have about 15 new authors, so if you are looking for some good books make sure you visit us and check our bookshelf.

Today I’m sharing with you and article by my friend Nick Daws. Nick knows a lot about online marketing and I always enjoy his articles. I hope you enjoy it.


WHY EVERY WRITER NEEDS A WEBSITE!

by

NICK DAWS

If you’re a writer and don’t have your own website to advertise yourself, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. How do I know? Well, I’ve had my own site for about seven years now, and during that time it’s brought me dozens, possibly hundreds, of work opportunities. Here are just a few which came my way as a result of people seeing my site…

* Hamlyn Publishing (UK) wanting me to write a couple of two-page spreads for a proposed book.

* A retired gangster living in Ireland wanting me to help write his memoirs.

* A local video company, wanting my help scripting a training video.

* A US publishing house wanting me to ghost-write an exposé of malpractice in the insurance industry.

* A UK publisher, wanting me to quote for producing a series of city guides for publication on the Internet.

* And, not least, White Cliff Computing Limited, whose interest in my work led to me writing two courses for them, “Write Any Book in 28 Days – Or Less!” and “Quick Cash Writing”.

I didn’t actually take up all of the opportunities mentioned above. Sometimes I was too busy with other projects (and I must admit the retired gangster scared me a little…). However, the point is that none of these approaches would have come my way without a website.

There are other benefits as well. If I’m applying for a new writing project or commission, I can simply suggest that the potential client refers to my website if they require any further information. It saves constantly sending out weighty CVs or résumés, and makes me look like a technologically aware, up-to-the-minute sort of guy (this becomes more important when, as in my case, you are no longer in the first flush of youth). The website also helps me keep in touch with readers of my books, and it provides me with an additional (if small) income stream through advertising.

OK, I hear you saying, you’ve sold me on the benefits of having a website, but I’m a writer, not a tech-head. I don’t know how to create my own site, and I don’t have the spare cash to hire someone to build one for me.

Let’s take the latter point first. Getting a website built for you need not be hugely expensive. Freelance writers really don’t need whizzy, cutting-edge designs with Flash animation, online databases, shopping trolleys, and so forth. A basic site which showcases you and your work should be more than sufficient. Try entering “website designer” in your favorite search engine and

you’ll get hundreds of potential designers. Approach a few with details of your requirements and see what responses you get. You may well be pleasantly surprised by the quotes you receive. Website design is a very competitive field – and, of course, the designer you use can be based anywhere in the world.

However, if at all possible, I do strongly recommend that you consider building and maintaining your own site. This has all sorts of advantages. For one, you can update it yourself quickly and easily, and you can also create it exactly as you wish. You can add bits, take bits away, try out advertising, start your

own newsletter, etc. etc. This is the route I have taken, and although my site is never going to win any awards for its design, it suits my purposes very well.

In my time I’ve used various programs to create and maintain my website, starting with a program called the CompuServe First Web Page Designer (now, I’m sure, residing in software heaven). If I was starting again today, however, I would definitely invest a few bucks in the Newbie Club First Website Builder. This is a four-volume guide to creating, writing, designing, automating, uploading and promoting your own website, in fully illustrated

e-book format. As well as the four beautifully written e-books, you get loads of free software, including the Super Easy Mini Site Wizard, which will build a basic site for you in literally minutes. Check out everything on offer in this product at http://tinyurl.com/2syw8. I guarantee it’ll blow you away.

Even if you decide to hire a professional designer to create your site for you, the Newbie Club First Website Builder will show you everything you need to know in order to take over the running of your site and maintain and update it yourself.

Incidentally, the Newbie Club, which is aimed at people new to computing rather than IT specialists, also produces a free email newsletter packed with hints and tips for newcomers to computing – you can sign up to it at http://tinyurl.com/2zgy2 if you wish. Although I’ve been using PCs for quite a while now, I still subscribe, and regularly pick up useful hints and tips I hadn’t been aware of before.

Nick Daws is a best-selling author living in Staffordshire, England.
You can discover his exciting course “How to Write Any Book in 28 Days – OR LESS!” online at http://www.writequickly.com/


Clary Lopez
http://clarylopez.com
http://clary.wordpress.com

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This Sunday marks the second “Lit & Art” reading and art display at the Watermark Gallery and sponsored by the literary blog Writeful. Local art and literature will be shared. The event is free and open to the public.

Best regards,

Eric D. Goodman
www.Writeful.blogspot.com

WRITEFUL PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Eric D. Goodman, Public Relations Director

DATE: January 15, 2007

EMAIL: edgewriter@gmail.com

Lit and Art in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

As winter winds blow, the harbor may not seem the warmest place to visit this time of year—unless you’re going to the Watermark Gallery to enjoy a gathering of literature and artwork.

This Sunday, six local authors will present fiction and poetry—and an original collection of art by local artist Manzar Rassouli-Taylorr will be on display.

The event takes place at the Watermark Gallery in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Sunday, January 20 at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Wine and refreshments will be served.

The Maryland Writers Association (MWA) will be well represented at the event; five of the authors are members of the MWA.

Eric Kestler will read from his poetry.

Lauren Beth Eisenberg will read “Lust,” an excerpt from her book, Excess Baggage.

Eric D. Goodman will take the audience “Out for a Walk” with a story recently published in The Baltimore Review.

Caryn Coyle will share her story “Mom’s Memorial Mass.”

Nitin Jagdish goes madcap with his “Manifesto.”

Cliff Lynn will close the lineup with readings from his poetry.

A collection of surreal artwork by Manzar Rassouli-Taylorr, will be on display.

During the intermission as well as after the readings, members will have the opportunity to mingle with the authors, artists, and each other.

This is the second reading in this series, following the successful “Rumi-esque Reading” in October.

The Watermark Gallery is located in the Bank of America Center Skywalk Level, right across from the Inner Harbor, at 100 S. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland. The phone number is (410) 547-0452.

Learn more about the Watermark at their online gallery.

www.manzar.net

Learn more about the “Lit and Art” reading event at Writeful.

www.Writeful.blogspot.com

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Any writer worth their salt knows that social networking sites like MySpace are a great way to meet fellow writers and hopefully some readers as well.
I am currently featured on MySpace’s Word Weavers for the week of 1/13/2008.

http://www.myspace.com/weaversofwords

D. H. Schleicher holds a background in Psychology and Criminal Justice from his undergraduate days at Elon University in North Carolina. Always a crafty storyteller as a child, Schleicher honed his skills in college where his studies fueled his ideas and helped him develop his characters. Schleicher took many chances early on by self-publishing three psychological thrillers over a course of two and half years after graduating college in 2002. His projects were unmitigated disasters, but provided him valuable lessons. Sometimes a writer must learn the hard way and must write a lot of garbage before finally writing something worthwhile that will connect with audiences.

That breakthrough came in late 2006 with the publication of The Thief Maker. Here Schleicher finally found his voice and delivered a dark, psychologically complex, intertwining tale of love, hate, and crime on the streets of Philadelphia and New York City. The Thief Maker has been earning rave reviews and accolades (including Honorable Mention in the Genre Fiction category in the upcoming Writer’s Digest 15th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards) over the course of the past year. Schleicher has employed a slow-burning grassroots marketing campaign built on the strong word of mouth from readers and critics and his always lively blog where he discusses films, books, current events, and shares his trials and tribulations with self-publishing and living the writer’s life.

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com

The author finds endless inspiration from his love of films and books. He believes you learn to write well by reading as much of the classics as you can, but also by reading some of the bad writing (be it one’s own experiments from the past or current best-sellers that are less than stellar) to know what to avoid in one’s own writing. His favorite novelist is Graham Greene while his favorite film director is Stanley Kubrick. Schleicher is currently working on his next evolution as a novelist while residing in the suburbs of his favorite city and muse, Philadelphia.

The Thief Maker is on the shelves at Philadelphia and South Jersey area Barnes & Noble stores and available for purchase worldwide through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.

Purchase Now from Barnes and Noble

Purchase Now from Amazon.com

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This comes up because of a little incident with one of my publishers. Nothing major, but a little wonky on exactly what day a book was due out. It started a discussion in a few places, a couple readers comments on blogs.

Basically the upshot is: Wishlists and Coming Soon Pages.

They want ’em.

Your publisher (or you if you direct sell) need ’em.

If you’re lucky to have a readership (as I’m gaining one) those readers want to know when to expect your next book. Coming Soon Pages (whether on your own site or the publishers) allow them to browse and plan ahead. They get excited about a book. They love to be teased with a little taste. Then they can set money aside, or put it into the book budget. Let’s face it, books are disposable income purchases. Bills get paid, food gets bought, the kids get clothes on their backs…whatever’s left over you may buy books with.

A Wishlist (basically a non purchase shopping cart) allows them to easily earmark the books they want. The process of moving the book from Wishlist to Shopping Cart needs to be pretty seamless. Many of the comments bemoaned how difficult it was to move thier books into actual purchase mode (on several publishers sites).

When I have cover art ahead of time, I’ll go about showing it off (blogs, email –not spam, but relevant ones–, post cards and such). People like the pretty, especially if you give them a small snippet of the book to read. If I get it the same day the book comes out, I’ve lost some of the advanced marketing ability. Yeah, I can put a blurb on my site with a place holder picture…but it’s not the same.

Graphically here: This is the generic place holder I use (a good freind of mine allowed me to use his picture when he was dommed up)
generic place holder

These are the two books cover I just got which I’ll now replace it with:
Inland Empire

Lutin’s Heir

Obviously very different books, you can tell it just by the style and subject matter of the cover art. One’s contemporary, very much gay the other is AU high fantasy. Guess which is which. The covers will draw the type of reader looking for that type of book. I can use them to market to specific subgroups of readers. If I have the full publisher blurb and maybe an advanced reveiw, so much the better. People remember what they hear and see often. That is one of the marketing lessons we, as authors, need to remember.

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