Showing posts from March, 2019

Newsletter Ahoy!

Twitter blasts are fun. Lots of people seem to check out the threads. But I don't see them as the ultimate vehicle for communicating with readers. As I enter the home stretch and embark on my last few rounds of drafts of my diptych, my  Avenging Glory  website is moving up the priority list and I’m looking to have some fun stuff on it by Mid Summer. There's a  Web Book Marketing coach/guru named Tim Grahl  who seems to have lots on the ball. I've been shamelessly mining his free advice for the past year or so, regarding how to promote and market a book (and he has an excellent page on creating a author website). Frankly, he has a great track record with getting books in front of eyeballs, and gives really smart advice. The point I'm making by mentioning this is that the absolute core of his advice is the need to build an author platform – supported by an e-mail data-base of people. And one of the best ways to build that up is with an e-mail newsletter. I stil

A Little Magic Would Be Handy

Wanna See Me Turn a Book into a Diptych? Just tap the magic wand on the cover three times....and presto chango! Gahhh...I wish it were that easy! If I had realized when I decided that the opening chapters of my novel needed a little fleshing out, that I was committing myself to writing a novel length prequel that would change much of the landscape for the main novel (thereby adding the prospect of another draft to that one), I probably wouldn’t have embarked on it. After all, Avenging Glory was pretty much complete. I just intended to add a wee bit more colour, depth and detail to part one – because I was setting up one of my major characters and had just breezed through his potentially fascinating backstory with an “and then this happened” approach. And he deserved SO much more.   As I worked on it, I kept finding valid rationales for dramatizing bits of this backstory and adding new scenes and characters, and before I knew it, I’d added several chapters. And then mor

Panning for Gold in the River of Artistic Achievement

Once the dirt is washed away, what’s left at the bottom of a pan is probably just gravel. But every now and then, comes a Eureka moment.  Any art that has been around for awhile, but is inspiring enough to track down and enjoy long after the ship originally sailed, is probably going to be worth your time and attention, because e ven while sinking into the sediment, real gold continues to shine. It’s still prime material for the for the groom’s ringbox or the alchemist’s vial. For me, there’s nothing more inspiring than great art. I’ve struck a lot of gold lately: Recovered nugget #1: Black Swan – after seven years and many enthusiastic recommendations by friends. As soon as I saw it, I regretted taking so long. Dark magic realism as opposed to horror; the film is intensely visual, symbolic, and devastating in its complications and implications. The character of Nina is inhabited more than acted by Natalie Portman, and the film is composed as much as directed by Darren

Happy 100 to Me

I began this blog in May 2011. It was one of six I was running at the time. The blog for my business was discontinued when I stopped publishing Canadian Newcomer Magazine in 2014. And it was so much work maintaining all the other blogs, when they were generating no income, that most of the others gradually fell by the wayside. Sculptor's Touch still has a blog page on Wordpress that has been pretty much inactive for the past few years. Which means that, for me,  Psychedelia Gothique is the last blog standing. And this marks my 100th blog post on this site! That feels like some kind of landmark, although admittedly, a little one. The blog has been improving with each passing year, with more interesting content and more frequent posts, but it's still a long way from what I have ambitions to make it. I would love to have a fascinating, controversial, cutting edge blog like Peter Watts over at  ...but I can't even approach Mr. Watts' k

Seven Good Reasons to Write a Novel and Several Reasons Not To

I’ve been writing fiction since Junior High School, took creative writing in university and starting publishing short stories (and a few poems) in the 1980s.  I never tried writing a novel until I was in my forties, and the path was fraught with hazards, the road, littered with unfinished manuscripts. Here we are in 2019, and I am just finishing the fourth draft of my first novel to go beyond first draft. Was it worth all the angst and self-flagellation I’ve put myself through over the years? Am I qualified to make that call before I have actually published it and received reader and market feedback? Can I do it credibly? Hmm. Okay, be that way. I’ll do it anyway. 1)       The best reason to write a novel is because you can’t not write it. You persevere through the obstacles, risk alienating your family (because you need that private time to write), and face 100+ rejections when you try to try to find an agent and a publisher. And then you sit down to start your next